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  • 07/05/17--01:22: Article 4
  • HCM City at risk of labor shortage

    Ho Chi Minh City leads the country in gender balance yet a woman in the child-bearing age has only 1.46 child averagely, lowest rate in the country.

     HCM City at risk of labor shortage, 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

    Speaking at the wrapping up of People’s Council session on July 4, city’s Party Chief Nguyen Thien Nhan encouraged city’s women to have two children because proposed the council to assess the achievements and drawbacks of the city’s population policy to adopt measures in the next time.

    He added in 1960s, a woman in the North Vietnam has six kids averagely. Later, they have fewer and since 1980s, a female has three children. From 2005 until now one woman has two kids only. This rate maintained during 10 years. This proves relative good.

    The country’s population sector make it policy that one female has 1.8 babies sometimes, Mr. Nhan said. However, the sector should re-consider as South Korean and Japan are facing labor force crisis because the birth rates in the two countries are declining drastically, Party Chief Nhan warned.

    In reality, a family has many kids , it will face problems including financing yet if the birth rate is too low, it will be detrimental for a country’s growth; accordingly, it is ideal that each woman has two kids.

    In the National Assembly resolution on socio-economic growth, it will set two goals for the population sectors; one is to maintain birth rate at two kids in a family and second is to remedy sex ratio imbalance.

    Mr. Nhan said that the present sex ratio at birth is 112 boys to 100 girls in the country while it is 105 boys to 100 girls in HCMC. The city will therefore has low birth rate like South Korean, Singapore, Japan, positioning labor force at risk of shortage and slowdown of the country’s development.

    Hence, the Party Chief proposed the council to notice the National Assembly to maintain birth rate in the upcoming session.


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  • 07/05/17--01:34: Article 3
  • Real estate M&As expected to reach record high in 2017

    According to the Foreign Investment Agency (FIA), foreign investors have poured capital into 19 of 21 business fields so far this year, of which real estate ranks second with investment capital of $53 billion.

     ietnam 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,  real estate market, M&A, MOC

    Analysts said foreign investors are interested in the sector because of the expected GDP growth rate of 6.3-6.5 percent in 2017 and new policies which make it easier for foreign investors to buy a stake in domestic enterprises.

    Savills Vietnam said foreign investors continue to be present in the Vietnamese market in 2017 through M&A deals.  

    Leading Japanese real estate groups such as Haseko, Fujita and Mitsubishi are looking for real estate projects in Vietnam.  

    Mitsubishi, known for its projects in the fields of energy, chemicals, food and finance, has decided to join forces with Vietnam’s Bitexco to develop housing projects in Hanoi with total investment capital of hundreds of millions of dollars.

    Foreign investors have poured capital into 19 of 21 business fields so far this year, of which real estate ranks second with investment capital of $53 billion.

    Stephen Wyatt, CEO of Jones Lang Lasalle (JLL), also thinks the M&A in the real estate sector will increase sharply in 2017 and reach a record high.

    JLL noted that billions of dollars are awaiting opportunities to be funneled into the Vietnamese real estate market. Though investors eye all market segments, the capital will mostly flow to apartment, office, hotel and middle-class industrial zones.

    In March 2017, Keppel Land acquired a 16 percent stake in Saigon Center, a high-end complex of offices & shopping malls in HCMC from Sowatco in a deal worth VND845.9 billion. 

    Meanwhile, Hongkong Land has become the strategic partner of CII in developing the housing projects on land allocated to CII in the Thu Thiem new urban area.

    More recently, Kajima, one of Japan’s four biggest contractors, has joined hands with Indochina Capital, investor in many real estate projects in Vietnam, to set up a 50/50 joint venture to implement the plan on investing $1 billion within 10 years in Vietnam.

    In the immediate time, the joint venture will focus on housing, hotel and resort projects in Hanoi, HCMC and Da Nang.

    Keisuke Koshijima, Kajima’s overseas market development director, said compared with other regional markets, Vietnam is the key market for Kajima.

    A report from CBRE shows that the foreign investor who took over 70 percent of the ownership of the A&B office building in the central area of HCMC was an investor from Japan.

    Explaining the attractiveness of the Vietnam real estate market, Duong Thuy Dung from CEo said that barriers for foreign investors have been removed and the performance of other regional markets is not as good as Vietnam’s.

    Kim Chi, VNN

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  • 07/05/17--01:47: Article 2
  • Vietnam driver detained for ‘throwing’ traffic cop from trailer truck

    A driver who steered his trailer truck away and almost crashed into a traffic police officer who was trying to pull him over in central Vietnam last week was put in custody for two months on Tuesday.

    Phan Thanh Hung is pictured at a police station in Ha Tinh Province, located in north-central Vietnam, on June 30, 2017.Tuoi Tre

    The detention was indented to serve an investigation into charges of “deliberately acting against law enforcement officers,” police in the north-central province of Ha Tinh confirmed later the same day.

    The driver was initially identified as 26-year-old Luu Van Chau, according to information on his driving license.

    However, Ha Tinh police said on Tuesday the license is a fake one, with the driver confessing his real name is Phan Thanh Hung, 22.

    Vietnam currently imposes strict rules on trailer truck driving licenses, following a number of road accidents caused by this kind of vehicle.

    Under the current law, a driver must be at least 24 years old, and have obtained the license to drive cars with up to 30 seats or small trucks to be eligible to apply for the trailer truck license.

    Hung was behind the wheel of a trailer truck speeding away with one traffic officer gripping over the vehicle’s rear-view mirror in a video that went viral on Facebook on Friday last week.

    After traveling for 200m, the truck made a sudden swerve, throwing the officer down to the ground.

    The policeman, Nguyen Anh Duc, was hospitalized with brain injuries and splinter bone fractures as he hit the median strip during the fall.

    Duc is still receiving treatment at a hospital in Hanoi, with his health much improving.

    Police investigate the trailer truck following the incident.

    According to Ha Tinh traffic police, Duc was among four officers on duty at a checkpoint on National Highway 1A, passing through Can Loc District in Ha Tinh.

    Seeing Hung’s trailer truck apparently breaking the speed limit, Duc stepped out and signal the vehicle to stop.

    Hung stepped out from his cabin and argued with the policemen, claiming that he was not violating the speed limit, citing data from the speed monitor on his truck.

    After quarreling for 15 minutes, the young driver returned to his truck and suddenly ran away. At that time, Duc and another officer named Le Ho Viet Anh were still standing in front of the truck.

    Anh managed to jump to his left side to dodge the vehicle, while Duc could only grab its mirror.

    Duc loses his consciousness after the fall.


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  • 07/05/17--02:26: Article 1
  • Forests logging continues despite PM’s order on forest closure

     The forests in the central region and Central Highlands still continue to be felled despite the Prime Minister’s order one year ago to close natural forests.

     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,  forest law, Quang Nam, forest closure

    Reporters visiting Ward 693 of Tan Thanh commune in Quang Tri province in late June saw a barren bald forestland. 

    Hundreds of cut trees were on the ground. In the middle of rice and bananas fields, there were many trees with only stumps left.

    The guide said the deforestation in the ward has been occurring at a ‘skyrocketing speed’. In order to get land for cultivation, people are willing to chop down trees.  

    Ward 693 covers an area of 1,190 hectares, including 539 hectares of bare land, 391 hectares of planted forests and 341 hectares of restored natural forests. 

    According to the Huong Hoa Protective Forest Management Unit, by March 9, 3.85 hectares of forests in the ward had been found devastated by 13 people in the locality.

    The forests in the central region and Central Highlands still continue to be felled despite the Prime Minister’s order one year ago to close natural forests.

    Vo Van Su, head of the Forest Rangers’ Unit in Huong Hoa district, affirmed that the deforestation to get land for cultivation in Ward 693 ‘stopped a long time ago’. 

    On June 22, forest rangers had an inspection tour to the site and did not discover  illegal logging. After reporters showed the pictures they took, Su said this needs ‘examination’. 

    Quang Nam province was praised for its drastic measures to protect forests as the local authorities ordered to close the natural forest 15 years ago. However, the province has become one of the ‘hot spots’ in deforestation. Several deforestation cases occur there every year.

    The most serious case was the Fokienia devastation in July 2016, which the local press called a ‘massacre’ in the Vietnam-Laos border area, belonging to Nam Giang district, which was put under strict control – nobody in, nobody out.

    The case could be seen as a challenge by illegal loggers to the local authorities as it occurred just one month after the PM’s order on forest closure.

    The forests in Quang Nam province continue to be cut down. Every few days, investigative agencies discover a case of carrying illegally felled wood from forests. 

    On June 18, the police of the Dai Loc district discovered two people carrying 4 cubic meters of wood on a boat on Vu Gia River. However, they escaped in the darkness in front of the policemen.

    In Lam Dong province, nearly 1,500 forest trees have been chopped down, and police have not found the culprits.

    Thanh Mai,
    VietNamNet Bridge

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  • 07/05/17--02:50: Article 0
  • Vinamilk named Vietnam’s most valuable brand

    Dairy giant Vinamilk has been named the most valuable brand in Vietnam for the second year in a row by Forbes Vietnam.

    A Vinamilk employee points at a milk silo inside a dairy factory in Vietnam.Tuoi Tre

    Forbes Vietnam and Viet Capital Securities Company on Monday announced their list of the 40 most valuable brands in Vietnam, which were collectively valued at over US$5.4 billion, an increase of 20 percent on last year.

    Vinamilk, officially known as Vietnam Dairy Products, topped the magazine’s list with an estimated value of more than $1.71 billion, up 13 percent year-on-year.

    This is the second consecutive year the dairy producer has sat atop the table, with its 2016 brand value estimated at over $1.52 billion.

    Vinamilk was valued more than twice the amount of runner-up Viettel.

    The military-owned telecom group was worth $849.6 million, while property conglomerate Vingroup was third at $299.3 million.

    An Giang Province-based agricultural manufacturer and service supplier Loc Troi Group closed the list with $13.1 million in estimated value.

    Loc Troi joined a group of first-timers to be featured on the Forbes Vietnam list alongside Quang Ngai Sugar JSC, fuel dealer Petrolimex and travel company Saigontourist.

    Companies operating in the fields of consumer goods, finance and banking dominated the list with 19 names, including prominent financial institutions such as Vietcombank, Vietinbank, BIDV, Bao Viet Holdings, MB Bank, VP Bank and Sacombank.

    Three quarters of the 40 firms are listed on the Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi stock exchanges.

    The contribution of a company’s brand to its business performance played a large role in the evaluation of its total value, with the most valuable brands being those that recorded high revenue and earnings in the industries they were leading, according to Forbes Vietnam.

    The magazine, in coordination with Viet Capital Securities Company, evaluated the firms’ pre-tax earnings, loan interest rates and intangible assets.

    The total brand valuation is calculated on each company’s share price-to-earnings (P/E) ratio versus the market’s average P/E ratio for listed companies.

    For unlisted companies, Forbes Vietnam compared a firm’s scale and scope to others in the same industry to calculate its value.

    Vinamilk currently operates 13 dairy factories and ten cow farms across Vietnam, along with facilities in the U.S., Cambodia, New Zealand and a subsidiary in Poland.

    Their products are exported to 43 countries.

    Last month, the company was the only Vietnamese representative to land a spot on the latest Nikkei Asian Review’s Asia300, an exclusive list of the most powerful and valuable listed companies in the region, rubbing shoulders with such giants as Alibaba Group Holding and Tencent Holdings.


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  • 07/06/17--02:29: Article 0
  • Ho Chi Minh City to fell, relocate 258 old trees for bridge construction

    A number of decades-old trees along a street in Ho Chi Minh City’s center are slated to be either cut or relocated to make way for a bridge construction, the municipal transport department said Wednesday.


    Rows of green trees are seen on Ton Duc Thang Street, Ho Chi Minh City.Tuoi Tre

    Ton Duc Thang, running along the Saigon River, is one of the greenest streets in Ho Chi Minh City, with rows of green trees lining its pavement, some of which are said to be more than 100 years old.

    However, 258 of those trees are set to be chopped down or relocated to make space for the construction of the Thu Thiem 2 Bridge, Bui Xuan Cuong, director of the city’s transport department, said at a meeting on Wednesday.

    Of the affected trees, 115 will be relocated to the Nong Lam University in Thu Duc District, and the remaining 143 will be felled, Cuong elaborated.

    The Ho Chi Minh City administration has requested that only unhealthy trees or those that may not survive the relocation be cut down, according to the transport department director.

    “Consequently, of the 143 trees set to be chopped down, 125 are ancient,” he added.

    One of the oldest trees on Ton Duc Thang Street

    With previous tree-cutting projects having sparked negative reactions from the public, Cuong reassured that the tree removal will take place in several iterations aligned with the progress of the bridge construction, rather than all at once.

    The first 63 trees will be cut down or relocated in August, while a second batch of 79 trees will be moved or felled in October, Cuong elaborated.

    The project will resume again in March 2018 with 70 trees affected and the remaining 46 trees will be dealt with in May.

    After the bridge construction is complete, the relocated trees will be moved back to Ton Duc Thang, Cuong said.

    “We will then grow 258 new trees along the street for a total of 373 trees [along Ton Duc Thang],” he said, implying that the upcoming project will ultimately add more green to the area.

    The cost for the tree cutting and relocation is estimated at VND7 billion (US$308,370).

    The 1,465m Thu Thiem 2 Bridge over the Saigon River will connect the Le Duan – Ton Duc Thang intersection in District 1 with the Thu Thiem New Urban Area in District 2 and facilitate travel to and from the recently constructed urban area, as well as reduce congestion in the city’s downtown area.

    The project broke ground in February 2015 and is expected to be completed by April 2018, with a total investment of more than VND3 trillion ($132.16 million), according to the transport department.

    The current Thu Thiem Bridge also runs across the Saigon River, connecting Nguyen Huu Canh Street with the Thu Thiem neighborhood.

    An artist's impression of the Thu Thiem 2 Bridge


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  • 07/07/17--02:17: Article 2

    "Made in Vietnam" cargo container cranes arrive at India

    'Made in Vietnam' cargo container cranes arrive at India, VN-Index up on investor confidence, Cam Ranh airport service company to launch IPO on July 12, HFIC to become investor of HCM financial centre 

    After nearly 30 days at sea, three 1,400-tonne rail mounted quayside cranes (RMQC), also known as ship-to-shore cargo container cranes, have safely reached the port of Bharat Mumbai Container Terminal, India.

    The cranes were designed and manufactured at Doosan Vina’s heavy industry complex and then shipped from the company’s dedicated port in Quang Ngai, Vietnam on May 19.

    Each of the three RMQC’s weighs 1,400 tonnes, has a cargo boom of 144 metres, stands 84 metres high and 26 metres wide. The cranes can handle 65-tonne containers efficiently, safely, and profitably. Additionally, because they were fully assembled prior to shipment, the cranes will soon be fully operational.

    Located at India’s largest container port, BMCT has 16.5-metre deep berths and docks that are 2,000 metres in length. BMCT is well-connected to key markets in India by a network of highways and railroads serving the 4.8 million TEU port.

    Since Doosan Vina’s grand opening in May 2009, the company has manufactured and shipped 68 giant cargo container cranes to customers around the world.

    VN-Index up on investor confidence

    The benchmark VN-Index surpassed the short-term resistance of 780 points on July 6, closing up 0.56 percent at 782.65 points, thanks to strong investor confidence in the market outlook.

    This is the highest landmark since early 2008. The key index on the HCM Stock Exchange has expanded over 17 percent since the beginning of this year.

    On the Hanoi Stock Exchange, the HNX-Index rose for a third day, adding 0.67 percent to close the July 5 session at 102.60 points. The northern market index has soared over 28 percent compared to the end of 2016.

    Investors were solid on the market outlook and increased capital flows in the markets.

    A total of 341 million shares worth a combined 4.9 trillion VND (216 million USD) were traded on the two markets, up 18.8 percent in volume and 11.4 percent in value compared with the previous session.

    Money shifted focus on penny and medium-cap stocks. Shares of Tan Tao Investment and Industry (ITA), Hoang Quan Consulting-Trading-Service Real Estate (HQC), HAI Agrochem (HAI) were still among the most purchased on the HCM Stock Exchange.

    Among these stocks, ITA hit the daily maximum rise of 7 percent allowed on the HCM City market for a third day, settling at 4,940 VND a share. The shares have gained value for nine of the last 10 sessions with a total growth of 45.7 percent following the result of its annual shareholders’ meeting on June 26.

    At the meeting, ITA announced its ambitious business targets for 2017, of which total revenues will likely reach 880.4 billion VND and net profit of 309.2 billion VND, a rise of 160 percent in revenue and 700 percent in profit compared to 2016’s performance.

    Besides, many low-priced shares also received large investments including real estate developer An Duong Thao Dien (HAR), Vicem Hai Van Cement (HVX), Lao Cai Mineral Exploitation & Processing (LCM), and Agribank Securities Co (AGR) which hit the daily limit gain.

    For large-cap stocks, energy firms were among the biggest gainers with PV Gas (GAS), Petrolimex (PLX) and Petrolimex Gas Corporation (PGC) adding up 1 percent, 3.2 percent and 3.6 percent, respectively.

    According to analysts at Maritime Securities Co, the market will likely face a downward correction after a strong rally.

    “Cash has been moving to small- and medium-cap shares which may indicate the possibility of a short-term correction,” they wrote in a note and suggested a hold-and-buy strategy while considering profit taking of the stocks that have risen sharply.

    Reference exchange rate stays stable

    The daily reference exchange rate for VND/USD set by the State Bank of Vietnam is kept unchanged from the previous day at 22,447 VND per USD on July 7. 

