Fri, Jun 20, 2014 - Page 4 News List

Vietnamese official vows to help Taiwanese firms

Staff writer, with CNA, HO CHI MINH CITY, Vietnam

A senior official in Vietnam’s Dong Nai Province on Wednesday vowed to help Taiwanese businesses recover from the anti-China riots last month that damaged property belonging to 205 foreign companies.

No such incidents will happen again in the country, Dong Nai Province Deputy Governor Pan Mei Qing said, as she accompanied Taiwanese reporters to see how the recovery operations were progressing in the wake of the attacks.

Pan said she would work to restore confidence among the 135 Taiwanese businesses there, three of which were severely damaged.

Dong Nai is the first province in Vietnam to resume business operations since the riots, she said, adding that 49 Taiwanese companies here have already undergone damage inspections.

The inspections will be completed by the end of next month so that the province can begin compensating the victims, she said.

“The most severe and urgent [cases] will get priority,” Pan said, adding that the three most seriously damaged Taiwanese companies managed to resume operations on June 1.

The Vietnamese government has deployed more soldiers and law enforcement personnel to protect foreign nationals, while about 500 violators have been arrested, she said.

In addition, six Taiwanese enterprises, including Vedan Vietnam Enterprise Co, have set up their own private security forces to protect their interests.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Economic Affairs said it has been stepping up its efforts in compensation negotiations with Hanoi, and is studying related projects designed to help Taiwanese businesses resume operations.

The protests erupted on May 13 after Vietnamese crowds took to the streets to protest a Chinese oil-drilling venture in an area of the South China Sea that Hanoi insists lies within its exclusive economic zone.

The riots in the southern provinces of Binh Duong, Dong Nai and Ba Ria-Vung Tau, as well as in Ho Chi Minh City and the central province of Ha Tinh, affected 425 Taiwanese enterprises, 25 of which were seriously damaged.

While estimated combined direct losses range between US$150 million and US$500 million, total damages could be as high as US$1 billion once lost profits and other indirect costs are factored in.

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