Are you the publisher? Claim or contact us about this channel


Embed this content in your HTML

Search

Report adult content:

click to rate:

Account: (login)

More Channels


Showcase


Channel Catalog


older | 1 | .... | 400 | 401 | (Page 402) | 403 | 404 | .... | 495 | newer

    0 0
  • 11/30/16--02:16: Article 1
  • Food processing segment to blossom in coming years


    A positive business climate and an emerging middle class are propelling investors to look at Vietnam as a major destination for investments in the food processing industry, says the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MOIT).


    food processing segment to blossom in coming years hinh 0

    Speaking at a recent investment forum held on the margins of Vietnam Foodexpo 2016 in Ho Chi Minh City, Deputy Minister Ho Thi Kim Thoa of the MOIT said the segment is in a growing phase with the domestic sector struggling to keep pace.

    The food processing segment is super healthy, said Ms Thoa, adding that market analysts have forecast the industry will average growth rates ranging 5-6% every year in the foreseeable future.

    The key influencers for the bright outlook are related to the fact that agriculture is the main source of income for over half of the Vietnam total population and the government is doing a lot to improve working conditions, innovation and productivity in farming.

    In addition, the food processing industry in the country has access to an abundance of raw materials allowing the marketplace to offer a wide variety of products. Rising disposable incomes of households across the country are also a plus.

    Notably, she said, there is an increasingly health consciousness driving demand for nutritious products that shows no sign of abating. Many market analysts have projected the organic food industry will grow threefold by 2020.

    Bui Huy Son, director general of the Vietnam Trade Promotion Agency, in turn told the audience that food consumption has been projected to grow at an 18.6% clip annually through 2019.

    Additionally, he said the Vietnam government has picked up the pace of equitization of State-owned businesses, which directly impacts opportunities for the food processing segment.

    The State Capital Investment Corporation has stocks of more than 200 individual companies on the auction block, of which 50 are in the food industry. The Government getting out of the industry, presents a great opportunity for private businesses to jump in.

    For his part, Dang Xuan Quang, deputy director of the Foreign Investment Agency, said the segment has attracted US$7.6 billion of FDI, which has been concentrated in areas such as handling, packaging, processing, transporting and marketing of food and agricultural products.

    He noted the transnational companies that have invested in Vietnam have primarily been those based out of Thailand, Taiwan, Malaysia, Korea, and China with very little coming from companies in Japan, the US, Australia or the EU.

    Lastly, Claudio Dordi, the technical assistance team leader of the European Trade Policy and Investment Support Project, noted the Vietnam-EU free trade agreement signed last year is set to come into force in 2018

    The new economic free trade region created by the agreement combined with the increasing demand for hygiene and food safety makes the segment a win-win for Vietnam and the EU.

    He expects the food processing segment to blossom over the coming years and believes there will be an influx of investment from the EU.

    VOV


    0 0
  • 11/30/16--02:29: Article 0
  • Vietnam, Russia FMs agree on oil, gas cooperation

    Foreign Minister Phạm Bình Minh met in Moscow yesterday with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, and the two discussed co-ordination in the oil and gas sector, which they agreed was of strategic importance to both sides.

     
    Foreign Minister Phạm Bình Minh met with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in Moscow yesterday.- VNA/VNS Photo Quang Vinh

    Minh, who is also Deputy Prime Minister, is on a three-day visit to Russia. He briefed his host about Việt Nam’s major socio-economic development plans and external policies for the next five years.

    Expressing satisfaction with the high political trust between the two nations, both sides agreed to further facilitate the exchange of all-level visits of the Party, State and Government, National Assembly, ministry and local channels; maintain existing dialogue and consultation mechanisms; and hasten the negotiations on and signing of several agreements.

    In the first ten months of this year, two-way trade hit US$2.2 billion. The two countries are set to implement the Việt Nam-Eurasian Economic Union free trade agreement towards lifting that figure to $10 billion by 2020.

    In order to facilitate exports and imports, host and guest pledged to embark on projects in the fields of energy, industry, mechanical engineering, including establishing an automobile manufacturing joint venture in Việt Nam, opening a Việt Nam light industry complex in Moscow, and TH True Milk’s farms in Moscow Oblast and Kaluga province.

    The two leaders underscored energy ties as one of the pillars strategic to each country’s development, and vowed all possible support for Vietnamese and Russian oil and gas firms to enhance co-ordination.

    They committed to continuing close co-operation on national defence-security matters, especially in the military technical aspect, as well as the expansion of science-technology, education, training, culture, tourism, labour ties.

    Minh thanked the Foreign Ministry for offering support to Vietnamese nationals living in Russia.

    On multilateral co-operation, the two countries will continue working closely at multilateral forums such as the United Nations, the Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation (APEC) Forum, the Asia-Europe Meeting, the East Asia Summit, and the ASEAN Regional Forum.

    Việt Nam backs Russia’s active role in Asia-Pacific and stands ready to serve as a bridge connecting Russia and ASEAN, Minh said.

    Lavrov, for his part, hailed Việt Nam’s increasing stature in the region and the world.

    Turning to the East Sea issue, they were unanimous regarding the need for peaceful settlement of disputes in line with international law, including the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea; the full and effective implementation of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC) and the early formulation of a Code of Conduct in the East Sea (COC).

    Minh and Lavrov signed a co-operation scheme between the two foreign ministries for 2017-2018.

     VNS


    0 0
  • 11/30/16--23:55: Article 4
  • New policies come into effect in December


    A series of policies on the function, tasks, right and organization of the Government Office, autonomy mechanism of the public units, sanctioning of securities- and securities market-related administrative violations and the ordinance on market management will take effect since December 2016.


    Decree No. 141/2016/ND-CP was introduced on October 10, 2016, regulating on autonomy mechanism of the public units which are self-responsible for their own income and expenditure in the economic field.

    The Decree stipulates the autonomy mechanism of the public units in terms of economics, agriculture and rural development, natural resources and environment, transport, industry and trade, construction, labor, invalids, social affairs and justice.

    Decree No.142/2016/ND-CP was issued on October 14, stipulating the principles, contents, measures, international cooperation and responsibilities in preventing online information conflicts in Viet Nam. 

    Decree No. 145/2016/ND-CP on sanctioning of securities- and securities market-related administrative violations will take effect since December 15, 2016. The fine punishment from VND400-700 million will be applied for falsifying files in offering individual stocks without criminal prosecution.

    Decree No. 148/2016/ND-CP detailing a number of articles of the ordinance on market management will come into effect since December 25, 2016, which defines four officials of the market management including senior market surveyor, main market surveyor, market surveyor and secondary market surveyor.

    Decree No. 150/2016/NĐ-CP stipulating the function, task, right and organization of the Government Office will take effect since December 15, 2016.

    Accordingly, the Government Office is a ministerial-level agency and an assistant body of the Government and the PM.

    The Government Office consults and assists the Government, the PM and the Deputy PMs in the joint activities from the Central to local levels, ensures the unity, transparency and continuity of the national administrative area, controls the administrative procedures, establishes an e-Government, provides sufficient information and guarantees material, technical and logistic conditions for activities of the Government.

    Circular No. 152/2016/TT-BTC dated October 17, 2016, management and allocation of subsidies to basic training and under-03-month training courses

    This Circular provides guidelines on requirements for grant of training subsidy and amount of subsidies from the State budget including disabled people, poor people from ethnic minorities; members of poor households in extremely disadvantaged communes/villages, people from ethnic minorities, beneficiaries of benefits for meritorious persons, females, and rural workers and fishermen.

    Amount of subsidies given to each type of entity as follows: VND6 million/ person/ course (given to the disabled); VND4 million/person/course (for poor ethnics, poor households); VND3 million/person/course (for persons who contributed to the national revolution); VND2.5 million /person/course (for near poor households); VND2 million/person/course (for women).

    VGP


    0 0
  • 12/01/16--01:45: Article 3
  • Northern Vietnam city’s ex-Party chiefs jailed for abusing powers


    Seven former officials, including Party chiefs, in a northern Vietnamese city have been sentenced to up to over five years in prison for violations during their office terms.

     

    The defendants stand trial at the People’s Court in Vinh Yen City, located in the northern province of Vinh Phuc, on November 30, 2016.Tuoi Tre

    Following a 14-day trial, the ex-officials of Vinh Yen City, the capital of Vinh Phuc Province, were subsequently convicted of abusing their positions and powers while in office, according to a decision by the provincial People’s Court on Wednesday.

    The two main defendants were Lai Huu Lan, 67, and Nguyen Ngoc Quyen, 58, who were both former secretary of the Party Committee and chairman of the People’s Committee in Vinh Yen, along with five other accomplices who were previously high-ranking officials in the municipal administration.

    According to the indictment, Duong Dinh Tam and Nguyen Anh Quan, both from Hanoi, asked Lan to grant him a 25-hectare piece of land in Dong Tam Ward, Vinh Yen, for the construction of a farm in 2006.

    The former leader agreed and colluded with the other offenders to find a way to legalize the transaction of the land plot, claiming that the construction was a project implemented by the local People’s Committee.

    As a result, 25 hectares of land of local residents was grabbed for the execution of the project.

    Tam then gave Lan a car worth VND1 billion (US$440,243) in return.

    The jury stated that such actions had cost the state tens of billions of dong, affecting the reputation of state agencies.

    Well aware of their wrongdoings, the defendants, who were holding high positions in the province, still chose to commit them, the jury continued, adding that a stern punishment had to be imposed accordingly.

    According to the ruling, Lan and Quyen were sentenced to five years and nine months in prison while the other five violators would spend up to three years and nine months behind bars.

    Tam was condemned to three years in prison.

    Lan and Quyen were each required to pay over VND1.1 billion ($48,426) for the affected households.

    The jury also considered Quan the mastermind of the violations, who is now being wanted by the provincial Department of Police.

    Located 55 kilometers west of Hanoi, Vinh Yen covers an area of over 50 square kilometers with a population of about 160,800, according to statistics released in 2015.

    The city is considered a vital area and transport hub of the key economic region in northern Vietnam.

    Tuoitrenews


    0 0
  • 12/01/16--02:17: Article 2
  •  Forum calls for digitising VN banking



     
    Digital banking is inescapable but information safety is a huge challenge to ensure which requires the great effort from the banking sector. - Photo pcworld.com.vn


    HCM CITY - The banking sector has been developing rapidly but it needs to do more, especially to ensure sustainable development of digital banking, a conference heard in HCM City on Thursday.

    Nguyễn Toàn Thắng, the general secretary of the Việt Nam Banks Association, told the 2016 Việt Nam Retail Banking Forum: "Digital technology is now affecting all aspects of life, and the Vietnamese banking sector must enhance digital banking and ensure security.”

    Hà Huy Tuấn, the deputy chairman of the Việt Nam National Financial Supervisory Commission, said: “Nowadays, due to the IT boom, digital banking is becoming the new trend in retail banking, and [while] it offers commercial banks many opportunities, it also poses challenges to their managers.

    “Digital banking is inescapable but information safety is a huge challenge to ensure which requires the great effort from the banking sector,” said Tuấn.

    The forum, titled “Building your bank and driving profitable customer engagement in the digital world”, discussed key issues the banking industry needs to focus on and analysed them to offer innovative solutions for IT applications to develop digital banking, improve service quality and acquire customers’ trust.

    Dr Cấn Văn Lực from the Bank for Investment and Development of Việt Nam (BIDV) said in Việt Nam 44 per cent of bank customers used the internet and mobile banking.

    “Significant internet access and a remarkable growth in the number of mobile devices are two important factors promoting digital banking around the world.

    “In Việt Nam, more than 47 million people access the internet, there are 143 million mobile phone subscribers and 29 million members accessing social media on mobile devices.”

    He said people born after 1990 are especially cyber-savvy and are prospective customers for digital banking.

    There are three main factors that affect Vietnamese banking customers’ satisfaction – quality of the network, convenience and security, he said.

    “Vietnamese banks have to build a digital business strategy.

    “Digitising all connections with customers, digitisation their products and services and taking advantage of digital technologies to create new products and services are imperative to create a digital bank.”

    Maya Barkay from Amdocs Mobile Financial Service said six key forces are reshaping the banking and payments industries: a growing middle class, millennial disruption, need for financial inclusion, evolving technologies and market shifts, the ubiquity of mobile and regulatory shifts.

    “Banks must quickly shift from product-centric to customer-centric banking.”

    Matthew Martin, chief information officer at Asia Commercial Bank, spoke about omnichannel, a cross-channel business model that companies use to improve the customer experience.

    “Omnichannel provides a consistent and connected experience over each and every touch point whether self-directed or assisted.

    “It is about the way customers want to conduct their financial transactions.”

    The Việt Nam Retail Banking Forum (previously known as the ASEAN Banker Forum) is one of the most prestigious regional forums for bank executives, technology experts, finance specialists and those providing IT solutions for the banking industry.

    It seeks to discuss key issues in which banks are interested and come up with solutions to improve their operational performance.

    It is organised by the Việt Nam Banks Association and International Data Group (IDG Việt Nam).

    Viet Nam News


    0 0
  • 12/01/16--02:37: Article 1
  • BUSINESS IN BRIEF 1/12


    Demand of cheap condos to increase in 2017

    The demand of inexpensive apartment outweighed the supply in several last months of the year, though developers cried out for selling many blocks lately. 

    In 2016, the supply of deluxe apartments has been mushrooming, exceeding the demand, said experts, while there was a few of projects of inexpensive apartments sold under VND1 billion. The supply could not meet the increasing demand.

    A report by U.S. research agency JLL, Ho Chi Minh City currently is building 64,000 condos and 2,700 villa. Of the figure, half of them have been advertised at price of VND45 million per meter square, accounting for 70 percent of the supply.

    Similarly, in Hanoi, over 59,000 condos are being built  and it is scheduled that more than 11,000 condos of many projects will be supplied for the market in the quarter and 70 percent of them are deluxe. 

    Meanwhile, there was a few condos sold at price of VND15-17 million per meter square in the market and most of them locate in outlying districts Hoai Duc, Ha Dong, Long Bien, Gia Lam, and Thanh Tri.

    Realty experts said that in 2017, customers will favor in condos worth VND1-1.5 billion. Accordingly, largest property developers will provide average condos whose supply is limited.

    It is forecast that in early 2017, deluxe condos will be abundant while there was a shortage of cheap ones for low-income people. Supply of commercial apartments worth VND15 million per meter square  in the market is also limited because of low profits, developers are uninterested in it.

    Finance Ministry talks to southern businesses

    The Ministry of Finance, the General Department of Vietnam Customs and the General Department of Taxation yesterday held a dialogue with over 400 businesses in the southern region, listening to their difficulties and opinions for better services.

    The dialogue was held in Ho Chi Minh City which is the economic hub of the country.

    Hoa Binh Refrigeration Electrical Engineering and Trading Company, importing water heaters for sale, said that in July the company unexpectedly received a decision of ten-day inspection from customs agency who wanted to check to all import documents of the company for the last five years.

    The inspection largely affected the company’s operation because it had to supply and print out a pile of documents. Import water heaters were not levied taxes until June 29, 2016 but a circular was issued to change the product’s code making it belong to the taxable list.

    Inspectors said that the company used a wrong code for the product and make a decision to fine the company and collect tax arrears totaling VND3.5 billion (US$154,000).

    It was forced to pay the penalty and arrears to prevent operation stagnancy and damage from signed contracts.

    Mr. Vu Ngoc Anh, deputy head of the General Department of Vietnam Customs, said that businesses must keep their documents within five years after customs clearance and authorized agencies are entitled to inspect the documents to prevent budget losses.

    He urged customs agencies to return the tax they had collected for Hoa Binh Company.

    Can Tho city based Kim Xuan Company importing steel to make export items said that according to regulations, these items are exempt from taxes but the company has to pay safeguard duty.

    A representative from the General Department of Vietnam Customs answered that the new anti-dumping tax has been issued by the Ministry of Industry and Trade. Customs agencies just collect the tax in advance. Afterwards they will inspect to determine if the company dumps goods. If the company does not, the agencies will give it drawback.

    However the answer did not satisfy the company so deputy minister of Finance Vu Thi Mai said that she would talk to the Ministry of Industry and Trade about the issue.

    At the conference, businesses say that the lump sum tax policy to individual business households is unfair. Some earn high turnover but pay a low amount of the tax because they have not invoiced.

    Hence businesses proposed the Ministry of Finance to uniform regulations forcing all individual business households as well as businesses to issue invoices for an item sold at the price of VND200,000 and higher.

    Soc Trang province Food Association said that when tax refund exceeds VND40 billion ($1.76 billion), businesses will receive the rebate first and tax agencies will inspect later. In fact the agencies have reversed and much slowed down the process.

    Enterprises have to pay fines for late tax payment, so why officials have not been penalized for slowing the tax refunding, asked an association representative.

    In response, deputy head of the General Department of Taxation Cao Anh Tuan said that it was wrong for tax officials to inspect before refunding tax when the amount tops VND40 billion. He promised to look over and tackle the issue.

    Khuong Mai Steel Company said that tax agencies raised it difficulties in tax refund. Deputy Minister Vu Thi Mai asked the HCMC Taxation Department to have a specific answer.

    Mr. Nguyen Nam Binh, deputy head of the agency said that inspections found that 70 percent of the company’s purchasing invoices, attached in documents it filed to propose tax refund, were from 13 shutdown companies.

    In addition, the company refused tax agencies’ requirement to examine its warehouse. Therefore they have transferred the case to investigation agencies, he said.

    Deputy Minister Vu Thi Mai said that the Government creates the best conditions for businesses to develop. However they will be strictly handled in accordance with the law if breaking regulations.

    Export turnover of commodities achieve US$15.6 billion in Nov

    Export turnover of commodities in November is estimated to achieve US$15.6 billion, up 1.3 percent compared to October, said the General Statistic Office (GSO).

    Generally, in 11 months of the year, total export turnover was estimated to reach US$159.5 billion, 7.5 percent higher than that in the same period last year.

    Of the amount, domestic economic sector reached US$45.4 billion and foreign-invested sector achieved US$114.1 billion.

    Import turnover in 11 months was US$156.6 billion, an increase of 3.5 percent compared to same period last year.

    Of the amount of US$156.6 billion, domestic businesses posted US$63.8 billion while imports of businesses with foreign direct investment strongly rose to nearly US$92.8 billion.

    Vietnam ran a US$400 million trade deficit and thus posted a trade surplus of US$2.84 million in 11 months.

    As per GSO, Galaxy Note 7 incident did not much affect on Vietnam’s export turnover and telephone and electrical accessories. 

    Novaland to list 600 million shares


     Demand of cheap condos to increase in 2017, Export turnover of commodities achieve US$15.6 billion in Nov, Novaland to list 600 million shares, Vietnam’s first public procurement centre launched in Hanoi

    Novaland plans to list 600 million shares (100 per cent of its shares) on the Ho Chi Minh City Stock Exchange (HOSE) this month.

    The starting price will be VND50,000 ($2.2) per a share and is expected to be financed by private placement. 

    “The listing is expected to be conducted at the end of December,” according to Ms. Hien Cao, Novaland’s PR Executive. “Plans for an initial public offering (IPO), however, will not be conducted this year.”

    The Ho Chi Minh City-based property developer has also successfully sold 10 per cent of its shares to 18 investors, mainly overseas financial institutions from Hong Kong, Singapore and Thailand. The deal was worth $120 million. 

    “We received more than twice as many bids as our offering volume. About 70 per cent of our investors are overseas financial institutions from Hong Kong, Singapore and Thailand,” Novaland’s CEO Phan Thanh Huy was quoted as saying.

    The developer previously announced it had raised $60 million in convertible bonds from Swiss and Hong Kong investors earlier this year after raising $50 million in 2015.

    “With this plus the upcoming private placement offering, the target of $200 million is within reach,” said Mr. Phan Le Hoa, Director of Capital Markets and Investor Relations at Novaland. “We believe that with this new capital source, Novaland will have sufficient financial capability to grow in the next stage and we target to be in the VN30 group of shares.”

    The stake sale will be the biggest investment in a Vietnamese property developer since Warburg Pincus invested $200 million in Vingroup’s subsidiary Vincom Retail in 2013, which later in 2015 received a $100 million follow-on funding from the global private equity firm.

    Warburg Pincus has recently announced a joint venture with Vietnam’s leading fund manager VinaCapital, which invested $15 million in Novaland, to make investments into Vietnam’s hospitality properties.

    The joint venture will be seeded initially with approximately $300 million in capital commitments from the two parties and best-in-class hospitality assets including a 100 per cent stake in Serenity Holding as well as select resort and city hotels in Vietnam.

    Novaland is one the leading real estate enterprises in the south of Vietnam having a range of apartment projects in the mid and upper segments such as Sunrise City, RiverGate, Tropic Garden, Lexington Residence, Galaxy 9, and Icon 56. Last year, the real estate developer stood at VND6.7 trillion ($294.8 million) and had a net profit of VND446 billion ($19.6 million).

    In September this year, the domestic property developer announced plans to replace South Korea’s Daewon Cantavil to resume the construction of the long-delayed Da Phuoc International New Town project in the central city of Da Nang.

    Mr. Huy told local media that the company will cooperate with Bac Nam 79 Construction JSC to develop the project. The project will be renamed The Sunrise Bay.

    Consumer spending soars as new year holiday nears     

    Consumer spending in November posted a significant year-on-year increase as the Tet (Lunar New Year) holiday neared.

    According to the General Statistics Office (GSO), total retail sales of goods and services in November totalled more than VND302.9 trillion (US$13.5 billion), representing a rise of 1.9 per cent over the previous month and a 10.4 per cent increase over November 2015.

    Retail sales of goods accounted for more than 76 per cent of the total value.

    Vu Manh Ha, GSO’s analyst on the domestic economy, said November witnessed strong purchasing power as the shopping season for Tet holiday would arrive earlier than normal. The holiday will fall in early February 2017; usually it is later in the month.

    Strong purchasing was seen in wedding, house repair and beauty care products.

    Total retail value for the 11 months of this year touched VND3.2 quadrillion, rising by 9.5 per cent over the same period last year. If inflation was excluded, the rate would be 7.6 per cent, lower than the 8.3 per cent rate for the same period of 2015, due to the higher consumer price index (CPI).

    Statistics showed that CPI grew at 4.5 per cent in the 11 months of this year compared with only 0.58 per cent in the same period of 2015.

    Purchasing power was strong in major cities such as Ha Noi, HCM City and Vung Tau, with increasing rates of more than 10 per cent. 

    French city supports lighting project in HCM City

    France’s Lyon city has inked an agreement on technical support for a lighting project at the Ho Chi Minh City Fine Arts Museum, according to Sai Go Giai phong newspaper.

    The deal was signed on November 29 as part of the ongoing visit to France by Vice Chairman of HCM City’s People’s Committee Le Van Khoa.

    This is the fifth lighting project between the two cities, following projects carried out at the Ho Chi Minh Museum, the municipal People’s Committee building, the Opera House, and the Central Post Office.

    During his stay in France, Khoa participated in the 27th international exhibition of environmental equipment, technologies and services, which is underway in Lyon from November 29 to December 2.

    He also joined bilateral meetings between Vietnam’s Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Tran Hong Ha and Minister of State for Economy and Finance Chirstophe Sirugue and President of the French Environment and Energy Management Agency Bruno Lechevin.

    On November 28, Khoa talked with Lyon officials about cooperation in education, international relations, and urban development.

    Vietnam’s first public procurement centre launched in Hanoi

    The capital city of Hanoi launched a public procurement centre, the first of its kind in Vietnam, November 30.

    The centre operates under the city Department of Finance. It is in charge of public procurement for agencies in the city and also provides financial consultation services.

    As of late 2016, 64 hospitals and health centres, 22 departments and 21 district administrations of the city have registered their public purchase, worth a total amount of 377 billion VND (166.7 million USD) at the centre.

    Chairman of Hanoi People’s Committee Nguyen Duc Chung said that the concentration of public procurement is a policy in line with international practice. It will contribute to reducing public spending and improving transparency.

    He also stressed that it is necessary to devise a plan for the efficient and transparent operation of the centre.

    Cooking gas price down in December     

    Cooking gas price for HCM City and other southern provinces will drop by VND2,500 (US$0.1) per 12kg canister in December compared with the previous month.

    On December 1, 2016, retail price for cooking gas from household names such as Vietnam Oil and Gas Group, Vietnam Gas Co Ltd, Vietnam National Petroleum Group and Oil & Gas Company of HoChiMinh City (Saigon Petro Co Ltd) will fluctuate from VND291,000 ($12.8) to VND300,500 ($13.22) per 12kg canister.

    Tran Van Phuc, Saigon Petro’s business manager, explained that the drop in December gas price from November was a result of a drop of $15 per tonne in the December world gas price against last month, which is currently at $400 per tonne.