    With the current trading band of /-3 percent, the ceiling rate applied to commercial banks during the day is 23,112 VND and the floor rate 21,768 VND per USD. 

    The opening hour rates listed at commercial banks on July 7 saw slight fluctuations. 

    Vietcombank increased both rates by 5 VND from July 6, listing the buying rate at 22,710 VND and selling rate at 22,780 VND.  

     The rates at BIDV remained unchanged from the previous day at 22,705 VND (buying) and 22,755 VND (selling). 

    At Vietinbank, the greenback is being bought at 22,700 VND and sold at 22,780 VND, both up 5 VND from July 6.

    Cam Ranh airport service company to launch IPO on July 12

    Cam Ranh International Airport Service Joint Stock Company (CIAS) will offer over 1.4 million shares as part of the company’s initial public offering (IPO) on July 12.

    The shares will be auctioned on the Hanoi Stock Exchange (HNX) at the starting price of 30,000 VND (1.3 USD) each.

    Formerly known as Cam Ranh Aviation Trading Joint Stock Company, CIAS was established in 2009 with chartered capital of 10 billion VND. In 2016, CIAS increased its chartered capital to 60 billion VND.

    The company provides services for travelers at the Cam Ranh International Airport in the central coastal province of Khanh Hoa, such as restaurants, catering services, business class lounges and souvenir shops.

    This year, CIAS has set a target of 371.3 billion VND in revenue, 35.5 billion VND in post-tax profit and 35 percent dividend payment. In the first quarter of 2017, CIAS earned 101.9 billion VND in revenue and 12 billion VND in post-tax profit.

    Japan’s Yokohama promotes water-related business in Thua Thien-Hue

    A workshop was held in Hue city, the central province of Thua Thien-Hue, on July 6 to promote water-related business activities of Japan’s Yokohama city in Vietnam.

    The event was organised by the Thua Thien-Hue Construction and Water Supply Co. Ltd (HueWACO), the Yokohama Waterworks Bureau (YWWB) and the Yokohama Water Business Association (YWBA). It attracted 165 delegates from 58 organisations and agencies in Vietnam’s water sector and seven leading water-related agencies of Japan.

    They were briefed about water supply services, water leak detection technologies, integrated water resources management systems and manpower training so as to improve the water sector’s business efficiency.

    Participants also shared experience to help Vietnam’s water supply companies receive advice from and advanced water supply technologies transferred by Japan.

    Vice Chairman of the Thua Thien-Hue People’s Committee Nguyen Dung lauded the cooperation between the two countries’ water sector, noting that the projects implemented by the YWWB in the province have proved effective and become an example of Vietnam’s international cooperation in the water sector.

    The People’s Committee pledges to facilitate business and investment projects of the YWWB and the YWBA in Hue, he stressed.

    The province has provided safe water for nearly 1 million people, or 83 percent of its population. However, about 200,000 residents in rural areas haven’t accessed clean water supply sources, he noted, adding that Thua Thien-Hue wants to receive more assistance and cooperation from Japan’s water sector to improve local water supply capacity.

    A representative of the YWWB said the bureau will sign a cooperation agreement for 2017-2019 with HueWACO to enhance ties in clean water supply for the province.

    Director of the province’s Department of External Affairs Tran Dinh Phu said aside from water supply, Thua Thien-Hue and Japan have also cooperated in many other spheres such as disaster prevention, heritage preservation, transport, education and health care. Japan is currently the biggest ODA provider of Vietnam as well as the province.

    Notably, the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) has assisted Hue city with a project on improving the local water environment. Phase I of the project has a total investment of 20 trillion JPY (220 million USD) funded by the Japanese Government’s concessional loan.

    Central Group opens first stationery center in Vietnam

    Thailand’s Central Group opened its first-ever B2S stationery and supplies store a few days ago in Ho Chi Minh City’s Thu Duc district, nearby nine universities and four industrial parks.

    B2S is the first “package” stationery center in Vietnam providing B2S (Business to School) packages, which allows customers to buy everything from furniture and equipment to office machines, computers, and the full range of office supplies.

    “Our goal is to make business easier,” said Ms. Nguyen Thi Thuc Vy, CEO of B2S Vietnam. “The store is located in a convenient position, as Thu Duc is the largest university village in the country with many universities as well as industrial parks nearby.” 

    The company plans to open a further 30 stores around the country over the next five years, according to Ms. Vy.

    B2S has a total area of 900 sq m on four floors with more than 6,000 different office and stationery items, ranging from office furniture, computers, printers, cards, and entertainment materials. About 80 per cent of the goods are imported.

    The center not only supplies stationery but also trendy fashion and lifestyle products, home décor items, handmade products, accessories and gifts, arts and crafts, handbags, high quality leather products, computer equipment, and electronics.

    What differentiates B2S is that it provides multiple channels, such as the modern store in Thu Duc district, a professional B2B sales team, and online shopping. It also has a co-working space on its 4th floor for startups, offering a creativity corner designed for young people.

    Domestic stationery enterprises are now actively investing in the production of stationery products to expand in Vietnam’s market of more than 90 million people. B2S’s opening its first stationery center promises to open up opportunities for domestic stationery businesses to grow stronger in the future and will support startups in line with the ongoing fourth industrial revolution.

    Vietnam’s stationery market is valued at about $175 million annually and has seen average growth of 10 per cent per year since 2014, according to Viet Capital Securities. This has been helped by a large and young population as well as increasing demand for educational services and products, with consumers more inclined to pay for quality.

    Ho Chi Minh City already has more than 1,500 family-owned stationery stores. Some of the larger ones are incorporated into bookstores. Based on the 60 stores in its home market, the Thai model offers a broader range as well as innovations like online service and free delivery.

    The Central Group entered Vietnam in 2011 and has seen rapid expansion through acquisitions, franchises and joint ventures. It paid $1.14 billion last year to France’s Casino Group to acquire the Big C supermarket business in the country and plans to double the Big C chain from 34 outlets and to develop 13 larger commercial complexes by 2021.

    Central also acquired 49 per cent of the electronics retailer Nguyen Kim, along with e-commerce platform Zalora Vietnam.

    VNSTEEL subsidiaries make profits

    Many subsidiaries of the Vietnam Steel Corporation (VNSTEEL) have recorded profits despite various difficulties in the first half of 2017.

    The information was released at a meeting to review the firm’s business performance in the first six months on 2017 in Hanoi on July 6.

    Deputy General Director of VNSTEEL Nguyen Trong Khoi said three companies posted pre-tax profits equal or higher than the same period last year, including Thu Duc Steel Joint Stock Company (nearly 30 billion VND, or 1.3 million USD), the Ho Chi Minh City Metal Joint Stock Company (more than 35 billion VND, or 1.5 million USD) and the Foreign Trade Forwarding and Transportation Joint Stock Company Vinatrans (over 17 billion VND, or 747,800 USD).

    Profits were also recorded in many other affiliates but lower than in 2016, such as the Southern Steel Company (over 85.5 billion VND or 3.8 million USD) and the Phu My Flat Steel Company (over 11 billion VND or 483,900 USD), whose profits respectively represented 44.6 percent and 23.9 percent of last year’s six-month earnings.

    Khoi said since the beginning of 2017, VNSTEEL has enhanced connectivity among its subsidiaries in the production and sale of steel products.

    However, he also admitted shortcomings in operations and lingering problems in land and property management.

    He noted in the next six months, the corporation will continue boosting its affiliates’ coordination, update information about the domestic and foreign steel markets and make long-term forecasts of the market to support project implementation and market expansion.

    HFIC to become investor of HCM financial centre     

    HCM City’s People’s Committee has proposed the Prime Minister to approve the selection of State-owned HCM City Financial Investment Company (HFIC) as investor of the municipal financial centre,, a news site of Viet Nam Chamber of Commerce and Industry, reported.

    The centre will cover two land lots of 1-7 and 1-11 in the Thu Thiem New Urban Area’s functional zone No 1 in District 2.

    The financial centre is expected to attract investment from financial institutions, banks and investment funds nationwide, as well as private, domestic and foreign economic groups.

    The operation of the financial and credit institutions in the centre will draw capital from foreign countries into the Vietnamese market in general and HCM City in particular, creating a premise for the Thu Thiem New Urban Area to become the financial and economic hub of HCM City, the region and whole country.

    In addition, the financial centre will also be a key financial instrument of the city in mobilising medium and long-term capital at home and abroad to invest and develop socio-economic infrastructure, especially in the period when the city’s capital source for investment is facing difficulties.

    The project is expected to include a 20 to 50-storey building with total floor area of some 220,000sq.m and total investment of VND4.8 trillion (US$215 million). The project construction period is scheduled to last from 2018 to 2021.

    PwC to advise Vietinbank Insurance on IT

    VietinBank Insurance (VBI) and PwC Vietnam signed an agreement on strategic IT consultancy on July 5.

    PwC will deploy a consultancy package that includes modelling future IT systems, building a development plan and implementing advanced IT solutions in the next five years, and evaluating the level of IT security at VBI.

    Through the project, PwC will assist VBI in developing a proper and feasible IT advancement plan that meets the insurer’s future operational, strategic, and development needs.

    VBI is currently one of only a few insurers to develop electronic certificates and invoices for customers. When customers take on a VBI insurance policy, rather than waiting for paper contracts and invoices to be delivered by post, they can receive electronic contracts and invoices immediately through their personal email address within 30 minutes.

    VBI has gone through a significant transformation in the past three years, implementing key strategic plans with a view to making a breakthrough and becoming the leading retailer of general insurance in Vietnam.

    In the process of finding a strategic investor, VBI has proposed a detailed strategic development plan for the 2017-2020 period. This includes accelerating growth in the retail market, targeting IT-based small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), and approaching international standards.

    “We appreciate VBI’s initiative to invest in IT and data security systems to improve business operations and customer services,” said Ms. Dinh Thi Quynh Van, General Director of PwC Vietnam said. “This is particularly significant considering that emerging Fintech companies are taking up a bigger market share in the finance, banking, and insurance industries.”

    She added that with their in-depth knowledge of technology in finance and insurance, as well as experience from similar projects, PwC is committed to providing VBI with comprehensive consultancy services, from strategic planning to implementation, in order to deliver sustainable value to customers.

    The standardization of insurance management and IT-based customer services not only helps optimize productivity and minimize risks in internal operations but also adds value to customers when buying insurance. Moreover, it contributes to improving standards for insurance operations in the market, creating a transparent environment, fair competition, and sustainable development.

    Binh Quoi-Thanh Da urban area project

    In related information, the People’s Committee of HCM City has also asked the Prime Minister to approve the appointment of property developer Bitexco Group as investor of the Binh Quoi-Thanh Da urban area project in Binh Thanh District.

    The project, located right at the heart of the city, has been delayed by decades.

    According to the Doi Song va Phap Luat (Life and Law) website, in 1992, the project was approved by the municipal People’s Committee. In 2004, Saigon Construction Corporation was appointed to be the investor and constructor of the project. However, due to the lack of capacity, this unit failed to implement the project and by 2010, the People’s Committee had revoked its decision.

    In 2016, Bitexco and Emaar Properties PJSC, based in the United Arab Emirates, were approved to execute the project. However, the project had still been postponded as Emaar Properties PJSC announced to stop their work on the project, the website said.

    The project was expected to become a modern ecological urban area, covering 426.93ha. Total investment is some VND30.7 trillion.

    The first phase of the project construction (2016-2020) will focus on completing compensation for people whose land has been broken for ground clearance and investment in the construction of major technical works.

    In phase 2 (2021-2025), investors will invest in technical infrastructure and functional areas of the project. Construction of the remaining areas will be completed by 2030. 

    Shrimp exporters told to improve methods     

    If the shrimp industry does not change it will be unable to export and will also need to be rescued like its pork, dragon fruit and watermelon counterparts, a seminar on establishing a disease-free shrimp production chain for export heard in HCM City on July 5.

    Pham Van Dong, head of the Department of Animal Health, said earnings from shrimp exports have increased significantly in recent years, but the industry faces many challenges in breeding due to the impact of climate changes and diseases.

    Companies have also faced difficulties in exports due to the increasingly strict technical barriers related to diseases and antibiotic residues put up by importing countries, he said.

    Recently six markets -- Australia, South Korea, Saudi Arabia, China, Brazil, and Mexico -- have said they would buy only products with disease-free certification in accordance with World Organisation for Animal Health regulations or recognised as free of diseases by their authorised agencies.

    These markets account for 25 per cent of the country’s total shrimp exports, or equivalent to US$800 million a year.

    Truong Dinh Hoe, general secretary of the Viet Nam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers, said shrimp processors and exporters are deeply worried about the disease-free certification requirement.

    It is hard for them to meet the demand in a short time, he said.   

    With the small average scale of production, if the country does not have comprehensive national measures, exporters would face difficulties in exporting in future.

    Dang Quoc Tuan, deputy general director of Viet Nam-Australia Seafood Corporation (Viet-Uc Seafood), said the survival rate of shrimp in Viet Nam is very low at just 25-30 per cent due to the low professional level of farmers. Vietnamese shrimp mainly competes on price, and the new regulations mean they cannot be exported whatever their price, he said.

    The industry would therefore be forced to change, he said.  

    Nguyen Van Long, head of the department’s seafood veterinary division, said the department has a programme to enable firms to meet regulations set by importing countries since 2014, but enterprises remain unmindful of this.

    Only Viet-Uc Seafood and Huy Long An Company have participated in the programme to develop disease-free shrimp breeding facilities.

    Viet-Uc Seafood has basically met the criteria to be recognised by animal health department.

    Farmers and businesses in the country are generally not aware of the importance of building disease-free shrimp breeding facilities.

    But if the industry persists with its current production methods, it would need to be rescued sooner rather than later.

    City’s H1 beverage production drops     

    Growth in beverage sales in HCM City in the first half of the year slowed down to 2 per cent, according to the Department of Industry and Trade.

    The department blamed the slowdown to prolonged cold weather and a series of downpours this year.

    Demand for alcoholic drinks took a hit after consumption tax was hiked to 60 per cent last January as part of the Government’s efforts to curb consumption of beer and alcohol.

    Besides, more and more consumers are becoming health-conscious and stopping consumption of sugary soft drinks.

    This has only been accelerated by health-related scams: Authorities found high lead content in a drink while a consumer found a dead fly in another.

    With a population of 90 million people, food and beverages is Viet Nam’s second most attractive sector after retail in the eyes of foreign investors.

    HCM City has a total of 2,042 food and beverage producers with 300 new companies starting up every year.

    According to a Government report, in 2011–17, the number of companies in the sector grew by 18.8 per cent a year.

    According to the Viet Nam Industry Research and Consultant, beverage producers can rely on domestic sources of raw materials, which is seen as a huge advantage.

    Thanks to this, a great variety of drinks have been introduced in the market, with bottled green tea, water and soft drinks accounting for the largest share.

    Though exports of juices and other fruit-based drinks, mainly to Asian countries, have been on the rise in recent years, the domestic market is still the main one for beverage producers.

    Despite the slowdown in the first half, experts are confident sales will gain momentum in the second half considering the demand for milk-based drinks and low-sugar and eco-friendly products. 

    HN eyes industrial zone investors     

    Ha Noi plans to attract 15-20 new projects with expected total investment of US$250-300 million in industrial zones and clusters in the capital city this year.

    Sectors to be prioritised include part supplies, electronics and mechanics industries.

    The Management Board of Industrial and Processing Zones said the focus would be on speeding up land clearance and improving infrastructure to make Ha Noi an attractive destination for large investors.

    One of the difficulties was the limited available land in the capital city, according to the management board. There were 13ha of vacant land in Quang Minh Industrial Zone, 25ha in Phu Nghia Industrial Zone and 36ha in south Ha Noi available for investment this year.

    Le Hong Thang, director of the municipal Department of Industry and Trade, said attracting investment in the capital city’s industrial clusters continued to be a struggle due to high investment costs, even as investors in clusters were mainly of a smaller scale.

    According to Pham Khac Tuan, head of the management board, municipal authorities had pledged to hasten administrative reform and improve investment climate to attract capital for industrial zones and clusters.

    The capital city would also focus on developing the labour force in localities around and near the industrial zones and clusters as well as creating favourable conditions to boost the part supplies industry through business-to-bank and business-to-business connecting programmes.

    The city would give priority to high-tech, environmentally-friendly investment and products of high added value and those that could compete with others in the market.

    According to the Department of Industry and Trade, the city has developed or is in the process of developing 19 industrial zones with total area of nearly 525ha, together with 110 industrial clusters, totaling 3,000ha.

    The department proposed another nine industrial clusters be developed by 2020 and 18 more by 2030, noting that completing the infrastructure system was of great importance.

    In addition, the department proposed to exempt land use fees in the first stage for investors as well as provide support to investors in treating waste at industrial zones and clusters.

    In the first five months of this year, industrial zones and clusters in the capital city attracted seven new projects, worth more than US$44 million in registered capital, and expanded six existing projects, worth $18.5 million.

    To date, Ha Noi has attracted 629 projects in industrial zones and clusters with total registered capital of $5.9 billion. More than half of the projects were foreign-invested, worth $5.34 billion. 

    Garment sector export growth still unsustainable     

    Viet Nam’s garment and textile revenue increased for the first half of this year but experts said the growth has not yet become sustainable.

    The national garment and textiles export value in the first half of the year grew 11.3 per cent year-on-year to US$14.58 billion, higher than the growth rate of 6.1 per cent year-on-year in the same period of 2016.

    Le Tien Truong, deputy general director of the Viet Nam Garment and Textile Group (Vinatex), said the results by the garment sector were a praiseworthy effort in the context of the unstable global economy.

    The demand for textile products from key importers like the United States (US), the European Union (EU) and Japan tapered off in the first six months of the year. However, exports to those markets experienced robust achievements, Truong said.

