Tue, Jan 10, 2006 - Page 3 News List

Vietnam asked to protect businesses and investors

STAFF WRITER , WITH CNA

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) has asked the Vietnamese government to protect Taiwanese investors and their businesses at a time when Vietnam is experiencing one of its most serious waves of labor strikes in recent years, Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Michael Kau (高英茂) said yesterday.

Fielding questions at the legislature's Foreign and Overseas Compatriots Affairs Committee, Kau said that officials of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs have met with Vietnam's representative in Taipei, Hoang Rhu Ly, to discuss the protection of Taiwanese businesspeople operating in Vietnam, as well as their interests there.

Kau said officials stressed the importance of Taiwanese investment to Vietnam's economy, and told Hoang that if the Vietnamese government does not deal with the strikes properly and quickly, this will have an adverse impact on the channeling of Taiwanese funds into Vietnam in the future.

"The possibility that the strikes might worsen can't be ruled out," Kau said.

The foreign ministry officials also told Hoang that, if necessary, the government will ally with authorities in the US, Japan and South Korea to jointly voice their positions on the workers' strikes in Vietnam, Kau said.

According to statistics released by the Vietnamese Department of Planning and Investment, Taiwan was the largest foreign investor in Vietnam as of the end of last month.

Taiwanese manufacturers implemented 1,408 investment projects in Vietnam totaling US$7.93 billion in value last year.

A total of 25 Taiwanese businesses located in Vietnam's southern provinces of Phu Yen and Tay Ninh as well as Ho Chi Minh City have reportedly been affected by the recent wave of strikes that started late last year with Vietnamese workers demanding higher pay.

Kau said the foreign ministry hopes that the strikes will come to an end as soon as possible.

The Vietnamese government has reportedly intervened in the matter and announced that the minimum wage for local workers would be raised starting Feb. 1.

also see story:

25 firms affected by strikes in Vietnam

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