Dear Editor,Our friend Freddy laments that many of his friends including new national hero, Charrandas Persaud, are going back to the PPP. That group also includes me. The PNC failures have forced me to go back too because the “litmus test” for me is which of the big two parties are more likely to give up power when defeated or when the court has ruled, and which party will not willingly give up power once the court has ruled, but would rather keep power by any means necessary. The PPP followed the Constitution and gave up power twice, but the PNC refused and dragged it out for 15 months, rigging an extra year in office although defeated by the No-Confidence Motion. So the PNC made itself illegal again, just like the old Burnhamist times. It should not be that every time the PNC is in power, you have to launch a struggle to win back democracy. Freddy, that’s why people have gone back to the PPP.The PNC violated the trust many crossover voters placed in them by becoming the “exchange”, not the “change” they promised to be. They are not promise keepers, not keeping promises to the AFC nor the nation. Months into their reign, the enormous goodwill the PNC coalition received was evaporated as the PNC took the wrong trajectory and gave us many scams from the unneeded D’Urban Park, drug bond scandal, to hiding oil money received, many many procurement scams, the sellout of oil, and land and resource grabbing on their way out. Freddy, that’s why people have gone back to the PPP.The worst was the PNC’s undemocratic nature in Granger and the PNC raping the Constitution in refusing to dissolve the Cabinet and hold elections within 90 days as required. Granger’s refusal to honour the Carter Formula in appointing the Chairman of the Elections Commission, and referring to Judges’ decisions as their mere opinions and that he has opinions of his own, revived the ghost of unbridledBurnhamism. The lowest point of the PNC was their party leader reportedly saying, “The only friends I got is PNC so the only people I gon give wuk to is PNC and right now I looking for a doctor who can talk Spanish or Portuguese and ah want one that is PNC” (KN, Nov 30, 2018). That statement has killed her politically – there is no recovering from that! We had such doctrines of “paramountcy of the party” under the first PNC and it pauperised our nation. Freddy, that’s why people have gone back to the PPP.When we look daily at pictures of who is graduating from training programmes or who is getting PNC goodies, or who is being appointed to committees and commissions, it is nauseating that the PNC has little sensitivity to diversity. The Berbice economy was virtually closed down and the Inquiry Report into GuySuCo was not implemented. The sugar workers had to sue for their severance. They are not enjoying the “good life” the PNC promised. Yet, Murtland Williams was upset that Mr Jagdeo said people were going hungry (KN, Dec 21, 2019). Freddy, that’s why cross-over voters have gone back to the PPP.The Office of the President has recently been playing up Granger going to church. To win again, he will need a miracle of God turning PPP votes into PNC votes. Should Granger not be going to confessionals instead and atone for violating the Constitution with PNC math that says 33 is not the majority in a 65-member Parliament, which was the basis on which they got into Government?Freddy, that’s why cross-over voters have gone back to the PPP.Sincerely,Jerry Singh
Mrs. Etmonia David-Tarpeh, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf’s choice for the Chairmanship of the Liberia National Investment Commission (LNIC), has daunting tasks ahead to reawaken the spirit of the Commission and put it back on track to generate and attract more foreign and domestic investors, investment analysts have said.Upon embarking upon her new portfolio, the new NIC Chair-designate will have to convinced the public that she is the right person for the job.But until then, pundits believe that the new NIC Chair-designate, lacks business experience or business development strategies, including the ability to attract strong foreign direct investments to Liberia.“Until she can prove me wrong, but this woman is out of touch with the local business community, least to say foreign investors,” said this economist on condition of anonymity. The Liberian leader nominated her friend on November 16, but she still has to wait for confirmation by the Liberian Senate. If confirmed, Mrs. Tarpeh will replace Acting NIC Chair Mr. George Wisner who is also Executive Director of the Commission. Mr. Wisner took over as Acting Chairman of NIC after President Sirleaf removed former Chairman O. Natty B. Davies. But, Mrs. Tarpeh, who has spent her entire life working in the education sector in Liberia and in international non-governmental organizations (INGOs), has been criticized for displaying poor performance as Minister of Education of Liberia. Madam Tarpeh faced similar criticism when she served as Minister of Youth and Sports few years ago where most of the country’s youths said she was out of touch. Before joining Ellen Sirleaf’s government, Madam Tarpeh held various high-level positions with Plan International in several African countries, served as National Director for World Vision International and worked as the Associate Director for Education at the Peace Corps in Liberia. She is a former director for Hilton VanEe International School in Monrovia. Many people are concerned that Mrs. Tarpeh, the President’s new choice for the Chairmanship of the NIC, does not have the contacts and influence needed to pull the strings and transform the NIC, judging from her performance at both the ministries of Youth &Sports and Education, respectively. “I think that the President has once