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  • 10/24/17--01:59: Article 1
  • Of ill repute

    Vietnam is simultaneously building ambitious national key projects to pave the way for future growth and to alleviate growing bottlenecks. 

    As rising incomes result in fewer international aid dollars and the clout of State-owned enterprises (SOEs) wanes, Vietnamese authorities are turning to the public private partnership (PPP) model for infrastructure development, which relies on both local and foreign capital. 

    The problem is, an unattractive PPP scheme is making non-Chinese investors think twice about diving into the development of the multibillion-dollar Long Thanh International Airport, while the public are dead against the idea of having contractors from its northern neighbor.

    Lowest possible cost

     Long Thanh International Airport, 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 

    Chinese investors are no strangers to sub-par projects in Vietnam that run massively over budget. Hanoi’s first urban railway line had a trial run in September cancelled without an alternative being proposed by its Chinese builders. 

    On September 18, Vietnamese authorities told the media that further work on the project is not possible until China disburses $250 million in official development assistance (ODA) promised last year. 

    Construction of the capital’s first urban railway was planned to run from 2008 to 2013 at a cost of some $552 million, with $419 million in loans from China. Ground wasn’t broken until 2011. 

    Costs were then projected to run to $868 million by 2016, with an additional $250 million to be pumped in by Chinese lenders. 

    The final disbursement is due next March, but complicated procedures applied by China’s Eximbank have hindered the Chinese consortium headed by the China Railways Sixth Group.

    Poor quality materials, faulty installations, and untrained workers have raised safety concerns. 

    During his official visit to Beijing last year, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc said the slow pace of work and accidents have, among other things, contributed to greater congestion in Hanoi, triggering public displeasure. 

    There are plans to ask the Chinese embassy to work with the consortium on ameliorating the situation.

    Common to all the projects have been low bids and cheaper investment arrangements. Economist Ms. Pham Chi Lan, former Vice Chairwoman of Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI), told VET that this will turn out to be very expensive in the long run and costs will continue escalating for low quality results. 

    “Mistakes, shoddy work, obsolete machinery, and accidents have become commonplace, causing a general loss of confidence in China-backed projects,” she added. “Many are being reappraised, including 12 under the Ministry of Industry and Trade.”

    But the thirst for capital has nevertheless spurred some local investors to disregard public sentiment and take on Chinese partners. 

    The Hanoi Export-Import Co. (Geleximco), a private conglomerate with 30 member units and dozens of affiliates operating in industry, real estate, and financing, and its Chinese partner, Sunshine Kaidi New Energy Group, in August submitted a joint proposal for in principle approval to develop Long Thanh under the PPP model. 

    Despite funding concerns for the new airport, which will cost an estimated $16 billion, the companies promised to finish work within three to five years at “the lowest possible cost”.

    It wasn’t the first time Geleximco Chairman Mr. Vu Van Tien has made such a move. Dubbed as one of Vietnam’s “super-rich”, with total assets of $3 billion, eyebrows were raised after Geleximco and Hong Kong United Investors Holding were nominated to invest in four large-scale infrastructure projects worth up to $50 billion in Vietnam late last year: two sections of the North-South Expressway, an expressway that spans three economic hubs in the northern province of Quang Ninh, the North-South high-speed railway, and Long Thanh.

    Unclear motives

    Declining to speak about the latest proposal for Long Thanh, Mr. Tien, who is also Chairman of mid-sized lender An Binh Bank, told Vneconomy, VET’s sister publication, at the time that Geleximco has established partnerships with a number of large Chinese firms, including Kaidi, as well as major investment funds like Huarong Overseas Investment – a Chinese Government investment arm, China Minsheng Financial, and the Hong Kong-based IDG. 

    At a July meeting with the Vietnamese Prime Minister in Hanoi, Kaidi Chairman Mr. Chen Yilong said that Kaidi, Huarong, and Geleximco had set up an international investment fund worth $15 billion to carry out joint projects.

    The selection process hasn’t started yet, but questions are already being asked about its partner’s expertise. Kaidi was established just 25 years ago and has no prior experience in building airports, according to the profile published on the company’s website. 

    The United Nations Development Program, a partner of Kaidi in the ODA-funded energy project in China, said the company is a high-tech investment company working in the field of green energy and is known as the largest private company in biomass power generation in China. 

    It’s no stranger to Vietnam, but not in the field it professes to excel in. Kaidi has worked as an investor, contractor, and consultant for at least five thermal power projects in northern and central Vietnam. Two of them began operations at the end of May this year but the others have been delayed.

    Airports Corporation of Vietnam (ACV), the State-owned company in charge of managing all the country’s airports, said caution is advisable when it comes to selecting an investor for the project. 

    “Long Thanh will be the country’s main airport, so national security interests are at stake,” Deputy CEO of ACV Mr. Do Tat Binh told VET. “We will follow a strict set of guidelines to select investors, including experience in the field and financial capacity.” 

    ACV has been assigned by the government to study investment proposals for the project, but if outsiders are involved, questions are being asked whether ACV will remain the operator of the airports or will simply receive a percentage of revenues, with the balance going to external investors. “It’s too soon to appraise Geleximco’s plan right now,” Mr. Binh said. 

    “But if the company does select a Chinese partner, then ACV will have to control the construction technology and quality and progress of the project,” adding that there will be “many risks” if the pair are granted the project.

    Chinese firms, which normally offer a markedly lower price than competing bidders thanks to subsidies from the Chinese Government, are currently the dominant engineering contractors in Vietnam. 

    However, “unlike other contractors who, once awarded contracts, strictly implement the terms and conditions, Chinese contractors normally adopt a different strategy,” Mr. Le Hong Hiep, a Vietnam analyst at the ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute in Singapore, wrote in a 2013 research paper. 

    “They are willing to offer low prices, but after being awarded the contract they try to save costs by persuading project owners to change the contract’s original terms and conditions or just ignore them.”

    Alternative choice

    The Hanoi urban railway line has been seized upon by analysts as a prime example of problematic China-backed projects. Surveys suggest most projects suffer from quality concerns, delays, and cost overruns. 

    These include the $69 million My Dinh National Stadium in Hanoi, a $360 million steel complex expansion in northern Thai Nguyen province, a $264 million iron and steel mill in northern Lao Cai province, a $1.4 billion bauxite-alumina project in the central highlands, waste treatment and energy-related projects, and a number of textile factories.

    Analysts say that Vietnam wouldn’t need Chinese contractors to build Long Thanh if SOE equitization and PPP were both more reasonable from a commercial standpoint. 

    Two years ago, France’s Aeroports de Paris (ADP) expressed an interest in investing in Long Thanh and said it could bring $2 billion to the table. 

    It was the first investor to contact ACV as a possible strategic partner, two days after the government approved the equitization plan. 

    Even though the government has given approval for ADP to acquire 20 per cent of ACV, considerable disagreements over the sale still need to be addressed by the government, according to a knowledgeable source. 

    First, the French airport authority wants to establish a principle of “One Airport - One Operator” at all 22 airports currently managed by ACV, through a special decree or circular issued by the Ministry of Transport, before completing the acquisition. 

    This is believed to be the most important issue for ADP, with ACV to be the only operator even when airports are expanded or upgraded. 

    Secondly, the French company wants to have assurances that ACV will benefit from the under-construction Long Thanh. In ADP’s opinion, if Long Thanh is put into operation, part of the revenue from Tan Son Nhat, which is currently the biggest money-maker for ACV, will be reallocated. 

    Thirdly, there is disagreement over the price of the shares to be sold to ADP. The French partner wants the price to be negotiated based on various pricing methods, with expectations suitable to its business and strategies, while the government wants to set the price based on the price of ACV’s shares on the Unlisted Public Company Market (UPCoM), where its 2.1 billion shares were listed in November last year after an initial public offering (IPO) in 2015.

    In the meantime, the legal framework for PPPs has been in place for ten years but results remain limited. Inadequate support to the financial viability of projects, weak financing, and risk allocation between the government and the private sector have appeared to be not so fruitful for investors during Vietnam’s infrastructure development race. 

    The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), the implementing arm of Japan’s ODA programs, acknowledged in a study that the guarantees and assistance currently offered under Vietnam’s PPP scheme have been inferior to other countries, just a few months before the Japanese Government also denied a $2 billion investment in Long Thanh in 2014.

    VN Economic Times

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  • 10/24/17--02:33: Article 0
  • Downtown car fee stokes debate

    In an effort to curb traffic congestion, a local firm has recently proposed charging a VND30,000 – 50,000 (US$1.3 - 2.2) fee for  cars entering HCM City’s downtown. The plan has raised controversy among experts and locals, according to Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper. Officials and members of the public offered their opinions about the plan to the newspaper. 

    Pay parking lot and toll fees, architecture, traffic activities, Vietnam economy, Vietnamnet bridge, English news about Vietnam, Vietnam news, news about Vietnam, English news, Vietnamnet news, latest news on Vietnam, Vietnam 
    Fueling debate: The city’s plan to charge automobiles for entering the city centre has caused controversy among locals and experts, according to a report in Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper. Photo

    Le Trung Tinh, chairman of the HCM City Interprovincial and Tourist Passenger Transport Association

    Though it’s necessary to charge four-wheel vehicles entering the city centre to reduce congestion, more factors should be taken into consideration before making any final decision.

    The city’s Department of Transport should wisely determine how much and when vehicles would be charged to ensure it does not affect the cost of service sectors. In addition, locals that merely pass through the city centre should not be charged and more parking lots near the centre should be built.

    Ta Long Hy, chairman of the city’s Taxi Association

    Since passengers have always been required to pay parking lot and toll fees, the new policy on charging taxis entering the city centre would not financially affect taxi companies.

    However, it would be quite expensive for short-distance travellers who have to pay an additional amount of VND30,000 (US$1.3) on top of VND20,000 (US$0.9).  

    The city’s Department of Transport has classified taxis as public transport. So the association has asked the city to remove taxis from the list of vehicles to be charged or reduce the fee by 50 per cent.

    Bui Van Quan, chairman of the city’s Cargo Transport Association

    Transport companies are charged different types of fees for road maintenance and Build-Operate-Transfer-toll stations, increasing transport costs and costs of goods.

    Also, due to fierce competition, many transport companies have become bankrupt. Thus, considering that each automobile is charged VND50,000 (US$2.2) for each entry in the city centre, it will create more challenges for transport companies. 

    Traffic congestion is caused by many factors, including poor planning and an increasing number of high-rises in the centre that have drawn more people to the centre. To effectively cope with the matter, authorities should come up with long-term solutions.

    Residents should also be informed about how and where the collected fees will be spent, and who will be responsible if traffic congestion continues after the fees take effect.

    Vu Anh Tuan, director of the Vietnamese – German Transport Research Centre

    Charging vehicles a fee for entering the city centre is only one of a number of measures that can curb traffic congestion. Authorities need to carry out multiple measures at once to effectively ease the situation.

    There are many countries that have used this measure, yet only a few have been able to achieve their goals. It is crucial to understand why they succeeded and why they did not, and come up with the best solution for Viet Nam and HCM City in particular.

    Thirty-six tollgates should be installed at locations that would not disturb the urban architecture and other traffic activities.

    The fees should be used for public transport development and road infrastructure improvement. Since many four-wheel vehicles would choose not to enter the city centre, road infrastructure in other areas should be given proper investment.

    Nguyen Le Ninh, member of the Viet Nam Fatherland Front Committee

    Automobiles should not be charged as most of them are entering central District 1 and 3 to get to other districts.

    Also, vehicles going to the centre for work and entertainment already have to pay parking lot fees and other fees, so it might be too much for them to pay extra costs.

    Charging automobiles only solves a small part of traffic congestion. Instead, more parking lots with higher capacity should be built and road infrastructure around the city centre should be improved to encourage locals to use these roads. This would help reduce the number of people in central districts.

    Information about every project should be published so that locals can send feedback to relevant authorities.

    Vu Van Thuan, Mai Linh taxi driver

    In addition to the road maintenance fee from Bien Hoa City to HCM City, taxi passengers have to pay at one to two toll stations. The amount would add up if they are charged for entering the city centre.

    Relevant authorities should collect feedback from locals and experts to come up with the best solutions.

    They should also build interchanges near the city centre so that taxi passengers can opt for other transport options to save costs.


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  • 10/25/17--00:41: Article 2
  • GDP growth benefits for the poor lessening: economist


    The gap between the top 20 percent of the richest people and the lowest 20 per cent of the poor in Vietnam was 4.4 times in 1993, but the figure was 10 times in 2016. 

     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, GDP growth rate, Oxfam, CPI
    The real figure could be even higher as it is now difficult to measure the wealth of the rich, according to the Mekong Development Institute.

    Dr Phung Duc Tung, head of the Mekong Development Institute, said that the high GDP growth rate that Vietnam has always been striving for will not solve all the problems in the country.

    Tung said the GDP growth rate is an important index that measures the development of the economy, but it is also necessary to think about who will benefit from growth.

    GDP has been growing with a great contribution from the foreign invested economic sector. Formosa and Samsung, for example, are major factors that helped contribute to the impressive 7.46 percent growth rate in the third quarter.

    However, Tung pointed out that FDI does not bring many benefits to the economy compared with what it can receive.

    He said that the export-based economic growth makes the economy vulnerable. “Any uncertainties from outside or from large foreign-invested conglomerates will have serious impact on Vietnam’s economy,” he said.

    Minister and Chairman of the Government's Office Mai Tien Dung emphasized that the record high growth rate of 7.46 percent in the third quarter was not generated from the exploitation of natural resources. 

    The gap between the top 20 percent of the richest people and the lowest 20 per cent of the poor in Vietnam was 4.4 times in 1993, but the figure was 10 times in 2016. 

    However, this has been the ‘pillar’ for Vietnam’s GDP for many years. That was why the government once considered exploiting an additional 1 million tons of oil to obtain the targeted growth rate.

    “Mining doesn’t create added value. We just unearth and sell what our ancestors have not exploited,” Tung said.

    Real estate also makes a great contribution to GDP growth rate. Some businesses fully exploit legal loopholes to obtain land plots at low prices and seek profits from dubious transactions.

    Tung believes that despite the high GDP growth rate, people won’t get many benefits from it.

    The UNDP encourages countries to strive for ‘inclusive growth’, i.e. all people in a country benefiting from GDP growth.

    “In 1990-2005, the growth brought benefits to the majority of people,” Tung said. In the period, people’s income mostly came from their jobs, while the gap in income was from the difference in laborers’ skills.

    But since 2010, the difference in income of different groups of people no longer depends on income from their work, but from assets (real estate, shares, deposits, and production tools). The gap between the poor and the rich has widened. 

    Chi Mai, VNN

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  • 10/25/17--00:55: Article 1
  • Social News 24/10

    Anti-flooding pumps halt operation in Nguyen Huu Canh street

    Anti-flooding pumps halt operation in Nguyen Huu Canh street, More than 95 percent of Hanoi’s dengue hotbeds under control, Workshop looks to boost support for vulnerable groups 
    Anti-flooding pumps in Nguyen Huu Canh street (Photo: SGGP)

    Investor has proposed to temporarily halt operation of the pumping system in Nguyen Huu Canh street to wait for authorized agencies’ conclusion about the reason why the street was still inundated during a rain on October 17 when pumps were running normally. 

    That was announced by Mr. Nguyen Tang Cuong, director general of Quang Trung Industry Joint Stock Company yesterday.

    Mr. Cuong said that the company has sent the proposal in writing to the HCMC Steering Center of Urban Flood Control Program.

    The halt started at 4 p.m. on October 20 and lasts till the dark on October 24. During this time, the company is being completed installation and improving the pumping system while workers have collected garbage from sewers.

    Pumps of HCMC Urban Drainage Company has operated to cope with flooding in case of heavy rains.

    On October 17, a 45 minute long rain with the precipitation of 50mm submerged Nguyen Huu Canh street although the pumping system was operating normally.

    Right after the flooding, the company and the Steering Center of Urban Flood Control Program inspected the street and found lot of garbage in sewers, said Mr. Cuong.

    According to documents, total garbage collected from the area is 24.7 cubic meters.

    Workers focused on checking six out of 40 manholes in the street. Of these, the most garbage was got from the manholes in front of houses at numbers 45 and 59A adjacent to The Manor residential area.

    HCMC to hire consultants to estimate anti-flooding pumps

    The HCMC People’s Committee has assigned the HCMC Steering Center of Urban Flood Control Program to urgently hire consultants to estimate the efficiency of anti-flood pumping system in Nguyen Huu Canh street, said that center yesterday.

    The consultants will also propose a process to check and take over and operate the pumping system, it said.

    The committee has also tasked the Department of Planning and Investment to cooperate with the center and relevant agencies to work with investor of the system Quang Trung Industry Joint Stock Company on contents of a pilot contract.

    They should report results to the city People’s Committee within seven days after receiving the requirement.

    Vietnam Airlines reschedules flights between Vietnam & Japan due to storm

    National flag carrier Vietnam Airlines rescheduled flights on Vietnam-Japan route due to Typhoon LAN which made landfall in Japan as early as October 22.

    Flights will not coincide with the original scheduled departure time. Accordingly, aircrafts including VN310, VN300 from Hanoi/HCM City to Tokyo’s Narita Airport; VN330, VN320 from Hanoi/HCM City to Osaka from the evening October 22 to the early morning of 23 will depart 90-150 minutes late.

    The VN364 from Hanoi to Nagoya will be 6 hours late. Other flights on Narita - Hanoi/HCM City routes will also be affected by the delays from 120-150 minutes; flights between Nagoya and Hanoi will be scheduled to leave 4 hours late.

    The carrier notifies passengers to access its websites, or contact the ticket offices of the airline throughout the country for further information about flight delay or cancellation.

    More than 95 percent of Hanoi’s dengue hotbeds under control

    Hanoi has put 95.31 percent of dengue hotbeds under control with no new infections in a 14 day period, while the other 240 remained active, according to statistics from the city’s Department of Health.

    The department said on October 23 that the capital city recorded 862 cases of dengue fever between October 16 and 22, a decrease of 159 cases from the previous week. Twenty-four of 30 districts saw a decline in infections, it added.

    It estimated that about 34,450 people have contracted dengue since the beginning of this year, seven of whom died due to the disease.

    The department’s deputy director Hoang Duc Hanh warned that the current weather was still favourable for the development of mosquitoes. Districts and communes must continue taking preventive measures to control the disease, he urged.

    The Hanoi Preventive Medicine Centre alongside medical centres at Chuong My and My Duc districts are responsible for directing environmental cleanups in the districts’ areas affected by floods early this month to prevent new outbreaks, he noted.     

    Workshop looks to boost support for vulnerable groups

    An international workshop was opened by the Vietnam Peace and Development Foundation (VPDF) and Germany’s Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung in Hanoi on October 23 to encourage the further involvement from society to support vulnerable groups.

    In his introductory speech, Dong Huy Cuong, Secretary-General of the VPDF and deputy head of the department for multilateral affairs under the Vietnam Union of Friendship Organisations, said Vietnam, a war-torn country which is also prone to natural disasters, is now in the process of industrialisation and urbanisation. Therefore, the number of people in vulnerable groups is very big.

    He cited statistics of the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs (MOLISA) that vulnerable groups account for more than 20 percent of the country’s population. About 9.2 percent of them are the elderly, 7.2 percent are persons with disabilities, and 5 percent are in low-income families.

    They also include about 1.5 million children with special backgrounds, 1.8 million households that need support due to natural disasters, fires and lean harvest, 234,000 discovered HIV patients, 204,000 drug addicts, and 30,000 domestic violence victims.

    These groups are facing a number of challenges and barriers relating to their interests, responsibility, self-esteem, health care, education, information, employment, capital, and support systems, Cuong noted.

    Over the past years, Vietnam has issued concrete policies to support vulnerable groups, non-governmental organisations of Vietnam and other countries have also launched many programmes and projects to assist them. However, because of both objective and subjective reasons, there remain limits of these groups’ access to the help of the State and non-governmental organisations (NGOs).

    Pham Dai Dong, head of the policy and social assistance division at the MOLISA’s Department of Social Assistance, noted ensuring social welfare is an important task of the whole political system and the entire society. Models of social support must be diverse and include both material and spiritual support. 

    Social support should be shared by the State and the society, and it should ensure that persons encountering risks receive timely assistance from the State, organisations and the community, he added.

    Sharing her country’s experience, Iris Assenmacher – Counsellor in charge of social issues at the German Embassy in Vietnam – said the German Government’s viewpoint on social welfare for the disabled is to combine regulations and policies in all fields, from social assistance, social insurance to employment aid, while respecting their self-determination.

    At the two-day workshop, participants are set to discuss such issues as the reform and development of social assistance in Vietnam, Germany’s social support system, local NGOs’ experience in supporting vulnerable groups, ASEAN’s social support for the disabled, and social support for migrant workers.

    Outstanding Huế artisans honoured by local agency

    Eighteen outstanding artisans in central Thừa Thiên-Huế Province have been honoured for their technical inventions that helped ease work in various production fields.

    The province’s Union of Science and Technology Associations honoured the artisans yesterday for the first time for their significant contribution to the local technical and processing sectors. They were selected from among 60 prominent artisans around the province.

    The 60 artisans were shortlisted based on several criteria. Firstly, their innovation could be applied to practical production in the locality this year and would not consume the local government’s budget. At the same time, they must not be involved with any research centres and not trained in a professional institute.

    At the meeting, kite-making artisan Nguyễn Văn Hoàng was noticed for his flying and ornamental kites, which were presented at kite festivals held in France, India and Thailand. Hoàng has 16 different types of flying kites, which the meeting organisers said were appraised by the locals and visitors to Huế. He also created ornamental kites in the shapes of dragons, Vietnamese legendary figures, such as Sơn Tinh, Thủy Tinh, Âu Cơ and Lạc Long Quân, and various insects.

    Artisan Nguyễn Văn Chư was honoured for his outstanding woodcarving skills. Chư has his own workshop in the province, which is home to more than 100 practitioners from disadvantaged families, and he created many tools that have helped produce excellent carving works. The organisers said Chư was honoured for his smart use of natural wood stripe to feature his ideas.

    Farmer Lê Hữu Minh was honoured for his inventions of hydraulic peanut oil refining tools and ginger drilling machine. The organisers noted that Minh did not complete  his secondary school education and stopped at Grade 8, but his innovations have helped thousands of farmers throughout the province to reduce the time period consumed by manual work.

    Ministry wants funds for Belt Road 3

    The Ministry of Transport plans to seek approval for funding from the South Korean government for a portion of Belt Road 3 from Tân Vạn District to Nhơn Trạch District in Đồng Nai Province, according to the Ministry of Transport.

    The ministry is seeking approval of the South Korean investment from Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc.

    Around 8.7km of a 17.8-km section of the Belt Road 3 project would be funded by loans from the Republic of Korea and the rest from investments under a BOT (build-operate-transfer) model, according to Trần Văn Thi, CEO of the transport ministry’s Cửu Long Corporation for Investment, Development and Project Management of Infrastructure.

    The PM has approved detailed planning for Belt Road 3, which will have a total length of 89.3km and pass through HCM City and the provinces of Đồng Nai, Bình Dương and Long An.

    The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has funded a total of 47km for the Belt Road 3 project from Bình Dương Province’s Thuận An District to National Road 22 in HCM City’s Hóc Môn District, as well as from National Road 22 to Long An Province’s Bến Lức District.

    The first phase of the road project will include construction of four lanes, while the second phase will add four more lanes, Thi said.

    Six lanes of the road will be used for commuting and two lanes for emergency stops. The road, which will connect highways and national roads, is expected to reduce congestion in the inner city and boost inter-provincial transport services.

    The project has total investment of VNĐ55.805 trillion (US$2.46 billion) sourced from the State budget, Official Development Assistance and the private sector.

    Helmets for Kids programme launched in Yên Bái Province

    The Helmets for Kids programme on Monday expanded its road safety education efforts to the northern province of Yên Bái and donated 1,500 high-quality helmets to the school community.

    All six of the schools in the province are located in high-risk and traffic-dense areas along National Highways No. 37 and 32C.

    Pre-implementation surveys revealed that the average student helmet-use rate at these schools was only 31 per cent, and the majority of helmets being used were substandard.

    Nguyễn Trọng Thái, chief of the Secretariat of the National Traffic Safety Committee, said that the six schools were selected for the programme because of their low rates of quality helmet use and dangerous locations near national highways.

    “Helmets for Kids” has significantly helped communities by raising awareness about road safety and encouraging parents to provide helmets to their children.

    In addition to expanding to Yên Bái Province, Helmets for Kids will continue in the provinces of Gia Lai and Quảng Nam.

    During the current academic year, nearly 5,100 quality helmets and road safety education classes are being provided to students at 20 primary schools in the three provinces.

    The programme is organised by the National Traffic Safety Committee in co-operation with the Asia Injury Prevention (AIP) Foundation and Johnson & Johnson. 

    The Warriors beat the Buffaloes at VBA

    Thang Long Warriors defeated Hanoi Buffaloes 80-69 in the last derby of the Viet Nam Basketball Association (VBA) League in Hà Nội on Sunday.

    The Warriors played confidently, as earlier, they beat the Buffaloes twice but the first quarter ended in draw of 15-15.

    In the second quarter, coach Todd Purves of the Buffaloes was forced to leave the game following a technical mistake with the referees.

    Taking advantage of this, the Warriors quickly took the lead 33-28 with accurate throws by Jaywuan Hill and Justin Young.

    In the third period, the Warriors’ score was 44-30 against the Buffaloes. But with effective three-point shots, Vincent Nguyễn and Nguyễn Phú Hoàng narrowed the gap.

    Although Ryan Lê of the Warriors left the match, the Warriors still proved their skills and won 80-69 in the final.

    It is the third win in a row for the Warriors against the Buffaloes in this tournament, helping the Warriors top the rankings.

    The next challenge of the Buffaloes will be with HCM City Wings on October 28, while the Warriors will play Danang Dragons at the Military Zone 5 in Đà Nẵng on October 26.

    In another match, Saigon Heat crushed defending champions Danang Dragons 93-78 at CIS Arena in HCM City.

    Taking advantage of playing on their home turf, the Heat played impressively by taking the lead of 20-14 in the first period.

    In the next stage, the Dragons bounced back with Trần Đăng Khoa, Horace Nguyễn and Rudolphe Joly. Khoa scored five points, Joly alone scored 11 points, while Nguyễn had three successful three-point throws. These players helped the visiting side finish the second quarter at 40-35.

    However, after the break, the hosts made fans jump for joy with their outstanding performance.

    Lê Ngọc Tú và David Arnold helped the Heat level the score of 50-50 when the third period remained half of time.

    Following this excitement, Darius Lewis and Nguyễn Huỳnh Hải scored seven points each to finish the third quarter 66-55 in favour of the Heat.

    Although the Dragons made every effort in the last period, they still suffered a loss of 78-93.

    With this loss, the Dragons will have to cut short their dream of playing in the event’s play-offs.

    The Heat defended their third place in the rankings, and will next meet Thang Long Warriors at the CIS Arena on October 29. 

    Vietnamese Embassy in Russia raises funds for flood victims

    The Embassy of Vietnam in Russia on October 23 launched a fundraising ceremony to help people in Vietnam overcome consequences of natural disasters.

    Representatives from the Business Association and the Vietnamese Association in Russia and overseas Vietnamese in Russia attended the event along with the embassy’s staff.

    At the event, Vietnamese Ambassador to Russia Nguyen Thanh Son called on the participants to aid affected people, helping them to overcome aftermath of the recent floods and stabilise their lives.

    After the drive, the embassy will send a working mission to visit and hand over the donation to flood victims in provinces that suffered the most in the recent downpours and floods.

    In the flooding in late 2016, the working delegation of the embassy and the Vietnamese Association in Russia presented 10 motorboats worth 40 million VND (1,760 USD) each and 100 life jackets to people in the central provinces of Ha Tinh and Quang Binh.

    Continuous downpours from October 10 triggered floods and landslides in Vietnam’s northern and north central regions, causing huge losses in humans and property. 

    Up to 75 people were killed, 38 injured and 28 others went missing. More than 2,600 households were forced to evacuate.

    Bac Ninh promotes spiritual tourism potential

    The northern province of Bac Ninh has actively applied numerous measures to fully tap its spiritual tourism potential.