    The recent increase in currency exchange rate from VND22.350 per $1 to VND22.730 per $1 also contributed to the downward shift in domestic gas price.

    At present, domestic gas production accounts for more than 40 per cent of the market supply, although the retail price for cooking gas is still based on imported gas price post tax, which would hence be affected by the exchange rate.

    Vietnamese gas companies had to, therefore, to adjust accordingly within HCM City and its neighbouring southern provinces. 

    Tuna exports to EU on the rise

    Vietnam tuna exports to the EU is showing signs of recovery and upturn in the remainder of this year after several months of declines, hitting US$87.9 million in ten months, a year-on-year rise of 4.9%.

    Last year, EU countries imported processed tuna products while fresh, frozen and dried tuna products are staple imported items for this year reaching nearly US$49 million in 10 months, up 22%.

    Exports of processed tuna stood at just US$39 million, down 10%.

    Vietnam tuna products are shipped to 20 EU countries, primarily to Italy, Germany and Belgium.

    High tax rates have driven canned tuna products from Vietnam in a fix to compete at the EU market while similar products from Ecuador and the Philippines enjoy a zero percent tariff.

    Experts forecast that tuna exports to the EU continue to increase in the remaining months as holidays of the year begin to come.

    Govt to ban rice exporters without farms

    Key domestic rice exporters cannot ship the staple food abroad if they have neither rice farms nor partnerships with farmers, according to the Government.

    Deputy Prime Minister Trinh Dinh Dung said in a statement released recently by the Government Office that leading rice exporting companies must have paddy cultivation areas or cooperate or place orders with farmers in line with a road map already approved by the Government. 

    Ministries and relevant agencies are responsible for monitoring rice exporters and helping them carry out the plan effectively, Dung said in the statement, which reviews the implementation of the Government’s Decree 109/2010/ND-CP dated November 4, 2010 on rice export business.

    In specifics, the ministries of industry-trade, agriculture-rural development, and finance, the State Bank of Vietnam, and the Vietnam Food Association (VFA) will have to review the documents guiding the execution of the decree and adjust them in a way that creates favorable conditions for rice exporters.

    The Ministry of Industry and Trade is tasked with working with relevant agencies to draft amendments to the decree and report to the Government within the second quarter next year.

    The ministry should abolish a regulation that allows traders to export rice, and work with the agriculture ministry to assess the development of rice farming zones for export and the link between rice exporters and traders, and work towards making this link compulsory in the draft amendments to Decree 109.

    Rice export is now a conditional business field under the revised Law on Investment which will take effect next year. The Government will issue a decree guiding the implementation of the law, which will include conditions for rice export.

    VN tightens car import controls

    The Ministry of Finance has made procedures more stringent for import of automobiles to fight smuggling and trade fraud.

    The ministry has urged the General Department of Customs, the General Department of Taxation and the provincial tax departments to take measures to verify the origin and the customs value of imported automobiles.

    For imported cars (excluding those eligible for incentives and diplomatic immunity), certificates of origin (C/O) and customs dossiers must be submitted at the time of performing customs clearance procedures.

    Customs offices are obliged to do careful examinations and refer to the rules on the legitimacy, stamp and signature of the C/O. In suspicious cases, they must ask for verification or discuss with the countries where the C/O is issued to identify the origin of the vehicles.

    In addition to the C/O, the customs has to look into the VIN code and the websites of carmakers to gather information for management. If the VIN code displays signs of eradication and abrasion, they must request verification.

    For those cars that had gone through customs before November 28, 2016, a post-clearance check might be conducted if their C/O had not been provided at the time of import.

    To strengthen controls on the taxable value of imported cars, the Ministry of Finance has asked customs agencies to closely examine the value declared and have price consultation right when customs procedures are performed.

    Customs offices are responsible for building a national database and supplying the value declared to local tax authorities. In return, tax agencies are in charge of providing customs units with the selling price quoted by importers, the price for calculation of excise tax and registration fee of imported cars, for reference and tax administration.

    For those cars whose customs procedures have not been completed, they may not be brought to warehouses of importers. In addition, inspection and supervision should be tightened for the records of temporarily import for re-export, as well as the time and the location for storage of the vehicles brought into Vietnam in this method.

    The General Department of Customs is tasked with providing monthly updates and completing the price database and the list of items with pricing risks as a basis for consultation.

    Vietnam’s Nov retail sales put at VND302.9 trillion

    Vietnam’s total retail sales of goods and services are estimated at around VND302.9 trillion (US$13.3 billion) this month, up 1.9% against the previous month and 10.4% over the same period of last year.

    Total November sales of goods are put at VND227.4 trillion, up 1.7% against the previous month and 9.5% over the same period of last year. Food and accommodation services providers have obtained total revenue of VND37.3 trillion, up 2.6% month-on-month and 19.4% year-on-year, travel services revenue VND3.4 trillion, up 3% versus October and 33% from the year before. Revenue from other services has grown 2.5% from the month before and 6% from the year-earlier period to VND34.8 trillion.

    January-November has seen total sales of goods and services nationwide amounting to VND3,201 trillion, up 9.5% year-on-year, or 7.6% with the price factor excluded.

    Sales of catering and accommodation services in January-November have reached VND374.5 trillion, a 10.4% year-on-year increase.

    Revenue from travel services is put at VND31 trillion, up 11.4% year-on-year.

    Lending expands over 14% as of November 22     

    Lending of the banking sector as of November 22 had expanded by around 14 per cent against December last year, with dong loans rising 15.3 per cent and foreign currency loans increasing 2.8 per cent, State Bank of Viet Nam Deputy Governor Dao Minh Tu reported.

    At a regular Government meeting on Tuesday, Tu said that a credit growth rate of 17-18 per cent this year was reasonable and attainable as lending usually rises sharply during the final months of the year.

    He also affirmed that the central bank would regulate credit growth to meet the Government’s growth and inflation control targets. It would also focus on lending quality to minimise the risk of non-performing loans (NPLs).

    Earlier this year, the central bank targeted an annual credit growth of between 18 and 20 per cent, up from 17.26 per cent in 2015. However, it affirmed that the credit growth rate might be adjusted based on the actual situation, as it happened last year. 

    In 2015, the central bank first targeted a credit growth rate of 13 per cent, then adjusted it to between 15 and 18 per cent to meet rising capital demand.

    Viet Nam’s economy was originally expected to grow 6.7 per cent this year, compared to 6.68 per cent in 2015.

    However adverse weather conditions and the en masse fish deaths along the central coast have forced the Government to revise the 2016 target down to between 6.2 and 6.5 per cent.

    The central bank will direct lending capital to flow mainly into the five prioritised sectors of agriculture, exports, spare-parts industries, small- and medium-sized enterprises, and hi-tech firms besides startups, Tu said.

    National export turnover up in Nov     

    Export turnover in November reached US$15.6 billion, up 1.3 per cent since last month, pushing export value in the 11 months of 2016 to $159.5 billion, an increase of 7.5 per cent year-on-year.

    The rise in export turnover in the last 11 months is because of a spurt in the manufacturing sector, which makes up a large portion of the export market, the General Statistics Office (GSO) said.

    Some industries experienced high growth: machinery and spare parts touched $9.33 billion, up 26 per cent; electronics and computers reached $16.75 billion, up 17.1 per cent, and the mobile phone and accessories segment reached $31.3 billion, up 10.2 per cent.

    The export of agricultural products and crude oil slipped compared to the same period last year, pushing down export growth rate from January to November this year to below 10 per cent.

    The major export markets in November included the US at $34.7 billion, up 14 per cent, EU at $30.5 billion, up 8.3 per cent and China at $19.6 billion, up 26.7 per cent. The ASEAN market went down by 6.6 per cent, with a turnover of only $15.7 billion.

    Overall, the balance of trade from this January to November maintained a surplus, with exports exceeding imports by $2.84 billion.

    Imports increased only by 3.5 per cent in 11 months compared to the same period in 2015, with a $156.6 billion turnover. The country with the largest exports to Viet Nam was China, at $44.6 billion, an increase of 0.5 per cent.

    The 2016 export growth rate of 7.5 per cent is much lower than the National Congress’ target of 10 per cent, which will be hard to achieve with just one month left in this year. 

    Workshop helps Vietnamese timber industry export to Europe     

    Once the Voluntary Partnership Agreement on Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (VPA/FLEGT) comes into force, there will be opportunities for Viet Nam to export more wooden products to Europe and other new markets as well as get higher prices, according to the EU Delegation to Viet Nam.

    Speaking at a workshop in HCM City on November 30, Nguyen To Uyen of the EU Delegation to Viet Nam said the forest pact would increase the competitiveness of Vietnamese timber products compared to those from countries that do not have much control over the forestry sector.

    A VPA is a voluntary trade agreement between the EU and countries making wooden products to promote trade in legal timber and help ensure only legally harvested timber is imported into the EU from these countries.

    The EU and Viet Nam finished negotiating a VPA on November 18 and an agreement is expected to be signed in early 2017.

    Nguyen Manh Dung of the Ministry of Industry and Trade said under the agreement Viet Nam would create a timber legality assurance system (TLAS) in line with the country’s situation and the EU’s requirements on identifying the origin of timber.

    Full operation of the TLAS would significantly contribute to identifying the origin of Vietnamese timber products exported to the EU and other markets, he said.

    Once a VPA is fully implemented, the country will issue FLEGT licenses for exports of wood products to document that they meet all relevant local laws. If a license is in place, EU companies do not have to conduct any due diligence.

    To help Vietnamese firms understand about the forestry pact, the Nature Economy and People Connected (NepCon), an international non-profit organisation, and the Research Institute for Sustainable Forest Management and Forest Certification, have implemented a project called “Increasing capacity of civil society organisations and small and medium sized enterprises to implement FLEGT requirements.”

    Co-funded by the EU and NEPCon, the project was launched in March 2014.

    Reviewing the performance of the project in the past years, Ann Weddle, auditor and project manager of NepCon, said, “We have developed a toolkit to help Vietnamese companies comply with relevant requirements and communicated this to European buyers.”

    The toolkit contains 18 tools, including guidance documents, checklists and templates.

    Besides, training courses have been held to show Vietnamese companies and organisations how to use the toolkit.

    National Forestry Risk Profiles have been created for Viet Nam and the five main countries it imports timber from.

    This would help Vietnamese timber companies assess the risks when importing timber from these countries, Weddle said.

    Huynh Van Cuong, director of Ngan Dai Sin, an SME specialising in children’s furniture in Dong Nai Province, said, “The toolkit provided by the project is very useful and helps enterprises evaluate and manage timber sources.”

    Le Vo Thanh Binh of the Viet Nam Rubber Group said the company’s subsidiaries are aware of the need to obtain certificates for producing and exporting timber products.

    Viet Nam earned US$5.76 billion from wood and wooden products exports in the first 10 months of the year, a year-on-year increase of 0.8 per cent, with the US, Japan, and EU being the largest importers. 

    HCM City international trade fair attracts large participation     

    The Vietnam International Trade Fair (Vietnam Expo) opened on November 30 in HCM City with 520 companies showcasing their products at nearly 600 stalls.

    They are displaying products like paper, building materials, interior decoration items, car components, lubricants, pharmaceuticals, food and beverages, textile and garments, machinery, electrical-electronic appliances, craft products, consumer goods.

    The exhibitors are from 20 countries and territories including China, Indonesia, India, Japan, Kenya, Nepal, the Netherlands, Switzerland, and Taiwan.

    Indonesia is participating for the first time in this annual event with 60 stalls in its national pavilion.

    “After studying carefully we chose this expo in HCM City as a venue to directly introduce our enterprises to potential Vietnamese partners to boost bilateral trade and investment,” Indonesian ambassador Ibnu Hadi said.

    Indonesia organised a seminar on the sidelines on turning challenges into opportunities in the seafood industry as part of the same effort.

    Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Ho Thi Kim Thoa said the expo is a bridge enabling Vietnamese and international enterprises to meet and find co-operation and promote trade and investment.

    “It gathers investors and producers in the sectors of machinery, equipment, chemicals, building materials, agriculture, food processing, textiles and others from around the world.”

    This year the Ha Noi Department of Industry and Trade is highlighting the message of preserving and developing craft villages.

    Today there will be a seminar on the role of new technologies at small and medium enterprises amid global integration.

    The expo is on at the Saigon Exhibition and Convention Center in District 7 where another exhibition on hardware and hand tools also opened yesterday with 152 domestic and foreign companies displaying their items.

    Both four-day exhibitions, organised by Vinexad, will go on until December 3. 

    Cashback for Online Friday     

    As many as 18 banks and credit organisations agreed to implement a cashback policy to customers joining in Online Friday 2016 on December 2.

    Le Duc Anh from the Viet Nam E-commerce and Information Technology Agency (VECITA) under the Ministry of Industry and Trade said under the cashback policy, banks would give people a discount into their bank accounts after buying products or services online.

    Last year, the rate of card payment on Online Friday was only 4 per cent while the remaining was cash on delivery (COD). COD has caused difficulties for both delivery firms and retailers as only 1 out of 10 orders were successfully implemented. Businesses have suffered costs for goods which were not delivered to customers.

    This prompted the move to call for banks’ participation in the cashback policy. The payment would bring benefits to businesses, delivery firms and customers.

    Customers could get VND500,000 (US$22) for a VND1 million order if they pay by bank cards on Online Friday 2016, Anh said.

    VECITA said the Maritime Bank and ACB have the highest rate of cashback of up to 50 per cent while Agribank, Kien Long Bank and SCB give a 30 per cent discount.

    Eximbank, NCB, VRB, BaoVietBank, HDB and MB would give 20 per cent discounts to people paying by cards. An Binh Bank and VP Bank have the discount of 10 per cent in the day. Sacombank also joined in the programme with a discount rate of 5 per cent.

    SeABank gives VND500,000 cashback for bills of more than VND1 million.

    Vietcombank would add VND200,000 cashback for its local debit card for online purchases of more than VND500,000 on 27 big online websites in Viet Nam such as Adayroi, Tiki, Shoptretho, Lazada and Fptshop.

    The cashback will apply only on December 2.

    The year’s largest e-commerce event will take place from December 1 to 4 with two main events of Online Friday at website store.onlinefriday.vn/ and Big Off in the pedestrian streets around Guom (Sword) Lake in the centre of Ha Noi.

    VECITA said the organising board this year has taken solutions to prevent fraudulent promotions.

    It has co-operated with price comparison websites such as Top Mot, Websosanh and Chongiadung to help consumers compare prices of goods and services.

    People could also use the iCheck app to check product information.

    As of Monday, the organising board removed more than 60,000 products registering in the day as they have higher prices than the average level in the market. 

    Businesses urged to actively join global supply chains

    Together with producing high-quality and competitive products, businesses should actively engage in the global supply chains, maintaining growth in both revenue and profit, and securing their firm foothold at home and abroad.

    President Tran Dai Quang made the suggestion while receiving a delegation of businesses winning the national brand awards 2016 in Hanoi on November 30.

    He spoke highly of national brand winners’ efforts to gradually improve their products’ prestige and trademarks, saying that they have increasingly confirmed their pioneering role in production and business, making significant contributions to the country’s socio-economic development.

    According to the State leader, the extensive and intensive international integration and engagement in new-generation free trade agreements have opened up a new development horizon for Vietnam’s economy. However, it also poses a lot of difficulties and challenges for the country.

    He called on businesses to push ahead with manufacturing activities and closely pursue values that the National Brand programme is targeting, while ensuring the quality of products via advanced production system and healthy financial capacity.

    The President suggested promoting innovation, applying state-of-the-art science and technology to increase productivity and competitive edge as well as embracing connectivity and forming domestic and regional production value chains.

    He asked the National Brand Council, the Ministry of Industry and Trade, and relevant ministries and sectors to proactively remove difficulties for businesses, reform administrative procedures, and create a favourable business environment.

    Korea Expo underway in Hanoi

    The Korea Trade Investment Promotion Agency (KOTRA) and the Vietnam National Trade Fair & Advertising JSC (Vinexad) are co-hosting the Korea Expo 2016 in Hanoi from November 30 to December 1.

    Chairman of KOTRA Kim Jae Hong said the event draws 67 businesses from the Republic of Korea (RoK) along with 65 ASEAN enterprises and 350 Vietnamese ones.

    On display are popular made-in-Korea products such as cosmetics, jewelry, fashion items, kitchen-household gadgets, food and beverages, LED devices, kid toys and light industry materials.

    Speaking at the opening ceremony, Chairman of the municipal People’s Committee Nguyen Duc Chung said the RoK is the largest investor of Hanoi, with 1,175 projects worth over 5 billion USD by November 2016, making up 31 percent of total valid projects and 20.86 percent of total registered foreign capital in the city.

    The projects mainly focus on real estate, health, education, processing-manufacturing, and construction services, he said.

    Hanoi is home to six projects worth around 15 million USD funded by the RoK’s official development assistance (ODA). They are being carried out in the fields of vocational training, healthcare, urban management, and infrastructure building.

    According to KOTRA, the free trade agreement between Vietnam and the RoK came into force in 2015 with the removal of a number of tax lines.-

    Vietnam forges ahead with free trade agreement with EU

    Vietnam has been actively preparing for the ratification and enforcement of the free trade agreement with the European Union (EU), Deputy Prime Minister Vuong Dinh Hue told Ambassador Bruno Angelet, Head of the EU Delegation to Vietnam, at a reception in Hanoi on November 30.

    The Deputy PM expressed his pleasure at the positive development in the bilateral cooperation in recent years, citing the Framework Agreement on Comprehensive Partnership and Cooperation (PCA) between Vietnam and the EU came into force on October 1, 2016, and the two sides are looking towards to the signing of the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA).

    He said the Vietnamese Government is pushing ahead with economic reshuffle and growth model reform along with increasing productivity and competitiveness, restructuring budget collection and spending and public debts, improving the business climate, and supporting the startup ecosystem.

    Vietnam is revising and fine-tuning its legal system in line with development process and international commitments, he said, adding that he hopes the Ambassador will act as a bridge to help Vietnam push the signing, ratification and enforcement of the trade pact for mutual benefits.

    He called on the EU to boost investment in Vietnam and soon recognise its full market economy status.

    Ambassador Bruno Angelet said 2017 will be an eventful year for Vietnam and the EU, offering good chances for them to boost cooperation.

    The EU has a big ambition to implement the EVFTA as it is the first free trade pact that the union signed with a middle-income Asian country, he added, noting that Vietnam is leading Southeast Asia in export to the EU, while the union is the third biggest investor in Vietnam. 

    With the EVFTA, the EU will approve Vietnam’s proposal on the provision of technical assistance, he said, adding that 50 EU experts are willing to support Vietnam in this field.

    The union will spare no efforts to help Vietnam enforce this agreement, he affirmed.

    Vietnam Expo 2016 opens in HCM City

    The 14th Vietnam Expo opened at the Saigon Exhibition and Convention Centre in Ho Chi Minh City on November 30.

    The four-day event features 600 booths of 520 businesses from 20 counties and territories, including Indonesia, the Republic of Korea (RoK), Nepal, China and Taiwan (China). 

    Indonesia is the country of honour at this year’s expo, sending over 60 businesses to display modern technology products at the event.

    The RoK’s state businesses and provincial trade organisations, such as the Bucheon Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and representatives of Incheon, Suwon and Daejeon authorities are among those present. Nearly 100 Korean businesses are introducing their latest technologies, services and products at the expo.

    Especially, for the first time, the Hanoi Department of Industry and Trade introduces the capital’s traditional craft villages to visitors in the southern region and from foreign countries.

    Speaking at the opening ceremony, Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry Ho Thi Kim Thoa said the fair serves as a bridge for Vietnamese and foreign businesses to seek partnerships, especially in support industry.

    The same day, the Vietnam Hardware and Hand Tools Expo 2016 was kicked off at the the Saigon Exhibition and Convention Centre.

    Airlines to increase flights for Lunar New Year 2017

    Vietnam’s carriers are ready to operate plans to meet domestic travel demand during the 2017 Lunar New Year.

    The national flag carrier Vietnam Airlines has announced to launch additional 900 flights, equivalent to 185,000 seats, on domestic routes from January 15 to February 13, 2017. Accordingly, the total number of seats the airline provides during the holiday soars 46 percent from the same period last year, and 13 percent against the normal day.

    The new-generation airline Vietjet Air said that during the Lunar New Year festival, it will use 44 aircraft, an increase of 12 planes compared to last year. 

    Meanwhile, the low-cost carrier Jetstar Pacific plans to raise its capacity up to 50 percent compare to the 2016 Tet Holiday.

    Besides, sale of tickets one year earlier at various costs has created favourable conditions for customers and contributed to reducing ticket shortage at peak time.

    Wood enterprises helped to meet EU requirements

    A conference was held in HCM City on November 30 to review a project on enhancing the capacity of small and medium-sized enterprises to meet requirements of the European Union Forest on Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEGT) Action Plan.

    Sponsored by the EU, the project has been implemented by the Vietnamese Sustainable Forest Management Institute (SFMI) in collaboration with the NEPCon, an international non-profit organisation.

    According to Ann Weddle, director of the project, after three years of implementation, the project has built a set of tools to support Vietnamese enterprises in meeting requirements on legal wood, enable them to work with the European Union businesses.

    It has compiled forestry legal risk profiles for Vietnam and five other countries that Vietnam imports wood from, she said, adding that the profiles helped Vietnamese companies access legal risks when importing wood from those countries, thus helping them export their products to the EU market easily.

    Representatives of participating enterprises said via the project, businesses were equipped with knowledge on legal wood and regulations of the EU and requirements of the FLEGT action plan.

    The set of tools is very useful as it assists enterprises in assessing and managing wood supplies, thus making them ready to meet the FLEGT requirements.

    Earlier, on November 18, 2016, after years of negotiation, Vietnam and the EU reached an agreement in principle to work together towards reducing illegal wood exploitation, improving forest administration and promote legally-produced wood trade promotion via the Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA) on FLEGT.

    Nguyen To Uyen from the Cooperation Committee of the EU Delegation in Vietnam said though the VPA is just a bilateral agreement, its impacts will be beyond Vietnam’s border given the country’s centre role in the global trade of wood products.

    The signing of the VPA will help improve domestic standards and help enterprises access EU markets easier, she noted.

    In order to implement the VPA/FLEGT, Uyen said Vietnam must include the commitments in the VPA in relevant existing laws, emphasised the need to develop a system to define the legality of wood and wood products in the supply chain.

    Hanoi’s November CPI rises 0.47 percent

    Hanoi’s consumer price index (CPI) in November rose by 0.47 percent over October, according to the municipal statistics office.

    The index was up 5.45 percent compared to the same period last year.

    Price increases were seen in eight goods and services groups with the highest hike reported in transportation at 1.48 percent.

    Other groups recorded price increase were housing, electricity and water (0.53 percent); food and catering (0.46 percent); and other goods and services (0.36 percent).

    Prices increased slightly between 0.04 percent and 0.28 percent for medicines and health care services; cultural, recreational and tourism products; apparel, headwear and footwear; household devises and equipment.

    Prices of telecommunication, education services, beverages and tobacco remained stable in the reviewed period.

    The price of US dollar rose 0.17 percent, while the gold price dropped 2.14 percent against the previous month.

    Wood enterprises helped to meet EU requirements

    A conference was held in HCM City on November 30 to review a project on enhancing the capacity of small and medium-sized enterprises to meet requirements of the European Union Forest on Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEGT) Action Plan.

    Sponsored by the EU, the project has been implemented by the Vietnamese Sustainable Forest Management Institute (SFMI) in collaboration with the NEPCon, an international non-profit organisation.

    According to Ann Weddle, director of the project, after three years of implementation, the project has built a set of tools to support Vietnamese enterprises in meeting requirements on legal wood, enable them to work with the European Union businesses.

    It has compiled forestry legal risk profiles for Vietnam and five other countries that Vietnam imports wood from, she said, adding that the profiles helped Vietnamese companies access legal risks when importing wood from those countries, thus helping them export their products to the EU market easily.

    Representatives of participating enterprises said via the project, businesses were equipped with knowledge on legal wood and regulations of the EU and requirements of the FLEGT action plan.

    The set of tools is very useful as it assists enterprises in assessing and managing wood supplies, thus making them ready to meet the FLEGT requirements.

    Earlier, on November 18, 2016, after years of negotiation, Vietnam and the EU reached an agreement in principle to work together towards reducing illegal wood exploitation, improving forest administration and promote legally-produced wood trade promotion via the Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA) on FLEGT.

    Nguyen To Uyen from the Cooperation Committee of the EU Delegation in Vietnam said though the VPA is just a bilateral agreement, its impacts will be beyond Vietnam’s border given the country’s centre role in the global trade of wood products.

    The signing of the VPA will help improve domestic standards and help enterprises access EU markets easier, she noted.

    In order to implement the VPA/FLEGT, Uyen said Vietnam must include the commitments in the VPA in relevant existing laws, emphasised the need to develop a system to define the legality of wood and wood products in the supply chain.