again slipped by appointing her friend to head the NIC. The NIC is not like some of the public institutions around here. This entity must be run by individual or individuals who have the contacts internationally and locally to attract potential foreign and domestic investors,” an insider at the NIC anonymously said. The Chairman of NIC has a core responsibility to generate investment locally and to attract foreign direct investments (FDIs).The Commission’s former Chairman, Dr. Richard V. Tolbert, a Wall Street veteran and nephew of slain Liberian President Richard R. Tolbert, attracted over US$15 billion FDIs to Liberia during his chairmanship of the Commission. Mr. Tolbert is praised by NIC employees and investors for his innovation and personal contacts with most of the foreign and local investors whom he is believed to have known from his days on Wall Street, New York and Liberia. Dr. Tolbert, formerly of Mesurado Group of Companies, a conglomeration of local manufacturers owned by the Tolberts, many people believe, had the niche to make the NIC relevant to investors and potential investors. The National Investment Commission was created by an Act of the National Legislature on September 6, 1979 and amended on July 19, 2010 to promote and coordinate investment related activities in all sectors of the Liberian economy. The Commission is comprised of six Commissioners headed by the Chairman, who is the administrative head of the Secretariat and has cabinet-level ranking. With the vision to aspire to be the premier dynamic investment promotion agency for a sustainable, vibrant, and inclusive economy in Liberia, the NIC’s mission is to promote, attract, facilitate and retain quality investments in Liberia.Part of the role of NIC is to accompany investors throughout all phases of their investment projects, facilitating meetings, assisting investors in navigating as efficiently as possible the regulatory and establishment procedures, and maximizing investor opportunities through dedicated programs in business linkages, development of special economic zones (SEZ) and incentives. Beyond its role of investment promotion, the NIC also chairs the government of Liberia’s Inter-Ministerial Concessions Committee (IMCC), which oversees and coordinates the entire investment concessional review processes and its due diligence functions. The NIC is the arm of the government that helps domestic and foreign investors navigate through the Liberian marketplace to ensure business success.The Commission expects that as Liberia continues to grow, large investments will continue to increase, particularly in natural resources and cash crops. Investments in the service sector are also expected to increase considerably. The Liberia National Investment Commission (LNIC) along with other partners in government works to ensure that while unlocking Liberia’s natural resources, the country’s national interest is safeguarded, jobs are created, and access to capital, new technologies, markets, and world-class training and business development opportunities are accelerated. Contracts negotiated by the Inter-Ministerial Concessions Committee (IMCC) since 2006 have led to an increase in Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) inflow. All key steps in the concession award procurement process are guided by the IMCC, which is chaired by the Chairman of the LNIC and includes permanent committee members from the ministries of State, Finance, Justice, and Planning and Economic Affairs.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
“Having met and deliberated at its quarterly National Executive Committee Meeting after the Ganta Declaration, the Movement for Economic Empowerment (MOVEE) firmly believes that with more than 20 registered parties courting a voting population of less than 2 million, interparty collaboration has the potential to produce a better outcome for the 2017 elections.” Those were the words of MOVEE Chairman D. Maxwell Kemayah when he spoke to journalists yesterday at the party’s headquarters on the Old Road. He said the party remains resolute that governing the country is a collective responsibility as proffered in the Ganta Declaration, for which MOVEE is prepared to lead ‘a coalition of like minds’ to put the country on a new course for transformation.“Our purpose for fielding candidates in the ensuing presidential and legislative elections is to bring about meaningful changes the country desires; changes that seem to always be one step ahead of us for the past 169 years. This has led us to the bottom of the development ladder to the extent that the majority of our population is stuck in perpetual poverty,” he added. Kemayah said political parties are not investing time, energy and resources in the collaboration process to simply remove a particular party from the highest office. “All of them are interested to put the greed for power over the moral imperative of the people first,” he added.He said MOVEE is not interested in political power for personal aggrandizement, but rather to economically empower Liberians, create better opportunities for jobs and sustained economic growth and development to build a better justice system. “To achieve this, we will fight to defeat the Unity Party as a necessary condition. This, we believe, is the view of the majority of Liberians,’ said Kemayah. But while the defeat of the Unity Party is a necessary condition to transform the country for the better, we need a leader that is prepared to be the nation’s chief servant that confronts changes of our new destiny with courage and innovation, he added. “Collaboration among political parties for us must focus on the question of leadership, because we have always said leadership matters; and in Liberia, we have had a leadership letdown over an extended period of time in various forms. This is not a yesterday problem.” This is why MOVEE, according to him, speaks directly, “not out of both sides of its mouth, but we owe it to the Liberian people to put in place a government that can deliver the change that they are yearning for.”He assured voters that MOVEE does not want a country in which a small minority is well off while the larger majority lives in abject poverty, adding, “This is why MOVEE wants a government of change that will restore the hope of the Liberian people, which calls for the replacement of the Unity Party from the focal point of leadership come 2017.” Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