    Nguyen Van Anh, Deputy Director of the provincial Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism, communication campaigns will be promoted in order to raise the awareness of the role of tourism, particularly spiritual tourism, among levels, sectors and the community.

    Besides, the province has been investing in technical infrastructure for tourism, including the expansion of tourism services and the construction of ports, wharves and infrastructure facilities along the Duong and Cau Rivers to connect spiritual tourism destinations. 

    Apart from mapping out number of typical spiritual tourism tours, Bac Ninh will focus on personnel training, particularly tour guides and safety and security for tourists.

    Bac Ninh is home to 1,558 historical and cultural relic sites. Of which, nearly 200 are national relic sites and four are national special relic sites, including  1,000-year-old Phat Tich Pagoda in Tien Du district, Do Temple in Tu Son township.

    The province also features 547 traditional festivals and 60 traditional trade villages.

    Over the past years, the province has issued numerous policies to promote spiritual tourism potential. Hundreds of billions of Vietnamese dong have been poured into upgrading and restoring local relic sites.

    The province welcomes around 3 million visitors each year, mostly to religious sites and festivals in the Spring.

     Local researchers aided to get access to international journals

    A series of training workshops on Research 123, a toolkit that assists researchers in getting their papers published internationally, opened in Hanoi on October 23.

    The National Agency for Science and Technology Information (NASATI) in collaboration with the Singaporean-based Innovative Education Services launched the events in a bid to help Vietnamese experts access international output and integrate into the global scientific community.  

    Speaking at the workshop, NASATI Deputy Director General Dao Manh Thang stressed the number of Vietnamese research papers published in international scientific journals has surged in recent years but still falls short of expectations.

    He pointed to the fact that local scientists face difficulties in selecting publishers, following publication process, and saving their internationally published works.

    At the workshop, experts from Singapore, Malaysia and Hong Kong have introduced the Research 123 kit and provide relevant consultancy and knowledge for participants.


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  • 10/25/17--01:12: Article 0

    Vietnam may fail to meet government revenue target

     Vietnam may fail to meet government revenue target, FDI capital flows into hotels, Float glass plant opens in Ninh Binh, Ground broken for 16 million USD candy factory in Nghe An

    The National Assembly’s Finance and Budget Committee (FBC) stated on October 23 that Vietnam may fail to meet its government revenue target for 2017, although the Ministry of Finance forecast revenues to exceed the target by 2.3%.

    According to the FBC, revenue increases are mainly being witnessed in local budgets while the central budget is likely to see a shortfall in revenues, adding that it could be the third consecutive year that the country fails to meet its revenue target.

    The Committee expressed its concerns that domestic revenues are estimated to increase by a mere 2.1%, of which contributions by State-owned enterprises has fallen by 7.7%, indicating that Vietnam’s economic recovery remains sluggish and unsustainable.

    In addition, tax arrears remain significant, at approximately VND74 trillion (US$3.256 billion) as of September 30, despite aggressive efforts to expedite tax payments.

    The FBC stated that the government’s projected revenue increase at 6.4% in 2018 is low but consistent with the economic growth forecast, helping to reduce the risks in the event of Vietnam not meeting the revenue target due to adverse factors.

    The Finance Ministry put the spending deficit for 2018 at 3.7% of GDP, a rise of 0.2 percentage points from 2017, which, the FBC said, requires clarification as to whether or not such a high deficit would affect long-term targets.

    Several National Assembly deputies suggested reducing the shortfall to 3.5%, calling on the government to cut recurrent expenditure and unnecessary investments and strive to recover the aforementioned tax arrears.

    According to the FBC, Vietnam’s public debt by the end of 2018 is projected to remain below the threshold of 65% of GDP but growing debt reflects a sombre picture on the national budget.

    FDI capital flows into hotels

    Foreign direct investment (FDI) capital ran into many hotel projects during the first nine months this year, according to Foreign Investment Agency under the Ministry of Planning and Investment. 

    Total FDI capital registered to Vietnam hit the record high of US$25.5 billion, a year on year increase of over 33 percent.

    Of these, there were 34 real estate projects with the total capital of $1 billion including many hotel projects. For instance, Movenpick invested in ten hotels in Vietnam.

    The FDI capital increase in hotels showing foreign investors have tended to eye on  tourist potentials in Vietnam.

    In HCMC, many hotels are operating at high capacity. Four and five star hotels reach the capacity of 66 percent with the average price of US$76 a night.

    Tien Giang works to support enterprises

    The Mekong Delta province of Tien Giang will actively provide legal support and disseminate legal regulations related to the investment law, business climate and labour in order to help local firms promote production and business in the remaining months of the year. 

    According to Nguyen Thanh Liem, deputy head of the provincial Industrial Zones Management Board, the province will speed up administrative reforms and promptly remove difficulties facing businesses in investment attraction and production expansion. 

    The locality also has priority policies for companies investing in seafood processing for export and food processing for domestic consumption and export, he said.

    Local industrial zones (IZs) have lured 91 investment projects with total registered capital of nearly 3.7 billion USD and created jobs for more than 82,000 labourers.

    From the outset of the year, production value of businesses based in the IZs reached over 41.8 trillion VND (1.8 billion USD), a year-on-year increase of 17 percent. Their export revenue stood at over 1.5 billion USD, hiking 26 percent from the same time last year and the strongest growth so far.

    Tien Giang is currently home to four industrial zones, namely My Tho, Long Giang, Tan Huong and Soai Rap Oil and Gas Services.

    Float glass plant opens in Ninh Binh

    A float glass manufacturing plant started operation last week in the northern province of Ninh Binh’s Khanh Cu Industrial Zone.

    Financed by INDEVCO Joint Stock Company, the plant provides 80 million metres of glass annually to meeting the increasing demand of domestic and international markets.

    The plant, which can utilize the province’s available source of limestone materials, is expected to create 1,000 local jobs.

    Chiarman of the provincial People’s Committee Dinh Van Dien said he appreciates the efforts by local authorities and the investor to speed up the factory’s construction.

    At the opening ceremony, the chairman said Ninh Binh has always created favourable conditions for businesses and investors in the locality.

    The province is now home to 6,000 enterprises and strives to raise the figure to over 10,000 by 2020.-

    Ground broken for 16 million USD candy factory in Nghe An

    Construction of a 360 million VND (16 million USD) confectionery factory began in the central province of Nghe An on October 21.

    The ground-breaking ceremony for the Hai Chai 2 factory in the Dong Hoi Industrial Zone was witnessed by Deputy Prime Minister Vuong Dinh Hue, reported.

    Invested by Hai Chau Confectionery JSC, the factory will have 10 production lines, providing 75,000 tonnes of products each year. It is expected to earn annual revenue of 1.7 trillion VND (74 million USD).

    Speaking at the ceremony, Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee Nguyen Xuan Duong vowed to facilitate the operation of the factory, which is regarded as the company’s key project in the north central region.

    According to the Business Monitor International (BMI), the nation’s confectionery sector has experienced a relatively high and stable growth rate and is forecast to earn 40 trillion VND (1.8 billion USD) in revenues in 2018.

    Vietnam’s airport ground services firm honoured by Korean Air

    The Vietnam Airport Ground Services Co. Ltd (VIAGS), a subsidiary of Vietnam Airlines, has been recognised as a provider of the best cargo handling service with the absolute score of 50/50 by Korean Air.

    Vietnam Airlines said Korean Air assesses the service quality of ground services companies by basing on seven major criteria, from security and safety ensuring, support resources, equipment maintenance to cargo transportation, training, services improvement and unexpected incident response.

    Aside from the Korean Air recognition, VIAGS recently won eight service quality awards presented by famous carriers such as Singapore Airlines, Malaysia Airlines and Cathay Pacific.

    In the first nine months of 2017, VIAGS served nearly 93,000 flights with over 28 million passengers, up 5 percent and 11 percent from the same period last year. It also handled about 800,000 tonnes of cargo, rising by almost 1.3 times year on year.

    VIAGS was founded on January 1, 2016 basing on the merger of three ground services firms which are now its subsidiaries at Noi Bai, Tan Son Nhat and Da Nang international airports.

    Nghi Son economic zone to welcome ecological resort

    The People’s Committee in the central province of Thanh Hoa has recently given the go-ahead to a 15.6-million USD eco-tourist resort project in the Nghi Son economic zone in Tinh Gia district. 

    The project is jointly invested by Phu Thinh Phat General Trading Joint Stock Company and Tecco Investment Corporation Joint Stock Company. Some 62 percent of the project’s investment capital comes from equity and the rest is sourced from bank loans.

    Spanning an area of 28.9ha, the project will include a 6,000sq.m three-star hotel, a 16,400sq.m condominium complex, a 5,000sq.m restaurant, a 4,500sq.m spa, a 3,000sq.m swimming pool and several other facilities.

    Construction of the resort is divided into two phases, expected to be completed and put into operation in the fourth quarter of 2020.

    With the project, the investors aim at building an eco-tourism resort for tourists, diversifying the province’s tourism services and promoting cultural exchange.

    SHB loans to help coffee cultivation in Central Highlands

    Saigon Hanoi Commercial Joint Stock Bank (SHB) will provide preferential loans for farmers in the Central Highlands to grow coffee, SHB General Director Nguyen Van Le said.

    This is part of the activities to implement the World Bank-funded Vietnam – Sustainable Agriculture Transformation (VnSAT) project in the Central Highlands.

    According to the credit programme, the bank will offer loans at an annual interest rate of 7 percent with a 9-year term and four-year grace period.

    The loans aim to help locals have capital to grow, regrow and take care of their coffee and pepper trees; upgrade soil; buy seedlings, machines and equipment; and invest in watering system and other coffee growing necessities.

    The credit programme is expected to help enhance productivity and processing capability to produce more high-quality coffee, thus raising export value, creating jobs and increasing income for local labourers.

    Vietnam is among the leading coffee producers and exporters in the world. The Central Highlands, which comprises the five provinces of Dak Lak, Gia Lai, Kon Tum, Dak Nong and Lam Dong, makes up 90 percent and 93.3 percent of the nation’s growing area and production, respectively.

    As of the end of June, SBH had total assets of 251.7 trillion VND. Recently, the State Bank of Vietnam gave the greenlight to the bank to increase its charter capital to over 12 trillion VND.

    Natural rubber producing countries convene conference in HCM City

    The Association of Natural Rubber Producing Countries (ANRPC) convened its 10th annual rubber conference in Ho Chi Minh City on October 23.

    Themed “Re-engineering Value Chain for Revitalising Production Sector”, the conference sought to help rubber farmers respond to price changes and boost sustainable development in processing.

    The ANRPC comprises of 11 members, namely Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Vietnam. These countries accounted for about 92 percent of global production of natural rubber during 2015.

    According to Tran Ngoc Thuan, General Director of the Vietnam Rubber Group, Vietnam ranks third in the world in terms of rubber area, with 976,400 hectares.

    Last year, the country earned 1.67 billion USD from exporting 1 million tonnes of natural rubber.

    More efforts need to be made to lure foreign funds for start-ups

    In the context of rapid growth of the startup movement among young entrepreneurs, start-ups’ activities have expanded and have shown huge potential.

    Hence, more and more foreign investors have paid attention to startups. However, to lure more foreign investment, the startup community and Vietnamese policymakers need to make greater efforts.

    Founded one and a half years ago, this business provides co-working spaces. After achieving some success, the company is looking for foreign investment funds.

    “If we want to expand our business internationally, we will have to look for foreign investors because it is very difficult to transfer inshore capital, it’s very complicated and involves a lot of procedures”, said Do Hoai Nam, co-founder of the Up Co-working Space.

    Nguyen Manh Dung, Head Representative of CyberAgent Ventures in ASEAN said many foreign investment funds are interested in and wanting to invest into startups in new economic sectors in Vietnam, however successfully mobilising foreign capital depends on startups themselves.

    However, it’s not always easy to lure foreign investment as Vietnam faces competitors from other countries.

    Experts in the field have also acknowledged that to take advantage of long-term capital to develop and expand, Vietnamese startups should make greater efforts to improve their capacity. Negotiating skills and support from policymakers are also needed.

    On the other hand, besides foreign funds, startups should also look for capital from the community to attract capital and expand business, while the State should introduce more supporting policies to encourage dormant capital sources towards startups.

    Vietnam doubles efforts to improve business environment

    Vietnam’s business environment and competitiveness have been improved significantly over the past three years thanks to a range of solutions, according to the Ministry of Planning and Investment (MoPI).

    The country’s efforts have been reflected through the World Bank’s ease of doing business rankings in 2016, in which Vietnam climbed to the 82nd position from the 91st last year. This is the first time the country has made a big stride in the rankings since 2008. 

    Vietnam also claimed the 47th position among 127 economies surveyed in the 2017 global innovative index (GII) report, the highest ranking to date, up 12 places from last year’s report, according to the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO). 

    The World Economic Forum (WEF)’s Global Competitiveness Report 2017-2018 released in September also ranked Vietnam 55th overall, up five places from 2016. 

    However, the MoPI said that the quality of regulations on business conditions remained low, showing a lack of a management system based on risk assessment. 

    Besides, the supervision system of regulations on business conditions has proven ineffective, the ministry said, pointing to inadequate acknowledgement of reforms of licences and business conditions. 

    The ministry, therefore, proposed abolishing about 3,000 unnecessary, irrational, ineffective business conditions and revamping State management over production and business activities on the basis of principles and practices set by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). 

    The ministry has called on the Prime Minister to request ministers and Chairpersons of municipal and provincial People’s Committees to closely supervise the implementation of Resolution No. 19 on tasks and solutions to improve the business environment and national competitiveness. 

    The ministries should promptly review and propose reducing investment and business conditions in the State management area and report to the PM before December 2017, the MoPI said. 

    At the same time, the MoPI will partner with the Government’s Office and relevant ministries to organise more dialogues with enterprises to clear up their concerns and petitions in a timely manner. 

    HCM City calls for investment in metro projects

    Ho Chi Minh City is seeking financial backing for nine major projects, mainly metro projects, and four key industries to lay the foundations for socio-economic development in the future, said Le Thanh Liem, vice chairman of the municipal People’s Committee.

    Metro projects requiring investment include Metro Line 3a from Ben Thanh to Tan Kien Station stretching 19.8km with a total investment of US$2,979 million, Metro Line 3b from Cong Hoa intersection to Hiep Binh Phuc (12km) with an estimated investment of US$1,863 million, Metro Line 4 from Thanh Xuan to Hiep Phuoc Urban Area (36km) with investment of US$3,484 million, Metro Line 4b from Gia Dinh Park to Lang Cha Ca (5.2km) US$1,035 million, Metro Line 5 (second phase) from Ba Hien intersection to Can Giuoc Moi Station (14.56km) US$2,466 million, and Metro Line 3 from Phan Van Tri intersection to Tan Chanh Hiep Station (16.5km) US$363 million.

    The city is also encouraging businesses to invest in a hi-tech agricultural park on an area of 18.3ha with a cost of US$5.4 million situated in Phuoc Vinh An village, Cu Chi district, the Rach Chiec National Sports Complex on 180ha in District 2 looking for an investment of US$950 million, and a hotel at Thu Thiem New Urban Area in District 2 on 6.8ha seeking US$123.6 million. 

    Second thought for biofuel

    As the deadline for the compulsory replacement of fossil fuel A92 by biofuel E5 – on January 1, 2018 – is drawing near, consumers remain doubtful, and traders are still reluctant, though authorities have repeatedly said that it will go as planned.

    The stark contrast between authorities on one side, and traders and consumers on the other needs to be removed first if the scheme is to be a success. In other words, the difference must be bridged, with consumers and traders being shown the benefits of using the biofuel.

    The Ministry of Industry and Trade last week organized a conference in Hanoi, where the biofuel was touted as a solution to sustainable development, now that climate change is impacting on the country. Some scientific data given at the conference pointed to the benefits of biofuel E5, saying it was even better for engines than the normal fossil fuel. Biofuels are also gaining strong popularity in many countries around the world, including in advanced economies like Australia, the U.S. and European countries.

    Such data are reliable, but not sufficient.

    E5 is VND300 per liter cheaper than the same-standard fossil fuel A92, but its energy content is lower, meaning a vehicle covers a shorter distance with the same amount of biofuel as that of fossil fuel. To convince consumers, this difference needs to be worked out.

    Given the benefits for the economy as a whole, arguments that biofuels are more environmentally friendly also need a rethink. Such arguments may prove correct when isolating the consumption of fuels. However, numerous studies have pointed out that to produce biofuels, various resources are needed, from water and crops as feedstock to coal and oil, to process and produce such fuels. Some environment organizations have even gone as far as accusing producers of biofuels of damaging the environment and depleting rainforests worldwide.

    Biofuels have had a long history and reached a booming period several years back when the oil price rose to all-time highs, briefly at US$200 per barrel. But oil has tumbled ever since, hovering around US$50 per barrel, making biofuel production commercially unviable at the moment. There are still some projects promoted in the world, but based on new studies of using other sources of feedstock like seaweed or grass, rather than traditional ones like starch and corn.

    In Vietnam, all ethanol plants are using starch as feedstock, and all have grappled with difficulties in securing outlets. There are arguments that the decision to replace fossil fuel A92 with biofuel E5 seems to be a lifeline for such struggling producers.

    Unless scientific data is given to prove that in Vietnam, ethanol production is still cost-effective, and the use of the biofuel is beneficial for all stakeholders, and the entire economy in terms of sustainable development, the coercive replacement needs a second thought.

    Multiple flaws found in bank acquisitions and infrastructure projects

    The State Audit Office of Vietnam (SAV) has detected a slew of flaws in the process of the central bank’s acquiring debt-laden commercial banks at zero Vietnam dong and the Ministry of Transport’s implementing public-private partnership (PPP) infrastructure projects.

    SAV has sent a report on the implementation of Resolution 63/2013/QH13 of the National Assembly on enhancing crime control in 2017 to the National Assembly Standing Committee and deputies before the country’s legislature starts a month-long session today. 

    Three banks bought by the State Bank of Vietnam at zero Vietnam dong are Vietnam Construction Bank, Ocean Commercial Bank (Ocean Bank) and Global Petroleum Bank (GP Bank). After two years of their acquisitions, these banks have continued incurring huge losses.

    As for the traffic infrastructure projects implemented in the PPP format, SAV proposed cutting toll collection time by 62 years and eight months, equivalent to more than VND22.2 trillion (US$0.98 billion).

    Six out of 52 toll stations were found to collect fees before the roads were completed by 14 years and six months. There were 31 out of 87 toll stations misplaced as they are not 70 kilometers apart between the two nearest stations.

    In a related development, SAV proposed increasing collections by trillions of dong from enterprises regarding equitization and land use.

    After four enterprises were inspected, SAV suggested collecting an additional VND491.5 billion increasing State holdings at enterprises by VND6.4 trillion and revising up corporate value by VND7.2 trillion.

    In particular, the value of Power Generation Corporation 3 was adjusted up by an extra VND1.5 trillion, Binh Son Refining and Petrochemical Co Ltd by an additional VND4.6 trillion, Thanh Le General Import - Export Trading Corporation by a further VND72.8 billion, and Binh Duong Production – Import-Export Corporation by VND211 billion more.

    SAV also proposed imposing fines of a combined VND4.3 trillion on violations in land management and use in urban development projects in Hanoi, Binh Duong, Dong Nai and Lao Cai. The auditing agency also pointed out some shortcomings including arbitrary approval and change of land use planning, inappropriate land use, lower-than-permitted land rent, and project transfers not in line with the 2013 Land Law.

    Reviews of 108 audit reports in the year to late last month had found misstated finances amounting to nearly VND23 trillion. Therefore, State budget revenue increased by VND11 trillion, and expenditures fell by VND6.8 trillion.

    In addition, SAV proposed amending, supplementing, withdrawing and replacing 40 legal documents including two decrees, five circulars, 13 decisions and 20 other documents to prevent losses and wastefulness.

    Shares slide on profit-taking selling

    Shares edged down on the two national stock exchanges on October 23, led by large caps which declined steeply under strong profit-taking selling pressure.

    The benchmark VN-Index on the HCM Stock Exchange closed on October 23 down 0.82 percent at 820.04 points. The southern market index decreased 0.25 percent on October 20.

    On the Hanoi Stock Exchange, the HNX-Index gave up 1.76 percent to end at 106.24 points. The northern market index lost 1.55 percent in the last three sessions last week.

    The overall market condition was negative with 347 stocks falling, 123 rising and 241 remaining unchanged in the two markets.

    Large-cap stocks were the main drag as 24 of the top 30 largest stocks in terms of market value and liquidity on the HCM City exchange tumbled and just five advanced.

    Losers spanned from the finance and energy to the steelmaking, retail and pharmaceutical industries.

    All 10 listed banks on the two exchanges lost value, of which the Big Four (the four largest banks by market value and total assets) – Vietcombank (VCB), Vietinbank (CTG), BIDV (BID) and Military Bank (MBB) – decreased between 1.3-2.6 percent.

    Securities and insurance companies were also among decliners. Big names that had a losing day include Bao Viet Holdings (BVH), Saigon Securities Inc (SSI), HCM Securities (HCM), VNDirect Securities (VND) and Bao Viet Securities (BVS).

    Other companies that negatively affected the overall market outlook included PV Gas (GAS), Vietjet Air (VJC), Hoa Phat Group (HPG), Hoa Sen Group (HSG), Masan Group (MSN), Mobile Word Group (MWG) and Hau Giang Pharmaceutical (DHG).

    According to Bao Viet Securities Company (BVS), the growth of large caps was slowed by rising profit-taking selling pressure.

    “Investors prefer strategy of ‘buy the rumor and sell the news’, following which they sold out many shares after these companies announced their third-quarter results,” BVS’s analysts wrote in a note.

    Among the few gainers on October 23, shares of FLC Faros Construction Corp (ROS) continue to rise 6.7 percent, lifting its rallying streak to 18 sessions in a row. ROS price has climbed 42.7 per cent in nearly one month, from 105,700 VND a share late in September to nearly 151,000 VND (6.65 USD) a share on October 23.

    The market is losing momentum to rise and entering the value accumulation period, BVS analysts said, predicting the market will likely expand divergence when the earning reporting season has gone one-third of the way.

    Liquidity improved with a total of 264 million shares worth nearly 5.2 trillion VND (229 million USD) being traded in the two markets, up 16.7 per cent in volume and 8.6 per cent in value compared to last week’s average daily trading volume and value.

    Vietinbank to issue ten-year bonds worth 88 mln USD

    The Vietnam Joint Stock Commercial Bank for Industry and Trade (Vietinbank) will issue 200,000 non-convertible, non-guaranteed ten-year bonds, worth 2 trillion VND (88.04 million USD) this week.

    The commercial bank announced last week that the bonds will be offered at 10 million VND (440 USD) each with a floating interest rate.

    Investors are required to purchase at least ten bonds, equivalent to 100 million VND, and must register for purchase from October 25 to November 13 this year at the bank’s branches and offices.

    Last week, the bank was named in the Top 10 of 500 most profitable companies in Vietnam in 2017 (Profit500) by Vietnam Report and Vietnamnet News. 

    Vietinbank posted a pre-tax profit of approximately 8.57 trillion VND (377 million USD) and a total asset of 948.7 trillion VND (41.74 billion USD) in 2016. Its Return on Equity (ROE) and Return on Assets (ROA) were estimated at 11.8 percent and 1 percent, respectively.

    In the first half of this year, its pre-tax profit grew 12 percent, fulfilling 54 percent of the bank’s yearly target.

    Documentary on old couple wins awards

    Young director Nguyễn Ngọc Mai won three Golden Lotus Bud prizes this year for her documentary Lẫn.

    The film is a story about an old suburban couple. When the wife has a stroke and becomes forgetful, tragic and comedic situations occur. However, her loving husband still takes care of her.

    Mai won awards for Best Documentary Voted by Audience, Best Documentary Voted by Jury and Best Debut Documentary.

    The entry was appreciated largely because of its truthful scenes, displaying moving moments between the old couple.

    The awards were announced on Sunday at Công Nhân (Workers) Theatre, 42 Tràng Tiền Street in Hà Nội.

    It wrapped up this year’ss season with the theme ‘Kaleidoscope’, acknowledging diversity of personalities and points of view.

    Seven films were nominated for documentaries, seven for short-films and five for teen film awards. They were selected from 83 documentaries, 25 short films and 18 films produced by secondary school students.

    The films were 12 to 20 minutes long. Film budget limits were set at VNĐ5 million (US$250) per film.

    The Golden Lotus Bud award for Best Film went to Muộn (Late) directed by Hồ Thanh Thảo and Chuyện Anh Hùng (Hùng’s Story) by Hoài Nam.

    The jury board year comprised of director Phan Gia Nhật Linh, screenwriter Phạm Hải Anh, director Phan Đăng Di and director Nguyễn Hoàng Điệp.

    Director Manouchehr Abrontan from the Netherlands attended, saying the entries reflected multiple facets of life.

    The annual awards have been organised by Assistance and Development of Movie Talents since 2009. The event features the best short documentaries and short films made by participants in the We Are Filmmakers Project to encourage young people make movies. It was launched in 2002.

    IP protection boosts growth: experts     

    Viet Nam will work to raise the quantity as well as quality of applications for inventions in the coming years, delegates said at a seminar in HCM City on Monday.

    Nguyen Thi Thu Hien, head of the National Office of Intellectual Property’s information department, said that NOIP had received about 500-600 invention applications annually in recent years from Vietnamese individuals, enterprises, research institutes, universities and others, accounting for about 10 per cent of the total invention applications.

    However, invention patents from Vietnamese accounted for only 6 per cent of total invention patents granted in Viet Nam, with the number of patents granted for inventions from individuals and businesses increasing significantly compared to those from universities and research institutes

    Nguyen Thi Thanh Ha from NOIP said the number of Vietnamese invention applications had increased by 20.2 per cent in recent years, but it remained very modest compared to that in ASEAN countries.

    In addition, the quality of invention applications was low as the majority of applications had not met requisite standards of an invention, only utility solution standards, she said.

    Research and development activities at research institutes and universities was less effective because of a lack of awareness of or trust in benefits that IP protection can bring, in addition to inadequate rewards for inventors.

    In addition, many people have an unclear understanding about invention application procedures, Hien said, adding that many inventors were afraid of leaking their technical secrets if they applied for patent.

    Nguyen Quang Tuan, deputy director of the National Institute for Science and Technology Policy and Strategy Studies, said that technology transfer from science and technology organisations to businesses was very modest.

    Most Vietnamese companies are small- and medium-sized, and even super-small (micro), and have low awareness about the role of intellectual property rights.

    They also have limited financial capacity and technological capacity, and have no demand for buying patented inventions.

    On the other hand, the number of Vietnamese patents was still modest, with many not fitting businesses’ demands, offering limited options for buyers, Hien said.

    Ha said Viet Nam had set a target to increase the number of invention applications by 30 per cent per year on average in the 2020-30 period, with those from research institutes and universities to increase by more than 50 per cent.

    Delegates at the seminar suggested measures to boost the transfer of patented inventions and encourage the creation of inventions.

    This would include incentive policies on taxes, capital and insurance for transferees, and assistance in helping them choose the appropriate technologies.

    To boost IP creation, the Government should give priority to sponsoring projects for developing invention patents, and subsidise fees for registering them in Viet Nam and abroad, Hien said.

    Offering inventors appropriate rewards and supporting them in commercialising the invention would also be helpful, she added.

    Training activities to raise awareness about IP rights at research institutes, universities and businesses are also important.

    Similarity, Tuan said that Viet Nam needs to fully tap its policies on intellectual property and encourage businesses to pay more attention to the field.

    Le Ngoc Lam, NOIP’s deputy director, said IP rights had long been known as an important driving force for socio-economic development.

    IP protection gives inventors opportunities to increase their income and provides good momentum to continue innovation.

    Under the impact of the fourth industrial revolution, many countries have focused on development of science and technology and innovation, and Viet Nam is no exception.

    IP rights will become a tool that determines the competitive strength of technology for all stakeholders, so every organisation and business should find ways to create, acquire and own intellectual property, he said.

    With support from the World Intellectual Property Organization, the NOIP is developing a National Intellectual Property Strategy to submit to the Prime Minister for approval.