    Local cement firm eyes Malaysian market for exports

    Vietnamese cement manufacturer Song Lam Cement Joint Stock Company is eyeing to export thousands of tons of clinker to Malaysia every month.

    Recently, the wholly owned subsidiary of Vissai Group, opened its first cement facility in the central province of Nghe An and now has exported its first shipment of clinker to a customer in the Malaysian market.

    The Song Lam Cement Plant has a capacity to produce 18,000 tons of clinker per day, said Nguyen Tien Dat, deputy director of Vissai Group.

    Its modernized production lines use state-of-the-art equipment of brands Loscher, IKN and ABB of Germany and Japan. 

    Vietlott to expand lottery reach, sales into Hanoi

    The Vietnam Lottery Company Vietlott has announced plans to launch a new computerized lottery game for the first time ever in Hanoi this coming December 5.

    A representative of Vietlott said the new lottery game will be sold through sales agents – Kim Ma, Thuy Khe and Ly Thuong Kiet. Initially, Vietlott plans to install 150 terminals at each sales point.

    Each computerized lottery ticket will sell for US$.44 (VND10,000). 

    VEF/VNA/VNS/VOV/SGT/SGGP/Dantri/VET/VIR


    0 0
  • 12/01/16--02:46: Article 0
  • "I still remember the heavy pressure of isolation": Vu Khoan


    2016 marks 30 years of Vietnam’s Doi Moi (renovation) and development period. From a low-income, underdeveloped country, Vietnam is now a middle-income country. From a country suffering from an embargo, Vietnam has normalized relations with almost all countries and participated extensively in international organizations. And its position in the international arena has improved. These achievements include the positive contribution of the diplomatic sector. VietNamNet talks with former Deputy PM Vu Khoan about the 30 years of Doi Moi.


     30 years of renovation, a look from the diplomatic sector of vietnam, vu khoan, renovation period, doi moi, Government news, Vietnam breaking news, politic news, vietnamnet bridge, english news, Vietnam news, news Vietnam, vietnamnet news, Vietnamnet

    The year 2016 marks the 30-year journey of Vietnam’s renovation and development. As one who has made major contributions to the country’s foreign affairs, in your opinion, what is the actual basis of renovation in the field of foreign affairs? How was the country’s context at that time?

    The foreign policy always comes from the interests and the needs of the country as well as the global situation and major trends in the world. For our country, there were three remarkable stories in the late 80s of the 20th century.

    Firstly, our country was in a severe social-economic crisis. At that time Vietnam underwent a galloping inflation. In 1986 alone the price index increased by nearly 800%.

    At that time I worked at the Vietnam Embassy in the Soviet Union. I bought a bicycle from the Soviet Union, brought it to Vietnam and sold it as a savings. But after the country changed the banknotes, the money I earned from selling the bicycle was only enough to purchase ten eggs. I took this example in order to show you how hard life was at that period.

    In that context, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs considered contributing to curb inflation as the most important task. The Foreign Minister at the time - Mr. Nguyen Co Thach - tasked us to learn experience from other countries of the world against inflation in order to help handle inflation in Vietnam.

    Secondly, since 1979, our country fell into political isolation and economic blockade on the pretext of "Vietnam sent troops to invade Cambodia".

    Actually, it was the disguised excuse because Vietnamese voluntary soldiers sacrificed their blood to help the Cambodian people escape from genocide.

    At that time, Vietnamese diplomats attending international conferences were completely isolated, especially those who represented Vietnam at the United Nations because at all meetings, the Cambodian issue was used to attack Vietnamese representatives.

    I was assigned to handle the issue related to boat people. Once I led a delegation to a conference in Kuala Lumpur on this topic and until now I still remember the feeling of being isolated at the conference and the heavy pressure I suffered there.

    Thirdly, the main allies of our country at that time were the Soviet Union and Eastern European countries. In the late 80s of the 20th century, these countries fell into deep crisis. In 1989, the Berlin Wall collapsed and in 1991, the Soviet Union disintegrated. The dissolution of the socialist community caused serious impact on our country because aid from these countries accounted for around 70% of Vietnam’s budget.

    At that time Chairman of the Council of Ministers Do Muoi convened an emergency meeting to discuss economic policies to cope with the situation. Mr. Do Muoi said that the country's economic situation was very difficult and the vital commodities such as iron and steel, petroleum, fertilizers ... were nearly out of stock and he asked all sectors to find ways and solutions.

    I mentioned the three above characteristics in order to show how difficult the situation was at that time. It is said that foreign policy is the continuation of domestic policy. In my opinion, it is true, but not enough. We need to understand that foreign policy is a supporter of domestic policy.

    The 6th National Party Congress was held at a time with the above characteristics and it introduced very new and breakthrough perspectives which is called renovation thinking.

    As for the foreign policy, for the first time the Party’s documents mentioned the internationalization process and said that the world was forming a market economy, in which economies both cooperated and competed with each other. These renovation ideas are so important. Without them Vietnam would have not had the open-door policy that later we called international economic integration.

    After the 6th National Party Congress, the world situation was very complicated and the Party and the State made many important policies.

    For example, the Party and the State stressed that the supreme interests of the country is taking advantage of the peaceful conditions for development and since then decided to withdraw Vietnamese troops from Cambodia, to promote the process of finding a peaceful solution for the Cambodian issue, to normalize relations with China, the US and ASEAN countries ...

    Such policies have laid the foundations for the country’s foreign policy for the past 30 years.

    We understand that the 6th National Party Congress just introduced the ideas, and the 7th Party Congress really made the breakthrough with the formation of the foreign policy for the renovation period. Is that correct?

    Yes. The 6th National Party Congress launched a comprehensive renewal process for both domestic and foreign relations. However, for the foreign policy alone, the Congress only offered some new approaches, not forming a comprehensive policy.

    Until the 7th National Party Congress, the foreign policy based on the renovation spirit was formed. In particular, the 3rd conference of the 7th Central Party Committee adopted a resolution on foreign policy, politically and economically. Thus we can say that the 7th Party Congress is an important milestone in the country’s renovation in foreign policy.

    The ideas of the 6th Party Congress opened the road and broke down dogmatic and backward thinking.

    Could you further analyze the new features in the foreign policy of the renovation period?

    The foreign policy during the renovation period contains many new things.

    Any country in the world, since ancient times, pursued the three goals in foreign relations: maintaining independence and sovereignty, taking advantage of favorable international conditions for economic development, and improving the position of the country.

    During the renovation period, we also identified these three key objectives. They were bound together, interacting with each other, in which the mission of taking advantage of the favorable international conditions for economic development defined as the central task because in domestic policy, social-economic development was considered as the key one.

    This does not mean that we loosened the goal of defending independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity and enhancing the position of the country. It is only the issue of arranging the order of priorities.

    To accomplish the above objectives, the key ideas of the foreign policy must be identified. The Party and the State set national interests as paramount and the key ideology. It does not mean that we pursued narrow-minded nationalism. We have always recognized our international responsibility of contributing to the cause of peace, national independence, democracy and social progress in the world.

    According to the above guiding ideology, we have always pursued the goal of national independence and socialism. And how to accomplish that goal, we applied the thought of President Ho Chi Minh of “firm in objectives, flexible in strategies and tactics”. Nowadays, these things have become very familiar, but 30 years ago they were breakthrough ideas.

    Besides the identification of objectives and guiding ideology, the Party set out a series of guiding ideologies.

    If earlier we followed the guideline of completely standing in the socialist community, in the renovation period, when the Socialist community no longer existed, we pursued the policy of diversification and multilateralisation of international relationships. This was also consistent with the general trend of the world after the Cold War era.

    We also identified that in international relations, there are always two sides: cooperation and struggle. In fact in today's world every country pursues its own interests. Sometimes those interests are similar but sometimes they are different. Later, we clarified the relationship between "partners" and "subjects".

    That means there are still problems between partners and similar interests between rivals. So we need to have a dialectical attitude in international relations. Generally, we try to expand cooperation with other countries but we must be dependent; differences or conflicts must be solved by diplomatic and peaceful measures to avoid disruption of international relations.

    Another policy that Vietnam pursues is "more friends, fewer enemies." Therefore, since the 7th National Party Congress, Vietnam has raised the motto “Vietnam wants to be a friend and a partner with countries around the world” and we have built strategic and comprehensive partnership relations, including all big countries in the world. This thought was mentioned by President Ho Chi Minh in 1946 when he affirmed that Vietnam wants to be friends with democratic countries, and we don’t want to cause animosity toward anyone.

    In international relations, we made an important adjustment to giving priority to cooperation with neighboring countries in Southeast Asia in particular and Asia Pacific in general, and attaching importance to relations with major countries in the world. This does not mean that we neglect relations with traditional friendly countries, independent states and the forces loving peace and justice in the world.

    A major policy during the renovation period is the policy of international integration. Actually, the phrase "international economic integration" appeared in 1996 at the 8th National Party Congress and since the 10th National Party Congress we have talked about the policy of international integration in general, not only international economic integration.

    As everyone knows, our country has entered the period of extensive international integration with a series of agreements on free trade areas with 55 countries. Vietnam also participates very actively in the world’s political, security, culture and social institutions.

    The correct policy is very important, but in the diplomatic service, the “movement” is decisive, not just the policy. How did we make a “diplomatic move” in the renovation period?

    Yes, for the successful implementation of the policy, in foreign affairs the “movement” is very important.

    After the 6th National Party Congress, the Party and the State decided to give priority to solve the Cambodian issue.

    In this direction, we actively completed withdrawal of troops from Cambodia, paving the way for the Paris Conference on Cambodia issues. That was the breakthrough to escape from isolation and embargo.

    Taking advantage of that breakthrough, we have normalized relations with many countries in the world.

    I still remember that at that time the Politburo decided to conduct a series of high-level visits to many countries. The only problem is the order of visits.

    Under the decision of the Politburo, a Vietnamese delegation led by Chairman of the Council of Ministers Vo Van Kiet visited several Southeast Asian nations while General Party Secretary Do Muoi and Chairman of the Council of Ministers Vo Van Kiet visited China, and then Japan, Australia, New Zealand and Europe.

    In that situation, the United States gradually lifted the embargo against Vietnam. In 1995 the two countries officially established diplomatic relations.

    These are important milestones marking the escape from isolation and the embargo against Vietnam.

    In international integration, we have moved step by step, from low to high: normalizing relations with international monetary organizations, joining ASEAN in 1995, ASEM in 1996, APEC in 1998, WTO in 2006 and signing a bilateral trade agreement with the United States in 2000.

    Ky Duyen - Lan Anh - Huynh Phan, VNN


    0 0
  • 12/02/16--00:56: Article 3
  • US energy giant to prospect Vietnam's largest gas field


    The Vietnamese government has just allowed US energy giant ExxonMobil to join in with the Vietnam National Oil and Gas Group (Petrovietnam) in Ca Voi Xanh, the largest gas field found so far in the East Sea.

    According to the Government Office, Deputy PM Trinh Dinh Dung on Thursday had a meeting with ExxonMobil's vice president, Paul Greenwood, in which Dung urged the Ministry of Industry and Trade to work with Petrovietnam and ExxonMobil on the project.

     
    Deputy PM Trinh Dinh Dung (right) met with ExxonMobil's vice president, Paul Greenwood in Hanoi on December 1 to talk about the Ca Voi Xanh project

    Dung stressed the importance of the project in meeting the rising demand for gas in generating electricity.

    Paul Greenwood said that they were in the final process of discussions with the Vietnamese parties and would soon start the project once completed.

    The Ca Voi Xanh gas field is located about 100km off the coast of the central Quang Nam Province. ExxonMobil found hydrocarbons while drilling in the field in 2011.

    It is estimated that Ca Voi Xanh holds reserves of 150 billion cubic metres of natural gas, which is three times bigger than the combined reserves of the country’s two most productive gas fields, Lan Tay and Lan Do, in the southern Nam Con Son Basin.

    PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc recently approved construction of four gas-fired power plants with total capacity of 3,000 MW which will use gas from Ca Voi Xanh.

    According to their plan, PVN and ExxonMobil will produce the first gas from Ca Voi Xanh by 2021. It is hoped the field will produce about 10 billion cubic metres of natural gas a year.

    dtinews.vn


    0 0
  • 12/02/16--01:19: Article 2
  • BUSINESS IN BRIEF 2/12


    Interbank rates for Vietnam dong loans surge


     Image result for tien te 

    Interest rates for Vietnam dong loans on the interbank market rose sharply in the first two days of the week, especially for short tenors.

    The overnight rate stood at 1.7% per annum last Thursday but nearly doubled to 3.2% on Tuesday. Meanwhile, the one-week rate climbed from 1.8% to 3.2%, the two-week rate from 2% to 3.5%, the three-week rate from 2.3% to 3.6% and the one-month rate from 2.6% to 3.8%.

    These interest rate spikes are seen as normal because banks are increasing their Vietnam dong liquidity ahead of their earnings releases at the end of the month. Banks said despite the rising rates, liquidity in the banking system has remained good.

    On open market operations (OMO), the State Bank of Vietnam (SBV) on Monday held auctions for 14-day and 28-day treasury bills with a respective value of VND3 trillion and VND5 trillion but found no buyers. 

    With VND150 billion of bills falling due, outstanding bills dropped to VND78.01 trillion. The rise of the U.S. dollar against the Vietnam dong was behind the SBV’s net withdrawals from OMO over the past few weeks.

    Banks attributed rising dong transactions and interest rates to a possible pickup in interest rates at the end of the year when borrowing demand is normally strong. Enterprises will need more cash ahead of the New Year holiday in late January, so banks are holding back on dong lending on the interbank market.

    Meanwhile, the annual overnight rate for U.S. dollar loans inched up to 0.6%, the one-week rate to 0.72%, the two-week rate to 0.83% and the one-month rate to 1.12%.

    Increasing interest rates for Vietnam dong loans have led the dollar to weaken against the domestic currency in recent days. 

    The central bank has said it would sell dollars to keep the foreign exchange market stable. However, it has not sold dollars over the past two weeks. The dong briefly dipped to record lows against the greenback recently.  

    A number of banks forecast treasury bills worth a combined VND14 trillion would fall due this week and that the dong-dollar exchange rate would remain volatile.  Tumbling dollar supply would lead interest rates for both dong and dollar loans to stay at current levels or inch up on the interbank market.

    SHB clinches credit deal with PV Power

    Saigon-Hanoi Bank (SHB) announced that it had signed a VND2 trillion credit line for PetroVietnam Power Corporation (PV Power).

    In the deal PV Power will use credit from the bank to fund its operations of Vung Ang 1 thermal power plant and the 500kV power distribution station of the Vung Ang Power Center in the central province of Ha Tinh.

    The credit line comes with a term of 12 years.

    Vung Ang 1, with total investment capital of over VND29.5 trillion (US$1.3 billion), is the largest thermal power station in central Vietnam. The 1,200MW facility can generate 7.2 billion kWh per year for the national grid, helping to ensure energy security for the country.

    PV Power, a unit of Vietnam National Oil and Gas Group (PVN), has total chartered capital of more than VND21,000 billion. As of end-June this year, PV Power had had total assets of over VND71.5 trillion, and reported total revenue of some VND11.7 trillion and pre-tax profit of VND1,220 billion.

    Stock market cap expected to rise 1.7-fold in next two years

    Vietnam’s equity market capitalization may increase nearly 1.7 times in the next two years, backed by the equitization of more State-owned enterprises (SOEs), State capital divestments and the listings of big groups and corporations on the stock exchange. 

    VNDIRECT Securities Corporation made this prediction in a report released on November 30.

    Stock market capitalization is forecast to climb from 38.5% of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) in 2016 to 46.5% of GDP in 2017 and 56.3% of GDP in 2018.

    VNDIRECT analysts said in the report that the Government’s target to raise the stock market capitalization to 70% of GDP by 2020 is obtainable.   

    The Government has stepped up the initial public offering (IPO) process, State capital divestments from sectors that the State has no needs to hold controlling stakes and the listings of equitized firms.

    Besides, more groups and corporations have floated shares on the stock exchange, which will cause the equity market capitalization to surge.

    The brokerage said 19 big enterprises such as Saigon Beer-Alcohol-Beverage Corporation, Vietnam National Textile and Garment Group, and Novaland Group, which will list shares on the stock exchange in the coming time, have a combined market capitalization of over VND611.4 trillion (US$27.1 billion). The sum is equivalent to about 35% of Vietnam’s stock market capitalization at present.  

    By early November, the local equity market capitalization had reached VND1,770 trillion, or 38.5% of GDP. Since early this year, it has edged up nearly 18%.

    VNDIRECT said the home market is still small compared to other ASEAN markets.

    The Hochiminh Stock Exchange (HOSE) saw its market capitalization surpassing VND1,378 trillion, accounting for 78% of the country’s total. Companies on the market for unlisted public companies (UPCoM) have capitalization risen 74% over the previous month and 4.24 times since the beginning of the year.

    Airports Corporation of Vietnam and Hanoi Alcohol Beer and Beverage Company, whose market capitalization is huge, have floated shares on UPCoM, making it the second biggest stock exchange by market capitalization in Vietnam.    

    Given the Government’s stance that big SOEs must list on the stock exchange before the State divest capital from them, Vietnam’s stock market capitalization will rise strongly in the coming time, especially those on UPCoM and HOSE.   

    Under Decree 145/2016/ND-CP, all businesses, especially State-owned enterprises (SOEs) that have launched their IPOs but have not registered transactions and listed their shares on the stock market, will face an administrative fine of up to VND400 million. The decree came into force on December 15.

    The Ministry of Finance issued Circular 115/2016/TT-BTC to amend Circular 196/2011/TT-BTC to guide the IPO process and the use and management of the proceeds from State stake sales.

    From November 1, firms that have gone public must coordinate with the stock exchanges and Vietnam Securities Depository to register for depository and listings with specific timetables. SOEs must register their IPO auctions and listings on UPCoM at the same time.

    HCMC to ensure sufficient goods supply at Tet


     Interbank rates for Vietnam dong loans surge, SHB clinches credit deal with PV Power, Stock market cap expected to rise 1.7-fold in next two years, HCMC proposes 36-hole golf course in Can Gio

    Goods supply for the upcoming Lunar New Year holiday (Tet) in HCMC is forecast to abound but city authorities should closely coordinate to cope with any signs of goods scarcity and price rises, said Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Ho Thi Kim Thoa.

    Preparations for stocking up on goods for Tet early next year are 80% complete, Pham Thanh Kien, director of the city’s Department of Industry and Trade, told a working meeting with Thoa on Tuesday.

    Local firms have more than VND17 trillion (US$749 million) worth of products ready for the holiday, up by VND860 billion over the same period last year, Kien said.

    The total value of products under the city’s price stabilization program is over VND6.8 trillion. They include many items in high demand such as meat, poultry, egg, sugar, cooking oil, rice and processed food.

    Particularly, local companies have stored goods worth VND9.7 trillion for the peak pre-Tet shopping period from December 29 to January 27, including more than VND3.76 trillion worth of products under the price stabilization program.    

    Kien said participating companies have promised to keep prices stable before and after Tet. They will offer discounts on essential goods such as pork, poultry and egg.

    Nguyen Nguyen Phuong, head of trade management at the HCMC Department of Industry and Trade, said district-level economic management divisions and authorities of traditional wet markets have asked vendors to ink price stabilization commitments.

    Deputy Minister Thoa said the department should work with manufacturers and distributors to take measures to ensure food safety and hygiene during the busiest holiday shopping season.

    The department should launch more inspections to keep substandard products from circulating on the market, she said.

    According to the department, consumers can trace the origin of pork thanks to a mobile phone app or a device available at more than 500 selling points from December 10. The pilot project is being implemented by the city’s Department of Industry and Trade. 

    HCMC proposes 36-hole golf course in Can Gio

    The government of HCMC has asked the Ministry of Planning and Investment to seek Prime Minister’s approval for a 36-hole golf course covering over 135 hectares in the city’s outlying coastal district of Can Gio.

    In a written petition sent to the ministry, the city proposed adding the golf course project in Long Hoa Commune and Can Thanh Town to the country’s golf course development plan until 2020.

    According to the proposal, Can Gio Tourism Urban Area Joint Stock Company (CTC), a unit of Vietnamese real estate giant Vingroup, would develop the project at a total cost of around VND900 billion (US$39.7 million), excluding site clearance cost and loan interest.

    The site where the golf course would go up would be reclaimed land in Long Hoa Commune, so the project would not encroach on agricultural land, protected forests and areas planned for industrial park development and special use, according to the city.

    The municipal government is pinning high hopes that the project would give an impetus to the development of the poor district of Can Gio.

    The golf course is expected to help fuel the city’s gross domestic product (GDP) growth, restructure the local economy, and create 300-400 jobs for locals. It would become a destination for domestic and international tourists.

    CTC has pledged to comply with the current regulations in the process of implementing the project, and employ local residents, especially those affected by the project.

    In addition, they would use advanced technical solutions to treat wastewater and take care of grass in a way that protects the environment.

    The company would complete work on the project in two years after it receives land from the city.

    The city came up with a major plan to develop a new urban area on reclaimed land around 15 years ago but the plan faced long delays. In mid-2015, the city took on Vingroup as a strategic partner and then permitted CTC to do a scale-1/200 zoning plan for the new urban area which would cover 1,080 hectares, up from the original 600 hectares.

    The additional space would house a golf course, a movie production studio and a helipad.

    Can Gio has over 70,000 hectares of mangrove forest, water coconut trees and canals. It is regarded as the green lung of HCMC, with half of its area recognized in 2000 by UNESCO as a biosphere reserve.

    Xiamen Airlines launches service from China to HCM City

    Xiamen Airlines has launched launched a new service between Xiamen City in China’s  Fujian Province and HCM City.

    The daily Boeing 737– 800 flights provide eight business class seats and 161 economy class ones.

    The flights leave Xiamen at 8pm and arrive in HCM City at midnight.

    CMC Telecom, HGC launch global cloud computing service     

    Hutchison Global Communications (HGC) and CMC Telecommunication Infrastructure Corporation (CMC Telecom) on Wednesday launched ibizCloud service, a one-stop global cloud computing service that includes infrastructure and bandwidth, in Ha Noi.

    HGC’s ibizCloud will simplify the management of transmission and storage of huge volumes of data and is aimed at multinationals and local corporations.

    HGC, the fixed-line operating division of Hutchison Telecommunications Hong Kong Holdings Limited, is responsible for the cloud design and instant and international network connectivity, while CMC Telecom provides local connectivity and branding for ibizCloud in Viet Nam. The service has been customised to suit the Vietnamese market and satisfy the demand for easy data exchange.

    Businesses in Viet Nam will benefit from a cloud computing approach to data management and storage without making hefty, upfront investments in infrastructure. Other advantages for customers include lower cost of ownership and shorter time to market.

    Andrew Kwok, president of international and carrier business at Hutchison Telecommunications Hong Kong Holdings Limited, said: “The cooperation offers a remarkable opportunity to provide local and international corporate customers with a highly secure global cloud service. Creation of a cloud site in Ha Noi has further strengthened our position in the Greater Mekong sub-region. It is another successful example of HGC’s niche market strategy.” 

    French tech Vietnam now part of int’l French tech hub     

    French Tech Vietnam has become a member of an international community of French entrepreneurs known as the French Tech Hub.

    On the occasion of a visit to Montreal in October, Manuel Valls, the prime minister of Rance, praised French technology companies in Viet Nam for their dynamism and their creativity and said they were now part of the French Tech Hub.

    French Tech Hub Vietnam joins an existing network composed of 22 other hubs, including Abidjan, Barcelona, Hong Kong, New York, Seoul and Tokyo.

    This is an opportunity for French-Vietnamese companies to enter the same network as companies that have achieve a global success such as BlaBlaCar, Critéo and Talend.

    The French tech community includes entrepreneurs, investors, engineers and leaders.

    French Tech Viet has more than 1,500 members and a dozen projects.

    Several French Tech Hub projects in Viet Nam were introduced at the launch event held on December 1 at the French Consulate in HCM City with more than 120 guests. 

    Forum calls for digitising VN banking     

    The banking sector has been developing rapidly but it needs to do more, especially to ensure sustainable development of digital banking, a conference heard in HCM City on December 1.

    Nguyen Toan Thang, the general secretary of the Viet Nam Banks Association, told the 2016 Viet Nam Retail Banking Forum: " is now affecting all aspects of life, and the Vietnamese banking sector must enhance digital banking and ensure security.”

    Ha Huy Tuan, the deputy chairman of the Viet Nam National Financial Supervisory Commission, said: “Nowadays, due to the IT boom, digital banking is becoming the new trend in retail banking, and [while] it offers commercial banks many opportunities, it also poses challenges to their managers.

    “Digital banking is inescapable but information safety is a huge challenge to ensure which requires the great effort from the banking sector,” said Tuan.