    He said that the country earned $6 billion from the exports to the US, surging nearly 9 per cent; $2.3 billion to the EU, up 8 per cent; and $1.5 billion to Japan, up 12 per cent.

    Viet Nam outstripped its competitors in garment exports during the period. According to the Trade Map, China experienced a decline of more than 5 per cent year-on-year, while Bangladesh saw a drop of 3.5 per cent, and Indonesia was down 5 per cent.

    However, the trade protectionism policy of US President Donald Trump’s administration and interest rate adjustment from the US Federal Reserve will threaten sustainable export growth. There is a high possibility that Viet Nam’s competitors will further devalue domestic currencies to support exports as they did in 2016, Truong said.

    As the biggest hurdle for Vietnamese garments is foreign competitors, especially China with large scale production and low costs, Vietnamese enterprises need to join the global supply chain with fastidious requirements of quality, prices and time of good delivery.

    Local enterprises’ poor orientations have made them fail to meet the industry’s long-term development. In addition, unsound competition between domestic and foreign invested businesses has been on the cards.

    Moreover, the auxiliary industry for the textile and garment sector has not yet developed. Low capacity in the stages of weaving and dyeing have led to the local demand for textile fabric being unsatisfied. The domestic garment industry must import 70 per cent of fabric, causing unbalanced development.

    Meanwhile, Vietnamese garment enterprises are mostly small- and medium-sized ones with limited ability in accessing domestic and foreign markets. If they do not link with some large enterprises, these firms will find it difficult to survive and never have the ability to compete internationally.

    Local garment enterprises have also faced many challenges, including the shortage of high-quality human resources, limitations in product development, capital access, marketing and foreign languages, and high input costs.

    The garment sector recommended to the relevant authorities that they support training programmes in original design manufacturer (ODM) business and information and technology while creating favourable conditions for enterprises to have access to soft loans and preventing smuggled goods.

    HCM City expo promotes Vietnamese products     

    Around 130 companies are showcasing their products at the Ton Vinh Hang Viet (Honouring Vietnamese goods) fair that opened in HCM City on July 5.

    The expo has 330 booths displaying processed foods, garments, footwear, household utensils, plastic products, wooden products, handicrafts, cosmetics, electronic and electrical products, and other industrial and consumer products, Nguyen Phuoc Hung, deputy chairman of the HCM City Union of Business Associations (HUBA), said.

    The fifth annual fair has attracted many prestigious brands like Vissan, Duy Tan Plastic, Maseco, Van Thanh Mattress, SJC, and DOJI, trade promotion centres from many provinces and cities like Ninh Thuan, Hau Giang and Ben Tre and business associations of districts 11, 8 and Tan Phu.

    For the first time this year leading retailers like Saigon Co.op, Satra, and Lotte Mart are also taking part.

    Organised by HUBA in collaboration with Dong Nam Advertising and Commercial Promotion Joint Stock Company, the fair seeks to help businesses market their products and look for partners, Hung said.

    Speaking at the opening ceremony, Nguyen Phuong Dong, deputy director of the city Department of Industry and Trade, said the fair offers local companies a good opportunity to study consumers’ tastes, access the market and strengthen the “Vietnamese give priority to use Vietnamese goods” campaign.

    At the ceremony, “Typical Products” awards were given away to 21 companies for innovation in designing and producing 32 new high-quality products.

    Several conferences are scheduled to be held on the sidelines of the fair.

    The five-day expo is on at the Phu Tho Sports Stadium 

    Rong Viet reach VND71 billion in profit in first half of year     

    Rong Viet Securities Company (VDS) has had a pre-tax profit of VND71 billion (US$3.1 million) in the first half of the year, jumping by 163 per cent over the same period last year.

    The pre-tax profit in the first quarter was VND30 billion ($1.5 million), surging to VND40.9 ($2 million) billion in the second quarter.

    In the first half of 2017, VDS had revenue of over VND166 billion ($7.2 million), up by 78 per cent year-on-year.

    Most of the revenue was earned by brokers’ services, the company said.

    VDS reported that with the result it had fulfilled 54 per cent of its annual plan in revenue, including 71 per cent of targeted profit.

    The HCM City Stock Exchange (HoSE) recently accepted to list 70 million shares of VDS. It is expected that the first trading day will be July 19.

    Previously, VDS shares were traded on the Ha Noi Stock Exchange. The company explained that it wanted to list on HoSE to increase the equity of the shares as well as to mobilize more capital from different sources.

    VDS shares will end trading on the Ha Noi Stock Exchange next Monday (July 10).

    The company targets increasing capital from VND700 billion to VNĐ910 billion this year.

    Emirates commences Hanoi-Dubai daily flights

    Emirates airlines officially commenced daily direct flights from Hanoi to Dubai on July 2, providing Vietnamese travellers more seamless connections to its global network of over 150 destinations worldwide.

    Emirates airlines officially commenced daily direct flights from Hanoi to Dubai on July 2, providing Vietnamese travellers more seamless connections to its global network of over 150 destinations worldwide. — Photo Emirate.

    The first direct flight EK394 from Dubai to Hanoi arrived at Noi Bai International Airport at 1:05pm local time on July 1, 2017.

    The new direct service is operated with a two-class configured Boeing 777-300ER which offers 42 seats in Business Class, 386 seats in Economy Class and up to 20 tonnes of capacity for cargo, with generous free baggage allowance (up to 35kg in Economy Class and 40kg in Business Class).

    Outbound, flight EK395 departs from Hanoi’s Noi Bai International Airport at 1:30am, arriving at Dubai International Airport at 5:05am. Inbound, flight EK394 departs Dubai at 3:30am arrives in Hanoi at 1:05pm.

    Timings of the service have been scheduled to allow for seamless connections to many European and GCC routes, via a convenient stopover in Dubai. This new direct service will help enhance connectivity for Hanoi and its neighbouring areas, providing faster connections, additional opportunities for inbound tourism and regional products.

    Recently, Emirates was recognised as the Best Airline in the World in the inaugural TripAdvisor Travelers’ Choice® Awards for Airlines. In addition, the airline was the biggest winner with four other awards including Best Major Airline - Middle East and Africa, Best Economy Class, Best First Class and World’s Best Airlines - Top 10.

    HCM City beverage production slips in H1

    Growth in beverage sales in HCM City in the first half of the year slowed down to 2 per cent, according to the Department of Industry and Trade.

    The department blamed the slowdown to prolonged cold weather and a series of downpours this year.

    Demand for alcoholic drinks took a hit after consumption tax was hiked to 60 per cent last January as part of the Government’s efforts to curb consumption of beer and alcohol.

    Besides, more and more consumers are becoming health-conscious and stopping consumption of sugary soft drinks.

    This has only been accelerated by health-related scams: Authorities found high lead content in a drink while a consumer found a dead fly in another.

    With a population of 90 million people, food and beverages is Việt Nam’s second most attractive sector after retail in the eyes of foreign investors.

    HCM City has a total of 2,042 food and beverage producers with 300 new companies starting up every year.

    According to a Government report, in 2011–17, the number of companies in the sector grew by 18.8 per cent a year.

    According to the Việt Nam Industry Research and Consultant, beverage producers can rely on domestic sources of raw materials, which is seen as a huge advantage.

    Thanks to this, a great variety of drinks have been introduced in the market, with bottled green tea, water and soft drinks accounting for the largest share.

    Though exports of juices and other fruit-based drinks, mainly to Asian countries, have been on the rise in recent years, the domestic market is still the main one for beverage producers.

    Despite the slowdown in the first half, experts are confident sales will gain momentum in the second half considering the demand for milk-based drinks and low-sugar and eco-friendly products.

    IMF encourages Vietnam to expand scope of reforms

    The Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has concluded its Article IV Consultation with Vietnam.

    Vietnam’s dynamic economy continues to perform well, the IMF reports, aided by sound economic fundamentals. Growth moderated to 6.2 per cent in 2016, reflecting the impact of a drought, land salinization on agriculture, and lower oil production. 

    Weaknesses in the oil sector continued in the first quarter of 2017 but underlying growth momentum remains robust, underpinned by strong manufacturing activity and foreign direct investment (FDI), robust domestic demand, and a rebound in agricultural production. 

    Inflation rose to around 5 per cent in early 2017 due to increases in administered prices for healthcare and education. The current account surplus rebounded in 2016 to 4.1 per cent of GDP and gross international reserves rose substantially.

    Authorities are developing a broad reform agenda, keenly aware of the limited fiscal space, the need to upgrade the growth model at home, and rising risks of economic fragmentation abroad. 

    After years of high fiscal deficits and rising public debt, authorities are planning an appropriate amount of fiscal consolidation starting this year, although concrete measures have not yet been fully identified. 

    Monetary policy was accommodative over most of last year against the backdrop of low core inflation, and the exchange rate has depreciated slightly since the fall of 2016. 

    Macroprudential policies were tightened, while credit growth was robust. Bank reforms have progressed, but nonperforming loan (NPL) resolution, bank recapitalization, and legal reforms to strengthen market discipline have been sluggish. Good progress has been made on the legal framework for State-owned enterprise (SOE) reforms, but implementation has been slow. Authorities are planning to limit the role of the State in the economy, reduce State ownership in enterprises, and encourage private sector-led sustainable growth.

    For 2017, growth is projected at 6.3 per cent and headline inflation is projected to stabilize at around 5 per cent as administered prices continue to be adjusted. 

    The current account surplus is expected to decline somewhat, reflecting stronger imports. While the near-term outlook is positive, there are downside risks, including from high public debt, slow NPL resolution, tighter global financial conditions, shocks to external demand, and rising protectionism and the failure of the Trans Pacific Partnership. 

    On the upside, successful implementation of authorities’ ambitious reform agenda could raise growth potential and increase resilience to shocks. Fast implementation of the Vietnam-EU and other bilateral trade agreements would fuel exports and FDI.

    The IMF’s Executive Directors commended Vietnamese authorities for achieving robust growth with low inflation, pushing ahead with important reforms to promote private sector-led growth, strengthening public finances and tackling legacy issues in the financial sector while making progress on poverty alleviation. 

    Directors noted that risks remain from the slow pace of banking sector reform, continued rapid credit growth, and limited fiscal and external buffers. 

    Looking ahead, they encouraged authorities to expand the scope of reforms to safeguard hard-won macroeconomic stability, raise growth potential, and upgrade the growth model to enhance sustainability and productivity.

    VN stocks rise slightly due to profit-taking     

    Shares rose slightly on both local markets on Friday morning as investors increased selling to make profits from recent gains.

    The benchmark VN Index on the HCM Stock Exchange was up 0.08 per cent to end at 783.31 points. It gained total 0.9 per cent in the previous two sessions.

    The HNX Index on the Ha Noi Stock Exchange inched up 0.07 per cent to close at 102.68 points. The northern market index underwent a seven-session rally of 4.7 per cent.

    More than 196 million shares were traded on both exchanges, worth nearly VND3 trillion (US$132.8 million).

    Shares of insurance firms and banks lifted the markets on Friday morning after both local indices hit fresh highs recently, allowing investors to offload their portfolios to earn short-term profits.

    The insurance sector was boosted by Bao Viet Holdings (BVH) and PVI Holdings (PVI), which gained 0.9 per cent and 4.8 per cent, respectively.

    Five of the nine listed bank stocks advanced, with Eximbank (EIB) and Sai Gon-Ha Noi Bank (SHB) being the strongest gainers.

    Investors’ profit-taking hit stocks that had earlier made strong gains, such as brokerages and food and beverage producers.

    Among those stocks were HCM City Securities (HCM), Sai Gon Securities (SSI), Sai Gon-Ha Noi Securities (SHS) and dairy producer Vinamilk (VNM).

    The afternoon session starts at 1pm. 

    Vietjet inks strategic aircraft financing agreement with GOAL

    Vietjet President  Nguyen Thi Phuong Thao, Vietjet Vice President Dinh Viet Phuong, KGAL CEO Gert Waltenbauer and GOAL Managing Director Jochen Baltes represented both parties in signing the contract as witnessed by Vietnam’s Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc and high-ranking dignitaries from Vietnam and Germany.

    The acquisition of the four aircraft is part of the A320 family aircraft contract signed earlier between Vietjet and European aircraft manufacturer Airbus. Vietjet will receive the four aircraft within 2017 to meet expansion plans for the airline’s domestic and international flight network.

    Vietjet also recently signed a similar deal with Mitsubishi UFJ Lease & Finance Company Limited (MUL), a member of Japan’s leading finance group Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (MUFG) to finance Vietjet’s acquisition of three brand new A321 aircraft, worth US$348 million, according to the manufacturer’s listed price.

    Earlier in June at the Paris Airshow 2017 in France, Vietjet also signed a deal with Safran for its SFCO2® fuel efficiency solution. The SFCO2 service contract covers the entire fleet of the Ho Chi Minh City-based airline, which will enhance Vietjet’s operational efficiency by reducing fuel consumption and CO2 emissions.

    Meanwhile, in May in the U.S., Vietjet also signed a series of deals worth a total of US$4.7 billion to secure maintenance support for engines, components and other technical services, including auxiliary power unit (APU) supply and APU technical maintenance and aircraft financing (and/or purchasing).


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  • 07/07/17--02:32: Article 1
  • Major renovation underway at Saigon’s iconic Notre-Dame Cathedral

    Ho Chi Minh City’s iconic Notre-Dame Cathedral will close to tourists during a massive three-year renovation planned for the grand building.

    An aerial view of the Notre-Dame Cathedral Basilica of Saigon in Ho Chi Minh City.Tuoi Tre

    Regular Masses will be held as usual for Catholics.

    For over two years, a team of local and international experts have surveyed the Notre-Dame Cathedral Basilica of Saigon, located in downtown Ho Chi Minh City, in preparation for renovation works with barricades put up on Tuesday.

    Built by French colonialists who initially named it Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Saïgon, the cathedral originally measured 36.6 meters after construction between 1863 and 1880.

    In 1895, two bell towers were built on top of the cathedral, adding 21 meters to the structure for a total height of 57.6 meters.

    Barriers have been erected to fence off the cathedral and police have limited traffic on roads surrounding the building while the renovation is underway, a project expected to last until June 2020.

    Catholics wishing to attend Masses must enter through the main entrance only.

    The entire renovation is expected to cost VND100 billion (US$4.41 million) and is being funded by donations from philanthropists and church-goers.

    Two bicyclists ride past the back of the Notre-Dame Cathedral Basilica of Saigon in Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Tuoi Tre

    Here is a detailed plan of what will be repaired or replaced during the project:

    The tile roof

    Over the cathedral’s nearly 140-year history, its roof has been fixed many times to seal off leaks.

    The current roof consists of six different types of roofing tile, though Phu Huu, Dong Nai and Wang Tai-Saigon tiles are most prominent throughout the building.

    There are also 4,900 high quality imported French tiles left from the cathedral’s initial construction, produced by the Marseille St. André France tile company.

    Yin-and-yang tiles commonly used in traditional Saigonese roofing are also used in the cathedral.

    The steering board in charge of overseeing the renovation has imported over 27,000 roofing tiles from France’s Monier Building Group, which supplied the tiles for the cathedral’s initial construction, to replace the damaged ones.

    Meanwhile, the yin-and-yang are being supplied by German-based Meyer-Holsen roofing company.

     Nhà thờ Đức Bà trùng tu 5 hạng mục với nhiều choáng ngợp
    The tile roof of the Notre-Dame Cathedral Basilica of Saigon is badly degraded as seen from the inside. Photo: Tuoi Tre

     Đo đạc để trùng tu nhà thờ Đức Bà Sài Gòn
    The tile roof of the Notre-Dame Cathedral Basilica of Saigon is badly degraded as seen from the outside. Photo: Tuoi Tre

     Đo đạc để trùng tu nhà thờ Đức Bà Sài Gòn
    The tile roof of the Notre-Dame Cathedral Basilica of Saigon is badly degraded as seen from the outside. Photo: Tuoi Tre

    The bell towers

    The cathedral’s bell towers are made up of steel skeleton covered by zinc sheets intentionally painted to look like white tiles.

    Both towers will have their zinc roofs replaced with brand-new Azengar zinc sheets supplied by France’s VMZINC company.

    The tower’s brick foundation will be reinforced while preserving its signature delicate decorative patterns.

     Đo đạc để trùng tu nhà thờ Đức Bà Sài Gòn
    The bell towers of the Notre-Dame Cathedral Basilica of Saigon. Photo: Tuoi Tre

    The bronze bells

    The six bronze bells installed at the Notre-Dame Cathedral are electric-powered, with unique patterns and the name of the cathedral’s architect, J. Bourad, carved onto their surfaces.

    The system is connected to the giant clock on the front of the cathedral and the bells are meant to automatically chime every hour, though the ‘alarm clock’ system has been in disrepair since 1978.

    The renovation steering board has selected France’s Bollée clockmaking company to fix the system.

    The company, whose owner is coincidentally a descendant of those who built the cathedral’s bells, will install two additional bells into the towers, creating a set of chords that will be able to play thousands of songs.

     Nhà thờ Đức Bà trùng tu 5 hạng mục với nhiều choáng ngợp
    The system of six bronze bells inside the Notre-Dame Cathedral Basilica of Saigon. Photo: Tuoi Tre

    The stained glass windows

    On the cathedral’s walls are multiple stained glass windows depicting characters and events described in the Holy Bible and are characteristically found in most Catholic churches around the world.

    The artwork has been localized to feature oriental patterns and symbols, creating a harmony of western and eastern art values.

    The stained glass was initially manufactured by French glassmaker Maison Lorin company.

    New sheets of stained glass will be imported directly from France to replace those that have been broken.

