Posts Tagged ‘tea’

Indonesia to Buy $1.14 Billion Worth of Russian Jets

August 22, 2017

JAKARTA — Indonesia will buy 11 Sukhoi fighter jets worth $1.14 billion from Russia in exchange for cash and Indonesian commodities, two cabinet ministers said on Tuesday.

The Southeast Asian country has pledged to ship up to $570 million worth of commodities in addition to cash to pay for the Suhkoi SU-35 fighter jets, which are expected to be delivered in stages starting in two years.

Indonesian Trade Minister Enggartiasto Lukita said in a joint statement with Defence Minister Ryamizard Ryacudu that details of the type and volume of commodities were “still being negotiated”. Previously he had said the exports could include palm oil, tea, and coffee.

The deal is expected to be finalised soon between Indonesian state trading company PT Perusahaan Perdangangan Indonesia and Russian state conglomerate Rostec.


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Indonesian Air Power – Pilots of the Air Force’s Sukhoi SU-30MK2 aircraft walk on the tarmac after a rehearsal of the 2016 Angkasa Yudha airborne training module at Hang Nadim Airport in Batam, Riau Islands, on Oct. 3, 2016. (Antara/MN Kanwa)


Indonesia to Barter Coffee, Palm Oil, Tea And Other Agricultural Commodities for Russian Jet Fighters

August 6, 2017

Jakarta Post

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Indonesian Air Power – Pilots of the Air Force’s Sukhoi SU-30MK2 aircraft walk on the tarmac after a rehearsal of the 2016 Angkasa Yudha airborne training module at Hang Nadim Airport in Batam, Riau Islands, on Oct. 3, 2016. (Antara/MN Kanwa)

Indonesian state-owned trading company PT Perusahaan Perdagangan and Russian state-owned company Rostec have signed a memorandum of understanding to barter Indonesian agricultural commodities for Russian jet fighters.

“The barter deal, which is under the supervision of the two governments, will involve 11 Sukhoi SU-35 jet fighters and several commodities like coffee, palm oil, tea and others,” Trade Minister Enggartiasto “Enggar” Lukita said in a statement on Friday.

Enggar, who is on an official visit to Russia from Aug. 3 to 5, expressed his hope that the agreement would be followed by other agreements in other sectors.

Read also: Indonesia working on Russian barter offer: Trade MinisterRussia currently faces economic sanctions imposed by the United States and the European Union. In response, Russia has limited imports from the US and EU and is looking to other countries for commodity imports.

“It is an opportunity we have to seize. The great potential for economic cooperation during the embargo and counter embargo goes beyond trade and investment issues. We also have the opportunity to enhance cooperation in tourism, student exchange, energy, technology, aviation, etc.,” Enggar added.

Trade between Indonesia and Russia in 2016 amounted to US$2.11 billion – with Indonesia posting a surplus of $411 million – compared to $1.9 billion in 2015. Indonesian non-oil exports to Russia grew by 8.50 percent in the last five years to a value of $1.3 billion in 2016, while Indonesian exports from January to May this year grew by 54.43 percent to $1.12 billion. (bbn)

Vietnam and China Work To Avoid Conflict

May 3, 2015


By Recto MerceneMay 2, 2015

FOR so long, Vietnam has always engaged China diplomatically despite the rising tensions due to territorial disputes.

“Compared with Vietnam, China has always been, economically, a very powerful country. But it is the will and determination of our people to defend our country, sovereignty and territorial integrity that is the key to success,” Ambassador Duong Truong Trieu told the BusinessMirror when asked to explain how they deal with the issue.

He added: “We are ready to sacrifice everything for our country, for the land, for territorial integrity. It is our sovereign rights to do that.”

Duong said that despite skirmishes, their relation with China is improving, especially after the visit of General Secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam Nguyen Phu Trong to China recently.

“We are trying to find ways and means to settle our differences. We try to explore any aspect that we can cooperate with each other for the improvement of our relations and for common development and prosperity of the two countries,” Duong said.

United as one

According to Duong, they try to avoid activities that might spark a new round of conflict while exerting effort toward a peaceful solution.  He said the use of arms will be their last resort.

Duong also clarified that they have never waged war against China over territory.

He said that like the Philippines, Vietnam is a small country as compared to China which has risen to become an economic juggernaut.