    The forum, titled “Building your bank and driving profitable customer engagement in the digital world”, discussed key issues the banking industry needs to focus on and analysed them to offer innovative solutions for IT applications to develop digital banking, improve service quality and acquire customers’ trust.

    Dr Can Van Luc from the Bank for Investment and Development of Việt Nam (BIDV) said in Viet Nam 44 per cent of bank customers used the internet and mobile banking.

    “Significant internet access and a remarkable growth in the number of mobile devices are two important factors promoting digital banking around the world.

    “In Viet Nam, more than 47 million people access the internet, there are 143 million mobile phone subscribers and 29 million members accessing social media on mobile devices.”

    He said people born after 1990 are especially cyber-savvy and are prospective customers for digital banking.

    There are three main factors that affect Vietnamese banking customers’ satisfaction – quality of the network, convenience and security, he said.

    “Vietnamese banks have to build a digital business strategy.

    “Digitising all connections with customers, digitisation their products and services and taking advantage of digital technologies to create new products and services are imperative to create a digital bank.”

    Maya Barkay from Amdocs Mobile Financial Service said six key forces are reshaping the banking and payments industries: a growing middle class, millennial disruption, need for financial inclusion, evolving technologies and market shifts, the ubiquity of mobile and regulatory shifts.

    “Banks must quickly shift from product-centric to customer-centric banking.”

    Matthew Martin, chief information officer at Asia Commercial Bank, spoke about omnichannel, a cross-channel business model that companies use to improve the customer experience.

    “Omnichannel provides a consistent and connected experience over each and every touch point whether self-directed or assisted.

    “It is about the way customers want to conduct their financial transactions.”

    The Viet Nam Retail Banking Forum (previously known as the ASEAN Banker Forum) is one of the most prestigious regional forums for bank executives, technology experts, finance specialists and those providing IT solutions for the banking industry.

    It seeks to discuss key issues in which banks are interested and come up with solutions to improve their operational performance.

    It is organised by the Viet Nam Banks Association and International Data Group (IDG Viet Nam). 

    Consumer spending soars as new year holiday nears


     
         

    Consumer spending in November posted a significant year-on-year increase as the Tet (Lunar New Year) holiday neared.

    According to the General Statistics Office (GSO), total retail sales of goods and services in November totalled more than VND302.9 trillion (US$13.5 billion), representing a rise of 1.9 per cent over the previous month and a 10.4 per cent increase over November 2015.

    Retail sales of goods accounted for more than 76 per cent of the total value.

    Vu Manh Ha, GSO’s analyst on the domestic economy, said November witnessed strong purchasing power as the shopping season for Tet holiday would arrive earlier than normal. The holiday will fall in early February 2017; usually it is later in the month.

    Strong purchasing was seen in wedding, house repair and beauty care products.

    Total retail value for the 11 months of this year touched VND3.2 quadrillion, rising by 9.5 per cent over the same period last year. If inflation was excluded, the rate would be 7.6 per cent, lower than the 8.3 per cent rate for the same period of 2015, due to the higher consumer price index (CPI).

    Statistics showed that CPI grew at 4.5 per cent in the 11 months of this year compared with only 0.58 per cent in the same period of 2015.

    Purchasing power was strong in major cities such as Ha Noi, HCM City and Vung Tau, with increasing rates of more than 10 per cent. 

    SIMA ASEAN Thailand 2017 scheduled for September     

    The third annual SIMA ASEAN Thailand international agricultural trade show, to be held in Bangkok in September 2017, will attract 20,000 trade visitors and create business opportunities for all participants.

    The event is considered as a bridge that will enhance economic, trade and investment relations between Viet Nam, Thailand and the ASEAN Economic Community.

    More than 400 Thai and international agricultural companies are expected to take part in the trade show, which will be held at the Impact Exhibition Centre from September 8 to 10. It will have an indoor exhibition area of 13,500sqm and outdoor area of 10,000sqm, Tita Kanittanon, assistant marketing manager at Impact Exhibition Management Co. Ltd., one of the organisers, said.

    SIMA will offer a comprehensive range of products and services, such as tractors, spare parts and accessories, embedded electronics, tilling, sowing, planting, harvesting and post-harvest equipment, equipment for tropical and special crops, handling, transportation, storage and breeding equipment, renewable energy, consultancy, management and software.

    Kanittanon said the idea for SIMA came from an exhibition in France. It aims to connect businesses in the agricultural and food processing sectors in the ASEAN region. More than 20,000 professional trade visitors from agricultural cooperatives, machinery traders, marketing board, product distributors and supply shops are expected to visit across the three days, she added.

    On the sidelines, there will be a conference on sustainable farming by the Agricultural and Food Marketing Association for Asia and the Pacific (AFMA) & Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations.

    The SIMA ASEAN Thailand 2016 opened on September 8 at the IMPACT Exhibition and Convention Centre and IMPACT Lakeside in Bangkok. On display was a comprehensive range of innovative agricultural technologies and equipment such as inputs, traction, soil working equipment, plant treatment, harvesting, irrigation, storage, breeding equipment and spare parts.

    With a combined indoor and outdoor exhibition space of 21,500sqm and more than 300 global brands participating, visitors were able to experience all the latest products and innovations. It attracted more than 13,000 trade visitors from 40 countries, such as Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan and Viet Nam. Around 100 VIP buyers from 12 countries generated around 700 business meetings during the event.

    The Vietnamese delegation of 22 business members of the French Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Viet Nam and 15 other firms initiated effective trade exchanges at the exhibition this year. 

    Location markers dire for branding     

    Geographical markers are going to be a crucial factor in the effective branding of Vietnamese products in a market economy on the verge of comprehensive global economic integration, a senior official said yesterday.

    Tran Thi Phuong Lan, Deputy Director of the Ha Noi Department of Industry and Trade, also told a conference held in Ha Noi that enterprises and localities were showing greater awareness of the issue.

    The conference on market and branding development using geographical markers was jointly organised by the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT) and the Ha Noi People’s Committee.

    It sought to increase understanding of the issue and come up with policy orientations for promoting Vietnamese agricultural products as well as regional food specialties.

    Lan said businesses and traditional craft villages are paying more attention to advice from relevant institutions on geographical markers and branding registration.

    They recognise that consumers are moving towards higher quality products with assurance of their origins and recognised brand names, she said.

    Producers are more interested now in putting sustainably developed registered products on the market.

    Held on the sideline of the 2016 Regional Specialties Fair, the conference aimed at realistic evaluations of both domestic and foreign models to advise businesses on building their own geographical markers and adding value to their products.

    Experts at the conference instructed local businesses on legal procedures related to geographical markers so that the latter could better understand the branding concept and build a sound management platform for their regional specialty products.

    The conference was also aimed at increasing the contribution of Vietnamese small and medium businesses to the national export turnover through added efficiency in trade assistance services at regional and local levels.

    Building a concrete and reliable geographical marker for local brands and products is a realistic need and an efficient marketing and trade promotion tool, experts said.

    This requires long term investment as well as requires the commitment and effort from all stakeholders including producers, distributors and authorities from local to central.

    The conference was part of an official development assistance programme sponsored by the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) from 2013 to 2017 to help small and medium businesses in Viet Nam increase their export competitiveness through local trade promotion frameworks.

    The programme is administrated by the Viet Nam Trade Promotion Agency and the MoIT.

    Geographical markers are a chief concern for local authorities and businesses, because they can elevate regional products to the national level and gain access to consumers across the country, before seeking international markets. They would boost the nation’s status on global commerce and garner international recognition for the country’s traditional products.

    Aside from the commercial significance, geographical markers and local brand name registration for regional products will also serve as efficient legal protection for domestic products, ensure the prestige of Vietnamese products, and limit infringements of intellectual property right.

    This, in turn, would effectively prevent consumers from being cheated and encourage farmers, regional producers and businesses to co-operate on developing local specialties, the conference heard. 

    Officials bolster fake goods fight     

    Deputy Prime Minister Truong Hoa Binh has ordered ministries to constantly review laws and regulations on trading to consolidate the legal framework for the fight against fake goods.

    Addressing a meeting on the Day against Counterfeit Goods in Ha Noi on Wednesday, the Deputy PM also urged customs and border guard forces to intensify efforts to prevent the import of such goods through both official and unofficial channels.

    Businesses should co-operate with relevant agencies in market management, improve their own distribution networks and get ready to provide information to law enforcement forces in order to assist with the detection and punishment of violations, he said.

    He requested the Viet Nam Association for Anti-counterfeiting and Trademark Protection (VATAP) to contribute feedback and recommendations to the process of building regulations in the field. However, smuggling, trade fraud and counterfeit goods are still rampant, causing great concern in society.

    Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade, Tran Quoc Khanh, also hailed the achievements of authorities and businesses in preventing and controlling trading of counterfeit and poor quality goods as well as their efforts in building and protecting brand names. 

    However, Khanh said the results had not met requirements and targets of the Government and consumers. The market in general and companies and consumers in particular still faced the threat of fake goods and intellectual property right violations, especially goods relating to food safety, health, environment and breeding in the agricultural sector.

    He asked relevant agencies to promote the fight against counterfeit goods and intellectual property right violations. Industry and trade should focus on key markets and products such as fertilisers, functional food and cosmetics to make clear changes in the future.

    In addition, the deputy minister asked for enhanced co-operation among authorities with associations, businesses, media and consumers to put up an effective fight against the issues.

    “Businesses should be more active in joining the fight, especially in market control, distribution systems and collecting information to support authorities discovering and resolving the violations,” he added.

    According to Dam Thanh The, Standing Office Chief of the National Steering Committee for Combating Against Smuggling, Commercial Frauds and Counterfeit Goods, the market management force has carried out 145,000 inspections so far this year and detected 88,000 cases of trading and transport of counterfeit goods. 

    Vietnam-RoK trade, cultural festival opens in HCM City


     

    A culture and trade exchange festival between Vietnam and the Republic of Korea (RoK) officially opened in Ho Chi Minh City on December 1.

    The event features a trade fair of agricultural produce, cosmetics and medicine alongside a cultural festival.

    Organised by the Korean province of Gyeongsangbuk and the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the exchange programme saw the participation of businesses from both countries.

    Gyeongsangbuk’s deputy mayor Woo Byung Yoon said the event aims to boost mutual understanding, business partnerships and import-export between the RoK and Vietnam.

    Park Noh Wan, the RoK’s Consul General in HCM City, said the RoK considered Vietnam as a strategic partner in all fields for mutual growth and benefits. 

    Meanwhile, Le Thanh Liem, Vice Chairman of the HCM City People’s Committee, noted that the RoK organised the largest number of economic and cultural exchange festivals in Vietnam this year as compared to other countries. 

    Currently, there are about 4,500 Korean companies operating in Vietnam, with combined investment totaling 50 billion USD. 

    Bilateral trade revenue is expected to hit 40 billion USD in 2016, the highest figure ever recorded to date.

    Deputy PM hosts ExxonMobil Group’s Vice President

    Deputy Prime Minister Trinh Dinh Dung on December 1 greeted Vice President of ExxonMobil Group Paul Greenwood, who is in Vietnam to evaluate the development of the Ca Voi Xanh (Blue Whale) natural gas field in the central region. 

    At the meeting in Hanoi, Dung spoke highly of efforts made by the Ministry of Industry and Trade, the Vietnam National Oil and Gas Group (PetroVietnam) and ExxonMobil Group during the implementation of the project. 

    He stressed that the early production of gas from the field is significant as it will help meet the increasing demand for production and commercial consumption. 

    Therefore, the Deputy PM suggested the group coordinate with the Ministry of Industry and Trade and PetroVietnam to promptly conclude negotiations on the remaining contents, ensuring the pace of the project. 

    Paul Greenwood said his group is accelerating the negotiations with the Vietnamese side to reach the final consensus.

    He noted his wish that the Vietnamese Government will create favourable conditions for the early realisation of the agreements.

    ExxonMobil is a multinational oil company headquartered in Irving City, Texas.

    BIDV wins best retail bank award 2016

    The Bank for Investment and Development of Vietnam (BIDV) has been the only bank to receive the Best Retail Bank title of the 2016 Vietnam Outstanding Banking Awards. 

    The honour was presented to the bank at a ceremony jointly held by the International Data Group (IDG) and the Vietnam Banks Association (VNBA) in Ho Chi Minh City on December 1. 

    Addressing the ceremony, a representative from BIDV, said the award acknowledges achievements the bank has recorded in the retail banking services over the past decade, stressing that the bank has conducted various reforms in this field. 

    Le Doan Hop, IDG President, said the award, first launched in 2012, aims to honour banks and banking service suppliers which have made outstanding contributions to the development of the banking sector and the financial sphere in general. 

    Winners of other titles such as the Best Online Bank, the Bank for Community, the Best Information Security Bank, and the Most Innovative Products and Services Award, among others, were also announced on this occasion.

    Last year, BIDV, which has 1,813 ATMs, was named the Best Online Bank.

    Food processing segment to blossom in coming years

    A positive business climate and an emerging middle class are propelling investors to look at Vietnam as a major destination for investments in the food processing industry, says the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MOIT).

    Speaking at a recent investment forum held on the margins of Vietnam Foodexpo 2016 in Ho Chi Minh City, Deputy Minister Ho Thi Kim Thoa of the MOIT said the segment is in a growing phase with the domestic sector struggling to keep pace.

    The food processing segment is super healthy, said Ms Thoa, adding that market analysts have forecast the industry will average growth rates ranging 5-6% every year in the foreseeable future.

    The key influencers for the bright outlook are related to the fact that agriculture is the main source of income for over half of the Vietnam total population and the government is doing a lot to improve working conditions, innovation and productivity in farming.

    In addition, the food processing industry in the country has access to an abundance of raw materials allowing the marketplace to offer a wide variety of products. Rising disposable incomes of households across the country are also a plus.

    Notably, she said, there is an increasingly health consciousness driving demand for nutritious products that shows no sign of abating. Many market analysts have projected the organic food industry will grow threefold by 2020.

    Bui Huy Son, director general of the Vietnam Trade Promotion Agency, in turn told the audience that food consumption has been projected to grow at an 18.6% clip annually through 2019.

    Additionally, he said the Vietnam government has picked up the pace of equitization of State-owned businesses, which directly impacts opportunities for the food processing segment.

    The State Capital Investment Corporation has stocks of more than 200 individual companies on the auction block, of which 50 are in the food industry. The Government getting out of the industry, presents a great opportunity for private businesses to jump in.

    For his part, Dang Xuan Quang, deputy director of the Foreign Investment Agency, said the segment has attracted US$7.6 billion of FDI, which has been concentrated in areas such as handling, packaging, processing, transporting and marketing of food and agricultural products.

    He noted the transnational companies that have invested in Vietnam have primarily been those based out of Thailand, Taiwan, Malaysia, Korea, and China with very little coming from companies in Japan, the US, Australia or the EU.

    Lastly, Claudio Dordi, the technical assistance team leader of the European Trade Policy and Investment Support Project, noted the Vietnam-EU free trade agreement signed last year is set to come into force in 2018.

    The new economic free trade region created by the agreement combined with the increasing demand for hygiene and food safety makes the segment a win-win for Vietnam and the EU.

    He expects the food processing segment to blossom over the coming years and believes there will be an influx of investment from the EU.

    FTA commitments open opportunity for Vietnam

    Joining the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and signing a Vietnam-EU Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) will create an opportunity for Vietnam to bring its intellectual property rules in line with international standards.

    A Vietnam-EU Free Trade Agreement will have a significant impact on Vietnam’s economic and legal institutions, particularly regarding intellectual property. Director of the WTO and Integration Center of the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry Nguyen Thi Thu Trang said Vietnam needs to review the compatibility of its laws with TPP and EVFTA commitments on intellectual property.

    “We’ll have to carry out institutional reform, improve the business environment, and increase the competitiveness of businesses and the whole nation. Free trade agreement commitments will definitely boost Vietnam’s reform process”, Ms Trang said.

    Though most of Vietnam’s legal commitments on intellectual property are compatible with TPP and EVFTA principles and standards, Vietnam needs to do more on this issue, said Director of the SB law firm Pham Duy Khuong.

    Khuong noted that “Vietnam’s Law on Intellectual Property needs to cover some wider aspects including criminalizing violations of intellectual property rights, and the import or export of items infringing copyrights.”

    Fine-tuning intellectual property legislation will help Vietnam attract more investment, regardless of when free trade agreements it has signed take effect.     

    Vietnam forges ahead with free trade agreement with EU

    Vietnam has been actively preparing for the ratification and enforcement of the free trade agreement with the European Union (EU), Deputy Prime Minister Vuong Dinh Hue told Ambassador Bruno Angelet, Head of the EU Delegation to Vietnam, at a reception in Hanoi on November 30.

    The Deputy PM expressed his pleasure at the positive development in the bilateral cooperation in recent years, citing the Framework Agreement on Comprehensive Partnership and Cooperation (PCA) between Vietnam and the EU came into force on October 1, 2016, and the two sides are looking towards to the signing of the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA).

    He said the Vietnamese Government is pushing ahead with economic reshuffle and growth model reform along with increasing productivity and competitiveness, restructuring budget collection and spending and public debts, improving the business climate, and supporting the startup ecosystem.

    Vietnam is revising and fine-tuning its legal system in line with development process and international commitments, he said, adding that he hopes the Ambassador will act as a bridge to help Vietnam push the signing, ratification and enforcement of the trade pact for mutual benefits.

    He called on the EU to boost investment in Vietnam and soon recognise its full market economy status.

    Ambassador Bruno Angelet said 2017 will be an eventful year for Vietnam and the EU, offering good chances for them to boost cooperation.

    The EU has a big ambition to implement the EVFTA as it is the first free trade pact that the union signed with a middle-income Asian country, he added, noting that Vietnam is leading Southeast Asia in export to the EU, while the union is the third biggest investor in Vietnam. 

    With the EVFTA, the EU will approve Vietnam’s proposal on the provision of technical assistance, he said, adding that 50 EU experts are willing to support Vietnam in this field.

    The union will spare no efforts to help Vietnam enforce this agreement, he affirmed.

    Funding a problem for PPP agri-projects

    The agriculture sector has benefited from public-private partnership (PPP) projects in terms of new technologies and stronger links between enterprises and farmers, but several challenges remain, an expert said yesterday.

    Nguyễn Đỗ Anh Tuấn, director of the Institute of Policy and Strategy for Agriculture and Rural Development, was speaking at an annual PPP taskforce meeting held in Hà Nội.

    The meeting focused on Partnership for Sustainable Agriculture in Việt Nam.

    Tuấn said the PPP projects have also made it easy for the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) to detect obstacles in the agricultural production process and propose appropriate polices to remove them.

    However, connecting domestic and foreign enterprises for expanding this model has proved quite difficult, Tuấn said, noting that most on-going projects were being implemented on a trial basis.

    Limited capacity-building and experience in promoting the projects as well as the lack of an experts network were also obstacles, he said.

    Phạm Thị Hồng Hạnh of the International Co-operation Department under MARD said Việt Nam was among 11 countries carrying out PPP projects in the agricultural sector with the participation of 20 leading corporations and companies all over the world.  

    These projects have helped push up productivity of key products, she said, but it was necessary to attract more investment into the agricultural sector, particularly foreign direct investment.

    Several crop-based working groups have been set up since 2009, including those for coffee, tea, pepper, fisheries, fruit and vegetables, she noted.

    She said the PPP projects can attract investment from enterprises and fulfill the target of increasing productivity and jobs by 20 per cent while reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 20 per cent.

    Citing coffee as an example, Hạnh said the PPP projects have helped boost productivity by 17 per cent, increase farmers’ income by 14 per cent and considerably decrease greenhouse gas emissions.

    Besides offering training for farmers on sustainable production, the projects have contributed to the establishment of a national database that will help all provinces engaged in coffee cultivation in the country.

    But despite the increased connection between enterprises, projects and banks, investment in PPP projects was still modest, Hạnh said.

    She suggested that ministries work on joint circulars detailing guidelines for the implementation of Government Decree No 15/2015/NĐ-CP, which aims to improving and streamline the legal framework for PPP projects.

    Participants at the meeting agreed that the funding was a hinderance to the development of PPP projects as it currently relied mainly on State Budget.

    They said despite the advantages of PPP, low profits and the longer time taken to recoup investments reduced investor interest in agriculture and rural areas.

    FWD Vietnam opens head office in Ho Chi Minh City

    FWD Vietnam Life Insurance officially opened its head office in Ho Chi Minh City’s District 1 on November 29, making the first key milestone as FWD Vietnam aims to become a leading insurer in Vietnam with its vision to change the way people feel about insurance.

    FWD has also officially launched its brand in Vietnam with a brand promise to “Celebrate living”. Under the tagline ‘Get ready to live’, FWD plans to be a challenger brand in the market with the aim of changing the conventions of Vietnam’s insurance industry and helping customers to live their lives without hesitation. 

    “When we set out to build FWD, we wanted to create an insurance company in Asia that changes the way people feel about insurance. I have no doubt that we are going to deliver on our promise to provide a new and better insurance experience for the people of Vietnam,” Huynh Thanh Phong, FWD Group’s CEO said.

    FWD entered Vietnam's market in June 2016 through the acquisition of Great Eastern Life (Vietnam) Company Limited. This was the second of three new market entry announcements this year as FWD continues to expand across the region to realise its ambition to become a leading pan-Asian insurer.

    CSR Awards honour six Korean firms

    Six Korean firms operating in Vietnam were awarded the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Award on November 30 due to their high business efficiency and positive contributions to the Vietnamese community, society, and labour force.

    These six enterprises are Nonghyup Bank, Chang Shin Vietnam, Doosan Vina, Everpia Company, CJ Vietnam Group, and Sung Bu Vina Company.

    This was the sixth CSR Award ceremony for Korean firms in Vietnam that the Ministry of Planning and Investment has organised in collaboration with the Korean Embassy in Vietnam and the Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency (KOTRA) since 2011.

    Speaking at the awards ceremony, Korean Ambassador to Vietnam Lee Hyuk said, “When the economic cooperation between the two countries is reaching the next level, the CSR activities of Korean investors in Vietnam start playing a more important role in strengthening the bilateral relation between the two nations.”

    South Korea is now the biggest foreign investor in Vietnam in terms of both quantity and total investment among 112 countries and territories, with 5,593 projects worth approximately $50 billion. Up to now, Korean enterprises have invested in 19 sectors, mainly in the fields of manufacturing ($35 billion), real estate ($8.2 billion), and construction ($2.7 billion).

    Korean businesses have invested in 52 cities and provinces in Vietnam, among these, Bac Ninh accounts for the largest investment volume (nearly $6.2 billion). Runners-up are Hanoi ($5.8 billion), Dong Nai ($5.5 billion), Haiphong ($5.4 billion), and Thai Nguyen ($5 billion).

    "In the past, Korean companies were mainly known for trade and investment in Vietnam, however, we believe that CSR is an integral mission of Korean businesses operating here. CSR is getting more and more attention from enterprises of all sizes and walks of life," said KOTRA chairman Kim Jeahong.

    The CSR Awards has become an annual highlight event since 2011 honouring Korean enterprises which are highly efficient and make positive contributions to the Vietnamese society and labour force, thereby enhancing the development of bilateral relation between the two countries.

    This year, the collection of registration documents from Korean enterprises with outstanding CSR activities entitled “Share Together” started in September and attracted the participation of nearly 100 Korean businesses operating in diversified fields, such as heavy industry, transportation, garments and textiles, and goods distribution.

    Nguyen Van Hieu, Deputy Minister of Planning and Investment stated, "Korean businesses in Vietnam play an important role in the development of not only the economy but of the country and society as a whole. We appreciate these efforts and expect a strong bilateral cooperation between the two countries."

    NongHyup Bank, formerly known as National Agricultural Cooperative Federation of Korea, co-operated with Vietnam Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (Agribank) in many fields, such as letters of credit (L/C), trade finances, money transferring between the two nations, and other financial services. The two lenders exchanged experience and banking knowledge and organised common training programmes.

    Entering Vietnam in 1995, Chang Shin Vietnam is known as one of the largest foreign shoe makers in the southern province of Dong Nai. In 2013, the company announced a $12 million expansion of its existing facility and pushed up the factory’s labour force to almost over 26,000.

    Doosan Vina is a high-tech industrial complex in the central province of Quang Ngai’s Dung Quat Economic Zone. The company supplies mega infrastructure products that make modern life a reality. Since 2006, Doosan Vina has been manufacturing and providing products for more than 197 projects, with a total value of billions of US dollars and exported around 350,000 tonnes. Products with the label “Made in Vietnam” manufactured by Doosan Vina now appear in 28 countries and territories around the world. 

    Meanwhile, after 20 years of presence in Vietnam, Everpia Vietnam continues to invest in new technology, product design, and improving quality management to be a typical representative of the products in bedding and padding in Vietnam. It currently has three manufacturing factories located in Hanoi, Hung Yen, and Dong Nai with a total annual capacity of 10 million bedding products and 30 million yards of cotton sheets.

