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  • 08/28/17--07:02: Article 1
  • President Tran Dai Quang receives outgoing Cuban ambassador

    President Tran Dai Quang congratulated outgoing Ambassador Herminio Lopez Diaz on the latter’s successful term in Vietnam while receiving the Cuban diplomat in Hanoi on August 28.

    President Tran Dai Quang receives outgoing Cuban ambassador, Government news, Vietnam breaking news, politic news, vietnamnet bridge, english news, Vietnam news, news Vietnam, vietnamnet news, Vietnam net news, Vietnam latest news, vn news 

    President Tran Dai Quang (L) receives outgoing Ambassador Herminio Lopez Diaz on August 28

    He said in the four-year tenure in Vietnam, Ambassador Diaz became a trustworthy bridge linking the two countries’ Party and State leaders and is also a close friend and effective partner of ministries, sectors, socio-political organisations and localities in Vietnam. 

    Vietnam-Cuba relations are special and exemplary ties set up by late Presidents Ho Chi Minh and Fidel Castro and nurtured by generations of leaders and people of the two countries. The Vietnamese Party, State and people always keep in mind Fidel Castro’s contributions to bilateral relations, President Quang said.

    “Cuba is always deep in the heart of each Vietnamese people,” he stressed.

    He expressed his delight at the thriving solidarity, comprehensive cooperation and mutual trust between the Vietnamese and Cuba Parties, States and people, congratulating the Latin American country on its socio-economic and diplomatic achievements over the past years, particularly in the update of its economic model.

    The President affirmed the Vietnamese Party, State and people’s consistent support to Cuba in all spheres, adding that they are ready to share all experience in the three decades of reforms with Cuba.

    On this occasion, he also asked the ambassador to convey the invitation to visit Vietnam to Cuban President Raul Castro.

    At the meeting, Ambassador Diaz delivered the Cuban Party, State and people’s congratulations on the 72nd National Day of Vietnam, stressing that Cuba will exert every effort to nurture the exemplary relationship between the two countries.

    Briefing his host about the outcomes of his term in Vietnam, the diplomat appreciated President Quang’s contributions to bilateral ties.

    Diaz pledged that on whichever positions he will hold, he will keep contributing to the solidarity and comprehensive cooperation between the Cuban and Vietnamese Parties, States and people. The Cuban Embassy will also work closely with relevant agencies of Vietnam to reinforce their countries’ relations.


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  • 08/28/17--07:19: Article 0
  • Foreign investors swarm Long Thanh airport project

    In an attempt to reaffirm their ambitions of developing Long Thanh International Airport in the southern province of Dong Nai, Hanoi General Export Import JSC (Geleximco) and Hong Kong United Investors Holding (HUI) submitted their proposal to the prime minister for approval.

    Foreign investors swarm Long Thanh airport project, 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 

    If approved, these enterprises pledge to complete the construction between 3-5 years with the minimum expenditure for a modern airport.

    Vu Van Tien, chairman of the board of directors cum general director of Geleximco, has confirmed the above information with Dantri.

    According to VIR’s earlier report, in October 2016, the two parties requested authorisation from the Ministry of Transport to develop Long Thanh International Airport, one of the four large-scale traffic infrastructure projects that these enterprises were interested in developing in Vietnam.

    The three other projects are the Thanh Hoa-Ha Tinh and Ho Chi Minh City-Khanh Hoa expressways under the north-south expressway project, the Halong-Van Don-Mong Cai Highway project, and the north-south express railway project.

    Although the investors have yet to release the specific investment capital for the four projects, the total is expected to be nearly US$50 billion.

    HUI has vast experience in implementing traffic infrastructure as well as international terminal projects. In addition, it has strong financial potential due to the backing of financial enterprises from Hong Kong, including Huarong Oversea Investment, China Minsheng Financial, and China Orient Asset Management International.

    Geleximco was established in 1993 to operate import, export, and trade services. The corporation has gradually laid down the groundwork for its venture into industry, real estate, financing, and information technology. Currently, it has 30 subsidiaries and dozens of affiliates operating throughout Vietnam.

    Along these two enterprises, seven contractors from the US, Japan, and Europe expressed interest in joining the Long Thanh International Airport project.

    In June 2016, the National Assembly approved the construction of Long Thanh International Airport. The project’s construction, which is expected to start in 2019, will cover an area of 5,000 hectares in the six communes of Binh Son, Suoi Trau, Cam Duong, Long An, Long Phuoc, and Bau Can in Long Thanh district.

    Long Thanh Airport is scheduled to be constructed on an area of 2,750ha. Once the first phase is put into operation in 2025, the airport is expected to handle 25 million passengers and 1.2 million tonnes of cargo each year. The first phase will include the construction of a runway, a terminal, and auxiliary facilities.

    The second and third phases will add more runways and terminals to bring the total annual capacity to 100 million passengers and five million tonnes of cargo.

    The airport will meet the 4F standards of the International Civil Aviation Organisation, taking a huge step towards becoming an international passenger and cargo transit centre in the region.


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  • 08/29/17--02:13: Article 3
  • Careless roadwork creates death traps on Ho Chi Minh City streets

    A lack of care has resulted in multiple accident hotspots

    ​Careless roadwork creates death traps on Ho Chi Minh City streets 
    Commuters avoid travelling on a part of National Highway 1A in District 12, Ho Chi Minh City due to raised manhole covers. Photo: Tuoi Tre

    Careless roadwork across Ho Chi Minh City has created multiple traffic death traps.

    About 120 constructions are being carried out on 56 streets in the southern metropolis to support a variety of underground projects.

    Despite supervision and the threat of harsh penalties by authorities, improper implementation of roadwork projects by several developers remains a serious problem.

    According to the observation of Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper reporters, a section of National Highway 1A passing District 12 has been severely damaged by three separate roadworks.

    The road’s surface has been dug up to facilitate a construction and was not properly restored to its original condition, resulting in uneven sections that pose difficulty to commuters.

    Along some sections of the route, manhole covers have been left 10 centimeters higher than the road surface, making it impossible for people to travel through.

    A similar situation also exists at the construction sites of several underground drainage projects in Tan Phu District.

    According to Nguyen Bat Han, deputy chief inspector of the municipal Department of Transport, the inspectorate has recently fined 25 developers a combined total of VND120 million (US$5,305) for their careless work.

    More patrols will be carried out to monitor roadworks and projects in the city, Han continued.

    The transport department will also propose that the city administration ban a developer from conducting road construction if they violate regulations more than three times.

    ​Careless roadwork creates death traps on Ho Chi Minh City streets
    An uneven road surface causes difficulties for travelers. Photo: Tuoi Tre

    ​Careless roadwork creates death traps on Ho Chi Minh City streets
    Two sections of the same street are nearly 20 centimeters different in height. Photo: Tuoi Tre

    ​Careless roadwork creates death traps on Ho Chi Minh City streets
    A part of Go Dau Street in Tan Phu District is damaged by roadwork. Photo: Tuoi Tre

    ​Careless roadwork creates death traps on Ho Chi Minh City streets
    A manhole cover is 10 centimeters higher than the rest of the street. Photo: Tuoi Tre

    ​Careless roadwork creates death traps on Ho Chi Minh City streets
    A street in District 12 is carelessly restored. Photo: Tuoi Tre

    By Tuoi Tre News 

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  • 08/29/17--02:27: Article 2
  • US-funded facility improves training for Vietnam’s peacekeeping forces

    Deputy Defence Minister Nguyen Chi Vinh speaks at the ceremony (Source: VNA)

    Hanoi -The US government handed over to Vietnam a training facility and equipment serving the training of peacekeeping forces at a ceremony on August 28. 

    The facility (named S5) has 15 training rooms able to accommodate 600 learners at the same time, and a 254-seat conference hall.

    Meanwhile, the package of equipment will be used for training in setting up a level-two field hospital by the Vietnamese peacekeeping force, which is scheduled to run in Bentiu, South Sudan, replacing the UK’s facility in the second quarter of 2018.

    Deputy Minister of Defence Nguyen Chi Vinh said the Vietnam – US defence cooperation has strongly grown over the past years, with the field of peacekeeping being a good example. He affirmed that the equipment and facilities provided by the US and other nations will help turn the Vietnam Peacekeeping Centre into a key facility for peacekeeping operation and training in the country and region. 

    US Ambassador to Vietnam Ted Osius expressed his belief that Vietnam will succeed in international peacekeeping activities, adding that the nation has joined hands with the international community in addressing global issues.-

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  • 08/29/17--02:49: Article 1

    Ho Chi Minh City to host Cotton Day in September

    Ho Chi Minh City will host the Cotton Day 2017 on September 12, which aims to strengthen connection between garment-textile firms and partners, suppliers and experts in the cotton sector.

    The event, to be held by the Cotton Council International (CCI) and the Vietnam Textile and Garment Association (VITAS), will be a chance for enterprises to learn about global cotton demand and brands’ consumption trends.

    Within the event, a conference and fashion show will be held, introducing the COTTON USA collections of Canifa and John Henry brands, including those designed by five winners of the COTTON USA-Fashion Design contest.

    Vu Duc Giang, VITAS President, said that Vietnam has to import a large amount of cotton as the domestic sector meets only 0.04 percent of demand. Among supply sources, cotton from the US is considered the highest quality, accounting for up to 60 percent of total cotton imports.

    Giang said that the Cotton Day is expected to enable Vietnamese firm to use the COTTON USA label on their products. Since 2017, the CCI has helped Vietnamese fashion brands use US cotton to enhance their products’ quality.

    According to the VITAS, despite challenges facing Vietnam’s garment and textile sector, including pressure from anti-dumping tax on fibre in Turkey and India, the sector still earned 19.8 billion USD from export in the first eight months of 2017, up 9.9 percent year on year.

    The Cotton Day is one of the CCI’s biggest events in Asia. The event began in Japan in the early 1990s and has been held in the Republic of Korea, Taiwan (China), China, Thailand, and Bangladesh.

    This year, it is held for the first time in Vietnam and Indonesia.

    Indonesia firm to build coal port in Vietnam


    Indonesia’s PT. Intra Asia Corpora has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Vietnam’s Hong Phat Coal and Resources Company to build a coal port in southern Vietnam.

    “The port will especially be used for cargo and logistics that will serve exports and imports between Indonesia and Vietnam, particularly coal,” Intra Asia Indonesia commissioner Lutfi Ismail said on the

    The port, worth 1 billion USD, is designed to have a capacity of 15-20 million tonnes of coal per year and will help cut logistics costs for importing coal from Indonesia. Hence, it will facilitate the sustainable development of coal exports from Indonesia to Vietnam and supply fuel to coal power plants in Vietnam.

    Indonesia’s Central Statistics Agency recorded that trade between Indonesia and Vietnam reached 6.3 billion USD last year, while Indonesia suffered a 182.9 million USD deficit.

    This year, Indonesia is targeting to export 4.5 million tonnes of coal to Vietnam, Lutfi added.

    Agro-fishery-forestry export surges in first 8 months

    Agro, fishery and forestry export turnover in the first eight months of this year rose 13.5 percent from the same period last year to 23.66 billion USD, reported the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.

    Turnover was estimated at 3.1 billion USD in August alone.

    In the first eight months, agricultural export value was estimated at 12.6 billion USD, up 17.2 percent from the same period last year, while seafood exports fetched 5.13 billion USD, up 18.1 percent and forestry products saw an increase of 9.6 percent to 5.07 billion USD.

    Rice exports garnered 220 million USD with 504,000 tonnes in August, raising the total rice export value to 1.75 billion USD with 3.96 million tonnes, up 17.5 percent in value and 19.8 percent in volume year on year.

    China remained the largest market for Vietnamese rice, accounting for 41 percent of total export volume, followed by Malaysia with 7.3 percent.

    Coffee shipments reached 1.02 million tonnes for export value of 2.33 billion USD, down 19.9 percent in volume but up 3 percent in value. 

    Rubber exports stood at 795,000 tonnes for nearly 1.36 billion USD, marking an 11.2 percent growth in volume and a 52 percent increase in value over the same period last year.

    Pepper exports were estimated at 165,000 tonnes, worth 889 million USD, up 21.6 percent in volume but down 19.5 percent in value.

    Cashew nut exports fell by 1.1 percent in volume while surging by nearly 25 percent in value thanks to a 27 percent increase in prices. The sector shipped 223,000 tonnes abroad, worth 2.2 billion USD.

    In the reviewed period, exports of fruit and vegetables earned 2.32 billion USD, up 46.5 percent year on year. China, Japan, the US and the Republic of Korea are among the top importers of Vietnamese fruit and vegetables. 

    Meanwhile, agro, fishery and forestry imports in the first eight months of this year amounted to 19.17 billion USD, including 2.69 billion USD in August.

    Bac Lieu strives to become centre of shrimp industry

    The establishment of a hi-tech shrimp farming zone in the Mekong Delta province of Bac Lieu approved by the Prime Minister is expected to create a momentum for the locality to build itself into a centre of shrimp industry in Vietnam.

    Director of the provincial Department of Agriculture and Rural Development Luong Ngoc Lan said the zone will support the seafood sector in the Ca Mau peninsula in general and Bac Lieu in particular. 

    It is estimated that close to 500,000-600,000 hectares of shrimp farming in the peninsula will benefit from the project which encourages the application of the latest science and technology.

    According to Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee Duong Thanh Trung, 270 out of the total 420 hectares of the zone will be for super-intensive farming, which is able to produce 100-300 tonnes of shrimps per hectare.

    The application of this model will have strong impacts on the restructuring process of the local agricultural sector towards increasing added value and sustainability.

    The Ca Mau peninsula boasts the largest farming area of shrimp in the Mekong Delta with nearly 552,000 hectares in 2015, accounting for 88.8 percent of the region’s total area.

    Though Bac Lieu ranked second in the area of shrimp farming area (124,000 hectares, after Ca Mau over 280,000 hectares), its output is leading the region with nearly 105,000 tonnes per annum.

    Vietnam is the world’s leading shrimp exporter with 680,000 hectares of shrimp breeding area in 2015, producing 603,000 tonnes of shrimps, making up 15.1 percent of the global market.

    Seafood exports roses by 18.1 percent in 8 months

    Vietnam shipped 749 million USD worth of seafood abroad in August, bringing seafood exports in the first eight months of 2017 to 5.13 billion USD, up 18.1 percent from the same period last year.

    According to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, the largest buyers of Vietnamese seafood included the United States, Japan, China and the Republic of Korea, accounting for 55.6 percent of total exports.

    Export value to China showed the biggest increase of 57.2 percent, followed by Japan (30.8 percent), the United Kingdom (30.1 percent), the RoK (28.8 percent), the Netherlands (25.3 percent) and Canada (20.7 percent).

    Meanwhile, Vietnam imported 912 million USD worth of seafood in the first eight months, a year-on-year rise of 31.3 percent. 

    In a move expected to hurt seafood exports, the US Department of Agriculture has just revealed it will begin inspecting all pangasius and Siluriformes fish imports from Vietnam from August 2, instead of September 1 as previously announced. However, no customs-related issues have been reported on export batches to the US since then.

    The pangasius has been fetching from 22,000 – 25,000 VND per kg in the Mekong Delta during August, depending on its quality and the payment method.

    Prawn prices meanwhile have been rising this month due to low supply alongside increased demand from local seafood processing firms.

    Free trade agreement helps boost Vietnam-EAEU trade

    Trade between Vietnam and the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) hit 1.7 billion USD in the first 6 months of 2017, up 21 percent year-on-year, according to statistics of the General Department of Vietnam Customs.

    The figure was reported at a seminar on the EAEU market and opportunities to boost export via the Vietnam – EAEU free trade agreement held by the Ministry of Industry and Trade on August 25. 

    At the function, Hoang Quoc Vuong, Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade said the pact, which took effect in October 2016, has enabled Vietnam to access a market of 183 million people and nearly 2.2 trillion USD in GDP.

    Currently, about 900 Vietnamese exporters are active in the EAEU market, with key exports including seafood, coffee, rubber, tea, rice, apparel, woodwork products and confectionary. 

    Kharinov Vyachslav Nikolaevich, Chief Representative of the Russian Trade Office in Vietnam, said from the beginning of 2017, a strong increase has been seen in Vietnam’s import of Russian food, coal, steel, paper products and chemicals, while healthy growth has been recorded for Vietnamese shipments of mobile phone components, apparel and farm produce to Russia.

    However, many were not satisfied with the growth. 

    Nguyen Ngoc Hoa, Vice Director of the Ho Chi Minh City Department of Industry and Trade, said Vietnam – EAEU trade felt short of potentials, staying at just over 3 billion USD on an annual average.

    Trade between Vietnam and EAEU members have recorded unequal growth, he said, citing as an example that HCM City’s firms have mostly worked with Russian partners and are yet to tap business potentials with those from Belarus and Armenia.

    In fact, Vietnam – Russia trade makes up 90 percent of total trade revenue between the country and the EAEU, while trade between Vietnam and Belarus and Armenia in 2016 even recorded decreases from 2015.

    Nguyen Khanh Ngoc, Deputy Head of the Ministry of Industry and Trade’s European Market Department, attributed the issue to long-time trade partnership between Vietnam and Russia and inadequate understanding of Vietnamese firms about other EAEU markets.

    She urged Vietnamese enterprises to study these markets and boost their product quality to maximize trade before the EAEU signs free trade agreement with more nations.-

    Can Tho wishes for stronger cooperation with Japan in agriculture, health care

    Chairman of the Can Tho People’s Committee Vo Thanh Thong told Japanese Ambassador to Vietnam Umeda Kunio on August 25 that he wants Can Tho and Japan to foster cooperation in farm produce processing and health care.

    Thong said that Can Tho city is a major agriculture hub of the Mekong Delta region with high agricultural productivity and quality.

    However, the prices of many local farm produces have yet to meet expectation, he said, adding that the city is also facing many difficulties in exporting products to certain markets due to poor processing technologies.

    He suggested that Ambassador Umeda Kunio, through the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), help the city to build a centre for preserving and processing fruit using modern technology meeting international standards.

    The Can Tho leader also asked the diplomat to assist Can Tho in accessing Japanese ODA to improve its cardiovascular hospital with 200 beds at a cost of about 32 million USD.

    For his part, Ambassador Umeda Kunio said that he finds Japanese-funded projects in Can Tho are operating effectively with right purposes and expectation.

    He noted that the proposal on cooperation in agricultural product processing and health care is in line with the two countries’ direction for cooperation, and promised to encourage Japanese firms to invest in Can Tho, as well as introduce Japanese localities to the city for establishing twinning relations.

    According to Can Tho Department of External Relations, as of July 2017, Can Tho had six Japanese-funded projects worth 12.05 million USD, mostly in automobile, paper, computer software and food.

    Vietjet announces Hanoi-Yangon route

    Low-cost carrier Vietjet Air officially announced its new route connecting Hanoi with Yangon, the renowned tourism city of Myanmar, at a ceremony in Yangon on August 26 on the occasion of Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong’s state visit to the country.

    The route is expected to meet traveling demands between the two countries, making contributions to promoting regional trade and integration.

    Vietjet Air will conduct daily round-trip flights on the route with flight duration of nearly two hours. Flights from Hanoi take off at 12:05 and arrive in Yangon at 13:30 (local time). Meanwhile, the return leg leaves Myanmar at 14:30 and touches down in Hanoi at 16:55 (local time).

    This is the second Vietjet Air service to Myanmar, following its Ho Chi Minh City-Yangon route. 

    Currently, the low-cost airline operates over 350 flights per day on 73 routes to domestic and international destinations. Vietjet has flown nearly 40 million passengers so far.

    Coffee value to increase despite output dropping

    Vietnam exported 974,712 tonnes of coffee from January 1 to August 15 this year, a reduction of 16.4 percent from the same period last year, earning 2.22 billion USD in value, up 7.9 percent, according to Vietnam’s Customs.

    Average export value hit 2,262 USD per tonne, a yearly increase of 30.4 percent. Germany and the United States remained Vietnam’s biggest coffee importers, with 16 percent and 14.3 percent of the market share, respectively.

    Meanwhile, the Vietnam Coffee and Cocoa Association (Vicofa) said since the beginning of the 2016-2017 crop (from October last year to November this year), Vietnam has shipped some 1.3 million tonnes of coffee abroad while 50,000 tonnes remained in stock. 

    Vietnam’s coffee exports were estimated to drop 20-30 percent in the 2016-2017 crop due to a supply shortage, said Vicofa, adding that the coffee price may go up as the new crop will start from November and the goods is still in demand.

    Do Ha Nam, Vice President of Vicofa and Director-General of Intimex Group, said coffee was sold at 44,300-45,100 VND a kilo in central highlands provinces, up 1,000 VND per kilo.

    He noted that the price of Robusta coffee at the London stock exchange sharply increased to 2,116 USD per tonne in September and 2,101 USD per tonne in November, up 54 USD and 47 USD respectively, adding the price is expected to reach 2,066 USD per tonne in January 2018, up 33 USD.

    Nam also said Brazil needs to import Robusta coffee due to severe losses, while this kind of coffee is in high demand globally, particularly in Asia and emerging markets.  

    Vietnamese coffee producers started to invest in packaged instant coffee because of its higher value than raw coffee. The country’s instant coffee export expanded to 15 percent of total coffee exports and is hoped to reach 30 percent per year.

    However, a recent proposal by the Ministry of Finance to impose packaged instant coffee on some beverages, including processed coffee, might hinder the country from meeting the 30 percent target.

    Viet Nam to export dragon fruit to Australia     

    Australia last week announced that it would permit the import of Vietnamese dragon fruit, making Viet Nam the first country to get licence to export fresh dragon fruit there.

    Dragon fruit is one of Viet Nam’s key export fruits, and saw export sales worth US$895.7 million in 2016, accounting for 50.3 per cent of the country’s total fresh fruit exports and 36.1 per cent of Viet Nam’s total fruit and vegetables exports.

    The Ministry of Industry and Trade said that in order to export goods to the Australian market, exporters must comply with stringent regulations.

    Specifically, to export to Australia, businesses must have a valid licence issued by the Australian Department of Agriculture and Water Resources as well as a certificate of no-insect infection in the area of biological safety control by Viet Nam’s Plant Protection Department (PPD).

    The fresh dragon fruit must originate, be produced and exported from Viet Nam, in accordance with relevant conditions and programmes. Before shipment, the fruits must undergo vapour heat treatment (VHT) for 40 minutes at 46.5 degrees Celsius at a minimum of 90 per cent humidity at a processing facility approved by the PPD.

    The produce must be free of insects and diseases and must not have contaminant pollutants.

    Packaging must be done using synthetic materials or highly processed materials of plant origin; unprocessed materials such as straw cannot be used.

    The cartons or individual packages must be tied firmly and labelled with unique identifier to facilitate traceability.

    The treated products must be protected from harmful insects during and after packaging, while handling, storing and transporting between locations. Products that have been inspected and certified by a competent authority from Viet Nam must be maintained in a safe condition so as not to be mixed with fruits exported to other markets, or for consumption in the domestic market.

    The PPD must inspect containers prior to loading and ensure there are no insects, and all vents must be covered to prevent insect infiltration.

    The Australian Department of Agriculture and Water Resources can review the import policy at any time after trade commences, or when pest and quarantine control rules in Viet Nam are altered.

    Fresh dragon fruit is one of Viet Nam’s priority agricultural commodities for the Australian market. Australia is also speeding up the approval process for other fresh fruits from Viet Nam. 

    Hoa Phat Poultry Co imports high-quality chicken breed     

    Hoa Phat Poultry Company Limited has imported the first batch of Hyline Brown chicken breed, the world’s most balanced brown egg layer, from the UK-based Hy-Line International.

    According to the company, co-operation between Hoa Phat Poultry and Hy Line International, a world leader in poultry-layer genetics, will help step-by-step concretise the target of Hoa Phat in the hi-tech poultry sector.

    A Hy-Line Brown chicken produces over 355 brown eggs over a period of 80 weeks, peaks well and begins laying early with optimum egg size. These traits combined with unrivaled feed efficiency, interior egg quality and classy livability give the Hy-Line Brown the perfect balance, which means more profit for the poultry producer.

    Hy-line Brown chicken has a slim body with an average weight of about 2kg at 72 weeks of age, consuming less food. Hyline Brown chicken’s eggs are brown, slender and suited to the tastes of the majority of buyers and distributors in Viet Nam.

