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 | .... | 401 | 402 | (Page 403) | 404 | 405 | .... | 495 | newer

    0 0
  • 12/05/16--02:27: Article 4
  • The late 'niceness' of the Ministry of Transport


    As millions of people already changed their paper driving licenses into plastic as regulated, the Ministry of Transport has suddenly had a change of heart at the last minute.

    The Ministry of Transport's Circular 58, issued in 2015, ordered all old car driving licences made from paper to be changed to plastic material before December 31. Those who fail to exchange their licences will have to retake a written test to get their licence reissued.

    According to the Ministry of Transport, by August 31, nearly 5.3 million driving licences had been changed and it is estimated that there are some 300,000 paper licences left.


     
     Thousands of people in Di An Commune, Binh Duong Province
    going to the communal post office to change licences

    People are worried and it's troublesome to have to retake a written test. But they also believed in the ministry and that it is necessary to change the licenses. They quickly shelled out the money to complete the procedures to obey the circular.

    Then on November 30, the ministry said only expired driving licences made from paper are required to change after the Ministry of Justice said there was no legal grounds to carry out the circular and that it affected people’s rights.

    Maybe many people will feel the same: surprised, glad and upset. Especially those who already went through all procedures to change their licences.

    The ministry's leaders said they wanted to change all paper licences into plastic for better management. However they had realised the circular's shortcomings after a year.

     The ministry gave a deadline and if drivers couldn’t meet it, they'd have to retake written test and this was the trouble.

    Deputy Minister of Transport Nguyen Hong Truong said, "We thought of helping people change the licences for free but it was too costly. The move aims to prevent fake licences and provide higher quality licenses."

    It sounds like the ministry understands and wants to share the burdens with the drivers. They changed the circular at the last minute so that tens of thousands of people don't have to take time to go through procedures or worry about written tests.

    But it's actually their excuse after being forced to make the change when there is only one month before the deadline and not many paper licences left. Many people expressed doubts at their 'good-will' statements.

    It's hard to feel sympathy for the ministry since they suddenly changed their mind while statistics show that most drivers have obeyed the rules. It shows how unorganised and inconsistent the government agencies are. If they continue working like this, they will find it hard for the public to buy in to their next round of policies.

    Other agencies have been issuing unreasonable regulations. Only after opposition from the public or re-checking what they decided, have they revised the regulations without any compensation or even an apology. Consultants and leaders that approved the regulations aren't punished.

    By Manh Quan, dtinews.vn


    0 0
  • 12/05/16--05:54: Article 3
  • Phu Quoc islanders lament ‘sand drain’ to Singapore


     
    A barge is seen loading sand off Phu Quoc Island, off southern Vietnam.Tuoi Tre


    A huge amount of sand from a dredging project off the southern Vietnamese island of Phu Quoc is being sold to Singapore, while local constructions are forced to use sand bought from the mainland, a paradox angering residents of the popular tourist destination.

    Phu Quoc is a district administered by the southern province of Kien Giang, and where the Naval Zone 5, a Vietnamese Navy command unit, has its headquarters and naval port.

    The Naval Zone 5 has two private firms carry out the sand dredging project to open the access channel to the port, with the dredged sand exported to Singapore.

    Many Phu Quoc islanders have complained that the sand should be used in local construction projects rather than being exported, while others expressed concern that the continuous dredging would eventually cause land subsidence, affecting the safety of islanders.

    Dredging throughout the night

    The sale of sand to Singapore emerged in late 2015 but quickly ceased following protests from local residents.

    However, in early November, barges began returning to the waters off Phu Quoc Island for dredging, before carrying the sand to ships waiting to transport the material to Singapore.

    At first light on November 30, Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper reporters arrived at the naval port to observe the sale of sand, with two major ships docked around 1km from the port, waiting for the dredged sand to be loaded.

    At the time, the ship Turicum was fully loaded with sand and was pending procedures to sail back to Singapore.

    Anchored a few hundred meters away from Turicum was the Yuan Shun Hai, operated by Cosco Shipping, which was loading sand from several barges.

    Ten barges were docked not far away from the two vessels, with four busily pumping sand from the seabed.

    On December 1, Tuoi Tre visited the Phu Quoc representative office of the Kien Giang Seaport Authority, while a Turicum representative was completing paperwork for the ship to leave.

    It would be the third Phu Quoc-Singapore trip over the last 30 days for Turicum, and the fourth for Yuan Shun Hai. Both vessels are able to carry some 60,000 metric tons of sand per trip.


    The Cosco Shipping-operated Yuan Shun Hai ship is seen off Phu Quoc Island.


    Phu Quoc islanders have strongly disapproved of the sale of sand dredged off the island to foreign companies.

    At a meeting with Kien Giang lawmakers on November 11, Nguyen Van Nam, a resident of the island’s An Thoi Town, questioned why Vietnam continues to export sand to Singapore while many other countries stopped doing so long ago.

    Huynh Quang Hung, deputy chairman of Phu Quoc District, also opposed the decision of the Naval Zone 5 to export the locally dredged sand.

    “The sand must have been used for construction projects on Phu Quoc, given the current demand for site leveling on the island,” Hung said at the same meeting.

    Hung underlined that continuous sand dredging may cause land subsidence near the port, adding that the district’s administration will continue to petition higher authorities to have the dredging stopped.

    “Many infrastructure and tourism projects on Phu Quoc are in need of a huge amount of sand for site leveling, but have to buy from the mainland at inflated prices because the on-island supply falls short,” he said.

    As Tuoi Tre returned to the scene on Sunday, a new vessel, Hong Kong’s Jin Gang, was seen waiting to receive sand off Phu Quoc Island.


    The Jin Gang ship is seen off Phu Quoc Island.

    ‘In line with procedures’

    Phung Quoc Binh, deputy director of the Kien Giang environment department, confirmed that sand is being dredged and sold to Singapore off Phu Quoc Island, but the activity is in line with all procedures, paperwork and regulations.

    On November 30, a Naval Zone 5 high-ranking official also asserted toTuoi Tre that the dredging is in line with procedure and under proper supervision by the environment department.

    The naval official refused to comment further, asking Tuoi Tre to work with the environment department.

    On December 1, Vo Thi Van, another deputy director of the Kien Giang environment department, gave Tuoi Tre a departmental inspection report on the sand dredging project in waters near the Naval Zone 5 port.

    According to the document, the project is backed by the Ministry of Defense, with all necessary papers completed and approved.

    A Singapore-bound ship loading sand off Phu Quoc Island is seen in this December 2015 file photo.

    The developer, the Naval Zone 5, has also been authorized to contract two private firms, Hai Viet Co. and Duc Long Co., to carry out the dredging to save investment cost.

    Van added that the amount of sand to be dredged had also been approved by the Ministry of Construction.

    Under the construction ministry’s license, the two companies are allowed to exploit seven million cubic meters of sand, with one million cubic meters eligible for export.

    The inspection report was submitted to the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources on July 19.

    At that time, the companies had dredged 296,868 cubic meters of sand and exported more than 100,000 cubic meters.

    The firms had paid more than VD1.11 billion (US$49,554) in export taxes, but were yet to pay the natural resources and dredging taxes.

    Van told Tuoi Tre on December 1 that her department would re-inspect the dredging activity and report to both Kien Giang’s and Phu Quoc’s administrations as soon as possible.

    “The report will also be made public to all islanders, allowing them to directly oversee the dredging project,” she pressed.

    TUOI TRE NEWS


    0 0
  • 12/05/16--06:03: Article 2
  • Social News 5/12


    Philippine naval ship visits Cam Ranh port


    Philippine naval ship visits Cam Ranh port, Deaf footballers to compete at regional championships, Cross border drug ring busted, Woman sentenced to 13 years in jail for fraud, Quang Binh border guards remove 350kg bomb 

    A naval ship of the Philippines, the PF-16 BRP Ramon Alcaraz,  docked at Cam Ranh International Port in the central province of Khanh Hoa on December 5 for a four-day cordial visit.

    During the stay to December 8, officers and sailors on the ship will call on the Commander of the Naval Zone 4 and leaders of Khanh Hoa province.

    They will also hold an exchange with their Vietnamese counterpart.

    NA Chairwoman meets voters in Can Tho

    National Assembly Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan and the NA deputies of the Mekong Delta city of Can Tho on December 4 met with voters in Ninh Kieu and Cai Rang districts to inform them about the outcome of the 14th NA’s second session. 

    Voters called for more investment in the Mekong Delta, including Can Tho city. The State should have policies to improve the living conditions of people in remote areas, on develop the national rice brand name and address school violence, they said.

    Acquiring voters’ opinions, the NA Chairwoman said investment will be poured into building key roads in Can Tho to ensure its connection with other regional localities.

    Regarding voters’ worry about high public debt, Ngan said the NA will increase supervision to keep the public debt under 65 percent of the GDP.

    She also underlined the Party and the State’s efforts in corruption prevention and control, saying that the NA Standing Committee is assigned to issue legal documents on punishing violating officials even when they retire or move to other position.

    The NA leader also talked with voters about the lack of jobs for graduates and traffic accidents in the locality.

    The same day, the top legislator visited the Tan Cang – Cai Cui port in the city.

    Party delegation attends 20th Congress of Portuguese Communist Party

    A delegation of the Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV) led by Hoang Binh Quan, Head of the Party Central Committee's Commission for External Relations, attended the 20th Congress of the Portuguese Communist Party (PCP) in Almada city, Portugal, from December 2-4.

    On the sidelines of the congress, the Vietnamese delegation held talks with a PCP delegation headed by Party General Secretary Jeronimo de Sousa. 

    Hoang Binh Quan took the occasion to praise the PCP’s contributions to the international communist and worker’s movement.

    The two sides exchanged the situation of their respective parties, countries and the relationship between the two parties and countries. 

    They also compared notes on regional and international issues, including the East Sea issue, and discussed measures and ways to boost ties between the two parties.

    The PCP appreciated the presence of the CPV high-level delegation at the congress. It hailed Vietnam’s successful organisation of the meeting of international parties and workers in Hanoi, saying that it is an important landmark in cementing international communist, workers and leftist movement.

    Jeronimo de Sousa expressed his joy at the CPV’s achievements in socialism construction and affirmed that the PCP is the CPV’s trusted friend.

    The congress, with the theme “The Portuguese Communist Party with the workers and people, democracy and socialism,” convened 1,200 official delegates and guests representing leftist, progressive political forces, mass, social and professional organisations in Portugal.

    Sixty-two international delegations representing communist parties and international workers attended the congress.

    The congress elected a 146-member central executive committee and a 21-member Politburo.

    Jeronimo de Sousa was re-elected as the PCP General Secretary.

    North central provinces urged to diversify tourism products

    North central provinces have been urged to diversify their tourism products besides sea tourism. 

    Tourism products in the north central region were the focus of a conference held by the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism (VNAT) in Thua Thien-Hue province on December 3.

    Ha Van Sieu, Deputy Director General of the VNAT, said in addition to the long coast, north central provinces are also home to many cultural and historic relic sites, including nine world natural and cultural heritage items recognised by UNESCO.

    Therefore, the region should create products on ecological tourism, craft village tourism, spiritual tourism and countryside tourism.

    However, Sieu said, localities in the region need to pay attention to improving quality of products and services. 

    He affirmed the VNAT will coordinate with localities and relevant agencies to assist with promotion activities and attract local and international tourists.

    The north central region comprises six provinces of Thanh Hoa, Nghe An, Ha Tinh, Quang Binh, Quang Tri and Thua Thien-Hue.

    According to Nguyen Dung, Vice Chairman of the Thua Thien Hue People’s Committee, besides cultural and sea tourism products, localities in the region need to exploit their rich heritage of culture and traditional crafts to develop spiritual and craft village tourism.

    Rice aid delivered to Vietnamese in Cambodia

    Vietnamese Cambodians living in Siem Reap province, Cambodia, have received five tonnes of rice, a present from Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc.

    The rice was delivered to needy Vietnamese families in Siem Reap City, Kampong Khleng fishing village and Mac La Fishing Village on Tonle Sap Lake, by the Vietnamese General Consulate in Battambang province and the Association of Cambodians of Vietnamese Origin in Siem Reap province on December 3 – 4.

    PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc pledged the rice during his meeting with representatives of Vietnamese residents in Siem Reap on November 23, as part of his recent visit to Cambodia to attend the ninth Cambodia – Laos – Vietnam (CLV) Development Triangle Area.

    There are about 1,600 Vietnamese Cambodians households with 6,500 people in Siem Reap province. Most of them live on fishing and small business with low income.

    Vietnam, Egypt radio stations foster broadcasting cooperation

    General Director of the Voice of Vietnam (VOV) Nguyen The Ky has proposed that the agency and the Egypt National Radio finalise procedures for the signing of a bilateral agreement in broadcasting.

    The deal will enable the two sides to exchange radio programmes, thus introducing the culture, nation and people of Vietnam and Egypt to each country’s audiences and deepening the mutual understanding of both peoples.

    During their meeting in Cairo on December 4, the VOV leader and chairwoman of the Egypt National Radio Nadia Mabrouk agreed to send reporters to each other for joint production of radio programmes on their cultures and countries.

    Ky suggested that the two sides should sign the agreement as soon as possible, while proposing holding a seminar in Hanoi on the occasion to share experience in broadcasting activities and discuss challenges facing the sector in the context of information boom.

    He introduced the development of the VOV during the past 70 years, highly valuing the cooperation with the Egypt National Radio as having boosted bilateral ties between the two countries in politics, economy, trade, culture and tourism.

    For her part, Nadia Mabrouk agreed with proposals of her Vietnamese counterpart, adding that the cooperation agreement between the two sides is feasible and practical.

    She pledged to direct units of the Egypt National Radio to directly contact with those from the VOV to quicken the process of finalising required procedures for the signing of the deal in the coming time.

    The two sides also agreed that Vietnam and Egypt are sharing untapped potential of affiliation in various fields, especially economy, culture and tourism, adding that the cooperation between the two radio stations will contribute to strengthening bilateral partnership between the two countries.

    Vietnam joins charity fair in Ukraine

     The Vietnamese Embassy in Ukraine has participated in a charity bazaar in Kiev together with over 40 embassies and international organisations based in the capital.

    The Vietnamese booth showcased traditional agricultural products, medicines and handicrafts. Vietnamese food, tourism and cultural products were also on display. 

    The embassy donated the proceeds to the Ukrainian Red Cross Society to support poor people and children with disabilities in Ukraine. 

    The annual event, held by the International Women’s Club of Kiev, aims to raise funds for disadvantaged women, children, elderly and disabled people in Ukraine. 

    It also serves as an opportunity for international organisations to boost cultural exchanges and strengthen ties with the host country.

    Programme gathers Vietnamese women at home, abroad


     

    Vietnamese women who get married to foreigners and overseas Vietnamese females living in their homeland engaged in the first-ever exchange programme in Hanoi on December 3. 

    The programme, held by the Vietnam Women’s Union Central Committee (VWUCC), aims to help the overseas Vietnamese women increase their connectivity. 

    Addressing the event, VWUCC Vice President Bui Thi Hoa said the association has conducted multiple practical activities to connect women at home and abroad. 

    In March 2015, it launched a website exclusively designed for overseas Vietnamese women at http://pnvnnuocngoai.vn/ managed by the Vietnamese Women Newspaper, she said. 

    The website provides information and knowledge for Vietnamese women abroad, especially female labourers and students, and brides. It also serves as a forum where Vietnamese women in more than 100 countries and territories worldwide share their own stories. 

    Participants at the event proposed initiatives to promote women’s role in their families and society in the context of international integration and globalisation. 

    Hoa said, since its inception more than 86 years ago, the 15 million-strong union has continuously revamped its methods of gathering Vietnamese women. 

    The 12th national congress of Vietnamese women is scheduled to take place in March 2017, focusing on promoting the creativeness of Vietnamese women in national reform and protection, she said. 

    During the 2017-2022 tenure, the association will continue renewing its operation in order to better meet demands and aspirations of women, contributing to achieving international commitments on women and gender equality Vietnam has joined, including those on sustainable development, gender equality improvement and the empowerment of women and girls, Hoa noted.

    Deaf footballers to compete at regional championships

    Vietnam are in Group B of the first ASEAN Deaf Football Championship, which begins on December 5 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

    Other teams of the group include Myanmar and the hosts.

    Group A gathers Thailand, Cambodia, Indonesia and Laos.

    Vietnam will meet Malaysia in the opening match today, while Thailand sees off Cambodia at the National Sports Council (NSC) field in Bukit Jalil.

    The final is scheduled for December 10. 

    Vietnam second at Chinese international tourney

    Vietnam was tied 2-2 in their last match at the international futsal tournament in Jiangsu province, China on December 4.

    With one win, one loss and one draw, the Southeast Asian team ranked second among four participants.

    World No 8 Ukraine, who beat Vietnam 3-1 last week, was on top with nine points. China came in third place.

    Vietnamese players will arrive home on December 5 and return to prepare for the National Cup from December 27-30 in HCM City. - VNA

    Cross border drug ring busted

    Police in Ho Chi Minh City have smashed a drug ring, arresting five people and confiscating 1.4 kg of heroin, nearly 4kg of methamphetamine, VND100 million in cash and others.

    HCM City officials said on December 5 that five people are part of a major drug ring operating across the border from neighbouring Cambodia.

    Nguyen Thach Thao was the first person to have been arrested on November 28 when she was receiving methamphetamine and her accomplices, Lam Tu Tran, Lam Kim Phung, Lam Dao Long and Le Quang Cuong were the next arrestees.

    Long (or Steven Dao Long) and Phung are Australian Vietnamese.

    The case is till under further investigation.

    Two arrested with seven red-faced monkeys in central Vietnam

    Local authorities plan to release the sole surviving monkey in Nghe An Province's protected forest.

    Police in Nghe An Province caught two men with seven red-faced monkeys on December 3.

    Pham Ngoc Thuy, 42, and Nguyen Van Son, 39, said they bought the protected animals in the mountains and expected to sell them in the lowlands.

    Six of the monkeys were found dead. The authorities plan to return the sole survivor to Pu Mat National Park.

    The police also seized 14kg of wildlife bones from Thuy and Son during the bust.

    The Vietnamese government has called for stronger enforcement of its wildlife smuggling laws to help bring the trade to an end.

    Last month, Deputy Prime Minister Truong Hoa Binh ordered the Ministry of Public Security to launch campaigns to investigate and wipe out smuggling rings.

    Ecotourism: Beach-cleaning tours on Vietnam’s Phu Quoc Island

    Many travelers on tours to Phu Quoc Island, off the southern Vietnamese coast, have jumped at a surprise offer from tour operators to take part in beach-cleaning activities as itinerary extras.

    The activities are part of the ‘Phu Quoc Green Tourism’ campaign, jointly run by Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper and the administration of Kien Giang Province, which is located in southern Vietnam.

    Phu Quoc, dubbed ‘pearl island’ for its breathtaking beaches and vast forests, is an offshore district administered by Kien Giang, and is Vietnam’s largest island.

    Dozens of travelers on tours operated by Ho Chi Minh City-based Viet Media Travel and Phu Quoc-based Dong Doi Tourism on Friday enthusiastically joined in litter-picking activities at Dinh Cau Beach in Phu Quoc after they were given a surprise notice the day before by their tour guides.

    Among the participants were Vietnamese actress Viet Trinh and Tran Thanh Trung, vice chairman at local movie studio VnFilm, who cut short their diving and fishing itineraries to partake in the activities.

    “It’s a meaningful thing to do,” Viet Trinh told Tuoi Tre as she live-streamed the event on Facebook to raise awareness among her friends and followers.

    “I feel that this needs to be shared, and I hope the message will be passed on by my friends and family members on Facebook,” the actress said.

    As a tourist herself, Trinh said she understood how it felt to stand before a beautiful beach that had been turned ugly by litter.

    “It’s disappointing to visit a place that is filled with litter,” Trinh said to explain her motive for joining the activity. “Just imagine how much more beautiful our travel destinations would be if we were more sensible and put our garbage away.”

    Sharing the same experience, Trung said the beach-cleaning activities had become a memorable part of his trip to the island despite it being spontaneous.

    “If you want your children to have beautiful beaches to visit in the future, join us now and spread the message that our future and that of our children’s start with how we treat today’s environment,” Trung underlined.

    Trinh and Trung were joined by young volunteers from local Green Phu Quoc Club, which had been organizing similar monthly beach-cleaning drives.

    After about 30 minutes, 200 meters of coastline at Dinh Cau Beach on the island were cleared of any sight of litter.

    According to Nguyen Van Sau, deputy director of the Kien Giang Department of Tourism, Friday was the first time the ‘Phu Quoc Green Tourism’ campaign had called for participation from tour-goers in environmental protection efforts.

    “This is a good start, as it proves that there are still many sensible tourists,” Sau said, adding that he had not expected the response from tourists to be so positive.

    Sau called for other future visitors of the island to lend a helping hand to the local authority and people to conserve the island’s environment.

    Last year, Phu Quoc received more than one million visitors, compared to 328,800 in 2010. In 2016, tourist numbers are expected to top 1.4 million.

    The 'Phu Quoc Green Tourism' campaign was kicked off in August and will run until the end of this year.

    The campaign is intended to support a master plan by local authorities to turn Phu Quoc into “an international-level hub of ecotourism,” said Mai Van Huynh, deputy chairman of Kien Giang.

    Woman sentenced to 13 years in jail for fraud


     

    The Tây Ninh People’s Court yesterday sentenced Nguyễn Ánh Ngọc, a 40-year-old woman, to 13 years in jail for defrauding property owners and appropriating properties.

    According to the indictment, Nguyễn Ánh Ngọc of Thanh Phước Commune in Gò Dầu District befriend Phan Thị Hiền, 60, a resident of Gò Dầu District.

    Ngọc told Hiền she had helped a number of people get work abroad, asking for VNĐ170 million (US$7,500) to arrange a work contract for Hiền’s son in South Korea.

    Ngọc also received VNĐ50 million from Hiền to help her obtain her land use right certificate.

    In May last year, Ngọc received VNĐ190 million ($8,400) from Lý Văn Thành, 60, from Long Thành District. Thành asked Ngọc to find a lawyer to defend his younger sister who had been arrested for alleged involvement in human trafficking.

    In July last year, Ngọc received VNĐ110 million ($4,800) from Nguyễn Thanh Thủy, 62, from Tây Ninh City, to arrange a Taiwan work document for a relative.

    One dies, one injured in motorcycle-truck accident

    One person died and another was injured in an accident on Sunday morning in An Phú Ward, Thuận An Town of the southern province of Bình Dương.

    Witnesses said that Võ Văn Biển, 42, drove his motorbike with a passenger on board and rammed into the back of  a container truck. The passenger died at the scene and Biển sustained serious injuries to his legs.

    The cause of the accident is under investigation.

    In the past two weeks, the area saw two fatal accidents involving container trucks.

    Quảng Bình border guards remove 350kg bomb

    Quảng Bình Province border guards said yesterday they had safely moved a bomb weighing 350kg from a construction site in the Cha Lo International Border Gate with Laos.

    The bomb was discovered by a worker on Saturday afternoon.

    The bomb is 1.2m in length and has diameter of 30-35cm. It was lying about 10m underground.

    Upon receiving the information, the border guards asked workers to stop work to ensure safety.

    They are re-checking all of the area in case other bombs were left behind.

    Dau Tieng irrigation reservoir to release water from December 4

    Dau Tieng - Phuoc Hoa Water Resource Exploitation Company will start a seven day flood release into Saigon River due to its water level is higher than the designed capacity.

    The work was launched at 7am from December 4 and being continued till December 10 with 150 meters cubic per seconds rate, aiming to ensure absolute safety of the reservoir and flooding for the downstream river.

    According to the Ho Chi Minh City Steering Committee on Natural Disaster Prevention, Search and Rescue, the seven day water release at Dau Tieng irrigation reservoir will not affect Ho Chi Minh City during flood tide.

    However, the authorities at several low areas of Cu Chi, Hoc Mon, Go Vap, Binh Thanh and Thu Duc district and district 12 need to prepare timely measures for dealing with the bad conditions.

    New technologies to treat cardiovascular diseases displayed in angioplasty summit

    The National Angioplasty Summit for Vietnam interventional cardiologists held by Hoang Duc – a distributor of Boston Scientific – on December 3 in Ho Chi Minh City was discussed key interventional cardiology trends and the application of minimally invasive technologies to treat cardiovascular diseases.

    Over 200 physicians and health officials attended the summit to listen to a wide range of discussion topics which included demographic trends in cardiac diseases in Vietnam, the evolution of interventional cardiology and the latest medical treatments and stents available, such as bio-absorbable polymer stents.

    Professor Vo Thanh Nhan, Chairman of HCMC Angioplasty Association said that such summits are important in providing access to physicians in Vietnam to learn more about innovative medical solutions  from all over the world; they can be trained on these technologies especially for niche, complex procedure.

    Accordingly, patients will benefit from these treatments that can improve their health with less trauma and lower risk of complications. 

    The US Consul general in HCMC Mary Tarnowka, the former US Ambassador to Vietnam Michael Michalak, Head of Medical Equipment and Construction Nguyen Minh Tuan, Chairman of Vietnam Cardiology Association Professor Nguyen Lan Viet attended the summit.

    First case of Zika in pregnant woman in Dong Nai Province

    The director of the Department of Health in the southern province of Dong Nai Huynh Minh Hoan said that the first case of Zika virus is a pregnant woman in Bien Hoa City.

    The woman was 29 week pregnant and taken to a hospital in Ho Chi Minh City last week with symptoms including rash, fever, and fatigue. Medical workers soon took her blood samples for test conducted by Pasteur Institute.

    Test result showed that the pregnant woman is positive for the virus.

    Following, the Department of Health in Dong Nai implemented anti-mosquito task in the woman’s neighborhood.

    As scheduled, the Department will have urgent meeting on December 5 with the disease steering board committee to fight against the epidemic.

    Northern Province welcomes three “test-tube babies”

    Hospital A Thai Nguyen in the northern province of Thai Nguyen welcomed first three “test- tube” babies conceived as the result of In vitro fertilization (IVF) or "test tube babies" yesterday.

    Medical workers performed the deliveries of the three kids with support of the National Reproduction Assistance Center.

    Dr. Ha Hai Bang, deputy director of the hospitals said that the three babies are first test-tube babies given birth in the hospital. Directly performing the C-section, also known as cesarean delivery, Deputy Health Minister Nguyen Viet Tien who is also head of the National Reproduction Assistance Center congratulated the hospital’s success in IVF technique and parents.

    After the case, the hospital’s reproductive assistance center becomes the first one in 12 mountainous northern provinces. By statistics, since the beginning of the year, the hospital has accepted 220 documents for IVF, 50 of unfertilized couples conceived and under periodical medical check-up.

    HCMC Respiratory Asso. strives to tackle COPD

    The Respiration Association and GlaxoSmithKline Company in Ho Chi Minh City promised to accompany with patients in fighting against Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) when they launched a program in response to the World COPD Day. 

    The day is set up each year in November to highlight and raises awareness about the symptoms, risk factors and treatment for COPD.

    CODP is a preventative disease. Its typical symptoms is block in respiratory shortness of breath, especially during physical activities; wheezing; Chest tightness; Having to clear your throat first thing in the morning, due to excess mucus in your lungs.

    The main cause of COPD is tobacco smoking or people exposed to fumes from burning fuel.

    On the World COPD Day, the association and GlaxoSmithKline in HCMC shared different aspects of the disease to the patients. The association experts said though the disease is untreatable yet preventative and early detection will help reducing serious development, risk of death and economic burden for long treatment.

    Vietnamese music introduced to OVs in France

    A concert was held at Espace Neuilly theatre in Paris, France to introduce the newly-released compilation of Vietnamese music entitled ‘To Quoc Yeu Thuong’ (Vietnam, Our Beloved Fatherland).

    The CD includes 11 songs following two themes: the first one introduces classical works honouring the beauty of Vietnam by veteran Vietnamese composers while the second theme highlights Vietnam’s sea and islands as well as the Vietnamese people’s efforts to safeguard maritime sovereignty and territorial integrity.

    Previously, the songs were performed by the Que Huong (Homeland) Vocal Ensemble throughout Paris and other cities in France since its establishment in April 2009 under the lead of Nguyen Ngan Ha as a common home to Vietnamese people in France, who share a passion for music and hold Vietnam in their hearts.

    The CD was recorded on July 8 and 9 at the Conservatory of Rouen, accompanied by the Symphony Orchestra of the Rouen Conservatory conducted by Claude Brendel, who has a deep passion for Vietnam.

    According to Nguyen Ngan Ha, the recording of the CD marked the wonderful achievements the Homeland Vocal Ensemble has made over the past seven years, adding that the work of art was an outcome of the joint effort among Vietnamese people and French friends.

    Ha also revealed that the CD is not for sale but will be presented to everyone as a way to promote the land and people of Vietnam to music lovers.

    A photo exhibition on Vietnam’s sea and islands also opened at the Espace Neuilly theatre on the occasion, attracting many visitors both Vietnamese and French.

    Coach station to be moved to make room for commercial center

    Mien Tay Coach Station in HCMC’s Binh Tan District will be relocated to make room for a commercial center.

    The city government has assigned Saigon Transportation Mechanical Corporation (Samco) to build a new interprovincial bus station on 20 hectares in Binh Chanh District as part of the Mien Tay station relocation plan.

    Samco will be able to develop the current Mien Tay station into a commercial center which would include a supermarket. Saigon Co.op, the operator of Co.opmart stores, would be a priority partner of Samco to locate a Co.opmart supermarket in the forthcoming commercial center.

    Passengers at the new bus station could have convenient access to the planned Metro Line No.3a, Monorail No.2, and bus rapid transit line.

    Samco is expected to complete a detailed plan for the new bus station next year, and proceed with site clearance and compensation in 2018. The project is estimated to cost nearly VND1 trillion, including land clearance.

    The new Mien Tay coach station would be put into operation from 2021.

    Vietnam joins charity fair in Indonesia

    Vietnamese products like coffee, green bean cakes and handicrafts were sold at a charity fair in Jakarta, Indonesia, from November 30-December 1.

    The annual event, held by the Women’s International Club (WIC) in Jakarta, accommodates nearly 60 booths from embassies in Indonesia. More than 200 local businesses introduced their garments-textiles, handicrafts and food at the event. 

    In her opening remarks, Indonesian President Joko Widodo’s wife Hj. Iriana Joko  Widodo said that the fair offers an opportunity for women from participating countries to explore different cultural identities. 

    She also lauded the significance of the event as part of the proceeds will go to a charity fund run by the WIC to support poor and disabled children, and other disadvantaged people. 

    The WIC was formed 66 years ago with Indonesia, India, the UK and the US as the first members. It brings together all countries with embassies in Indonesia.-

    Festival promotes friendship between city residents, expats

    The annual Ho Chi Minh City - Development and Integration Festival to promote friendship between city residents and expatriates kicked off on December 1 at the April 30 Park in District 1. 

    The three-day festival, organised by the municipal People’s Committee, introduces Vietnam’s history and culture, particularly HCM City’s development and achievements, to expatriates. 

    It is also an opportunity for foreign residents to learn more about the culture cuisine and the arts of Vietnam and other countries. 

    The event includes booths from consulates, business associations and friendship organisations from countries, including Hungary, Germany, China, Thailand and India, offering information on business, culture, tourism, and education. 

    An exhibition called “HCM City’s Activities in International Relations – Integration and Development” showcases images of the city’s development and achievements in all fields of the economy, education and society as well as diplomatic activities. 

    Visitors can learn about handicrafts and traditional costumes from Vietnam and other countries, and enjoy folk music, food, games and water puppetry shows. 

    Many booth features souvenirs from local residents and foreign communities, a traditional game zone, and food courts manned by hotels and restaurants in the city. 

    A culinary competition called Vietnamese Delicacies for both Vietnamese and foreign participants is one of the festival’s highlights.

    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.

    Cooperative agreement signed for Bao Son Prize Awards

    The Ministry of Education and Training and Bao Son Group have signed a cooperative agreement on Bao Son Prizes awarding to excellent scientific - technological works which have high academic value, creativeness and practical application.

    At the signing ceremony on December 1, MoET Deputy Minister, Bui Van Ga underscored the importance of cooperation among universities and enterprises, which is the key to improve training quality.

    Bao Son prize is granted to outstanding Vietnamese individuals, who are authors of scientific studies in the fields of educational and training reform, poverty reduction, sustainable economic development, medicine and pharmacy, community healthcare and literature. These works have been practically applied and made positive contribution to the development of Vietnam’s socio-economic, culture and people.

    This year, the prize value increases to US$50,000 each.

    The winning studies should be publicized in an international scientific magazine or a publication of a prestigious publisher. 

    Senior officials punished as Vietnam probes political rise of runaway bigwig

    Party inspectors have been probing those who promoted Trinh Xuan Thanh even after massive losses at a state firm.

    Several high-ranking Vietnamese officials have been punished for their previous involvement with Trinh Xuan Thanh, a former official who is currently in hiding overseas.

