By Asia News Network
Following the slump in the global crude oil price to US$60 per barrel, the government has urged fuel producers to adjust their fuel prices as soon as possible.
Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry Oil and Gas director-general Djoko Siswanto told the press recently that six oil producers and distributors had expressed their readiness to lower the retail prices of their products sold at fuel stations.
“I have called Pertamina, AKR, Shell, Total, Vivo and Garuda Mas. All of them are committed to lowering fuel prices, sometime next week or no later than January,” he said.
State-owned oil and gas holding company Pertamina said that it could not immediately lower the retail prices of its non-subsidised products because the company had to empty its tanks of fuel purchased when the crude oil price was still high.
“Therefore, the Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry has given us until January next year,” said Pertamina spokesman Adiatma Sardjito, adding that Pertamina would lower the fuel prices in January.
The non-subsidised fuels sold by the company include the Pertamax series with a research octane number above 90, Pertamax Turbo and Pertamina Dex. – The Jakarta Post
Germany set to launch first loan to Cambodia
The German Embassy on Thursday announced its first loan Cambodia of 30 million euros (Bt1.11 billion), which will be used to upgrade its rural energy grid.
The embassy said in a statement after a meeting with Electricite du Cambodge (EDC – Electricity Authority of Cambodia) that by investing in rural energy efficiency, the EDC can reduce power losses significantly, improve access in remote areas and increase the reliability of power supply.
The improved access to power grids in rural Cambodia also contributes to Cambodia’s ambitious targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, the statement said.
“Reliable and climate-friendly energy access is the engine for the Kingdom’s future development and will boost investment in the country,” said German Ambassador Ingo Karsten.
“It increases energy efficiency, access in remote areas and allows for lower tariffs. Stronger grids are the basis for future investments in solar energy, which has a huge potential in Cambodia.”
The loan is funded by the German Ministry for International Development’s Climate Technology Initiative and will be implemented by Germany’s KfW’s development bank.
EDC managing director Keo Rattanak said after the meeting that the loan would benefit people in rural Cambodia.
“This loan will cover a lot of people, especially the poor who need an affordable electricity service,” Rattanak said.
He said it would help boost clean energy, which is good for climate change, local households’ finances, education and health.
“We expect this project to help reduce the use of diesel generators, which pollute more.”
Centre for Policy Studies director Chan Sophal welcomed Germany’s loan, noting that developing electricity in rural areas is vital to developing the economy of rural families and enterprises as well as promoting the growth of the country’s economy. – The Phnom Penh Post
Vietnam needs to simplify property laws for foreigners: experts
Foreign buyers have often faced barriers to buying real estate in Vietnam, including the limitation of the law on the foreign ownership portion of each property project.
Vietnam’s real estate market must solve many difficulties to increase the number of foreigners buying property in Vietnam, experts said.
“To promote foreigners’ trading of real estate products on the local market, Vietnam should increase the portion of property products available for foreigners in each project,” Nguyen Hoai An, director of CBRE Vietnam’s Hanoi, branch told Viet Nam News.
“It is necessary to complete legal documents, circulars, procedures and support for foreigners in buying property products in Vietnam,” she said. “The nation needs to complete the process of issuing pink books and certificates of ownership for property belonging to foreigners.”
“Meanwhile, banks need to increase support for foreigners in property transactions,” she said.
Existing projects that want to attract more foreign customers should develop professional customer care processes for foreigners, she said.
Foreign buyers have often faced barriers to buying real estate in Vietnam, including the limitation of the law on the foreign ownership portion of each property project, An said.
“For apartment projects, foreigners can only own up to 30 per cent of the apartment volume, while for townhouse projects the portion is not to exceed 10 per cent or 250 units,” An said.
According to Nguyen Manh Ha, former head of the construction ministry’s Housing and Market Management Department and deputy chairman of the Vietnam Real Estate Association, Vietnam has many laws, decrees and circulars related to property trading. Foreign buyers often do not know all of the country’s laws. – Viet Nam News
Cheap does not mean unsafe, Citilink says
Low-cost carrier PT Citilink Indonesia has stressed there is no correlation between the ticket prices of airlines and flight safety.
Citilink new distribution channel senior manager Husnul Mulia said any airline wanted to assure there would be no accident during the operation.
“The target is always zero accidents,” Husnul said in Jakarta, as quoted by kompas.com, stressing that the safety standards of all airlines were the same.
Husnul’s statement comes after the National Transportation Safety Committee (KNKT) stated on Wednesday that the aircraft used for Lion Air flight JT610, which crashed into the Java Sea on October 29, had been unfit to fly.
On Thursday, the committee corrected that statement in response to protest from Lion Air management, saying the aircraft had, in fact, been airworthy.
He said air transportation was still the safest mode of transportation in the world, even though more and more flights were operated by LCC. “If we look at the rate, the safest transportation is airlines, including those operated in Indonesia,” Husnul added.
Flight JT610 was carrying 181 passengers, including three minors, and eight flight crew members. – The Jakarta Post