    Prior to the delivery of the batch of chickens to Hoa Phat’s farm, all the cages at the farm were disinfected to ensure the best conditions for the growth and development of the chickens. All chickens were vaccinated in accordance with the regulations of the livestock industry.

    Hoa Phat’s strategy in the poultry sector is to provide over 300 million high quality, clean chicken eggs per year to the market from 2020. Currently the company aims to provide high quality chicken eggs to its farms in the northern province of Phu Tho and southern province of Dong Nai, while the remaining will be supplied to the market.

    Da Nang IT Park restarts construction     

    The Trung Nam Group has restarted construction of the Da Nang Information Technology Park (DITP) in Hoa Vang District after an agreement to buy a 65 per cent stake from the US’s Rocky Lai & Associates Inc, the project’s former investor.

    Deputy General Director of the group, Bui Xuan Dinh told Viet Nam News the project is to be put into operation in the second quarter of 2018.

    “We have reviewed the construction schedule since we inked an agreement of buying 65 per cent stake from the US’s Rocky Lai & Associates Inc and partners. We plan to complete infrastructure to handover to new investors in 2018 before starting the second phase in 2018-23,” Dinh said.

    He hoped that the project will offer more opportunities for information technology (IT) investors in Da Nang in the future.

    The park, which covers 341ha with total registered investment of US$278 million, aims to become central Viet Nam’s Silicon Valley. It expects to create revenue of $3 billion each year with 25,000 jobs and a satellite city of 100,000 people. 

    Cashew sector may miss export target     

    Viet Nam may not reach this year’s targeted cashew export value of US$3.3 billion, due to a shortage of raw materials for cashew export processing.

    Ta Quang Huyen, vice chairman of the Viet Nam Cashew Association and general director of the Hoang Son I Co Ltd, stated that Viet Nam’s cashew exports in the first seven months of this year have reached a total value of $2.6 billion.

    The domestic cashew industry must import about 300,000 tonnes of raw materials for export processing, to reach its targeted export value of $3.3 billion for the entire year, Huyen added.

    However, the cashew crop season in West Africa has already ended so the available supply of raw materials from this region will not be too significant, making it difficult for the domestic cashew processing industry, he further said.

    “In the first seven months of this year, Viet Nam’s cashew processing and export enterprises have imported 1.3 million tonnes of raw cashew nuts, 200,000 tonnes higher than in the same period last year,” said Nguyen Hue Chi Thai, consulting expert at the association.

    By the end of the year, the demand for cashew nuts in the world market will increase, especially for Christmas. Therefore, factories will continue to import 300,000 tonnes of raw cashew for processing and export to many countries, such as Libya, Mozambique, Tanzania and Indonesia.

    However, due to unusual weather conditions, many African cashew growing countries, such as Libya, have reduced their cashew output by 250,000 tonnes, so the two main regional suppliers of raw materials for the industry are Tanzania and Mozambique.

    Indonesia will also supply 200,000 tonnes for the world market, but at higher prices, at $2,500 per tonne, compared to raw materials from African countries, so local businesses will have to calculate the cost of importing raw materials from Indonesia. 

    Automated customs-clearance system brings improvements     

    The application of the new electronic customs clearance and a station operating system has brought remarkable efficiency and benefits to import and export businesses, an official said.

    During a meeting held on Friday in Ha Noi, Bui Thai Quang, deputy head of the risk management team of General Department of Viet Nam Customs, said the e-customs procedures, referred to as VNACCS/VCIS system, helped reduce cargo clearance time, paperwork in customs documents, and saving costs during procedure completion, as well as the state administration of customs.

    The VNACCS/VCIS, based on Japanese models, the Nippon Automated Cargo Clearance System (NACCS) and Customs Intelligence System (CIS), is a modern e-clearance system dedicated to electronic processing of air and cargo to enable faster and more efficient customs clearance.

    VNACCS/ VCIS system was officially operated on April 1, 2014 and has been implemented in all customs departments nationwide, aiming to support enterprises best in customs declaration such as automatically apply tax rate, exchange rate for calculating tax, automatically calculate taxable amount, payable tax, automatically alerts incorrect declared items.

    The system also automatically checks, numbers and allocates red, green or yellow channels for customs declaration 24/7.

    Under the system, cross-border goods are classified into three types according to the degree of risk, which are easy access or green channel, yellow channel and red channel.

    The clearance of goods via green channels takes only three seconds so goods can quickly go through the customs formalities without any inspection since they have no risks.

    Moderate risk products undergo yellow channel which require some types of customs documents including foreign trade contracts, commercial invoice, packing list and certificate of origin, quality inspection, tax certificate and other documents.

    All high risk products are diverted to the red channel, which requires a variety of documents and physical inspection to be completed.

    According to Quang, in the first seven months of this year, among over six million cross-border goods undergoing the custom clearance procedure, 57.53 per cent of them were diverted to green channel and 37.46 per cent of goods flew through the yellow channel.

    Only 5.01 per cent passed through the red channel. This, according to Quang, even exceeded the goal set out by the government (below 7 per cent of goods undergoing red channel toward 2020).

    The VNACCS/VCIS, built at a cost of US$21.2 million and funded by the Japanese government, contributed to stimulating the country’s economic growth and strengthening connectivity between Việt Nam and the global economies through ASEAN’s one-stop-shop mechanism, he said. 

    Grab cabs now operate in Quảng Ninh     

    Residents of the northern province of Quang Ninh can now avail of Grab ride hailing services.

    At the launch ceremony on Wednesday, the provincial Department of Transport said Grab Viet Nam has been allowed to carry out a pilot project for passenger transport using contracted cars in the province.

    From Wednesday, GrabCar and Grab Taxi services have been operational.

    Quang Ninh Province has become the fourth region to offer Grab’s ride-hailing services, after HCM City, Ha Noi and Da Nang City. 

    Ha Noi celebrates Hung Yen longan     

    Longan lovers rejoice: the delicious fruit from Hung Yen province has its very own week for the first time ever.

    A group including Ha Noi supermarkets and area government departments launched Hưng Yên longan week yesterday. It will run through August 31. The week was jointly organised by Central Group Viet Nam, Big C Viet Nam and Hung Yen Department of Industry and Trade, with the aim of expanding longan trade and reaching a large number of consumers.

    “The event is an occasion for Central Group Viet Nam and Big C Viet Nam to make a commitment of contributing to the prosperity of Viet Nam, as well as improving the country’s quality of life,” deputy director of Big C Supermarket Nguyen Thai Dung told Viet Nam News.

    In celebration of Hung Yen longan week, customers can taste different types of the fruit and purchase it at Big C Thang Long Ha Noi, located at 222 Tran Duy Hung street, Cau Giay District.

    Nguyen Minh Quang, vice chairman of the provincial People’s Committee, said longan was a longstanding specialty of Hung Yen Province. Some special features include its round shape, dark brown shells, thick pulp, drain, white sticky color inside and sweet flavor.

    Currently, the province plants around 3,300ha of longan in four main areas, including Hung Yen City, Khoai Chau, Kim Dong and Tien Lu. The province’s total longan output is over 40,000 tonnes per year.

    Two cultivation areas in Hong Nam commune (Hung Yen City) and Ham Tu commune (Khoai Chau district) also export longan to the United States for sale there.

    Big C supermarket aimed to sell 35 tonnes of Hung Yen longan in the first three days of longan week, Dung added. 

    FPT signs strategic deal with Coca Cola Viet Nam     

    Accordingly, FPT will research and develop appropriate digital solutions for Coca-Cola Viet Nam to promote its manufacturing.

    In addition, the two sides will cooperate in some other activities such as training and encouraging students of FPT Education to participate in Coca-Cola Viet Nam’s projects as well as implementing several sustainable development projects.

    "Digitalising manufacturing operations and business operations is one of Coca-Cola’s priorities for building smart plants, besides green energy, automation, partner capacity development for the small and medium-sized enterprises in its supply chain, and a high quality work environment,” Tiffani Sassei said at the ceremony.

    “This demonstrates our commitment to stable investment that is consistent with Viet Nam’s priorities in Industry 4.0. As one of Viet Nam’s leading technology companies, FPT has helped many enterprises with digital transformation. We believe that with its experience and technological capacity, FPT will make Coca-Cola Viet Nam’s digital transformation process as swift and effective as possible," she added.

    Also at the event, FPT Chairman Truong Gia Binh stated that this co-operation with Coca-Cola Viet Nam is a highlight in FPT’s digital transformation practices for its customers. With its capacity and experience, FPT will study and offer the most appropriate solutions to help Coca-Cola Viet Nam improve its capabilities in Industry 4.0. 

    Kyo York supports Co.opmart, Vietnamese goods     

    On August 26 American singer Kyo York, despite a rainstorm, took a flight to Saigon and went straight to the Co.opmart Foodcosa supermarket, on Quang Trung Street, Go Vap District, to participate in a performance programme to promote Vietnamese goods.

    The programme, called “Tu hao hang Viet” (Proud of Vietnamese Goods), is the Co.opmart supermarket system’s largest promotion in the year.

    “Proud of Vietnamese Goods 2017” will offer attractive discounts for three weeks, from August 26 to September 17, at all Co.opmart and Co.opXtra supermarkets nation-wide.

    After singing Thuong qua Viet Nam oi to huge cheers from the audience, Kyo York shared images of his shopping at Co.opmart Nguyen Dinh Chieu.

    He said he trusts the quality and prices of Vietnamese goods, and likes Vietnamese rice especially.

    After coming to know it was the 20th anniversary of the very meaningful Proud of Vietnamese Goods programme, he was eager to take part in it, he said.

    The highlights of the programme are activities to increase the benefits of customers when buying Vietnamese goods, including discounts of up to 50 per cent on thousands of products, hundreds of valuable gifts, points that are many times higher than normal, and very big discounts on many Vietnamese goods under the “Super incentive” programme.

    There are also many other attractive activities such as setting aside space for suppliers to organise samples, introducing new products, and game shows to promote Vietnamese goods.

    During the “Proud of Vietnamese Goods 2017” promotion month, Saigon Co.op will organise a programme called Vietnamese goods trip - Together with Co.opmart to spread the love of Vietnamese goods.

    It will see truck carrying Vietnamese goods depart from the southernmost province of Ca Mau, go through Can Tho, HCM City and central and northern provinces and cities to reach Ha Noi before finishing in Thai Nguyen Province.

    During the trans-Viet Nam journey, the organisers plan to hand out more than 20,000 gifts, all made-in Viet Nam products, to local residents en route to spread happiness among them and at the same time promote Vietnamese goods.

    IDICO reveals criteria for strategic investors

    Domestic enterprises who want to become strategic investors in Vietnam Urban and Industrial Zone Development Corp. need to have at least U$110.1 million and US$115 million with foreign investors, in the chartered capital as the end of 2016,

    This is one of IDICO’s criteria to select strategic investors. There are a number of other major criteria. Domestic enterprises must have an equity of at least VND1.5 trillion ($66.08 million) or $68 million for foreign enterprises as the end of 2016. Additionally, enterprises must not have overdue debts, accumulated looses, and bad debts.

    In June this year, IDICO secured the prime minister’s approval of its equitisation plan. Accordingly, the company is permitted to reduce its state ownership to 36 per cent from the current 100 per cent.

    Notably, IDICO will put a 45 per cent stake on sale to strategic investors. Besides, IDICO will offer 53.3 million shares, equalling an 18.44 per cent stake, at its upcoming initial public offering (IPO) at an initial price of VND10,000 ($0.44) per share. 

    The date of the IPO is yet to be set, but it will most likely be held this year or next year at the latest, as the government will also offload its 36 per cent controlling stake in IDICO after December 31, 2018.

    According to its accumulated financial report for the first six month of this year, IDICO earned VND620.02 billion ($27.3 million) in revenue, five times as much as in the same period of 2016.

    It is currently investing in, managing, and operating 17 industrial zones nationwide with a total area of 7,000 hectares and investment capital of about VND10 trillion ($440.5 million), including Nhon Trach I and Nhon Trach 5 in the southern province of Dong Nai, My Xuan A, My Xuan B1, and Phu My II in the southern province of Ba Ria-Vung Tau, Kim Hoa in the northern province of Vinh Phuc, Cau Nghin in the northern province of Thai Binh, and Que Vo 2 in the northern province of Bac Ninh.

    Chu Lai port, a key logistics hub in the central region

    After nearly a year, the Chu Lai port expansion project of the Chu Lai Open Economic Zone in Quang Nam has been completed. The port has expanded the zone’s logistics service chains to make it a key logistics hub in the central region.

    Chu Lai port is now 500 meters long with a berth-side depth of 9.5 meters. It is capable of receiving three 20,000-ton vessels at one time, including cargo ships and tankers.  

    Its warehouse and workshop system has grown from 71,000 to 91,000 square meters.

    Tran Huu Hoang, the port’s Director, says the project cost US$5.2 million, raising the total investment to more than US$35 million since 2010.                                     

    He noted that “Chu Lai port, also known as Chu Lai-Truong Hai port, now is an international seaport of Quang Nam province. It used to have only one crane of 40 tons but now has three. In the first phase, the port was 8.7m deep to serve 20,000-ton ship. In the second phase, the depth increased to 10.7 meters to accommodate vessels of 30,000 tons.”

    The Chu Lai Port is divided into three separate functional areas to serve different types of cargo - containers, bulk, and liquid cargo. The port has invested in loading and unloading equipment.

    Pham Van Tai, Deputy Director General of Thaco Group, says “We plan to turn Thaco into a multi-sector group in which logistics is a new element. We hope Chu Lai port will become a logistics center of the central region offering direct maritime routes to the Republic of Korea and Japan. Chu Lai port will export the products of Quang Nam and the Central Coast and Central Highlands region via Sai Gon port.”

    In addition transporting finished products, materials, and parts for industries of THACO in Chu Lai, the port also provides ship towing and rescue services; cargo loading, unloading, tallying, and warehousing; domestic inland shipping, and freight forwarding; bridge and berth services: and related shipping services.

    In the first half of this year, the port received 150 ships, towed 200 ships and handled 23,000 TEUs of containers and 140,000 tons of bulk cargo, equivalent to 600,000 tons of cargo through the port. Containerized cargos increased 10% against last year.

    Mr. Hoang says “The logistics and port development strategies go together. If a great volume of cargos transit the port, the logistics sector can develop. Thaco Truong Hai has invested in several areas to make Chu Lai a logistics center for Chu Lai Open Economic Zone, Quang Nam, and Central Coast and Central Highlands provinces. Currently Chu Lai port is linking to Saigon Newport port and Hai Phong port to create a cargo chain along the coast.”

    Chu Lai has opened direct international maritime routes to the Republic of Korea, to reduce transportation costs for investors in the key economic region of central Vietnam.

    From 2018 to 2020, Chu Lai Port wants Quang Nam province’s support in increasing the port’s depth to 12m to accommodate vessels of 30,000 to 40,000 tons.

    Saigon One Tower going under the hammer

    The future of the ill-fated US$256-million Saigon One Tower remains uncertain after Vietnam Asset Management Company recently announced that the project will be seized due to the owners’ accruing significant bad debts.

    Earlier this year, Alpha King Real Estate Development announced acquiring the project that has been delayed for more than ten years from a consortium of old investors.

    The developers, however, have not paid debts to the project lender Vietnam Asset Management Company (VAMC).

    According to VAMC, this project was seized because Saigon One Tower JSC, the developer of Saigon One Tower, failed to pay off its debts (principal and interest) of VND7 trillion (US$308 million) despite numerous requests from VAMC.

    VAMC previously signed a debt purchase contract with a number of credit institutions for the debts of a group of customers, including Saigon One Tower JSC, Lien Phat Investment JSC, Minh Quan Investment and Construction Consultant JSC, and Tan Superdeck M&C JSC.

    “Although VAMC has repeatedly urged the group of customers to meet their repayment obligations, they have not obliged nor adopted a viable repayment plan,” a representative from VAMC said.

    VAMC asked Saigon One Tower JSC to hand over collateral to fulfil its obligations, which it failed to do, therefore prompting VAMC to seize the collateral.

    According to Le Hoang Chau, chairman of the Ho Chi Minh City Real Estate Association, the seizure was conducted in accordance with Article 7 of Resolution No.42 of the National Assembly on addressing non-performing loans (NPLs).

    Saigon One Tower has a total space of more than 6,670 square metres with the total investment capital of VND5 trillion (US$256 million), including a 46-storey building consisting of retail properties, offices for lease, and high-end apartments for sale. 

    The project has been stalling since 2011 after 80% of the construction was finished.

    The developer of Saigon One Tower was not available for comments.

    The asset portfolios seized by VAMC in Saigon One Tower include ownership, the right of operations of the whole construction consisting of underground basements, a trading centre, offices for lease, and other additional constructions.

    According to Chau, the assets will auctioned later on. “A transparent auction will bring about higher revenue for the state budget than any other assignment,” Chau said.

    Nguyen Van Duc, chairman of Dat Lanh Real Estate, commented that it is not easy at all to sort out the extensive and complicated assets of Saigon One Tower.

    Workshop seeks opportunities for Vietnam-China cooperation

    A workshop on China’s Belt and Road Initiative has discussed the implementation of the Initiative to seek cooperation opportunities between Vietnam and China.

    At the event held in Hanoi on August 25 by the Chinese Embassy in Vietnam and the Diplomatic Academy of Vietnam, Le Hai Binh, Deputy Director of the Academy, stressed the importance of maintaining and promoting peace, cooperation, and development in the region. 

    He said discussion of the Belt and Road Initiative is significant, helping scholars and businesses understand more about the goal, and opportunities brought about by the initiative.

    “The Belt and Road Initiative is expected to bring opportunities for Vietnam in infrastructure development through financial cooperation with China. Vietnam will also enjoy opportunities to develop economy and trade with China, which is Vietnam’s top trade partner. The two countries have seen increasing trade turnover as well as two-way investment. This brings practical benefits to the two countries and contributes to peace, stability, and prosperity in the region," Binh said.

    Charge d'affaires of the Chinese Embassy in Vietnam Yin Hai Hong said the foremost goal of the Belt and Road Initiative is to facilitate infrastructure development, trade and exchanges.

    The participants also discussed advantages and disadvantages facing countries joining the initiative.


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  • 08/29/17--03:21: Article 0
  • British firms want to join Tan Son Nhat expansion project

    UK Ambassador to Vietnam Giles Lever had a working session with Vietnam’s Ministry of Transport on August 29, conveying British businesses’ intention to participate in the expansion of Tan Son Nhat International Airport in Ho Chi Minh City.

    British firms want to join Tan Son Nhat expansion project, 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 
    Part of Tan Son Nhat International Airport in Ho Chi Minh City 

    He said the UK aviation industry wants the Vietnamese ministry to provide information about the Tan Son Nhat expansion plan so they can get involved.

    Deputy Minister of Transport Le Dinh Tho said foreign firms, including British ones, can invest in the project.

    With their capacity and experience, British businesses can also engage in the construction of Long Thanh airport in neighbouring Dong Nai province as well as upgrades of other airports in Vietnam, he suggested.

    Earlier, the HCM City People’s Committee agreed with the ministry’s master plan to boost Tan Son Nhat’s capacity by up to 40 percent.

    According to the plan, the airport will add a runway, a terminal with a capacity of 15 million passengers and an airplane parking and maintenance area. 

    Tan Son Nhat handled about 32.5 million passengers in 2016 although it has a designed capacity of 25 million passengers a year.


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  • 08/30/17--02:09: Article 3

    Deputy PM visits Van Don, talks institutions     

    Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister Vuong Dinh Hue has asked ministries, agencies and localities to build strong insitituions to help Van Don Special Economic Zone retain investors, businesses and visitors.

    The Deputy Prime Minister, along with other ministerial and provincial leaders visited the northern coastal province of Quang Ninh’s Van Don Island District on Saturday to inspect constructions.

    Van Don has attracted nearly US$2 billion of domestic and foreign private investors to build infrastructure in the past few years.

    Van Don Airport’s construction of a 3,600-metre runway is almost finished after two years of construction. According to Sun Group, the project investor, the international airport is expected to be operational in the first quarter next year.

    Apart from airports and logistics port, Sun Group also invests in resorts and entertainment areas.

    Visiting Van Don, Deputy Prime Minister emphasised the island’s unique position and its role in the development of the northern region.

    This area is located in the area of Viet Nam - China economic co-operation, is part of the Gulf of Tonkin inter-regional co-operation and can also be a bridge between ASEAN and China.

    Van Don also has the potential to build deep-water ports, which are located in Hai Phong-Quang Ninh-Fangcheng (China) international port complex.

    Despite being an isolated island, Van Don is connected with the Red River Delta (National Highway 10 and 18), the northwest through Lang Son and southern China.

    Hue also asked ministries, Quang Ninh Province and investors to co-ordinate and continue to research and make full use of the economic values of Van Don.

    He also asked them to study the experiences of building special economic zones in other countries in the fields of management, financial service provision, economics, tourism and cultural services with high quality and diversity to attract businesses and tourists.

    The Deputy PM also asked investors to ensure the progress of approved works and projects to quickly bring into play the value of Van Don when the Law on Special Administrative-Economic Units is passed by the National Assembly later this year.

    Conditional businesses in special administrative-economic zones

    The Ministry of Planning and Investment is consulting ministries and sectors on the list of conditional businesses in special administrative-economic zones.

    The list includes 69 conditional businesses in special administrative-economic zones.

    Domestic and foreign investors and people are not free to do business in these zones but must meet certain conditions.

    There are some typical industries such as duty-free shops, petrol and oil, gold, money printing, foreign exchange and electricity.

    Conditional businesses also include rice exports, multi-level sales, airports, urban railways, pipeline transport, fisheries, telecommunications services and pay TV.

    Other conditional businesses include discotheques, karaoke; national relics purchase; minerals mining and exploring; water resource exploitation and use services; seal manufacturing, domain name registration and those related to national security.

    The Ministry of Planning and Investment has submitted to the Government a draft law on special administrative-economic units.

    In this draft, the ministry proposed a series of mechanisms to attract investment and foreign experts to live and work in the Phu Quoc economic zone.

    Other special economic zones such as Van Don (Quang Ninh), Van Phong (Nha Trang) also have preferential policies.

    Thaco to export bus parts to Kazakhstan     

    Truong Hai Auto Corporation (Thaco) will export 230 sets of parts and components of the County bus to Kazakhstan from now to 2018.

    Thaco did not disclose the export value.

    This is the second batch to be exported to Kazakhstan – part of the contract on exporting bus components and parts to Kazakhstan and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS).

    The first batch of 30 sets of County bus components and parts, which were manufactured by Thaco Bus Manufacturing Company Limited, was shipped to Hyundai Trans Auto (HTA) in Kazakhstan as authorised by Hyundai Motor Company.

    Thaco quoted its partner as saying that demand for the use of public vehicles in central Asian countries was rising, however the region’s products were unable to match the demand. The situation was challenging local automakers in Kazakhstan, along with opening cooperation opportunities for foreign businesses in meeting the demand of the local market and exports.

    Thaco said its County bus components and parts will be installed with car chassis imported from South Korea. The completed built-up buses were being distributed in the local market and would be exported to other countries, including Russia and Belarus.

    Director of Thaco Bus Nguyen Quang Bao said Thaco manufactured bus components and parts according to modern technologies, which had high level of automation, with facilities imported from Japan, Italy and South Korea.

    The manufacturing line coincided with international standards, meeting Hyundai Corporation’s global quality standards.

    After shipping bus components and parts, Thaco will send its engineers to HTA to train local engineers to install bus parts and control quality under the technology transferring contract signed between the two sides early this year.

    Thaco has exported several components and parts, which were manufactured at the Chu Lai-Truong Hai Auto Manufacture and Assembly Complex, to South Korea, Malaysia, Russia, Kazakhstan and Colombia for several years. These products are seat covers of Kia cars, components for specialised vehicles and semi-trailers, composite components and industrial molds. 

    August CPI up 0.92 percent

     Deputy PM visits Van Don, talks institutions, Conditional businesses in special administrative-economic zones, August CPI up 0.92 percent, Ba Ria-Vung Tau takes action on delayed projects 
     The consumer price index (CPI) in August rose 0.92 percent from the previous month and 3.35 percent over the same period last year, according to the General Statistics Office (GSO).
    An upturn was seen in 10 out of 11 goods and service groups. Medicine and health care services posted the highest increase with 2.86 percent, followed by transportation with 2.13 percent;food and catering services, 1.06 percent;housing and construction materials, 0.93 percent; education, 0.57 percent; and other goods and services, 0.10 percent.