some of the participants at the at a foodfair exhibition event, under the program, improvement of health carein Montserrado and Bomi counties through Infrastructure Developmentand Capacity Building Measures, which brought together farmers, healthworkers and community dwellers from the two counties.Philip K. Faley, director of Bil-Lander Incorporated, has said that food, safe drinking water and knowledge sharing play significant roles in the future stability of Liberia and the continent.Mr. Faley made the marks recently in Monrovia at a food exhibition held under the program, improvement of health care in Montserrado and Bomi counties through Infrastructure Development and Capacity Building Measures. Scores of farmers, health workers and community dwellers from the two counties participated in the fair.The project three year long project costing US$2.7 million, is being supported by BMZ, the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development of Germany,The project valued at US$2.7 million, is being supported by BMZ, the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development of Germany.The gathering suggests and symbolizes uniqueness, togetherness, deeper collaboration and coordination among participants and organizers that will help to address the country’s sanitation and food insecurity challenges, said Faley.In his keynote address, Faley described the exhibition as something that brings like-minded people to exhibit their products, produce and innovations that will help the country.He said such events provide equal opportunities for experts to showcase their expertise and interact on future developments and innovations, knowledge sharing in their respective areas of focus.“The science and practices of farming, including cultivation of the soil for the growing of crops and the nurturing of animals to provide food, wool, and other products are also equally essential. Importantly, there should be strategic plans to match food consumption to the growing population, which reduces food insecurity,” Mr. Faley said.The demand for safe and affordable water will surge and according to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), food demand will increase by a staggering 98.6 percent.Director of Bil-Lander Limited Incorporated, Philip K. Faley, says exhibition event brings like-mindedpeople to exhibit their products/produce and new innovations that would help LiberiaMrs. Z. Patience Flomo, Afromedical Community Health and Welfare Services executive director, said the program is intended to improve health, nutrition and hygiene projects in the targeted communities.“We have helped about 300 farmers in the two counties with farming materials, so we want some of them to actually demonstrate farming activities, so that we could give them extra prizes as a way of encouraging them to do more,” Mrs. Flomo said.She said the food fair is basically meant to promote nutrition and ensure that the program can be sustained even after the supporting organization have left.Theophilus B. Dabieh, Senior Monitoring and Evaluation Officer of Welt hungerhilfe, an international organization, said his entity is working in 52 communities both in Montserrado and Bomi counties. We are at the close of completing the rehabilitation of 15 government clinics in the two counties in collaboration with the Ministry of Health,” Dabieh said, adding that they are also educating community dwellers to observe sanitation, and nutritional messages to ensure that they maintain good health by growing what they eat and eating what they grow.He continued, “We also provide training, tools, and seeds to the beneficiaries with the aim of ensuring that they have the capacities to make progress. We are also excited, because of the farmers’ cooperation to work with us. We can have all the money, but if there is no coordination, we will not make any progress.”Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
-EPA Exec. Director cautions ESIA evaluatorsThe executive director of Liberia Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Nathaniel T. Blama, has cautioned independent Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) Evaluators against covering up for companies operating in the country, a release has said.Blama told a group of independent ESIA evaluators not to turn their eyes away from harmful practices by companies operating in the environment.“Avoid being intimidated by concessionaires, because you are independent evaluators, so you have to be independent in your judgment,” he said.Mr. Blama, who spoke at programs marking the official certification of independent ESIA evaluators on Tuesday, June 12, threatened to revoke evaluators’ licenses if they compromise the people’s interest for money.On Monday, May 28, the EPA commenced the 6th edition of the Environmental Evaluators Training Licensing Certification Program for ESIA evaluators and representatives of line government ministries and agencies.According to the release, the 2018 ten-day training was intended to equip independent consultants, large project developers and representatives of line government institutions with basic technical information and guidance required in the administration of ESIA.For that, Mr. Blama disclosed that beginning November 1, this year, the EPA will not permit any company to directly submit their own study, rather through a third-party as provided by law.According to him, an environment assessment study will be done quarterly by certified evaluators, but warned that the paper work will have to be done properly by licensed evaluators.