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NEW UPDATES Asean Affairs  7 November 2014  

Slovakia ready to help VN with energy development

Slovakia was willing to assist Viet Nam develop its energy industry, Slovakian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign and European Affairs Miroslav Lajcak said at the Viet Nam-Slovakia Business Forum in HCM City the day before yesterday.

The Slovakian guest highlighted Viet Nam's great potential for developing its energy industry.

He praised the country for its "visionary energy development strategy". He said this oriented the sector in the right direction by aiming to build Viet Nam's first nuclear power plant by 2030 in addition to existing hydropower and thermal power facilities.

Lajcak noted that Slovakia's energy strategy aimed at providing reasonable electricity prices and make the nation a European energy transit country.

He said Slovakia's energy mainly came from atomic energy, natural gas and renewable energy.

The Slovakian Deputy PM said economic development should go in hand with energy efficiency, noting that the co-operation between Viet Nam and Slovakia should do the same.

The forum, organised by the Viet Nam Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Slovakian Embassy, also discussed bilateral co-operation opportunities in a number of fields, such as healthcare, the environment, trade and commerce.

According to the chamber, two-way trade exceeded US$400 million in 2013, an increase of 35 per cent over the previous year.

During the first eight months of this year, bilateral trade totalled $281 million, including $262 million in exports to Slovakia. Slovakia has five investment projects worth $235 million in Viet Nam.

Earlier yesterday, the Slovakian Deputy PM held a working session with FPT Software in HCM City 's High-Tech Park .

He said FPT's purchase of Slovakian RWE IT in June this year was a fine example of the close co-operation between the two countries.

Also yesterday, a HCM City leader said the city and Slovakia would boost their partnership in the economy, trade and investment.

HCM City was establishing a twin-city relationship with Slovakia's capital Brastislava, chairman of the municipal People's Committee, Le Hoang Quan, said during a meeting with the Slovakian guest.

Trade between the city and Slovakia reached $85 million during the first nine months of this year, he said, adding that HCM City granted an investment licence to a Slovakia-funded project investing $100 million.

Lajcak said he was impressed by the dynamic development of HCM City, adding that his visit aimed to foster partnerships in the economy, culture, education and people-to-people exchanges.

He said Slovakia was keen to beef up its economic partnership with HCM City, calling for the city's investors to invest in his country.

At the same time, he asked for continued support for Slovakian investors in the city.

Later, Lajcak visited the Slovakian Consulate General and met representatives of the HCM City chapter of the Viet Nam-Slovakia Friendship Association.

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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.

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