    Post and telecommunication was the only group that reported a drop of 0.04 percent.

    Do Thi Ngoc, Vice Director of the Price Analysis under the GSO, attributed the rise in the August CPI to the increase of foodstuff after pork price recovered.

    In addition, recent floods and storms pushed vegetable price up by 3.89 percent over the previous month, contributing to the CPI increase.

    In August, gold price fluctuated in accordance with the world gold price, with an average increase of 1.11 percent to reach around 36.4 million VND (1,601 USD) per tael.

    Meanwhile, the USD price fell by 0.03 percent thanks to the management of the State Bank of Vietnam on the reference VND/USD exchange rate and the abundant foreign currency reserve. Current exchange rate is around 22,700VND per USD.

    The GSO also assessed that the core inflation in August was up 0.1 percent over the previous month and 1.31 percent year on year. The average inflation in the first eight months of this year was up 1.47 percent, lower than the set target of 1.6-1.8 percent, which showed the stability in themonetary policy.

    The GSO also forecastthat CPI in September will continue increasing following rises in pork, vegetables, fuel, health care services and education fees.

    Vietfish 2017 kicks off in HCM City

    The 2017 Vietnam Fisheries International Exhibition (Vietfish) opened at the Saigon Exhibition and Convention Centre in Ho Chi Minh City on August 29 with seafood producers and exporters from 15 countries in attendance.

    The expo, themed “Asia’s Home of Seafood", features over 350 booths showcasing seafood products and machinery and equipment for aquaculture by over 200 exhibitors from Vietnam and foreign countries, for example, Japan, China, Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, Germany, and Denmark.

    Opening the event, Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Vu Van Tam highlighted the significance of Vietfish over the past 18 years, saying it has been an effective marketing platform to promote Vietnamese aquatic products to international consumers.

    A series of activities will also take place on the sidelines of the exhibition, including a cooking show, launches of new products and an aquaculture seminar.

    The annual event is held by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers until August 31.

    Seafood exports have contributed to 6-7 percent of Vietnam’s total export revenue and 4-5 percent of the country’s Gross Domestic Products over the past few years.

    Exports of seafood hit 3.5 billion USD during the first half of 2017, up 14.1 percent from the same period last year. 

    Vietnam is now on the world’s Top 5 seafood producers with products brought to 165 countries and territories worldwide.

    Vietnam kicks off first security expo in Hanoi

    The Homeland Security Expo 2017, the first of its kind in Vietnam, was launched at the International Centre for Exhibition in Hanoi on August 29 to introduce latest and modern technologies and products for defence and public security.

    The exhibition is hosted by the Ministry of Public Security’s General Department of Logistics and Engineering, featuring 80 booths showcasing technologies and products by 50 exhibitors from leading countries in security and defence, including Russia, the US, France, India, Singapore, the Republic of Korea, and more.

    On display are personal protective equipment and safety wear, communication systems, detectors, surveillance and tracking systems, equipment and technology for maritime and salvage management, among others.

    In his opening remarks, the department’s director Lt Gen Le Van Minh said the event is an opportunity for security and military officers to get updates on latest security technologies and meet with the world’s leading experts in the field.

    It is also a platform to enhance international cooperation, experience exchange and technological transfer between firms from Vietnam and overseas.

    The event will run through August 30.

    Poultry firm imports top-notch chickens

    Hoa Phat Poultry Company Limited has imported the first batch of Hy-Line Brown chicken breed, the world’s most balanced brown egg layer, from the UK-based Hy-Line International.

    According to the company, the cooperation between Hoa Phat Poultry and Hy-Line International, a world leader in poultry-layer genetics, will help step-by-step realise the target of Hoa Phat in the hi-tech poultry sector.

    A Hy-Line Brown chicken produces over 355 brown eggs over a period of 80 weeks, peaks well and begins laying early with opimum egg size. These traits combined with unrivaled feed efficiency, interior egg quality and classy livability give the Hy-Line Brown the perfect balance, which means more profit for the poultry producer.

    Ba Ria-Vung Tau takes action on delayed projects     

    The People’s Committee of Ba Ria-Vung Tau Province on Monday warned that certificates granted to delayed projects would likely be withdrawn if their investors fail to seek solutions to continue implementing them.

    The provincial Department of Planning and Investment said that currently there are four slow-moving projects that need to be revoked.

    These projects have been going on for three to seven years since the issue of investment certificates. Among the reasons for delay are that investors cannot finance the project, compensation and clearance are not complete, and detailed construction plans (at 1:500 scale) have not been approved.

    At the meeting, the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development also proposed handling 12 snail-paced eco-tourism projects, including 10 projects in Xuyen Moc District, one project in Tan Thanh District and one in Dat Do District.

    Nguyen Thanh Long, vice chairman of the provincial People’s Committee, requested the steering committee handling the province’s delayed projects, to review each project and discuss with investors of the 16 delayed projects (12 eco-tourism projects and four ones in other sectors) to find appropriate solutions. For those that have no viable solution, the investment certificates must be revoked, he added.

    According to the Department of Planning and Investment, in August, the People’s Committee revoked 17 investment projects, which include five foreign and 12 domestic ones and terminated the legal effect of 12 investment proposals as investors have delayed the implementation of these projects.

    As per the province’s plan on handling slow-moving projects from 2014 till date, it has terminated the operations of a total of 101 projects, including 23 projects in industrial zones, 39 housing projects, six industrial cluster projects and 33 other projects in industrial parks.

    After revoking these projects, agencies reviewed their construction and land-use planning. As per the review, land use purposes of 68 plots covering over 2,148ha were still maintained while those of four land plots covering an area of 100ha have been changed and one land area of 132ha has been assigned to the Department of Construction for review. 

    Vietnam to export dragon fruit to Australia

    Australia recently announced that it would permit the import of Vietnamese dragon fruit, making Vietnam the first country to get licence to export fresh dragon fruit to the country.

    Dragon fruit is one of Vietnam’s key export fruits, and saw export sales worth 895.7 million USD in 2016, accounting for 50.3 percent of the country’s total fresh fruit exports and 36.1 percent of its total fruit and vegetables exports.

    The Ministry of Industry and Trade said that in order to export goods to the Australian market, exporters must comply with stringent regulations.

    Specifically, businesses must have a valid licence issued by the Australian Department of Agriculture and Water Resources as well as a certificate of no-insect infection in the area of biological safety control by Vietnam’s Plant Protection Department (PPD).

    The fresh dragon fruit must originate, be produced and exported from Vietnam, in accordance with relevant conditions and programmes. 

    Before shipment, the fruits must undergo vapour heat treatment (VHT) for 40 minutes at 46.5 degrees Celsius at a minimum of 90 percent humidity at a processing facility approved by the PPD.

    The produce must be free of insects and diseases and must not have contaminant pollutants.

    Packaging must be done using synthetic materials or highly processed materials of plant origin; unprocessed materials such as straw cannot be used.

    The cartons or individual packages must be tied firmly and labelled with unique identifier to facilitate traceability.

    The treated products must be protected from harmful insects during and after packaging, while handling, storing and transporting between locations. Products that have been inspected and certified by a competent authority from Vietnam must be maintained in a safe condition so as not to be mixed with fruits exported to other markets, or for consumption in the domestic market.

    The PPD must inspect containers prior to loading and ensure there are no insects, and all vents must be covered to prevent insect infiltration.

    The Australian Department of Agriculture and Water Resources can review the import policy at any time after trade commences, or when pest and quarantine control rules in Vietnam are altered.

    Fresh dragon fruit is one of Vietnam’s priority agricultural commodities for the Australian market. Australia is also speeding up the approval process for other fresh fruits from Vietnam.

    Vietnam looks to increase exports to the Middle East

    A conference on Vietnam-Middle East business cooperation was held in Hanoi on August 28, drawing more than 40 leading Vietnamese export firms.

    Addressing the event, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Nguyen Xuan Cuong said that the Middle East is a huge market and a gateway to the European market.

    Vietnam eyes high hope for exporting many agricultural products, including rice, tea, coffee, peppercorn, rubber, cashew, fruit, aquaculture products, to the 400-million market of Middle East with 16 countries.

    However, Cuong pointed out that trade revenue between the two countries remains low due to difficulties in payment as the two sides mostly pay via intermediary banks in Dubai, China and Singapore or some European countries with high cost.

    Vo Quang Huy, Director of Huy Long An company, said that the Middle East is a promising market for Vietnamese bananas. He asked for more effective measures to support exporters in payment as well as building standards for goods exported to the market.

    Le Thanh, head of the Organic Agriculture Institute, asserted that vegetable export growth to the Middle East is high at 24 percent, which shows that this is a promising land for Vietnamese firms.

    However, logistics and payment have hindered Vietnam’s exports, he said, suggesting cooperation among firms.

    Meanwhile, Tran Van Tri, Chairman of the Vietnam-Iran Business Council, proposed that the Government should speed up banking cooperation to facilitate payment between the two countries, along with preferential policies in tax.

    Saleh Adibi, Iranian Ambassador in Vietnam, said that the major obstacle hindering bilateral cooperation is banking. He suggested that Vietnamese firms can use Iran’s banks as Iran is linking with many banks around the world.

    He said he hopes Vietnam and Iran will soon sign a preferential trade agreement.

    Statistics from the Ministry of Industry and Trade show that trade between Vietnam and Middle East countries reached 10.887 billion USD, a rise of over 100 percent from 2011. Vietnam exported 8,059 billion USD worth of goods to and imported 2.82 billion USD worth of goods from the market.

    Vietnam looks to increase exports to the Middle East

    A conference on Vietnam-Middle East business cooperation was held in Hanoi on August 28, drawing more than 40 leading Vietnamese export firms.

    Addressing the event, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Nguyen Xuan Cuong said that the Middle East is a huge market and a gateway to the European market.

    Vietnam eyes high hope for exporting many agricultural products, including rice, tea, coffee, peppercorn, rubber, cashew, fruit, aquaculture products, to the 400-million market of Middle East with 16 countries.

    However, Cuong pointed out that trade revenue between the two countries remains low due to difficulties in payment as the two sides mostly pay via intermediary banks in Dubai, China and Singapore or some European countries with high cost.

    Vo Quang Huy, Director of Huy Long An company, said that the Middle East is a promising market for Vietnamese bananas. He asked for more effective measures to support exporters in payment as well as building standards for goods exported to the market.

    Le Thanh, head of the Organic Agriculture Institute, asserted that vegetable export growth to the Middle East is high at 24 percent, which shows that this is a promising land for Vietnamese firms.

    However, logistics and payment have hindered Vietnam’s exports, he said, suggesting cooperation among firms.

    Meanwhile, Tran Van Tri, Chairman of the Vietnam-Iran Business Council, proposed that the Government should speed up banking cooperation to facilitate payment between the two countries, along with preferential policies in tax.

    Saleh Adibi, Iranian Ambassador in Vietnam, said that the major obstacle hindering bilateral cooperation is banking. He suggested that Vietnamese firms can use Iran’s banks as Iran is linking with many banks around the world.

    He said he hopes Vietnam and Iran will soon sign a preferential trade agreement.

    Statistics from the Ministry of Industry and Trade show that trade between Vietnam and Middle East countries reached 10.887 billion USD, a rise of over 100 percent from 2011. Vietnam exported 8,059 billion USD worth of goods to and imported 2.82 billion USD worth of goods from the market.

    70-million-USD MDF factory opens in Binh Phuoc

    VRG Dongwha JSC, on August 28, put into operation a 70 million USD medium-density fibreboard (MDF) plant in the southern province of Binh Phuoc. 

    The facility, the second phase of a project by the company, spans 6.4 hectares with an annual capacity of 180,000 cubic metres of MDF. 

    The entire project, with a total investment of 4.85 trillion VND (213.4 million USD), is now capable of producing 480,000 cubic metres of MDF per year.

    VRG Dongwha is a joint venture between the Republic of Korea’s Dongwha Group, Asia’s biggest MDF manufacturer, and the Vietnam Rubber Industry Group.

    Firm willing to pull golf course to facilitate Tan Son Nhat expansion

    The developer of a golf course adjacent to Tan Son Nhat International Airport in Ho Chi Minh City is willing to scrap its investment in exchange for compensation for the expansion of the overloaded aerodrome.

    Long Bien JSC (Lobico) is ready to transfer back the land the golf course is currently situated on at the government’s request, so long as it receives compensation for the huge investment earmarked for the project, company deputy chairman Tran Van Tinh has said.

    Tinh currently owns a 48.5% stake in Lobico, the owner of the 36-hole Tan Son Nhat Golf Course.

    The facility is said to occupy a huge space that should otherwise have been allocated to the overloaded Tan Son Nhat International Airport which is to be expanded. The airport currently receives 32 million passengers per annum, compared to its design capacity of 25 million.

    “If the government wants to revoke [our] project to serve eco-social development or national defense, any business should comply to the request, and we will do the same with the Tan Son Nhat Golf Course,” Tinh told Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper.

    Even though Lobico has channeled investment worth trillions of dong into the project, Tinh said that he would not be upset if the golf course was withdrawn. (VND1 trillion = US$44.05 million)

    “I do not feel anything abnormal,” he said.

    “Businesses have to be ready to take risks, especially policy risks, on every investment and this is the case here.”

    Tinh added that some of the Lobico shareholders may be sad, “but things will be alright.”

    The Lobico deputy chairman claimed that he had nothing to worry about as the golf course has been developed in accordance with the law.

    “The project was approved by the government before implementation, so it is certain that [we] will be properly compensated if it is revoked,” he said.

    Tinh said the compensation may not cover ‘immeasurable damages,' such as the time spent on developing the golf course and its opportunity costs, but the company would have to accept it, because “the interest of society must be ahead of the investor.”

    Tinh rejected rumors that the company had insisted that the government compensate them by offering another piece of land to relocate the golf course to.

    “We will never make such a request,” he underlined.

    “The compensation will proceed as per the law.

    “The government shall decide the form of compensation, but in any case, the rights and interests of the developer must be ensured.”

    The golf course sits on an enormous 157-hectare piece of military land, with one side separated by a single row of trees from one of Tan Son Nhat’s runways.

    Tinh denied allegations that there were group interests in the development of the golf course.

    “In 2005, some defense ministry officials realized during their overseas business trips that in countries such as Singapore, Thailand and India, there are golf courses next to local airports, which attracted many tourists,” he recalled.

    “At that time, there was unused land next to the airport, so the defense ministry decided to make use of that space to host a golf course for multiple purposes: not wasting the land, but creating a new source of revenue and attracting foreign tourists.”

    Tinh said the golf course project was initially developed by a military-run company, the Truong An Development and Investment construction JSC.

    “However, the company later proved to be financially incapable of continuing the project, prompting the defense ministry to call for private shareholders,” Tinh said, explaining how Lobico became the main developer of the golf course.

    He said Lobico had invested more than VND3 trillion (US$132.16 million) in the project, which is now operating at a loss.

    “The golf course is only crowded at weekends, and used mostly by foreign players,” he said, adding that accumulated losses are estimated at more than VND400 billion (US$17.62 million).

    Petrolimex sell-off to come in 2018

    Vietnam National Petroleum Group, the country’s state-owned biggest petroleum distributor, will see a large state divestment in 2018, paving the way for foreign investors to access the profitable business.

    Vietnam National Petroleum Group (Petrolimex) will see a 24.9% stake, held by the state, sold off in 2018 under the Decision No.1232/QD-TTg, signed by Deputy Prime Minister Vuong Dinh Hue on August 17. 

    The divestment will reduce the state’s holdings in the firm to 53.7% from the current 78.6%.

    “The government’s determined policy for boosting the equitisation of state-owned enterprises (SOEs) and state divestment is anticipated to increase the waves of M&A transactions involving foreign investors in a variety of sectors.  Those opportunities in the oil and gas sector and some other sectors are being assessed with genuine and strong interests,” Vo Ha Duyen, lawyer and partner at VILAF law firm, told VIR.

    “SOE equitisation-related regulations give more flexibility concerning foreign ownership restrictions than Vietnam’s commitments to the World Trade Organization (WTO).  Therefore, equitisation can create opportunities for foreign investors to participate in certain sectors which would not otherwise be open to foreign investment such as distribution of petrol, lubricants, and pharmaceuticals,” she added.

    In addition to the favourable market conditions, Petrolimex – in possession of sizeable assets and positive business results following its restructuring – will be a magnet to any multi-national corporation that wants to penetrate the Vietnamese petroleum market.

    The petroleum giant currently holds almost 50% of the petroleum retail market, with over 50% of its products directly sold to consumers and around 20% directly sold to industrial customers.

    This extensive distribution network and over 50 years of experience in petroleum trading has given the firm a market advantage.

    As of December 31, 2016, Petrolimex’s total assets reached VND54.2 trillion (US$2.46 billion).

    Its consolidated net revenue last year was VND123 trillion (US$5.59 billion), and pre-tax profits reached VND6.3 trillion (US$286.36 million), up 68% on-year.

    Petrolimex previously made smaller divestments. In mid-2016, Japan’s JX Nippon Oil & Energy acquired an 8% stake in the Vietnamese firm, becoming its foreign strategic partner.

    With the new divestment roadmap, the Japanese firm is likely to increase its stake in Petrolimex to tap into the profitable business.

    JX Nippon’s stake has already produced results after one year of investment in Petrolimex. The foreign strategic investor received a cash dividend of VND333.7 billion (US$15 million) for 2016.

    To date, Japanese oil giant Idemitsu Kosan Group and Kuwait Petroleum International (KPI), which received an investment certificate to form the joint-venture (JV) firm Idemitsu Petroleum Q8 Co., Ltd., are the first foreign participants to set up a wholly foreign-owned firm in the field. The JV will set up a domestic retail petrol station network.

    In addition, PV Oil – Petrolimex’s main rival – is also appealing to foreign investors. Earlier this year, as many as 30 potential investors met with representatives from PV Oil to discuss acquiring stake in the firm.

    PV Oil is seeking two or three strategic investors, and is slated to scrap its foreign ownership limit in the coming months.

    According to this firm’s CEO Cao Hoai Duong, PV Oil can only offer 52% of its shares to overseas shareholders at this stage.

    MoIT stake sale’s main lure: VEAM

    The Ministry of Industry and Trade has announced plans to divest from six firms under its management from now until 2020, most notably, in this year’s sell-off of Vietnam Engine and Agricultural Machinery Corporation stock.

    Last week, a list of six firms slated for partial and complete divestment was released by the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT), in line with Decision No.1232/ QD-TTg signed by Deputy Prime Minister Vuong Dinh Hue on August 17.

    This list includes industry giants such as seafood producer Seaprodex, oil retailer Petrolimex, textile firm Vinatex and steel group VNSteel.

    The level of withdrawals varies from firm to firm, as noted in the accompanying table. 

    Most notably, the ministry intends to sell its entire stake at Vinatex in one fell swoop next year, while dividing its sale at Vinaincon, VNSteel, and Vietnam Engine and Agricultural Machinery Corporation (VEAM) into two blocks.

    Among those listed, VEAM stood out as the only firm scheduled for immediate divestment this year, aiming to slash the MoIT’s ownership to zero by 2020.

    Established in 1990, VEAM is a major state-owned enterprise with 22 subsidiaries and 7,000 employees. The firm produces engines and agricultural machinery, including tractors and other water and inland transportation equipment. 

    It conducted its initial public offering (IPO) last August, raising VND2.1 trillion (US$92.3 million) in capital from 240 investors. This transaction went down in history as Vietnam’s biggest listing of 2016, with 30 million shares purchased by foreign investors.

    Besides its divestment plans, VEAM is also scheduled to debut on the stock exchange in the third quarter of 2017, allowing investors to trade their shares publicly. 

    When listed, VEAM is likely to become the 21st-largest public company, with 12.6% of free-float shares for foreign ownership. So far, the firm is yet to find a strategic investor, even after holding four auctions post-IPO last year.

    In 2016, VEAM reported VND2.3 trillion (US$101 million) in revenue for the parent company, up 26% from 2015. Its profit stood at VND3.8 trillion (US$167 million), an increase of 13.4% year-on-year. 

    It is noteworthy that VEAM’s profit is bigger than its revenue, thanks to its holdings at various automobile firms in Vietnam. These affiliated companies have brought massive dividends throughout the years to the agricultural giant.

    Specifically, VEAM currently holds a 30% stake in Honda Vietnam, 25% in Ford Vietnam, and 20% in Toyota Vietnam. 

    According to researchers at Saigon Securities Incorporation (SSI), without massive financial earnings from these profitable firms, VEAM’s business results in 2016 would have been even.

    Analysts believed that VEAM’s dependence on lucrative dividend earnings, instead of its core agricultural business, may spell trouble for the firm in the long run. This can be a major concern for potential investors as they consider buying the MoIT’s stake at VEAM.

    “Among VEAM’s 12 subsidiaries, only five reported profits last year, while three were roughly flat and four posted losses. It could be problematic for the parent company in the long term if no serious restructuring is done,” said Lien Le, head of institutional research at Maybank Kim Eng Securities.

    This is more urgent as VEAM’s financial earnings from automobile firms can diminish in the coming years as these companies face stiff competition from cheaper imported cars – automobiles manufactured in the ASEAN region will enjoy zero tariffs in Vietnam from 2018 onwards.

    Nguyen Ngoc Thach, head of the Retail Customer Department at SSI’s headquarters, noted that the use of machinery in agricultural production in Vietnam is expected to rise from 1.6HP to 3.2HP per hectare in 2020.

    VEAM then, stands a good chance to raise profits from its main business of agricultural machine production in the future, minimising its over-reliance on dividend earnings.

    “Despite obvious opportunities for market expansion, VEAM still needs to ward off strong competitors China and Japan, so its growth prospects may be average,” said Thach. He expects VEAM’s share price to stabilise in the next three years.

    Further details of the MoIT’s divestments at VEAM and five other firms will be updated very soon, subject to approval from the prime minister.

    Hau Giang People’s Committee hosts trade investment forum

    The Hau Giang Province People’s Committee will host a trade and investment forum as part of activities to further strengthen the business bond between the province and foreign multinationals.

    The one day event will transpire September 15 and provide a platform for local domestic sector companies to forge new opportunities within the international foreign trade sector Huynh Thanh Hoang told at a press conference on Monday, August 28.

    Mr Hoang, who is vice director of the Provincial Department of Industry and Trade, told reporters that the forum would afford local participants the opportunity to engage with high-ranking government officials, policy-shapers and potential commercial partners.

    Attendees would be briefed on the economic and political prospects for the Province, followed by plenary sessions focused on the key economic segments that the Committee wishes to promote.

    He went on to say, Hau Giang Province is ready and open for business and we are very excited about it.

    Seafood exports forecast to be US$8 billion by the year end: VASEP

    Seafood exports in 2017 could reach US$8 billion for the whole year, up 14% over 2016, as forecast by the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP).

    Seafood exports for the rest of the year are forecast to be positive but there are still challenges to the set target.

    At a conference held in Ho Chi Minh City on Monday, VASEP said that the above figure was based on export forecasts for a number of key commodities, including shrimp, tra fish, tuna, squid and octopus.

    However, the association also raised concerns that despite positive export growth in the first seven months of 2017, the fisheries sector will need to be cautious in the last few months of the year as seafood exports will continue to face challenges, such as production uncertainty, input quality and barriers from import markets.

    According to Truong Dinh Hoe, VASEP General Secretary, after a slight growth of 5% in the first quarter of 2017, mainly thanks to seafood products such as tuna, squid and sea fishes, Vietnam’s seafood exports will continue to witness positive growth in the second quarter with a stronger increase boosted by exports of all major products.

    With export growth of over 10% in the second quarter, and continuing to grow at 30% in July, the country’s total seafood export value in the first seven months this year reached US$4.4 billion, an increase of 17.3% over the same period last year.

    Although forecasts suggest that export figures will continue to increase for the rest of the year, experts warn that, along with high antidumping duties, the US catfish inspection programme and competitive shrimp price pressure in export markets will be the difficulties faced by domestic fisheries sector that require concerted efforts to overcome in order to achieve the set target.

    Experts also suggested that businesses continuously update information and consumption needs in order to have appropriate export plans and flexible adaptations to market fluctuations.