“Don’t do cut and paste, because the reports have to be done differently from that of logging companies. Any data that you provide will be cross-checked, and if it was altered, your lesson will be revoked,” Blama threatened.In reference to EPA staff, who also benefited from the training, Mr. Blama said, “we are training a new army at the EPA to set-up the check-point.”He said that the agency will not accept evaluators doing desk study, noting that independent evaluators will have to go on site and take accurate data.He indicated that every ESIA reports submitted to the EPA will have to consider a brief and management plan.Mr. Blama, a former independent evaluator himself, promised to strengthen independent evaluators in the discharge of their duty, but asked them to set the bar.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
Long Beach State used a five-run fourth inning to defeat Northern Colorado 8-0 in five innings in its opening game of the Softball by the Beach Tournament. Bridgette Pagano (2-1) threw a two-hit shutout to lead the 49ers (2-4). Six 49ers had at least one RBI as Lacy Tyler had three RBI. Jessica Beaver went 3-for-4 and scored three runs. The 49ers (4-1) won five of the six singles matches against the Aztecs (3-6). At No. 1 singles, Hannah Grady defeated Holly Bagshaw 6-2, 6-3. At No. 2 singles Katy Williams won 6-2, 6-4 over Eliska Krausova. At No. 3 singles, Stephanie Bengson won 6-2, 6-0 over Alesya Vidov. The 49ers play today at 11 a.m. when they host UC Riverside at the 49er Campus Courts. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Shea Carpenter fell to 0-4 for Northern Colorado (0-7). The 49ers struck in the first inning when Beaver scored on a single by Brooke LeSage. The 49ers put the game away in the top of the fourth inning as they scored five runs, three of them coming off a double by Tyler. The 49ers held the Bears the rest of the way, putting the mercy rule into effect. The 49ers take on UC Santa Barbara today at 9 a.m. and Nevada at 2 p.m. Women’s Tennis LBSU’s women’s tennis team won its fourth consecutive match, downing host San Diego State 5-2.
“We are going through our records now to show how effective the program has been and are looking for a way to keep it going,” she said. The program handles about 200 cases a year dealing with residents’ complaints about barking dogs and dog attacks, she added. The department is hoping to regain some funds to keep the program operating. “A lot of our focus will be on dealing with the dangerous-dog aspects,” she said. “That’s the part dealing with public safety.” Phyllis Daugherty of the Animal Issues Movement said the program has proved valuable. “It is the only avenue that people have to complain about barking dogs and those that are a threat,” she said. “What concerns many of us is that if this is no longer in existence, we could have a situation where people get violent and take matters into their own hands by poisoning or beating dogs.” Villaraigosa spokeswoman Janelle Erickson said the cuts in Animal Services will not affect cases involving dangerous dogs or the response to barking-dog complaints. “This is a dispute-resolution program that handles, at best, 75 cases a year,” Erickson said. “We think it takes away from the core mission of the department and we will still be responding to citizen complaints.” email@example.com (213) 978-0390160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! “I am particularly concerned that the proposed budget attempts to eliminate and weaken school-based gang prevention programs created by and administered through my office,” Delgadillo wrote in a letter to council members. “As elected officials, it is incumbent upon us to ensure the safety of our children on and around school campuses. Now is not the time to unilaterally disarm in the fight to keep our kids and our campuses safe.” The Mayor’s Office last week defended its decisions, saying Delgadillo was being asked to cut spending by 1.2 percent and had refused to provide a plan to achieve the reduction. Villaraigosa spokesman Matt Szabo said the budget continues the current level of gang prosecutors but rejects a proposed increase. He also said some of the programs that had been run by the City Attorney’s Office are being transferred to other city agencies with no decrease in funding. At Animal Services, the mayor has proposed eliminating positions for a hearing officer program that had been previously funded by department savings, Assistant General Manager Linda Barth said. A second city department said Tuesday that it would appeal some of the cuts being proposed by Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa in his $6.78 billion spending plan for Los Angeles. Officials with the Department of Animal Services said they will seek to restore $300,000 for a program that gives residents a venue to air complaints about barking and dangerous dogs. The announcement came just days before the City Council is scheduled to begin its review of the spending plan, which also has drawn complaints from City Attorney Rocky Delgadillo. On Tuesday, Delgadillo continued to appeal the mayor’s proposed $3.7 million cut to his $97 million budget, taking his gripe directly to council members with his budget staff.
