WELLINGTON, Sept 4, 2010 (AFP) - The cost of the devastating 7.0 earthquake in the New Zealand city of Christchurch on Saturday could reach two billion dollars (1.44 billion US), an official said. The quake, which struck just before dawn, toppled several older buildings and left houses with cracked walls and roofs in the city of 340,000, but remarkably killed no one. Earthquake Commission chief executive Ian Simpson said they expected about 100,000 quake-related insurance claims. "And the cost will be easily into the hundreds of millions of dollars just for (the commission) for the residential property... It could reach between one and two billion dollars." The Earthquake Commission is a government-owned entity tasked with providing cover for natural disasters in New Zealand which lies on the so-called "Ring of Fire" earthquake fault line. Meanwhile, as residents took stock of their earthquake damage they also had an eye on the weather with destructive gale-force winds up to 130 … [Read more...] about New Zealand quake damage estimated at 1.44 billion dollars
1 billion dollar house
TOKYO, Nov 16, 2010 (AFP) - Japan's lower house of parliament passed a supplementary budget Tuesday including a new stimulus package worth 62 billion dollars to push forward economic recovery. The 5.1-trillion-yen fresh stimulus features job programmes, welfare spending and schemes for small businesses and infrastructure, aiming to avoid a double-dip recession as Japan struggles with a high yen and deflation. The budget will go to the upper house for a separate vote, but is in effect approved since the powerful lower house, under the ruling party's control, can overrule the upper house on budget bills. The budget also included an 87-billion-yen provision to find new supplies of strategic materials including rare earth minerals that are used in high-tech components for cars and computers. China, which supplies nearly the entire global rare earth demand, in September started to cut its exports, particularly to Japan, as the two Asian giants engaged in a tense territorial dispute. The new … [Read more...] about Japan’s lower house approves 60 billion dollar stimulus
The United States stepped up its defenses against a deadly bird flu pandemic by awarding one billion dollars' worth of contracts to five drug companies to develop an influenza vaccine. The five-year contracts were given to Britain's GlaxoSmithKline PLC, MedImmune Inc., Swiss firm Novartis Vaccines and Diagnostics, DynPort Vaccine Co. and Solvay Pharmaceuticals of Belgium. Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Mike Leavitt … [Read more...] about US awards one billion dollar bird flu vaccine contracts
The Vietnamese government on Monday won legislative support for a proposed budget of VND23 trillion ($1 billion) so that it can start securing a massive area of land needed for a new airport. Site clearance has been separated from the construction plan for Long Thanh International Airport, which will be the country’s biggest when it is finished. The decision will give authorities access to funding so they can relocate residents of Dong Nai Province, where the airport will be built, more quickly and efficiently, while discussions on how to build the massive airport continue. Currently, the state has only earmarked VND5 trillion for the project, or 21.7 percent of the projected cost. That figure includes money to build houses for around 5,000 displaced people. Vu Hong Thanh, chairman of the National Assembly’s Economics Committee, said at the Monday meeting that the increasing demand for air travel demand and constant overloading at Tan Son Nhat International … [Read more...] about Vietnam’s legislators approve to fast-track multi-billion-dollar airport
In the first 7 months of 2012, Vietnam attracted US$8.03 billion of foreign direct investment (FDI), in which, investment in industry accounted for nearly 70 percent of total registered capital, but most projects were small-scale. This situation makes many people wonder that whether Vietnam's industry is attractive enough for big projects. But Mr Phan Huu Thang, Director of Research Centre for Foreign Investment, asserted that industry in Vietnam is still attractive and in the future there will be billion-dollar projects invested in this sector. In recent years, registered FDI in Vietnam has continued to decline. What is the reason? Although FDI inflows into Vietnam in general are declining, implemented capital remains stable at an average of about US$11 billion a year, but it can no longer maintain the growth rate like the previous stage. There are a number of causes for this, including business environment, poor infrastructure, lack of skilled human resources, limited … [Read more...] about Is Industry Capable of Billion-Dollar Projects?