     Nhà thờ Đức Bà trùng tu 5 hạng mục với nhiều choáng ngợp
    The stained glass windows inside the Notre-Dame Cathedral Basilica of Saigon. Photo: Tuoi Tre

    The brick walls

    The walls of the Notre-Dame Cathedral Basilica of Saigon are built with high-quality bricks that have been able to retain their reddish pink color without the build-up of moss on their surfaces.

    Areas of the wall where the bricks are damaged or eroded will be replaced with new ones by French and German experts, according to the steering board.

     Đo đạc để trùng tu nhà thờ Đức Bà Sài Gòn
    The brick walls of the Notre-Dame Cathedral Basilica of Saigon are badly degraded and vandalized. Photo: Tuoi Tre


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  • 07/07/17--02:40: Article 0
  • Social News 7/7

    HCM City lawmakers focus on development, welfare


    The 9th HCM City People’s Council closed its fifth session on Thursday, adopting 14 resolutions ranging from economic growth to free bus tickets for the elderly.

    After three working days, the council approved a resolution promoting socio-economic development for the second half of the year in order to achieve the targeted State revenue collection and Gross Regional Domestic Product (GRDP) growth of 8.4–8.7 per cent.

    To reach the target, the council will request the municipal People’s Committee to mobilise private capital, especially through public-private partnerships (PPP) for infrastructure development, and speed up important construction works related to easing traffic, flooding, environmental pollution and urban renovation.

    The council also stressed that the city should continue to research and renovate its growth model; increase the quality of growth, labour productivity and economic competitiveness, as well as improve the investment and business environment.

    It also approved a resolution on middle and long-term public investment during the 2016-20 period with capital of nearly VNĐ172 trillion (US$7.65 billion), of which VNĐ22 trillion ($978 million) will come from the central Government.

    Resolutions on attracting qualified kindergarten teachers, providing residents over 70 with free bus tickets, reproductive planning, healthcare services and more were also adopted.

    “Based on the municipal People’s Council’s resolutions, the People’s Committee should strengthen its instructions and operations to achieve planned targets,” said Nguyễn Thị Quyết Tâm, chairwoman of the People’s Council.

    She urged the People’s Committee to tighten supervision over its staff, many of whom have been accused of unprofessional behavior and bribery for a long time without any improvement observed.

    Deputy PM urges focus on primary healthcare

    Promoting healthcare services at the grassroots level and bolstering preventive medicine should be the main task for Việt Nam’s healthcare sector over the coming years, said Deputy Prime Minister Vũ Đức Đam.

    The Deputy Prime Minister met on Thursday with leaders of the health ministry and discussed a draft resolution on healthcare and improved health for Vietnamese citizens. Đam said that changes in mechanisms and policies must be made to boost grassroots healthcare and preventive medicine.

    For example, funds from the State budget should be allocated to preventive medicine while the costs of medical examinations and treatment should be covered by the Health Insurance Fund. A higher amount of the State budget and health insurance should be given to primary healthcare, Đam suggested.

    He added that the draft resolution, which would be submitted and approved by the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of Việt Nam’s Central Committee, must focus and prioritise investment for primary and preventive healthcare, especially in disadvantaged areas.

    Deputy Health Minister Nguyễn Thanh Long said that Việt Nam had been expanding its preventive healthcare network to better control diseases, increase life-span and height.

    However, primary and preventive healthcare was facing difficulties as Việt Nam was now paying more attention to medical treatment than preventive healthcare.

    “In Việt Nam, hospitals are still considered the face of the healthcare sector,” Long said, implying that the Government spent more on medical examination and treatment.

    “When primary and preventive healthcare are not given proper attention and investment, they fail to work effectively, resulting in more people with illnesses. The increased number of new hospitals would not meet demand, and visibly, hospitals are usually overcrowded,” he said.

    In Việt Nam, about 30 per cent of the population do not get regular health checks and usually only went to the hospital when their illness had become more serious.

    Other countries usually invest in preventive medicine to minimise the number of people needing care and shorten treatment time.

    Also during the meeting, Deputy PM Đam pointed out major problems in Việt Nam’s healthcare sector including the distribution and pricing of medicines, drug-resistance and overcrowded hospitals.

    He asked for measures to better control the distribution and trade of drugs, especially prescribed medicines.

    He also suggested that the draft resolution should evaluate the combination of western and traditional medicine, and the effectiveness of evidence-based traditional remedies so that they could be more widely used.

    In 2005, the Political Bureau approved Resolution 46-NQ/TW on healthcare and improved health for people in Việt Nam with a focus on family planning and population policies. Meanwhile, the draft of the new resolution for the coming years focuses on improving primary and healthcare services as well as increasing health insurance coverage so that more people could access comprehensive healthcare.

    PM okays proposals to set up VNA, VOV representative offices abroad

    Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has agreed with a proposal to establish regional representative offices of the Vietnam News Agency in New York (the US) and Brussels (Belgium), the Government Office announced.

    He asked the VNA to arrange staff without increasing the already approved 2017-2019 payroll, as well as balance expenses within the scale of the annual State budget estimate.

    The PM also agreed to set up a representative office of Radio The Voice of Vietnam (VOV) in Australia.

    He asked the VOV to arrange expenses within the scale of the annual State budget estimate and other capital resources.

    Boasting a network of 63 bureaus in all the cities and provinces nationwide and 30 overseas bureaus across the five continents, the State-run VNA has a strong contingent of reporters and editors working all over the country and in most of the key locations around the world, which is its unique advantage.

    With more than 60 media products by more than 1,000 reporters and editors out of its 2,400-strong staff, the VNA is now the media office having the largest number of products and forms in the country: bulletins, photos, television programmes, dailies, weeklies, monthlies, magazines, pictorials, books, TV channel, e-newspapers and information programmes on mobile platforms.

    The agency also delivers news in the largest number of languages. In addition to official Vietnamese-language news provided for domestic and foreign media outlets, stories for foreign service are written in English, Chinese, French and Spanish, not to mention print and e-newspapers in four other foreign languages, namely Lao, Korean, Japanese and Russian.

    Vietnam, Laos share experience on land management

    Vietnam and Laos discussed the role of people’s councils in making decisions and supervising land issues at a seminar held in the northern mountainous province of Son La on July 6.

    Vietnam’s National Assembly Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan and her Lao counterpart Pany Yathotou co-chaired the event.

    Speaking at the seminar, NA Chairwoman Ngan said following the two seminars on public debt management held in September last year in Laos and management decentralisation held in March in Vietnam, the two countries’ parliaments had gained valuable experiences, which helped enhance the activity of their elected officials and of State agencies.

    According to Ngan, the seminar was a chance for representatives from the NA, Government and People’s Councils to share experiences and lessons in the area of land management in each country, as well as of role and functions of local people’s councils in deciding and monitoring the implementation of laws and policies on land.

    Ngan said the seminar not only helped clarify the role and responsibility of the two countries’ legislatures on important issues, but also reflected increasingly practical and effective cooperation between their NAs and Governments.

    The Vietnamese Chairwoman asserted that the Party, the State and the NA cooperate closely with their Lao counterparts and would contribute to the consolidation of the traditional friendship and special and comprehensive relations.

    The Chairwoman of the Lao NA Pany Yathotou, for her part, said land played a very important role in the socio-economic development of each country. Both Laos and Vietnam had experienced periods of change in land management and use, she noted.

    Although the two countries have encouraging achievements in socio-economic development in the new era, including the conversation of land into capital for construction and development, they also face many challenges in planning, management and use of land, according to the Lao top legislator.

    She said that land issues in her country were similar to those that Vietnam had faced in the past. Thus, she said, the seminar was an opportunity for representatives of the two countries to exchange experience and learn from each other how to solve land management and use issues.

    Vietnam-Laos historical relic site inaugurated

    The Vietnam-Laos revolutionary historical relic site was inaugurated in the north-western province of Son La on July 6 in the presence of Chairwoman of the Vietnamese National Assembly Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan and her Lao counterpart Pany Yathotou.

    Chairwoman of the Lao National Assembly Pany Yathotou hailed the site’s inauguration as a significant event to celebrate the 55th anniversary of the bilateral diplomatic ties (September 5, 1962) and the 40th anniversary of the signing of the Vietnam-Laos Treaty of Amity and Cooperation (July 18, 1977).

    Yathotou thanked the Vietnamese Party, State and people for their timely and effective assistance for Laos in the cause of national liberation, defence and building.

    She particularly thanked the authorities and people in Son La for supporting Lao people in general and northern Lao provinces in particular over the past time, and affirmed that Laos will continue to nurture the special and faithful relations with Vietnam.

    Chairwoman of Vietnam’s National Assembly Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan said the relic site is a vivid demonstration of the combat solidarity between the two countries in general and Son La and northern Lao provinces in particular in the struggle against invaders to defend the country.

    She said the relic site will be a valuable source of historical lessons to educate young generations in the tradition of patriotism and the special solidarity of the two countries.

    The Vietnam-Laos revolutionary historical relic site in Lao Kho village, Phieng Khoai commune, Yen Chau district, Son La province, was the place where Lao leader Kaysone Phomvihane chose to build a base for the Lao revolution against French colonialists.

    During the stay at the area, he lived in the home of a local elderly, Trang Lao Kho. The North Lao Vanguard Division was also based in the village from 1948-1950.

    On April 24, 2012, the site was awarded with a certificate recognising it as a national historical site, and the two countries held a ceremony to commence the construction of the Vietnam-Laos revolutionary historical relic site on nearly 50ha.

    The original historic relics preserved at the site include the old house of Trang Lao Kho and houses of the North Lao Vanguard Division. New construction works include a monument dedicated to the Vietnam-Laos friendship and an exhibition house displaying photos, documents, and objects on the bilateral amity.

    Son La provincial People’s Committee invested 54 billion VND (2.3 million USD) in the construction of the site.-

    Deputy PM emphasizes importance of grassroots, preventive medicine

    More resources should be channeled into grassroots and preventive medicine, which is considered as the root of the health sector, focusing on extremely disadvantaged areas, said Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam.

    He made the request at a recent working session with the Health Ministry to discuss preparations for the implementation of the project on improving public health in the new situation.

    According to the Deputy PM, it is necessary to reform health care policies in the direction of focusing State budget on preventive medicine while health check-up and treatment will be covered by the health insurance fund.

    Grassroots medicine will be covered by both the health insurance fund and the State budget, the Deputy PM added.

    At the meeting, Deputy Health Minister Nguyen Thanh Long admitted that despite achievements in establishing a widespread network of preventive medicine, controlling infectious diseases, and improving life expectancy, preventive medicine has not received the attention it deserves, as priority has until now been given to hospitals. The grassroots health care system has been ineffective in providing primary health care for the public, with around 30 percent of the population not taking periodic health checks.

    The new project on improving public health in the new situation has addressed those problems, devoting resources to preventive and grassroots health care.-

    Cambodian Minister hails Vietnamese press agencies

    Cambodia’s Minister of Information Khieu Kanharrith spoke highly of the effective cooperation between Vietnamese and Cambodian press agencies since 1993 at a reception in Phnom Penh on July 6.

    At his meeting with correspondents from the Vietnam News Agency, Vietnam Television, Voice of Vietnam, and Nhan dan (People) Newspaper, Kanharrith thanked the Vietnamese press agencies for reporting fully, honestly and objectively the situation in Cambodia, especially its politics, social affairs and economic development, including the communal election on June 4.

    He recalled the prompt and effective assistance of Vietnamese experts in helping Cambodia build and develop its press and communications system in the 1980s.

    The Vietnamese correspondents have fulfilled their professional missions and acted as a bridge for Cambodian press agencies to partner with local Vietnamese press outlets over the past decade, he said.

    Head of the Vietnam News Agency’s representative office in Cambodia Tran Chi Hung thanked Minister Kanharrith and Cambodian counterparts for supporting the Vietnamese press agencies’ representative offices to carry out their tasks, thus helping Vietnamese readers understand better about the social-political situation in Cambodia and enhancing the bilateral traditional friendship and neighbourliness.

    Bình Dương’s remarkable poverty elimination

    Bình Dương is the only province in the country with no poor or near-poor households based on the national multi-dimensional measure of poverty, according to the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs.

    Its poverty threshold is higher than the national level in terms of income ­­-- VNĐ1.2 million (US$52.6) in rural areas and VNĐ1.4 million ($61.3) in urban areas compared to VNĐ700,000 ($30.7) and VNĐ900,000 ($39.4), respectively.

    Based on its standard, its poverty rate is 1.32 per cent and near-poverty rate is 0.97 per cent.

    Its higher threshold is meant to help poor people get better access to basic services such as health, education, housing, water, sanitation and information.

    Hà Minh Trung, deputy director of the province Department of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs, said “Adopting the multi-dimensional poverty measurement method helps the province authorities identify exactly the needs of poor households to adopt suitable solutions.”

    In recent years the province has rolled out several specific programmes targeting poverty, including providing loans, healthcare, education, social security, vocational training, housing support and job introduction.

    It has allocated more than VNĐ500 billion ($22 million) for poverty reduction for 2016-20.

    This has enabled it to subsidise vocational training and clean agricultural production, social insurance, school fees, and electricity bills.

    Đào Văn Sang, a resident of Tân Uyên Town, said “In the past my family faced many difficulties and no money for economic activities.”

    He was given a loan from the job creation programme and trained in chickens farming models, and now that helps him earn a monthly income of VNĐ20-30 million ($876-1,314), he said.

    Đỗ Cẩm Tú, another poor person without any land in the same town, said he now earns VNĐ4-5 million ($175-219) a month after getting a loan from the Việt Nam Bank for Social Policies and joining the Tân Vĩnh Hiệp Safe Vegetable Co-operative to grow clean fruits and vegetables.

    Trung said the province has efficiently implemented policies for sustainable poverty reduction.

    “Depending on the budget of each locality, the province assesses and provides loans to households that used to be poor but recently escaped poverty to help them expand their businesses.”

    Besides, the province regularly provides extension training in agriculture, forestry and fisheries and transfers technology to promote people’s awareness of building an independent and self-reliant economy, he said.

    Bình Dương had a population of more than 1.8 million, including 14,662 poor households, when it separated from Sông Bé Province in 1997.

    After 20 years of implementing poverty reduction policies, the province has helped more than 45,500 households climb out of poverty.

    According to its Department of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs, in the first six months of this year, VNĐ99.9 billion ($4.4 million) has been allocated for poverty reduction.

    By the end of 2020, the province hopes to reduce the poverty rate by 1 per cent and have no near-poor households.

    HCM City to fell, relocate 258 old trees for bridge construction


    A number of decades-old trees along a street in Ho Chi Minh City’s center are slated to be either cut or relocated to make way for a bridge construction, the municipal transport department said on July 5.

    Ton Duc Thang, running along the Saigon River, is one of the greenest streets in Ho Chi Minh City, with rows of green trees lining its pavement, some of which are said to be more than 100 years old.

    However, 258 of those trees are set to be chopped down or relocated to make space for the construction of the Thu Thiem 2 Bridge, Bui Xuan Cuong, director of the city’s transport department, said at a meeting on Wednesday.

    Of the affected trees, 115 will be relocated to the Nong Lam University in Thu Duc District, and the remaining 143 will be felled, Cuong elaborated.

    The Ho Chi Minh City administration has requested that only unhealthy trees or those that may not survive the relocation be cut down, according to the transport department director.

    “Consequently, of the 143 trees set to be chopped down, 125 are ancient,” he added.

    With previous tree-cutting projects having sparked negative reactions from the public, Cuong reassured that the tree removal will take place in several iterations aligned with the progress of the bridge construction, rather than all at once.

    The first 63 trees will be cut down or relocated in August, while a second batch of 79 trees will be moved or felled in October, Cuong elaborated.

    The project will resume again in March 2018 with 70 trees affected and the remaining 46 trees will be dealt with in May.

    After the bridge construction is complete, the relocated trees will be moved back to Ton Duc Thang, Cuong said.

    “We will then grow 258 new trees along the street for a total of 373 trees [along Ton Duc Thang],” he said, implying that the upcoming project will ultimately add more green to the area.

    The cost for the tree cutting and relocation is estimated at VND7 billion (US$308,370).

    Vietnamese surgeons saves rare renal infarction patient

    Trung Vuong Hospital in Ho Chi Minh City yesterday announced to perform a surery to save a 51 year old man from rare renal infarction.

    The man in District 8 had experienced pain in abdomen for two days before going to have examination in Trung Vuong Hospital.

    Scan results showed that his left renal artery was blocked where there were many blood clots and the man had the symptoms of renal infarction.

    Worse, the above artery of his left kidney which provides third over four amount of blood supply for the kidney was totally blocked.

    Surgeons decided to use heparin thrombolytic treatment for anticoagulation with intravenous heparin followed by oral warfarin .

    The patients recovered afterwards and he was discharged on July 5.

    Deputy Head of the hospital Dr. Le Nguyen Quyen advised people to go to nearby infirmary if they suffered pain in hips for hours to have timely treatment. Without timely treatment, they will be at risk of necrosis of the kidney which easily leads to kidney failure.

    Renal infarction results from interruption of the normal blood supply to part of, or to the whole kidney. The main imaging differential diagnosis includes pyelonephritis and renal tumors.

    Medical workers mistakenly report baby gender

    The Ministry of Health yesterday sent a document the Maternity Hospital in the northern province of Hai Phong urging to report the mistake in baby gender before July 10.

    At the same time, the Ministry asked maternity infirmaries to liaise with relevant agencies to strictly follow Health Minister’s guideline of taking care of pregnant before and after giving birth.

    As per the complaint, 26 year old pregnant in An Duong District was hospitalized the Maternity Hospital to undergo a Cesarean -section. Doctors told her that she gave birth to a baby boy weighing 3.2kg. Because the baby had breathing problem, he was transferred to intensive care unit.