    Thanh, currently wanted on an international warrant, is believed to have flown to Europe amid an investigation into losses of nearly $150 million at a state-owned company that he once ran.

    In a recent statement, the Central Inspection Committee, the Communist Party’s top watchdog, singled out Tran Cong Chanh, the chief of Hau Giang's Communist Party Unit, for alleged violations that led to Thanh's appointment as vice chairman of the southern province.

    Chanh was deputy party chief and mayor of Hau Giang when Thanh moved from the Ministry of Industry and Trade in May last year. Thanh was not nominated for re-election for the 2016-2020 tenure in June.

    The committee said that two other retired senior officials should receive official warnings for personnel violations between 2011 and 2016.

    They are Huynh Minh Chac, Party chief of Hau Giang from 2010-2015; and Tran Luu Hai, former deputy chairman of the Central Organizing Committee. Chac and Hai had violated party rules which enabled Thanh to serve as vice mayor of Hau Giang last year, the statement said.

    Three vice ministers of home affairs were also named by the Central Inspection Committee on Thursday. Tran Thi Ha, Tran Anh Tuan and Nguyen Duy Thang were all implicated in the case of Thanh’s promotion.

    Thanh is accused of mismanagement and causing losses of around VND3.2 trillion ($147 million) at PVC, a unit of the state-owned oil giant PetroVietnam he controlled between 2011 and 2013. Four other executives from the company have been arrested.

    Thanh sought overseas sick leave in mid-August and has not returned since, police said. He was expelled from the Communist Party on September 8, a move that would pave the way for him to face criminal charges.

    The now-infamous official first caught media attention in June for driving a $230,000 Lexus with a government license plate in a country where the average annual income is around $2,100. The scandal caused uproar over the use of public money, prompting Communist Party Chief Nguyen Phu Trong to order a probe into his political career and how he had been promoted.

    Government inspectors found that Thanh and his team, starting in 2009, had launched a number of ventures with different companies, but few had proven successful. Most of their business projects ended up being delayed or closed down.

    After his stint at PVC, Thanh continued to climb the ladder with an apparently successful political track record, holding various government positions before taking his last post as vice mayor of the Mekong Delta province of Hau Giang.

    Mekong Delta to receive nearly US$400 million to combat climate change

    The delta, where nearly half of the country’s rice is grown, is at threat from saltwater intrusion.

    The World Bank (WB) has pledged US$310 million to help nine provinces in the Mekong Delta to combat adverse weather conditions that have led to saltwater intrusion, coastal erosion and flooding.

    “Recent extreme weather in the Mekong River Delta, including drought and salinity intrusion, are negatively affecting the lives of the farmers – most of them are poor,” said Achim Fock, acting country director for the World Bank in Vietnam.

    The project will work on a reciprocal basis with the Vietnamese government committing $72.5 million while sourcing $2.4 million from the private sector. 

    It is expected to build climate resilience and ensure sustainable livelihoods for 1.2 million people living in nine Mekong Delta provinces.

    Vietnam’s annual rice exports of $4 billion account for more than one fifth of the global total. The Mekong Delta alone contributes half of Vietnam’s rice output, 70% of its aquaculture products and one-third of Vietnam’s gross domestic product.

    However, the region has also been identified as one of the deltas most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change as well as upstream development.

    The Ministry of Planning and Investment forecasts that about 45 percent of the Mekong Delta will be affected by saltwater intrusion by 2030 if hydropower dams and reservoirs continue to stop water from flowing downstream.

    Northern Vietnam to be hit by multiple cold snaps

    Cold spells are set to hit northern provinces over the next ten days while central Vietnam braces for flooding and landslides.

    The north of the country will experience 4-5 cold spells over the course of December, according to the National Hydrometeorological Forecasting Center.

    Over the next ten days, cold spells will hit northern provinces with temperatures ranging from 13 to 23 degrees Celsius. Temperatures in Hanoi will stand slightly higher at 15 to 25 degrees Celsius.

    Dry weather will also hit northern parts where humidity will average from 40-60 percent.

    In central Vietnam, cold spells are forecast with heavy downpours that may cause flooding and landslides. Average temperatures are expected to fall to 17-24 degrees Celsius.

    In contrast, southern provinces will experience higher temperatures ranging from 22-32 degrees Celsius. 

    The region is forecast to have moderate and heavy downpours in the first half of December.

    Pham Dinh Van, head of the Meteorological Station for the northern region, said that this winter will be warmer than last year, and the chance of snow in mountainous regions is unlikely.

    Đà Nẵng plans public underground car park


      

    Downtown Đà Nẵng will host the city’s first public underground car park in 2018.

    City authorities said the parking garage, a BOT (Build-Operate-Transfer) project to be carried out over two years (2016-2018), will be built on a 4,000sq.m site at a cost of VNĐ195 billion (US$8.7 million).

    It will have 309 parking spaces for cars and over 3,000 for motorbikes at the junction of Ông Ích Khiêm-Đống Đa and Trần Cao Vân streets.

    The city will also upgrade these streets to facilitate day and night entry for cars.

    The project, which includes three underground floors and a ground floor, will also have a green park, a rest area and several entertainment options for pedestrians.

    In 2015, the city opened its first underground car park at the Administrative Centre on Trần Phú Street. The parking garage, which can accommodate 179 cars and 1,500 motorbikes, cost VNĐ150 billion ($6.7 million) to build.

    Almost all big hotels in the city have their own underground parking garages, according to the city’s Construction Department.

    A report prepared by the city’s traffic police says Đà Nẵng, which has a population of 900,000, has 69,000 cars, 800,000 motorbikes and over 5,000 battery-powered bikes, excluding cars and personal vehicles from localities that pass in and out everyday.

    Đà Nẵng is also piloting an odd and even day car parking plan on some streets in the city to ease congestion. It also plans several underground projects in the coming years, including two road tunnels at busy roundabouts, and a tunnel under the Hàn River. 

    Last year, the city put into operation a three-level rail and road flyover at the Huế Junction.

    In 2013, the World Bank agreed to provide $202 million for a $272 million sustainable development project to help build a Bus Rapid Transit network, new roads and revamp the existing drainage system.

    Sculpture exhibition opens in HCMC

    The 2016 Ho Chi Minh City Sculpture exhibition is taking place at Van Thanh Tourism Area in Binh Thanh district, HCMC, launched by the HCMC Fine Arts Association.

    On display are 64 works of 50 sculptors with many various materials such as bronze, stone, wooden and metal sculptures, terracotta, lacquer, pottery...

    The exhibition held every five years aims to introduce sculpture works in the period 2012 to 2016.

    The event lasts till December 30.

    VNA/VNS/VOV/SGT/SGGP/TT/TN/Dantri/VNE


    0 0
  • 12/05/16--06:46: Article 1
  • BUSINESS IN BRIEF 5/12


    HCMC to ensure sufficient goods supply at Tet


     

    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. 

    Additional capital higher than fresh approvals

    Extra capital registered by operational domestic enterprises in January-November surpassed the total sum pledged by newly-established businesses.

    According to a report by the Business Registration Management Department under the Ministry of Planning and Investment, 101,680 enterprises were registered in the 11-month period with total pledged capital of VND797.68 trillion (US$35.16 billion), up 17.1% in number and 48.1% in capital versus the same period last year. Meanwhile, existing enterprises added an extra VND1,463 trillion to their projects in the period.

    In all, the freshly registered capital of startups and operational firms amounted to VND2,261 trillion, with each entity having average capital of VND7.8 billion, up 26.5% year-on-year.

    The first 11 months saw 24,560 suspended firms returning to business, up 31.7% year-on-year, showing the Government’s business assistance measures paid off.

    However, 18,900 firms halted operation in the period, up 27.3%, while 35,145 came to a virtual stop without registering with authorities or waiting for dissolution decisions by authorities. Of them, 92.6% were small entities with registered capital of less than VND10 billion each.

    Manufacturing stability guarantees sustainable budget revenue

    HCMC will foster business development and ensure manufacturing stability to make budget revenues more sustainable so as to accomplish the significantly higher budget collection target set by the central Government.

    In 2017, the city is assigned to collect more than VND347.88 trillion, up 16.6% from 2016, with domestic revenues to rise a staggering 27.5%.

    “Domestic revenues primarily come from the manufacturing sector, so it is necessary to promote its growth, and adopt policies and mechanisms to spur production expansion and startups,” said HCMC Chairman Nguyen Thanh Phong at the eighth session of the 10th HCMC Party Committee’s Executive Board on December 1.

    There will be three key factors impacting on the city’s budget revenues next year, namely the tariff reduction roadmap under the signed free trade agreements, the lowering of retained budget revenue to 18%, and bureaucratic bottlenecks, Phong noted.

    He said the city would provide priority funding for social and cultural areas, seven breakthrough programs and key projects, and introduce new ways to attract investment capital.

    Some key economic goals approved at the session on December 1 are GDP growth of 8.4-8.7%, total investment at 36% of GDP, and 50,000 startups

    Su Ngoc Anh, director of the HCMC Department of Planning and Investment, said total capital for investment and development in the city this year was VND310 trillion. In particular, 8% of the sum comes from the municipal budget, 11% from State-owned enterprises, 17% from foreign-invested enterprises, and the remainder from other businesses and citizens.

    With total investment accounting for 35% of GDP in 2017, the figure will amount to VND400 trillion, a three-fold increase from the average of previous years.

    Given a reduction of VND10 trillion in shared budget revenue, all major budget expenditures must be approved by the municipal People’s Council. The local budget should be prioritized for ODA-funded projects and used as seed capital for public-private partnership (PPP) projects, among others.

    Pham Phu Quoc, general director of HCMC Finance and Investment Co. (HFIC), proposed the municipal government create easy conditions for the formation of private investment funds for infrastructure development, thus easing the financing burden for the city.

    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.

    Indirect foreign investment increases this year


     Indirect foreign investment increases this year, Export import turnover reaches $300 billion, ILA Vietnam’s shareholders seek $150 million from sale, Online Friday 2016 report surge in sales, VMG sells entire stake to South Korean company

    While foreign direct investment capital slightly reduced for the last 11 months because of no large certificated projects, indirect foreign investment was found accelerate via capital contribution and share purchase, reported Foreign Investment Agency under the Ministry of Planning and Investment. 

    Specifically, foreign investors contributed capital to and purchase shares of 2,194 businesses with the total registered capital of US$22 billion, a year on year increase of 8.9 percent.

    Since early this year, the disbursement rate of FDI projects reached $14.3 billion, up 8.3 percent over a year back.

    FDI capital is forecast to slightly increase in the next couple of years and approximate $24 billion in 2017 with disbursement hitting $15.5 billion, up 3 percent over 2026.

    Taiwanese businesses visit HCMC to tighten economic cooperation

    Taiwanese businesses from over 15 countries has been visiting HCMC to tighten economic cooperation and exchange with local firms, share small and medium enterprise (SME) connectivity and market development.

    Being part of a string of activities during their visit to the city, a SME connectivity forum was hosted by HCMC and Taiwan Young Entrepreneur Associations yesterday afternoon. 

    According to chairman of the Taiwanese association Wo Kuo Pen, information access to Vietnamese business environment has no longer been a barrier for foreign companies including Taiwanese firms. 

    He hoped that the visit will help Taiwanese businesses find more cooperation and development opportunities in HCMC and Vietnam and that Vietnam will create the best conditions for them to set their mind at rest and keep investing in the country.

    On the same day, 100 Taiwanese firms planted 500 trees in Long Thanh commune, Can Gio district to raise businesses’ awareness of environmental protection.

    Export import turnover reaches $300 billion

    The export import turnover of Vietnam hit US$300 billion by mid November this year, up 5.3 percent equivalent to $15 billion over the same period last year, reported the General Department of Vietnam Customs.

    Of the number, export value reached $151.5 billion, up 7.5 percent and import touched $149 billion, up 3.1 percent.

    Import volume increased to the group of machines, equipment, accessories and plastic material and reduced to soybean, cashew nuts, transport facilities, accessories, computers, electronic items and components.

    Equitization of state owned enterprises earn $290 million for budget this year

    Fifty six state owned enterprises (SOEs) have been equitized, bringing VND6,569 billion ($290 million) since early this year.

    Specifically these enterprises’ total real value hit VND34,017 billion, of which the government has withdrew VND3,558 billion from the companies, bringing $290 million.

    The Prime Minister is about to approve the state owned enterprise restructuring project in the phase of 2016-2020, which will prompt ministries, agencies and businesses to increase transparence, publicize equitization information and intensify inspection over the process.

    The Ministry of Finance has proposed state capital representatives at equitized enterprises to speed up them to list on the stock market as per regulations. Authorized agencies should strictly handle enterprise leaders who implement the equitization project inefficiently.

    Binh Son to finance refinery expansion from stellar loan package

    Binh Son Refining and Petrochemical Co., Ltd. (BSR) plans to take up a loan $1.2 billion to enhance and expand its Dung Quat Oil Refinery.

    The company is in the process of selecting an adviser for the loan package. 

    General director Tran Ngoc Nguyen told Vnexpress that the expansion is expected to be completed in 2020 with a total investment capital of $1.82 billion, 30 per cent of which will be equity and the remaining 70 per cent would be covered from loans. 

    Upon completion, the expanded refinery’s capacity will increase by two million tonnes a year, to 8.5 million tonnes. It will be able to meet half of Vietnam’s fuel demand. 

    Earlier, in September, BSR released plans to launch its initial public offering (IPO) at the end of 2017, attracting interest from top global energy firms, especially Russian and Thai conglomerates. 

    The company is also hiring consultants to build its equitisation plan and calculate its corporate value, as well as the auctioned shares’ price. The Prime Minister’s decision to allow BSR to calculate its own selling price will create a platform for attracting domestic and foreign investors to the company’s IPO.

    Since commercial operations began at the refinery in February 2009, BSR has imported 47 million tonnes of crude oil to produce 42 million tonnes of products, including propylene, polypropylene, liquefied petroleum gas, and gasoline, as well as kerosene, diesel, and jet fuel.

    Nine months into the year, BSR earned VND51.89 trillion ($2.32 billion) in revenue, equalling 63 per cent of the annual target, however, it achieved a VND1.04 trillion ($46.5 million) profit, equalling 130 per cent of the target.

    ILA Vietnam’s shareholders seek $150 million from sale     

    The Hong Kong-based investment fund HPEF Capital Partners and other shareholders are seeking to sell their ownership of the education company ILA Vietnam, Bloomberg reported early this week.

    HPEF Capital Partners, with a 60 per cent stake in ILA Vietnam, and other shareholders are seeking at least US$150 million from the sale.

    The sale is expected to draw attention from both international equity firms and education firms. The first-round bids could be due by the end of this year.

    ILA Vietnam declined to comment.

    According to local newspaper Nhip Cau Dau Tu, the $150 million deal is 15 times the Viet Nam-based English training establishment’s earnings before interests, taxes, depreciation and amortisation.

    The consultancy company for this deal could be the Singapore-based Rippledot Capital Advisers.

    The rate is much comparatively higher than that of all merger and acquisition (M&A) activities happening in 2016 and equivalent to that of M&A activities in the United States.

    HPEF Capital Partners used to be the private equity unit of the British financial and banking services company HSBC. The Hong Kong-based fund split from HSBC in 2010 with the name Headland Capital Partners.

    Headland Capital Partners bought 60 per cent of ILA’s stake from the founders in 2013, and the value of the deal has remained unknown.

    ILA Vietnam, which was founded in 2001, is running 31 English training centres in six big cities of Viet Nam and employing more than 400 foreign teachers. The company has admitted about 165,000 learners so far.

    According to Dezan Shira & Associates, Viet Nam is an attractive market for foreign investment in the education sector with 42.1 per cent of the population being under the age of 24.

    In 2015, nearly 110,000 Vietnamese students enrolled in other countries, costing total $3 billion. In the country, total value of foreign direct investment (FDI) was also $3 billion by November 2015.

    Private equity funds have also invested in Viet Nam’s education sector. In 2004, International Finance Corporation – a member of the World Bank – invested $7.25 million in the Australian-owned RMIT University. In 2010, the HCM City-based Mekong Capital invested $6 million in the Vietnam-Australia International School. 

    Online Friday 2016 report surge in sales     

    The total sales of 30 large companies on Online Friday 2016, falling on December 2, reached VNĐ664 billion (US$28 million), triple the sales compared to last year’s event. Some companies reported sales that were 10 times higher than last year.

    The Việt Nam E-Commerce and Information Technology Agency (VECITA) revealed that the country’s biggest online shopping day saw more than 700,000 customers visiting the websites of participating companies during this year’s event.

    Over 3,000 companies took part in the day, by offering discounts on 360,000 products and services.

    Big firms in the e-commerce sector, such as Lazada, Tiki, Adayroi, Hotdeal and Sendo, reported higher sales of 200-300 per cent, in comparison with normal days. The Omni-channel, including FPT Shop, Viettel Store and Pico, had increasing numbers of orders, both online and offline. Some new businesses participating in the e-commerce market, such as Lotte, also saw sales 10 times higher than normal.

    More than 50,000 shoppers joined in activities hosted by 20 firms in the BigOff event, organised by Viettel, VnPost, Lazada, Tiki, Sendo, Lotte, Adayroi, Acer, Asus, Oppo, HP, and Nagakawa. The event took place along pedestrian streets around Hồ Gươm Returned Sword Lake in the centre of the city from December 1-3.

    The number of complaints in the Online Friday 2016 was reduced from the fall Online Shopping Day 2016, which was on September 30, despite higher numbers of both businesses and visits.

    Also, banks and credit institutions implemented cash-back, with a total of more than VNĐ2 billion. 

    Quang Ninh develops local tourism brand

    The northeastern province of Quang Ninh, with mainland and sea surface coverage of 12,000 sq.km and a 1.2 million population, is described as a “mini Vietnam” thanks to its special topography characteristics similar to the country’s.

    Quang Ninh is known as the only province sharing overland and coastal border lines with China and possessing an important and most vibrant trade gateway with China and ASEAN member states. Blessed with favourable natural conditions, Quang Ninh has an edge over its golden population with more than 60% in working age, 63% of them are skilled workers who are hard-working, creative, disciplined and professional-mannered. 

    Over the past time, Quang Ninh has made great leap with creative and breakthrough mind, particularly in administrative reform, renewal of economic growth model, business climate improvement, transport infrastructure, and tourism. 

    In order to attract more foreign investment, the province has performed several important tasks, including making important planning from the district to the provincial level. It has officially announced seven strategic master plans until 2020 with a vision till 2030. 

    More attention will also be paid to socio-economic infrastructure, particularly in modern urban areas, industrial and economic zones. Trade, tourism, health care and education infrastructure up to international standards will be developed to meet investors’ expectation. 

    The province commits to all possible support to investors by taking practical measures to improve the business climate. 

    It is building Van Don special economic zone – the first of its kind in the country, which is entitled to special incentives involving finance-banking, securities, taxation, land and housing. A high-end tourism-services complex which accommodates a casino (Vietnamese entry is allowed), together with entertainment, cultural, financial-banking, hi-tech and ecological agriculture industries, is also planned for.

    Vietnam lottery firms eye new products amid harsh competition from computerized rival

    Lottery companies in southern Vietnam have announced plans to introduce new products to combat the skyrocketing popularity of the computerized lottery c 6/45.

    While sales of traditional lottery tickets in Vietnam tend to climb towards the end of the rainy season, lottery companies in southern Vietnam have witnessed an opposite trend this year, with sales continuing to drop in December, according to Do Quang Vinh, chairman of the Southern Lottery Council.

    Vinh attributed the plummet in traditional lottery ticket sales to the increasing popularity of the computerized Mega 6/45 lottery run by state-owned Vietnam Computerized Lottery Co. Ltd. (Vietlott).

    The Mega 6/45 lottery came to public attention after its first jackpot winner bagged over VND92 billion (US$4.11 million) in prize money, followed by four multimillion-dollar jackpot wins in under a month.

    Traditional companies in southern Vietnam have seen a drop of between three and over ten percent in their daily revenue and are facing the looming prospect of not being able to fulfill this year’s quota on state budget contribution.

    According to Vinh, southern lottery companies are looking to build an official website to publish information on the companies’ business reports, jackpot wins, state budget contributions, and other charitable activities for the people to monitor.

    In addition, the companies are also considering implementing new types of lottery games into their portfolio.

    Administrators of the traditional lottery in southern Vietnam last month announced that it would next year raise its jackpot prize money to VND2 billion (US$89,300) from the current VND1.5 billion (US$67,000), a move considered its answer to stiff competition from Vietlott.

    In the first nine months of 2016, lottery companies in southern Vietnam made over VND50.6 trillion (US$2.26 billion), nearly half of which (US$1.1 billion) was spent on prize payouts.

    Vinamilk aims for US$3 billion in annual revenue for 2017

    The dairy firm is expanding in the domestic and overseas markets.

    Vietnam Dairy Products Joint-Stock Co., the nation’s largest dairy producer, is expanding rapidly overseas in a bid to boost its annual revenue to US$3 billion in 2017.

    Last year, Vinamilk posted US$1.7 billion in revenue, up 14% year-on-year and close to its US$2 billion target.

    If it hits the revenue target in 2017, Vinamilk will break into the list of the top 50 milk producers in the world.

    The dairy firm has also set a growth target of 8% over the next five years by expanding in the domestic market and boosting exports.

    Under the plan, Vinamilk will expand its overseas business to account for half of its total revenue in the next five years.

    The dairy firm has unveiled plans to gain a strong foothold in Asia through mergers and acquisitions after 40 years of focusing on the domestic market.

    Vinamilk is speeding up its international expansion through acquisitions and investments in local dairy plants, including the purchase of a 22.8% stake in the Miraka plant in New Zealand, a 70% stake in Driftwood, a U.S producer, and a 51% stake in the Angkor plant in Cambodia.

    The Vietnamese dairy firm reported revenue of over US$1 billion in the first half of 2016 and US$222.6 million in net profit, up 33% from the same period last year.

    State investment arm SCIC, which holds a 44.7% stake in Vinamilk, said it will sell a 9% stake in Vinamilk for at least US$829 million on December 12, offering a minimum bidding price at VND144,000 (US$6.3) per share earlier this week.

    Boosting Vietnamese exporters to develop sustainably

    Foreign direct investment export businesses in Vietnam are contributing a great deal to national economic development.

    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.”

    Vietnam vulnerable to US restrictive trade stance

    A more restrictive trade stance by a Trump administration is likely to hurt exports and investment in a country like Vietnam, HSBC said in a report released on December 1.

    Britain’s vote to leave the European Union triggered economic and political changes. And now Donald J. Trump’s stunning win in the U.S. election is raising risks of trade protectionism.

    Although it is too early to know about the specific policies Trump will pursue, for Asia, if he does what he promised during the presidential campaign, there would be cause to worry.

    A more restrictive trade stance by the U.S. is likely to hurt exports and investment in a country like Vietnam, where the U.S. accounts for about a fifth of its exports.

    The U.S. and China are Vietnam’s largest trading partners. Last year, America accounted for 21% of Vietnam’s exports and China 10%.

    Therefore, if America begins to throttle back imports, Vietnam’s exports would be hurt. China could also feel the brunt of an American restrictive trade stance. If that happens, Chinese demand for Vietnamese imports might decrease as well, especially for components used for re-exports from China to America.

    The indirect effects of more restrictive U.S. trade policy could thus lead Vietnam’s exports to slow down.

    The report said the current state of affairs underscores the need for reform. “We think that Vietnam rightly remains committed to its structural reform agenda. The National Assembly adopted three reform targets for 2016-2020, relating to public investment, State-owned enterprises and financial institutions. Financial institutions will be strengthened by speeding up bad debt divestment and having at least 12 to 15 commercial banks in compliance with Basel II standards,” the HSBC Global Research team said.

    “We believe that if pursued properly, the gains from these reforms will have far reaching consequences in strengthening the fundamentals of the economy. In turn, the economy should find itself less vulnerable to external shocks.”

    According to the General Department of Customs, America is a key market for Vietnam’s major export items like apparel, footwear, seafood and wood. In January-October, Vietnam earned some US$19.68 billion from outbound sales of textile-garment products, up 4.1% from a year earlier, with exports to America making up over 48% of the total.     

    America is Vietnam’s biggest importer of seafood and wood with respective export revenues of US$1.2 billion and US$2.52 billion in the ten-month period, accounting for 21% and 50% of Vietnam’s total.

    Vietnam’s coal exports down in ten months

    Vietnam exported 827,500 tons of coal during the first 10 months of this year to earn US$83.4 million, down 45.94% in volume and 48.63% in value, according to the statistics from Vietnam Customs.

    Coal was shipped to nine countries, principally to Asia, accounting for 90% of total export volume.

    Japan led the pack for Vietnam’s coal imports with 421,600 tons at US$40.7 million, making up 53%, trailed by the Philippines with 106,500 tons at US$7 million and Malaysia with 83,000 tons at US$10.6 million.

    In the reviewed period, 78% of export markets saw declines while merely 22.2% enjoyed positive growth.

    It’s worth noting that coal exports to Laos dropped sharply by 95.58% in volume and 96.55% in value with 3,000 tons at US$272,300.

    Quang Ninh heats up with investment flows

    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.

    Work starts on 63.4 mln USD wood processing factory in Ha Tinh


     

    Construction on a 1.44 trillion VND (63.4 million USD) wood processing factory commenced in the central province of Ha Tinh on December 3.

    Invested by the Thanh Thanh Dat Joint Stock Company, the facility will be built on an area of 18 hectares in the Vu Quang industrial cluster in Vu Quang district.

    Designed to have the annual capacity of 120,000 cubic metres of medium-density fibreboard (MDF) and 2,400 cubic metres of wood slats, the factory is expected to start operation in the fourth quarter of 2019.

    The project aims to fully tap the local forest potential in line with the province’s planning for forest development for wood processing from 2013 to 2020, and a vision through 2030.

    Addressing the groundbreaking ceremony, Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee Dang Quoc Khanh urged sectors and the district People’s Committee to work closely with the investor to accelerate land clearance for the project.

    The investor was asked to ensure the progress of the project and prioritise recruiting local labourers once it becomes operational.

    Set up 14 years ago, Thanh Thanh Dat Company now has 25 factories across the nation, with 2,500 employees. Its revenues reached 2.16 trillion VND (95.04 million USD) in 2015.

    G-bond sales almost meet full-year target

    The Ministry of Finance had issued over VND277 trillion of Government bonds by end-November, meeting over 98% of the 2016 plan.

    G-bond sales in the rest of the year are not a difficult task though the U.S. dollar’s appreciation against the Vietnam dong over the past fortnight has discouraged credit institutions from acquiring bonds and caused bond yields to edge up. 

    This year’s bond sales were initially targeted at VND220 trillion and the figure was then revised up to an all-time high of VND281 trillion. The Finance Ministry has offered seven-year bonds for the first time this year.

    Positive bond sales help ease pressure on budget collections. The bond market’s growth backs debt sales though the Government’s plan to issue at least US$3 billion of sovereign bonds on world financial markets this year is effectively canceled due unfavorable market conditions.

    The State Treasury on December 1 sold VND2.9 trillion of five-year bills with the winning coupon of 5.25% per annum, 0.05 of a percentage point higher than at the November 23 auction.

    It put up for sale VND3 trillion of five-year bills and VND1 trillion of seven-year debt.

    Last week, the State Treasury fetched over VND1.37 trillion from G-bond sales with a tenor of five years. However, the winning coupon climbed from 4.9% per annum at the November 4 auction to 5.25% per year last week.

    Vietnam Bank for Social Policies and Vietnam Development Bank also held auctions of G-bonds but found no buyers.

    Overall, G-bonds worth a total of VND109 trillion fell due while VND165 trillion of bonds were issued last week.

    On the secondary G-bond market, the average transaction value inched down to VND5.7 trillion per session last week from VND6 trillion in the previous week. Banks mainly sold three- and five-year bonds to take profit. 

    Annual bond yields dropped slightly to 3.9% for the one-year tenor, 4.4% for the two-year tenor, 4.9% for the three-year tenor, 5.3% for the five-year tenor, and 6.2% for the 10-year tenor.

    Foreign investors net sold over VND2 trillion of bonds, sending their net purchases dipping to VND12 trillion in the year to date. Nevertheless, it is likely that foreigners will be net buyers on the domestic bond market this year.

    Tax agency finds difficult to combat e-commerce transfer pricing

    Legal limitations as well as loose and asynchronous coordination among authorized agencies have made it difficult to manage e-commerce and combat transfer pricing in Vietnam, said the General Department of Taxation at a conference in HCMC on December 1.

    Tax agencies have been able to manage businesses attending e-commerce not individuals.

    Deputy Head of the department’s Reform and Modernization Division Nguyen Thi Hanh said that e-commerce has advantageous conditions to operate in Vietnam with strongly developed IT infrastructures, over 40 million internet users and 130 million mobile subscribers.

    E-commerce has attracted the attendance of many businesses under different types comprising online games, goods trading and advertisement. Online goods purchase has become the habit of many citizens while businesses have sped up online trading to reduce costs.

    Still the quick development of digital technology in accordance with e-commerce has posed many challenges to management works.

    E-commerce via internet has raised difficulties in determining prices and impose taxes. It neither requires much goods stockpiling nor have time and premise limitations with 24/7 cross border transactions.

    Goods owners can trade under the state of anonymity and delete transaction information to prevent tax agencies from inspecting their activities.

    Director of Financial Training Institute Hoang Tran Hau said that transfer pricing combat was not easy even in developed nations like Britain, the US, Japan and South Korea, where have tight legal and modern information systems, abundant database and good agency coordination.

    In Vietnam, tax agencies have met with difficulties in determining e-commerce revenues and costs of businesses and individuals.

    So far, the General Department of Taxation and tax agencies have applied Circular 66 issued on April 22, 2010 with detailed regulations on transfer pricing fighting. Some fraud cases have been spotted and inspected. Vietnam has also signed agreements against double taxation.

    In addition, the General Taxation Department has established a division in charge of transfer pricing by businesses. Tax officials have been supplied and trained with basic knowledge and skills to combat the issue in e-commerce activities.

    However authorized agencies should improve the legal system and better coordinate together to prevent e-commerce attendeees from taking advantage of loopholes to dodge the law and evade taxes.

    The Ministry of Finance is now working with authorized agencies to study and issue a slew of legal documents to fight tax fraud and evasion via e-commerce transfer pricing. They will also speed up building policies to suit the reality of the activity and better management to prevent budget losses.

    VMG sells entire stake to South Korean company     

    VMG Group on Thursaday announced it will sell its entire 62.25 per cent stock in VNPT EPAY to South Korean UTC Investment Company.

    The transfer agreement is expected to be completed in 2017. After withdrawing its investment from e-commerce, VMG will continue to divest from the payment sector to focus on digital content – its main business in the past few years.

    Established in 2008, VNPT EPAY has rapidly become one of the companies with continuously high growth rate in e- payment.

    UTC Investment Company has managed seven investment funds with total value of US$100 million. It has been successful in investing in e-payment firms in South Korea. With UTC’s investment, VNPT EPAY will have opportunities to further develop its new payment services and expand its operation to foreign markets. 

    Nonghyup Bank opens branch in Hanoi

    South Korea’s largest bank Nonghyup Bank has received an official license from the State Bank of Vietnam (SBV) to open a branch in Hanoi.

    Founded in 1961 in Korea, Nonghyup is a co-operative bank with 100 per cent of the capital contributed by farmers and local people. Nonghyup is both a commercial bank and an agriculture policy one to provide credit services for households and businesses, contributing to the Korean economy through credit financing in the field of rural agriculture.

    Since 2012, Nonghyup Bank has had the representative office in Vietnam. With the branch official establishment in Hanoi, Nonghyup Bank will participate in Vietnam financial market with full functions of a commercial bank and continue supporting economic development of Vietnam and activities of both countries’ businesses.

    Speaking at the launching ceremony in Hanoi, Lee Woo Sik, CEO of Nonghyup Bank – Hanoi Branch said: “The opening of Nonghyup branch in Hanoi not only supports financial resources for Korean entrepreneurs in Vietnam but also contributes to the financial development of both countries through interbank cooperation projects. Besides, we will always expand corporate social responsibility (CSR) activities with a wish to contribute to the prosperity of Vietnam.”

    Over the years, Nonghyup Bank is known with the motto "sharing economy" in order to improve social welfare of farmers and disadvantaged people. Moreover, the bank is at the forefront of sustainable rural development through many meaningful activities. In particular, with Nonghyup Foundation established in 2004, the bank has implemented diversified CSR activities. Nonghyup Bank has been chosen as the No.1 in CSR activities for five consecutive years in South Korea.

    At present, Nonghyup Bank is implementing many CSR activities to support Vietnamese brides in multicultural families and focus on mountainous areas of Vietnam. In the future, the bank will continue deploying various CSR activities in order to support Vietnamese community, especially the activities to support Vietnamese brides and the volunteer activities in drural areas in coordination with the local community.

