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 | .... | 405 | 406 | (Page 407) | 408 | 409 | .... | 495 | newer

    0 0
  • 12/20/16--02:03: Article 6
  • Is Vietnam’s aviation sector becoming too hot?


    Minister of Transport Truong Quang Nghia’s view that it is necessary to tighten control over flight licensing to pave the way for development of other modes of transport has raised controversy.

     vietnamnet bridge, english news, Vietnam news, news Vietnam, vietnamnet news, Vietnam net news, Vietnam latest news, Vietnam breaking news, vn news, Vietnam Airlines, CAAV, MOT

    Nghia said people now prefer traveling by air instead of railway, which has caused overloading at airports and made it difficult for the railway to attract customers.

    In the immediate time, air carriers may have to cut down the numbers of flights on Tet days in order to ease the overloading. Analysts have warned that if this happens, the airfare will escalate.

    Head of the Central Institute of Economic Management (CIEM) Nguyen Dinh Cung said the state encourages healthy competition and in such conditions, it is unreasonable to think that the aviation sector has to grow at a rate that fits the readiness of the infrastructure.

    He said competition is the driving force for development, and if railways wants to develop, it needs to offer good services and competitive ticket prices. It is a blunder to force air carriers to reduce the number of flights so that passengers have to shift to rail.

    “It is passengers’ right to choose to travel by air or by rail. MOT must not make the decisions for them,” Cung said.

    In the immediate time, air carriers may have to cut down the numbers of flights on Tet days in order to ease the overloading. Analysts have warned that if this happens, the airfare will escalate.

    He said that it is the job of the state management agency to give forecasts about supply and demand, and to develop infrastructure so as to satisfy demand.

    Nguoi Lao Dong quoted an aviation expert as saying that the hot development of the Vietnam’s aviation sector in recent years is small compared with the growth rates in the region and the world. The ratio of passengers traveling by air in Vietnam remains low.

    A report shows that air carriers served 30 million Thai passengers on domestic flights in 2015, while Thailand’s population is 68 million. Vietnam served 22.5 million passengers while it has more than 90 million people.

    Vu Dinh Anh, a renowned economist, commented that the travel demand would be increasing on Tet days. Meanwhile, if air carriers reduce flights on the days, the airfare would be increasing as the supply is short.

    Regarding the development of railroads in Vietnam, former Deputy Minister of Transport La Ngoc Khue said: “We have nearly forgotten about it”.

    For many years, the railway sector has been serving passengers with infrastructure that is one hundred years old.

    Experts said instead of trying to save the railway sector by scaling down the aviation sector, it would be better for the transport ministry to have reasonable policies to encourage its development.

    Luong Bang, VNN


    0 0
  • 12/20/16--02:23: Article 5
  • Social News 20/12


    Central highland province to host first culture festival

    The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism recently decided to organise the first ever Culture, Sports and Tourism Festival for Ethnic Groups in Central Highland Provinces in Gia Lai Province at the end of 2017.

    The event will gather ethnic groups from five provinces in the region - Kon Tum, Đắc Lắc, Đắk Nông, Gia Lai and Lâm Đồng.

    The event will highlight the groups’ traditional costumes, religious ceremonies, daily lifestyle, cuisine, folk games and arts.

    Tuyen Quang to grow 11,400 ha of forests in 2017


     Central highland province to host first culture festival, Tuyen Quang to grow 11,400 ha of forests in 2017, Vietnamese workers in RoK get together, Man sentenced to 10 years for causing serious accident

    The northern mountainous province of Tuyen Quang has set to plant 11,400 hectares of new forests in 2017, raising its forest coverage to over 60 percent. 

    The area of new productive forests will amount 11,150 hectares while the remainder will be for protection and special forests.

    Tuyen Quang will grant the land use right of 50 years to families who register to grow new forests, for both productive and protection forests.

    Besides, local authorities also guide forestry farms and nurseries to provide  seedlings for forest growers.

    The province has mobilised social resources to protect and grow productive forests and support forest regeneration in a bid to strengthen ecological system protection and natural disaster prevention efforts.

    Tuyen Quang province expects to exploit more than 9,750 hectares of planted forests for over 844,000 cubic metres of wood in 2017.

    The province currently has nearly 435,000 hectares of forest land, including 47,000 hectares of special forest, 121,600 hectares of protection forest and over 266,400 hectares of productive forest.

    In 2016, more than 10,940 hectares of new forests have been grown in the province.

    Top Bình Dương inspector dies in car accident

    The chief inspector of the southern province of Bình Dương’s Agriculture and Rural Development Department, Phạm Minh Thái, was killed in a car accident yesterday.

    The accident happened while he was driving from the provincial administrative centre to Phạm Ngọc Thạch Street in Thủ Dầu Một city.

    His four-seat Toyota car suddenly veered to the right and crashed into a lamp post.

    Vietnamese workers in RoK get together

    A get-together among over 400 Vietnamese guest workers in the Republic of Korea took place in Incheon on December 19.

    Co-organised by the Vietnam Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs (MoLISA), the RoK Human Resources Development Service and Incheon Foreign Workers Centre, the event featured a musical concert and a prize draw sponsored by the Vietnam Airlines and other businesses. 

    Officials in charge of overseas labour affairs from MoLISA, offered direct consultations for participating workers concerning administrative procedures upon their returning home. Meanwhile, some experienced workers shared their knowledge and advised their peers to leave when work permits expire to obtain preferential policies from both governments.  

    Speaking at the gathering, Tran Anh Vu from the Vietnamese Embassy in the RoK lauded effective cooperation between the two nations’ labour agencies.

    He highlighted their signing of a memorandum of understanding on the Employment Permit System (EPS) programme in last May, which has reopened opportunities for Vietnamese workers to enter the RoK after five-year interruption due to illegal stay in the past.

    Vu took note of progress recorded in current situation of Vietnamese workers in the RoK thanks to their workers’ better legal awareness and support policies issued through cooperation of Vietnamese and Korean state agencies. 

    He took the occasion to greet the community a happy New Year and presented certificates of merit for some outstanding workers.

    Le Manh Hung, deputy head of the MoLISA’s Overseas Workers Centre, said the EPS programme has brought positive outcomes after 12 years of implementation.

    It has helped more than 90,000 Vietnamese labourers enter the RoK, with over 40,000 people still working in the host nation, he added.

    He also pointed to problems hindering the programme that include job switch without clear reasons, unfavorable employer-worker relationships and illegal residence.

    According to Hung, 40 percent of Vietnam’s workers staying longer their work permits issued by the host nation, 20 percent higher than the average figure for other countries. 

    More than 16,000 Vietnamese migrant worker are staying illegally in the RoK.

    Help extended to flood victims in Binh Dinh

    Domestic and foreign organisations and individuals have sent more than 30 billion VND since December 16 to help flood victims in the central province of Binh Dinh. 

    Floods triggered by torrential rains since early December have claimed 16 lives during 10 days from December 11 to 18 while two others went missing. More than 6,150 houses were submerged. 

    On December 19, the Vietinbank handed over 200 houses, each costing 50 million VND, to poor families in six districts in Binh Dinh. 

    The bank pledged to build 300 more houses for families who lost their homes during the recent floods. 

    The same day, the Hoa Sen Group committed 600 million VND in aid to the province. 

    According to Director of Binh Dinh Education and Training Department Dao Duc Tuan, the education sector of the province suffered losses amounting to 30 billion VND after five consecutive floods in the past month. Schools are flooded, classroom equipment such as desks and computers are damaged, and more than 50,000 students lost all their school textbooks.

    Since early December, eight school children also died as a consequence of floods. 

    Binh Dinh has asked the Government to exempt school fees in the second semester for all students in the province. 

    Rains have eased in the area but many low-lying areas in Binh Dinh are still deep in water.

    Mountainous districts access electricity before Tet

    More than 9,100 families in three districts of the northern mountainous province of Son La have been connected to the national grid, just one month before Lunar New Year 2017.

    This is the result of a two-year project to bring electricity to 120 mountainous villages across nine communes in Mai Son, Thuan Son and Song Ma districts in Son La.

    Addressing the celebration of the project’s conclusion on December 17, Chairman of Son La People’s Committee Cam Ngoc Minh said that the project will facilitate poverty alleviation efforts and the building of new rural areas in disadvantaged localities, thus improving local people’s lives.

    The project also brings the proportion of residents in Son La having access to electricity to 86.7 percent. The figure is expected to reach 97.5 percent in 2020.

    On the occasion, the Electricity of Vietnam (EVN) Northern Power Corporation launched another project to bring electricity to 114 villages in four districts of Thuan Chau, Muong La, Bac Yen and Phu Yen in Son La.   

    The project will be carried out from 2016 to 2018 at an estimated cost of 378 billion VND (16.6 million USD). Upon its completion, additional 4,700 families will be connected to the national grid.

    Alumni club helps promote Vietnam-Japan friendship

    Vietnamese alumni in Japan have made significant contributions to strengthening the friendship between the two countries, said Japanese Ambassador to Vietnam Umeda Kunio.

    Addressing at a ceremony making the 15 years of the Club of Vietnamese Alumni in Japan in Hanoi on December 18, the diplomat affirmed that the embassy is willing to support Vietnamese students pursuing their study in his country. 

    Ngo Minh Thuy, President of the club, highlighted the organisation’s development and operation over the last 15 years, saying that it has so far admitted over 1,500 members and closely connected with the alumni associations of Southeast Asian nations in Japan.  

    Through the club, dozens of Vietnamese junior pupils and students have joined short-term exchange programmes in Japan. Additionally, the club selected and sent postgraduates and young PhDs from Vietnam to pursue higher training courses in Japan under scholarship programmes funded by the Japanese Government and the Toshiba International Foundation.  

    According to Thuy, the club have also arranged many exchange programmes, gatherings, workshops and exhibitions, contributing to promoting cultural exchange between the two countries, and helping Vietnamese young people get deeper insights into Japan’s culture and education. 

    The number of Vietnamese people learning Japanese language increased to 65,000 in 2015 from only 10,000 16 years ago.

    And, the number of Vietnamese students in Japan reached nearly 40,000 in 2015, up nearly 40 times from 2000. Vietnamese students formed the second largest community among over 200,000 international students from more than 170 countries studying in Japan, just after China.

    Vietnamese scientists in France contribute to homeland

    Outstanding Vietnamese scientists and experts living in France gathered at a meeting in Paris on December 17 to seek ways to contribute more to the home country’s development.

    In opening the meeting, Vietnamese Ambassador to France Nguyen Ngoc Son said the Vietnamese community in France has the right to feel proud of the many intellectuals and scientists who studied in France and made significant contributions to the home nation development over the past nearly one century.

    He honoured such outstanding scholars as Tran Dai Nghia, Pham Ngoc Thach, Ta Auang Buu, Le Tham Thiem, Ho Dac Di, Tran Huu Tuoc, among others.

    Many others are currently involved in numerous projects and works in Vietnam, contributing actively to the nation’s development, Son said, citing as examples Professors Tran Thanh Van, Le Kim Ngoc, Nguyen Khac Nhan, Le Van Cuong and Nguyen Quy Dao.

    The Ambassador stressed that the Vietnamese Party and the State have identified science and technology as the first priority to in efforts to narrow the development gap between Vietnam and other nations. Therefore, thousands of Vietnamese experts and scientists living and working in France will be a great force to help Vietnam reap benefits from the fourth industrial revolution and success in international integration and development. 

    Prof. Nguyen Duc Khuong, President of the Association of Vietnamese Scientists and Experts in France (AVSE) introduced the network of Vietnamese experts and scientists in France recently set up by the Association.

    For his part, Prof. Nguyen Quy Dao, Emeritus Research Director of the French National Institute for Scientific Research (CNRS) introduced a France – Vietnam cooperation programme on training engineers with the participation of 10 French Universities and four Vietnamese partners. 

    During the meeting, participants also expressed their concern over the modest pace of national development and suggested measures to counter challenges facing numerous fields, including health care, culture, and urban development.

    Stronger forestry laws needed: officials

    Ineffective forest management has exposed shortcomings in the 2004 Law on Forest Protection and Development that need to be addressed through amendments, officials said at a conference on December 16.

    Participants at the national conference in the capital city said the law defined the forest as an ecosystem but failed to clarify the scale and minimum areas involved. Criteria for forest trees was also lacking, they said.

    Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Ha Cong Tuan said the law only focused on managing, protecting, developing and using wood but did not pay attention to the value of the forest environment services.

    The value of such services was much higher than that of wood, he said, adding that annual implementation of the policy on forest environment services netted revenues equal to 22 percent of total social investments in the forestry sector.

    He also said the law should also be amended to deal with shortcomings relating to forest classification, renewing forest land allocation and leasing of forest land to households. This must be done to exempt them from land use taxes and land rental fees, thus encouraging the planting of new forests.

    More regulations were also needed on forestry product processing and trade activities, as also credit outlays for the sector, he said.

    The changes should facilitate investment in protecting and sustainably developing the nation’s forests, he added.

    Nguyen Ba Ngai, Deputy Head of the Vietnam Forestry Administration, proposed that provisions are added on allocating forest land to residents so that forest management becomes efficient,

    In several localities, residential communities have proved to be very effective forest managers

    Participants also proposed changing the name of the law to the Law on Forestry.

    They wanted to increase punishments for forest protection and management violations and speed up application of science and technology advances in forest protection and management.

    The draft amendments to the law will be submitted to the Ministry of Justice for appraisal this month before it is submitted to the Government and the National Assembly.

    Hau Giang: Erosion makes relocation urgent for 9,000 households

    Nearly 9,000 households with tens of thousands of people in the Mekong Delta province of Hau Giang are being affected by riverbank erosion and need to be relocated early to ensure their safety.

    Among them, more than 1,000 households reside in areas with high risk of erosion, Nguyen Trong Uyen, head of the southern branch of the National Institute of Agricultural Planning and Projection, said at a recent meeting.

    Erosion occurs mainly along the Cai Con, Cai Dau, Mai Dam, Nga Sau and Xa No rivers. It is triggered by the movement of high-speed boats and uncontrolled sand exploitation on rivers which changes the flowing direction of rivers and canals.

    Mushrooming construction along riverbank and climate change impacts, including sea level rise, have also deteriorated erosion, he noted.

    Nguyen Van Phien, Vice Chairman of the Chau Thanh district People’s Committee, said erosion on local rivers and canals is growing more frequent and serious. Hundreds of influenced families now need to be resettled in better places. However, his district has no residential land areas that are big enough to settle them.

    The national institute branch said Hau Giang should build concentrated residential areas to relocate households in high-risk areas, or settle them in existing communities which are in safer places. Meanwhile, authorities should assist families in low-risk areas to settle down right in these areas.

    The branch estimated that nearly 600 billion VND (26.37 million USD) will be needed to relocate people in erosion-prone areas from now to 2030, mainly to build concentrated residential areas, upgrade infrastructure in existing communities to receive affected families, and provide direct assistance to displaced people.

    VOV marks 70 years of broadcasting appeal for national resistance day

    The Voice of Vietnam (VOV) held a ceremony in Hanoi on December 19 to mark 70 years since it spread broadcast President Ho Chi Minh’s appeal for National Resistance Day.

    VOV General Director Nguyen The Ky said the VOV was the first press agency to broadcast the appeal from Tram cave in Chuong My district (now a district of Hanoi) on the morning of December 20, 1946. 

    Together with broadcasting the Proclamation of Independence on September 2, 1945, the event was a milestone in the histories of Vietnam and the revolutionary press as well as the VOV, he added.

    The same day, to mark the 70th anniversary of the National Resistance Day (December 19) and the 25th founding anniversary of a patriotic liaison board in Hoa Lo prison, Secretary of the municipal Party Committee Hoang Trung Hai visited the relic site and met former war prisoners.

    In the same vein, the Vietnam Cinema Department announced that a film-screening week will take place between December 19 and 22 to commemorate the National Resistance Day and the 72nd founding anniversary of the People’s Army of Vietnam (December 22, 1944 – 2016).

    Nam Dinh leaders send Christmas greetings to Catholic community

    Leaders of the northern province of Nam Dinh on December 19 visited local Catholic dignitaries and followers to wish them a merry and Christmas as the event is already around the corner.

    Visiting Bishop Vu Dinh Hieu and Catholic dignitaries and followers in Bui Chu Bishop’s Palace in Xuan Truong district, Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee Pham Dinh Nghi lauded the Catholic community’s contribution to the local development.

    Nghi underscored that local Catholics have actively responded to movements to build the province by donating land for road expansion, erecting public works and implementing the new-style rural area building programmes.

    They have also promoted mutual support in poverty reduction, while joining hands in safeguarding the social order and security, he noted.

    On his part, Bishop Vu Dinh Hieu thanked Nam Dinh leaders for their support to the Catholic community, pledging that the community will continue engaging in the building and reinforcement of the national unity bloc as well as the socio-economic growth in the province.

    Nam Dinh is home to 680 Catholic dioceses with over 400,000 followers, accounting for 21.5 percent of the province’s total population.

    Party leader visits General Department of Military Intelligence

    Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong has hailed the military intelligence service’s efforts to diversify its operations, contributing to national construction and defense.

    During his visit to the General Department of Military Intelligence on December 19, the Party leader described the agency as a crucial and trustworthy force for the Party, State and army. 

    The Party chief said he is confident that the General Department will continue to fulfill its assigned missions in the years to come.

    His visit was made to commemorate the 72nd anniversary of the Vietnam People’s Army (VPA).

    Regarding the complicated developments in the region and the world, Trong underscored the need to take heed to ensuring the national security and defence along with the socio-economic development.  

    He stressed the Party’s viewpoint of building a regular, elite and modern revolutionary army with combined strength and high combating level while maintaining and enhancing the absolute and direct leadership of the Party over the army.

    111 people killed, missing due to floods in central Vietnam since October

    A total of 111 people have lost their lives or gone missing after falling victim to repeated floods that struck the central part of Vietnam since October.

    The casualties were reported during a teleconference chaired by Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc on December 17, which was aimed at discussing measures to cope with the consequences brought about by floods in central provinces.

    According to the Vietnamese head of government, as floodwater has subsided at a slow pace, the top priority must be given to rescuing and providing assistance for the affected residents, as well as preventing starvation, epidemics, and further damage.

    Local authorities were urged to exert maximum efforts to help people repair their houses and deal with other consequences.

    Deputy Prime Minister Trinh Dinh Dung attributed the exacerbation of flooding to the poor management of local reservoirs and hydroelectric projects.

    The deputy premier ordered relevant agencies to closely monitor the operation and safety of over 600 reservoirs in the central provinces and the Central Highlands.

    According to the Department of Natural Disaster Prevention and Control, torrential rains and floods that have ravaged the central region since mid-October have caused 111 people to die or go missing and injured some 121 others.

    A total of 316,720 houses were submerged and damaged while about 42,800 hectares of paddy and 39,200 hectares of crops were destroyed.

    Many farmers in the central provinces have lost spaces for agriculture and aquaculture to floodwaters, with total damage estimated at over VND8.5 trillion (US$37.4 million), the department stated.

    Large areas of flower gardens, which are to be decorations for the upcoming Lunar New Year holiday, have also been devastated by the inundation, causing immense losses for the owners.

    During the meeting, leaders of the affected localities called on the central government to provide support for flood victims to restore their daily life and production, requesting the emergency supply of 5,850 metric tons of rice and some five metric tons of dry food.

    Hoang Duc Cuong, director of the National Center for Hydro-meteorological Forecasting, warned of the coming of another wave of flood in the region between December 26 and 28, with rainfall expected to total about 300 millimeters.

    The bad weather condition is the result of a tropical depression forming in the East Vietnam Sea, combined with a cold front, Cuong elaborated.

    HCM City receives over 5.2 million foreign visitors in 2016

    More than 5.2 million foreign tourists visited Ho Chi Minh City in 2016, a rise of 10% against last year, said the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism.

    Meanwhile, the number of domestic visitors reached 21.8 million. Gross income of the City’s tourism hit VND103 trillion (US$4.5 billion), increasing 9% year-on-year.

    HCM City currently has nearly 2,200 accommodation establishments and 1,314 travel agencies (including 647 international travel ones and nine representative offices of foreign travel companies).

    The City aims to greet 5.5 million foreign visitors and 24 million domestic tourists in 2017 and rake in a total tourism income of VND112 trillion (US$4.9 billion).

    In 2015, it received 4.6 million foreign visitors and 19.3 million domestic tourists, up 4.6 and 13% year-on-year, respectively.

    Tourism earnings reached VND94.6 trillion (over US$4.1 billion), a year-on-year increase of 10%.

    Man sentenced to 10 years for causing serious accident

    The Long Biên District People’s Court in Hà Nội this morning sentenced a 39-year-old man to 10 years imprisonment for violating regulations on driving road vehicles.

    Nguyễn Quang Vinh, from Bồ Đề Ward, Long Biên District, caused a serious accident in the district at the beginning of the year.

    The indictment showed that Vinh was working for a car wash in the district and did not hold a driver’s licence.

    The Camry he was driving at the time belonged to one of his customers, who left the vehicle along with the key at Vinh’s workplace on February 29 this year.

    Vinh then got into the car and drove it at high speed on Ái Mộ Street, mowing down two people on a motorcycle and a pedestrian travelling in the opposite direction.

    The three victims included Trần Viết Tiến, 64, and his six-year-old granddaughter, Trần Gia Hân, who were on the motorbike, and a woman named Nguyễn Thị Chúc, 47.

    The vehicle then collided with another car before crashing into several motorcycles that were parked on the sidewalk before finally coming to a stop in front of a house.

    The victims were thrown about 10 metres by the force of the impact, with Tiến and Chúc killed on the spot, while Hân succumbed to her injuries on the way to the hospital.

    The Camry automobile sustained damages amounting to VNĐ270 million (US$12,000).

    Nhân Dân Gia Định Hospital celebrates 100th anniversary

    Nhân Dân Gia Định Hospital, one of largest general hospitals in HCM City, plans to use more high-tech medical treatments and buy more state-of-the-art equipment to improve medical quality, Dr. Nguyễn Anh Dũng, director of the hospital, has said.

    Construction of a new 15-storey building at the hospital begins next year. It is expected to open in 2019.

    Last Friday, the hospital was awarded a Second-class Labor Medal from the President at its 100th anniversary ceremony.

    The 1,500-bed hospital receives 3,000-4,000 outpatients every day.

    The top-tier hospital is also a practice centre for medical students from the HCM City University of Medical and Pharmacy, Phạm Ngọc Thạch University of Medicine and other medical schools in the southern region.

    HCM City records 43 cases of mumps

    Two primary schools in HCM City have recorded a total of 43 cases of mumps among students in two outlying districts, the city’s Preventive Medicine Centre said yesterday.

    Thirty cases have occurred at Hóc Môn District’s Tân Xuân Primary School, and 13 at Lê Văn Thọ Primary School in District 12.

    The city’s Preventive Medical Centre, as well district preventive medical clinics and health clinics, are monitoring the outbreak of mumps.

    Doctors said that parents should take children with symptoms to the hospital and keep them at home to avoid transmitting the virus to others.

    They also urged parents to have their children vaccinated and to instruct their children to wash their hands thoroughly when they are at school.

    Trial continues for record drug case

    A preliminary hearing today launched the second phase of the trial concerning the biggest drug trafficking case in Vietnamese history.

    At the centre of the case is Hoàng Văn Tiến, born in 1978 in the northern Sơn La Province, Trần Thu Hằng, born in 1978 in the northern Bắc Giang Province and dozens of other defendants.

    During the 2003-13 period, apart from 5,346 heroin cakes, Tiến and his partners in crime traded some 35,000 synthetic drug tablets and 1,100 grams of crystal meth in Hà Nội and the northern provinces of Thái Nguyên, Bắc Ninh, Bắc Giang and Lạng Sơn, according to the 2013 indictment by the provincial People’s Procuracy, making it the biggest drug trafficking case in Việt Nam.

    The provincial investigative police seized 22 heroin cakes, nearly 33 grams of Ketamine, 60 tablets of synthetic drugs, over 1 gram of Methaphetamine and 122 grams of dried marijuana.

    It was considered by the jury as a particularly dangerous case, involving heroin trade from Laos to Việt Nam to China and vice versa, with the use of several military weapons.

    The preliminary hearing was conducted by the provincial People’s Court at the detention centre of the provincial police.

    Twenty-five defendants are being prosecuted during this phase of the trial.

    The trial is expected to last until December 30.  

    In the preliminary hearing on 89 defendants during phase I of the trial held in January 2014, 30 defendants were sentenced to death and 13 to life imprisonment by the provincial People’s Court.

    Nghệ An police seize 370kg smuggled sparklers, firecrackers

    The traffic police seized 270kg of sparklers and 100kg of firecrackers being smuggled into the central province of Nghệ An in two separate incidents on Sunday.

    Traffic police officials were patrolling National Road No 48 when they got suspicious and stopped a coach for inspection. On checking, officials found 10,800 sticks of Chinese sparklers, weighing around 270kg. Coach driver Chu Minh Hải, 33, who lives in the province’s Thái Hòa Town, had no permit papers for the sparklers.

    In another incident, following a tip-off from local residents, the traffic police found three Styrofoam boxes with around 100kg of different kinds of firecrackers hidden in a coach on National Highway No 1, in Diễn Châu District’s Diễn An Commune.

    Both incidents are under investigation.

    Symposium highlights new studies on pelvic diseases

    The latest techniques in treatment and surgery for pelvic organ prolapse were highlighted on December 17 at the 11th symposium on diseases of the female pelvis held at Bình Dân Hospital in HCM City.

    Doctors at Từ Dũ Obstetrics Hospital’s gynaecological urology ward said that pelvic organ prolapse, which is the abnormal descent or herniation of the pelvic organs from their normal attachment sites or their normal position in the pelvis, occurs among more than 50 per cent of women who give birth.

    Many surgical and non-surgical treatment methods for the pelvic organ prolapse have been used in health facilities in the country, they said.

    Commonly, doctors prescribe patients to use medicine first, they added.

    And then, if the symptoms of pelvic organ prolapse, such as a pressing on the uterus, urinary problems and problems with bowel movements, do not reduce, a surgery is needed.

    Nearly 11-19 per cent of women with pelvic organ prolapse need surgery.

    Surgery for pelvic organ prolapse is used to remove the uterus, although this isn’t a  problem, said the group of doctors of Từ Dũ Obstetrics Hospital’s gynaecological urology ward.

    However, now many women with pelvic organ prolapse who need surgery for treatment do not want to remove the uterus because of different reasons including pregnancy in the future, they said.

    According to the doctors, keeping the uterus should be considered comprehensively.

    Speaking at the symposium held by the Bình Dân Hospital and the HCM City Pelvic Floor Society, Dr Đỗ Bá Hùng, deputy head of the Bình Dân Hospital, said that perineology, which is the study of pelvic diseases, is a new professional field in Việt Nam.

    Demand from patients for maintaining their physical beauty and quality of life is rising, leading to the development of perineology, Hùng said, adding that the lastest techniques in treatment, such as robotic surgery, help develop perineology.

    The training conferences are held to share experiences in treatment and update advanced technologies for treatment, he said.

    Lâm Đồng sets up traffic hotline for Tết

    The Lâm Đồng transport department has set up a 24-hour hotline so that residents can call any time about traffic violations during the Lunar New Year holidays.

    The hotline includes mobile phone numbers of department heads and the office landline numbers of several officers. Specifically, residents can contact Nguyễn Văn Gia, department deputy director, at 0913743827; Trương Văn Huấn, department chief inspector, at 0888830879; and Võ Quang Vũ, head of transport, vehicles and drivers management division, at 0903160220.

    People can also reach the inspection division office on 0633833491 and the transport, vehicles and drivers management division on 0633827244.

    The transport department said it would rope in concerned officials and punish traffic offenders based on road transport law.

    During the holidays, which begin end of January, the provincial transport police will conduct a drive to crack down on violators and ensure traffic safety. Several check points will be set up on highways No 20, 27, 27C, 55 and 28 to check vehicle speed, weight and the number of passengers on coaches, to prevent overcrowding.

    Defense ministry suggests building coast guard law

    The Ministry of National Defense has proposed the Government make a Coast Guard Law to better safeguard the nation’s sovereignty and sovereign rights, and promote national jurisdiction in the waters of Vietnam.

    In a report sent to the Government, the ministry said the country’s coast guard force has been expanded substantially after 18 years of operation, which makes several regulations in the Ordinance on Vietnam Coast Guard unsuitable with the current situation.

    The ordinance regulates the function and duty of the country’s coast guard force but does not make clear its function of protecting the country’s sovereignty, sovereign rights and jurisdiction at sea.

    Current laws have not mandated the task of dealing with situations related to maritime security and defense of the Vietnam Coast Guard.

    Meanwhile, the sovereignty, security, order and safety in Vietnam’s waters have been challenged, prompting the defense ministry to make such a proposal. The ministry suggests the Government upgrade the Ordinance into the Law on Vietnam Coast Guard.

    The law will inherit provisions of the ordinance, legalize and amend some regulations to prepare for unexpected situations which may arise.

    The Vietnam Coast Guard is a specialized law enforcement force that is tasked with protecting the country’s sovereignty, sovereign rights, and jurisdiction, ensuring national security, social order and safety in accordance with Vietnamese law and international treaties to which Vietnam is a signatory.

    HCMC eyes signature tourism products

    HCMC will focus on developing major tourism products of its strength next year in an attempt to make the city more attractive to visitors.

    The city government spoke of this orientation at a meeting last Friday with the departments of tourism, sports-culture, and transport to discuss ways to develop tourism next year.

    HCMC vice chairman Tran Vinh Tuyen required the Department of Tourism to attach farm-based tourism products with leisure travel, culinary tourism and cultivation activities in outlying areas such as Can Gio and Hoc Mon districts. The department was also told to develop sports-based tourism and arrange at least three large-scale sporting events in the city a year.

    He also urged relevant departments to organize more street art activities and light festivals to help spur tourism development. Tuyen suggested that private investors be invited to organize fireworks displays in combination with light festivals periodically.

    In addition, the city will bolster waterway tourism by operating sightseeing boats with dining service next year.

    Tuyen also mentioned the leisure and recreation service as many Japanese firms have expressed interest in investing in luxury resorts at the Cultural and Ethnic Park in District 9.

    According to the Tourism Department, the city has so far this year seen an estimated 5.2 million international arrivals, up 10% year-on-year, with strong growth from Chinese, South Korean, American and Japanese markets.

    Domestic tourists to the city are expected to rise 10% to 21.8 million this year and the city’s total tourism revenue is anticipated to rise 9% against last year to VND103 trillion (US$4.53 billion) this year.

    As for next year, the city targets to attract 5.5 million international tourists, 24 million domestic visitors, and earn VND112 trillion in tourism revenue.

    Five inspection teams to check national hospitals

    Five inspectorates under the Ministry of Health are scheduled to begin the inspection of 37 national hospitals to evaluate their quality and services, said head of the Medical Examination and Treatment Department Luong Ngoc Khue yesterday. 

    The inspection will be carried out from December 19, 2016 to January 10, 2017. Inspectors will focus on checking doctors’ skill and treatment services. Evaluation of service quality is taken as a basis to improve hospitals’ quality and ranking.

    Mr. Khue said that ranking will be done as per the Ministry’s of Health guideline which just asks hospital to  follow to make improvement to satisfy patients’ demand.

    1,300 medical facilities nationwide were ranked by themselves since 2013 to January 31, 2016 and national hospitals gained 3.5 points under standards set by the Ministry of Health), province  hospitals gained 2.8 point; and district hospitals with 2.6 points. Private hospitals have average points of 2,9.

    73 year old man honored for saving drowning girl

    Deputy Chairman of People’s Committee in the central province of Thua Thien-Hue Nguyen Van Phuong presented an old man with certificate of merit and cash as an award for saving a drowning girl.

    73 year old Nguyen Thanh Phuoc living in Huong Thuy town of the province saved 19 year old student Nguyen Thi Thuy Hang while she and her motorbike were being swept away in front of his house during heavy rainfalls on December 15th.

    She lost her drive because of strong water flow and the girl cried for help.  Hearing the cry, Phuoc’s wife called him to help her. Despite his old age and violent torrent of rain, the old man still swam to aid her.

    Battling with the strong torrent and receiving help of other two young men, they at last brought the female student to safer shelter.

    On behalf of province administrators, Deputy Chairman praised his acts to save the girl and presented cash of VND3 million as an award for his brave act.

    Mr. Thanh Phuoc is a veteran and currently he is a member of the local veteran association in Thanh Thuy Commune. Four his sons all suffered illness because he is exposed to Agent Orange which US military forces sprayed over Vietnam during Vietnam War.

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


    0 0
  • 12/20/16--02:43: Article 4
  • Japanese capital poured into ‘intensive farming’ in Vietnam


    The number of Japanese investors who want to develop agriculture and fishery projects in Vietnam is on the rise as more Vietnamese favor Japanese food items. 

     vietnamnet bridge, english news, Vietnam news, news Vietnam, vietnamnet news, Vietnam net news, Vietnam latest news, Vietnam breaking news, vn news, Japanese FDI, agriculture production, MARD

    One kilo of Japanese grapes is sold at over VND1 million in large cities in Vietnam. Despite the sky high prices, it still has been selling like hot cakes in the last two months. 

    Vietnamese consumers have also been hunting for Yoshimoto mushroom, which can be eaten raw because it is safe and fresh. The product, made by a Japanese company in Lam Dong province in Vietnam, also has very high selling price of VND500,000 per kilo at minimum.

    Their products from farms in Vietnam sell well in the country, but also could be exported back to Japan with a preferential export tariff of zero percent under the TPP Agreement.

    Analysts said the new policy of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, under which agriculture would be developed into one of the key export sectors in the next three years, will force the country to take more drastic measures to increase farm produce supply to satisfy demand for domestic consumption and export. 

    The number of Japanese investors who want to develop agriculture and fishery projects in Vietnam is on the rise as more Vietnamese favor Japanese food items. 

    Vietnam has every reason to welcome the Japanese investment wave in agriculture. About 70 percent of Vietnamese population works in agriculture, fisheries and forestry production which makes up 20 percent of the country’s GDP. 

    Its soil and weather conditions are suitable for agriculture development. Meanwhile, its geographical position allows to connect easily with neighboring markets such as ASEAN and China.

    According to JICA, the number of Japanese enterprises which want to develop agriculture projects in Vietnam has been increasing rapidly.

    OTA Kaki has a project to develop a high-quality flower market with an effective distribution network in Lam Dong province. Also in the province, Nikko Foods is implementing a $822,000 project on developing high-quality tomatoes.

    However, analysts pointed out that Japanese investment in Vietnam’s agriculture remains modest: 35 Japanese enterprises have invested $234 million in the sector so far.

    Explaining the Japanese investors’ reluctance, Nguyen Anh Minh from MARD said the long-term investment and lower investment efficiency compared with investments in industry are major risks. Meanwhile, the low productivity and quality of Vietnam’s production, and problems in supply chains in Vietnam also make them hesitant to invest.

    Japan cooperates with Vietnam in agriculture production via the Payroll Outsourcing model. Japanese companies invest in Vietnam and hire local workers to implement the projects. With the model, Vietnamese outsourcing companies can learn about their experiences, improve skills and receive technology transfer.


    Kim Chi, VNN


    0 0
  • 12/20/16--03:07: Article 3
  • BUSINESS IN BRIEF 20/12


    Coffee export volume forecast to reduce in 2017

    Although hitting the record high in 2016, coffee export is forecast to reduce next year because of output reduction, according to Vietnam Coffee and Cocoa Association.

    2016 export turnover might near $3.5 billion with over 1.8 million tons, the highest volume for the last many years. The increase has been due to inventory from previous crops when prices dropped low.