    One day after, when recovering, the baby was handed over to the mother who surprised as the baby turned out not to be the gender announced by medical workers before. Believing that there was a mistake, the baby’s family asked for verification.

    Informed the case, the hospital management board soon convened the surgeon team to check the procedure. Through checking, the number of bangle on the baby and the mother are both 418.

    Nevertheless, nurses mistakenly wrote wrong gender of the baby in the mother’s medical records.

    Furthermore, ADN tests proved that she is the mother of the new born baby girl.

    Health watchdog suspends three cosmetics products

    GHC Brightening Soap, GHC Repairing Cream and GHC Essence imported by IBP Vietnam Company in Hanoi are suspended from circulation as they have ingredients unlike its registered document.

    The Vietnam Drug Administration under the Ministry of Health yesterday sent its document to departments of health nationwide asking to suspend the products from circulation and remove them from shelves in pharmacies.

    Additionally, the health watchdog asked IBP Vietnam to send request to take back the products from its distributors in written document and report the health regulator before July 15.

    Three products are used for taking care of skin, whitening skin and adding moisture to skin.

    Local university teams up with British Council on English assessment

    The University of Foreign Language Studies at the University of Danang and the British Council Vietnam on Wednesday clinched a strategic partnership on language assessment development and English proficiency improvement. 

    The two sides will hold a series of workshops for teachers in the fourth quarter of this year on the theme of classroom-based English assessment.

    Through the partnership, students in Danang City and other central provinces can gain hands-on experience in an international standard English test, gain easy access to learning material and win a ticket to study abroad. Moreover, the two parties will launch professional training courses to improve the English proficiency of lecturers at the university. 

    The strategic deal highlights the UK government’s strong commitment to providing continued support for the Ministry of Education and Training to improve the teaching and learning of English in Vietnam.

    The proficiency of the English language will open up more opportunities for international education, better jobs and wider connectivity. 

    ‘Saigon in three square meters’ photo exhibition

    A photo exhibition titled “Saigon in three square meters” will take place from July 7 to 9 at Blanc Art Gallery, 57 D Tu Xuong Street, District 3, HCMC.

    Creative director Maxk Nguyen has joined hands with art director Do Thai Thanh, typography Quoc Dung, illustration artist Quan Dinh Phuoc and others to create illustrations of old Saigon life within three square meters.

    The three-day exhibition will feature photos of Saigon in the 1990s attached to people’s childhood such as a video rental store, a grocery store, a barber’s shop, a bike mechanic and a street hawker.

    Take back improperly-used land - Fatherland Front

    The Vietnam Fatherland Front Committee in HCMC said at a meeting of the city People’s Council on Tuesday that military land currently used for wrong purposes should be taken back.

    Committee chairwoman To Thi Bich Chau said that four years ago, Tan Binh District residents expressed disapproval of a golf course development inside the Tan Son Nhat International Airport site.

    The golf course issue has recently made big headlines again as heavy rain often floods parts of the country’s busiest airport and traffic congestion around the airport worsens.

    Chau proposed the city government conduct a comprehensive review of use of military land in the city and withdraw land plots that are being used for other purposes than national defense.

    Traffic experts said the airport, which is struggling to handle a drastic rise in aircraft movements, should be expanded towards the north where the golf course is located.

    Ba Bo Canal still polluted despite costly cleanup

    The Ba Bo Canal in Thu Duc District, HCMC is still polluted despite a costly project to clean it up, said Nguyen Thi Quyet Tam, chairwoman of the HCMC People’s Council.

    Tam proposed the Departments of Natural Resources and Environment of HCMC and Binh Duong Province cope with wastewater discharged from manufacturing facilities and households along the canal.

    HCMC chairman Nguyen Thanh Phong told the Department of Natural Resources and Environment and the Steering Center of the Urban Flood Control Program HCMC to give an explanation about the canal cleanup project.

    An official of the Steering Center of the Urban Flood Control Program HCMC said the project included building a wastewater reservoir and other works along the banks of the canal with a total investment of VND743 billion (US$32.63 million).

    Three out of seven items of the project have been put into use, two others have just been finished and three remaining items are under construction. The center said the project would be complete this month.

    The Department of Natural Resources and Environment said two industrial parks, Song Than1 and 2, in Binh Duong Province have built wastewater treatment facilities and that it was household wastewater that is polluting the canal.

    Pollution in the Ba Bo Canal has been a hot-button issue at meetings of the city People’s Council for over a decade. 

    Photos on Vietnam to go on show

    The Department of Fine Arts, Photography and Exhibition under the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism in partnership with the Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism of Lao Cai Province will open a photo exhibition this Friday at Lao Cai Provincial Museum.

    As part of a series of activities to celebrate the Lao Cai - Northwest National Tourism Year 2017, the “Discovering Vietnam” show features 100 photos by 82 photographers around the country. The exhibits highlight sea and island tourism, cultural tourism, and ecological and natural tourism, according to a source from the department. 

    The organizer expects the exhibition to contribute to creating a cultural art event to celebrate the 110th anniversary of the establishment of the northern mountainous province of Lao Cai and helping international tourists explore the beauty of nature and people in Vietnam.

    Through the photos displayed at the exhibition, visitors will have the opportunity to admire the rich and colorful culture of popular tourist destinations from Ha Giang, a mountainous province in the country’s northeast to Ca Mau, the southern tip of the nation.

    Quang Nam opens photo contest

    The Quang Nam Tourism Promotion Information Center has launched a photo contest to promote the central province’s tourism sector as well as create a playground for photographers and visitors to capture beautiful moments of the land and people of Quang Nam.

    The contest is open to all Vietnamese and international photographers, both professional and amateur, on topics covering the beauty of Quang Nam’s world cultural heritage site of Hoi An, My Son Sanctuary, with its Cham towers, and local landscapes, people, daily life, traditional villages, cuisine, and festivals.

    Those interested can visit to apply or vote on their favorite photo after logging in via their Facebook account.

    The contest is sponsored by Thailand Tourism, AirAsia Airlines, and Koi Hoi An Resort. Different prizes are on offer, such as monthly prizes, the highest vote prize, a prize as selected by the Organizing Board, and prizes for best comments of the month from voters and best comments overall. Prizes are in cash up to VND5 million ($220), and tour vouchers to Thailand (four days and three nights), Quang Nam tour vouchers (three days and two nights), and two-night voucher at a four-star hotel in Hoi An.

    The contest will be held from July 1 to November 30 and the awards ceremony in December. For more information, visit or contact the Quang Nam Tourism Promotion Information Center at 47 Phan Chau Trinh, Hoi An.

    Da Nang strives to achieve 100 percent health insurance coverage

    The central city of Da Nang aims to increase its health insurance coverage to 100 percent by 2020, according to the local Social Insurance Agency.

    By June 2017, Da Nang had about 993,444 people, 96.5 percent of its population, in the health insurance scheme, said the agency.

    This outcome was attributed to efforts from the city’s political system at all levels, said Le Anh Nhan, Deputy Director of the agency.

    The municipal Party Committee and administration worked with the local Health Department to launch programmes and measures to expand the number of participants, he added.

    Communications were implemented under various forms, targeting groups with low health insurance coverage rate such as students, workers in private sectors and households, aiming to popularise the rights of health insurance card holders, the director noted.

    The healthcare system in Da Nang has developed due to local healthcare facilities investing in infrastructure and modern technologies. 

    They have also applied science initiatives to provide effective treatment to patients while the health insurance policy has been expanded with more benefits to participants.

    Can Gio sea gate hot because of sand exploitation

    Border guard units discovered 12 bargers transporting sand and two vessels illegally exploiting sand at Can Gio sea gate and seized 7,900 cubic meter of sea sand during three days of patroling, reported HCMC’s Border Guard Command yesterday.

    Many vessels from other places have come to the sea gate in HCMC to illegally overexploit sand from closed sand exploitation projects, the report said.

    Head of Department of Anti-Criminal and Drug Colonel Nguyen Hong Dung said that sand exploiters would illicitly transport sand out of the city for consumption, hence, owners of 14 vessels could not produce any document of sand origin and some of them showed permissions of other dead projects

    They will receive proper penalties as per the law, he said.

    He added vessel owners will receive fines ranging from VND100 million ($4,400) to VND200 million if the volume of sand without permission is from 50 cubic meter up.

    Moreover, they will face additional fines of VND50-70 million if they exploit sand while their permissions are revoked. the fines will double for organizations who unlawfully exploit sand.


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  • 07/07/17--03:22: Article 0
  • The 9x woman billionaires in Vietnam’s stock market

    The female billionaires born in the 1990s were born into rich families with parents who were or are the bosses of large listed corporations.

    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,  tran Ngoc Phuong Giao, Tran Phuong Binh, Dong A Bank 

    Topping the list of the young woman billionaire is Tran Ngoc Phuong Giao, the beloved daughter of Tran Phuong Binh and Cao Thi Ngoc Dung, who is chair and CEO of the Phu Nhuan Jewelry Company (PNJ).

    Giao now holds 3.62 million PNJ shares worth VND349.3 billion in accordance with the current share market price. Meanwhile, her elder sister – Tran Ngoc Phuong Thao – has 2.37 million PNJ shares, worth VND228.7 billion.

    Giao’s father – Tran Phuong Binh, former CEO of Dong A Bank, a veteran banker, was arrested in late 2016 because of two charges – intentionally acting against the state’s regulations on economic management, thus causing serious consequences and violating the regulations on lending.

    The female billionaires born in the 1990s were born into rich families with parents who were or are the bosses of large listed corporations.

    Meanwhile, Cao Thi Ngoc Dung, her mother, was named by Forbes among top most powerful businesswomen in Asia in 2016. The other two were Thai Huong, Chair of TH Group, and Nguyen Thi Phuong Thao, Chair and co-founder of Sovico Holdings.

    The second well-known woman billionaire is the daughter of Dang Thanh Tam, chair and CEO of the Kinh Bac Urban Development JSC. 

    Dang Nguyen Quynh Anh, born in 1991, now holds 10 million KBC shares, worth VND172 billion.

    Thanks to the stable price increase of KBC shares, Anh has outstripped two other names to return to the second position in the list of woman billionaires.

    Nguyen Ngoc Nhat Hanh, the daughter of Nguyen Thi Mai Thanh, chair and CEO of the Refrigeration Engineering Enterprise (REE) is in the third position. The girl born in 1991 holds 4.1 million REE shares, valued at VND146.1 billion.

    Nguyen Thi Mai Thanh, president and CEO of REE, is famous in Vietnam, called ‘woman general’ at her enterprise. Thanh is one of the 50 richest women in the stock market with stock assets worth VND500 billion.

    The stock assets of Nguyen Tran Thao Nguyen are estimated at VND139.5 billion with 3.1 million TNA shares.

    Nguyen is the daughter of Nguyen Quang Hoa, deputy chair of Thien Nam Import/Export JSC. The price of the company’s shares are VND45,000 per share.

    Vo Thuy Duong, chair of An Phu Irradiation JSC (APC) has become a well known name recently. 

    Born in 1991, she has been registering to buy more APC shares since 2015 when she took office as chair and CEO of APC. She now holds 3.657 million APC shares, or 30.98 percent of the company’s charter capital, worth VND92.3 billion.

    Nguyen Ngoc My was absent in this year’s list though she is also a well known name. Alphanam has delisted from the stock market.

    Thanh Mai, VNN

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  • 07/10/17--00:38: Article 2
  • Fever of foreign fashion in HCMC outlets

    Shopping malls in Ho Chi Minh City draw attention of young people as the sales season kicks off; most of them are white-collar workers who are interested in internationally famous brand names like Zara. 

     Fever of foreign fashion in HCMC outlets, 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
    Young people are selecting a clothes of their choice in Zara store in HCMC 

    Fast fashion brand Zara opened its first store in Vietnam in Vincom Dong Khoi in Ho Chi Minh City. It penetrated into Vietnam just a short time ago yet it has the volume of visitors beyond the expectations.

    On the first day opening , Zara Vietnam reported a revenue of VND5.5 billion ($241,000) which is a dream for both internationally well-known and domestic brands.

    The shop covers the area of nearly 2,500 square meter in two floors and it is crowded with visitors at any time. Especially in weekend, customers are queuing a long line from the fitting room to the cashier desk in the outlet. An assistant of the outlet said usually, it is crowded with visitors; therefore, in sales season, it is quite normal that consumers must queue to wait for their turns.

    Ms. Minh Nguyet in District 2 with 20 items on her hand said that she dropped by the outlet twice yet it was so crowded in the first time that she could be able to choose the clothes of her choice; hence, she managed to come the shop in lunch time to select clothes for family members.

    Ms. Nguyet added that she is impressed with the prices, noting they are 20-30 percent cheaper than in Malaysia,Singapore and Thailand. Similarly, Uyen Nhi who has left Australia for Vietnam in summer vacation said that she intended to see Zara items in Vietnam at first but later she decided to buy five items because of cheap price.

    In addition to Zara, Gap brand name in the center also attracted a large of customers. In the sales season, a heap of clothes piled up in tables so that customers could easily choose. Though it is discounted 50 percent, a Gap T-shirt costs from VND250,000 - VND500,000 ($11-$22) while a pair of jeans is worth over VND1 million. Many people still purchased them.

    Popular fashion brands namely Spanish Mango, the US’s Gap, UK fashion brands Warehouse, Oasis, and Top Shop all come to the Southeast Asian country a long time ago.

    Nevertheless, Spanish fashion retailer Zara are most favorite in Vietnam. It offered a “fever” of foreign fashion brands amongst Vietnamese youths. Young consumers are not reluctant to spend hours queuing to buy an item of their choice.

    An expert said that Zara is affordable fashion brand for Vietnamese customers in big city like Ho Chi MInh City. As per a small survey from clients in Zara store, Vietnamese buyers favor Zara brand because the brand has good designs for youth and it offers more than reasonable prices.

    Plus, the brand has marketing policy better than local fashion companies and other foreign brands. The cost of a Zara brand item ranges from VND180,000 - VND2.2 million which is even cheaper than Vietnamese brands.

    A Zara fashion follower Ha Nhu said that only Zara offers exchange or refund items within 30 days of purchase with an original receipt including sales items. Moreover, each Zara brand item is displayed in shelves within two or three week with limited number. When an item is sold out, the company will not produce any more. Furthermore, Zara launches new collection every two or three weeks, Ms. Nhu said.

    Editor of a fashion magazine Nguyen Ngoc said that Zara Vietnam creates a “fever” of shopping amongst youth because many customers favor buying foreign-made clothes. Besides, Zara displays its store beautifully in the biggest commercial center in Ho Chi MInh CIty making customers to think they are rich people.

    Zara Vietnam phenomenon showed that foreign fashion brands considered Vietnam as potential market. Experts said that great revenue will be incentive for big fashion brands in the world open its store in Vietnam in upcoming time; for instance, H&M - an internationally famous brand will officially open its store in Vietnam a few days next.


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  • 07/10/17--00:44: Article 1
  • Privately run hospitals still cannot make profit

    Very few privately run clinics in Vietnam can make a profit, and after several years of operation, many have shut down.

     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,  private run hospital, MOH, Tam Duc

    The 500-bed Phuc An Khang International Hospital announced closure in late April after two years of unprofitable operation. The investor has reported an accumulative loss of VND60 billion.

    According to Phuc An Khang’s director Mai Tien Dung, the monthly revenue of the hospital was VND3 billion, just enough to pay to workers.

    “The pressure from the initial loans used to build infrastructure might be the major reason that forced the hospital to close,” Dung said.

    Within three months, the investor will sell all machines at the hospital, worth VND200 billion, and other assets to pay debts. 

    The pressure from the initial loans used to build infrastructure might be the major reason that forced the hospital to close

    Some years ago, Phu Tho Hospital, quietly left the market after a series of scandals. Thirty creditors accused the hospital, which borrowed VND120 billion, of repudiating its debt. Unable to collect debts, some creditors distrained medical equipment and turned the hospital campus into a parking lot.

    Vu Anh Hospital, which has been operating at a moderate level and facing big difficulties, is calling for partners to set up a joint venture to improve the hospital operation. The owner of the hospital was accused of appropriating assets in mid-2013.

    The hospital was expected to make a breakthrough in the high-end medical service market with services like 5-star hotels and qualified well-paid physicians.

    Vo Xuan Son, director of EXSON, an international general clinic, said private hospitals meet difficulties because of the discriminatory treatment between state-owned and private hospitals.

    “The service fees at private hospitals are set up based on the input costs which include materials, labor force, rent and equipment demortization. The sources of income are stable, but the profit margin is low,” he said.

    “Meanwhile, state owned medical establishments can save money on premises and corporate income tax,” he said, adding that the initial investment cost is VND50 billion.

    The other problem is the poor corporate governance skills of the hospital managers. Most of them are trained to become doctors, and do have experience in financial management, investment and branding.

    This explains why the medical establishments under the management of large corporates can make profit while the majority of other privately run hospitals take a loss.

    Vinmec, developed by Vingroup, a financially powerful group, for example, has reported impressive growth rate in revenue and profit. In 2016, the healthcare sector brought VND1.093 trillion in revenue, or 1.86 percent of the group’s total revenue, an increase of 42 percent over the year before.

    Tam Duc has also been making profit since 2006 thanks to big investment capital.

     M. Ha, VNN

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  • 07/10/17--01:03: Article 0
  • Vietnam's deputy defense minister on why military must engage in business activities

    The Vietnamese military needs to get involved in business activity, but the scope of it is larger than the public may understand, Deputy Minister of Defense Nguyen Chi Vinh has said.