    Recently, Nonghyup Bank is one of six South Korean enterprises in Vietnam awarded with the 6th CSR Award, held by the Ministry of Planning and Investment in collaboration with Korean Embassy in Vietnam and Korean Trade Investment Promotion Agency (KOTRA). 

    The Grand Ho Tram Strip’s Michael Kelly elected to board of Amcham Vietnam

    Recognising dynamic potential of Vietnam’s economy and the importance of enhancing commercial and investment links with a change in US administrations, members of the American Chamber of Commerce (AmCham) in Vietnam have elected executive chairman of The Grand Ho Tram Strip Michael Kelly to the organisation’s board of governors for the year 2017.

    Kelly, who resides in Vietnam, will be the highest-ranking American executive serving on this board and will play a prominent role representing US business interests in the country to both US and Vietnamese policymakers. 

    Since being appointed executive chairman of The Grand Ho Tram Strip – Vietnam’s leading integrated resort situated in the southern province of Ba Ria-Vung Tau – in late 2015, Kelly has been a driving force behind the acceleration of investment and developments in the project. 

    Bringing to The Grand Ho Tram Strip over 25 years of senior leadership experience in the hospitality and gaming industry, including time spent managing a joint partnership project with Trump Entertainment Resorts from 1996 to 2004, Kelly immediately initiated a number of new developments to expand the resort’s offerings to both domestic and international visitors. 

    Among Kelly’s achievements was hosting the Ho Tram Open – Vietnam’s first Asian PGA Tour golf tournament – at The Grand’s award-winning golf course, The Bluffs, in December 2015. The event was the largest sporting event in Vietnam’s history, with coverage reaching viewers in 180 countries, and firmly established Ba Ria-Vung Tau as a go-to destination for golfers and international tourists alike. 

    As chief executive of one of the largest foreign invested projects in Vietnam, Kelly has placed substantial emphasis on aligning developments at The Grand Ho Tram Strip closely with the goals of the government of Vietnam, serving as a role model for foreign businesses operating in the country. 

    Given its substantial investments and wide network of industry partners, The Grand Ho Tram Strip is also one of the most prominent US investments in Vietnam, and in the past year, Kelly has played a leading role in supporting the growth of US-Vietnam commercial ties. Notably, in May of this year, Kelly was honoured to be part of an investment promotion event attended by President Obama during his historic visit to Vietnam, during which The Grand Ho Tram Strip’s partnerships with domestic giants CotecCons and VietJet were featured. 

    Kelly also serves as the chairman of the tourism committee for the AmCham in Vietnam. In the several short months since his appointment in September 2016, he has already made his mark in this role through his work with The Grand Ho Tram Strip in support of the government of Vietnam’s tourism promotion and investment expansion initiatives.

    Forecast: 100 million Vietnamese by 2026

    The value of agro-forestry-fishery exports in November is estimated at US$2.69 billion, pushing the total value in the first 11 months of the year to $29.1 billion, according to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD).

    This figure marks an increase of 5.9 per cent over the same period last year, it reported.

    The export of major agri-products like coffee, pepper, rubber and tea continued to grow. Coffee grew the most with export volume of 1.6 million tonnes worth $2.98 billion in the January-November period, an increase in volume and value of 36.1 per cent and 24.3 per cent, respectively against the same period last year.

    The domestic pepper industry saw a year-on-year 11-month growth of 36.7 per cent in export volume to 170,000 tonnes, and a 15 per cent rise in value to $1.37 billion.

    China continues to be the largest importer of Vietnamese rice at 36 per cent of rice exports. But about 4.54 million tonnes of rice worth $2 billion were shipped until November, a year-on-year drop of 25 per cent in volume and 20.3 per cent in value.

    The ministry said the fall in rice exports was due to lower demand on the world market, and a domestic market over-supply.

    In the wood and wood products market, Vietnamese businesses earned $6.2 billion from exports in the first 11 months of the year. The US, Japan and China remained the top three largest importers, accounting for 69 per cent of the sector’s total exports.

    MARD statistics also show that seafood export value increased by 6.9 per cent to $6.4 billion in the January-November period. The US, Japan, China and South Korea were the four largest importers, accounting for 54.1 per cent of the total value.

    Seafood exports to China, the Netherlands, the US and Thailand rose 47.7 per cent, 16.1 per cent, 13.1 per cent and 12.6 per cent, respectively.

    The quality of products has been an impediment to export growth, officials say.

    Speaking at a forum on food safety and hygiene held in Ha Noi last week, deputy head of the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MoIT)’s Trade Promotion Agency, Do Kim Lang, said the country was facing difficulties in exporting agro, forestry and seafood products, partly due to strict quality regulations in the importing markets.

    Lang blamed this on the lack of close links between the production process and the market, and between businesses and farmers. He said this meant products were of uneven quality, with some containing antibiotic and chemical residues, not meeting food hygiene and safety standards.

    “Many Vietnamese businesses have had to take back their export products; several importers have even visited Viet Nam to warn ministries and agencies that the country’s exports can come to a standstill until problems regarding antibiotic and high chemical residues are solved,” said Lang.

    Le Thanh Hoa, deputy director of the Viet Nam Sanitary and Phytosanitary Notification Authority, said enterprises should inspect and supervise food safety in production chains, instead of the current practice of checking finished products. 

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


    0 0
  • 12/05/16--07:29: Article 0
  • Heavy teenage drinking linked to abnormal brain development


    Teens who drink heavily are more likely than their peers to have less gray matter, an important brain structure that aids in memory, decisions, and self-control, according to a Finnish study.


    Heavy teenage drinking, abuse alcohol, abnormal brain development, important brain structure 
    A bartender prepares a beer in a bar in central Sydney in this May 11, 2009 file photo.


    The study was observational, so it is impossible to say whether heavy drinking caused this stunted brain development. People may have less brain matter due to genetic factors, and this abnormality may make them more likely to abuse alcohol, the researchers write in the journal Addiction.

    “Substance use has been found to be connected to social exclusion, mental health problems and lower educational attainment,” said lead author Noora Heikkinen of the University of Eastern Finland.

    Having less gray matter may cause similar problems, as gray matter contains most of the brain’s neurons and plays an important role in memory, emotions, decision-making, and self-control.

    “Brain structural changes might be one factor that contributes to the social and mental problems among substance-using individuals,” Heikkinen told Reuters Health by email.

    To explore the effect of alcohol use on developing teenage brains, the researchers studied 62 young adults who were participating in the Finnish Youth Wellbeing Study.

    Between 2013 and 2015, the participants filled out questionnaires, answering questions about how often they drank and how many drinks they consumed.

    The participants had all completed similar questionnaires five and 10 years earlier, starting at age 13.

    As teens, 35 of the participants fell into the category of heavy drinkers. For example, they drank four or more times a week, or they drank less often but when they did, they drank heavily. The other 27 young adults in the study were considered light drinkers.

    No one in either group showed symptoms of depression or other serious mental illnesses. Heavy and light drinkers had similar rates of anxiety, personality disorders, and drug use. Heavy drinkers were significantly more likely to smoke cigarettes than light drinkers, however.

    But when participants underwent brain scans to look at gray matter and other brain structures that may be affected by alcohol use, the heavy drinkers had smaller volumes of gray matter in several brain areas when compared with the light drinking group.

    Specifically, those areas are known as the bilateral anterior cingulate cortex, the right orbitofrontal and frontopolar cortex, the right superior temporal gyrus and the right insular cortex.

    The frontal section of the brain, which helps people plan and make decisions, continues developing until people reach their early 20s, said Samantha Brooks, a lecturer at the University of Cape Town in South Africa who studies the effects of drinking on adolescents.

    During this period of brain development, teens are in a “vulnerability window” where they may be more likely to develop substance use problems, said Brooks, who was not involved in the study.

    In addition, if teens drink heavily during this sensitive time, they may cause damage to their brains that can make their drinking behavior worse and cause other problem behaviors like missing school or having unsafe sex, Brooks said.

    “Parents and teachers must be alert to the vulnerability window during adolescence, and seek help as early as possible, to prevent more serious damage to the brain,” Brooks said by email.

    Stopping alcohol use can increase gray matter volume when it is done early enough, Heikkinen noted. “However, when alcohol use has continued for a long time, some structural changes become irreversible,” Heikkinen warned.

    “Teenage years are very important for brain development, and alcohol can tamper with this process,” Heikkinen said.

    Reuters


    0 0
  • 12/06/16--01:16: Article 2
  • Bank officers face risk of losing jobs amid technology wave


     Consumers’ rapid adoption of new technologies have forced commercial banks to invest big money to renovate technologies. Meanwhile, tens of thousands of bank officers fear they may lose jobs because of technology upgrades.

     vietnamnet bridge, english news, Vietnam news, news Vietnam, vietnamnet news, Vietnam net news, Vietnam latest news, Vietnam breaking news, vn news, retail banking, BIDV, fintech

    A Vietcombank senior executive said the bank spends tens of millions of dollars every year on technology renovation. A survey found that the bank had 2 million new clients using electronic banking services.

    In the last two years, a mid-tier bank has been running an important technology renovation project. The services created within the framework of the project were launched in mid-2016, targeting young customers, who use smart mobile devices with new approaches.

    Many services can be provided on the web, while results are given in non-traditional space, like a café. The project is expected to help the bank list itself among top-tier banks.

    A series of digital banking services have been deployed by commercial banks, from internet banking, SMS banking and mobile banking to heavily invested projects.

    Consumers’ rapid adoption of new technologies have forced commercial banks to invest big money to renovate technologies. Meanwhile, tens of thousands of bank officers fear they may lose jobs because of technology upgrades.

    Joining forces with FinTechs, commercial banks have been providing many services such as TM, MoMO, Sen Pay and 123Pay.

    Maritime Bank provides integrated service packages, not just internet banking. VietCapitalBank allows online depositing, while Vietcombank provides services on bill and tax payments. TP Bank brings multi-utility services with a combination of internet banking and mobile banking.

    According to Doughlas Jackson from Boston Consulting Group (BCG), the application of digital banking is foreseeable. The young population is seen as the potential client for digital services.

    William Anthony Jennings, vice chair of the Hanoi-based Institute of Manpower, Banking and Finance (BTCI) also thinks that it is now the time for digital banking, predicting that more banks would operate digital banking systems in the time to come. About 50 percent of clients say they want to switch to digital technology.

    However, while experts believe that digital banking is a must, they warn that not all banks can do this because of hurdles in financial capability and technology utilization.

    Douglas Jackson from BCG said BCG conducted a survey on 200 financial institutions, and found they faced difficulties. Many banks have set up roadmap for digital banking, but they lack a long term vision about digital technology.

    Many other reasons have also been cited, including the insufficient solutions with interface and systems that are not integrated; poor infrastructure; discrete processing procedure and system and lack of updated data. Also, Vietnamese are still reliant on cash transactions.

    Experts warned that technologies would replace tens of thousands of workers.

    Viet Ha, VNN


    0 0
  • 12/06/16--02:18: Article 1
  • Filipino frigate visits Vietnam; search, rescue exercises planned


    Frigate BRP Ramon Alcaraz (FF16) of the Filipino navy arrived at the Cam Ranh International Seaport in the south-central Vietnamese province of Khanh Hoa on December 5, 2016. 

    Tuoi Tre

    A warship of the Filipino naval force has been welcomed in the south-central Vietnamese province of Khanh Hoa.

    The Philippines’ frigate BRP Ramon Alcaraz (FF16) arrived at the Cam Ranh International Seaport on Monday morning, commencing its four-day visit to Vietnam.

    The trip is aimed at strengthening the relationship and cooperation between the Vietnamese and Filipino navies as well as the two nations in general.

    During their stay in the south-central Vietnamese province, crew members of the FF16 are scheduled to meet with leaders of the provincial People’s Committee and join their counterparts from Vietnam’s 4th Regional Command in search and rescue exercises.          

     
    Leaders of Vietnam’s 4th Regional Command (L) shake hands with commanders of the FF16 at the Cam Ranh International Seaport. Photo: Tuoi Tre

    The FF16 is one of the largest frigates of the Filipino naval force, measuring 115 meters long, 13 meters wide, and weighing 3,250 metric tons.

    With two engines running on diesel and two turbine systems, the warship can reach a maximum velocity of 54 km per hour and is suitable for several-day long sea patrols in any weather conditions.

    Inaugurated on March 8, the Cam Ranh International Seaport is aimed at facilitating national defense missions and economic growth, welcoming international military vessels and cruise ships and providing maritime repair and maintenance services.

    In late October, the port welcomed three vessels carrying 750 sailors and naval officers of the Chinese navy.


     
    Officers from the Filipino navy pose with their Vietnamese counterparts following their arrival at the seaport. Photo: Tuoi Tre

    TUOI TRE NEWS


    0 0
  • 12/06/16--02:47: Article 0
  • Vietnam's GDP to grow at 6.3 per cent for 2017-2018 


    Vietnam’s medium-term outlook remains favorable, and its growth prospects may improve to 6.3 per cent from 2017-2018, according to the World Bank’s latest Taking Stock report released on December 5.

    Vietnam's GDP to grow at 6.3 per cent for 2017-2018 

    The latest World Bank report predicts Vietnam's economy to grow over the next few years.


    For 2016 alone, the World Bank estimated the economy would grow 6 per cent. The figure of 6.3 per cent for 2017-2018 is based on an expected pick-up in global activity, the World Bank report said.

    The report showed that Vietnam’s growth slowed to 5.9 per cent during the first three quarters of the year mainly because of a severe drought that reduced agricultural output, cut down on oil production and slowed external demand.

    The fundamental drivers of growth – resilient domestic demand and export oriented manufacturing – remain in force.  

    Vietnam’s growth was accompanied by low inflation and widening current account surplus. Despite price hikes for health and education services, core inflation remains low and headline inflation is expected to stay below the official target of 5 per cent.

    Mr. Ousmane Dione, World Bank Country Director for Vietnam, pointed out that Vietnam’s macroeconomic stability creates a favorable environment for policy makers to accelerate structural reforms, which is crucial as the country moves toward a more productivity-led growth model. “The adoption of the 2016-2020 economic restructuring plan by the National Assembly in November, for instance, would address some of the emerging obstacles to growth in the economy,” he said.

    Vietnam’s fiscal deficit remains sizable and is approaching the statutory limit of 65 per cent of the gross domestic product, but the government has reinforced its commitment to achieving fiscal consolidation in the medium term.


     

    Source: the World Bank's Taking Stock, December 2016.

    The economy’s recent performance owes in part to rapid credit growth and an accommodative fiscal stance, which may support growth in the short term but amplify existing medium-term financial and fiscal risks. 

    In addition, easing monetary conditions and reducing credit growth can exacerbate existing macroeconomic and financial vulnerabilities. Several risks could adversely affect medium term prospects such as delayed implementation of structural and fiscal reforms, a further slowdown in the global economy, fragile global financial market conditions, and the prospect of rising interest rates in the US. 

    The FDI sector continued to be an engine for Vietnam’s trade performance. The FDI sector accounts for 70 per cent of Vietnam’s total exports and its non-oil export value has been growing by a staggering 25 per cent on average over the last decade. FDI enterprises also account for about 14 per cent of fiscal revenue.

     

    Source: the World Bank's Taking Stock, December 2016.


    In response to the question about the impact of newly elected US President Donald Trump’s announcement to withdraw from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), Mr. Sebastian Eckardt, Senior Economist at the World Bank Group, said that Vietnam’s economy would not be impacted much in the middle term. “Vietnam is still the country that benefits most from this agreement,” he affirmed.

    The report also showed that Vietnamese agriculture now sits at a turning point. The sector now faces growing domestic competition from cities, industry, and services for labor, land and water. Rising labor costs are beginning to inhibit the sector’s ability to compete globally as a low cost producer of bulk undifferentiated commodities.

    Going forward, Vietnam’s agricultural sector needs to generate “more from less.” That is, it must generate more economic value and farmer and consumer welfare, using less natural and human capital and less harmful intermediate inputs.

    According to the report, the Vietnamese government has played a major role in agricultural development. But the government will need to lead less and at the same time facilitate more to transform Vietnam’s agriculture and agro-food system.

    For example, the government can undertake less direct investment in agriculture while focusing more on facilitating a more active agricultural land market, supporting rural infrastructure, reducing the transaction costs of farmers and agro-enterprises, and revitalizing the country’s agricultural innovation system.
    VET


    0 0
  • 12/06/16--17:19: Article 8
  • BUSINESS IN BRIEF 6/12


    State budget overspending put at VND167 trillion in Jan-Nov

    Vietnam’s budget overspending amounted to VND167.25 trillion (US$7.42 billion) in the January-November period, 65.8% of the target approved for this year by the National Assembly.

    The budget collection in the eleven-month period was VND911.2 trillion, nearly 90% of the year’s target, while budget spending in the period hit more than VND1,000 trillion, or 84.7% of the target, up 6.2% year-on-year, the Ministry of Finance announced in a statement.

    Of the expenditure, VND145 trillion was used to pay debts and refund financial aid, accounting for 93.5% of the annual goal and up 1.8% year-on-year.

    The country had signed 34 agreements to take out foreign loans of US$5.14 billion in the period. Of this amount, more than US$3 billion had been disbursed as of mid-November.

    By the end of the month, US$1.46 billion of debt had been paid while US$12.5 billion worth of bonds had been sold, meeting 98% of the target and surging 43.8%year-on-year respectively, said the ministry.

    PetroVietnam oil production achieves target 29 days earlier


     Budget overspending put at VND167 trillion in Jan-Nov, PetroVietnam oil production achieves target 29 days earlier, Vietinbank asks shareholders about 2015 dividend cash payout, Customs clearance on Euro Auto's BMWs investigated
       
    The Vietnam National Oil and Gas Group (PetroVietnam) on Tuesday reported its completed production of oil 29 days ahead of schedule, with the 14.02 million tonnes target achieved on December 2.

    The state-owned energy giant also announced that its financial result was above the target by 5-18 per cent in eleven months of this year.

    This achievement was based on the oil price of US$45 per barrel projected by the government in the beginning of the year.

    In its 11-month report, the whole group, including affiliates and subsidiaries, earned VND406.2 trillion (nearly $18 billion), a rise of 5.4 per cent over the target for the period and 93 per cent of the goal set for the whole year.

    Tax payment to the state budget was VND79.6 trillion, up seven per cent over the 11-month target and almost achieving the government’s full-year goal.

    Global oil price averaged $48 per barrel in November and $43.9 in the eleven months. Brent crude is moving around $50-53 per barrel.

    For production activity, besides crude oil, PetroVietnam reported its gas and petroleum production achieved the government’s annual targets one month earlier.

    Ending November, the state-owned energy giant produced 9.63 billion cu.m. of natural gas, up 0.2 per cent of the target set for the whole year.

    Petrol output reached 6.26 million tonnes, a rise of 10 per cent over the annual projection.

    Production of other products, including electricity and fertilizer, was above the target of 11 months by less than two per cent --19.23 billion kWh of electricity and 1.47 million tonnes of fertilizer.

    Vietinbank asks shareholders about 2015 dividend cash payout
       
    The Viet Nam Commercial Bank of Industry and Trade (VietinBank) has asked its shareholders for their views on the 2015 dividend payout by cash.

    Under a bank resolution of the management board of managers No. 641/NQ-HĐQT-NHCT44, issued on December 1, the deadline for the registration date is December 15 this year.

    Currently, the state holds 64.46 per cent of Vietinbank’s charter capital.

    Previously, the Ministry of Finance (MoF) released an official document in June requesting the State Bank of Viet Nam (SBV) to direct the representative of state capital in Vietinbank and the Bank for Investment and Development of Viet Nam (BIDV) to vote for the 2015 dividend payout to be in cash.

    BIDV is set to payout 2015’s dividend in cash at a rate of 8.5 per cent per share, as confirmed at an extraordinary shareholders meeting in October, which means the state will receive VND2.7 trillion (US$120 million) in dividends as the SBV currently holds 95.28 per cent of BIDV’s charter capital.

    Meanwhile, VietinBank has made no indication to MoF on paying a dividend.

    Under a plan submitted to VietinBank’s annual general meeting in April, there was to be no dividend payout for 2015. Its chairman was quoted as saying that “this is a necessary decision and has strategic meaning for the bank in improving its financial capability and ensuring its capital adequacy ratio (CAR) and continued development.”

    Besides wanting to use all the profits from 2015 for the bank’s development, VietinBank also proposed the government consider lifting the foreign ownership limit, in which the state would hold less than 50 per cent of charter capital. VietinBank said this would ensure the ownership and control of the state in the bank while also creating conditions to attract more resources.

    In the first nine months this year, VietinBank recorded strong growth, with after-tax profit reaching VND5.19 trillion, up 16.4 per cent year-on-year.

    The bank’s total assets stood at VND900 trillion as at September 30, up 15.5 per cent compared with the start of the year. Customer loans and deposits, coincidentally, both reached VND625 billion, up 16 per cent and 27 per cent, respectively, year-on-year.

    Its bad debt ratio was down slightly to 0.85 per cent in the quarter against 0.92 per cent at the start of the year.

    Sharpest increase in new orders for 18 months

    The Nikkei Vietnam Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI), a composite single-figure indicator of manufacturing performance, soared to the highest in 18 months, according to a recent Nikkei report.

    Higher workloads led firms to quicken their rate of job creation and growth of input buying, the report said.

    The PMI rose to 54 in November compared to 51.7 in October, thereby signaling a solid monthly improvement in the health of the sector, and one that was the strongest for a year and a half. Business conditions have now improved on a monthly basis throughout the past year.

    New business increased at a sharp and accelerated pace during November, with the rate of growth quickening for the third month running to the sharpest since May 2015.

    New export orders also rose at a faster pace, with improving client demand reportedly supporting growth of orders from both domestic and external sources.

    The report said new order growth supported a rebound in production following a dip in October. Output rose solidly and at the fastest pace in 16 months.

    With new orders rising, Vietnamese manufacturers took on extra staff, and the rate of job creation quickened from that seen in the previous month. Firms also raised purchasing activity at a faster pace, with the latest expansion the strongest since March 2011.

    With demand for inputs rising, and some reports of supply shortages, the rate of input cost inflation quickened markedly in November. The latest rise was the sharpest in 30 months. Output prices also increased at a faster pace, the steepest in five and a half years.

    Suppliers’ delivery times improved amid reports of competition among suppliers.

    Breakthroughs mulled to lure investment into agriculture

    Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Nguyen Xuan Cuong said there would be breakthrough policies on land and credit to draw investors into agriculture in an attempt to improve the proportion of agribusinesses in the economy.

    At the “Dialogue with enterprises with investment in agriculture and rural development” last Saturday, Minister Cuong said many policies had been adopted to stimulate investment in agriculture, including incentives in terms of tax, credit, land and human resource training.

    Thanks to such efforts, private investment in agriculture has sharply risen, making a significant contribution to the growth of the sector. The number of firms with investment in agriculture had risen from nearly 2,400 in 2007 to more than 4,000 by the end of this September.

    Yet, corporate investment in agriculture and rural development remains limited and unstable, Cuong remarked.

    Agribusinesses still make up less than 1% of the total number of companies in the country. Moreover, most of them have a small amount of capital, with over 50% having less than VND5 billion each.

    Many investors are mainly dependent on the exploitation of natural resources (land and water), with little interest in radical investment with technology application or investment in modern equipment and intensive processing. The link between enterprises, scientists and farmers in the value chain remains tenuous, resulting in high costs and low competitiveness, he said.

    To take advantage of the FTAs Vietnam has signed, enterprises need to boost the application of advanced technology, product diversification, branding and the added value of agricultural products, said Vu Tien Loc, Chairman of the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI).

    Removing land, credit bottlenecks

    Nguyen Do Anh Tuan, director of the Institute of Policy and Strategy for Agriculture and Rural Development, cited the latest data of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) as saying that Vietnam’s agricultural support accounted for only 7% (of the sector’s value), versus 55-60% in such countries as Japan and South Korea.

    Thus, the sector – despite the greatest trade surplus and bringing in high value – is getting the least assistance, said Dinh Cao Khue, chairman of Dong Giao Foodstuff Export JSC.

    It is believed that agriculture must aim for large-scale production, with land accumulation and concentration as the most important factor. To do so, it is a must to fundamentally change the current land policy, associating it with those policies on technology, taxation and credit.

    The Prime Minister has urged amendments to Decree 210 on attracting investment into agriculture, Cuong said. In particular, those enterprises with investment in high and clean technology will be preferred.

    The ministries of planning-investment and agriculture are working with other relevant ministries over a new decree.

    Besides, agriculture authorities are joining hands with relevant agencies to enact innovative policies in a bid to lure enterprises and other economic sectors into agriculture.

    PM wants public investment disbursements sped up

    Ministries and local authorities will be held accountable if they fail to achieve their public investment disbursement targets for 2016, according to a dispatch signed by Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc.

    Dispatch 2144/CD-TTg says State budget disbursements have met only 70.2% of the year’s target, with 12 ministries, central-level agencies and one province having accomplished less than 50% of their disbursement plans.

    The proceeds from Government bond sales have been 46.6% disbursed, with two ministries and 15 provinces having fulfilled less than half of their tasks.

    On July 8, 2016 the Government issued Resolution 60/NQ-CP accelerating distribution of capital for public investment projects.

    Those ministries, central-level agencies and local authorities who had accomplished less than half of their disbursement plans by the end of November must clarify those responsible for the delays and inform the Ministry of Planning and Investment.

    Those having reached 80% of the targets or above as of end-November can now inform the ministries of planning-investment and finance of any needs for additional capital.

    Ministries, central-level agencies and local governments should promptly finalize their plans for medium-term public investment in 2016-2020 and those for investment in 2017.

    If the plans for 2017 and for the medium term 2016-2020 are not submitted as of December 5 and December 10 respectively, the Ministry of Planning and investment might request the Government to take back the unallocated and improperly arranged sums to settle debts owed by basic construction projects, and even the advance capital to fund other projects.

    Customs clearance on Euro Auto's BMWs investigated

    The General Department of Customs has decided to stop the customs clearance for BMW auto shipments imported into Vietnam after the Euro Auto Corporation was accused of committing violations.
    The General Department of Customs asked local customs departments and export-import ports nationwide to stop customs clearance for shipments except in cases of diplomatic immunity. The Euro Auto Corporation will be investigated for customs and tax violations.

    The Ministry of Finance also asked to temporarily stop customs clearance because the official importer of BMW in Vietnam, Euro Auto Corporation, had committed violations in the import of completely built-up cars.
    Euro Auto Corporation is accused of purchasing BMW cars without permission or customs clearance and did not provide certificates of origin and documents. They are also accused of using fake purchase contracts to import BMWs and cheat customers.
    The ministry also suggested that the People's Supreme Court should prosecute this case which showed evidence of consumer fraud and deliberate violation the laws.
    On November 30, the corporation denied the accusations, saying that it had been strictly followed the laws. Euro Auto said it had answered the ministry's questions and was still providing documents to government agencies. Euro Auto requested to have its rights protected by legal bodies and the public.

    Central Group Vietnam pledges to support SMEs

    Central Group Vietnam, the owner of the Big C supermarket chain, inked a cooperation agreement on product consumption and support for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in Vietnam at a Vietnamese Regional Specialties Fair in Hanoi last week.

    Central Group Vietnam cut the deal with the Hanoi Promotion Center on Trade, Investment and Tourism (HPA) and the Vietnam Handicraft Exporters Association (Vietcraft).

    Philippe Broianigo, chief executive officer of Central Group Vietnam and Big C Vietnam, said products of SMEs would be displayed at Big C stores nationwide, and other distribution channels of Central Group Vietnam.

    He pledged to assist SMEs in marketing and branding and thus develop these enterprises’ products in the long run. The group would cooperate with banks to offer financial support programs for them as well.

    Central Group Vietnam, currently operating 34 Big C supermarkets, has plans to double the figure by 2021.

    At a conference with suppliers in HCMC on November 24, Central Group Vietnam and Big C Vietnam introduced strategies to support and accompany Vietnamese firms, especially SMEs and startups.

    In particular, they would sign cooperation agreements lasting three years or longer with SMEs, and display their products in the distribution system of Central Group’s subsidiaries.

    In addition, they would help train and support SMEs in specialized knowledge, technology and other relevant skills.

    VN firms invest in textile, dyeing


     
       
    Many textile and garment enterprises are investing in textile and dyeing complexes to ensure material for sustainable development, Vietnam Television (VTV)reported recently.

    To avail themselves of business opportunities from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement, many textile and garment firms have over the past two years started building textile and dyeing complexes. For instance, 10 enterprises have invested hundreds of millions of US dollars in those complexes in southern Binh Duong Province.

    However, US President-elect Donald Trump said his country would leave the TPP but investment to those industrial complexes would still continue for long-term development strategies.

    Esquel Garment Manufacturing Viet Nam Co Ltd has operated in Viet Nam for 10 years and mainly imported material from China. In 2015, the company invested in a textile and dyeing factory in Binh Duong partly for availing business opportunities from the TPP. The factory has completed construction of the building in the first stage and it will begin operations in a year.

    With information emerging that the US could leave the TPP, the company would consider carefully its investment plans for the factory in the second and third stages.

    However, Nguyen Van Luong, deputy general director of Esquel Garment Manufacturing Viet Nam, said the decision on investment was under the company’s long-term development strategy in Viet Nam but not only for TPP.

    Textile and garment enterprises said that TPP has prompted them to increase investment in textile and dyeing for production of garment products. In the long-term, development of textile and dyeing would help Viet Nam complete its production process for garment products and avoid dependence on material imports as being done at present, VTV reported.

    Meanwhile, Nguyen Xuan Duong, chairman of Hung Yen Garment Company said TPP would present more opportunities to local textile garment firms to export to the US, but if there was no TPP, exports to the US would have no effect.

    During his election campaign, President-elect Donald Trump had said that if he won the elections the US would impose import tariff of 45 per cent on Chinese products. So, Duong said, garment producers who have investments in China could consider moving their business to other countries, including Viet Nam, to avoid high import tariff for products imported from China, the Dien dan Doanh nghiep newspaper reported.

    Duong said that Viet Nam’s textile and garment exports next year would face many difficulties as expectations. Hung Yen Garment Company has signed contracts to produce garment for exports until March and April 2017.

    He expected the company to receive more export orders after Tet (the Lunar New Year) festival to produce stable exports until October 2017.

    According to the General Statistics Office, Viet Nam gained a year-on-year increase of 4.5 per cent in export value to US$21.5 billion for the first 11 months of this year.

    This year, the nation expected to gain a total export value of textile and garment at around $29 billion.

    Vinatea returns to domestic market
       
    The Viet Nam Tea Corporation (Vinatea) has launched 10 new tea brands to mark its return to the domestic market after focusing on exports.

    They include three kinds of tea: premium with 100 year white tea, Japanese Sencha, excellent Oolong and ancient Shan Tuyet; popular products with Thai Nguyen green tea, jasmine tea and England tea; and vegetation teas including ginger, daisy with honey bee, sleep well combining different vegetation.

    All its products are green and organic, the company said.

    They are grown on a 4,700-hectare plantation in the northern area of Moc Chau, Thai Nguyen and Phu Tho and processed at three factories.

    Vinatea was equitised in September 2015 with GTN Foods buying a 95 per cent stake.

    It plans to develop the tea industry together with culture and tourism.

    Vietnam Airlines launches flash sale on flights to Tokyo

    Vietnam Airlines has slashed the price of fares from Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City to Tokyo for the winter season in their flash seat sale.

    The flight sale starts from today (December 5) and runs through January 31, 2017. Travellers can pick up flights for as little as US$540 (VND12.45 million) for a round trip economy class ticket from Hanoi.

    Round trip business class tickets from Hanoi start as low as US$999 (VND22.95 million).

    From Ho Chi Minh City to Tokyo, a round trip economy class ticket starts at US$399 (VND9.15 million) and business class tickets begin at US$980 (VND22.55 million).

    Offers exclude taxes and fees and are available at Vietnam Airlines agents, booking offices and websites.

    Jetstar Pacific opens Hanoi – Pleiku air route

    Low-cost airline Jetstar Pacific on December 5 launched a new air route connecting the capital city of Hanoi to with Pleiku city in the Central Highlands province of Gia Lai.

    The new route will have three return flights each week on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays, using Airbus A320 planes.

    The first flight will take off on January 6, 2017.

    The same day, the airline also opened the sale of tickets for the route at its website www.jetstar.com and ticket outlets nationwide.

    Jetstar Pacific is now operating 37 new domestic and international routes, eight of which connect the Central Highlands region with big cities across the country.

    Some 3.56 trillion VND of State capital divested from SOEs

    About 3.56 trillion VND (156.7 million USD) of State capital has been divested from State-owned enterprises (SOEs) so far this year, the Sai Gon Giai phong (Liberated Saigon) daily reported.

    As a result, nearly 6.57 trillion VND (289.2 million USD) was collected through the divestment in the first 11 months of 2016.

    Meanwhile, 56 SOEs have had their equitisation plans approved since the beginning of 2016.