    EU demand for small shrimp rises     

    Shrimp exports to the European Union (EU) increased constantly in August and September, making it the biggest consumer of the Vietnamese product, according to the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (Vasep).

    Vasep has reported that shrimp exports to the market in June and July came to a standstill due to supply shortage and price hikes, while EU businesses reduced their shrimp imports. However, since August, exports to the EU have been restored with increased supply from domestic businesses.

    The country’s shrimp export revenue hit US$2.5 billion in the first nine months, up 21.9 per cent against the same period last year. Exports to the EU grew 32 per cent in this period.

    Vasep said that to boost exports to the market, businesses should pay more attention to labels and the quality of products to build brand names and expand markets. They should make proper plans to improve their competitiveness against other exporters, such as India.

    The EU tends to increase its shrimp imports in the remaining months of the year to serve cultural and food festivals, offering a chance for domestic businesses to spur exports.

    Tran Van Pham, director of the Soc Trang Seafood Joint Stock Company, said an important factor was to provide clean raw materials to the export shrimp processing industry. This means that Viet Nam’s shrimp industry must invest more in technology and the equipment for processing.

    To form a large-scale production system, each enterprise must have a large area with synchronous investment at all stages, and then reduce the production costs to improve the quality of products for higher profits.

    Ma Huy, deputy director of Ca Mau Agricultural Extension Centre, said the growth of shrimp exports to Europe promoted domestic shrimp consumption at high prices. The price was VND220,000 per kg (30 units of shrimp) and VND190,000 per kg (40 units).

    Shrimp exporters like to buy shrimp that have 70 to 100 units per kg to meet the demands of European consumers. 

    VinaCapital invests $11m into OCB     

    The Viet Nam Opportunity Fund (VOF), managed by VinaCapital Group, invested US$11 million into the Orient Commercial Bank (OCB), owning nearly 5 per cent stake in the bank.

    This investment is expected to help OCB diversify its services to targeted customer segments, including affluent individual clients and small- and medium-sized enterprises.

    Andy Ho, chief investment officer of VincaCapital and managing director of the Viet Nam Opportunity Fund, told that this investment was a rare opportunity to own a meaningful stake in a bank that had high lending and earnings growth.

    However, the details of the purchase price or the number of shares VOF has acquired from the deal have not been disclosed.

    In August, VOF had also invested in Tasco Joint Stock Company and FPT Digital Retail Joint Stock Company, with $11 million being poured into each company.

    Established in 1996, OCB currently ranks 17 out of 34 commercial banks in Viet Nam in terms of total assets. The bank has a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 23 per cent, and expects earnings growth of approximately 100 per cent and 30 per cent in 2017 and 2018, respectively.

    The bank expects to list on the HCM Stock Exchange (HOSE) before the end of 2019. Late in June, OCB received approval from the central bank to increase its registered capital from VND4 trillion ($176 million) to nearly VND4.2 trillion via issuance of bonus shares.

    VOF is an investment fund company founded by VinaCapital in 2003 with initial capital of $10 million. Now, this number has increased to more than $20 million. VOF’s profitability in the years from 2010 until now reached 42 per cent, contrary to the market loss of 18 per cent.

    This year, VOF implemented 25 private equity (PE) transactions, with a total investment of $476.3 million.

    Since the beginning of the year, VinaCapital has divested capital in a number of real estate companies, in order to restructure investment categories to suit the new situation. 

    VFM funds report solid results     

    Vietfund Management said that the size of its ETF VFMVN30 has topped VND1 trillion (US$43.8 million) after jumping by 138 per cent this year.

    It said the fund’s return of 28 per cent is the highest even surpasses any other open-ended funds in Viet Nam.

    ETF VFMVN30, a domestic exchange-traded fund incorporated in the country and launched in 2014, has attracted many foreign investors.

    It aims to replicate the performance of the VN30 Index as closely as possible.

    VFM also reported that its VF1, a balance open end fund, now has a total asset value of over VND787 billion ($34.5 million) and made a return of 21.55 per cent this year.

    In the last five years, VF1 achieved average returns of 16.8 per cent a year, the company said.

    VF4, another open end fund investing fully in blue-chip stocks, has total assets of VND511 billion ($22.4 million) value and a return of nearly 24 per cent after 9 months this year and 18 per cent in the last five years.

    VFB, an open end fund investing in bonds, has assets of VND223 billion ($9.7 million) and reported returns of 13.4 per cent.

    VFM, is the first domestic fund management company in Việt Nam, was founded in 2003. 

    Vietnam consumes 120 tons of Canadian lobsters a year

    Vietnam imported nearly 120 tons of lobster last year and 74 tons since early this year from Canada, said a representative from the Animal Health Department under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.

    vietnam consumes 120 tons of canadian lobsters a year hinh 0 The country has imported fresh and frozen lobsters from Canada since 2014. Only products which meet requirements of quarantine and get import certificates can be sold on the market.

    The fresh lobsters are checked and granted export quarantine certificates by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency before being shipped to Vietnam. Upon arrival, they are checked and kept in quarantine by Vietnam animal health agencies. The healthy shrimps will be certified and sold in the market.

    According to the Department of Animal Health fresh lobster imports from Canada have increased from nearly 3 tons in 2014 to nearly 9 tons in 2015. Moreover in 2015, Vietnam imported more than 23 tons of frozen lobster from Canada.

    Currently, Canada fresh lobsters are sold on the market at very cheap prices, equal to one-third of the prices of domestic products. Canadian lobsters are much favoured by Vietnamese customers thanks to their delicious taste and cheap prices.

    LCD tax loophole found, with big losses

    Local customs departments will have to tighten their inspection of LCD product codes to avoid tax losses, as electronics firms have recently been tagged with tax arrears of VND481.68 billion (US$21.89 million) due to incorrect declarations of tax codes.

    Phan Minh Le, deputy director of the Ho Chi Minh City Customs Department, noted in a recent report to Vietnam Customs, “After post-clearance checks, firms admitted that the adjustment of the HS code of LCD products is right.” An HS code classifies a traded product according to an internationally-standardised system.

    Under the intended tariff rate, firms would have had to pay a 3 per cent import tax instead of 0%.

    According to the report, firms imported these LCD-coded  products valued at VND16,056 billion (US$729.8 million).

    Panasonic AVC Vietnam is reported to have 891 customs declaration numbers that snuck through with a 0% tax, valued at nearly VND1.956 trillion (US$88.9 million) for their imported products.

    LCD stands for liquid crystal display – a flat-panel display or other electronically-modulated optical device that uses the light-modulating properties of liquid crystals. 

    LCDs are used in a wide range of applications including computer monitors, televisions, instrument panels, aircraft cockpit displays, and indoor and outdoor signage.

    The misattributions were discovered in a review of information on the customs data system. HS codes that should have fallen under LCD product numbers were instead attributed to the categories of TV panels, LCD panels for producing LED screens, backlighting, and liquid crystal display – all of which have import tax rates of 0%.

    According to the Ho Chi Minh City Customs Department, citing a guideline by the General Department of Vietnam Customs, some of these product types are listed in a 3% tax category.

    However, firms complained that the guideline had only been circulated internally within customs agencies and not made known to the public.

    In 2016, the Ministry of Finance issued a judgement saying that Panasonic’s LCD backlighting belongs to HS code 8529.90.91, and import taxes must be imposed at a 3% rate.

    The Ho Chi Minh City Customs Department said, “The tax arrears are large VND481.68 billion (US$21.89 million), so we must consider the appropriate means of collection.”

    According to its website, Panasonic AVC Networks Vietnam Co., Ltd. was founded in 1996 as a joint venture. As from August 1 2014, the company was transformed to a 100% foreign invested company. 

    The company manufactures and sells a wide range of televisions and other audio-visual devices with premium Japanese quality and technology.

    Panasonic AVC Networks Vietnam Co., Ltd. is one of six Panasonic companies operating in Vietnam.

    Paper imports see decline for four consecutive months

    Paper imports in September dropped 8.9% in volume to 145,700 tons and 5% in value to US$129.1 million compared to August. This is the fourth consecutive month that paper imports saw a decline.

    According to the General Department of Vietnam Customs, Vietnam imported 1.4 million tons of paper worth US$1.3 billion in the first nine months of this year, a year on-year rise of 5.6% and 11.14%, respectively. The average price was US$834.9 per ton, up 5.2% against the same period last year.

    China remained top exporter, accounting for 21.4% of total paper imports by Vietnam with 312,700 tons worth US$238.9 million, trailed by Taiwan (China) with 205,600 tons valued at US$117.7 million. Vietnam also imported paper from Indonesia, Japan, the Republic of Korea and Thailand.

    Generally speaking, paper imports saw a growth in 72.2% of markets. Particularly, imports from the US rose 2.6 times in volume and 2.1 times in value to 21,600 tons and US$17.6 million, respectively.

    Operator to sell 5-6% of Vietnam’s sole refinery

    Binh Son Refining and Petrochemical Co. Ltd (BSR), the operator of Dung Quat Oil Refinery, plans to put a proportion of its shares in the facility for sale in an IPO to be announced later this year.

    Situated in the central province of Quang Ngai, Dung Quat, the only functioning oil refinery in Vietnam, is valued at US$3.2 billion.

    Following a recent meeting with Deputy Prime Minister Trinh Dinh Dung, BSR is currently inviting investors to purchase five to six percent of the facility during an upcoming initial public offering, set to go ahead in the last quarter of this year, according to company leaders.

    Vietnam’s largest fuel wholesaler Petrolimex revealed in August that it planned to become a strategic shareholder of Dung Quat.

    Developed by oil and gas giant PetroVietnam, Dung Quat is operating well, even exceeding its design production capacity by six to eight percent, said BSR general manager Tran Ngoc Nguyen.

    In the first nine months of this year, the facility churned out 4.4 million metric tons of products, 4.3 million tons of which have been consumed, with revenue of VND55 trillion (US$2.42 billion).

    In doing so, the refinery has contributed more than VND6.5 trillion (US$286.34 million) to the state budget, already meeting 91% of its full-year target.

    Dung Quat boasts a return on equity ratio of 16.09%, and a return on sales of 9.94%.

    BSR is also undertaking a project to expand the facility, expected to be completed by March 2022.

    Association enhances Vietnam-Japan economic links

    The Hokuriku-Vietnam association of investment promotion businesses was set up on October 20 in Kanagawa City, Japan, aiming to cultivate investment opportunities for businesses and develop economic ties between the two countries through human resources and economic exchanges.

    Members of the association include representatives from regional Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) offices, the Hokuriku Economic Federation, Kanagawa University, some regional parliamentarians serving as stint as advisers, and Japanese businesses which are operating or keen to invest in Vietnam.

    President of the Mitani Corporation is serving as the President of the Association, and Tran Duc Binh, Vietnamese Consult General to Osaka is an honorable member and adviser.

    To achieve its goals, the Association will carry out a series of programs designed to encourage and support Kokuriku businesses investing and operating in Vietnam. The programs will regulate and receive economic and trade exchanges, assist Vietnam’s human resource training, and recruit Vietnamese students and trainees.

    In the immediate future , a business delegation from the Association will make a fact-finding tour of Vietnam to seek investment opportunities in mid-2018.

    Hokuriku region comprises three prefectures of Fukui, Ishikawa, and Toyama. It is home to many leading technological, mechanical, manufacturing, garment, IT, and agricultural processing and production businesses, alongside some big universities and research institutes.

    Around 72 businesses from Hokuriku are operating in Vietnam at present.

    At the event, the Association held a Vietnam-Japan economic exchange conference with the participation of Vietnamese officials who are trainees of a leadership training program in Japan. Also in attendance were more than 100 Japanese businesses in banking, agriculture, and manufacturing, and representatives from research institutes and universities in Hokuriku.

    HCM City calls for investment in metro projects

    Ho Chi Minh City is seeking financial backing for nine major projects, mainly metro projects, and four key industries to lay the foundations for socio-economic development in the future, said Le Thanh Liem, vice chairman of the municipal People’s Committee.

    Metro projects requiring investment include Metro Line 3a from Ben Thanh to Tan Kien Station stretching 19.8km with a total investment of US$2,979 million, Metro Line 3b from Cong Hoa intersection to Hiep Binh Phuc (12km) with an estimated investment of US$1,863 million, Metro Line 4 from Thanh Xuan to Hiep Phuoc Urban Area (36km) with investment of US$3,484 million, Metro Line 4b from Gia Dinh Park to Lang Cha Ca (5.2km) US$1,035 million, Metro Line 5 (second phase) from Ba Hien intersection to Can Giuoc Moi Station (14.56km) US$2,466 million, and Metro Line 3 from Phan Van Tri intersection to Tan Chanh Hiep Station (16.5km) US$363 million.

    The city is also encouraging businesses to invest in a hi-tech agricultural park on an area of 18.3ha with a cost of US$5.4 million situated in Phuoc Vinh An village, Cu Chi district, the Rach Chiec National Sports Complex on 180ha in District 2 looking for an investment of US$950 million, and a hotel at Thu Thiem New Urban Area in District 2 on 6.8ha seeking US$123.6 million.


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  • 10/26/17--01:32: Article 1
  • How should Vietnam treat overseas remittances?

    The newly released World Bank’s “Migrating to Opportunity” report shows that in 2015, ASEAN countries received a total $62 billion worth of overseas remittances. The remittances, called kieu hoi in Vietnamese, accounted for 7 percent of GDP in Vietnam. 

     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, overseas remittances, SBV, kieu hoi

    Economist Dinh The Hien said that kieu hoi has been an important resource for Vietnam and that remittances are on the rise in recent years.

    “Seven percent of GDP is not a big amount of money, but it is net money Vietnam has, no need to pay interest,” Hien explained. “The money provides more capital to the national economy and is valuable also because it is in foreign currency.”

    Economists have argued about how to encourage recipients to put remittances into business instead of keeping it in coffers, because this is the best way to mobilize resources for economic development.

    A report from the State Bank of Vietnam HCM City Branch released in early 2016 showed that 70 percent of the remittances go to production and business projects, while 21.6 percent go to the real estate market and 7 percent on families’ daily lives, healthcare and education services.

    The decrease in dollar deposit interest rates has also prompted people to pour money into the property market.

    70 percent of the remittances go to production and business projects, while 21.6 percent go to the real estate market and 7 percent on families’ daily lives, healthcare and education services.

    Unlike other analysts, who believe that remittances can bring benefits to the economy only if they are put into production, Hien thinks it would be good even if recipients use the money to spend on their needs or to buy houses.

    “The activities will create demand, what Vietnam wants,” he explained. “Once the total domestic demand increases, it will facilitate the development of production and business, and help generate more jobs.”

    Hien said that while overseas remittances are important, they are treated differently compared with FDI (foreign direct investment).

    Policy makers think that kieu hoi, like water or air, will stay in Vietnam unconditionally. But if Vietnam doesn’t offer attractive investment incentives, FDI won’t flow to Vietnam.

    Overseas remittances to Vietnam are from two sources, from Vietnamese export workers and from overseas Vietnamese who live in other countries. The remittances from the latter source account for the larger proportion.

    “What Vietnam needs to do is to simplify remittance procedures and provide services at reasonable fees to encourage remittances through official channels,” Hien said.

    An SBV’s report showed that in the first eight months of 2017, remittance flows into HCMC through official channels was $3 billion, a growth of 5 percent on year. The figure was  $2.1 billion in the first half of the year.

    Thanh Lich, VNN

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  • 10/26/17--02:26: Article 0

    TPP negotiators to meet in Japan next week

    Negotiators from the 11 remaining signatories to the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade pact will hold a three-day meeting near Tokyo next week in pursuit of an agreement by November, the Japanese government said on October 24.

    Japan’s Kyodo news agency quoted Toshimitsu Motegi, Japanese economic revitalization minister who is in charge of the TPP trade negotiations for Japan, as saying that the meeting will take place from October 30 in Urayasu, Chiba Prefecture, east of Tokyo.

    With the withdrawal of the United States early this year having prompted proposals to amend or freeze parts of the pact, the 11 countries are aiming to reach a deal in time for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum summit starting November 10 in Vietnam.

    The TPP was signed in February 2016 by Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, the United States and Vietnam, covering around 40 percent of the global economy before Washington's withdrawal earlier this year.

    Vietnamese businesses equipped with IP right protection abroad

    International regulations on brand protection, inventions, and industrial designs as well as services of the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) were introduced to Vietnamese businesses at a conference held in Hanoi on October 24.

    The event, jointly held by the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI), the Vietnam Intellectual Property Association (VIPA) and the WIPO, aimed to support local corporations in choosing proper methods to protect their intellectual property rights.

    VIPA Chairman Mai Ha said that intellectual property has significant influence on the enterprises’ development during the global economic integration. Thus, businesses should understand that protecting intellectual property right means helping themselves develop sustainably, he stated.

    Currently, the VIPA has prioritised helping its members grasp knowledge on intellectual property, use softwares in an effective and legal way and assess the value of intellectual property, Ha highlighted.

    Meanwhile, VCCI General Secretary Pham Thi Thu Hang underlined that the 4.0 industrial revolution requires trademarks with high intelligence and intellectual asset is significant part to form products’ value.

    Particularly, export businesses need to fully comprehend principles of e-commerce and global value chain, she said, expressing her hope that Vietnamese exporters will pay due attention to registration of intellectual property protection.

    Vietnam’s beer products introduced at New Zealand expo

    High-quality and good taste of 18 made-in-Vietnam beer products left impression on visitors at the Pacific Beer Expo 2017, which was held in Wellington, New Zealand, on October 21 and 22.

    Organised since 2011, the expo has become an annual beer festival and served as a venue to popularise new products of breweries in New Zealand and Asia-Pacific.

    This year, three Vietnamese breweries, namely Pasteur Street Brewing Co., Ltd, East-West Brewery Co. and Heart of Darkness Brewery, brought to the expo their latest drinking products which were highly appraised by the organizers and visitors.

    The Pasteur Street Brewing Co., Ltd, which attended the expo for the first time, dazzled beer connoisseurs at the event. Earlier, its Chocolate Cyclo Stout earned the company a gold medal at the World Beer Cup Competition in the US in May, 2016.

    Together with Maison Marou which has been available in New Zealand in 2016, Vietnamese fruit-flavoured craft beer products will be sold in the country, including beer with taste of dragon fruit, passion fruit, coffee, cocoa, vanilla and jasmine.

    Brandon Watts, General Manager of Pasteur Street Brewing, hoped to nudge Vietnamese beer products closer to customers in New Zealand.

    The Vietnam Trade Office in New Zealand proactively supported the companies in popularising and exhibiting their products at the fair.

    The expo was a golden chance for Vietnamese enterprises to introduce their new-generation drinks to foreign consumers.

    Vietnam, Iran step up trade ties with hope for 2 bln USD value

    Vietnamese Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Nguyen Xuan Cuong has expressed his hope that trade value between Vietnam and Iran will soon reach 2 billion USD.

    At a reception for Alaeddin Boroujerdi, Chairman of the National Security and Foreign Policy Commission of the Iranian Parliament on October 24, Cuong said the ninth meeting of the Vietnam-Iran Committee on Economic and Commercial Cooperation in July 15-16, 2017 affirmed that the two countries boast huge potential for cooperation across fields.

    The Vietnamese Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD), as head of the Vietnam-Iran Friendship Cooperation Subcommittee, reported outcomes of the meeting to Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc, who later assigned specific tasks to relevant agencies to improve the efficiency of cooperation in all spheres.

    In the realm of agriculture, in August 2017, the ministry invited 30 Vietnamese businesses to participate in a seminar on trade and investment promotion in the Mideast, including Iran, Cuong said, adding that a number of enterprises will also attend another trade promotion event in Iran to be held by the MARD and the Ministry of Industry and Trade in November 2017.

    He said the Department of Animal Health and the Plant Protection Department have been assigned to study and remove technical barriers to animal health and plant protection so as to push export activities of the two countries.

    The minister suggested Iran ship fish and bone powder to Vietnam and import rice, banana and lemon from the Southeast Asian nation, saying many Vietnamese firms want to come to Iran to explore investment and business opportunities in the country.

    He also called on the two sides to step up collaboration in construction material production, petro-chemistry and bauxite.

    For his part, Alaeddin Boroujerdi proposed the two countries cooperate in the banking and oil and gas sectors, join hands to organise exhibitions, remove technical barriers to animal health and plant protection, and study preferential trade agreements. He also suggested Vietnam import medicines produced by Iran.

    Iran will provide free-of-charge venues for Vietnamese businesses at exhibitions in Iran, he said, calling for similar support from the Vietnamese side.

    Vietnam seeks to export more farm produces, goods to RoK

    A trade exchange event was held in Seoul, the Republic of Korea (RoK) on October 24 to seek to increase the presence of Vietnamese products, especially farm produce and consumer goods, in the RoK market.

    Minister-Counsellor Tran Anh Vu from the Vietnamese Embassy in the RoK and Kim Hyun-myung from the Korea Importers’ Association (KOIMA) highlighted the importance of the RoK market to Vietnamese goods as well as cooperation opportunities between the two countries’ business communities.

    The Vietnam-RoK cooperative strategic partnership with an array of collaboration mechanisms in the economy, including the bilateral free trade agreement that took effect from December 20, 2015, has been serving as an important tool to facilitate stronger bilateral trade growth, they agreed.

    Meanwhile, Le An Hai, Vice Director of the Asia and African Markets under the Ministry of Industry and Trade, noted that two-way trade in the first nine months of 2017 reached over 45 billion USD, a surge of over 52 percent year on year, higher than the figure of 43.4 billion USD recorded in 2016.

    He stressed the efficiency of measures to support enterprises of both sides, including the organization of regular trade exchange activities.

    During the event, 17 Vietnamese firms introduced their products to local firms which assessed that Vietnamese products have had improved designs and packages to suit the RoK market and competitive prices with similar products from the Philippines, China, Indonesia and Thailand.

    Trade between Vietnam and the RoK increased 87 times since 1992, when they set up diplomatic ties, from 500 million USD to 43.4 billion USD in 2016. Both sides are working together to raise two-way trade to 70 billion USD in 2020.

    The RoK is currently the third largest trade partner of Vietnam after China and the US. It is the top foreign investor of Vietnam.

    Forum seeks to tackle bottlenecks to boost growth in Vietnam

    Experts and policy makers gathered at a forum held by the Central Institute for Economic Management (CIEM) in Hanoi on October 24, discussing policy solutions for 2018-2020 to boost growth model reform in Vietnam.

    The forum took place as part of the macroeconomic reforms/green growth programme in Vietnam funded by the German Government via the German agency for international cooperation GIZ.

    CIEM Director Nguyen Dinh Cung said it is necessary to immediately remove obstacles to accelerate the disbursement of state investment capital right from the beginning of 2018 to avoid a recurrence of the sluggishness in the last two years. He also urged better use of State-owned and private enterprises’ capital.

    “The efficiency of foreign invested firms in Vietnam is very high, even three times higher than State-owned and private firms in terms of the return on invested capital. Therefore, it is crucial to improve domestic businesses’ competitiveness,” he analysed.

    He suggested creating “pressure” for the elimination of at least one-third or half of the business conditions, and at least half of the number of goods subject to specialised export-import examination while reforming management methodology.

    Another factor expected to promote Vietnamese goods’ competitiveness on domestic and foreign markets is slashing logistics costs, which will help improve the country’s export value chains, Cung noted, adding that relevant agencies also need to instruct and assist businesses to comply with regulations instead of fining them.

    Nguyen Tham, former Vice Chairman of the Vietnam Logistics Business Association, said without positive changes and stronger solutions, the burden of unofficial expenses and logistics costs will greatly affect goods’ cost price. This will directly impact the country’s goods value chains and Vietnamese commodities’ competitiveness both at home and abroad.

    Meanwhile, Dr Pham The Anh from the National Economics University said the exchange rate policy should be flexible to enhance Vietnamese goods’ competitiveness.

    He elaborated that the State Bank of Vietnam began setting the daily reference VND/USD exchange rate in 2016 based on a currency basket of the country’s biggest economic partners, but this mechanism is not enough to support foreign trade activities. Vietnam’s exchange rate policy is still in a dilemma as it has to ensure inflation control along with public debt stability and trade promotion.

    A floating exchange rate mechanism under management will bring about more benefits than the current fixed one. However, this mechanism still needs certain conditions to be applied and prove effective, Anh added.

    Only when bottlenecks are removed and new growth momentum is created can sustainable development be promoted, according to participants in the forum.-

    Vietnam, RoK review one-year economic cooperation

    The 16th session of the Joint Economic Committee between Vietnam and the Republic of Korea convened in Seoul on October 24, reviewing outcomes of bilateral cooperation over the past year and set out new tasks.

    The Vietnamese delegation was led by Deputy Minister of Planning and Investment Nguyen The Phuong, while the RoK delegation was headed by Deputy Foreign Minister for Economic Affairs Yun Kang-hyeon.

    In their opening speeches, both officials underscored bilateral ties have grown in all fields since the two countries set up the diplomatic relations 25 years ago (December 22, 1992).

    In addition to bilateral cooperation, the two countries are important partners with significant contributions to multilateral forums and cooperation frameworks in the region and in the world.

    At the event, the two sides took note of remarkable progress made in economic engagements since their last session held in Hanoi on September 22, 2016, despite difficulties and uncertainty across the globe.

    They exchanged points of views on tackling difficulties and measures to further promote bilateral cooperation in various economic areas, including the participation of both nations in regional and multilateral arenas.

    They shared a common view that the Joint Economic Committee has played an important role in promoting Vietnam - RoK cooperation and should be utilised by both sides to continue its contribution.

    Delegates talked about joint activities across sectors, including trade, labour, official development assistance (ODA), consular affairs and justice.

    As heard at the function, the RoK continued to be a top foreign investor in Vietnam with total registered capital amounting to 55.6 billion USD by August 2017. Bilateral trade hit 43.45 billion USD in 2016 and 39.2 billion USD in the first eight months of 2017. Vietnam is one of the RoK’s top priority ODA partners, receiving 300 – 400 million USD per year from the RoK Government. About 50,000 Vietnamese labourers are working in the RoK.

    Both sides also discussed measures to reduce the deficit Vietnam recorded in trading with the RoK, to lift barriers for Vietnamese and Korean investors, and to effectively make use of the two countries’ human resources.

    Both sides noted with satisfaction about the encouraging outcomes of their joint works in agriculture, science-technology, urban planning, education, culture, and tourism, among other sectors.

    They agreed to hold the committee’ next session in Vietnam, whose date and agenda would be decided through diplomatic channels.

    First phase of $70m pipes factory kicked off
    Tan A Dai Thanh Group kicked off the first phase of the Ströman Pipes and Fittings Southern Plant in the southern province of Long An on Saturday.

    The US$70 million plant covers a 10ha area in Tan A Dai Thanh Industrial Zone and has a design capacity of 150,000 tonnes of products per year, aimed at supplying quickly plastic pipe products to customers in the southern provinces. It is equipped with infrastructure, machinery systems and production lines based on German standards. Besides, all production activities of the plant are strictly followed by the quality control procedures monitored by German experts.

    In the first phase, the plant is expected to supply 70,000 tonnes of products per year to the market.

    At the grand opening of the factory, Ströman Viet Nam Plastic Corporation and Germany’s KraussMaffei Group also signed the strategic co-operation and technology transfer contract to provide HDPE & PPR 630, HDPE & PPR 1200 and PVC 400 extrusion machine for the second phase of the plant, valued at 14.5 million euros ($17 million).

    It is a part of the strategic co-operation and technology transfer contract signed in 2015 between the two sides, with a total investment of the pipe extrusion line system up to 50 million euros by 2020, when the Ströman Pipes and Fittings Southern Plant is completed.

    Nguyen Anh Tu, general director of Stroman Viet Nam Plastic Corporation, said the operation of the factory was an important milestone marking the progressive expansion and development of the Tan A Dai Thanh Group’s strategic direction. The operation of the plant will enable consumers in the southern provinces to quickly and conveniently use plastic pipe products in accordance with German quality standards, which are sustainable, safe and environment-friendly.

    VFA hikes rice export target on strong demand
    The Viet Nam Food Association (VFA) has decided to raise its rice export target from 5.2 million tonnes to 5.6 million tones, following an increase in rice contracts for the last months of the year.

    Rice exports have rebounded with an increase in rice contracts since May. The country’s rice sector has already met 82 per cent of its target for the entire year.

