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Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Vietnamese company builds cement factory in Cambodia

Nhan Dan – In these days, workers of the Machinery Installation JSC No 18, a subsidiary of the Vietnam Machinery Installation Corporation (LILAMA) are urgently completing and running on trial basis a clinker production line for the Kampot Cement Factory in Cambodia.

The factory has a capacity of 2,500 tonnes of clinker a year, equivalent to 900,000 tonnes of cement a year.

This is the first cement factory abroad the company has won in bidding for construction. Of the total 7,000 tonnes of machinery equipment manufactured and installed for the factory, 1,200 tonnes have been manufactured in Vietnam.

Domestically, the Machinery Installation JSC No 18 is manufacturing and installing over 4,200 tonnes of equipment for the two cement factories in Binh Phuoc and Tay Ninh.
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Global Worker News Roundup

Just some union-based news that crossed my desktop. In Southeast Asia, Cambodian workers have been crossing the Thai border for years. They are seeking the sub-subsistence level wages that work in the urban Thai economy provides - largely as construction workers - to migrant workers with no social power and few legal protections. Newsmekong reports last week that the eight-month old “Provincial Decree on Migrant Workers” has started to be enforced by the current junta in power. Raids on worker dormitories have been stepped up:

Under the decree, migrant workers from the three countries are not allowed to own mobile phones, may not use motorised transport and must remain confined to their dormitories from 8 pm to 6 am.

Chattel slavery, anyone? [via]

General Federation of Iraqi Workers (GFIW)

Meanwhile, The General Federation of Iraqi Workers have issued statements protesting the illegalization of collective organization in the Iraqi Oil Industry. Apparently oil workers pose a terrorist-level threat to Iraq’s stability when they have the gall to speak up for their health, safety, respect, and livelihoods. Unionists in the United States are protesting as well, in solidarity. Here’s an excellent interview by David Bacon from 2005 with Ghasib Hassan, member of the executive committee of the Iraqi Federation of Trade Unions, and general secretary of the Union for Aviation and Railway Workers.

Finally, in Venezuela, a political bifurcation seems to be in the offing. The lefty government, so ruthlessly attacked and undermined by the US, has been defending its bolivarian policies for years now, and is vastly popular. The few criticisms which have held some water have revolved around Hugo Chavez’s tendency to authoritarianism, though most of us have blown these off as relatively unimportant compared to the vast advantages and the popular support involved. However, the government is now refusing to support worker control at an occupied factory abandoned by the owners. This is a disturbing turn of events that bears closer analysis.
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Cambodia and Vietnam share resort golf course

Golfers will soon be able to tee off in Cambodia and finish their round in Vietnam following the start of construction on a cross border resort, that officials say will be the first of its kind in Asia.

The US$100 million dollar project will include a resort that will be built between Cambodia's Svay Rieng province and Vietnam's border province of Tay Ninh.

Tran Van Hoa, Professorial fellow at Centre for Strategic Economic Studies at Victoria University, has told Radio Australia's Girish Sawlani that he believes that this kind of development will help to improve on the past 200 years of hostilities that has existed between the two countries.

"Cambodia and Vietnam are very anxious to develop their economy and one aspect of this development is to resume development and I think this development golf course across the border between Vietnam and Cambodia will help to fit in with this national development program," he says.

Concerns have emerged however that the project will progress at the expense of displaced Cambodians.

The Svay Rieng province has long been an area where local Cambodians have been forced to sell their land in the name of national development.

Executive director of the Centre for Social Development, Theary Seng says that Svay Rieng has always been a tumultuous province for Cambodia in light of Vietnamese encroachment and out that one reason why Cambodians continue to be displaced from their land in the border districts is due to the imbalance of power that exists between the two goverments.

"This current Cambodian regime and Cambodian government came to power because it had escaped to Vietnam and then came back with the power of the Vietnamese soldiers when it ended the Khmer Rouge years in 1979. And since then their close ties and indebtedness between this current Cambodian regime and the Vietnamese government have not been severed," she says.
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Deputy Prime Minister visits Cambodia

VietNamNet Bridge - Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Gia Khiem arrived in Cambodia for official visit and promptly held talks with his counterpart Hor Namhong on August 20, where they discussed Cambodia’s marked political and economic development.

Deputy PM Khiem singled out the ward and communal elections that were held in April 2007 as evidence that the Cambodian National Assembly elections for 2008 would be a roaring success.

Both Foreign Ministry leaders said that trade and investment between the two neighbours continued to be a positive driving force in their greater diplomatic relationship and that celebrations of the 40 th anniversary of diplomatic ties between Vietnam and Cambodia underscored the motto of “fine neighbours, traditional friendship, comprehensive cooperation and long-term stability.”

A consensus was also reached on the need to continue to work together in the forums of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), the Cambodia-Laos-Vietnam Development Triangle, the Ayeyawady – Chao Phraya –Mekong Economic Cooperation Strategy (ACMECS), the Cambodia-Laos-Myanmar-Vietnam cooperation, the Greater Mekong Sub-region (GMS) and the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM).

Also on August 20, the Deputy PM paid a courtesy visit to Cambodian Prime Minister Samdech Hun Sen who expressed his gratitude for the provision of human resources training, healthcare and infrastructure construction programmes to the impoverished nation.

(Source: VNA)
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