    Vietnam's Deputy Minister of Defense Nguyen Chi Vinh talks to Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper in Hanoi.Tuoi Tre

    Vinh joined Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper in an interview amid public debate as to whether the military should pull out of economic activities in order to stay focused on its national defense role.

    “The notion of ‘the military being involved in economic activity,’ does not fully reflect the reasons as to why the military has to do business,” Vinh said.

    “The truth is that the military does business to serve its national defense role on the one hand, and contribute to the country’s economic development on the other.”

    “The extent to which the military practices business varies between wartime and peacetime, and depends on the economic status of the country,” Vinh elaborated.

    He also addressed other questions from Tuoi Tre to give a clearer picture of how the military is doing business and why it is necessary for the armed force to maintain that role outside of its national defense duties.

    Members of the military-run telecom Viettel (in uniform) are seen during a contract signing ceremony.

    * Can you specify the current economic activities of the military?

    First of all, there are plants and factories that directly produce and manufacture national defense products, such as weaponry and defense equipment.

    As our country continues to develop and face imminent threats from outside forces, it’s a must that the military be strong enough to ensure peace for the country and be ready to successfully counter any negative situations that come to light.

    Consequently, enhancing the national defense capacity, especially strengthening the ability of the defense industry and its weaponry, is a strategic task for the whole country.

    To this end, our defense industry and defense plants and enterprises are required to improve and modernize, constantly updating and enhancing their technology and science, and to try and be less financially reliant on the state budget. Who will fulfill these tasks, if not the military?

    Defense manufacturing has its own exclusive characteristics. Military-run factories do not produce defense products en masse and then put them back in the warehouse to prepare for warfare; instead, they need to maintain production and innovate in order to meet the rising demand of the military.

    The military must continue carrying out its economic activity in order to meet these requirements.

    For instance, during peacetime, one defense plant only needs to make enough products to meet the requirement of training, but in the event of war, it must be able to increase production by ten or a hundred times to meet new demand.

    * During peacetime, what will the machinery, workers and experts at these defense factories do?

    This workforce will use the machinery and facilities to produce dual-purpose products, usable for both defense and civil needs.

    This will bring in revenue to fund their plans to modernize production lines and at the same time allow workers to regularly practice and improve their skills.

    This also encourages members of the workforce to stay with the military. This is important. Imagine few experts would want to work at the defense plants, while the workers, whose skills are not regularly sharpened, become unfamiliar with the machines; what happens when we suddenly require a huge volume of defense products?

    Container ships are seen at Cat Lai Port, a member of the military-run Saigon New Port Corp.

    * Any other activities besides these defense-purpose plants?

    Military-run economic groups.

    In the 1980s, when all of Vietnam’s northern and southern borders were free from war, the armed forces began to reduce troops stationed there. On these borders, there were dozens of military divisions. The soldiers stationed were tasked with protecting the borders, and at the same time helping locals in their economic and social development.

    In this context, dozens of thousands of soldiers have temporarily put down their guns and picked up tools to help with local production through planting rubber, coffee and forests.

    If a war erupts, these serviced men will be the first to pick up their guns again and defend the nation.

    This is how national defense and economic activities can come together.

    Given the open, market-driven economy of Vietnam, the military must maintain its production and business in line with these characteristics.

    This explains the establishment of military-run corporations and companies.

    Without adequate management, however, strict oversight and regular inspection, it is easy for corruption to occur in these military-run enterprises.

    The military acknowledges that it must prevent this. No business is allowed to break the law and any military-run enterprise is no exception.

    *To ensure that the military will only operate in the ‘defense business,’ will the number of military-run companies be reduced in the future?

    The military will maintain all businesses that directly fulfill the national defense role – manufacturing weaponry, developing defense technology, protecting the country’s sovereignty in the East Vietnam Sea, our other seas, islands and borders.

    Enterprises engaging in dual-purpose economic activity will also be maintained and there will be no military-run companies that merely practice business with no strategic national defense role.

    We used to have hundreds of military-run enterprises of all kinds, and this number has gradually gone down. We now have 88 such companies and are determined to have only 17 military-run businesses in the future.

    These 17 companies are all major firms with dual-purpose operations including Viettel, the Saigon New Port Corporation and the Vietnam Helicopter Corporation.

    But the 17 firm mark is not inflexible. If needed, the military can increase or lower the number of firms under its management.


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  • 07/11/17--02:04: Article 3
  • Official denies owning ‘castle’ in Vietnam’s third-poorest province

    A high-ranking official of the Party Committee of Son La has denied allegations that he is the owner of a castle-like villa featuring European architecture in one of Vietnam’s poorest provinces.


    The villa in question is pictured in Son La Province, located in northern Vietnam.Tuoi Tre

    A photo capturing the majestic property, a huge house featuring rounded vaults typical of European architecture, has circulated on Facebook, captioned as the personal residence of Hoang Quoc Khanh, head of the oversight committee of the Son La Party Committee.

    The oversight committee is tasked with supervising all Party members of the province and handling any misconduct.


    The ‘castle’ picture has sparked fury online as it is not deemed reasonable for a public official to be able to afford such a luxurious personal residence.

    The allegation has added fuel to another public outrage that flared after several department heads of Yen Bai, another mountainous northern province, were discovered to have their own luxury villas.

    Son La ranked third in the list of the poorest provinces and cities in Vietnam in 2015, with 92,754 households living in poverty.

    Yen Bai took sixth place in the list topped by the north-central province of Thanh Hoa.

    Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper reached out to Khanh for comment, with the official rebuking all allegations, saying that the claims have been made to defame him.

    ‘Not my property’

    Speaking to Tuoi Tre in his office on Monday, Khanh asserted that “the villa is not [his] property,” before inviting the media to “feel free to do any investigation."

    “I confirm that I have nothing to do with corruption or misconduct,” he said.

    “That villa is built on land plots owned by my mother and my two sisters.”

    The official then showed photocopied certificates, proving that the property was built on three adjacent plots of land registered under his family members’ name.

    Khanh went on to say that while his mother and sisters owned the land, the construction of the home was funded by his younger brother, an entrepreneur who used to do business in Russia.

    “Upon returning to Vietnam, my brother had the villa constructed to function as both his residence and the office of his construction firm,” he added.


    Khanh claimed that he has no idea why the photo of the property, as well as “false information targeting [him],” has been circulated on the Internet.

    “This is a deliberate plot to defame me,” he said. “I have called on Son La police to look into the case.”

    Tuoi Tre asked locals living near the villa on Monday and was told that the ‘castle’ had been built around five years ago.

    “Khanh’s mother and his younger brother used to live there,” the locals said.

    A Son La-born resident, Khanh graduated in economics in Hanoi in 1998 before continuing his studies in Russia, where he completed both his master’s and doctorate degrees.

    He had planned to continue his business career in Ho Chi Minh City after returning to Vietnam in 2003, but then “the former secretary of the Son La Party Committee invited me to work with him, and I have decided to work for my hometown since.”

    Khanh started his public career by working at the office of the Son La Party Committee in 2003 before becoming the chairman of Phu Yen District and secretary of the district's Party Committee.

    He was later promoted to work as the director of the provincial investment department and finally, chairman of the oversight committee at the province’s Party Committee.


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  • 07/11/17--02:27: Article 2
  • Social News 11/7

    Int’l workshop on culture, religions organized in HCM City

    An international workshop, themed “The ASEAN Region and South Asia: A Melting Pot of Culture and Buddhism in Southeast Asia” is taking place in Ho Chi Minh City from July 9-11.

    Participants at the event have an opportunity to discover the differences on religions and culture in the world.

    The workshop provides 19 forums in English and other six in Vietnamese focusing on around eight issues, including philosophy, interpretation, and schools of thought; theories of religions in South and Southeast Asia; cultural heritages and national identity; mind, meditation and well-being in South and Southeast Asia, traditional practices in medicine, nature and the environment, communications, languages and literature.

    Forums at the event also provide information and propose measures to address social evils.

    The event, opened on July 9, is co-held by the Viet Nam Buddhist Research Institute and the South and Southeast Asian Association for the Study of Culture and Religions (SSEARS) based in India, attracting Buddhist followers and scholars from 44 countries and territories worldwide.

    Unexpected inspections should increase in second half of 2017

    Deputy Prime Minister Truong Hoa Binh requested that unexpected inspections should increase whilst administrative inspections should target areas with high risk of corruption in the rest of the year.

    Deputy PM Binh made the statement at an online conference on July 10 reviewing the inspection sector’s work in the first half of 2017 and setting plans for the second half.

    According to the Deputy PM, several inspections had been conducted slowly, some inspections were low-quality and there were inefficiencies in receiving and settling people’s complaints.

    “Besides achievements, the State management and law enforcement in some areas remain unsatisfactory, citizens’ complaints and denunciations remain complicated, corruption and wastefulness have not been pushed back and law violations are still found in many areas,” said Deputy PM Binh.

    “The inspection sector’s task is extremely hard, especially in dealing with complaints, denunciations and inspections of and fighting against acts of corruption.”

    In regard to settling complaints by groups of people, Deputy PM Binh said such complaints must be dealt with justly, while the nature of cases must be precisely assessed to devise proper recommendations for higher authorities.

    The work must ensure the interests of the State, people and investors, he said.

    He said investors changing land use purpose after they bought it to increase its value was one reason for the slow settlement of some cases.

    “We respect investors’ interests. The State should hold development and people’s lives in close association with land rights,” said the Deputy PM.

    “Therefore, any settlement must harmonise the interests of all parties involved, local people as well as investors in regard to added values.”

    “Planning must be made public and put forward for public opinion. On the other hand, work involving compensation, resettlement and vocational training for local people must improve their lives. Inspection officials must provide effective consultation to complete institutions and exercise social justice, besides dealing with violations.”

    Deputy PM Binh underscored that work to prevent corruption must be synchronised, corruption should be strictly dealt with and laws on fighting corruption should be promulgated faster.

    Regarding inspections in 2018, Binh called for the Government Inspectorate to detail plans to submit to the Prime Minister for approval, which will be used to develop specific plans to tackle shortcomings in State management, and enforcement of policies and laws.

    Inspections in 2018 should focus on pressing issues regarding the management of land, housing, exploitation of mineral resources, environmental protection, investment, construction, financing and banking, settlement of bad debts, market management and counterfeit goods prevention and fighting, tendering for drugs and medical equipment and privatisation of State-owned enterprises, among others.

    Assistance to ethnic minority in Binh Phuoc

    Thirty six needy ethnic minority households in Bu Dop district, the southern province of Binh Phuoc, have been given breeding cows, helping them improve their livelihood.

    The 36 cows, worth 720 million VND (31,650 USD), are part of the programme to support poor ethnic minority people in disadvantaged areas under the Government’s Decision 102/2009/QD-TTg.

    These households were instructed how to take care of their cows.

    In addition to cows, they were also provided with farming tools.

    HCM City volunteers take action on Pink Holiday Campaign

     Int’l workshop on culture, religions organized in HCM City, Unexpected inspections should increase in second half of 2017, HCM City volunteers take action on Pink Holiday Campaign

    Ho Chi Minh City’s Youth Union launched its 16th Ky Nghi Hong (Pink Holiday) Campaign with an estimated 3,000 participants on July 9  at Youth Culture House in District 1.

    The annual campaign, which lasts until August 13, is expected to attract more than 50,000 youths and workers in the city.

    Participants have been assigned to different areas in the country, including the city’s suburban districts, the South, central and Central Highlands regions, and localities in Laos and Cambodia.

    Its activities include improvements for rural residents; repairing and building charity houses; donating essentials to those in need; undertaking free health exams and treatments; and providing basic knowledge on agriculture and household’s electric system.

    On the first day of the launch, more than 1,000 people took part in blood donations.

    Volunteers have already begun building houses and roads, and have handed out presents and scholarships to poor students.

    Civil judgment execution shows good performance

    The execution of civil judgments recorded good results in the first half of this year, with 314,000 cases being handled, up 3 percent against the same period last year, heard a teleconference on July 10.

    According to Deputy Minister of Justice Phan Chi Hieu, the law making continued the leading key task in the reviewed period.

    Thirteen out of 14 draft laws and resolutions were submitted to the National Assembly for approval, including those related to investment and business management, and administrative reform to facilitate businesses’ activities.

    The Ministry of Justice, legal organisations of ministries, sectors and local-level judicial agencies continued showing good performance in the work, contributing to improving the quality of assessment of legal documents.

    Over 5,100 draft legal documents being assessed during January-June.

    The Ministry of Justice drastically instructed the implementation of tasks assigned by the Government and the Prime Minister, while actively working with relevant ministries and sectors to promptly overcome difficulties in the work.

    However, participant said several ministries, sectors and localities were still embarrassed in implementing new regulations of the 2015 Law on Promulgation of Legal Documents and the Government’s Decree No. 34/2016/ND-CP stipulating in detail a number of provisions and measures on the implementation of the Law.

    They pointed out the ministry’s lack of breakthrough solutions to issues relating to civic status and nationality for children who were born to Vietnamese citizens and foreigners living in Vietnam.

    In the second half, the justice sector will focus on the time and quality of draft laws to be submitted to the NA’s fourth session as well as draft laws belonging to the law and ordinance building programme for 2018.

    The ministry will organise the enforcement of new laws and resolutions, including those on State management, asset auction, information access, handling bad debt of credit organisations.

    FPT University dean recognized for teaching excellence

    Dean of the Business College at FPT University, Vo Minh Hieu, recently received a teaching excellence award from the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs at its annual conference in Anaheim, California.

    The conference, which took place June 23-27, was attended by an estimated 800 delegates from 60 countries. Dean Hieu was one of 10 regional recipients honoured for teaching excellence at the event.

    In addition to Dean Hieu, the Vietnamese delegation attending the event included Vice Rector of FPT University Tran Ngoc Tuan and Secretary Vu Le Van.

    At the conference, the delegation participated in workshops, seminars and other training to increase their proficiency on the requirements for international accreditation and developing programs to meet with international standards.

    Driver, passenger not wearing helmets, crash into truck, later die

    Police in Nghe An Province say a man and a female passenger who were killed on the evening of Sunday (July 9) after he crashed his motorbike into a truck were not wearing helmets.

    Police say the man was en route to Vinh-Dien Chau on National Highway 1A in the commune of Dien An carrying 2 passengers at about 8pm when the man lost control of his vehicle and crashed into a truck stopped on the side of the road.

    Witness at the scene told police the operator of the motorbike was driving at an extremely high rate of speed when he lost control.

    Killed were the driver, Tran Cong Thuong, 23, and a female passenger, Tran Thi Thai Bao, 20. A second passenger, a female, Phan Su, 22, was transported to a local hospital suffering from multiple injuries.

    It is unclear if drugs or alcohol were a factor in the crash, police said.

    Fire tears through Ninh Thuan Province sugar mill

    Emergency crews were called to a sugar mill in the hamlet of Phu Thuy in southern Ninh Thuan Province about 11am Sunday (July 9) after a fire broke out in the facilities main plant.

    Zing online newspaper reported that police said one worker received serious injuries while most managed to self-evacuate when the fire was first discovered on an assembly line.

    A fire services spokeswoman confirmed the building was well engulfed by flames when crews arrived at the scene. But she was unable to detail the extent of the damage to the 1,000-square metre facility.

    The spokeswoman said the fire spread rapidly to adjacent areas of the plant and damaged is expected to be extensive.

    Witnesses taking a lunch break reported seeing a welder near the vicinity where the fire started shortly before they smelled smoke, looked up and saw flames shooting every which direction.

    Woman dies after being bitten by venomous octopus in central Vietnam

    A woman in the central province of Thua Thien-Hue died last July 7 after being bitten by an octopus, provincial authorities said on July 9.

    Van Thi Ty, 32, was fishing with her husband in the area off Phu Loc District when the octopus bit her on the leg, causing her to black out.

    Ty’s husband rushed her to hospital, but doctors announced her dead on arrival.

    Local fishermen have killed the octopus and handed it over to authorities for tests.

    In Vietnam, it is very rare for humans to die from an octopus bite, biologist Ngo Dac Chung told Thanh Nien newspaper.

    He said the deadly bite could have come from a blue-ringed octopus (Hapalochlaena lunulata). The venom of this species, which has a distinctive blue color when it's alive, can paralyze the human nervous system, leading to heart failure.

    US midwestern State of Iowa celebrates Asian heritage

    US Congressman Rod Blum was in the midwestern State of Iowa this past Saturday (July 8) to celebrate Asian culture and serve as guest speaker during the fourth annual Asian Fest celebration, reported the Cedar Rapids Gazette.

    We’re obviously a nation of immigrants, and I think the Asian culture really fits in to the American culture, Blum said. We’re so blessed the Asian culture is here in Cedar Rapids Iowa.

    Honing a mission of cultivating, promoting and advocating Asian cultures in Eastern Iowa, Asian Fest took place throughout the day at the McGrath Amphitheatre in downtown Cedar Rapids.

    It featured an array of food and community vendors with attendees able to experience a blend of Asian cultures. Booths represented nations such as Vietnam, the Philippines, Thailand, Laos, India and the ROK.

    Live performances on main stage included a Republic of Korean Taekwondo demonstration, a fashion show and a performance by Gimikk — a rock band from Des Moines, Iowa.

    The event was sponsored in partnership with the Iowa Asian Alliance.

    Red Journey 2017 kicks off in Hà Nội today

    The National Institute of Haematology and Blood Transfusion (NIHBT) expects to collect at least 45,000 blood units during Hành trình đỏ (Red Journey) 2017.

    Red Journey 2017 is a blood donation communication campaign that kicked off today in Hà Nội.

    During the one-month campaign, 140 outstanding volunteers, divided into two groups, will travel through 28 provinces and cities nationwide to collect blood and spread the message about the importance of donating blood.