    VFA’s statistics showed that in the first nine months of the year, Viet Nam shipped around 4.57 million tonnes of rice worth US$2.02 billion, up 20.8 per cent in quantity and over 18.6 per cent in value from the same period last year. China was still the largest importer of Vietnamese rice.

    August saw the strongest growth for rice exports this year so far with 70 per cent and 56.8 per cent increases in terms of quantity and value respectively.

    The number of contracts registered for exports in August also rose to the record level of some 842,000 tonnes, increasing 207 per cent from the previous month and representing a 115 per cent year-on-year increase.

    Most of the contracts were with importers in China, and Philippines and Africa.

    The VFA attributed the boom to better export performance in traditional markets including China, Malaysia, the Philippines and Bangladesh.

    Specifically, Vietnamese rice exporters shipped 150,000 tonnes of rice to Malaysia; 250,000 tonnes to Bangladesh and 175,000 tonnes to the Philippines. New export markets such as Australia and West Asia also saw strong growth.

    The association forecast that Viet Nam’s rice exports would continue to increase in the future as Bangladesh solicited bids from exporters for an order of 50,000 tonnes of non-basmati rice. If Viet Nam wins the bid, its rice market’s already good year would become even better.

    In May, the Viet Nam and Bangladesh governments extended the memorandum of understanding on rice trading for five years, covering the period from 2017-22.

    Under the MoU, Viet Nam will supply some 1 million tonnes of rice a year for Bangladesh. After the MoU signing, Bangladesh is expected to buy around 500,000 tonnes of Vietnamese rice till the end of this year.

    In addition, the Philippines also opened a minimum access volume (MAV) mechanism in 2017-18. Accordingly, the country will import 293,100 tonnes of rice from Viet Nam.

    China is forecast to continue to maintain strong imports of Vietnamese rice in the year-end months.

    The Ministry of Industry and Trade recently announced Strategy on Viet Nam Rice Export Market Development for 2017-20 calls for gradually reducing rice export quantity but maintaining rice export value.

    In addition, export and market structures will be adjusted.

    Upgrade plan for Dien Bien airport announced

     Vietnamese businesses equipped with IP right protection abroad, Vietnam’s beer products introduced at New Zealand expo, VFA hikes rice export target on strong demand, Upgrade plan for Dien Bien airport announced

    Local authorities of the mountainous northern province of Dien Bien on October 24 announced their upgrade plan for Dien Bien Airport.

    The airport is expected to cover 201ha and will be upgraded at a cost of 3.54 trillion VND (156.01 million USD). Of the sum, nearly 2.15 trillion VND (94.6 million USD) will be spent from 2017-2020.

    According to the Ministry of Transport, the airport will serve more domestic and international flights for civilians and the military. It is hoped to serve 300,000 passengers and handle 500 tonnes of cargoes per year by 2020 with flights to Noi Bai (Hanoi) and Cat Bi (Hai Phong city) airports.

    By 2030, the airport is set to serve two million passengers and handle 10,000 tonnes of cargo a year. It is expected to link with Da Nang city’s airport and Tan Son Nhat airport of Ho Chi Minh City and airports in Laos, Cambodia, Myanmar, Thailand and China.

    The upgrade includes plans for terminals, platforms, administrative areas, non-aviation services, drainage and electricity systems, among others.

    Mua A Son, Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee said that the province holds great potential for tourism, especially heritage tourism with Dien Bien Phu historic site. However, Dien Bien Airport can currently only receive ATR72 airplanes or below and only operate routes between Dien Bien and Hanoi.

    The upgrade of the airport is expected to enhance the socio-economic development, tourism and transportation of Dien Bien, helping the province attract more investment.

    Ideas gathered for “One Commune, One Product” programme

    The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) held a conference in the central province of Thua Thien-Hue on October 24 to gather ideas for the national programme on “One Commune, One Product” (OCOP).

    MARD Deputy Minister Tran Thanh Nam said that OCOP wil help more than 6 million farmer households. He stressed the need for strong communication to raise public awareness in preserving and promoting the value of traditional products.

    Under the new-style rural area building programme, in 2020, 80 percent of communes are expected to meet criteria in locals’ income and 85 percent in production organisation.

    To reach the targets, the MARD has restructured the agricultural sector towards stronger value chains and linked production and sales, initially focusing on national products, and strong products at provincial level and district-commune levels.

    The ministry has also enhanced the application of science and technology, especially in agro-forestry and fisheries production.

    OCOP has been designed to suit specific communes, concentrating on different products for each locality.

    Participants at the conference agreed that the programme should be comprehensive in all aspects of economy, culture and society, with community engagement.

    The promotion of chosen products will help increase their production and sales, thus creating more jobs and improving incomes, while speeding up reinvestment to increase competitiveness of the products, they said.

    A national survey showed that 4,823 products of 63 provinces and cities nationwide have high potential for the OCOP programme.

    AIA, VPBank enter into 15-year exclusive bancassurance partnership
    AIA Viet Nam and VPBank, Viet Nam’s largest private joint stock commercial bank by market capitalisation, on Monday signed a 15-year exclusive bancassurance partnership agreement.

    Through this partnership, VPBank customers can enjoy AIA Viet Nam’s comprehensive range of life insurance products and services complemented by AIA Vitality, AIA’s innovative wellness proposition.

    This will make VPBank the first bank in Viet Nam to offer insurance integrated with wellness across its entire nationwide network of 215 branches and transaction offices and all bank segments, including retail, SME Corporate, household and digital banking.

    This long-term exclusive partnership will allow AIA Viet Nam and VPBank to jointly invest in and commit to creating a market-leading bancassurance platform that is supported by the integration of digital capabilities, best-in-class training programme and service innovation to serve customers better.

    “Our strategic partnership with VPBank highlights our commitment to deliver value-added wellness, protection and long-term savings solutions to VPBank customers, and more importantly, to advance the life insurance market in Viet Nam by helping people live longer, healthier and better lives,” Wayne Besant, AIA Viet Nam’s CEO, said.

    Nguyen Duc Vinh, VPBank’s CEO, said: “We have always viewed bancassurance as an integral and strategic aspiration for the bank. Life insurance is a vital component and product offering for our target market segments, in particular, the affluent and upper class consumer, as well as the SME and household banking segments. We are very excited to collaborate with AIA Vietnam as part of this bancassurance relationship and look forward to making the best-in-class life insurance products available through our distribution network.”.

    LienVietPostBank meets 95% of annual profit plan after 9 months
    Lien Viet Post Commercial Joint Stock Bank (LienVietPostBank) met 95 per cent of its VND1.5 trillion (US$65.79 million) pre-tax profit planned for the entire 2017 by the end of September.

    According to the bank’s Q3 financial report, it posted pre-tax profit of VND523 billion in the third quarter, bringing total profit in the first nine months to VND1.43 trillion, up 66 per cent year-on-year.

    Most of the bank’s business activities reported making profits in the period, of which net interest income increased by 23.3 per cent to VND1.36 trillion and profit from services tripled to nearly VND24 billion.

    By the end of September, the bank’s total assets rose 4.4 per cent to more than VND148 trillion. Its total outstanding loans reached VND94.86 trillion, up 19 per cent, while mobilised capital rose only 10.3 per cent to VND122.44 trillion. However, the bank’s proportion of lending to deposits remained low at 77.5 per cent.

    The bank’s bad debt ratio was at 1.19 per cent, inching up against the 1.11 per cent earlier this year. At the same time, with a provision of VND277 billion for risky loans, the value of Viet Nam Asset Management Company’s (VAMC) bonds held by LienVietPostBank decreased slightly to VND600 billion.

    By the end of September, the bank owned 10 per cent of the contribution capital of Vietnam-Laos Electricity Joint Stock Company with a value of VND300 billion and 5.5 per cent of the contribution capital of Lien Viet Securities Joint Stock Company with a current value of nearly VND16 billion.

    Early this month, the bank’s shares (code LPB) were officially traded on UPCoM at an initial price of VND14,800 per share. LPB closed this morning’s session at VND12,800 per share, up 1.8 per cent from yesterday.
    Officetels, condotels need regulations
    The HCM City Real Estate Association (HoREA) has urged the Government to ensure condotels and officetels are not used primarily as apartments, warning that would cause problems for urban planning and infrastructure and transport.

    HoREA chairman Le Hoang Chau said there are no design standards for projects that include both apartments and officetels-condotels.

    There are no regulations on the number of occupants at these projects either meaning there would be unbearable pressure on infrastructure and transportation, he said.

    The association suggested to the city Department of Architect Plans that the size of officetels should be 25-50sq.m while condotels should be of similar size as a room in a hotel or resort.

    In terms of population, HoREA said it must be capped at half of that of a pure housing project.

    In projects combining apartments and officetels-condotels, the latter should be in a specific area and separated from the apartments, it said.

    Apartment projects with condotels or officetels have seen strong growth in the city in recent years.

    They have been approved by the Ministry of Construction, but it is difficult for authorities to manage them since there are no regulations related to their planning or design.

    Tran Vinh Tuyen, deputy chairman of the HCM City People’s Committee, was quoted by Tin Tuc (News) newspaper as saying that condotels and officetels are new products but there are no projects with officetels only.

    Exchange-traded fund moves from Ha Noi exchange to HCM City
    SSIAM VNX50, an exchange-traded fund, debuted on the HCM Stock Exchange on October 24 under the code FUESSV50, becoming the second such fund to list on the bourse.

    The SSIAM VNX50 ETF was formerly known as SSIAM HNX30 ETF, and was established in 2014 and listed on the Ha Noi Stock Exchange (HNX).

    It is managed by SSI Asset Management Limited Company (SSIAM).

    Together with the merger of the two exchanges, some large stocks in the HNX30 have moved or are about to move to HOSE, making HNX30 less attractive.

    By moving from the HNX besides changing to the VNX50 as the simulation index for the SSIAM VNX50 ETF, SSIAM hopes to enhance the attractiveness of the fund.

    The blue-chip VNX 50 index consists of the 50 highest ranking stocks in terms of free float market capitalisation and average daily turnover of the two markets, filtered from the VNXAllshare index basket. The 50 stocks account for 70 per cent of the total market cap.

    Exchange-traded funds are passive and track an index, and do not aim for a higher rate of return than the index.

    SSIAM VNX50 ETF will thus track the VNX50.

    Speaking at the listing ceremony, Tran Thi Thuy Linh, deputy director of HOSE’s listing management and appraisal department, said the fund’s listing would contribute to the diversification of the Vietnamese stock market.

    To Thuy Linh, deputy general director of SSIAM, said in the first nine months of this year SSIAM VNX50 achieved a return of 32 per cent.     

    Shopee’s parent Company Sea listed on New York City Stock Exchange
    Shopee Vietnam on Tuesday announced that its parent company, Sea Limited (Sea), made its initial public offering on the New York City Stock Exchange.

    The company is the first internet business from greater Southeast Asia to become listed on the New York City Stock Exchange.

    This is a significant milestone for Sea Limited and its businesses, including Shopee, the company said.

    Chris Feng, CEO of Shopee, said: “The listing day is a big day for the Sea group, including Shopee. As we embark on this new journey, we are excited about the opportunities it will present for our business and employees, and most importantly, our customers.

    “Our home market is an exciting region, with one of the largest millennial populations in the world, and GDP growing twice as fast as in the US. Internet and smartphone penetration is still low compared to the US and China, and we are confident in its continued growth and the tremendous potential this presents across our seven markets, namely Indonesia, Viet Nam, Thailand, the Philippines, Taiwan, Malaysia and Singapore,” he said.

    Shopee is the leading e-commerce platform in Southeast Asia and Taiwan. It is a platform tailored for the region.

    The company has a wide selection of product categories ranging from consumer electronics to home and living, health and beauty, baby and toys, and fashion and fitness equipment.

    Shopee was launched in Singapore in 2015, and has since expanded its reach to Malaysia, Thailand, Taiwan, Indonesia, Viet Nam and the Philippines.

    The company has attracted 1.6 million active seller partners, plus another 1,700 brands and larger retailers, to our platform.

    Programme connects tech startups, agri firms
    A Business Matching Programme that connects agricultural enterprises which need technologies with tech startups was introduced in HCM City on October 24 at a special event.

    Through the programme, enterprises that need help in cultivation, preservation, harvesting and market entry can consult tech startups.

    Pham Cong Chinh, director of Tam Khoe Clean Vegetable Farm in HCM City, said that he needed a system which can help forecast and discover pestilent insects for vegetables.

    Chinh said at the introduction of the Business Matching programme event on October 24 held at SIHUB in HCM City to help connect between agricultural enterprises and technology startups.

    The farm includes an aquaponics model in which fish and vegetables are grown together in a closed network and another model using hydroponics, a method that replaces traditional soil with mineral-rich water solution.

    Chinh said: “A system for controlling disease among fish, keeping track of fish growth, and analyzing nutrition in fish for growth, is needed.”

    Nguyen Hong Dang Khoa, director of Tri Nguyen Farm, said the areas of membrane houses in cultivation have increased and become common in high-tech agriculture.

    “However, after several years of use, the membranes are now dusty, affecting effectiveness in cultivation,” Khoa said, adding that startups could conduct research and create robot-washing membranes.

    A representative of tech startups said that he had created a system to forecast and discover pestilent insects that attack vegetables, which the Tam Khoe Clean Vegetable Farm said it needed.

    The Business Matching Programme was organised by the Business Startup Support Centre in co-operation with Digital Agriculture Association Viet Nam and Vietnam Private Sector Forum.

    It was officially launched nationwide on October 10.

    The organisers are in the process of selecting 20 excellent candidates for 10 agricultural enterprises which need technologies to assist their cultivation, harvest, preservation and market entry.

    The programme has attracted more than 35 technology startups and agricultural enterprises so far.

    Truong Ly Hoang Phi, director of Business Startup Support Centre, said the programme was expected to reduce the gap in trust between enterprises that need technology solutions for cultivation and startups that can provide technology.

    Nguyen Duc Tung, deputy general secretary of the Digital Agriculture Association Viet Nam, said that many agricultural technologies being used by enterprises had become outdated.

     Vietnam Foodexpo to showcase country’s food supply potential
    The annual Viet Nam International Food Industry Exhibition returns to HCM City from November 15 to 18 with the participation of more than 400 food and agricultural suppliers.

    With a display area of 13,000sq.m and nearly 600 booths at the Saigon Exhibition and Convention Centre, Vietnam Foodexpo 2017 will be the largest international exhibition for the country’s food industry.

    On display will be fruits and vegetables (fresh, dried, canned, frozen); seafood (frozen, canned and processed); beverages (beer, alcohol); tea and coffee; food ingredients (rice, nuts, spices, additives, sauces ...); processed foods (confectionery, milk, dairy products, canned and processed foods, healthy foods); and food processing technology equipment.

    It will have big names from the Vietnamese food industry such as Quang Ngai Sugar, Hanoi Beer, Sai Gon Beer, Lafooco, Bibica, Hai Ha Kotobuki Confectionery, Dong Giao Food, Sa Giang Food, Tan Nhat Huong Food, Nam Phuong Fish Sauce, Mekong Seafood, K-Coffee, Phuc Sinh Coffee, Tien Giang Tigifood, and VinEco Vegetables.

    Many provinces and cities will also bring their typical local agricultural products and foods.

    Besides the traditional display activities, Vietnam Foodexpo 2017 will also support trade exchanges, investment promotion, and distributor-importer match-making activities.

    Bui Huy Son, director general of the Viet Nam Trade Promotion Agency, which has been assigned by the Ministry of Industry and Trade to organise the exhibition, said: "With its prestige, Vietnam Foodexpo has become the most comprehensive one-stop trade platform, showcasing thousands of agricultural products and food brands from all over Việt Nam, from raw materials to deep-processed products with high added value.

    “Vietnam Foodexpo is also a place where visitors can experience the colourful world of Vietnamese tropical food, among which are some top global export items by volume, learn about the thriving supply capacity of Vietnamese companies and expand business and investment opportunities.”

    In recent years Viet Nam has emerged as an important source of agricultural products and foodstuffs for many countries around the world.

    The Government is paying special attention to the development of this promising sector.

    Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Tran Quoc Khanh said: "The food industry is one of the industries in Viet Nam with great potential, not only meeting domestic demand but also exports to many countries. Viet Nam's food products are gradually being recognised and are creating a good image in the world.”

    Last year Vietnam Foodexpo received thousands of potential buyers from 38 countries and territories, including many key Vietnamese export markets such as the US, EU, China, and Northeast Asia.

    Philippe Kechichian, a businessman from Portugal, said: "At Vietnam Foodexpo, I was able to select Viet Nam's most prestigious businesses and products, learned about their factories and production capacity and concluded several purchasing agreements.”

    Productivity forum for VN integration into global value chains
    The Viet Nam Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the International Labor Organisation will organise a forum titled “Improving productivity for integration into the global value chains” in HCM City on Friday.

    It will wrap up the current phase of the Sustaining Competitive and Responsible Enterprises (SCORE) programme implemented by the VCCI’s HCM City branch and the ILO.

    The programme is funded by the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs and the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation.

    To be held at Sheraton Saigon, the forum will sum up the activities SCORE has offered, address the benefits and challenges of enterprises during their participation in global value chains, and introduce a strategic framework to support enterprises for the programme’s new phase .

    SCORE is a practical training and in-factory counselling programme to improve productivity and working conditions at small and medium enterprises (SMEs).

    It demonstrates best international practices in the manufacturing and service sectors and helps SMEs participate in global supply chains.

    Since 2011 SCORE has provided technical assistance to 145 companies in sectors such as wood processing, garments and supporting industries.

    Among the positive outcomes from participating factories is the saving of production costs, improved workplace co-operation, increased productivity, and lower employee turnover rate.

    Thousands of taxi drivers leave jobs

    Vinasun, one of Vietnam’s biggest taxi firms, saw nearly 2,000 staff leave in the third quarter of this year due to fierce competition with app-based taxi services.

    According to Vinasun, by the end of the third quarter, the company employed 7,292, down nearly 2,000 compared to by late June this year.

    In a document sent to the prime minister in May this year, Vinasun said that it is facing many operational difficulties due to competition from Uber and Grab.

    Vinasun earned net revenues of VND547 billion (USD24.8 million) in the third quarter, the lowest level since 2011 while its after-tax profits in the period dropped 50% over the same period last year to VND47 billion (USD2 million).

    The firm’s total revenues of the Jan-Sept period to VND2.45 trillion (USD111.3 million), fulfilling just 58% of the year’s set target.

    In order to cut the loss, Vinasun has actively been using app-based taxi services as well boosting the franchise. The company recently launched a service to book rides via Facebook.

    This year, Vinasun has set a goal to reach revenues of VND4.25 trillion (USD187.3 million) and profits of VND205 billion, down 10.6% and 34% on-year.

    Mai Linh Group also saw nearly 6,000 staff leave in the first six months of this year which they claimed was due to competition with app-based services.

    Fast fashion competition bursting at the seams in Vietnam

    An increasingly wealthy population has global designer brands looking to stitch up the market.

    Nguyen Minh Ngoc jostles for space in a Mango store as she rummages through a dizzying array of marked-down clothes in search of a perfect blue sweater for the upcoming winter.

    It's a routine shopping excursion for Ngoc, who admits to spending at least VND4 million (some US$180) per month in Mango, Ninewest, Zara, Forever21 and H&M, while ignoring home-grown labels like Nem, Blue and PT2000.

    “I’m more inclined to foreign brands because of their quality. I don’t mind spending more if the quality is better,” the 28-year-old PR worker said.

    In the past, Ngoc either bought clothes on overseas trips or ordered them online. This obsession with foreign brands among young customers like Ngoc has emboldened global brands to open outlets in Vietnam.

    Last month, the opening of Swedish giant H&M’s first store in Saigon attracted around 4,000 shoppers. The firm will open its second outlet in Hanoi on November 11.

    By setting prices for selected items at 15-20% less than its stores in Malaysia and Singapore, Zara has triggered a craving for fashion in Vietnam.

    Its cousins, Stradivarius, Pull & Bear and Massimo Dutti, have also dipped into the market of over 90 million potential Vietnamese customers. Other brands like Mango (Spain), and Nine West and Old Navy (US) have also stepped foot into the country.

    Japanese giant Uniqlo and American brand Forever 21 are also expected to arrive soon. Fast Retailing, the operator of Uniqlo, began recruiting staff in Hanoi and Saigon in May to launch stores in several cities.

    There are some 200 international fashion brands in Vietnam, accounting for more than 60% of the market share.

    An increasing middle-class population has made Vietnam a magnet for international fast fashion brands.

    Vietnam’s economy has experienced rapid growth in recent years, and average annual income reached US$2,200 last year, according to the World Bank.

    The so-called "middle and affluent class" earning US$714 a month or more in Vietnam will double to 33 million people, about a third of the population, by 2020, the Nikkei Asian Review reported, citing the Boston Consulting Group.

    Customers are well aware of the latest fashion trends and have a desire to buy fast fashion brands, which refer to those that mass-produce and sell inexpensive clothing by rapidly copying the latest trends.

    "The from brands like Mango, H&M and Zara suit me because their designs are simple and modern, and their prices are reasonable," Le Thu Trang, a student from Hanoi University, said.

    Trang, 22, also likes to wear Zara and H&M clothes. “The two brands occupy nearly half of my wardrobe. When they open outlets in Hanoi, I will definitely visit them,” she said.

    Le Viet Thanh, CEO of local brand K&K Fashion, said some local retailers are worried about international brands penetrating the domestic market. “They are big enterprises with strong financial backing. They have the ability to launch promotions that could stitch up local rivals.”

    Pham Thai Binh, head of retail at consulting firm Savills, said competition in the local fast fashion industry is heating up, and most of the key players are foreigners. Domestic fashion retailers need to be more sensitive to changes in consumer behavior in order to stay in the game, he said.

    Le Quoc An, former chairman of the Vietnam Textile and Apparel Association, said the entry of foreign brands could be a big challenge to local fashion retailers such as Ninomax, Blue, Foci and PT 2000.

    But in the long term, local brands should be able to hold their own as long as they adopt business strategies with cheaper production costs.

    Echoing him, an industry insider said: “Competition is good for everyone. Local brands just need to step up.”

    The story of how coffee chains Highlands and Trung Nguyen have stood their ground despite Starbucks' attempted invasion has proved there is room for everyone, he said. Homegrown coffee chains like Highlands and Trung Nguyen have beaten foreign rivals by being more attuned to local tastes and limited budgets.

    Serial shopper Ngoc said that better value would make her rethink her opinion of Vietnamese products.

    “If Vietnamese brands could improve their quality, I would think about shopping at local shops again,” she said.

    Vietnam-China int’l trade fair slated for Lang Son in November

    The Vietnam-China international trade fair will take place in the northern border province of Lang Son from November 2-8, according to its organising board.

    This year, the annual event, which is alternatively organised by Lang Son and China’s Guangxi province, is expect to feature about 300 booths, including 35 Chinese booths.

    As part of the fair, various trade promotion activities will be held to introduce strong products of different localities, along with art exchanges.

    Vietnam’s statistics showed that two-way trade reached 71.9 billion USD in 2016, a rise of 7.9 percent over the previous year, while the trade deficit fell 13.67 percent year on year.

    By the end of August this year, trade between the two countries hit 55.2 billion USD, up 23.59 percent over the same period last year, with Vietnam running a deficit of 17.7 billion USD, down 5.76 percent.

    Fruit and vegetable exports grow amid concern about product quality

    Between January and September, Vietnam’s fruit and vegetable exports witnessed the highest growth in the group of agro-forestry-fisheries products, increasing a staggering 45.6% to US$2.67billion when compared to the same period last year.

    China was the biggest export destination, with 70% of the country’s fruit and vegetables heading over the border to the Chinese market. This notable increase in export growth of fruit and vegetables is attributed to Vietnam’s integration into ASEAN and ASEAN integration into the other member countries.

    Notably, fruit and vegetable exports has seen the equal growth to coffee and surpassed other key products such as rice, rubber, tea and cashew nuts. Vietnam’s fruit and vegetables have successfully penetrated several demanding markets such as the US, Japan, the Republic of Korea, New Zealand and Australia.

    The US has recently allowed the import of white and red-flesh dragon fruit, rambutan, lychee, and longan from Vietnam while Japan followed suit and have also opened its market to Vietnamese white and red-flesh dragon fruit and mango.

    Vietnam has also found new markets for white and red-flesh dragon fruit along with mango with the Republic of Korea also agreeing to import them, while New Zealand has given the green light to the importing of mango, dragon fruit and lychee from Vietnam. Australia has recently granted an import license to the country’s lychees and mango.

    With these major breakthroughs achieved, Vietnam is targeting the EU as a potential market to export fruit and vegetables to.

    According to an economic report by the Vietnamese Institute for Economic and Policy Research (VERP) China is the largest import market for Vietnam’s farm produce. This is also the export market that has recorded the highest growth, especially with agro-forestry and fisheries products.

    A case in point is the sharp increase in the quantities of fruit and vegetable exports to the Chinese market, which have grown 60% in the first three quarters of the year.

    This is part of an overall upward trend. Last year, export turnover of these products to Chinese market hitUS$1.739 billion, accounting for 70.7% of total fruit and vegetable exports

    In the eight-month period export turnover to China reached more than US$1.787 billion, making up 71.7% and higher than the proportion of one year earlier. The total export turnover to the Chinese market this year is likely to hit US$2.6 billion.

    According to experts from VERP, Vietnam has heavily depended on the Chinese market. While this makes sense, China is a big market and is geographically very close to Vietnam, thereby facilitating Vietnamese exports, particularly agricultural products.

    VERP experts said the Chinese market is growing steadily, imposing rigid requirements and technical barriers on Vietnam’s agricultural products that require an improvement in product quality. In addition, the continued increase in China’s RMB has also facilitated Vietnamese exports to the vast market.

    The acceptance of Vietnamese produce by several demanding markets shows that product quality has improved recently and trade promotion activities have been implemented effectively. These moves have shown that it can be done and have given fresh impetus to exporters desiring boost exports to demanding markets.

    However, the process is lengthy. Negotiations are protracted, for example it took 9 years of talks for dragon fruit to enter the Australian market and 10 years for star apple to gain entry to the US market.

    However, experts have underlined the importance of improving quality and trade promotion activities to secure market shares of fruit and vegetables in foreign markets, and updating information in a timely fashion on the demands and standards of import products for each market.

    Economists noted that Vietnam sees huge opportunities to further improve trade surplus with China in the near future. This is contingent on the country raising awareness about the importance of this market with a focus on further improving the quality of products to ensure they meet requirements set by Chinese importers.

    However, VERP experts have advised caution, warning of an unavoidable excess crisis as a result of poor quality. This has previously be fallen such products as pork, watermelon or lychee in recent times and could happen again.
    Huda takes gold at international beer competitions

    Carlsberg Vietnam has announced that its Huda and Huda Gold brand has won three gold medals at the World Beer Awards 2017 (WBA) in the UK, the Berlin International Beer Competition (BIBC), and the Monde Selection in Belgium.

    Huda is the only beer trademark in Vietnam that has won the gold medals at these international beer competition series.

    The awards have proved the excellent quality of the Vietnamese beer brand, affirming its position as the pride of Central Vietnam for nearly three decades.

    "As a member of Denmark's Carlsberg Group, Carlsberg Vietnam has inherited the beer production technology of the Group's 170-year experience. Carlsberg Vietnam is very proud of these gold awards. This also shows the company’s commitment to pursuing perfection in brewing every day to better serve our consumers and grow up to the title of being the pride of Central Vietnam,” said Stefano Clini, general director of Carlsberg Vietnam.

    Being present in the central region of Vietnam since 1990, the quality and design of Huda has been continuously improving to bring high-grade beer to all beer lovers. As a well-known brand of excellence and high-quality, Huda is not only favoured in the domestic market but also convinced leading experts in the world beer industry to win the honourable prizes.

    Carlsberg Group, one of the leading brewery groups in the world, will continue to target Vietnam as one of its key markets in Asia to cash in on the lucrative local beer market.

    Currently, Carlsberg’s major products in the north-central region are Huda and Huda Gold, accounting for 80 per cent of the firm’s total consumption volume. In the north, Carlsberg, Tuborg, and Halida are the firm’s main products.     