    CJ has been operating in Vietnam since 1998. In 1999, it established CJ Vina Agri Co., Ltd. in the southern province of Long An, specialising in the production and trading of animal feed. As of now, the group has opened three additional animal feed processing plants in Dong Nai, Vinh Long, and Hung Yen provinces and two subsidiary companies CJ IMC and CJ Korean Express, which supply logistics services.

    Earlier in August, CJ arrived to the central province of Binh Dinh to find investment opportunities in numerous sectors. Notably, the group wanted to develop an animal feed processing plant at Nhon Hoa Industrial Zone in An Nhon town, as well as a pig breeding farm and a seafood processing plant. Besides, it also studied the possibility of building cinemas to meet the entertainment demand of locals and tourists in Quy Nhon city. In addition, CJ is also famous for various popular brands, like Tous les Jours, CGV or SCJ TV Homeshopping.

    Sung Bu Vina is known as a private plastics products manufacturing company in the southern province of Binh Duong. The company currently has about 500 employees.

    VEF/VNA/VNS/VOV/SGT/SGGP/Dantri/VET/VIR


    0 0
  • 12/02/16--02:14: Article 1
  • Poor logistics services hamper e-commerce development


    Experts believe that the high cost of logistics services is slowing down the growth of online shopping.

     vietnamnet bridge, english news, Vietnam news, news Vietnam, vietnamnet news, Vietnam net news, Vietnam latest news, Vietnam breaking news, vn news, online shopping, facebook, e-commerce

    Lai Viet Anh, deputy head of the Ministry of Industry and Trade’s (MOIT) E-commerce and Information Technology, said e-commerce growth rate in Asia Pacific is very high. It is estimated that the region makes up 51.5 percent of the total online transaction value around the world.  Vietnam has had annual growth rate of 30 percent.


    A recent survey conducted by Bizweb, an online sales platform, found that more than 40 percent of polled consumers said the selling prices of goods available on e-commerce websites are higher than prices at markets.

    Analysts believe that the high cost of logistics services makes online shopping less competitive compared with direct shopping. In many cases, the prices of goods at online shops during sale promotions are even higher than the ordinary prices of goods at traditional markets, if counting the shipping fee.

    Experts believe that the high cost of logistics services is slowing down the growth of online shopping.

    A customer in Can Tho City, for example, ordering goods online, will have to pay a minimum of VND30,000 for the shipping fee to carry goods from HCM City to Can Tho. 


    In e-commerce, logistics services are understood as fulfillment services, which includes packing, shipping, money collection and post-sale customer care. 

    A World Bank  (WB) report showed that in 2015, the expenses for logistics services accounted for 20.9 percent of GDP. Vietnam was among the countries with the highest logistics cost.


    Meanwhile, recent surveys by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) showed that the logistics cost in Vietnam accounts for 20-25 percent of GDP, of which the transportation cost amounts to 60 percent. 


    This is to the 30 percent of ‘empty’ vehicles not carrying goods on roads. Roads remain the major means of transport which handle 80 percent of transported goods.

    Experts also cited other problems in Vietnam’s e-commerce, such as poor facilities, lack of professionalism, low technology application in transportation, long shipping time, undiversified modes of payment and high shipping fees.

    To change people’s shopping habits, analysts say, it is necessary to remove the logistics barriers that hamper the development of e-commerce by encouraging the establishment of logistics service providers which specifically serve e-commerce, and build goods transshipment centers.

    The shipping alliances in localities are a reasonable model that could help change the face of the logistics industry.

    Nam Lich, VNN


    0 0
  • 12/02/16--02:19: Article 0
  • Malaysia, Singapore delay signing of high-speed railway deal


     
     Commuters at KL Sentral railway station in Kuala Lumpur, one of the terminals for the high-speed railway (Photo: The Strait Times)


    Singapore -Singapore and Malaysia have decided to postpone the signing of a bilateral agreement on a 14.7-billion-USD high-speed railway project due to slow scheduling and other administrative issues.


    According to the Malaysian Prime Minister's Department, Prime Minister Najib Razak and his Singaporean counterpart Lee Hsien Loong were initially scheduled to meet in Johor Baru, Malaysia, on December 5, and witness the signing of the High Speed Rail (HSR) project during their annual retreat.

    The Malaysian side suggested December 21 as the new date. 

    Previously, the two sides reached consensus on fine-tuning some details of the project. In July, they signed a memorandum of understanding on facilitating further negotiations of the deal.

    Construction of the 350km high speed railway connecting Malaysia’s Kuala Lumpur and Singapore is scheduled to begin in 2018 and be completed in 2026. 

    Allowing trains to run at a speed of 300 km per hour, the railway is expected to reduce travel time between the two destinations to 90 minutes from the current 5 hours and serve some 20 million passengers per year.-VNA

    0 0
  • 12/03/16--06:06: Article 1
  • Outlook for Asian steel industry is negative for 2017


    The outlook for the Asian steel industry for 2017 has been lowered to negative says US Moody’s Investors Service in a new report, as global prices of steel collapse across all grades and utilization weakens.

    outlook for asian steel industry is negative for 2017 hinh 0

    According to the recently released report titled – Steel-Asia 2017 Outlook-Weakening Production and Earnings Keep Outlook Negative – by Moody’s, Asian steelmakers will not be able to sustain the robust profitability recorded during mid-2016.

    Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA), per metric ton is expected to weaken further next year because of mounting stockpiles of steel causing a glut on the global market.

    Further, protectionist measures in the US by President-elect Donald Trump and his incoming administration are expected to favour the US domestic steel industry to the detriment of imports from the Asian market.

    The Asian region’s steelmakers will find it increasingly difficult to pass on rising raw material costs to customers as demand is expected to slow down during the course of the year.

    The Asian steel production volumes are likely to decline, the report continued, mainly due to contraction in steel demand from China-which accounts for three-fourths of total regional production.

    In addition, trade restrictions imposed by other regions including the EU and US are likely to further curb exports from the Asian region.

    Meanwhile, a report of the Vietnam Steel Association showed that its member steelmakers produced 1.48 million metric tons this past October, up 18.6% on-year, with sales jumping 23% to 1.2 million metric tons.

    However, Vice President Nguyen Van Sua of the Association warned of challenges ahead as cheap steel imports from China would continue to adversely affect the country’s domestic market.

    The total volume of finished steel products imported from China since the beginning of 2016 has exceeded 7.29 million metric tons valued at US$2.86 billion, accounting for nearly 60% of the country’s total steel imports in terms of volume.

    Mr Sua also cautioned that the US Department of Commerce investigation into whether Chinese steel companies are shipping steel through Vietnam to avoid US import tariffs may damage steel exports even further over the coming year.

    The investigation comes on the heels of a complaint filed last September by US steelmakers, and is an escalation of US efforts to stop a glut of China-made metal from flooding US markets.

    The results of the inquiry could result in new tariffs on steel imported from China via Vietnam, under rules designed to prevent such a tariff-evading practice, known as circumvention.

    US steelmakers alleged in their complaint that Chinese steelmakers have shipped metal to Vietnam, made relatively minor changes to it so that they could then classify it as Vietnamese and subsequently shipped it to the US under the lower tariffs charged on Vietnamese steel.

    At the heart of the issue is whether the changes such as adding zinc to make it corrosion-resistant fundamentally alters the steel enough to make it essentially a brand-new product that technically qualifies as ‘Made in Vietnam.’

    VOV


    0 0
  • 12/03/16--06:40: Article 0
  • Social News 3/12


    Prisoners in Thai Nguyen’s prison receive amnesty decision


      

    As many as 97 prisoners, including six foreigners, in the Phu Son Prison 4 in Phu Luong district, the northern province of Thai Nguyen, were granted the President’s amnesty in 2016.

    The list of those eligible for amnesty was announced at a ceremony held at the Phu Son Prison 4 on December 1.

    Addressing the event, Deputy Prime Minister Truong Hoa Binh highlighted the significance of the work, saying that it manifests the nation’s humanitarian tradition.

    Since 2008, the State has granted six amnesties, releasing 81,795 prisoners before the due date and 917 others, who had their imprisonment postponed.

    Reports from localities show almost all amnesty recipients had stable jobs and many of them have actively joined social activities in their localities.

    According to the Deputy PM, on October 17, the State President issued Decision No. 2230 on amnesty in 2016.

    The Central Advisory Council on Amnesty, relevant ministries and sectors have worked hard to prepare the list and documents asking for amnesty in a strict and transparent manner, and submit these to the State President for approval.

    On November 29, the President signed Decision No. 2534 on granting amnesty to 4,180 prisoners and 204 those being suspended from carrying out their sentences.

    Deputy PM affirmed all prisoners have equal opportunity to be reprieved, without discrimination of gender, religion, nationality, age and profession.

    Amnesty aims to provide prisoners with a chance to show their repentance, thus continuing working and studying to become useful citizens for the community.

    Deputy PM urges for efforts to eradicate HIV/AIDS in 2030

    Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam has urged for strengthened communications on HIV/AIDS prevention and control in the community towards eradicating the pandemic in 2030.

    Addressing a conference that sought to enhance the efficiency of cooperation among civil social organisations in HIV/AIDS prevention and combat, the Deputy PM affirmed that HIV/AIDS fight is among top priorities of the Government.

    He stressed the need to increase the public communications in diverse forms, including public meetings, while building financial plans for the work, popularise methadone treatment, and setting up more effective models of rehabilitation or drug users.

    He asked for closer coordination among agencies under the National Steering Committee on AIDS, Drug and Prostitution Prevention and Control and social and political organisations for the improvement of the work.

    Meanwhile, President of the Vietnam Union of Science and Technology Associations (VUSTA) Dang Vu Minh noted that over the past years, social organisations made positive contributions to the provision of preventive services against HIV/AIDS as well as the building of capacity for the community system.

    As of September 2016, the VUSTA project funded by the Global Fund has set up 96 community-based organisations to provide preventive services to more than 70,000 people in 15 localities nationwide.

    In the first nine months of this year, the VUSTA project helped 43,000 people get HIV tests, more than 21,000 of whom were found positive to HIV. It also helped more than 1,500 others access ARV treatment.

    The event, which was jointly held by the Vietnam Union of Science and Technology Associations and the National Steering Committee on AIDS, Drug and Prostitution Prevention and Control, aims to highlight the role of social organisations in the field, and seek measures to strengthen the efficiency and sustainability of the community system.

    JICA-funded project helps improve water environment management

    A meeting to review the implementation of an environment project between the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MoNRE) and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) was held in Hanoi on December 1.

    Addressing the event, MoNRE Deputy Minister Vo Tuan Nhan said the project, a joint  effort of the two Governments, aims to enhance MoNRE’s capacity of building and implementing legal documents to improve the water environment in river basins.

    According to Nhan, Vietnam’s rivers, especially those flowing through cities, industrial parks and trade villages, are seriously contaminated.

    To address the problem, Vietnam has promulgated many policies, mechanisms, and normative legal documents in the field, and sought international assistance, of which the JICA project is an example, Nhan said.

    Naoki Kakioka, Deputy Chief Representative of JICA in Vietnam said the collection of basic data for implementing pilot projects has been fulfilled.

    Japanese experts said they are willing to share their experience and provide technical assistance for the Vietnamese side in order to effectively implement the project.

    Implementing from 2016-2018, the project “Strengthening the capacity of water environment management in river basins” will examine legal documents in the field, build six circulars and plans for the implementation of pilot projects at the basins of the Cau and Dong Nai rivers, and design plans and roadmaps for improving the management of water environment at river basins.

    Health industry expo gets underway in Hanoi

    The 23rd annual exposition for the Vietnam healthcare industry hosted by Ministry of Health in collaboration with the Ministry of Industry & Trade has opened as planned on December 1 in Hanoi.

    The event is actually three separate exhibitions running concurrently showcasing the latest in medical and laboratory equipment; pharmaceutical products and processing, and packaging machinery; and hospital equipment.

    The expo, held annually in Ho Chi Minh City in August and in Hanoi in December, features products and services of 150 health-related organizations in more than 250 exhibition booths from 18 countries including Vietnam.

    In addition, a series of conferences, symposiums, free medical checks, product introductions, and blood donation drives are also part of the three-day expo running through December 3rd at the International Exhibition Centre.

    Nghệ An to monitor use of tower cranes

    The central Nghệ An Province has decided to remove tower cranes that don’t have licences or operate outside of specified construction sites as an effort of improving safety levels.

    Developers found violating norms will have their projects suspended, the provincial People’s Committee said.

    The decision was made after a tower crane collapsed on a high school in Vinh city, killing one student in the playground last month.

    Trần Văn Hải, a 10th grader at Lê Viết Thuật High School, died on the spot after the crane fell on him. The crane, operated by local construction company Trường Thành, also destroyed a part of the school’s roof.

    The committee has asked related agencies and the police to monitor and keep tight control over the operation of tower cranes. Construction sites using tower cranes will be inspected, it said. Sites close to residential areas and public spaces will not be allowed to use cranes.

    Ex-officials sentenced for encroaching locals’ land


      

    Vĩnh Phúc Province People’s Court yesterday sentenced to prison eight former local officials at the first instance hearing.
    The accused, former officials of Vĩnh Yên City, were sentenced for abusing their position and power while doing public duty.
    The eight accused officials include Lại Hữu Lân, former Chairman of Vĩnh Yên City’s Peoples’ Committee, Secretary of Vĩnh Yên City’s Party Committee; Nguyễn Ngọc Quyền, former chief of the provincial People’s Committee, Chairman of Vĩnh Yên City’s Peoples’ Committee and Secretary of Vĩnh Yên City’s Party Committee; Nguyễn Xuân Trường, former Chairman of Đồng Tâm Ward’s People’s Committee, Secretary of Đồng Tâm Ward’s Party Committee; Nguyễn Xuân Liên, former official of provincial People’s Committee office, Deputy Chairman of Tam Đảo District’s People’s Committee.
    The other three officials -- Nguyễn Thị Kim Liên, Nguyễn Thị Ngọc and Vũ Văn Chức -- are all officials of Vĩnh Yên City’s departments.
    Dương Đình Tâm is a resident running a business in Vĩnh Yên City.
    According to the court verdict, since 2006, the eight officials abused power to order the compilation of illegal documents, confiscated 25ha of land from the residents and handed it over to Nguyễn Anh Quân and Dương Đình Tâm. The land then was put under the name “Farming project of Đồng Tâm Ward” invested by Đồng Tâm Ward’s People’s Committee.
    The court concluded that the offenders hold power and have knowledge about the Land Law, land use and planning regulations.
    The illegal action of offenders “causes destruction to the State, triggers public anger and harms the reputation of local state agencies.”
    Lại Hữu Lân and Nguyễn Ngọc Quyền were sentenced to five years and nine months in prison. Nguyễn Xuân Trường was given three years and nine month imprisonment, while Nguyễn Thị Kim Liên was subjected to a suspended sentence of three years with challenging time of up to five years.
    The other offenders were given two years and three months to three years in jail.
    Nguyễn Anh Quân who prompted the offence has escaped. The provincial investigative police have issued an arrest warrant against him.

    Popular folk singer dies at 65


      

    Meritorious Artist Quang Lý, one of the country’s most popular singers of folk and revolutionary music, died Thursday morning after a heart attack at his home in HCM City. He was 65.

    Lý was born in Thailand in to a Vietnamese family, which moved to Hải Phòng when he was nine years old.

    He began his career as a singer for the Hải Phòng Music, Song and Dance Troupe and The Voice of Việt Nam in 1976.

    In the 1970s, he performed for the Southern Liberation Radio, which was established by the Southern Central Party Committee in the D Resistance Zone in Đồng Nai Province.

    The radio’s first programme aired in February 1962, marking a milestone in the struggle for national liberation by appealing to people to support the liberation effort led by President Hồ Chí Minh and the Party Central Committee.

    His singing focused on southern people and soldiers.

    In 1983, Lý moved to live in HCM City and worked at the Bông Sen Traditional Song and Dance Theatre, one of the region’s State-owned leading art troupes.

    With his strong, sweet voice and performance ability, Lý quickly became a bright star in the folk and revolutionary music scene.

    He performed songs written by composers such as Hoàng Hiệp, Xuân Hồng, Phan Huỳnh Điểu and Trần Hoàn.

    He also released many videos and albums, some of which were recognised as the country’s best albums in folk and revolutionary music in the 20th century.

    During his 40 year-career, he has sung many melodious pop songs with his warm bass voice, including Thuyền Và Biển (The Boat and Sea) by composer Phan Huỳnh Điểu, Thơ Tình Cuối Mùa Thu (Autumnal love poem) by the same composer and Sao Em Nỡ Vội Lấy Chồng (Darling, why getting married so soon) by Trần Tiến.
    His 2006 album titled Vọng Âm Sóng was a landmark in his career.
    “Possessing a rare beautiful voice, singer Quang Lý ensured a delicate beauty in his famed songs on waves and rivers in this album,” poet Đỗ Trung Quân said in introducing the album.
    In 2009 he released another album titled Cung Trầm with eight songs he composed himself.

    He has travelled to many remote areas across the country to perform for soldiers and rural residents.

    Singer Nguyễn Phi Hùng said Lý was one of his beloved teachers at the HCM Music Academy, where he taught for years, because of his talent and personality. Lý has inspired Hùng in the art by whole his heart.

    "His words have become my principles in art and life," Hùng said, "Though he passed away, what he has done for vocal art will live forever in the hearts of Vietnamese audiences."

    On his Facebook page, popular singer Kasim Hoàng Vũ wrote: "I was shocked to hear the news. I just did four shows with him in Hà Nội. He was healthy and joked with me. We sang together to open the shows. Today he suddenly passed away. I would like to share my sorrow with his family and wish him happiness in the other world."

    He is survived by a wife and two children.

    Gia Lai, Stung Treng strengthen cooperation

    Representatives of Gia Lai province and Stung Treng province of Cambodia have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on socio-economic cooperation in Pleiku City.

    The two sides discussed important contents, such as implementing cooperation based on the agreements between VietNam and Cambodia in the principle of equality, mutual respect and mutual benefit; and strengthening cooperation on tourism development in two provinces for the MoU.

    The MoU aims to boost tourism cooperation and support projects in agriculture and the processing industry and efforts to fight crime.

    The two sides agreed to help each other in agricultural technology, agro-processing; collaboration in fighting crime, terrorism, human trafficking; as well as prevention of cross-borderdrug trafficking.

    Stung Treng agreed to create favourable conditions for Gia Lai province’s task force to repatriate the remains of Vietnamese soldiers who died in wars in Cambodia.

    The MoU will foster the traditional friendship, cooperation, and mutual assistance between Gia Lai and Stung Treng; as well as tighten the solidarity between two countries.

    HCM City sees rise in mother-to-child HIV transmission

    Many hospitals in HCM City have detected more children who are infected HIV from their mothers.
    Dr. Truong Huu Khanh from infectious disease ward from Paediatrics 1 Hospital said that the ward used to receive 1-2 new HIV-infected cases who were children in previous years. However, between January and September this year alone, the figure was up to 14 children who mostly come from other localities and are living in HCM City.
    So far this year, Gia Dinh People's Hospital has diagnosed six children who contracted HIV from their mothers. Meanwhile, the figure for Hung Vuong Hospital is three during the same period.
    According to the HCM City Department of HIV/AIDS Prevention and Control, the city detected 22 new cases of mother-to-child HIV transmission in the first eight months of this year, four higher than the same phase of last year.
    The number of children who died of HIV/AIDS in the city was up to 11 since early this year.
    In the first half of 2016, 563 pregnant women were diagnosed with HIV among the city’s total number of 618,500 who were given HIV tests.
    Dr. Truong Huu Khanh said that at industrial parks and export processing zones in HCM City, many female workers were not provided with opportunities to get access to HIV infection preventive measures, resulting in their lack of awareness. Meanwhile, public discrimination also discourages HIV patients from revealing their disease.
    Many international donors have cut their funding for Vietnam’s HIV/AIDS prevention and control programmes as the country was recognised as a middle-income country, which has added more difficulties in the country’s fight against lethal disease.
    Doctors warned that children infected with HIV from mothers who gave up their ARV treatment will also face HIV treatment drug resistance.
    Currently, there are over 215,600 people living with HIV in Vietnam, and 88,868 people living with AIDS. A total of 89,412 people have died from HIV/AIDS.
    Vietnam will face a huge budget deficit in health services for people with HIV/AIDS in the next five years, an official from the HIV/AIDS Prevention Agency, Duong Thuy Anh, said at a conference on insurance payments for ARV therapy on November 28.

    Anh said the State budget could only reserve VND100 billion (USD4.4 million) for ARV therapy in 2016-20, but the demand is for about VND600 billion (USD27 million).

    HCM City hosts green farm day next weekend

    Phu My Hung green farm day 2016 will take place from 8:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. on December 10-11 at the Crescent Mall in Phu My Hung Urban Zone in HCMC’s District 7.

    According to Nguyen Buu Hoi, deputy general director of Phu My Hung Development Corp., the festival day is aimed at promoting a green and healthy lifestyle for local community via exhibitions of green and safe and nutritious products. Visitors to the event will have a chance to get more knowledge and information on how to wisely choose food and browse for diversified products and savor food and drinks. People will also learn techniques and steps to plant fresh vegetables and join health care talkshows presented by local experts.

    All the participants can join a lucky draw at any booth at the event. There are vegetables and straw decoration corners to bring a rustic yet peaceful space to participants and their families.

    On the occasion, the organizer also runs a contest on Phu My Hung green lifestyle to encourage people to plant and use fresh and safe products. The competition is open for all Phu My Hung residents and people in the city who love planting and taking care of vegetables and fruits. There are three categories of agricultural products’ decoration, planting green vegetables and making salad.

    Total value of the contest is over VND20 million. Deadline for registrations is until December 9.

    Vietnam among attractive destinations of US


      

    Vietnam has become a big tourist attraction for United States citizens, with over 330,000 visitors in 2015, an increase of 33 percent year-on-year.

    According to the US Department of Commerce, last year, US citizens travelled abroad more than ever, with a total of 74 million people.

    Kim Sykes from Carefree Vacations travel agency said that Vietnam is a favourite destination for US tourists from 18 to 35 years old.

    In 2015, Mexico and Canada drew the most number of US tourists, followed by the United Kingdom, the Dominican Republic and France.

    Ha Giang’s buzz over bees creates chaos

    Last month, Lê Tien Tuân, a beekeeper from the northern province of Tuyên Quang, moved 320 foreign beehives into local gardens in two villages of Thài Phìn Tùng Commune, Hà Giang Province, as per an unwritten agreement with gardens’ owners – which should have transpired fuss-less.

    But the following day, local authorities demanded that Tuân move all his beehives out of the commune before 8:00pm the same day. However, he didn’t comply, insisting that his actions were fully legal by state law.

    Commotion broke out in the morning two days later, when villagers removed all of his beehives and deposited them 700m from the National Road 4C. Some even deliberately kicked over the bee boxes.

    Such forceful removal of ‘foreign’ beehives, and by implication, beekeepers from other provinces, involving the provincial police and other law enforcement, under the auspices of higher-ups, in addition to arbitrary official decisions, are condemned by many in the know as violating various laws.

    Previously, on September 19, Ð?ng Van District People’s Committee issued a document, stating that all beekeepers can transport bees into the district only after they’ve received written permission from the committee. They also require beekeepers to register for temporary stay, however, local police refuse to grant such papers for beekeepers, a VTV report states.

    Only 300ha out of 1,500ha of honey mint – endemic to the Ð?ng Van Stone Plateau – can be used in honey production, thus the 7,700 native beehives of local people will be prioritised, Dinh Chí Thành, Deputy Chairman of the People’s Committee, explained the rationale behind such barricades to the Dân Vi?t newspaper.

    Local beekeepers, like Vàng Mí Vàng, are concerned that their mint honey products may suffer in quality and quantity, “since foreign bees are larger, stronger, they overpower native bees and collect the already dwindling mint’s nectar, they may even kill native bees,” possibly leading to a collapse of native honeybee colonies.

    Hà Giang’s mint honey was known for its remarkable quality and at certain times, can fetch a million d?ng per litre. In 2013, the National Office of Intellectual Property granted a Mèo Vac Geographical Indication (GI) for the mint honey product made in four districts of Hà Giang, namely Ðong Van, Mèo Vac, Yên Minh, and Qu?n B?.

    Citing the protection of GI status, later that year, the provincial Department of Agriculture and Rural Development issued document No 1065 requiring authorities of the four districts to redouble their efforts in inspection and surveillance, and the prevention of any unregistered beehives from entering the localities.

    In 2015, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) released Circular No 25 that aims to boost honey production by allowing the foreign bee – including the Italian variety – in commercial exploitation.