    They have a total value of more than 34 trillion VND (1.49 billion USD), including 24.39 trillion VND (1.07 billion USD) worth of the State capital.

    A plan for SOE restructuring in the 2016-2020 period is expected to be approved by the Prime Minister in the near future.

    Accordingly, ministries, sectors and SOEs must increase transparency and publicise information about their SOE equitisation while enhancing examination and supervision of the equitisation process.

    With regard to the equitised companies, the Ministry of Finance requested the representatives of the State capital at those firms to speed up their listing on the stock market.

    It stated that business executives who did not carry out or carry out equitisation ineffectively will be strictly handled.

    Ba Ria - Vung Tau officials visit SCG Petrochemical

    During the official visit on 23th-27th November 2016, the delegation of Vung Tau city, Ba RiaVung Tau province have studied various practices from industrial and tourism sectors in Thailand, in which SCG Petrochemical operation – the major of investor of Long Son Petrochemical Project in Vung Tau city - has been examined as a successful case for the industry development.

    The trip of Vung Tau leaders aimed to observe Thailand’s best practices in industrial and tourism development, which could be applied for the province in the upcoming plan. 

    Accordingly, the group has met with Tourism Authority of Thailand in Pattaya to discuss about the experience to leverage coastal tourism advantages. 

    Besides, for industrial development, a visit has been paid to Map Ta Phut Industrial Estate in Rayong to learn the practice of the eastern seaboard of Thailand – an emerging region that plays a key role in the country’s economy.

    Amongst other factories in Map Ta Phut industrial estate, the delegate has visited SCG Petrochemical Complex to understand about petrochemicals manufacturing, especially in environmental aspects such as water management and air pollution control. 

    Also, they were introduced to SCG’s model of social enterprise in the local community where community people are encouraged and supported to sell their own products and generate higher income.

    “Being the sustainable business leader in Thailand and in ASEAN region, SCG is delighted to share our best practices in Petrochemical industry to the management of Vung Tau city, Ba RiaVung Tau province – the location of our strategic petrochemical in Vietnam. The Long Son petrochemical project which planned to start up in early 2021 once established will provide a full range of downstream and upstream petrochemical products that will contribute significantly to the national economy, as the example of Map Ta Phut in Thailand.”, said Mr. DhepVongvanich, Executive Country Director – Vietnam, SCG. 

    “We look forward to collaborating with Vung Tau city, Ba RiaVung Tau province to develop both economic prospect and the welfare for local community in the future when our petrochemical project is coming into operation”, he added.

    Besides the visit to Thailand’s tourism and industrial sites, the delegate also showed respect to the late King BhumibolAdulyadej by signing the condolence book at SCG Headquarter in Bangkok.

    Vietnam Business Forum 2016 focuses on private sector

    The Vietnam Business Forum 2016 opened on December 5 in Hanoi focusing on strengthening the role of the private economic sector through fostering the partnership between domestic and foreign enterprises.

    In opening the annual event, Minister of Planning and Investment Nguyen Chi Dung said the business community in Vietnam saw developments in both terms of quantity and quality in 2016, but still the domestic enterprises are not strong enough to make effective integration, without any representative able to join the global value and supply chains.

    The minister also recalled the lesson of environmental protection in association with investment projects, stressing that it is the lesson for not only the State but also enterprises themselves. He reiterated that environment protection is a priority of the Government in its strategy for green and sustainable development, and called on the business community to pay due attention to this issue.

    Participants at the forum took note of breakthrough changes in the business environment in Vietnam and the Vietnamese government’s efforts and resolve in facilitating the operation of enterprises and investors.  

    Kyle F. Kelhofer, country manager for Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos of the International Financial Corporation, appreciated the unceasing endeavours of the Government in maintaining macro-economic stability and keeping public debt within permissible level, adding that the role of the private economic sector has received more attention.

    Addressing the forum on behalf of the domestic business community, Chairman of the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) Vu Tien Loc asked the Government to tighten discipline in the execution of duty while enhancing the supervision and feedback of the public and enterprises.

    He urged the Government to draft a bill to revise laws related to investment and business environment, adding that the revision of laws should be done regularly as the situation keeps changing rapidly.

    The business community also proposed that the Government promptly submit to the National Assembly revisions to the Labour Code regarding regulations on overtime work, wage and social insurance to ensure the economy’s competitiveness.

    On behalf of the US business and investor community, Governor of the American Chamber of Commerce in Vietnam Virginia B. Foote asked the Vietnamese Government to pay attention to five issues that need improvements, which were facilitating the private sector; developing human resources; addressing net security problems; enforcing the Trade Facilitation Agreement; and facilitating travel to develop tourism.

     Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc welcomed the opinions of the business community, saying that the Government is always ready for open and straightforward dialogue in order to seek the most appropriate and effective solutions for Vietnam to achieve fast, sustainable and harmonious development.    

    He noted that the reality of the 30-year Doi Moi (renewal) process has proved convincingly that the private economic sector is an important driving force of the Vietnamese economy.

    The PM cited statistics that showed the country now has nearly 600,000 firms. 2016 is the first year when Vietnam saw more than 100,000 new firms established, which means an average 12 firms set up per one hour.

    According to the PM, the 3.5 million business households in the country hold great potential for realising the goal of 1 million firms by 2020.    

    At the same time, PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc laid stress on the important role played by 21,000 foreign-invested enterprises in the country. The FDI enterprises have invested a combined 300 billion USD in Vietnam. Total FDI capital flow into Vietnam has topped 17 billion USD in 2016.

    In its 2016-2020 socio-economic development strategy, Vietnam is determined to create every possible favourable conditions for the development of enterprises, especially private ones, thus creating a driving force to elevate competitiveness and self-reliance for the national economy, he said.

    The PM emphasized that in saying Vietnamese enterprises, it also means FDI enterprises with legal person status in Vietnam and domestic enterprises. “This is the Government’s major direction in forming a connected and effective Vietnamese business community,” he said.

     PM Phuc reiterated the government’s commitment to continued efforts to complete the market economic institutions along with policies and laws, push forward with administrative reform, enhance the national competitiveness and create favourable conditions for the private sector to develop strongly.

    The Government will work to raise the essential WB-rated national investment environment indexes and WEF-rated competitiveness index to the average level of the ASEAN-4 countries, he said.

    The PM called on the Vietnamese business community to actively participate in the process of economic restructuring through diversifying investments with a priority for the PPP form, stimulating startup business and innovation spirit, and increasing win-win partnership between the domestic private FDI sectors.

    He urged FDI businesses to trust Vietnam’s reforms and accelerate the transfer of advanced technology, human resource training and the sharing of corporate governance experience while upholding their responsibility to society and joining hands with Vietnam in protecting natural resource and the environment.

      PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc instructed ministries and agencies study proposals and recommendations put forth at the forum with a view to supplementing and adjusting related policies and legal documents to align with the market economy and international practice.  

    “The Government will make all-out efforts so that the Vietnamese business community can closely connect and grow in the Vietnamese economy and successfully rise up to the world stage,” the PM told the forum.

    Hanoi economic growth hits a six-year peak

    Despite failing to hit the yearly target of 8.5-9 percent, Hanoi’s economic growth in 2016 has hit its highest level in six years, reaching 8.03 percent, Deputy Chairman of the municipal People’s Committee Nguyen Doan Toan said on December 5.

    The service sector grew by 8.1 percent while industry-construction and agriculture witnessed increases of 8.8 percent and 2.21 percent, respectively.

    The statistics were presented at the third session of the 15th Hanoi People’s Council from December 5-8.

    According to Toan, over the past year, an unprecedented number of new enterprises had been established.

    Foreign-invested capital on projects reached 2.8billion USD, increasing 2.6 times compared to last year. Total social investment was estimated at 277.95 trillion VND (12.3 million USD), a rise of 10 percent over the previous year.

    The city has finished or nearly finished key transport projects such as Ring Road No.2 running through Nhat Tan-Cau Giay, Ring Road No.1 through O Dong Mac-Nguyen Khoai, the Long Bien district centre project and accelerated railway projects.

    In the report reviewing socio-economic tasks in 2016, Deputy Chairman Toan said that the process had various weaknesses, including difficulties of business and production, leading to closure of firms.

    Industry growth speed has been slowing down. Pressing issues include pollution at industrial parks and traditional craft villages, fires, explosions and traffic accidents.

    The session approved a resolution on 2017 socio-economic development plan. Gross Regional Domestic Product (GRDP) is hoped to reach 8.5 to 9 percent. GRDP per capita is targeted at 86 million VND to 88 million VND (3,820-3,900 USD). Export-import turnover is aimed at 4 to 5 percent.

    Health insurance coverage is hoped to reach 82.8 percent.

    The plan also expects all households in urban areas to have water for daily use.

    To fulfill these targets, the meeting agreed on tasks, including improving the business and investment climate as well as provincial competitiveness index.

    To tackle pollution, by 2020, 117 industrial production bases in 12 districts will be moved out of the inner city, Phan Hong Son, Director of the municipal Justice Department said.

    Politburo member Hoang Trung Hai, Secretary of the municipal Party Committee, said that “The year of administrative discipline” has been selected as the main topic of the city’s work next year. It aims to beef up administrative order and strengthen the role of public servants in office, residency and public areas and spread the spirit to citizens to tighten social discipline.

    During the four-day gathering, the council will discuss and approve 15 important resolutions related to socio-economics, defence and security, the city’s State budget spending in 2017, key projects and middle term public investment next year.

    WB helps promote Vietnamese agricultural brand names

    International and domestic experts gathered at a workshop organised by the World Bank in Hanoi on December 5 to identify Vietnamese agricultural brand names on the international market.

    Sergiy Zorya, a WB expert, said Vietnam has witnessed a slowdown in agricultural growth, and attributed it to impacts of climate change and raw agricultural product export.

    Vietnam targets to develop agricultural brand names to create more jobs and raise income, he said, suggesting that Vietnam reduce production cost and enhance product values.

    He emphasised the formation of a supply chain of farmers, enterprises, the State and banks for the development of Vietnam’s agriculture.

    The expert highlighted regional countries’ experience in identifying their products on the international market, saying that Thailand chooses five to six commercial rice varieties for continuous production while Vietnam uses a wide range of rice varieties, which is difficult for developing a brand name.

    He also stressed the need for applying environmentally-friendly technology in growing rice, and called for a closer cooperation with the Vietnamese embassies to promote their agricultural products overseas.

    Participants discussed measures to enhance the sector’s competitiveness, such as investing in the supply-demand chain, developing seeds market, expanding agricultural land, particularly large-scale cultivation and ensuring food safety.

    According to the WB, Vietnam’s annual agricultural growth dropped to 2.6 percent in 2008 – 2013, from 4.5 percent in 1994 – 2000, and 3.3 percent in 2001 - 2007.

    Vietnam should make changes in agricultural land use by shifting rice growing areas which are affected by salt to aquaculture or other crops to promote export and improve product quality and value.

    More support should be provided for developing ecotourism in coastal areas while focusing on preserving the ecosystem.

    HCM City, Belgian province bolster agricultural partnership

    Ho Chi Minh City of Vietnam and East Flanders province of Belgium have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on agricultural cooperation for the 2016-2020 period.

    Speaking at the signing ceremony in HCM City on December 5, Vice Chairman of the municipal People’s Committee Le Thanh Liem said the MoU demonstrates the two localities’ wish to enhance their economic and trade collaboration.

    The document will lay a foundation for bilateral cooperative ties in agriculture and other fields in the future, he added.

    For his part, Vice Governor of the East Flanders province Geevt Versnick said the Belgian province has conducted numerous cooperation activities between Vietnam and Belgium.

    The province is also carrying out effectively scientific and agricultural projects in Vietnam, he noted.

    The Vice Governor highly valued HCM City’s efforts in developing hi-tech agriculture, which is expected to create enormous opportunities for cooperation with the Belgian province in the coming time.

    Under the MoU, the two sides will cooperate in personnel training and technique transfer, especially in creating high-quality beef and crop varieties, post-harvest processing and packaging farm produce.

    The Belgian province will also help HCM City to promote agricultural products in EU markets, including Belgium.

    Petrol prices up over 300 VND per litre

    Retail prices of RON 92 petrol and E5 bio-fuel increased by 304 VND and 301 VND per litre, respectively, from 7:00 pm on December 5, according to the Ministries of Industry & Trade and Finance.

    Prices of diesel 0.05S and paraffin saw respective hike of 163 VND and 244 VND per litre.

    This was the 12th increase in fuel prices so far this year with a total increase of over 5,000 VND per litre. The prices have been dropped nine times since the beginning of the year, with the decreases of about 4,463 VND per litre.

    The current ceiling prices of RON 92 and E5 bio-fuel are no more than 16,675 VND and 16,552 VND per litre, while the maximum prices of diesel 0.05S and paraffin are kept at 12,672 VND and 11,209 VND per litre.

    The average global prices of RON 92 during the last 15 days to December 5 was 58,529 USD per barrel, whilst that of diesel 0.05S was 58,529 USD per barrel.

    Structural reforms key to growth: official
       
    Deepening structural reforms is crucial to Viet Nam’s growth, World Bank Country Director Ousmane Dione said as the organisation released a biannual review of the country’s economic performance in Ha Noi yesterday.

    The Taking Stock report says despite a fragile global environment, Viet Nam’s economy remains resilient thanks to robust domestic demand and export-oriented manufacturing.

    Its medium-term outlook remains favourable, with gross domestic product (GDP) expected to expand by 6 per cent this year.

    The report revealed that Viet Nam’s growth slowed to 5.9 per cent during the first nine months of the year, mainly because of severe drought that has reduced agricultural output, cut oil production and slowed external demand.

    The fundamental drivers of growth of domestic demand and export oriented manufacturing remain in place.

    Viet Nam’s growth was accompanied by low inflation and a widening current account surplus. Despite price hikes for health and education services, core inflation remains low and headline inflation is expected to stay below official targets of 5 per cent.

    “Viet Nam’s macro-economic stability creates a favourable environment for policy makers to accelerate structural reforms, which is crucial as the country moves toward a more productivity-led growth model,” said Dione.

    The report says Viet Nam’s fiscal deficit remains sizable and is approaching the statutory limit of 65 per cent of GDP, but the government has reinforced its commitment to achieving fiscal consolidation in the medium term.

    The economy’s recent performance owes in part to rapid credit growth and an accommodative fiscal stance, which may support growth in the short term but amplify existing medium-term risks.

    In addition, easing monetary conditions and reducing credit growth can exacerbate existing macro-economic and financial vulnerabilities.

    Several risks could affect medium-term prospects, including delayed implementation of structural and fiscal reforms, a further slowdown in the global economy, fragile global financial market conditions, and the prospect of rising interest rates in the US.

    The report also discussed how the agricultural sector can bring about more economic value and better livelihoods for farmers and consumers, using less natural and human resources but without degrading the environment.

    Some banks cut deposit interest rates
       
    Several commercial banks have unexpectedly slightly cut the dong-denominated deposit interest rates in the past week, according to report by the State Bank of Viet Nam (SBV).

    BIDV has inched down the rates for demand and 36-month terms from 0.3 per cent to 0.2 per cent, and 7 per cent to 6.8 per cent per year, respectively, since November 29.

    Agribank has also lowered the rate for demand term from 0.5 per cent to 0.3 per cent per year.

    In addition to the two State-owned banks, some commercial joint stock banks have also cut deposit rates.

    After cutting 0.1 per cent for 6, 13 and 18-month deposits on November 9, Viet Capital Bank on November 29 applied new rates for some terms, down 0.05 per cent and 0.1 per cent for 1-5 month terms and 13-18 month terms, respectively. Currently, the bank’s rates are 5.3 per cent for 1-2 month terms, 5.4 per cent for 3-5 month terms, 7.5 per cent for 13-month term and 7.9 per cent for 18- month terms.

    Sacombank has also lowered the rates for short-term deposits, cutting rates for 2-3 month terms to 4.9 per cent from 5.2 per cent per year.

    According to SBV, currently, the popular deposit interest rates are 0.8-1 per cent per year for demand and under 1 month terms, and 4.5-5.4 per cent for 1-6 month terms. The popular rates applied for medium- and long-term deposits of 6-12 months and above 12 months are 5.4-6.5 per cent and 6.4-7.2 per cent, respectively.

    The rate cut is aimed at balancing the banks’ liquidity and is a positive move to cut input costs.

    However, according to a leader of a joint stock commercial bank, who declined to be named, it would be hard to forecast interest rate movements in the next two months. He explained that demands for loans often rise sharply ahead of Tet (the lunar New Year), which falls in late January 2017.

    Experts meanwhile were concerned about the strengthening of the US dollar against the dong, saying that if the dollar continues to rise, dong savings holders could transfer to the American currency, causing pressure on dong liquidity. If that happens, commercial banks would have to adjust up interest rates to attract depositors.

    The abundance of dong liquidity in the banking system is lower than a few months ago in the wake of rising credit growth. According to the SBV, lending as of November 22 had expanded by around 14 per cent compared with December 2015, with dong loans rising 15.3 per cent.

    South Korea-based Nonghyup Bank opens branch in HN
       
    South Korea-based Nonghyup Bank has officially opened a branch in Ha Noi after receiving an official license from the State Bank of Viet Nam.

    With extensive experience and capabilities accumulated over 50 years, Nonghyup Bank will participate in the Viet Nam financial market with the full functions of a commercial bank and continue supporting the economic development of Viet Nam and activities of both countries’ businesses.

    Founded in 1961 in Korea, Nonghyup is a co-operative bank with 100 percent of capital contributed by farmers and locals. Nonghyup is not only a commercial bank and but also a bank supporting agriculture policy, providing credit services for households and businesses and contributing to the Korean economy through credit financing in the field of rural agriculture. Nonghyup is currently the largest bank in Korea.

    Nonghyup Bank has had a representative office in Viet Nam since 2012. At present, Nonghyup Bank is implementing several corporate social responsibility (CSR) activities to support Vietnamese brides in multicultural families while focusing on the mountainous areas of Viet Nam.

    Nonghyup Bank has signed a corporation agreement with Tin Tức Newspaper (under Vietnam News Agency) to provide this publication to overseas Vietnamese living in South Korea.

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


    0 0
  • 12/06/16--17:43: Article 7
  • Social News 6/12


    HCMC court sentences gambling ring


     HCMC court sentences gambling ring, Bilingual photo book about Hue debuts in France, Vietnam, Sweden share modern journalism, communication skills, Deputy PM urges more security at HCM City airport

    The People’s Court in HCM City yesterday sentenced dozens of defendants linked to a vast gambling ring.

    Tô Công Hưng, 34, head of the ring and former director of Người Dệt Mộng (Dream Weaver) Online Joint Stock Company, was sentenced to four years in prison.

    Sixty-two remaining accused received suspended sentences or two years imprisonment.

    According to the verdict, under Hưng’s direction, the ring members carried out transactions worth VNĐ640 billion (US$28.7 million) through 56 bank accounts.

    From February 2012 to January 2015, Hưng colluded with foreigners and then brought in his older sister, Tô Thị Thu Nhi, and acquaintances into the ring.

    These accused opened accounts at some banks to serve their website 12bet.com to help gamblers transfer money for football, basketball, tennis betting and online card games.

    In this case, Hưng benefited by some VNĐ4.3 billion (over $192,000) and other members received more than VNĐ260 million ($11,650) .

    Hanoi police banned from chasing down traffic violators

    Hanoi's Traffic Police Department has ordered its officers to stop running after suspected traffic violators on the street.

    The department has not provided an official reason for the ban, which will not be applied in situations where the suspect may pose threats to traffic safety and must be stopped.

    The ban was unveiled as part of the department’s new action plan for the upcoming New Year and Lunar New Year holidays. The latter falls on January 28.

    Hanoi's no-pursuit policy came after several incidents of policemen holding onto speeding vehicles and risking their lives to stop runaway violators.

    Last month, Uber driver Ha Duc Anh, 28, was fined VND4.2 million (US$182) for refusing to pull over in Hoan Kiem District.

    The driver reportedly drove straight into an officer, forcing the latter to jump on the car’s hood. Anh had his license suspended for two months.

    In a similar case in February last year, a policeman ordered taxi driver Nguyen Thanh Luan to stop after he was caught driving in the wrong direction on a one-way street.

    Luan tried to escape, and the officer also jumped onto the hood in a bid to stop him. The cab kept speeding for around 200 meters, until locals and travelers gathered to block the street.

    President: People must be at centre of preventive medicine

    The preventive medicine sector must put human being at the centre of its activities to control diseases and manage the health of people, said President Tran Dai Quang.

    The President on December 5 met with health officials and workers who are presented with the biennial Dang Van Ngu award by the Ministry of Health in recognition of their outstanding contributions and achievements in preventive medicine.

    In 2016, as many as 119 collectives and individuals are honoured with the award.

    President Quang said the sector has made efforts, well coordinated with other sectors and localities and mobilised every resource to achieve the targets set in the national goal programmes, thus helping Vietnam complete the UN Millennium Goals in reducing malnutrition and malaria, eradicating dangerous diseases and controlling new diseases.

    The State leader recommended the sector to work harder so that it could detect emerging and dangerous diseases to recommend advice and solutions as well as take necessary measures to help people protect their health.

    He also urged the sector to boost scientific research, develop vaccine-production technologies and increase international cooperation and exchanges of information to enhance Vietnam’s position on the international arena.

    In the past 60 years, the preventive medicine has developed comprehensively and achieved great achievements like eradicating smallpox and polio, cutting infectious diseases by thousands or hundreds times, providing vaccination for over 90 percent of children aged under 12 months and increasing the rate of people accessing clean water and sanitation.

    The sector is able to produce 10 out of 12 vaccines in the expanded immunisation programme and is capable of taking tests on new diseases.

    Bilingual photo book about Hue debuts in France


     

    A French-English photo book capturing the charms of the central city of Hue debuted in Paris on December 3. 

    Titled “Hue, the city of crying stones” in English and “Hue, la ville des pierres qui pleurent” in French, the book is a collection of black-and-while and coloured photos featuring the landscapes and people of Hue.

    Author Philippe Bouler has produced many exhibitions and events worldwide, including the Hue festival in 2000. He wrote the introduction text for the book, describing Hue as an ageless, romantic and poetic city. 

    Sebastian Laval, the other author, is a photographer, who previously exhibited photos of 54 ethnic minorities of Vietnam on Trang Tien bridge in 2014. Since his first Vietnam visit in 1995, he has been enchanted by the country. 

    Speaking with a Vietnam News Agency reporter, Bouler said the book introduces Hue to the public and invites them to visit the city. 

    On the occasion, some photos from the book were chosen for an exhibition which opened the same day.

    Vietnam, Sweden share modern journalism, communication skills

    Vietnam and Sweden are sharing modern journalism and communication skills at a two-day workshop that opened in Hanoi on December 5.

    Opening the event, Swedish Ambassador to Vietnam Pereric Hogberg said the workshop is held on the occasion of 250 years since the issuance of his country’s press law – one of the first of its kind in the world.

    The 21st century has opened up a new era for science and information technology (IT), and Vietnam has taken the lead in Southeast Asia in internet connection. Therefore, Sweden wants both sides to share experience and discuss opportunities and challenges facing journalism in the digital era, he noted.

    Vietnam’s Deputy Minister of Information and Communications Hoang Vinh Bao said print newspapers are shrinking as a result of the development of IT, which has fuelled online newspapers and social networks.

    A multimedia news office is needed for a media outlet to survive and develop at present. To meet requirements of such multimedia news offices, each journalist must master new skills and the latest technologies, he added. 

    During the workshop, participants will share Swedish press’ experience and discuss how media outlets can contribute to socio-economic development in Vietnam.

    The event also aims to provide Vietnamese journalists with necessary skills in the digital era.

    It is held by the Swedish Embassy, Sweden’s Lund University and Vietnam’s Ministry of Information and Communications.

    Ticket scalpers win big ahead of Vietnam-Indonesia football match

    Prices for tickets to the much-anticipated Vietnam-Indonesia football match have been surging in Hanoi's black market in recent days.

    The match, the second leg of the semifinal at the ASEAN Football Federation (AFF) Cup is scheduled to take place at My Dinh Stadium at 7 p.m. on December 7.

    The Vietnam Football Federation set official prices at between VND150,000 (US$6.50)-VND400,000 (US$17.40) per ticket.

    Scalpers then hiked prices by up to four times, to as high as VND1.5 million (US$65). Football, better known as soccer in some parts of the world, is by far the most popular sport in Vietnam.

    Vietnam’s national football team lost 1-2 to host Indonesia in the first leg in Bogor, Indonesia last weekend.

    In the other semifinal, Thailand beat host Myanmar by 2-0 in the first leg. The two teams will play again in Bangkok on December 8.

    Voters in Military Region 9 raise development petitions

    Voters who are members of the armed forces in Military Region 9 put forth a range of opinions about the socio-economic development in the Mekong Delta while meeting with National Assembly (NA) deputies on December 5.

    On behalf of NA deputies of Can Tho city, NA Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan informed the local constituents about the outcomes of the 14th parliament’s second session.

    Applauding those outcomes, the voters said although the Mekong Delta is an agricultural hub, there remains many implicit risks to its agriculture, aquaculture and fishing. There are also problems in health care, education-training, human resource development, employment, and social welfares.

    Colonel Doan Thanh Xuan, of the Military Region 9’s Political Department said the State should have more policies focusing on the Mekong Delta such as those on promoting hi-tech agriculture, bio-technology and post-harvest technology so as to produce high-quality products able to compete in global markets.

    Other voters voiced concerns about environmental protection, climate change response, saltwater intrusion, and coastal erosion. They also called for the acceleration of the demarcation of land border and border marker planting.

    Colonel Nguyen Thanh Hai from the Staff of Military Region 9 said the Party and State should enhance the effectiveness of border roads, forest protection and job provision for ethnic minority people living along the border.

    Having applauded the voters’ opinions, Chairwoman Ngan said the State has earmarked budget to build border roads in the next five years to boost border economy and ensure national defence and security.

    She admitted that despite its significant contributions to Vietnam’s economic growth, the Mekong Delta is still lagging behind other regions in terms of health care, education, and infrastructure.

    Aside from the development planning for the whole region, each locality in the Mekong Delta has also had its own development strategy. They need to optimise their advantages and connect with each another to fuel socio-economic development of the entire Delta, which consists of Can Tho city and 12 provinces, she said.

    Hanoi to host “One village one product” exhibition

    An exhibition called “One village one product” (OVOP) displaying Vietnamese high-quality handicraft products will open in Hanoi on December 9 as part of efforts to attract more tourists to the capital and promote traditional craft villages. 

    As the first event of its kind in Hanoi, the four-day exhibition will feature 30-40 booths from traditional handicraft villages nationwide. 

    The OVOP aims to raise awareness of developing handicrafts among enterprises, trade villages and the community and create a change of their thinking in designing products,  thus preserving and developing traditional trade villages.

    Speaking at a press conference to announce the event, Vice Director of the Hanoi Investment, Trade and Tourism Promotion Centre Nguyen Thi Mai Anh said the event will feature decorative lights made from bamboo, wood, silk, paper and ceramics, making the displayed products look more beautiful.

    Vietnam boasts a huge number of craft villages, which have consolidated their foothold in the country’s socio-economic structure. 

    The country’s craft products have been sold in domestic and international markets, creating stable incomes for over one million craftspeople, which are much higher income than from rice farming. 

    Craft villages often attract many idle labourers of different ages and help alleviate poverty, especially for disabled people.

    Deputy PM urges more security at HCM City airport


      

    Deputy PM Truong Hoa Binh has urged Tan Son Nhat international airport in HCM City to step up efforts to tackle airport overload, cyber-attacks and laser beam incidents to ensure the security of the southern region’s busiest airport.

    Binh, who is also Chairman of the Civil Aviation Security Committee, made the request during a visit last week to inspect the airport’s security measures.   

    The deputy PM urged the airport authority to regularly check runways, ensure IT network security and prevent smuggling of illegal goods via the airport.

    Dang Tuan Tu, Director of the airport, said that 52 airlines were operating at the airport, including three domestic and 47 international airlines.   

    The airport is facing many challenges, especially an airport overload, he said.

    The airport welcomed more than 26.5 million passengers last year, a rise of 13.52 percent over the year’s plan and an increase of nearly 20 percent compared to 2014, Tu said.

    Tan Son Nhat airport had by the end of October welcomed nearly 27 million passengers, of which international passengers were 9.8 million.

    The figure is expected to reach 32 million by the end of the year, worsening the overload of the airport designed to handle only 25 million passengers a year, according to Tu.

    The airport has two runways and 52 aprons (aircraft parking positions), which are insufficient to serve all landings and take-offs during peak hour, from 5:30am to 7:30am and from 10:30pm to 12:30am.

    Tu said the airport security teams this year had managed to ensure the safety of all departures and arrivals, including 106 special flights that transport State officials and high-ranking officials of other countries.   

    In addition, airport security forces discovered 55,716 cases in which passengers brought prohibited items onboard; 90 cases in which passengers illegally transported weapons; eight cases in which passengers falsely announced that bombs were on the aircraft; and 48 cases in which passengers caused public chaos at the airport.

    All of the cases were managed well and had no serious consequences, according to Tu.    

    Airport security forces have also caught four thieves onboard and discovered seven cases in which airport staff were carrying items onboard without declaration, in violation of regulations.  

    The airport authority has also worked with the HCM City Police to raise public awareness about powerful lasers being used at night for entertainment purposes by local residents, usually young people.

    In recent months, pilots have complained about incidents in which laser beams were directed at the cockpits of aircraft as they took off and landed.

    The airport has operated a campaign to raise people’s awareness about aviation safety and security. It has also organised fire and rescue drills and improved the task of keeping birds away from the airport area.

    Tan Son Nhat airport’s security teams consist of 981 staff operating 65 security scanners, 67 portable metal detectors, and two explosive detection devices, according to Tu.

    To enhance security, the Tan Son Nhat Airport Authority has recommended establishing a police station at the airport, providing more advanced scanning devices and offering training for its staff, he said.

    Deputy PM Truong Hoa Binh praised all the achievements by the airport authority, saying that the local aviation had achieved the highest growth in the world.

    The national flag carrier Vietnam Airlines has significantly improved its fleet with an increasing number of state-of-the-art aircraft like the Boeing 787 and Airbus A350.

    In addition, the civil aviation sector has not had any serious accidents during the last 18 years, Binh said.

    Binh urged the airport authority to continue to ensure the safety and security of the airport with a focus on human resources, including improving the quality of airport staff and air traffic controllers as well as fighting cyber-attacks at the airport.

    In July, a Chinese hacker group carried out several cyber-attacks at Tan Son Nhat and Noi Bai international airports. The hackers also took control of the speaker systems at the airports.

    The airline’s official website was also hacked by another Chinese hacker group at the same time.

    E-scooters for public use launched in Binh Duong

    Eighteen eco-friendly electric scooters (eScooters) have been put into operation at the Vietnam-Germany University in Thu Dau Mot city in the southern province of Binh Duong on December 5.

    The vehicles are part of a project jointly implemented by Bosch Vietnam and the HCM City University of Science and Technology, Da Nang University of Science and Technology, and the Vietnam-Germany University.

    In this project, students of the three universities won the the 2015 Green Challenge contest jointly organised by Bosch Vietnam and the three universities. The German company has provided more than 4 billion VND (182,000 USD) for this pilot project.

    This is the second batch of eScooters launched for public use in Vietnam, following the first at the HCM City University of Science and Technology. The third one is also expected to make debut at Da Nang University of Science and Technology this month.

    The project aims to promote research and development of environmental-friendly vehicles among enterprises and universities, thus contributing to tackling traffic and environment challenges to develop smart cities.

    Students of the university, who have motorbike-driving licenses can use the eScooters for free within their campuses by registering online at http://bosch-green-challenge.com.vn.

    A fully-charged vehicle can travel up to 80km at a maximum speed of 45km per hour.

    Seeds given to provinces hard hit by natural disasters

    Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has instructed the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development to allocate 2,016 tonnes of rice seeds, 325 tonnes of corn seeds and 58 tonnes of vegetable seeds to nine provinces which were severely affected by natural disasters. 

    Accordingly, Vinh Phuc will receive 200 tonnes of rice seeds, 50 tonnes of corn seeds and eight tonnes of vegetable seeds; Ha Giang will get 16 tonnes, 50 tonnes and five tonnes of the seeds; Lao Cai - 100 tonnes, 60 tonnes and 10 tonnes; Yen Bai - 100 tonnes, 60 tonnes and eight tonnes; and Ha Tinh – 500 tonnes, 30 tonnes, and 10 tonnes.

    Four other provinces, Quang Binh will be provided with 200 tonnes, 30 tonnes, and two tonnes; Quang Tri – 300 tones, 30 tonnes, and 10 tonnes; Thua Thien – Hue – 200 tonnes, five tonnes, and five tonnes, respectively; and Ninh Thuan – 400 tonnes of rice seed, and 10 tonnes of corn seeds.

