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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs           9   August  2011

Inflation continues to rise in Vietnam

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Vietnamese consumer prices will continue to surge at a rate of about 1 percent in August, predicts the Ministry of Finance, bringing cumulative inflation since December to around 16 percent so far this year.

With inflation for the entire year targeted at 17 percent, the director of the ministry’s price management department, Nguyen Tien Thoa, admitted that it would be difficult to meet the target, explaining that there remained both domestic and international economic factors that could negatively affect consumer prices through the end of the year.

While the prices of some goods could be continually adjusted under State management, the Government needed to draw up a roadmap for overall prices increases in order to avoid economical shock, Thoa said.

Newly named Minister of Finance Vuong Dinh Hue also said last week that his first priority upon taking office would be to work closely with the State Bank of Vietnam to strictly implement tight monetary and financial policies in combination with market controls in order to better curb inflation.

Meanwhile, rising food prices and declining supplies were having the greatest impact on the inflation rate, the ministry said.

The blue-ear epidemic has taken its toll on the nation’s pork supplies, reducing pig herds by 3.7 percent.

High consumption of sugar and other raw materials used to produce traditional cakes for the upcoming Mid-Autumn Festival was also expected to boost food prices this month. The ministry said it would enhance price label inspections to more strictly manage the domestic market as well as keep a closer watch on business input costs, distribution and sale prices, ensuring timely action against violations of regulations.

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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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