0Shares0000Malkia Strikers head coach Japheth Munala watches on during a training session at the Kasarani Indoor Gymnasium. PHOTO/Timothy OlobuluNAIROBI, Kenya, Dec 7 – National team head coach Japheth Munala has officially made a return to the Kenya Commercial Bank volleyball team after ditching Kenya Pipeline, and says the bankers tabled him a better offer compared to his immediate former employers.Munala had been rumored to be headed to KCB and the same was confirmed on Friday afternoon with the team making the appointment official. “I made the decision because of the welfare terms offered by KCB. When I left here in 2011, that was not the case but they have improved a lot over that period. I also felt that I have overstayed at Pipeline and I needed a change; a new challenge,” the tactician stated.Munala worked at KCB as assistant coach in 2007 till 2008 when he was elevated to the top position leading the bankers to the title that year. He also went on to lead them to a third place finish in the CAVB Club Championship.He then left for Pipeline in 2011 where he stayed to date.In joining KCB, Munala is joined by four key players from pipeline in assistant captain Noelle Muirambi, left attacker Violet Makuto, Leonida Kasaya and Truphosa Chepkemei. However, Munala says it was not his wish to drag players from Pipeline.Coach Japheth Munala passes instruction to his girls during the 2017 African Club Championship in Tunisia/PHOTO-CAVB“I did not want to leave with any of their players and this is a decision they made independently. They are quality players who will add a lot of strength and depth and their experience will be vital for KCB. I will look to add some few more players; one experienced and some others from school to ensure we have a plan for the future,” the tactician stated.KCB volleyball team patron Judith Sidi Odhiambo confirmed Munala’s appointment an said the all-encompassing changes are bring fresh impetus to the squad ahead of next year’s competitions, especially the Club Championship set for next July.“We are delighted to have Munala back at KCB. We are hoping to tap his expertise, style, and philosophy in volleyball to take the team to the next level in local, regional and continental competitions”, said Odhiambo who is also the KCB Group Head of Corporate and Regulatory Affairs.Munala, will be assisted by David Kinga while current national women’s rugby sevens captain Philadelphia Olando has been appointed as their strength and conditioning coach.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)
Share Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest 180316_RyanMartinAnother dry but cool day today as sunshine dominates once again. Enjoy it, because we will see some changes to the weather pattern as we go into the weekend. Winds will start to ramp back up later this afternoon.Precipitation for tomorrow is farther north and may end up impacting a good half of the state. However, the best action remains in SW Ohio, where we can see a few hundredths to .4”. Some of this heavier moisture runs from Cincinnati up towards Dayton and even over closer to Columbus. With cold air in play we still feel that we have to allow for some wet snow in there, mixing with some rain. Minor accumulations can be seen, especially north of I-70. Everything looks to be done by late tomorrow evening.We are dry for Saturday night, Sunday and Monday, with sunshine and blue sky back in over the state for Sunday. Clouds build Monday, and by Monday night we see scattered showers moving in. However, action for Monday night and Tuesday looks to have a smaller footprint and may be confined to the southern half to third of the state. We will make a final determination on this in our forecast Monday morning. Rain totals can be from .1”-6” in those areas. Clouds will be around over the rest of the state.The biggest change in our forecast this morning comes for next Wednesday. As a strong nor’easter heads up the east coast, we see ample wrap around action on the backside of the low, and it may trigger snow over all of Ohio. We can see a coating to several inches, and the snow looks to go all day long. We will not rule out some 6” snow totals in eastern Ohio before the day is through next Wednesday, but we will wait to put out official snow and precipitation totals until early next week. Snow coverage can be nearly 100% of Ohio. It will be far worse to our east, but we need to stress not to underestimate this storm. Yes, it is hundreds of miles to our east, but the flow around the top will reach all the way back here, and will be enhanced by movement across the great lakes.The rest of the forecast is basically unchanged. We dry down for next Thursday and Friday, but stay cool. Then a front starts to work in for the 24th that has plenty of south flow ahead of it. That should take temps slightly above normal, and then also allow for good rains to fill in later Saturday afternoon through Sunday. Models have diminished the size and scope of this system this morning, but we are not changing the forecast yet. We will revisit this early next week. For now, we are calling for .25”-.75” rains for the 24th-25th with coverage at 70%.The extended pattern shows a strong circulation still for the 27th and 28th. Models suggest we can see the gulf bring up some nice moisture into this low, triggering moderate to heavy rains. It’s early but we are considering raising our rain totals for that part of the forecast period to 1-2 inches, based on a track right across from central MO to Toledo. There is plenty of time for this to change, but this may be a wet finish to the month of March.