    The Prime Minister requested the People’s Committees of the nine provinces to receive, manage and allocate the seeds effectively. 

    Czech-Vietnam Association condemns distortions against Vietnam

    Chairman of the Czech-Vietnam Association Marcel Winter has vehemently condemned a Czech official for slandering the Vietnamese community in the Czech Republic. 

    On the association’s website and in letters sent to Czech newspapers on December 4, Winter refuted biased views of Josef Stredula, President of the Czech-Moravian Confederation of Trade Unions (CMKOS), who told CT24 TV Channel that Vietnamese people who came to work in the Czech Republic from 2007-2009 were involved in illegal activities.

    Winter also pointed out the unfounded evidence in Stredula’s statements that said those people harmed the Czech Republic’s interests.

    He stressed that the CMKOS President’s opinions slandered and offended more than 15,000 Vietnamese people legally living and working in the Czech Republic during that period.

    Additionally, Stredula’s viewpoint may also hurt the Czech Republic’s economy since it can hamper the admission of foreign workers into this country, leading to a manpower shortage in local businesses, he added.

    According to Winter, many Vietnamese people working overseas have affirmed their role in famous universities in the US, Europe, Japan and the Republic of Korea, or even at the US’s National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). Industrious and skillful Vietnamese workers are always respected at their workplaces, including factories in the Czech Republic.

    He emphasised his viewpoint of protecting the honour of Vietnamese workers, as well as Vietnamese people in the Czech Republic, adding that CMKOS President Stredula must apologise the Vietnamese people and Government for those distortions.

    Winter told Vietnam News Agency correspondents that the Czech Republic’s labour market lacks about 140,000 workers, and this has seriously affected production activities. Czech factories need skillful Vietnamese workers.

    Workshop seeks ways to save energy in buildings

    Measures to save energy in designing, constructing and operating buildings were the focus of discussion at a workshop organised by the Department of Science, Technology and Environment under the Ministry of Construction in Ho Chi Minh City on December 5.  

    Statistics showed that there are about 1,500 buildings each covering 2,500 square metres upwards in five big cities across the nation. They consume a large amount of energy and make up a majority of green-house gas emissions.

    It is crucial for the buildings to apply modern technologies and management methods to reduce energy consumption, thus contributing to ensuring energy security and the environmental protection.

    Deputy Director of the Department Nguyen Cong Thinh highlighted the active application of energy-saving technologies, especially in the private sector. Most of the 30 green buildings in Vietnam are owned by foreign investors or private companies, which help reduce energy costs while improving their competitiveness.

    The industry and construction are among the sectors consuming the most energy, up to 54 percent of the total energy consumption in Vietnam, particularly by office buildings, mall centres and hotels.

    Ly Thi Thuy Huong from the HCM City Energy Conservation Centre underlined weather-unfriendly designs of buildings in Vietnam, saying that most of them use glass-wall and fixed windows, consuming a large amount of energy for air conditioners.

    She suggested new works follow the Ministry’s Regulation QCVN 09:2013/BXD on energy efficiency in buildings, targeting to reduce their total use of energy by 14-36 percent.

    She also called for energy-efficient designs for buildings, such as openable windows and heat-proof construction materials to reduce the demand for energy.

    To accelerate the application of technologies in saving energy, the Ministry of Construction is carrying out a 3.2-million-USD project “Energy efficiency improvement in commercial and high-rise residential buildings in Vietnam” from 2016-2019.

    The project, funded by the United Nations Development Programme, aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in construction, and improve energy use in Vietnam.

    Its targeted works include hotels, schools, office buildings and residential buildings.

    Salt aid delivered to flood-hit people in Ha Tinh

    As many as 1,500 tonnes of salt will be provided for the central province of Ha Tinh to support people affected by recent heavy rains and floods, according to a decision signed by Deputy Prime Minister Vuong Dinh Hue on December 5.

    The Deputy Prime Minister assigned the Ministry of Finance to give the assistance to the province.

    The provincial People’s Committee is responsible for receiving and allocating salt effectively to local residents.

    Ha Tinh was the most severely-affected by heavy rains and floods in October and November this year.

    According to the provincial Committee for Natural Disaster Prevention and Search and Rescue, 93 communes with more than 24,000 households were flooded.

    Floods damaged 723 hectares of rice fields, 1,415 hectares of crops, 400 hectares of fruit trees and peach trees, and over a dozen of tonnes of foodstuff.

    Hundreds of thousands of livestock were killed or swept away, including more than 99,000 poultries, 869 buffaloes and cows, and 399 pigs.

    A combined of 337 hectares of aquaculture areas were submerged.

    UNICEF vows to help Vietnam with child protection


     

    The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has pledged to assist Vietnam in realising sustainable development goals, including the protection, care and education of children.

    UNICEF Deputy Executive Director Omar Abdi made the promise at a meeting with Vice State President Dang Thi Ngoc Thinh in Hanoi on December 5.

    He recognised Vietnam’s achievements in implementing the rights of children, citing the reduction in the rate of under-five-year-old child mortality over the past 10-15 years.

    Vietnam was also the first Asian nation to sign the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC), he noted.

    The UNICEF official welcomed the Vietnamese National Assembly’s approval of the Child Law in April 2016, which is expected to come into force in the coming time.

    For her part, Vice President Dang Thi Ngoc Thinh spoke highly of UNICEF’s role in caring and protecting children, especially children infected with HIV/AIDS and migrant children.

    The UNICEF constitutes a significant development partner of Vietnam with a lot of practical contributions to the country’s development and child protection, she said.

    Vietnam will enhance cooperation with UNICEF and other UN organisations in implementing the sustainable development goals, including child care, protection and education, she affirmed.

    The Vice President referred to a number of events that opened up new opportunities for stronger collaboration between Vietnam and UNICEF such as the international approval of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in 2015; Vietnam’s adoption of Child Law in April 2016; and the recent ratification of the bilateral cooperation programme for the 2017-2021 period.

    She said Vietnam hopes to receive more support from UNICEF to fulfill the UN sustainable development goals and the millennium development goals in the time ahead.-

    Nestle debuts culinary programme in Vietnam

    Nestle Professional, a business unit of Nestle Vietnam, partnered with the Saigon Professional Chefs’ Guild to launch a programme called Vietnam Young Culinary Talent in Ho Chi Minh City recently.

    The programme, which seeks to contribute to the development of the Vietnam Culinary industry and support passionate culinary talents by enhancing their employment prospects, comprises two modules.

    The first module is to equip young chefs with basic knowledge on nutrition and health, train them the skills for job interviews and consult with professional chefs.

    The second module is to enable them to participate in a professional training course at vocational training institutes, in which the institute and Nestle Professional will subsidise a part of the school fees for these young chefs.

    The programme starts with the first module and will be expanded in the coming years. The target is to double the number of young chefs participating in the programme in 2017.

    The “Young Culinary Talent” is a global initiative of Nestle Group’s Nestle Professional, which has been launched this year in many countries around the world.

    PM: Organic agriculture, spiritual tourism key to Phu Tho economy

    Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has advised the northern province of Phu Tho to focus on developing organic agriculture and spiritual tourism as the province has great potential in the two sectors thanks to its natural conditions and cultural heritage.

    In his meeting with Phu Tho province’s leaders on December 4 on local social-economic development, the PM said there is plenty of room for Phu Tho’s economy to grow.

    He highlighted the province’s advantages as the converging place of three big rivers (Da, Lo and Red rivers), its location on the Hanoi – Kunming railway route and the trans-Asia highway connecting China, Vietnam and other ASEAN countries. Phu Tho is also home to the worship of the Hung Kings, who were the founders of ancient Vietnam, and the Xoan singing, both of which have been recognised as part of the world intangible cultural heritage. 

    The province should improve its investment and business environment to double the number of enterprises and improve the effectiveness of public investment as well as diversify investment resources, PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc said.

    Phu Tho leaders asked the government to assist the province in implementing the project of building Viet Tri into a city of festival based on the Hung King’s Temple festival that celebrates the founders of ancient Vietnam.

    Despite the average economic growth of nine percent in the past years, Phu Tho remains a poor locality with underdeveloped infrastructure and limited resources.

    According to the statistics from the Ministry of Finance, Phu Tho ranks 33rd out of 63 provinces and cities in term of budget revenue.

    Earlier, the PM visited the provincial General Hospital, a typical example of mobilising investment from other economic sectors for infrastructure. The hospital has 1,500 beds.

    VFF organises training course for Lao front officials

    The Vietnam Fatherland Front (VFF) Central Committee launched a short training course for officials from the Lao Front for National Construction (LFNC) in Hanoi on December 5.

    Speaking at the opening ceremony, Vice President and Secretary General of the VFF Central Committee and Tran Thanh Man highlighted the growing traditional friendship between Vietnam and Laos.

    The Front organisations of Vietnam and Laos have built on the tradition, making their joint efforts to promote their cooperation, particularly in organising training courses on Front affairs, thus contributing to nursing the solidarity, friendship and comprehensive cooperation between the two nations, Man said.

    During this training course, participants will hear seven reports on Front affairs and two off-course reports.

    They will also have a chance to engage in out-door activities, such as a visit to the Ho Chi Minh President Mausoleum and fact-finding trips to localities.

    US – major importer of Vietnam bamboo products

    Vietnam’s bamboo products export inched 1% to US$212.1 million in 10 months leading up to November 2016 against the same period last year, according to Vietnam Customs.

    us – major importer of vietnam bamboo products hinh 0 Vietnamese products were shipped to 19 countries in the world, of which the US topped export markets with US$51.2 million, accounting for 27% of market shares (up 3,03%).Japan ranked second with US$34.4 million, making up 18% of the total bamboo products export value (down 3.42%) and Germany came third with US$25.1 million (down 2.54%).

    In the reviewed period, 63% of bamboo products export markets enjoyed positive growth and exports to China obtained the highest growth of 36.49%. Meanwhile 37% of export markets saw decline and Russia suffered the deepest decrease of 39.39%.

    Other export markets achieved robust growth including Taiwan (up 25.24%), Spain (up 16.17%) and Denmark (up 17.93%).

    Festival boosts Vietnam-India friendship


     

    A festival was held in the Mekong Delta city of Can Tho to tighten friendship between Vietnamese and Indian people.

    The event, the eighth of its kind, was co-organised by the Vietnam Union of Friendship Organisations and the Vietnam-India People Friendship Festival.

    Vice Chairman of the municipal People’s Committee Le Van Tam said the two countries’ relations have been developed and expanded across the fields since they established diplomatic ties in 1972, particularly in agriculture, science-technology, education and human resources training.

    Both nations always support each other at regional and international forums, he said, noting that two-way trade have increased continuously through years and is expected to hit 5 billion USD in 2016 and 15 billion USD by 2020.

    Tam added that his city will step up cooperation with India in agriculture, information technology, and human resources training through scientific research programmes between the Mekong Delta Rice Research Institute, Can Tho University, and Indian research centres.

    Meanwhile, Vice President of the All India Peace and Solidarity Organisation Lakshminarayanan Kannan said the festival creates an opportunity for India to introduce its multi-coloured culture and art to local residents and vice versa, thus strengthening the friendship, solidarity and mutual understanding between the two peoples.

    Vietnamese and Indian artists devoted the audience with special traditional dances from the respective countries.-VNA

    Vietnamese melodies resound in Paris

    Nearly 1,000 Vietnamese and French people gathered in Paris on December 5 to enjoy a night music show of Vietnamese classical choruses.

    The performance was delivered by a choir of over 30 singers from the Que Huong (The Homeland Choir) and the Rouen symphony orchestra.

    Children from the Europe-Vietnam group in France also got engaged in the event.

    French conductor Claude Brendel said the show had been much awaited and he felt very satisfied and happy.

    Meanwhile violinist Juliette said she felt very lucky to perform in Paris to share the two countries’ cultural interaction. 

    Nguyen Thanh Hang, an overseas Vietnamese in France, said “The performance was a big success. The orchestra devoted to the audience melodies praising Vietnam’s land and culture.”

    Hop Ca Que Huong of the Vietnamese community in France was established in 2009 with over 30 members.

    The choir has performed in various localities in France, including Choisy Le Roy – the twinning city with Vietnam.

    Last July, it coordinated with the French Rouen symphony orchestra to produce a high-quality CD featuring Vietnamese epics.

    On the sidelines of the event, the organising board displayed some photos and maps highlighting Vietnam’s sea and island sovereignty.

    119 health workers honoured

    Dang Van Ngu Awards, a distinctive honor to Vietnamese health workers have been bestowed on 119 outstanding individuals and groups.

    Addressing the awards ceremony on December 5, State President Tran Dai Quang stressed Vietnam’s policy of attaching special importance to the health service.

    “The health sector should promptly detect emerging epidemics to develop appropriate countermeasures. Preventive medicine plays a key role in this endeavor”, the Vietnamese State leader said.

    Named after a famous Vietnamese doctor and researcher in the 20th century, the Dang Van Ngu Awards are presented every 2 years to brilliant health workers in preventive medicine.

    Vietnam punishes editors over fish sauce story scandal

    Vietnam on December 5 punished two editors of a major newspaper which had earlier been fined for publishing what authorities said were false reports on toxic fish sauce.

    Deputy chief editor of Thanh Nien newspaper Dang Ngoc Hoa, and senior executive Vo Van Khoi had their press cards revoked, Vietnam's information and communication ministry said.

    This comes after Thanh Nien was fined for reporting on a food scare that received widespread coverage mid-October.

    The ministry said the cards were withdrawn because the two had been punished by the newspaper following the fish sauce scandal.

    Hoa was warned while Khoi was relieved of his position.

    In Vietnam, fish sauce is consumed daily by most of the country's population of 93 million -- as a dipping sauce, marinade or in soups.

    A total of 50 news organisations were fined in November for running reports about high arsenic levels found in fish sauce, causing widespread panic.

    Thanh Nien newspaper received the highest fine.

    Authorities said the reports were misleading or incorrect because they failed to differentiate between highly toxic inorganic arsenic, and the less dangerous organic variety found commonly in seafood.

    Food scares have been a regular source of anxiety in Vietnam, often leading to public anger.

    American Chamber of Commerce awards scholarships

    The  American  Chamber  of  Commerce  in  Việt Nam last Saturday (December 3) awarded 50 scholarships worth a total of VNĐ 620 million (US$27,300) to university students in HCM City.

    The 50 awardees received scholarships worth VNĐ10 million each and will attend a soft skills training programme costing VNĐ120 million.

    After 16 years the AmCham Scholarship is given to students of 13 leading universities in the city.

    The three-month long assessment process for this year’s scholarships included four  rounds: application form screening, English test (Axcela Test format), ability test (SHL Test) and an interview in English by human resources specialists.

    More than 320 applications, distributed evenly among all majors like economics, business, social sciences, and science and technology, were received. 

    Starting with 10 scholarships and three university partners in 2001, AmCham has so far given away 755 scholarships. 

    VNA/VNS/VOV/SGT/SGGP/TT/TN/Dantri/VNE


    0 0
  • 12/06/16--19:39: Article 6
  • Vietnam takes concrete measures to promote national brand


    Over the past decade, uncomplicated and easy to understand advertising has given way to national branding- giving products an emotional connection to which their customers can identify.


    vietnam takes concrete measures to promote national brand hinh 0

    A brand is important because customers define themselves by the brands they use whether it’s the clothes they wear, the motorbike or car they drive, the university they attend or the stores they shop. 


    Just as we all know that Mercedes-Benz automobiles drive with German efficiency, we all know that at some point company brands and national identity merges. This, of course, is the impetus for the government’s National Brand Program.

    Other examples would be that of McDonald's, Walmart and Microsoft who are highly visible and famous US brands for which millions of consumers around the globe instantly merge company and national identity.

    Strong company brands in concert with an equally powerful national brand are a winning combination for Vietnam to attracting higher levels of foreign direct investment, recruiting the best and the brightest young talent and keeping the country’s economy healthy.

    Most notably, it is important for the national band to be representative of the country’s history, geography, and ethnic motifs and imbue a sense of national identity and uniqueness.

    This year, 88 businesses across the spectrum of business segments were ceremoniously presented National Brand Awards in Hanoi, for which 23 have now won the title for past five consecutive years.

    Among the many recipients are Viet Tien Garment Joint Stock Company, An Phuoc Group, Saigon Beer-Alcohol-Beverage JSC, Vina Coffee, Commercial Bank for Foreign Trade of Vietnam JSC, Vietnam Posts and Telecommunications Group and Saigon Jewellery JSC.

    At a reception at the Presidential Palace in Hanoi for the winners, President Tran Dai Quang spoke highly of their efforts to improve their brand in concert with the national brand of Vietnam affirming their contribution to the country’s development.

    He encouraged them to forge ahead with their business ventures and continue to pursue building a brand image of quality, innovativeness and creativity.

    Smart firms, he reminded them, pour most of their money into improving their brands, focusing more on the values and emotions that customers attach to them than on the quality of the products themselves.

    Since markets are flooded with indistinguishable, mass-produced items, Vietnamese companies must individualize the goods they are selling to their customers by associating them with both the company and the Vietnam national brands.

    As such he reminded the companies that their brand efforts must push a lifestyle or a sophisticated image that connects with the emotions of global consumers rather than just a bland piece of clothing, or textile, agriculture product, food item, or shoe.

    In other words, President Quang was suggesting companies promote themselves and Vietnam collectively as a ‘green country’ for example, to attract environmentally conscious individuals and foreign direct investment.

    Or emphasize the image of Vietnam as a global hub for the media, design, music, film, and fashion industries as opposed to just being a low-cost labour pool for manufacturers of clothing, textiles and shoes.

    This is what the National Brand Awards program is all about. It’s a long-term, cumulative effort spanning decades to make the country seem very fashionable, enterprising, modern— and stand out from the crowd.

    VOV


    0 0
  • 12/06/16--22:39: Article 5
  • Maritime transport firms continue to take losses


    The continued decrease in freight and transport demand has pushed shipping firms against the wall. Many of them have gone bankrupt, while others have had to sell ships to pay off debt.

    vietnamnet bridge, english news, Vietnam news, news Vietnam, vietnamnet news, Vietnam net news, Vietnam latest news, Vietnam breaking news, vn news, Vosco, shipping firms, Vinalines

    In mid-2016, the Viet Hai Shipping and Real Properties Corporation (VSP) board of directors decided to stop operation because of huge losses. The company’s stockholder equity had become minus VND1.8 trillion by the end of 2013.

    After selling all of ships, it still had accounts payable of VND2.7 trillion and fell into insolvency.

    Vietfrach, with 50 years of experience, also reported a loss of VND14.79 billion in 2015 for the second consecutive year.

    Nosco has reported a minus profit due to the demand decrease and freight plunge. The company had reported an accumulative loss of VND3.1 trillion by the end of the first quarter and accounts payable of VND5.3 trillion.

    At a shipping firms conference held recently, Trinh Quoc Dat, chair of the Diem Dien Transport Association in Thai Binh province, said some vessels had to stay ashore for 25 days to wait for one shipment.

    Meanwhile, the freight rate is too low: VND70,000 per ton for shipping from HCMC to Hanoi.

    The continued decrease in freight and transport demand has pushed shipping firms against the wall. Many of them have gone bankrupt, while others have had to sell ships to pay off debt.

    According to Dat, the vessels in circulation are examined by state management agencies regularly, but goods for carrying are scarce. Vietnamese shipping firms cannot compete with international firms.

    Financial costs are burdening shipping firms. In 2009-2010, when they borrowed money from banks to buy ships, the market interest rates were sky high at 20-22 percent.

    A firm reportedly borrowed VND15 billion to build a 3000 CV ship worth VND20 billion. It has paid VND16 billion in principal and interest so far, but still owes VND25 billion to banks.

    A senior executive of Vinalines commented that the shipping market has never been so bad before. In general, a downturn only lasts six years before the prosperity comes back. However, there has been no sign of recovery, though the current downturn period began in 2008.

    The senior executive said Vinalines has sold six vessels to stop losses. The vessels were all over 20 years old, and they could not be used effectively. Most of the vessels were inoperative, but the company still had to pay money for maintenance.

    At the conference, Deputy Minister of Transport Nguyen Van Cong said the freight rate decreased sharply partially because of the unhealthy competition among shipping firms.

    As firms tried to force the shipping fees down to scramble for clients, this gave golden opportunities to foreign firms.

    “If Vietnamese shipping firms continue lowering fees, they will all sink together,” Cong said.


    Kim Chi, VNN


    0 0
  • 12/06/16--22:52: Article 4
  • Vietnam’s central provinces plagued by new wave of flooding


    Floodwater inundates a street in Tuy Phuoc District, located in the south-central Vietnamese province of Binh Dinh. 

    Tuoi Tre

    Continuous floods have ravaged many localities in central Vietnam, especially Binh Dinh and Quang Ngai provinces.

    According to the National Center for Hydro-meteorological Forecasting, rainfalls of between 100 and 250 millimeters have showered the provinces from Thua Thien- Hue in the north-central part to Binh Dinh in the south-central region.

    The downpours have caused water level of local rivers to rise, with weather experts warning of severe inundation in Binh Dinh and Quang Ngai.

    Flashflood and landslide are also likely to occur in the area.

    Tran Chau, vice-chairman of the Binh Dinh People’s Committee, said on Tuesday evening that the province has been hit with three floods since early November, adding that such phenomenon was unprecedented.

    “We have to figure out measures to deal with the new flood while damages caused by previous ones have yet to be resolved,” Chau elaborated.

    By Tuesday afternoon, floodwater up to 0.5 meters high has submerged nearly 1,000 houses in Binh Dinh’s Tuy Phuoc District and affected the husbandry and agricultural activities in the area.

    Several communes in the district were isolated in the evening of the same day as many streets were seriously inundated, said Nguyen Dinh Thuan, chairman of Tuy Phuoc administration.

    An 11-year-old schoolgirl, who was washed away and drowned by flood water, has become the first victim to die from the new wave of flooding, and the tenth since the beginning of November, Thuan continued.

    Meanwhile, in Quang Ngai, many parts of Nghia Hanh District were flooded by water between 0.5 and 1.5 meters high.

    According to the provincial administration, about 2.5 kilometers of roads and seven bridges were damaged while landslide has occurred in five residential areas.

    Local authorities have also ordered rescue units to provide food and water supply for residents in isolated areas.

    TUOI TRE NEWS


    0 0
  • 12/06/16--23:01: Article 3
  • Vietnam man identified from video threatening woman with tear gas gun



    A man is seen firing a gun during a quarrel with a woman in Ho Chi Minh City, reportedly on December 5, 2016, in this still image taken from a video posted on Facebook. 

    Tuoi Tre News

    Police have been able to confirm the details of a video clip that went viral on Monday, showing a man opening fire during a heated row with a woman in Ho Chi Minh City.

    Tan Binh District police have confirmed that the video was filmed in the district’s Ward 15, and the man, identified as Bui Duc Phuong, is indeed the director of a security firm as reported.

    Phuong, director of Viet Nhat Co., was summoned to work with police shortly after the video caused a stir on the Internet.

    In the 2-minute long clip, Phuong and an unidentified woman are seen exchanging swear words, apparently over the man’s debt to the woman’s child. The man is also seen pointing his fingers at the woman and kicking her.

    In the middle of the argument, Phuong pulls a handgun from his pocket and points it at the woman’s head before opening fire into the air, despite the woman’s challenge to shoot her.

    Police say that after working with Phuong yesterday afternoon, the firearm has in fact been confirmed to be a tear gas gun, rather than a firearm carrying lethal ammunition.

    Security companies are allowed to use tear gas guns as ‘support tools,’ with Phuong having obtained the correct permit for his.

    “However, licensed users of tear gas guns are only allowed to use them for proper purposes, and Phuong has violated the rule in the video,” one Tan Binh police officer underlined.

    “Phuong will be held accountable for the improper use of the gun.”
     At a press conference following a regular meeting of the Ho Chi Minh City administration yesterday afternoon, the municipal chairman Nguyen Thanh Phong said he was briefed on the incident, adding that the actions of the security firm director are unacceptable.
    Phong said his administration were waiting for a more detailed report from the police department before deciding on what action to take against Phuong.

    Lawyer Nguyen Duc Chanh, from the city’s bar association, said even though Phuong had opened fire, his actions did not result in any serious consequences.

    For that reason, he could face a civil fine of between VND2 million and VND4 million (US$90-$180), and have his gun revoked or suspended from use for between nine to 12 months, according to the lawyer.

    TUOI TRE NEWS


    0 0
  • 12/06/16--23:12: Article 2
  • BUSINESS IN BRIEF 7/12


    HCMC more cautious about choosing FDI projects


     Image result for dau tu nuoc ngoai

    HCMC has turned more careful in choosing foreign direct investment (FDI) projects so as to avoid those requiring much land and using outdated technologies which are detrimental to the environment, a city official told local media last week.

    The city authorities even make more careful choices when it comes to projects registered in industrial parks (IP) and high-tech zones, said Su Ngoc Anh, director of the municipal Department of Planning and Investment.

    “The city has recently faced a problem with a big FDI project whose investor requires nearly 200 hectares of land, which is a very large area,” he said.

    Regarding the solution for attracting FDI projects in the future, Anh said IPs are preparing land lots to serve Japanese and South Korean investors who use advanced technologies but do not require large land lots. Such IPs are building multi-story facilities to cater to these investors.

    The city is now home to 6,500 operational FDI projects with combined registered capital of nearly US$41 billion, many of which will expire in the next five to ten years. The city will screen all such projects, and allow them to expand their scales and extend their operational durations.

    District-level authorities will also make lists of projects that they need to call for foreign investments.

    Anh noted that foreign investors tend to change their business policies when investing in HCMC by switching from pouring investments in wholly-owned projects to establishing joint ventures, contributing capital or acquiring stakes in operational projects as the move allows them to save time and costs for clearing land and building workshops.

    Total investment in the city in 2016 is estimated at VND310 trillion (US$13.68 billion), with 17% of it from foreign investors, 8% from the city’s budget, 11% from State-owned firms and the rest from local people, according to Anh’s department.

    The data reflects the role of FDI in the city’s socio-economic development when its share in the total investment in the city’s economy has increased from 15% in 2010 to the current level.

    This year, the city expects to attract 713 FDI projects worth a combined US$1.3 billion and sees 174 FDI projects raising their capital by US$465 million.

    The city also has allowed 1,900 foreign investors to spend US$1.9 billion contributing capital and acquiring stakes in enterprises here.

    In all, the city expects to lure an estimated US$3.7 billion of FDI capital this year.

    Vietnam vulnerable to U.S. restrictive trade stance

    A more restrictive trade stance by a Trump administration is likely to hurt exports and investment in a country like Vietnam, HSBC said in a report released on December 1.

    Britain’s vote to leave the European Union triggered economic and political changes. And now Donald J. Trump’s stunning win in the U.S. election is raising risks of trade protectionism.

    Although it is too early to know about the specific policies Trump will pursue, for Asia, if he does what he promised during the presidential campaign, there would be cause to worry.

    A more restrictive trade stance by the U.S. is likely to hurt exports and investment in a country like Vietnam, where the U.S. accounts for about a fifth of its exports.

    The U.S. and China are Vietnam’s largest trading partners. Last year, America accounted for 21% of Vietnam’s exports and China 10%.

    Therefore, if America begins to throttle back imports, Vietnam’s exports would be hurt. China could also feel the brunt of an American restrictive trade stance. If that happens, Chinese demand for Vietnamese imports might decrease as well, especially for components used for re-exports from China to America.

    The indirect effects of more restrictive U.S. trade policy could thus lead Vietnam’s exports to slow down.

    The report said the current state of affairs underscores the need for reform. “We think that Vietnam rightly remains committed to its structural reform agenda. The National Assembly adopted three reform targets for 2016-2020, relating to public investment, State-owned enterprises and financial institutions. Financial institutions will be strengthened by speeding up bad debt divestment and having at least 12 to 15 commercial banks in compliance with Basel II standards,” the HSBC Global Research team said.

    “We believe that if pursued properly, the gains from these reforms will have far reaching consequences in strengthening the fundamentals of the economy. In turn, the economy should find itself less vulnerable to external shocks.”

    According to the General Department of Customs, America is a key market for Vietnam’s major export items like apparel, footwear, seafood and wood. In January-October, Vietnam earned some US$19.68 billion from outbound sales of textile-garment products, up 4.1% from a year earlier, with exports to America making up over 48% of the total.    

    America is Vietnam’s biggest importer of seafood and wood with respective export revenues of US$1.2 billion and US$2.52 billion in the ten-month period, accounting for 21% and 50% of Vietnam’s total.

    HCM City chairman stresses incentives for business development

    With an aim for 50,000 startups in 2017, the HCMC government will seek to further improve the business environment, and prevent policy discrepancy from hindering the development of enterprises, said HCMC Chairman Nguyen Thanh Phong.

    Speaking at a meeting on January-November socio-economic performance last Friday, Phong stressed that in order to achieve the above objectives, not only the municipal government but the district authorities must also act together to create favorable conditions for corporate sector development.

    The city’s leader said the municipal government this December would complete a scheme

    for giving more power to the leaders of departments and districts in a bid to enhance their autonomy and responsibility.

    Talking to the Daily, Su Ngoc Anh, director of the HCMC Department of Planning and Investment, said there were now nearly 300,000 enterprises in the city. To have 500,000 firms by 2020, the city must secure at least 50,000 startups a year in the next four years.

    He said support for business development should be synchronized between relevant departments and district authorities. It is because the majority of activities related to tax, environment, insurance, food safety and hygiene and construction permit are managed by these agencies.

    Nguyen Hoang Minh, deputy director of the State Bank of Vietnam’s HCMC Branch, said the goal for 50,000 newly-established enterprises per year was achievable since the number of individual business households was now large. Also, the banking industry is looking forward to providing enterprises, particularly small and medium-sized ones and startups, with financial assistance to finance their production, business and expansion plans.

    “The credit growth target of the HCMC banking sector is 18-20%, which also represents greater monetary easing than in previous years with an aim to inject capital into the economy, including newly-established businesses,” said Minh. He added that as of this November, the city’s credit growth had reached 16.01% compared with the end of 2015, which was forecast to rise to 18% by the year’s end.

    It is expected that some 36,000 domestically-invested enterprises will have been set up in the city by the end of the year, with total pledged capital of VND292.6 trillion, of which one-member limited liability companies take up the highest proportion, nearly 57%.

    Brokerages: Petroleum stocks’ gains short-lived

    A number of securities companies said the rise of petroleum stocks, backed by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries’ (OPEC) decision to slash oil output, would be short-lived.

    Bao Viet Securities Company said in a report that petroleum stocks would rise in the short term as oil prices depend on real supply and demand. The brokerage is skeptical whether OPEC members strictly fulfill their commitments on oil production cuts. “It takes time to evaluate petroleum stocks’ prospects,” the firm said.

    Le Anh Minh, head of analysis at VPBank Securities Company, told Dau tu Chung khoan newspaper that petroleum stocks would be vulnerable until the year-end and expected negative earnings results of oil and gas enterprises until mid-2017.

    Last week saw the VN-Index falling 1.6% from the previous week at 665.14 points and the HNX-Index adding 0.41% at 81.17 points.

    The average matched volume dropped slightly to 107.16 million shares per session on the HCMC bourse, and was almost unchanged at 33 million shares per session on the Hanoi exchange.

    Strong foreign selling sent stocks down at the first two sessions last week with the main index losing a combined 17 points. Large caps VNM, MSN, BVH and VIC faced sharp declines.

    Low prices encouraged bottom fishers to acquire stocks in the two subsequent sessions, thus supporting the VN-Index to rise to the 665-point level.

    However, foreign investors picked certain stocks such as VNM, HPG and HSG, and then returned to the selling side on the HCMC market later on. Despite gains of energy names, backed by oil price spikes on world markets after OPEC agreed to slash crude output for the first time in eight years to ease a global glut, the broader market stayed in the red.

    Therefore, the VN-Index retreated last Friday with a 0.2% drop as investors took profit from the recent stellar performance of consumer and petroleum stocks.

    GAS and PVD saw a slight cut back after closing at their ceilings last Thursday. Consumer large caps VNM and MSN were down for a second session as investors continued to take profit.

    Exchanged traded fund FTSE announced the results of its quarterly index review. CII will be added to the basket while STB, HNG, PGD and HHS will be removed. Contrary to speculation by retail investors, ROS will not be added to the basket this quarter, according to Viet Capital Securities Company.

    Meanwhile, foreign investors net sold VND612 billion worth of shares on the HCMC bourse last week. They offloaded VIC with VND151.7 billion, MSN with VND93.2 billion, DPM with VND56.3 billion and SSI with VND52.4 billion.

    They spent VND47.6 billion on HPG, VND42.9 billion on VCB and VND31 billion on HSG.

    Foreigners’ net sales surpassed VND66 billion on the Hanoi market. They sold VND62.4 billion of PVS, VND10 billion of VCG and VND7 billion of NTP, while they picked BVS and IVS with VND2.4 billion and VND1.8 billion, respectively.