    Next year, the coffee export volume is expected to reduce at least 20 percent over the previous crop to about 1.3 million tons because of droughts and water shortage.

    Output reduction will be worse as farmers have sold out their inventory.

    Meanwhile coffee plants have been aging while farmers have cultivated other plants such as pepper and cocoa in coffee fields, causing low coffee output in the Central Highlands.

    Long lasting rains have affected the quality of coffee beans this year.

    Export turnover to reach $178 billion in 2016


     Coffee export volume forecast to reduce in 2017, Export turnover to reach $178 billion in 2016, Central city and Gifu Shinkin bank ink MoU on investment, HCM City guarantees loans worth VNĐ360 billion for SMEs

    Vietnam is likely to post the export turnover of US$178 billion and import turnover of $176 billion this year, reported Export Import Agency under the Ministry of Industry and Trade.

    Among export farm produce, coffee and pepper have seen stable growth while vegetables and fruits enjoyed strong increase with this year’s forecast turnover of $2 billion.

    However rice saw a reduction with the export volume of only 4.54 million tons equivalent to $2 billion in the first 11 months this year, down 25 percent in volume and 20 percent in value over the same period last year.

    Experts have expressed concern about unsustainable export activity because its item structure has much depended on foreign direct investment sector.

    Agricultural firms have been exporting raw materials instead of processed products while garment and textile and electronic businesses have mainly done outwork with low value.

    Central city and Gifu Shinkin bank ink MoU on investment     

    The Da Nang Investment Support and Promotion Board, and Japan’s Gifu Shinkin Bank, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on co-operation, investment promotion for small and medium-sized enterprises from Japan in the central Vietnamese coastal city.

    Gifu Shinkin, the largest bank in Gifu, Japan, has more than 156,000 customers, of which seven are Japanese enterprises in Da Nang.

    Director of the city’s Investment Support and Promotion Board, Le Canh Duong, said this was the first MoU that the board has signed with a Japanese bank.

    He said Japan is the biggest investor in Da Nang, with 113 projects worth $397.5 million – 10.78 per cent of the accumulated foreign direct investment (FDI) projects in the city – creating 32,000 jobs.

    Duong said 84 per cent of Japanese investment is focussed on manufacturing, food processing, construction and information technology, while healthcare, real estate, tourism and education have emerged as new investment fields among Japanese investors in recent years.

    Bank Chairman Masatoshi Takahashi said many Japanese investors eye Da Nang investments and are eager to explore the investment environment there.

    Takahashi said a business delegation from Aichi will visit Viet Nam next March, and Da Nang will be a favored stop.

    Đà Nẵng has smoothed the way for Japanese investors by setting up a Japanese to support investors by explaining administrative procedures, investment licences, policies and other issues.

    The city has developed an Information Park on 344ha of land in Hoa Vang District and an IT park on 55.6ha nearby, where space has been reserved for IT investors from Japan.

    The city also plans to build an industrial park for small- and medium-sized businesses from Japan on 134ha.

    Da Nang will begin construction of the Japan-Viet Nam Culture Centre in Ngu Hanh Son District and launch a new direct flight from Da Nang to Osaka next year.

    The Route Inn Group from Japan has started construction of a coastal resort, the first of its kind in Viet Nam, with a total investment of $18 million, while the Japanese JP Holdings company plans to invest in a high-quality kindergarten education project in the city from next year, with estimated capital of $5 million.

    According to the latest reports, Da Nang has attracted 423 foreign investment projects worth $3.68 billion to date.

    Last year, the board also inked a MoU with KPMG, one of the largest audit, tax and advisory firms in the world, on co-operation, investment promotion and providing service for businesses and investors in Da Nang.

    The central city greatly improved its administrative reform and Provincial Competitive Index over the past few decades, but poor investment promotion abroad has prevented key investors from approaching the city and central region in recent years. 

    HCM City guarantees loans worth VNĐ360 billion for SMEs     

    The HCM City Credit Guarantee Fund provided guarantees to eight projects of small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in 2016 so they could get loans worth a total of VND360 billion (US$16.07 million).

    The total investment of these eight projects is VND813 billion.

    More than 200 SMEs received support from the HCM City Credit Guarantee Fund this year, which includes financial consultancy.

    Credit guarantee for SMEs to procure bank loans was not as efficient as expected because of the requirement to mortgage assets, which SMEs found difficult to meet.

    However, the situation is expected to improve as policies are to be amended and loans sanctioned based on the evaluation of a project’s efficiency rather than the mortgage of assets.

    There are more than 120,000 SMEs in HCM City, which account for 96 per cent of the total number of firms in the city.

    Since it was formed in 2007, the HCM City Credit Guarantee Fund has provided loan guarantees to 121 SMEs, helping them procure loans worth VND871 billion.

    Statistics with the Finance Ministry show that there are 27 credit guarantee funds nation-wide with total charter capital of nearly VND1.5 trillion. The outstanding loans that they have guaranteed total VND361 billion.

    At a conference on December 13, Deputy Prime Minister Vuong Dinh Hue has urged that a mechanism be put in place to improve the efficiency of credit guarantee funds so they can better support SMEs, in line with Government Resolution 35 about developing businesses.

    KVFTA impact: imports from South Korea up     

    South Korean exports to Viet Nam has increased by 11.8 per cent year-on-year as of October, according to the Korea Trade Promotion Corporation (KOTRA).

    In a report released on December 19, KOTRA attributed the increase to the Viet Nam - Korea Free Trade Agreement (KVFTA), noting that it happened at a time when global trade has been sluggish.

    This rise in Vietnamese imports from Korea is also very encouraging in the context of a 2.2-per-cent increase in overall import increase for Viet Nam during the same period, the KOTRA report said.

    From January to October 2016, exports of household goods from South Korea to Viet Nam increased strongly by 14.2 per cent, especially in washing machines, on which a 5-per-cent tax was cut in accordance with the KVFTA.

    The report also cited a survey as finding up to 42 per cent out of 60 South Korean respondent exporters had reported an increase in trade with Viet Nam after the implementation of the KVFTA, and 63 per cent expected to have the same results in 2017. 

    Gov’t to offer preferential treatment to farmers involved in high-tech agriculture     

    The Government has pledged to offer preferential policies on land, financing and technology to farmers and localities engaged in high-tech agriculture.

    Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc, speaking at a conference held in HCM City on Sunday, said the five biggest commercial banks “must create the best conditions to serve farmers, organisations and localities wanting to develop high-tech agriculture”.

    The conference was held to discuss ways to develop a modern, safe agricultural sector in Viet Nam.

    "Building a hygienic and safe agriculture is a must in Viet Nam. I hope the enthusiastic participation of farmers and enterprises in high-tech agriculture will open a new chapter for agricultural development in Viet Nam, firstly providing safe food for local residents, and then exports," Phuc said.

    He pointed out that only 4,000 enterprises out of 600,000 companies invest in agriculture.

    “The mission of the Government in the coming time is to have enterprises in rural areas develop agricultural production,” he added.

    To support high-tech agriculture, Phuc said the Ministry of Trade “must consider technical barriers in order to stop cheap imported food, promote trade promotion and engineering and automation for reducing agricultural machinery; encourage super market to consume hygienic and safe food”.

    The Government will submit a proposal to the National Assembly to consider laws that would allow enterprises to own large tracts of land for high-tech agricultural production, he added.

    The Government is also considering a new land fund to take back land and support compensation.

    “The Ministry of Health must also increase food safety inspection,” he said. “The Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment should review all land policies to promote high-tech agriculture. The State Bank of Viet Nam should issue a credit policy for high-tech agricultural investment and establish funds for high-tech agriculture.”

    Seventy per cent of the population works as farmers but agricultural production contributes only 20 per cent to GDP. In developed nations, only 2 – 4 per cent of the population work as farmers but they contribute up to 40 per cent of GDP.

    “If the Government and the National Assembly can consider using large tracts of land, it will be good, because we can’t produce much on small plots of land,” said farmer Vo Quan Huy from the southern province of Long An, who exports millions of dollars of bananas and other agricultural products.

    The law only allows individuals or households to own from two to 30 hectares of land each for agricultural production.

    Farmers and enterprises have complained that they have not been able to mortgage their land at banks, and thus have had difficulties seeking bank loans.

    Truong Gia Binh, chairman of FPT, suggested the Government conduct research on building agricultural industrial parks.

    “Policies for agricultural development are limited, while open policies in land, credit, technologies are very important,” he said.

    The State Bank of Việt Nam (SBV) has said that from mid-November, the Agriculture and Rural Development Bank began preparing VND50 trillion (US$2.3 billion) to serve individuals, households, collectives and enterprises who produce hygienic, safe food at a preferential interest rate.

    “SBV has actively encouraged high-tech agriculture since 2014 by developing supply chain models,” Dao Minh Tu, deputy governor, said.

    Thirty-one projects in high-tech agriculture have joined supply chains in 22 provinces and cities with total loans of VND3 trillion ($130 million).

    “Under the programme, enterprises have already received preferential interest rates and better conditions for loans,” he added. 

    PV Trans exceeds annual business targets     

    PV Trans has witnessed the highest growth in production and business results over 14 years of building and developing the corporation, converting an enterprise facing several difficulties into a success business, PV Trans general director Pham Viet Anh has said.

    The transportation market this year faced many difficulties in business, but the corporation overcame the difficulties to achieve its business goals.

    According to PV Trans’s latest report, PetroVietnam Transportation Corporation (PV Trans), listed on Ha Noi Stock Exchange (HNX), estimated its total revenue reached VND6.08 trillion (US$267.8 million) for this whole year, or 122 per cent of its yearly plan, and post-tax profit of VND460 billion, or 164 per cent of its yearly plan.

    The corporation expects to pay VND300 billion to the State budget, or 158 per cent of the yearly plan.

    The PV Trans general director, said the parent company and all its subsidiaries have had stable, efficient and profitable operation. PV Trans, the parent company, in particular, exceeded its business targets for 2016.

    The parent company is estimated to have earned total revenue of nearly VND2.5 trillion, or 124 per cent of its yearly target, and post-tax profit of VND340 billion, or 167 per cent of the yearly plan. It paid VND170 billion for the State budget, or 162 per cent of the yearly plan, he said.

    At present, PV Trans is considered the largest fleet transporting liquid cargo in Viet Nam and one of top 50 best enterprises in Viet Nam for 2015. It is also one of the 500 largest enterprises in Viet Nam in 2016.

    It is a sea transportation business with the largest market capitalisation on HNX. Further, it also carries out large transactions with domestic and foreign investors and investment funds. 

    340 EZs and IPs operational in Vietnam

    Up to the end of November 2016, Vietnam has had 324 industrial zones spanning 91,800 ha of natural land and 16 economic zones with the total ground and water surface areas of 815 ha, according to the Ministry of Planning and Investment.

    Of the figure, 220 IPs have entered operations while the construction of 104 others is underway. 36 IPs and non-tariff areas out of 16 IZs have been established.

    There have been 6,947 foreign invested projects totally capitalized at US$110.2 billion in IZs through the nation, US$66.8 billion of the figure has been disbursed.

    Additionally, roughly 6,464 domestic projects with total registered capital of US$30.67 billion and US$15.3 billion disbursed capital have been operational in IZs.

    Aomori apples go on sale in Hanoi

    Aomori Prefecture, on the very northern tip of Japan’s main island is best known for apples— and now they have gone on sale in Hanoi and other parts of Vietnam, report company officials.

    In the future, the officials envision store shelves in Vietnam lined with a variety of products from Aomori such as apple juice, apple jam and apple pies. Maybe even an apple dressing, apple soy sauce or apple ketchup.

    In Japan the Aomori apples sell out as soon as they hit the shelves, said officials at the launch ceremony, adding they are hoping for just as great a response from shoppers at the Intimex, BigC and Unimart supermarkets in Hanoi.

    Of course, apples are not the only specialty that Aomori is proud of the said Dinh Tien Thanh, CEO of Intimex at the December 19 launch for the apples. The prefecture is a major exporter of marine products such as scallops, squid and sea urchin.

    They also ship large amounts of dried seaweed and stockfish, he added, noting that it may take a while to negotiate these other deals as it took two years to close the deal with Aomori for the two most popular types of Aomori apples, Fuji and Kinsei.

    VN cement export estimated at 15 million tonnes

    Vietnam’s cement and clinker export in 2016 is estimated at some 15 million tonnes worth 556 million USD.

    It’s down 7 percent from last year due to fierce competition with cheap products of other producers.

    According to the Vietnam National Cement Association, by the end of November, the country exported 13.97 million tonnes, down 6 percent year-on-year.

    The association said domestic cement export has been sliding since 2015 as the Vietnamese product has to compete fiercely against products from China, India and Pakistan.

    Rising export costs have also caused Vietnamese cement to be less competitive in the global market, the association said.

    To boost cement exports, the Ministry of Industry and Trade has asked its Trade Promotion Agency to better cooperate with other relevant agencies.

    Following the export decline and insignificant increase in sales of cement in the domestic market this year, industry insiders are concerned it will be hard for the cement industry to meet the target of selling 75-77 million tonnes of cement this year.

    In the domestic market, 54.52 million tonnes of cement were sold by the end of November, up 7 percent year-on-year.

    Vietnam currently has 78 rotary kiln cement production lines with a combined capacity of 86.16 million tonnes. The country is currently ranked the world’s fifth largest cement exporter; however, the country’s export volume is, in fact, much lower than Thailand’s.

    Thai cement is more competitive than Vietnam as it has many traditional customers, besides advantages in transport and superior quality.

    Vietnam is also finding it difficult to compete against China as its cement factories, whose design capacity exceeds the demand of some 670 million tonnes -- equal to roughly eight times Vietnam’s total cement design capacity -- which is why they often sell their products at low prices.

    FTA boosts RoK exports to Vietnam

    The Republic of Korea’s exports to Vietnam have increased sharply this year thanks to the enforcement of a free trade agreement between the two countries which was ratified late last year.

    According to a report by the Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency (KOTRA), the RoK’s exports to Vietnam in the first 10 months of 2016 rose 11.8 percent year-on-year.

    Especially, the RoK’s consumer goods exports surged 14.2 percent in the same period with the shipment of washing machines soaring by 102.1 percent, as a 5-percent tariff was removed under the FTA.

    KOTRA cited a recent survey showing that 42 percent of 60 questioned Korean exporters said that their exports to Vietnam increased after the Vietnam-RoK FTA took effect and 63 percent expected that the deal will help them expand business activities in 2017.

    Vietnamese, Japanese contractors forge cooperation

    The Vietnam Association of Construction Contractors (VACC) and the Overseas Construction Association of Japan, Inc. (OCAJI) have sealed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on bilateral cooperation.

    The MoU, signed in Hanoi on December 16, is hoped to open up huge opportunities for Vietnamese contractors, especially large-scale ones.

    Lao dong (Labour) newspaper quoted President of the VACC Nguyen Quoc Hiep as saying that the VACC will connect Japanese contractors with Vietnamese partners for projects in Vietnam and other ASEAN countries like Cambodia and Malaysia.

    The VACC will also assist its members in seeking partners for developing and implementation of projects, he said.

    According to Hiep, the first working session between Japan’s Teisi Group and a Vietnamese construction company is scheduled to take place on December 23 to commence the implementation of this cooperation minute.

    The VCAA will propose some relevant policies to the Government and the Ministry of Construction to address debts in capital construction and increase capability for domestic constructors.

    The association now has more than 700 member businesses.

    System air conditioner market booming in VN

    The strengthening of the property market with housing and other construction mushrooming all over the country has sharply pushed up the demand for system air conditioners.

    A report released in the middle of this year by the Japan Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Industry Association (JRAIA) about demand for air-conditioners in major countries around the world said in Viet Nam it was rising sharply for room air conditioners as well as system air conditioners.

    The surge is clear from the volume of packaged air conditioners sold in recent years.

    In 2010, 32,000 packaged air conditioners were sold. The figure almost doubled by 2015 when 61,000 units were sold.

    Kim Cheol Gi, President of Samsung Vina Electronics Co. Ltd, said: “Fifty percent of air conditioners sold globally are system air conditioners. The total value of the segment is worth 74 billion USD. Vietnam is a very promising market for this segment, which has seen many advanced technologies come in recently.”

    According to Samsung Vina, growth in the system air conditioner market is now 20 percent.

    Traders and builders attribute the high demand for system air conditioners to their affordable cost, advanced technologies and environment friendliness.

    They say it is a global trend that system air conditioners are preferred for buildings, offices, hotels, malls, hospitals, and luxury apartment buildings.

    They are the best choice for large spaces because they can cool such spaces without the need for putting up many air conditioners on the walls, they explain.

    According to a spokesperson for a website that distributes air conditioners, a system air conditioner can be installed anywhere — on a wall or on the ceiling.

    It is not expensive to install and maintain, and is the most economic solution for large constructions, especially buildings and houses with large space in a floor.

    Nguyen Quoc Thong, deputy chairman of Vietnam Association of Architects, said besides their high capacity, system air conditioners also came in attractive designs and helped save space.

    “They are a good solution and sure to be widely used in Viet Nam,” he said.

    Seeing the potential of the Vietnamese market, many companies have introduced new products with advanced technologies.

    A consultant from dieuhoabonmua.vn, a website selling air conditioners, said companies like Samsung and Daikin are taking advantage of the demand to introduce many new models.

    In the middle of last month Samsung Vina, for instance, introduced 360 Cassette, DVM-S 30HP and DVM ECO 14HP.

    The three have been hailed for having airflow control technology, booster fan, super inverter, slit fin, and wavy fin and have various designs that suit all architecture styles.

    Vietnamese, Japanese contractors forge cooperation

    The Vietnam Association of Construction Contractors (VACC) and the Overseas Construction Association of Japan, Inc. (OCAJI) have sealed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on bilateral cooperation.

    The MoU, signed in Hanoi on December 16, is hoped to open up huge opportunities for Vietnamese contractors, especially large-scale ones.

    Lao dong (Labour) newspaper quoted President of the VACC Nguyen Quoc Hiep as saying that the VACC will connect Japanese contractors with Vietnamese partners for projects in Vietnam and other ASEAN countries like Cambodia and Malaysia.

    The VACC will also assist its members in seeking partners for developing and implementation of projects, he said.

    According to Hiep, the first working session between Japan’s Teisi Group and a Vietnamese construction company is scheduled to take place on December 23 to commence the implementation of this cooperation minute.

    The VCAA will propose some relevant policies to the Government and the Ministry of Construction to address debts in capital construction and increase capability for domestic constructors.

    The association now has more than 700 member businesses.

    Outstanding farm products, firms honoured

    Thirty-nine agricultural products and 40 outstanding companies were honoured at a programme displaying high quality agricultural products by the Vietnam General Council of Agriculture and Rural Development.

    The programme was launched on July 15 in 63 provinces and cities, with hundreds of agricultural products being nominated. 

    After five months of selection, the organising committee, in co-ordination with local agencies and agricultural experts, selected 39 high-quality products and 40 outstanding businesses focused on building new-style rural areas in 2016.

    Speaking at the awards ceremony on December 16, head of the council, Ho Xuan Hung, said that these are individuals and organisations which have made significant contributions to raising the values of products and also promoting sustainable development of these products.

    “We believe that this programme will contribute to enhancing the brand value of agricultural products, in general, and especially of agricultural products from Vietnam in the international market," Hung emphasised.

    Further, the ceremony was a forum for individuals, organisations, and enterprises to exchange and introduce new products and technologies to the community.

    The ceremony is also an opportunity to encourage and recognize businessmen and entrepreneurs who are actively supporting farmers in improving productivity, quality, as well as effective product consumption with high value, he added.

    The event is seen as a bridge connecting the products of farmers, the State, scientists and enterprises with consumers, and promoting the comprehensive development and modernistion of Vietnamese agriculture. 

    Speaking at the meeting, Deputy Prime Minister Vuong Dinh Hue emphasised that building new-style rural areas is a strategic policy of the Party and State.

    The Party and State will continue to mobilise their resources to develop rural areas, while creating favourable conditions for businesses to invest in socio-economic infrastructure and production in disadvantaged areas, as well as to improve the competitiveness of Vietnam’s agricultural products and promote agricultural restructuring and the construction of new-style rural areas, he noted.

    Additionally, the head of Lam Son Sugar Joint Stock Company said that co-operation between enterprises and farmers, and between enterprises and scientists, should be encouraged to seek solutions to current difficulties in the agricultural sector, including capital, scientific and technological knowledge, production and markets.

    Participants also said that many products and trademarks have been strongly developed and are familiar to Vietnamese consumers, though fewer agricultural products are available in international markets.

    To overcome this problem, improving the quality of agricultural products should receive attention, in a bid to increase exports to international markets, they said.

    PM asks Saigon New Port to fulfill economic, defence tasks

    Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc on December 19 visited Saigon New Port, one of the strong economic unit of the Vietnam People’s Navy, asking the company to fulfil its both economic and defence missions.

    Praising the achievements the company has made over the past time, the Prime Minister said Saigon New Port needs to work harder to build itself into a leading defence economic unit in Vietnam.

    The corporation should expand production and focus on approved strategic positions while continuing to reorganize its affiliates, he said.

    The PM urged the company to focus on raising labour productivity, ensuring stable income for workers and improving competitiveness. 

    The Saigon New Port Corporation, a 100 percent State-owned enterprise, operates under the ‘one member limited liability company’ model and focuses on ports, logistics and sea transport

    The company has a market capitalisation of over 30 trillion VND (1.35 billion USD). It has grown 21 percent per year on average. 

    In 2016, the company expects to earn 17,263 billion VND (775 million USD) in revenue and 1,952 billion VND (88 million USD) in profit.

    The company possesses 17 ports capable of accommodating up to 200,000 DWT. Its container port services account for 50 percent of market share in Vietnam 89 percent in HCM City.

    Saigon New Port is named in the top 20 logistics companies in Vietnam with sea transport services making up 25 percent of the domestic market share.

    Hanoi, HCM City on world investment market list

    Hanoi and HCM City have been listed among the top emerging market cities in the world that are attractive for foreign direct investment (FDI). 

    According to FDI’s Global Cities of the Future 2016/17, HCM City and Hanoi are at the 10th and 17th positions, respectively, among the 25 most FDI-friendly emerging market cities across the world, voted by the Financial Times.

    Mainland Chinese cities dominate the list, with Shanghai and Beijing at the top spots and Tianjin, Guangzhou and Shenzhen at fourth, fifth and seventh positions.

    In the Southeast Asian region, Thailand’s Bangkok ranks at ninth position on the list.

    Singapore has retained its title of FDI’s Global City of the Future in the top 25 markets, with London holding strong in second place and Dublin edging out Hong Kong to claim the third spot.

    According to the ASEAN Investment Report 2016, four countries -- Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam (CLMV) -- witnessed the highest surge in FDI attraction in Southeast Asia, with the growth rate of 38 percent last year.

    Total FDI inflows into the four countries in 2015 increased from 12.6 billion USD to 17.4 billion USD. The FDI portion of the countries rose from 10 percent in 2014 to 14 percent in 2015.

    Vietnam took the lead in the CLMV bloc, attracting FDI worth 11.8 billion USD in 2015, a surge of 28 percent from the previous year.

    Figures from the General Statistics Office showed FDI commitment in Vietnam was 14.3 billion USD in the January-November period, representing a year-on-year decline of 10.5 percent. However, FDI disbursement saw an increase of 8.3 percent to 14.3 billion USD in the period.

    Actual FDI in Vietnam is expected to reach a record high of 15 billion USD in 2016, after rising 17.4 percent to 14.5 billion USD last year, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc said at the recent Vietnam Development Forum, an annual dialogue between the Vietnamese Government and donors.

    Bac Giang makes breakthrough in investment attraction

    The northern province of Bac Giang has so far attracted 1,113 investment projects with a total registered capital of nearly 5.9 billion USD, including 259 foreign-invested projects with over 3.5 billion USD. 

    The value of investment capital poured into the locality in 2016 was much higher than those from previous years. 

    As of December 10, the locality lured 172 projects with a total registered capital of over 12.3 trillion VND (541.2 million USD). 

    The investment value of domestic projects in 2016 doubled that of the previous year and was 7.9 times higher than 2013. 

    With the newly-registered foreign direct investment (FDI) capital upping 4.6 times year-on-year, Bac Giang was listed among top ten leading localities in FDI attraction nationwide. 

    Key projects in the period included a waste-to-power plant capitalizing at 4.75 trillion VND (209 million USD), and an international logistics centre in Bac Giang city, with a total registered capitals of 4.2 trillion VND (nearly 1.85 million USD). 

    Additionally, an industrial park (IP) infrastructure project valued at 1.93 trillion VND (84.9 million USD) and the West Yen Tu spiritual an ecological tourism site worth 1.48 trillion VND (65.12 million USD) were also a few to name. 

    The fruitful results were attributed to incentives offered by the local authorities and their efforts to improve the investment climate. 

    Director of the provincial Department of Planning and Investment Trinh Huu Thang said the locality will continue outlining specific measures in order to attract more investment in 2017, towards creating breakthroughs in its socio-economic development. 

    Accordingly, meetings and dialogues with enterprises will be maintained quarterly, thus swiftly supporting and addressing difficulties facing them during their investment and business in the locality.

    The locality will also focus on calling for further investments in building infrastructure facilities in a number of IPs and industrial clusters, Thang noted.

    PM urges endeavours to turn Vietnam into agricultural powerhouse

    Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc reiterated the ambition to develop the country into one of the world’s agricultural powerhouses during a conference held in Ho Chi Minh City on December 18. 

    The event was organised by the Digital Agriculture Association (DAA) – a voluntary social professional organisation established in September 2016 under the watch of the Central Committee of the Vietnam Young Entrepreneurs’ Association. 

    It attracted leaders of 20 agriculture-strong localities and more than 500 business owners, managers and scientists. 

    In his speech, the PM noted that with agriculture being one of Vietnam’s comparative advantages, the country must aim to become a high-tech agriculture hub in the global value chain. 

    He stressed that the Party and State have define industrialisation and modernisation of rural areas and agriculture is a task of top significance. 

    PM Phuc supported the DAA’s proposal to develop high-tech agricultural complexes and vowed all possible support for the project. 

    According to him, only 4,000 out of 600,000 firms nationwide currently engage in agriculture. In order to facilitate agricultural businesses, he suggested improving the operation of cooperatives and shifting operating models of 3.5 million business households, particularly those in rural areas to improve their competitiveness. 

    Responding to requests on credit for organic agriculture, the government leader promptly instructed the State Bank to consider a 50 – 60 trillion VND (2.17 – 2.6 billion USD) preferential credit package designed specifically for organic farming. 

    He also gave nod to suggestions to build technical barriers that protect domestic goods and prevent massive food produce import. 

    The PM instructed ministries and agencies to work on revising regulations on land use to facilitate large-scale farming, as well as to perfect the master plan on the use of land for agricultural production.  

    The government is considering the opening of a pilot land bank and the land use market, along with several farming insurance funds in support of farmers, he revealed. 

    At the event, DAA Vietnam Chairman Truong Gia Binh introduced a smart stamp technology to track food origin and quality. Other successful experiences in high-tech application and value chain building were also shared by DAA’s members. 

    A number of prominent firms operating in mechanical engineering, real estate and information technology expressed their interest in agriculture, including in rice growing. 

    Participants shared the view that cooperatives and enterprises are the nucleus in the development of agricultural economic zones and value chain.

    An Giang lures domestic, foreign investments

    Since the outset of 2016, the Mekong Delta province of An Giang has attracted 63 domestic and foreign investment projects worth 14.67 trillion VND (678.7 million USD).

    The projects mainly focus on agriculture, real estate, industry, trade-service, sports, healthcare and tourism.

    As many as 25 projects are being carried out with a total disbursement capital of 2.14 trillion VND (94.07 million USD) while 12 others worth 739 billion VND (32.48 million USD) have been put into operation.

    In 2016, the locality granted new investment license to one foreign-invested project and allowed two others to increase their registered capital by 16 million USD.

    By the end of this year, the province is expected to have 37 valid foreign direct investment projects capitalized at 219.75 million USD.

    Authorities have set up a department to support and remove any difficulties for businesses.

    LDG Group holding on to Grand World Phu Quoc

    CEO of the LDG Group, Mr. Nguyen Cao Cuong, has confirmed with VET that the company is the only developer of the Grand World project and it does not intend to sell the project to another developer as some media reports said.

    “Other developers have shared their plans with us on co-investing in the project, as they believe it has great potential,” he said. “But we don’t intend to cooperate with another partner at this stage.”

    Mr. Cuong’s comments follow reports that LDG was keen to find partners with finance for the project. If a developer wished to buy out the project at a higher value than the initial investment capital, according to the reports, LDG would be willing to sell.  

    Grand World is on 85 ha on Long Beach on Phu Quoc Island and is managed by Thailand’s Absolute Hotel Services Group (AHS). Under construction since August 2014, the project has total investment capital of VND4.6 trillion ($206.3 million) and includes 447 ocean view villas, villas under the forest canopy, and villas with gardens.

    There are also 104 bungalows with views, while the hotel is of five-star standard and has 496 rooms on seven floors. Other facilities include a shopping mall, an entertainment area, multi-functional conference rooms, restaurants, swimming pools, and a modern spa and gym.

    LDG plans to build 178 villas in the first phase and borrow VND1.76 trillion ($78.9 million) from the VietinBank Kien Giang branch, including VND700 billion ($31.4 million) in a mid- to long-term loan and VND1 trillion ($44.8 million) in a guaranteed loan.

    The company plans to earn VND555 billion ($24.88 million) in revenue in 2016, up 15.6 per cent against 2015, and VND154 billion ($6.9 million) in after-tax profit, up 10 per cent. 2015 revenue was VND520 billion ($23.3 million), up 483 per cent compared to 2014, while after-tax profit was VND162.5 billion ($72.8 million), up 333 per cent.

    The group is also the developer of other large-scale projects such as Grand World Da Nang, the Giang Dien Waterfall Eco-tourism Area in Dong Nai province, and the Mo Springs Eco-resort Park and urban areas in the south of the country.

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


    0 0
  • 12/20/16--05:35: Article 2
  • Ho Chi Minh City Foreign Trade Univerity named winner of local CFA Institute Research Challenge in Vietnam


    CFA Institute, the global association of investment professionals, and CFA Volunteer Community Vietnam, has announced that Ho Chi Minh City Foreign Trade University has won the local competition of the CFA Institute Research Challenge in Vietnam and now advances to the Asia Pacific Regional Final where it will compete against universities from the region.

     
    Hosted by CFA Institute and CFA Volunteer Community Vietnam, the sixth CFA Institute Research Challenge in Vietnam provides university students with hands-on mentoring and intensive training in financial analysis to promote best practices in equity research amongst the next generation of financial professionals. The students from the winning team will represent Vietnam at the Asia Pacific Regional Final in Bangkok, Thailand on March 14-15, 2017 and get a chance to advance towards the Global Final which will be held in Prague, Czech Republic on April 28, 2017.

     
    “The students from Ho Chi Minh City Foreign Trade University have demonstrated that they have the important skills and attributes to become professional research analysts. The financial industry is a challenging environment, and we need young people like them who possess the skills, technical knowledge, persistence, as well as commitment to upholding the highest ethical stanards,” said Vo Sang Xuan Vinh, CFA, representing CFA Institute members in Vietnam who organised the competition. “We wish them all the best in the Asia Pacific Regional Final in Bangkok.”

    Competing in the qualifying round were students from 17 universities, and only four advanced to final. The four finalist teams came from Ho Chi Minh City Foreign Trade University, RMIT University Ho Chi Minh City, Hoa Sen University of Ho Chi Minh City, and Banking Academy Hanoi. Their challenge was to provide investment research recommendations for the stock of Phu Nhuan Jewelry Joint Stock Company, which produces, retails, trades in, imports, and exports gold, silver, jewelry, gemstones, fashion products, and arts and crafts products in Vietnam. The four finalist teams presented their analysis and proposals to a panel of judges comprised of investment expert.

    “We witnessed this remarkable professional judgment and a high level of enthusiasm from the finalist teams. This bodes well for the future of the financial industry in Vietnam and the rest of Asia Pacific,” said Biharilal Deora, CFA, “CFA Institute believes in the benefits of working with the academic community through the Research Challenge to help prepare the best and brightest students in each country for the rigor and responsibility of the finance profession.”

    Entering its 11th year now, the CFA Institute Research Challenge offers students with the unique opportunity to learn from leading industry experts and their peers from the world’s top business schools. Ethics and professional standards are essential components of this challenge. Through the course of the competition, which requires hundreds of hours of preparation, participants receive mentoring from a professional research analyst as they analyse a publicly traded company, write a professional research report, and present their research results and recommendations to a high-profile panel of experts. The first Research Challenge competition was hosted by the New York Society of Security Analysts in 2002 and involved just five teams from the New York area. Since then, the competition has grown to involve tens of thousands of students from over 900 universities in more than 75 countries.

    Meanwhile, a ceremony for new CFA charter holders was held following the Research Challenge final. This year, 51 individuals in Vietnam earned their Chartered Financial Analyst® charter designation in a ceremony in Hanoi. To earn the CFA designation, candidates must pass three levels of rigorous exams, fulfill four years of work experience, and abide by the CFA Institute Code of Ethics and Standards of Professional Conduct. There are about 137,000 CFA charter holders in global community, and 171 of them are in Vietnam.

    “I would like to congratulate all the new charter holders who join us in our pursuit to build professionalism, raise standards, and prove the value of the investment profession,” said Paul Smith, CFA, president and CEO at CFA Institute. “The financial market in Vietnam is growing rapidly, and it requires world-class financial talents for its sustainable growth. We will continue to collaborate closely with Vietnamese financial authorities and industry professionals to nurture a culture of ethical behavior, investor protection and market integrity.”

    CFA Institute is the global association of investment professionals that sets the standard for professional excellence and credentials. The organisation is a champion for ethical behavior in investment markets and a respected source of knowledge in the global financial community. The end goal: to create an environment where investors’ interests come first, markets function at their best, and economies grow. CFA Institute has more than 143,000 members in 159 countries and territories, including 137,000 charter holders, and 147 member societies.

    The CFA Institute Research Challenge gathers students, investment industry professionals, publicly traded companies, and corporate sponsors together locally, regionally, and globally for an annual competition. In order to promote best practices in equity research and company analysis, students research, analyse, and report on a company as if they are practicing analysts. Local CFA member societies and other affiliated groups host local level competitions of the Research Challenge in conjunction with the participating universities. The universities assemble teams of three to five business and finance students who work directly with a company in researching and preparing a company analysis. The team’s final presentations are locally evaluated by high-profile panels of heads of research, portfolio managers, and chief investment officers from the world’s top firms. The local champions advance to regional competitions for the Americas, Asia Pacific, and Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) and then to the Global Final, which will all take place in the same location this year. Additional information on the Research Challenge is available on the CFA Institute website,cfainstitute.org/researchchallenge.

    By Ngoc Huyen, VIR 

    0 0
  • 12/20/16--05:55: Article 1
  • Vietnam, Cambodia step up all-around cooperation


    Vietnam and Cambodia have consented to intensify high-level exchange visits and work more closely to carry out signed agreements in a proper and effective manner.

    vietnam, cambodia step up all-around cooperation hinh 0

    The consensus was reached during talks in Hanoi on December between Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc and his visiting Cambodian counterpart Samdech Hun Sen.

    The two government leaders have expressed desire to consolidate and develop bilateral ties in the spirit of “good neighbourliness, traditional friendship, all-faceted and long-lasting cooperation”. 

    They underlined the need to sign a cross-border trade agreement between Vietnam and Cambodia, and agreed to maintain the principle of prohibiting any hostile force from using one country’s territory to sabotage the other  as well as jointly fight smuggling, illegal immigration, crimes involving drugs, human and weapon trafficking, trans-national and cyber crimes.

