Geregistreerd op: 08 Mei 2018
|Geplaatst: 26-06-2018 08:14:23 Onderwerp:
|SOFIA Maillot Koen Casteels Belgique , Nov. 22 (Xinhua) -- A memorandum on the establishment of a China-Central and East Europe (CEE) research center for transportation infrastructure construction and investment cooperation was signed here on Wednesday.
Representatives of 11 Chinese and Bulgarian organizations such as the Sofia-based University of Transport, Bulgaria's National Railway Infrastructure Company, and China's Ningbo University of Technology, Ningbo Municipality, as well as the Secretariat for Cooperation between China and CEE countries inked the founding document.
The research center is to act as a think tank specializing in consulting services in the field of transport infrastructure for CEE countries, University of Transport rector Daniela Todorova said at the signing ceremony.
Meanwhile, Wan Yawei, head of publicity department of Ningbo, a major port and industrial hub in east China, said he believed the center would become an important platform for promoting and expanding investment cooperation between Ningbo and Bulgarian businesses, as well as more general Sino-Bulgarian cooperation and exchange.
Velik Zanchev, Bulgaria's deputy minister of transport, information technology and communications, also said that the establishment of the center was a new step in the development of relations between Bulgaria and China.
"I am convinced that it will be beneficial for both countries," said Zanchev.
BANGKOK, Sept. 10 (Xinhua) -- Thailand is found to have suffered heavy losses due to alleged corruption over a populist rice program carried out during the time of deposed premier Yingluck Shinawatra over the past few years, announced a noted academic on Wednesday.
According to Nipon Puapongsakorn of Thailand Development Research Institute, the rice subsidy program, implemented from 2011 until last year by the Pheu Thai (for Thais) Party-led government, had allegedly incurred an estimated 3.7 billion U.S. dollars in losses, largely due to corrupt officials and highly- profiteering rice dealers, hiddenly connected with politicians in the government.
Of that sum, no less than 2.8 billion U.S. dollars had allegedly slipped into the hands of those opportunist rice dealers said to have been closely linked with corrupt politicians, Nipon said.
The TDRI academic disclosed that the Yingluck government had injected some 33 billion U.S. dollars in funding into the populist program under which government agencies had bought "every grain" of rice from farmers throughout the country for an average of 500 U.S. dollars a ton.
The money which had bought the rice over the past few years had been borrowed from state-owned banks, including the Bank for Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives and the Government Savings Bank.
Nevertheless, the farmers had earned some 9.9 billion U.S. dollars in sales of their rice to the government, which had stored the crops at rented warehouses in the provinces.
Of a total of 54 million tons of rice bought under the Yingluck government's rice program, 7.8 million tons had allegedly been prone to corruption under government-to-government purchase agreements worth about 1.5 billion U.S. dollars, Nipon said.
Certain rice dealers, hiddenly linked with corrupt politicians, had made undue gains in the government-to-government rice dealings under which the buying countries, the amounts of the purchased rice and prices were not identified to the public, the academic said.
He did not name names involved in the graft scandals over the rice program on which the TDRI had already conducted in-depth research.
He also alleged that nearly 3 million tons of rice had been stolen from the government-rented warehouses for hush-hush sell- offs by corrupt officials in collusion with opportunist rice dealers.
Nipon's press conference over the issue apparently followed a delay by the Office of Attorney General (OAG) to lodge a lawsuit in court against Yingluck on duty negligence charges as earlier alleged by the National Anti-Corruption Commission involving the populist rice program.
The former lady leader who had been accused of turning a blind eye and deaf ear to the alleged corruption contended that she had never been involved in the alleged graft scandals and had earlier instructed the authorities to investigate them.
But the anti-graft agency might probably file the lawsuit against her if the OAG eventually failed to do so, according to Wicha Mahakhun, one of the NACC commissioners.
Former legislators on the opposition bloc had repeatedly criticized the Yingluck government and launched censure debate over the last few years, alleging that the rice program had been prone to corruption among high-level government officials.
The former premier and ex-members of her deposed cabinet had argued that only those at working level might have been so involved, however.
She had earlier maintained that government officials at policy- making level had been "innocent" of such charges and that the rice program had been primarily designed to turn the rice farming into a better-off occupation though the government may have been burdened with huge losses.
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