However, Duong said their country standing and speaking as one has served them in good stead.

“The government is always enjoying the support of the people. We all gather around the government. And when we stand united, we will win,” Duong said.

 Unlimited rice

Duong said bilateral trade between Manila and Hanoi reached $3 billion in 2013.   He said with a combined population of almost 200 million, the current trade has a lot of room for improvement.

“Vietnam has 90 million citizens and Philippines is now up to 100 million. With such population, we have to find what we can do next,” Duong said.

One of the main exports of Vietnam to the Philippines is rice.  The country is currently the fourth largest rice-producing country in the world after China, India and Indonesia.

“We send a lot of our experts to the Philippines and learn in the International Rice Research Institute. Our experts back home have been trained here,” Duong said.

He added that they do not subsidize but have ways and means to support farmers including a sound irrigation system and by adopting the latest technology in producing agricultural products.

Because of their developed agriculture system, Duong said Vietnam is now able to have three harvest cycles in one year as compared to the Philippines which could manage only two. Duong remembers that in 1989, while a student at The Hague, a Filipino classmate asked him how his country became a rice exporter.  He smiled at his classmate and said: “And now you are asking me the same question?”

Vietnam’s other produce are coffee, rubber, cotton, tea, pepper, soybeans, cashews, sugarcane, peanuts, bananas, fish, seafood and poultry.

“Our food is very traditional. We learn from others too. We are at the crossroads of many different cultures. We learn something from China, Japan, Thailand, but the French has a great influence in our country,” Duong said.

Local flavor

“The thing I love here is all about the people. They are very friendly and hospitable. Philippine hospitality is legendary,” Duong said.

Ambassador Duong also does not have any complaints with their dealings in the Philippines.

“It is so easy to get along with those high-ranking officials in the Philippines. All the government agencies, the mass media, and the business community are all wonderful. It feels like home,” Duong said.

 He said the Philippines and Vietnam share a long history together and have a lot of things in common.

Duong said they are looking forward to the Asean integration where he sees everyone becoming members of one big family.

“I believe we will continue to cooperate, collaborate, and stand hand-in-hand, shoulder-to-shoulder with each other. We can work together for the common good, for all countries,” Duong said.

Duong added that as an ambassador to the Philippines, he will try everything within his power to promote good relations between the two countries politically, economically and culturally.

Image Credits: Jimbo Albano


Israelis In Secret Humanitarian Mission to Feed Syrian Refugees in Jordan

October 23, 2013

Mysterious purple sacks paid for by Israeli nonprofit IsraAid: “We don’t announce with trumpets that we’re Israeli.”

A Syrian refugee in a small refugee camp

A Syrian refugee in a small refugee camp    Photo: Courtesy JTA
MAFRAQ, Jordan— The purple plastic sacks fill two rooms in the otherwise sparsely furnished headquarters of a Jordanian NGO, awaiting distribution to Syrian refugees already lined up on the sidewalk.