    At the conference, VASEP also defined specific guidance regarding its focused programmes in the time ahead, such as policy advocacy activities to overcome trade barriers, brand developing activities for Vietnamese tra fish, international cooperation and promotion of domestic sales channels, in addition to facilitating value added products.

    Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Vu Van Tam emphasised the role of his ministry in assisting seafood enterprises. According to Deputy Minister Tam, the ministry is carrying out several tasks to concretise the Government’s policy on building a national brand for shrimp and tra fish; meanwhile, the ministry also consults with experts about the amendment of the Fisheries Law to better match reality in the new context.

    South Korea the largest foreign investor in Vietnam

    South Korean investments in Vietnam this year surpassed $6.02 billion in August, accounting for 26 per cent of all foreign direct investment (FDI), making it the largest foreign investor in the country, according to the Foreign Investment Agency (FIA) under the Ministry of Planning and Investment.

    Japan ranked second, with $5.74 billion in investment, then Singapore with $3.92 billion.

    In the first eight months of 2017, total FDI capital reached $23.4 billion, an increase of 45 per cent year-on-year.

    As at August 20, projects had disbursed $10.3 billion this year, up 5 per cent year-on-year.

    Exports by the foreign-invested stood at nearly $96 billion, accounting for 72 per cent of total export turnover. Imports by the foreign-invested sector, meanwhile, reached more than $81 billion, accounting for 60 per cent of the total. Both exports and imports increased by about 15 per cent year-on-year.

    Foreign investors have invested in 18 sectors in the country, with the processing and manufacturing sector attracting the most attention, with total registered capital of $11.69 billion, or 50 per cent.

    Foreign investment went to 58 cities and provinces in the period. Ho Chi Minh City attracted the most, with $3.3 billion, accounting for 14 per cent. North-central Thanh Hoa province followed, with $3.06 billion, then northern Bac Ninh province with $3.05 billion.

    South Korean investment in Vietnam had surpassed $50 billion by the end of 2016, making it the largest foreign investor in the country to date, according to the Korean Trade Investment Promotion Agency (KOTRA).

    Many South Korean companies have arrived in Vietnam in recent times to seize opportunities in its developing economy.

    Bilateral trade between Vietnam and South Korea is expected to reach $70 billion by 2020 due to the Vietnam-South Korea Free Trade Agreement (VKFTA), which came into effect a year ago. 

    From this year, 18 items will be subject to tariff reductions under the agreement, with trade value between the two countries to increase and become more balanced as a result.

    According to Mr. Le An Hai, Deputy Head of the Ministry of Industry and Trade’s Asian Market Department, based upon the commitments made in the VKFTA, in the years to come the two countries will improve both their economic and political relationship.

    Vietnam is to focus on introducing preferential mechanisms for South Korea while South Korea will continue to open up its market to Vietnamese goods, according to Mr. Hai.


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  • 08/30/17--02:26: Article 2
  • Company caught burying untreated waste without permit in Ho Chi Minh City

    The general director of the firm has claimed that it was ‘a mistake’ by his employees

    ​Company caught burying untreated waste without permit in Ho Chi Minh City 

    The solid waste treatment plant operated by Tam Sinh Nghia Investment Development JSC in Cu Chi District, Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Tuoi Tre

    A company in Ho Chi Minh City has raised serious concerns after being caught burying a large amount of untreated garbage without permission from authorities.

    A recent probe by Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper has revealed that Tam Sinh Nghia Investment Development JSC has been burying solid waste in an area within the Phuoc Hiep waste treatment complex in Cu Chi District, about 100 meters away from the company’s headquarters.

    The firm was tasked with the incineration and recycling of the city’s rubbish at US$20 per metric ton, but had no authority to bury waste.

    The clandestine activity often began late in the evening and ended the next morning.

    ​Company caught burying untreated waste without permit in Ho Chi Minh City 

    Untreated plastic waste is spotted in the soil of land belonging to the project of the city’s Management Board for Solid Waste Treatment Complexes (MBS).

    At the burial site, several two to three meter deep holes were dug up before trucks took turns dumping the mostly household trash.

    The daily operation concluded once the soil was back-filled into the garbage holes.

    The location belongs to a project by the Management Board for Solid Waste Treatment Complexes (MBS) under the municipal Department of Natural Resources and Environment.

    Tam Sinh Nghia trucks were allowed access to the area after MBS put the company in charge of filling the site with fertilizer and mulch, where trees were expected to be planted in the future.

    Speaking with Tuoi Tre, Ngo Thanh Duc, deputy head of MBS, said that the process had been supervised around the clock, and that there was no evidence that Tam Sinh Nghia had buried trash in the area.

    Duc refused to make further comment after reporters said that they had proof of a secret waste-burying operation.

    The evidence reveals that Tam Sinh Nghia has not been filling the land with mulch as claimed, with the surface of the soil full of plastic bottles, plastic bags, and other kinds of household waste.

    The air around the area also reeks unbearably.

    ​Company caught burying untreated waste without permit in Ho Chi Minh City 

    Untreated plastic waste is spotted in the soil

    Journalists discovered that Tam Sinh Nghia received up to 1,300 metric tons of garbage every day for incineration and the production of compost.

    The company is paid between $24,000 and $26,000 for this daily task.

    However, the firm has not been able to treat all of the trash it receives, resulting in large piles of rubbish on its premises.

    Following a report from Tuoi Tre, Truong Trung Kien, head of the Urban Committee under the municipal People’s Council, investigated the situation on Tuesday afternoon.

    Just a mistake

    During an interview with Tuoi Tre on Tuesday, Ngo Xuan Tiec, general director of Tam Sinh Nghia JSC, confirmed that they were burying mulch at the site.

    The material is not compost, but is effective in improving the soil, Tiec said, adding that the firm had sold this type of mulch to many farmers.

    Mulch is produced from rubbish after undergoing several processes including classification, deodorization, and recycling, the general director elaborated.

    Regarding the discovery of the journalists, he admitted that there was untreated trash among the mulch, adding that he had worked with his employees to clarify the issue.

    “It could have been a mistake. Our employees, who could have been exhausted from working night shifts, might have mistakenly loaded the untreated garbage instead of mulch onto their trucks,” Tiec explained.


    ​Company caught burying untreated waste without permit in Ho Chi Minh City
    Ngo Xuan Tiec, general director of Tam Sinh Nghia JSC, explains the situation on August 29, 2017.

    Regarding responsibility, Tiec asserted that he, as leader, should be blamed for the mistakes of his employees.About 3,000 metric tons of mulch has been used to fill the land in question within the MBS project, he added.

    However, he said that MBS should also be held responsible for letting trucks carrying untreated waste into the burial site.

    “The final decision will depend on the authorities. I feel ashamed given the situation has been reported by the media,” Tiec stated.

    With regard to the piles of rubbish on the company’s premises, he said that the material was non-classified mulch pending further treatment.

    The People’s Committee has approved the construction of a VND5trillion ($221.9 million) waste-to-energy factory at Tam Sinh Nghia.

    Upon its completion in about two years, this type of basic mulch will be the input material for the technology, Tiec said.

    ​Company caught burying untreated waste without permit in Ho Chi Minh City
    Untreated plastic waste is spotted in the soil


    ​Company caught burying untreated waste without permit in Ho Chi Minh City
    Untreated plastic waste is spotted in the soil.

    By Tuoi Tre News

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  • 08/30/17--02:41: Article 1
  • Huge steel projects in Ha Tinh are scrapped

    Ha Tinh’s people once put high hopes on many huge steel projects in their province but most of them have been closed. 

     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, steel project, Ha Tinh, VSA

    In 2007, the Vung Ang Economic Zone’s management board gave an investment certificate to the Ha Tinh Iron & Steel JSC, which planned to develop the Van Loi steel complex with capacity of 250,000 tons in the first phase and VND500,000 tons in the second phase.

    The project was expected to cover an area of 25 hectares, wirh huge registered capital of VND1.7 trillion.

    The steel complex planned to churn out commercial steel billets on a trial basis in August 2010. However, things did not go as planned.

    Hundreds of billions of dong worth of imported equipment have been left idle in the
    open air since 2010. In 2016, Vung Ang EZ revoked the project.

    Ha Tinh’s people once put high hopes on many huge steel projects in their province but most of them have been closed.

    The death of the project hurt several commercial banks. VND750 billion disbursed for the project became bad debt and creditors could only get back the scrap left in the open air for years.

    The failure of the project also led to the death of a 500,000 ton per annum iron sorting factory. The VND158 billion factory was set up to provide materials to the steel complex. However, the exploited materials were not sold.

    On August 7, Ha Tinh provincial authorities revoked the license granted to the mining project. Nine years after receiving the license for mining iron in Son Tho commune, the investor did not organize mineral exploitation and did not pay money for granting of the rights for mineral exploitation.

    Ha Tinh’s people are proud of Thach Khe iron ore mine, which is believed to be the biggest mine in South East Asia. However, the Thach Khe $1 billion mining project has had troubles since the beginning.

    Vinacomin, Vietnam’s largest mineral exploitation group, in late 2016 proposed to resume tmining at Thach Khe. The plan is supported by MOIT (the Ministry of Industry and Trade), but is facing  opposition from MPI (Ministry of Planning and Investment).

    MPI cited many reasons to argue that it would be better not to continue the mining, including the immeasurable consequences to the environment and the problems in investors’ financial capability.

    The ministry also pointed out that no one can be sure about the consumption of ore. Formosa, the largest steel complex in the central region, doesn’t intend to buy iron ore from Thach Khe.

    The government has not made a final decision on the project. However, experts say they don’t think the project resumption has high feasibility.

    M. Ha, VNN

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  • 08/30/17--03:13: Article 0
  •  Fisherman cast out Decree 67 concerns

    Interest rates are high whilst lending procedures complicated. Port infrastructure is degrading. Fishing vessels that were new just a few years ago are now broken and unusable.

     Fisherman cast out Decree 67 concerns, social news, vietnamnet bridge, english news, Vietnam news, news Vietnam, vietnamnet news, Vietnam net news, Vietnam latest news, vn news, Vietnam breaking news

    These are just a few of the problems highlighted yesterday at a conference on Decree 67 in Da Nang City. Issued in 2014, Decree 67 aims to support fishermen and fisheries development by providing financial support for fishermen to purchase or build larger boats. 

    With easier access to credit, the thinking went, fishermen could expand their capacity and their incomes. But as the discussion at the conference made clear, the decree has hardly been a panacea for the country’s fishermen.  

    Lai Xuan Mon, president of Viet Nam Farmers’ Association said that the lending procedure remains complicated. High interest rates made it difficult for fishermen to borrow loans or made them unwilling to borrow altogether.

    Nguyen Van Trung, head of the Directorate of Fisheries’ Aquaculture Exploitation Unit said that fishing vessels had grown in quantity, size and capacity while fishing infrastructure such as ports and anchor areas had not. 

    A limited maintenance budget was the reason for degrading infrastructure. In 2015, State budget investment increased by 30.5 per cent compared to 2014. But in 2016 this figure plunged by 22.5 per cent compared to the previous year.

    Fishermen are still confused about selecting boat building facilities. Design consultation, boat construction supervision and shipping registers lack resources and capacity.

    And those who have taken advantage of Decree 67 to obtain new boats have not always found it easy to maintain them. 

    Steel-hulled fishing vessels in Binh Dinh, Quang Nam, Thanh Hoa, Ninh Thuan provinces are rusty and have broken engines and equipment, causing damage to fishermen.

    There are currently 40 broken steel-hulled fishing vessels which were newly built following Decree 67. The highest number of broken vessels is in Binh Dinhand Thanh Hoa provinces (19 and 18 boats respectively).

    Fisherman Dinh Cong Khanh, owner of BĐ99086TS fishing vessel built at Nam Trieu Ltd Company said that broken steel-hulled vessels left him with more than VNĐ1.3 billion (US$56,500) in debt.

    “We only expect ship-building enterprises to repair the boats and compensate us because this is their failure,” he said, adding that he wishes authorised agencies would impose strict penalties on ship-building companies for such violations.

    Fisherman Lê Văn Sang from central Đà Nẵng City said that steel-hulled fishing vessels were not designed to be operated with the relevant practical requirement.


    A representative of Binh DinhProvince’s Department of Agriculture and Rural Development proposed that the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) soon submit amendments and supplements to Decree 67. 

    Accordingly, the ministry needs to cooperate with People’s Committees of coastal provinces and cities to review qualified ship building facilities and remove unqualified facilities.

    This representative also proposed supportive mechanisms to train captains and chief engineers and offer financial assistance for boat owners to hire supervising consultants during new steel-hulled boat construction.

    According to the MARD’s proposals to amend the decree, the State budget will prioritise synchronised investment in some categories such as ports, breakwater, and waste liquid treatment systems.

    The State budget will support 100 per cent of investment in infrastructure for concentrated aquatic product breeding areas and concentrated breeding production areas.

    Nguyen Van Trung, head of the Directorate of Fisheries’ Aquaculture Exploitation Unit said that the policy to support newly constructing and upgrading fishing vessels should be switched from loan credit to one-time support.

    The decree also proposes increasing the maximum loan limit for a sea journey and adding risk management mechanisms for credit institutions.

    For boats with capacity of more than 250CV, the ministry proposes 70 per cent of insurance support for the boat body and fishermen and 100 per cent support for training captains, chief engineers and fishermen of boats having capacity of more than 400 CV. 


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  • 08/31/17--02:53: Article 0

    Asia – emerging market for Vietnamese shrimp exports

     Asia – emerging market for Vietnamese shrimp exports, Vung Ang attracts investments after Formosa incident, Coal development plan announced, German bank considers loans for projects in HCM City

    The Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP) held a seminar on world shrimp demand and Vietnam’s supply capacity in Ho Chi Minh City on August 29.

    At the function, Carson Blake Roper, an expert on the EU market, cited a UN report on global urbanisation prospects as saying most of the world’s densely populated countries will be in Asia, which is expected to see a rapid expansion of the middle class and free trade agreements.

    The region will also have higher demand for high-protein food, including shrimp and fish, he added.

    Le Van Quang, head of Minh Phu Group boards of directors, forecast shrimp consumption in Asia to surge, particularly in China, despite its shrimp productivity having shrunk.

    According to VASEP statistics, in the first seven months of this year, Vietnamese shrimp exports to China, Japan and the Republic of Korea respectively increased 40, 35.2 and 27.4 percent from the same period last year.

    Experts said Vietnamese exporters need specific strategies for each market.

    Roper advised these firms to build supply chains and refrigeration systems in Asian target markets, adding that improved infrastructure will help boost their competitiveness.-VNA

    LG supplier denied import tax refund

    On August 18, the Ministry of Finance (MoF) issued Official Dispatch No.11080/BTC-TCHQ to answer a motion by Serveone Vietnam Co., Ltd. (SOVN) on the import tax reimbursement process for the materials the company imports for LG Electronics Vietnam’s (LGE) production of export products.

    Article 9(1d) of Law on Export and Import Duties No.107/2016/QH13 states that, “Taxpayers shall have their tax payments reimbursed” after “goods serving as raw materials or supplies imported for the production of export goods for which import tax has been paid.”

    Article 36(3) of Government Decree No.134/2016/ND-CP on guidelines on the Law on Export and Import Duties states that the criteria for eligibility for the tax refund are the following:

    The manufacturer of exported goods has a factory where the goods in question are manufactured in Vietnam. Additionally, the manufacturer owns or has the right to use machinery and equipment at a factory suitable for the raw materials, supplies, and component products imported for manufacturing;

    The value or quantity of imported raw materials, supplies, and components after which import duties are refunded is the actual value or quantity of raw materials, supplies, and components used for the manufacturing of the exported products; The exported products are declared as domestic exports; The manufacturer directly imports goods and exports the products or authorises another entity to do so.

    MoF concluded that SOVN does not meet any of the outlined criteria and is therefore not eligible for reimbursement.

    SOVN is a 100 per cent South Korean-invested company, a subsidiary of Serveone Co., Ltd. (a member of LG Corporation), which was formed as a satellite company to support LG’s production in the northern port city of Haiphong. SOVN acts as the procurement agency for LGE, importing materials and selling only to LGE at a price that does not include import tax.

    Based on this, SOVN saw no difference between its business with LGE and a normal export producer eligible for import tax reimbursement, as stated in Article 19 of the Law on Export and Import Duties. On July 18, SOVN sent Official Dispatch No.18072017/SOVN to the Government Office to request the PM’s consideration and inquire about the reimbursement process, which was later relayed to MoF.

    In the dispatch, SOVN cited MoF’s Official Dispatch No.16224/BTC-TCHQ dated November 7, 2014 addressing New Viet Dairy JSC, a supplier of Vinamilk. New Viet Dairy is also a company that imports goods to then sell them to Vinamilk for export production at prices that do not include import tax. In this case, MoF concluded that New Viet Dairy was eligible for the tax reimbursement and instructed the company to finish submitting the tax refund documents.

    In 2015, LG Electronics opened an 800,000-square-metre manufacturing complex in Haiphong, with a total investment sum of $1.5 billion to be disbursed between 2015 and 2028. This complex has helped Vietnam to become one of the largest electronics export hubs in the world, with 70 per cent of the complex’s products exported to 35 countries worldwide in the next five years.

    However, the partnership with LGE is not all smooth sailing, as earlier this year, the General Department of Vietnam Customs has requested LGE to pay tax arrears and an additional fine of VND8.1 billion ($356,341) in total.

    Legion of unexpected bad debts sends Vinawaco reeling

    Vietnam Waterway Construction Corporation (Vinawaco) is currently in hot water due to continuous revelations of enormous losses and debts from before its equitisation.

    Vinawaco has just sent two urgent dispatches to the Ministry of Transport (MoT) and the Hoan Kiem District (Hanoi) Division of Civil Judgement Enforcement requesting to speed up the valuation of state capital at the moment of its equitisation (May 30, 2014) and delay the forced debt collection for two judgements pronounced by the Haiphong People’s Court in 2016 and the Ho Chi Minh City Peoples’s Court in 2004.

    “These two requests are actually linked together, since only when MoT determines the amount of state capital at the time of equitisation will we have a basis to pay the company’s liabilities in accordance with the law,” said Ngo Van Tuan, chairman of the board of Vinawaco.

    In particular, regarding the VND560 million ($24,634) debt to Minh Duong Company, according to the judgement of the Haiphong People’s Court in 2016 (Case No.18/KDTM-PT), Tuan said Vinawaco is prepared to pay the amount to a temporary holding account appointed by the court, but asked to wait until the company completes the second valuation of state capital and finishes the handover from state-owned enterprise to joint stock company.

    Meanwhile, regarding the VND7 billion ($307,930) debt pronounced by the Ho Cho Minh City People’s Court in 2004 (Case No.284/CNTT-TT), Vinawaco argued that the company is not accountable to pay since this debt was never mentioned when MoT approved the company’s value for equitisation. Furthermore, this debt belonged to No.2 Waterway Dredging Company, a special accounting unit with its own legal status in which Vinawaco is only a shareholder with 20 per cent of the chartered capital.

    According to Vinawaco’s leader, the constant revelation of debts and losses from the previous management period is becoming a nightmare. Most recently, a 22-year-old debt of VND53 billion ($2.3 million) from Vietcombank was unearthed in September 2016, after Vinawaco received information on bad debts at Vietcombank amounting to VND12.6 trillion ($554.2 million).

    “The revelation that Vinawaco has bad debts at Vietcombank damaged the company’s reputation and business plan, especially in accessing credit and applying for performance and payment guarantees,” Tuan said.

    Vinawaco explained that according to documents provided by Vietcombank, this debt is the arrears from when the corporation received handover for three cargo ships in 1995.

    However, Vinawaco also affirmed that the company performed debt reduction accounting in 2005 and has not received any debt reconciliation records from its Ho Chi Minh City branch, thus there is no payable to Vietcombank in Vinawaco’s business valuation records for equitisation published by MoT.

    Aside from the sudden revelation of the debt to Vietcombank, in just three years since equtisation, Vinawaco has discovered at least 14 losses and debts totalling at VND137 billion ($6 million).

    Most of these debts and losses were confirmed by independent accounting firm BDO Audit Services Co., Ltd. for the period between receiving the first business license and business valuation (July 1, 2013 to May 29, 2014).

    The most notable of these debts and losses are payable to six clients, including VND66 billion ($2.9 million) in bad debts to banks and unfinished costs totalling at VND38.2 billion ($1.7 million) from 25 construction works prior to 2013 that do not correspond with revenues, which are irrecoverable and were rejected by the tax departments of Hanoi and Haiphong.

    “All of these liabilities were either missing in the business valuation record for equitisation or were listed at lower value than the actual payables. Since the state holds 30 per cent of Vinawaco’s charter capital, or VND109.8 billion ($4.8 million), the state capital will actually be negative VND30.3 billion ($1.3 million) after these debts are processed,” Tuan said.

    It is worth mentioning that since 2016, Vinawaco has more than once requested MoT to promptly revaluate state capital in the company at the time of equitisation, but so far, three years after equitisation, the revaluation has yet to be completed.

    Previously, in November 2016, in the instructions on handling the differences between the statistics of independent auditors and tax agencies, the Ministry of Finance has requested MoT to quickly determine the causes and responsible parties for these unusual differences.

    Vinawaco’s leader said that the company is in hot water as the Hoan Kiem District Division of Civil Judgement Enforcement has frozen its assets as well as requested Thanh Hoa Bypass BOT to cease payment for Vinawaco’s construction work in the project for foreclosure.

    “Our strategic partners, Infrastructure Development and Construction Co., Ltd. (currently holding 30 per cent of the chartered capital), and other big shareholders (holding 30 per cent of the chartered capital in total) wish MoT would promptly finish dealing with these financial problems before handing the right to represent ownership of state capital to State Capital Investment Corporation,” Tuan said.

    Vung Ang attracts investments after Formosa incident

    Businesses have successfully resumed operations in the Vung Ang Economic Zone in Ha Tinh Province after the Formosa pollution incident last year.

    Vung Ang Economic Zone was established in 2007 as Vietnam's steel and thermal power centre. It also had a deep water port. It attracted 118 out of 182 investment projects to the province’s economic and industrial zones including 69 domestic projects valued at VND48.3trn (USD2.1bn) and 49 foreign projects worth USD11.6bn.

    Some of the most notable projects are USD1.6bn Vung Ang 1 Thermal Power Plant and USD10.8bn Son Duong Port and Integrated Steel Mill Complex. These projects were intended to play an important role in the economic development and help ensure the country's steel and energy security. It has also contributed hugely to the provincial budget. In 2010, it contributed VND719bn (USD31.6m) and VND7.5trn five years later.

    However, after the Formosa pollution incident in June 2016 that killed tonnes of fish in the four central provinces, it has been difficult to attract investment and the development process of various projects slowed down.

    The authorities of Ha Tinh Province have issued orders to resume key projects and held dialogue with potential domestic investors while inviting foreign investors to Vung Ang. Ha Tinh’s authorities have also tried to provide skilled employees for businesses.

    In the first six months, Vung Ang Economic Zone management consulted 1,900 people about job opportunities, an increase of 18.75% compared to last year, and introduced 891 people to various projects, an increase of 64.08% on last year.

    Since early 2017, many projects resumed and five new projects with an investment of over VND1.6trn (USD70.4m) were given investment permits.

    Hundreds of people returned to their jobs as Human City Company continues the VND1.5trn five-star hotel and office building project. Several investors from Germany, South Korea, Japan and the US have visited and have researched harbour investment projects.

    Coal development plan announced

    Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc recently approved the adjustment and supplementation of the Việt Nam coal industry development plan until 2020, with a vision towards 2030.

    Accordingly, the coal sector will invest in constructing new coal sorting factories by 2020, namely Vàng Danh 2, Khe Than, Khe Chàm and Lép Mỹ, with annual capacity of two million tonnes, 2.5 million tonnes, seven million tonnes and four million tonnes, respectively.

    In addition, a centralised coal processing and warehouse centre will be built in the Hòn Gai region with capacity of some five million tonnes per year. The first module with annual capacity of 2.5 million tonnes in Hà Khánh Commune will be built and operation of the Nam Cầu Trắng coal sorting factory will be maintained until the end of 2018. The factory will then be moved to the location of the centralised coal processing and warehouse centre to be installed as the second module with capacity of 2.5 million tonnes per year.

