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China-led AIIB to lend $207.6 million for Metro Manila’s flood control

A China-led infrastructure investment bank has given its go-ahead for a US$207.63-million (Bt6.919-billion) share in financing the project aimed at improving flood management in Metro Manila. 
The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) is cofinancing the $500-million Metro Manila Flood Management Project, the first loan that the China-led development bank is extending to the Philippines.
The AIIB board on September 27 gave its go-ahead for a $207.63-million share in financing the project aimed at improving flood management in the National Capital Region by “constructing new and modernising existing pumping stations and their supporting infrastructure, by improving solid waste management practices within the vicinity of drainage systems served by the selected pumping stations, and by supporting the resettlement of impacted individuals.”
The World Bank will lend $207.63 million for the project, while the remaining $84.74 million will be shouldered by the national government, AIIB documents showed.
According to the AIIB, this project “will focus on about 56 potentially critical drainage areas with an approximate land area of 11,100 hectares or over 17 percent of the total area of Metro Manila.”
“This will include an area covered by new pumping stations of about 2,900 hectares, with a total population of about 970,000 people or about 210,000 households,” the AIIB added.
The project is aimed for completion in May 2024, according to the AIIB. – Philippine Daily Inquirer

Terms settled on deal to supply |rice to Bangladesh: CRF
Cambodia and Bangladesh have finalised terms on a massive rice deal that could see up to 1 million tonnes of rice purchased from Cambodia over the next five years, with the first shipment due to begin by November, a source close to the deal said.
Hun Lak, vice president of the Cambodia Rice Federation (CRF), confirmed that an agreement had been made between the two governments after the relevant ministries signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) in August that hoped to replenish Bangladesh’s stockpiles after heavy flooding earlier this year decimated the country’s crops.
“We have already signed a price agreement with supply terms valid for six months in order to reach the export target of 250,000 tonnes,” he said. “We will start to ship biweekly from November to April. However, the total amount we will supply will be based on the level of local production and international market demand.”
He added that the deal, which will be managed by the state-run company Green Trade, allows for flexibility in the next harvest season that will begin in January. While he declined to provide the agreed upon price for the deal, he said that the current market price for Cambodian white rice was at $430 a tonne.
In late August, Reuters news agency reported that Bangladesh had agreed to purchase Cambodian rice at $453 a tonne, while local officials insisted that price negotiations were still ongoing.
Soeng Sophary, spokesperson for the Ministry of Commerce (MoC), said that the government would only play the role of helping the Cambodian rice sector access new markets, and that price agreements would be handled by the private sector.
“We are working on market access, but the private sector is responsible for fulfilling the agreements and reaching the export targets,” she said.
In 2016, Cambodia exported 542,144 tonnes of milled rice, a nominal 1 percent increase from the previous year, while rice exports reached 300,000 tonnes during the first half of the year, according to MoC data. Most of the rice has been bound for China after it agreed to an export quota of 200,000 tonnes of rice this year. – Phnom Penh Post

Former Indonesian president’s |plane design to start production
PT Regio Aviasi Industri (RAI), a company founded by former Indonesian president |BJ Habibie and his son Ilham Habibie, will |produce 80-seat passenger planes – R80 planes – beginning in 2024.
The plane was designed by Indonesia’s third president.
RAI president director Agung Nugroho said in Jakarta on Thursday that the plane was now in the phase of preliminary design and would be continued with full-scale development.
“We will develop the planes at full scale. They will be tested both in the air and on the land. We will construct four planes – two for flight tests and the two others are for land tests,” said Agung as reported by kompas.com.
After the completion of the prototypes, Agung added, his company would seek certificates from the Transportation Ministry before entering into mass production.
“We need about six years to make the planes fly. Then the planes will go through various tests for about two years. We can start selling the planes in 2025,” said Agung.
He said the planes, for the time being, would be constructed at a factory owned by state-owned aircraft manufacturer PT Dirgantara Indonesia. The company is now preparing a facility located near the Kertajadi International Airport in West Java.
He said four airline companies had expressed interest in buying the R80 places. They are Kalstar, Nam Air, Trigana Air and Aviastar. – The Jakarta Post (BBN)

Thousands of Transjakarta contract workers become permanent employees
City-owned bus operator PT Transportasi Jakarta (Transjakarta) has officially hired as permanent employees 4,316 of its contract workers, who had previously conducted strikes over labour issues.
In June, hundreds of contract workers of PT Transjakarta held a strike to protest their employment status.
The decision was made after a resolution team agreed to approve their demand, Jakarta Manpower and Transmigration Agency head Priyono said.
The team comprised officials from PT Transjakarta, the Jakarta Transportation Agency, the Manpower and Transmigration Agency, and other related institutions.
“The 4,316 workers who have been actively working at PT Transjakarta Busway since 2004 before PT Transjakarta was established, have been hired as permanent employees as per January 1, 2015,” Priyono said, as quoted on Saturday by kompas.com.
The city administration initially formed Transjakarta in 2003 as a public service body before transforming it into the Transjakarta Busway Management Body (UPTB) under the Transportation Agency in 2006. In 2013 it became the city-owned bus firm PT Transportasi Jakarta.
Another 111 workers who joined the company after 2015 and who had renewed their contracts more than three times, have been hired as permanent employees dating from the day they joined the company.
The remaining 1,847 workers who only renewed their contract once or twice |must undergo the company’s procedural |selection to be hired as permanent workers. – The Jakarta Post
 

Published : October 01, 2017

By : Asia News Network