    The group started its journey from southern Cà Mau Province on July 1 and will travel through 18 southern and central provinces and cities. It has collected more than 5,600 blood units over blood donation camps in six provinces and cities of Kiên Giang, Cần Thơ, Long An and HCM City, as well as Đồng Nai and Bà Rịa-Vũng Tàu.

    The other group left from Hà Nội today for Phú Thọ and nine other northern provinces. The two groups will meet in Hà Nội on July 27 to participate in a series of activities that are part of Red Journey 2017, including a blood donation festival.

    They will also call upon the public to donate blood in a bid to ease the current blood shortage at hospitals and raise community awareness about thalassemia – a genetic blood disorder that can lead to heart failure and liver problems.

    “Blood shortage situation has occurred in many countries, including Việt Nam. Campaigns such as Red Journey will contribute to providing enough blood to meet emergency and treatment needs of hospitals as well as to strengthen community awareness on the humanitarian blood donation movement,” NIHBT director Nguyễn Anh Trí said.

    Trí said Red Journey has dramatically changed the image of the humanitarian blood donation movement in Việt Nam in terms of the scale of organisation, communication and professional activities.

    Red Journey is an important milestone in the development of the country’s voluntarily blood donation movement, contributing to attaining the goal that all blood will be donated by voluntary donors by 2020,” Trí said.

    Since the first Red Journey in 2013, thousands of patients’ lives have been saved due to nearly 75,000 blood units collected during the past four years. The campaign has contributed to easing blood shortage during the summer when voluntary donors, mainly students, go home for the summer vacation, according to NIHBT.

    Red Journey 2017 is organised by NIHBT in collaboration with Việt Nam Red Cross and the National Assembly’s TV Channel with support from BIDV, VietinBank, CP Việt Nam Corporation and IDP International Diary JSC.

    Spending holiday at storm warning centre?

    Is it your lifelong dream to holiday at a storm and tsunami warning centre? If the answer to this very specific question is yes, look no further than central Thanh Hóa Province.

    Thanh Hóa Province is hit by storms ever year. To mitigate storm consequences, local authorities in 2011 spent VNĐ12 billion (US$533,000) upgrading the province’s storm and tsunami warning centre.

    The centre is in Trường Sơn Ward in the province’s Sầm Sơn city – an increasingly popular tourist destination, particularly during summer, with 4 million visitors last year.

    All localities have been urged to tap tourism potential ad nauseam, though maybe the leaders of Thanh Hoa have taken things too far by turning parts of this essential piece of life-saving infrastructure into guest houses for tourists.

    The five-storey centre became a guesthouse with 20 rooms for rent fully equipped with televisions, beds and air conditioners in 2012.

    Each room costs between VNĐ300,000-500,000 ($13.3-22.2) on weekdays and VNĐ500,000-800,000 at the weekend.

    Deputy head of the provincial Department of Dyke and Storm and Flood Prevention and Control Nguyễn Văn Nhân said the centre was used as a hotel because the centre lacked essential devices and equipment to operate as a storm warning facility.

    So if you’re heading to Sầm Sơn be sure to check out this substandard storm warning centre which doubles at what must be an overpriced hotel!

    Luckiest burglar!

    When a burglar is caught red-handed by a homeowner the consequences can be deadly, for either party. Passions run high and unspeakable violence is suddenly possible, nay, probable. However, one scoundrel struck gold last week when he stole from one of Hà Nội’s most generous men.

    A 21-year-old man from northern Hòa Bình Province broke into a house in the captial at about 3am last week. Being discovered by the homeowner, the thief tried to escape but failed.

    To the burglar’s surprise, the house owner did not begin bashing his head in or dragging him to police station. Instead, he asked the thief to promise never do it again and become a good person. He then reached into his pocket, surely sending shivers up the thief’s spine, and gave him VNĐ1 million ($44) to pay for his taxi home.

    Seems crime does pay after all, and handsomely.

    ABB helps HCMC curb water losses

    In order to stay abreast of the rapid pace of urbanization and meet targets for reducing water leakage in Ho Chi Minh City to only 10 per cent by 2020, the Saigon Water Corporation (SAWACO) recently undertook a major renovation of the city’s water distribution network.

    Expansion of existing network capacity, integration of more isolated sections, reduction of water leakage, and real-time control and monitoring of the network conditions to prevent major disruptions are all part of the project’s scope.

    To meet the complex targets, a strategic ABB Ability Symphony® Plus SCADA system has been designed, which integrates a sophisticated leakage detection and management system from the water network management company TaKaDu. The project will deploy several data collection points, such as sensors and meters for flow and pressure monitoring, to the water network and allow SAWACO to digitally monitor the network conditions in “nearly real time”. The utility will be able to continually detect, analyze, and manage network events, transforming that information into immediate action to reduce water losses.

    ABB Ability Symphony® Plus is a distributed control system (DCS) especially tailored for the water and power industries. Part of the ABB Ability portfolio of digital offerings, this control system adds value for customers by carefully collecting, analyzing, and providing actionable insights on plant and engineering data in their systems, ultimately allowing them to lower project risk, reduce cost and throughput times, and improve asset performance and profitability.

    ABB’s scope of supply for this critical project includes field instrumentation and sensors that are critical components to deliver high quality data to the control system.

    “Projects like Ho Chi Minh City’s water network show the full potential of advanced automation for all municipalities dealing with rapid expansions or aging infrastructure,” said Mr. Kevin Kosisko, Managing Director of ABB’s Power Generation & Water business. “Furthermore, the smart collection of digital data from the field will offer real-time insights on the network status, allowing for increased revenues.”

    Thanks to the digitalization of its network, the real-time knowledge of network conditions, and the accurate detection of leaks, SAWACO will be able to increase the amount of water delivered to households and industries. In doing so, it will minimize the estimated 500,000 cu m of non-revenue water lost per day, roughly the daily capacity of a medium-sized water plant in the city.

    Since its launch in 2011, ABB Ability Symphony® Plus has achieved more than 6,800 new installations, on top of the thousands of plants that have chosen to upgrade to the DCS. Symphony Plus is the DCS of choice for other projects in Vietnam, such as the original commissioning and further extension of the Vinh Tan 4 supercritical power plant, located 250 km east of Ho Chi Minh City. Upon completion, the complex will provide an additional 5,600 MW of electricity to Vietnam’s national grid.

    Outstanding national contributors in Hanoi honoured

    A total of 300 outstanding war veterans and the family members of war martyrs, who have overcome many difficulties in life, were honoured by the city authorities at a conference in Hanoi on July 10.

    The event was attended by Politburo member, Secretary of Hanoi municipal Party’s Committee Hoang Trung Hai; Vice President Dang Thi Ngoc Thinh; Minister of Labour, War Invalids and Social Affairs Dao Ngoc Dung, and 950 delegates who are Vietnamese Heroic Mothers, war veterans, and family members of the war martyrs.

    A total of 172 collectives and 78 individuals also received certificates of merit, from the city’s leaders, in recognition of their significant contributions to realising the city’s policies on caring for national contributors.

    Addressing the conference, Hanoi Party leader Hoang Trung Hai expressed his deep gratitude for war veterans, war invalids, former youth volunteers and their families, for their huge contributions to the national construction and defence.

    Hanoi hosts the largest number of national contributors, with 800,000 people, accounting for 10% of the total number across the whole country, he said.

    He noted with pleasure that, over the past few years, the city authorities have undertaken a range of activities to care for the the material and spiritual life of national contributors and have devised policies on providing preferential treatment for them.

    He asked the leaders of relevant sectors and districts across the city to take more practical actions to fully and effectively implement the policies targeting national contributors.

    JICA wants to speed up water-related projects in Dong Nai

    The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) met with leaders of southern Dong Nai province on July 10 to work on the progress of Japan-funded water supply and drainage projects.

    Phase I of the Nhon Trach water supply project, using Japan’s ODA loan, became operational in 2014, generating 100,000 cu.m. of water per day.

    Dong Nai is carrying out phase II of the project, funded with nearly 15 billion JPY (131.3 million USD) loaned by JICA, to raise the daily capacity to 200,000 cu.m. of water.

    The provincial People’s Committee said procedures are being processed for the construction of phase II. Consultation and design activities, carried out by some Japanese businesses, are expected to finish by the end of 2017. Later, the construction package deal will be put out to tender.

    Shu Kitamura, a representative of the JICA Vietnam Office, said phase II of the Nhon Trach project will pilot high-quality technologies. Hence, JICA wants all steps of the project, from consultation, design, to construction must meet all requirements.

    Meanwhile, the water drainage and wastewater treatment project in Bien Hoa city costs more than 45 billion JPY (393.9 million USD) in total, including 38 billion JPY (332.6 million USD) funded through Japan’s ODA.

    Shu Kitamura said the loan agreement for this project will be signed in late July 2017. JICA wants Dong Nai province to accelerate the selection of consultancies and design partners, as well as necessary procedures, so that the project will be carried out soon.

    The management board for projects in Dong Nai said the consultancy and design partner selection for the Bien Hoa project is set to complete in mid-October.

    Bien Hoa city hasn’t had a wastewater treatment system. All daily wastewater is still directly released into the Dong Nai River, which is a source of water supply for some 20 million people. Flooding is also becoming more and more serious in the city.

    Fifth Vietnam heritage photo contest launched

    The sixth Vietnam Heritage Photo Awards contest was launched on July 10, calling for submissions from both amateur and professional photographers living in Vietnam and abroad.

    The annual competition, co-organised by the Vietnam Heritage Magazine and the Canon Marketing Vietnam Limited Company, aims to honour the natural and cultural heritage values of Vietnam through photos, with the main topics of nature, tangible and intangible cultures, and market life.

    Entries submitted to the contest can be either single images or photo sets. Each competitor is allowed to summit a maximum of four sets of photos and four single photos for each topic.

    Photos should be sent to the organising board before September 15.

    Some 100 excellent photos chosen from entries submitted to the contest will be exhibited online and introduced to people in Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City and Da Nang city.

    The winning photos will be announced in late November.

    The Vietnam Heritage Photo Awards was first organised in 2012.

    New VFF President meets religious dignitaries in Ho Chi Minh City

    New President of the Vietnam Fatherland Front (VFF) Central Committee Tran Thanh Man met religious dignitaries in Ho Chi Minh City on July 10.

    Meeting Paul Bui Van Doc, Archbishop of the Ho Chi Minh City Archdiocese and President of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Vietnam, Man hailed the Catholic community for joining in building the great national unity and actively responding to campaigns on environment protection, national traffic safety and social welfares launched by the VFF.

    He expressed his belief that the Archbishop together with religious dignitaries and followers would continue joining national patriotic emulation campaigns, contributing to national construction and development.

    Doc, for his part, pledged to continue encouraging Catholic dignitaries and followers to abide by the State laws and contribute more to the nation.

    The same day, Man called on Most Venerable Thich Thien Nhon, President of the Vietnam Buddhist Sangha (VBS) Executive Council.

    The VFF leader lauded the Most Venerable and VBS for encouraging monks and nuns to follow the Party and State laws and policies, especially patriotic emulation campaigns regarding pre-school education, social welfares, environment protection and climate change response.

    Nhon affirmed that the VBS, as a member of VFF, will actively join social activities, abide by the State laws for the sake of peace and prosperity of the nation.

    Man also visited Le Duc Thinh, an outstanding Catholic follower who was honoured at the ninth National Patriotic Emulation Congress in 2015.

    Thinh was the first Asian to be bestowed on the title of Knight of the Grand Cross by the Vatican. The title was initiated by Pope Gregory XVI in 1831 for Catholics making significant contributions to church activities and charity in their countries.

    Vietnam takes action realising MDGs 2030

    Vietnam’s National Action Plan to implement the Agenda 2030 is an important milestone, affirming the country’s pioneer role in realising sustainable development goals (MDGs) and implementing international commitments, an UN official has said.

    Addressing a conference held by the Ministry of Planning and Investment (MoPI) in Hanoi on July 7, UN Resident Coordinator in Vietnam Kamal Malhotra affirmed that the UN’s agencies will work closely with Vietnam to help the country early gain goals set in the plan.
    In his speech, Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam underlined the importance to promote economic development in connection with environmental protection, and give priority to vulnerable groups.

    The plan, issued in May this year, is a legal basis for Vietnam to implement its commitments to the international community, thus responsibly contributing to global joint efforts towards sustainable development, he said.

    According to MoPI Deputy Minister Nguyen The Phuong, the plan features 17 general sustainable development goals and 115 targets for Vietnam. It was built in consultation with relevant agencies, and will be performed in the periods of 2017-2020 and 2021-203.

    In the coming time, Vietnam will focus on perfecting institutions and policies, increasing public awareness of MDGs, enhancing high-quality human resources development, and mobilising internal and external financial sources for the scheme, he revealed.

    Effective implementation of MDGs will help push strongly poverty reduction effort, ensure social welfare, protect the environment and effectively adapt to climate change, he said, adding that Vietnam needs financial assistance from the international community to fulfil the work.

    Christian Berger, German Ambassador to Vietnam, said the action plan is an important tool targeting a balanced economic growth, a social harmonisation, and environmental protection in the country.

    He also highlighted the strategic relations between his country and Vietnam, saying that Germany is supporting Vietnam in implementing the Agenda 2030 via the Macroeconomic Reforms/ Green Growth Programme, and the Paris Agreement on climate change.-

    Belgian-funded drainage system inaugurated in Binh Thuan

    A drainage system of North Cho Lau town centre, Bac Binh district, the central province of Binh Thuan, built with Belgium’s financial aid, was inaugurated on July 7.

    Work on the system, which has 17 pipe lines with a total length of 4,110 metres, began in June 2016. The Belgian Government provided 684,000 EUR for the project and the Vietnamese government allocated 196,000 EUR.

    The system is expected to improve Cho Lau central area’s drainage and solve partial flooding in the area in monsoon season, said Pham Van Nam, Vice Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee at the inauguration ceremony.

    He added that Binh Thuan has been facing climate change’s challenges such as coastline erosion, salt water intrusion, droughts and floods which have negatively influenced locals’ life, with Bac Binh one of the hardest hit localities.

    Belgium’s Ambassador to Vietnam Jahanne Roccas said the project will improve the living conditions for over 2,000 households in Cho Lau town.

    The drainage system is a pilot construction under the project Integrated Water Resource Management and Urban Development in Relation with Climate Change in Binh Thuan province. The project, funded by Belgium’s government, runs from 2013 to 2019 with a total cost of 6 million EUR.

    It aims to build the capacity of the locality in terms of integrated water resources management and urban development relating to climate change while enhancing climate change management capacity of local authorities and building a comprehensive strategy on climate change.

    President Tran Dai Quang meets Ho Chi Minh City constituents

    President Tran Dai Quang reported on the outcomes of the third session of the 14th National Assembly and made clear issues of concern during a meeting with constituents in districts 1, 3, 4 in Ho Chi Minh City on July 7.

    He stated that the Party and State always heed building a transparent and strong apparatus as well as the fight against corruption and wastefulness, citing the Central Steering Committee for Corruption Prevention and Control’s regular meetings and dispatch of inspection teams to localities.

    The President underscored the role of leaders in Party committees and agencies in the effort and the need to increase precautionary measures, partly by strengthening inspection and supervision.

    About 12 loss-making projects by the Ministry of Industry and Trade, Quang reiterated the stance on thoroughly dealing with them and respecting the principle of self-control in businesses. He added that the State will not provide additional capital for them.

    Constituent Dang Thanh Binh from district 1 and Nguyen Thi My Hanh from district 4 urged for suspending sand export because sand export prices are lower than those at home, and expressed concern over illegal exploitation of natural resources.

    Agreeing with them, the State leader said the government has asked for suspending all sand export and mining contracts in order to thoroughly check illegal projects.

    He reaffirmed the Party and State policy of effective exploitation of natural resources in tandem with environment protection.

    The President also answered constituents’ queries about child protection law, sidewalk management, pedestrian streets, traffic safety, medicine prices control, and the import of old machinery.

    Combining economic, defence duties – army’s long-term strategic task

    Combining economic and defence activities are a long-term strategic task of the army, it was affirmed at a discussion held by Quan doi Nhan dan (People’s Army) daily in Hanoi on July 6.

    Maj. Gen. Pham Van Huan, Editor in chief of the newspaper, said the discussion aimed to clarify the Party’s viewpoint on the “three in one” functions of the army, which require it to be ready to fight, to work and to produce.

    Prof. Dr Hoang Chi Bao, former member of the Party Central Committee’s Theoretical Council, said the army’s important role in both combat and economic production and development was proved throughout the country’s history. In the post-war period, military-run farms and businesses and workers in the defence industry helped cater for the demand of both the army and the civil life.

    At present, the re-organisation of enterprises, including the equitisation of military-run businesses, aims to perfect the socialist-oriented market economy. It doesn’t mean the military will no longer involve in economic activities; on the contrary it as to do them better, he stressed.

    Maj. Gen. Vo Hong Thang, Director of the Defence Ministry’s economic affairs department, said the engagement in economic production and development is to perform one of the three functions that the Party and the State assigned to the Vietnam People’s Army.

    In the past, the army conducted production activities to support the resistance wars against France and the US. When the country was reunified, it also took the lead in promoting socio-economic development, especially in rural, border and island areas. Its economic activities have made great strides in recent years, bringing about a number of important outcomes in terms of economy-society and defence-security, he noted.

    Those outcomes have proved the Party and State’s right policy of mobilising the army’s participation in economic development, Thang affirmed.

    He said the army must combine economic and defence activities so as to carry out the task of developing and protecting the nation. Its production and economic activities must be strictly managed in line with the law and not affect the army’s training and combat readiness.