Share Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest A recent trade mission to Asia by the National Pork Board International Marketing Committee built lasting relationships with international customers and elevated U.S. pork as the global protein of choice. The Pork Checkoff team toured Singapore, Vietnam, Hong Kong and Macau, meeting with pork processors, distributors and retailers, importers and traders, as well as in-country staff responsible for promoting U.S. pork in the region.“Pork is the No. 1 most-consumed protein in the world, and that was obvious on this mission,” said Bill Luckey, a pork producer from Columbus, Nebraska, and chair of the Pork Checkoff’s International Marketing Committee. “As the committee allocates Pork Checkoff dollars to international marketing, it is important to see how these dollars are working today and how we might better target producer resources in emerging markets in the future.”With U.S. pork production again breaking records in 2018, the Pork Checkoff is committed to growing pork demand both domestically and in international markets. Singapore and Vietnam are developing markets for U.S. pork and present huge opportunities for U.S. pork export growth in the coming years. In 2017, U.S. pork exports to Singapore increased almost 20% from 2016, reaching $17 million. Last year, the United States also exported over $11 million of fresh/chilled/frozen bone-in hams and shoulders to Vietnam.“Consumers in Vietnam and Singapore are rapidly increasing pork in their diets, with pork consumption on trend to overtake seafood consumption in both markets as the No. 1 protein,” said Craig Morris, the Pork Checkoff’s vice president of international marketing. “This provides a great opportunity to capture a rapidly increasing market share, but we must first understand the changing consumer and retail landscapes in these countries to meet consumer needs and expectations.”While in Singapore, the committee learned that U.S. pork often is positioned as a premium product, with high-end U.S. pork selling for three to five times more than the price of competitors’ products. Also, pre-prepared and processed foods are becoming popular as consumers seek convenience to meet their increasingly busy, urban lifestyles.“U.S. pork can succeed in Singapore by delivering a high-quality product packaged in small portions and in convenient, ready-to-cook formats,” Morris said.In Vietnam, committee members learned that popular wet markets, where fresh pork is sold on the streets, are declining as consumers seek the modern conveniences of full-service grocery stores. U.S. pork is viewed as a superior product in terms of taste and quality, and it is being marketed as such by U.S. import partners and buyers, Morris noted. U.S. pork is heavily featured in restaurants throughout Vietnam, especially by those with newer, more modern menu offerings.“It’s surprising, but Vietnam is a booming market for American barbecue,” Luckey said. “Many restaurants feature U.S. pork’s reputation for superior quality, which they promote on menus to grow their business.”Hong Kong also remains a strategic partner for U.S. pork. According to Morris, a significant amount of U.S. pork is sold in Hong Kong then shipped to mainland China, Macau, Vietnam and other Asian markets. As a conduit to other regions, Hong Kong is a critical market, with 38% of all of the food the U.S. ships there, in turn, re-exported, according to Morris.“In this challenging trade environment, it is critical that we meet with our colleagues in Hong Kong and express gratitude for their continued partnership. Building face-to-face relationships is especially important in this region,” Morris said. “We met with 40 of the largest importers who play a key role In deciding what will be sold in retail stores, featured on restaurant menus and traded with other countries in Southeast Asia.”The last stop on the international mission was Macau, which is home to some of the world’s largest casinos. As a large tourist destination, the country offers many opportunities for U.S. pork to be showcased to consumers from all around the world.Luckey called the Asian trade mission a great success.“Not only were we able to see the many different ways that pork is being promoted in these countries, but we came back with insights into how to grow our market share,” Luckey said. “The committee members are excited to share these ideas with our partners here in the U.S. and to follow up with customers we met to bring U.S. pork to their shelves and menus.”