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  • 10/27/17--01:04: Article 0
  • Ministry initiates probe into fraudulent silk scandal

    The Minister of Industry and Trade, Tran Tuan Anh, on Thursday asked the Department of Market Watch to look into the origin of products of the Khaisilk Group following a complaint that it was selling fake products made in China.

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    Anh also asked the department to clarify the signs of fake goods and trade fraud in the scandal.

    On the same day, inspectors raided a shop owned by the famous Vietnamese silk brand in Ha Noi.

    Tran Hung, the department’s deputy director told Nguoi Lao Dong (Labourers) newspaper that they had seized suspected counterfeit products worth VND30 million (US$1,320) from the shop. He further said the import of counterfeit goods and selling under “Made-in-Viet Nam” brand has ruined its image among people.

    “Hoang Khai, the owner, had built Khaisilk as a symbol of a national brand. Khaisilk products are much sought after by many tourists in Viet Nam,” he added.

    He said all the relevant State management agencies should rush to clarify the issue and ensure prosecution in case of serious violations.

    Khaisilk is a renowned high-end brand with a history of over 30 years. The scandal has caused a shockwave among many customers.

    The scandal broke out when a business in Ha Noi posted on Facebook on Monday to complain about products it had bought from the brand saying they were actually made in China.

    According to the post, the company bought 60 Khaisilk-branded scarves at the Hang Gai shop in Ha Noi for VND644,000 ($28) each. However, one scarf had two tags including “Khaisilk Made in Viet Nam” and “Made in China.”

    The company said it had checked the rest of the scarves and found signs that “Made in China” tags had been removed.

    Group Chairman, Hoang Khai, said in an interview with online newspaper, that the scarves were actually imported from China.

    Khai has apologised and offered compensation to customers. He said that half of the silk used by Khaisilk came from China, while the rest came from Vietnamese craft villages. However, he insisted that it only uses high-quality material although not all of its products are made in Viet Nam, as advertised for years.

    He said the reason was that Viet Nam’s silk sector has seen a material shortage from handicraft villages while the market demand has been fluctuating with diversified requirements. This is why they imported silk from China without taking into account the origin of products, he told the newspaper.

    Lawyer Nguyen The Truyen, director of the Thien Thanh Law Firm, said the owner’s admission of importing silk from China and selling it as ‘Made in Viet Nam’ has signs of legal violations.

    He violated the Law on Intellectual Property as businesses have to clearly show the origin of their products when registering for brand-name protection. In addition, the group also violated the Law on Consumer Protection.

    Truyen added that the group could face criminal offence if management agencies discover fake products worth over VND30 million.

    Pham Ngoc Hung, vice chairman of the Viet Nam Anti-Counterfeiting Fund, told Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper that Khaisilk is probably guilty of trade fraud for replacing a Chinese tag with its own tag to con customers.

    It is unacceptable for a company to use its reputation to cheat customers with a fake product not to mention the quality, Hung said. - VNS

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  • 10/27/17--01:44: Article 4
  • More, wider roads to ease traffic around HCMC airport

    The Ministry of Defence has agreed to hand over land to HCM City authorities for construction of a flyover near Tan Son Nhat International Airport to prevent the constant traffic jams that occur there.

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    Traffic jams routinely plague the road leading to Tan Son Nhat Airport. -VNS File Photo

    Other works planned to ease the traffic problems there include creating other entrances to the airport, build more roads leading to the airport in addition to the existing Truong Son Street, build elevated roads, a monorail, and a metro route to the airport.

    Though two flyovers have been built on Truong Son Street (leading to Tan Son Nhat Airport) and the road connecting Tan Son Nhat and Binh Loi, the outer beltway and the first stage of the Nguyen Kiem – Nguyen Thai Son Roundabout project have been opened to traffic, Truong Son remains severely congested.

    The situation has not improved with the widening of Hoang Minh Gíam Street in Phu Nhuan District l last month.

    Transportation experts have said that Truong Son Street, the only way to reach Tan Son Nhat, is congested because it has to carry 30 million passengers a year besides a large number of local residents.

    To mitigate the problem, the city Department of Transport has planned several works, including creating another entrance to the airport.

    They include upgrades to and widening of Hoang Hoa Tham Street and building a road connecting Tran Quoc Hoan and Truong Chinh streets running parallel to Cong Hoa Street.

    According to the transport department’s Urban Transportation Management Unit No 1, the 783.5m long, 23m wide Hoang Hoa Tham Street will be made a four-lane road at a cost of VND254 billion (US$11.3 million).

    A new entrance to the airport will be built on this road to take some of the traffic off Truong Son Street.

    A feasibility study has been done for the construction of the road parallel to Cong Hoa Street, but the city authorities are waiting for land to be transferred by the military management unit.

    Awaiting foreign consultancy

    The defence ministry has agreed to transfer 1,800sq.m of land used by the Military Hospital 175 to the city for construction of a steel flyover at the Nguyen Thai Son – Nguyen Kiem intersection.

    Meanwhile, construction of the civilian-military Terminal T3 on 286 Hoang Hoa Tham Street by Ngoi Sao Viet Joint Stock Company has been approved. But it must wait until the airport expansion plan is completed by a foreign consulting company, the company said.

    According to a transport department spokesman, the department proposed to use 7,400sq.m of land on Truong Chinh Street to widen it. The land has been obtained by removing 50 shops and three petrol stations.

    Need to fix airport

    A report on the expansion of the airport by the Ministry of Transport says demand for air transport in the Southern key economic zone is rising, accounting for 46 per cent of the total number of passengers in the country.

    Last year, 32.5 million passengers flew through Tan Son Nhat Airport against a designed capacity of its two terminals of 28 million.

    According to the transport ministry, the airport handles 40 per cent of all domestic and international flights to and from Viet Nam, and so delays and cancellations of flights would affect flight schedules and quality, and cause losses to carriers and risks to aviation safety.

    The airport is expected to handle 38– 40 million passengers next year, rising to 43-45 million in 2020.

    Plans are under way to build Long Thanh Airport in Dong Nai Province to ease the burden on Tan Son Nhat. -VNS

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  • 10/27/17--02:07: Article 3
  • Facility caught illegally raising rare animals in southern Vietnam

    The animals include pangolins, king cobra, long-tailed monkeys, water monitors, and civets

    ​Facility caught illegally raising rare animals in southern Vietnam 
    Pangolins kept at Le Quang Hanh’s facility in the southern Vietnamese province of Binh Phuoc. Photo: Tuoi Tre

    A business in the southern Vietnamese province of Binh Phuoc has been caught illegally housing several species of rare animal.

    The environmental police division under Vietnam’s Ministry of Public Security carried out at a raid on Thursday night the resident of Le Quang Hanh in Loc Dien Commune, Loc Ninh District. 

    The raid uncovered several rare animals, including pangolins, king cobras, and long-tailed monkeys, being raised at the residence.

    Eleven king cobras, 12 pangolins, 60 long-tailed monkeys, and several civets and Asian water monitors were confined in the building’s narrow cages.

    After inspecting a separate house across from Hanh’s, law enforcement discovered an additional 11 pangolins, 40 to 50 long-tailed monkeys, 16 king cobras, and dozens of water monitors, all kept in bags in what appeared to be preparation for sales.

    Initial information collected by police showed that Hanh’s business was granted a license by the office of finance and planning in Ninh Loc District in 2009 to raise and trade snakes, turtles, monitors, porcupine, and mink with legitimate origins.

    King cobras stored in bags. Photo: Tuoi Tre

    However, Hanh was unable to present documents proving the origins of the animals being kept at his facility.

    The owner admitted to purchasing the animals from different sources in northern Vietnamese provinces.

    Hanh’s son claimed the cobras and pangolins were bought just a few days prior from a local man who had left town.

    “These are rare and endangered animals that are not allowed to be traded or kept in cages. We are coordinating with relevant authorities to deal with the illegal business operation,” an environmental police official stated.

    Officers are extending their investigation to verify any involvement from other individuals.

    By Tuoi Tre News

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  • 10/27/17--02:17: Article 2
  • HCM City authorities propose Uber and Grab expansion freeze

    The authorities in HCM City have asked Grab and Uber to stop recruiting new cars while waiting for the Ministry of Transport review of the two-year implementation of Decision 24 on the pilot application of science and technology in passenger transportation.


    HCM City authorities propose Uber and Grab expansion freeze

    The Department of Transport had proposed several solutions to manage app-based taxi services in HCM City previously including asking Uber and Grab to not add new cars to their system. The department wants to stabilise the traffic in the city while waiting for the Ministry of Transport to review two-year implementation.

    The Department of Taxation was asked to work with related agencies to closely monitor Uber and Grab and similar app-based services. The authorities will publicise the management and tax collecting methods to avoid cases where traditional taxi firms complain that Uber and Grab are given preferential treatment.

    According to the Department of Transport's inspectorate, they have recorded 86 violations by Uber and Grab and issued VND276m (USD12,100) in fines since early October. Eight cases involving cars without required badges were fined VND2.8m, while 71 cases that didn't have the phone number and name of the services on the cars were fined VND213m.

    The number of cars using app-based service is on the rise in HCM City. In late 2015, there were 300 cars that used app-based services. This number increased to 15,000 in June 2016. The Department of Transport announced that they had recently issued permits to 24,000 cars.


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  • 10/27/17--02:40: Article 1
  • Ha Noi street offers tax-free foreign goods

    On Nguyen Son Street in Ha Noi’s Long Bien District, there is a small alley which is home to dozens of mini-shops standing close to each other.

     Nguyen Son Street, tax-free foreign goods, Chinese low-quality goods, Vietnam economy, Vietnamnet bridge, English news about Vietnam, Vietnam news, news about Vietnam, English news, Vietnamnet news, latest news on Vietnam, Vietnam
    Hand-carried good stores on Nguyen Son Street, Ha Noi. - Photo

    In each store, there is a variety of goods, including cosmetics, food, beverages, clothes, tooth brushes, cigarettes, glasses, knives, chopsticks and cooking pans.

    All of them are foreign branded and hand carried to Viet Nam on airlines. For this reason, Alley No 158 is infamously called the “paradise of hand carried goods (HCGs)” in Ha Noi.

    The goods sold by residents are not low cost compared to Vietnamese products, however, they are cheaper than legally imported products.

    Being sold at only slightly lower cost than market prices, hand-carried perfumes, cigarettes and wine are the favourite products because legally imported goods often bear high taxes and also, there are many fakes.

    Nearly 20 years ago, mini shops started to appear on this street, also home to a lot of airline agencies. It has another nickname – “airline street”.

    At that time, life for Hanoians was getting better. People often asked relatives working for airlines to carry foreign products back home to sell them for local consumption.

    The products are purchased at duty-free stores at airports. Regulations allow each airline staff member to carry about 30kg of luggage and a small suitcase. If airline staff take full advantage of the regulation, each flight attendant or pilot is able to carry up to 40-50kg of goods per flight without bearing taxes. Airline staff can carry bigger amounts of goods if they ask for help from colleagues or corrupt custom officers.

    The sellers can earn greater profits through promotions and sales campaigns. If they buy a large number of goods, they will enjoy a discount of 20-30 per cent, presents and free shipment. The profits are therefore multiplied many times.

    Selling HCGs is also performed by officers or young mothers, some of whom earn a daily profit of up to VND500 million (US$22,200) by selling goods worth VND2 billion per day during Lunar New Year.
    Nguyen Son Street, tax-free foreign goods, Chinese low-quality goods, Vietnam economy, Vietnamnet bridge, English news about Vietnam, Vietnam news, news about Vietnam, English news, Vietnamnet news, latest news on Vietnam, Vietnam 
    Tax free: A variety of hand-carried goods are sold on Nguyen Son Street, Ha Noi. - Photo

    A store owner named Van (not her real name) told the Lao Dong (Labourers) newspaper that the products were mostly from Japan, South Korea, Thailand, Hongkong, Britain, France, Germany, Italy and the United States. Profits are divided based on product value. The higher value, the higher the profits.

    “For example, an airline worker receives a profit of VND200,000-300,000 (US$8-13) for a perfume bottle worth VND2 million ($87). Profits are counted based on product weight if the product values are low,” she said.

    However, in recent times, retail customers visiting the shops are on the decline due to the popularity of online shopping.

    “Hand carried goods are now mainly sold in bulk for localities. A bill of products delivered to a province can be worth VND1 billion ($43,500),” another store owner said.

    Disguised as customers who want to buy a large quantity of goods, Lao Dong reporters were introduced to one of the biggest shops on the street. The shop has more than 1,000 to 2,000 product codes and is famous for selling products with no big difference between retail and wholesale prices.

    Staff at the store said the products were all hand carried from overseas. However, most of them, including cigarettes to wine, did not pay tax bills due to evasion.

    “Our products are best sellers because they are all authentic,” a shopkeeper told reporters.

    Another staff said “Some hand-carried goods have invoices, others do not, but the bills are not important. Customers who buy our products all have trust”

    Other store owners also fail to show invoices, but all of them confirm the quality of the goods. Customers can order any kind of goods in any quantity. It takes at most one week, even only two or three days to send ordered goods to Viet Nam.

    When asked if they are aware of penalties for tax evasion, a shop assistant said: “We must have a “relationship” (which means relationship with custom agencies)”

    Being asked how such a large quantity of goods was hand carried on airlines, an old cashier said goods were also carried through other ways.

    A shop worker in one of the biggest stores said the goods were carried in massive quantities in big containers by sea. Shipping fees were paid by shop owners based on the weight of their goods.

    The goods are delivered to Hai Phong port in northern Hai Phong City and have their taxes reduced at most thanks to a “relationship” between shop owners and customs agencies.

    According to store owners, they often declare low-cost and simple goods to avoid customs check. Products related to human health such as cosmetics, functional food, medicine skip the watch of authorised agencies. The products are then sold at low cost because they do not have to bear taxes and checking fees, bringing huge profits to local sellers.

    However, not all products are authentic. A woman who has more than 10-years experience in selling hand-carried goods said that sellers mix authentic products of developed countries with Chinese low-quality goods to increase the quantity.

    After receiving goods from other countries, shop owners will send them to China where factories mix the product content. One week later, the goods claimed to be authentic by many sellers are delivered back to Viet Nam for consumption, she said.

    Hand carried goods are now available for online sales. Typing “HCGs” on Google search, reporters could find thousands of results from Viet Nam. The prices of these products sold on websites and Facebook pages also vary greatly.

    Due to the love of foreign products, many customers are still lured by both online and tax-free stores.

    Quach Thanh Luc, director of Ha Noi Tinh Hoa Law Company, told the Lao Dong newspaper that airline crew were able to carry tax-free goods once every 90 days. 

    “The regulation is not strictly implemented. If we want to control hand-carried goods, we must control from the root. We must answer the questions why overseas goods easily skip the supervision of authorities. The popularity of the goods, both authentic and fake, shows loopholes in the management."

    According to Ha Noi’s Market Surveillance, in the first nine months of this year, the unit inspected 19 cases of hand-carried goods, mostly cosmetics of unknown origin, imposed total fines of more than VND61 million ($2,650) and confiscated goods worth nearly VND145 million ($6,300).

    The team said that illegal sales and transport of overseas products with unclear quality and without tags was complicated, adding that there were a lot of tricks. A small number of cosmetics are manufactured illegally in Viet Nam. Others are made abroad and then smuggled through different channels, mostly in small volumes, to Ha Noi and consumed in other provinces.

    Nguyen Thanh Phong, head of Food Safety Department under the Ministry of Health, advised customers not to trust tax-free products because they "might carry potential risks".


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  • 10/27/17--03:23: Article 0
  • RoK businesses explore investment in Binh Duong Province

    Mando’s CEO and president Sung Il-mo, along with representatives of over 80 businesses from the Republic of Korea (RoK), held a working session with provincial authorities on Thursday to explore investment opportunities.

    More than 630 enterprises from the RoK are investing in Binh Duong with total capital of nearly $3 billion.- Photo

    Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee Tran Thanh Liem said the locality recorded annual average growth of 8.5 per cent. The industrial development index increased over 10 per cent per year, while foreign direct investment (FDI) stood at over US$27.9 billion.

    He recognised significant contributions of Korean firms to the local social-economic development, adding that the RoK came third among 62 countries and territories pouring money into Binh Duong. 

    More than 630 enterprises from the RoK are investing in Binh Duong with total capital of nearly $3 billion, he noted.

    In the first six months of 2017, the RoK’s investment continued to pour into 16 new projects, while 17 existing projects registered increased capital of $306 million.

    He highlighted the RoK’s major investment projects, such as Kolon Industries’ car tyre production worth $220 million and Sewang garment-textile company’s apparel production worth $25 million.

    Sung Il-mo said his group earned annual revenue of over $5.5 billion and specialised in manufacturing automobile spare parts.

    Manando will continue exchanging views with local authorities after this field trip to ensure more investment in Binh Duong  at the earliest, he added.

    The same day, the RoK business delegation visited some local factories and met with leaders from the Binh Duong  Investment and Industrial Development Corporation (Becamex).


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  • 10/30/17--01:08: Article 4
  •  October CPI rises following floods

    The Consumer Price Index (CPI) in October has increased by 0.41% over September and 2.98% on-year, which was mainly attributed to the impact of recent storms and floods.

    According to the General Statistics Office (GSO), among the 11 goods and service groups in the price basket, the highest rise is reported in medicine and health services with 2.14%, followed by housing and construction materials with 0.63%; transport with 0.61%; food and catering services with 0.31%; educational services 0.19%; footwear and garment products 0.17% and other services with 0.12%.

    CPI in October has increased by 0.41% over September and 2.98% on-year

    The office blamed the higher CPI mainly for heavy rains, storms and flash floods which happened in many northern and northern central localities early this month. This time of the year is also wedding season, which is among reasons for higher prices of fresh food. Floods and storms also damaged many houses, schools and infrastructure in many localities, leading to the higher prices of housing and construction material products.

    Meanwhile, increased petrol prices on October 5 and October 20 were also attributed to the CPI increase.

    Total average CPI for the first 10 months of this year has posted an on-year rise of 3.71%.

    Vietnam has set a goal to curb CPI at below 5% this year.

    Lao Dong

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  • 10/30/17--01:11: Article 3
  • Over 1 million foreign visitors travel to Vietnam in October

    The number of foreign arrivals to Vietnam hit 1.02 million in October, representing a month-on-month growth of 5%. This was the seventh consecutive month, Vietnam welcomed over 1 million foreign visitors. 

    Kết quả hình ảnh cho khách du lịch nước ngoài đến VN

    In October, the number of foreign arrivals witnessed a year-on-year growth of 24.7% of which the number of visitors came from Asia increased 29.4%; Europe up 8.3%; America up 8%; Oceania up 20.7%; and Africa up 23.6%.

    In the first ten months, the number of foreign visitors was estimated at over 10.47 million, posting a year-on-year growth of 28.1%. Out of the number, over 8.87 million travelled by air (up 31%); more than 1.38 others went by road (up 18%); and 204,700 travelled by sea.

    In the January-October period, over 7.89 million Asian visitors came to Vietnam, representing a year-on-year growth of 32.8%. All markets witnessed rising figures especially over 3.24 million Chinese (up 45.6%); over 1.93 million from the Republic of Korea (up 53.9%); 658,200 Japanese people (up 7.7%).

    The number of European arrivals was estimated at 1.52 million, a year-on-year growth of 18.1%. Especially, over 457,300 Russian people came to Vietnam on the reviewed period.

    As much as 671,200 American guests travelled to Vietnam in the first ten months, up 10.4% against the same period last year.


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  • 10/30/17--01:14: Article 2

    Opportunity for Vietnam to export rice to Sri Lanka

     Opportunity for Vietnam to export rice to Sri Lanka, Agriculture ministry must reform procedures: official, Government tasked with improving efficiency of BOT projects, Saigontourist seeks to promote tourism cooperation with Hungary

    The Ministry of Industry and Commerce of Sri Lanka has launched an international tender to purchase 200,000 tonnes of rice, providing an excellent opportunity for Vietnamese rice exporters.

    According to the Foreign Trade Department under the Vietnam’s Ministry of Industry and Trade, the deadline for submission of bids is 2:00 pm (Sri Lanka time) or 3:30 pm (Vietnam time) on October 31.

    The tender prices will be calculated according to the free on board (FOB) or cost, insurance and freight (CIF) prices, the department said, adding that 50 percent of rice must be delivered before November 30 and the remaining before December 31.

    A bid security of two million Sri Lankan Rupees (approximately 13,000 USD) or 0.1 percent of the total cost of the tender and an one- kilogram sample pack in each rice variety need to be submitted.

    More details of the tender are available at http:///, the department said.

    Agriculture ministry must reform procedures: official

    Minister, Chairman of the Government Office, Mai Tien Dung, has urged the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) to simplify quality control procedures to facilitate imports and exports.

    Speaking at a working session this week, Dung said that the ministry had achieved significant results in administrative reforms, but overlaps in management persisted and some procedures remained complicated, hindering the circulation of goods.

    He said that while some agricultural products needed to be checked by more than one department under the ministry, there was still a lot of duplication of checks by several ministries.

    For example, milk powder, animal feed and confectionary raw materials received food safety checks from MARD and the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT).

    Dung said quality checks still accounted for 72 percent of the total time for customs clearance, and added that further efforts were needed to simplify procedures to speed up the process.

    “What can be removed, should be removed. What must be kept, should be simplified,” he said and stressed on the need for early issuance of national standards to guide efficient checks.

    The ministry planned to connect 26 administrative procedures to the national single window system. To date, 11 procedures have been connected. Deputy Minister of MARD, Ha Cong Tuan, said that the ministry would continue to check 508 existing administrative procedures and was expected to cut or simplify half of them.

    In addition, the ministry would also reduce the categories of products, which must be checked before export, while implementing a risk-based management approach.

    For products, which are now subjected to duplicated checks by MARD, MoIT and the Ministry of Health, Tuan said that the ministry would propose to the Government to hold just one ministry responsible.

    Government tasked with improving efficiency of BOT projects

    The National Assembly Standing Committee has issued a resolution tasking the Government with improving the legal framework and policies for investment in and operation of infrastructure projects in the build-operate-transfer (BOT) form, according to the Government news website.

    Resolution 437/NQ-UBTVQH14 comes out after a string of public protests against the mislocation of several BOT road toll stations such as Cai Lay in Tien Giang Province and Bien Hoa in Dong Nai Province. 

    The Government and the Prime Minister in particular should focus on eight tasks and solutions to ensure the efficiency of traffic infrastructure projects carried out through public-private partnership (PPP), especially BOT, according to the resolution.

    The Government will have to review all the BOT projects to identify pros and cons, and propose solutions. Those individuals and organizations responsible for shortcomings and wrongdoing at BOT projects should be strictly handled. Results shall be reported to the NA Standing Committee and the NA at their sessions in late 2018.

    The Government is also assigned to study and improve the legal framework for the BOT investment model. For BOT investment activity, there should be specific regulations on criteria for selecting contractors and especially evaluating the financial capacity of investors.

    The process of approving, developing and operating BOT projects must be properly managed. There should be sanctions against those contractors making inaccurate calculations of traffic density and capital recovery duration, and failing to meet quality standards and transfer projects on schedule.

    The Government will have to order the Ministry of Transport and related agencies to review and complete the planning for traffic infrastructure development nationwide.

    BOT will not apply to those projects repairing or upgrading existing roads or certain sections of existing roads. Only new roads can be developed in this investment form and the transparency of these projects must be guaranteed.

    The resolution requires the Government to actively raise capital from local and international sources and provide technical assistance for large-scale projects and those facing financial difficulties. Appropriate measures should be taken to make BOT projects more appealing to foreign investors.

    The Government should finalize the final accounts of the already-done projects so that toll rates and payback period can be fixed. Any Government commitments to supporting investors in site clearance and resettlement must be implemented in a timely manner.

    The Government shall review the locations of the BOT road toll stations and consider toll cuts for certain projects.

    Electronic toll collection must be done nationwide as it will help reduce traffic congestion at toll stations.

    Local authorities will have to work with ministries and investors to effectively manage site clearance, project quality, construction safety, security, and toll collection. The Government should have proper resettlement and compensation plans for people affected by BOT projects.

    The Government will have to urge relevant agencies to inspect the BOT projects underway to prevent corruption and wastefulness. The Government should point out advantages of BOT investment and sufficiently inform the public of all benefits which BOT projects can bring.

    Saigontourist seeks to promote tourism cooperation with Hungary

    Saigontourist Holding Company, Vietnam’s leading tour operator, on October 25 partook in a conference on promoting tourism development cooperation between Vietnam and Hungary in the Hungarian capital of Budapest.

    Both sides exchanged information on the tourism markets of the two countries with an aim to bolster the tourist arrival growth and boost tourist cooperation between the two countries.

    Speaking at the conference, Vietnamese ambassador to Hungary Nguyen Thanh Tuan appreciated Saigontourist’s efforts to implement the tourism development cooperation program between Vietnam and Hungary and proposed the central European country to create favorable conditions in visa issuance for Vietnamese tourists to Hungary as committed by the governments of the two countries.

    A representative of the Hungarian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade also highly praised the potential of Saigontourist as well as the attraction of Vietnam’s tourism towards Hungarian visitors, adding that, the Hungarian government will simplify visa procedures for Vietnamese tourists.

    Vo Anh Tai, deputy general director of Saigontourist, said the working trip of his corporation’s delegation to Hungary is aimed at strengthening the tourism development cooperation between Vietnam’s leading tourism enterprise with top travel agencies of Hungary in an effort to attract more Hungarian tourists to Vietnam and vice versa.

    Saigontourist is rolling up its sleeves to put on a new tourism product with a special ten-day tour taking in Hungary, Slovakia, Czech Republic and Austria costing around VND50 million per guest.

    Next year, the domestic tour operator is expected to launch a wide range of tours taking Vietnamese tourists to Hungary and central European countries. Simultaneously, Saigontourist will promote cooperation with Hungary’s leading travel agencies to lure Hungarian travelers to HCMC and Vietnam as well.

    Swiss firm interested in Vietnam airport projects

    Switzerland’s Zurich Airport AG has shown interest in airport development projects in Vietnam, including the big-ticket Long Thanh International Airport in the southern province of Dong Nai.

    The corporation has sent a delegation to Vietnam to learn about airport projects here. Speaking at a meeting with Deputy Prime Minister Vuong Dinh Hue in Hanoi on October 25, Lukas Brosi, chief financial officer of Zurich Airport AG, said his business trip to Vietnam this time was aimed at getting detailed information about airport projects in Vietnam, according a report on the Government news website.

    Deputy PM Hue expressed appreciation of Zurich Airport AG’s intention to participate in airport projects in Vietnam, saying he would tell relevant ministries and agencies to assist the company to explore these projects here.

    Vietnam is looking for domestic and foreign investors to develop airports including Long Thanh International Airport, Hue told the Zurich Airport AG mission.

    In his visit to Switzerland last month, Hue met with Zurich Airport AG leadership.

    The Vietnamese aviation sector has grown significantly in recent years and is expected to be among the world’s top five markets in terms of passenger traffic in 2015-2035. Therefore, Vietnam will need huge capital to build and upgrade airports, said Hue.

    Besides Long Thanh International Airport, Hue introduced Van Don, Chu Lai and Lao Cai airport projects to the Zurich Airport AG delegation.

    Household registration books may not be needed by 2019

    The household registration book is always needed when it comes to transacting with the public administration at the moment but this requirement will be lifted when a national population database is put in place in early 2019.

    When having an administrative transaction, residents will just provide their names, personal identification numbers and places of residence, Thanh Nien newspaper reports. The Ministry of Public Security will organize a conference on the national population database early next month.

    Data of more than 90 million Vietnamese will be stored in the ministry’s information system which has a server in Hanoi City and another in HCMC.

    Colonel Tran Hong Phu, deputy head of the Police Department on Residence Management and National Data on Population (C72), was quoted by Thanh Nien as saying the Prime Minister has asked military-run telecom giant Viettel to carry out the national database project.

    Due to the urgency of the project, the Prime Minister has asked the Ministry of Public Security to advance part of the capital needed for the project to collect information of around 90 million residents, and hold training conferences, said Colonel Phu.

    The national database project can be completed by end-2018 or early 2019, according to C72.

    The Ministry of Public Security said the national database will be in place in early 2019, thus facilitating State management and simplifying administrative procedures.