    Yet, Hà Giang hasn’t annulled document No 1065, and later even released another document No 3405 requiring beekeepers to obtain written approval from the local People’s Committee before moving beehives into localities in the province.

    Nearing the end of 2016, the province’s non-compliance has caused tremendous difficulties for beekeepers from other provinces.

    Ph?m Th? Hà, Deputy Director of Hà Giang’s Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, claimed that mint honey is granted GI, hence the locals must benefit from honey mint shrubs that grow only in this area; people from outside with foreign bees coming in freely and taking away the nectar will complicate their GI management. She also cited Article 7 under the Intellectual Property law as a basis to restrain inflow of foreign bees.

    However, Ph?m Vu Khánh Toàn, Director of the Ph?m & Partners law firm, pointed out two critical flaws in this rationale. First, they are confusing trademark and GI; specifically, registered trademark owners (i.e. businesses) benefit from exclusive rights, however, GI is common property available to all Vietnamese citizens, not an exclusive property of a certain province. Second, the cited Article 7, which puts limitations on IP rights to prevent abuse, is not relevant to the matter at hand.

    Viet Nam News tried to contact Hà and Son for comments but was unable to.

    A H’mong beekeeper in the Mèo V?c District checks up on his native beehive in the middle of a mint flower field, Hà Giang Province. - Photo tuoitre.vn
    The advantages of foreign bees

    The so-called ‘foreign bees’ were actually domesticated and have been considered ‘native’.

    “The ‘foreign’ bee species we are raising was imported from Italy way back in 1967. After several decades of breeding, this Italian breed was allowed in commercial honey production as per Circular No 25,” Nguyen Ngoc Chien, Deputy Chairman of the Phong The Beekeeping Cooperative in Tuyên Quang Province, said.

    Therefore, nation-wide, foreign bees currently account for the large majority – 1.2 million colonies, or 80 per cent - out of the total number of 1.5 million.

    According to Pham Thanh Xuân, Director of Thanh Xuân Mountain Bee Development Co Ltd, the Italian variety is “larger, more resistant to diseases, having lower swarming tendency, yielding higher output, coping better with stress during the hive moving process, and suitable for commercial exploitation,” while the native ones are a wild species and yield less output.

    Pham Minh Duong, a beekeeper from Bình Duong Province said, with foreign bees, in ideal conditions, honey can be extracted from combs every 2-3 days, while with native ones, it’s once every ten days to a month.

    Nguy?n Van Tr?ng, Deputy Director of the Livestock Department, said that beekeeping is ‘nomadic’ in nature, hives must be relocated to where flowers blossom for the bees to draw nectar, and beekeepers will hire gardens from local people. However, the number of flowers is limited, leading to unbalanced interests between local and ‘outside’ beekeepers, causing conflicts.

    Hà Giang’s authorities did support local beekeepers of native bees in terms of finance, facilitating their bank loaning with a zero per cent rate in first two years.

    The mint’s season starts in two months’ time but allocation for beehives have been claimed, mostly by local beekeepers with native bees. It’s “nearly impossible” for foreign ones to get in, said Dinh Chí Thành, Deputy Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee.

    Coupled with provincial protectionist regulations, it aims to boost local honey production as a means to lift ethnic people out of poverty in mountainous areas.

    But the case of Lý Sáng Dèn, an ethnic beekeeper in Qu?n B? Commune, challenges the effectiveness of such measures. With VNÐ50 million (US$2,300) borrowed from the bank and VNÐ40 million of his own, Dèn bought 90 beehives. Four months later, the empty bee boxes piled up in his storage, since the bees have either flew away or died during cold weather.

    He said he received no training on beekeeping, even though the provincial department of agriculture said they organise some 2,000 training classes per year.

    Ðinh Quy?t Tâm, head of the Vi?t Nam Apiculture Association (VAA), said that in October, VAA and MARD conducted a field trip to Hà Giang Province, and saw that some foreign beehives are “without owners”, and they are “worried that not only foreign bees will dominate native bees in collecting nectar, but also that counterfeit products might be falsely labelled as ‘Mèo V?c mint honey’ and pose a threat to genuine local products.”

    However, he is of the opinion that “the ban must be based on rational justifications, or it will create an undesirable precedent of protectionism.”

    The Department of Livestock (under MARD) issued Dispatch No 1566 on October 17, clearly stating that the honey quality is dependent on the flowers’ nectar rather on bee species, and asking all beekeepers to follow existing regulations, including the Law on Standards, Law on Biodiversity, and Circular No 25.

    The department also urged Hà Giang’s authorities to be proactive in building a local standard for honey bees and honey products, offering guidance to businesses, and developing conservation programmes for specific native species.

    Official regulations on apiculture are expected to be released in 1-2 years.

    Urban resilience undermined

    Insufficient funding, capacity and planning quality are major challenges facing Vietnamese cities in response to climate change, experts shared at a workshop on sustaining urban resilience in Vi?t Nam.

    The workshop was organised on Thursday by the Institute for Social and Environmental Transition (ISET), the country co-ordinator for the Asian Cities Climate Change Resilience Network (ACCCRN) programme in Vi?t Nam.

    Ðào Anh Dung, vice chairman of C?n Tho City People’s Committee, said the city saw climate change cause erosion, storms and saltwater intrusion. However, he admitted that the city was still in dire need of knowledge, experience and competent staff to deal with it.

    Response to climate change’s impacts requires multiple sectors, provinces and nations, but legal policies and joint action plans among localities are not clear and detailed, he said.

    Dung’s counterpart in Bình Ð?nh Province, Phan Cao Th?ng, added that it has yet to be resolved how to harmonise today’s socio-economical growth with tomorrow’s sustainable development.

    The local government is struggling to arrange funding for climate change response projects, as they usually require huge investment — for example, dyke systems.

    Michael DiGregorio, country representative of the Asia Foundation in Vi?t Nam, said that it seems people in the country do not want to deal with climate change because they do not know what they could do. Therefore, much more communication is needed.

    He also said that although there is decentralisation in authority in Vi?t Nam, there is not decentralisation in funding and taxing. Therefore, local governments hardly impose their own taxes to balance their spending and serve their priorities.

     Luu Ð?c Cu?ng, vice director of Vi?t Nam Institute for Urban and Rural Planning, said that the country has about 800 cities--300 of which were deemed vulnerable to climate change. Thousands of urban planning proposals are made yearly, but the quality of such planning is modest.

    “The way planning is made in Vi?t Nam is outdated, resulting in inflexible plans lacking feedback or contributions from involved parties,” he said.

    He added that any current response actions should not only deal with current problems but also consider possibilities for the future to avoid waste.

    “The work is difficult. Climate change involves uncertainty, while planning requires certainty,” he said.

    Ngô Th? L? Mai, Vi?t Nam’s ISET country co-ordinator, said that in 2009, the Rockefeller Foundation selected three Vietnamese cities – C?n Tho, Ðà N?ng and Quy Nhon – together with seven other cities in Thailand, India and Indonesia, to become part of its regional ACCCRN programme worth US$59 million.

    The programme provided technical support and capacity building to enable city governments to develop better climate change resilience plans and implement the plans.

    ISET’s work at each locality was developed based on local needs and priorities. For example, in Ðà N?ng City, it helped build storm-resistant housing, teach climate change at schools and study the city’s water resources. In Quy Nhon, it helped with mangrove restoration and early flood warning systems. In C?n Tho, it conducted projects in salinity monitoring, dengue prevention and management against riverbank erosion.  

    “A key part of ISET’s approach in designing the ACCCRN programme in Vi?t Nam is a focus on local engagement and capacity building through involving local partners so that ACCCRN impacts can extend well beyond its timeline and funding to inspire local and national actions as well as support future policies,” said Mai.

    She added that the approach is especially important in the uncertain context of climate change and urban development in the country.

    New farms see more health risks than traditional farms


    Newer farming villages are more polluted and witness higher risks to human and animal health than traditional farms, according to research released today in Hà N?i.
    The results came from a project on the health of human and animals in intensive livestock farming and traditional farming areas (ECOMORE) conducted by the National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology.
    The research was carried out in 526 households, including 172 families with pig farms in Duy Tiên District, Hà Nam Province, from 2013-15.
    The research determined that the proportion of households that have pigs with health problems in developed livestock farming villages was higher than in traditional farm villages.
    In developed livestock farming villages, the proportion of pigs with disease symptoms reached 29,5%, while the rate of dead pigs was found to be 14,3 per cent, compared to 12.9 per cent and 1.6 per cent, respectively, in traditional farm villages.
    “The proportion of households that have pigs with sicknesses in developed livestock farming villages are higher than the traditional farming villages. For example, the rate of households that have Leptospirosis infected pigs was 14 per cent in developed farming villages, compared to 8.5 per cent on traditional farms,” said project officer Nguy?n Th? Thi Tho.
    The report further noted that the environment in developed farming villages was more polluted than in traditional farm villages. The ecoli bacteria infection rate in vegetables was found to be 51 per cent in developed farming households, in comparison with 31 per cent in traditional farm homes. Major sources of pollution came from pig and human waste.
    “Knowledge of transmission, disease prevention, arranging housing, sanitation, and animal disease prevention in people in traditional farming areas are better than in developed livestock breeding areas,” added Tho.
    The report also noted that there was no significant difference in the self-recorded health problems of communities in the two groups. People in the working age group (15- 55 years) and agricultural workers had higher rates of health problems, than did others.
    The research further recommended measures to improve guidelines on preventive measures for those in occupations related to livestock and agriculture, and to practice biosecurity livestock husbandry, particularly in areas of high-density livestock farming, as well as research on diseases transmitted from animals to humans.
    The health ministry’s Preventive Medicine Department deputy director, Ð?ng Quang T?n, said that outcomes from the project would provide an important foundation for policy makers to develop appropriate policies on poultry farming practices, in efforts to minimise risks of disease transmission from animals to humans.

    HCM City to crack down on fake health products ahead of Tet

    The Ministry of Health will crank up inspections in HCM City during the run-up to T?t, the Lunar New Year, to unearth fake health products and cosmetics.

    At a meeting on Wednesday with the city’s Department of Health and other agencies to discuss action against spurious products, Deputy Minister of Health Ph?m Lê Tu?n instructed them to check the process of licensing food supplements, medicinal herbs and cosmetics.

    They should carry out more surprise inspections, especially in outlying and neighbouring areas, and be pro-active in obtaining samples for testing, he said.

    The department will be assisted in its efforts by the Ministry of Public Security and market management agencies.

    Tr?n Hùng, deputy chief of the secretariat of the National Steering Committee on Prevention and Control of Smuggling, Trade Fraud and Counterfeit Goods, said HCM City is a hub for the production of food supplements, cosmetics, and herbs, and typically fakes abound during T?t.

    Lê Van Giang, deputy head of the Vi?t Nam Food Administration, said because of the high profits involved, many producers of fake goods have evolved sophisticated methods, making it very hard for authorities to spot them.

    His agency is working with the Ministry of Information and Communication to screen media advertising about food supplement for veracity, he said.

    Many of these advertisements have been slammed for making exaggerated claims by the National Steering Committee on Prevention and Control of Smuggling, Trade Fraud and Counterfeit Goods.

    Besides, relevant agencies have slackened oversight of these products, it added.

    This year alone more than 50 tonnes of low-quality herbs have been found by authorities.

    Community tourism in northern countryside

    Community tourism in Giao Thuy district, coastal province of Nam Dinh, is a fantastic experience.

    Tourists will homestay in wood houses to experience life in rural areas. Biking around the village to enjoy the fresh air and bird songs will make your vacation unforgettable.

    The dinner of Nguyen Van Van’s family was more fund because they have some guests. The local villagers grow vegetable, raise chicken, and go fishing to have fresh food.

    Mr. Van said people in Giao Xuan commune are trained on community tourism to serve tourists’ demand.

    “We started community tourism in 2006. In recent years we have welcomed more tourists. We are trained on reception, room service, and cooking. Foreigners are quiet. They also have different appetite. They prefer lean meat and fried food while Vietnamese tourists like seafood.”

    After dinner, the hosts and guests drink tea and have idle talks. The following day tourists ride bicycles around the village to enjoy ocean breezes or to the port to watch fishing boats returning to shore.

    A fish market opens near the port when it’s still dark and closes at the break of dawn. The fish sauce factory of Trinh Van Phung in Giao Hai commune is another interesting place to visit.

    He said previously he made fish sauce to sell to neighboring villages. Community tourism has promoted his products to people near and far.

    “Since we engaged in community tourism, we have sold more fish sauce. We have to ensure   food quality and safety. My family’s fish sauce can be preserved in many years.”

    Trinh Van Hau, manager of the community tourism development center, said people here produce many kinds of fishing sauces and pastes.

    “Foreign tourists don’t buy fish sauce but they are curious about Vietnam’s traditional way to make fish sauce. Even Vietnamese tourists are interested in the production of fish sauce.”

    People in Giao Thuy have earned a stable income from tourism. They also learn many things from tourism and foreigners.

    Mr. Van said, “Tourists are very interesting. We learn a lot of things from them such as behaviors.”

    Having a vacation in the countryside to experience the rural life will help us refresh ourselves after hard working days.

    Criteria issued on hospital quality

    The Ministry of Health has issued a set of criteria to assess hospital quality towards improving services and increasing patient satisfaction.

    The 83 criteria were tested over a three-year basis.

    Nineteen of the criteria are related to patient care, 14 to work force development, 38 to professional quality, eight to quality improvement and four to professional knowledge, according to the MoH.

    Implementation of the criteria will be graded according to five levels: bad, average, moderately good, good and very good.

    The head of the ministry’s Department of Medical Examination and Treatment, Lương Ngọc Khuê, said the criteria was aimed at encouraging hospitals to improve their operation and quality and provide safe and qualified services.

    They would also serve as a tool for management agencies to guide hospitals on quality and to implement quality assessment activities, he added.

    He noted that effective quality management reduced costs and errors, which in turn attracted more patients.

    Hospitals would themselves assess their service quality first, in November and December, and would then be  examined by management agencies, according to the official.

    The ministry reported last week it had planned to issue more criteria next year to help assess hospital quality more comprehensively.

    Minister of Health Nguyễn Thị Kim Tiến said at the third national hospital quality forum in September that improving health check-ups and treatment quality to satisfy patients was a priority for the healthcare sector.

    Despite some remaining weaknesses, she said that the service quality had seen major improvements in recent years, earning public appreciation. A number of hospitals have taken measures to shorten the time patients wait to be treated, while applying information technology and bettering hygienic conditions, she noted.

    Gov’t okeys construction project of coastal roads

    Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc has approved a plan of building coastal roads stretching through six coastal provinces from the north to the central region.
    As planned, the coastal road project would stretch through the northern provinces of Ninh Bình, Nam Định, Thái Bình, Hải Phòng, Quảng Ninh to central Thanh Hóa Province.
    Part of the coastal road in Nam Định Province would be built first.
    The prime minister has assigned the Ministry of Transport to invest in the first part of the project.
    He asked the ministry to complete investment procedures and work with the ministries of planning and investment and finance to evaluate capital investment and ability of deploying capital balance.
    He also asked local authorities of the six cities and provinces to work with the Ministry of Transport to conduct research and set up investment methods for the coastal road running through their localities. Local authorities will be in charge of cooperating with the Ministry of Planning and Investment to allocate the budget and report the implementation of the project to the government.

    Phú Thọ doctors successfully conduct living-unrelated kidney transplant

    Doctors of northern Phú Thọ Province’s General Hospital successfully conducted a living-unrelated kidney transplant, said Hoàng Công Lâm, the hospital deputy director.
    The recipient is Trần Thị Yến, 41, and the donor is her husband, Phạm Quỳnh Tri, 41.
    Yến was diagnosed with last-stage kidney failure four months ago. She and her family were willing to undergo the transplant to help save her life.
    After medical testing, doctors decided Yến’s husband met enough conditions to donate his kidney. Preparation for the transplant was undertaken in a careful manner for several months.
    According to doctors, more than 10 days after the transplant, the patient’s blood chemical and biological indicators remained normal. She has been discharged from hospital.
    After several instances of receiving instruction from leading experts from the central-level hospital of Việt Nam-Germany, doctors of Phú Thọ Province’s General Hospital say they can now independently conduct the operation.
    Associate Professor Nguyễn Tiến Quyết, former director of Việt Nam-Germany Hospital, said the successful transplant by Phú Thọ Province’s General Hospital is a new achievement in health examination and treatment, contributing to the improvement of public healthcare of a province-level hospital.
    The purpose of the provincial General Hospital is to reduce overcrowding at central-level hospitals and offer state-of-the-art medical services and techniques to locals, especially those in remote and disadvantaged mountainous areas in the north.

    Capital city trails behind in agromechanisation

    The lacklustre agricultural mechanisation was attributed to the unsatisfactorily slow progress in land aggregation, leading to the persistence of small-scale and scattered production, said Ngô Đại Ngọc, deputy director of the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development.
    The statement was made during the conference titled “Review Development of agricultural mechanisation Project in Hà Nội in 2016 with a vision toward 2020” held yesterday in Hà Nội City.
    Back in 2013, the city’s authorities approved the project, which has brought limited albeit welcome transformation in agriculture, partly doing away with farmers’ traditionally scattered production, reducing production costs and increasing productivity. There is still, however, more room for improvement.
    According to the set target, in 2016, the city will raise mechanisation rate in cultivation to 20 per cent. However, there are now only 272 cultivator machines in the city area and the mechanisation rate currently stands at 2.55 per cent -- merely 12.7 per cent of the set target.
    This rate fell short of the national average and its bordering provinces’ figures, the conference heard.
    Specifically, in cultivation, technology adoption remains low and farmers lack the skills to operate the machines. Small holdings also make it difficult to use high power machines or to cooperate in production and selling.
    Local officials lack in capacity and training in machinery operations. Related services such as repairing or maintenance of agromachines haven’t been paid due attention.
    Vũ Đình Hải, vice chairman of the Hương Ngải Commune People’s Committee, Thạch Thất District, lauded the positive effects of mechanisation.
    Farmers benefit from a cutback of 28 per cent in services costs, saving VNĐ180,000 per acre compared with traditional services. Mechanisation and technology adoption in every phase from land preparing, planting to harvesting also help to reduce costs and improve efficiency.
    According to Hà Nội’s Agriculture Promotion Association, on average, a single cultivator machine can accomplish the manual labour of 30 farmers. In addition, using cultivator, the distance between seedlings remain even and suitable, which promotes rice plants’ growth, resulting in 10-15 per cent higher yield with production costs being cut back about VNĐ 1.2-1.5 million (US$53-66) per acre.
    According to Ngọc, during the year, progress in mechanisation slowed down to a halt. In the near future, besides mechanisation in planting, the authorities need to also focus on large-scale concentrated animal farming, value chain production and developing support services for machineries.
    He also added that acceleration of land aggregation must be sped up -- when relations of production change, mechanisation in agriculture will naturally follow.

    Asian Parliamentary Assembly’s ninth plenary closes

    The ninth plenary of the Asian Parliamentary Assembly (APA-9) adopted the Siem Reap Declaration and 19 resolutions on political, socio-economic, and cultural issues and sustainable development at the closing session in the Cambodian city of Siem Reap on December 1.

    Themed “Promoting peace and sustainable development in Asia”, the three-day APA-9 brought together 207 delegates from 23 member parliaments, observers and APA’s international partners.

    The declaration expressed deep concern over serious issues such as terrorism and violence extremism which have hurt security and peace, which form the foundation for sustainable development in the region and the world.

    It called for countries’ active cooperation in response to climate change and delivery of commitments in the Paris Agreement adopted by the 21st Conference of the Parties (COP21) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.

    Underscoring the importance of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, the event urged for implementing the 2030 Agenda on Sustainable Development, particularly socio-economic and environment goals.

    On the occasion, the Turkish parliament was chosen to be new APA Chair and host the APA-10 and APA-11 in 2018 and 2019.

    The Vietnamese delegation, led by Standing National Assembly Vice Chairwoman Tong Thi Phong, attended the plenary session and delivered speeches to APA’s standing committees.

    On the sidelines of the closing session, Chairman of the NA Committee for Science, Technology and Environment Phan Xuan Dung met head of the Iranian parliament delegation Syydehfatemeh Zolghadr.

    Both sides vowed to further deepen bilateral ties between the two legislatures and tap each side’s potential.

    Earlier, Vice Chairwoman Phong met bilaterally with Lao NA Chairwoman Pany Yathotou and President of Cambodian NA Samdech Heng Samrin.

    Vietnam Mennonite Church convenes third general conference

    The Vietnam Mennonite Church commenced the third general conference in Ho Chi Minh City on December 1 with the participation of nearly 300 delegates from 24 provinces and cities.

    Congratulating the Church on the third conference, deputy head of the Government’s Committee for Religious Affairs Tran Tan Hung highly valued efforts by the Church’s dignitaries and followers to join people nationwide in socio-economic development and humanitarian drives, thereby contributing to the national growth.

    He expressed his belief that they will build on the achievements while adhering to the Church’s goals and operation orientations, bringing into play patriotism, and devoting more to the national development and defence.

    The two-day general conference is set to review the Church’s activities in the 2012-2016 tenure, elect a new executive board and approve a working plan for the 2016-2020 tenure.

    The Protestant denomination has existed in Vietnam since 1954. It convened the first general conference in 2008, passing its Charter and orientations.

    The Vietnam Mennonite Church was officially recognised by the Vietnamese State in 2009.

    Seminar on Asian women’s civil rights opens in Hanoi

    The fourth international scientific seminar, themed “Gender and civil rights of Asian women”, opened in Hanoi on December 1, with domestic and foreign agencies taking part.

    Speaking at the event, Chairwoman of the Asian Association of Women’s Studies (AAWS) Grace Javier Alfonso called for providing all possible support for women to contribute to society and removing backward custom burdens on women towards achieving gender equality.

    A highlight at the event is putting forward projects devised by researchers from the Republic of Korea (RoK) and the 10 ASEAN member states via the Korea - ASEAN Cooperation Project (KACP) on Education and Exchange Programme for Young Scholars in Women’s Studies, which will be one of the priorities to narrow development gap between men and women towards building the ASEAN Community of justice.

    The three-day seminar, co-hosted by the Vietnam Union of Science and Technology Associations and the Thang Long University, will focus its discussions on Asian women’s civil rights, immigration, reproductive health, abortion, women trafficking, gender-based violence, activities for women’s rights, among others.

    Ceremony marks Int’l Day of Persons with Disabilities

    The National Committee on Persons with Disabilities and the Vietnam Blind Association (VBA) hosted a ceremony in Hanoi on December 1 to celebrate International Day of Persons with Disabilities (December 3).

    Speaking at the event, Deputy Minister of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs Nguyen Trong Dam affirmed that the Party and State give priority to policies and laws to ensure the rights of the disabled and promote their involvement in socio-economic development.

    Of 2.7 million recipients of monthly subsidy, nearly 900,000 suffer severe or extremely severe disabilities and hundreds of thousands of others undergo rehabilitation and are equipped with wheelchairs and pushchairs.

    All centrally-run cities and provinces have built networks of rehabilitation centres. Disabled children have been given access to schooling while more people living with disabilities have landed jobs.

    The committee will continue working with relevant ministries and agencies to refine policies on the disabled, amend and supplement regulations on the handicapped, especially in vocational training, employment, education and health care.

    United Nations Resident Coordinator Youssouf Abdel-Jelil hailed the Vietnamese government for improving the lives of the disabled, with the establishment of the committee which regulates its role and function to help the disabled fully join the socio-cultural and economic lives.

    The UN stands ready to assist Vietnam in several fields and will continue playing its role as an important partner to really empower the Vietnamese disabled, he said.

    On the occasion, a music show, the fifth of its kind hosted by the VBA, opened, giving a chance for the blind nationwide to stay optimistic and integrate into the community.

    VNA/VNS/VOV/SGT/SGGP/TT/TN/Dantri/VNE


    0 0
  • 12/04/16--00:06: Article 4
  • Social News 4/12


    Rhino horns, skin, jewellery made from ivory seized


     

    Customs officials in northern Quảng Ninh Province, in cooperation with provincial border soldiers, arrested two persons allegedly transporting more than 3kg of products made from endangered wild animals.

    Lê Mạnh Tùng, head of the provincial Customs Department’s Customs Inspection Unit No. 1, said the official found more than 2kg of rhino horns and skin and more than 1kg of jewellery made from ivory at Móng Cái Bus Station in Móng Cái City.

    The cargo was packed in a carton box and was to be transported from the city to China for consumption.

    The two persons failed to show legal papers of origin of the products. All the goods were made from endangered wild animals.

    Tùng said the department seized the items and sent the two persons to authorised agencies for further investigation.

    Christmas market at Indika Saigon

    Indika Saigon will host a Christmas market on December 10-11 that will include 40 vendors selling crafts, artworks, accessories, clothing and food.

