The Empire State Building (C) turns off its lights during Earth Hour. Landmarks around the globe were plunged into darkness for the annual Earth Hour campaign, leading a global effort to raise awareness about climate change New York's Empire State Building, the Eiffel Tower in Paris, and the Sydney Opera House were plunged into darkness for the annual Earth Hour campaign, leading a global effort to raise awareness about climate change.In a twist to this year's Earth Hour, Dutch astronaut Andre Kuipers was to observe from the International Space Station countries around the world turn off the lights for 60 minutes from 8:30 pm local time and post photos. From Sydney's sparkling harbor to Egypt's Tahrir Square, and huge neon billboards that normally light up New York's Times Square, thousands of cities and businesses opted to go dark across some 150 countries and territories. "Let us stand together to make of our world a sustainable source for our future as humanity on this planet," … [Read more...] about Lights go off around globe for Earth Hour DTiNews
Emirates environmental group
VN targets $11 bln in FDI disbursement Vietnam will focus less on the amount of foreign direct investment (FDI) registered capital, but more on FDI disbursement next year, expecting to dole out US$10-11 billion, said an official. The country sets a target of attracting $15-16 billion of FDI registered capital in 2012, with a focus placed on improving the projects' quality and efficiency, and enhancing the State's management, said Do Nhat Hoang, Head of the Foreign Investment Agency under the Ministry of Planning and Investment at a press briefing in Hanoi on December 30. Areas for investment will also be carefully selected, with priorities to infrastructure, "green" industries that are friendly to the environment, supporting industries, and high-tech industries of highly global competitiveness. Meanwhile, limit will be in non-production areas that may increase the imports or pollution. In 2011, Vietnam attracted $14.7 billion in FDI, down 26 percent from the previous year, but … [Read more...] about BUSINESS IN BRIEF 4/1
In a celebratory statement welcoming the news, Mali’s environment ministry described plastic bags as a “disastrous scourge” and “a menace to public health”. As in Bangladesh, which became the first country in the world to outlaw polythene bags in 2002, Malian authorities say discarded bags block drainage systems, in turn causing aggravated flooding in urban areas.They also pose a dangerous risk to animals such as sea turtles, which are known to consume plastic bags (because they are thought to look like jellyfish) and subsequently die. In the United Arab Emirates, camels were used to highlight the danger of plastic bags to animals after the skeletal remains of a camel were found surrounding a giant ball of polythene, lying intact in what would have been the animal’s stomach.Authorities said that around half of the country’s camels were dying from starvation caused by plastic consumption. Today, only oxo-biodegradable plastics, which decompose … [Read more...] about Could 2013 spell the end for plastic bags?
Danang unveils plan to develop e-city project Danang City has just approved a plan to develop the e-city model in the central coast city, targeting to become a modern e-city by 2020. Under Decision 10401 issued on Monday, the city's Government is determined to apply information technology (IT) in all fields. The project will be implemented in two phases with six main tasks, including an e-city model and an overall legal frame for such tasks, IT application models among enterprises and the community, and IT infrastructure improvement among others. In the first phase from 2012 to 2015, Danang will set up foundations for IT infrastructure and human resources development. For the second phase that follows up to 2020, the city will finish the connection among models of e-government and social and economic agencies and organizations with the contribution of IT as the spearhead economic sector. According to the local authority, following the model will help improve the position and … [Read more...] about BUSINESS IN BRIEF 13/12
Jeweller gets exclusive licence Gold bars issued by Saigon Jewelry Company Ltd (SJC)will be selected as the national gold brand upon satisfying some final requirements, State Bank of Viet Nam Governor Nguyen Van Binh told the National Assembly last week. The designation will allow SJC to stamp gold bars with the imprimatur of the State Bank, Binh said, giving SJC an exclusive licence to produce gold bars on behalf of the State. Binh's announcement, however, has raised concerns that the central bank is essentially granting SJC a highly lucrative monopoly over the nation's gold market - a move which will drive many other gold producers entirely out of the market. Binh told lawmakers, however, that SJC gold bars already accounted for 90 per cent of the domestic market and their quality had been widely recognised both domestically and internationally. Therefore, the designation of SJC gold bars as the national brand was appropriate and could bring many benefits to the national … [Read more...] about BUSINESS IN BRIEF 7/12