    SMEs urged to invest more in technological innovation

    All enterprises, including small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are responsible for developing and applying technology, and the business circle must be the centre of innovation, heard an international seminar in Ho Chi Minh City on December 1.

    There are about 535,000 SMEs in Vietnam at present, accounting for 97 percent of the total business number. They contribute some 45 percent of the national GDP, 31 percent of total State budget revenue, and 35 percent of the business circle’s total investment capital.

    Pham Ngoc Minh, an official at the Ministry of Science and Technology, said the rapid development of science and technology is shortening the “life cycle” of technology. Therefore, it is an urgent need for enterprises to innovate technology in order to meet production and market demand and ensure their competitiveness.

    HCM City has continually taken the lead in Vietnam in terms of export value and GDP. It is also known as a sci-tech hub in the country.

    However, 51 percent of the 700 surveyed companies based in 12 industrial parks and export processing zones in HCM City still use outdated technologies, according to the municipal Department of Science and Technology.

    Tran Quang Thang from the Association of SMEs in the South said technological and technical obsolescence has resulted products of low value and inconsistent quality products while production costs are 10-30 percent higher than that of imports.

    Total social investment in science and technology remains low, and up to two-thirds of that sum is from the State budget. In developed countries, the non-State sector’s investment in science and technology is usually higher than the State budget’s.

    Vietnamese companies’ demand for sci-tech innovation is also not strong enough, Thang said, adding that it is necessary to encourage private firms to establish or cooperate with the State to set up venture capital funds for technology research and development.

    In the Republic of Korea (RoK), big businesses and groups are ready to invest in science-technology, and they make up 70 percent of the total funding for science-technology each year. Instead of supporting big companies, the RoK is now prioritising assistance for SMEs in the application of new technologies.

    Park Jun Ho, Director of the HCM City office of the Korea Institute of Industrial Technology (Kitech), said Kitech has many projects supporting businesses, especially SMEs, to develop technology.

    Many research institutes of Vietnam are working with Kitech, and through this cooperation, Kitech can help local enterprises innovate and transfer technology while improving their competitiveness, he noted.

    Vietnam-Singapore IPs attract US$9 billion investment


     vietnam-singapore ips attract us$9 billion investment hinh 0 

    Seven Vietnam-Singapore Industrial Parks (VSIPs) nationwide have drawn US$9 billion investment and generated 176,000 jobs after two-decade development.

    vietnam-singapore ips attract us$9 billion investment hinh 0 A VSIP Group representative said on December 5 that 660 businesses from 30 countries in the world have invested US$9 billion in seven VSIPs in Binh Duong, Bac Ninh, Hai Phong, Nghe An, Hai Duong and Quang Ngai.

    Edmund Chong, Deputy General Director of VSIP Quang Ngai said while luring investment into green technologies, VSIP Group focuses on building industrial-urban-service complexes with green spaces to meet workers’ entertainment and shopping demand.

    VSIP Quang Ngai has invested more than VND1,230 billion on building  a 254ha complex including 21,000sq.m park for outdoor activities of workers and their children.  A VSIP Plaza next to the park offers food and drink, indoor entertainment, gym, tennis and healthcare services.

    Since its construction started in September 2013, VSIP Quang Ngai has attracted 14 projects with a combined investment of US$200 million. It is expected that after they are all operational in early 2017, they will create 17,000 jobs for the central region.

    US may not impose high AD duty on Vietnamese steel products

    The US International Trade Commission (USITC) has issued its final decision on investigations into circular welded carbon quality steel pipes (CWP) imported from Oman, UAE, Pakistan and Vietnam.

    USITC identified that CWPs imported from Oman, Pakistan and the UAE caused significant damage to the domestic production industry while products from Vietnam met conditions and did not cause substantial injury for the US steel industry.

    Based on USITC conclusion, the US Department of Commerce won’t impose anti-dumping duties on Vietnamese products while levying anti-dumping duties on CWPs from Oman, UAE and Pakistan.

    Results of investigations will be published on December 27 on ITC website.

    Rubber exports go up in volume and value

    Rubber exports are estimated at 117,000 tons in November with a value of US$165 million, bringing the total export volume in 11 months of this year to 1.1 million tons to fetch US$1.43 billion (up 12.3% in volume and 4.6% in value), according to Vietnam Customs.

    China and India were two biggest consumers of Vietnamese rubber in the first ten months, accounting for 66.1% of market shares with a value of US$732.1 million and US$104.1 million respectively.

    Meanwhile, rubber imports in November were 44,000 tons worth US$74 million, bringing the total import volume in 11 months to 387,000 tons with a total value of US$604 million, up 10.9% in volume and 2.5% in value. Vietnam imported rubber mainly from the Republic of Korea, Japan, Cambodia, and Taiwan.
    The price of rubber latex began going down sharply in 2014. However, since early this crop, the price has been increasing steadily. Natural rubber latex now is priced at VND6,500-12,000 per kilo (up VND1-2.5 million per ton compared to early September.

    Quang Ninh – a magnet to real estate firms

    With great strengths in many fields, the northern coastal province of Quang Ninh has become an attractive investment desitnation for domestic and international real estate firms.

    Over the last two years, Quang Ninh attracted about 100 real estate projects with total investment of 100 trillion VND (4.4 billion USD).

    In 2015, local authorities granted investment licenses and approved additional capital for 97 private investment projects worth 53 trillion VND (2.33 billion USD).

    During the year, it welcomed major projects worth trillions of dong from both domestic and foreign businesses such as the Vincom Centre Ha Long and Vinpearl Ha Long invested by Vingroup, Ha Long Ocean Park invested by Sun Group, and Ha Long Star Tourism Urban and Entertainment Complex Casino invested by real estate developer Nakheel from the United Arab Emirates.

    According to the provincial Investment Promotion Agency (IPA), Quang Ninh has so far lured about 5.97 billion USD in foreign direct investment (FDI). The FDI disbursement in the last nine months reached over 155 million USD.

    Local authorities granted investment licenses to ten new FDI projects  worth 520.8 million USD in the first ten months of this year, and accepted additional capital for seven others, lifting total FDI in the period to 523.6 million USD

    Meanwhile, 24 new domestic projects with total investment of 15.9 trillion VND (nearly 700 million USD) were licensed in the period, including big projects like the FLC Ha Long resort worth 3.4 trillion VND (149.6 million USD) and a cow breeding project worth over 2.2 trillion VND (96.8 million USD).

    IPA Vice Director Truong Manh Hung attributed the increasing investment inflows to consultation provided by international organisations to build the province’s planning and key transport projects.

    Quang Ninh boasts great potential for industry, tourism and service-based economic development, with 2000 islands stretching along 250km of coast, he added. Its Ha Long Bay was twice recognised as a world natural heritage by UNESCO.

    Local authorities have paid heed to building investment support and incentive policies, promoting administrative reform and investment promotion activities, and increasing application of technology, Hung said.

    Quang Ninh is also an attractive tourist site as it draws millions of domestic and foreign tourists each year, especially those from Southeast Asian nations.

    However, the locality’s tourism infrastructure facilities have yet to meet demand of luxury holiday-makers. Therefore investors have poured investment into building luxury accommodation in the province.

    Local authorities aim to accelerate the construction of infrastructure projects such as Ha Long - Hai Phong and Ha Long – Van Don, Van Don – Mong Cai expressways, Quang Ninh Airport, and Hai Ha Industrial Park, among others.

    A series of projects have been implemented under the private-public partnership model since late 2014.

    Quang Ninh has also applied the model to social and working infrastructure, medical and educational establishments and information technology. Local authorities have also asked for approval from the Government to build Quang Ninh Airport and Van Don-Tien Yen-Mong Cai expressway under the model.

    Made-in-Korea products pour into Vietnam

    The Vietnamese retail market is still attractive to businesses from the Republic of Korea (RoK), heard a recent workshop in Hanoi.

    General Director of the Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency Park Chulho said the free trade agreement (FTA) between Vietnam and the RoK took effect in 2015 with several tax lines removed.

    The FTA between ASEAN and the RoK has also opened up opportunities for the business community, especially Vietnam and the RoK, to realise the two-way trade target of 70 billion USD by 2020, he added.

    He cited more than 170,000 Korean people and 5,500 enterprises living and operating in Vietnam, and the RoK is also the third biggest trade partner of Vietnam, after the US and China.

    Hong Sun, Secretary General of the Korea Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said Vietnam imported 22.4 billion USD worth of goods from the RoK.

    Foreign investors are attracted to the Vietnamese market as they see the country’s potential and rising goods consumption.

    Ko Sang Goo, president of the RoK’s K&K trading company, revealed its strategy of bringing Korean products to Vietnam in the coming years.

    He said 67 Korean companies will sell products subject to tax reductions under the Vietnam – RoK FTA in the Southeast Asian market at the end of 2016.

    This is considered a big campaign to make inroads into one of the largest markets in the region, he added.

    Korean lawyer Choi Jiung said that with current policies, there are plenty opportunities for overseas businesses to penetrate Vietnam.

    He urged the two sides to optimise the Vietnam – RoK free trade pact for mutual benefits.

    Since September 2016, a series of Korean convenience stores opened in Vietnam, a number expected to hit 200 in the next five years.

    E-Mart, Korea’s No.1 discount store, signed an agreement to inject 4 trillion VND (17.6 billion USD) into Ho Chi Minh City to build a large-scale retail network.

    Binh Dinh attracts U$440 million from 21 projects

    The central province of Binh Dinh has granted investment certificates for 21 projects worth US$440 million so far this year, up 50% from 2015.

    According to the province’s centre for investment promotion and cooperation, the service, trade and real estate sector attracted 12 projects, the agricultural sector - five projects and the industrial sector - four projects.

    Some among projects with large registered capital are the Hoa Sen tower with an investment of US$ 225 million,  US$91 million FLC five-star hotel-apartment complex and the condotel complex of the BMC Company worth US$35 million.

    The same period, the province has granted investment certificates to eight foreign direct investment (FDI) projects with a combined capital of over US$30 million.

    Those brought the total number of FDI projects in Binh Dinh to 61 with combined investment capital of close to US$1.8 billion.

    Of which, the agriculture-forestry-fishery sector had eight projects worth US$52 million, while 33 projects with a combined capital of US$1.41 billion have registered in the industry-construction sector and 20 projects capitalized at US$336 million were in the service sector.

    In 2016, Binh Dinh has worked with 50 domestic and foreign enterprises and partners who came to survey investment environment and seek investment opportunities.

    Around 135 international delegations from 28 countries have come to Binh Dinh while Binh Dinh has sent 156 delegations to 27 countries to attend investment and cooperation conferences.

    Thaco exports bus parts to Russia

    Truong Hai Auto Corporation (Thaco) has exported three sets of bus parts to Russia to gauge the market there and if things go well, the local firm will ship 300 sets by the year-end, said Tran Ba Duong, chairman of Thaco.

    Speaking at a recent seminar on supporting industries in HCMC, Duong said the company is boosting the manufacture of auto parts to increase the local content of its vehicles to 40% and at the same time export some to foreign markets. Thaco now has four auto production and assembly plants and 16 auto parts factories.

    In April 2016, Thaco broke ground for a project to expand its automotive engineering complex Chu Lai-Truong Hai in Quang Nam Province to 268 hectares.

    The project includes a new passenger car factory with an annual capacity of up to 100,000 units. Thaco said the other factories would be able to turn out over 100,000 trucks, 12,000 minivans of 12-16 seats, and 8,000 bigger buses.

    As part of its business strategy, Thaco will expand Chu Lai-Truong Hai Port and establish shipping routes to ports in Japan, South Korea and China to cut shipping time and cost.

    According to experts, the auto industry holds huge potential but faces mounting competition as tariffs on completely-built-up autos imported from ASEAN nations will be cut to 0% in 2018.

    The production cost of autos in Vietnam is nearly 20% higher than in Thailand and Indonesia.

    Vietnam – potential market for Danish businesses

    Vietnam is a potential market for Danish businesses as their investment into the country tends to increase, said Danish Ambassador to Vietnam Charlotte Laursen.

    Ambassador Laursen said 2016 marks the 45th anniversary of Denmark-Vietnam diplomatic ties. Denmark has been one of Vietnam’s biggest ODA donors since 1993.

    Danish ODA grants focus on safe drinking water, sanitation, agriculture, environment and administration reform. Vietnam is considered a success of Danish ODA grants in the globe, Ms Laursen said.

    Currently, around 130 Danish businesses are operating in Vietnam and concentrating in furniture making, agriculture, fisheries and food industries. They are interested in Vietnam market as they have realized its great potential.

    According to preliminary statistics from the General Department of Vietnam Customs, Vietnam imported US$281.9 million worth of products from Denmark in the first ten months of this year, up 39.61%.

    Key import products from Denmark are machines, equipment, tools, pharmaceutical products, chemicals, and seafood.  Machines, equipment and tools ranked top with a value of US$63.9 million, up 129.26%, trailed by chemicals (US$25.9 million, down 2.32%), and pharmaceutical products (US$20.4 million, down 2.04%).

    Microsoft Vietnam honoured for community dedication by AmCham


    Microsoft Vietnam continues to be honoured for its community dedication by AmCham at the annual CSR Recognition Award 2016.


    This is the second consecutive year that Microsoft receives this prestigious award which recognises Microsoft’s commitment to transparency, good governance, sustainable business practices and serving community that provides a model inspiring others to follow in Vietnam, especially in empowering Vietnamese people and organisations to create more and achieve more. 


    Entering the market in 1996, after nearly 20 years in operation, Microsoft Vietnam not only affirms its position in promoting and developing the ICT sector but also contributes to Vietnam's economic and social developments through a variety of programmes. 


    The programmes cover infrastructure construction, education projects, entrepreneurship supports, skill trainings and enhancing the quality of human resources.


    To date, Microsoft Vietnam has invested $80 million in the country, donated software, provided free services, and granted more than $13 million for roughly 200 non-profit organisations across the country. 


    Microsoft also actively contributes to enhance ICT applications for non-profit organisations aiming at increasing work efficiency and providing better support to the community. 


    One of the special investment programmes of Microsoft in Vietnam is Youthspark initiative.
    This is Microsoft's efforts over three years (2015-2018) to support Vietnamese youth access CS and ICT, through free classes, internship programmes and connection forums.


    Up to present, Microsoft’s Youthspark has created opportunities for more than 100 thousand Vietnamese youth to learn ICT and CS knowledge, develop appropriate soft skills for learning and working in modern society. 


    The initiative helps improve the capacity of young people and increase their chance to success in looking for job and entrepreneurship. 


    It is expected that in the next two years, through cooperation with relevant ministries, sectors, and partners such as Vietnet-ICT, VCCI, Kenan, CED, REACH and NGOs, Youthspark programme will hopefully be expanded and increase the accessibility of young people across the country.


    “Microsoft’s long-term commitment to Vietnam is empowering Vietnamese people and organisations to achieve more, especially disadvantaged areas in remote ones. 


    “CSR Recognition Award in the second consecutive year has confirmed Microsoft’s efforts in community activities in Vietnam. 

    “This is certainly a motivation for Microsoft to continue its mission – to strongly contribute to the sustainable development of Vietnam,” said Vu Minh Tri, general director of Microsoft Vietnam.
    Besides, Microsoft has also supported start-ups and small and medium enterprises. 

    Microsoft Bizspark successfully supported 194 start-ups. Together with the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Microsoft assisted more than 2,000 small and medium enterprises.
    In cooperation with the Ministry of Education and Training, Microsoft’s education programme has reached approximately 63,000 teachers nationwide. 

    Microsoft employees are also encouraged to spend time for community activities. 


    In 2016, Microsoft employees have volunteered, spent time and material support for over 1,600 orphans and disadvantaged children in Vietnam.

    Microsoft partners with VCCI to benefit Vietnamese youth

    Launching M-Powered, Microsoft continues to strengthen commitment to support young people in Vietnam.

    Today, US tech giant Microsoft and the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) launch M-Powered e-portal in Vietnam.

    Powered by the MS public cloud and people, by partnerships with government, academia, multilateral agencies and non-profit organisations, the portal will enhance Vietnamese human capital by providing technical and soft skill learning opportunities and access to job listings.

    The portal will carry Microsoft and partner-created content in Vietnamese.  Online training can be supplemented by real-time mentoring for tech and soft skills.

    M-Powered will help young people to strengthen their skills as well as helping businesses to find suitable employees and reducing the cost of training new people.

    According to data on labour and employment in the first six months of 2016 from the General Department of Statistics, the unemployment rate was at an average 6.83 per cent and 2.27 per cent of young people (from 15 to 24 years old) in working age, respectively, in the first six months of 2016.

    It can be seen that young people are much more difficult to find jobs than other citizens in working age.

    Explaining for the high unemployment rate of young people, USAID conducted a baseline survey in 2015. The report indicated that the majority of graduates have not met the demands of employers because they lack necessary skills to perform one’s job.

    Computing skills and English were identified as critical soft skills needed for workplace.

    To address this gap, Microsoft partners with VCCI to launch M-Powered which is a part of the Microsoft YouthSpark programme- a Microsoft’s initiative to increase access for all youth to learn computer science, empowering them to achieve more for themselves, their families and their communities.

    M-Powered reinforces Microsoft’s long-term commitment to the future of Vietnam in terms of developing the country's economy, encouraging innovation and helping Vietnamese people.

    M-Powered will focus on the following key pillars:

    Provide Computer Science/ICT and soft skills learning opportunities for youth to improve their competence for work.

    Through the network of business partners of VCCI and Microsoft Vietnam, the portal will introduce and connect job opportunities from businesses to young people.

    Besides, on this portal, experts and experienced staff, leaders, trainers from Microsoft, VCCI, universities, colleges, business partners, startup accelerators will provide mentoring to youths on career development, technical skills and business management knowledge, and more which will enable them to overcome issues and enter labor market easily and smoothly.

    “Microsoft strives to empower Vietnam's digital generation to support the development of country's economy through our YouthSpark programme. M-Powered online portal will be an interface to connect young people with career, mentoring and learning opportunities,” said Astrid Tuminez, regional director of Legal and Corporate Affairs in Southeast Asia of Microsoft.

    “The portal is built on Microsoft cloud computing platform, using Vietnamese language which is very user-friendly so that youths can easily access to useful resources provided to capture better opportunities for life.”

    In Vietnam, Microsoft collaborates with local NGOs such as VCCI, VIETNET-ICT, CED and Kenan Institute Asia to implement YouthSpark programme.

    YouthSpark Vietnam has achieved impressive outcomes during three years: More than 100,000 Vietnamese young people were trained on Computer Science-ICT, soft skills and attended variety of forums, workshops, career days, internship organised by Microsoft and partners to help them meet the demand of modern learning and working environment.

    “I have graduated for more than six months and I have applied for jobs many times but still could not find a job due to lack of relevant skills.

    “Then, I was introduced to attend some free training workshops hosted by VCCI and Microsoft. Thanks to the training, I have improved my ability to use technology and computer to work.

    “The Project also created a chance for me to improve my experience and skills in real workplace via internship at enterprises. Thanks to that, I have matriculated and get to work at MediaMart.

    “These programmes and network of Microsoft and partners have inspired and supported young people like me not just in developing technical and soft skills but also in real life working experience to obtain employment and meet job satisfaction,” said Trinh Viet Anh, graduate from Hanoi Vocational College of High Technology.

    “With continuous updated information on M-powered, the portal is expected to be a useful and effective channel for both employers and job seekers,” a VCCI representative shared.

    “According to the Vietnamese government, the goal is to have one million IT workers by 2020. As a technology leader and commitment to support Vietnam, Microsoft has been cooperating with local partners to provide a variety of IT courses and technology resources to thousands of young people.

    “M-Powered online portal will serve as the bridge for the youth to make their dreams come true,” said Vu Minh Tri, CEO of Microsoft Vietnam.

    Microsoft also calls for collaboration from corporations, businesses, experts to support Vietnamese youth having more opportunities of jobs, internships, consultants, via M-Powered to make the e-portal become a truly useful platform in Vietnam.

    M-Powered e-portal can be accessed at youthvietnam.vn or thanhnienvietnam.net.vn.

    PM: Vietnam is not the place for pricing transfer

    Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc reiterated that Vietnam would continue to improve institutional mechanism for a market economy, including the legal system and administrative reforms in an attempt to create a more favorable business environment in the nation.

    He promised to assist the private sector to encourage further and stronger development and called on all types of business entities, particularly foreign-invested enterprises (FIEs).

    “For the FIE sector, the government expects that foreign investors would be patient and put their hopes on Vietnam’s reforms, while strongly accelerating technology transfer, human resource training and management sharing,” PM Phuc told the annual Vietnam Business Forum (VBF), which opened on December 5.

    “Foreign investors should also be more responsible to the local community, taking the initiative to protect the natural environment for sustainable development in Vietnam,” PM Phuc insisted.

    While calling for more co-operation among all business sectors – from FIEs to the private sector – PM Phuc noted that Vietnam will not welcome those investors who consider the nation a safe place for pricing transfer and environmentally polluting activities.

    “Foreign investors should come here to Vietnam with your brain using modern technology and advanced management skills – and your heart which includes high standards of both business ethics and corporate culture,” PM Phuc said.

    The annual VBF 2016 this year has opened with the theme “Strengthening the private sector: Forging partnerships between domestic and foreign enterprises for a harmonious development of the Vietnamese economy.”

    This year, the VBF consists of seven programs: empowering SMEs competence; promoting subsidiary industries; raising human resource and training demands; developing the capital market; improving infrastructure and PPP, BOT, BO, BT mechanisms; clean and renewable energy; and climate change awareness and environmental protection.

    These topics are essential and appropriate within Vietnam’s economic development strategies, according to the Ministry of Planning and Investment (MPI) – co-organizer of the VBF.
    Shortly prior to the VBF opening, Vietnam climbed up 14 ranks to number 73 in the Global Enabling Trade Index, according to the latest World Economic Forum (WEF) report.

    The WEF report lists four key sub-indices in terms of performance for each country: domestic and foreign market access; efficiency and transparency of border administration; transport infrastructure; and operating environment.

    Of the four, Vietnam scored highest in domestic market access at 4.9, ranking 77th of 136. It also showed great improvement in other indices and a general upward trend. For instance, it ranked 66th in national availability and use of information and communications technology, and 77th in operating environment.

    The report says Vietnam has improved significantly in trade capacity, largely driven by improvements in customs efficiency and reduction in waiting time for import and export compliance procedures.

    Another clear improvement for Vietnam in the 2016 report is its placement in 19th place for international maritime trade connectivity, nine ranks up over last year.

    The WEF report also commends Vietnam for making considerable efforts to improve market access for imports, through increasing the proportion of duty free imports from 55 to 71 per cent compared to 2014, creating favorable conditions for exporting and importing businesses, and enhancing the economy’s commercial competitiveness.

    More and more foreign businesses are conducting trade with domestic firms, the report notes. The country’s capability to penetrate foreign markets has also grown due to relatively low customs tariffs, down from 3.8 to 3.3 per cent, and an increase in preferential treatment for countries importing from Vietnam.

    However, compared to neighboring countries, Vietnam’s current customs procedures and border access have been undermining its commercial competitiveness, the WEF report notes.
    It identifies several problematic factors in imports, including burdensome procedures, tariffs and non-tariff barriers and high cost or delays caused by transportation weaknesses. Export sector problems include difficulties in identifying potential markets and buyers, technical requirements and standards, and the high cost or delays caused by domestic procedures.

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


    0 0
  • 12/06/16--23:30: Article 1
  • Only 1% of firms invest in agriculture: minister
     

     
    A seafood processing line at An Giang Fisheries Import-Export Company in the southern province of An Giang. - VNA/VNS Photo Phạm Hậu


    HÀ NỘI – Only one per cent of total enterprises in Việt Nam have invested in agriculture, and 55 per cent of these are small scale, capitalised at under VNĐ5 billion, said Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Nguyễn Xuân Cường.

    Most of these investors had not undertaken professional investment activities and not applied hi-tech and state-of-the-art equipment in their projects, he told business representatives at a dialogue on investment organised in Hà Nội by the Việt Nam Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD). They had also not cooperated with scientists and farmers in the production chain. The result was high production costs, low competitive ability and inefficiency in investment

    For their part, business representatives called on the State to initiate more specific and preferential policies to draw investment to agriculture.

    Cường said the Government had preferential policies in taxes, credit, land and training to encourage investment in agriculture and the rural sector. It had also developed high-tech enterprises in the agricultural sector and enforced regulations on public private partnerships (PPP) in agriculture and the rural area.

    As a result, he said, the number of enterprises investing in agriculture increased from 2,397 in 2007 to 3,640 in 2015 and to 4,080 in the first nine months of this year, Cường said, adding that many investors had gained by investing in hi-tech for agriculture.

    However, the ministry also noticed that the development of investment in agriculture was unstable and that great potential for more investment in the sector was not being tapped, he said. Those enterprises that do invest in agriculture had encountered difficulties such as weather and limitations in land, credit and tax policies.

    Đinh Cao Khuê, chairman of vegetable and food exporter Đồng Giao Export Food JSC, said agriculture was one of the sectors with a trade surplus, but it had few support policies. For instance, enterprises found it difficult to obtain land for developing agricultural projects.

    Thái Hương, chairwoman of TH Group, said ministries and sectors had not come together to support enterprises in investment activities for agriculture. She urged the MARD to propose policies for agriculture with support from other ministries and sectors.

    Khuê also suggested the state should offer preferential loans at five per cent for farm product processing enterprises to build factories, buy equipment and machines and grow trees, instead of the high interest rates of eight and nine per cent.

    Thái Hương said the state should choose goods which have an advantage in competition on world markets, with specific preferential policies such as development of the best rice variety.  The state should also set standards for farming products that meet international standards.

    At present, the ministry has promoted the restructuring of agriculture to improve the value of farming products and achieve sustainable development in agriculture. One of the restructuring solutions has been to attract more investors, especially for building up chains from production to processing and consumption.

    Minister Cường said many large enterprises, such as TH Group, Dabaco, Vingroup and Hòa Phát, have invested in the sector to promote development.

    The Government, for its part, had focused on improving the investment environment and encouraging enterprises to invest in agriculture, Cường said, promising a breakthrough soon in preferential policies to instill confidence among investors, especially in hi-tech and clean farming. 

    Viet Nam News        



    0 0
  • 12/06/16--23:54: Article 0
  • Sabeco divestment may slide off to next year

     

    The first phase of divestment from Saigon Beer, Alcohol and Beverage Corporation (Sabeco) may be pushed back to next year.

     
    It was announced by Vo Thanh Ha, chairman of the Board of Management of Sabeco, at the listing ceremony on December 6 in Ho Chi Minh City.

    “Sabeco has a large capitalisation volume, with nearly 90 per cent owned by the state, equalling VND40 trillion ($1.76 billion). Thus, we aim to ensure transparency during the divestment progress. Building the plan is complex, with numerous stages, which may require that the divestment not be carried out this year,” Ha stated.

    Ha added that Sabeco will submit the divestment route to the Ministry of Industry and Trade before December 17.

    Previously, the state planned to carry out the first phase of the divestment in 2016, a 53.59 per cent stake worth VND24.5 trillion ($1.09 billion) up for sale, while the remaining 36 per cent, worth VND16 trillion ($715.56 million), would have been sold in 2017.

    On December 6, Vietnam's largest brewer Sabeco was officially listed on the Ho Chi Minh City Stock Exchange (HoSE), eight years after its initial public offering in January 2008.

    Accordingly, 641 million Sabeco shares, representing a chartered capital of VND6.41 trillion ($286.67 million), are available for trading at the initial reference unit price of VND110,000 ($4.84) under the ticker SAB.

    After the listing, Sabeco’s capitalisation is expected to reach VND70 trillion ($3.13 billion), propelling it into the ranks of the top five enterprises on the HoSE in terms of capitalisation, following Vinamilk, Vietcombank, PV Gas, and Vingroup.

    Vietnam’s largest brewer, Sabeco currently has 24 beer production factories across the country, with a total capacity of 1.8 billion litres per year.

    By Hong Phuc, VIR


    0 0
  • 12/08/16--06:11: Article 0
  • Social News 8/12


    Stent used for treating arteriovenous fistula


     

    Doctors at Bình Dân Hospital have placed an intravascular stent to treat an arteriovenous fistula, or an abnormal connection between an artery and vein, in the left arm of a patient caused by a bullet 40 years ago.

    The 46-year-old woman from the Mekong Delta province of Tiền Giang was brought to the hospital in pain and with severe deformity of the arm.

    Dr Dương Duy Trang, head of the hospital’s interventional cardiology unit, said her left arm was 40 per cent larger than her right and could not hold anything.

    A CT scan showed an arteriovenous fistula 10 millimetres across, he said.

    The fistula caused blood to flow from the heart into a vein instead of artery, leading to a large swelling in the vein.

    Besides, the abnormally large volume of blood from the vein caused her heart to work overtime, leading to a high risk of heart problems.

    The doctors placed the stent to block the fistula.

    The patient has been discharged. She can hold things normally now and no longer has pain.

    The patient also wants the bullet to be removed, but Trang said since it does not affect other blood vessels, surgery to remove it is not necessary.

    Vascular injuries caused by incendiary weapons are not common in the country, he said.

    People with such injuries are reluctant to go to hospitals, and only do so in case of severe complications, by which time it is too late to recover body functions, he said.

    Trang said that stent placement to treat arteriovenous fistula is performed at hospitals that have doctors trained in intravascular intervention and modern equipment. 

    New City food safety board

    Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc has approved the establishment of a food-safety management board to monitor food quality and safety in HCM City.

    According to the Government Office, the PM approved the pilot project to set up a food-safety management board over the next three years.

    The Department of Internal Affairs under the HCM City People’s Committee had previously proposed to the Government to establish a food-safety management board in the southern region. 

    Lê Văn Lâm, deputy director of the Department of Internal Affairs, said the board aimed to punish violators of regulations on food safety and prevent future offences.

    The city has had a system to implement food safety, including relevant agencies under the Department of Health, Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, and Department of Industry and Trade.

    Lâm said, however, that due to a lack of coordination and overlapping functions, it is important to establish a board to exclusively carry out the mission of food hygiene and safety.

    Current punishment for violations of food safety rules was not strict enough, he said. Regular supervision had not been effectively conducted, and emerging problems were not promptly resolved, he added.

    "A separate agency with sufficient authority is needed to deal with the existing limitations in ensuring food safety across the city," Lâm said.

    Nguyễn Thị Huỳnh Mai, deputy head of the Food Safety Agency, said food poisoning had become a critical issue in recent years.

    Last year, there were 171 cases of food poisoning, killing 23 and sending some 5,000 people to hospital.

    HCM City, which has a population of 10 million, consumes 287,000 tonnes of meat, 1 billion eggs, one million tonnes of vegetables and 170,000 tonnes of seafood a year, according to official statistics.

    Food safety remains a major concern since the majority of farmers and traders still lack sufficient knowledge of the issue, while others have deliberately engaged in unsafe practices to achieve higher profits.

    HCM City supplies around 20 per cent of its own demand for food and buys the rest from other localities and abroad, according to the food-safety agency. 

    Project helps improving maternal and newborn care

    A Save the Children project helped improve knowledge on maternal and newborn care for thousands of mothers and health workers in Yên Bái, Đắk Lắk and Cà Mau provinces from mid 2012 to December 2016.

    The project helped build three newborn units for hospitals of Yên Bái Province including those in Trạm Tấu and Lục Yên districts. Following several training courses, surgeons of the Trạm Tấu District hospital performed three surgeries with the support of colleagues from the provincial hospital, although no surgery was undertaken at the hospital over the past eight years.

    Maternal fatality rate has reduced, while many premature newborns have been saved thanks to the facilities and human resource support from the project, according to a health worker at Đắk Lắk General Hospital’s Obstetrics Unit. Project experiences also contributed to development of the National Master Plan for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health for 2016-2020 and the National Guidelines for Reproductive Health services.

    With a fund of US$3.5 million from the Atlantic Philanthropies Foundation, the project titled “Scale up of the model of Household to hospital Continuum of Maternal and Newborn Care" in Việt Nam, was implemented by the Ministry of Health and the Huế Medicine and Pharmacy University.

    The project aims to improve access to quality maternal and newborn health services, to increase demand for and utilisation of those services by mothers and newborns and to strengthen the ongoing management and policy environment to ensure sustained reductions in maternal and newborn death and disability.

    Over the past decade, Việt Nam has seen extraordinary advancements in maternal, newborn and child survival due to improvements in available health services and better access to antenatal care across the country. Despite significant improvements, there is increasing disparity in the health status and mortality rates between different regions and ethnic groups in Việt Nam.

    In the 62 poorest districts where most minority ethnic women live, maternal mortality rates are three times higher than the national average -- 157 deaths per 100,000 live births. The under-five mortality among minority ethnic populations was 53 deaths per 1,000 live births in 2014, more than 2.5 times higher than the national rate, according to the health ministry. 

