Doan Nguyen Duc, chairman of Hoang Anh Gia Lai Corporation, has rejected all accusations made against his company of deforesting and appropriating land in Laos and Cambodia by the NGO Global Witness, calling them "groundless."
Oil exporting countries lowered slightly their world demand forecast for 2012 on Tuesday as ministers gathered in Vienna to discuss output levels amid tensions over Iran and slowing global growth.
The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) said in its monthly report that world oil demand next year would reach 88.87 million barrels per day (bpd), revising downwards its previous forecast of 89.01 million bpd.
"The adjustment reflects slowing growth in the OECD, which is expected to have spillover effects for China and India, and hence impact oil consumption over the coming year," the cartel said.
For 2011, demand remained virtually unchanged at 87.80 million bpd, compared to 87.81 million bpd in OPEC's last monthly report in November.
The organisation thus expected year-on-year demand to grow by 860,000 bpd this year -- from 86.93 million bpd in 2010 -- and by 1.07 million bpd next year.
OPEC ministers were already gathering in Vienna ahead of a cartel meeting on Wednesday where they were due to decide whether to change production quotas in the face of heightened Iran tensions, higher Libyan output and a weak economic output.
While it maintained its global economic growth predictions for 2011 and 2012 at 3.6 percent in its report, the cartel noted that this was thanks to developing countries who were "helping to compensate for (the) shortfall" in the OECD group of developed countries.
The debt-hit eurozone "remains the centre of uncertainty," it said, while Japan and the United States had also seen a downward revision of growth for next year.
Looking ahead, OPEC noted: "slowing economic growth and the uncertain outlook for the global economy in the coming year highlight increasing risks facing the oil market in 2012."
As a result, it encouraged keeping a close eye on factors that influence oil prices, such as changes in supply and demand, but also "non-fundamental factors such as macro-economic sentiment and speculative activity to ensure that the market remains stable during this challenging period for the world economy."
This was all to be discussed at Wednesday's meeting in Vienna, it said.
The 12-member OPEC cartel supplies one third of the world's crude.
In Vienna, it was expected to maintain its official output target at 24.84 million bpd, a level it has kept unchanged for three years, although the International Energy Agency estimates actual production at 27.32 million bpd.