    The Vietnamese cabinet leader said PM Hun Sen’s visit marks an important milestone, helping to consolidate bilateral friendship and cooperation and thanked Cambodia for helping the Vietnamese Cambodian community stabilize their lives.

    Host and guest to thoroughly prepare for the 50th anniversary of bilateral diplomatic ties (June 24) aiming to deepen mutual understanding between the two people, especially young generations. The two foreign ministries will direct activities for the event. 

    On the occasion, they concurred to promptly convene the 15th meeting of the Vietnam-Cambodia Inter-governmental Committee next year. 

    About economic, trade and investment ties, the Cambodian Ministry of Commerce and the Vietnamese Ministry of Industry and Trade will soon conduct negotiations for the signing of the Vietnam-Cambodia border trade agreement. 

    The host suggested further enhancing transport and electricity connectivity, tourism, telecommunication and banking within the framework of a master plan on connecting Cambodian, Lao, Vietnamese economies.

    The two countries will direct their transport ministries to chair negotiations on the governmental-level agreement on transport cooperation strategy as mentioned in the agreement adopted by the 14th session of the Vietnam-Cambodia Joint Committee on Economic, Cultural and Scientific-Technological Cooperation. 


    vietnam, cambodia step up all-around cooperation hinh 1

    The ministries are required to negotiate the signing of a deal to build a highway connecting Ho Chi Minh City and Phnom Penh on the occasion of a meeting between the two PMs next year, as well as survey the model “One door- one stop” which is expected to be launched at Moc Bai – Ba Vet border gate. 

    He asked his counterpart to instruct Cambodian relevant agencies to complete the construction, repair and restoration of Vietnam-Cambodia friendship memorials. 

    Applauding the signing of the education cooperation agreement for 2016-2020, the two PMs emphasized the importance of improving training quality and living expenses for students sent to overseas for study. 


    vietnam, cambodia step up all-around cooperation hinh 1

    Concerning border issues, the Joint Committee on Land Border Demarcation and Marker Planting was assigned to work hard to quickly complete land border demarcation with fair, appropriate and acceptable measures and settle emerging issues at border areas in line with existing mechanisms and the spirit of neighborliness between the two countries. 

    In terms of overseas Vietnamese affairs, PM Phuc wished that Hun Sen would continue directing agencies to accelerate the settlement of legal papers involving Vietnamese nationals in Cambodia, making it easier for them to settle in and contribute to bilateral ties. 

    Both sides consented to urge the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) to promptly resolve the illegal immigration to Cambodia by the Central Highlands ethnic minorities thoroughly in accordance with the Vietnam-Cambodia-UNHCR agreement signed on January 25, 2005. 

    They also compared notes on regional and global issues of mutual concern. 

    On the occasion, PM Phuc accepted PM Hun Sen’s invitation to visit Cambodia next year with pleasure. 

    Following the talks, the two leaders witnessed the signing of an agreement on judicial assistance in criminal matters between the two governments; an agreement on the transfer of sentenced persons between the two countries; and another one between Vietnam’s Committee for Ethnic Minority Affairs and the Cambodian Ministry of Cults and Religion.

    vietnam, cambodia step up all-around cooperation hinh 3



    Meeting Prime Minister Hun Sen the same day, National Assembly (NA) Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan hailed the progress in good neighborliness, traditional friendship, comprehensive cooperation, and durable stability between Vietnam and Cambodia. 

    She said the Vietnam legislative body will always stand side by side with the Cambodian People’s Party. 

    PM Hun Sen said no hostile forces can divide the relationship between the two countries. 

    He pledged continual education on the vital values of the two countries over the past years for younger generations. 

    VOV


    0 0
  • 12/20/16--06:07: Article 0
  • VN imports $8.3b of equipment from China in 11 months


    Viet Nam paid US$8.27 billion on importing equipment and machines from China in the past 11 months of 2016, according to the General Department of Customs.


     VN imports $8.3b of equipment from China in 11 months, 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

    In November, the nation imported $930 million in Chinese equipment and machines, the largest out of 45 major goods items importing from China.

    The import value in November from China had a year-on-year increase of 1.4 per cent, and China was the largest supplier of equipment and machine for Viet Nam, accounting for 33 per cent of Viet Nam’s total import value of those products.

    In particular, total import value of equipment and machines from China was higher than the total value of 48 major goods items imported from the US at $7.78 billion in the first 11 months.

    The general department said China was also the largest supplier of all goods items for Viet Nam with total import value at $45.06 billion during 11 months.

    Viet Nam imported from China $5.51 billion worth of telephones and their components, computer and electronic products and their components worth $5.36 billion, cloth worth at nearly $5 billion, and iron and steel worth at $4.01 billion.

    Of which, import value of telephone and its components from China to Viet Nam reduced sharply by $944 million year-on-year in the first 11 months.

    Instead, South Korea was the largest telphone supplier in Viet Nam, with total import value at $7.94 billion in the 11 months, a year-on-year increase of 26.3 per cent.

    In the 11 months, Viet Nam had total import value of about 157 billion, a year-on-year surge of 3.7 per cent, according to the general department.

    Of which, foreign direct investment enterprises imported goods worth at $92.75 billion in total, a year-on-year increase of 3.5 per cent during 11 months. However, in November, import value of FDI enterprises reduced slightly by 0.4 per cent to $9.5 billion.

    VNS


    0 0
  • 12/21/16--02:55: Article 5
  • BUSINESS IN BRIEF 21/12


    HCMC, Quang Ninh benefit from tourism boom


     HCMC, Quang Ninh benefit from tourism boom, SHB merger with VVF approved in principle, China dominates Vietnam wood chip trade, VN-Japan company opens big warehouse in Binh Duong

    In 2016, tourism turnover picked up 9% in Ho Chi Minh City and 23% in Quang Ninh province.

    This year, HCMC welcomed 5.2 million international guests, representing a year-on-year surge of 10%. The southern city handled 21.8 million domestic visitors. Especially, the city earned VND 103 trillion in tourism turnover, up 9% against the same period last year.

    Next year, HCMC planned to welcome 5.5 million foreign tourists (up 7% against 2016); serve 24 million domestic guests (up 10%); and earn VND 112 trillion in revenue (up 8%).

    The northern province of Quang Ninh received 8.3 million guests, including 3.5 million foreigners (up 7% against the same period last year). The province pocketed VND 13 trillion of tourism turnover, representing a year-on-year surge of 23%.

    Next year, Quang Ninh hoped to cater for 8.5 million guests, including 3.5 foreigners, and earn VND 13 trillion of turnover.

    Petrol price surges by VND91 per litre     

    Domestic petroleum retail price surged by VND919 per litre to VND17,594 (77 US cents) per litre as of 3pm on December 20, the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT) said.

    The price of E5 RON 92 biofuel also rose by VND800 to VND17,322 per litre. The prices of diesel and kerosene went up by VND763 and VND734 to VND13,433 and VND11,943 per litre, respectively.

    The price of mazut was VND10,634 per kg, an increase of VND672. The MoIT and the Ministry of Finance also decided to increase the use of the price stabilisation fund for petrol and E5 RON bio-fuel by VND600 per litre. Usage of the fund for diesel was higher at VND250 per litre, while kerosene accounted for VND450 per litre and mazut was at VND550 per kg.

    The local retail price of petrol has gone up 13 times, so far, this year, with the total increase amounting to VND6,500 per litre. The price also came down nine times by a total of VND5,000 per litre, while twice it remained unchanged. Today’s adjustment was the last adjustment and has been one of the surges witnessed this year.

    The ministry also said imported petroleum price has seen a continuous increase in the past fortnight. Retail petrol price in Singapore – the main petrol exporter for Viet Nam – was $63,32 per barrel. This was $5 per barrel higher than the previous price adjustment on December 5.

    Viet Nam National Petroleum Group yesterday reported that its balance in the price stabilisation fund was estimated at more than VND1.8 trillion, reducing by VND10 billion from the previous adjustment.

    It is expected that the increase of the usage from the fund would continue reducing the petrol wholesalers’ funds in the upcoming adjustment.

    VietJet Air debuts Chinese Wuhan – Lam Dong air route

    The first direct flight between Wuhan province, China, and Vietnam’s Central Highlands province of Lam Dong landed at Lien Khuong airport in the province on December 18.

    Operated by the Vietnam-China Travel Corporation and the low-cost carrier VietJet Air, the chartered flight took three hours to reach its destination in Vietnam, where 240 Chinese passengers on board were warmly welcomed by local authorities.

    The passengers were then transported to Da Lat city, 30 km away from the airport, to stay for one night before leaving for Nha Trang city in the central province of Khanh Hoa.

    There are three Wuhan – Lam Dong flights, scheduled for Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday every week.

    Nguyen Thi Hai Nam, deputy head of the travel company, said the air route was opened to reduce pressure for Cam Ranh International Airport in Khanh Hoa, which is hosting too many flights from China every week. 

    Cam Ranh airport is 30km away from Nha Trang – a popular beach city for Chinese tourists in Vietnam.

    The route also enables these holiday-markers to enjoy themselves in Da Lat before heading to Nha Trang, she said.

    Doosan Vina exports container cranes to Saudi Arabia

    The Doosan Heavy Industries Vietnam Co. Ltd (Doosan Vina) shipped eight made-in-Vietnam rubber tyred gantry cranes (RTGCs) to Saudi Arabia on December 18.

    Each crane is more than 1,240 tonnes in weight and has a loading capacity of 40 tonnes.

    It took the company eight months to complete the crane batch ordered by the Saudi Global Ports, one month earlier than the initial plan agreed by both sides while signing their contract in March.

    The batch is expected to reach its target client after three weeks. As such, Doosan Vina has so far produced 65 RTGCs for domestic and international markets.

    The Saudi Global Ports, a joint venture between the Saudi Arabian public investment fund (PIF) and Singapore-based PSA international, operates major port terminals in Dammam city, a key gateway on the Arabian Gulf.

    Italian enterprises seek investment opportunities in Vietnam

    Businesses from Italy’s Trento province have shown their interest in Vietnam’s investment incentives, especially in technology, electro-mechanics, green agriculture, forestry and pharmaceuticals, which are their strengths.

    They attended the Vietnam-Trento Economic Cooperation Forum organised during Vietnam’s ambassador to Italy Cao Chinh Thien’s visit to the province from December 15-17.

    On a working session on December 16, Ambassador Thien and Bruno Dorigatti, Chairman of the Trento legislative council, discussed bilateral issues and agreed that good bilateral relationship is a favourable condition for furthering cooperation between localities of the two countries.

    The Trento official appreciated ambassador Thien’s recommendation on Trento and northern Phu Tho province becoming twin localities and his plan on a trip for a Phu Tho province delegation to visit Trento in the second quarter of 2017.

    Thien also paid a visit to the Trento University where more than 50 Vietnamese graduates are studying and met representatives from the Vietnamese Student Association in Trento.

    SHB merger with VVF approved in principle

    The State Bank of Vietnam has approved in principle a plan to merge the Sai Gon-Hanoi Commercial Joint Stock Bank (SHB) and the Vinaconex-Viettel Finance JSC (VVF).

    SHB revealed that the central bank also ratified the bank’s plan to set up a new subsidiary, which will be called SHB Finance with charter capital of 1 trillion VND (44.64 million USD) and will operate in consumer credit.

    Following the merger, SHB’s charter capital will increase to more than 10.5 trillion VND.

    SHB said under the Circular 6812/NHNN-TTGSNH, the central bank asked SHB and VVF to complete their merger in line with SBV’s regulations and submit a report on the merger to the SBV governor for official approval.

    The planned merger was approved earlier by SHB and VVF shareholders at their annual general shareholders meetings last year.

    SHB Finance will initially provide consumer credit services for individual customers that have annual income from 150 million VND to 200 million VND, later easing the market share to other individual customers with lower income.

    Once SHB Finance is established, SHB will also transfer all its lists of individual borrowers with annual income of less than 200 million VND to SHB Finance.

    According to SBV’s statistics, Vietnam had 16 financial companies till the end of the last year.

    PM urges incentives for investors in Gia Lai

    Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc urged authorities of the Central Highlands province of Gia Lai to provide specific incentives for domestic and foreign investors during an investment promotion conference held in the locality on December 18. 

    Speaking to 400 local and foreign investors, the PM pointed to the province’s advantages as the largest bazan soil depository suitable for the cultivation of industrial plants, a hub of the Cambodia-Laos-Vietnam development triangle and a land of rich culture, especially the gong cultural space which has been recognised by the UNESCO as an intangible cultural heritage of humanity. 

    The Government has paid special heed to developing the Central Highlands, including Gia Lai province, through the planning of water resources development and the construction of infrastructural facilities, he affirmed.

    The government will fund the upgrade of major national highways connecting with Gia Lai such as Highway 19, Phu Yen – Gia Lai road, Ho Chi Minh Trail, as well as airports and other facilities, he stressed. 

    Gia Lai has so far attracted five foreign-invested projects worth a modest 12 million USD, ranking 61st out of 63 cities and provinces nationwide. Its provincial competitiveness index ranks 47th nationally. 

    Between 2016 and 2018, the locality will pitch for investment in agro-forestry processing, construction materials, consumer goods, energy, education, culture, sports and tourism. 

    At the event, the PM asked the Ministry of Planning and Investment to outline support policies towards investors in the Central Highlands and Gia Lai in particular. 

    The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development was also required to work closely with the State Bank and the Finance Ministry to seek stable markets for local signature products. 

    According to him, the Government will consider establishing several national tourist areas and holding more festivals so that Gia Lai could live well on the pillars of agriculture, processing industry and tourism services. 

    Meanwhile, the local authorities need to devise master plans for economic, industrial and tourism areas, and cultivation, he noted, asking them to further develop the processing industry, especially for coffee, while focusing on organic farming, farm product processing and high-tech agriculture as the local strengths.

    On the occasion, he asked Gia Lai to give more specific commitments to investors in terms of electricity, water and infrastructure, towards doubling the number of enterprises to 7,000 in the next five years. 

    In the meantime, the leader wished that the province would heed workforce training, poverty reduction and cultural preservation. 

    The local authorities also took the occasion to affirm their resolve to improve the business climate and facilitate start-ups. 

    At the end of the event, a number of memoranda of understanding on investment in high-tech agriculture, irrigation, transport and culture were signed.  

    During a working session with local authorities on December 17, the PM pointed out that Gia Lai’s economic scale remains below the country’s average with the lack of brands well-known in the region and the world. 

    In order to fix them, he demanded to implement the government’s socio-economic resolution right from the beginning of next year and map out detailed action plans to continue removing business barriers. 

    This year, the province’s gross domestic product is estimated at 36.26 trillion VND, up 7.48 percent annually. As scheduled, Gia Lai will record 30 new-style rural areas and 46.2 percent forest coverage later this year. It plans to plant 7,000ha of forest next year. 

    While in Gia Lai, the PM offered incense to the statue of President Ho Chi Minh with Central Highlands ethnic minority groups, the largest in Vietnam, visited and presented gifts to ethnic minority families.

    Hanoi, HCM City listed as foreign investment magnets

    Vietnam received an estimated US$18.1 billion in new FDI pledges from January to November this year.

    Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi have been ranked 10th and 17th respectively out of the top 25 emerging market cities on the fDi 2016/17 Global Cities of the Future listing, a global investment service provided by the Financial Times.

    Chinese cities dominated the ranking with Shanghai and Beijing claiming the top two places.

    Thailand’s Bangkok was the other Southeast Asian city named on the list, placed above Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi in 9th.

    In the top 25 overall ranking, which included emerging and developed countries, Singapore kept its position at the top of the table as the Global City of the Future 2016/17, with London holding strong in second place and Dublin displacing Hong Kong to rank third.

    The ASEAN Investment Report 2016 showed that Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam (CLMV) recorded a combined 38% jump in FDI inflows to US$17.4 billion last year from the year before. Their share as recipients of the investment flowing into the region rose from 10% in 2014 to 14% in 2015.

    Leading the CLMV group, Vietnam attracted FDI inflows of US$11.8 billion in 2015, a 28% increase year-on-year, said the report.

    Vietnam received an estimated US$18.1 billion in new FDI pledges from January to November this year, down 10.5% from a year ago, according to the Ministry of Planning and Investment.

    However, the investment ministry said foreign investors had disbursed an estimated US$14.3 billion in Vietnam as of the end of November, a rise of 8.3% from the same period last year.

    Foreign direct investment inflows to Vietnam are expected to hit a record high of US$15 billion this year, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc said at the Vietnam Development Forum earlier this month.

    China dominates Vietnam wood chip trade

    Vietnamese companies ship an estimated four million tons of woodchips to China annually, according to statistics from the General Department of Vietnam Customs.

    China is the dominate consumer market for Vietnam wood and wood products, says the Department, with exports to it having hit US$965.8 million in 2015, nearly US$121 million higher than the figure for 2014.

    For the first nine months of 2016, total wood exports to the Chinese market have tallied in at US$725.3 million, equivalent to 75% of the whole of last year’s figure.

    However, most export products to China are raw commodities with relatively low added value. Around 70% of woodchips exported to China come from acacia and eucalyptus trees.

    Vice versa, Vietnam imports of wood and wood products from China registered US$303.6 million last year (equal to 31% of total Vietnam exports of wood and wood products to China) and US$200.4 million for first nine months of 2016.

    Thus, Vietnam exports of wood and wood products to China are higher than imports. However, the trade balance will change in the coming time when China closes its natural forests to exploitation in 2017.

    Top-notch imaging technology at Canon Zen – One Stop Solution

    A business conference, together with the Exhibition of Imaging Equipment and Technology under Canon Zen – One Stop Solution got exposure to numerous IT lovers in Hanoi’s Trinh Hoai Duc Stadium.

    Recognising the continuous innovation of information and imaging technology as well as striving to put forward effective solutions for businesses in the age of globalisation, Canon- a global leader in photographic and digital imaging solutions- brought to Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City the event series Zen – One Stop Solution, showcasing the company’s remarkable equipment and technology this December.

    Gaining warmly support and encouragement from city attendees, Canon’s Zen - One Stop Solution event now comes to Hanoi with a burning desire to bring out the most cutting-edge technology trends for enterprise applications and operations.

    In particular, with the participation of seasoned experts from FPT Telecom, Microsoft Vietnam, Canon Marketing Vietnam, and more, Zen - One Stop Solution contributed a range of pioneering ideas and valuable solutions to solve thorny problems in business controlling costs, optimising management system, increasing work productivity and improving competitiveness ability. 

    Accordingly, in the event, Canon Marketing Vietnam had introduced One Stop Solution – a brand new application that would help monitor the activities of both multi-functional devices and document management software in businesses. 

    With Canon’s One Stop Solution, local enterprises, especially small and medium enterprises, can manage work more efficiently thanks to the optimal tool operating business activities. 

    This new comprehensive solution is expected to fully meet demand of the management, minimizing time and operating costs while ensuring security and profitability for businesses.

    “As an exclusive gift to businesses, One Stop Solution partly presents Canon's pledge to ceaselessly create and update new technology that helps improve operating productivity, support every businesses in their journey to transition into a more  proactive one at the age of fast-moving environment.

    “A smart and feasible solution is the key to success. To manage effectively, businesses should select relevant partners who have the expertise to analyse and generate a comprehensive monitoring report to determine exact ineffective operations.

    “Once these splits are identified, an appropriate imaging solutions for businesses will be deployed afterwards. With Canon's One Stop Solution, we will help balance all the issues, such as cost, productivity, security, user’s responsibility and equipment maintenance,” said Hiroshi Yokota - CEO of Canon Marketing Vietnam. 

    Talking about Canon’s orientation in One Stop Solution to Vietnam enterprises in the future, Bill Dam - assistant director of Canon Marketing Vietnam emphasized solid belief in the strong impact of ICT synergy to businesses. 

    “The new normal in riding on the globalisation is about embracing synergy. It is doing business with a firm grasp of traditional values, openness towards modern practices and technology, and a continuing vision to Think Big for the future. 

    “A complete and easy-to-look-up database would demonstrate your business profession in both technology and actual work. 

    “By combining these potential values as well as integrating technology, the management will pave a new way to the development of breakthrough long-term strategies,” Dam said.

    By participating in this remarkable technology event of Canon, photography lovers and technology enthusiasts were definitely satisfied when immersing in an array of interesting interactive activities, such as Dark Room Experience with the appearance of high quality security cameras – Canon’s pride in challenging the darkness, or Special Color Challenge performed in Canon’s products.

    In addition, many attractive gifts and incentives were also brought to the event as a present from Canon to loyal customers who have interests in Canon’s products and activities related to imaging solutions and digital photography.

    In the event, besides the leading equipment and technology showcased to attendees, Bui Quang Huy, photographer and founder of popular photographic website 50mm.vn, shared his experience on Canon’s latest mirrorless camera EOS M5. 

    Equipped with the most advanced technology, Canon EOS M5 presents fast processing speed and autofocus, high resolution, 5-axis image stabilisation inside the camera body and use of Bluetooth, Wifi and NFC. 

    All these features are resonated to support users encapsulate their best pictures with the equivalent quality as DSLR cameras. Also, Canon introduced many other cameras in the mirrorless series such as EOS M3 and EOS M10.

    BAC A BANK earns eminent award from International Finance Magazine

    Locally-owned lender BAC A BANK has just won a high-profile award of “The leading bank in social responsibility in Vietnam in 2016” organised by Thomson Reuters’ International Finance Magazine.

    Nguyen Thi Thu Minh, investment counsellor at Vietnam’s Embassy to Singapore, confers the trophy and certificate to a BAC A BANK representative

    The bank was granted the award in Singapore thanks to its significant contributions to Vietnam’s social security, and its business achievements over the past years.

    The International Finance Magazine Awards celebrates excellence in its purest form. An event that recognises and honours individuals and organisations in the international finance industry that make a significant difference and add value, the award is one that will herald the highest standards of innovation and performance.

    Thai Huong, who is general director of BAC A BANK, said that this prominent award has reflected the bank’s unique development path, which is focussed on providing investment consultancy for hi-tech agricultural projects.

    “BAC A is quite different from many other commercial banks. We have selected the agricultural sector for our investment, in addition to providing clients with assorted services such as loans, saving and guaranteeing,” Thai Huong said.

    “We also concentrate on providing investment consultancy for sustainable-development and community-oriented projects. We have successfully combined Vietnam’s strengths, including brainpower and natural resources, with the world’s modern scientific and technological achievements,” said Thai Huong, who is also chairwoman of TH Group.

    After more than 20 years of development, the bank has been expanding its operation into a multi-functional bank model, with a priorities placed on community-oriented and environmental-friendly projects.

    Since 2008, BAC A BANK has provided investment consultancy for TH Group, which has successfully built a US$1.2 billion dairy cow and fresh milk production project in the central province of Nghe An’s Nghia Dan district. 

    In May 2015, the Asian Record Organisation recognised the project as “The largest concentrated high-tech applied dairy farm complex in Asia.”

    Since the participation of TH Group in Vietnam’s milk market in 2009, the country’s ratio of fresh milk to the total supply soared from 5 per cent in 2009 to 30 per cent in 2015.

    In May 2016, TH Group began the construction of the first stage, worth US$500 million, of a US$2.7 billion high-tech concentrated dairy and fresh milk production project in Russia, which officially marked Vietnam’s largest agricultural and foodstuff project in Russia.

    Also under support from BAC A BANK, many other agricultural projects have been implemented, such as TH Herbals focused on planting and processing precious herbs and supplementary foodstuffs, and a project on producing safe vegetables. 

    Besides, TH Group recently put into operation the first stage, worth US$100 million, of its modern wood processing plant in Nghe An. The plant covers programmes on sustainable development of forests in the province.

    Private sector’s role in national economic development

    Vietnam now has 500,000 private enterprises which employ more than 15 million people and contributes 40% of the national GDP. Vietnam has adopted many policies to develop the private economic sector.

    The 12th National Party Congress, which has insisted on building a socialist-oriented market economy, considers the private sector a key driver of the national economy where stakeholders in different sectors are equal under law.

    Associate Professor Doan Minh Huan, Deputy Editor-in-chief of the Communist Review, said “Ensuring equality between economic sectors provides the private economic sector with more opportunities to access land and credit, even the resources of the public sector. The policies on public-private cooperation have ensured that the private sector will cooperate with the state sector to exploit the available resources.”

    Most private companies are small and lack the connectivity and capacity to respond to risks. Tran Kim Chung, Deputy Director of the Central Institute for Economic Management, underscored the need to ensure healthy competition and equality between businesses so that private enterprises can grow.

    According to Chung, “the most essential thing is to improve the market mechanism. We should enhance transparency, renovate the state management, stabilize the macro-economy, and eliminate problems that reduce investment effectiveness.”

    To support the contribution of the private sector to the national economy, Vietnam has implemented corporate solutions in which businesses identify their competitive advantages and disadvantages, focus investment on their core business, and improve the management capacity.

    Pham Thi Thu Hang, Secretary General of the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said “The Chamber is identifying obstacles faced by enterprises for a report to the government. In addition to a government resolution on supporting and developing businesses until 2020, we are devising an action plan to help private companies and SMEs.”

    Addressing the recent Vietnam Business Forum, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc reiterated the government’s commitment to perfecting market institutions policies, and laws, continuing administrative reform, enhancing national competitiveness, and facilitating conditions for the domestic private and FDI sectors.

    He said “FDI businesses should trust in Vietnam’s reforms and accelerate the transfer of advanced technology, human resource training, and the sharing of corporate governance experience. FDI enterprises should also honor their responsibility to society and join hands with Vietnam in protecting natural resources and the environment.”

    In the socio-economic development strategy until 2020, Vietnam has pledged to create the most favorable conditions for Vietnamese enterprises, especially private businesses, to promote competitiveness and economic self-reliance.

    Trial starts on one expressway toll station

    Trial operation of one toll station on the Cau Gie-Ninh Binh Expressway has started, the Vietnam Road Administration reported.

    At a meeting last month, Minister of Transport Truong Quang Nghia asked the Vietnam Road Administration to remove the Dai Xuyen toll station on the Cau Gie-Ninh Binh Expressway no later than January 1, 2017.

    According to the Vietnam Road Administration, two toll stations located on the nearly100km expressway was not necessary. The elimination of the Dai Xuyen toll station will help vehicles travel faster.

    Mai Tuan Anh, General Director of the Vietnam Expressway Corporation (VEC) - the Dai Xuyen toll station collector, said in 2015 and the first half of 2016 alone, there were 70 traffic jam cases. Congestion was seen on both sides of the booth, covering a distance of 0.3km and going up to 3km.

    The toll station is now under management of VEC and BOT Phap Van-Cau Gie Company.

    Profits from the station will be divided between the two companies.

    VinaCapital launches Da Nang beach project

    The property developer VinaCapital Group has begun construction of the Ocean Estates on an area of 7.5ha with total investment capital of 650 billion VND (nearly 30 million USD) in the coastal district of Ngu Hanh Son in central Da Nang City.

    Ocean Estates will be ready in late 2017 with 33 beach villas from three to five bedrooms on plot sizes from 929s.qm to 1,303sq.m.

    Matthew Koziora, Director of Transaction VinaCapital, said “We pioneered the second home market in Da Nang City back in 2009 and appreciate the higher standards now expected from our clients in today’s marketplace. We understand and appreciate the global trend of luxury and that the market is seeking a true luxury lifestyle by those looking for a true beach home experience.”

    According to Vinacapital, the Ocean Estates is the last residential project that will be developed within the beachfront parcel of the Ocean Resort, the largest resort complex in the central region which was named ‘Best Golf Development’ on numerous occasions at the Asia Pacific Property Awards 2011-16. 

    VN-Japan company opens big warehouse in Binh Duong

    New Land Vietnam – Japan Joint-Stock Company (New Land VJ JSC) has opened a two-hectare warehouse at the Binh An Textile and Garment Industrial Park in Di An town of Binh Duong province.

    Located beside National Highway No 1A, 1 kilometre from Binh Duong Port and 10km from HCM City’s Cat Lai Port, the warehouse can store 15,500 frozen, chilled, cool and dry pallets.

    Products stored include cheese, chocolate, delicatessen products, livestock and farm products, processed foods, beverages and medical products.

    Under development plans approved by the Government, the area on which the warehouse is located will become a logistics hub for the South in the near future.

    Huong said New Land VJ JSC had invested more than 220 billion VND (over US$10 million) in this warehouse project.

    The company’s three shareholders are New Land Co. (Vietnam) and Sojitz Corp. and Kokubu Group Corp. from Japan.

    Tien Giang boosts cooperation with Laos’ Khammouane province

    The Mekong Delta province of Tien Giang has continually enhanced collaboration with Khammouane province of Laos, an important partner of the locality.

    Tran Thanh Duc, Vice Chairman of the province People’s Committee, made the statement at a reception for a visiting delegation from Laos’ Pasaxon newspaper on December 16.

    At the meeting, Duc briefed his guests on the province’s socio-economic development and cooperation opportunities between Tien Giang province and Lao localities, particularly Khammouane province.

    Over the past time, local leaders have paid many working visits to and signed a number of cooperation agreements with the Lao province, he said, adding that Tien Giang provided Khammouane with 2 billion VND to build three classrooms for a vocational school.  

    Tien Giang’s exports to Lao have been on the rise over the years, hitting 119,000 USD in 2015 and about 254,000 USD in 2016.

    For his part, Douangchith Savatbounmy, Editor-in-Chief of Pasaxon newspaper, lauded the development of Vietnam-Laos special friendship. He also expressed his hope that the relationship between Tien Giang and Lao provinces, especially Khammouane province will be further promoted.

    Ca Mau promises red carpet for investors

    Authorities in the southernmost province of Ca Mau have pledged to continue with administrative reform and offer the most beneficial policies for investors.

    Speaking at a conference in HCM City on December 16 titled Investment Potential and Opportunities in Ca Mau, Nguyen Tien Hai, the province’s deputy Party Secretary and Chairman, said Ca Mau is one of the four provinces and cities in the Key Economic Zone of the Mekong River Delta and is surrounded by the ocean on three sides.

    Its forest and marine resources provide it with unique advantages to develop fisheries, agriculture, forestry, services, tourism, exploitation of gas and oil and seaports, he said.

    Besides, it also has advantages with respect to aquaculture, high-quality seafood processing and exports.

    This year the province has attracted 6.63 trillion VND (293 million USD) worth of investment in 30 projects.

    It is now home to 205 projects with total registered capital of  83 trillion VND, including some major projects like the B - O Mon gas pipeline, power plants, and nitrogenous fertiliser plants.

    “The province is soliciting investment in agriculture, manufacturing, trading, services, tourism, infrastructure in economic zones and industrial parks, and transport infrastructure,” Hai said.

    The province took the occasion to table a list of more than 30 projects in which it is seeking investment.

    They include the 3.5 billion USD Hon Khoai Seaport Complex, the 1 trillion VND Ca Mau Cape Tourism and Culture Park, and a 1 trillion VND residential-service-trading area at Nam Can Economic Zone.

    “To attract more domestic and foreign investment in the province, Ca Mau will continue to prioritise investment in infrastructure and worker training, drastically improve administrative procedures to create a transparent and favourable business and investment environment,” Hai said.

    Mai Huu Chinh, director of the province Department of Planning and Investment, said in addition to incentives in line with the Investment Law, the province will also have support policies with respect to land acquisition and investment in infrastructure like roads and power system in industrial parks.

    Hai said investors will be supported with advertising in the province’s portal, investment and trade promotion, technology transfer, credit, brand building and development and human resource training.

    Authorities will promptly act on feedback and complaints from investors to resolve them, and provincial leaders would hold regular meetings and direct exchanges with investors to address their difficulties, he said.

    At the conference, the provincial government handed over licences for five projects with total registered capital of 5.984 trillion VND (264.77 million USD).

    Among them was the Cong Ly Construction-Trading-Tourism Co., Ltd, which has invested 5.5 trillion VD in a wind power plant in the province.

    The province also signed five memorandums of understanding with investors for building malls and a wind power plant and other projects. 

    Local bourses partner up with IFC in corporate governance initiative

    The Ho Chi Minh Stock Exchange (HOSE) and Hanoi Stock Exchange (HNX) signed with IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, an MoU on December 16 to jointly promote effective corporate governance standards and practices among companies listed on the two exchanges.

    Under the MoU, the three partners will launch the Vietnam Corporate Governance Initiative, aiming at assisting managers in mobilizing market resources and calling for cooperation and coordinating stakeholder efforts to improve capacity and corporate governance by applying the world’s best practices. 

    The three sides will enhance the efficiency of Vietnamese public companies, facilitate their access to capital, boost economic growth, and create more employment opportunities. 

    Tran Van Dung, HOSE Chairman stressed the important role of corporate governance standards and practices in managing risks and enhancing competitiveness and growth quality of the corporate sector as well as the whole economy.

    He expressed his belief that the initiative will contribute to the healthy and sustainable development of Vietnam’s capital market.

    Kyle Kelhofer, IFC Country Manager for Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos, highlighted the recent improvement in corporate governance in Vietnamese firms, adding that however, they are still behind their regional peers and more progress is needed to narrow the gap.

    He said the initiative is another effort by IFC to continue strengthening corporate governance practices in Vietnam, under which Vietnamese enterprises will be equipped with necessary tools to reduce financial and operational risks and enjoy better access to capital, enhanced trust and accountability to shareholders.

    At the signing ceremony, representatives from 50 listed companies were updated on the newly-revised G20/OECD Principles of Corporate Governance, with the Vietnamese version translated by the IFC.

    Vietnamese firms showcase goods in Cambodian exhibition

    Vietnam is attending the 11th Import – Export and One Province One Product Exhibition in Phnom Penh, Cambodia with a national pavilion and 12 booths of its prestigious enterprises.

    The event, held from December 15-18 by the Cambodian Ministry of Commerce, aimed to boost import–export activities and introduce local consumers to products and services of regional countries, particularly in the context of the ASEAN Economic Community, which was formed on December 31, 2015.

    Besides Vietnam, businesses from China, Thailand, the Republic of Korea, Japan and Indonesia also brought to the fair numerous products, ranging from agricultural machines to handicraft products. 

    At the national pavilion, the Vietnam Ministry of Industry and Trade displayed documents and publications on Vietnamese business and investment environment. Meanwhile, the firms showcased their key products such as machinery and equipment, electronic goods, food and beverages as well as handicrafts.

    Sharing the borderline as well as similarities in culture and society, Vietnam and Cambodia are aiming for 5 billion USD in bilateral trade in the near future.

    In the first quarter of the year, two-way trade hit 944.6 million USD, posting a year-on-year increase of 4.3 percent.

    Viettel creates new growth model for Vietnam: PM

    Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc praised the military-run Viettel Group as having created a new growth model for Vietnam at a ceremony on December 17 to mark the telecom group’s 10 years investment abroad. 

    The PM noted that Viettel has grown into the biggest telecom and IT group in Vietnam and also the first Vietnamese company to enjoy successful investment abroad on large scale thanks to focusing on products and services with high added values instead of exploiting natural resources or low-cost workforce.

    He said the group’s success has reinforced international community and partners’ trust, while inspiring other Vietnamese firms in investing abroad, adding that Viettel’s projects have also helped strengthen the friendship and cooperation between Vietnam and host countries.

    He urged the firm to promote the startup spirit in two promising sectors of telecommunication and IT.

    PM Phuc expressed his hope that in the next 10 years, Viettel will double and even triple its overseas market, becoming a global enterprise listed among the top 20 telecommunication firm in the world.

    During the ceremony, Viettel also announced that it has received the 10th investment licence abroad for a joint venture in Myanmar. With the joint venture, the group has expanded its coverage to 11 countries with a total population of 320 million. Tanzania and Burundi are among its most profitable markets.