    Preventive medicine ignored: Deputy PM


     

    None of Việt Nam’s provinces are spending as much as they should on preventive medicine, Deputy Prime Minister Vũ Đức Đam said on Monday at a ceremony marking the 60th anniversary of the country’s preventive healthcare system.

    “The National Assembly approved a resolution in 2008 to spend 30 per cent of the national medical budget on preventive healthcare, but currently none of the provinces have spent more than 25 per cent,” he said.

    “In some highland areas you can travel all day without seeing a medical centre, while it takes only 10-15 minutes to find one in the plains,” he added. “Some medical staff have not been assigned jobs to improve their skills.”

    Health Minister Nguyễn Kim Tiến, also speaking at the event, said the General Department of Preventive Medicine, founded 60 years ago, had defeated diseases such as smallpox, polio, neonatal tatenus, cholera, plague and malaria. It was recognised by the World Health Organisation as the first country to control the SARS epidemic after 45 days, in 2003, she said.

    "Preventive healthcare services have become a specialised branch with modern technologies and capable personnel, as well as extensive study and application of advanced preventive healthcare solutions," she added.

    The Expanded Programme on Immunisation covered every commune in the country, immunising all children under five against  infectious diseases. The national vaccine management system was able to produce 10 of 12 vaccines for the programme at international standards.

    Apart from acknowledging the achievements of the system, Đam said that in order for preventive healthcare to be truly effective, the medical sector should revise its human resources training system and financial mechanism.

    He stressed the importance of combining disease treatment and disease prevention in medical practice, while acknowledging the challenges of socio-economic development, globalisation, an aging population, environmental pollution and climate change.

    At the ceremony, the General Department of Preventive Medicine was awarded with the second class Labour Medal. Twenty collectives and 99 individuals received the Đặng Văn Ngữ Award from the health ministry for their excellent contribution to the preventive healthcare system. 

    Transport firms add routes before Tết

    Transport firms in HCM City have begun to add more buses to meet demand during the Tết (Lunar New Year) holiday, which begins in late January.

    The number of passengers travelling from Miền Đông Bus Station is expected to increase by 3 per cent during the holiday compared to last year, to 56,000 on a peak day, a representative of the station said.

    To ensure better service during the Lunar New Year holiday, Miền Đông Bus Station has ensured that buses will be parked in an orderly fashion and they will pick up and drop off passengers in an organised manner.

    The bus station has worked with local police and police inspectors to resolve the problem of illegal and counterfeit buses operating outside or near the bus station during the holiday.

    Some bus companies operating at Miền Đông Bus Station have begun to sell tickets for the Lunar New Year holiday.

    Phúc Thuận Thảo Company said that tickets for Tết began selling in late November.

    An Thiên Phúc Company said tickets for the holiday, with surcharges from HCM City to Tuy Hoà, Quy Nhơn and Đà Nẵng, would be priced between VNĐ320,000 and 575,000 (US$15-25) , effective from January 9 to 27.

    Đỗ Văn Quang, director of the Sài Gòn Railway Transport Joint-Stock Company, said the Sài Gòn Railway Station had upgraded several high-quality carriages to serve passengers during the holiday.

    The railway station began selling a total of 17,500 train tickets for the holiday on November 10.

    To meet the demand for goods transport, the Sài Gòn Railway Station will also run trains carrying goods between Hà Nội and HCM City during the Lunar New Year.

    The trains will depart from Giáp Bát Railway Station (close to Hà Nội) and Sóng Thần Railway Station (close to HCM City) to prevent congestion at the Hà Nội and HCM City railway stations.

    According to the Public Transport Operation and Management Centre, the centre will add 1,048 bus trips on 17 bus routes and reduce the number of bus trips to 844 on other less busy bus routes during the New Year.

    The Miền Tây (Western) Bus Station will add 25 buses on Friday afternoon (Dec 30) and Saturday morning (Dec 31) to serve passengers who want to travel to the Cửu Long (Mekong) Delta provinces.

    Financier goes on trial for embezzlement

    The People’s Court in Hải Phòng City on Monday opened the trial of Lê Minh Quang, 33, head of BBG Financial Group, accused of appropriating around VNĐ386 billion (US$17.3 million).

    Quang, chairman of the managing board and general director of the group, is accused of abusing trust and appropriating property.

    He was arrested on May 28, 2015, for illegal business activities, after his attempt to flee to Laos failed.

    From May 2014 to 2015, Quang had appropriated around VNĐ386 billion (US$17.3 million) through his company.

    The police arrested two others, Vũ Bình Long and Nguyễn Thanh Bình for the involvment in the case. Investigators also prosecuted 13 more people linked to Quang.

    Police officials had raided the BBG group’s headquarters in Đà Nẵng City and seized documents that revealed illegal gold trading activities of the company’s affiliates. They also searched the offices of BBG’s affiliates across 10 cities and provinces. 

    The BBG group was established in 2010 and expanded rapidly, setting up 18 branches and hiring 300 employees across the country.

    It operated like a virtual trading floor for gold, jewellery, foreign currencies and gemstones, and as a financial consultant and loan provider. To attract investors, it offered very high interest rates.

    Quang has admitted to the offence and will defend himself. The hearing is expected to go on till Friday.

    Campaign launched against secondhand smoke

    Việt Nam Women’s Union, in coordination with Việt Nam Tobacco Control Fund (Ministry of Health), officially launched a communication campaign on the harmful effects of secondhand smoke at a ceremony yesterday in Hà Nội.

    The campaign, titled "Protect yourself and your loved ones,” with the support of Vital Strategies, is the second stage of the “Women make smoke-free homes” programme, which was implemented on May 29, 2016.

    The three-month campaign includes the airing of three TV spots based on the true story of Nguyễn Thị Hương, a non-smoking victim of lung cancer, via online newspapers and popular social networks in Việt Nam.

    With the message "Smoking damages your home," these short clips are aimed at making millions of Vietnamese smokers who use social media understand the adverse effects of secondhand smoke on the health, economy and happiness of each family.

    "These three TV spots are based on a true story, and through this media campaign we want to alert all smokers and those living in this unhealthy environment to the fact that anyone of us can face a similar situation of loss and suffering,” Trần Thị Hương, vice chairwoman of Việt Nam Women’s Union, said at the campaign launch ceremony.

    “If someone has doubts about the harmful effects of second-hand smoke, please watch this story. Stop smoking today to protect yourself and your loved ones," Hương added.

    “Tobacco would claim Nguyễn Thị Hương’s life, but her story will serve as a reminder of the harm this deadly product can cause and will encourage many tobacco users to make an attempt to quit,” José Luis Castro, president and chief executive officer, Vital Strategies, said.

    Smoking is the leading cause of lung cancer in Việt Nam. The story of Hương is not “an odd one out" as the proportion of Vietnamese non-smoking women accounted for 20 per cent of lung cancer cases and this figure was increasing gradually.

    According to a survey in 2015, with 45.3 per cent of male smokers, Việt Nam was one of the countries with the highest cigarette consumption in the world. The proportion of exposure to secondhand smoke at homes reached 62 per cent, at workplaces 42 per cent and in restaurants 80 per cent.

    Quảng Ngãi Market becomes operational

    The People’s Committee of central Quảng Ngãi Province has begun relocating all traders from the temporary market on Phạm Văn Đồng Street to the newly-built market on Nguyễn Nghiêm Road.

    The relocation is on from today until December 11. 

    The newly-constructed Quảng Ngãi Market has been built in the old market place in a 13,300sq.m. area with 1,617 kiosks. Total investment capital was more than VNĐ260 billion (US$11.4 million) from the provincial state budget and other mobilised funds. 

    The committee has allocated 775 kiosks to traders who owned a usage certificate for kiosks in the old market and 37 kiosks for those who signed contract to hire kiosks on a monthly basis. 

    By November 30, 171 kiosks had been bid for. The highest bid to hire a kiosk in the new market was VNĐ178,000 ($7.12) per sq.m per month and the lowest was VNĐ110,000 ($4.4) per sq.m per month.

    As planned, 454 traders who sold dry goods in the second floor of the new market will be allocated kiosks between December 6-8, 316 traders on the first floor will be allocated space between December 9-11 and traders who sold fresh goods will be allocated kiosks in the raw food area between December 12-18. 

    The temporary market will be returned to Thiên Tân Company, a local company, according to the provincial committee’s decision.  

    Quảng Ngãi Market began construction in 2014 after a huge fire broke out in the old market in 2012, destroying the entire market, which had a large number of kiosks, including those selling fabric, garments, cosmetics, cake and candy. There were no reports of casualties, but total loss was estimated at some VNĐ200 billion ($9.6 million at that time). -- VNS

    Quảng Ninh police destroy 2.8 tonnes of food

    Police in the northern Quảng Ninh Province’s Hải Hà District on Tuesday destroyed 2.8 tonnes of food, including plaice and oranges, of which origins were unknown.

    On Monday afternoon, the traffic police in Hải Hà District’s Quảng Hà Town stopped a truck transporting 1 tonne of plaice in foam boxes from Móng Cái City to Hải Phòng City. 

    However, truck driver Đỗ Ngọc Tình, 28, a resident of Cẩm Phả City, had no papers to show where the fish was coming from. 

    On the same day, the police also seized 1.8 tonnes of oranges from a truck on National Highway 18A that was passing through Quảng Hà Town. The driver, Ngô Đức Tâm, 32, said he had been hired to transport the fruits from Móng Cái City to the province, and he did not have any papers indicating their place of origin.

    Landslides paralyse route in Kon Tum


     

    Prolonged heavy rainfall and impact of the strong cold air over the week have caused serious landslides paralysing the Trường Sơn Đông route through the Tây Nguyên (Central Highlands) province of Kon Tum, authority has said.

    This is the third time during the rainy season that the route suffered landslides, with over 25,000 tonnes of rock falling down, causing difficulties for road users, according to the provincial People’s Committee.

    The rocks and trees drifting from upstream had damaged the barriers and avalanches had occurred intermittently, due to which residents in Ngọc Tem Commune were completely isolated.

    Đặng Thanh Nam, deputy chairman of the People’s Committee of Kon Plong District, said local authorities were coordinating with the road management board to repair the damage. 

    It was expected that the landslide route would be cleared today, said Nam.

    Measures to actively prevent disasters and deal with the aftermath of heavy rainfall were also being strengthened, according to Nam.

    Locals were advised not to walk around areas affected by landslides. Families at a high risk of flashfloods and landslides would be removed to safer areas, he said.

    HCMC court sentences gambling ring

    The People’s Court in HCM City yesterday sentenced dozens of defendants linked to a vast gambling ring.

    Tô Công Hưng, 34, head of the ring and former director of Người Dệt Mộng (Dream Weaver) Online Joint Stock Company, was sentenced to four years in prison.

    Sixty-two remaining accused received suspended sentences or two years imprisonment.

    According to the verdict, under Hưng’s direction, the ring members carried out transactions worth VNĐ640 billion (US$28.7 million) through 56 bank accounts.

    From February 2012 to January 2015, Hưng colluded with foreigners and then brought in his older sister, Tô Thị Thu Nhi, and acquaintances into the ring.

    These accused opened accounts at some banks to serve their website 12bet.com to help gamblers transfer money for football, basketball, tennis betting and online card games.

    In this case, Hưng benefited by some VNĐ4.3 billion (over $192,000) and other members received more than VNĐ260 million ($11,650) .

    HCM City companies gear up for Tết, promise abundant supply

    The Co.opmart supermarket chain will stock two to four times more essential goods for Tết (Lunar New Year) next year compared to this year.

    Võ Hoàng Anh, marketing director of the Sài Gòn Co.op which owns the Co.opmart chain, said more than 110,000 tonnes of goods are expected to be sold in three months starting a month before Tết, or 15 per cent higher than last year. The New Year falls on January 28 next year.

    Besides selling essential items at 5-10 per cent lower than the market price under the city’s price stabilisation programme, Co.opmart, in collaboration with suppliers, will slash the prices on thousands of other items by 10-50 per cent in the run-up to Tết, he said.

    With nearly two months to go most HCM City businesses have completed stocking plans.

    Văn Đức Mười, general director of Vissan Limited Company, which processes and sells fresh and frozen meat and foods, said the company started making preparations in June.

    The company will supply 3,000 tonnes of fresh meat and 3,200 tonnes of processed foods, 10-20 per cent higher than for last Tết, he said.

    It will also launch three new products for Tết, including cheese sausage and pork pie mixed with salted egg and vegetables.

    There would be no price shocks during Tết, Mười assured, saying in fact his company would cut prices before Tết to stimulate demand.

    Many poultry and egg providers like Ba Huân and Vĩnh Thành Đạt also plan to increase supply.

    Similarly, most confectionery producers plan to increase supply and offer many products at a wide price range to meet varying tastes and budgets.

    The Biên Hoà Confectionery Corporation (Bibica) plans to supply 1,800 tonnes of confectionery, up 10 per cent from the last Lunar New Year.

    Bibica is also set to launch new high-quality cookies for Tết.

    It has products in various segments at prices ranging from VNĐ45,000 to VNĐ350,000 (US$15.4).

    Nguyễn Tô Kiều Trinh, marketing director of Lotte Mart Việt Nam, said the supermarket would increase supply of confectionary, coffees and other beverages by 30-40 per cent and fashion products by 25 per cent compared to last year.

    It would also meet the demand for fruits and vegetable during Tết, which is expected to increase by 20 per cent, he said, adding it would also offer discounts of 5-10 per cent.

    Besides increasing supply to meet the Tết demand, many producers said they are also focused on improving product quality and packaging.

    According to the city Department of Industry and Trade, the total value of goods that companies in HCM City will stock during the two months straddling Tết will be VNĐ17.06 trillion ($765.3 million), around 5 per cent higher than last year.

    The city’s price stabilisation programme will account for VNĐ6.8 trillion ($307.1 million) of these goods, meeting 30-40 per cent of demand.

    Overall, production to serve the New Year will be 25-45 per cent higher than last year, with focus on poultry and animal meats, sugar, eggs, processed foods, cooking oil, and rice.

    There would be an abundant supply of goods of good quality at reasonable prices during Tết, the department promised. 

    Vietnam, Mongolia boost trade union partnership

    The Vietnam General Confederation of Labour (VGCL) supports establishing relations between Vietnamese and Mongolian trade union sectors and localities.

    Vice Chairman of the VGCL Mai Duc Chinh made the statement at a reception for Vice President of the Confederation of Mongolian Trade Unions (CMTU) Erdenebat Sukhbaa Tar in Hanoi on December 6.

    He suggested building ties between the Vietnam Railway Trade Union and Federation of Mongolian Railway Trade Union and exchanging information and delegations and coordinating in cadres training.

    Erdenebat Sukhbaa Tar said Mongolia is home to over one million trade union federations with 35 member organisations and 450,000 trade unionists.

    He reiterated the CMTU’s policy of maintaining and developing rapport with traditional friends, noting that the friendship with Vietnamese trade unions was resumed in 1996 after several years of interrupted delegation exchanges.

    During this visit, the CMTU is interested in Vietnam’s experience in developing trade union membership, reforming activities, and training staff, he said.

    The Mongolian confederation also hopes to set up relations between trade union sectors and localities, and seek bilateral cooperation in tourism and support each other at international forums, he added.

    CD/DVD fair to be held in city

    A fair of audio and video CDs and DVDs will be held at the Labor Cultural Center in Ho Chi Minh City’s District 1 on December 8-11.

    The 14th event aims to promote consumption of original, copyrighted products at an affordable price. It features thousands of disks in various genres of music, movies, and education software, offering 70-80 percent discount for all products.

    The fair will include art performances and exchanges with the participation of popular artists, such as Phuong Thanh, Duc Tuan, Nathan Lee and others.

    The fair is organized by Phuong Nam Cultural Corporation with participation of the country’s major recording companies including Saigon Vafaco, Ben Thanh Audio-Video, Viet Tan, Youth Studio, Ho Chi Minh City Television, Tri Viet, Samco and more.

    The event will be also organized in the central coastal city of Nha Trang on December 15-21 and in the Mekong Delta city of Can Tho on December 21-25.

    Fundraising concert for cancer patients

    A Winter Night’s Dream concert will be organized at the Gem Center in HCMC’s District 1 on December 22 to raise funds for child cancer patients.

    The concert program will be directed by famous musician Duc Tri and attended by popular artists and entrepreneurs including the duo Cam Van and her husband Khac Trieu, singer Duc Tuan, businessmen’s band Doanh nhan hat (entrepreneurs also sing), and a choir of MPU music school in HCMC. Young singers like Nhat Ha, Bich Ngoc, Dao Mac and Duyen Huyen will take the stage to contribute to the program as well.

    All the proceeds from ticket sales will go directly to “Uoc mo cua Thuy” (Dreams of Thuy) Foundation to fund treatments of child cancer patients, and scholarships and Christmas gifts for these unlucky kids.

    The first such program called “Giac mo dem mua dong” took place in December 2015 with over 600 businessmen from HCMC and other provinces attending and nearly VND1.4 billion raised to pay for treatment bills and gifts for child patients. In the past year, 187 children in Hanoi, Hue and Danang and HCMC have got support from the program and some of those kids have been able to get back to school.

    Benefactors can buy tickets at the price of VND2 million per person to help raise funds for the program. For further information, call Ms. Ngoc Tram on 0903 743 553, Ms. Quynh Anh on 0906 660 071 or Ms. Nguyen Huynh Lan Chi on 0938 885 756 or visit http://giacmodemmuadong.ttt.vn/ or Facebook page of Giac mo dem mua dong.

    Stricter visa requirements for Vietnamese travelers to Russia

    Vietnamese wishing to travel to Russia are required to show up at the Russian visa section for an interview, instead of having their travel agencies doing everything for them as usual, according to the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism (VNAT).

    The regulation takes effect from this month. A visa application will be considered in 20 days from the date of the application being submitted based on the results of the interview.

    Travel agents said the Russia visa application procedures for Vietnamese tourists have so far been simple as these firms only are required to submit visa applications plus letters of invitation from travel partners in Russia. Applicants are not required to have an interview with Russian visa officers. 

    According to the website of the Russian Embassy in Hanoi,  applicants will pay US$50 for a single-entry visa, and US$55 for a double-entry visa with a review period from 4 to 20 days.

    HCM City voters fear canal blockage due to urbanization


     

    Many HCMC voters are still anxious that rapid housing development and urbanization would encroach on hundreds of inner-city canals and lead to many of them disappearing, affecting water drainage in case of heavy rains or high tides.

    This is reflected in the summary of opinions of city voters before the sixth meeting of the HCMC People’s Council that begins on December 6.

    Voter Cao Trong Tung in Thao Dien Ward, District 2 said Thao Dien area had recently been heavier flooded during high tides. He wondered if this was a consequence of rapid urbanization that had led to the loss of dozens of canals.

    Meanwhile, voters in Ward 1, District 5 said the municipal government should soon figure out the reason why roads were now more flood-prone.

    They wondered if this was a result of the low frequency of drain dredging, once a year instead of four times a year as before. In addition, many manholes are not shielded, making it easier for garbage to flow through when it rains, leading to congestion.

    People in Ward 7, District 8 complained there was currently no drainage system on Le Quang Nghi Street, resulting in severe flooding which affects their livelihood. A tidal embankment has been put into operation for only a year here but flooding still persists.

    Meanwhile, District 12 residents believed Gia Dinh Canal was seriously polluted. They proposed the city government soon clean out the So Ro-Rong Tung River and upgrade Cau Ong Dung Canal.

    Under the program of environmental pollution reduction for 2016-2020 recently approved by the municipal government, the city will manage the planning and urban architecture of deteriorating residential areas and those adjacent to canals, the factories and production facilities subject to relocation for urban revitalization.

    Some 20,000 households living on and along the canals will be resettled. Green and water surface space will be increased, while canal and river leveling will be restricted.

    With this program, the city is determined to restore the canals that have been leveled or illegally encroached on in a bid to boost drainage and water storage space.

    Statistics of the canal management authorities in HCMC show that there are now nearly 3,000 canals in the city with a total length of over 4,300 kilometers. The number of canals responsible for urban drainage is 849 with a total length of 1,094 kilometers, while the remainder are for agricultural irrigation and water transport.

    Vietnam, Laos news agencies agree on stronger coordination

    Leaders of the Vietnam News Agency (VNA) and the Laos News Agency (KPL) have agreed to improve the quality of news for exchange, while strengthening communications on the special ties of Vietnam and Laos, especially in 2017 when the two countries celebrate the 55th anniversary of their relations.

    During their talks in Hanoi on December 7, VNA General Director Nguyen Duc Loi and KLP General Director Sounthone Khanthavong concurred that the two sides should increase media coverage of the respective countries and their people for stronger Vietnam-Laos relations.

    KPL will continue helping VNA publish the Vietnam Pictorial in Lao language in Laos, while promoting the publication’s online version as well as the VNA’s electronic newspaper VietnamPlus on KPL’s website.

    The KPL official pledged to support the re-appearance of the VNA-run television channel Vnews on Laos’ cable TV system in 2017.

    Meanwhile, the VNA committed to doing its utmost to assist the KPL in upgrading its website, while coordinating with and supporting the KPL to launch the Internet system in KPL’s new headquarters.

    The VNA leader also agreed to receive KPL staff to work as apprentices in the VNA as proposed by his Lao counterpart.

    The two sides expressed delight that partnership between the two news agencies was growing in line with the 2016-2020 cooperation agreement. In 2016, the two sides jointly held an exchange and professional training course from June 8-12 in the central province of Nghe An, they noted.

    VNA leader Nguyen Duc Loi thanked the KPL for supporting the VNA’s representative office in Vientiane to fulfil its tasks.

    Following the talks, the two leaders signed the minutes of the talks.

    The same day, the KPL delegation visited and worked with the Domestic News Department and online newspaper VietnamPlus.  

    They are scheduled to pay a courtesy call to Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc and visit the northern province of Lao Cai.

    The VNA and KPL have enjoyed a longstanding partnership, which began from the past struggle for national independence and last till the current national construction. Their close coordination has contributed to the development of the friendship between the two Parties, States and peoples.

    Vietnam Airlines welcomes 20 millionth passenger

    The national flag carrier Vietnam Airlines welcomed the 20 millionth passenger aboard the 700,000th flight this year operated by the Vietnam Air Traffic Management Corporation (VATM) during a ceremony in Hanoi on December 7. 

    The lucky passenger is Mamoru Kato from Japan, the 19,999,999th is Oda Junichi from Japan and the 20,000,001th is Nguyen Thi Thanh Thuy from Vietnam, who were aboard the flight from Japan’s Narita to Hanoi. 

    Speaking at the event, Deputy Transport Minister Nguyen Nhat urged Vietnam Airlines and the VATM to ensure the absolute safety of their flights, modernise equipment and improve the workforce quality, towards becoming one of the leading flight suppliers in Southeast Asia and one of the most popular carriers in Asia-Pacific. 

    This year, Vietnam Airlines is expected to transport 20.6 million passengers and successfully operate new fleets Boeing 787-9 and Airbus A350. 

    The carrier was also certified as a four-star airline by the UK-based airline and airport rating organisation SkyTrax and welcomed Japan’s ANA Holdings as its strategic shareholder. 

    The VATM estimates to operate more than 742,000 flights this year, up 16 percent from 2015.

    PM instructs responses to downpour, flood impacts in central region

    Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has issued a dispatch, instructing measures to overcome the consequences of floods triggered by heavy rains in the central region, which caused huge losses of lives and assets.

    In the document, the PM expressed his condolences to the families of dead victims and the affected communities and localities.

    He stressed that the floods have lasted many days and requested the People’s Committees of central provinces, relevant ministries and sectors work together to mitigate losses and help local residents resume normal life. 

    The Ministry of Industry and Trade is to instruct supervision of reservoirs and power networks to ensure they operate effectively and safely while regulating supply of basic goods for residents in the region.

    The National Search and Rescue Committee, the Ministry of National Defence and the Ministry of Public Security are required to have their forces ready to help local people to cope with floods and impacts.    

    Since November 29, heavy rains have hit the central region, causing widespread floods that claiming nine lives in Quang Ngai province, six in Binh Dinh and three Quang Nam.

    Hundreds of houses were collapsed, thousands of hectares of rice and crops were submerged, roads and other facilities were damaged in the hardest-hit provinces of Thue Thien – Hue, Quang Nam, Quang Ngai and Binh Dinh.

    Bac Giang proposes combination of Yen Tu’s east, west festivals

    Holding the Yen Tu festival in Tay Yen Tu in northern Bac Giang province and Dong Yen Tu in neighbouring Quang Ninh province will help preserve and promote the cultural values of Yen Tu, said a Government Committee for Religious Affairs official.

    Both Tay Yen Tu (west of Yen Tu) and Dong Yen Tu (east of Yen Tu) festivals have close relations with Truc Lam Zen Buddhism and should be combined, said Bui Huu Duoc, head of the committee’s Buddhism Department at a conference in Bac Giang on December 4.

    Prof. Dr. Tram Lam Bien said that the combination of the two festivals will form a great festival to attract Buddhists. He suggested the festival be held in early 2017.

    However, Prof. Dr. Chu Van Tuan from the Religion Research Institute said that the combined festival should be postponed to 2018 as currently, Bac Giang has yet to finish preparations and transportation system for the event.

    He also proposed that Bac Giang clarify the value of Tay Yen Tu relic and the religious value of the festival to promote the relic site and connect it with regional tours.

    Meanwhile, Dr. Pham Hong Trung from the Institute for the Vietnam Studies and Development Science said that it is necessary to follow locals’ wishes in organising the festival, while calling for their engagement in the preservation and promotion of the festival.

    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.

    Project on reproductive healthcare, family planning ends

    More than 1,470,000 people in 125 communes of three provinces have accessed reproductive health and family planning services during the past four years.

    Some 99.7 per cent of them are satisfied with the services, according to results of the third phase of the project on improving reproductive health of residents, run by Marie Stopes International in Việt Nam (MSV), in coordination with the provincial departments of health.

    The results were declared on Wednesday in Hà Nội.

    The project received financial support from Atlantic Philanthropies.

    The third phase of the project, which began in 2013, was conducted in the northern province of Yên Bái, the Central Highlands province of Đắk Lắk and the southern province of Cà Mau.

    The first phase, which began in 2007, was conducted in Khánh Hòa Province and Đà Nẵng City, while the second phase was conducted in Thái Nguyên, Thừa Thiên-Huế and Vĩnh Long provinces.

    Further, under the third phase of the project, more than 2,000 commune medical workers received training on reproductive healthcare and providing family planning services.

    Over 100 commune medical stations received an upgrade of infrastructure to set up consultancy rooms with the name “Tình Chị Em” (Sisterhood).

    During the three periods, there were some 250 commune health stations set up across eight provinces around the country.

    The model provides reproductive healthcare and family planning services, and delivers educational documents on the subject.

    Nguyễn Thị Bích Hằng, head representative of MSV, said meeting the nation’s sexual reproductive health and family planning requirements remains a pressing issue for the State.

    “This is especially in the case of vulnerable population groups, including rural and ethnic minority communities,” she said.

    “Strengthening health service delivery at the community level is acknowledged as the key for improving the health of these groups,” she said.

    Nguyễn Đức Vinh, director of the Maternal and Child Health Department under the Ministry of Health, said the “Tình Chị Em” model had developed solutions to improve the quality of services.

    The model should be advocated, and awareness of the model should be improved at all levels, especially at policy-making levels, he said.

    “For this purpose, all lesson learnt and documents should be widely shared within the donor community, creating potential opportunities for support to further pilot projects in the country,” he said.

    The 90 million population of Việt Nam is predominantly young, with 58 per cent under 25, and includes many women of reproductive age - some 25 million - according to statistics of the MSV.

    The national maternal mortality ratio of 67/100,000 births has remained relatively unchanged between 2006 and 2011. The infant mortality ratio stands at 15.5/1,000 births, statistics revealed.

    The current national contraceptive prevalence rate of 79 per cent represents only use among married couples. 

    VNA/VNS/VOV/SGT/SGGP/TT/TN/Dantri/VNE


    0 0
  • 12/08/16--17:25: Article 5
  • BUSINESS IN BRIEF 8/12


    State gets less from divesting in Jan-Nov

    The State collected only VND450 billion (US$19.8 million) when divesting stakes with a book value of VND490 billion from State-owned enterprises (SOEs) operating in securities, banking, finance, insurance, and real estate sectors in January-November.

    During last year, the State earned VND15.6 trillion from divesting stakes from those five business sectors, news site VnEconomy said, citing a report of the Ministry of Finance.

    In the eleven-month period, the Government had approved the plans for 56 SOEs to go public, including six corporations, with a total value of more than VND34 trillion, of which VND24.39 trillion is State capital.

    The total charter capital of those 56 firms is VND24.37 trillion, with the State holding VND11.9 trillion, strategic investors VND7.67 trillion, their staff VND388 billion, trade unions VND8 billion, and the public VND4.37 trillion.

    For divestment, SOEs had divested VND3.56 trillion and earned VND5.67 trillion in January-November, said the report.

    In addition, the State obtained VND2.27 trillion from transferring VND1.57 trillion worth of shares in other enterprises to private investors.

    As planned, the finance ministry will complete policies for transferring wholly State-owned firms into joint stock companies to have the legal basis for carrying out equitization plans in the 2016-2020 period.

    Vietjet Air to list on HOSE next year

    Budget airline Vietjet Air will list shares on the Hochiminh Stock Exchange in early 2017 after it launches an initial public offering (IPO) this December, according to Reuters news agency.

    BNP, Deutsche Bank and JP Morgan are the joint global coordinators for the IPO.

    The offering for the country’s only private airline will consist of 44.7 million shares, which could be increased by an additional 14.9 million shares if there is sufficient demand. Indicative pricing was set at VND75,900-98,400.

    Vietjet expects to fetch some US$194 million from the IPO auction. The carrier’s market capitalization is estimated at between US$1.08 billion and US$1.4 billion.

    Vietjet Air could not immediately be reached for a comment, Reuters said.

    T&C Group, Sovico Holdings and HDBank are three major shareholders of Vietjet that had total chartered capital of VND3 trillion as of end-November.

    The airline’s revenue neared VND1.25 trillion in 2012 and soared to some VND11.01 trillion in 2015. It earned profit last year for the first time after four years of operation thanks to double-digit growth in earnings and the number of flights and air routes.

    Notably, its international flights rose by 240% in 2015 from a year earlier.

    According to a resolution adopted at its 2016 general meeting, Vietjet aims to expand its aircraft fleet to 42 and attain revenue of US$1.8 billion and pre-tax profit of US$64.3 million.

    The carrier held a 41.4% aviation market share in this year’s first half after Vietnam Airlines with 42.5%, according to the Vietnam Aviation Business Association.

    Zalora to offer steep discounts in Online Fever program

    Zalora, a leading online fashion retailer in Vietnam, will launch its Online Fever 2016 program from December 12 to 16, with 50 brands offering attractive deals.

    Customers can browse for a wide range of products on some online shopping sites, including Nguyenkim.com, Cungmua, and Foody, catering services of brands like Kichi Kichi, Vuvuzela, Ashima, Shogun, Cowboy’s Jack, Osaka Osho, Hutong and Halal Saigon, beauty care goods of  L’occitane, Vichy, La-roche Posay, Laneige, Natural Republic, The Body Shop, Pamas spa, Anam QT spa and Nang Spa, and banking services from Techcombank, Sacombank, Maritime, VPBank, Seabank, and Shinhan Bank.

    There will be many items offered at the same price of VND99,000 or VND199,000 and discounts of up to 50% on items of Mango, Guess, Michael Kors, New Look, and Marc Jacobs. Those using Zalora mobile app can enjoy discounts of up to 25%.

    Online Fever, which has entered its third year, provides a good chance for local consumers to buy quality products at reduced prices.

    People should go to www.zalora.vn/online-fever to get updated on daily promotions from 12 a.m. on December 12.

    Report on enterprise renewal, development announced


     State gets less from divesting in Jan-Nov, Report on enterprise renewal, development announced, Vietnam remains biggest shrimp supplier for Australia, Vietnam takes concrete measures to promote national brand 

    Deputy Chairman of the Government Office Le Manh Ha, Deputy head of the Steering Committee for Enterprise Renewal and Development, presented a report on enterprise renewal and development in 2011-2015 and tasks and missions for 2016-2020 at the national videoconference implementing the rearrangement and renovation of state-owned enterprises (SOEs) on December 6.

    The Government and the PM issued 69 Decrees, Decisions and Directives in the 2011-2015 period, including 21 documents on organization and management of the SOEs, 34 documents on arrangement, restructuring and capital withdrawal at enterprises and 14 articles on organization and operation of State economic corporations.
    Ministries issued 15 Circulars on guiding the implementation of mechanisms and policies.

    As many as 591 businesses were re-arranged, accounting for 96% of the plan, including the equitization of 499 SOEs  (making up 96.3%), merging and acquisition of 48 SOEs, dissolution of 17 ones and bankrupting eight ones.

    Until now, the total number of re-organized enterprises was 6,010, including 4,508 equitized ones.