    Echoing the view, other participants in the discussion said the army must simultaneously improve its combat strength and economic activities, thereby contributing more to Vietnam’s resources and strength.


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  • 07/11/17--02:49: Article 1
  • Domestic brands gain better recognition internationally

    The appearance of 11 Vietnamese brands in the list of Asia’s top 1,000 this year has demonstrated domestic firms’ increasing awareness about building and affirming their own brands. 

    Domestic brands gain better recognition internationally, 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 
    11 Vietnamese brands listed in the annual Asia’s Top 1,000 Brands survey

    The Vietnamese brands listed in the annual Asia’s Top 1,000 Brands survey include Vietjet Air (at 595th place), Viettel (596th), Petrolimex (616th), Vinamilk (621st), Hao Hao (636th), Chin-su (668th), Trung Nguyen (693rd), Vietnam Airlines (716th), Mobifone (736th), Vietcombank (811st) and P/S (905th). 

    Amidst the fierce competition and the flood of foreign goods in Vietnam, local consumers have more chances to compare and select products. Therefore, the ranking reflects the successful efforts of Vietnamese businesses in promoting their brands in both domestic and foreign markets. 

    However, it is noteworthy that the above mentioned brands have been listed in the rankings for many times, while many more popular made-in-Vietnam products still fail to make the list. 

    Bui Huy Son, head of the Trade Promotion Department under the Ministry of Industry and Trade, said building brands is still a new concept in Vietnam as compared with other economies in Europe or North America. 

    He added that despite changes in awareness, local firms’ capacity for brand development remains limited.

    The National Brand Programme will continue its support for businesses in producing goods of national standards, participating in national trade promotion programmes, accessing market information and joining training courses on brand development and trade promotion skills, he said. 

    According to Nielsen, Asian brands are getting stronger and can stay abreast of global names like Samsung, Apple and Nestle. 

    The Top 1,000 Brands ranking is based on a comprehensive study of consumer brand perception conducted by Nielsen on behalf of Campaign Asia with 13 years of historical ranking trend, and for 13 Asia Pacific markets, all combined with insights, analysis and thought leadership on the key factors which build and sustain a successful brand. 

    Conducted from March 6-17 this year, the survey explored consumer attitudes in 13 markets of Australia, China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, the Republic of Korea, Taiwan and Vietnam. 

    The study encompasses 17 major categories which are alcohol, financial services, automotive, retail, restaurants, food, beverage, consumer electronics, computer hardware, computer software, digital experience, courier services, ecommerce, media and telecommunications, sports, transportation, leisure, household and personal care and 79 sub-categories.


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  • 07/11/17--03:11: Article 0
  • Vietnam may sue the US for trade barriers on catfish exports

    Vietnam may sue the US at the World Trade Organization (WTO) if the US Farm Bill adversely affects Vietnam’s exports. 

    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,  catfish, DOC, export turnover, VASEP 

    Tra fish export companies in Mekong Delta have been warned about the disadvantages of exporting tra fish to the US because of stringent provisions set by the US Farm Bill.

    Dien Dan Doanh Nghiep quoted a source from VASEP (the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers) as reporting that the US is likely to add Vietnam’s tra fish into the list of catfish from September 1, 2017 (in the past, the US called Vietnam’s tra fish exports to the US ‘pangasius’, not ‘catfish’), though domestic production and imports will be put under the USDA.

    In 2016, Vietnam’s tra fish export turnover reached $1.7 billion, an increase of 7 percent over the same period last year. The US market consumed 23 percent of Vietnam’s exports, and China and Hong Kong 17 percent.

    Nguyen Chi Thao, deputy general director of Can Tho Seafood Import/Export, said most export companies have material growing areas with high-quality farming processes, so there is no need to worry about origin tracing. The processing also meets high standards.

    However, the Farm Bill sets many other stringent provisions. For example, treated water, not river water, must be used when carrying fish to processing factories by boats.

    After fish is carried to factories, the water used during transportation must be collected for treatment. These are heady requirements for Vietnam’s companies.

    In 2016, Vietnam’s tra fish export turnover reached $1.7 billion, an increase of 7 percent over the same period last year. The US market consumed 23 percent of Vietnam’s exports, and China and Hong Kong 17 percent.

    The exports to the EU and ASEAN have decreased, while an increase has been seen in the US and new markets.

    According to the Vietnam Pangasius Association, if exports to the US market decrease because of barriers under new regulations and high anti-dumping duties, it is highly possible that the plan of exporting $1.7 billion worth of tra fish would be unattainable.

    With anticipated stringent provisions, Vietnam’s tra fish exporters are hesitant to sign contracts to expand farming areas.

    Vietnam’s tra fish industry is facing difficulties, including technical barriers and campaigns by some foreign media channels to blacken Vietnam tra images in the European market.

    With the Farm Bill, FSIS will take samples from 100 percent of Vietnam’s export consignments for testing.

    MARD has drawn up three solutions to deal with the US catfish monitoring program under the Farm Bill, according to Tien Phong.

    Vietnam will intensify lobbying of US officials and partners to show that the catfish monitoring program is expensive, unnecessary and should be abolished.

    “Vietnam may sue the US at WTO if the Farm Bill affects Vietnam’s export,” said Deputy Minister of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) Vu Van Tam.

    Tien Phong

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  • 07/12/17--01:19: Article 4
  • Supermarkets stock more imports as retail war heats up

     Foreign supermarkets have stepped up distribution of their products as the retail war heats up.  

    Shoppers who visited Big C in early July were surprised when seeing an ‘island of dairy products’ near the entrance door. The cartons of soy milk were not from Vinamilk or Vinasoy, the well-known soy milk producers. Their name: ‘Soy secretz’, an imported product.

    Observers said this could be seen at other foreign-owned supermarkets as well. Imports are heaped up to create ‘islands’ and ‘towers’ located at the center of the supermarkets.

    At Aeon, Japanese-made goods are arranged in a chain for customers to pick up easily.

    At South Korean Lotte, Japanese Aeon, Thai BJC and French Auchan, many imported products have been put on shelves next to domestic products.

    MOIT estimates that 97 percent of the domestic retail market is still in the hands of Vietnamese enterprises.

    After taking over Metro in 2014, BJC, the new owner of the retail chain, stated that Thai products would account for 60 percent of the products at the supermarket.

    Pham Trong Nhan, a NA Deputy from Dong Nai, warned that once foreign retail groups dominate the domestic market, this will cause serious consequences to domestic production.

    Dinh Thi My Loan, chair of the Vietnam Retail Association (VRA), said VRA has asked for the Prime Minister’s permission to set up a multi-ownership retail group of Vietnam.

    The model was first initiated 10 years ago but the plan failed. The businesses which got involved in the plan were the Hanoi Trade Corporation (Hapro), the Saigon Trade Corporation, Phu Thai and Saigon Co-op.

    If the group is established, it would have revenue of $4-5 billion a year, according to Loan.

    The Domestic Market Management Department under the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MOIT) estimates that 97 percent of the domestic retail market is still in the hands of Vietnamese enterprises. Foreign enterprises mostly target modern retail channels which account for 3.4 percent of the retail market share.

    At Big C, trolleys stay in long queues at 20 counters. Most buyers show membership cards when making payments.

    Not far from the Soy secretz ‘island’ a small stall of The Gioi Di Dong has been replaced with the stall of Nguyen Kim, a business with a 49 percent stake held by Thai investors.

    According to the 2016 AT Kearney GRDI report, six out of 20 potential markets were in Asia. The leading potential markets were China, India, Malaysia, and Indonesia, while Vietnam was the eleventh.

    Kim Chi, VNN

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  • 07/12/17--01:43: Article 3
  • Can Tho ex-traffic inspectors get jail terms, life sentence for extortion

    A group of former traffic inspectors in Can Tho City, in Vietnam’s Mekong Delta, have been sentenced to between seven years and life for demanding ‘protection money’ from local businesses.


    Doan Vu Duy during the trial at the People’s Court in the Mekong Delta city of Can Tho on July 11, 2017. Tuoi Tre

    The municipal People’s Court announced their final decision on Tuesday afternoon regarding the violations of the traffic officers.

    Doan Vu Duy, the ex-chief of a district-level traffic inspection unit in Can Tho, received a life sentence, the highest term amongst the group.

    Duong Minh Tam, the city’s former deputy chief traffic inspector, was sentenced to 10 years in prison.

    Vo Hoang Anh and Ly Hoang Minh were given 15 and nine years, respectively, while Nguyen Tran Luu, Ho Cong Thien, and Tran Lap Phap were each handed seven-year terms.

    Anh, Minh, Luu, Thien, and Phap had all been leaders and officials at several district-level traffic inspection units.

    Nguyen Van Can and Tran Tuong An were sentenced to 20 years and seven years in prison, respectively, for being intermediaries in the crime.

    The defendants were also required to pay fines worth VND110 million (US$4,831).

    According to the indictment, the ex-traffic inspectors, with the help of their mediators, were forcing local businesses to pay regular fees in return for their ‘protection.’

    If the payment requests were denied, the companies would likely be fined for traffic violations whenever their vehicles traveled on local streets.

    Between 2013 and 2016, the former inspectors abused their power to extort some VND4.1 billion ($180,072).

    Among the corrupt officers, Duy claimed the most in ‘protection fees,’ nearly VND2.8 billion ($122,976) from a total of 57 businesses.

    Several victims filed reports denouncing the corruption in early 2016.

    In July of the same year, police officers caught Minh red-handed receiving bribes from a local company.

    The other suspects were nabbed between July and September last year.


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  • 07/12/17--01:47: Article 2
  • Live roundtable talk on consumer finance

    The live roundtable talk held by Vietnam Investment Review is discussing the significant growth of consumer finance in Vietnam and its potential, obstacles, as well as the solutions to enhance consumer finance services.

    "Roundtable on consumer finance: looking for an opportunity in a $26.5 billion market "

    This morning (July 12), Vietnam Investment Review hosted a roundtable talk focusing on the amazing developments of the consumer finance market in recent years.


    Roundtable talk on the consumer finance market held at the VIR headquarters

    A $26.55 billion market

    Opening the roundtable talk, VIR's editor-in-chief Le Trong Minh affirmed that Vietnam, with a population of 95 million and enormous consumer demand, possesses advantageous conditions and enormous market for the development of consumer finance.

    Le Trong Minh, editor-in-chief of VIR

    According to StoxPlus’s report on the consumer finance industry in 2016, the market has witnessed amazing leaps in recent years.

    Particularly, total outstanding loan of the Vietnamese consumer finance industry went from $7.3 billion in 2012 to $26.55 billion in 2016. While consumer finance sector still only accounts for a small portion of the GDP (9.8 per cent by the end of 2016), the segment is recording incredibly fast growth.


    Dr Can Van Luc

    According to Dr Can Van Luc’s latest report in 2016, the consumer spending accounts for 78 per cent of the total GDP, tantamount to VND3.8 million billion ($167.1 billion). Therefore, each percent increase in consumption equals to VND38 trillion ($1.67 billion) in the economy-a number that can help Vietnam reach the 6.7 per cent GDP growth target in 2017.

    However, there are issues following the quick growth of the consumer finance market. This is the reason why VIR holds the roundtable “Developing Consumer Finance - Opportunities to Foster Consumption and Economic Growth.”

    Challenges for state agencies

    Representative of state agencies, Nguyen Tu Anh, deputy director of the Monentary Policy Department of the State Bank of Vietnam (SBV), said that consumer finance has largely contributed to economic growth, as its proportion of Vietnam’s GDP is getting bigger (78.34 per cent in 2016). In Asia, Vietnam is one of the countries with the highest portion of consumer finance in the total GDP.


     Nguyen Tu Anh, deputy director of the Monetary Policy Department of the State Bank of Vietnam

    With more than 95 million people, 70 per cent of whom are aged 15-64, and an economic growth rate of 6 per cent, the Vietnamese consumer goods sector is very attractive. Over the last ten years, a wide range of famous international retailers have entered the Vietnamese market, such as Circle K, Shop & Go, FamilyMart, BigC, Fivimart, and Citimart, and also, numerous domestic retailers are growing strongly, like Vinmart, Coopmart, and Mobile World.

    According to Nguyen Tu Anh, over the last five years, consumer finance in Vietnam has grown outstandingly, and this growth originates from both demand and supply. However, the boom of consumer finance is also a challenge for state agencies. The 2003 credit card crisis in South Korea is a clear example of the risks from rapid growth of consumer finance.

    Since 2016, the SBV has issued two important circulars, Circular No. 39/2016/TT-NHNN and Circular No. 43/2016/TT-NHNN, to adjust financing activities, including consumer finance. These regulations not only facilitate consumer finance, but they also protect borrowers from high credit risks by strictly regulating transparent interest rates and detailed loan limits.

    However, Tu Anh added that Vietnam should have more regulations to protect borrowers, as it means protecting credit institutions. The case of South Korea is an example. South Korea faced a crisis of credit cards in 2003 because its banking system had over-promoted consumer finance in 2000.

    “The consumer finance market will strongly develop in Vietnam. Customers of consumer finance will increase, and farmers as well as other people with little knowledge about laws and finance, may be easily hurt by competition in consumer finance. This requires more strict regulations to protect borrowers and their legal benefits,” Nguyen Tu Anh said.

    In Singapore, borrowers can resort to a lawsuit if lenders illegally ask for their money back. Borrowers, when in trouble with paying off debts, can negotiate with lenders for other ways to pay. 

    Bank and consumer finance interest rate disparity

    Pham Xuan Hoe, deputy director of Banking Strategy Institute of the State Bank of Vietnam, said that while the interest rate of consumer finance companies seems quite high at first glance, it is important to consider the differences between the nature of consumer finance companies and banks.


    Pham Xuan Hoe, deputy director of Banking Strategy Institute of the State Bank of Vietnam, speaking at the roundtable talk

    For a start, consumer finance companies have a vastly different clientele from regular banks, consisting mostly of people unqualified for banking loan risk assessment, ranking in a higher risk level.

    Second, the higher risk level leads to higher risk premium. Consumer finance companies also frequently offer small loans without collateral for home appliances, motorbike or emergency spending, all the while using quick and convenient procedures.

    Third, unlike commercial banks, without the capital from deposits, consumer finance companies have to operate on capital from equity, bond or loans from commercial banks.

    Finally, operating costs accompanying each loan is quite high. Since short-term, small-value loans incur the same costs for procedures, such as evaluation and filing, consumer finance companies have to use higher interest rates to make up for the expenses.

    Hoe also recommended a number of ways to improve the consumer finance market: promoting a more accurate view of consumer finance, implementing financial education at schools, and using BigData on judicial records to keep accurate credit score.

    Warnings against black market consumer finance

    Economist Dr Le Xuan Nghia said that the growth of consumer finance has reduced black market borrowings. However, the 70 per cent portion of consumer finance in the total GDP is too high, while the amount of savings is low. Besides, the fact that consumer finance in Vietnam is proportionally higher than in many European countries and the US is abnormal. Thus, Vietnam should develop consumer finance with strict regulations on registration, accounting, tax, monitoring, and other fields.


     Economist Dr Le Xuan Nghia

    Dr Le Xuan Nghia said that related agencies should review the achievements of the consumer finance market from last year.

    In particular, most borrowings in Vietnam were taken up to finance home and car purchases, but some real estate corporations let their employees borrow to purchase their products. This does not really create liquidity for the market. Thus, without close monitoring, consumer finance will be used for the wrong purposes.

    Borrowers lack circumspection

    Lawyer Truong Thanh Duc, an arbitrator of Vietnam International Arbitration Centre (VIAC) cum chairman of Basico Law Firm, agreed that consumer finance partly reduced black market borrowings.


    Truong Thanh Duc, arbitrator of Vietnam International Arbitration Centre and chairman of Basico Law Firm

    In particular, there are three main channels for consumer finance:  pawnshops and borrowing from the black market, People’s credit funds and commercial banks, and financial institutions. Except for pawnshops and the black market, all these channels are legal. Borrowing from the black market is a persistent problem, while commercial banks provide consumer finance with strict regulations. Thus, it is necessary to develop financial institutions, especially as the competition among financial institutions is not significant. In Vietnam, there are about five or six financial institution providing consumer finance and only three or four of them have strong operations worldwide.

    Truong Thanh Duc encourages borrowers to be careful when approaching consumer finance services. Customers who did not read their contracts carefully or did not understand every point may feel cheated when under the pressure of a hefty debt all of a sudden. Interest rates, maturity, conditions, and calculation formulas are clearly stipulated in the contracts, but many borrowers do not care to read them carefully. As a result, when they find themselves paying higher interest than previously expected, they might feel cheated.

    Potentials of Vietnamese consumer finance market

    Dang Thanh Hung, general director of FE Credit Marketing Centre, said, “We believe that this market’s growth rate will remain high and as Vietnam has a young population, consumer finance in Vietnam has much room to develop.”

     Dang Thanh Hung, general director of FE Credit Marketing Centre

    He added, “FE Credit focuses on working-age customers in the low and middle income segment, most of whom may be workers or small retailers and fly under the radars of commercial banks. Without FE Credit, most of these customers would resort to the black market. With more reasonable regulations, such as the Circular No. 43, the limits of consumer finance have increased by VND10-100 million ($440-4,400) for each loan and FE Credit offers various kinds of loans, such as loans for cash, loans for mobile phones or car purchases.”

    Dang Thanh Hung said that FE Credit has the greatest variety of products among all consumer lenders at present. Besides, it has more than 1,000 salespeople, cooperating with 5,500 partners at many electronics or mobile phone selling points.

     “We are confident that we will enhance our position in the coming period,” Hung said.

    By Trang Vu, Trung Nguyen and Tom Nguyen, VIR

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