    Viettel is running a total 360,000km of optical cable in nine countries, equivalent to nine rounds around the earth.

    In 2016, nine companies run by Viettel abroad have a total value of 4.5-5 billion USD. This year, the group’s overseas revenues are likely to reach 1.4 billion USD, raising its total overseas earnings so far to 6.5 billion USD with an average growth of 25 percent annually.

    Viettel is currently serving 100 million customers, including 35 million abroad, 12 times higher than that in its first year of investment abroad. It is now ranked among the world’s top 30 telecoms companies in terms of number of customers.

    Major General Nguyen Manh Hung, General Director of Viettel, revealed that the firm will continue investing in infrastructure system to provide 4G services widely at a reasonable cost, while continue expanding its investment in production.

    Viettel aims to become one of the top 20 telecoms enterprises in the world in the future, he stated.

    French group eyes waste-to-energy plant in Dong Nai

    France’s CNIM Group had a working session on December 16 with officials of the southern province of Dong Nai to discuss investment possibility for a waste-to-energy power plant worth nearly 20 million EUR in the locality.

    A world leading waste treatment, CNIM group has invested in numerous projects to burn garbage to generate electricity in many nations in the world. After a fact-find period, CNIM wants to build a modern waste-to-energy power plant in Dong Nai with an average daily capacity estimated at 1,300 tonnes of garbage.

    Dinh Quoc Thai, Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee said the province has a population of over three million, discharging around 1,000 tonnes of waste per day and even more in the coming years.

    Dong Nai needs waste treatment projects applying advanced technologies to meet the treatment capacity while protecting the environment, Thai added.

    He also requested the provincial Department of Natural Resources and Environment to further work with the group on the project.

    PM assigns socio-economic targets to ministries

    The Prime Minister has assigned specific socio-economic targets in 2017 to five ministries, with the Ministry of Planning and Investment tasked to strive for a 6.7-percent GDP growth and a 4-percent inflation.

    The ministry is also asked to raise total social investment to about 31.5 percent of GDP, while ensuring 87 percent of operational industrial parks and export processing zones have concentrated wastewater treatment systems meeting standards. 

    Meanwhile, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development will have to raise forest coverage to 41.45 percent in 2017.

    The Ministry of Industry and Trade is requested to boost total export value by 6-7 percent, while keeping trade deficit at about 3.5 percent of the total trade revenue. Another task is to reduce energy consumption per GDP unit by 1.5 percent compared to that of 2016.

    At the same time, the PM requested the Ministry of Health to ensure 25.5 beds in hospitals are ready for every 10,000 people, and raise the health insurance coverage to 82.2 percent of the population.

    Major 2017 goals assigned to the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs include reducing the poverty ratio according to the multidimensional poverty standards by 1-1.5 percent and 4 percent in poor district. The ministry is urged to bring the unemployment rate in urban areas down to under 4 percent, and raise the percentage of trained labourers to 55-57 percent.

    Ministries, ministry-level agencies, central agencies, State-owned economic groups and corporations are asked to update relevant agencies of socio-economic development targets before December 31, 2016.

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


    0 0
  • 12/21/16--03:19: Article 4
  • Social News 21/12


    Ministry warns of disease outbreak in floods aftermath


     Ministry warns of disease outbreak in floods aftermath, HCM City releases centurial literary project, Tons of clams wash up on beach in Ha Tinh Province, WB specialist believes in first BRT route’s effects in Hanoi

    Due to prolonged flooding in central province, the Department of Preventive Medicine under the Ministry of Health yesterday issued warning of disease outbreaks and preventive ways.

    As per the warning, to prevent epidemic in floods aftermath due to polluted water source and unhygienic environment in flooded areas, medical clinics should ensure medications and disinfectants. Especially, the health sector in the central provinces must carry out surveillance of diseases including sending mobile teams to flood hit areas. 

    Additionally, the sector must provide chemicals for each household to disinfect environment and water source. Increased information of water supply is needed to spread to each household. 

    Moreover, the health sector has to detect and handle contagious diseases such as diarrhea, pink eye, respiratory problem, skin diseases, influenza, cholera, dysentery and typhoid.

    Residents in flood hit areas should eat boiled food and water, and wash hands regularly with soap and use provided chemicals to disinfect water for cooking; spraying chemicals in burying animal corpses. 

    Campaign launched to raise funds for flood victims

    The Vietnam Fatherland Front (VFF) Central Committee launched a campaign on December 20 to raise funds for local residents in flood-hit south central provinces.

    At the launching ceremony, the VFF Central Committee received over 8 billion VND (around 352,000 USD) and 9,800 USD donated by ministries, sectors and organisations to the affected people.

    The same day, Vice President Dang Thi Ngoc Thinh presented 300 million VND to residents and another 300 million VND (13,200 USD) sourced from the National Fund for Vietnamese Children for kids in flood-affected areas in Binh Dinh province.

    She also visited and presented gifts to support 20 affected households and 10 million VND to a family in Phuoc Hoa commune of Tuy Phuoc district.

    A delegation from the Ministry of Education and Training led by Deputy Minister Pham Manh Hung also handed over 400 million VND (17,600 USD) and 2,500 sets of textbook to students in the flood-hit districts of Phu Cat, Tuy Phuoc and An Nhon in Binh Dinh province.

    According to the provincial People’s Committee, floods have claimed 36 lives, injured 10 others and cause total losses of 1,230 billion VND (some 54.1 million USD).

    The province so far has received 12,000 packages of gift, worth 11.5 billion VND to support affected residents. It also disbursed 50 billion VND (2.2 million USD) from the provincial reserve budget to aid local people.

    A total of 8.3 billion VND (365,200 USD), donated by organisations and individuals both in and outside the province, has been used to build 166 houses for the flood victims.

    The province called on the Government to allocate 500 billion VND (22,000 USD) to address the consequences of the floods.

    Also on December 20, a delegation from the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development visited the south central coastal province of Khanh Hoa to help local farmers resume agricultural production after the floods.

    The delegation visited land-slide Phuoc Loc village in Phuoc Dong commune, Nha Trang city, in which two were killed, six were injured and one went missing.

    The working team also supervised the flooded fields in Dien Dien, Dien Son, Dien Phu communes, in Dien Khanh district.

    Four teams have been set up to help other south central localities, namely Thua Thien – Hue, Da Nang, Quang Nam, Quang Ngai, Binh Dinh, Phu Yen, Khanh Hoa and Ninh Thuan overcome consequences of floods.

    Since early this month, floods and heavy rains have hit Khanh Hoa, causing a loss exceeding 600 billion VND (26,400 USD) and damaging 8,000 hectares of rice, 1,300 hectares of corn, 280 hectares of vegetables, irrigation works, killing thousands of livestock, and sinking dozens of ships.

    Floods and heavy rains have caused serious damages, worth over two trillion VND (88 million USD) to the five provinces of Binh Dinh, Phu Yen, Quang Ngai, Quang Nam and Khanh Hoa. 59 were reported dead and missing, 22 injured, and hundreds of thousands of houses collapsed and flooded.

    Vinh Long, Cambodia’s BanTeay Meanchey boost cooperation

    The People’s Committee of the Mekong Delta province of Vinh Long on December 20 met officials of the Cambodian province of BanTeay Meanchey to exchange experience in socio-economic development.

    At the working session, Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee Tran Hoang Tuu briefed strengths of Vinh Long in a bid to seek to enhance cooperation with the Cambodian locality

    There are over 70,000 ha of rice and over 40,000 ha of fruit trees in Vinh Long, as well as an abundant skilled labour force, historical and eco-tourism sites, according to Tuu.

    Suon Bava, Governor of BanTeay Meanchey, applauded socio-economic development achievements of Vinh Long, adding that two localities should boost ties in agriculture and tourism due to similarities in those fields.

    The two provinces will soon sign a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for 2017 – 2022, with cooperation priority suggested for the agriculture, trade and tourism sectors.

    New entertainment site at Saigon Zoo & Botanical Garden

    Rubik Zoo, a newly-launched entertainment site, was opened to the public last week at the Saigon Zoo & Botanical Garden in downtown HCMC.

    The venue covers 5,000 square meters with 300  shipping-container shops and stands offering food, fashion goods and games. Developed by Phu Hoang Gia Investment Corp., the entertainment area is expected to run daily until the end of 2017. The investor wants to create a green and helpful place for youth to learn about animals and environmental protection, and for startups to learn to do business in an environmentally friendly way. Young people and families can also come for leisure and relaxation on weekends.

    Budding businesspeople can receive financial aid to set up their booths at the venue.

    Rubik Zoo is inspired from a shopping center concept in France and Italy featuring restaurants, coffee shops, entertainment, studios and an outdoor stage. Phu Hoang Gia

    Investment Corp. is also the developer of an entertainment complex called Eco Box Container in Celadon City in Tan Phu District, HCMC.

    Rubik Zoo is open daily from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. at 1 Bis Nguyen Thi Minh Khai Street, District 1, HCMC. For further information, visit www.rubikzoo.com or Facebook page of rubikzoo. People who search for business opportunities can access www.sukiensaigon.net or email to phgmarketing5@gmail.com or info@rubikzoo.com or call the hotline 0938 686 749.

    HCM City releases centurial literary project

    A collection of 25 books with 20,000 pages featuring more than 1,560 literary works written by over 400 authors who had lived and worked in Ho Chi Minh City from 1900 to 2000 has been launched on December 19 by the Department of Propaganda and Training of the HCMC Party Committee and the Research Center for National Culture. 

    The largest ever project of its kind themed “A century of patriotic literature, Ho Chi Minh City revolutionary” features typical literary works of the 20th century in the Southern region.

    The editorial board spent five years to collect and choose dozens of thousands of literary works in different types, such as fiction, long story, short story, reports, poetry, screenplay, theory and criticism and others for the project.

    The compositions honor patriotism, humanity, the heroism and sacrifices of the soldiers in the field of literature as well as affirming the party leadership, revolutionary heroism and great power of Vietnamese people.

    Head of the department of Propaganda and trainning of the HCMC Party Committee Than Thi Thu asked departments, organizations and schools to promote and present the book project to the public, especially young people.

    Four hi-tech centers built to meet patients’ demand

    The Ministry of Health has given the green light to E Hospital in Hanoi to open four hi-tech centers to satisfy patients’ demand.

    The four centers include heart center, digestive center, bone-muscle center, and tumor center. Heart center is expected to be the leading one in performing complicated cases of congenital heart problem in the country.

    The hospital yesterday broke the ground for building a treatment ward and a modern ward for outpatients as well as set up a children ward.

    Speaking at the ceremony, Health Minister Nguyen Thi Kim Tien highly appreciated the hospital’s growth in application of advanced techniques to improve treatment service quality.

    Hospital Director Professor Le Ngoc Thanh said that the treatment ward and the ward for outpatients are built on an area of 13,000 meter square with total cost of VND358 billion (US$ 15.7 million). It is hoped to serve 2,000 patients a day. 

    It is scheduled to open the two wards in 2018.

    On the same day, Health Minister Nguyen Thi Kim Tien and her delegation called on Bach Mai Hospital and the Central Children Hospital in Hanoi to liaise with hospitals’ managers. Health Minister urged hospital leaders to improve treatment procedures, patients’ record writing in order to reduce patients’ waiting time.

    In related news, through patients’ complaint of medical workers’ improper behaviors to patients in Tan Trieu clinic - satellite hospital of Tumor Hospital - in Ha Dong District in Hanoi, Tumor Hospital Director Professor Tran Van Thuan said that the hospital's managing board decided to issue discipline to seven medical workers including deputy head of a ward.

    Fine art universities’ lectures display art works in Hanoi

    A fine art exhibition featuring art works of lectures of Vietnam University of Fine Arts in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City University of Fine Arts opened at the Museum of Vietnam University of Fine Arts in Hanoi was organized this morning. 

    The event presents 65 artworks on different materials such as oil painting, silk, acrylic, lacquer, wood carving, copper, aluminum, stainless steel, stone, and wood.

    The exhibition describes different emotions, problems faced by people every day. Deep inside each artwork is the thoughts, feelings, passions and desires of a peaceful life with the beautiful natural scenery and human’s beauty.

    The display lasts until December 30.

    Tons of clams wash up on beach in Ha Tinh Province

    From December 16, tons of alive clams had washed up in the beach in Thach Hai Commune in the central province of Ha Tinh’s Thach Ha.

    Locals said that from September to November of Lunar Calendar annually, when there have been big waves and rough sea, the shellfish have concentrated in piles in the beach.

    Locals have brought them to sell in local markets or cook them as food. Prices of husked shellfish fluctuate from VND30,000 to 50,000 per kilogram and unhusked clam are VND10,000 – 20,000 a kilogram.

    Administrators in Thach Hai Commune said this phenomenon is popular adding that each year, masses of shellfish wash up dead on beach one or three times.

    Vice President tours flood-hit areas in Quang Nam

    Vice President Dang Thi Ngoc Thinh visited and offered sympathy to flood victims in the central province of Quang Nam on December 19.

    The State official encouraged residents of Dien Ban Duy Vinh communes in Duy Xuyen district to resume their production after a recent flood. She ordered local authorities to support them and prevent hunger in these localities.

    A total of 215 gifts were presented to the residents and 100 million VND (4,394 USD) were handed over to Duy Xuyen district in order to help recover local sources of livelihood.

    After the visit, Thinh and her delegation had a working session with provincial officials. 

    Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee Dinh Van Thu reported that the December flooding is the worse since the beginning of the year, which left thousands of houses submerged, vegetable plantations damaged and transport in Cua Dai river mouth and inland main roads paralysed.

    The local authorities have coordinated water releases at local hydropower plants and devised measures to help affected residents resume production.

    He proposed the Government providing financial assistance to fix damaged main roads of the province.

    The Vice President stressed the Party and Government’s commitment to tackling the flood consequences, with the Fatherland Front Central Committee calling for donations in Vietnam and abroad. 

    She urged the local administration to submit documents asking for assistance to the government as soon as possible.

    At the meeting, the Vice President, who is also head of the National Fund for Vietnamese Children (NFVC), presented 300 million VND (13,182 USD) from the fund to help local children continue their study.

    WB specialist believes in first BRT route’s effects in Hanoi


     Ministry warns of disease outbreak in floods aftermath, HCM City releases centurial literary project, Tons of clams wash up on beach in Ha Tinh Province, WB specialist believes in first BRT route’s effects in Hanoi

    The first Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) route in Hanoi, scheduled to officially operate from next year, will prove effective in meeting local commuters’ demand and easing traffic congestion, said a representative of the World Bank (WB) Vietnam.

    Jung Eun Oh, senior transport economist at WB Vietnam, voiced on December 19 her belief in the 14.77-km route that connects Kim Ma and Yen Nghia bus terminals.

    She said traffic congestion is now a serious problem in Hanoi and it is not easy to be solved amid the rapid growth of personal vehicles.

    A solution in big cities around the world is to develop the public transport network. The first BRT route will have better effects in the next few years when it is connected with other BRT routes, overhead railways, and metro, she noted.

    Public support is needed for this route’s success, she added, asking relevant agencies to listen to people’s feedback to improve the service.

    Vu Ha – Director of the management unit of the Hanoi urban transport development project – said the rapid buses will run on bus-only lanes but still move on mixed lanes with other vehicles in some stretches. Hanoi’s Department of Transport has devised plans to limit other vehicles such as taxis, cars and trucks along the route.

    A one-way ticket will cost 7,000 VND (30 US cents), equivalent to the fare of normal buses. Commuters can try the rapid bus free of charge for one month, in next January.

    The municipal Department of Transport admitted a big challenge facing this route – heavy traffic with several congestion hotspots. This is also a big concern among city dwellers when the rapid buses operate.

    It is necessary to thoroughly prepare infrastructure for BRT buses to ensure their quality and travel time, the department said.

    The Kim Ma-Yen Nghia BRT project has a total investment of more than 1.1 trillion VND (48.3 million USD) loaned by the WB. Started in 2013, the route was initially expected to operate in Q2 of 2015 but lagged behind schedule for two years.

    With the first BRT buses in Hanoi running in 2017, Vietnam will be the eighth country in Southeast Asia to implement BRT.

    Central provinces strive to overcome flood consequences


     Ministry warns of disease outbreak in floods aftermath, HCM City releases centurial literary project, Tons of clams wash up on beach in Ha Tinh Province, WB specialist believes in first BRT route’s effects in Hanoi

    The south central province of Binh Dinh is delivering essential supplies to flood-hit areas as part of efforts to overcome consequences of the flood from December 11.

    It was reported at an online meeting on December 19 that the provincial military command has received dehydrated food from the Ministry of Defence, and more than 1,300 soldiers and local defence force members have been mobilized to bring the foot to target localities, including An Nhon, Tuy Phuoc, Phu Cat districts and Quy Nhon City. 

    The provincial Department of Health has carried out environmental checks in areas immediately after water recedes, provided health checks for people in heavily-flooded Phu My district and gave instructions to local people on sanitary measures.

    Heavy rains from December 11-19 caused widespread flooding in Binh Dinh, claiming 17 lives and leaving one missing.

    At present, 61 schools remain closed even though water has subsided in many areas. 

    On December 19, flooding in Khanh Hoa, another province in the south central region, also reduced. The provincial authorities have been working with organisations and enterprises to assist flood victims.

    The province reported that four people died and flood-related damages amounted to 600 billion VND (27 million USD) as consequences of floods triggered by heavy rain in November and December.

    PM talks with religious dignitaries, followers nationwide

    Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc on December 19 held a meeting with 55 representatives from religious organisations nationwide to listen to religious followers’ opinions and proposals, aiming to better implement the law on belief and religions. 

    According to the Government Committee for Religious Affairs, Vietnam has recognised and granted licenses to 39 religious organisations which groups over 24 million followers, or 27 percent of the country’s population, nearly 53,000 dignitaries, and 28,000 worshiping facilities.

    Religious dignitaries at the event agreed that despite their differences in doctrines and orientation, all religions shared the motto of closely attaching to the nation. 

    The religious organisations have contributed to preserve and promote cultural and humanity values that have positive influence to the society. They have acted as important channels contributing to realising Party and State’s policies and law.

    Representatives from many religious organisations lauded the Law on Belief and Religions, while proposing that the Government direct central agencies and sectors to issue guiding documents as soon as possible.

    Speaking at the event, PM Phuc clarified that throughout the history of national construction and defence, the Party and State have maintained the consistent viewpoint of respecting and ensuring people’s right to belief and religious freedom, as well as fostering religious solidarity to build a strong national unity bloc to serve national development and defence.

    The Government leader noted that over the past years, religious law and policies have been seriously implemented, ensuring the observation of the right to belief and religious freedom of people in line with the Constitution and law, especially after the adoption of the Law on Belief and Religion.

    The PM held that outstanding models of religion in engaging in social affairs, including charity classes, health care services and sponsorships, have shown the responsibility of religions to society as well as their practical contributions to national construction and defence.

    At the same time, he pointed to a number of challenges and difficulties facing religious activities, including limitations in economic and environment conditions as well as shortcomings in law and policies, and incitements from hostage forces.

    He asked the religious dignitaries to promote their role to set example for the implementation of religious policies and law, while encouraging followers to respond to socio-economic development movements.

    They should coordinate closely with State agencies to deal with the difficulties on a constructive spirit and respect to the law, not allowing outside forces to take advantage of religious freedom to sow division and harming the country’s national development and international integration, he asked.

    The PM also directed ministries, sectors and localities to continue focus on improving the spiritual and material conditions for people, especially religious followers, while promoting cultural and moral values of beliefs and religions in the society, thus enriching the country’s culture.

    Optimising religious resources will also contribute to create synergy strength for the national construction and development, he added.

    Hanoi’s book street to open in April

    Hanoi’s Book Street will open on April 21 - the Vietnam Book Day on December 19 street, which links Hai Ba Trung and Ly Thuong Kiet streets in downtown Hanoi.

    The fixed book street will have up to 20 stalls and remain open between 8am and 10pm. 

    The area will offer book cafes, reading spaces, book talks and exchanges between authors and audiences.

    The street will also be avenue for new book release as well as activities to encourage book reading culture. 

    A project on the book street was officially launched on December 19.

    Deputy PM extends Xmas greetings to Catholics, Protestants in HCM City

    Deputy Prime Minister Truong Hoa Binh extended his Christmas greetings to Catholic and Protestant dignitaries and followers in Ho Chi Minh City on December 20.

    The Deputy PM had separate meetings with Archbishop of HCM City Archdiocese Bui Van Doc, Cardinal Pham Minh Man – former Archbishop, and Pastor Phan Vinh Cu, President of the General Confederation of Evangelical Churches of Vietnam (Southern).

    Binh took the occasion to recognise the significant contributions of Catholics and Protestants to the country’s socio-economic-cultural development.

    He said the Vietnamese Party and State always respect and work to ensure the right to freedom of belief and religion as well as create all favourable conditions for religious activities within the legal framework.

    Archbishop Bui Van Doc promised to continuously encourage parishioners to follow the State laws and policies and actively participate in patriotic emulation campaigns.

    Meanwhile, Cardinal Pham Minh Man wished peace and prosperity for the country.

    Pastor Phan Vinh Cu pledged to encourage Protestant dignitaries and followers to join production activities, charity campaigns and poverty reduction efforts.

    Bac Giang to design conservation plan of Vinh Nghiem Pagoda

    Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam has given the green light to the northern province of Bac Giang in planning the preservation of Vinh Nghiem Pagoda in Yen Dung district, a special national historical and architectural relic.

    The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism is tasked with examining the plan before submitting it to the Prime Minister for approval. 

    Vinh Nghiem Pagoda, informally called La or Duc La pagoda, is 20 km to the southeast of Bac Giang City.

    Built in the 11th century under the Ly Dynasty, the pagoda served as a training institution for Vietnamese Zen monks during the Tran Dynasty (13th-14th centuries).

    It has been considered the first Buddhism university of Vietnam and the place of origin for Truc Lam Zen Buddhism. It also houses a collection of 3,050 carved woodblocks recognised by UNESCO as a world documentary heritage.

    Vinh Nghiem Pagoda was rated as a national historical and cultural site in 1964 and a special national relic in 2015. Its festival, which is held annually from the 12th to 14th day of the second lunar month, was also recognised as part of the national intangible cultural heritage in 2013.

    Moscow Day to be held in Hanoi in 2017

    Moscow Day is expected to take place in Hanoi on 2017 as proposed by Vice Chairman of the municipal People’s Committee Nguyen Ngoc Tuan.

    Tuan made the proposal at a meeting with Klychkov Anrey Evgenievic, vice chairman of the Moscow Duma’s committee for social organisations and regional organisations in Hanoi on December 19.

    He highlighted the sound friendship between the two cities and suggested strengthening bilateral cooperation for mutual benefit and development.

    The Russian official said Hanoi and Moscow share a lot of similarities, which will be a foundation for the two sides to expand collaboration and good relationship.

    He affirmed to submit Hanoi’s proposal to Russian authoried agencies to map out specific plans for the organisation of “Moscow Day” in the Vietnamese capital city.

    Singapore called to help Hanoi with trees management

    Chairman of the municipal People’s Committee Nguyen Duc Chung received Chuah Hock Seong, Associate Director of Centre for Urban Greenery and Ecology of Singapore National Parks Board, on December 19 during which he called on Singapore to help the capital city improve the trees management software from January 2017.

    He said the bilateral cooperation in trees development will be a highlight in the two countries’ economic relations.

    He called on Singapore to focus on human resources training partnership in the field.

    In turn, Chuah Hock Seong said Singapore will share experience in building structure for trees management agencies.

    He proposed the city increase communication campaigns encouraging people to grow and take care of trees as well as build green parks near residential areas and actively cover urban roads with trees.

    He promised to work with municipal agencies to reach the signing of Memorandum of Understanding in the field.

    CLV justice institutions attend a round-table meeting

    A two-day roundtable aimed at discussing how to enhance cooperation between the key justice institutions of the Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam Development Triangle (CLV) has opened in Nha Trang.

    The roundtable aimed at better defining the respective parties’ roles and mandates was attended by the Chief Justices of the Supreme People’s Courts of the three countries and 120 representatives of their collective Ministry of Justice. 

    A wide range of issues were discussed on the first-day of the conference running December 20-21 including the way cross border civil and criminal cases are prosecuted and participants entertained proposals to enhance the links between their handling of them.

    There was a consensus for the need to offer better clarity regarding transnational drug related crimes, illegal poaching of wildlife, human trafficking, smuggling of contraband weapons and money laundering schemes, noted Vietnam Supreme Court Justice Nguyen Hoa Binh.

    Representatives of the various Ministries of Justice will follow up on the recommendations that flow from this roundtable, said the Chief Justice, and coordinate to give them effect to improve the overall efficiency and consistency of justice within the CLV region.

    Mosquitos continue to spread Zika virus in HCM City

    Ho Chi Minh City has 141 reported cases of Zika virus through December 20 in 23 districts, 18 of which are pregnant women who have contracted the mosquito-borne disease, reports the City Preventive Medicine Centre.

    The Centre noted district 8 is the only one that hasn’t reported any cases of the virus. The districts with the highest number of infections are Binh Thanh with 28, District 2 with 18, District 12 with 13, Tan Phu with 11, District 9 with 10, and Go Vap, Phu Nhuan with six.

    Zika disease can cause a brain defect syndrome microcephaly for babies if pregnant women contract the virus during their initial months of pregnancy.

    The Centre has issued a health warning advising residents to undertake comprehensive plans to exterminate mosquito larvae, which are known carriers of both dengue fever and Zika. 

    Free movies shows for mountainous children

    More than 3,000 pupils at boarding schools in mountainous provinces of Lao Cai, Lai Chau and Dien Bien have had a chance to watch films for free under the framework of the ‘Cinematography for all 2016’ program launched by CJ CGV Company.

    The program is part of social activities that CJ CGV has conducted since 2011 with the aim of bringing high quality cinematographic works to all people.

    It has so far introduced many interesting films to more than 10,000 viewers across the country, especially mountainous areas.

    Vuong Duy Bien, deputy Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism, said at the opening ceremony of the event in Lao Cai on December 19 that mountainous pupils at boarding schools will have an opportunity to watch high quality films and take part in other meaningful activities.

     free movies shows for mountainous children  hinh 1 Dong Won Kwak, general director of CJ CGV Vietnam, said CGV will work closely with the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism and the Department of Cinematography to help young talents nationwide become future leaders of the cinematography industry.

    On the occasion, the organizing board presented 120 scholarships for disadvantaged pupils.

    Four arrested over armed robbery at gold shop in southern Vietnam

    Four suspects have been arrested for using guns and other weapons to rob a gold shop in the southern Vietnamese province of Tay Ninh last week.

    The alleged robbers, including Le Dang Khoa, 26, Le Van Phuong, 22, Vo Tan Quoc, 22, and Nguyen Hong Khac, 30, were apprehended for their armed robbery at the gold shop in Go Dau District, a source close to Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper affirmed on December 18.

    According to preliminary reports, the gang members arrived at the store at around 1:00 pm on December 16, three of whom charged into the place with their weapons while the other stayed with their motorcycles.

    One of the robbers pepper-sprayed the shopkeeper, before the others broke the shop windows with their baton and swords.

    They then stole all the gold and jewelry at the shop and escaped.

    According to the store owner, she could not resist the criminals after she and her young son were attacked by the pepper spray.

    After hearing the woman’s scream for help, her family members and neighbors tried to pursue the suspects but were unable to catch them.

    About 10 taels (375 grams) of 18K gold was stolen, according to the shopkeeper.

    Police officers later arrived at the scene to carry out an investigation and were able to identify the culprits thanks to security camera footage from the store and nearby houses.

    Khoa and Phuong were nabbed on December 17 while Khac and Quoc were apprehended the following day.

    Vietnam to welcome 10 millionth foreign visitor in 2016

    The tourism sector will host the 10 millionth foreign visitor to Vietnam at the Phu Quoc international airport in the southern coastal province of Kien Giang on December 25.

    The same day, a ceremony will take place to round off the 2016 National Tourism Year, which was designated to draw visitors to Phu Quoc island and the Mekong Delta region.

    Experts said the tourism year is a key move in turning Kien Giang into a tourism hub in the Mekong Delta region with Phu Quoc island as a leading resort destination of Vietnam.

    In 2016, more than 5.4 million tourists visited Kien Giang, increasing 24 percent year on year and exceeding the yearly quota by 9.5 percent. Of the figure, international arrivals grew 31.4 percent annually, 14 percent higher than initial plan.

    According to the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism, the country expects to welcome over 10 million international arrivals and serve more than 62 million domestic travelers this year, with total revenue estimated at 400 trillion VND (18 billion USD).  

    On January 1, 2017, Vietnam will begin issuing e-visa for foreign tourists.

    As such, the tourism sector has set goals of 11.5 million foreign visitors and revenue of 460 trillion VND (20.24 billion USD) in 2017.

    HCM City airport adds more night flights for holiday travel rush

    Tan Son Nhat, the country’s busiest and biggest airport, will increase the number of night flights in the weeks leading to the Lunar New Year holiday in an attempt to ease congestion.

    The Ho Chi Minh City airport is currently operating a total of 38 passenger flights per hour between 7 a.m. and 10 p.m., leaving little room to squeeze in more flights, said aviation authorities.

    Lai Xuan Thanh, director of the Civil Aviation Administration of Vietnam, suggested carriers increase the number of night flights as the Lunar New Year travel rush is about to start in less than a month.

    “If we can schedule a maximum of 38 nigh take-offs and landings between 11 p.m. and 7 a.m.," Thanh said, "the airport will be able to handle the increased travel demand during the Tet holiday.” 

    Aviation authorities are expecting domestic airliners to add more than 2,000 extra flights to their schedule during the holiday season.

    Vietnam Airlines, the country’s biggest carrier, said the number of flights will be up 46% compared to last year's season, with an extra 900 flights added to serve more than 185,000 passengers.

    Tan Son Nhat, designed to handle both domestic and international passengers, has become increasingly overstretched due to lack of air space, limited ground services and traffic congestion near the airport.

    Dang Tuan Tu, the airport director, said it is expected to handle 31 million passengers this year, far beyond its maximum capacity of 25 million.

    He said more night flights will be a solution for the worsening overload at the airport during the upcoming peak season.

    Aid rushed to flood hit areas

    Governmental agencies and donors have sent emergency aid of 23 tonnes of dry provisions, 25,000 boxes of instant noodle and 10,000 bottles of water to flood affected provinces in the central region.

    The Centre of Flood and Storm Prevention in the Central and Central Highlands regions reported yesterday that over 3,400 tonnes of rice seeds and more than 18,000 tonnes of sugarcane, bean, cassava, ground nut and vegetable saplings have been delivered to worst-hit provinces from Thừa Thiên-Huế to Ninh Thuận.

    More than 111,000 grafted roots of grape and apples were also sent to Ninh Thuận Province.

    Rescue forces transported 17,000 sand bags and 23,000 water purification tablets to the region.

    Seven speedboats, 70 portable tents, 500 life-jackets and 10,000 life buoys were also delivered to Bình Định Province.

    The centre also said nearly 6,000 households in Bình Định Province have returned to their homes safely after being evacuated last week.

    Water levels in rivers flowing through provinces from Thừa Thiên-Huế to Bình Định have been under the emergency level 2 as of early morning yesterday, and receding 12 hours later.

    A rainfall of between 31-35mm is forecast for Bình Định Province and some provinces in the region.

    However, the centre still cautioned that rough seas and whirlwinds would occur in the seas of south central region, south of East Sea, and waters off  the Trường Sa (Spratly) archipelago.

    National utility EVN, Việt Nam Electricity Group, said 46 reservoirs out of 148 in the region were still discharging water.  

    Rescue and repair work has been stepped up in the affected provinces since Saturday.

    The latest figures are that 24 people have died, 16 of them in Bình Định. Another 16 were badly wounded and two persons still missing.

    Flood also damaged nearly 100km of canals and dyke sections, 400m of national roads, eroded more than 388,000 cubic metres of soil.

    Eighty-five bridges, spillways and sewage systems were destroyed.

    Exhibition on Uncle Ho relics in Van Phuc village

    More than 100 photos and documents on relics related to Uncle Ho are on display at an exhibition which opened at the site where Uncle Ho wrote “the Call for national resistance” in Van Phuc village, Ha Dong district on December 19, 1946.

    The exhibition is divided into three topics, including Hanoi in times of danger; President Ho Chi Minh lives, works and writes “the Call for national resistance” at Van Phuc village; Hanoians respond to “the Call for national resistance” of President Ho Chi Minh.

    The exhibition is being held by Hanoi City Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the National Resistance Day (December 19).

    Those publications not only show the great value of “the Call for National Resistance” of President Ho Chi Minh, but also introduce historical experiences and lessons about patriotism and national will of independence, as well as aspirations of the Vietnamese people for peace.

    The exhibition will help people, the youth in particular, to learn more about national resistance and the role it has played in the nation’s history.

    The exhibition, themed The Grandiose Song of Winter 1946, is also expected to inspire patriotism among the youth.

    HCM City to launch more bus service during Tet

    More public buses will operate in HCM City during Tet to meet the surge in demand during the holidays, officials from the Department of Transport told a conference on December 14.

    According to the Public Transport Management and Operation Centre, 1,048 trips will be added on 17 routes, while 844 trips will be reduced on other routes where holiday demand is traditionally low.

    To prevent congestion at bus terminals, bus will be allowed to depart as soon as they are 50 percent full.

    The number of passengers at Mien Dong Bus Station is expected to increase by 3 percent year-on-year, with January 22 likely to be the busiest day with 56,000 passengers, Thuong Thanh Hai, deputy director of the station, said.

    Le Hoang Minh, deputy director of the Department of Transport, urged all bus stations to ensure bus parks and pick up and drop off passengers in an organised manner.

    His department would co-ordinate with the police to tackle the problem of unlicensed buses operating outside or near bus stations, he said.

    Tourism firms vow to fight illegal wildlife trade

    Vietnamese tourism firms signed a commitment to fighting wildlife trading and protect the species at a workshop in Hanoi on December 14.

    The workshop, jointly organised by the Institute for Tourism Development Research under the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism and TRAFFIC, the wildlife trade monitoring network, drew the participation of international and domestic tourism experts and business representatives.

    Director of the institute Nguyen Anh Tuan said the workshop aims to encourage tourism firms and hotels to join the fight against the illegal use and trading of wildlife, including rhino horns.

    The event also developed a master action plan to protect and reduce wildlife consumption and include t the issue in their codes of conduct of the tourism organisations and firms.

    Participants heard reports on the role and importance of wild species for biodiversity and habitats; the wildlife use and trading in Vietnam and the world; and related legal documents.

    Blaze takes heavy toll on Vietnamese market in Australia

    Fire broke out at the Little Saigon Market of Vietnamese expats in Footscray, west Melbourne, Australia, on early December 13, leaving no casualty but damaging assets valued at about 12 million AUD.

    The fire was supposed to start from a cool room in the two-storey building, but the exact cause remains unknown.

    Seventy-five firefighters were deployed to the scene.

    The blaze was put under control at noon after destroying most of the market. The office of Les Twentyman Foundation, a charity for disadvantaged youths, was burned to the ground with over 6,000 books, clothes and Christmas gifts for homeless children inside.

    The market hosted 25 small businesses run by Vietnamese expatriates and was among the most popular shopping places for the community in Melbourne. There are approximately 100,000 Vietnamese living in the capital city of Victoria State.

    According to Tran Ba Phuc, head of the Vietnamese business association in Melbourne, two owners of the Little Saigon Market will have their rebuilding costs fully covered by insurance.

    However, many shop owners had stocked a large amount of goods for the upcoming holiday season, but only have insurance for a small part of their business. Their sources of livelihood have been destroyed with the flame.