    The categories of some small-scale projects in the mines of Vàng Danh, Năm Mẫu, Suối Lai and Cọc Sáu, as well as Đèo Nai, Lộ Trí and Mông Dưong, will also be amended, alongside the categories of a number of infrastructure investment projects that serve coal industry development.

    Earlier, under Decision No 403/QĐ-TTg, dated March 14, 2016, the PM ratified the adjustment of the development plan of Việt Nam’s coal industry until 2020 with a vision towards 2030, with the view to building the coal sector into a developed industry with high competitiveness and advanced technological standards in comparison with regional countries with regard to the steps of coal exploration, mining, sort out, processing and use, sufficiently satisfying domestic coal demand, especially for power generation.

    A report from the Việt Nam National Coal and Mineral Industries Group (Vinacomin) revealed that in the first half of this year, coal output was estimated at some 20.6 million tonnes while coal inventory was 9.3 million tonnes.

    The inventory is expected to be higher as the PM required Vinacomin to produce additional two million tonnes to contribute to the country’s GDP growth rate this year.

    Trúc Lâm Zen Quảng Nam tourism project needs new investors

    Quảng Nam Province authorities have called for new investors for the Trúc Lâm Zen Quảng Nam tourism project in Phú Ninh District after the initial investor – Ba Vàng Liability Limited Company – withdrew from the project due to financial difficulties.

    Vice chairman of the provincial People’s Committee Lê Văn Thanh said the project owner, which broke ground in the second quarter of 2016, could not allocate funds to continue the project, and they faced difficulties in planning, land clearance, land-use rights, environment protection, and infrastructure investment.

    Thanh said the project, which covers 200ha with total registered investment of VNĐ1 trillion (US$44.2 million), was scheduled to finish its first stage in the first quarter of 2017, but the investor failed to complete the progress.

    The vice chairman said the project was included in the provincial master plan as a combined eco-tourism centre in the province and central Việt Nam.

    Thus far, Quảng Nam has attracted 135 foreign direct investment projects with registered capital of nearly $5.5 billion.

    German bank considers loans for projects in HCM City

    Chairman of the Ho Chi Minh City People’s Committee Nguyen Thanh Phong has expressed his wish to continue receiving support from the KfW Development Bank of Germany in KfW-funded projects in the city. 

    During a working session in Ho Chi Minh City on August 29 with KfW Country Director Christian Haas, Phong said the city agrees with KfW’s proposal regarding an additional loan worth 200 million EUR for key routes of metro line No.2 and pledges to work closely with the Finance Ministry and KfW on the loan. 

    About a project on non-refundable aid for the metro line No.2 provided by the European Commission (EC), the municipal railway management board proposed a sum worth 6 million EUR. The EC will decide on the proposal soon. 

    Haas said KfW will also provide a 200 million EUR loan for a policy support project in Vietnam, which will be disbursed in 2017 and 2018, adding that the lender offers different incentives to such loan packages, which have been submitted to the Finance Ministry and the municipal Finance Department. 

    According to the municipal railway management board, the Prime Minister on August 28 signed a decision to extend the duration for the construction of the metro line No.2 until late 2020. 

    Regarding adjustments to the key routes of the metro line No.2, the municipal authorities sent documents to concerned departments and agencies and will report to the PM, it added.

    RoK group invests in renewable energy power in Quang Binh

    Dohwa Engineering Company Limited from the Republic of Korea (RoK) has began construction of a renewable energy power complex in Le Thuy district of the central coastal province of Quang Binh.

    The 55-million-USD project includes sub-projects of generating 550MW of solar power, 100MW of biomass power and building resort areas and water parks.

    In the first phase, the Korean group will construct a solar power plant with a capacity of 49.5MW.

    The project is expected to be put into operation at the end of 2018.

    678.4 million USD registered for solar power projects in Tay Ninh

    The People’s Committee of southwestern Tay Ninh province has proposed the Ministry of Industry and Trade add 15 solar power projects to the provincial planning scheme on electricity development from 2011-2015, with a vision through 2020.

    According to the committee, since June 2017, enterprises have asked for the province’s permissions to build 15 solar power plants, worth a total of 15.4 trillion VND (678.4 million USD). The projects have a designed combined capacity of 554 MW and will be implemented from 2017-2019.

    The Mien Trung Energy Joint Stock Company wants to invest over 1.3 trillion VND (57.2 million USD) in a 50 MW solar power plant on 60 hectares around Dau Tieng lake in Tan Chau district, while the Bien Hoa-Thanh Long One-Member Co. Ltd. plans to build a 30 MW solar power plant, worth 736 billion VND (32.38 million USD) on 37 hectares in Thanh Long commune, Chau Thanh district.

    The TTC Green Energy Company registered to use over 110 hectares in An Hoa commune, Trang Bang district, to build two solar power plants, with a combined capacity of 94 MW, worth over 2.43 trillion VND (106.92 million USD).

    The Asia Polytechnic Company also wants to use 120 hectares in Dau Tieng lake to build two solar power plants with a combined capacity of 60 MW, worth over 1.5 trillion VND (66 million USD).

    Nguyen Thanh Ngoc, Vice Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee, said Tay Ninh has huge potentials for solar power development, with the solar radiation reaching 5.1kWh/square metre per day, and the average sunshine duration of 2,400 hours per year. 

    The projects in extremely disadvantaged areas of Suoi Ngo commune in Tan Chau district, and Thanh Long commune in Chau Thanh district are eligible to enjoy investment incentives.

    Vietnam Airlines, Vietnam Post sign cooperation deal

    The Vietnam Airlines Corporation (Vietnam Airlines) and the Vietnam Post Corporation (Vietnam Post) on August 29 inked a cooperation pact to enhance their operation efficiency and mutual support for further development.

    Under the terms of the agreement, Vietnam Post will expand ticket agents of Vietnam Airlines at its transaction points and provide financial postal and deliver services for Vietnam Airlines.

    Meanwhile, Vietnam Airlines will serve as a provider of flight tickets and postal deliver services for Vietnam Post. Vietnam Airlines will help Vietnam Post introduce insurance services to its staff. The two sides will also coordinate to promote communications, brands and products on their channels and publications.  

    A contract on transporting goods by air was signed at the event, marking the first step to realise the freshly-inked agreement. 

    Deputy Minister of Information and Communications Nguyen Minh Hong highly appreciated the cooperation between Vietnam Airlines and Vietnam Post, hoping that the agreement will benefit both sides, contributing to the development of the two companies and the country as a whole. 

    Meanwhile, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Vietnam Airlines Pham Ngoc Minh said the deal is hoped to create mutual strengths of major businesses in Vietnam, thus enhancing economic effectiveness of state-run enterprises.

    Deputy PM hails EuroCham’s policy recommendations

    Deputy Prime Minister Vuong Dinh Hue said that policy recommendations in the EuroCham’s White Book, especially those pertaining to improving competitiveness and legal frameworks, have important value.

    The Vietnamese Government is determined to reform comprehensively the business environment and raise the national competitive edge, Hue stressed at his reception for Chairman of the European Chamber of Commerce in Vietnam (EuroCham) Jens Ruebbert in Hanoi on August 29.

    He spoke highly of EuroCham’s efforts in boosting the economic cooperation between Vietnam and the European Union (EU), as well as in publishing the White Book 2017 and its enthusiastic involvement in dialogues and policy-making consultancy with the Vietnamese Government.

    He showed his delight that the EuroCham’s members are upbeat and have belief in the business and investment environment in Vietnam, suggesting the agency to listen carefully to its members’ voice and promptly convey them to the Vietnamese Government for proper responsive adjustments. 

    EuroCham Chairman Jens Ruebbert said apart from publishing the White Book 2017, European businesses are interested in green and sustainable growth and continue building and publishing the Green Book in the coming time.

    EuroCham opinioned that the EU and Vietnam should soon finalize the signing work for the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) to be enforced and it will spare no effort to urge the EU to ratify the agreement “as soon as possible” for the interests of businesses and people, he said.

    At their meeting, host and guest discussed matters relating to Vietnam’s animal quarantine, regulations and standards on milk and milky production to be imported into Europe, import and export of pharmaceuticals, and tax levies on alcohols and wines, and more.

    HCM City’s CPI rises 0.5 percent in August

    The consumer price index (CPI) in the southern largest economic hub of Ho Chi Minh City in August rose 0.5 percent from the previous month and 3.63 percent over the same period last year, reported the municipal Statistics Office on August 29.

    According to the office, the prices of six out of 11 surveyed goods groups saw month-on-month increases, with the highest surge of 2.53 percent seen in transport.

    The prices of food and catering services went up 0.6 percent, while the prices of culture, entertainment and tourism services increased by 0.3 percent. 

    The prices of housing, electricity, water, fuel and construction materials rose 0.28 percent; education up 0.12 percent; other goods and services 0.04 percent from July. 

    According to the municipal Statistics Office, the prices of home appliance dropped 0.12 percent, and drinks and cigarettes fell by 0.08 percent. 

    The prices of medicine and healthcare services; telecommunication; garments, hats and footwear remained unchanged.

    In August, the gold price increased 0.08 percent, while that of US dollar dropped 0.11 percent month-on-month.

    Vietnam agricultural opportunities huge: Australian Minister

     Asia – emerging market for Vietnamese shrimp exports, Vung Ang attracts investments after Formosa incident, Coal development plan announced, German bank considers loans for projects in HCM City

    Agricultural cooperation opportunities, particularly increasing joint-venture investments between Vietnam and Australia are absolutely huge, Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources Anne Ruston told Fairfax Agricultural Media on August 28.

    The Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research has invested nearly 100 million AUD in over 170 collaborative research projects in Vietnam, ranging from livestock production to policy development, food safety, fisheries and forestry, she said.

    Vietnam is really open to Australia in agricultural investment, she underscored.

    Australian and Vietnamese two-way farm trade is currently worth 2.8 billion AUD with Australian agricultural exports to the growing market valued at about 1.5 billion AUD in 2016-2017, comprising 712 million AUD in grains, oilseeds and pulses and 242 million AUD in feeder and slaughter cattle exports.

    She expressed her delight at her trip in coincidence with the agreement between the two nations on shipping Australian cherries to Vietnam and Vietnamese dragon fruits to Australia.

    During her Vietnam visit, Ruston also attended the opening of the Thanh Nhan Abattoir in line with Australian standards. She described the facility as a “genuine example” of Australia’s commitment to mutual prosperity and the best possible outcomes, across the entire supply chain.

    Vietnam-Laos trade, tourism fair opens in Son La

    The Vietnam-Laos trade and tourism fair opened in Moc Chau district, the northern province of Son La on August 29 as part of the Moc Chau ethnic cultural festival in 2017.

    The week-long fair is billed as a significant political, economic and social event to promote people-to-people exchange and friendship between Son La province and Laos’s northern localities.

    It also creates opportunities for enterprises from both sides to seek business potential and partners as well as enlarge trade relations.

    The fair features over 140 booths displaying staples of domestic businesses and those from Houaphanh and Luang Prabang provinces. Particularly, two booths are arranged to popularise Son La’s culture and tourism products.

    In a bid to ensure safety for the fair, Moc Chau district has asked relevant authorities to promote security, prevent fires and explosion as well as increase environmental hygiene. 

    Moc Chau Plateau is the largest of its kind in the country, with an average altitude of 1,050 metres. The area has a temperate and fresh climate all year round with many beautiful spots and historical relics.

    Together with community tourism services, dairy cow farms and high-tech flower farms have been popular tourism hubs. Visitors can enjoy local delicacies like grilled stream fish and sticky rice cooked in bamboo tubes.

    Tourism sector focuses on quality development

    Tourism development in the coming time must focus on improving quality of products to obtain sustainable development and high competitiveness.

    Deputy Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Huynh Van Ai made the statement at a workshop in Hanoi on August 29.

    He said Vietnam’s tourism has seen strong growth in recent years with the reception of 10 million international tourists and over 62 million domestic holiday makers in 2016. The total revenue was estimated at over 400 trillion VND (17.6 billion USD).

    In 2017, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has set the target of attracting 13 million -15 million foreign visitors and posting year-on-year growth of 30-50 percent, he said.

    This is an ambitious goal, which requires maximum efforts of all sectors and people to turn the tourism sector into a spearhead economy.

    Head of the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism Nguyen Van Tuan said Vietnam served over 8.47 million overseas holidaymakers in the first eight months of 2017. 

    According to the evaluation of the World Economic Forum for 2015-2017, Vietnam’s tourism competitive edge increased eight places to rank 67 out of the 136 global economies.

    The country is moving to build itself as a safe and environmentally-friendly destination to lure more visitors both at home and abroad in the future.

    Strong marketing strategy needed to bolster tra fish exports

    A stronger marketing strategy coupled with substantial improvement in tra fish quality is needed to bolster the export of the fish as rough seas are still ahead for this product, experts said.

    Incorrect and defamatory information broadcast by foreign media hurt Vietnamese tra fish exports in the second quarter of the year, To Thi Tuong Lan, Deputy General Secretary of the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP), said.

    The smear campaign targeting Vietnamese tra fish resulted in a decrease in the shipments to many European countries in Q2. Exports to Spain experienced the sharpest fall of 67 percent in the period, she added.

    However, the situation has improved greatly in the third quarter, after a series of actions taken by domestic tra fish exporters. They set up websites in Spanish, English, Dutch and Italian to provide their target consumers with sufficient information on fish products, from cultivating to packaging processes, as well as nutrition ingredients in each product. Facebook, Twitter and Instagram also served as effective channels to persuade foreigners to choose Vietnamese tra fish.

    The moves help Vietnamese tra fish export gain a year-on-year increase of 8.2 percent to over 1 billion USD in the first eight months of the year. Shipments to the EU went up 23 percent, China 43 percent, Brazil 58 percent and the US 8.4 percent.

    Along with improving prestige for Vietnamese tra fish through the media, scientific articles and research papers published internationally also play a crucial role, Lan highlighted. 

    “There are only 21 articles about Vietnamese tra fish made public on foreign websites and media system while the number of those on the US cod is over 2,000”, she said.

    On the other hand, to ensure fish product quality, the Government has also issued Decree 55/2017/ND-CP regulating standards for tra fish farming, processing and exports.

    The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development also joined hands with the Ministry of Science and Technology to build a national catfish programme and pilot a high value production chain, which proved its success at the Vinh Hoan group in the Mekong Delta province of Dong Thap.-

    New collateral rules good for VN banks: Moody’s

    The speedy repossession of collateral is a credit-positive step for Vietnamese banks, which continue to grapple with legacy asset-quality issues caused by rapid credit growth and loose underwriting standards of the past decade, Moody’s Investors Services said in a note on August 28.

    Previously, because of rules and a cumbersome, lengthy legal process, it took banks and the Vietnam Asset Management Company (VAMC), a State-owned company that specialises in buying non-performing loans (NPLs) from banks, several years to repossess collateral.

    Because of lack of clarity in the country’s laws on collateral repossession, the VAMC’s cumulative NPL recovery rate has been low at around 20 percent.

    However, on August 15, the National Assembly enacted Resolution 42/2017/QH14 that permits banks and the VAMC to deal with NPLs by rapidly repossessing collateral in the event of borrower default.

    “The ability to repossess collateral is a critical next step in resolving NPLs, and we expect Resolution 42, which removes previous legal impediments, to help improve the rate of collateral repossession by banks and the VAMC,” Moody’s noted.

    The new regulation also rebalances the bargaining power of banks and the VAMC vis-à-vis borrowers.

    The effectiveness of the regulation is apparent in the VAMC’s first repossession of collateral for an NPL, which it completed in just one week after Resolution 42 took effect. On August 21, the VAMC repossessed Saigon One Tower in downtown HCM City.

    Investors kicked off the 5 trillion VND (220 million USD) Saigon One Tower project in 2007, and construction was slated to be complete by 2009. However, the project dragged on and construction came to a standstill in 2011 when 80 percent of the work was over. The investors had incurred around 7 trillion VND in debts.

    However, Moody’s noted, though banks can reduce their reported NPLs by offloading problem loans to the VAMC, the banks’ asset quality and profitability will improve only if and when the VAMC successfully sells the repossessed assets.

    Ratio of short-term funds for long-term loans to be revised

    The State Bank of Vietnam (SBV) is adjusting for the second time the roadmap to apply the maximum ratio of short-term funds used for medium- and long-term loans.

    According to a new draft circular to revise Circular No 36/2014/TT-NHNN on regulating prudential ratios for credit institutions and foreign bank branches, the maximum ratio of short-term funds used for medium- and long-term loans will be at 45 percent in 2018 and 40 percent in 2019.

    This is the second time the roadmap for the ratio is being revised.

    The first amendments to the circular were made in May last year with the ratio reduced from 60 percent in 2016 to 50 percent from January 1, 2017 to December 31, 2017. It will drop to 40 percent from the beginning of 2018.

    The SBV said the second adjustment is based on its assessment and scrutiny of the country’s economic indicators in the first months of 2017 as well as the Government’s macroeconomic regulation direction in the last months of the year.

    The new draft circular has been made public on the SBV’s website for recommendations.

    Earlier, during a regular Government meeting in May, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc issued a resolution in which he directed the SBV to consider and adjust expansion of the credit limit for medium- and long-term loans of credit institutions.

    The Government has also affirmed that the capital adequacy ratios applied for credit institutions and foreign bank branches that participate in programmes and projects under the Government’s instruction will be different from the average ratio. For example, for the lending programme on encouraging development of the hi-tech agriculture industry, Deputy Prime Minister Vuong Dinh Hue has asked the SBV to consider the proposal of commercial banks to not include medium- and long-term loans for the programme in the maximum ratio of short-term funds used for medium- and long-term loans mentioned above.

    According to the SBV, the medium and long-term capital source should be supplied via the securities channel, but in Vietnam, this source of capital is still mainly mobilised via the banking channel.

    The SBV’s statistics revealed that medium and long-term loans still account for 53-55 percent of the total loans, while medium- and long-term mobilised capital is only 13-15 percent of total mobilised capital.

    The SBV is concerned it is a risk for the banking industry if there is an imbalance in the ratio of short-term capital for medium- and long-term loans.

    Fish and seafood expo opens in HCM City

    A three day expo showcasing primarily fish and fishery products of Vietnam running Aug. 29-31 has opened as planned at the Saigon Exhibition and Convention Centre in Ho Chi Minh City.

    The Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers – the organizer of the event – said they hope that this year’s annual event will contribute to the growth of fish and fishery exports for businesses in these industries.

    On opening day, exhibitors from 15 countries showcased their wares is an estimated 350 pavilions.

    The event is where food professionals can source the latest trends and technologies in industries related to wild caught as well as farmed fish and seafood (whether freshwater or saltwater), says the Association.

    Moreover, attendees can join many related activities during this event including cooking demonstrations and numerous seminars related to the management of fisheries and aquaculture businesses.

    RoK group invests in renewable energy power in Quang Binh

    Dohwa Engineering Company Limited from the Republic of Korea (RoK) has began construction of a renewable energy power complex in Le Thuy district of the central coastal province of Quang Binh.

    The 55-million-USD project includes sub-projects of generating 550MW of solar power, 100MW of biomass power and building resort areas and water parks.

    In the first phase, the Korean group will construct a solar power plant with a capacity of 49.5MW.

    The project is expected to be put into operation at the end of 2018.

    Bac Ninh: 98 percent of locals access clean water

    Up to 98 percent of the population of the northern province of Bac Ninh has accessed clean water thanks to different sources to water supply projects.

    In rural areas, 36 water supply projects invested by state budget were put into operation. They have a total capacity of 57,000 cubic metre per day, providing clean water to over 50,480 households.

    Major effectively operating water works include those in Dinh Bang ward in Tu Son town, Trung Kien, Tan Lang communes in Luong Tai district, Tri Qua commune in Thuan Thanh, Quan Do village in Van Mon commune, Yen Phong district, and Song Ho commune in Thuan Thanh.

    Nguyen Dong Thap, Director of the provincial Centre for Clean Water and Environmental Sanitation, said that the province targets all rural residents to access clean water in 2017. 

    In the coming time, the province will continue calling on enterprises to engage in the effort.

    Young intellectuals praised for excellent performance in poor communes

    The Ministry of Home Affairs (MoHA) held a meeting on August 29 to review a pilot project selecting 600 excellent young intellectuals to work as vice chairs of the communal People’s Committees in 64 poor districts nationwide.

    MoHA Deputy Minister Nguyen Trong Thua said in early October 2012, his ministry finished selecting 580 young persons with university diplomas for the project, which has been carried out in 20 provinces.

    They have made active contributions to building clean and strong grassroots political systems and directly engaging in local socio-economic development tasks, he noted, adding that the project has also helped fine-tune mechanisms and policies on discovering, selecting and training young officials in Vietnam.

    Over the last five years, 351 project members have proactively suggested and directly carried out 834 socio-economic development programmes, plans and projects.

    Thua cited a Ngoc Linh ginseng farming model initiated by Vice Chairman of the Tra Linh communal People’s Committee Dinh Hong Thang in Quang Nam province, saying this model has helped local residents escape from poverty. Meanwhile, a plan on building clean water supply system implemented by Vice Chairman of the Ba Dien communal People’s Committee Nguyen Anh Khoa in Quang Ngai province has helped curb skin diseases in the locality.

    Those programmes, plans and projects have helped raise local people’s income and awareness of socio-economic development, custom changes and cultural preservation, the official added.

    As of June 30 this year, 564 project members had been qualified for continuing the task after the project expires, but four of them did not want to continue working in the localities they used to serve.

    Up to 217 project members (or 38.7 percent) have been appointed as communal civil servants while 13 (2.3 percent) have been promoted to chairpersons of the communal People’s Committees. Seventeen members (3 percent) have been elected chairpersons of the communal women’s unions, Vietnam Fatherland Front committees and youth union committees. Sixty-eight others (12.1 percent) continue to serve as vice chairs of the communal People’s Committees. 

    Another 148 project members in 26 districts of nine provinces haven’t been appointed to any positions, Thua said.

    Addressing the meeting, Deputy Prime Minister Truong Hoa Binh affirmed that the Party has consistently attached importance to the role of the youth. The project of 600 communal vice chairs shows the Party and Government’s trust in the young generation.

    He recognised the project members’ excellent performance in fulfilling assigned tasks, adding that the project has also created a chance for young intellectuals to improve themselves.

    He also pointed out certain shortcomings, including local administration’s lack of awareness of the project members’ role and long-term preparation of personnel for their localities.

    The Deputy PM asked the beneficiary localities to better use the young intellectuals after the project is over while working to encourage young people’s dedication.

    At the event, the MoHA presented merit certificates to 16 collectives and 88 persons with eminent performance in the project implementation.

    Can Tho, RoK locality boost tourism cooperation

    A workshop to promote tourism and health connection between Can Tho and Gyeongbuk-do province of the Republic of Korea (RoK) was held in the Mekong Delta City on August 29.

    The event was hosted by the Can Tho Union of Friendship Organisations and representatives from the Korean province.

    Enterprises from the two localities discussed cooperation potential, and proposed measures to promote ties in health care and medical tourism.

    According to the municipal union, the event opened up exchange opportunities for Can Tho and RoK partners, contributing to relations between the two localities.

    VN–Laos trade fair 2017 opens in Son La     

    The Viet Nam–Laos trade and tourism fair 2017 has been kicked off in the northern province of Son La on Tuesday.

    The event is one of the activities being organised under the framework of the ethnic festival of Son La Province’s Moc Chau District in 2017.

    The fair is a significantly political, economic and social event that contributes to the friendship and cooperation between the local people of Son La and the northern provinces of Laos.

    It is also an opportunity for enterprises in Son La Province and northern Laos provinces to seek information, opportunities, potentials, customers, as well as business partners, to expand their trade relations.

    It features 140 booths set up by exhibitors from Vietnamese firms and Laos’ Houaphanh and Luang Prabang provinces.

    At this fair, there are two booths to promote the cultural and tourism products of the ethnic people in Son La Province. They introduce to visitors the potentials, advantages and the cultural beauty of the province.

    The event will go on until September 4.  

    National CPI hits eight-month high in August     

    Viet Nam’s consumer price index (CPI) increased by 0.92 per cent in August, the highest month-on-month increase in the first eight months of this year, the General Statistics Office (GSO) announced on Tuesday.