    Activities include taking photos with Santa Claus and performances of resident magicians and DJs.

    The event will take place from 10 am to 4 pm at 43 Nguyễn Văn Giai Street in District 1. Entrance fee is VNĐ30,000. VNS

    Poster exhibition celebrates 70 years of national resistance

    An exhibition featuring posters to commemorate 70 years of the national resistance (December 19, 1946 – December 19, 2016) and encourage a civilised lifestyle during festivals has recently opened in Đại Đoàn Kết (Great Unity) Square in Pleiku City.

    Jointly organised by the Ministry of Sports, Culture and Tourism and Gia Lai Province’s People’s Committee, the art event displays 190 large paintings by various artists from across the nation, 60 of which are advertising panels promoting local tourism.

    Through the exhibited paintings, visitors will be able to understand more about the meaning, the heroic tradition, and strong determination to preserve national independence and unity.

    The event also confirms the leadership role of the Party and President Hồ Chí Minh in the cause of national liberation, as well as to honour and pay tribute to the significant contribution of everyone in constructing and protecting the country.

    Simultaneously, it reflects the civilised lifestyle in festivals; supports improvements in festival management, the preservation and promotion of traditional cultural values and customs; educates on the tradition of paying tribute to ancestors and creates a joyful atmosphere for local cultural life.

    In 2016, Gia Lai Province successfully hosted two poster exhibitions that encourage local people to abide by the Party and State’s policies and therefore contribute to the stable construction and development of the nation.

    The exhibition will run until December 20.

    Top table tennis players to vie for titles

    Twenty-four players will participate in the National Best Table Tennis Players Tournament, to be held in Hải Phòng from December 8 to 11.

    Twelve male athletes, including top seeds Nguyễn Anh Tú, Đinh Quang Linh and Đoàn Bá Tuấn Anh, and 12 female players, such as Mai Hoàng Mỹ Trang, Nguyễn Thị Nga and Nguyễn Thị Việt Linh, will compete in the event.

    The event will be held in the round robin format, and paddlers who grab the most points will win titles and cash prizes. The winners will represent Việt Nam at international tournaments such as the Southeast Asian Games in 2017. 

    Fellowships awarded to female scientists     

    Five Vietnamese female scientists have won scholarships worth VND150 million (US$6,690 USD) each under the L’Oreal-UNESCO For Women in Science programme which was announced yesterday in Ha Noi.

    The winners were Dr Nguyen Thi Lang, head of the Genetics and Plant Breeding Division from An Giang University, and Dr. Nguyen Thi Mua from the Fire Prevention and Fighting Police Department of the Ministry of Public Security. Their research projects focussed on high quality hybrid rice varieties and anti-fire materials, respectively.

    Three other young female scientists also received the L’Oreal National Fellowship for Women in Science. They were all Ph.D holders including Do Thi Ha from the National Institute of Medicinal Materials, Do Thi Phuc from Ha Noi National University and Nguyen Thi Hiep from HCM City National University.

    All young researchers have made contributions to the health care sector by seeking new medicinal materials for cancer treatments and studying new varieties of plants that are adaptable to climate change and salinity invasion as well as improving materials used for odontology.

    The awards were granted by the For Women in Science Programme, launched by the L’Oreal Group and UNESCO in 1998. So far, it has supported more than 1,700 female scientists in many countries around the world. 

    Deputy PM prompts to disburse Formosa compensation on schedule

    Permanent Deputy Prime Minister Truong Hoa Binh has urged the north central provinces of Ha Tinh, Quang Binh, Quang Tri and Thua Thien-Hue to speed up the disbursement of Formosa compensation so that the first payment phase will have to complete on schedule by the end of this year. 

    Taiwanese steel company Formosa has transferred US$500 million to the Government in compensation for the sea environment devastation it caused early this year in the north central region.

    According to an announcement sent from the Government Office on November 29, the deputy PM approved to use part of Formosa compensation for paying testing costs of inventory seafood batches carried out by the Ministry of Health.

    The people’s committees of the four provinces must strictly implement the Prime Minister’s instruction to handle inventory seafood volume reported by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development previously.

    The agriculture ministry has been asked to work with the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Industry and Trade to review and clarify the expiry date of seafood batches in stock and propose handling solutions.

    In addition, the ministry has been required to make clear that the Government will give interest assistance instead of direct financial support for fishermen to build new fishing boats and give priority to those building steel hull vessels.

    Mr. Binh prompted the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment to hasten the progress of destroying seafood consignments which the Ministry of Health has tested unhygienic.

    Ministries, agencies and local authorities should urgently submit total compensation levels in the four provinces to create a basis for the Government to continue paying the indemnity to affected citizens, he asked.

    Flyover coming to unclog HCM City roads near airport


      

    A massive flyover will be built early next year at the Nguyễn Thái Sơn-Nguyễn Kiệm Street intersection near HCM City’s Tân Sơn Nhất Airport to unclog an area which is choked by traffic, the Department of Transport has said.

    The N-shaped flyover, which will comprise three separate arms, will cost around VNĐ504 billion (US$22.16 million), including land cost.

    One will go from Hoàng Minh Giám Street above the roundabout and land on Nguyễn Thái Sơn. It will have a second structure that turns left into Nguyễn Kiệm. The third will come from Nguyễn Thái Sơn towards the airport and turn left into Nguyễn Kiệm.

    Construction, to be overseen by the department’s Urban Transport Management Authority No.3, is scheduled to finish within eight months.

    The roads around the intersection will be widened, equipped with LED lighting and greened with trees.

    National symposium on sexual health

    In contrast to popular opinion that women and girls can protect themselves by avoiding strangers or unsafe places frequented by criminals, statistics show that 73 per cent of assaults on women are committed by acquaintances, and 10 per cent are fathers or stepfathers of victims.

    The information was declared in the third national symposium on Sexuality, Health and Society with the theme “Cultural and Institutional Barriers to Addressing Sexual Violence in Việt Nam” which was launched yesterday in Hà Nội.

    The two-day symposium attracted nearly 300 participants including legal experts, researchers, programme managers, justice officials, social activists and educators.

    Research shows that such criminals are often people considered trustworthy in society such as the elderly, celebrities, teachers and even members of the criminal justice system.

    Furthermore, incidents of sexual violence often occur at places which are considered safe such as schools, offices or even the houses of the victims.

    Speaking at the symposium, Khuất Thu Hồng, director of the Institute for Social Development Studies (ISDS), said, “Sexual violence is a serious crime against women and children, violating the most basic right of humans which is to live safely and with dignity.”

    Sexual violence leads to serious consequences for the physical, mental and financial health of the victims. Many victims and their families must strive to earn a living as they had to change accommodation to avoid discrimination. Sexual abuse even led to some victims committing suicide, she said.

    Astrid Bant, United Nations Population Fund Representative in Việt Nam, said, “Part of the problem is that men think they have a ‘right’ to control women’s bodies and sexuality.”

    “Sexual violence against women and girls is not a disease for which we need to find a cure. It stems from the way that men and boys look at and value our women and girls,” she said.

    During the symposium, representatives discussed victims and sites of sexual violence, sexual education in school, sexual violence and HIV prevention.

    Research by the ISDS showed that out of 322 sexual violence cases reported in newspapers during 2011-16, more than 20 per cent of victims were aged below 10, and some were as young as 2. As many as 60 per cent of victims were aged between 11 and 25. About 13 per cent of the cases related to instances of gang rape.

    More than 1,000 children are sexually abused per year, equal to about three per day, and the actual number is likely to be much higher, according to the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs.

    HCM City fire safety inadequate

    HCM City needs to regularly monitor fire safety practices in households and amusement venues to preclude fire accidents, city Party Committee Secretary Đinh La Thăng has said.

    At a meeting with fire department officers on Monday to discuss fire safety and prevention, he instructed them to step up inspections of industrial parks, high-rises, traditional markets, supermarkets, and shopping malls ahead of Tết.

    With fires breaking out in several places in the last few months, other recreational spots that attract a large number of visitors on a daily basis, like bars and karaoke shops, must also be covered, he said.

    Since most fires are caused by short circuits according to the department, it would be important for electrical companies to raise public awareness of electrical safety, he said.

    The city should have helicopters for fire fighting and rescue, he said.

    Nguyễn Thị Thu Hoa, deputy director of the Department of Planning and Investment, told him the city lacked the financial and human resources for it.

    “It costs about VNĐ1 trillion (US$44.1 million) to buy a helicopter and build a helipad,” she said.

    But he dismissed the argument, saying it is necessary for a commercial hub like HCM City to have a helicopter, especially since international investors are particular about fire safety.

    The city could rent helicopters from the Việt Nam Helicopter Corporation, he said.

    Toll fares cut at 23 stations: Transport Ministry

    Toll fares, so far, have been reduced at 23 Build- Operate -Transfer (BOT) toll stations nationwide, Deputy Minister of Transport Nguyen Hong Truong said.

    The move follows a government direction according to which the Transport Ministry must work with the Finance Ministry to reduce BOT toll fees by 10-15 percent at 45 operating booths across the country.

    “BOT toll cost reduction this time is mainly at five important highways -- highways No.1, No.5, No.51, No.1 from HCM City to Trung Luong and HCM National Highway through the Central Highland region,” Truong said.

    “These stations have a high volume of vehicles running through, so the reduction will significantly boost business and production.”

    Accordingly, the rate for the first group (cars with less than 12 seats and under two tonnes or buses) and the second group (cars with 12-30 seats, weighing 2-4 tonnes), has decreased from 45,000 VND (2 USD) or higher to 35,000-40,000 VND (1.6-1.7 USD).

    For the fourth group (10-18 tonne vehicles, 20-feet containers) and the fifth group (more than 18 tonnes, 40-feet containers), the new rate applicable is 20,000 VND (0.9 USD).

    There are 86 BOT toll stations nationwide under management of the Transport Ministry. Among these, 45 stations are collecting or are to collect fees. The local media has several times in the past reported that the increased toll fares on BOT national highways have angered commuters. Every day, locals who travel just a few hundred metres are forced to pay the toll, the paper reported.

    Prior to the reduction, the toll at the station was fixed, with the lowest rate set at 25,000 VND (1.1 USD) and the highest rate set at 180,000 VND (8.1 USD).

    In a related development, Deputy Minister Truong Quang Nghia asked the Vietnam Road Administration to remove the Dai Xuyen toll station on the Cau Gie-Ninh Binh Expressway no later than January 1 next year.

    According to Mai Tuan Anh, General Director of the Vietnam Expressway Corporation (VEC), the Dai Xuyen toll station collector, nearly 150 traffic jam cases were recorded from 2011 until now near the toll booth. In 2015 and the first half of 2016 alone, there were 70 cases.

    Congestion was seen on both sides of the booth, covering a distance of 0.3km and going up to 3km.

    Anh said the two toll stations located on the nearly 100km expressway are not necessary. The elimination of the Dai Xuyen toll station will help vehicles travel faster.

    The two tolls on the highway are now under management of VEC and BOT Phap Van -Cau Gie Joint Stock Company.

    Nguyen Van Huyen, head of the Vietnam Road Administration, said toll collecting systems of these two units would be given to Software-Design Automation-Control Joint Stock Company (Cadro Company) to set up a shared collecting method on the whole expressway, using electric cards and by removing paper cards.

    It also meant that drivers had to pay one time at one station when travelling on the expressway. Profits will be divided between VEC and BOT Phap Van-Cau Gie Company.

    He also asked the Cadpro company to make fee collecting technology public to ensure benefits for locals and businesses.

    Dai Xuyen toll station is located at km212 315 on the Cau Gie-Ninh Binh Expressway, connecting the capital’s city centre with northern Ninh Binh province.-VNA

    WHO urges more efforts to combat antimicrobial resistance

    World Health Organisation (WHO) Representative to Vietnam Lokky Wai has called on Vietnam to undertake more efforts to combat antimicrobial resistance (AMR).

    “The most important factor that contributes to the rise of AMR is the use of antibiotics in humans and animals. Therefore, the most effective measure the government can take is to control the use of antibiotics and ensure they are used appropriately,” Wai said at a meeting to mark Vietnam Antibiotic Awareness Week 2016 on November 30 in Hanoi.

    Wai said the increase of antibiotic production, supply and use has contributed to the spread of AMR in the environment and food chain due to the increasing pressure to meet the global food demand of people and international trade, along with industrialization, urbanisation and expansion of the health services sector.

    “The role of other sectors, such as trade, industry, environment and natural resources, are therefore important to complement regulatory actions and closely monitor the spread of AMR in the food chain and environment,” Wai said.

    “The inter-sectoral action undertaken in Vietnamis, therefore, a step in the right direction and is an excellent example for other countries in the region. By committing to work together, Vietnam is making a great contribution to the global fight against AMR,” the WHO representative added.

    “Last year, we had 400,000 individuals pledging to help fight AMR. We will continue to gather more pledges until we reach the one million mark to demonstrate the public’s support in building a healthy, safe and progressive Vietnam,” Wai said.

    Speaking at the meeting, Luong Ngoc Khue, the health ministry’s Health Examination and Management Department director, said antimicrobial resistance is a risk to Vietnam’s people and economy following the increase in antibiotic use and lax management of antibiotic use in healthcare and animal husbandry.

    Vietnam is in the list of countries with a high AMR rate due to insufficient awareness on antibiotic and AMR in community and health workers. Many residents purchase and use antibiotics without a doctor’s prescription or overuse the latest antibiotics prescribed by doctors. Excessive use of antibiotics in animal and aquaculture production is also a reason for the increase of AMR in the country, according to Khue.

    The annual week, titled "Together and Stronger against AMR," aims to increase awareness of global antibiotic resistance and to encourage best practices among the general public, health workers and policy makers to avoid further emergence and spread of antibiotic resistance.

    According to WHO, AMR results in some 700,000 global deaths per year. By 2050, the number of deaths attributed to AMR is estimated to be 10 million per year, more than the estimate for cancer and 10 times more than the estimate for diabetes.

    Project hoped to save Hoi An’s coast from erosion


     

    The central province of Quang Nam is expected to carry out a project on preventing erosion and sustainably protecting the coast of Hoi An city, which is facing serious beach erosion in recent years.

    The project’s funding is set to be loaned by the French Development Agency (AFD).

    The Prime Minister has permitted the provincial People’s Committee to compile a report suggesting an investment policy for the project. This policy must be approved by authorised agencies before it is implemented.

    Hoi An is home to 7 kilometres of coastline.

    According to the city’s latest report, 20 hectares of the city’s Cua Dai beach was washed away between 2009 and 2014.

    Many experts said sand overexploitation, deforestation and natural disasters have led to increasingly serious erosion in many coastal areas of Vietnam.

    Others blamed the erosion on the construction of resorts and the lack of proper environmental assessments before dredging occurred in Cua Dai beach area. 

    Chairman of the Hoi An People’s Committee Nguyen Van Dung used to say that they spent over 80 billion VND (3.6 million USD) on building sea dykes or temporary embankments with bamboo and sandbags, as well as the Geotube sandbag, but it’s still in vain.

    Vietnam's 6th Russian-built submarine to arrive in January

    The six submarines have been built under a US$2-billion deal aiming to strengthen Vietnam's maritime forces.

    The sixth Kilo-class attack submarine built by Russia is scheduled to arrive in Vietnam's Cam Ranh Bay in January.

    The submarine, HQ-187 Ba Ria-Vung Tau, is being delivered by the Dutch-registered vessel Rolldock Storm, Thanh Nien newspaper reported.

    The submarine was launched on September 28, 2015 at the St. Petersburg-based Admiralty Shipyard, and then began its trial run on December 19.

    On November 24, it started the voyage to Vietnam.

    Vietnam had inked a deal worth US$2 billion with Russia in 2009 to buy six Kilo-class diesel-electric submarines to strengthen its maritime forces. The contract also includes training programs for Vietnamese crew in Russia.

    The fifth submarine arrived in the country in February 21 this year.

    The Kilo-class submarines are built with advanced stealth technology, extended combat range and modern navigation systems.

    They can operate at a maximum depth of 300 meters and a range of 9,600 kilometers for 45 days.

    Swim Việt Nam to teach students in Đà Nẵng

    Swim Việt Nam, a charity based in central Việt Nam, will provide free swimming training courses for students and teachers, and swimming facilities in the central city from 2017.

    Swim Việt Nam representative Joanne Stewart said at a meeting with the city’s leadership last week that her organisation would boost co-operation with Đà Nẵng in building a big swimming pool, and providing swimming education and training for teachers and drowning prevention skills.

    According to Swim Việt Nam, over 17,500 children have been taught to swim since its activity started in central Việt Nam in 2008, and over 160 adults have been trained as swimming teachers.

    Over 30,000 primary school children have attended Swim Viet Nam’s classroom-based water safety education presentations. Swim Việt Nam also operates eight swim schools.

    Đà Nẵng is the first local authority to provide swimming training for students at all primary schools.

    Some 14,000 have benefited from this project, which includes 50 mobile swimming pools.

    Swim Việt Nam also provided free swim training courses for students in Quảng Nam Province between 2012 and 2014.

    According to Ministry of Health statistics, drowning is one of the leading causes of death in children over the age of one in Việt Nam, with nearly 10 drowning every day.

    Mangrove forests get protection

    The second phase of the Mangroves and Markets Project (MAM) 2016 - 2020 has kicked off in the Mekong Delta city of Cần Thơ after receiving more donations from the German Federal Ministry of the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety.

    The goal of the project is to help local shrimp farms become more profitable by protecting mangrove forests. This effort has enhanced profitability and sustainability while also increasing coastal resilience to climate change.

    For 30 years, shrimp farming has been one of Việt Nam’s leading export-related activities, but it has also been the leading cause of mangrove loss. Given the country’s long, densely populated coastline, it has rendered the population vulnerable to tropical storms and rising sea levels.

    The stage was set for the Mangroves and Markets project after the sustainability of the shrimp business and the conservation of mangroves were identified as national priorities.

    “After three years of implementation, the skills of State staff have significantly improved; a supply chain in shrimp production has been set up; and policies have been applied for mangrove forest protection and shrimp production development. Earnings are also higher and farm production is now more effective,” Lê Văn Sử, deputy chairman of the Cà Mau People’s Committee, said during his speech at the kick-off ceremony for the project on Tuesday.

    After the first phase of the project, around 800 households received NaturLand certification. The Cà Mau-based Minh Phú Company, the world’s second-largest shrimp exporter in terms of value, started to buy all the certified organic shrimp from farmers at a 5 - 10 per cent premium.

    The company paid around VNĐ300 million (US$13,500) for forest environmental services conducted by 200 households and VNĐ600 million ($27, 000) to 500 households who had received NaturLand certificates in 2015.

    Around 2,000 households were trained so they could receive certification in three areas: raising shrimp without chemicals or industrial feed; managing household waste; and forest protection.

    The project also helped plant 80 ha of mangrove trees on farms that do not meet the 50 per cent criterion, and has organised farmers into groups that work towards achieving the goal jointly rather than individually.

    Another 95 hectares of mangrove have been planted by local residents since the project began, while 12,600 hectares of land have been protected.

    Shrimp farmers have also become more aware of organic production techniques and the need to preserve mangrove forests in their areas.

    "Local farmers in the southernmost province of Cà Mau have been able to significantly increase their income. They receive higher prices for their organic shrimp, and are paid for their environmental services," Nguyễn Thị Bích Thủy, project manager, said.

    In the second phase, three more seafood processing or export companies and more than 5,000 households will be invited to take part in the programme.

    “The project hopes the government will issue a decision on payments for environmental services related to aquaculture,” she added. “This would help ensure that shrimp farming can be a sustainable activity amid climate-change challenges.”

    Dr Andrew Wyatt, Mekong Delta programme manager, said: “The project will closely connect with others in the three Mekong Delta provinces of Cà Mau, Bến Tre and Trà Vinh, which contains 70 per cent of mangrove area in Việt Nam. It will also work with the $310 million World Bank-funded project, the ‘Mekong Delta Integrated Climate Resilience and Sustainable Livelihoods Project’.”

    In the past, organic certification for shrimp farms in Việt Nam faced issues such as low prices, late payments and a lack of transparency that caused farmers to question the economic value of certification. But with the new model, these issues have all been resolved.

    Cà Mau Province accounts for 28 per cent of national aquaculture and 50 per cent (80,000 ha) of national mangrove forests. Both officials and farmers believe the project has the potential to be a model for shrimp feeding and forest protection that others can emulate.

    “In the near future, Cà Mau will take advantage of its areas of mangrove forest and shrimp production thanks to its recent decision, which has created a legal framework for shrimp production with international certification,” Dr Nguyễn Chí Thành, project advisor, said.

    He said that only Cà Mau Province, of the total of 29 coastal provinces, had issued a co-operation policy among farmers, forest owners and enterprises as well as flexible financial systems to invest in the model.

    By 2020, the province aims to have 40,000 hectares internationally certified for organic shrimp breeding. It expects that 60 per cent of its mangrove forest would be restored by that time.

    The project, funded by the German Federal Ministry of the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety, was carried out by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and the Netherlands Development Organisation.

    Flood-prevention projects planned for HCM City

    Fifty-one flood-prevention projects worth a total of more than VNĐ2 trillion (US$87.94 million) will be implemented next year in HCM City, the Steering Centre of Urban Flood Control Programme has said.

    The city expects to resolve 12 flood-prone spots at Ung Văn Khiêm, Mai Xuân Thưởng, Hậu Giang, Lê Quang Sung, Cao Văn Lầu, Hồng Bàng, Ba Vân, Lâm Thành Phương, Mai Hắc Đế, Lương Văn Can, Gò Dưa and Tân Hương streets.

    The city will also spend an additional VNĐ1trillion ($43.97 million) next year to upgrade drainage systems, canals and sluice gates at sites that regularly flood because of rains and high tides.

    This year, the centre resolved nine flood-prone spots at Tân Quý, Trương Vĩnh Ký, Gò Dầu, An Dương Vương, Nguyễn Xí, Mễ Cốc 2, Lưu Hữu Phước and Lương Định Của streets and National Highway No 13.

    The centre has asked the city People’s Committee to assign agencies to punish residents who illegally throw rubbish and waste into the canals.

    Farmers need practical training

    Local authorities should focus on the quality of vocational training for farmers to make it more practical instead of investing in facilities and studying equipment, which is unnecessary and causes waste, a report has revealed.

    The report detailed vocational training for farmers in seven provinces from 2014-16. The report was conducted by Oxfam and the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development’s Economic Co-operation and Rural Development Department in Lào Cai, Hòa Bình, Nghệ An, Quảng Trị, Đắk Nông, Ninh Thuận and Trà Vinh.

    Hoàng Xuân Thanh, representative of Oxfam and member of the research team, said that huge investments in vocational centres were wasteful as many centres could only hold a few classes or even none.

    A vocational centre in northern Hòa Bình Province’s Đà Bắc District was an example. Built last May with investment of VNĐ12 billion (US$529,440), the centre could not hold any classes due to a shortage of water and electricity. Most of the classes were held in communes.

    Ninh Sơn Vocational Centre in southern Ninh Thuận Province and Dakrong District’s Vocational Centre in central Quảng Trị Province were in the same situation. As many as VNĐ20 billion ($882,400) and VNĐ16.5 billion ($727,980) was invested in the two centres respectively, but no classes were held due to a shortage of teachers, he said.

    In the meantime, co-operation among authorised agencies has remained ineffective, affecting training quality.

    Đào Văn Tiến, head of the Directorate of Vocational Training’s Regular Vocational Training Department said that many localities did not put their curriculum into practice, making it hard for farmers to understand.

    The rate of farmers who managed to get out of poverty after attending vocational courses was only between 4-5 per cent on average in each locality. In some provinces such as Quảng Trị and Trà Vinh, the rate was only 1 and 0.5 per cent, the report revealed.

    Tiến said it was necessary to evaluate what kind of vocational courses would be held, who would be eligible for the courses and how they would be applied to their production.

    For example, he said, a farmer wanted to learn about raising pigs must have his own farm and capital to develop his business.

    Farmers should be taught techniques to raise hundreds or thousands of pigs or plant many hectares of rice fields as they already know about small-scale business, he said.

    Ma Quang Trung, head of the ministry’s Economic Co-operation and Rural Development Department said that from this year, the ministry was in charge of holding vocational training for farmers under the Government’s decision this August.

    The ministry tended to reduce the theory and focus on practice, showing how to do the job for farmers, so those who were illiterate could understand.

    Trung said the training would be flexible in different localities. In the Mekong Delta region seriously impacted by climate change, farmers would study techniques of raising shrimp instead of planting crops and rice fields. Fishermen in the central region would be trained about farms and cultivation techniques to improve their income.

    According to the ministry’s programme on vocational training of farmers in 2017-20, more than 913,500 farmers would have access to the courses, 80 per cent of which would have jobs and stable incomes.

    The total cost of the programme was VNĐ1.75 trillion ($77.2 billion).

