Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, June 18 (CNA) A senior official of Vietnam's Dong Nai Province pledged Wednesday to help Taiwanese businesses here recover from anti-China riots in May that left 205 foreign companies with damage and losses.
No incidents of this kind will happen again in the country, said Pan Mei Qing, deputy governor of Dong Nai Province, one of the worst-affected areas, when she accompanied Taiwanese media to see how the recovery operations are progressing in the wake of the attacks.
Pan said the province will work to restore confidence among the 135 Taiwanese businesses here, three of which were severely damaged.
Dong Nai Province 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 inspection.
The inspections will be completed by the end of July so that the province can begin compensating the victims, she went on.
"The most severe and urgent (cases) will get priority," Pan said, explaining that thanks to this guideline, the three most seriously damaged Taiwanese companies managed to resume operations June 1.
The Vietnamese government has deployed more soldiers and law enforcement personnel to protect foreign nationals, while some 500 violators have been arrested, she noted.
In addition, six Taiwanese enterprises, including Vedan Vietnam Enterprise Co., have set up their own private security forces to protect their interests.
Meanwhile, Taiwan's Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) said it has been stepping up its efforts in compensation negotiations with Hanoi, with related projects designed to help Taiwanese businesses resume operations currently being studied.
The protests erupted 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 a total of 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.
(By Huang Chiao-wen, Tony Fang and Lee Hsin-Yin)ENDITEM/J
Related stories:●June 16: Taiwanese groups to visit Vietnam to see riot-affected areas●June 13: 90% Taiwanese firms in Vietnam have resumed operations: group
(Click here for developments related to the anti-China protest-turned-riot in Vietnam.)