    August’s CPI increase was driven by price rises in foodstuff (1.64 per cent), housing and construction materials (1.27 per cent), transportation (2.13 per cent) and health-care services (3.72 per cent), said Do Thi Ngoc, director general of the GSO’s Price Statistics Department.

    Other goods and services that recorded slight price increases included restaurant and catering services, education, equipment and home appliances.

    The CPI experienced a year-on-year rise of 3.84 per cent in the eight months. The rate, however, was still lower than respective figures seen in the same period of 2010, 2011 and 2012 at 8.61 per cent, 17.64 per cent and 10.41 per cent, respectively, Ngoc said.

    She said core inflation rose 0.1 per cent in August month-on-month and 1.31 per cent year-on-year. Eight-month core inflation increased 1.47 per cent from a year earlier, lower than the planned inflation of 1.6-1.8 per cent.

    In August, gold prices surged 1.11 per cent from last month but down 2.35 per cent compared to last year’s corresponding period while price of US dollars saw a slight month-on-month decrease of 0.03 per cent. 

    Tra Vinh to build two IPs     

    Authorities in Tra Vinh southern province have allowed Dong Do Southern Construction Investment Joint Stock Company to build infrastructure for two industrial parks.

    Total investment capital for the two parks is VND2.05 trillion (US$89.99 million).

    The Cau Quan Industrial Park is located on more than 130ha in Cau Quan Township, Tieu Can District, with estimated capital of VND850 billion. Meanwhile, the Co Chien Industrial Park will be built on 200ha in Cang Long District, with investment capital of VND1.2 trillion.

    The province currently has the Dinh An Economic Zone in Tra Cu and Duyen Hai districts and the Long Duc Industrial Park in Tra Vinh City. The two areas have attracted 60 projects, of which 43 are funded by domestic investors with total registered capital of nearly VND96 trillion and 14 are foreign invested projects with total capital of more than $3 billion.

    El Salvador calls for investment from Viet Nam     

    With its strategic geographic location and ports and airports, El Salvador can be a gateway for Vietnamese goods to enter American markets, especially Central American, according to the Viet Nam Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

    Speaking at a seminar on investment opportunities and trade development with El Salvador in HCM City on August 29, Vo Tan Thanh, director of VCCI’s HCM City branch, said Viet Nam and El Salvador only established diplomatic ties in 2010.

    Trade between the two countries increased from US$10 million in 2011 to nearly $30 million last year, with garment and textiles, footwear, electronic products, timber, plastics and automobile components being the key items of trade, he said.

    El Salvador is a small country in Central America with an area of 21, and a population of nearly seven million, he said.

    “The El Salvador market is small but has a lot of potential and can lead to other large markets like the US and other countries that it has free trade agreements with.”

    El Salvador’s Deputy Foreign Minister Carlos Castaneda said this is the most cost-competitive country to set up and operate a business.

    UK newspaper Financial Times’s investment journal fDi Intelligence has rated El Salvador as the most cost-effective country in Central America.

    It also has among the lowest tax rates in the region, Castaneda said.

    Besides recognition as a cost-effective location, its infrastructure is among the best in Latin America and Central American, he said.

    Its modern infrastructure connects the main cities in the region and enables efficient logistics, he said.

    “In terms of trade openness, we offer preferential access to a potential market of 1.2 billion consumers in 43 countries around the world.”

    Its strategic geographic location enables quick access to major American cities, with many major freight companies like DHL and UPS setting up operations in the country, he said.

    As part of its commitment to attracting investment, El Salvador offers attractive tax incentives and has a legal framework that facilitates and guarantees the protection of investment because the country is interested in developing long-term relationships with investors, he said.

    “We invite you to explore El Salvador’s attractive investment opportunities in strategic sectors like aeronautics, agro industry, energy, light manufacturing, offshore business services, specialised textiles and apparel, and tourism.”

    Viet Nam’s fruits like dragon fruit have great potential to be exported to El Salvador since it does not have them, he said, adding, “I am striving to create conditions for developing a market for this fruit in El Salvador.”

    In addition, El Salvador’s long coastline offers a good opportunity for Vietnamese firms to invest in aquaculture and seafood processing and export to third countries.

    The same day, El Salvador opened an honorary consulate in HCM City to promote investment and trade ties between the two countries. 

    FE credit launches Fast Cash, Simply Text – Get Cash     

    VPBank Finance Company Ltd (FE CREDIT) launched an exclusive feature, Fast Cash, Simply Text – Get Cash last week to provide first-time credit-card users with unprecedented convenience.

    Fast Cash allows customers to gain access to cash from their credit card limit by simply sending an SMS from their mobile phone and getting a unique code, which can be presented at designed distribution points of Vietnam Post and Sacombank branches for cash withdrawal.

    The customers do not need to pay a withdrawal fee.

    Kalidas Ghose, CEO of FE CREDIT, said: “As a market leader, we believe in creating unique Fast and Easy experiences for our customers. Fast Cash, Simply Text – Get Cash is a pioneering initiative which will provide a tangible benefit to our valued cardholders.”

    A pioneer in Consumer Finance, FE CREDIT, has established a solid foundation to become the market leader of the unsecured consumer loans market.

    FE CREDIT currently provides consumer lending services such as personal loans, two-wheeler loans, consumer durable loans and credit cards. FE CREDIT serves more than six million customers and cooperates with 5,500 partners at 9,000 Points of Sale (POS) nationwide. 

    Vinausteel protests unfair land lease fee

    Vinausteel, the joint venture between Vietnam Industry Investment Corporation from Australia and Vietnam Steel Corporation, proposed related governmental agencies to cancel the collection of additional land lease fees charged since 2003 to ensure its legal rights and avoid unnecessary complaints.

    After receiving the investment certificate to build a steel rolling mill in Hong Bang district, Haiphong city from the Haiphong People’s Committee, Vinausteel was allowed to rent a land area of 55,767 square metres for 30 years from June 28, 1994 in accordance with Decision No.224/QD-DC. The annual land rental fee was $1.8 per square metre, which was then adjusted to $1.35 per sq.m.

    However, this adjusted price is still higher than the leasing price applied to other enterprises at similar locations. In accordance with the Vietnamese Land Law 2003 and Article 9 of Decree No.142/ND-CP, effective from December 12, 2006, Vinausteel has the right to receive a much lower rental price equal to only 0.5 per cent of the land value. Specifically, Vinausteel’s current lease charge is 5-9 times as much as the fees paid by other enterprises renting similar locations.

    Vinausteel requested related agencies to adjust its land lease fee to be compatible with Decree 142, but the agencies have yet to issue a response.

    Furthermore, Vinausteel’s land lease fee rises by 15 per cent every five years, as stipulated in Notice No.277/TB/CCT of the Hong Bang Department of Tax. The land lease fee stipulated by the Haiphong People’s Committee in 2005 was VND21,500 ($0.9) per sq.m, which, after the latest adjustment after 15 years of operation, has been increased to VND45,600 ($2) per sq.m. Vinausteel said that this was wholly unfair and should be revised.

    Thus, not only was Vinausteel applied a high land lease fee of $1.35 per sq.m, but it was also charged an additional $230,147 due to the adjusted price after 15 years of operation.

    According to Vinausteel, this additional payment is not compatible with Decree No.46/2014/ND-CP on the collection of land and water surface rent. This decree does not explicitly cover collecting land lease fees from 15 years ago, especially when the enterprise is asking for a reduction of land lease payments.

    Vinausteel complains that it has suffered a loss of tens of billions of VND due to this unreasonable fee. It submitted a document to the Government Office to consider the issue and direct the Ministry of Fiannce, the General Department of Taxation, the Haiphong People’s Committee, and other related agencies to eliminate the additional charge of $230,147 to maintain a fair business environment and ensure the legal rights of enterprises in Vietnam.

    Uber reduces fare gap in Ho Chi Minh City

    Uber Vietnam’s representative said that its taxi brand UberX will raise fares in Ho Chi Minh City from August 24, closing up with traditional taxi fares.

    In particular, UberX’s fare will increase from VND7,000 ($0.3) per kilometre to VND8,500 ($0.37) per kilometre in Ho Chi Minh City. Fare based on time stays unchanged at VND450 ($0.02) per minute, while the minimum fare and cancelation fee will still be VND15,000 ($0.66).

    Earlier, in November 2016, Uber has already raised prices once. Then the minimum fare increased from VND5,000 ($0.22) to VND15,000 ($0.66), and the kilometre charge increased from VND5,000 ($0.22) to VND7,000 ($0.3). Uber drivers still have to pay a 25 per cent commission to the company.

    Besides, Uber has a strategy of raising fares based on actual traffic flows to support drivers. In rush hours or during heavy rain, the minimum fare can be 1.3 times as much as the usual. By raising minimum fares, UberX fares may exceed traditional cabs.

    Through these two bouts of raising prices, Uber fares are getting closer to traditional taxis. According to the statistics of Ho Chi Minh City Taxi Association, the minimum price of Vinasun’s 5-8-seater passenger cabs is VND11,000-12,000 ($0.48-0.53) and charges VND14,000-16,000 ($0.62-0.7) per kilometre for the first 30 kilometres, after which the charge is VND11,200-VND14,200 ($0.49-062). This price is similar to other taxi brands in Ho Chi Minh City, such as Mai Linh or Savico Taxi. Some less popular taxi brands even offer slightly lower prices.

    Uber’s new price may make people wonder about the future policy of its biggest rival GrabTaxi, and whether Uber will be overtaken by both GrabTaxi and traditional taxis due to its new price policy.

    Previously, there were concerns that traditional taxi companies, especially Vinasun and Mai Linh Group, are losing the competition with Grab and Uber due to the dizzying rise in the number of Grab and Uber cabs.

    According to newswire Vneconomy, in recent years, the number of Uber and Grab taxis has exceeded the figure set by Ho Chi Minh City’s taxi planning. Notably, Uber and Grab’s fleets have reached a total of 21,000 cabs, while Ho Chi Minh City’s taxi demand is 11,000-12,000 only.

    Many traditional taxies lead by Vinasun insisted on pressing litigation against Grab and Uber for unfair completion. This campaign has been gradually gaining momentum as other Vietnamese taxi companies from Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City join.

    At present, Uber’s rivals have not released any statement on this new policy. However, it is forecasted that the fierce battles among taxi brands in Vietnam may not stop easily in the coming period. 

    Southern lottery companies bow down to Vietlott

    Giving in to the dominance of Vietnam Lottery Company (Vietlott), traditional lottery companies in Ha Nam and Thua Thien-Hue provinces decided to co-operate with Vietlott instead of seeking a confrontation.

    Nguyen Thanh Dam, deputy general director of Vietlott, told Vnexpress that they have signed contracts with lottery companies in Ha Nam and Thua Thien-Hue provinces. Accordingly, along with traditional lottery business, these companies will become Vietlott’s agents to take the bonus.

    According to rumours, Capital Lottery Company also intends to co-operate with Vietlott to improve its business results.

    Capital Lottery Company lost its shine since Vietlott’s Mega 6/45 has appeared. The company also launched a computerised lottery to compete with Vietlott, but failed because Vietlott has been offering much higher jackpot prizes.

    Besides, the company also saw a decrease in profit. Notably, in 2016, Capital Lottery earned VND728 billion ($32.04 million) in revenue, however its profit was only over VND3 billion ($132,045), equalling a quarter of 2014. In 2017, the company expected to earn VND3.6 billion ($158,454) in profit only.

    In its report related to its development strategy by 2020, Capital Lottery set the target to prevent decrease in revenue and profit.

    In the race to gain market share, traditional lottery companies in the South were forced to raise their maximum prize to VND2 billion ($88,260) since January 1 from the previous VND1.5 billion ($66,195) in an effort to compete with Vietlott.

    In early December, Vietlott officially expanded to Hanoi with 150 agents, hoping to replicate its success of the past few months in the south.

    In January 2016, Vietlott signed an exclusive 18-year contract with Malaysian conglomerate Berjaya to launch computerised lottery games.

    The Mega 6/45 is the company's first foray into the market. Players select six numbers from 1 to 45 and win a jackpot that starts at VND12 billion ($538,000) by matching all six numbers from the draw. Each ticket costs VND10,000 ($0.40).

    The prize will keep growing until there is a winner. The odds of winning have been estimated at around one to 8.14 million, lower than the odds of being struck by lightning.

    In 2016, Vietlott reported a revenue of VND1.6 trillion ($70.6 million). This is the highest annual revenue since the company’s establishment in 2011.

    CII sells stake to quench capital thirst

    Ho Chi Minh City Infrastructure Investment JSC (CII) will sell a large volume of shares to cover its capital demand to develop numerous large-scale projects, according to newswire CafeLand.

    Notably, CII will sell 123.12 million shares at the price of VND15,000 ($0.66) for its existing shareholders. CII expected to divest at least 50 per cent worth VND923.4 billion ($40.6 million) via the sale.

    After the sale, CII plans to sell 17.71 million individual shares to South Korean Rhinos Asset Management Co., Ltd. (RAM) at the price of VND26,040 ($1.16) apiece.

    After these sales, CII’s chartered capital is expected to reach VND4.2 trillion ($184.7 million).

    RAM was also a partner in a previous deal. Earlier in November 2016, CII signed a deal to sell a convertible bond volume worth $40 million to KEB Hana Banktrustee and Custodian Business. Under the contract, CII would issue 400 non-guaranteed convertible bonds at the price of $100,000 per unit and an annual yield of 1 per cent for five years.

    CII is entitled to redeem bonds from the third year after the sale, but the buyback amount cannot exceed 50 per cent of the total bond volume. Accordingly, RAM is allowed to convert at most 50 per cent of the bonds into shares with a conversion price of VND38,500 ($1.71) per share or resell the bond volume at the initial price to CII and enjoy a yield of 4.5 per cent a year.

    CII has a portfolio of strategic infrastructure assets, including water treatment plants. The water company also holds a stake in Thu Duc Water BOO Corp., a water treatment company now 49 per cent owned by Manila Water.

    In addition to water infrastructure, CII holds several toll road concessions, such as the 15.7-kilometre expansion of Hanoi Highway, which connects Ho Chi Minh City with southern industrial hub Bien Hoa.

    In July, CII signed a memorandum of understanding with Hong Kong Land to jointly develop luxurious high-end apartments on a prime land site that local authorities agreed to give to the company as it conducted the build-transfer (BT) infrastructure project in Ho Chi Minh City's Thu Thiem area.

    The joint venture will develop luxury residences, promising to set a new quality standard for Vietnam. The projects will consist of approximately 965 units including luxury apartments, airy villas, and garden apartments enjoying the scenic views of the Saigon River and the surrounding green areas.

    These projects will also offer apartment units designed in a variety of sizes ranging from one to four bedrooms, with amenities such as swimming pools, public green areas, and boutique supermarkets to ensure a lush and comfortable living environment.

    CapitaLand wades deeper into Vietnamese commercial real estate

    To capitalise on the increasing interest of foreign real estate investors in Southeast Asia in general and Vietnam in particular, CapitaLand Limited has set up its first commercial fund in Vietnam named CapitaLand Vietnam Commercial Fund I (CVCFI) with a capital of $300 million.

    The fund, which will have a life span of eight years, will be used to invest in Grade A commercial real estate in Vietnam. CapitaLand will hold a 40 per cent stake in CVCFI, while the remaining interest will be held by major institutional investors, the company announced on its website.

    Lim Ming Yan, president cum CEO of CapitaLand Limited, said, “We see increasing investor interest in Southeast Asia, particularly in Vietnam. CapitaLand is positive about the growth trajectory of Vietnam and foresees that this trend will continue for at least the next ten years. Besides the growing demand for residential properties with urbanisation, we also see strong potential upside in the commercial real estate sector, given the mismatch between the supply and demand of quality office space.”

    “CVCFI brings us a step closer to our goal of raising funds with $7.34 billion in total assets under management by 2020. It comes on the back of our largest private equity partnership, the $1.5-billion Raffles City China Investment Partners III, which invests in prime integrated developments in gateway cities in China,” Lim added.

    CapitaLand has been considering Vietnam its focus in recent years, and in January this year, CapitaLand made its first foray into commercial real estate through the acquisition and development of an international Grade A office tower in the central business district of Ho Chi Minh City which will feature a direct connection to an upcoming metro station. With the completion of this development in 2020, CapitaLand plans to continue to diversify their portfolio and strengthen their foothold in the country.

    Vietnam is the third largest market for CapitaLand in Southeast Asia, after Singapore and Malaysia.  CapitaLand has nine residential developments, 22 serviced residences with over 4,700 units, and one international Grade A office development across six cities in Vietnam.

    Tech Expo 2017 held in HCMC

    VietnamWorks, together with TopITworks, both members of the Navigos Group, organized the largest technology career fair - Tech Expo 2017 - in Ho Chi Minh City on August 29.

    With the theme “Tomorrow Land”, Tech Expo 2017 saw the participation of 37 sponsoring employers and more than 1,500 jobseekers in the IT sector. Every recruitment booth received between 100 and 200 CVs.

    Compared to last year, Tech Expo 2017 was much more dynamic, with candidates being proactive in job seeking rather than just looking around. Many employers scanned profiles and arranged interviews with potential employees.

    The KMS Company, one of the leading outsourcing companies in Vietnam, had more than ten recruitment staff at the expo, who received CVs and described job requirements. “Our company often misses its recruitment targets at all levels, as there is a shortage of qualified candidates,” said Ms. Phuong Le, Recruitment Manager at KMS. “Many jobseekers don’t meet our requirements in terms of professional skills, and we must give them two months of training. Young employees are still short of career orientation and engagement, which creates challenges in hiring at KMS.”

    KMS has tried to shorten its interview process to two rounds and hoped to recruit potential candidates at the expo who meet its requirements and have the abilities needed to join the company as soon as possible.

    There were also representatives from various Japanese companies in attendance, including those seeking candidates in Vietnam and recruitment service companies looking for candidates to work in Japan. “Due to the scarcity of Japanese speakers, we have targeted English speakers as well,” said Mr. Yoshiki Matsubara, Chief Sales Officer at Igs Asia. “Candidates will be trained in the Japanese language. Those possessing Japanese language skills will receive a salary 5 per cent higher than others. For candidates who want to work in Japan, besides specialized knowledge, they must also improve their global mindset and teamwork ability, and be passionate about studying Japanese culture.”

    “How to secure a $5,000 IT Job” was the topic of a panel discussion at the expo and received much attention. Ms. Nguyen Phuong Mai, Managing Director at Navigos Search, discussed the obstacles that impact IT employees’ salaries. “IT candidates often demand benefits before contributing to the company, and this attitude leads to concerns about paying high salaries,” she said. “In addition to specialized knowledge and skills, employers also pay attention to a candidate’s attitude. Building a personal image is of overriding importance, since employers can check a candidate’s behavior, even on social platforms. Therefore, it’s important to show your personal image consistently, in reality and on online channels. Candidates must contribute to the company before demanding more benefits.”

    According to Navigos Search, one recruitment process for a senior position paying $7,000 involved 15 interview rounds, included specialized knowledge, skills, personal testing, and IQ tests.

    International visitors hit record in August

    The latest figures from the General Statistics Office reveal that international visitors to Vietnam in August reached a record high of 1.2 million, an 18.5 per cent increase against July and up 35.1 per cent against August last year.

    The reason international visitor numbers are rising dramatically is the tourism industry and travel companies adopting many measures and effectively organizing cultural and tourism activities.

    Visa-free policies for citizens from the UK, France, Germany, Spain, and Italy have also been a key factor.

    International visitors are estimated at 8.5 million in the first eight months of this year, up 29.7 per cent year-on-year.

    Visitors from Asia totaled 6.3 million, up 34.8 per cent year-on-year. Chinese tourists numbered 2.6 million, up 51.4 per cent, South Koreans 1.5 million, up 49.3 per cent, and Japanese 518,000, up 7.4 per cent.

    Those from Europe were estimated at 1.2 million, up 20.4 per cent year-on-year.

    Visitors from the Americas, meanwhile, reached 565,200, up 10.8 per cent, of which those from the US reached 424,000, up 9.8 per cent.

    Tourists from Australia and Africa also increased sharply over the same period in 2016.

    Vietnam has great tourism potential but the country needs appropriate policies to create breakthroughs to develop it into a spearhead economic sector and affirm the country’s position on the global tourism map, experts told a conference held last month in preparation for the upcoming Vietnam Private Sector Forum (VPSF).

    The experts indicated that Vietnam spent $2 million on promoting tourism, which was modest compared with other countries in the region.

    According to Mr. Hoang Nhan Chinh, General Secretary of VPSF’s Tourism Working Group, visa policies should aim at creating favorable conditions for foreign tourists and visa exemptions should be extended to a duration of 30 days.

    Exemptions should also be granted to tourists from Australia, Canada, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Belgium, and Switzerland, who spend on average $1,200 each, he said.

    Higher prices push up cashew nut export revenue

    Vietnam exported 188,034 tons of cashew nuts worth $1.85 billion in the first seven months of this year, down 1 per cent in volume year-on-year but up over 25 per cent in revenue.

    The cashew nut export price rose 27 per cent over the same period of 2016, reaching $9,842 a ton.

    Cashew nut exports to the US were worth $679.67 million, accounting for 36.7 per cent of the total and increasing 37.7 per cent year-on-year. The US is Vietnam’s largest cashew nut export market.

    Following was the Netherlands, accounting for 15.6 per cent of the total, reaching $288.02 million, up 44 per cent over the same period last year.

    China accounted for 11.7 per cent, standing at $215.92 million, an increase of 11.5 per cent.

    Rising revenue was seen in other markets: Belgium, up 95 per cent to nearly $12 million, Russia, up nearly 66 per cent to $30 million, and India, up 40 per cent to $22 million.

    Exports to Pakistan and Greece, meanwhile, fell sharply, by 54 per cent and 53 per cent, respectively, in revenue.

    Vietnam’s total trade as at mid-August reached about $250 billion. Exports stood at about $124 billion and imports $126.4 billion, up about 19 per cent and 22.3 per cent, respectively, year-on-year, for a trade deficit of $2.4 billion.

    New Managing Director for Bosch Vietnam

    Bosch, a leading global supplier of technology and services, officially announced on August 28 the appointment Mr. Guru Mallikarjuna as the new Managing Director of Bosch Vietnam.

    Mr. Mallikarjuna replaces Mr. Vo Quang Hue.

    Bringing with him over 12 years of experience at Bosch, Mr. Mallikarjuna will continue to develop new business opportunities and increase the company’s market presence in all business lines in the country.

    “Bosch has maintained an excellent track record in Vietnam in the past decade and become one of the key growth markets of Bosch in Southeast Asia,” the new Managing Director said. “We attribute our robust growth to the strong partnerships we have forged with our customers over the years. It is an honor for me to build on the achievements of my predecessor, who led the company through ten years of remarkable success.”

    In addition to his new appointment, Mr. Mallikarjuna will also head Robert Bosch Engineering and Business Solutions Vietnam as Managing Director, a role he has held since 2013.

    In his four years leading the Bosch software and engineering R&D center in Vietnam, he built a dynamic corporate culture nurturing diversity and innovation. The center employs more than 1,400 associates in Ho Chi Minh City.  

    Bosch in Vietnam has developed from a representative office in Ho Chi Minh City in 1994 to become one of the largest European investors, with more than 3,100 associates in total, which subsequently increases its activities in the four fields of R&D, Manufacturing, Sales, and Services.

    Banks to provide $1.15bn in credit for HCMC PPP projects

    Investors and banks signed a memoranda of understanding (MoU) on August 24 in Ho Chi Minh City to provide credit to eight PPP projects with total investment of around VND26 trillion ($1.15 billion).

    The signing ceremony took place at a meeting between investors and banks, including Vietcombank, BIDV, Vietinbank, Agribank, SCB, TPBank, and OCB,  to implement seven major projects in the city during the 2016-2020 period that will include building the North-South axis road, Nguyen Tat Thanh Road, and Tan Phu Hospital.

    Mr. Pham Manh Thang, Deputy General Director of Vietcombank, told the signing ceremony that with limited State budget funds available, public-private partnerships (PPP) are needed for the development of infrastructure and public services.

    The Ho Chi Minh City Department of Planning and Investment estimates the city needs around VND850 trillion ($37.7 billion) for the seven major programs. The city’s budget, however, can only cover 20 per cent of required capital.