    Serious deforestation case investigated in Bình Định Province

    Police of Vĩnh Thạnh District in southern Bình Định Province will investigate a deforestation case in the local protective forest, the most serious case ever in the province.

    Colonel Châu Trinh, head of the district’s police department, said yesterday the deforestation “shows signs of criminal activity as well as violation of forest exploitation and protection regulations.”

    The provincial police force is working with the district’s police to expand the investigation and prosecute suspects.

    Earlier, from November 5 to 8, 13 large trees in zone 183 of Vĩnh Hải Commune, Vĩnh Thạnh District, under management of the Vĩnh Thạnh Protective Forest Management Board, were found chopped.

    The trees are located 50-100m away from the provincial road and between the two forest protection stations of Hang Hũ and Lò Than.

    The trees are all some 30 years old and have trunk diameters of 36 to 76cm.

    Several trunks were sawed and removed from the forest. Total destruction was estimated at up to 45 sq.m. of wood, according to the Vĩnh Thạnh forest ranger station.

    Vĩnh Thạnh District’s Protective Forest Management Board dismissed Huỳnh Ngọc Sơn Hà, head of the Hang Hũ forest protection station, and asked Nguyễn Mạnh Thương, a station employee, to transfer work over the failure to protect trees in the area under the station’s management.

    Trần Phước Phi and Trần Văn Hóa, deputy directors of Vĩnh Thạnh District’s Protective Forest Management Board, were asked to explain and review their responsibility in connection with the case.

    Once the investigation concludes, penalties in accordance with the law will be imposed on violators. 

    Cross-country run to be held to call for wildlife protection

    A cross-country run is scheduled for December 11 in Hanoi to call for action against the extinction of wild animals and to raise public awareness on the issue.

    Held jointly by the Red River Runners (RRR) Club and the non-governmental Education for Nature-Vietnam (ENV), the tenth Red River Run aims to respond to the fight against violations of wildlife across Vietnam.

    This is the fourth consecutive year the run has been organised to raise funds to address illegal hunting and the illegal wildlife trade.

    Last year’s event, themed “Run for Rhinos,” aimed to raise awareness about the illegal trade in rhino horns in Vietnam and saw the participation of over 500 runners from various age groups. This year, the run will be held at the Ciputra urban area in Hanoi’s Bac Tu Liem District.

    All Vietnamese citizens and international friends are welcomed to register for the run prior to December 8 at the site of the RRR www.redriverrunners.com or to register directly at Clickspace at No. 15, Lane 76, To Ngoc Van Street, Tay Ho District or at the Hanoi Bicycle Collective at 31 Nhat Chieu Street, Tay Ho District.

    In addition to the participation of individuals, the event will bring together representatives from foreign embassies in Hanoi, NGOs and celebrities.

    Participants can choose to run in teams to affirm their support for the protection of pangolins, bears, tigers or rhinos with different distances of 5km, 10km and a half-marathon distance of 21km, as well as in a children’s category.

    Commenting on the annual event, ENV Deputy Director Nguyen Phuong Dung said that time was running out for pangolins, tigers, bears and rhinos. If there was no demand for wildlife products then there would be no market for the poachers who were taking these animals to the brink of extinction.

    She expressed her hope that the run would be warmly responded to by locals and show that Vietnam cares about the fate of these endangered species.

    Project improves rice growing in mountainous areas in Quang Nam

    A project has helped increase the productivity of rice growing in mountainous areas in the central province of Quang Nam by between 200 – 1,500 kg of rice per hectare.

    This was heard at a review of the second phase of a project on improving food security for small scale farmers in Quang Nam on November 30.

    The event was organised by the Foundation for International Development/Relief and the provincial Department of Agriculture and Rural Development.

    In 2016, the project was carried out in six mountainous districts of Quang Nam, namely Dong Giang, Tay Giang, Nam Giang, Nam Tra My, Bac Tra My, and Hiep Duc, spanning over 150,000 square metres.

    It aims to promote the use of the System of Rice Intensification, a rice cultivation method achieving high yield without relying on breed improvement or chemical fertilisers.

    Under the project, farmers were trained in rice cultivation techniques.

    Ho Thanh Tung from Tra Tan commune, northern Tra My district said the technique helped improve the effectiveness of rice growing in the mountainous areas.

    Localities will invest more in applying the technique in local rice growing, thus ensuring the continuity of the project’s outcomes.

    Quang Tri finishes phase one of compensation for environmental victims

    The central province of Quang Tri on November 30 finished phase one of distributing Formosa Ha Tinh’s compensation to coastal residents for the mass fish deaths the company caused earlier this year.

    In phase one, Quang Tri provided more than 202 billion VND (8.9 million USD) for Vinh Linh, Gio Linh, Trieu Phong and Hai Lang districts to distribute compensation.

    The money was given to 1,979 boat owners and 1,579 crew members in 14 coastal communes and towns.

    Local recipients said they will spend the money to buy fishing tools, upgrade boats, and invest in cultivation and livestock farming.

    Quang Tri has more than 8,000 households with nearly 45,000 people and over 2,800 boats from the four districts severely affected by the mass fish deaths. 

    In late June, Taiwan-invested Hung Nghiep Formosa Ha Tinh Steel Limited Company admitted responsibility for the incident, which affected the central provinces of Ha Tinh, Quang Binh, Quang Tri and ThuaThien-Hue. It pledged 11.5 trillion VND (500 million USD) in compensation.

    The Ministry of Finance transferred 3 trillion VND (134 million USD) to the localities in the initial phase. Of the amount, Quang Binh got 1.1 trillion VND (48.5 million USD); Ha Tinh, one trillion VND (44.1 million USD); Quang Tri, 500 billion VND (22 million USD), and ThuaThien-Hue, 400 billion VND (17.6 million USD).

    Project improves rice growing in mountainous areas in Quang Nam

    A project has helped increase the productivity of rice growing in mountainous areas in the central province of Quang Nam by between 200 – 1,500 kg of rice per hectare.

    This was heard at a review of the second phase of a project on improving food security for small scale farmers in Quang Nam on November 30.

    The event was organised by the Foundation for International Development/Relief and the provincial Department of Agriculture and Rural Development.

    In 2016, the project was carried out in six mountainous districts of Quang Nam, namely Dong Giang, Tay Giang, Nam Giang, Nam Tra My, Bac Tra My, and Hiep Duc, spanning over 150,000 square metres.

    It aims to promote the use of the System of Rice Intensification, a rice cultivation method achieving high yield without relying on breed improvement or chemical fertilisers.

    Under the project, farmers were trained in rice cultivation techniques.

    Ho Thanh Tung from Tra Tan commune, northern Tra My district said the technique helped improve the effectiveness of rice growing in the mountainous areas.

    Localities will invest more in applying the technique in local rice growing, thus ensuring the continuity of the project’s outcomes.

    Ex-officials sentenced for encroaching locals’ land

    Vĩnh Phúc Province People’s Court yesterday sentenced to prison eight former local officials at the first instance hearing.

    The accused, former officials of Vĩnh Yên City, were sentenced for abusing their position and power while doing public duty.

    The eight accused officials include Lại Hữu Lân, former Chairman of Vĩnh Yên City’s Peoples’ Committee, Secretary of Vĩnh Yên City’s Party Committee; Nguyễn Ngọc Quyền, former chief of the provincial People’s Committee, Chairman of Vĩnh Yên City’s Peoples’ Committee and Secretary of Vĩnh Yên City’s Party Committee; Nguyễn Xuân Trường, former Chairman of Đồng Tâm Ward’s People’s Committee, Secretary of Đồng Tâm Ward’s Party Committee; Nguyễn Xuân Liên, former official of provincial People’s Committee office, Deputy Chairman of Tam Đảo District’s People’s Committee.

    The other three officials -- Nguyễn Thị Kim Liên, Nguyễn Thị Ngọc and Vũ Văn Chức -- are all officials of Vĩnh Yên City’s departments.

    Dương Đình Tâm is a resident running a business in Vĩnh Yên City.

    According to the court verdict, since 2006, the eight officials abused power to order the compilation of illegal documents, confiscated 25ha of land from the residents and handed it over to Nguyễn Anh Quân and Dương Đình Tâm. The land then was put under the name “Farming project of Đồng Tâm Ward” invested by Đồng Tâm Ward’s People’s Committee.

    The court concluded that the offenders hold power and have knowledge about the Land Law, land use and planning regulations. 

    The illegal action of offenders “causes destruction to the State, triggers public anger and harms the reputation of local state agencies.”

    Lại Hữu Lân and Nguyễn Ngọc Quyền were sentenced to five years and nine months in prison. Nguyễn Xuân Trường was given three years and nine month imprisonment, while Nguyễn Thị Kim Liên was subjected to a suspended sentence of three years with challenging time of up to five years.

    The other offenders were given two years and three months to three years in jail.

    Nguyễn Anh Quân who prompted the offence has escaped. The provincial investigative police have issued an arrest warrant against him. 

    Yen Tu festival – traditional spiritual tourist destination

    Yen Tu Festival, which is held at the Yen Tu historical relic and landscape area, northern Quang Ninh province, from the tenth day of the Lunar New Year through the end of the third lunar month, has become a big spring festival for Buddhists and tourists nationwide. 

    Located 1,068 metres above sea levels, Yen Tu Mountain has different names such as Tuong Son (Elephant Mountain), Bach Van (White Cloud), Phu Van Son (Floating Cloud) and Linh Son (Holy Mountain). 

    The Yen Tu historical relic and landscape area encompasses Thuong Yen Cong commune and Phuong Dong ward in the north-west of Uong Bi city, Quang Ninh province. 

    In the 13th century, King-Monk Tran Nhan Tong (1258-1308), the third king of the Tran dynasty (1225-1400), abdicated the throne when he was 35 and spent the rest of his life on Yen Tu Mountain, practising Buddhism. 

    At the end of the Ly dynasty (1009-1225) and the beginning of the Tran dynasty, Yen Tu was a Buddhist worship venue for many monks like Hien Quang, Vien Chung, Dai Dang, Tieu Dao and Hue Tue. 

    When Tran Nhan Tong practised Buddhism on the mountain, he founded the first Vietnamese School of Buddhism called “Thien Tong,” Vietnam Zen Buddhism, turning the site into the capital of Vietnamese Buddhism. 

    During the past nearly 1,000 years, hundreds of pagodas and shrines have been built throughout the Yen Tu complex, including structures which boast thousands of prized statues and artefacts.

    Yen Tu is also a museum of architecture and diverse fauna and flora. It has favourable conditions for research in history, spiritual culture, tourism potential, ecological environment, bio diversity and gene protection.

    The complex is a demonstration of interactions between human beings and nature, reflecting the uninterrupted residence of people, especially Buddhists, for thousands of years. 

    Yen Tu also witnessed Vietnam’s struggles against invaders from the north and the west, becoming a symbol of Vietnam’s independence and self-mastery.  

    With its significant historical, cultural and natural values, Yen Tu was recognised as a Special National Relic Site in September 2012. It was also selected as one of the 10 most popular spiritual destinations in Vietnam by the Vietnam Records Organisation.

    The website of the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) included Yen Tu relic in the list of nominated heritages.

    Rach Chiec sports complex to be built in 2017

    The Rach Chiec Sports Complex following the international modern standard will be built in district 2 of Ho Chi Minh City in the near future, yesterday announced at the launching ceremony of the scale-1/2000 zoning plan for the Rach Chiec sports complex. 

    The construction covers over 180 hectares of land with total investment capital of VND 34,000 billion, aiming to serve sport and culture activities of the city and the country, contributing to boost the city's economic, society and culture development. 

    According to Vice director of HCMC Culture and Sport Department Nguyen Hung, it can be called the two-decade project because it has been launched since 1994 but just approved until now.  

    The complex will be one of the city's upcoming investment projects, creating the best conditions for Ho Chi Minh City in hosting the big regional and international sport events. 

    In September, the Ho Chi Minh City People’s Committee approved to give the Thai Son Nam Sports Joint Stock Company to be investor of the Rach Chiec Sports Complex.

    The Committee asked the departments of Culture and Sport, Architecture and Planning, Finance and Nikkei Sekkei Company continue completing related documents to report the city's leader in June, 2017.

    The construction is designed indoor competition houses of futsal, basketball, volleyball, and hostel for athletes and coaches as well.

    Nikken Sekkei Company of Japan, who has won a contest for seeking the best designer for the scale-1/2000 zoning plan for the Rach Chiec sports complex, becomes the main constructor of the project

    VNA/VNS/VOV/SGT/SGGP/TT/TN/Dantri/VNE


    0 0
  • 12/04/16--00:28: Article 3
  • Floods kill at least 13 people in central Vietnam


     

    Flood sinks many houses in Quang Nam Province, located in central Vietnam. 

    Tuoi Tre

    Floods brought by torrential rain since late November have killed at least 13 people in central Vietnam while more heavy rain is expected in coming days, the government and state media said on Sunday.

    Six people have died in floods in Binh Dinh province since Thursday and another four were killed in Quang Ngai province, while more than 10,000 homes in the two provinces were submerged, the government said.

    Three children aged between four and 13 were swept away in flood waters in Quang Nam province on Saturday, the Thanh Nien (Young People) newspaper cited a provincial report as saying.

    A cold snap now moving southward is forecast to bring heavy rain to central provinces between now and next Thursday, the government report said.

    Floods killed 65 people since October in central provinces, submerged 200,000 homes and damaged railway and roads, with losses valued at more than 7 trillion dong ($309 million), the government said on Friday.

    The flood-stricken areas are in the north, outside Vietnam's Central Highlands coffee belt and Mekong Delta food basket.


     
    Flood hits a road in Quang Nam, located in central Vietnam. Photo: Tuoi Tre


     
    People use boats to travel on a flooded street in Tam Ky, the capital city of Quang Nam Province, located in central Vietnam. Photo: Tuoi Tre

    REUTERS


    0 0
  • 12/04/16--00:38: Article 2
  • Encouraged by 20 percent profit, investors pour money into real estate


    I have to say that profits from real estate investment is relatively high,” said Tran Ngoc Quang, secretary general of the Vietnam Real Estate Association.

     vietnamnet bridge, english news, Vietnam news, news Vietnam, vietnamnet news, Vietnam net news, Vietnam latest news, Vietnam breaking news, vn news, real estate market, FDI, Hanoi

    The real estate sector is the brightest part in the picture of Vietnam’s economy in the first 10 months of the year, with the number of newly set up businesses during that time increasing by 93 percent and registered investment capital up by 213 percent in comparison with the same period last year.

    The attractive profit that investors can expect in this field was the reason behind the high number of new businesses.

    “Investors, after surveying the market, assume that the profit in the field is no less than 20 percent. This is why they injected money into the market,” Quang said.

    The profit levels vary for different projects, depending on investors’ long-term development strategies and their ways of implementing projects.

    The Ministry of Planning and Investment’s report confirmed that the real estate sector is leading in terms of the number of newly registered businesses and investment capital. It also shows that many investors in other business fields have jumped on the bandwagon.

    The real estate sector is the brightest part in the picture of Vietnam’s economy in the first 10 months of the year, with the number of newly set up businesses during that time increasing by 93 percent and registered investment capital up by 213 percent in comparison with the same period last year.

    Commenting about ‘amateur’ investors, Quang said this was the right of businesses to determine which business fields they invest in.

    He went on to say that professional real estate developers, who always follow strict rules to ensure the high quality of products and customer care services, can bring bigger benefits to customers.

    Meanwhile, since amateur developers try to grab certain opportunities to make money, they don’t think they need to gather all necessary resources to fulfill the commitments they make.

    Local newspapers have reported that the domestic real estate market is heating up in the last months of the year.

    Zing cited a report of CBRE Vietnam, a real estate service provider, as saying that the number of transactions in October increased by 17 percent.

    In Hanoi, there were 1,300 transactions reported, an increase of 18.2 percent compared with the month before. Many projects kicked off during that time, while some completed projects were put on sale in the districts of Cau Giay, Bac Tu Liem and Nam Tu Liem.

    In HCM City, there were 1,225 transactions, up by 16.7 percent. The supply has become more abundant with apartments of large-scale projects in districts 2, 7 and Binh Thanh.

    By October 20, the total inventory value had decreased to VND32.709 trillion, a decrease of 35.72 percent compared with December 2015.

    Kim Chi, VNN


    0 0
  • 12/04/16--00:58: Article 1
  • VCCI stresses decisive role of private sector


    As many as 58% of private enterprises in Vietnam are not earning enough to pay taxes, which means the need for a stronger focus on making the private sector a driving force for the economy, according to an official from the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI).

    Dau Anh Tuan, Head of VCCI's Legal Department told the Economic Forum on restructuring state-owned enterprises held on Friday in Hanoi, that economic restructuring should aim at making private enterprises stronger and that they hold a decisive role in the economy.


    Head of VCCI's Legal Department, Dau Anh Tuan, speaks at the Economic Forum on restructuring state-owned enterprises held in Hanoi on December 2

    Tuan, however, admitted that the private sector was facing various challenges.

    “A report by Fulbright showed that at now only the FDI sector is doing well, while the state, private, and household businesses are all showing problems," Tuan explained. "But in the long-term, the FDI sector cannot be the driver for the economy because FDI enterprises come to Vietnam to take advantage of our cheap labour which will not last long. Therefore we should focus on developing private enterprises in the coming time."

    A recent survey by VCCI on 10,000 private enterprises showed that most of them are operating less effectively than before and many are downsizing.

    Statistics from the General Department of Taxation showed that as many as 58% of private firms don't make enough profits to pay tax.

    "Vietnamese private enterprises are facing lots of challenges in accessing loans and other resources compared to those from the state-owned or FDI sectors," Tuan added. "Only 30% - 40% enterprises are able to access bank loans compared to 80% of state-owned enterprises. This is because private enterprises are given fewer incentives while they have weaker management and IT ability and less experience.

    The VCCI representative called on better policies and preferential treatment for private enterprises so that they can grow better.

    We're targeting at one million private enterprises by 2020, but I think what's more important is that we should help these one million grow to play a decisive role in the economy, Tuan said.

    By Bich Diep, dtinews.vn


    0 0
  • 12/04/16--01:35: Article 0
  • Boosting Vietnamese exporters to develop sustainably


    Foreign direct investment export businesses in Vietnam are contributing a great deal to national economic development.


    boosting vietnamese exporters to develop sustainably hinh 0

    But the Vietnamese government still needs new policies to help domestic exporters to reduce dependence on the foreign invested sector. 

    Over the past 10 months, FDI enterprises earned more than US$100 billion from overseas exports, up 8% from last year, garnering more than 70% of Vietnam’s export revenue.

    This helped Vietnam record a trade surplus of US$3.52 billion over 10 months and reduced its trade gap.

    Economist Luu Bich Ho says domestic exporters should consider FDI a boost to growth that will eventually make them less dependent on FDI.

    “FDI plays an important role in Vietnam’s exports and industry. In the future, on one hand we’ll continue to attract more FDI, especially in the industrial and agricultural sectors. On the other hand we must try to encourage domestic companies to contribute more to production and exports”, Ho noted.

    It’s impossible to deny the benefits FDI has brought to the Vietnamese economy. But in the long run, Vietnam needs to lessen its dependence on FDI companies.

    Economist Nguyen Minh Phong advised Vietnamese enterprises to find ways to improve their competitiveness to meet the strict requirements of foreign partners and the current integration.

    “If we can make full use of FDI, that capital will help connect the national economy with the global supply chain. Regarding environmental pollution and labor disputes, state management agencies should refine the legal system to reduce risks and direct FDI flows and FDI activities to achieve set targets. In that way, we can reduce unsustainable pressure,” said Phong.

    Nguyen Van Toan, Vice President of the Vietnam Association of Foreign Invested Enterprises, said “It’s best if FDI companies which have been doing business for a long time in Vietnam and have wide spread influence can connect export value chains with Vietnamese businesses. On the other hand, if that link isn’t established, efforts to attract foreign investment in Vietnam will be meaningless.”

    VOV5


    0 0
  • 12/05/16--01:36: Article 6
  • Vietnamese fintech companies energized with foreign capital


    Foreign investors have begun to eye Vietnamese fintech companies.

     vietnamnet bridge, english news, Vietnam news, news Vietnam, vietnamnet news, Vietnam net news, Vietnam latest news, Vietnam breaking news, vn news, fintech, investment funds, venture capital

    VNPT Epay, one of the three largest e-payment service providers, has confirmed that a 62.25 percent stake has been transferred to UTC Investment from South Korea. The stake was sold by VMG, one of the founding shareholders of VNPT Epay. The other founding shareholder is the Vietnam Post & Telecommunication Group (VNPT).

    TechinAsia reported that OnOnPay, a top-up tool for prepaid mobile subscribers, has received investment capital of $800,000 from Gobi Partners, a Chinese fund. The capital will be disbursed in different stages to upgrade service infrastructure and develop technology.

    OnOnPay is a startup established in early 2015. It received investment capital from Captii Ventures before. Declining to give details about profits, Bui Sy Phong, the founder and CEO, said OnOnPay has strong growth.

    “We are targeting a market with 90 million people, where only 30 percent of people have bank accounts, while smartphones and internet are very popular,” he said.

    After receiving new capital, the fintech industry wants to reach out to the South East Asian markets, such as Thailand, Indonesia and the Philippines in a plan supported by Gobi Partners.

    The ecosystem for Vietnamese fintech companies is still small, with just 30 companies. However, the market has become more diverse recently with services not only in payment, but also in capital calls, remittances and data management.

    Victor Chua, Gobi Partners’ ASEAN investment director, said not many companies can provide solutions for the market with up to billions of people. This is a large market with high demand for more options for products and services. He believes that OnOnPay can develop well in emerging markets such as Cambodia, Indonesia and Myanmar.

    Prior to that, in March 2016, M-Service JSC, which owns MoMo e-wallet brand, officially received investment capital worth $28 million from Standard Chartered Private Equity and Goldman Sachs. This is the biggest investment deal for a Vietnamese fintech.

    A lot of other investment deals have also been announced, though they have a smaller scale.

    Topica Founder Institute commented that Vietnamese fintech companies have received investments recently. Fintech ranks third among the group of businesses which have successfully called for capital, following e-commerce and media.

    A survey found that the ecosystem for Vietnamese fintech companies is still small, with just 30 companies. However, the market has become more diverse recently with services not only in payment, but also in capital calls, remittances and data management.

    While MoMo turns smartphones into e-wallets which allow users to remit money, Ngan Luong focuses on e-commerce payment service. While Payoo allows payment for daily bills, VTPay helps calculate tax and make tax payment. While Loanvi provides a platform for the peer loans among users, Cash2vn allows to transfer kieu hoi (overseas remittance) to Vietnam and Money Lover helps users manage their expenditures.


    Nam Lich, VNN


    0 0
  • 12/05/16--01:58: Article 5
  • Quang Ninh heats up with investment flows


     
    Vincom Ha Long shopping centre (Photo: vingroup.net)


    Quang Ninh -The northern province of Quang Ninh has proved its attractiveness to both domestic and foreign investors, which can be seen in the flow of investment in recent years.

    During the past two years, Vingroup, a big domestic real estate  firm, has launched two massive projects in Quang Ninh, including the Vincom Ha Long shopping centre, worth 1.1 trillion VND (48.4 million USD) and the Vinpearl Ha Long Bay Resorts on Reu Island valued at 1.2 trillion VND (52.8 million USD). 

    The group also planned to build a complex of shopping centre, service and apartment on an area of 4,000 ha in Quang Yen.

    Meanwhile, it has plans to pour over 2 billion USD in developing the project Ha Long Marina in Ha Long, which has been carried out for the past three years and will continue in upcoming years.

    As of beginning of this year, FLC Group set its hallmark in Quang Ninh with the project FLC Ha Long with a total investment of 3.4 trillion VND (149.8 million USD). Covering an area of 224 ha, the project includes a 18-hole golf course, a 1,500-seat international convention centre, a five-star hotel and luxury resort villas.

    The locality also attracts foreign big names such as ISC Corp, Wyndham and Starwood from the US, Amata of Thailand and Nakheel Properties of the UAE.

    The provincial Department of Planning and Investment reported that there were 111 valid foreign direct investment (FDI) projects with a total registered capital of 5.1 billion USD in Quang Ninh as of the beginning of this year.

    The locality’s provincial competitiveness index (PCI) has jumped to the third place from the 20th among 63 provinces in the past three years, according to Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI). Quang Ninh’s PCI is now the top of the northern region.

    Dau Anh Tuan, Head of VCCI’s Legal Department and Director of the national PCI programme, said the indices on leaders’ dynamism and business support service of Quang Ninh are better than those of other provinces.

    He also noted that the provincial administrative centre model has been effective and offered favourable conditions to investors.-VNA


older | 1 | .... | 400 | 401 | (Page 402) | 403 | 404 | .... | 495 | newer