    A waste of the people’s money

    A huge waste of financial resources is looming large as three condo buildings in Hanoi’s Long Bien District may be demolished following a proposal by the project owner. The three buildings, with 150 apartment units in total, have been left unoccupied for around 10 years, as people affected by a road project refused to take over the resettlement condos on the ground that such housing units were not suitable for them.

    Project owner Hanoi Construction No. 3 JS Company, or Hanco3, now petitions Hanoi City authorities for permission to tear down the buildings to develop a commercial condo project there, saying leaving the buildings unattended to will be a waste of resources. That possibility is high, despite the fact that numerous people in Hanoi still do not have a home, and despite a loss of millions of dollars having been spent on the construction. The big question that arises is who will bear such losses.

    According to Tuoi Tre, the construction of the three buildings took place in 2001-2006, with an aim to resettle those people affected by a project to develop Sai Dong Road. When the condos were completed, the affected people rejected the resettlement plan, and as such, the road project also came to a halt. Having been unoccupied for over a decade, the three buildings have deteriorated as a result, and with the vision of such apartments unable to find homebuyers, Hanco3 has now come up with the demolition plan.

    Hanoi City authorities, upon the petition, have demanded that the project owner map out two options for comparison of pros and cons, according to the news site The first one is to renovate and upgrade the buildings and turn them into the so-called social housing units to accommodate the people entitled to the Government-sponsored housing program, while the second is to tear down the buildings and develop new commercial condos. Nguyen Chi Dung, deputy director of Hanoi City’s Department of Construction, says in Tuoi Tre that the city’s authorities have not made a decision on the fate of the deserted condo buildings pending the project owner’s explanations on the two options.

    The key reason behind the failure of the project, according to, is the low quality of such condos. All the three buildings of six floors are not equipped with lifts, while the quality of construction is low, which explain why residents have rejected them. The condos are measured at between 45 and 70 square meters each, and were initially offered at VND18-22 million per square meters.

    Apart from the low construction quality, another reason was the preference of land lots among the affected people to build their own houses, according to This fact raises the question over the need to have condo buildings for resettlement, according to Pham Sy Liem, vice chair of the General Construction Society.

    Liem, who used to serve as deputy minister of construction, says on Bao Dat Viet news site that authorities should not necessarily develop resettlement condo buildings but should pay money to affected people so that they can decide where and how to resettle themselves.

    Resettlement housing units can be suitable for residents if such units are located in inner-city districts, while in outlying districts such as Long Bien, such people would prefer living in landed homes, Liem explains.

    However, “enterprises still want to develop resettlement condo buildings (in outlying districts) because such developments are cheap. Even if they accept such resettlement condos, many still refuse to move in,” he is quoted in the paper. This point is also echoed in the news site Vneconomy, which says that many resettlement apartments in Hanoi have been handed over to residents, but such people have still not moved in.

    The news site says most people are not happy with resettlement apartments due to the low quality. In many resettlement projects, the surrounding infrastructure and other auxiliary facilities are not sufficient or ready to support their living. For resettlement projects, the investors often develop the buildings, then hand over the projects to other State agencies for management, without caring about the operations of such projects. “That is the reason why the quality of resettlement housing projects is always lower than that of commercial ones,” says Vneconomy.

    Therefore, the doomed fate of the 150 apartments developed by Hanco3 may be just the tip of an iceberg.

    Petrotimes, citing data from Hanoi’s Department of Construction, says that in Hanoi City, there remain nearly 1,000 apartments that have not been handed over to residents though their construction was completed long ago.

    As seen in local media, the imminent demolition of the three condo buildings developed by Hanco3 is a huge waste, but to a larger extent, numerous resettlement projects in Hanoi City and elsewhere in the country also pose a serious question over the efficiency of resettlement housing programs. It is high time to rethink such programs to ensure financial resources are not wasted.

    In Tien Phong, an official of Hanoi City’s Department of Construction says that the three condo buildings are part of the project with capital from the enterprise, so the responsibility in this case first rests with the project owner. While it is unclear who will bear the brunt of the losses from the demolition, such a move will still be damaging for the economy as a whole.

    Also in Tien Phong, a financial expert doubts if Hanco3 will bear the financial losses. “When developing these three condo buildings, Hanco3 was still a State-owned enterprise. Therefore, it is imperative to clarify whether the cost of constructing the three buildings has been reimbursed to the enterprise by Hanoi City’s government.” If so, it will be a waste of the people’s money.

    BOT road toll collections problematic

    Fee collections from roads built in the build-operate-transfer (BOT) format are unreasonable, according to a report by the National Assembly Standing Committee on law compliance among BOT traffic infrastructure projects.

    For thirty out of 88 toll stations nationwide, the 70-kilometer distance between the two nearest stations is not as strictly enforced as required by Circular 159/2013/TT-BTC of the Ministry of Finance. These toll stations are located along Highway 1 and a section of Ho Chi Minh Highway passing through the Central Highlands.

    Local authorities have not consulted local communities around the toll stations, social organizations and road users over the locations of the stations, triggering strong protests.

    The NA Standing Committee report also pointed out that three toll stations have been misplaced, meaning they are situated far away from the project sites in order to maximize toll collections. A station built to collect tolls from vehicles using Vinh Yen City bypass is located on North Thang Long-Noi Bai road, the Thanh Hoa toll booth is situated in Bim Son and the Ha Tinh toll station is placed in Rac Bridge area.

    In addition, those passing the intersection of Highway 46 and Yen Xuan Bridge are required to pay toll fees at Ben Thuy Bridge station for the Vinh bypass.

    Another problem is the toll stations for Hanoi-Hai Phong Expressway and Highway 5 are allowed to collect fees from vehicles traveling on the roads running in parallel with these BOT roads.

    High road toll fees have resulted in drivers choosing alternative roads to avoid fee payments, thus putting local communities at high risk of traffic accidents and causing these toll-free roads to deteriorate.

    Road users have cast doubt on the transparency of BOT road projects as investors are not inclined to apply information technology to fee collection.

    The report said toll fees are high but the quality of BOT roads is poor.

    As for fee collection supervision and inspection, State agencies have had difficulty monitoring the operations of BOT projects given a lack of specific regulations.

    According to a Ministry of Transport report, inspectors found revenues at BOT toll stations during the inspection period unusually higher than in the months before that. This might have resulted from investors understating their revenues.

    The investor of Phap Van-Gie Bridge toll booth, for example, reported daily revenue of VND1.2 billion (US$0.05 million) while an inspection by the Directorate for Roads of Vietnam found the actual figure was VND1.97 billion.

    Toll collection violations have been detected at Dai Yen toll station for Highway 18 and a Highway 5 booth as well.

    In 2011-2016, 55 BOT projects at Ministry of Transport level were completed at a total cost of VND137.8 trillion. Besides, 43 centrally-governed cities and provinces raised more than VND80 trillion for BOT road projects.

    City earns nearly VND 8 trillion per year from real estate market.

    According to the report of the Ho Chi Minh City People’s Committee to the Ministry of Construction, total budget collection from the city’s real estate sector had swung from 3- 6 percent and hit its peak at nearly 8 percent in 2007, in which the real estate market was overheated, over the total budget revenue.

    At present, the city's budget collection reaches nearly VND 8,000 billion per year from real estate sector.

    The People’s Committee of Ho Chi Minh City also reported that if the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of construction and real estate sectors reached about VND 22,670 billion in 2006, this number increased around VND 88,000 billion in 2015, accounting for 9.2 percent in the economic structure.

    Accordingly, the collection from real estate sector highly contributed to the city’s budget revenue. The total revenues from real estate sector in the period of 2006 – 2015 reached more than VND 100 trillion. 

    Currently, there are 29 large-scale housing projects with the total investment capital of nearly VND 158 trillion citywide.

    VN-Index hits new 10-year peak

    The benchmark VN-Index hit a new 10-year peak yesterday after big money flowed into large-cap stocks on rising investor confidence in the market outlook.

    On the HCM Stock Exchange, the VN-Index increased 1.24 per cent to close at 840.37 points, the highest level since February 12, 2008.

    The market was no longer a ‘single-stock game’ involving FLC Faros Construction Corp (ROS) as happened regularly throughout the week, but most heavyweight stocks jumped yesterday and lifted the VN-Index.

    Twenty of the top 30 largest shares in terms of market value and liquidity on the southern bourse gained value and only seven declined.

    The market driver ROS extended gains with further growth of 6.9 per cent, slightly lower than the cap of 7 per cent allowed for a single trading day. Market capitalisation of ROS exceeded US$4 billion yesterday after its one month rally.

    ROS shares have risen consecutively since September 27, expanding 85.4 per cent in the past month to trade at VND196,000 ($8.63) a share.

    Besides ROS, many large caps rallied substantially on Friday, including Vietcombank (VCB), up 3.5 per cent; real estate giant VinGroup (VIC), up 3.1 per cent; Vietjet Air (VJC), up 3 per cent; Military Bank (MBB), up 2.2 per cent; BIDV (BID), up 2.4 per cent; Masan Group (MSN), up 2.3 per cent; and PV Gas (GAS), up 1 per cent.

    “Few investors thought the VN-Index could break the resistance level of 840 points,” stock analysts at BIDV Securities Co wrote in a report on Friday.

    However, according to these analysts, yesterday’s rally was sudden and not really reliable when the trading volume and value was low and the cash flow was scattered and focused on some large caps.

    “Like the previous big rally, it is likely that the market will face correction when the price of stocks was pushed up quite high,” they said.

    A few companies continued to trend downwards yesterday, such as insurer Bao Viet Holdings (BVH), brewer Sabeco (SAB), steelmaker Hoa Sen Group (HSG), Hau Giang Pharmaceutical (DHG) and Binh Minh Plastics (BMP).

    Overall market condition was positive with 154 stocks rising, 125 falling and 65 closing flat.

    On the Ha Noi Stock Exchange, the HNX-Index edged up just 0.13 per cent to end at 106.45 points on the lack of blue chips’ support.

    Liquidity decreased slightly from the previous session with a total of 181.4 million shares worth a combined VND3.85 trillion ($169.7 million) traded on the two markets, down over 3 per cent in both trading volume and value compared to Thursday’s levels

    Foreign trade was also positive yesterday with total net buy value of VND107.5 billion on the two exchanges.

    VN’s export goods have competitive advantage: Korean firms

    Viet Nam’s export goods can compete with products of other countries in the South Korean market, local enterprises in South Korea said at a meeting between a delegation of Vietnamese enterprises and their partners in Seoul, South Korea, on Tuesday.

    The bilateral trade value between Viet Nam and South Korea in the first nine months of 2017 reached over $45 billion, a year-on-year increase of 52 per cent. - Photo

    The South Korean enterprises said Vietnamese export goods have better packaging design, meeting the demand of the South Korean market and offer a competitive selling price compared with similar products from the Philippines, China, Indonesia and Thailand.

    These are among the key factors to promote Viet Nam’s export goods to South Korea in the future, contributing to achieving the Viet Nam-South Korea trade value target of US$70 billion in 2020, according to the Department of Asian and African Markets under Viet Nam’s Ministry of Industry and Trade.

    The growth in exports from Viet Nam to South Korea will reduce Viet Nam’s trade deficit with South Korea and increase exports of processed seafood and agricultural products to the North Asian country.

    During the meeting, Tran Anh Vu, counselor at the Viet Nam Embassy in South Korea, and Kim Hyun-myung, vice chairman of the Korean Importers Association (KOIMA), highlighted the importance of the South Korean market for Vietnamese goods and opportunities in business co-operation among enterprises of the two countries.

    The Vietnam-South Korea strategic cooperation partnership with various cooperation frameworks in the economic sector has been an important tool to support the recent growth in bilateral trade, including the Vietnam-Korea Free Trade Agreement.

    At the meeting, Le An Hai, deputy director of the Department of Asia and Africa Markets, said bilateral trade value between Viet Nam and South Korea in the first nine months reached over $45 billion, a year-on-year increase of 52 per cent. This nine month figure was higher than the total trade value of $43.4 billion between the two countries earned in the whole of last year.

    This result was due to business meetings among enterprises of the two countries and authorities’ support in trading activities of the two countries’ enterprises, Hai said.

    The meeting was organised by the Department of Asia and Africa Markets under Viet Nam’s Ministry of Industry and Trade, the Vietnam Trade Office in South Korea and KOIMA. The meeting was expected to introduce more Vietnamese goods, mainly agricultural products, food items and household goods in the South Korean market.

    Vinasun reports abysmal third quarter

    Vietnamese taxi company Vinasun has reported massive financial loss and an additional loss of 2,000 employees in the third quarter, increasing the total decrease in employees to 10,000 in only nine months, according to newswire Vnexpress.

    Vinasun reported double digit losses and 2,000 employees leaving the company in the third quarter only

    According to the company’s financial report, as of the end of the third quarter, Vinasun had 7,292 employees, decreasing by nearly 2,000 people since the end of the second quarter.

    In the nine months of the year, along with the plunge in employees, Vinasun reported a revenue of VND2.45 trillion ($107.9 million), equaling 58 per cent of its initial annual target.

    In the third quarter of this year alone, Vinasun reported double-digit losses. Notably, its net revenue was VND547 billion ($24.1 million) only, a record low record since the end of 2011.

    Transport services via taxi is considered its core business, contributing the largest part to the company’s consolidated revenue, however, this revenue saw a plunge of VND1.5 trillion ($66.06 million) in the third quarter.

    In the face of fierce competition with Uber and Grab, Vinasun set lower consolidated revenue and consolidated pre-tax profit targets for the whole year. Notably, in 2017, it targeted to earn VND4.26 trillion ($187.6 million) in revenue and VND205 billion ($9.02 million) in pre-tax profit, signifying increases of 10.6 per cent in revenue and 34 per cent in pre-tax profit.

    In order to recover from the bleak business results, Vinasun is considering developing motorbike transportation services to lure in customers as well as compete with uberMoto and GrabBike.

    Besides, it has implemented its own ride hailing application with an interface similar to those of Uber and Grab.

    Furthermore, it has implemented the plan to extend its markets through M&A deals. According to the latest move, Vinasun spent VND27 billion ($1.19 million) taking over the assets and the right to exploit the trademark of the Vinasa taxi brand in the southern provinces of Dong Thap, Vinh Long, Can Tho, and An Giang.

    Vinaconex resumes divestment from Viwasupco

    Vinaconex JSC (Vinaconex) has officially announced the plan to divest its entire 25.5-million shareholding in Vinaconex Water Supply JSC (Viwasupco) through an auction, as part of restructuring its operations.

    At present, Vinaconex is the largest shareholder in Viwasupco with a 51 per cent holding, followed by Ecology Investment and Development JSC with 43.6 per cent. Vinaconex expects to earn VND980 billion ($43.2 million) from the sale.

    According to Vinaconex’s official notice, the 25.5 million shares will be offered at the initial price of VND39,904 ($1.75) apiece.

    Interested investors will need to submit their application to participate in the auction between October 25 and November 3.

    The auction is expected to be organised on November 22-24.

    Previously, in October 2016, Vinaconex planned to put its entire holding in Viwasupco on sale. However, the divestment was not implemented and no specific information about the deal had been published to date.

    On November 11, 2010, Vinaconex completed the transfer of 21.8 million Viwasupco shares to Acuatico. After the transfer, Vinaconex retained 25.5 million shares, equalling 51 per cent of Viwasupco’s total chartered capital.

    Along with the divestment from Viwasupco, Vinaconex plans to divest from a series of subsidiaries, including its 30.36 per cent holding in Vinaconex 11, 29 per cent of the equity capital in International Joint Venture Vinaconex-Taisei Co., Ltd., 35.39 per cent in Vinaconex Glass Fiber Reinforced Polyester Pipe JSC, and 51.4 per cent in Vimeco JSC.

    Vinaconex specialises in property development, design consultancy, industrial production, financial investment, education and training, and commercial activities, among others. It currently manages nine subsidiaries and affiliates.

    Regarding Viwasupco, in November 2016, the company’s 50 million shares were officially listed on the Unlisted Public Company Market (UpCoM), with the reference price of VND40,000 ($1.76). At present, its shares are valued at VND38,600 ($1.7). Viwasupco currently has a chartered capital of VND500 billion ($22.03 million).

    Viwasupco is the Vinaconex subsidiary posting the most effective business results. However, it became infamous after the Song Da water pipe broke 21 times in seven years, impacting households in Hanoi.

    Grab incurs heavy losses in 2014-2016

    Despite being one of the biggest ride hailing service firms in Vietnam, Grab incurred an accumulated loss of VND938.26 billion ($42.65 million) in the 2014-2016 period, according to the General Department of Taxation (GDT).

    At yesterday's press briefing, an official of GDT's Inspection Division said that Grab collected a total revenue of VND1.755 trillion ($79.77 million) in the 2014-2016 period. This firm has paid VND9.53 billion ($433,181) in taxes.

    As requested by GDT, the Ho Chi Minh City tax agency has recently inspected Grab’s payments between 2014 and 2016. Accordingly, Grab accumulated VND2.286 billion ($103,909) in tax arrears.

    Grab started operations in Vietnam in February 2014 and has a chartered capital of VND20 billion ($909,090).

    Besides Grab, the other leading ride hailing firm is Uber.

    The Ho Chi Minh City Department of Transport has revealed that by the end of September, there were 25,000 under nine-seat cars working in the ride hailing networks of Grab and Uber, more than double the number of traditional taxis that only have 11,000 vehicles.

    Grab and Uber and traditional taxies are in a heated race for market share. Along with Vinasun, Mai Linh Group also saw a decrease in employees and net revenue in the first half of this year.

    TPBank introduces new payment solution

    The Tien Phong Commercial Joint Stock Bank (TPBank) officially launched a new payment application and money transfer system using QR codes on mobile phones, called TPBank QuickPay, on October 27.

    TPBank QuickPay runs on both iOS and Android operating systems and enables the payment or transfer of money easily and quickly through a QR code.

    For payments, users simply open the application, sign in, scan the QR code and scan their fingerprint or enter a personal code to confirm the payment.

    The QR code used by TPBank QuickPay is compatible with international standards set by international card organizations, QR codes of large banks, and a number of FinTech companies in the market.

    Customers not only pay at the acceptance point but can also pay at the point of sale or transfer funds to customers at certain banks.

    “With a simple application, anyone can use it,” said Mr. Nguyen Hung, General Director of TPBank. “Non-cash payments are sure to become more popular, helping save costs for society and being in accordance with the direction of the government and the State Bank of Vietnam.”

    Mr. Pham Tien Dung, Director of the Payment Department at the State Bank of Vietnam (SBV), said this is a positive sign for banking and finance in Vietnam.

    “TPBank is one of the leaders in applying new technology in payments,” he added.

    QuickPay registration is easy and fast and the procedure for identifying customers is simple.

    The biggest advantage of TPBank QuickPay is that it’s free to pay, transfer money, or use for small-scale sales.

    It has high security because information contained in the QR code read by the application ensures integrity and accuracy, with no errors in input from typing.

    It also supports sales, with a notification sent immediately upon a completed transaction.

    TPBank QuickPay not only helps increase revenue and access to new customers but also reduces risks in payment.

    Mr. Hung said that in the short term, it will be free of charge to small-scale vendors. For large-scale points of sale, the fee will be competitive. TPBank also plans to launch a range of attractive promotions for users, to promote the purchase of certain goods and designated points of sale.

    Those attending the launch included representatives from the SBV, General Director of MasterCard Asia Pacific Mr. An Vogels, Chairwoman of NAPAS, Ms. Nguyen Tu Anh, and Mr. Aung San Maung, General Director of Microsoft Vietnam.

    AIA signs bancassurance partnership with VPBank

    AIA Vietnam has signed a 15-year exclusive bancassurance partnership agreement with VPBank, through which VPBank customers will have access to AIA Vietnam’s comprehensive range of life insurance products and services, complemented by its innovative wellness proposition, AIA Vitality.

    “Our strategic partnership with VPBank highlights our commitment to deliver value-added wellness, protection, and long-term savings solutions to VPBank customers, and, more importantly, advance the life insurance market in Vietnam by helping people live longer, healthier, and better lives,” said Mr. Wayne Besant, CEO of AIA Vietnam.

    “Bancassurance is a major distribution channel for AIA and we are focused on forming exclusive partnerships that allow us to make substantial and long-term investments, such as innovative and tailored propositions that leverage the use of digital technology and customer analytics that lead the industry in customer experience,” he added.

    The agreement will see VPBank be the first bank in Vietnam to offer insurance integrated with wellness across its entire nationwide network of 215 branches and transaction offices and all bank segments: retail, SME Corporate, household, and digital banking.

    The long-term exclusive partnership will allow AIA Vietnam and VPBank to jointly invest in and commit to creating a market-leading bancassurance platform supported by the integration of digital capabilities, best-in-class training programs, and service innovation, to serve customers better.

    “We have always viewed bancassurance as an integral and strategic aspiration for the bank,” said Mr. Duc Vinh Nguyen, CEO of VPBank. “Life insurance is a vital component and product offering for our target market segments, in particular the affluent consumer as well as the SME and household banking segments. We chose AIA for its strengths in the market and its philosophy on customer engagement.”

    AIA Group Limited and its subsidiaries comprise the largest independent publicly-listed pan-Asian life insurance group. It has a presence in 18 markets in Asia-Pacific, with wholly-owned branches and subsidiaries in Hong Kong, Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, China, South Korea, the Philippines, Australia, Indonesia, Taiwan, New Zealand, Macau, Brunei, Cambodia, and Vietnam, a 97 per cent-owned subsidiary in Sri Lanka, a 49 per cent-owned joint venture in India, and a representative office in Myanmar.

    Established in Vietnam in 2000, AIA Vietnam protects the financial health and welfare of Vietnamese people and is now one of the leading life insurers in the market, with a brand trusted by customers and the public.

    As one of the earliest joint stock commercial banks in Vietnam, VPBank has achieved steady development throughout its history. Since 2010, it has grown dramatically with the development and implementation of a strategic transformation program with support from one of the world’s leading consulting companies.

    Following this strategy, VPBank aims to become one of the five leading joint stock commercial banks and one of the three leading retail joint stock commercial banks in Vietnam this year.

    VCCI & CIEM hold private sector forum

    To identify the barriers and challenges the private sector is facing and identify solutions in support, the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) and its Vietnam Business Forum magazine, in cooperation with the Central Institute for Economic Management (CIEM), organized the 2017 Business Forum with the theme “Creating an Environment for Private Enterprises in Vietnam” in Hanoi on October 26.

    Private enterprises have an important role to play in Vietnam’s economic development, creating jobs and leading in new production and business fields.

    Addressing the opening of the forum, VCCI Vice Chairman Hoang Quang Phong said that the recognition of the private sector “by the Central Committee of the 12th Party Central Committee was a breakthrough in perceptions by the Party and the State about economic development.”

    “Although the size of the private sector is small, it is important for the economy,” he added.

    The forum heard that the government has issued a series of mechanisms and policies to realize its target of least 1 million private enterprises being established by 2020 and that the key to economic growth in Vietnam is the private sector.

    The private sector has confirmed its role in the economy over recent years and has created many jobs and improved incomes.

    Figures show that State-owned enterprises account for only 0.5 per cent of all enterprises while private enterprises account for 96.7 per cent and foreign-invested enterprises 2.8 per cent. The contribution by the private sector to GDP has been more than 43 per cent since 2010, while the State sector’s contribution was about 28.9 per cent and the foreign-invested sector about 18 per cent.

    Some attendees noted that the government has created suitable conditions for private enterprises but more is needed.

    Economists said that the difficulties faced by large private enterprises include the time and costs involved in complying with the law, legal risks in ensuring business safety, and weak management.

    Representatives from a number of enterprises also said that what businesses need most is not just a package of capital support and land but also an equal and transparent business environment, stable policies, and simple administrative procedures.

    Firms ’overly-optimistic’ on EVFTA

    Vietnamese firms are “overly-optimistic” about labour conditions regulated in the EU-Việt Nam trade agreement, a Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) official said.

    High international standards for labour, including a demand for independent unions, were what set apart the European Union-Việt Nam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) with other FTAs Việt Nam has signed.

    During a workshop on the Vietnamese workforce in Hà Nội yesterday in preparation for the EVFTA which is expected to come into effect next year after being ratified by both sides, the VCCI’s World Trade Organisation Centre Director Nguyễn Thu Trang said that she feared Vietnamese firms were being too optimistic in perceiving changes the EVFTA would bring to their workforce.

    She cited a survey by the VCCI on some 250 businesses across all sectors nationwide last year, of which more than 90 per cent believed that the EVFTA would improve workforce quality.

    “The (survey) result was quite astonishing. Higher labour standards of the EVFTA are supposed to make it more difficult for the businesses, yet they had little worries about it,” Trang said.

    The reason for such optimism, she added, might lie in the ignorance of the business community about the trade agreement.

    The same survey shows that up to 83 per cent of the surveyed businesses had heard about the EVFTA, but only about 8.5 per cent knew it well, she said.

    While a lack of knowledge might leave enterprises unprepared for the deal, others who were trying to get prepared were faced with a crippled labour training system, Trang added.

    The Institute of Labour Science and Social Affairs head Đào Quang Vinh said that the labour structure in Việt Nam was going in the opposite direction from the rest of the world.

    “Normally those with higher education would be less in number than skilled workers in a labour pool,” Vinh said.

    “But Việt Nam has the opposite situation.”

    Worse still, the number of labourers without any training is only decreasing at a very slow pace.

    Việt Nam had about 82.6 per cent of its workforce untrained in 2007, and only managed to bring the number to 79 per cent in 2016, according to Vinh. This was equivalent to around 42.9 million of people in the labour pool without any working skills.

    Mekong Connect 2017 seeks to increase value of local products

    The Mekong Connect 2017 took place in the Mekong Delta province of Ben Tre on October 26, attracting representatives from 600 enterprises and over 100 experts from both inside and outside Vietnam.

    Themed “Developing local resources in association with technology strength”, the Mekong Connect 2017 was jointly held by the Vietnam Association of High Quality Products and the People’s Committees of four Mekong Delta localities of An Giang, Ben Tre, Can Tho and Dong Thap.

    The forum aimed to seek measures to make full use of advanced technology to optimise the value of local products.

    At the event, speeches delivered by 25 domestic and international scholars, policy makers and businesses discussed the role of local resources, as well as measures to develop local resources in the Mekong Delta region.

    The highlight of discussions was the debate on how to promote local products such as coconut of Ben Tre, rice of Can Tho, fish of An Giang, and lotus of Dong Thap.

    Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Le Quoc Doanh suggested the Mekong Delta focus on the development of farm produce, aquatic products, animal husbandry and mangrove forest plantation and protection.

    Both he and Deputy Minister of Science and Technology Pham Dai Duong emphasised the need for the region to intensify the application of advanced technology in production and processing.

    The Ministry of Science and Technology is studying new technologies to help increase the value and quality of products, Duong said, adding that it also ordered the Korea Technology Centre to research and make a technology suitable to the Mekong Delta.

    Newly established firms surge 14.6 percent

    Vietnam totalled over 105,000 nationwide newly established companies in the first ten months of the year, a year-on-year increase of 14.6 percent, according to the Enterprise Development Agency under the Ministry of Planning and Investment.

    The new firms have total registered capital of over 1 quadrillion VND (44 billion USD), up 43.8 percent from the same time last year.

    The retail and automobile and motorbike maintenance and repair industries saw pool of newly established companies with 37,817 firms, followed by the processing and manufacturing sector with 13,449 firms. 

    Meanwhile, the real estate sector has the strongest growth in the number of new businesses (62.5 percent).

    Corporate social responsibility - Key to fishery development

    Corporate social responsibility to ensure the sustainable growth of the Vietnamese fishery sector was discussed at a seminar held in the Mekong Delta city of Can Tho on October 26.

    At the event, Do Thuy Ha, Manager of Oxfam Vietnam Private Sector Programme, said businesses should build good working environments and carry out green production.

    Ha cited the results of an Oxfam survey as saying that most of 30 shrimp production companies have practised social responsibility at different levels and pledged to meet all international standards in the field.

    The practice has become necessary for any firm wanting to build a strong brand and gain a foothold in the global market, she added.

