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Locals suffer losses of US$150 mil. in Vietnam riots

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- After a series of anti-Chinese protests in various provinces in Vietnam, Taiwanese-funded factories and companies based in the country have suffered estimated losses worth at least US$150 million, the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) announced yesterday.

According to the MOEA, the number of factories and companies receiving investment from Taiwan reached 408 as of May 28; protesters set fire to 24 of them.

Total losses may amount to between US$150 million and NT$500 million, said the MOEA.

Of the 408 factories, 268 are located in Binh Duong Province; 131 in Dong Nai Province, 7 in Ho Chi Minh City, one in Ba Ria-Vung Tau Province and one in Ha Tinh Province.

After a government delegation headed to Vietnam to assist affected Taiwanese businesspeople in demanding compensation, the MOEA yesterday stated that it has dispatched another delegation of experts to Vietnam. The delegation's members consist of accountants, property insurance underwriters, attorneys as well as representatives and legal experts in various industries.

The delegation departed on May 26 to seriously affected areas in Vietnam and will stay until the 30th to help with rebuilding and work resumption, said MOEA Vice Minister Shen Jong-chin (沈榮津).

High Demand for Psychological Treatment

The Ministry of Health and Welfare (MHW) has also sent psychiatrists with Shen's delegation in order to assist any Taiwanese in Vietnam who are suffering from anxiety, fear, depression or insomnia.

According to the MHW, the delegation discovered a high demand for psychiatric services among Taiwanese businesspeople affected by the riots. The MOHW then decided to send a second delegation of psychologists and psychiatrists to Vietnam yesterday to provide counseling.

Vice Premier Mao Chi-kuo (毛治國) expressed his gratitude to Shen for the MOEA's assistance.

Mao tasked relevant agencies to proactively implement follow-up measures and establish a regulatory and review mechanism in order to effectively keep track of future developments.

Shen stated that the delegation first toured Bin Duong and Dong Nai provinces, visiting eight Taiwanese businesses that suffered damage, in addition to organizing two symposiums with Taiwanese businesspeople.

The delegation then headed to Hanoi and conducted the ROC's first negotiation with Vietnam's Ministry of Planning and Investment (MPI) and other officials.

A list of assistance items required by Taiwanese businesspeople was provided to Vietnamese officials; the two sides later set up a window for future dialogue between the MOEA's Department of Investment Services and its counterpart the MPI's Foreign Investment Agency.

The delegation suggested that the Vietnam government set up a single window for handling compensation matters for Taiwanese businesspeople and form a joint arbitration and compensation committee to carry out arbitration and reimbursement issues.

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