    The association is helping them with legal consultation to receive insurance payments as soon as possible.

    President meets former experts to Cambodia

    President Tran Dai Quang hosted a reception on December 14 in Hanoi for a delegation from the Liaison Board of former Vietnamese experts who were sent to Cambodia to support the country’s revolution in 1978-1989.

    Together with Vietnamese volunteer soldiers to Cambodia, the former experts helped Cambodian people escape from the genocidal Khmer Rouge regime and revive the country.

    After Cambodia’s liberation, they continued assisting Cambodia in national construction in various fields from politics, economy, security and defence to culture, health care and social affairs.

    They successfully fulfilled their international tasks and returned home on September 26, 1989.

    During the meeting, President Tran Dai Quang expressed his special respect to members of the Liaison Board who regularly supported the former experts as well as their families.

    The board has actively given advices to the Party and State in honouring the former experts, while engaging in summarizing the history, compiling memoirs and educating younger generations about the tradition of the bilateral ties, he noted.

    He also lauded the board for active involving in people-to-people contact activities, especially in sponsoring Cambodian students in Vietnam and coordinating with the Vietnam-Cambodia Friendship Association in holding activities to mark 37 years since the Vietnamese people helped the Cambodians overthrow the genocidal regime to revive the nation, thus contributing to fostering the traditional friendship and neighbourliness and comprehensive cooperation between the two countries.

    The President said he hopes that the former experts continue joining in the compilation of a book on the history of Vietnamese experts’ 10-year help for the Cambodian revolution (1978-1988).

    Need for transgender law emphasised at Hanoi forum

    An official of the Justice Ministry has underlined the need to issue a law on transgender issues to ensure the right to gender re-identification, which is enshrined in the 2015 Civil Code.

    Nguyen Thanh Tu, Director of the ministry’s Department of Civil and Economic laws, stressed the necessity at an annual law forum in Hanoi on December 14 that focused on the 2015 Civil Code.

    He said that law should stipulate conditions for gender reassignment and sex confirmation surgery. It also needs to include regulations on protecting transgender people.

    This was the first time in law-making history gender re-identification had been recognised. A law on transgender issues is being drafted by the Ministry of Health and expected to be submitted to the National Assembly before 2020.

    At the law forum, participants updated information about the enforcement of the Civil Code and looked into the Code’s major amendments and supplements. They also suggested ways to overhaul legal normative documents and apply civil legal regulations.

    Many called for legal documents relating to personality rights, including the right to gender re-identification, to be aligned with the 2015 Civil Code so as to ensure the consistency of the legal system and law enforcement.

    The law forum, held by the Justice Ministry and the US Agency for International Development, has become an annual dialogue on legal and judicial reforms in Vietnam for the last 10 years. 

    Thanks to this forum, many programmes and projects on legal and judicial cooperation have been expanded between Government agencies and international organisations, according to Deputy Minister of Justice Nguyen Khanh Ngoc.

    In 2015, Vietnamese agencies worked with foreign organisations to implement 53 legal and judicial cooperation programmes nationwide. These programmes have helped the country fine-tune its legal system, make reforms and promote international integration.

    The Justice Ministry will hold more forums to encourage dialogue on legal and judicial reforms in the future, Ngoc noted.

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


    0 0
  • 12/21/16--03:31: Article 3
  • What will happen in Vietnam if US raises the interest rate?


    If the US Fed raised the prime interest rate, the overseas remittance (kieu hoi) flow to Vietnam would slow down, the dong would depreciate, and the dong interest rate would increase. The decision will also change international capital flow.

     vietnamnet bridge, english news, Vietnam news, news Vietnam, vietnamnet news, Vietnam net news, Vietnam latest news, Vietnam breaking news, vn news, FED, Trump, dong/dollar exchange rate
    The US FED has raised the prime interest rate by 0.25 percentage point and anticipates three further increases in 2017.

    The dong/dollar exchange rate soared on December 15 to VND22,770 per dollar as quoted by commercial banks, though the gap between the buy/sell dollar price was still at VND70-80 per dollar.

    Soon after the FED’s decision on the interest rate adjustment was announced, the official dong/dollar exchange rate on December 15 was raised by VND11 per dollar to VND22,135 per dollar. One day later, the exchange rate rose to VND22,144 per dollar.

    With the trading band of +/- 3 percent, commercial banks can quote the dollar prices at VND22,808-22,480 (ceiling/floor prices).

    If the US Fed raised the prime interest rate, the overseas remittance (kieu hoi) flow to Vietnam would slow down, the dong would depreciate, and the dong interest rate would increase. The decision will also change international capital flow.

    VP Bank Securities predicted that the greenback value will stay high against other currencies, including Japanese yen and Euro. Meanwhile, the official exchange rate in Vietnam is expected increase to VND22,168 per dollar by the end of the year.

    If the dong does not depreciate sharply against the dollar, this means the dong will appreciate against other currencies. The businesses which have loans in Japanese yen and Euro will get exchange rate benefits, while businesses with loans in dollars will be at a disadvantage.

    The dong devaluation is first reaction of the Vietnamese market to the FED’s decision.

    HSBC Vietnam’s report on the impact of the move, released on December 15, pointed out that as a result of the decision, the cost of loans will be increasing, while hot capital will flow out of developing countries and return to the US to enjoy higher interest rates, and currencies of developing countries will be under pressure of devaluation.

    The Vietnam dong, like other currencies, is also under pressure. The total trade deficit of $700 million also increases the pressure.

    HSBC said that the volume of government bonds in dong being held by foreign investors is modest; therefore, Vietnam, unlike other regional markets, would not see foreign investors trying to bargain bonds away and buying dollars.

    Regarding overseas remittances, Dau Tu quoted sources as reporting that once the interest rate becomes more attractive in the US, remittances from the US, which account for 60 percent of total overseas remittances to Vietnam, would decrease.

    Thanh Lich, VNN


    0 0
  • 12/21/16--03:38: Article 2
  • Hanoi foreign dept dismisses sub-center deputy for assaulting 76-yr-old lecturer


     The deputy director of a center under the Hanoi Department of Foreign Affairs has been removed from his position for assaulting a 76-year-old lecturer last month, his employer said on Tuesday.


     

    Dr. Nguyen Khanh with his wound after the assault is seen in this photo posted on the Facebook of one of his family members.


    Nguyen Duc Hoang, vice chief of the Center for Foreign Affairs Services, has been suspended from work twice since mid-November, as police looked into his assault on Dr. Nguyen Khanh, 76 in Hanoi.

    Having waited for police to announce the results of their investigation, the Hanoi foreign department has decided to settle the case by removing Hoang from his position as the center’s deputy director, it said in a press release on Tuesday.

    It is unclear what new position Hoang will be transferred to. Members of the public have suggested that the penalty be firing him completely.

    On November 5, Dr. Khanh, a former lecturer at the Hanoi University of Technology, was walking down the street when he was crashed into by a woman on motorbike.

    At the time of incident, Hoang, identified as the woman’s husband, was driving his car just behind his wife.

    While both the woman and Dr. Khanh were still lying on the ground, Hoang stopped his vehicle, jumped out and rushed to beat the old man in the face.

    The 76-year-old lecturer was hospitalized and eventually had to receive seven stitches for the 7cm cut on his mouth.

    In a meeting with the foreign department a few days after the incident, Hoang, 36, admitted his guilt, telling police that he only wanted to ‘protect’ his wife.

    The assault on Dr. Khanh by Hoang caused an outrage when it was shared on Facebook last month.

    Hanoi chairman Nguyen Duc Chung has requested that Hoang be strictly sanctioned for his violent act.

    “Beating a 76-year-old man is unacceptable behavior for a public servant,” Chung underlined at a meeting on November 10.

    TUOI TRE NEWS


    0 0
  • 12/21/16--03:54: Article 1
  • Three-year university programme doesn’t fit most students: experts


    Some universities have expressed concern about the new 3-5 year training model for universityeducation, saying that only the best students would be able to finish the curricula within three years. 

     vietnamnet bridge, english news, Vietnam news, news Vietnam, vietnamnet news, Vietnam net news, Vietnam latest news, Vietnam breaking news, vn news, high school, MOET, final exam

    Deputy Minister of Education Bui Van Ga said the 3-year training model would help fix the existing problems in Vietnam’s education.

    The current national education frame was set up based on the 2005 and 2009 Education Law. Meanwhile, a lot of big changes in the world’s education have been made in the last years. Therefore, Vietnam’s education needs to renovate to be compatible to it and helps Vietnamese school graduates have more job opportunities.

    He said the new national education framework was designed on the basis of international education integration. While MOET is optimistic about the new education framework, many educators have doubts about its feasibility.

    Some universities have expressed concern about the new 3-5 year training model for university education, saying that only the best students would be able to finish the curricula within three years. 

    In fact, the 3-year training model has been applied at many schools in Vietnam and brought big benefits. These include the Vietnam-France, Vietnam-Germany and RMIT Vietnam. British University Vietnam also has 3-year training program.

    Vu Van Hoa, vice rector of the Hanoi Business & Technology University, commented that MOET’s scheme is unsuitable to Vietnamese conditions.

    “MOET should have organized many workshops to discuss the strong and weak points of Vietnam’s education before making a decision,” Hoa said.

    Pham Tat Dong, deputy chair of the Vietnam Study Encourage Society, commented that if the 3-year training mechanism is applied, the curriculum must be very selective with more practical knowledge which can satisfy the requirements of the labor market, and the training method must change.

    This is not an easy task to implement, as curricula applied by Vietnam’s schools are outdated in comparison with advanced education systems.

    Le Viet Khuyen, former deputy director of MOET’s university education department, believes the 3-year training program won’t ensure quality. Students can finish school after three years if they focus on professional knowledge and ignore subjects like politics and education on national defence.

    Also according to Khuyen, under the design, one year is the time for fulfilling 30 credits. This means that to fulfill 120 credits, students need four years.

    In order to fulfill 120 credits within three years, students will have to take 40 credits a year, which is believed to be an impossible mission for average students.

    Meanwhile, the training time needs to be longer for some specific training majors, such as medical schools.

    According to Dr Nguyen Huu Tu, to work as an independent physician, one needs to study for three to four years after spending six years at university.

    Phap Luat


    0 0
  • 12/21/16--04:00: Article 0
  • Clothiers face hurdles to benefit from Vietnam-EU free trade pact


    A free trade agreement expected to come into force by 2018 holds great potential to boost retail sales of clothing, footwear and textiles produced in Vietnam in the 28 member countries of the EU, say trade experts.


    clothiers face hurdles to benefit from vietnam-eu free trade pact  hinh 0

    Speaking at a recent forum in Hanoi sponsored by the French Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the experts and business leaders in attendance from both France and Vietnam urged for speedy ratification and entry into force of the agreement.

    The retail sector in France has an acute interest in Vietnam, said Guillame Crouzet of the Chamber at the conference.

    French retailers are interested in Vietnam as a growth market for retail establishments, he noted, and they also view the Southeast Asian country asone of their top three largest sources of clothing, footwear and textiles. In addition, they view Vietnam as a good source of fast moving consumer goods.

    EU retailimports of consumer goods are set to get a possible boost from the elimination of tariffs under the free trade accord, which could lower their import tariffs, raising Vietnamese competitiveness with Chinese goods, he added.

    Nguyen Thi Tuyet Mai, adirector of the Vietnam Textile and Garment Association in turn also noted the decrease in tariffs potentially could boost Vietnamese competitiveness with China as well as neighbouring Cambodia and Myanmar.

    Tariffs levied on Vietnamese imports of consumer goods currently average 12% as compared to no tax levy on comparable imports from China, Cambodia and Myanmar, Ms Mai noted, so all things being equal this should be beneficial to trade.

    However, Ms Mai cautioned, the full elimination of the tariffs will be staged over seven years.

    There are also strict rules of origin conditions imposed for goods such as garments that will require the use of fabrics produced in Vietnam, with the only exception being of those produced in the Republic of Korea (ROK), another free trade partner of the EU.

    Given that many Vietnamese companies source their raw materials and intermediary goods from China, they will not gain any advantage from tariff reductions unless they change their operating methods and import these items from the ROK or another qualifying trade partner.

    Another consideration is the fact that many Vietnamese producers will not benefit because they do not pay tariffs in the first place.  Many small companies in the industry sell their goods cash on delivery in Vietnam (most often referred to as FOB shipping point).

    Therefore, they pay no tariffs, and will obviously not receive any benefit, underscored Ms Mai. Neither will the EU buyer receive any tariff reduction advantage because they are not the producer and therefore do not qualify for such relief.

    If Vietnamese producers change their method of selling to ship product to the EU and have the buyer take title to the goods at the destination (technically referred to FOB destination) then both parties would benefit from the tariff reductions.

    The Vietnamese producer would not pay tariffs in this scenario because they are the manufacturer and importer into the EU and no tax would be levied on the buyer because title passes in the EU.

    This change is not as easy as it sounds and may in many cases not be practical, Ms Mai emphasized, because shipping costs, insurance against risk of loss or damage while the goods are in transit, inspections upon receipt of goods and payment methods all become more complicated.

    But this is obviously a viable and in many cases a preferable option for medium sized or larger domestic manufacturers. It could also be practical for all businesses if there was an industry wide revamp.

    Another alternative is for Vietnamese producers to change the status of their contracts from that of being a contract manufacturer to that of becoming an outsource contractor for the EU buyer.

    This is a common mode of doing business in countries like Taiwan. Technically the term original design manufacturer (ODM) or original equipment manufacturing (OEM) are used, but substantively they are outsourcing contracts. 

    It is widely estimated that Taiwan manufacturers produce 95% of all their computer components and parts using this type of contract, and in many instances, do so specifically to take advantage of reduced tariffs and other benefits of trade agreements.

    In a nutshell, a ODM contractor is a private label contractor making branded products that belong to others.  The Vietnamese brand goes away, as well as the Made-in-Vietnam label.

    A Vietnamese ODM producer would be responsible for designing and building a product as per another company’s specifications. They do not design and produce a product per their own specifications.

    An OEM would refer to a Vietnamese company that is responsible for designing and building a product per its own specifications, and then selling the product to another company in the EU that is responsible for its distribution.

    Like the ODM the Vietnamese brand and the Made-in-Vietnam label go away and the products are marketed by the buyer under its own brand name. Both OEM and ODM can be quite confusing and local companies must take great care and time to understand them thoroughly, said Ms Mai.

    However, the point that Ms Mai was trying to stress was that the clothing, footwear and textiles segments of the economy will not automatically benefit from the Vietnam-EU free trade pact. If they do nothing there will most likely not be any advantages at all.

    Domestic companies must seize the initiative and restructure to gain the fullest advantage from the agreement and overcome the obstacles it presents to elevate their global competitiveness in the high-end segments of the industries.

    The Vietnam-EU free trade pact was concluded on December 2, 2015. Final signature is expected in early 2017 with entry into force by 2018. The agreement will eliminate 99.8% of duties on trade products gradually over a 10-year period.

    Combined commercial trade between Vietnam and the EU was over US$47 billion in 2015 and is set to increase this year.

    Ms Mai noted that local businesses need to focus on training high skilled workers, who are capable to do complex jobs, to produce high-end products.

    VOV


    0 0
  • 12/21/16--23:40: Article 5
  • Social News 22/12


    Court hears appeal on smuggling of 7,700 tonnes of oil


    Court hears appeal on smuggling of 7,700 tonnes of oil, PM visits flood affected residents, Four hi-tech centres built in Hanoi to meet patient demand, Ho Chi Minh City mulls downtown road toll 
    Defendants involved in the smuggling of 7,700 tonnes of oil at trial.


    The Quảng Ninh People’s Court on Tuesday began hearing an appeal on a case relating to the smuggling of 7,700 tonnes of diesel oil which resulted in the loss of over VNĐ22 billion (US$966,000) to the State budget.

    The case involved 12 defendants, including Nguyễn Thế Dũng, 61, former general director of Đồng Tháp Oil and Gas Trading Company, Trương Hữu Có, 51, former director of Eastern Asia Transport Trading Joint-Stock Company and Phạm Văn Khương, a former official of Cẩm Phả Customs Office.

    In the trial which took place in January, Dũng and Có were sentenced to 19 years imprisonment

    Vi Văn Dũng, Nguyễn Ngọc Thi, Trần Quốc Việt and Nguyễn Thành Nam, as well as Phạm Văn Báu, Chu Thi Mỹ Hương, Đặng Việt Anh and Lê Thanh Thảo Ly were sentenced to between 3-16 years of imprisonment. Ly received five years’ probation.

    Phạm Hoàng Giang and Phạm Văn Khương were sentenced to 14-15 months of imprisonment as accessories to the crime. Khương received a probation.

    Trần Mạnh Hùng and Đinh Văn Long received a warning for their lack of responsibility leading to serious consequences.

    Đặng Thu Ngân evaded capture and is currently a fugitive.

    According the Court’s indictment, from the end of 2011 to July 2012, Nguyễn Thế Dũng agreed to sell diesel oil from his company to Có, Đặng Thu Ngân and Vi Văn Dũng.

    The official imported oil in the form of temporary import for re-export and then sold it to other countries.

    Thế Dũng asked Thi and Việt to draw up fake contracts and customs returns to regularise their illegal sales of more than 7,690 tonnes of diesel oil worth more than VNĐ168 billion (US$7.4 million).

    They then sold the oil to Chinese smugglers at the Tà Lùng Border Gate in the northern province of Cao Bằng, the Mường Khương Border Gate in Lào Cai and in Móng Cái City, Quảng Ninh.

    After the first court appearance, the twelve defendants appealed against the ruling.

    The trial is expected to last until Friday. 

    Vietnam Red Cross aims at one million Tet gifts for the poor

    The Vietnam Red Cross Society (VRCS) is striving to provide at least one million gifts for needy people on the Lunar New Year holiday (Tet), VRCS Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Xuan Thu stated at a fund-raising event in Hanoi on December 20.

    At the event, six organisations and individuals donated 14 billion VND (615,160 USD).

    According to Thu, to realise the target, fund-raising campaigns were held earlier this year.

    An action month for Tet for the poor and dioxin victims will be launched, during which support through house repair, the supply of cows and insurance cards and musical concerts will come to these disadvantaged communities.

    Between December 10 and February 8, 2017, the VRCS will kick off a texting campaign, where each “TET” message sent to 1402 equals 20,000 VND (0.87 USD) worth of donation for the needy.

    These activities are part of the “Tet for the poor and dioxin victims” programme, initiated by the VRCS since 1999. It has so far raised more than 4.5 trillion VND (198 million USD) to assist over 17 million poor households and dioxin victims, with 2.17 million gifts worth over 852 billion VND (37.5 million USD) delivered in 2016 alone.

    PM visits flood affected residents

    Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has requested the authorities of the central province of Binh Dinh to urgently support residents in rebuilding houses and repairing those on the verge of collapse.

    In a tour to examine the living conditions of flood affected residents in the province on December 21, he also encouraged local residents to overcome difficulties and restabilise their lives.

    The PM visited residents of the inundated An Xuyen 3 hamlet in the province’s Phu My district, as well as residents of Luat Le hamlet in Tuy Phuoc district who were suffering from the erosion of the Ha Thanh River dyke.

    Five major floods have hit the province since last month, inundating 11 districts, towns and cities in the province, according to the provincial People’s Committee.

    The floods killed 39 people, injured 10, pulled down 551 houses, submerged 97,000 and incurred a loss of some 1.9 trillion VND (83.5 million USD).

    On the same day, Vice President Dang Thi Ngoc Thinh visited flood affected residents in the central province of Phu Yen.

    At a meeting with the provincial People’s Committee, she highly appreciated the province’s efforts in dealing with and overcoming the natural disasters.

    She asked the authorities to take care to avoid post-flood accidents and attend to the living conditions of the flood affected residents, especially when the Lunar New Year is only a month away.

    Two major floods have occurred in Phu Yen since last month, incurring a loss of nearly 500 billion VND (22 million USD). 

    Water leakage sites were discovered at 23 reservoirs in the central province of Binh Dinh on December 20, the result of the heavy downpours and flooding that have afflicted the area since the beginning of the month.

    The Centre of Flood and Storm Prevention in the Central and Central Highlands region reported the province is strictly monitoring the situation at these reservoirs.

    The province also said erosion in the lower part of Hoai An district’ Van Hoi reservoir has been repaired, while three dam outlets were plugged on December 21.

    According to the latest reports from the centre, three outlets released the water level down to 38m via a safe spillway, and a duty team was put on 24 hour alert at the dam.

    The central province, which was the most damaged locale in the flooding, has a total of 166 reservoirs built in the 1980-90s, of which 46 are in poor repair.

    The Ministry of Industry and Trade reported on December 20 that 70 out of 250 reservoirs at hydro-power plants and irrigation lakes in the region continue to discharge water through spillways. Most of the reservoirs are 80 or 95 percent full.

    PM calls for stable Tet prices

    The Prime Minister has called on ministries and government agencies to tighten controls and take steps to ensure stable markets and social security during the upcoming Tet (Lunar New Year) holiday.

    In a directive sent last week, PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc asked the Ministry of Industry and Trade to closely monitor market demand and supply, especially necessary goods and services, to take timely measures to ensure a supply source and reasonable prices nationwide during Tet, which falls in late January 2017.

    The ministry was instructed to prevent counterfeit and low-quality goods without clear origins from being sold in the market and strictly punish those who speculate on products and cheat customers to earn illegal profits.

    Besides preventing smuggling, fraud and counterfeit goods, the Ministry of Finance, was also asked to control market prices so that they remain stable before and after Tet.

    Under the directive, the PM requested the State Bank of Vietnam to ensure cash supply is sufficient for the economy during the holiday, ATM machines work properly and workers get paid before the festival.

    The central bank was also instructed to take effective measures to ensure stability of monetary, foreign exchange and gold markets.

    It was told to increase inspections and monitoring on operation of credit institutions and foreign banks’ branches to ensure the banking system’s safety and liquidity.

    The directive requires the Ministry of Transport to ensure that there are sufficient vehicles for people to travel during the Tet holiday with their families, especially those in remote and disadvantaged areas, including those inhabited by ethnic minority communities.

    It should also implement plans to keep unsafe and substandard vehicles off the roads, ask transport companies to publicise their rates and deliver tickets directly to passengers.

    It asked the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development to ensure that the agriculture sector continues production to meet market demand during the Tet holiday.

    Public security ministry reviews 2016 performance

    Public security forces uncovered 42,558 criminal cases and arrested 80,210 offenders this year, the Ministry of Public Security told a press conference in Hanoi on December 21. 

    The forces also discovered and dealt with 16,823 economic crimes, 224 corruption and 3,319 smuggling cases, 17,622 environment law violations, and busted 18,742 drug crimes. 

    The ministry reported that 11 public security officers killed and 274 others were injured on duty during the year.

    More than 148,500 individuals and units of the forces have received certificates of merit from the Party, State, authorities at all levels for their contributions. The campaign “All people safeguard national security”, a joint effort with ministries, agencies and localities, has been spread nationwide.

    Minister of Public Security To Lam also said the sector has done well in advising the Party and State on strategic issues and ensuring the absolute safety of major political events and activities of Party and State leaders. 

    Answering reporters’ queries about the hunt for former Vice Chairman of the People’s Committee of southern Hau Giang province Trinh Xuan Thanh, Deputy Chief of the Police Department, Maj. Gen Pham Van Cac said the police are closely working with the International Criminal Police Organisation (Interpol) and other countries on the hunt. 

    Minister To Lam, for his part, denied rumours about a leak of information that prompted Thanh and several officials from the Ministry of Industry and Trade to flee abroad. 

    About tasks next year, the minister said the ministry has directed serious and effective implementation of the resolution on Party building and rectification adopted by the fourth plenum of the 12th Party Central Committee. 

    The ministry will continue coordinating with other ministries, sectors and all-level administrations to ensure public security and combat crimes with the support of the entire political system and the public. 

    The ministry will also expand ties with security and police agencies in other countries while pushing forward with efforts to build modern, strong and transparent public security forces, he stated.

    Establishment of Vietnam People’s Army celebrated in Laos

    Vietnam’s defence attaché agency in Laos held a ceremony in Vientiane on December 20 to mark the 72nd founding anniversary of the Vietnam People’s Army (December 22, 1944).

    The event was attended by Vietnamese Ambassador to Laos Nguyen Manh Hung, Lao Defence Minister Chansamone Chanyalath, officers of Lao Ministry of Defence and Ministry of Public Security, and representatives of other countries’ defence attaché agencies in Laos.

    Reviewing the glorious history of the Vietnam People’s Army (VPA), Colonel Tao Van Thai – head of the Vietnamese agency – stressed that under the leadership of the Communist Party of Vietnam, the VPA has grown up and, together with the Vietnamese people, obtained great achievements in the struggle for national liberation in the past and in national development and protection nowadays.

    The VPA has made substantial strides in 2016, especially in protecting the country’s independence, sovereignty, unification, and territorial integrity, keeping peace and stability for national development while helping to ensure security and promote cooperation and development in the region and around the world, he said.

    He noted this year has also witnessed enormous attainments in national development and protection of both Vietnam and Laos. They have enjoyed firm progress in the traditional friendship, special unity and comprehensive cooperation between their Parties, States and peoples. The two countries have also seen their defence-military cooperation growing substantively this year.

    Thai voiced his belief that with the resolutions of the 12th congress of the Communist Party of Vietnam and the 10th congress of the Lao People’s Revolutionary Party, and the outcomes of mutual visits by their leaders, bilateral relations will be continuously intensified.

    On behalf of the Vietnamese Defence Ministry, he also thanked the Lao Party, State, people and army for supporting the countries’ defence-military cooperation, along with the VPA and the defence attaché agency in Laos.-

    Southern province acts to minimising children labour

    The Binh Duong southern industrial hub has devised a working plan to implement its programme on preventing and minimising child labour for the 2017-2020 period.

    The ultimate goal of the programme is to discover and take timely measures to intervene and assist vulnerable children and illegal child labourers in accessing opportunities for development.

    The programme works towards the specific goal of enhancing awareness of administrations at all levels, relevant sectors and organisations, employers, community, parents and children about policies and laws relating to child labour.

    Binh Duong aims to provide training to all communal-level officials in charge of child care and protection work, and strengthen the inter-sectoral working groups in this field.

    The province will work to provide 65 percent of households with working children with knowledge and occupational skills to get stable livelihood and ensure 65 percent of employers who use child labourers will receive training in child labour laws.

    According to the provincial People’s Committee, Binh Duong currently has more than 425,000 children, of whom 7,000 children are from severely disadvantaged backgrounds and more than 3,600 children are at risk of falling into similar conditions.

    Seminar discusses implementation of UN Agenda 2030

    The Ministry of Planning and Investment (MoPI) held a seminar in Hanoi on December 21 discussing the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its implementation in Vietnam. 

    The agenda, adopted at the UN Summit in New York on September 25-27, aims to maintain sustainable economic growth in tandem with social progress and justice and ecological environment protection, effectively manage and use natural resources and actively cope with climate change, towards building a peaceful, prosperous, inclusive, democratic, fair, civilised and sustainable society. 

    Speaking at the event, deputy chief of the sustainable development office from the Ministry of Planning and Investment’s Department of Environment and Natural Resources Planning and Education underscored the need to rally the involvement of ministries, centrally-run and local agencies, including the media, socio-political organisations, business community, development partners and the entire public for the effort. 

    The Agenda 2030 puts forth vision for the next 15 years with 17 sustainable development goals and successive actions. It has been added into the National Assembly and government’s resolutions on socio-economic development scheme. 

    The MoPI has worked closely with ministries, agencies, localities, domestic and foreign organisations to devise a national action plan for the implementation of the agenda which has been submitted to the Prime Minister last month. 

    The action plan comprises 115 goals, including eliminating every form of poverty; ensuring food security and sustainable and comprehensive economic growth; improving nutrition; promoting sustainable agricultural development; ensuring access to sustainable, reliable and affordable energy sources; and promoting global partnership for sustainable development until 2030, among others.  

    Between 2017 and 2020, the country will perfect sustainable development mechanisms, improve the efficiency of State management on national sustainable development, and ensure sufficient legal framework for the implementation of the action plan and sustainable development goals. 

    The action plan is expected to help Vietnam make responsible contributions to common global efforts to boost sustainable development.

    Hanoi authorities congratulate parishioners on Christmas

    Hanoi authorities extended Christmas greetings to parishioners in the city on December 20.

    At a meeting with Bishop John Vu Tat of Hung Hoa Diocese in Le Loi ward, Son Tay town, Standing Vice Secretary of the municipal Party Committee Ngo Thi Thanh Hang acknowledged the significant contributions of Catholic dignitaries, priests and followers to the city’s socio-economic and cultural development in 2016.

    She expressed her hope that the Catholics will continue to actively engage in local activities with a view to making the city more beautiful and civilised.

    Meanwhile, Vice Secretary of the municipal Party Committee and Chairwoman of the People’s Council Nguyen Thi Bich Ngoc congratulated Catholic dignitaries and followers at the Bac Ninh Diocese on the occasion of Christmas.

    She noted that in 2016, the city recorded the highest economic growth rate in six years, reaching and surpassing all socio-economic development targets. These achievements were remarkably contributed by religious followers and Catholics in particular.

    Bishop of the Bac Ninh Diocese Hoang Van Dat pledged to encourage parishioners to abide by the Party’s policies and the State’s law and make more contributions to the capital development.

    The same day, Nguyen Lan Huong, head of the city’s mass mobilisation department, also presented gifts to Catholics in Phuong Trung commune, Thanh Oai district.

    PM approves Australian-funded project to support women

    The Prime Minister has approved the “investing in Vietnamese women” project worth 4 million AUD (3.07 million USD) sourced from the Australian Government’s non-refundable ODA.

    The project, to be implemented from 2017-2019, aims to enhance the economic status of women engaging in small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), thus contributing to boosting sustainable economic growth in Vietnam.

    Along with supports to SMEs owned by women, the project will help build policies and legal framework backing women’s involvement in economic activities, changing social opinions towards advocating empowering women in terms of economy, and promoting renovations in SMEs led by women.

    It is expected to improve the quality of SMEs owned by women thanks to access to financial sources and consultation activities.

    At the same time, the PM has also approved a project to support the business community’s effective engagement in international trade activities when Vietnam becomes a member of the United Nations Convention of Contracts for the International Sale of Goods (Vienna Convention 1980).

    The project targets the strong popularisation of contents of the convention in import-export, as well as lawyers, judges, arbitrators, lecturers, public servants and State management officials, thus strengthening the effective and active application of the convention in international trade activities and ensuring the rights and benefits of Vietnamese firms.

    Within the framework of the project, a number of conferences and training courses will be held, while communication documents on the convention will also be delivered out.

    Can Tho seeks ways to foster connections with OV community

    The Vietnam Fatherland Committee in the Mekong Delta city of Can Tho on December 20 held an international conference to highlight the importance of people-to-people and cultural diplomacy as well as the overseas Vietnamese (OV) community to the city’s growth.

    Currently, more than 10,000 people from Can Tho are studying and working in 13 countries and territories in the world. The city is also hosting 32 enterprises invested by OVs with a total capital of about 22.2 million USD and received remittances that increased 10-15 percent annually.

    According to Chau Van Chy, Chairman of the OV Association in Cambodia, Can Tho should create more favourable conditions for the OV community to update information of the city and seek investment opportunities by designing specific support policies for them.

    He suggested that Can Tho grant more scholarships to offspring of Vietnamese people abroad to increase the engagement of them in the locality’s socio-economic development. 

    Meanwhile, Huynh Thi Hong Xuong from the Vietnamese Association in Jeollanamdo-Kwangju in the Republic of Korea, held that Can Tho should back OV enterprises in the city, while setting up a number of Korean language teaching centres, or Korean language faculties in training facilities.

    Mai Van Sau, Chairman of the VFF in Can Tho said that to further foster the connection with the Vietnamese community abroad, in the future, the city will actively coordinate with State agencies to gather their opinions to design timely support policies and propose to the Party and State measures to deal with arising problems.

    The city has also strengthened the coordination with the Overseas Vietnamese Liaison Board to gather Vietnamese abroad in engaging closely in the national unity bloc, bridging the host countries and the homeland, and introducing the nation and people of Vietnam to international friends, he said.

    Thanh Hoa province calls for international non-governmental aid

    The department for external affairs in the north central province of Thanh Hoa on December 20 held a conference to call for international non-governmental funding.

    Since 2006, Thanh Hoa received 57 projects from some 40 non-governmental organisations worth about 7.8 million USD a year, the department reported. 

    In 2016 alone, there were 49 organisations and 66 programmes focusing on rural development - poverty alleviation, health care, environmental protection and disaster risk mitigation.

    Three million USD worth of non-governmental aid have been provided for six mountainous districts and between 1 and 3 million USD reached five coastal districts.

    Charities still running in Thanh Hoa include World Vision with 14-year operation and 36-million-USD funding, Anesvad foundation with 5 years of activities and 5.7 million USD, as well as Save the Children with 23 years and 4.1 million USD.

    Speaking at the conference, Vice Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee Le Thi Thin called on continued support for poverty alleviation efforts in the province.

    Nine groups and 13 individuals from international charities were honoured at the function for their outstanding contributions.

    Campaign launched to raise funds for flood victims

    The Vietnam Fatherland Front (VFF) Central Committee launched a campaign on December 20 to raise funds for local residents in flood-hit south central provinces.

    At the launching ceremony, the VFF Central Committee received over 8 billion VND (around 352,000 USD) and 9,800 USD donated by ministries, sectors and organisations to the affected people.

    The same day, Vice President Dang Thi Ngoc Thinh presented 300 million VND to residents and another 300 million VND (13,200 USD) sourced from the National Fund for Vietnamese Children for kids in flood-affected areas in Binh Dinh province.

    She also visited and presented gifts to support 20 affected households and 10 million VND to a family in Phuoc Hoa commune of Tuy Phuoc district.

    A delegation from the Ministry of Education and Training led by Deputy Minister Pham Manh Hung also handed over 400 million VND (17,600 USD) and 2,500 sets of textbook to students in the flood-hit districts of Phu Cat, Tuy Phuoc and An Nhon in Binh Dinh province.

    According to the provincial People’s Committee, floods have claimed 36 lives, injured 10 others and cause total losses of 1,230 billion VND (some 54.1 million USD).

    The province so far has received 12,000 packages of gift, worth 11.5 billion VND to support affected residents. It also disbursed 50 billion VND (2.2 million USD) from the provincial reserve budget to aid local people.

    A total of 8.3 billion VND (365,200 USD), donated by organisations and individuals both in and outside the province, has been used to build 166 houses for the flood victims.

    The province called on the Government to allocate 500 billion VND (22,000 USD) to address the consequences of the floods.

    Also on December 20, a delegation from the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development visited the south central coastal province of Khanh Hoa to help local farmers resume agricultural production after the floods.

    The delegation visited land-slide Phuoc Loc village in Phuoc Dong commune, Nha Trang city, in which two were killed, six were injured and one went missing.

    The working team also supervised the flooded fields in Dien Dien, Dien Son, Dien Phu communes, in Dien Khanh district.

    Four teams have been set up to help other south central localities, namely Thua Thien – Hue, Da Nang, Quang Nam, Quang Ngai, Binh Dinh, Phu Yen, Khanh Hoa and Ninh Thuan overcome consequences of floods.

    Since early this month, floods and heavy rains have hit Khanh Hoa, causing a loss exceeding 600 billion VND (26,400 USD) and damaging 8,000 hectares of rice, 1,300 hectares of corn, 280 hectares of vegetables, irrigation works, killing thousands of livestock, and sinking dozens of ships.