    Mr. Nguyen Thanh Long, Chairman of the Ho Chi Minh City People’s Committee, was quoted as saying that the city is coping with serious challenges in environmental pollution, traffic congestion, flood control, immigration, and climate change. “These problems have directly affected local growth and competitiveness,” he said. “The seven key programs will generate new momentum for the city to develop and address public concerns.”

    The seven programs were approved at the city’s 10th Party Congress and include human resources improvements, administrative reform, a more competitive business climate, easing traffic congestion, responding to climate change, cutting pollution, and urban refurbishment and development.

    Sixty per cent of the capital will be mobilized for transport infrastructure, the environment, and flooding issues.

    Local authorities will work to attract potential investors, with strategies including administrative procedures reform to facilitate investors in accessing opportunities.

    According to the Department, there are 23 PPP projects in the city that have completed contracts with total investment capital of over VND71 trillion ($3.2 billion). The city is continuing to implement 130 other projects with total investment of over VND395 trillion ($17.9 billion).

    As at July 31, Ho Chi Minh City had 7,065 foreign investment projects with total registered capital of over $42 billion.

    Franklin Group & Apax Holdings to offer American high school education

    The Franklin Group and the Apax Holdings Joint Stock Company (JSC) under Egroup have worked together to launch American high school education in Vietnam through the Apax Franklin Academy system.

    The two signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) in Hanoi on August 23.

    The Apax Franklin Academy will become the first academic system in Vietnam to offer high school education and college-preparatory in accordance with the Blended Learning model - a combination of online teaching and direct support at academic institutions in Vietnam.

    The study cost is about 70 per cent of the cost of studying abroad. The Apax Franklin Academy also offers English language study programs, career guidance, and college preparation in the US and other countries, such as the ESL program, English Language Proficiency (ELE), and SAT / ACT / GED certification.

    Apax Holdings will also provide opportunities to study in the US right after high school, through short-term cultural exchanges, overseas studies, and scholarships in the US.

    Mr. Nguyen Ngoc Thuy, Chairman of Egroup and Apax Holdings, said there are now more opportunities to learn from new sources of knowledge and technology is the foundation for developing an effective learning method consistent with the trend towards globalization.

    “With the development of the Franklin system, we expect the curriculum will prepare students for the best possible course of study in the US and Europe,” he said.

    Mr. David Hooser, Founder and Chairman of the Franklin Group, said it has had experience in the US since 2009 and he visited Vietnam to inspect education institutions before selecting Apax Holdings as a partner. “We want to create opportunities for students in Vietnam to approach modern education,” he said.

    Apax Holdings is an investment company in the field of education and training and is listed on the Icom Stock Exchange. In the third quarter, its shares will be transferred from UPCoM to HSX.

    It will launch the five-star Apax English center within a year and will continue to invest in the iGarten Education JSC, which offers bilingual kindergarten studies applying the STEAM teaching method.

    It will also cooperate with Egroup to build and finalize the Education Park project, a business training academy that has achieved success in South Korea over the last 30 years.

    Impact investment manager to support women-led SMEs

    SEAF, a global impact investment manager headquartered in Washington D.C., recently announced the launch of the SEAF Women’s Opportunity Fund (SWOF) for Southeast Asia.

    The Fund will seek opportunities to make equity and structured debt investments in small-and-medium-size enterprises (SMEs) led by women in Vietnam, the Philippines, and Indonesia.

    SWOF targets transaction sizes of generally between $500,000 and $2 million in growth-oriented companies. As an impact investment fund, it also looks for businesses that have positive social and environmental impacts in addition to financial returns.

    “SMEs owned by women account for 25 per cent of the total number in Vietnam and typically focus on services; a ‘greener’ sector of the economy” noted Ms. Dinh Thu Trang, SWOF’s Investment Director in Vietnam.

    A 2016 study on SMEs in Vietnam owned by women showed that one of their major disadvantages compared to those managed by men is that it is generally more difficult to access sources of funding as well as markets, due to cultural factors and social obstacles. This is a gap in the capital market but also an opportunity for an impact investment fund like SWOF.

    “The Fund’s establishment, together with other sources of funding that prioritize female entrepreneurs, will contribute to economic growth as well as increasing women’s standing and narrowing the gender gap,” Ms. Trang added.

    SWOF is managed by SEAF and will comply with SEAF’s global environmental, social, and governance standards. Businesses funded by SWOF will also benefit from post-investment support, particularly in the areas of financial management and corporate governance.

    SEAF is an investment management group that provides growth capital and business assistance to SMEs in emerging and transition markets underserved by traditional sources of capital.

    Headquartered in Washington D.C., through its network of over 30 offices around the world it invests in entrepreneurs to build successful businesses and hopes to realize both attractive returns for its investors and a measurable development impact on local communities.

    Toong & International Enterprise Singapore sign partnership

    Vietnamese co-working space operator Toong and International Enterprise Singapore (IE Singapore), the government agency that promotes international trade and partners Singaporean companies in going global, recently announced a new strategic partnership assisting Singaporean companies to enter Vietnam market through its network of co-working spaces and supporting eco-systems.

    The agreement is part of IE Singapore’s Plug and Play Network across China, India, and Southeast Asia, which aims at easing market entry for SMEs in over 45 major cities in six key markets.

    The partnership will promote cooperation in providing quick and easy market access to Singaporean companies in Vietnam, with Toong providing the necessary ecosystem and resources, including co-location working spaces, a vast market network, and support and training resources to facilitate the growth and expansion of companies in Vietnam.

    This is line with IE Singapore’s role in partnering Singaporean companies to expand and invest overseas. Singaporean companies have shown increased interest in Vietnam over the years, and Singapore is now the third-largest foreign investor in Vietnam and its leading investor among ASEAN countries.

    Toong will provide business consultation, legal, financial and other advisory services, and facilitate introductions and business matching meetings with local partners. Both Toong and IE Singapore will also organize relevant events and training to share Vietnam’s business landscape and opportunities with Singapore companies.

    “This partnership essentially cements Toong as a gateway for Singaporean enterprises looking to expand into Vietnam,” said Mr. Phu Nguyen, Chief Strategy Officer at Toong. “Specifically, Toong will provide office solutions for Singaporean companies and offer specific assistance on potential business connections, and advise them on company registration processes as well as the local business landscape.”

    Toong is the first large-scale professional co-working space chain in Vietnam, providing innovative working environment services for SMEs and established enterprises in multiple industries around the country.

    After more than two years in operation, the company has five locations, in Hanoi, Da Nang, and Ho Chi Minh City.

    Toong quickly received funding after its first site opened in August 2015, from Openasia and its latest investor, Indochina Capital (ICC). It is also the only strategic partner of CapitaLand in developing co-working spaces in Vietnam.

    VAMC seizes collateral of Sai Gon One Tower

    The Sai Gon M&C complex has been seized due to its owners accruing bad debts of $308 million.

    The Vietnam Asset Management Company (VAMC) said it had seized collateral from the Sai Gon One Tower Joint Stock Company (JSC), the complex owner, at 34 Ton Duc Thang Street, District 1, in Ho Chi Minh City on August 21, for the purpose of debt recovery in accordance with the law.

    VAMC previously signed a debt purchase contract with a number of credit institutions for the debts of a group of customers, including the Sai Gon One Tower Joint Stock Company (formerly known as the Saigon M&C Real Estate Joint Stock Company), the Lien Phat Investment Joint Stock Company, the Minh Quan Investment and Construction Consultant Joint Stock Company, and the Tan Superdeck M&C Joint Stock Company, with total outstanding debts (principal and interest) at that time of more than VND7 trillion ($308 million).

    “Although VAMC has repeatedly urged the group of customers to meet their repayment obligations, they have not done so nor adopted a viable repayment plan,” a representative from VAMC said.

    VAMC asked the Sai Gon One Tower Joint Stock Company to hand over collateral to fulfill its obligations, but this was never done. It therefore moved to seize collateral. The process was conducted in accordance with Article 7, Resolution No. 42 from the National Assembly on addressing non-performing loans (NPLs).

    The Sai Gon M&C complex has a total area of 6,672 sq m with total investment of $256 million. The Sai Gon One Tower Joint Stock Company was established in 2004.

    Digiworld moves into healthcare products

    The Digiworld Corporation (DGW) has officially announced its entry into the local healthcare industry with the debut of its first product, Kingsmen, a supplement for men exclusively distributed by the company.

    Along with developing its distribution network, Digiworld has set a revenue target for the product line of more than $3.5 million this year, $17.6 million next year, and $44 million in 2019.

    Kingsmen is produced by Medistar Vietnam and Digiworld has been directly involved in all steps in its development, including market research and consumer needs and behavior research, and consulted on product and business development strategies as well as multimedia strategies.

    Digiworld hopes to diversify its portfolio with this initial investment in the local healthcare retail market. A second product will be introduced later this year.

    “Big pharmaceutical enterprises are now both product manufacturers and distributors, while small companies, who produce and distribute on a small scale, don’t have the capacity to expand nationwide,” said Mr. Doan Hong Viet, Chairman and CEO of Digiworld. “This is a niche market full of attraction. Digiworld’s strategy is to choose quality products that have not been fully explored. The healthcare product market is in need of a moderator, a distribution channel that is broad enough for the brand to become popular among local people.”

    According to a report released in January by Roland Berger’s, a global strategy consultancy, market expansion services (MES) in Asia have been witnessing strong growth, especially in Southeast Asia. Expected growth from 2016 to 2021 is 8.5 per cent, in which the healthcare industry is growing due to increasing quality of life and people’s rising interest in health, and governments have invested more in the healthcare system at the same time. The report found that predicted growth in MES for the healthcare sector in Vietnam from 2016 to 2021 is 11.1 per cent.

    In addition to the potential of MES, Mr. Viet said that the healthcare industry, especially the health protection and functional food sector in Vietnam, is now one of the most promising. It is a highly-fragmented industry, with an expected annual growth rate of about 10.31 per cent in the over-the-counter (OTC) product range from 2015 to 2020, according to Business Monitor International.

    Kingsmen is a line of specialized healthcare products for men with pure and natural herbal extracts. It has a special associated formula that is packaged in a modern production line and controlled for finished product quality in accordance with ISO international standards. It helps balance metabolic activities, promote hormones, prevent aging, and promote overall well-being.

    Digiworld’s primary business line is electronic product distribution. Its distribution network of 6,000 outlets nationwide and logistics and after sales services help brands penetrate and develop in the market.

    Seamless payments to be showcased in HCMC

    SmartCard Marketing Systems Inc. has announced the launch of its Fintech ISV Channel partnership in Vietnam at the Intercontinental in Ho Chi Minh City on September 6 and 7.

    “Seamless” is a key meeting place in the brave new world of commerce. It is a new event built on 20 years of experience; a seamless continuity from Asia’s largest and longest-running conference focused on cards and payments to a dynamic summit and large-scale exhibition bringing together the converging worlds of e-commerce, retail, and payments.

    The events’ host, Terrapin, brings together a great platform to introduce banks, telecoms, retail, and global enterprises to SmartCard Marketing Systems, to build client and partner relationships.

    “We enjoy the platform offered to network and engage in their seamless payment events,” said Terrapin’s CEO Massimo Barone. “Vietnam offers a great opportunity to bring our portfolio of products, including our ISV partner portfolio, to showcase to banks, financial institutions, and retailers. We have positioned the company at several of their events to introduce the products and solutions to grow the Fintech ISV accelerator offering with significant success.”

    Terrapin has been sparking ideas, innovations, and relationships that transform business for over 30 years. Using their global footprint, Terrapin brings innovators, disrupters, and change agents together, discussing and demonstrating the technology, strategies, and personalities that are changing the way the world does business.

    The company’s focus is to develop Issuing & Acquiring relationships with banks in the region, further expanding the company’s footprint in Asia. In addition, it is expanding its China Cross-Border RMB partnership with Axepay Inc. and VeritasPay Philippines, offering a unique global solution for processing and foreign exchange settlements by country.

    SmartCard Marketing Systems Inc. is a FinTech advisory company and solutions provider to the payments industry, delivering cloud-based EMV Host Acquiring & Issuing solutions to banks, telecoms, and other enterprises. The company’s in-house lab also offers customers proprietary software solutions, including, a coupon and incentive platform for the Retail & Events industry,, a Remote Deposit Check solution for X9 clearing, and Mtickets.event, an events and Mticketing platform for the Events Industry.

    HSBC Vietnam named Best Foreign Bank in Vietnam

    In recognition of its exceptional performance in Vietnam’s banking sector, HSBC Vietnam was named Best Foreign Bank in Vietnam at the prestigious FinanceAsia Country Awards, the eleventh time in 12 years it has won the coveted prize and the second time in three years it has topped the Best Foreign Investment Bank in Vietnam category.

    Over the last year, the bank, once again, stood out for its strong financial performance overall, achieving a sharp increase in pre-tax profit and customer loans thanks to strong revenue growth and very low loan impairment charges and careful control over costs.

    Against a challenging and volatile market and in spite of stiff competition from both newly-arrived banks and increasingly competitive existing banks, HSBC managed to maintain strong capital and liquidity positions.

    “It’s a tremendous feeling to once again win both of these highly-prized awards from one of the leading publications in the financial industry, FinanceAsia,” said HSBC Vietnam’s CEO Mr. Pham Hong Hai. “This recognition underscores the success of our growth strategy in this challenging but exciting market.”

    Mr. Hai added that HSBC Vietnam has leveraged its global network to capture business opportunities from robust foreign direct investment (FDI) inflows, resilient manufacturing, and a growing affluent segment.

    The award for Best Foreign Investment Bank is also a milestone for HSBC Vietnam and one that proves it can offer clients comprehensive financial solutions besides commercial banking capabilities. “To be acknowledged in this way is a remarkable tribute to the headway we have made in broadening our business and bringing the full spectrum of investment banking, commercial banking, and market solutions to our clients in Vietnam,” Mr. Hai said. “Business with clients from South Korea, China, Hong Kong and Thailand has grown substantially in recent years and HSBC Vietnam has also supported several large State-owned and private companies to expand internationally.”

    Leveraging HSBC’s global network and on-the ground insights from local market experts, HSBC Vietnam is able to provide relevant and up-to-date market intelligence tailored to nearly every major industry sector necessary to help deliver the client’s M&A ambitions, whichever direction they choose.

    FinanceAsia noted that HSBC Vietnam ranked first in the merger and acquisition (M&A) league tables from 2012 to 2016 with a combined value of completed and announced deals of $3.8 billion, by advising landmark cross-border M&As and helping Vietnamese companies obtain foreign equity and expertise.

    It served as joint book-runner, arranger, billing, and delivery bank on major deals in Vietnam and also as sell-side advisor for France’s Casino Group in their divestment from the Big C retail group; the largest ever retail transaction in Vietnam’s history. In the last few years, HSBC Vietnam has also advised on five of the ten largest M&A deals in Vietnam, demonstrating its strength in advising on complex, cross-border transactions relating to Vietnam.

    On the loan financing side, HSBC also made the country’s largest-ever domestic currency transaction, a $180 million equivalent, three-and-a-half-year club deal for a telecoms company. “Receiving these two awards fills us with pride and highlights the resilience we have shown in challenging times,” said Mr. Hai. “More than anything, these accolades also further encourage us to work even harder and further raise the bar for banking and investment in Vietnam.”

    Shinhan Bank signs MoU with Momo E-Wallet

    Shinhan Bank Vietnam announced on August 21 that it has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for a cooperative arrangement with the Online Mobile Service Joint Stock Company (M_Service), the owner of MoMo e-wallet.

    Prior to signing the MoU, Shinhan Bank and M_Service signed a contract linking the bank’s customer account numbers with MoMo e-wallet, which expires at the end of September.

    “One of Shinhan’s 2017 strategies is to globalize digital banking, and with MoMo e-wallet, we believe our strategy will be successfully implemented,” said Mr. Shin Dong Min, CEO of Shinhan Bank Vietnam.

    The MoU is necessary to strengthen the relationship between Shinhan Bank and M_Service to develop financial services with digital applications in Vietnam.

    The cooperative deal will also open up a new development direction in attracting customers to use Shinhan’s modern and convenient digital banking services. At the same time, existing and prospective customers of MoMo e-wallet will also be offered new banking services from one of the strongest foreign banks in Vietnam.

    MoMo e-wallet is a smartphone app with over 3 million users, providing customers with a One Touch Payment experience and more than 200 convenient services, including money transfer, mobile top-up, bill payments, pay-as-you-go, and mobile commerce.

    It owns a network of more than 4,000 transaction offices in 45 cities and provinces in Vietnam, allowing more than 2 million customers in remote areas - where banking and smartphone services are still not so popular - to gain access to modern financial services.

    Vinalines, Belgium’s Rent-A-Port N.V ink cooperation deal

    The Vietnam National Shipping Lines (Vinalines) and Belgian Rent-A-Port N.V signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on August 30 on the possibility to cooperate in grain specialised port, processing zone and logistics system projects in Lach Huyen port and Dinh Vu industrial zone, in Hai Phong city.

    Rent-A-Port is an engineering and investment company, specialised in the development of marine infrastructures and industrial zones worldwide. It offers services ranging from consultancy and full project management to co-investment in marine related projects and industrial zones.

    Under the MoU, the two companies will seek collaboration opportunities in a joint venture company to develop grain handling port in Hai Phong International Gateway Port. They are also keen on another joint venture firm to construct a 250 hectare logistic centre opposite the grain port, facilitating grain loading, storage, processing and distributing.

    Along with joining the construction of a 630-metre port in Dinh Vu industrial park, which is currently invested by Vinalines Dinh Vu JSC, the Belgian enterprise can buy 10 percent of Vinalines’s charter capital when the company becomes privatised in April, 2018.

    Thus, Rent-A-Port N.V will attach its long-term benefits to Vinalines as well as support the Vietnamese company in advanced technology transfer, human resources training, financial capacity improvement, business management, service supply and market development.

    With adorable port infrastructure and logistic system coupled with considerable management experience and financial capacity, collaboration between the two enterprises is expected to enhance competitiveness and maintain crucial roles of both sides in marine port and logistic sectors in Vietnam.

    Vinalines is a leading marine business in Vietnam, especially in port and marine services in Hai Phong city. The firm will make an initial public offering (IPO) in December this year. Under the IPO plan, the State will hold 65 percent of the company’s registered capital of 12.3 trillion VND (541.2 million USD) while it will sell 35 percent to domestic and foreign businesses.

    Vinalines is also allowed to hold 65 percent of registered capital at key ports, including Hai Phong, Sai Gon and Da Nang. 

    Vinalines currently manages a fleet of off-shore vessels with total capacity of nearly two million tonnes, occupying some 25 percent of the national fleet’s capacity. It has contributed capital to 14 sea port businesses, which have a total length of more than 13,000 metres, 30 percent of the total length of ports nationwide. They include a number of deep-water harbours that can receive 190,000 tonne vessels.

    Vegetable exports in August hit nearly 300 million USD

    Vegetable exports in August reached 296 million USD, bringing total revenue in the first eight months of this year to 2.32 billion USD, a rise of 46.5 percent compared to the same period last year.

    China, Japan, the US and the Republic of Korea were the leading markets for Vietnamese vegetables, consuming 85 percent of the exports. 

    High growth was also seen in other markets, including Japan with 61.7 percent, the United Arab Emirates, 61.4 percent; China, 61.3 percent; and Russia, 49.4 percent.

    Vietnam also imported 169 million USD worth of vegetables, bringing the total figure in the first eight months to 1.02 billion USD, up 93.7 percent year on year.

    According to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, in August, the domestic fruit market fluctuated greatly due to changes in markets and heavy rains.-VNA

    Derivatives trading: Individual investors must pay 0.1% tax

    Individual investors that participate in derivatives trading market have to pay a 0.1 per cent income tax for derivatives trading transactions.

    The tax is imposed on the trading prices of derivatives transactions, which could be sell and buy orders and expiry of the futures contracts.

    A similar tax rate has also been imposed on foreign institutional investors, while domestic institutional investors have to pay tax in accordance with Việt Nam’s corporate income tax regulations.

    The tax rate is regulated under Document 11133/BTC-CST, issued by the Ministryof Finance on August 21, on taxing investors’ income from trading derivatives futures contracts.

    Taxation on investors’ income from derivatives trading transactions began on August 10, the day the derivatives market begins operation.

    Number of new firms increases by 16%

    More than 85,350 firms were established in the first eight months of this year with total registered capital of VNĐ822 trillion (US$36 billion), statistics of the Business Registration Department under the Ministry of Planning and Investment showed.

    These figures represented a rise of 16.3 per cent in the number of new firms and an increase of 44.8 per cent in registered capital over the same period last year.

    Notably, average capital for a business rose 24.5 per cent over the same period last year to reach VNĐ9.6 billion.

    The department said the foundation of new businesses increased in most sectors, especially real estate (up by 65.8 per cent); finance, banking and insurance (up by 33.4 per cent); education and training (up by 30 per cent); and healthcare (up by 29.6 per cent).

    The only sector witnessing a decline in the number of new firms was transport and warehousing.

    More than 19,150 firms resumed operation in the eight-month period, increasing slightly by 2.4 per cent over the same period last year.

    However, 45,770 firms temporarily halted operation in the period, a rise of 13.3 per cent. More than 7,750 firms completed dissolving procedures, 92 per cent of which had registered capital of below VNĐ10 billion each.


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  • 08/31/17--03:36: Article 0
  • Ministry proposes scrapping 3,000 business conditions

    The Ministry of Planning and Investment has proposed to remove as much as 3,000 unnecessary business conditions that cause extra costs for many businesses. 

     Ministry proposes scrapping 3,000 business conditions, 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
    Many petroleum firms face difficulties because of too many business conditions. 

    Nguyen Thi Thanh Hai, representative of VN Gas-Dak Lak Company said they had filed complaints with every state agency and the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI), about the difficulties they had with Resolution 19 issued in 2016 about trading liquefied petroleum. 

    "We have just opened the business in 2014 but the resolution required at least 100,000 cylinders and a 300-square-metre storage. The cost is too much for small companies," she said.

    Dozens of firms have filed complaints to the VCCI about this resolution such as Tan Tai Gas Company and Minh Chanh Company. Dau Anh Tuan, head of the Legal Department of the VCCI said according to the resolution, only eight firms were able to import and export the petroleum and 35 firms could be given distribution permits as of March.

    "The VCCI is proposing to scrap unreasonable conditions so that firms can grow," he said.

    Statistics from the Central Institute for Economic Management show that firms had to pay VND14.3trn (USD630m) a year for various time-consuming tests. There are fees for design appraisal and building permits, and numerous fees when they go into operation. The Central Institute for Economic Management suggested scrapping 16 conditional businesses including 3,000 business conditions.

    Nguyen Dinh Cung, head of the Central Institute for Economic Management, said when the Ministry of Planning and Investment built the Investment Law in 2014, there were only 243 conditional businesses. Now more than 4,200 conditions have been listed.

    Firms must meet many requirements in order to export rice and they can't share the risks. According to Cung, these conditions will only hinder the rice industry and Vietnam can only export low-quality rice.

    "State agencies can't only apply changes to specific cases but carry out a comprehensive change in the management, the system," Cung said. "In order to build a rice brand, we must start from small businesses and have a manageable production process."

    Even though there are positive changes in the business conditions, the business environment in Vietnam still has a long way to go in order to be on par with the environment in Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, and Thailand.

    The Ministry of Planning and Investment has submitted the proposal to the government.


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  • 09/02/17--06:08: Article 0
  • Consumers prefer small convenience stores over giant supermarkets

    Some years ago, analysts predicted that modern distribution channels would develop rapidly in Vietnam as income continued to rise. 

    The prediction has been realized, but convenience stores, not large supermarkets, are the favored channel.

    Market analysts have found that consumers now prioritize convenience when choosing shops. They are no longer excited about the opening of new hypermarkets as they were in the past, but often prefer to shop at convenience stores near their houses. 

    Nguyen Lan Chi on Pham Than Duat street in Cau Giay district in Hanoi said supermarkets and hypermarkets impress people with colourful opening ceremonies and good interior design, but the products displayed are nearly the same.

    Chi said instead of spending time driving to large supermarkets and paying for products she does not need, it is better to go to convenience stores nearby. Convenience stores offer the most essential goods, so she avoids wasting money on unessential items.

    Quynh Hoa, an office worker, said she buys food for daily meals at a convenience store in her residential quarter because she doesn’t have time to go to traditional markets, where she has to haggle about food, or to supermarkets, where it takes her 20 minutes to reach.

