Nguyen Dang Anh Thi Among many comments made at and media coverage of last year’s World Economic Forum in Davos, one was striking for me: that Vietnam is attracting a lot more companies that want to leave China than the other seven emerging Asian economies because of its "cheap" labor and electricity. Contributing to growth, paying taxes and creating jobs have been considered the achievements of FDI over the years in Vietnam. They were possible thanks to the "cheapness advantage" that Vietnam has long been promoting everywhere to attract investment. But in reality there is something wrong with this narrative. And it's time to stop thinking that being cheap is the nation's advantage. Three years ago I surveyed a Russian salmon processing factory in Long An Province in Vietnam’s Mekong Delta. Its business model was simple: import fresh salmon from Russia, process them into fillet, package and freeze the produce, and export all to Europe. On average, to process a ton of … [Read more...] about Vietnam’s ‘cheapness’ is hurting future generations
Why does fresh water mean
Viet Nam News The Mekong Delta, the rice bowl of Việt Nam, is sinking. HCM City, the country’s economic engine, is facing severe urban flooding. How can The government and people solve these problems? Việt Nam News reporter Khoa Thư talks with Henk Ovink, Special Envoy for Water Affairs of the Netherlands, on this issue. What is the reason for your visit to Việt Nam? My visit to Việt Nam is made under the framework of the 45th anniversary of the Việt Nam – Netherlands friendship. In this relationship, there is a lot of back and forth, learning, capacity building, understanding, collaboration and we cherish and celebrate it. 2015 with the Paris Agreement was the year when I personally helped strengthen Vietnamese and international efforts taking the next step in the Mekong Delta plan. The Mekong Delta is such an important area for Việt Nam and also for the world. It took two years for the international community and Việt … [Read more...] about Việt Nam’s water issues need collaboration
Magic device: Associate Professor Lê Văn Lữ (left), one of the researchers, gets water from the device. Viet Nam News Hard times bring new and clever ideas. After there was little rain in the Mekong Delta, farmers found it difficult to find water after digging underground. Scientists then came up with a plan. That was to get water from the air. Khánh Dương HÀ NỘI – Coffee farmers in the southern central province of Ninh Thuận used to dig up to 40 metres underground to reach water in order to irrigate their crops during droughts. Now when the land dries up, they struggle to find water at depths of even 100m. The water shortage has devastated residents of drought-plagued localities in Việt Nam, especially the Mekong Delta region, in recent years. Their lives and livelihoods have come to a standstill. Yet from difficulty emerges wisdom. “Water is in short supply, even underground. So, where can we make water … [Read more...] about Water from thin air
Japan Japan has two moon festivals every year, following lunar calendar. Zyuyoga is associated with the traditional customs of "Otsukimi" (meaning watching the moon on the full moon day in autumn). For the people in the land of the rising sun, the festival is the time for them to honor the moon in the fall, the only time the moon is at its fullest. In the Otsukimi festival, the Japanese often make Dango, a type of rice dumplings (mochiko). It is quite similar to mochi and is served with tea. On the 15th day of the eighth lunar month, the Japanese personally hand mix flour with water, pound it to create that structure-builder before proceeds to baking. Dango cake is presented with a Susuki grass vase during moon festivals. Also known as tail flower, susuki is a perennial tall grass that blossoms in the autumn. The moon watching ritual cannot be done without dango cake. Dango cake and susuki grass. Photo courtesy of Katorisi on Wikipedia The legend of Dango cake is traditionally … [Read more...] about Are moon festivals the same everywhere in Asia?
More of a giant France-sized glacier in Antarctica is floating on the ocean than previously thought, scientists said Tuesday, raising fears it could melt faster as the climate warms and have a dramatic impact on rising sea-levels. The Totten Glacier is one of the fastest-flowing and largest glaciers in Antarctica with scientists keen to keep a close eye on how it melts given the enormous amount of water it could potentially unleash. Using artificially created seismic waves that help scientists see through the ice, researchers have discovered that more of the Totten Glacier floats on the ocean than initially thought. "In some locations we thought were grounded, we detected the ocean below indicating that the glacier is in fact floating," said Paul Winberry from Central Washington University, who spent the summer in Antarctica studying the Totten. The findings are important because recent studies have shown the Totten Glacier's underbelly is already being eroded by warm, salty … [Read more...] about Sea level fears as more of giant Antarctic glacier floating than thought