    Floods and heavy rains have caused serious damages, worth over two trillion VND (88 million USD) to the five provinces of Binh Dinh, Phu Yen, Quang Ngai, Quang Nam and Khanh Hoa. 59 were reported dead and missing, 22 injured, and hundreds of thousands of houses collapsed and flooded.

    Vinh Long, Cambodia’s BanTeay Meanchey boost cooperation

    The People’s Committee of the Mekong Delta province of Vinh Long on December 20 met officials of the Cambodian province of BanTeay Meanchey to exchange experience in socio-economic development.

    At the working session, Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee Tran Hoang Tuu briefed strengths of Vinh Long in a bid to seek to enhance cooperation with the Cambodian locality

    There are over 70,000 ha of rice and over 40,000 ha of fruit trees in Vinh Long, as well as an abundant skilled labour force, historical and eco-tourism sites, according to Tuu.

    Suon Bava, Governor of BanTeay Meanchey, applauded socio-economic development achievements of Vinh Long, adding that two localities should boost ties in agriculture and tourism due to similarities in those fields.

    The two provinces will soon sign a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for 2017 – 2022, with cooperation priority suggested for the agriculture, trade and tourism sectors.

    Four hi-tech centres built in Hanoi to meet patient demand

    The Ministry of Health has given the green light to Hospital E in Hanoi to open four hi-tech centres to meet patient demand.

    The four centres include a cardiology centre, a digestive centre, a bone-muscle centre, and a tumor centre. The cardiology centre is expected to be the leading one in performing complicated cases of congenital heart problems in the country.

    The hospital on December 20 broke ground for building a treatment unit and a modern unit for outpatients as well as set up a children’s unit.

    The treatment unit and the unit for outpatients are built on an area of 13,000 square metres at a total cost of 358 billion VND (15.7 million USD). It is expected to serve 2,000 patients a day.

    The two units will be opened in 2018.

    Vietnam’s top leaders to skip usual Lunar New Year visits

    In a break from tradition, top Communist Party and State leaders will not take any official visit trips to cities and provinces during the coming Lunar New Year, or Tet, holiday.

    The government portal said in a statement on December 21 that the decision was made by the influential Secretariat, which oversees the Communist Party's day-to-day policy implementation, in a bid to curb unnecessary spending during the country’s biggest festive celebration.

    City and provincial officials have also been banned from giving gifts to high-ranking leaders.

    Vietnamese have a tradition of visiting others and offering greetings and gifts during festivals, especially Tet, which falls on January 28 next year.

    In many cases the gifts can be bribery in disguise that officials use to curry favor with their bosses, according to media reports.

    Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc in late November banned government officials from offering gifts to their superiors during the holiday.

    “I have instructed them [government officials] not to pay any visit to the prime minister or other senior government, ministry and agency officials," Phuc said at a monthly cabinet meeting. Any kind of Tet gifts would also be prohibited, he said.

    In mid-November, Phuc approved a seven-day Tet break from January 26 to February 1.

    Provinces and cities in Vietnam have also been prohibited from celebrating the upcoming Lunar New Year, or Tet, with fireworks shows, long a staple of the country's biggest holiday.

    According to a new directive from the Communist Party's Secretariat, some cities and provinces including Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City have often been allowed to hold fireworks shows for Tet. The directive stopped short of whether there would be any exception for Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City.

    But this year the money should be used to help poor people, the directive said, adding that any violations will be severely punished.

    Hanoi authorities congratulate parishioners on Christmas

    Hanoi authorities extended Christmas greetings to parishioners in the city on December 20.

    At a meeting with Bishop John Vu Tat of Hung Hoa Diocese in Le Loi ward, Son Tay town, Standing Vice Secretary of the municipal Party Committee Ngo Thi Thanh Hang acknowledged the significant contributions of Catholic dignitaries, priests and followers to the city’s socio-economic and cultural development in 2016.

    She expressed her hope that the Catholics will continue to actively engage in local activities with a view to making the city more beautiful and civilised.

    Meanwhile, Vice Secretary of the municipal Party Committee and Chairwoman of the People’s Council Nguyen Thi Bich Ngoc congratulated Catholic dignitaries and followers at the Bac Ninh Diocese on the occasion of Christmas.

    She noted that in 2016, the city recorded the highest economic growth rate in six years, reaching and surpassing all socio-economic development targets. These achievements were remarkably contributed by religious followers and Catholics in particular.

    Bishop of the Bac Ninh Diocese Hoang Van Dat pledged to encourage parishioners to abide by the Party’s policies and the State’s law and make more contributions to the capital development.

    The same day, Nguyen Lan Huong, head of the city’s mass mobilisation department, also presented gifts to Catholics in Phuong Trung commune, Thanh Oai district.

    HCMC mulls congestion charge for cars entering city center

    Car drivers in HCMC may be required to pay a small toll to enter districts 1, 3, 5 and 10 next year.

    Authorities in Ho Chi Minh City are considering imposing an entry fee ranging from VND40,000 (US$1.76) to VND60,000 (US$2.64) for cars heading into the city center starting from next year in an effort to ease congestion.

    The city's Transport Department has been working with the Innovative Technology Development Corporation (ITD), the company that proposed the idea, on a plan to establish automated toll booths in four of the city's busiest districts.

    The plan was first suggested by ITD in 2010 and received approval from HCMC's People’s Committee. However, when it was formally presented in 2012 it was shelved after several meetings.

    ITD Director Lam Thieu Quan told VnExpress that not many changes had been made to the new plan from the older version proposed six years ago. The biggest concerns related to the plan are a legal framework for the fees and the level of sanctions for those who refuse to pay it, according to Quan.

    “HCMC will have to consult the state government because there aren't specific regulations related to charging an entry fee for cars entering the city center at the moment. Fines for those who ignore the toll also need to be considered carefully,” said Quan.

    According to the 2010 version of the plan, which had an estimated cost of VND1.2 trillion (US$52.7 million), 36 automated toll booths would be installed on major streets in districts 1 and 3 and bordering areas of districts 5 and 10. Specialized cameras to recognize car number plates and other equipment worth over VND1 trillion (US$43.9 million) will be set up at each entry point.

    Vietnam floods kill 24, more rains expected

    Days of unseasonably torrential rains have killed at least 24 people in central Vietnam, authorities said on December 20, inundating swathes of the region including the tourist draw town of Hoi An.

    Vietnam regularly experiences tropical storms and heavy downpours but it is unusual for the country to see so much rain in December, during the cooler dry season that is popular with tourists.

    Coastal Binh Dinh province reported the biggest death toll with 16 people killed since heavy rains began on December 12, according to an official online report from the national flood and storm control committee.

    At least two more are missing in the province with hundreds of houses in remote areas currently under water.

    The report said damage totalled $32 million with more than 32,000 hectares of crops destroyed.

    Parts of the central town of Hoi An, a World Heritage site that boasts picturesque pre-colonial trading houses, were submerged under water.

    "It is strange for our town to be hit with flooding in December," Nguyen Thi Hon, a restaurant owner in Hoi An, told AFP adding some tourists had taken to seeing the sights by boat.

    The floodwaters have receded in the last few days, she added.

    But local forecasters have warned of further rains to come in the region at the end of the week.

    Ho Chi Minh City mulls downtown road toll

    Drivers of cars might have to pay a fee to be able to enter downtown Ho Chi Minh City in the near future, according to a new plan aimed at alleviating traffic jams.

    The municipal Department of Transport is working with the Ho Chi Minh City-based Innovative Technology Development Corporation (iTD) to finalize procedures to initiate the scheme.

    According to Ngo Hai Duong, head of the Road Infrastructure Management and Exploitation Division under the transport department, certain aspects of the plan are under consideration, including the parameters of the downtown area, the toll amount during specific hours and any capital investment needed, among others.

    The project will be executed under a PPP (public-private partnership) contract.

    PPP involves a deal between a public sector authority and a private party, in which the private party provides a public service for the project and assumes substantial financial, technical and operational risk.

    Prior to the implementation, relevant authorities will collect feedback from local residents and experts, Duong added.

    The primary purpose of the proposal is to reduce traffic congestion in the city’s center, thus tolls would only be applied at rush hour, the official continued.

    The charges will be between VND40,000 (US$1.76) and VND60,000 ($2.64), depending on the type of vehicle, one leader of the iTD said, adding that tolls would not be applied to buses and public service vehicles.

    Drivers are required to pay the fee only when entering the downtown area, he said.

    Electric boards will be installed around the city center to inform local residents.

    Toll booths will not be used to collect the fee, the company leader elaborated, stating that charges will be deducted from the bank accounts of drivers or owners of vehicles via an automatic device installed on the vehicles.

    iTD will be in charge of providing the necessary technology for the scheme as its management is under the authority of the state.

    The proposition was first brought up for discussion in 2012, but was largely discouraged.

    In response to the proposal, Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper has conducted a small survey on local people’s opinions.

    While some residents expressed support for the plan, others worried it might not be viable without careful consideration and thorough execution.

    According to My Xuan, director of a local media company, the toll could be a significant penalty for some in comparison to people of the upper class.

    Meanwhile, Tran Van Hi, a cab driver, said that the plan would reduce the number of passenger taxis in the downtown area.

    Vietnam to open first observatory next year

    The final phases of the construction of Vietnam’s first observatory are being carried out in the south-central province of Khanh Hoa in preparation for its inauguration next year.

    The building is being constructed on Hon Chong (Husband Islet) in Nha Trang, a famous beach city in Khanh Hoa Province, and is expected to be finished by March 2017.

    According to Professor Pham Anh Tuan, director of the Vietnam National Satellite Center, the observatory will be a place to observe astronomical events as well as a potential tourist attraction for the city.

    The structure includes a telescope with a diameter of 50cm and a covering dome nine meters across, Prof. Tuan said, adding that finishing touches of the building are being carried out.

    With a capacity of 60 people, access to the observatory will be given to tourists and local residents, especially students who wish to study terrestrial and celestial events, the director stated.

    The observatory is expected to be included in travel itineraries of local tours.

    Its establishment is part of Vietnam’s most significant scientific project with total capital investment at US$600 million.

    Another larger observatory being constructed at the National Space Museum, inside the Hoa Lac Hi-Tech Park in Hanoi, is anticipated to open in 2018, at the inauguration of the museum.

    The building will provide local residents with a better look at such phenomena as meteor showers, lunar and solar eclipses, said Prof. Tuan.

    According to the academic, equipment in both observatories has been imported from Italy, while their construction cost is estimated at VND120 billion (US$5.2 million).

    Hanoi’s maiden BRT to offer month of free travel

    The first-ever bus rapid transit (BRT) in Hanoi will offer free rides for one month after its inauguration on New Year’s Day, as local authorities seek to familiarize city dwellers with the new means of getting around.

    The BRT management under the Hanoi transport department said on Monday that they have obtained approval from the municipal administration for the one-month free ride program starting January 1, 2017.

    After January, the fare is set to be VND7,000 (US$0.31) per ride.

    A fleet of 29 brand new 90-seater buses will be employed for the BRT service, which will depart every five to 15 minutes.

    The buses will run in a specific lane within a 14.7km route that connects the Yen Nghia bus station in the outer district of Ha Dong and the Kim Ma station in Dong Da, passing 21 stops.

    At a speed of 19.6 kph, the full route will take 45 minutes, five to ten minutes faster than conventional buses.

    “The 90-seater buses used for the service boast modern design and technology, so drivers will not have to work as hard as their conventional peers,” Nguyen Hoang Hai, director of the BRT management board, said.

    Hai added that there are few turns or crossroads along the route and expects that the service will always be on time.

    The BRT will be in service from 5:00 am to 10:00 pm daily, with 358 rides every day except on Sundays, when there will be 264 rides.

    The $53.6 million project has been funded by the World Bank.

    Streets within the BRT route now have a specific lane next to the median strip dedicated to the rapid bus service.

    BRT stops are also located on the median strips. Some of the stops are connected with pedestrian overpasses and others require passengers to cross the street, as per normal.

    While authorities are upbeat that the BRT will facilitate the mobility of the capital’s residents, widespread skepticism remains amongst critics that the system will not be as effective as expected.

    Speaking at a press conference on Monday, Vu Van Vien, director of the Hanoi transport department, reiterated that authorities are confident of the effectiveness of the BRT.

    Vien defended the decision to invest in the BRT system, saying that the cost of this kind of transportation is only one-tenth of the elevated urban railway, and one-twentieth of the subway.

    An elevated railway, the infamous Chinese-funded Cat Linh-Ha Dong project, remains under construction in the capital city.

    “As per international experience, a BRT should be developed during the construction of an elevated urban railway,” Vien said.

    Besides the maiden Kim Ma-Yen Nghia route, seven other BRT services are scheduled for development in the future, the department added.

    Many local commuters and experts have expressed doubt that the BRT will reduce traffic congestion, suggesting that it would only worsen the situation on many of the busy streets the buses run on.

    Addressing these concerns, Vien admitted that the BRT “may cause traffic disorder in its initial stages”.

    “But we hope local residents will understand and share the hardship with authorities,” he said.

    Vietnamese teen perfects charismatic portraits

    Phan Dang Hoang, a 16-year-old artist from the north-central Vietnamese province of Nghe An, has dedicated himself to the art of drawing portraits that transmit the charisma of the subject through realistic renditions of their expressions.

    The eleventh grader from Huynh Thuc Khang High School in Vinh City, Nghe An's capital, was even featured in the December issue of U.S. magazine Colored Pencil for his works.

    Hoang had a brush with drawing at the age of three, and has since trained himself to draw ‘truyen than’ (charisma transmitting) portraits with his full passion.

    This style of drawing is similar to photorealism in the sense that it looks to replicate as closely as possible the full emotion and expression, or the ‘charisma’, of the subject.

    While photorealistic artists attempt to reproduce a photograph as realistically as they can, truyen than artists focus their attention primarily on reproducing the personality of their subjects rather than every detail.

    “Every profession requires passion,” Hoang told Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper. “I’ve fallen in love with these drawings and seen them as my ideal life. The moment I pick up the pencil is always the best moment of my life.”

    Hoang said he could only draw portraits of those that inspired and “catalyzed” him, as only then “could an artist let [his] soul roam free into drawing”.

    The 16-year-old artist often rejects money from those who paid him and draws for free for those without a penny to their name.

    As a perfectionist, Hoang would spend up to a month finishing a single portrait, and has until now drawn over 50 portraits, mostly of Vietnamese celebrities.

    “I spend a lot of time and effort on each of my works,” Hoang said in the Colored Pencil article. “They consume me. There can’t be one wrong detail.”

    Replica of Eiffel Tower illuminates perish in central Vietnam as Christmas nears

    A parish in the north-central Vietnamese province of Nghe An has stepped up their Christmas decoration with an illuminated bamboo-made replica of France’s famous Eiffel Tower.

    The ‘bamboo Eiffel,’ measuring 34 meters high and ten meters wide, was built in the yard of Yen Dai Parish in Nghi Phu Commune in the provincial capital of Vinh.

    Locals spent two weeks assembling over 300 bamboo trees together using 100 kilograms of steel wires and 20 kilograms of nails.

    The structure was then spray painted in white and decorated with 100 LED bulbs and 1,000 meters of flickering string lights.

    The whole project cost VND60 million (US$2,680) to make, according to Nguyen Van Nam, a local communal official.

    The tower is lit up from 6:00 pm every day, and will be there to stay until Tet, or Lunar New Year, in late January 2017, Nam said.

    In 2007, the parish had put together a similar Eiffel Tower at a smaller scale, measuring 17 meters high. The tower was later bought by a local hotel for VND7 million (US$313).

    Vietnam Olympic Committee awarded Labour Order

    The Vietnam Olympic Committee (VOC) held a ceremony to celebrate its 40th anniversary (December 20, 1976) and received the Labour Order, third class from the President of Vietnam in Hanoi on December 20.

    The ceremony was attended by member of the Politburo of the Party Central Committee and President of the Vietnam Fatherland Front Central Committee Nguyen Thien Nhan, Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam and Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Nguyen Ngoc Thien.

    Addressing the ceremony, Hoang Tuan Anh, former minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism and chairman of the VOC said since the VOC was founded, it has completed its tasks outstandingly and contributed to sports development in the country based on three principles: sports for everyone, elite sports and international sporting relationships.

    One of VOC’s excellent achievements is its contribution to the 2016 Olympic gold medal won by Vietnamese shooter Hoang Xuan Vinh and the 2016 Paralympic gold medal by weightlifter Le Van Cong.

    All levels urged to join social security efforts

    Deputy Prime Minister Nguyễn Đức Đam called on businesses, individuals and the community to join the Government in enhancing social protection.

    Đam, who is also head of the National Steering Committee that oversees the implementation of Government’s Resolution 70/NQ-CP dated 2012 – a Government Action Programme for social protection, said on Tuesday that mechanisms and policies were needed to better engage non-State resources in social protection activities.

    He suggested a mechanism in which businesses, individuals and the community could raise funds and manage donations to the poor, those in vulnerable groups like the unemployed, or charity activities.

    In June, 2012, for the first time, the Party Central Committee issued a resolution relating to social policies for the period 2012-20. The move affirmed the special attention from the Party and State for the sector for sustainable development in all stages of national growth.

    In November 2012, the Government issued Resolution 70/NQ-CP to specialise the Party’s resolution.

    Resolution 70 assigned the main tasks to ministries, agencies, localities, organisations and individuals, focusing on developing an effective scheme for the search and collection of martyrs’ remains, diversifying forms of social insurance, working on amendments and supplements to the supporting policies for households living near the poverty line, and implementing social security numbers for all citizens.

    The Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs reported that this year, the remains of 1,688 martyrs were collected. Out of 8.8 million revolutionary contributors nationwide, about 1.4 million contributors and their families received monthly aid from State. Almost 92,000 contributors got housing support.

    The Government spent VNĐ15 trillion (US$659 million) offering monthly aid and free healthcare insurance cards. About 14 million people including poor people and those from ethnic groups or disadvantaged areas and 1.8 million people from near-poor households received the free health insurance cards.

    By this month, about 1.5 million workers were assisted in education and employment.

    The number of social insurance participants increased by 13.1 million people, or 1.96 per cent higher than that of last year. This means 24.19 per cent of Việt Nam’s labour force participates in social insurance.

    Regarding  poverty reduction, 826,000 poor and near-poor households and 21,000 students received preferential loans worth over VNĐ27.3 trillion ($1.2 billion).

    More than 10,000 families in rural areas and 12,000 poor households in flood-prone areas nationwide were helped to build houses.

    By the end of this year, the country expects a poverty rate of less than nine per cent, about 1.3 -1.5 per cent lower than that of last year. However, poverty rates in remote disadvantaged areas are still high with some localities seeing more than half of their population living under poverty line.

    Deputy minister of Labour, Nguyễn Trọng Đàm, said that the country’s unemployment rate remained at 2.34 per cent but it saw high rate of college graduates unable to find jobs.

    He said that job training activities in rural areas were ineffective because of the modest number of job categories, few applications of new technologies and hi-tech farming.

    Attending the meeting with Deputy Prime Minister Đam, other representatives from ministries and agencies complained about the shortage of funding and improper co-operation among State agencies and non-State ones in social protection activities. 

    New shrimp breeding model produces power

    A new, hi-tech shrimp breeding model that generates electricity via biogas and deals effectively with sludge is being piloted in Bến Tre Province.

    The project, being carried out by Japanese and Vietnamese scientists in the Mekong Delta province, deploys the closed-cycle shrimp farm model, where sludge and other organic waste from shrimp ponds are mixed and put in a methane fermentation facility to produce biogas, which is desulfurized to create electricity.

    The bioelectricity is supplied to a new aeration and air diffuser system in shrimp breeding, said Professor Takuya Kitaoka of Kyushu University.

    The waste produced during the production of biogas is sent to a carbonization facility to produce charcoal, which is a soil improvement agent, boosting cultivation, he added.

    Another new aspect of the model is that it uses a new aeration and air diffuser system which diffusers air from the pond’s bottom to its surface. This replaces the propellers currently used to create oxygen, but this is confined to the surface.

    The piloted model is part of a project to promote sustainable development of rural areas by effective utilisation of bio-waste with highly efficient fuel cell technology.

    The project is carried out under the Japanese government’s programme of science and technology research partnership for sustainable development. It uses non-refundable official development assistance from the Japanese government through the Japan International Co-operation Agency.

    The project is carried out by several Vietnamese universities and institutes including the Institute for Nanotechnology-Việt Nam National University HCM City, the Kyushu University and other Japanese companies.

    It has a total funding of more than US$3.6 million. It is expected to run for 60 months, from April 2015 to May 2020.

    The model was first tested in a lab in Japan. The Vietnamese institute’s staff have received training in Japan, and a lab was set up in Việt Nam in September.

    Nguyễn Văn Buội, deputy head of the Bến Tre Province Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, told Việt Nam News that the province has 35,000 hectares of shrimp farms this year, producing 45,000 tonnes of crustaceans.

    The province aims to apply hi-tech in shrimp breeding to increase output and ensure stable growth, Buội said.

    Development of shrimp farming needs to go along with environmental protection, he said, adding: “The Japanese hi-tech shrimp breeding model suits the province’s development trend.”

    It also introduces a technology for more effective waste treatment, he said.

    Several shrimp farms that do not have areas to hold sludge after harvesting often discharge it into nearby canals, causing water pollution, Buội said.

    Moreover, sludge at several other farms are just stored and not treated to use for the next crop, which can lead to the development of potential pathogens for shrimps, he added.

    “If the pilot project is successful, the province will expand it to other farms, and other provinces in the Mekong Region can follow,” he said.

    Associate Prof Đặng Mậu Chiến, who heads the Institute for Nanotechnology-Việt Nam National University HCM City, said they are planning to carry out the new model for fish breeding as well.

    Female workers’ clubs boost solidarity, confidence

    Dương Thị Thùy Linh, 25, a worker at the Khai Quang Industrial Park in Vĩnh Phúc Province, had a hectic, unvaryingly mundane schedule.

    She worked hard for 10 to 12 hours a day, six days a week, returned to her rented room, cooked, ate, slept and returned to work.

    She hardly went out and talked to neighbours, also migrant workers like her, in the rented rooms complex. In her “free” time, she stayed alone in her room and read books.

    Linh and many migrant workers come to Vĩnh Phú, either from rural areas in the province or from other localities, are deprived of many material benefits and had no relief from their stress.

    The province, located more than 60km to the northwest of Hà Nội, has been struggling with the pace of workers’ influx, estimated at 67,000, which has been far greater than the development of local infrastructure and social services.

    “As a new employee, I had several questions about benefits for workers. When I was confused about something or not satisfied with my working environment, I did not know who I should go to ask,” Linh said.

    Then something changed.

    “One day, when I was back from work, my landlord asked me to attend a group meeting of my rented room complex. It was the first time I had heard about such a meeting.

    “For the first time, I was able to talk to so many fellow migrant workers.”

    The meeting is held every month in many rented room complexes of migrant workers in the northern province with the support of three Vietnamese and international non-profit organisations — BATIK International, GRET and Centre for Development and Integration.

    Officers of the provincial Women Union, Labour Confederation and representatives of employers from companies and factories attend the meeting to answer workers’ questions or provide necessary information about labour regulations, social insurance, healthcare policies and soft skills.

    Workers have the opportunity to submit their proposals to local authorities and employers to better their working conditions and make sure their rights are fully protected.

    Female migrant workers, in particular, have been guided and helped in setting up self-managed clubs to spread information on social rights, share experiences and make requests of local social service providers.

    Before each monthly meeting at such clubs, leaders will ask for comments from members and choose topics. These topics are forwarded to the provincial Women Union, who will invite experts for a Q&A session.

    The clubs also organise sports activities as well as song and dance competitions every week as a way to create closely-knit networks among migrant workers in the region. So far there are 15 female migrant clubs in the province.

    “My boring free time is now filled with fun activities with my colleagues. After meetings like these, I feel more confident about standing up and raising my voice to ask for my benefits at work,” said Nguyễn Thị Phương, another migrant worker at the Khai Quang IP.

    “More importantly, I have friends at work and at home. Now when I am away from home, I can call on my neighbors to help me bring clothes off the line if it rains. It’s a very simple example of how close we have become,” she said.

    Nguyễn Thị Thuý Hà, deputy head of Vĩnh Phúc’s Labour Confederation, said: “Through Q&A sessions between labourers and employers, we identify violations. For example, upon receiving workers’ report on low-quality meals at the canteen, we will contact our grassroots labour confederations to check their meal quality and improve working conditions.”

    The Vĩnh Phúc People’s Committee has since announced plans to build a complex for workers at industrial parks, including health clinics, entertainment venues and playgrounds, Hà said.

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


    0 0
  • 12/22/16--00:15: Article 4
  • BUSINESS IN BRIEF 22/12


    Vietnam has 1.4 mil traditional trade stores nationwide: Nielsen

    The Southeast Asian country has 1.4 million traditional trade stores nationwide, as per a recent study of Nielsen- a global performance management company that provides a comprehensive understanding of what consumers watch and buy.

    30 percent of more than 1.4 million traditional trade stores in Vietnam account for approximately 80 percent of sales in the fast moving consumer goods (FMCG), said in the study.

    Accordingly, it can be a big challenge for manufacturers because it is unthinkable for producers to satisfy just 50 percent of 1.4 million stores even huge manufacturers which can provide commodities for 30 percent of store.

    Quy Nhon Beach Resort gets green light

    The Binh Dinh Economic Zone Administration (BEZA) has recently granted an investment license to a joint venture between two Canadian and one Vietnamese companies for the four-star MAIA Quy Nhon Beach Resort project in south-central Binh Dinh province.

    “All preparatory work and legal procedures for the project will be completed before the middle of next year,” Mr. Nguyen Bay, Director of the Investment Promotion Center under the provincial Department of Planning and Investment (DPI), told VET.

    The joint venture consists of Canada’s Transwood Investments Limited and VCCF Limited and Tam Khang Binh Dinh Limited from Vietnam, with Transwood Investments holding a controlling stake of 80 per cent and VCCF and Tam Khang Binh Dinh 10 per cent.

    Developed in Zone 1 of the Nhon Ly - Cat Tien tourism area at the Nhon Hoi Economic Zone, the project covers an area of about 34 ha, including 28.88 ha of land and 5.27 ha of sea area, and has total investment of around $52 million and a lifespan of 50 years.

    The investors will focus on building a four-star luxury resort with 755 rooms and the project is a combination of various types of tourism and services, such as building and doing business in tourism areas, accommodation, resorts, hotels, restaurants, and other supporting services, travel services, meeting and conference organization, transport services for travelers, entertainment and sports services, and beaches.

    Along with the five-star resort invested by the FLC Group in the provincial capital of Quy Nhon, MAIA Quy Nhon Beach Resort is expected to contribute to developing tourism into an important economic sector in Binh Dinh.

    At the end of July the FLC Group held an opening ceremony for its five-star beach and golf resort complex covering an area of 1,300 ha and including a 36-hole golf course, a 1,500-room luxury resort, a marine eco-tourism area, a luxury hotel, a zoo and a 1,500-seat international convention center.

    The province hopes these projects will boost the local tourism industry and create thousands of jobs, contributing to local socioeconomic development in the years to come.

    Binh Dinh has an area of 6,039 sq km and a population of 1.51 million. Registered foreign-direct investment (FDI) stood at $1.7 billion in 59 projects as at the end 2015, according to the Foreign Investment Agency (FIA) under the Ministry of Planning and Investment (MPI).

    The Nhon Hoi Economic Zone is located on Phuong Mai peninsula on an area of about 12,000 ha. It has a favorable investment environment and advantages in natural conditions and geographic location.

    Other investments in the economic zone include the Nhon Hoi new urban area, with capital of $700 million, the Thi Nai Lagoon eco-tourism area with capital of $400 million, and the Nhon Hoi integrated port with capital of $300 million.

    Hanel Plastics to join UPCoM

    Twenty-two years after its equitization, the Hanel Plastics Joint Stock Company will officially debut on the Unlisted Public Company Market (UPCoM) on December 20 under the code HNP with a starting price of VND20,000 ($0.88) per share.

    Established in 1994, Hanel Plastics has charter capital of VND50 billion ($2.2 million) with the State, via the Hanoi Electronics Corporation (Hanel), holding 56 per cent.

    Hanel Plastics has secured a strong presence in manufacture and supplying foam and plastic products. Its production capacity consists of plastic injection, with an annual output of 4,500 tons, vacuum forming with an annual output of 500 tons, and expandable polystyrene (EPS) styrofoam production with an annual output of 3,000 tons.

    While many domestic support businesses have struggled to enter into the supply chains of foreign-invested enterprises, Hanel Plastics has a customer list to admire, including major players like Vietnam Airlines (food boxes, plastic cutlery and cups), Samsung, Canon, Panasonic, LG, Iwatani, Brother, and Kangaroo, among many others.

    Its development was acknowledged in 2013 with a VN-Fast 500 listing; the Top 500 fastest-growing Vietnamese enterprises. In 2015 revenue stood at VND348 billion ($15.3 million) and after-tax profit VND19 billion ($834,860), while it paid a 15 per cent dividend.

    The company’s 2016 plan was for revenue of VND356 billion ($15.6 million) and after-tax profit of VND19.6 billion ($861,224), with an expected dividend of 15 per cent.

    Its parent company, Hanel, underwent equitization last April but is still to hold a shareholders meeting to change into a joint stock company.

    As part of equitization plans it was to become a joint stock company with charter capital of VND1.93 trillion ($84.8 million). The State was to retain 29 per cent, strategic investors would have access to 61 per cent, and a public auction was to be held for 19.1 million shares, or 9.9 per cent.

    Against expectations, Hanel has only managed to sell some 3.9 million shares at public auction out of the total of 19.1 million. With an average bid price of VND10,004 ($0.44) per share, sales stand at VND39.1 billion ($1.72 million).

    There has also been no movement in the sale to strategic investors. Singaporean firm Sebrina Holdings and Vietnamese electrical designer the VietTien Engineering JSC were previously reported to have expressed interest.

    Founded in 1984, Hanel works in the fields of electronics production, information technology, and telecommunications. It has nine subsidiaries and five associated companies, including Hanoi Telecom, which owns telecom provider Vietnamobile, and the Daewoo Hotel on Hanoi’s Nguyen Chi Thanh Street.

    Minh Nguyen opens workshops to supply parts for Samsung


     Vietnam has 1.4 mil traditional trade stores nationwide, Hanel Plastics to join UPCoM, Fuel market lucrative to investors, Minh Nguyen opens workshops to supply parts for Samsung, Real estate bubble unlikely next year: HoREA

    Minh Nguyen Supporting Industry Joint Stock Company on December 19 inaugurated and put into operation its plastic injection, mechanics, and plastic component assembly workshops at the Saigon Hi-Tech Park to supply products for Samsung.

    Minh Nguyen Company is one of the first domestic firms to be picked to take part in the direct supply chain of components for the US$2-billion Samsung household electronics complex at SHTP.

    As a member of Phuoc Thanh Plastic Co Ltd, Minh Nguyen is the investor of the Phuoc Thanh high-tech research, application and production complex project, spanning 52,000 square meters at SHTP. It requires total capital of over VND1.6 trillion, specializing in producing plastic and electronic components, mechanical parts and hi-tech molds.

    The first phase of the complex has an area of 36,000 square meters with a total investment of VND800 billion. The company will operate plastic injection, mechanics, and plastic component assembly workshops, and research laboratories with advanced and automatic mechanical systems directly imported from Japan, South Korea, German and the U.S. The complex has a maximum production capacity of 20 million products per year.

    Chau Ba Long, general manager of Minh Nguyen, said the company’s investment strategy focuses on technology and human resources. Therefore, it will actively participate in the global supply chain, contributing significantly to supporting industries in particular, and the city’s socio-economic development in general.

    HCMC vice chairman Le Van Khoa said at the inauguration event that Minh Nguyen is one of eight firms to be chosen in the city’s investment stimulus program in line with Decision 50/2015/QD-UBND issued on October, 2015. The company has invested heavily in the supporting sector with new workshops and hi-tech devices thanks to the city’s support.

    The company has supplied its products for multinational corporations like Samsung. Khoa said this was a positive sign, and also a driving force for municipal authorities to put forward solutions to develop supporting industries.

    A representative of Samsung said the electronics giant has been looking for Vietnam’s potential manufacturers, and South Korean experts will be dispatched to such firms so as to guide, advise and support their staff.

    As of September 2016, the number of domestic enterprises that joined Samsung’s supply chain had increased by three times compared to 2015, with 12 first-tier suppliers and 178 partners listed as second-tier suppliers.

    Fuel market lucrative to investors

    The fuel sector is capturing the attention of quite a few domestic investors thanks to good profitability whereas foreign investors are not yet allowed in.

    Originally a liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) trader, Pacific Petro Commercial JSC has recently decided to set foot into the fuel market with the establishment of gas stations. So far, the company has set up three Saigon East pumping stations, with two of them in HCMC and one in Dong Nai.

    Talking to the Daily, Le Quang Tuan, sales manager of Pacific Petro, said his company was now an agent of Vietnam National Petroleum Group (Petrolimex), but would become a wholesaler, who is responsible for importing, exporting, distributing and even retailing fuels.

    “We intend to apply for a wholesale license when having opened five gas stations,” Tuan said. He asserted his firm’s determination to achieve the goal of setting up 10 stations in the near future.

    He said the fuel market was luring new players, especially those specializing in LPG. The reason, he said, is cooking gas business is no longer as easy as before due to unexpected adjustments and imposition of business conditions that have brought losses to enterprises.

    Meanwhile, the fuel market is attractive with high profit margins thanks to big discounts, around VND1,000 per liter, higher than specified in the base price structure, or even VND1,200 when world prices go down.

    Wholesalers offer generous discounts due to strong competition and good gross profit buoyed by the import tax difference.

    This is also why wholesalers and general agents are actively opening new retail outlets. A gas station of about 2,000 square meters in HCMC costs some VND20 billion.

    The Ministry of Industry and Trade informs there are now 29 fuel wholesalers in the country. The number is rising rapidly, with at least five new names this year.

    Most recently, this October, the Trade Ministry officially granted Petro Binh Minh Co. Ltd. in Quang Ninh a wholesale license. This company has started work on their Mong Duong Petroleum Depot.

    Although there are 29 operational wholesalers, half of the fuel market is still in the hands of Petrolimex. This wholesale business has around 2,500 affiliated retail outlets, not counting the franchised establishments.

    The sector has always attracted the interest of many foreign investors. However, the fuel retail market has not yet to be opened because under Vietnam’s commitments, foreign companies are prohibited from franchise, distribution, import and export of fuels.

    So far, only Idemitsu Q8 Petroleum LLC as a partner in the Nghi Son oil refinery project has obtained a license to set up a 100% foreign-invested filling station. This outlet will be located near Noi Bai airport with import sources.

    Many batches of tra fish found to have banned substances

    Up to 134 batches of tra fish for export in the January-November period have been found to contain prohibited antibiotics and microorganisms, the National Agro-Forestry-Fisheries Quality Assurance Department (Nafiqad) said in its latest report.

    The report does not give the exact volume of the 134 batches but said more than 604,000 tons of tra fish products had been checked and certified for export by agro-forestry-fisheries quality management centers in the eleven-month period.

    The substandard batches are said to contain three banned antibiotics: SEM, enrofloxacin, and ciprofloxacin, and three types of microorganisms: Salmonella, Listeria monocytogenes and Vibrio cholerae.

    To get permission for exporting their tra fish, enterprises must have their products inspected by agro-forestry-fisheries quality management centers in their localities.

    However, at least 11 batches of Vietnamese tra fish have been warned by importing markets for failing to meet their food safety standards in the year to date, including three batches exported to the U.S., seven to the European Union, and one to the Eurasian Economic Union.