    Agreeing with the view, Pham Minh Luan, director of the KNA certification company, pointed to the fact that batches of Vietnamese aquatic products have been refused entry to the US due to a lack of independent certification in criteria for labour rights, environment protection, and business ethics.

    Alban Caratis, a representative of Seafood Trade Intelligence Company, said Ha’s assessment shows that most enterprises have yet to define plans to protect workers’ rights in the long term.

    Weak knowledge among managers about discriminations has led to inequality among employees in terms of bonuses, insurance, and annual leave, he noted.

    Nguyen Thi Le Hoa, deputy head of the Oxfam Vietnam, said corporate social responsibility brings win-win benefits to businesses, workers, the community, and the environment.

    It requires companies to design long-term strategies and action plans to include responsibility as part of their business models, she added.

    Lam Dong solicits green investment at conference

    Lam Dong province would like to attract investment in green energy and technology, a conference on investment promotion held by the Central Highlands province in Ho Chi Minh City on October 26 heard.

    Nguyen Van Yen, deputy chairman of the provincial People’s Committee, said: “This is a good chance for provincial enterprises to meet, share information, introduce their strengths and the investment incentives offered by Lam Dong to international and local investors.

    “We would like to seek business partners to promote sales of our speciality products throughout the nation and even export.”

    Lam Dong, which has an area of 9, and a population of 1.3 million, is strong in tourism, agriculture and forestry, and agricultural and forestry processing.

    Its capital Da Lat is a national and regional resort town and tourism centre with balmy weather and many ancient villas and buildings. The city has 16,740 hotel rooms and received 5.4 million visitors last year, including 270,000 foreigners.

    The province’s tourism sector plans to develop a range of activities like eco-tourism, rest and recreation, sightseeing, amusement and entertainment, culture and sports, education, and agro-tourism.

    The province has great potential in agriculture. It has nearly 60,000ha under vegetables that yield 2.1 million tonnes a year, or 40 percent of the national output; 8,400ha under flowers that produce nearly 30 million cut flowers, or 45 percent of the national output; 21,000ha under tea; and over 150,000ha under coffee that produce an output of over 430,000 tonnes.

    The province’s industrial sector is dominated by mining, manufacture of fertilisers, electricity generation and distribution, and gas production.

    Last year its economy grew at 7.93 percent and this year the figure is expected to edge up to 8.2 percent.

    Domestic investors have invested a cumulative 108 trillion VND (4.8 billion USD) in 756 projects while foreign investors have 101 projects worth 477 million USD.

    “Poor infrastructure, low value addition, limited investment and failure to achieve its tourism potential are the province’s weaknesses,” Yen said.

    Tran Ngoc Liem, deputy director of the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s HCM City office, said: “In recent years the number of enterprises in Lam Dong has significantly increased.”

    “Last year the figure was up 16 percent and in the first seven months of this year the figure rose by 25 percent, far higher than the target of 15 percent. With this growth, the province will have over 9,000 enterprises by 2020,” he added.

    In tourism, the province said it would like to promote its advantages of climate and landscapes, with priority given to the development of high-quality eco-tourism, conference tourism, agricultural tourism, developing special products and brands, and developing Da Lat into a superior eco-tourism centre.

    To foster trade, Lam Dong wants to develop its agricultural and agro-forestry products and brands, strengthen trade promotion and expand its domestic and international markets.

    In agriculture, it would like to develop agro-forestry based on high technology, bio-technology for preservation, and post-harvest processing.

    It prioritises the development of processing of products like tea, coffee, mulberry, and dairy and the classification and preservation of vegetables and flowers.

    To strengthen its transport infrastructure, Lam Dong wants to build Dau Giay–Lien Khuong Expressway, restore 84km Da Lat-Thap Cham rail route and begin international air services to Singapore and Siem Reap.

    Japanese investors pour fund in Da Nang projects

    Yamato Sewing Machine Manufacturing Company from Japan plans to build a factory in Da Nang Hi-Tech Park providing sewing machines, spare parts and accessories as well as automotive equipment in sewing industry.

    The city’s Investment Promotion Agency (IPA) confirmed that the firm is the third Japanese investor at the park.

    It said Yamato will soon commence construction of the project on 2.85ha with total investment of 28 million USD.

    Yamato has had representative offices in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City from 2007.

    The 1,010-ha park in Haa Vang district, 20km west of the city, attracted six projects valued at 180 million USD from two Japanese and four domestic investors between 2012-16.

    According to the IPA, two Japanese companies – Mikazuki and Katsuura – will start construction of a complex of hotel, entertainment and beach resort on 24.5ha in Lien Chieu district with total capital of 110 million USD next year.

    Japan is the second largest investor in Da Nang with 134 projects worth 598 million USD.

    Dak Lak - A magnet for foreign direct investment

    An improved business climate has made the Central Highlands province of Dak Lak an attractive destination for both domestic and foreign direct investment (FDI), helping develop the local economy.

    The province is home to 12 FDI projects, mostly from France, India, Japan, the Netherlands, the Republic of Korea, Thailand and the UK, with total registered capital of 171 million USD.

    Notably, the coffee processing sector has four FDI projects valued at nearly 1.46 trillion VND (64.2 million USD).  An Indian-invested coffee plant was established in the province, which can produce 10,000 tonnes of instant coffee and 6,000 tonnes of liquid coffee and trade 12,000 tonnes of robusta coffee per year.

    Another coffee processing company invested by the UK, Dakman Co.,Ltd, can produce 50,000 tonnes of robusta coffee and 5,000 tonnes of cocoa per year.

    The provincial People’s Committee said that FDI attraction still lags behind local development demand. Dak Lak is working to lure FDI  in agriculture, renewable energies and tourism.

    Along with renewing methods of investment promotion, the province is providing online public administrative services to aid investors.

    Quang Ninh creates healthy investment climate

    The northeastern province of Quang Ninh is applying a range of measures to remove difficulties for businesses by improving investment environment and attracting social resources for local socio-economic development.

    The province has launched the Business Café programme, built a survey tool for social networking, and establishing hotlines at all departments and sectors as well as organising quarterly and monthly meetings with enterprises.

    In 2017, Quang Ninh had an initiative of implementing a social networking survey tool and building a fanpage to update businesses’ reports on administrative procedures relating to economic organisations.

    This move has been highly evaluated by Provincial Competitiveness Index (PCI) experts from the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI), according to deputy head of the Quang Ninh Department of Investment Promotion Tran Nhu Long.

    The collection of opinions from businesses through the social network has helped authorities have more information to analyse and evaluate the business situation and build policies suitable with the local conditions.

    Furthermore, direct dialogues between local leaders and entrepreneurs in the Business Café programme have been conducted since 2016 to weather difficulties for businesses.

    In August 2017, the Quang Ninh Business Association launched a new venue for the Business Café programme to create a more professional and friendly space for businesses and authorities to exchange issues relating to business production activities and one-stop-shop administrative procedures.

    The provincial Department of Science and Technology and the Business Association have coordinated to organise the Technology Café programme with the engagement of over 50 local businesses.

    The programme eased a number of concerns over the access to latest technologies, intellectual property, and industrial property.

    Vice Chairman of the People’s Committee of Cam Pha city Pham Van Kinh said local authorities have met with businesses to promptly remove their bottlenecks.

    In September 2017, Quang Ninh hosted meetings with over 500 enterprises, cooperatives and business households, he added.

    From the late of 2016, Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee Nguyen Duc Long has directed localities and relevant agencies to reduce time to address administrative procedures.

    The healthier investment climate has helped Quang Ninh attract more investors. Vietnam’s three biggest economic groups of Vingroup, Sungroup and FLC have been present in Quang Ninh with a number of key projects.

    Recently, potential investors at home and abroad such as Toray and Sozitaz groups from Japan, Serra Sunger ve Petrol Urunleri San. Tic.A.S from Turkey, and VINA-CPK company from the United Kingdom, Vinci Group from France, Vietnam Dairy Products Joint Stock Company (Vinamilk), and C.E.O Group of Vietnam have moved to study investment in Quang Ninh.

    In the first nine months of this year, Quang Ninh granted new licenses and adjusted investment certificates for 48 projects worth over 18.5 trillion VND (814 million USD), equal to 69.5 percent of the same period last year.

    As many as 1,720 businesses were established with a total registered capital of over 7 trillion VND (308 million USD), up 46 percent in the number of businesses.

    Vietnam Business Forum held in Canada

    A Vietnam Business Forum was organised in Toronto city of Canada on October 26 as an effort to call for Canadian investment and foster cooperation between the two countries’ enterprises.

    Addressing the event, Premier of Ontario Kathleen Wynne said she was impressed by Vietnam’s economic growth.

    She expressed her delight at the development of the two countries’ relations based on cooperation in trade and connectivity between the two business communities. She added that she hopes for expanded cooperation in other fields in the time to come.

    Vietnamese Ambassador to Canada Nguyen Duc Hoa said that the two countries have yet to fully tap their cooperation potential as they do not understand each other’s market and investment policies thoroughly.

    Therefore, the Vietnam Business Forum was a chance for both sides’ enterprises to discuss and promote new business initiatives and strategies, Hoa believed.

    In his report delivered at the forum, former Canadian Ambassador to Vietnam David Devine said that Canadian enterprises are facing various challenges, including language barrier, cultural differences, investment climate, market, administrative procedures and the way of business.

    He suggested Canadian businesses to seek cooperation opportunities with Vietnamese partners.

    Participants to the event also discussed support services for Canadian exporters, export prospects for multi-lateral enterprises and prospects for small- and medium-sized enterprises.

    Two-way trade between Vietnam and Canada reached nearly 5 billion USD in 2016. Vietnam currently leads ASEAN in terms of trade turnover with Canada.

    The forum took place nearly two weeks ahead of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s official visit to Vietnam and attendance at the APEC Economic Leaders’ Week.

    The forum and the visit are expected to open up more cooperation opportunities for the two countries.

    Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne is also scheduled to lead a business delegation to Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City from December 3-6 to boost business and investment cooperation.

    Labour productivity key to SMEs’ sustainable development

    Increasing labour productivity is the key to the sustainable development of small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), experts have said.

    At a forum jointly held by the Ho Chi Minh City branch of the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI-HCM) and the International Labour Organisation (ILO) on October 27, VCCI-HCM Director Vo Tan Thanh said that labour productivity is an important factor to improve competitiveness so as to join effectively the global supply chain.

    Increasing productivity is also a solution to improve incomes and working conditions for labourers, he noted.

    Thanh stressed that as Vietnam is integrating deeply into the world’s economy, it is a must for enterprises to apply various measures to meet demands of customers, thus, they can hold stable shares in the domestic market and gain a firm foothold in foreign countries.

    ILO Vietnam Director Chang Hee Lee said that labourers play an important role in deciding productivity and quality of products. For that reason, SMEs need to encourage the involvement of workers in technical improvement programmes while bettering the working environment for their labourers.

    SMEs can start from dialogues to share information and expectations between managers and workers, he said, adding that businesses should pay due attention to carrying out quality management progresses like 5S model (seiri-tidiness, seiton- orderliness, seiso-cleanliness, seiketsu-standardisation and shitsuke-discipline) or ISO quality management system.

    Technological innovation for green production and business culture are also important to  labour productivity as well, he said.

    Meanwhile, Brian Mtonya, an economic expert from the World Bank, stressed that businesses should pay heed to product research, designing and marketing which are touted as decisive factors for products’ competitiveness edge.

    Vietnam, Brazil boast potential of agricultural, tourism cooperation

    Vietnam and Brazil boast potential of agricultural and tourism cooperation, as heard the Vietnam - Brazil trade forum held in Ho Chi Minh City on October 27.

    Speaking at the event, Director of the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) branch in Ho Chi Minh City Vo Tan Thanh said two-way trade between the two countries hit 3 billion USD in 2016.

    In the first nine months this year, the figure neared 2.6 billion USD, up 13 percent annually. Vietnam mainly exports phones and electronic equipment, aquatic products, rubber, synthetic fiber and apparel to Brazil and imports industrial products, iron and steel, and beans.

    In recent years, Brazil has been listed among the five largest emerging economies globally with a 200 million population. The two countries also have room for collaboration across agriculture, tourism, science-technology and education-training.

    Vice Governor of Maranhao state of Brazil Carlos Brando said Vietnam and Brazil share similarities in soil and weather conditions and supplementary advantages. Vietnam has strengths in rice production, aquaculture, and fishing while Brazil has abundant land, mild climate, and low-cost workforce, making it easier for the two nations to partner in agriculture.

    The Brazilian side wished that the two countries’ authorities would boost trade and investment promotion to contribute to bilateral ties.

    RoK businesses explore investment in Binh Duong Province
    Mando’s CEO and president Sung Il-mo, along with representatives of over 80 businesses from the Republic of Korea (RoK), held a working session with provincial authorities on Thursday to explore investment opportunities.

    Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee Tran Thanh Liem said the locality recorded annual average growth of 8.5 per cent. The industrial development index increased over 10 per cent per year, while foreign direct investment (FDI) stood at over US$27.9 billion.

    He recognised significant contributions of Korean firms to the local social-economic development, adding that the RoK came third among 62 countries and territories pouring money into Binh Duong.

    More than 630 enterprises from the RoK are investing in Binh Duong with total capital of nearly $3 billion, he noted.

    In the first six months of 2017, the RoK’s investment continued to pour into 16 new projects, while 17 existing projects registered increased capital of $306 million.

    He highlighted the RoK’s major investment projects, such as Kolon Industries’ car tyre production worth $220 million and Sewang garment-textile company’s apparel production worth $25 million.

    Sung Il-mo said his group earned annual revenue of over $5.5 billion and specialised in manufacturing automobile spare parts.

    Manando will continue exchanging views with local authorities after this field trip to ensure more investment in Binh Duong  at the earliest, he added.

    The same day, the RoK business delegation visited some local factories and met with leaders from the Binh Duong  Investment and Industrial Development Corporation (Becamex).

    Programme fosters sustainable SME growth
    The Sustaining Competitive and Responsible Enterprises (SCORE) programme has benefited participating factories by helping cut costs, improve workplace co-operation, increase productivity and reduce employee turnover rate, a forum heard in HCM City on Friday.

    SCORE is a global ILO-backed technical co-operation programme that is going in many countries like China, Indonesia, Viet Nam, India, Colombia, and Malaysia.

    Its goals are to help small and medium-sized enterprises improve productivity and working conditions, enhancing their long-term competitiveness.

    Vo Tan Thanh, director of the Viet Nam Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s HCM City branch, said with financial support from Norway and Switzerland, since 2011 VCCI-HCM City and SCORE have been organising training and consultancy programmes for SMEs in the wood processing sector in Binh Duong, Binh Dinh, Dong Nai, Long An, and HCM City.

    Recently the programme has expanded to support the garment and supporting industries in HCM City and Dong Nai Province.

    Chang Hee Lee, ILO director for Vietnam, said since 2011 SCORE has focused on initiating and supporting an improvement in workshop layout and operations, quality management, cleaner production and safe and healthy working environment through nurturing, facilitating and embedding worker-management dialogue processes at the workplace.

    “Altogether 146 companies have participated so far, 1,150 staff and workers have been trained and 91 per cent of trained companies reported significant cost saving.”

    Above all, the project has been “instrumental in creating and spreading business culture innovation for better performance of SMEs,” he told the forum titled “Improving productivity for integration into the global value chains.”

    As the CEO of one of the wood processing companies participating in the programme since 2014, Le Van Minh of Tuong Van Co.Ltd said it participated in modules 1 (workplace co-operation), 2 (quality management) and 5 (safety and healthy at work) of the programme, and he is happy with the results.

    The programme has helped his company with “successful arrangement of the chair production line with reduction of takt time from 14 to nine days.”

    In addition, through modules 1 and 2, the company is able to save VND840 million a year on average, he said.

    “The biggest value from the project is the Kaizen culture and co-operative spirit at the workplace.”

    Minh Man Printing Co., Ltd is also happy with the results of the programme after participating for three months.

    Truong Thu Tram, its deputy director, said the programme had created a spirit of self-consciousness and pro-activeness in all employees in implementing 5S-Kaizen.

    “The working environment is always clean and safe, bringing high efficiency in production.”

    Lee said SMEs account for 97 per cent of enterprises in Viet Nam. Unlike State-owned enterprises and foreign firms, they face numerous challenges in terms of access to bank loans, markets, advanced technologies and productivity-enhancing techniques.

    “Often they are outside the global supply chains and even when they are inside, they are at the bottom layer of the global production chains, struggling to survive with low productivity.

    “Creating enabling environment for sustainable development of SMEs is a key to the sustainable development of Viet Nam.”

    Organised by VCCI-HCM City and ILO, the forum wrapped up SCORE phase II, and also discussed opportunities and challenges for SMEs when participating in global value chains and inquiries by international buyers, and introduced a strategic framework to support enterprises in the programme’s new phase.

    Phases I and II have done an outstanding job of demonstrating that SMEs can improve their productivity and working conditions through labour-management co-operation.

    Building on the success, SCORE’s phase III aims at upscaling its impacts, firstly by embedding SCORE training in national training programmes with support from the SCORE National Centre hosted by the VCCI and secondly by leading multinational buyers to support SCORE training in their supply chains.

    Viet Nam Rubber Group targets $1.76b revenue
    Viet Nam Rubber Group (VRG) has targeted annual sales of VND40 trillion (US$1.76 billion) after equitisation.

    The target was set at a meeting to celebrate the 88th anniversary of Viet Nam Rubber Day held in the southern province of Binh Phuoc on Thursday.

    In the first 10 months of this year, the whole rubber sector has exploited 177,000 tonnes of rubber latex, reaching more than 70 per cent of the target, of which, processing hit over 234,000 tonnes and consuming achieved more than 214,000 tonnes, equivalent to 71 per cent and 63 per cent of the target, respectively.

    The group is shifting to the joint stock model, with a target of an average annual growth rate of 15 per cent, a total revenue of over VND40 trillion, profit of VND8.9 trillion by 2020, profit margin ratio of 21 per cent per year and profit on average charter capital of 19 per cent per year.

    In 2018, the group will be transformed into a joint stock company in order to reach new heights, despite the difficulties and challenges.

    In Binh Phuoc Province, rubber trees cover an area of over 234,000ha, of which more than 80,000ha is owned by State-owned enterprises.

    Binh Phuoc is considered the "rubber capital" of the country, contributing more than 10 per cent into the province’s annual budget and creating regular jobs for over 21,000 workers.

    VN’s export goods have competitive advantage: Korean firms
    Viet Nam’s export goods can compete with products of other countries in the South Korean market, local enterprises in South Korea said at a meeting between a delegation of Vietnamese enterprises and their partners in Seoul, South Korea, on Tuesday.

    The South Korean enterprises said Vietnamese export goods have better packaging design, meeting the demand of the South Korean market and offer a competitive selling price compared with similar products from the Philippines, China, Indonesia and Thailand.

    These are among the key factors to promote Viet Nam’s export goods to South Korea in the future, contributing to achieving the Viet Nam-South Korea trade value target of US$70 billion in 2020, according to the Department of Asian and African Markets under Viet Nam’s Ministry of Industry and Trade.

    The growth in exports from Viet Nam to South Korea will reduce Viet Nam’s trade deficit with South Korea and increase exports of processed seafood and agricultural products to the North Asian country.

    During the meeting, Tran Anh Vu, counselor at the Viet Nam Embassy in South Korea, and Kim Hyun-myung, vice chairman of the Korean Importers Association (KOIMA), highlighted the importance of the South Korean market for Vietnamese goods and opportunities in business co-operation among enterprises of the two countries.

    The Vietnam-South Korea strategic cooperation partnership with various cooperation frameworks in the economic sector has been an important tool to support the recent growth in bilateral trade, including the Vietnam-Korea Free Trade Agreement.

    At the meeting, Le An Hai, deputy director of the Department of Asia and Africa Markets, said bilateral trade value between Viet Nam and South Korea in the first nine months reached over $45 billion, a year-on-year increase of 52 per cent. This nine month figure was higher than the total trade value of $43.4 billion between the two countries earned in the whole of last year.

    This result was due to business meetings among enterprises of the two countries and authorities’ support in trading activities of the two countries’ enterprises, Hai said.

    The meeting was organised by the Department of Asia and Africa Markets under Viet Nam’s Ministry of Industry and Trade, the Vietnam Trade Office in South Korea and KOIMA. The meeting was expected to introduce more Vietnamese goods, mainly agricultural products, food items and household goods in the South Korean market.

    FIA, INCHAM co-operate in investment promotion
    The Ministry of Planning and Investment’s Foreign Investment Agency (FIA) and the Indian Business Association in Viet Nam (INCHAM) inked a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on investment promotion on Wednesday in Ha Noi.

    The MoU was signed on the occasion of the 45th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Viet Nam and India, reports. Following the MoU, the two sides will join hands to support the two business communities invest in each other’s country with a focus on organising investment seminars and business collaboration events besides exchanging investment opportunities.

    Speaking at the signing ceremony, head of FIA Do Nhat Hoang said Viet Nam always considered foreign direct investment as the main driver to speed economic growth and economic reform. Thus, the Government had drawn up many effective solutions to improve the country’s investment climate to attract more foreign investors, including those from India.

    Hoang said he hoped the MoU would help facilitate Indian investment in Viet Nam and vice versa, contributing to strengthening bilateral relations.

    In his speech, he also spoke highly on the significant development of the bilateral relationship over the past years.

    The two countries have upgraded their relationship status to a comprehensive strategic partnership; however, two-way trade has currently reached some US$5 billion, lagging behind the potential of the two nations.

    In terms of investment, India is now Viet Nam’s largest source of FDI in Central and Western Asia, with 164 projects worth over $755 million. Indian investment was mainly in the manufacturing and processing industry, information technology and mining.

    HCM City promotes trade, investment in Australia
    HCM City’s business climate and business development strategies were introduced at an Investment-Trade-Tourism Promotion conference in Sydney, Australia, on Wednesday.

    The event, organised by the city’s Investment and Trade Promotion Centre (ITPC), was attended by Vietnamese Consul General to Sydney Hoang Minh Son, representatives from the Australia-Viet Nam Business Council and Vietnamese and Australian investors in services, tourism, accommodation and real estate.

    In his opening remarks, Son said Viet Nam and Australia had become important trade partners, with bilateral trade doubling to US$6 billion in 2017 from $3 billion in 2007. Both sides boast huge potential for bilateral cooperation, he said, stressing that HCM City will become an attractive destination for Australian investors.

    He noted that the Vietnamese Government and diplomatic agencies in Australia had created favourable conditions for ties between businesses and authorities of the two countries.

    The conference served as a venue for enterprises from both sides to seek co-operation opportunities, he stated.

    On his part, ITPC Director Pham Thiet Hoa said the city was Viet Nam’s most attractive destination for foreign investment in 2016, with 836 new projects worth $3.42 billion, making up 14 per cent of the nation’s total investment.

    In the first nine months of 2017, the city continued to lead cities and provinces nationwide in foreign direct investment, with total registered capital of $3.74 billion, he said.

    The southern hub is working to improve administrative procedures, issue new laws, provide initiatives and improve infrastructure to lure foreign investment, he emphasised, adding that the city is prioritising investment in mechanics, information and technology, pharmaceutical chemistry and food processing. Further, queries by Australian businesses on investment procedures, preferential policies and measures to promote tourism were answered at the conference. Similar promotion conferences will be held in Melbourne and New Zealand.

    DQS hands over gas tanker to domestic firm
    Dung Quat Shipbuilding Industry Co (DQS), an affiliate of Viet Nam Oil and Gas Group, on Tuesday handed over a newly-built liquefied petroleum gas tanker to Viet Xuan Moi Co, headquartered in HCM City.

    The tanker, named Vispring 3668, was built under a contract signed between the two companies last year. It is 60m long, 4.5m high and 11m wide, and is capable of carrying 1,200 cu.m of gas.

    Earlier, on Monday, the company launched a 2,000 tonne multi-service vessel, which will be handed over to the Viet Nam-Russia Joint Venture Vietsovpetro (VSP) in late December once it is completed.

    Under the contract, worth VND936 billion (US$41.1 million), the shipbuilder is also building another ship for VSP. It is slated for completion in January 2018.

    It is hoped that the two-above mentioned vessels, which are 76m long and 17m wide, will contribute to increasing Vietsovpetro fleet’s capacity.

    Viet Nam, Italy enhance co-operation over financial supervision
    Viet Nam and Italy agreed to enhance co-operation in financial supervision activities and to exchange information in the sector and securities market.

    This was announced by the Viet Nam National Financial Supervision Council (NFSC)’s acting chairman, Truong Van Phuoc, during his official visit to Italy from October 22 to 26.

    The two sides shared experiences relating to credit institutions under the management of each country’s financial supervision agency.

    In addition, they will organise conferences and conduct research on issues, which require the attention of both the countries.

    The Italian side shared experiences in public debt management, State budget and monetary stabilisation measures and fiscal policies in the EU.

    Chairman of the Italian Senate’s Foreign Policy Commission, Pier Ferdinando Casini, said Italy has highly valued relationship with Viet Nam. This has been a special relationship even in the most difficult periods. The solidarity between the two countries is being increasingly enhanced, he said.

    He committed to promoting relevant Italian agencies to further strengthen the co-operation with Viet Nam not only for financial supervision but also to build a strategic partnership between the two countries.

    Hậu Giang Pharmaceutical appoints new chairman
    Hau Giang Pharmaceutical Joint Stock Company (DHG)’s Board of Directors (BOD) has appointed Nguyen Chi Thanh as the new chairman of the company, starting October 26.

    The appointment was made following the extraordinary general meeting on October 25.

    Thanh is currently deputy general director of the State Capital Investment Corporation (SCIC), chairman of the Domesco Medical Import-Export Joint Stock Corporation, vice chairman of the Tien Phong Plastic Joint Stock Company, member of the Military Commercial Joint Stock Bank’s BoD and member of Viet Nam Television Tower Company’s BoD.

    He replaced Hoang Nguyen Hoc, representative of SCIC Capital, because Hoc reached the retirement age according to current regulations. Hoc was also dismissed from the company’s BoD.

    Recently, Hau Giang Pharmaceutical has witnessed significant personnel-related changes. Notably, Pham Thi Viet Nga resigned from the position of general director but still continues to be a member of the BoD to participate in the company’s strategy management.

    In the first nine months of 2017, the company reported net sales of VND2.71 trillion and after-tax profit of VND498 billion, a year-on-year increase of four per cent and six per cent, respectively. With these results, the company has fulfilled 62 per cent of its revenue and profit target.

    Canon EXPO 2017 opens in HCM City
    Canon, the Japanese imaging company, is showing its latest products and services at the four-day Canon Expo which opened on October 26 in HCM City’s Hoa Lu Stadium.

    The exhibition is open from 9am to 9pm daily, and shows Canon’s full suite of new technologies, products and services, including 3D printers, cinema-grade 4K projectors and 120MP/250MP CMOS sensors.

    Beyond cameras and lenses, the company is focused on the development of its customer service experience and innovating within the imaging space.

    The Canon EXPO 2017 provides visitors the opportunity to see the company’s professional 4K camcorders, high-resolution chip security cameras designed for low-light conditions, and output products, including 4K projectors and 12-color-ink printer systems.

    Visitors will also have the chance to see medical, architecture, security and real estate imaging products on site, and test out 3D printers, ophthalmoscopy and eye refraction products.

    “With 15 years of experience in Viet Nam behind us, we have an in-depth understanding of the demands of customers here, across the consumer space, but also in the business community, in areas as diverse as security, healthcare and architecture,” said Hiroshi Yokota, CEO of Canon Marketing Vietnam.

    The first of it kind in Viet Nam, the show celebrates the company’s 15th anniversary in Viet Nam and its 20 years of partnership with its distributor Le Bao Minh.

    Trims suppliers showcase latest technology innovations
    More than 400 textile and garment industry players, practitioners and merchandisers participated in the Trim Technology Day held on Friday in HCM City.

    The event was organised for the first time in Viet Nam by three trims suppliers, Avery Dennision, Gunzetal and Freudenberg & Vilene International. Its aim was to provide a platform to facilitate networking for specialties from retailers, brand owners, garment- buying houses and factories.

    It featured a series of seminars and exhibitions that focused on trim components in garments.

    The latest creativity and innovation in the technology development and fashion trends, technological knowhow, quality, performance and functions of trims were on display.