They contain an array of staple dry goods — lentils, pasta, powdered milk, tea — as well as a range of hygiene products like soap and detergent, enough for 250 refugee families. But before the goods are handed out, one thing will be removed — the word “Jewish.”
Going sack by sack with a pair of scissors, an aid worker begins to cut.
“We don’t announce with trumpets that we’re Israeli,” the worker says. “There’s no need for that. Once you let that cat out of the bag, everything starts to blow up.”
The sacks are paid for by IsraAid, an Israeli nonprofit that provides disaster relief and humanitarian aid across the world. The group has provided medical care and psychological services following earthquakes in Japan and Haiti, and supplies food and other materials to refugees at two camps in Kenya.
IsraAid began working in Jordan early this year. Since then, the organization says it has provided approximately $100,000 worth of supplies to refugees who have escaped Syria’s brutal civil war.
But because Syria and Israel technically have been at war for four decades, discretion and security are paramount in IsraAid’s Jordanian operation. Most aid workers interviewed requested anonymity, as did the Jordanian nongovernmental organization that is IsraAid’s partner on the ground. Working with Israelis, they say, could endanger their work and the lives of the refugees they help.
Israelis may travel freely to Jordan, but when the IsraAid delegation crossed the border on Friday, it brought a letter from the Jordanian NGO that would facilitate the distribution as well as a list of individuals in its party.
A police escort joined the group’s bumpy ride through northern Jordan, past small villages of flat-roofed houses, lemon groves and vegetable fields. In the distance were the mountains of southern Syria.
“We try to work by the book and not go under the radar,” says Shachar Zahavi, IsraAid’s founding director, who explains that other countries also require extended security checks. “The Jordanians are open to it.”
After 90 minutes, the delegation arrives at the Jordanian NGO’s headquarters, next to an empty lot filled with trash on a side street in this city. The capital city of a region of the same name, half of Mafraq’s 100,000 residents are refugees from the conflict next door.
In total, half a million Syrians have taken refuge in Jordan. Most of them are here, in the border region, and most arrived this year.
Directed by a soft-spoken, gray-haired retiree working without pay, the Jordanian NGO focuses on aiding the 200,000 local refugees not living in Zaatri, the massive United Nations refugee camp nearby. The director keeps meticulous records of the constantly growing number of aid recipients, registering every new arrival, noting the size of their family and when they last received aid. Seventy volunteers help purchase and package supplies with funds from groups like IsraAid.
With the word “Jewish” removed, the purple bags begin to travel in a human chain down a tight stairwell to the refugees below, almost all of them women wearing long black dresses and matching hijabs. Bags are loaded onto trucks or carried in hand back to wherever they are staying.
One woman approaches a volunteer to explain, through basic Arabic and hand motions, that a relative has cancer. Where, she asks, can she find medicine?
“We’re still at this beginning stage,” the aid worker later tells JTA. “You’re still being inundated with refugees. They’re always going to need food until the situation is stable.” The next stop for the IsraAid workers is Hamra, an impromptu refugee camp set up a month ago 20 minutes outside Mafraq. Situated under power lines, surrounded by desert and about to be clouded by a suffocating sandstorm, the camp is home to 25 families from a Damascus suburb who had walked 60 miles to the Jordanian border to escape the fighting.
Now they share space in 10 tents with dirty, beige flaps featuring the block letters U.N.H.C.R — for United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees — in faded blue.
Inside one, seven thin mattresses sit in a square on a tattered rug. A second room, with a small burner and piles of pots and pans, serves as the tent kitchen.
Although they eagerly crowd the distribution truck, most refugees appear healthy, if needy. While the distribution goes on, one resident insists that the workers sit for some coffee.
But an elderly woman shakes as she pulls a deformed hand out of her robe, her two fingers wrapped backwards and melded into what was left of her palm. After the bombing that caused her injury, she joined her children and grandchildren on the 60-mile trek. Now she says nothing, her wrinkled face and sunken eyes conveying a resigned helplessness.
Zahavi hopes that within a month, IsraAid can bring social workers to Mafraq to help refugees cope with the psychological trauma. Israelis, Zahavi says, are experts in trauma care after decades of dealing with terror attacks.
“My main agenda is to put Israelis on the ground around the world and show the world that Israel cares about them,” he says.
IsraAid receives support from several foundations, but the organization says some of its donors initially were reluctant to fund its work in Jordan for fear of becoming involved in the Syria-Israel conflict. But the aid worker says that when refugees discover the Israeli connection, they are still grateful for the help — no matter its political implications.
“You’re talking about hungry people,” she says. “These people are in a dire situation. If I hand someone a can of tuna, do they really care where it’s coming from?”

Cocaine energy tea probed: report

July 23, 2012

Beeld newspaper (South Africa)  reported on Monday that Coca tea reportedly had so much cocaine that users would fail drug tests.

It could be bought from shops and pharmacies and was marketed as a herbal tea.

The council had not responded to e-mailed questions by late on Monday afternoon.

According to the Beeld report, Coca tea was described as a “heavenly magical plant of the Incas”.

Two of the paper’s reporters each drank a cup of the tea and had their urine tested.

Within four hours, both showed benzodiazepine levels of over 1600 nanograms per millilitre in their urine. The cut-off level for drug tests was between 150 and 300ng/ml.

The tea could not make users “high”, but worked as a stimulant like caffeine.

On its website, Cocazone, the maker of Coca Tea, said it was not addictive and had been used as a medicine in South America for thousands of years, Beeld reported.

However, Spar supermarket said it would ask its franchises to remove the tea from shelves.