    For the U.S., Nafiqad has requested exporters that have been warned to examine their products, identify the problems and have solutions to deal with them. Therefore, this market has now put those products back to the normal checking mode.

    Meanwhile, the EU has issued a statement expressing its worries, saying Vietnam’s solutions for controlling the use of antibiotics in seafood products are not effective.

    So far this year, the EU has removed one Vietnamese tra fish exporter from the list of enterprises allowed to access its market.

    Real estate bubble unlikely next year: HoREA

    A real estate bubble is unlikely to burst next year, the HCMC Real Estate Association (HoREA) forecast.

    The association predicted the property market in 2017 will maintain growth momentum but a slowing trend this year will probably continue. In addition, there will likely be a big adjustment to address the supply-demand mismatch that is currently skewed towards the luxury segment, including resorts.

    The market may also witness a major shift to the segment with affordable prices, meeting the real needs of the majority of average- and low-income earners in urban areas. In particular, the trend of cooperation between businesses will be inevitable, and project mergers and acquisitions (M&A) will grow stronger than before.

    On another note, the market will need more than just regulations and tax-related tools such as  a tax on owners of multiple houses and property tax, credit which is restricted by Circular 06 of the central bank, planning for land use, urban development or housing and investors’ responsibilities to consumers (bank guarantees, confirmations of projects eligible for financing, and announcements of mortgaged projects).

    A recent change is the size of the municipal realty market has expanded beyond the administrative boundaries of the HCMC metropolitan area, especially in the fringe districts. HoREA believe only green, environmentally friendly and safe projects can satisfy the requirements of investors and consumers.

    On the property market this year, HoREA says there is still room for growth but the pace has slowed and potential risks have emerged, such as the supply-demand discrepancy, the sharp rise in the number of secondary investors, and the concentration of credit on major developers of high-end projects.

    The detailed report of the association says an extra 30,000 residential products have been launched in the city this year. The HCMC Department of Construction has confirmed 57 housing projects as eligible to raise capital from buyers in the future with 29,017 units, including 27,792 apartments and 1,225 low-rise homes.

    Specifically, 5,630 apartments are in the premium segment (20.3%), 16,750 in the intermediate segment (60.3%) and 5,412 in the affordable segment (21.6%).

    Affordable housing accounts for 79.7% and is currently the key segment of the real estate market. However, the market is still short of low-cost and commercial housing products, particularly those for rent.

    Some businesses have kept failing to fulfill their obligations to homebuyers. Many projects are not qualified, especially in terms of fire prevention and fighting, yet their products have been handed over to the buyers.

    In many cases, buyers have been waiting years for their home ownership certificates. In some others, investors mortgage the apartments they have sold to consumers.

    “This is a distressing issue, directly affecting the interests of consumers and requiring the State to act to handle law-breaking investors,” says HoREA.

    Tourism firms in Ba Ria-Vung Tau bemoan sharp land rent spikes

    Many tourism enterprises in Ba Ria-Vung Tau Province are grappling with a slew of difficulties due to soaring land rents.

    The Ba Ria-Vung Tau branch of the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) and the provincial Tourism Association held a conference last week to listen to local tourism enterprises. Many bemoaned land rent rises compared to their current contracts. 

    Nguyen Van Sy, deputy manager of Thang Muoi Tourist Hotel Joint Stock Company, said his firm inked a land lease for a 33-year term with a total area of 28,000 square meters. There have been two rental hikes so far, particularly a 1.9-time increase in the 2013-2014 period, equivalent to VND1.163 billion a year. This was followed by a rise of 7.37 times with VND8.6 billion a year. Therefore, his company has delayed a four-star resort project with total capital of VND120 billion, due to unstable and high land prices.

    He said such rates have been unreasonable, coming as a shock to businesses and investors. His firm, with chartered capital of only VND8.1 billion, now has to pay land rent of VND8.575 billion per year, but prices of tourism products and services cannot soar accordingly.

    Le Tan Dung, manager of Nghinh Phong Travel Joint Stock Company, said his firm has received two notices from the provincial tax department this year, with the total land rental of some VND8 billion, a shock increase of 18.13 times over 2013-2015 and accounting for half of the company’s full-year revenues.

    Dau The Anh, director general of Vung Tau Cable Car Tourism Joint Stock Company, said the rental in 2011-2016 has surged 14 times over the 2006-2011 period.

    He said the tax department has not adhered to contract terms between firms and the provincial government. While pending complaints, he proposed tax authorities not issue new documents to ask for tax payment, and not apply late payment penalties.

    At the conference, many firms said most tourists just spend one day in the province, leading to low revenues. Rental spikes have adversely affected their business plans at a time when the local tourist industry is reaching saturation due to many competitors from neighboring provinces and cities.

    Nguyen Thi Mai, a member of the Vietnam Association of Small and Medium Enterprises, said such high rental prices have posed a slew of difficulties for local firms, resulting in small or no profit. If the situation continues, many firms will go bust.

    Bui Ngoc Diep, deputy chairman of the Vung Tau Tourism Association, said many major projects from domestic and international investors have been delayed.

    Dau Anh Tuan, head of the Legal Department at VCCI, told the Daily that these changes would not only disrupt business operations but also create a negative image for the business environment in the province, leading to fewer investment opportunities.

    Ca Mau seeks to woo investors

    The government of Ca Mau Province at an investment promotion conference in HCMC last Friday pledged to offer strong incentives for investors, from preferential tax and low land rent to easy administrative procedures and support in site clearance and worker training.

    Nguyen Tien Hai, chairman of Ca Mau Province, said the local government would continue creating a transparent and favorable business and investment environment for domestic and international investors doing business in the southernmost province. To do so, provincial authorities will further invest in infrastructure, step up training for workers, and streamline administrative procedures among others, Hai told the conference “Ca Mau – Potentials and Investment Opportunities” organized in HCMC last week.

    “Investors in the province will be offered the most favorable conditions for implementing their projects successfully,” Hai stressed.

    With this investment promotion conference, Ca Mau wants to appeal to investors at home and abroad to explore business opportunities in the province.

    Hai said investment processes and procedures would be transparent so as to facilitate business and investment activities.

    The province will offer specific support policies such as site clearance for projects, and infrastructure facilities like roads and power systems in industrial parks.

    The provincial government will also offer the lowest possible land rent that can be collected by installment or via deferred payment to ease capital pressure on enterprises.

    In addition, investors will be assisted in investment and trade promotion, technology transfer, access to credit, and human resource training. Local authorities would promptly act on feedback and complaints from investors to resolve them, or report them to competent authorities in a timely manner.

    Notably, Hai said, provincial leaders would hold regular meetings and direct dialogues with businesses to address their difficulties.

    At the conference, the province invited potential investors to consider projects in agriculture, industry, trade and services, tourism, infrastructure in economic zones and industrial parks, and traffic infrastructure.

    A major project awaiting investors is the Hon Khoai seaport project that has been approved in principle by the Government. The port should be developed to a capacity able to handle 250,000-DWT vessels. Hon Khoai Port will help create a major international sea route to neighboring countries such as Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand and Japan.

    At the conference, leaders of Ca Mau Province inked five memorandums of understanding with investors for building two shopping malls, a wind farm and other projects, and awarded some investment and business registration certificates.

    This year, the province has awarded investment certificates for 30 projects capitalized at over VND6 trillion. Currently, the province has 205 investment projects in manufacturing and trading with total registered capital of around VND83 trillion.

    HCGF cooperates with Saigon Bank to support SMEs

    The HCMC Credit Guarantee Fund (HCGF) last Friday signed an agreement with Saigon Bank for Industry and Trade (SaigonBank) to help small and medium enterprises (SMEs) gain access to bank loans to fund their operations. 

    HCGF and SaigonBank will cooperate to provide consultancy on feasible business and production plans, financial management and technology besides provision of capital for SMEs.

    Vu Quang Lam, chairman of HCFG, said the fund’s credit guarantees for enterprises have shown signs of declining lately. Enterprises often approach HCGF to ask for credit guarantees when their projects are ineligible for bank loans.

    However, under the prevailing rules, enterprises would have difficulty applying for credit guarantees as they are required to have assets as collateral.

    Thanks to the new agreement with SaigonBank, HCGF will support enterprises in preparing feasible business plans and completing procedures so that they can gain easier access to bank loans as the time needed for the bank’s appraisal process is shortened. However, HCGF still has to ensure transparency and the bank will still decide which enterprises can borrow.

    The Government plans to revise the regulations on credit guarantees in a way that allows SMEs to take out unsecured loans from banks. Therefore, HCGF will closely coordinate with SaigonBank in all steps, from appraising to handling arising risks in preparing themselves for the amendments in the coming time, Lam added.

    Currently, there are more than 12,000 SMEs active in HCMC, accounting for 96% of the total number of enterprises in the city. SMEs play an increasingly important role in the country’s economy, especially in creating jobs.

    Due to poor corproate governance, outdated technology and lack of premises, SMEs face stricter conditions for credit guarantees.

    HCFG, established in March 2007, is the financial organization under the HCMC government. The fund is mandated to support SMEs to gain access to bank loans. As of the end of last year, HCGF had total chartered capital of VND232.36 billion. Of which, VND227.9 billion came from the city’s budget, or 98.1% of the fund’s chartered capital.

    After ten years of operation, HCGF has signed 121 credit guarantee contracts worth VND871.2 billion, creating favorable conditions for SMEs to borrow a total of VND1.45 trillion.

    Hoang Dinh Thang, director of HCGF, said the fund’s performance was dismal in the 2014-2015 period as most SMEs failed to meet the collateral requirement.  

    Currently, the role of the credit guarantee fund is to provide consulting for enterprises to complete legal procedures so that their projects are eligible for bank loans.

    This year HCGF has worked with 200 SMEs, and provided financial consultancy for 29 projects with total investment of nearly VND4.2 trillion and total loans of VND2.2 trillion. Of this number, eight projects have got the nod from banks or investors with total investment of VND813 billion and total loans of over VND360 billion.

    Official: Faster equitisation needed

    Speeding the equitisation of State-owned enterprises (SOEs) and development of the stock market is important to secure a Government policy to restructure businesses over the next five years, a finance official said.

    Hoang Van Thu, Deputy Director of the Ministry of Finance’s Corporate Finance Department, told a conference held by the Hanoi Stock Exchange last week that the acceleration in equitisation was needed for the sake of enterprises and investors.

    A report by the department said the nation has had 5,950 SOEs reorganised, with 4,460 of them equitised and the remaining firms restructured through mergers and acquisitions, dissolution, bankruptcy or conversion into limited companies with two members or more.

    Forty-eight firms were equitised in the first 10 months of this year, after 591 companies were privatised during 2011-15. As many as 718 SOEs remain to be equitised.

    The report said that in the five years until 2015, some 350 equitised companies showed better business performances, compared to the results they posted in pre-equitisation phases.

    The combined charter capital of these firms increased 72 percent, and their total assets rose by 39 percent. Their combined pre-tax profits were up 49 percent, and joint contributions to the State budget were 27 percent higher.

    The average workers’ income at these companies also increased 33 percent.

    Also, the local press cited several cases where equitisation notably improved operational efficiency of businesses.

    The Vietnam Dairy Products Joint Stock Company, or Vinamilk, has seen charter capital increase by 13 times from the 1.59 trillion VND (71.95 million USD) level recorded before it was equitised in December 2003.

    Revenues of the company grew by more than 10 times, from 451.6 billion VND in 2003 to 40.2 trillion VND in 2015, and its after-tax profits increased from 56 billion VND in 2003 to 7.8 trillion VND last year, posting an average growth of 29 percent per year.

    The Vietnam National Seed Joint Stock Company, also known as Vinaseed, posted revenues of 1.36 trillion VND last year, a rise of 20 times from the pre-equitisation figure recorded more than 10 years ago.

    Its after-tax profits reached 157 billion VND in 2015, growing by 40 times; and asset values were up 22 times at 1.56 trillion VND, while equity was 40 times higher at more than VNĐ1 trillion.

    The Vietnam National Petroleum Group, better known as Petrolimex, obtained more than 3 trillion VND in profits last year, compared to a loss of 1.67 trillion VND the company suffered before it was equitised in 2011. The firm also paid dividends at a rate of 12.14 percent in the first year of equitisation.

    On the other hand, some equitised enterprises have reportedly shown declining performances.

    The Vietnam Rubber Group saw profits fall from 11.84 trillion VND in 2011 to 2.2 trillion VND in 2015, while its debt amounted to 21.22 trillion VND, compared to an equity of 35.21 trillion VND last year.

    In 2015, the average debt to equity ratio of SOEs was 1.23. However, 25 companies, including the Military Petroleum Corporation, the Vietnam Machinery Installation Corporation and construction firm Corporation No 36, had a ratio greater than 3.00.

    Le Manh Ha, Vice Chairman of the Government Office and deputy head of the National Steering Committee for Corporate Renovation and Development, told news website Infonet that equitisation has, overall, benefited various subjects.

    The State had more resources for socio-economic development, enterprises were better financed, and managed to improve production and business activities, and workers’ interests were more assured. Investors also saw more investment opportunities emerging in a manner closer to market rules.

    Pham Hai An, another official from the Corporate Finance Department, said authorities must continue to complete policies and institutions needed to speed up equitisation.

    Hundreds of companies, though equitised, have not yet listed shares on the stock market, as required. This makes SOE share auctions unattractive to investors and impedes transactions, he said.

    On June 30, the Ministry of Finance issued Circular No 115/2-16/TT-BTC providing guidelines for initial public offerings and the use of money raised from SOE equitisations.

    Last November, the Government issued Decree No 145/2016/NĐ-CP revising a former decree on treatment for administrative violations in the stock market, including violations of listings and transaction registering regulations.

    A better legal framework is expected to boost the transparency of stock transactions and enable more stable and healthy operations of the market, said Pham Thi Thanh Huong, Deputy Chief Inspector of the State Securities Commission.

    Can Tho licenses 47-million-USD waste-to-energy plant

    Authorities in the Mekong Delta city of Can Tho on December 20 handed over an investment certificate to the China Everbright International Company to build a 47-million-USD waste-to-energy plant.

    The Thoi Lai solid waste treatment plant will be built on an area of 53 hectares in Truong Xuan commune, Thoi Lai district. Construction of the factory is scheduled to kick off in February 2017.

    After its completion in February 2018, the facility is capable of treating 400 tonnes of garbage a day and generating electricity for the national grid.

    Director General of China Everbright International Chen Xiao Ping said, as one of the leading companies in the field of waste treatment, it currently has 68 waste-to-energy projects with a combined capacity of 55,000 tonnes of garbage per day.

    This is the first project in Vietnam funded by Everbright, he said, pledging that it will become a key environmentally-friendly project in the Mekong Delta.

    For his part, Chairman of the municipal People’s Committee Vo Thanh Thong said Everbright was selected among seven investors after the city sent a delegation to make a field-trip to the company’s projects in China.

    He urged the investor to abide by Vietnam’s environmental standards and pledged to facilitate the implementation of the project.

    US firms plan to expand investments in Vietnam

    Many US enterprises are paying heed to, while others are planning expand their investments in Vietnam in such fields as infrastructure, energy, aviation, hi-technology and farm produce export-import, said US Consul General in Ho Chi Minh City Mary Tarnowka. 

    At a workshop in HCM City on December 20, Tarnowka said US firms highly evaluate Vietnam’ efforts in reforming institutions and administrative procedures, thereby creating an equal playground for foreign businesses, including those from the US. 

    Walter Blocker, a representative of the US Commerce Association in Vietnam, said US enterprises are actively supporting Vietnamese partners in joining deeper into the global supply chains, thus improving their productivity. 

    As Vietnam and the US have become leading trade partners, Vietnam should focus on updating new technologies and improving the quality of products to meet the consumption demands of both countries, he noted. 

    Statistics showed that two-way trade between Vietnam and the US increased nearly three folds within the last eight years, hitting 45 billion US at present.

    Meanwhile, Vice Chairman of the Ho Chi Minh City People’s Committee Le Thanh Liem said the city hopes to welcome more US investors, making the US one of the leading foreign investors in the southern metropolis. 

    According to the official, trade value between HCM City and the US exceeded 8 billion USD in 2016, up 60 percent against the figure of 2012. The US now ranks 11th among 78 countries and territories investing in HCM City.

    Vietnam, RoK seek to promote FTA implementation

    A workshop was organised in Hanoi on December 20 to review and promote the implementation of the free trade agreement (FTA) between Vietnam and the Republic of Korea (RoK).

    The event was jointly organised by the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT), the Korea-Vietnam FTA Support Centre and the Korean Trade Investment Promotion Agency in Hanoi (KOTRA Hanoi).

    Tran Minh Trang, a representative from the MoIT’s Export – Import Department, pointed out normal mistakes that enterprises often make while verifying the origin of products, resulting in delays in the granting of certificates of origin (CO) and administrative fines of 10-50 million VND (440 – 2,200 USD).

    According to a representative from the Korean Customs Service (KCS), Vietnamese exporters need to follow strictly relevant regulations, including those on the origin and classification of products.

    Choi Dae Kyoo, from the Korea-Vietnam FTA Support Centre, suggested Vietnamese exporters focus on training staff in charge of product origin management and develop a CO management system to better implement the FTA.

    The RoK side pledges to provide more assistance and consultation for Vietnamese enterprises in order to realise the target of 70 billion in two-way trade by 2020.

    Vietnam and the RoK signed the free trade agreement in May last year, under which Vietnam pledges to remove 8,521 tariff lines for the RoK, while RoK promises to abolish 11,679 tariff lines for Vietnam.

    The bilateral trade value increased from 500 million USD in 1992 to 36.5 billion USD in 2015. The RoK is the fourth largest export market and the second largest import market of Vietnam.

    Deadline for public companies and equitised enterprises to trade on UPCoM     

    The State Securities Commission (SSC) issued Circular 180/2015/TT-BTC on unlisted public companies, which took effect on January 1, 2016.

    According to new rules it laid out, public companies which are not eligible for listing on the two stock exchanges and equitised enterprises must register for trading on UPCoM within 30 days from their registration as a public company.

    Within 30 days of the last day of an initial public offering, unlisted public companies and equitised enterprises must register for trading on UPCoM.

    The new rules were aimed at preventing eligible companies from avoiding listing and deliberately delisting, actions that could harm investors’ interests.

    The authorities expect listing to improve the transparency and operational efficiency of companies.

    Meanwhile, according to data released by the SSC on November 30, 2015, more than 1,000 public companies had listed neither on the stock exchange nor on UPCoM.

    The new circular stipulates a deadline of December 31, 2016, for listing by companies that have not yet listed.

    Because of this, many public companies, including joint stock banks, have been hastily completing the required procedures to list their shares to before the deadline.

    By June this year shares of 686 companies had been traded on the two national stock exchanges, while the number on UPCoM stands at over 280. 

    Thaco proposes tax support to localise cars     

    Local carmaker Truong Hai Automobile JSC (Thaco) has asked ministries to give it preferential policies on taxes for the import of auto components.

    In a document sent to the ministries of finance, sciences and technology and Vietnam Customs recently, Thaco said it was planning to conduct the pilot production of mini buses, or ten-seater passenger cars, whose technology would be transferred by the Republic of Korea (RoK)’s Huyndai Group.

    It would move toward the localisation of mini buses in Viet Nam and their export to ASEAN, Thaco said.

    The company proposed that the two ministries allow it to import auto components in two phases, which will have different tax levels.

    In the first phase, the company will experimentally import 500 sets of complete knockdown units, which will be completely assembled in Viet Nam. The welded car body, imported from Turkey, and the chassis from RoK are expected to be taxed at 27 per cent of the car value.

    Meanwhile, other components and parts will be taxed following the current regulations.

    In the second phase, following completion of the first pilot phase, Thaco will only import components and then produce cars following market demand.

    Thaco is the only partner in Asia that Huyndai has transferred its technology to and permitted to be used for localisation of up to 40 per cent of mini buses. It is also the only company in Viet Nam manufacturing and assembling three models -- passenger car, truck and bus -- with local supply rate from 16 per cent to 50 per cent.

    In November, Thaco sold 10,001 units, a year-on-year increase of 16 per cent, of which, passenger cars reached 1,163 units and commercial cars were 3,838 units.

    Thaco is leading the domestic market with 38.1 per cent of market share. It is targeting sales of 112,000 units this year. 

    Ha Noi seeks software park funds     

    The People’s Committee of Ha Noi is seeking financial support from the central budget to build a software park project under the 2016-20 national target programme on information and technology.

    The city wants a supporting budget to build the infrastructure of the research and development (R&D) zone, which will be carried out in 2017 and 2018.

    The park aims to develop a knowledge-based economy and the information and technology industry, especially the software sector of the capital city.

    The park is also expected to create favorable opportunities for investment activities in and outside the country; create a modern international-standard working environment to attract high-quality employees; enhance the competitive capacity of software companies and contribute to the country’s economic growth. 

    Vingroup declares VinMart+ not for sale     

    The property and retail conglomerate Vingroup JSC (Vingroup) has denied it has plans to sell its supermarket chain VinMart+ to the Japanese convenience store giant 7-Eleven, local media reported.

    Le Khac Hiep, Vice Chairman of Vingroup, said that Vingroup will not sell its supermarket chain VinMart+ at any price.

    “Firstly, Vingroup will never sell its Vietnamese brands to foreign investors,” said Hiep. “Secondly, Vingroup will not sell its retail chain, which is developing well on the way to become the group’s second spearhead business unit.”

    In Viet Nam, Vingroup holds the largest share of the retail market, and it has the fastest development speed – with about 1,000 supermarkets and convenience stores nationwide.

    “Vingroup is exceeding other competitors regarding market coverage, growth rate, business scale and prospects.”

    “Vingroup is also determined to build a reputable, efficient retail business that can connect local production to customers in order to develop a safe, standardised consumption industry for Vietnamese people.”

    In addition, the retail business unit expects to be strong and competitive enough to protect and promote local businesses in the consuming production chain, he added.

    The statement was made a few days after the Australia-based retail news publisher Inside Retail reported last Thursday that 7-Eleven “plans to enter Viet Nam by taking over Vingroup’s VinMart+ chain”.

    In a statement from the US last year, 7-Eleven said it will build stores and convert “existing locations”. Now, industry insiders are saying the group will swallow VinMart+, but there has been silence from both brands, Inside Retail reported.

    7-Eleven has yet made any offers to Vingroup, Hiep said, adding it could be a one-way interest from 7-Eleven or speculation from Inside Retail.

    In 2017, Vingroup plans to cover at least 30 provinces and cities in total by opening an addition of 70-80 VinMart supermarkets and about 1,500 VinMart+ stores, as well as develop the shopping mall network in other provinces and districts.

    VinMart+ is Viet Nam’s largest convenience store chain with more than 700 outlets. It has plans to expand to 10,000 stores in next 10 years.

    Seaprodex to trade on UPCoM on December 23     

    Viet Nam Sea Products Import-Export Joint Stock Corporation (Seaprodex) will trade all its 125 million shares on the Unlisted Public Company Market (UPCoM) on December 23.

    Seaprodex’s shares will be traded with code SEA, with price starting at VND11,400 per share, the Ha Noi Stock Exchange said in a statement that was released on Monday.

    The company is among the leading companies in the fishery sector and has been in operation for 40 years. Its two core businesses are the processing of export sea products and commercial trading, which accounted for 54.75 per cent and 31.21 per cent, respectively, of Seaprodex’s total revenue in 2015.

    Following the equitisation in December 2014, the sea products trader had chartered capital of VND1.25 trillion (US$55.5 million). Its two major shareholders were the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) and representatives of Ha Noi Export-Import Company (Geleximco Group).

    MARD held 79.2 million shares, or 63.38 per cent of Seaprodex’s capital, and Geleximco Group’s representatives owned 35 per cent of the company’s stake.

    In 2016, there were some changes in the ownership organisation of Seaprodex, with the entry of Nova Bac Nam 79 Joint Stock Company, which purchased more than 25 million shares on June 14 to acquire a fifth of Seaprodex’s stake.

    Meanwhile, some of the owners that are part of the Geleximco Group sold 10 per cent of their stake in Seaprodex to reduce their ownership in the firm to 15 per cent.

    By December 31, 2015, Seaprodex had invested in 24 other companies for a total of VND950 billion, including three subsidiaries, nine joint ventures and 12 financial investment firms.

    Seaprodex’s investments are the 59.34 per cent stake in Ha Noi Sea Products Import-Export JSC, a 50.78 per cent holding in Nam Can Sea Products Import-Export JSC and a 17.47 per cent ownership in Vietnamese-French Cattle Feed JSC (Proconco). 

    HN People’s Committee to sell furniture maker stake     

    Ha Noi People’s Committee has registered to offload its entire stake of over eight million shares in furniture maker Xuan Hoa Viet Nam Joint Stock Company on December 20-30.

    The amount of shares is equivalent to a 40 per cent stake in the furniture company’s charter capital.

    Xuan Hoa’s shares are currently trading up over 11 per cent at VND10,000 a share on the Unlisted Public Company Market (UPCoM). More than eight million shares changed hands this morning, equaling the amount the city’s People Committee registered to sell.

    At this price, the Ha Noi People’s Committee will likely collect nearly VND80.6 billion from the sale.

    Founded in 1980, the Phuc Yen-based company is one of the largest furniture makers in Viet Nam. The firm engages in designing and manufacturing office, home, school and hospital furniture.

    The company made its initial public offering in June 2015 and started trading on the UPCoM on November 3, 2016.

    Last week, the company reported VND368.5 billion in revenue from the sale of furniture this year. Its net profit reached VND10 billion, a 10-fold increase over last year’s figure. 

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


    0 0
  • 12/22/16--00:40: Article 3
  • Tuoi Tre Editor-in-Chief takes leadership role in district Party Committee


    Mr. Tang Huu Phong, first appointed Editor-in-Chief of Tuoi Tre(Youth) newspaper in April 2015, has been transferred to a leading position at a district-level Party Committee in Ho Chi Minh City.


    Mr. Tang Huu Phong delivers a speech after receiving the appointment decision in Ho Chi Minh City on December 22, 2016.Tuoi Tre


    Mr. Phong was officially named Deputy Secretary of the Party Committee of Tan Phu District, following a decision by the Ho Chi Minh City Party Committee at a ceremony on Thursday.

    After announcing the decision, Tat Thanh Cang, Standing Deputy Secretary of the municipal Party Committee, said that Mr. Phong’s first task in the new position is to prepare the year-end report of the district’s Party Committee activities in 2016.


    Mr. Tang Huu Phong (L) gets his appointment decision.


    Nguyen Thanh Chung, Secretary of the Tan Phu Party Committee, said Mr. Phong’s extensive relationship with various sectors and his experience as the head of Tuoi Tre are a great indicator of his ability to contribute to the district’s social development plans.

    Mr. Le The Chu, Deputy Editor-in-Chief of Tuoi Tre, has been appointed Acting Editor-in-Chief while a new leader is being selected for the Ho Chi Minh City-based daily, according to a decision signed Tuesday by Nguyen Manh Cuong, Secretary of the Ho Chi Minh City chapter of the Ho Chi Minh Communist Youth Union.

    Mr. Chu was the former Editor-in-Chief of Khan Quang Do (Red Scarf), a teen newspaper, before his appointment as Deputy Editor-in-Chief of Tuoi Tre in 2010.

     

    Mr. Le The Chu

    Upon accepting his interim role, Mr. Chu vowed to cooperate with theTuoi Tre team to identify breakthrough solutions for the paper’s 2017 development plans and continue to maintain the identity and core values of the newspaper.

    TUOI TRE NEWS


    0 0
  • 12/22/16--06:07: Article 2
  • Cultivating science to instil food safety culture

    Farmers and other actors in agribusiness need to embrace the science behind food practices and instil a new safety conscious culture, speakers told delegates at a recent forum in Ho Chi Minh City.


    cultivating science to instil food safety culture hinh 0

    Accepting the science behind microbiologically safe fruit and vegetables is a first step to creating a safer food environment in all of agriculture, said Le Van Banh, a department head at the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.

    Fresh produce are raw agricultural commodities that are far too often consumed within the country without being subjected to a scientifically grounded practice to effectively destroy pathogens or detect excessive harmful chemicals.

    Food contamination can occur at every stage in the food supply chain, Mr Banh underlined, adding that fruit, vegetables and other produce are only as protected as the weakest link in the supply chain.

    It is the responsibility of whoever produces the food to maintain its integrity, he told delegates, emphasizing that every business in the fresh produce industry has a duty to ensure consumers that the country’s farm produce is free of harmful pesticides and insecticides.

    Industry participants need to follow practices that science dictates will guarantee they are maintaining the highest standard of food safety within their organization. Mr Banh urged business owners to protect themselves and their market by embracing science.

    Instilling a food safety culture within a business and throughout the fresh produce supply chain is imperative because all the factors that contribute to foodborne illnesses originate from human error.

    The agriculture segment can’t eliminate foodborne illnesses in their entirety but they can limit the number of individual instances that occur and contain epidemics from breaking out, added Mr Banh.

    Every company should employ staff that understand food safety so that they can ask the right questions and guarantee that the importance of food safety is communicated to all employees in a variety of media.

    Nguyen Thi Hong Thu, director of Chanh Thu Co. Ltd headquartered in Ben Tre Province in turn suggested delegates be the catalyst for implementing GlobalGAP or VietGAP standards throughout the supply chain.

    Mr Thu noted that currently exports are high but profits are extremely low due to food safety concerns. 

    Vietnamese fruit and vegetable stands little chance of making any long-term and sustainable entry into the lucrative US or EU markets as it now stands, because of consumer food safety concerns.

    Local business owners must take the initiative to compel as well as educate their employees and introduce a no-nonsense policy towards food safety within their working environments.

    Employees must get the message that unsafe food practices are unacceptable and will not be tolerated, emphasized Mr Thu.

    Mr Thu noted his agreement with Mr Banh on the issue of communication to implement a culture of food safety. That communication must be rapid, reliable, relevant and repeated often to workers through all kinds of media outlets if the effort is to succeed, he noted.

    Changing the mentality of labourers, employees and salaried staff throughout the entire supply chain is the best way to combat poor safety standards and will without question limit the occurrences of foodborne illnesses.

    Businesses should make food safety a part of their branding, said other speakers, adding that they ought to have routine inspections and make the results of those examinations public.

    They urged that the government GlobalGAP or VietGAP safety standards are the minimum requirements and businesses must be creative and innovative, aiming to exceed these requirements, serving as a win/win for their business, the agriculture segment and ultimately the consumers.

    Commitment from every player in every supply chain is needed to make sure food is kept as safe as possible and this story needs to be shared with consumers around the globe to make a compelling incentive for them to purchase produce from Vietnam.

    The bottom line is that agriculture needs to live and breathe science – day in and day out – if it is to be profitable and sustainable, they concluded.

    VOV


    0 0
  • 12/22/16--06:32: Article 1
  •  Number of new firms sets record in 2016
     


     
    Business registration at HCM City Department of Planning and Investment. The number of new firms set a record high in 2016, driven by the improved business climate. - Photo thesaigontimes.vn


    HÀ NỘI - The number of newly-established firms set a record in 2016, reflecting improvement in business confidence, following the Government’s efforts to boost reform.


    The latest statistics of the Ministry of Planning and Investment showed that 110,000 new firms were established this year, increasing by more than 16 per cent over the same period last year, also hitting the 100,000 milestone for the first time.

    Total registered capital of new firms rose by a whopping 48 per cent.

    Deputy Minister of Planning and Investment Đặng Huy Đông told vtv.vn that these figures proved that businesses felt more confident in the business climate of Việt Nam.

    Đông said greater efforts were, however, still needed to improve the business and investment climate, which would remain a priority of the Government.

    Việt Nam embarked on a thorough process of improving business climate and national competitiveness in 2014 with the issuance of Government Resolution 19/NQ-CP. The Government has set a goal of having at least one million firms with efficient operation by 2020.

    The Government is also promoting the entrepreneurship spirit and making Việt Nam a promising startup nation, part of the effort to develop the private economic sector, which has been defined as the driver for socio-economic growth.

    A law on supporting small- and medium-sized enterprises is being drafted.

    Currently, there are more than 500,000 firms in Việt Nam, of which some 97 per cent are small and medium sized.

    Viet Nam News


    0 0
  • 12/22/16--07:15: Article 0
  • Ministry imposes safeguard duties on steel imports


    The Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT) has conducted a review and is making preparations for imposing safeguard duties on steel imports, after 18 domestic steel manufacturers called for assistance.


     Ministry imposes safeguard duties on steel imports, 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

    MoIT has worked with 20 steel manufacturers and importers regarding the sharp increase in the volume on steel imports coded HS7213.91.90 after imposing safeguard duties on steel imports coded HS7227.90.00 in April.

    Mr. Nguyen Van Sua, Deputy Chairman of the Vietnam Steel Association (VSA), said that Vietnam’s steel industry hasn’t focused on producing steel wire as domestic demand for the products is low. However, since duties were imposed on products coded HS7227.90.00, domestic manufacturers have moved to produce the products.

    According to Mr. Nguyen Phuong Nam, Deputy Head of the Vietnam Competition Authority (VCA) under MoIT, trade defense measures are an effective tool in protecting domestic manufacturers in any country. If they are not used in this case then the domestic industry may go bankrupt and steel imported from China could then manipulate the market. He added that imposing trade defense measure must comply with procedures. “Trade defense is the last tool to protect domestic industry, not just any individual company,” he said. The VCA will continue to collect opinions from domestic steel enterprises until December 31 and will then submit a proposal to the Office of the Government.

    The management agency also said that steel production in Vietnam has recovered thanks to the imposition of temporary safeguard measures. The volume of imports has fallen while steel production in the country has grown.

    Volume of steel imports with two codes, 10M 2016

    Unit: ton

     
    Source: VSA, October 2016


    Earlier, 18 domestic steel manufacturers, including Hoa Phat, the Thai Nguyen Iron and Steel JSC, Pomina, Vina Kyoei, VSC-Posco, the Vietnam Germany Steel JSC, the Vietnam Italy Steel JSC, and Southern Steel Company, sent complaints and proposals to MoIT on handling the importation of rolled steel into Vietnam.

    MoIT decided to impose temporary safeguard measures on steel billets and long steel bar imports, with rates of 23.3 per cent and 15.4 per cent, respectively. Domestic enterprises then said that steel importers had declared another HS code for rolled steel to avoid being subject to the safeguard duties.

    The importers declared rolled steel imports under code 7227.90.00 to enjoy zero tariffs. After duties were imposed, import volumes of the code fell 15.4 per cent. In the first ten months of this year, volumes were equal to 58 per cent of those in 2015 as a whole.

    VN Economic Times


    0 0
  • 12/23/16--00:54: Article 3
  • BUSINESS IN BRIEF 23/12


    VN mangosteen hit US and Australian supermarket shelves


     mangosteen hit us and australian supermarket shelves  hinh 0

    Vietnam mangosteens and lychees have been licenced to enter the US and Australia. This is a good sign for the fruit and vegetable sector.

    mangosteen hit us and australian supermarket shelves  hinh 0 Meanwhile, the number of dragon fruit, rambutan, lychee and mangosteen shipments to demanding markets like the US, Japan and the Republic of Korea is on the increase.

    According to statistics released by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, fruit and vegetable exports hit US$186 million in November, bringing the total export value in 11 months to US$2.178 million.

    China is the largest consumer of Vietnam fruit and vegetables, accounting for 70.4% of Vietnam’s total export revenue, trailed by the RoK (3.6%), the US (3.4%) and Japan (3.1%).

    However, Vietnam also spent US$814 million importing fruits and vegetables in 11 months, up 44% against the same period last year.

    Fruit and vegetable exports are expected to reach US$2.5-2.6 billion this year.