    After 15 years of re-organizing, the number of SOEs sharply decreased, especially small-scale and weak ones. Around 6,000 SOEs operated in 60 sectors and areas in 2001. The figures reached 1,369 ones in 2011 and only remained 718 ones in 2016, focusing on 19 sectors.

    Regarding the business sector, the proportion of the SOEs only accounts for 0.67% but they still contribute 28.8% to the GDP while the non-State and Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) sectors make up 11.8% and 17.9%, respectively.

    The equitization of SOEs has gained positive achievements as the number of re-organized and equitized enterprises accounted for 96% and 96.3%, respectively, of the five-year plan.

    In the phase from 2016-2020, the Government identifies that the businesses the State hold 100% of the capital will operate in key and necessary sectors, locate in crucial national defense and security areas and apply high technology with large investment and create impetus for the socio-economic development that are not invested by other economic sectors.

    Paradise to open new hotel in Ha Long Bay

    Paradise Group, one of the leading providers of luxury hospitality services in Vietnam, has opened a second boutique in Ha Long Bay to meet the growing demand for on-shore accommodation.
    Called Paradise Trend Hotel, the new property features matching four-story buildings and 78 elegant rooms that’s accentuated by blue-and-beige color schemes and exquisite canvas paintings of Vietnamese landscapes and daily life.
    The sleek hotel is next door to the equally posh Paradise Suites Hotel, which debuted two years ago on Tuan Chau Island, gateway to Vietnam's most famous natural attraction.
    “What we've found is that not everyone who is interested in seeing Ha Long Bay wants to spend the night on the water," said Mr. Edgar Cayanan, the general manager of both hotels.
    He added, “some want to check out the surrounding area as well or spend time on the beach or have the ability to hold a big meeting or event, which obviously requires space. Expanding our offering in this fashion allows us to cater to those needs and desires.”
    According to Vietnam National Administration of Tourism (VNAT) statistics, Ha Long Bay's popularity is at an all-time high among foreigners. Records indicate that almost 2 million international tourists traveled to the UNESCO World Heritage site over the first six months of the year — a 52 per cent increase from the first half of 2015.
    “Because most travelers try to squeeze in a lot of destinations when they come to Vietnam, overnight cruises are still the most popular option in Ha Long Bay,” said Mr. Cayanan. “However, the common feeling is that overnight cruises, which last about 22 hours, aren't quite long enough. So for those who have more time, spending one extra day cruising the bay is appealing."
    While Paradise Trend Hotel possesses many of the same qualities as Paradise Suites Hotel, there is one key difference and that is style. “Paradise Trend is exactly what the name suggests — trendy,” said Mr. Cayanan. “It's a nice juxtaposition to Paradise Suites, which has more of a classic feel.”
    Guests of either hotel have access to a range of indulgent amenities namely two elegant restaurants, an inviting pub, a soothing spa and a boutique stocked with fashionable clothing and travel accessories.
    Since putting its first boat on the water in 2008, Paradise Group has made a name for itself as the premier luxury cruise operator in Ha Long Bay.
    That reputation is set to be further strengthened in January, when the company unveils Paradise Elegance, a 31-cabin steel-hulled vessel designed to meet even the most sophisticated tastes.
    Paradise Group also owns and manages three of the most exquisite dining experiences in Vietnam, including Ngon Villa Hanoi, HOME Hanoi and the recently opened HOME Hoi An.

    Vietnam remains biggest shrimp supplier for Australia

    Vietnam was the biggest shrimp supplier for Australia in the first nine months of 2016, accounting for over 33 percent of total imports.

    According to the Vietnam Trade Office in Australia, Vietnam sold more than 18,000 tonnes of shrimp worth over 167 million USD in January-August, up 2.1 percent in volume but down 9.2 percent in value compared to the same period last year.

    Australia is the ninth largest shrimp importer in the world, making up about 1.9 percent of global shrimp export revenues.

    It is also the seventh biggest shrimp consumer of Vietnam, comprising 3.3 percent of the country’s shrimp exports.

    Vietnam’s shrimp exports to Australia registered the highest growth in March and September 2016 with respective increases of 18.4 percent and 10.4 percent year-on-year.

    In September alone, the Southeast Asian nation grossed over 12 million USD in revenues, up 10.4 percent against the same months of 2015.

    The Vietnam Trade Office said Vietnam has been the biggest provider of shrimp for Australia over the past five years.

    However, due to strict requirements on food hygiene from the market, Vietnam is still unable to export frozen raw shrimp.

    Vietnamese agencies are working with the Australian side to bring this product to the country.

    In the fourth quarter of 2016, a delegation of Australian experts will conduct a fact-finding tour to Vietnam to inspect its standards for exporting raw shrimp.

    Imported cars will undercut Vietnam products after tariff removal: industry


     Imported cars will undercut Vietnam products after tariff removal: industry

    The country's lack of auto parts suppliers means many components have to be imported and the added costs are passed on to consumers.

     Locally-assembled cars could cost 20% more than those imported from neighboring countries such as Thailand and Indonesia by 2018, when tariffs for ASEAN cars will be cut to zero from the current 50%, industry insiders say.

    According to a report released by the trade ministry at a recent business forum, one of the biggest problems hindering the growth of the automobile industry is the lack of parts suppliers.

    Vietnam currently has more than 400 small- and medium-sized companies that are either auto assemblers or parts suppliers. Noticeably, nearly half of them are foreign-invested and few have invested in advanced technologies to produce more than basic components such as mirrors, electric wires, batteries and some plastic parts.

    The trade ministry said local parts suppliers can only fulfill between 7 and 10% of manufacturing orders for nine-seat cars.

    As a result, assemblers have to import certain parts of a car, which increases prices, industry insiders told the business forum. They forecast that in 2018 locally-assembled cars could be more expensive than those imported from ASEAN countries, which would benefit from the coming tariff removal.

    Experts also pointed to the fact that Vietnam’s automobile industry with more than 400 businesses is not working at its full capacity, which is about 500,000 units per year.

    Last year it imported a record 244,914 cars. Some estimates showed that total car sales in Vietnam this year, of both local and imported ones, could increase about 22% to 300,000 units.

    The Vietnam Business Forum suggested the government offer incentives for auto parts suppliers and consider scrapping import tariffs on parts that are not available at home.

    In Vietnam, high-pollution industries enjoy relaxed environmental standards

    Vietnam is setting the bar too low in terms of environmental protection for several industries with high pollution outputs like steelmaking, paper and pulp.

    he Southeast Asian country has established policy guidelines universally applicable to all industries, which regulate how businesses should treat wastewater from their production.

    However, there are also independent sets of environmental standards for each industry, where the regulations are much more relaxed.

    In 2011, the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources issued the national technical standard for industrial wastewater, with as many as 33 technical parameters.

    However, just two years later, the same ministry issued the QCVN52/2013 guideline, a specific technical standard in terms of wastewater, emission and other outputs from the steelmaking industry, with the bar lowered for multiple parameters and several crucial criteria omitted.

    “In guideline No.52, everything that needs to be overseen is not detailed,” a scientist from the Vietnam Academy of Science and Technology commented.

    The expert explained that even within the steelmaking industry, no environmental standard was set for the allowable content of iron in wastewater.

    According to the QCVN52/2013 guideline, a steelmaker is required to meet 12 parameters for its wastewater, far fewer than the 33 in the common national environmental standard set across all industries.

    The restriction put on cyanide content, one of the most crucial parameters for wastewater, is also relaxed for steelmakers.

    While the common guideline stipulates an allowable cyanide content of 0.1mg a liter, the No.52 guideline generously extends that limit by five times to 0.5mg a liter.

    Indeed, the steel mill developed by Taiwan’s Formosa Plastics Group in the north-central province of Ha Tinh was able to produce wastewater with 0.585mg of cyanide per liter, nearly six times higher than the common standard.

    The plant’s untreated wastewater led to April’s mass fish deaths throughout central Vietnam.

    The emission standards stipulated in the QCVN52/2013 guideline do not include a carbon monoxide (CO) parameter, while offering a lenient standard on the toxic dioxin.

    While the universal national standard sets a ceiling of 0.6 nanogram toxic equivalency (TEQ) per Normal cubic meters (Nm3) for dioxin resulting from the production of steel, the specific guideline for the steelmaking industry raises the bar to 1 nanogram TEQ per Nm3.

    The environmental guidelines for other industries, such as seafood and papermaking, are also much more relaxed than the so-called universal set of standards.

    In 2015, the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources issued the guidelines on wastewater treatment for the seafood processing industry, with the allowable amount of ammonia in wastewater double that of the universal standard.

    Similarly, papermaking companies currently need to meet seven technical parameters, compared to 33 in the common set of standards.

    Dr. Tran The Loan, former head of the pollution control agency under the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources’ General Department of Environment, said the environmental standards in Vietnam are prepared with little respect to the ‘resilience’ of the environment.

    “Imagine an area with a number of plants, all discharging treated wastewater into one same river,” he said. “Even when each of the facilities meets the environmental standards, the river will soon fail to endure.”

    Dr. Loan said this is evidenced by the fact that many rivers such as Thi Vai in the southern province of Ba Ria-Vung Tau or Cau in the south-central province of Phu Yen are becoming increasingly polluted as there are many factories nearby.

    Hoang Duong Tung, deputy head of the General Department of Environment, said regulatory bodies are totally capable of imposing strict standards, but doing so “would discourage production.”

    “Too high environmental standards are not suitable for the current development of our country,” he said.

    Tung added that the law on standards and regulations allows two sets of guidelines, on both national and local levels, to co-exist.

    “This means local administrations can set their own standards, which can be stricter than the national ones, for industries whose development is not encouraged,” he explained.

    Tung added that under the current regulations, environmental standards should be reviewed and updated every three to five years.

    “The environment ministry is speeding up the review task and is expected to finish by the end of next year,” he said.

    Paper exports inch up

    Exports of paper and paper products in the first ten months this year increased by 5.6% to US$413.4 million against the same period last year, according to Vietnam Customs.

    Vietnamese paper products have been available in 17 countries in the world such as the US, Japan, Cambodia, Singapore and Australia.

    The US remained the largest consumer in the reviewed period with an import value of US$77.41 million, accounting for 18.7% of Vietnam’s total export revenue of paper and paper products (up 0.9%).

    Japan came second among importers of Vietnamese products with US$74.15 million, making up 16.5% (up 16.8%) and Taiwan ranked third with US$67.05 million, accounting for 16.2% (up 5.3%) of Vietnam’s total export revenue.

    Exports of paper and paper products saw a positive growth in many markets like China (up 37.3%), the UAE (up 34.3%) and Thailand (up 31.4%). Meanwhile, some markets suffered a decline in value such as Hong Kong (down 13.2%), the Republic of Korea (down 11.9%) and Singapore (down 11.2%).

    Vietnam takes concrete measures to promote national brand
     

    Over the past decade, uncomplicated and easy to understand advertising has given way to national branding— giving products an emotional connection to which their customers can identify.

    vietnam takes concrete measures to promote national brand hinh 0 A brand is important because customers define themselves by the brands they use whether it’s the clothes they wear, the motorbike or car they drive, the university they attend or the stores they shop.

    Just as we all know that Mercedes-Benz automobiles drive with German efficiency, we all know that at some point company brands and national identity merges. This, of course, is the impetus for the government’s National Brand Program.

    Other examples would be that of McDonald's, Walmart and Microsoft who are highly visible and famous US brands for which millions of consumers around the globe instantly merge company and national identity.

    Strong company brands in concert with an equally powerful national brand are a winning combination for Vietnam to attracting higher levels of foreign direct investment, recruiting the best and the brightest young talent and keeping the country’s economy healthy.

    Most notably, it is important for the national band to be representative of the country’s history, geography, and ethnic motifs and imbue a sense of national identity and uniqueness.

    This year, 88 businesses across the spectrum of business segments were ceremoniously presented National Brand Awards in Hanoi, for which 23 have now won the title for past five consecutive years.

    Among the many recipients are Viet Tien Garment Joint Stock Company, An Phuoc Group, Saigon Beer-Alcohol-Beverage JSC, Vina Coffee, Commercial Bank for Foreign Trade of Vietnam JSC, Vietnam Posts and Telecommunications Group and Saigon Jewellery JSC.

    At a reception at the Presidential Palace in Hanoi for the winners, President Tran Dai Quang spoke highly of their efforts to improve their brand in concert with the national brand of Vietnam affirming their contribution to the country’s development.

    He encouraged them to forge ahead with their business ventures and continue to pursue building a brand image of quality, innovativeness and creativity.

    Smart firms, he reminded them, pour most of their money into improving their brands, focusing more on the values and emotions that customers attach to them than on the quality of the products themselves.

    Since markets are flooded with indistinguishable, mass-produced items, Vietnamese companies must individualize the goods they are selling to their customers by associating them with both the company and the Vietnam national brands.

    As such he reminded the companies that their brand efforts must push a lifestyle or a sophisticated image that connects with the emotions of global consumers rather than just a bland piece of clothing, or textile, agriculture product, food item, or shoe.

    In other words, President Quang was suggesting companies promote themselves and Vietnam collectively as a ‘green country’ for example, to attract environmentally conscious individuals and foreign direct investment.

    Or emphasize the image of Vietnam as a global hub for the media, design, music, film, and fashion industries as opposed to just being a low-cost labour pool for manufacturers of clothing, textiles and shoes.

    This is what the National Brand Awards program is all about. It’s a long-term, cumulative effort spanning decades to make the country seem very fashionable, enterprising, modern— and stand out from the crowd.

    Update mortgage law, experts say

    Legal regulations on settling mortgaged assets must be streamlined to help credit institutions solve non-performing loans (NPLs), participants at a conference held in Hanoi said on December 6.

    At the conference on credit institutions’ rights to settle mortgaged assets, participants said NPLs with mortgaged assets account for up to 90% of the country’s total NPLs. However, creditors are facing obstacles in settling mortgaged assets due to an incomplete and unsuitable legal framework.

    The institutions said many legal regulations have no detailed instructions on dealing with mortgaged assets. Therefore, it takes a long time to deal with the assets.

    In addition, the slow judgment process also negatively impacts credit institutions’ business performance, wasting time and money to recoup toxic debts.

    Deputy Governor of the State Bank of Vietnam Nguyen Kim Anh admitted that the efficient collateral settlement requires a legal system with uniformity, transparency and consistentcy. It must also be respectful of the legitimate rights of creditors.

    The law must create a legal framework for the parties involved, especially for the creditors to be able to enforce their legitimate rights under the agreement.

    “It is also necessary to establish mechanisms that allow the parties to choose a way to handle the debts with regard to mortgaged assets quickly, conveniently and effectively. At the same time, the legal system must be strictly adhered to by the involved parties,” Anh said.

    At the conference, participants said while handling mortgaged assets, the first priority must be to protect the interests of creditors rather than debtors and this must be specified in the provisions related to secured transactions and settling of collateral.

    Expert Nguyen Dinh Anh said economically, the credit institutions’ right in settling mortgaged assets includes their right to use the assets to offset losses caused by bad debts. But when creditors handle the assets, they receive no co-operation from debtors and sometimes the relationship becomes confrontational or even fiercely conflicting.

    “The right to handle collateral cannot be executed quickly, efficiently and effectively unless the awareness of the rights, benefits and obligations of all involved parties in the credit relationship is established properly based on feasible and suitable legal basis, in accordance with actual conditions in Vietnam, as well as proximity to international practices and standards,” Anh said.

    Lawyer Nguyen Thi Phuong, deputy head of the Vietnam Banks Association’s Legal Club, said the right to settle mortgaged assets of credit institutions is a civil right. Therefore, the institutions have the right to settle the collateral according to their will with the preconditions not being contrary to the fundamental principles of the civil law and not causing damage to other persons.

    Participants at the conference also proposed that the Ministry of Justice work closely with the State Bank of Vietnam, the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources, the Ministry of Public Security, the Ministry of Finance and the Supreme People’s Court to submit plans to the Government for issuance of a decree on solving mortgaged assets early.

    According to the participants, the 2015 Civil Code, which will take effect on January 1, 2017, has no specific provisions for the seizure of mortgaged assets. The Ministry of Justice, therefore, should co-ordinate with agencies and relevant agencies to study and supplement detailed instructions on the rights of the secured party for the settlement of collateral in case the guarantor becomes uncooperative or opposes it.

    Deputy Governor Anh said that the central bank and relevant ministries and agencies would scrutinise all the recommendations proposed at the event to streamline the legal framework involved in settling mortgaged assets to assist credit institutions in solving bad debts legally.

    Imported cars will undercut Vietnam products after tariff removal: industry

    The country's lack of auto parts suppliers means many components have to be imported and the added costs are passed on to consumers.

    Locally-assembled cars could cost 20% more than those imported from neighboring countries such as Thailand and Indonesia by 2018, when tariffs for ASEAN cars will be cut to zero from the current 50%, industry insiders say.

    According to a report released by the trade ministry at a recent business forum, one of the biggest problems hindering the growth of the automobile industry is the lack of parts suppliers.

    Vietnam currently has more than 400 small- and medium-sized companies that are either auto assemblers or parts suppliers. Noticeably, nearly half of them are foreign-invested and few have invested in advanced technologies to produce more than basic components such as mirrors, electric wires, batteries and some plastic parts.

    The trade ministry said local parts suppliers can only fulfill between 7 and 10% of manufacturing orders for nine-seat cars.

    As a result, assemblers have to import certain parts of a car, which increases prices, industry insiders told the business forum. They forecast that in 2018 locally-assembled cars could be more expensive than those imported from ASEAN countries, which would benefit from the coming tariff removal.

    Experts also pointed to the fact that Vietnam’s automobile industry with more than 400 businesses is not working at its full capacity, which is about 500,000 units per year.

    Last year it imported a record 244,914 cars. Some estimates showed that total car sales in Vietnam this year, of both local and imported ones, could increase about 22% to 300,000 units.

    The Vietnam Business Forum suggested the government offer incentives for auto parts suppliers and consider scrapping import tariffs on parts that are not available at home.

    Tan Cang – Cai Cui port launched in Can Tho

    Tan Cang – Cai Cui Port was inaugurated at a ceremony in Cai Rang district, the Mekong Delta City of Can Tho on December 6.

    The event, organised by Tan Cang Shipping Company, was attended by officials from the Southwestern Steering Committee, ministries, sectors, and local and regional authorities.

    In the first phrase, Tan Cang – Cai Cui Port covers an area of over seven hectares and can receive ships with capacity of up to 20,000 tonnes. It has 6,000 square metres of storage area equipped with modern loading equipment.

    On October 24, the port received its first container ship from Hai Phong port to Can Tho City through the Quan Chanh Bo canal in Tra Vinh province, marking a milestone in connecting the northern economic zone and the Mekong Delta region. So far, six container ships have anchored at the port.

    According to Vice Director General of Tan Cang Sai Gon Company Ngo Quang Chung, the company will continue investing in the port to make sure it will operate in a more professional, effective and convenient manner.

    It also looks to launch ships carrying goods directly from the Mekong Delta to the regional ports, as part of activities to implement the agreements reached at the World Economic Forum (WEF)-Mekong Conference, Chung said.

    Fruit-vegetable export value surpasses 2.1 billion USD

    Fruit-vegetable exports in 11 months of 2016 earned 2.178 billion USD, according to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD).

    The MARD said the value for November alone was 186 million USD.

    China is the largest market for Vietnamese vegetables and fruits, accounting for 70.4 percent, followed by the Republic of Korea with 3.6 percent, the United States 3.4 percent, and Japan 3.1 percent.

    In the period, Vietnam spent 814 million USD on imported vegetables and fruits, up 44 percent against the same period last year.

    Thailand is the largest exporter of fruit to Vietnam, making up 44 percent of the country’s total import of the products, followed by China with 23 percent.

    Paper sector’s growth slows down


      

    The growth of the paper sector has slowed down recently in terms of consumption, production, export and import, according to the Vietnam Pulp and Paper Association (VPPA).

    The slowdown went against the rises in consumption (5 percent), production (5.4 percent), imports (4.3 percent), and exports (1.7 percent), recorded in the first half of this year, reported the association.

    It added that sales of paper for printing newspapers dropped 46 percent year on year, while that of printing paper went down for the first time.

    Meanwhile, sales of tissue paper still enjoyed high and stable growth at 16.5 percent, while its production rose 11 percent and imports increased 71 percent.

    The VPPA attributed the rise to the improvement of people’s living standards and their higher requirements of high-quality tissues.

    Many enterprises held that the domestic paper businesses are less competitive compared to foreign and FDI firms, forcing many domestic factories to operate under their capacity.

    The association proposed that authorised agencies should design support policies for paper firms to assist them in capital and technology transfer and trade promotion in line with the Government’s Resolution 35/CP on supporting the paper sector’s growth to 2020.

    The aid is expected to help the firms expand their market, improve products’ quality and access low-cost materials, thus re-gaining their market share amidst challenges from the current strong international integration, added the VPPA.

    Sabeco listed on HOSE

    The Saigon Beer, Alcohol and Beverages Corporation (Sabeco), a leading brewer in Vietnam, listed nearly 641.3 million shares (SAB) at a starting price of 110,000 VND (4.89 USD) per share on the HCM Stock Exchange (HOSE) on December 6.

    Addressing the first transaction, Nguyen Thi Lien Hoa, Vice Chairwoman of the State Securities Commission of Vietnam (SSC) praised the joint efforts made by the company management and employees to conduct the listing in line with the Government’s schedule.

    Sabeco is the 399th company listed on HOSE with charter capital exceeding 6.4 trillion VND (282.1 million USD). It is the fifth largest listed firm on Vietnam’s stock market with its market capitalization exceeding seven trillion VND (308 million USD), according to Hoa.

    As per the company’s nine-month financial report, its net revenue is more than 21.8 trillion (959.6 million USD), an increase of nearly 9 percent year on year, while its pre-tax profit is more than 4.5 trillion (198.44 million USD), an increase of 21 percent year on year.

    Belgian regions’ firms seek to invest in HCM City

    Authorities of Ho Chi Minh City are willing to support and create the most favourable conditions for enterprises from the Flanders and Brussels regions of Belgium and those from other localities of Belgium, to effectively invest in the city, a municipal official has said.

    Vice Chairman of the municipal People’s Committee Le Van Khoa made the affirmation at a meeting with Belgian Ambassador to Vietnam Jehanne Roccas, who led a delegation of businesses from the regions to seek investment opportunities in Vietnam.

    Khoa said he believes the visit will contribute to expanding economic and investment links between HCM City and the Belgian localities.

    HCM City is calling for investment and cooperation in tourism, flood prevention, waste treatment, public transport development, clean energy and green growth, he revealed.

    Jehanne Roccas said the delegation, which includes economic experts and representatives from 27 prestigious companies of the regions, is very interested in and put faith in the city’s investment climate.

    Belgian firms are ready to share their experience in issues related to urban development, such as water management, waste treatment, and sustainable urban development, she noted.

    Working sessions between the delegation and the municipal authorities helped promote mutual understanding, laying a foundation for their cooperation in potential fields such waterway transport development, seaport and climate change adaptation, she said.

    The same day, representatives from a number of departments and sectors of HCM City had a working session with the delegation, during which they discussed cooperation orientations  in urban infrastructure development,  waster waste management, and human resources serving green urban development.-

    Vinamit products earn USDA, Ecocert organic certificates

    Dried fruit producer, Vinamit JSC, annouced that it has secured organic certificates for cultivation and processing of farm produce issued by the US Department of Agriculture and EU-based Ecocert organisation.

    80 products, three farms and two processing and packaging lines of Vinamit have fulfilled criteria from the two institutions.

    Richard de Boer from the Control Union Certifications said Vinamit’s strength is having remote farms with upstream water sources, which are yet to be affected by human and industrial activities.

    The company has long produced clean products, making it easier for Vinamit to gain organic certification, he noted.

    Vinamit Chairman Nguyen Lam Vien said the accreditation opens the door for Vietnamese dried fruit to enter markets with higher demands on import quality, such as the US, EU and Japan.

    Established in 1988, Vinamit, which is headquartered in the southern province of Binh Duong, posts annual average growth of between 30 percent and 50 percent.

    The company has also obtained certificates from the US Food and Drug Administration and produces Halal and Kosher products. It is also ready to receive certificates from the BRC Food Safety Standard and the International Featured Standards in early 2017.

    VN seeks more ASEAN trade
       
    The Government will review Viet Nam’s farming products – such as seafood, rice, vegetables, pepper, coffee, cashew nuts and rubber, and Halal products for Muslim people - in order to increase exports to ASEAN member states. The review will also include building material, steel and steel products in order to promote trade activities with the bloc.

    According to an announcement this week by the Government Office, the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MOIT) has been tasked with disseminating trade regulations and commitments to ASEAN to raise awareness of managers, businesses and people about the opportunities and challenges in those markets.

    Deputy Prime Minister Trinh Dinh Dung told a recent meeting about trade relations between Viet Nam and ASEAN that he had also asked the ministry to identify the demand for goods in ASEAN markets and analyse the competitiveness of markets with similar economic conditions and production capacity as Viet Nam’s. Based on the analysis, the ministry will identify which products have an advantage for export to ASEAN countries.

    The MOIT will also organise trade promotion activities with the participation of relevant associations and enterprises to seek new business opportunities and partners. The deputy PM also demanded that the ministry update market information and introduce Vietnamese products to foreign markets, as well as organising annual fairs in potential markets to advertise images and trademarks of Viet Nam’s enterprises and commodities.

    He requested that the MOIT work with relevant agencies to create favorable conditions for Vietnamese businesses to build distribution systems abroad, as well as enter into and establish long-term strategic partnerships with distribution chains in the ASEAN member nations.

    Meanwhile, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and the Ministry of Science and Technology will review trade barriers of importing nations, especially those concerning quarantine and food quality and safety, and work with authorised bodies in the importing countries to solve difficulties in exporting goods from Viet Nam to those countries, especially farming products, Deputy PM Dung said.

    According to the General Department of Customs, the export value from Viet Nam to ASEAN markets in the first half of this year dropped by 12.8 per cent year-on-year to US$8.08 billion, while import value to Viet Nam from ASEAN fell by 4.8 per cent year-on-year to $11.38 billion. The drop was due to declining commodity prices on the world market.

    Update mortgage law, experts say
       
    Legal regulations on settling mortgaged assets must be streamlined to help credit institutions solve non-performing loans (NPLs), participants at a conference held in Ha Noi said on December 6.

    At the conference on credit institutions’ rights to settle mortgaged assets, participants said NPLs with mortgaged assets account for up to 90 per cent of the country’s total NPLs. However, creditors are facing obstacles in settling mortgaged assets due to an incomplete and unsuitable legal framework.

    The institutions said many legal regulations have no detailed instructions on dealing with mortgaged assets. Therefore, it takes a long time to deal with the assets.

    In addition, the slow judgment process also negatively impacts credit institutions’ business performance, wasting time and money to recoup toxic debts.

    Deputy Governor of the State Bank of Viet Nam Nguyen Kim Anh admitted that the efficient collateral settlement requires a legal system with uniformity, transparency and consistentcy. It must also be respectful of the legitimate rights of creditors.

    The law must create a legal framework for the parties involved, especially for the creditors to be able to enforce their legitimate rights under the agreement.

    “It is also necessary to establish mechanisms that allow the parties to choose a way to handle the debts with regard to mortgaged assets quickly, conveniently and effectively. At the same time, the legal system must be strictly adhered to by the involved parties,” Anh said.

    At the conference, participants said while handling mortgaged assets, the first priority must be to protect the interests of creditors rather than debtors and this must be specified in the provisions related to secured transactions and settling of collateral.

    Expert Nguyen Dinh Anh said economically, the credit institutions’ right in settling mortgaged assets includes their right to use the assets to offset losses caused by bad debts. But when creditors handle the assets, they receive no co-operation from debtors and sometimes the relationship becomes confrontational or even fiercely conflicting.

    “The right to handle collateral cannot be executed quickly, efficiently and effectively unless the awareness of the rights, benefits and obligations of all involved parties in the credit relationship is established properly based on feasible and suitable legal basis, in accordance with actual conditions in Viet Nam, as well as proximity to international practices and standards,” Anh said.

    Lawyer Nguyen Thi Phuong, deputy head of the Viet Nam Banks Association’s Legal Club, said the right to settle mortgaged assets of credit institutions is a civil right. Therefore, the institutions have the right to settle the collateral according to their will with the preconditions not being contrary to the fundamental principles of the civil law and not causing damage to other persons.

    Participants at the conference also proposed that the Ministry of Justice work closely with the State Bank of Viet Nam, the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources, the Ministry of Public Security, the Ministry of Finance and the Supreme People’s Court to submit plans to the Government for issuance of a decree on solving mortgaged assets early.

    According to the participants, the 2015 Civil Code, which will take effect on January 1, 2017, has no specific provisions for the seizure of mortgaged assets. The Ministry of Justice, therefore, should co-ordinate with agencies and relevant agencies to study and supplement detailed instructions on the rights of the secured party for the settlement of collateral in case the guarantor becomes uncooperative or opposes it.

    Deputy Governor Anh said that the central bank and relevant ministries and agencies would scrutinise all the recommendations proposed at the event to streamline the legal framework involved in settling mortgaged assets to assist credit institutions in solving bad debts legally.

    Car registration fees to drop
       
    The Ministry of Finance has changed the way it calculates registration fees for new vehicles, a move expected to reduce expenses for car buyers.

    The new calculation is expected to enter into effect on January 1, 2017.

    According to a draft circular, the new calculation will be based on the cars’ list price, and will thus drop five per cent every two years, until ten years from the production date.

    For example, if a new car version rolled out in early 2017 costs VND1 billion, the price of a new car of the same type but of an older version, made in 2011, will be VND850 million.

    Nguyen Van Nghia, a resident of HCM City’s Thu Duc District, told local media that he recently bought an imported Toyota Camry produced in 2013, but its registration fee was calculated according to the new price of the same kind made in 2016. The car’s list price was VND2 billion and he had to pay a registration fee of 10 per cent of the car value, or VND200 million.

    "Under the new calculation,’ he said, "if I buy the car early next year, I will have to pay only VND180 million for the registration fee. I can save VND20 million.”

    “A buyer can save VND40-50 million which depends on the car value,” said Nghia.

    The marketing director of Ford Vietnam, Truong Kim Phong, said the new calculation would benefit customers, especially if they buy imported cars that are more expensive.

    The general manager of Lien A International Joint Stock Company, Nguyen Tan Trung, said a drop in registration fees would not only benefit customers but also auto companies. The auto businesses would have the opportunity to reduce the selling price and boost sales.

    Insiders predict that 2017 will be a busy year for the automobile industry due to the reduced registration fee and lower tax of vehicles imported from ASEAN member states.

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


    0 0
  • 12/08/16--17:47: Article 4
  • LED market in Vietnam to grow


    The light emitting diode (LED) market in Vietnam is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 18.2 per cent from 2016-2022, reaching $729 million by 2022, according to the report “Vietnam LEDs market – drivers, opportunities, trends & forecasts: 2015-2022” created by Research & Markets.


     LED market in Vietnam to grow, vietnam economy, business news, vn news, vietnamnet bridge, english news, Vietnam news, news Vietnam, vietnamnet news, vn news, Vietnam net news, Vietnam latest news, Vietnam breaking news

    The lighting segment is expected to make the largest contribution to economic growth due to the entry of large multi-national companies (MNCs), decreasing LED prices, and industrial development of the Vietnamese market.

    Many international players have already established factories in the country in order to reap the benefits of the growing market. Some of the more prominent players in the Vietnam LED market are Osram, Philips and New Light LED Technology Ltd.

    The study covers and analyzes the Vietnam LED market, bringing out the complete key insights of the industry. It aims to provide an opportunity for players to understand the latest trends, current market scenario, government initiatives, and technologies related to the market. In addition, it also helps venture capitalists understand the companies better and make informed decisions. 

    The LED market in Vietnam has been analyzed based on several categories - lighting, displays & backlights, mobile devices, signs & boards and others. Those categories have been divided into the sub-categories of indoor lighting and outdoor lighting and those two categories have been divided into three segments which are bulbs, streetlights, and spotlights.

    The capability to manufacture LED products in Vietnam is constantly improving and the established trade relations between Vietnam and China will be helpful in sourcing LEDs for factories.

    Many international players have already established their factories in the country in order to reap the benefits of the growing market.

    The Vietnam market is one of the fastest growing markets in Southeast Asia. The growing economy is also giving rise to hindrances such as electricity supply shortages and price hikes. LED-based lighting is currently being hailed as a solution to increasing electricity costs as it uses 30-90 per cent less electricity than other lighting sources.

    Furthermore, high economic growth has also resulted in rapid urbanization in the country. This ongoing trend will not only increase the pressure on the existing infrastructure but will also demand new and better infrastructure in both commercial and residential categories. This is expected to boost the LED demand in Vietnam during the forecast period.

    VN Economic Times


older | 1 | .... | 401 | 402 | (Page 403) | 404 | 405 | .... | 495 | newer