    She also agrees that shopping at convenience stores is a good way to save money and time by buying only essential items.

    Market analysts have found that consumers now prioritize convenience when choosing shops. They are no longer excited about the opening of new hypermarkets as they were in the past, but often prefer to shop at convenience stores near their houses. 

    More and more convenience stores have been set up recently everywhere, from large streets and roads to small alleys and in residential quarters, offering food, vegetables and essential industrial products.

    A branding expert said that retailers made a wise move when setting up convenience store chains at hospitals, which have many potential customers. Hung Vuong Hospital in District 5, Trans-Asia Hospital and Thu Duc Hospital in HCM City, and National Hospital of Paediatrics in Hanoi all have convenience stores. 

    The expert said small convenience stores can be compared to ants, which are small but understand how to scramble for customers who might go to large supermarkets.

    Nikkei, in an article published recently, commented that mini convenience stores in Vietnam such as Vinmart+ have been thriving and increasing in number.

    Vinmart+ is one of the fastest-growing chains in Vietnam. It, together with Vinmart, is a retail brand of Vingroup owned by Pham Nhat Vuong, the richest Vietnamese stock billionaire and the dollar billionaire recognized by Forbes.

    M. Ha, VNN

    0 0
  • 09/03/17--02:16: Article 2
  • Co-working space an affordable alternative

    Leasing co-working space is more cost-efficient for small businesses than traditional commercial leasing, where the area may be much larger than their needs, according to Ms. Hoang Dieu Trang, Senior Manager, Commercial Leasing, at Savills Hanoi.

     Serviced offices are by no means a new concept. They originally evolved from hotel business centers in response to the inflexible nature of traditional commercial property leases, which many startups and small businesses felt were incompatible with the needs of a growing business in a volatile world.
    Generally, companies lease space by the desk on a weekly or monthly basis, with the flexibility to add on extra services as required. Some offer more of a club-type arrangement, where you pay an annual fee to use any of their centers globally. Others offer a memberships model, where as well as space, members have preferential access to third-party providers and advisers, events, and networking opportunities.

    Ms. Trang noted that serviced offices are costly due to the flexibility they offer coming at a price. “The co-working concept then emerged as a more economical solution, where a diverse group of startups and independent professionals work in a more open and communal setting,” she explained. “Facilities are cut back to office essentials, such as informal desk space, internet access, IT services, and possibly refreshments.”

    For freelancers, unlike traditional offices or working at home, she said, co-working spaces offer members a choice of either working independently in privacy or socializing and exchanging ideas with like-minded people. Many professionals believe such an environment improves their work performance, making the co-working model an increasingly popular choice for economical and temporary office space.

    According to the General Statistics Office, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) accounted for 97 per cent of all enterprises registered in Vietnam over the last 15 years and employ approximately 50 per cent of the workforce. In the first seven months of this year, 72,953 new businesses were registered, a 13.8 per cent increase year-on-year. “Creativity and flexibility are becoming increasingly valued and aspirational, so the co-working sector has naturally grown to service the needs of this new generation of businesses,” Ms. Trang said.

    In Vietnam, co-working models have expanded in major cities and continue to draw more investment. Despite a large population of SMEs and increasing numbers of startups, co-working models are still a very limited proportion of total leasing activities, showing there is room for growth.

    Demand continues to increase as the next generation of businesspeople begin to embrace the flexibility and floor space economies that co-working space provides. “The co-working model in Vietnam has a lot of room for further development in catering to the commercial space needs of the growing entrepreneurial class,” Ms. Trang believes.

    VN Economic Times

    0 0
  • 09/03/17--02:41: Article 1
  • Young French carries on her grandma’s cause on community work

      Frenchwoman Jade Owhadi first heard of Agent Orange (AO) from her French-Vietnamese grandmother when she was in high school. This gave her a new perspective on life and bolstered her passion for community work.

     AO victims, disabled children, Frenchwoman Jade Owhadi, Vietnam economy, Vietnamnet bridge, English news about Vietnam, Vietnam news, news about Vietnam, English news, Vietnamnet news, latest news on Vietnam, Vietnam
    One step at a time: Jade Owhadi, the 23-year old teacher in the US, has been an advocate for the rights of Agent Orange victims. -Photos courtesy of Jade Owhadi

     “My first reaction was complete horror at the cruelty human beings are capable of. I decided to do a project on agent orange for my advanced English classes at school and I ended up not only educating my peers about it but the teacher as well, who had never heard about it prior to my presentation,” said Owhadi.

    Owhadi decided to become an advocate for the rights of AO victims. The 23-year-old first came to Viet Nam in 2014 and began working in Nha Trang with orphans and disabled children.

    Also in this trip, Owhadi visited children at Tu Du Hospital, where she would later revisit once a year, for the first time.

    “That was one of the most emotional moments I had experienced in my life. I remember walking into one of the rooms with the most severely disabled children, and I can still hear their screams of agony and pain resonating in my ears.

    “I remember feeling stuck, like I was glued to the ground, the only thing I wanted to do was to take that pain away from them, and hold them in my arms and let them know everything was going to be okay, but I knew the damage from Agent Orange is irreversible and I broke down,” said Owhadi.

    “It’s actually the children from the rest of the floor on the hospital who came and got me with a huge smile on their face that made me regain the strength to gather my composure because I didn’t want them to see me crying.”

    Also in 2014, Owhadi started a fundraiser for kids and the following summers when she came back Viet Nam, she brought with her toys, books, clothes and gave children an opportunity for a field trip.

    It was also the first trip to Viet Nam in 2014 that led Owhadi to do her master’s degree in International Humanitarian Affairs. “I realised there was a lot of things I needed to familiarise myself with regarding humanitarian aid in foreign countries, therefore this programme was the best fit for me.”

    She is currently a French high school teacher for underprivileged kids at Davis High School, Texas in the US.

    An empathetic person, Owhadi strongly believes “every human being deserves the same basic human rights”.

    “It is only right for me to give back to those who haven’t been given the same opportunities,” said Owhadi.

    Owhadi has also visited an orphanage in Malaysia, a community school in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico as well as an NGO in Sierra Leone to raise funds for disadvantaged people.

    Every year the French girl sent AO victims a package for Christmas with toys, and over the summer, she went to the hospital every day, playing with them and practicing English.

    “Most importantly I am able to give them the mother figure they desperately need. I consider them my own kids. I actually have a board filled with pictures of them at my desk at school, and will spend my year teaching the kids about them and Agent Orange,” said Owhadi.

    This year, Owhadi brought in a Vietnamese teacher to continue teaching the kids after she left.

    The kids, who spend most of their time in the hospital, can also go on a yearly two-day field trip to the beach with the hospital staff.

    “The main thing these kids lack is a regular childhood experience. With the field trips, they are able to play in the water, which they absolutely love, we go out to eat, we dance, we sing and it is just a memorable journey full of laughter, love, and pure joy,” said Owhadi.

    Owhadi’s grandmother, Anna Owhadi Richardson was born in Viet Nam in 1943. Her grandfather, Pastor Paul Richardson and her Vietnamese grandmother helped build the Da Lat Protestant Church.

    Anna got a scholarship to study medicine in French in 1961. She and her family moved in 1964. Anna founded the Association of Friends of Da Lat, which aims to improve the city of Da Lat, especially in terms of health, social and educational development as well as promote co-operation between the people of France and Viet Nam.

    “Jade Owhadi is among my six grandchildren. She is the brightest and a very empathetic person, therefore I decided to talk to her about other aspects of life and send her to Viet Nam to know about kids suffering from Agent Orange.

    “I am very proud of my little girl and hope that she will inspire this humanitarian cause to other young people,” said Anna.

    Give and take

    With compassion and love for kids and hope to raise awareness of the brutal impact of AO, Owhadi has a Facebook and YouTube channel featuring the kids.

    “I have the kids on Facebook and they video call me when they have internet, and I am always so excited to be able to see them. These kids are so full of life and love, and it is a blessing for me to have them in my life.”

    “They may not realise it, but their strength gives me courage to keep fighting,” said Owhadi.

    About two years ago during her last semester in college, an accident gave Owhadi second degree burns on her legs, which left her pain for six months.

    “It was the kids that kept me going. Regardless of the pain they face every single day, they never complain, they remain strong and optimistic, and I told myself I owed it to them to remain strong. If they can do it, so can I,” said Owhadi.

    The final year student was able to finish her undergraduate degree in Political Science on time and came out stronger than ever.

    “People thank me for the work I do for them, but I thank the kids for allowing me to have a place in their hearts. They are truly some of the most beautiful souls I have encountered, and I can’t imagine my life without them,” said Owhadi. 

     AO victims, disabled children, Frenchwoman Jade Owhadi, Vietnam economy, Vietnamnet bridge, English news about Vietnam, Vietnam news, news about Vietnam, English news, Vietnamnet news, latest news on Vietnam, Vietnam
    Back again: Every summer, Owhadi went to Tu Du Hospital in Ho Chi Minh City to support disadvantaged children.

    AO victims, disabled children, Frenchwoman Jade Owhadi, Vietnam economy, Vietnamnet bridge, English news about Vietnam, Vietnam news, news about Vietnam, English news, Vietnamnet news, latest news on Vietnam, Vietnam

    Party time: Owhadi celebrated Full Moon Festival with children in Tu Du Hospital.


    AO victims, disabled children, Frenchwoman Jade Owhadi, Vietnam economy, Vietnamnet bridge, English news about Vietnam, Vietnam news, news about Vietnam, English news, Vietnamnet news, latest news on Vietnam, Vietnam

    Giving person: Besides Viet Nam, Owhadi also visited disadvantaged children in Malaysia, Mexico and Sierra Leone.


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  • 09/03/17--02:56: Article 0
  • Theft escalates in industrial parks in southern Vietnam

    Thieves have even stolen a bowl of pork bones and a chopping knife


    Theft escalates in industrial parks in southern Vietnam
    Rooms rented by low-income workers and peddlers in Tan Tao Ward, Binh Tan District in Ho Chi Minh City are often 'visited' by thieves, even in broad daylight. Photo: Tuoi Tre

    An increase in theft, muggings and robberies have worried neighborhoods around industrial parks in Ho Chi Minh City and neighboring provinces, despite law enforcers’ best efforts to reduce them.

    Tan Tao Industrial Park and Pou Yuen Factory, both in the city’s Binh Tan District, are among the identified ‘hotpots.’

    Among the most vulnerable are peddlers who eke out a meager living selling food, clothes and other essentials to factory workers. 

    At around 8:00 am one recent morning, a Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper reporter witnessed, to his horror, a young man speeding on his motorbike and almost crashing into those sitting or walking on the pavement in a neighborhood called Ten Lua (Rocket) in the district.

    The two large sacks he was carrying made everyone think he was a tobacco smuggler, similar to those they see dashing through the neighborhood every day.

    It was not until they saw another man frantically running after the first that they realize he was a robber.

    A few local night watchmen immediately gave pursuit, but the robber vanished into the crisscrossing laneways.

    The victim, Ly Tung, who had left his hometown in the Mekong Delta to peddle clothes to workers in industrial parks, lamented that the man had robbed him just after he had put his goods into sacks at the end of a slow business morning.

    The stolen property was worth nearly VND20 million (US$ 868).

    Several other vendors along the small streets near the back entrance of the Pou Yuen Factory confirmed to the Tuoi Tre reporter that they had also fallen victim to burglars and robbers several times, and that they hardly ever dropped their guard.

    Le Thi Phuong, another clothes seller, complained that she had fallen prey to thieves four times despite her constant guard.

    “The thieves strike when I’m busy with clients. They even send their accomplices to pretend to be customers to distract me,” she said.

    Following three thefts, Phuong had become more cautious and now keeps her stock in a local home, but her precaution failed to deter a group of brazen criminals from completing their fourth operation.

    Phuong estimates her losses to total more than a dozen million dong (VND1 million is equivalent to $44). 

     Theft escalates in industrial parks in southern Vietnam
    Ly Tung, a clothes peddler, loses two sacks of items worth nearly VND20 million (US$875) to robbers within seconds. Photo: Tuoi Tre

    One of her customers also recently had her handbag containing cash and papers snatched.

    Bui Thai Hang, Phuong’s neighbor, has also had property worth approximately VND30 million ($1,301) taken in a single theft.

    An investigation by the Tuoi Tre reporter at other processing zones and industrial parks – including Tan Thuan, Vinh Loc, Linh Trung, Song Than (in Binh Duong Province,) and Tan Do (in Long An Province) – found that more than 100 burglaries had been recorded over only a few days.   

    The statistics do not include those which go unreported, with victims apprehensive about the possibility of revenge.

    Nguyen Thi Ngoc Lan, who sells women’s underwear to workers in Tan Tao Ward, Binh Tan District, complained that her inexpensive lingerie is also a target for thieves. 

    The situation is worst at night.

    Stall owners at a night market next to Tan Tao Industrial Park have become easy prey to unfazed robbers and muggers.

    Hoang Hai, a vegetable seller, had cash stolen twice and was mugged by thugs the third time.

    He was so scared that he left the neighborhood.

    Burglaries and robberies have also plagued crowded rented rooms.

    Tran Van Thiem, who peddles hu tieu (stretchy rice noodles) and rents a room in Tan Tao Ward, recently had his old motorbike stolen.

    Almost all of the tenants, including heavily-built young men, have had their homes burgled by these unwanted visitors at least once.  

    The thieves also stole into girls’ rooms to nab their smartphones which they were holding while dozing off.

    A leader of the Binh Tan District Police Department revealed that they had deployed special units and adopted measures to curb criminal activity in the area.

    Colonel Le Anh Tuan, chief of Thu Duc Police Department, urged victims to report their break-ins or burglaries instead of concealing them for fear of revenge attacks.

    Meanwhile, Colonel Nguyen Sy Quang, chief of staff at the municipal Department of Police, said they have worked with local police to keep the crimes in check and ensure utmost security and safety for residents.

    By Tuoi Tre News

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  • 09/04/17--02:22: Article 1
  • The three biggest risks in doing business in Vietnam

    Injecting money in non-core business fields, experimenting in real estate projects, and having a bad financial foundation are the three most significant risks facing the business environment in Vietnam, according to Le Xuan Nghia, a respected economist, and six other businessmen who declined to be named.

     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, Vietcombank, Le Xuan Nghia, SBV

    “Why have Vietnamese businesses died?” was a question raised by Nghia at a forum on financial security and business competition held several days ago.

    Besides being an economist and scholar, Nghia is also a businessman. He is now chair of the board of directors of NHP Production & Import/Export which lists shares on the Hanoi bourse. 

    Injecting money in non-core business fields, experimenting in real estate projects, and having a bad financial foundation are the three most significant risks facing the business environment in Vietnam

    “Four days ago, I sat together with six well-known businessmen of Vietnam to talk about the topic,” Nghia said. He declined to give the names of the six businessmen, but said they have spent many years in the business world.

    According to Nghia and the businessmen, the first thing that bogs down Vietnamese businesses is the eagerness to invest in non-core business fields.

    “Young businessmen are very hot-headed. They want to make a lot of money quickly to become stronger and want to make investment in multiple business fields,” he said.

    This business over-expansion brings high financial risks to businesses. Projects in real estate or finance, for example, will require huge medium- and long-term capital.

    Meanwhile, businesses, because of concerns about policy uncertainties, mostly use short-term capital.

    He cited Mai Linh Company as an example to prove the risk. Established as a taxi firm,  Mai Linh poured money into training, tourism and real estate. After many failures, in 2013, the company had to stop investments in the projects.

    The second risk that Nghia mentioned is from real estate projects.

    “In Vietnam, many big businessmen have become rich thanks to investment in the real estate sector, and many have ‘died’ also because of real estate. Meanwhile, small and medium enterprises fail because of investments in real estate,” he said.

    In 2012, Mai Linh planned to sell 1,000 taxis to get money to pay debts incurred because of investment in real estate.

    Pham Chi Lan, an economist, once commented that besides Mai Linh, many other businesses had died because of property investment.

    “In Vietnam, the real estate market is growing. However, the market is cyclical and there are severe market freezing periods. If we throw short-term capital into the market, we will encounter high risks,” he said.

    The third risk is that businesses owe money to each other and appropriate each other’s capital. This shows the problematic financial foundation of Vietnamese businesses.

    Kim Chi, VNN

    0 0
  • 09/04/17--02:44: Article 0
  • Vinalines to cut seaport stake

    The Vietnam National Shipping Lines (Vinalines) has proposed to reduce its stake in many strategic seaports.

     Vinalines to cut seaport stake, 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
    Vinalines has proposed to reduce its stake in many strategic seaports 

    Accordingly, the country’s largest shipping company will reduce its stake in northern Hai Phong Port from the current 92.56 percent to 65 percent and in central Da Nang Port from 75 percent to 65 percent. Its stake of 80.9 percent and 99.05 percent at the Cam Ranh and Can Tho ports will also be cut to 51 percent each.

    Vinalines expected the plan will succeed as the port business has been assessed to have potential thanks to the export and import growth.

    As for other ports such as Khuyen Luong, Sai Gon, Nghe Tinh and Nam Can, Vinalines will continue to hold the current stake, which ranges between 49 percent and 65.45 percent.

    Most of the ports in which Vinalines holds dominant stake are situated at strategic positions and have a significant impact on the nation’s security and defence, therefore direct co-ordination and management of the State is needed, Vinalines said.

    Following the divestment from 11 port operation firms, Vinalines currently holds capital in eight port operators.

    However, Vinalines admitted that although improvement in governance has been made after transferring to joint stock companies, the firms still need a breakthrough and better application of science and technology.

    Vinalines is due to make an initial public offering (IPO) in December this year and make its debut as a joint stock company in April next year. At the time of the IPO, Vinalines’ charter capital is expected to be 12.3 trillion  VND (542 million USD).

    Currently, Vinalines owns a fleet of ships with capacity topping more than two million tonnes, accounting for 25 percent of the nation’s total capacity. It is also a provider of maritime and logistic services with warehousing and ICD systems in major cities and along major seaports in Vietnam.

    As per the plan approved by the Government, from now until 2020, Vinalines will develop and operate seaports at strategic locations to play a vital role in the overall transportation network of the country.

    Vinalines will prioritise investment in the development of deep-water ports and international transshipment ports that have the potential to become large seaports capable of competing with regional cargo transshipment hubs. One of the projects to be given priority is the Hai Phong international port with two container berths and total capacity of up to 8,000 TEUs, which will be implemented in 2017-20. Another project – Lien Chieu Port with two berths – is scheduled for execution in 2017-2024.


    0 0
  • 09/05/17--00:30: Article 2
  • President: Vietnam, Laos strive to develop relations practically

    High-ranking leaders of Vietnam and Laos have agreed to give the top priority to developing and lifting the two countries’ relationship to a new height in a practical, effective and quality manner, President Tran Dai Quang has said.

    Quang granted an interview to the media on the two countries’ traditional friendship, special solidarity and comprehensive cooperation and their collaboration prospects on the occasion of the 55th anniversary of bilateral diplomatic ties (September 5, 1962-2017).

    He stated the Vietnam-Laos relationship, which was founded by Vietnamese President Ho Chi Minh and Lao Presidents Kaysone Phomvihane and Souphanouvong and nurtured by generations of the two countries’ leaders and people, was tested through the two resistance wars against colonialists and imperialists and has been consolidated and developed.

    This is a valuable treasure and an important factor ensuring the success of the revolutionary cause in each country, he affirmed.

    The countries’ development history shows that without this special relationship, their past struggles for national liberation as well as the current nation building and safeguarding cause could not gain great achievements.

    State President Tran Dai Quang.

    Moreover, the relationship has contributed to peace, cooperation, stability and development in the region and the world, he added.

    Regarding important milestones in the bilateral ties over the past 55 years, President Quang described September 5, 1962 when Vietnam and Laos set up their diplomatic ties as a major historical event and a key milestone in the two countries’ relations.

    On December 2, 1975, the Lao People's Democratic Republic was born, marking the victory of the Lao people as well as of the special relations and fighting alliance between Laos and Vietnam.

    Since 1975, the bilateral relations have entered a new chapter – the era of comprehensive cooperation between the two Parties, States, and peoples.

    On July 18, 1977, they signed a Treaty of Amity and Cooperation and another Treaty on National Border Demarcation, lifting their ties to a new height.

    According to Quang, over the past 55 years, despite complicated developments in the regional and global situations, the Vietnam-Laos time-honoured friendship, special solidarity and all-round cooperation have developed extensively and effectively.

    Cooperation mechanisms, especially at the high-ranking level, have been consolidated, with growth seen in political, defence, security and economic collaboration.

    As of April, Vietnam had run 408 projects totalling 3.7 billion USD, ranking third among countries investing in Laos.

    In addition, Vietnam and Laos have also coordinated closely at regional and international forums, thus helping increase each country’s position and prestige in the region and the world, he added.

    President Quang expressed his belief that under the sound leadership of the Communist Party of Vietnam and the Lao People’s Revolutionary Party, the bilateral relations will continue to be consolidated and developed sustainably.


    0 0
  • 09/05/17--00:41: Article 1
  • Medical centers’ quality in outlying districts improved

    Ho Chi Minh City has taken much heed to invest in medical centers in outlying districts to reduce pressure on big hospitals inner city and meet healthcare demand of residents in outer suburbs.

    Though the hospital in Ho Chi Minh City’s Cu Chi suburban district was built and equipped with new devices with 300 beds, it has seen a few patients in the period before 2016.

    The hospital is not a first option because locals did not believe in treatment quality and the quantity of doctors is just 12.

    During an operation

    As per the Party Chief’s directive, since April 2016, big hospitals such as Children Hospital No.1, Gia Dinh People’s Hospital, Binh Dan Hospital, Eye Hospital and Ear-Nose-Throat Hospital have begun building satellite hospitals in Cu Chi district.

    Additionally, the hospital in the suburb bought new CT scanner, digital X-ray, machine to measure bone density, and other machines and built a standard lab. As a result, more local patients have come to the hospital for treatment.

    Resident Huynh Tinh in An Nhon Tay commune said that over one year, he and many locals have not traveled for a long distance to inner city for treatment because good doctors are working in local facility.

    Director of the hospital, Dr. Ho Hai said that in the middle of 2017, the quantity of patients increased by 150 percent and inpatients soared by 158 percent compared to previous years. Medical workers can treat patients with brain injury, orthopedics, obstetrics, cerebrovascular accident and breathing problem which had been transferred to big hospitals in metropolis.

    According to Deputy Head of the Department of Health, Dr. Tang Chi Thuong, investing in medical facilities in surrounding suburbs is one of the People’s Committee and Party Committee’s policies with the aim of reducing pressure on central hospitals. In addition to the hospital in Cu Chi district, the city authorities have also invested in other hospitals in outlying districts such as Binh Chanh, Can Gio and Hoc Mon.

    Dr. Thuong said that along with building new medical institutions in suburbs, the health sector not only sends medical workers from large hospitals to these establishments but also works out a strategy for developing personnel resource to meet increased demand.

    Elsewhere, medical workers in the hospital of Thu Duc district succeeded in applying high techniques to saving patients. Thirty nine year old man in Hiep Binh Chanh ward in Thu Duc district was taken to the hospital for emergency treatment as he experienced chest pain, breathing failure and turned blue.

    Through examination plus watching X-ray, CT scan, doctors diagnosed the man to suffer myocardial infarction due to Coronary thrombosis. A surgery was needed if not the man would die.

    After two hour surgery, the man’s condition became stable. He was discharged later that.

    Hospital Director Dr. Nguyen Minh Quan said that the hospital has performed other treatments such as Transarterial chemoembolization (TACE) for liver cancer, brain tumor operation or open heart operation for adults.

    Dr. Thuong highly appreciated the hospital's operation saying that it is one of the hospitals in districts which can perform complex operation.

    Currently, hospitals in districts 2, Tan Phu, Binh Tan also conduct hi-tech surgeries; accordingly, the rate of patients transferring to large hospitals has dropped drastically lately.

    Besides, the city’s health sector also planned to build district-level general hospitals or hospitals in gateway to the city. The municipal Children Hospital has provided examination and treatment for 1,000 outpatients a day helping to reduce pressure on the Children Hospitals No.1 and 2 as well as served locals in districts 8, Binh Chanh, Binh Tan and Mekong delta provinces.


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