Philippines’ First Typhoon of Season Raises Concerns over Evacuation Centres

Philippines – IOM teams are conducting assessments of the areas affected by Typhoon Rammasun (known locally as Glenda), a Category 3 storm that made landfall in the Philippines three times earlier this week, prompting the evacuation of over 500,000 people and claiming at least 40 lives.

The assessments are being conducted in close coordination with local government units, at the request of the Philippines’ Department for Social Welfare and Development (DSWD). Initial findings from the worst affected province, Albay in Bicol, found that 42,000 houses are heavily damaged or destroyed.  IOM is ready to support the Government in the construction of stronger houses once needs are confirmed.

In Laguna, close to Metro Manila, 13,000 houses were destroyed or in need of repair and in Northern Samar, where around 14,000 families were affected, distributions of tarpaulins and essential relief items are underway.

Rammasun is the first typhoon to hit the country since the devastating super typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda last November. 

Although the Haiyan-affected regions of the Visayas were spared a direct hit by Rammasun, heavy wind and rain caused widespread flooding.  In Tacloban, over 1,000 families, the majority of whom are still living in tents, were pre-emptively evacuated by the city government with the support of IOM and other humanitarian partners.  Days before Rammasun struck, an evacuation drill, organized by IOM and the city government, was undertaken.

Despite the success of the pre-emptive measures, the lack of safe evacuation centres – initially reported by IOM in April – remains a key concern, especially in the Haiyan affected region. 

“The primary evacuation centre in Tacloban [the Tacloban City Convention Centre, or Astrodome] has a damaged roof which leaks, and is located right by the coast.  What is available in Guiuan is even bleaker – a half-finished building with open sides, and three small classrooms in a school,” explained Brad Mellicker, head of IOM’s sub-office in Guiuan, Eastern Samar, where only eight per cent of designated evacuation centres are still standing.

IOM’s Chief of Mission in the Philippines Marco Boasso commented: “Our teams worked flat out to get vulnerable people to safety ahead of typhoon Rammasun.  But this is just the start of the typhoon season and there may be much stronger storms to come.  Our disaster preparedness precautions will be fruitless, without more efforts focused on building durable, safe evacuation centres.”

For more information, please contact

Marco Boasso
IOM Philippines

15th International Furniture Fair Chengdu Closing Ceremony

CHENGDU, China, July 18, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — 15th International Furniture Fair Chengdu, known as ‘one exhibition for two periods’ for the first time, successfully wrapped up in Chengdu Century City New International Exhibition & Convention Center on 15th Jul. During the 8 day exhibition, the number of professional attendees and consumers numbered more than 260,000. As the deepening impact of international financial risk has not been eliminated, China’s domestic market, with its huge development potential, has become the focus of many enterprises.

In accordance with the introduction of Jiang Dan, the general manager of Chengdu New East Exhibition Co., Ltd – permanent organization of the committee, 15th International Furniture Fair Chengdu was divided into two periods. The furniture exhibition (1st period) was held from 3-6 Jul, and the exhibition of production equipment and raw materials (2nd period) was held from 12-15 Jul. The total exhibition space of both periods exceeded 170,000 square metres, with more than 10,000 booths. More than 1,100 enterprises participated in the exhibition. Total trade value reached RMB 13 billion.

Chengdu Furniture Exhibition is known as the “Preferred Platform in Internal Trade of Furniture in China’s Furniture Industry”. In the 2nd period of the exhibition, Germany HOMAQ, Power, Altendorf, Italian SCM, Korean KUKDONG and other top 10 global furniture equipment manufacturers exhibited at Chengdu Furniture Exhibition. Guan Jianhua, the general manager of Asian district of HOMAQ, said Chengdu is a strategic market which cannot be abandoned. Meanwhile, Chengdu has become one of the biggest furniture production places in China, which should be seized firmly. American Hardwood Export Council participated in the exhibition for the second time, and guided more than 10 enterprises to join in the exhibition, helping to garner a larger share of China’s domestic trade market.

Due to the prominent effect of the exhibition, more than 90% of the exhibition enterprises contacted the committee after the exhibition ended. Chengdu Furniture Exhibition will continue to adjust the district structure of the exhibition enterprises even further next year, and help increase the number of famous national furniture brands and enterprises participating in the exhibition. It will also work to improve the participation of international furniture brands and implement its ‘Chinese platform shared by the world’ exhibition plan.

Mobile Monitoring Giant StealthGenie Has Opened Its Avenues in Chinese Market

HONG KONG, July 18, 2014 /PRNewswire/ —

StealthGenie, the exclusive monitoring software has set another hallmark by launching the full support for the Chinese language. It has now moved to another step of introducing its brand to a wider market globally. 

With the successful launch of compatibility of StealthGenie with iOS 7.1.2 a week back, this is going to be another benchmark in constituting their brand at the next premium level. While speaking to our team Amanda Wade, the head of Marketing at StealthGenie said “We are intending to flourish our product on an international level by widening the user experience globally.”

“Introducing the product in Chinese language is just another step to get better and to attain international recognition, but there is a lot more to come,” she further added.

Now Chinese speaking users would be able to access the website and control panel in Chinese language. Though Chinese market is promising is terms of its business jets, but has been facing multiple social issues. Whether it’s the installation guides, testimonials, in-app dialogs and blogs they are going to get all in their own local language.

In addition, the newest release of its compatibility with iOS 7.1.2 has already thrilled the iPhone users. The exclusive facebook monitoring is also assisting parents to monitor chats of one of the frequently used messengers.

