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NEW UPDATES Asean Affairs  26 September 2014  

CPI rises in cities as dollar rate falls

The consumer price index (CPI) in the country's two largest cities rose in September due to the 8.55 per cent increase in the cost of education.

According to the Ha Noi Statistics Office, the capital's CPI rose in September by 0.51 per cent over August, and increased 3.36 per cent year on year.

The department added that the education costs were up because of rising tuition fees in universities and colleges, in line with the road map approved by the Prime Minister.

The education costs were followed by a 0.31 per cent rise in the cost of restaurant and food services.

The prices of two of the 11 baskets of goods fell during the month, namely housing-electricity-water-fuel (0.91 per cent) and transport (1.96 per cent).

In September, gold prices fell by 1.65 per cent. The price of the US dollar also fell by 0.09 per cent over the previous month.

The HCM City's Statistics Office reported that the September CPI was up 1.13 per cent against August, with a year-on-year increase of 3.16 per cent.

According to the office, the cost of educational goods and services increased the most compared to August, by more than 19 per cent, as the consumers in HCM City stocked up on school supplies for the new academic year. The prices of equipment and household items increased by 0.39 per cent; that of apparel and footwear by 0.3 per cent; and of beverages and tobacco by 0.14 per cent.

The prices that fell were of transport (2.03 per cent); housing, electricity, water and building materials (0.55 per cent); restaurants and services (0.20 per cent); and pharmaceuticals and healthcare services (0.04 per cent).

The city's price of gold and the dollar exchange rate fell by 0.93 per cent and 0.03 per cent respectively.

FDI surges to $1.18b

Foreign direct investment (FDI) registered in HCM City have increased by 6.9 per cent to more than VND24.93 trillion (US$1.18 billion) as of September15, 2014.

Figures from HCM City Statistics Office also showed that the southern city granted licences to 277 new foreign-invested projects worth $1.1 billion, with the real estate sector attracting seven projects worth $450.4 million and industry and trade areas luring 100 projects worth $452 million.

The British Virgin Islands was the largest foreign investor among 40 countries and territories investing in the city with $346.3 million, or 31.6 per cent of the city's total FDI. This was followed by Singapore with $224.4 million or 20.4 per cent, and Japan with $206.1 million or 18.8 per cent.

City authorities said investors from other countries and territories such as South Korea, mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan were accelerating their investments in the city. This, they added, was good news for the city and showed that it remained a promising investment destination for foreign investors in the near future.

Contrarily, Ha Noi lured only $919 million in FDI as of September 15, or only 88 per cent of FDI during the same period last year.

Of the total, $579 million came from 155 newly-licensed projects while the remainder came from 231 existing projects that were allowed to increase their levels of capital.

According to Ha Noi Department of Planning and Investment, the city is exerting great efforts to diversify investment promotions to attract more capital, especially from prioritised countries such as Japan, South Korea, East Asia and the United States, as well as the European Union.

It is also aiming at further improve its investment climate and create the best conditions for investors to implement their licensed projects. — VNS

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This year in Thailand-what next?

AseanAffairs   04 January 2011
By David Swartzentruber      

It is commonplace in journalism to write two types of articles at the transition point between the year that has passed and the New Year. As this writer qualifies as an “old hand” in observing Thailand with a track record dating back 14 years, it is time take a shot at what may unfold in Thailand in 2011.

The first issue that can’t be answered is the health of Thailand’s beloved King Bhumibol, who is now 83 years old. He is the world's longest reigning monarch, but elaborate birthday celebrations in December failed to mask concern over his health. More






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