    Vietnam detects banned chemicals in 134 batches of catfish exports

    The reputation of some exporters is on the line, with one already banned by the European Union.

    Inspectors have detected banned antibiotics and pathogenic microorganisms in 134 batches of catfish meant for overseas markets, according to the National Fisheries Quality Assurance Department.

    The department did not reveal the total volume and value of these batches, which were pending for export documents.

    Earlier, between January and November, 11 catfish batches of Vietnamese enterprises were returned due to excessive content of chemicals. Most of the batches were on their way to the U.S. and European countries.

    One exporter has already been banned by the European Union while another company faced a similar sanction from the Brazilian government.

    Australia, Vietnam’s largest shrimp importer, has also imposed a rule that requires all seafood shipments from Vietnam to be checked for biological toxins and bacteria.

    Last year, Vietnam earned US$6.6 billion from seafood exports. The country's target of US$8 billion for 2016 is now a little too high considering that exports in the first 11 months only reached US$6.4 billion, according to latest customs data.

    Clothiers face hurdles to benefit from Vietnam-EU free trade pact

    A free trade agreement expected to come into force by 2018 holds great potential to boost retail sales of clothing, footwear and textiles produced in Vietnam in the 28 member countries of the EU, say trade experts.

    Speaking at a recent forum in Hanoi sponsored by the French Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the experts and business leaders in attendance from both France and Vietnam urged for speedy ratification and entry into force of the agreement.

    The retail sector in France has an acute interest in Vietnam, said Guillame Crouzet of the Chamber at the conference.

    French retailers are interested in Vietnam as a growth market for retail establishments, he noted, and they also view the Southeast Asian country asone of their top three largest sources of clothing, footwear and textiles. In addition, they view Vietnam as a good source of fast moving consumer goods.

    EU retailimports of consumer goods are set to get a possible boost from the elimination of tariffs under the free trade accord, which could lower their import tariffs, raising Vietnamese competitiveness with Chinese goods, he added.

    Nguyen Thi Tuyet Mai, adirector of the Vietnam Textile and Garment Association in turn also noted the decrease in tariffs potentially could boost Vietnamese competitiveness with China as well as neighbouring Cambodia and Myanmar.

    Tariffs levied on Vietnamese imports of consumer goods currently average 12% as compared to no tax levy on comparable imports from China, Cambodia and Myanmar, Ms Mai noted, so all things being equal this should be beneficial to trade.

    However, Ms Mai cautioned, the full elimination of the tariffs will be staged over seven years.

    There are also strict rules of origin conditions imposed for goods such as garments that will require the use of fabrics produced in Vietnam, with the only exception being of those produced in the Republic of Korea (ROK), another free trade partner of the EU.

    Given that many Vietnamese companies source their raw materials and intermediary goods from China, they will not gain any advantage from tariff reductions unless they change their operating methods and import these items from the ROK or another qualifying trade partner.

    Another consideration is the fact that many Vietnamese producers will not benefit because they do not pay tariffs in the first place.  Many small companies in the industry sell their goods cash on delivery in Vietnam (most often referred to as FOB shipping point).

    Therefore, they pay no tariffs, and will obviously not receive any benefit, underscored Ms Mai. Neither will the EU buyer receive any tariff reduction advantage because they are not the producer and therefore do not qualify for such relief.

    If Vietnamese producers change their method of selling to ship product to the EU and have the buyer take title to the goods at the destination (technically referred to FOB destination) then both parties would benefit from the tariff reductions.

    The Vietnamese producer would not pay tariffs in this scenario because they are the manufacturer and importer into the EU and no tax would be levied on the buyer because title passes in the EU.

    This change is not as easy as it sounds and may in many cases not be practical, Ms Mai emphasized, because shipping costs, insurance against risk of loss or damage while the goods are in transit, inspections upon receipt of goods and payment methods all become more complicated.

    But this is obviously a viable and in many cases a preferable option for medium sized or larger domestic manufacturers. It could also be practical for all businesses if there was an industry wide revamp.

    Another alternative is for Vietnamese producers to change the status of their contracts from that of being a contract manufacturer to that of becoming an outsource contractor for the EU buyer.

    This is a common mode of doing business in countries like Taiwan. Technically the term original design manufacturer (ODM) or original equipment manufacturing (OEM) are used, but substantively they are outsourcing contracts. 

    It is widely estimated that Taiwan manufacturers produce 95% of all their computer components and parts using this type of contract, and in many instances, do so specifically to take advantage of reduced tariffs and other benefits of trade agreements.

    In a nutshell, a ODM contractor is a private label contractor making branded products that belong to others.  The Vietnamese brand goes away, as well as the Made-in-Vietnam label.

    A Vietnamese ODM producer would be responsible for designing and building a product as per another company’s specifications. They do not design and produce a product per their own specifications.

    An OEM would refer to a Vietnamese company that is responsible for designing and building a product per its own specifications, and then selling the product to another company in the EU that is responsible for its distribution.

    Like the ODM the Vietnamese brand and the Made-in-Vietnam label go away and the products are marketed by the buyer under its own brand name. Both OEM and ODM can be quite confusing and local companies must take great care and time to understand them thoroughly, said Ms Mai.

    However, the point that Ms Mai was trying to stress was that the clothing, footwear and textiles segments of the economy will not automatically benefit from the Vietnam-EU free trade pact. If they do nothing there will most likely not be any advantages at all.

    Domestic companies must seize the initiative and restructure to gain the fullest advantage from the agreement and overcome the obstacles it presents to elevate their global competitiveness in the high-end segments of the industries.

    The Vietnam-EU free trade pact was concluded on December 2, 2015. Final signature is expected in early 2017 with entry into force by 2018. The agreement will eliminate 99.8% of duties on trade products gradually over a 10-year period.

    Combined commercial trade between Vietnam and the EU was over US$47 billion in 2015 and is set to increase this year.

    Ms Mai noted that local businesses need to focus on training high skilled workers, who are capable to do complex jobs, to produce high-end products.

    Rubber industry expects export recovery this year


     

    Rubber exports are expected to reach 1.2-1.25 million tonnes of this year, a year-on-year increase of 5.5-10%, according to the Vietnam Rubber Association.

    Speaking at a press conference to introduce the fifth International Exhibition on Rubber Industry and Tyre Manufacturing (Rubber and Tyre Vietnam) in HCM City on Tuesday, Vo Hoang An, VRA’s deputy chairman and general secretary, said the country had exported 1.12 million tonnes of raw rubber worth US$1.45 billion in the first 11 months.

    The global market faces severe difficulties caused by a relentless decline in prices in recent years as supply outstrips demand, he said.

    Vietnam ranks third globally in output and fourth in exports, he said. 

    Production is expected to top 1.04 million tonnes this year.

    Tran Thi Thuy Hoa, head of VRA’s advisory board for rubber development, said many countries have reduced rubber production by reducing exploitation and chopping down rubber trees for replanting or growing other trees.

    The lower output has pushed up rubber prices in the last two months, bringing hope to export firms and farmers, she said.

    According to An, the fall in prices has benefited rubber processing firms, whose exports of rubber products are going up year after year.

    Vietnam earned $1.42 billion from export of products such as tyres, rubber accessories and conveyors last year, accounting for 39% of the industry’s total export revenues, he said.

    Tyre exports are growing at 14% a year, and reached $523.4 million last year, he said.

    Nguyen Quoc Anh, chairman of the Rubber-Plastic Manufacturers Association, said Vietnam’s exports of rubber products are worth just a tenth of Thailand or Malaysia.

    Vietnamese firms should invest more in processing technologies and seek new buyers for their products, he said, adding that the Rubber and Tyre Vietnam, an international exhibition, would help them get up-to-date on technologies and products and build new relationships.

    To be held at the Saigon Exhibition and Convention Centre from June 13 to 15 next year, the exhibition will see more than 80 local and international exhibitors displaying their latest equipment and technologies and products and services.

    There would be conferences and seminars at the three-day exhibition, according to the Minh Vi Exhibition and Advertisement Services Co., Ltd, one of the organizers.

    A rubber sourcing fair will be held for the first time to enable Vietnamese tyre and rubber producers and foreign buyers to compare notes and explore business opportunities.

    Binh Dinh speeding up investment licensing procedures

    In 2016, the central province of Binh Dinh granted investment certificates to eight foreign invested projects with the total registered capital of US$30.16 million, and approved 32 others worth US$8.511 billion. What made Binh Dinh so attractive to investors in the past year?

    Last year, Binh Dinh set its own record by granting an investment certificate to VND4 trillion (US$174 million) mega project FLC Nhon Ly within less than a single month. 

    Talking about this, Nguyen Bay, director of the Binh Dinh Investment Promotion Centre (IPC), emphasised that, “FLC Group visited Binh Dinh to attend the Conference on Tourism Investment Promotion in Quy Nhon City on March 30, 2015. During the tea break of the conference, representatives of FLC introduced and discussed several projects that the group was interesed in to the local authorities. FLC then received all information they needed for these projects.”

    “FLC sent a team of experts to a field trip 14 days later. After that, the Binh Dinh People’s Committee, FLC, and Bank for Industry and Development of Vietnam signed the trilateral cooperation agreement on April 21, 2015. It took FLC only 24 days after visiting Binh Dinh to receive its investment certificate.”

    This record, however, was broken in August 2016 when Binh Dinh granted an investment certificate to a foreign invested organic farming project, worth up to VND650 million (US$28,260) in a single day. 

    This project, funded by Kei’s Company Ltd. (Japan), is expected to be carried out in the province’s An Nhon Commune.

    According to Nguyen Bay, in order to speed up the procedures, the Binh Dinh Department of Planning and Investment requested the Binh Dinh Investment Promotion Centre to directly give direction and advice, as well as support through the procedures to grant the investment certificate.

    Besides, director of the Business Registration Office was also asked to give careful instructions to Kei’s on enterprise establishment.

    He asserted that, “This is an effort of the province and the Department of Planning and Investment to reform and simplify administrative procedures, as well as deal with impediments in time to boost the image of the province as an active investment environment.”

    Thanks to the ongoing administrative reform in Binh Dinh, plenty of new projects have flown into the province, along with many others raising capital. 

    Notable projects include FLC Nhon Ly, Casa Marina Island of Truong Thanh Quy Nhon Company in Hon Dat and Hon Ngang islands, Bai Xep International Resort, and Kien Hoang’s Xuan Dieu five-star hotel.   

    Binh Dinh also became a compelling investment environment to prestigious foreign investors, including Dainichi Techno Green (Japan) and SBH Hotels & Resorts (Spain).

    In 2017, to maintain this reputation, in addition to administrative reforms, Binh Dinh authorities will boost the dialogue with businesses to understand their demands and difficulties to improve the business climate, enhancing the socio-economic growth of the province.

    Moreover, the Binh Dinh Department of Planning and Investment is drafting a proposal to apply the “one-stop shop” model. Currently, the local authorities await the submission of the draft for approval. E-regulation system is also being carried out at the same time. 

    This portal is receiving the finishing touches and will be full of foreign investment procedures so that investors can have access and learn more about investment procedures in Binh Dinh.

    Nguyen Bay emphasised that Binh Dinh wishes to keep investments coming to Nhon Hoi Economic Zone and other industrial zones in the province, styling them out to be the core of Binh Dinh’s growing industry, tourism services, and urban development. 

    “Importantly, we aim to create the foundations for a fast pace of development in the central region by 2020,” he said.

    Business leaders from Vietnam, Japan hold trade conference

    Business leaders and government officials from the public and private sectors of Vietnam and Japan’s Toyama Prefecture held a trade and investment conference on December 21 in Hanoi.

    Toyama Prefecture, with its lively manufacturing segment, is a favoured trade partner for Vietnam businesses, said Vu Tien Loc, chair of Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) at the conference.

    It’s geographical location, about two hours from Tokyo by taking Japan’s high-speed Shinkansen railway network and ready access to Russia, which it faces across the Sea of Japan, offer Vietnamese businesses many opportunities.

    In fact, Russia has for many years been a major trade partner of the Prefecture, dating back to the late nineteenth century, said Mr Loc, adding that it could serve as a springboard for Vietnam businesses to enhance trade with Russia.

    At the meeting, those in attendance discussed the status of the roughly 40 manufacturers from the Japanese prefecture that are operating in Vietnam and solutions to work out the problems they are having.

    They also discussed many opportunities for boosting commercial trade between the two economies as well as the prospects for the Trans Pacific Partnership that now appear to be stalled.

    Maritime Bank supports RoK SMEs in Vietnam

    Maritime Bank has signed an agreement with the Korea Federation of SMEs (KBIZ) under which the bank will support operation of KBIZ member firms in Vietnam.

    Under the deal signed in mid-December in HCM City, Maritime Bank is now a strategic partner and an advisor of KBIZ.

    The two sides agreed on bilateral and long term cooperation, not only to promote business activities but also to draft out business strategies beneficial to both sides and to RoK small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

    The bank will offer a comprehensive financial service package for enterprises and personal financial packages for individuals working for KBIZ member firms.

    Meanwhile, KBIZ can access Maritime Bank’s extensive customer networks while it stands ready to introduce the Vietnamese bank to the federation’s members. 

    In 2016, Maritime Bank has signed deals on provision of specifically designed services for numerous international partners, including Vietnam Logistics Association (VLA), Lotte Mart, Prudential and the Business Networking and Referrals (BNI). 

    Taiwanese firm builds workshops in Vinh Phuc

    Fuhua Co., Ltd of Taiwan (China) on December 21 commenced the construction of 17 workshops for rent in the Binh Xuyen 2 Industrial Park in the northern province of Vinh Phuc. 

    As a wholly foreign-owned firm, Fuhua specialises in building industrial workshops for sale or for rent, and repairing workshops and other architectural works. 

    The provincial management board of industrial parks licensed the firm to invest 28.5 million USD in a 29-workshop project covering a total area of 18.8 ha in the Binh Xuyen 2 Industrial Park.

    The first phase of building 12 workshops was completed in July 2015 and 11 of them have been sold and leased, contributing 86.2 billion VND (nearly 3.8 million USD) to the locality’s budget.

    Yao Zi Yan, Fuhua General Director, said in this second phase, his firm will pour over 10 million USD into constructing 17 facilities, towards meeting the increasing demand of businesses.

    These workshops are scheduled to be completed and put into use by the end of March next year. 

    According to the provincial management board of industrial parks, IPs in Vinh Phuc attracted 19 new foreign-invested projects in the last 11 months. 

    The local authorities have recently granted an investment certificate for Japan’s Sumitomo Corporation to develop infrastructure of the 213-hectare Thang Long Vinh Phuc industrial park, which is expected to attract 79 investment projects from Japan with a total registered capital of 1.5 billion USD.

    In a bid to lure more investments, the province has paid heed to improving local business climate, attracting resources for development while building essential infrastructure and enhancing vocational training quality.

    Mapping out plan for urban development and facilitating administrative procedures for investors are also given top priority.

    Furthermore, the province has held talks with FDI businesses to promptly tackle their difficulties.

    Mozambique wants to learn from VN’s cashew development experience

    Mozambique wants to learn from Vietnam experience in developing the cashew industry, Director of the Mozambique National Cashew Institute (INCAJU) IlidioAfonso Jose Bande said at a recent workshop.

    The workshop on bilateral cooperation in the cashew industry was held on December 19-20 by the Vietnamese Embassy in Mozambique, INCAJU, and Mozambique’s Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security and Cashew Industry Association (AICAJU).

    It also drew representatives from AICAJU member businesses, cashew growing provinces such as Gaza, Nampula, Zambezia and Cabo Delgado, along with Vietnamese entrepreneurs.

    The INCAJU Director said cashew plays an important role in Mozambique’s agricultural development and food security strategy. He expressed admiration at the considerable development of Vietnam’s cashew industry.

    Mozambique wants Vietnam to transfer technology and help train personnel in the field, he said, calling on Vietnamese businesses to grow and invest in cashew processing lines to help his country boost exports.

    Briefing participants about Vietnam’s cashew industry, Vietnamese Ambassador to Mozambique Nguyen Van Trung emphasised that after only more than 15 years, Vietnam has become the No. 1 cashew nut exporter in the world with lots of experience and advanced techniques in planting, harvesting and processing cashew.

    More and more Vietnamese enterprises are interested in the cashew industry in Mozambique and seek partnership and investment opportunities there, he noted.

    He asked Vietnamese firms to point out obstacles to their business in the African nation and asked local authorised agencies to tackle those problems and facilitate their operations, thereby contributing to the local cashew industry’s expansion.

    During the time of the Portuguese colonialism, Mozambique was the biggest cashew grower and exporter in Africa with an output of over 200,000 tonnes per year between 1973 and 1975.

    Its Government has approved a master plan for the cashew industry development until 2020, aiming to turn cashew into one of the key exports in the near future.

    However, the country is facing certain difficulties as a lack of modern planting and processing technologies and cashew products’ low quality. Its annual cashew output now is just about 100,000 tonnes with productivity of under 1 tonnes per hectare. Less than 50 percent of the output is shipped abroad.

    During the workshop, Vietnamese and Mozambique cashew companies discussed the local legal framework for raw cashew shipment, cooperation in cashew planting, and investment in processing.

    Participants also visited some cashew factories and had a working session with Mozambique’s Ministry of Industry and Trade to solve issues facing Vietnamese firms in exporting raw cashew to Vietnam.

    Conference talks Vietnam-US future trade prospects

    With or without the Trans Pacific Partnership agreement, trade between Vietnam and the US would continue to rise, a conference heard in HCM City on December 20.

    Speaking at “Vietnam-US Trade Interaction after 2016,” Le Thanh Liem, deputy chairman of the municipal People’s Committee, said the two countries enjoyed average trade growth of more than 19 percent a year for the past 10 years.

    The US is Vietnam’s largest export market, he said.

    According to Mary Tarnowka, the US consul general in the city, bilateral trade nearly tripled in the last eight years and now tops 45 billion USD.

    US exports to Vietnam surged 44 percent in the first half of this year, making Vietnam the fastest growing export market for the US.

    “The US is encouraged by Vietnam’s recent resolution on international economic integration, reaffirming Vietnam’s intention to continue its economic reforms and further open its economy, with or without TPP.

    “This resolution is an important signal to trading partners that Vietnam is moving to establish a level playing field for US companies looking to invest and compete in Vietnam.”

    These reforms will promote fair, transparent and predictable regulatory systems that enable innovation, attract trade and investment and promote Vietnam’s continued integration into the regional and global supply chains, she said.

    "Vietnam is already the 11th largest export market for US agricultural products," she said.

    “We can continue to promote these exports. We can also take steps to meet Vietnam’s growing demand for state of the art agricultural technology and equipment, as the country strives to improve food safety and develop its food processing industry.”

    She also spoke about co-operation between the two countries in other sectors like education and travel as well as US support for Vietnam’s preparations for the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement and others.

    Le Quoc An, former president of the Vietnam Textile and Apparel Association, said the TPP would enable Vietnamese firms to boost exports to the US.

    “However, there is no problem if there is no TPP. Our exports to the US were still very good [in the past] without the TPP.”

    He also urged businesses to make more efforts to offer products and services of the best quality to global consumers, especially those in the US, to boost their exports.

    Delegates agreed that whoever is president of the US, Vietnam would continue to develop and integrate.

    Tran Ngoc Chau, Vice President of the Vietnam-US Friendship Association’s HCM City chapter, said: “We believe trade between Vietnam and US will reach 57 billion USD in the next five years, with exports from the US doubling from now, whether the TPP comes into being or not.”

    Liem said HCM City has welcomed many large US companies seeking opportunities arising from the country’s deeper integration.

    “The US currently ranks 11th among countries and territories investing in Vietnam, and I hope the US will soon become the city’s largest foreign investor.”

    Le Hoai Quoc, Director of the Saigon Hi-Tech Park, the largest technology cluster in Vietnam, was optimistic that US tech companies like Intel would continue to grow their business in Vietnam irrespective of the TPP.

    “Intel is increasing its products and volumes of productions in the high-tech zone. In 2016 its exports from Vietnam will reach 4 billion USD.”

    Organised by the Vietnam-US Friendship Association, the conference attracted around 200 delegates, including diplomats, policy makers, entrepreneurs and economists.

    ABD to help build HCM City’s third ring road

    The Asian Development Bank (ADB) signed an agreement on December 21 to provide transaction advisory services to the Ministry of Transport (MOT) for Ho Chi Minh City’s Third Ring Road project.

    The document was signed by Nguyen Ngoc Dong, MOT Deputy Minister of Transport and Eric Sidgwick, ADB’s Country Director for Vietnam. 

    Under the agreement, ADB’s Public-Private Partnership Office will support the MOT in the development of a bankable public-private partnership (PPP) structure for the project to enable leveraging of private investments. 

    This assistance will complement the government's ongoing project preparation activities supported by ADB and thereby promote optimal use of public and private sector investment.

    “There is a need to increasingly mobilise resources from private sector and better coordinate project preparation to develop bankable PPP projects in Vietnam,” said Sidgwick. “A greater role for PPPs should be considered for infrastructure projects and impediments to the development of PPP transactions should continue to be identified and addressed.”

    Ho Chi Minh City is the country’s major economic hub, serving key industries and growing population. However, roads around the city are heavily congested, travel speeds are slowing and, as a result, transport costs are rising. 

    The third ring road, to be constructed at a radius of 25 kilometers from the city centre, will facilitate the diversion of through traffic and reduce traffic congestion in HCM City. 

    ADB, based in Manila, is dedicated to reducing poverty in Asia and the Pacific through inclusive economic growth, environmentally sustainable growth, and regional integration. It was established in 1966 and is owned by 67 members with 48 from the region. In 2015, ADB assistance totaled 27.2 billion USD, including cofinancing of 10.7 billion USD.

    Japanese prefecture keen to cooperate with Vietnam

    A delegation of Toyama prefecture of Japan expressed wish to expand business cooperation with Vietnam at a seminar in Hanoi on December 21.

    Addressing the seminar, Chairman of Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) Vu Tien Loc said that along with many encouraging policies and mechanism to attract foreign investment, Vietnam is regarded as a country with the most stable politics and society in Southeast Asia, winning the trust of investors.

    He affirmed that the Vietnamese Government, the VCCI, and local authorities are committed to continuously improving business and investment environment.

    Toyama Governor Takakazu Ishii said that Toyama is Japan’s leading locality in chemicals - pharmaceuticals, electrical and support industries.

    He said about 40 businesses of Toyama prefecture have invested in Vietnam and the figure is hoped to increase in the future.

    Toyama prefecture in Honshu Island is known for its mechanical and pharmaceutical products, electronic components as well as industrial waste treatment technology.

    Sacomreal-S opens office in Hanoi

    The Sai Gon Thuong Tin Real Estate Trading and Service One-Member Limited Liability Company (Sacomreal-S), a real-estate transaction company, has opened a representative office in Hanoi at the Royal City Trade Centre in Thanh Xuan district.

    The company said the office opening would help expand its market and help introduce products of its mother company, the Sai Gon Thuong Tin Real Estate Joint-Stock Company (Sacomreal), to customers in the northern region, especially in Hanoi.

    To win more market share, the company has announced a strategic partnership with Max Vietnam Joint-Stock Company (MaxLand), which will distribute key products in 2017.

    Pham Dien Trung, chairman of Sacomreal-S, said the company chose Maxland because of its high prestige and its role as a distributor for the projects Cocobay Da Nang, Mon Bay Ha Long, Vinhomes Gardenia and Vinhomes Dragon Bay.

    On the occasion of the opening, many promotions are being offered by the company.

    Sacomreal debuted Sacomreal-S in 2008 as a successor to its trading department.

    HCM City to host 2017 Rubber & Tyre Expo

    The fifth Rubber & Tyre international expo will take place in Ho Chi Minh City from June 13-15, 2017.

    The event will be held by the Vietnam Rubber Association (VRA), HCM City Rubber Plastic Manufacturers Association, and Minh Vi Exhibition & Advertisement Service Co., Ltd (VEAS).

    Speaking at a press conference to introduce the event in HCM City on December 20, VRA Vice Chairman cum Secretary General Vo Hoang An said the expo aims to support rubber businesses to seek cooperation and investment opportunities as well as expand export markets.

    The Rubber & Tyre VietNam 2017 is expected to welcome more than 80 businesses and around 2,000 visitors. 

    On display are various rubber and tyre products, equipment and technologies. 

    Thematic workshops will be held as part of the event.

    A highlight of next year’s expo is the establishment of the rubber sourcing fair between Vietnamese rubber and tyre manufacturers and foreign purchasers.

    The expo will take place in conjunction with the Paper Vietnam 2017 and Coatings Expo Vietnam 2017.

    In 2015, Vietnam exported rubber and tyre products worth 1.42 billion USD and 523 million USD respectively.

    Intensive Sulfadiazine check required for Japan-bound shrimps

    The National Agro-Forestry- Fisheries Quality Assurance Department issued a document on December 20 requesting seafood processors to strengthen their checks for Sulfadiazine in shrimps to be shipped to Japan. 

    Accordingly, the agency requested seafood exporters to keep themselves updated on Japanese regulations and proactively monitor Sulfadiazine limit (no more than 0.01 ppm) according to Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP).

    Those receiving warnings for their products are must quickly investigate the cause behind the warnings and take proper actions to address the issues, and report to the agency to inform the Japanese side.

    According to the Department, it received information from the Vietnam Trade Office in Japan, Japan’s Ministry of Health, and the Labour and Welfare relating to the examination of Vietnamese seafood products exported to Japan.

    The Japan side said it still found Sulfadiazine in Vietnamese shrimp products, and have decided to raise checks for Sulfadiazine in Vietnamese shrimp products from 30 percent of batches to 100 percent from December 6, 2016.

    The Japanese Health Ministry requested Vietnam to accelerate its supervision of the issue and keep the Japanese side informed.

    EU trade pact to generate new momentum for Vietnam

    The upcoming free trade agreement between Vietnam and the European Union (EVFTA) will open new opportunities for Vietnam to access modern technologies and learn management skills, Deputy Industry and Trade Minister Tran Quoc Khanh said at a conference in Hanoi on December 20.

    The conference, organised by the Ministry and Industry and Trade and the European Trade Policy and Investment Support Project (EU-MUTRAP), was aimed at providing information on industrial sectors which have potential for investors, as well as the expected investment trends of European businesses once the EVFTA takes effect.

    "The EU is one of Vietnam’s most important trade partners, and will be more so once the EVFTA, scheduled to be signed in 2017, takes effect in 2018," Khanh said.

    “EVFTA is expected to create a momentum to promote investment and trade between the two parties,” Khanh said.

    Accordingly, the total import–export turnover between Vietnam and the EU is expected to increase by around 50 percent in the first years after the agreement takes effects. Nearly 40 percent of European firms in Vietnam plan to increase their investment in the upcoming years.

    He said the agreement ensures benefits for both Vietnam and EU. The pact facilitates trade, services and investment, as well as new approaches to protectionism and investment disputes. The agreement is considered the top commitment which Vietnam has reached in FTAs so far.

    “With its high quality, EVFTA is expected to be an important momentum for trade promotion between Vietnam and the EU, especially for key Vietnamese products, such as garment and textile, shoes, agricultural products and for European goods such as equipment, auto and alcohol. 

    Bui Huy Son, Director of the ministry’s Trade Promotion Department, said the EU has 1,089 projects with a total registered capital of 23.16 billion USD, accounting for 8 percent of the total registered capital in Vietnam.

    EU investors are particularly interested in manufacturing, real estate trading and electricity distribution, he added. 

    “EVFTA is expected to attract more investment from the EU to Vietnam with new technologies and transfer in areas which the country has committed to open, such as garment and textile, leather shoes and wood production,” Son said.

    He also suggested that local firms carefully prepare, in co-operation with foreign investors, to welcome investment inflows, absorb new technologies and management skills. Vietnamese companies could be trusted partners of foreign firms, especially from the EU, he said.

    Committee set up to fix projects     


     

    Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has decided to set up a steering committee that will resolve problems with 12 huge projects under the Ministry of Industry and Trade.

    The committee will be headed by Deputy PM Vuong Dinh Hue and will have members from concerned ministries and sectors. It aims to minimise the risk of losing investment capital and affecting the human and financial resources of the State.

    Five of the ineffective projects are those picked by the National Assembly deputies during its second session last month. These include Dinh Vu Polyester Fibre Plant; Phuong Nam Pulp Production Plant; Phase 2 expansion of a plant run by Thai Nguyen Iron and Steel Corporation; Dung Quat Bio-Ethanol Plant; and Ninh Binh Nitrogenous Fertiliser Plant.

    These plants had investment capitals of between VND1.9 trillion (US$83.37 million) and VND12 trillion; the Ninh Binh plant had the highest investment capital.

    Seven other projects have been added to this list: Ha Bac Nitrogenous Fertiliser Plant; DAP No.2 Lao Cai Fertiliser Production Plant; DAP No.2 Hai Phong Fertiliser Production Plant; Binh Phuoc Ethanol Plant; Phu Tho Ethanol Plant; Dung Quat Shipbuilding Plant; and Quy Sa Mine Project, a joint venture between Lao Cai Mineral Company and its partner.

    At a meeting held at the Government Office in Ha Noi on Tuesday, Hue said the committee would have to address the issues of these plants and projects, while adhering to Resolution No.5 of the 12th Party Central Committee’s fourth plenary meeting. He asked committee members to study the National Assembly’s resolutions and the Government’s instructions on restructuring State-owned enterprises.

    The committee must solve the problems resolutely, promptly, systematically and unanimously, ensuring a drastic change in these projects by the end of 2017 and their completion by the end of 2018, the Deputy PM said, adding that the solution would aid the country’s development.

    All relevant ministries, sectors, businesses and project management boards will have to honestly report the real situation so that the committee can arrive at a practical solution. “The committee will assign concrete tasks and deadlines to every ministry, sector, organisation, unit and individual. These projects will not remain delayed or undeveloped,” Hue said.

    The committee will check the progress of these projects, assess the situation, estimate the volume of loss, and send its report to the Prime Minister.

    Projects that have production capability will be restructured in terms of production, human resources and management. Those that cannot be restructured will be auctioned, divested, dissolved or declared bankrupt as per the laws, Hue said. “The State will not use its budget to compensate for losses or support these factories and projects anymore.”

    He has also asked the auditing agency and inspectors to investigate, define the responsibilities and propose strict action against organisations and individuals who have violated any law.

    Rubber industry expects export recovery this year     

    Rubber exports are expected to reach 1.2-1.25 million tonnes of this year, a year-on-year increase of 5.5-10 per cent, according to the Viet Nam Rubber Association.

    Speaking at a press conference to introduce the fifth International Exhibition on Rubber Industry and Tyre Manufacturing (Rubber and Tyre Vietnam) in HCM City on Tuesday, Vo Hoang An, VRA’s deputy chairman and general secretary, said the country had exported 1.12 million tonnes of raw rubber worth US$1.45 billion in the first 11 months.

    The global market faces severe difficulties caused by a relentless decline in prices in recent years as supply outstrips demand, he said.

    Viet Nam ranks third globally in output and fourth in exports, he said.

    Production is expected to top 1.04 million tonnes this year.

    Tran Thi Thuy Hoa, head of VRA’s advisory board for rubber development, said many countries have reduced rubber production by reducing exploitation and chopping down rubber trees for replanting or growing other trees.

    The lower output has pushed up rubber prices in the last two months, bringing hope to export firms and farmers, she said.

    According to An, the fall in prices has benefited rubber processing firms, whose exports of rubber products are going up year after year.

    Viet Nam earned $1.42 billion from export of products such as tyres, rubber accessories and conveyors last year, accounting for 39 per cent of the industry’s total export revenues, he said.

    Tyre exports are growing at 14 per cent a year, and reached $523.4 million last year, he said.

    Nguyen Quoc Anh, chairman of the Rubber-Plastic Manufacturers Association, said Viet Nam’s exports of rubber products are worth just a tenth of Thailand or Malaysia.

    Vietnamese firms should invest more in processing technologies and seek new buyers for their products, he said, adding that the Rubber and Tyre Vietnam, an international exhibition, would help them get up-to-date on technologies and products and build new relationships.

    To be held at the Saigon Exhibition and Convention Centre from June 13 to 15 next year, the exhibition will see more than 80 local and international exhibitors displaying their latest equipment and technologies and products and services.

    There would be conferences and seminars at the three-day exhibition, according to the Minh Vi Exhibition and Advertisement Services Co., Ltd, one of the organsiers.

    A rubber sourcing fair will be held for the first time to enable Vietnamese tyre and rubber producers and foreign buyers to compare notes and explore business opportunities. 

    Ha Tinh shuts down $79 million steel plant     

    The Van Loi Steel Mill, a VND1.8 trillion (US$ 79 million) steel plant in the central province of Ha Tinh, has been offically closed down due to prolonged financial problems.

    A member of Ha Tinh Economic Zone’s management board was quoted by Lao Đong (Labour) newspaper as saying on December 20 that they have revoked the project’s investment certificate.

    Van Loi Steel Mill occupies around 25 hectares of Vung Ang No.1 Economic Zone. It received its investment certificate in 2007, but work at the factory has been suspended for nearly six years now. The plant was supposed to specialise in refining steel and was to have a capacity of 250,000 tonnes per year in the first phase of the project and 500,000 tonnes per year in the second phase. It was scheduled to produce its first batch in August 2010, but because of financial problems, the project got stalled in 2010.

    Ha Tinh Steel JSC, the investor, admitted that it cannot implement the project as committed.

    In 2015, Ha Tinh Steel JSC Director Ho Van Dung said the company owed banks money to the tune of more than VND750 billion, and that the machines and equipment imported a decade ago had rusted and were damaged.

    After Van Loi Steel Mill suspended operations, the VND158 billion Vu Quang steel production factory, which was set up in 2008 to provide iron ore to Van Loi Steel Mill, halted operations in 2012 as the raw steel produced cannot be used. More than 100 workers of the factory lost their jobs then.

    The Vu Quang factory had begun operations in 2009 and had the capacity to produce 500,000 tonnes per year.

    Another project in the province - to exploit Thach Khe ore mine, which has the largest reserves in Southeast Asia - has been similarly suspended since 2011 because of capital shortage.

    The mining project, which kicked off in 2009 and required a total investment of VND10 trillion, was managed by Thach Khe Iron JSC. The mine, with an estimated total reserve of 544 million tonnes of ore, was expected to become a sound supply source for the country in the next five years, producing 10 million tonnes a year. However, two years later, this project ground to a halt, too.

    Ha Tinh province officials had held a meeting to discuss the matter and prepared documents to submit to the government. 

    Can Tho licenses U$47 million waste-to-energy plant

         

    Authorities in the Mekong Delta city of Can Tho on December 20 granted an investment certificate to the China Everbright International Company to build a US$47 million waste-to-energy plant.

    The Thoi Lai solid waste treatment plant will be built on an area of 53ha in Truong Xuan Commune, Thoi Lai District. Construction of the factory is scheduled to kick off in February 2017.

    Following its completion in February 2018, the facility will be capable of treating 400 tonnes of garbage per day and generating electricity for the national grid.

    Chen Xiao Ping, director general of China Everbright International, said as one of the leading companies in the field of waste treatment, it currently has 68 waste-to-energy projects with combined capacity of 55,000 tonnes of garbage per day.

    This is the first project in Viet Nam funded by Everbright, he said, also pledging to make it a key environmentally-friendly project in the Mekong Delta.

    For his part, Vo Thanh Thong, chairman of the municipal People’s Committee, said Everbright was selected among seven investors after the city sent a delegation on a field trip to observe the company’s projects in China.

    He urged the investor to abide by Viet Nam’s environmental standards and pledged to facilitate implementation of the project.

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


older | 1 | .... | 405 | 406 | (Page 407) | 408 | 409 | .... | 495 | newer