“With our application in 8 languages, we have been frequently asked about the launch in Chinese, so here we are to offer the unique monitoring experience to our users,” said Nelson Soans, the Brand Manager at StealthGenie.

StealthGenie with its more than 100,000 satisfied customers has revolutionized the exclusive and undetectable monitoring experience. The team of StealthGenie is dedicated and promised to bring the user friendly experience in the most innovative way. The swift installation procedure and its compatibility with mobile phones of Android, iPhone and BlackBerry along with tablets and iPads is what set it apart from rest of the apps. StealthGenie undoubtedly is the leading monitoring app in the market with its exclusivity.

POSCO E&C Begins Construction of Nam Lik1 Hydroelectric Power Plant in Laos

SEOUL, South Korea, July 18, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — POSCO Engineering & Construction (CEO: Tae-Hyun Hwang) announced on July 9 that it held a groundbreaking ceremony to build a hydroelectric power plant in the Phonhong District, 90 kilometers north of Vientiane, the capital of Laos.

POSCO E&C Begins Construction of Nam Lik1 Hydroelectric Power Plant in Laos
POSCO E&C Begins Construction of Nam Lik1 Hydroelectric Power Plant in Laos

This project is a product of joint investment among Krungthai Bank PCL (KTB), Export-Import Bank of Thailand, and NL1PC. It will be operated in the form of a BOT (build, operate, transfer) project for 30 years. With the capacity of 65MW, the power plant is expected to contribute to the economic development of Laos.

NL1PC is a joint venture established by Thailand’s state-operated investor PTT, hydroelectric power generation company HEC (Hydro Engineering Company), Laos’s state-operated EDL (Electricite du Laos), and the constructor POSCO Engineering & Construction. With a 10% stake in NL1PC, POSCO E&C will act as the prime contractor after commencement for the next 39 months.

Over 170 people attended the event that day, including Laos Vice Minister of Energy and Mines Sinnava Souphanouvong, Vientiane Governor Khammeug Thongthady, central government officials, councilors from the Korean embassy in Laos, NL1PC(Nam Lik1 Power Company) CEO Kowit Chuengsatiansup, HEC CEO Chinda Hongkajorn, and POSCO E&C Southeast Asia Business Unit Director Shi-Sung Park.

This is POSCO E&C’s first instance to participate as both investor and constructor, and the company will be in charge of design, procurement and construction in the form of EPC turnkey. POSCO E&C has received good reputation from the Laotian government, clients and local partners for its transparent operating practices based on outstanding quality and ethical management in South Korea as well as overseas markets, especially Southeast Asia.

Laos is one of the countries with the biggest potential for economic growth in Southeast Asia, with particularly active business in hydroelectric power generation. POSCO E&C will use this project to further develop its technological skills in hydroelectric power in Southeast Asia. It expects that this project will be helpful for the company to win contracts for hydroelectric power generation projects in Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam as well.

“We’re pleased to be able to participate in the important hydroelectric power plant project of the Laotian government as the constructor,” said POSCO E&C Southeast Asia Business Unit Director Shi-Sung Park. “We expect the Nam Lik1 Hydroelectric Power Plant to contribute greatly to the economic development of Laos.”

Since establishing a local corporation and main office in Vietnam in 1995, POSCO E&C has expanded its scope of business to neighboring Southeast Asian countries such as Myanmar, Laos, Cambodia and Thailand. The company is securing its place as a renowned constructor in Indochina based on its cost competitiveness and excellent quality acquired from many years of experience.

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WH Group Subsidiaries Achieve FORTUNE 500 Rankings in China and U.S.

HONG KONG, July 18, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — Subsidiaries of WH Group Limited (“WH Group”), the world’s largest pork company, have been placed among the 500 largest corporations in China and the U.S. respectively in the latest rankings by FORTUNE magazine. WH Group subsidiary, Henan Shuanghui Investment & Development Co.,Ltd. (“Shuanghui Development”), was placed 125th in China based on its total annual revenue of approximately RMB44.9 billion in 2013, while its U.S. subsidiary, Smithfield Foods, Inc. (“Smithfield Foods”) ranked 214th with a total annual revenue of approximately US$13.2 billion in the same year.

This marks the 5th and 17th consecutive year that Shuanghui Development and Smithfield Foods have appeared on the Fortune 500 list respectively.  

“Our FORTUNE 500 rankings in the U.S. and China underscore our leading presence in both markets,” said WH Group Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Wan Long. “WH Group will continue to drive synergies by connecting our operations in China and the U.S., which are the world’s largest pork consumption market and pork exporter respectively.” 

As the largest pork companies in China and the U.S. with combined pro forma 2013 revenue of approximately US$21.2 billion, WH Group is also the world’s largest pork and packaged meat company.

Since the acquisition of Smithfield Foods in 2013, WH Group has been opportunistically increasing exports from the U.S. to China, and working closely with Smithfield Foods to introduce premium fresh pork and Western style packaged meat products to Chinese consumers to meet growing demand.

Founded in 1998, Shenzhen-listed Shuanghui Development is the largest animal protein company in Asia. It provides customers with quality food products including fresh pork and packaged meat products.

Smithfield Foods was founded in 1936 and has grown from a pork processing company located on the banks of the historic Pagan River in Smithfield, Virginia, to its status today as the world’s largest pork processor and hog producer.

According to FORTUNE, its top 500 companies are ranked by total revenues for their respective fiscal years. Included in the survey are companies that are incorporated and operate in the country, which file financial statements with a government agency.