    It was held 12 times in Hong Kong, seven times in China, one time in the US and one time in Taiwan.

    In the future, Trim Technology Day alliances will continue to explore emerging markets to bring new insights and inspirational development to the industry.

    HN hosts VN Medi Pharm Expo in December
    The Viet Nam Medi Pharm Expo 2017 will return to the capital city from December 7 to 9 with the participation of 150 enterprises from 18 countries and territories.

    Among these exhibitors are those from Viet Nam, South Korea, mainland China and Taiwan, as well as India, Malaysia, Australia and Canada, along with the Czech Republic, Germany and the United States.

    According to the event’s organiser – Viet Nam National Trade Fair and Advertising Co – the number of international and domestic firms participating in this year’s expo has increased by 15 per cent and 10 per cent, respectively, compared with the previous event.

    The upcoming exhibition will focus on presenting medical and laboratory equipment, healthcare products, pharmaceuticals and functional foods, as well as cosmetics, cosmetic equipment, processing machinery and pharmaceutical packaging products, along with dental and ophthalmic equipment.

    The expo is designed to promote trade activities in pharmacy and medical equipment. The exhibition is a platform for advanced medical technologies and equipment companies from around the world to access local private and public hospitals as well as local pharmacy companies, in which Viet Nam has the advantage to initiate exchange.

    The event will be held at the Ha Noi International Exhibition Centre on Tran Hung Dao Street.

    Over 11,000 businesses established in October

    Over 11,000 new businesses have been established across the country so far this month, with a registered capital of approximately VND119.24 trillion (US$5.25 billion), up 29.6% in the number of enterprises and 48% in terms of the registered value in comparison to September.

    The number of newly established businesses in October increases 29.6% compared to the previous month.

    The number of employees registered by newly established firms in October is roughly 90,000, representing a 40.5% hike compared to the previous month.

    Meanwhile, more than 1,300 businesses have resumed operations, down 31.7% from a month previous.

    In the first ten months of 2017, over 105,000 new businesses have been set up in Vietnam with a registered capital of nearly VND1.02 quadrillion (US$44.88 billion), up 14.6% in the quantity of enterprises and up 43.8%, with regards to the registered capital, compared to last year.

    Around 90.7% of these are companies with registered capital below VND10 billion (US$440,000).

    The wholesale and retail trade and repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles industry reported the largest number of newly established companies during the period, with over 37,810, followed by the manufacturing and processing sector with nearly 13,450. The real estate industry saw the biggest increase in terms of the number of enterprises at 62.5%.

    The average registered capital per enterprise between January and October stood at VND9.7 billion (US$426,800), representing a 25.5% hike compared to the same period last year.

    On the contrary, the number of labourers registered by newly established businesses so far this year declined 8% annually to 976,420 employees.
    Vietnam presses ahead with macro-economic stabilization

    The National Assembly’s year-end session discussed the government’s socio-economic development measures, which prioritize macro-economic stabilization.

    vietnam presses ahead with macro-economic stabilization hinh 0 A government report says all 13 targets set by the National Assembly for this year are likely to be achieved. GDP is set to increase 6.7%, exports to grow 14.4%, and the Consumer Price Index (CPI) be kept at 4%.
    The national economy’s bright spots are production and exports. The business environment and economic competitiveness have improved. These achievements are a firm foundation for further growth.

    The results are attributable to the government’s efforts to stabilize the macro-economy, stimulate growth, and control inflation. National Assembly deputies applauded the government‘s measures to improve the investment environment, remove business obstacles, expand export markets, and make full use of international trade deals.

     Nguyen Ngoc Phuong, deputy head of the National Assembly delegation for Quang Binh province, said “The Prime Minister has taken steps to boost growth. He held talks with entrepreneurs and adopted new incentives for business development.”

    The government has asked ministries, sectors, and localities to aggressively implement a series of solutions: reviewing laws and policies, simplify administrative procedures, effectively utilize development resources, and enhance business competitiveness.

    Economic restructuring combined with a growth model shift has proved to be effective. Reliance on natural resources has been reduced. Hoang Van Cuong, a deputy for Hanoi, said: “The national growth has been largely dependent on natural resource exploitation. This year is seeing higher growth with reduced natural resource utilization, indicating that our growth model is shifting towards services, agriculture, and industry.”

    National Assembly deputies emphasized the restructuring of the national economy and sectors, particularly public investment, the finance-banking system, and State-owned enterprises.

    Bui Van Phuong, head of the National Assembly delegation for Ninh Binh province, said “We prioritize inflation control and macro-economic stabilization. So we should concentrate on economic restructuring and maintain growth at an appropriate rate.  If we seek growth without taking macro-economic stabilization into account, we will only fulfill short-term goals and face uncertainty in the longer term. I believe that the growth target of between 6.5% and 6.7% for next year is achievable.”
    Dung Quat Shipyard’s first gas carrier launched

    The Dung Quat Shipyard Company (DQS) has transferred its first locally-made LPG tanker to the Ho Chi Minh City-based Van Xuan Moi company.

    The gas carrier was built under a contract between the sides signed last year. It is 60 metres long and 11 metres wide, capable of loading 1,200 cubic metres of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG).

    Previously, on October 23, the DQS launched at a dry dock the Vung Tau 05, one of two multi-functional ships ordered by the Vietnam - Russia joint venture Vietsovpetro through a VND936 billion (US$41.2 million) contract.

    Each ship is 76 metres long and 17 metres wide, with loading and power capacity of 2,000 tonnes and 12,000 horsepower.

    The Vung Tau 05 will be handed over to Vietsovpetro in December, while the Vung Tau 06 will be ready for transfer in late January 2018.

    Ha Tinh province boosts tourism cooperation

    The north-central province of Ha Tinh on October 24 signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with HCM City and Can Tho city and Tien Giang province in the Mekong Delta region to promote tourism cooperation.

    Though the province has beautiful beaches, mountains and landscapes as well as historic and religious heritage sites, tourism potential has remained untapped, according to Bui Xuan Thap, Director of Ha Tinh province’s Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism.

    The number of tourists visiting the province, especially from the south, remains modest.

    The province is offering incentive policies to attract investors in the commercial, services and tourism sectors to develop high-end hotels, commercial centres, retail markets and eco-tourism zones.

    In recent years, the province has attracted major tourism projects from the Muong Thanh Group, Vingroup and Hong Lam Joint Stock Company.

    In the first nine months of the year, 10 projects in the tourism sector with total capital of VND5 trillion (US$220.26 million) were granted investment certificates.

    The province’s many sights can be reached by railway, motorway or sea. Interesting destinations include cultural relics, beautiful landscapes and well-known sites such as Ke Go lake, Vu Quang National Park, Nguyen Du memorial site, Tran Phu relic site, Ha Huy Tap relic site, Dong Loc relic site, Deo Ngang- Hoanh Son gate, and Huong Tich Pagoda.

    With 137 km of coastline, the province’s white sandy beaches, including Thach Hai, Xuan Thanh, Loc Ha and Deo Con beaches, are popular for sea bathing.

    The province’s eco-tourism destinations include the Sơn Kim hot-mineral spring tourism site and Suoi Tien- Thien Tuong eco-tourism site.

    The area has retained a rich treasure of cultural heritage sites, though many of the original sites were destroyed by wars and natural disasters.

    Unique forms of folk arts and traditional craft villages that have existed for 500-600 years also exist in the province.

    It is home to two special national relics, 77 national relics and 425 provincial-level relics.

    In the first nine months of the year, the province welcomed 1.2 million tourists, an increase of 54% compared to the same period last year. The number of international visitors was 19,900, a year-on-year rise of 43%.

    Vietnam Medi Pharm Expo to run in Hanoi

    The Vietnam Medi-Pharm Expo 2017 is scheduled to take place from December 7 to 9 at the international centre for exhibition ICE at 91 Tran Hung Dao street, Hanoi.

    The fair will feature over 200 booths run by 150 firms from 18 countries and territories worldwide, including India, Canada, Czech Republic and Germany. On display will be latest medical and laboratory equipment, health care products, food supplements, cosmetics and medicine packaging machines.

    According to the organising board, the number of foreign businesses registering to attend the event amounts to 60, an annual increase of 15%. The respective figures for domestic firms are 90% and 10%.

    Vietnam Medi-Pharm Expo is an annual event which opens in Ho Chi Minh City in August and Hanoi in December.

    The expo is designed to promote trade activities in pharmacy and medical equipment. It is a platform for advanced medical technologies and equipment companies from around the world to access local pharmacy companies, in which Vietnam has advantages to initiate exchanges.

    New forms of tourism struggle in Ho Chi Minh City

    Tourism start-ups are doing their best to bring new products to Ho Chi Minh City’s growing tourism market, but these new ideas and their accompanying investments are proving no match for a lack of consumer interest.

    Ho Chi Minh City’s tourism numbers are far from satisfactory, mostly due to the city’s inability to facilitate easy access to tourist sites.

    The Trung An fruit garden in Cu Chi District sells entry tickets every year during fruit picking seasons, typically a four-month period starting in May.

    The 40-hectare garden is home to a wide range of fruits, including mangosteen, rambutan, and guava.

    A large canal passing through the plantation also adds to the land’s value.

    Despite the canal, however, most visitors opt to visit Trung An by land.

    Right now, about 40,000 tourists visit the garden each season, but that number could grow if tourism companies find ways to transport visitors to and from the site via the canal.

    The canal connects to the Saigon River and can accommodate ships with a capacity of up to 500 metric tons

    “We’ve been investing in ports for ships to visit the garden for over a year, but the results are not encouraging,” said Huynh Van Hue, head of the Trung An fruit garden.

    Similar plans are in the works at the eco-resort Villa H2O in Hoc Mon District just outside Ho Chi Minh City.

    Huynh The Dat, manager of the resort, recently submitted a request to the Ministry of Transport for permission to build a port to ease tourist access to the resort.

    Dat emphasized the importance of Villa H2O’s location, especially considering the city’s plans to begin operating new river bus routes, one of which will pass by Villa H20 en route from Cu Chi District to Binh Duong Province.

    “We will be an ideal stop on the route. That’s why we have invested heavily,” Dat explained.

    According to Dat’s plan, VND1 billion (US$44,010) has already been earmarked for building the port while billions more will be invested in mud-bathing facilities, electric cars, and road upgrades.

    According to Phan Yen Ly, head of international travel at Saigontourist, a tourism company headquartered in Ho Chi Minh City, new forms of tourism like agritourism and river-based tourism contribute to the diversity of a tour.

    However, firms are failing to tap the full potential of these unconventional offerings.

    Nguyen Thi Lan, owner of the Long Phuoc garden in District 9, said that she is unable to cooperate with travel service companies because they charge waterway tourists 3-4 times more than tourists traveling by land.

    Tourism companies say the extra fees are necessary to cover the expensive cost of traveling by boat.

    According to Tran Viet Long from Viet Media Travel Joint Stock Company, Ho Chi Minh City needs time to develop its agritourism and create synergy between its different tourism products.

    “We’re all developing separately and without a plan. That’s why we have yet to see specific benefits. We also need to encourage tourists to stay longer so that they can experience more during their trip,” Long said.

    Nestle Vietnam to hike prices of certain weaning foods

    Nestle Vietnam has informed the Ministry of Industry and Trade of its decision to increase prices of seven dairy products from November 1.

    Prices of weaning foods like Nestle Cerelac Fish & Mixed Vegetables and Nestle Cerelac Oats & Asparagus for infants under 12 months old will rise by 5% or less.

    Nestle Vietnam has become the first company to hike prices since the Ministry of Industry and Trade erased the price caps on dairy products on March 31, 2017. Instead, the ministry issued Circular 08/2017 requiring price declarations for dairy products and foods for children, including weaning foods.

    Circular 08 specifies that milk processors, traders and importers must inform competent authorities of their price hikes by 5% or less.

    But other companies have lowered prices of some of their products. Prices of Mead Johnson’s Enfamil A+ 2 and A+3 toddler formula have been cut significantly since September 6. Meanwhile, Dutch Lady has lowered prices of many powdered milk products by nearly 10%.

    Start-up event offers cooperation opportunities for HCM City, Finland

    The innovative start-up conference and technology expo held in Ho Chi Minh City on October 27-28 is expected to create new opportunities for Vietnamese and Finnish businesses, investors and universities in the fields of education and training as well as developing smart and innovative cities and building a start-up innovation ecosystem, said Deputy Minister of Science and Technology Tran Quoc Khanh.

    He said the Government of Vietnam has been continuously affirming its strong commitment of boosting start-up innovation activities, which is considered an important solution to increasing the quantity and quality of Vietnamese businesses, he said.

    Vietnam's southern economic hub is expected to take the lead nationwide in investment resources for the establishment of a start-up innovation ecosystem, he added.

    Finnish Ambassador to Vietnam Kari Kahiluoto shared that the relations between Vietnam and Finland have seen strong development over the past few years, not only in trade cooperation but also science and technology, including innovation.

    Vice Chairman of the municipal People’s Committee Le Thanh Liem said HCM City defines sustainable economic development model toward intellectual economy and green growth based on science-technology, innovation, and start-ups.

    The initiative of hosting the Ho Chi Minh City Innovation Startup and Entrepreneurship Week 2017 from October 23-28 demonstrates its commitment to facilitating, supporting and accompanying start-up businesses with a view to turning HCM City into a start-up and innovative city in the country and beyond, he said.

    He noted that local authorities have put forth a number of policies and mechanisms to support start-up and innovation activities such as launching a programme to support small-and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and improving their competitiveness and international integration in 2016-2020, implementing the Government’s Resolution supporting businesses through 2020, and planning to improve the start-up ecosystem in the city.

    The city has also actively participated in international cooperation programmes such as the Finland Innovation Partnership Programme (IPP) and the Vietnam Sillicon Valley, he added.


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  • 10/30/17--01:36: Article 1
  • Social News 30/10

    Hundreds of primary students suffer food poison in Hau Giang Province 

    Hundreds of primary students suffer food poison in Hau Giang Province, Eigthty scholars attend int'l seminar on Vietnam's ancient pottery, Health Ministry urges to prevent winter-spring disease 
    Hundreds of primary students suffer food poison in the Mekong Delta Province of Hau Giang yesterday.

    Poisoned students are treated in the local clinic

    A large number of students in Lai Hieu Primary School in Nga Bay Town experienced food poisong symptoms. Half an hour ago, they took glass of Milo dairy product of Nestle Company gratis.

    Thirty minutes later, several students had vomited and stomachache, headache and diarrhea. The number of poisoned students rose quickly.

    Soon, the school managers took poisoned students for emergency treatment in the town's medical clinic. The slight remaining students were kept under primary teachers' observation in class.

    At the same time, students of Nguyen Hien Primary School in Hiep Thanh Ward also suffered food poison. At noon, the local clinic received nearly 400 cases of poisoning due to drinking milk.

    Head of the Emergency Department Dr. Le Van Thang said as per the initial probe, they were all poisoned by drinking unsafe dairy product. Just a few critical cases were kept under medical workers' observation. Most students are in stable condition after receiving treatment with drug.

    Related agencies are carrying out the probe of poison cause.

    Schools stopped giving students milk after the incident.

    Eigthty scholars attend int'l seminar on Vietnam's ancient pottery

    An international seminar themed " Binh Dinh's ancient pottery -The Vijaya royal dynasty and the relation with Thang Long Imperial Citadel in the century of XI-XV was attended by 80 local and international scholars and researchers yesterday.

    The Vietnam Academy of Social Sciences and People's Committee of the central province of Binh Dinh organized the seminar in Quy Nhon city. The organizer received 40 speeches including 24 from local scholars and researchers and 16 from international counterparts.
    Seminar participants delivered their speeches on Binh Dinh's Champa pottery for clarification of the value of Champa - the Vijaya royal dynasty and its relation with Thang Long Imperial Citadel.

    Member of the national cultural heritage cum deputy head of the Southern Institute of Social Sciences Associate Professor Bui Chi Hoang said that from 1990 to 1995, researches arrived at the conclusion that Binh Dinh Province is the center of Champa in the Vijaya royal dynasty.

    Many ancient pottery of Binh Dinh were also found in Highlands provinces.
    Additionally, Binh Dinh pottery products were also found in foreign countries; for instance a large number of Binh Dinh and Dai Viet pottery products were found in a sunk boat in the Philippines.

    Health Ministry urges to prevent winter-spring disease

    The Ministry of Health yesterday sent its urgent dispatch to municipal and provincial people's committees nationwide, urging measures against winter -spring disease.

    Leaders of cities and provinces are urged to adopt measures against seasonal diseases especially focus disease prevention in distant and disadvantaged districts, in areas where most ethnic indigenous people live, in regions which outbreaks of disease have been reported and their vaccination rate hass been low for years.

    Importantly, drastic measures should be adopted to fight against dangerous diseases such as avian influenza A(H7N9), A(H5N1) and respiratory illnesses.

    For these ailments such as measles, rubella, whooping cough, leaders in cities and provinces must be quick to implement vaccination and re-check the number of people who had been immunized or not.

    In addition to checking, local authorities must organize vaccination for those who had not been injected vaccine to ensure the immnization rate of 95 percent in a ward.

    The Ministry also said through supervision, the dengue cases dropped in eight past weeks nationwide. Moreover, no death was reported in the country in these weeks. Some 33,990 dengue patients were discharged from hospitals while over 780 people have still stayed in hospitals.

    Health sector has still been keeping an eye on the disease as well as implement synchronous measures against the disease.

    However, people should not neglect preventive measures for dengue because the disease usually spread to November.

    When it comes to hand-foot-mouth disease (HFMD), the Department of Preventive Medicine warned in the seasonal transaction, the number of kids with HFMD is rising; moreover, it can become outbreak without active preventative measures.

    Since the beginning of the year, over 54,000 cases of HFM had been recorded without no fatality.

    Yet parents should not be neglected because it is acute virus infection which kids usually get it; accordingly, it may become big outbreaks if personal hygiene is not kept.

    US-Asia Institute holds conference on APEC 2017

    The US-Asia Institute together with the Vietnamese Embassy in the US have organised a conference about the APEC Vietnam 2017 in Washington DC.

    In his introductory speech, Vietnamese Ambassador to the US Pham Quang Vinh said that amid opportunities and challenges brought about by changes across the Asia – Pacific, Vietnam chose the theme for this APEC year as “Creating New Dynamism & Fostering a Shared Future”.

    This means a search for initiatives serving vitality, sustainable growth, and trade-investment expansion in the region, he said, adding Vietnam has worked with APEC member economies and business communities towards the outlook since the beginning of 2017.

    According to the diplomat, Vietnam has to date organised more than 200 meetings across four key domains – sustainable, creative, and inclusive growth; regional connectivity; capacity building of small- and medium-sized enterprises in digital age; and food security and sustainable farming.

    These meetings put forth growth orientations for APEC economies and laid the groundwork for the APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting in Da Nang city, central Vietnam, next November.

    Vinh welcomed the upcoming Vietnam visit by US President Donald Trump and his presence at the APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting, with a belief that his visit will stimulate Vietnam – US comprehensive partnership as well as regional cooperation for peace, development and prosperity.

    Speakers at the conference, David Shear, Former US Ambassador to Vietnam, and
    Murray Hiebert, Senior Adviser and Deputy Director of the Southeast Asia Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, lauded Vietnam’s preparation and organisation of the APEC Year 2017.

    They stated that the APEC forum and Asia-Pacific are important to the US economically and strategically. The country’s new administration has continued tightening relations with the region by welcoming visits by the prime ministers of Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia, and Singapore, and organising visits by its senior officials to the region.

    The experts expect that Trump’s upcoming trip to Asia will reiterate the US’s commitment to the Asia – Pacific’s peace, security, and prosperity, including the freedom of marine navigation and over flight in the East Sea.

    On the occasion, the US-Asia Institute presented an insignia to Ambassador Pham Quang Vinh for his contribution to the US – ASEAN relations.

    The US-Asia Institute was established as a non-governmental organisation in 1979 to serve as an independent voice in the relationship between the White House and Asia.

    Vietnam photo exhibition impresses visitors in Seoul

    The Vietnamese Association in the Republic of Korea (RoK) hosted a photo exhibition popularising Vietnam and its people in Seoul on October 29, as part of activities celebrating the 25th anniversary of Vietnam - RoK diplomatic ties.

    On display were 30 photos depicting traditional culture, outstanding economic achievements over the past 30 years of renovation, and successful hosting of regional and global conferences such as the 18th Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Economic Leaders’ Meeting.

    Malaysian student Siti Fadhliah Binti Basrah said she is impressed by Vietnam’s beauty and wished to visit the country soon.

    US Director of a consulting company in Seoul Todd Sample said he is keen on Vietnamese culture and cuisine, adding that his firm will boost investment in Vietnam to take advantage of the government’s incentives and open policies.

    Vietnamese signature products introduced to APEC delegates

    Fine art stones featuring red-shanked douc langurs, Ngoc Lu bronze drums, Hue Royal Court musical instruments, and other Vietnamese products will be displayed at the Non Nuoc Fine Art Stone Village during APEC Economic Leaders’ Week in Da Nang in November.

    Da Nang artisans are looking forward to the much-awaited APEC events to introduce their unique products.

    Mr. Pham Tien, a local businessman, said that in addition to fine arts, fengshui, and ornamental stone products, his workshop also sells products depicting Quan Ho folk duet artists, Hue girls in traditional long dress, red-shanked douc langurs, and the Han River bridge.

    Tien said there will be new products like Ngoc Lu bronze drums and carved cosmetic boxes depicting Cau pagoda in Hoi An.

    “Our workshop will welcome visitors during APEC Week. Our uniformed staff have been trained with to serve foreign customers. All our prices are marked”, Mr Tien added.

    Contractors at the the APEC Sculpture Park are installing a lighting system and planting trees at the west of the Dragon Bridge. The park which covers more than 3,000 square meters, contains 21 sculptures from the 21 APEC countries.

    Sculptor Le Lang Luong of Hanoi Fine Arts University said “My piece is shaped like intertwined trees. I used natural, green stones and arranged them like a tree to express unity. I used both rough and smooth stones to symbolize the past, present and future of APEC.”

    By hosting APEC Year 2017, Vietnam hopes to promote its image as a peaceful, stable, and friendly country.

    Boats run aground in Phú Yên

    Three fishing boats being towed to shore.

    One fisherman went missing off the coast of central Phú Yên Province when three fishing boats ran aground on Saturday.

    The three boats ran aground due to sand clogs at the Đà Diễn sea mouth while they were returning to Đông Tác port in Tuy Hòa City after fishing on Saturday.

    An anchor string accidentally rolled around the feet of fisherman Đinh Văn Đồng, 26, and he fell into the sea.

    More than 30 people and two canoes have been mobilised to search for the missing fisherman and try to rescue the three fishing boats. Seventeen other fishermen who were on the boats have safely returned to shore.

    Đà Diễn seaport has more than 800 operating fishing boats with capacity of more than 90CV. The sea mouth has been filled with sand for many years. The clogs have caused substantial damage to the local economy and livelihoods of fisherman.

    Seminar reviews projects on developing science and technology in the south-eastern region

    About 1,090 projects of scientific research and technological development have been implemented in five provinces and cities in the south-eastern region in the period of 2015-17, according to a seminar themed “Promoting regional linkage”late last week.

    The seminar, jointly organised by the HCM City’s People’s Committee and the Ministry of Science and Technology, heard that each locality used up to between 60-70 per cent of the local budget for research projects that deploy and apply science and technology.

    Speaking at the seminar, Deputy Minister of Science and Technology Phạm Công Tạc, said the south-eastern region has a number of advantages to develop the local service and industry sectors, but it also is facing many problems, especially those related to the inter-provincial connectivity.

    He said provinces and cities should enhance co-operation with each other regarding scientific research and technological applications to create an industrial value chain and promote local products with unique values, thus improving competitiveness at international markets.

    In addition, sharing scientific research and technological developments among localities is necessary to avoid wasting investment and time, as in the case of duplicated projects.

    The localities should establish steering committees to make supporting policies for start-up projects.

    It was necessary to build an information infrastructure system that could be easily accessed by localities for management and operations, which would create linkages for the region, Tạc said.

    Party chief hails Military Zone 4 for ensuring social security

    General Secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam Nguyen Phu Trong hailed the High Command of Military Zone 4 for ensuring local political stability and social security and safety during a working session in the central province of Nghe An on October 29.

    He said the Military Zone 4 lies in a strategic location, covering six provinces in the central region so that the staff must uphold patriotism tradition and build a healthy and transparent unit loyal to the Party, the nation and people.

    The Party chief called attention to building forces with political firmness and professionalism, adding that the Military Zone 4 must heed mass mobilisation and external relations, contributing to strengthening special solidarity with Laos.

    Member of the Party Central Committee and Commander of the Military Zone 4 Lieut. Gen Nguyen Tan Cuong said the Military Zone 4’s Party unit and staff have seriously abided by resolutions and directives by the Party Central Committee, the Politburo, the Central Military Commission and Defence Ministry, particularly the resolution of the 12th National Party Congress and another by the eighth plenum of the 11th Party Central Committee on national protection strategy in the new context.

    In accordance with the resolution of the fourth plenum of the 12th Party Central Committee and the Politburo’s Directive No.05, the Party unit conducted criticism and self-criticism, thereby devising measures to fight political and ideological degradation, “self-evolution” and “self-transformation” phenomena, he said.

    He added that the staff also actively responded to the campaign “Studying and following morals and lifestyle of Ho Chi Minh”. 

    To cope with natural disasters and tropical low pressure, the Military Zone 4’s High Command deployed tens of thousands of officers and soldiers for search and rescue and helped local residents stabilise their lives. It also offered free health check-ups and medicines and worked closely with Lao localities and units to safeguard the shared borderline, he added.

    In the morning the same day, the leader offered incense and paid floral tribute to late President Ho Chi Minh at Kim Lien relic site, visited King Mai Hac De temple in Nam Dan district and Emperor Quang Trung temple atop Dung Quyet mountain.

    PM urges all possible support to workers in Dong Nai

    Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc urged all possible support to be provided to help workers to improve their productivity and income during a two-hour dialogue in the Republic of Korea-invested Taekwang Vina company in Bien Hoa 2 industrial park, the southern province of Dong Nai on October 28.

    He agreed with workers’ proposals to increase cultural and entertainment activities such as film screening, sightseeing tours and exchanges, adding that localities were also asked to pay attention to housing to workers and ensure their safety by preventing stealing at work.

    The PM said the government will issue policies to encourage firms to hire the disabled and spread production emulation campaigns.

    On the occasion, he granted scholarships to five workers who are taking courses in vocational training colleges and laptops to a family with two generations of workers and a married couple living with disabilities.

    Workers at Taekwang Vina company also presented a pair of shoes made by themselves to the PM.

    Following the dialogue, the PM had dinner with workers at the dining room in the company.

    The Taekwang Vina company also took the occasion to present 200,000 USD to the Vietnam General Confederation of Labour in support of workers.

    Earlier, the PM visited Thai Quang preschool, a general clinic in the company, a lodging area for workers and a supermarket invested by the company.

    Dong Nai is now home to 35 industrial zones with more than 700,000 workers. More than one year since the first dialogue with the PM on May 1, 2016, workers’ average salary has risen by 7 percent. Industrial zones have lured additional 93 projects this year while over 98 percent of enterprises paid medical and social insurance for workers.

    President inspects preparations for APEC 2017 events

    President Tran Dai Quang inspected reception and security for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Economic Leaders’ Meeting at Da Nang International Airport, in the central city of Da Nang on October 28.

    The Da Nang international airport completed the expansion of airport dock to the north, construction of runway E7 and VIP guest room.

    The State leader lauded the public security, army and relevant forces for the effort, and asked the Public Security-Health Care Sub-Committee and agencies concerned to complete plans for the event with back-up measures for contingency cases.

    The Foreign Ministry and units concerned must make the most thorough preparations to the detail, especially in hotels to ensure the best services to guests, he said.

    The Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Economic Leaders’ Meeting is scheduled for November 6-11 in Da Nang city.-

    Consular Club of HCMC to launch charity bazaar in Nov

    The Consular Club of HCMC, whose members are from the various diplomatic missions in Ho Chi Minh City, will organize its 24th annual International Charity Bazaar on November 18, 2017 at the White Palace Convention Centre, 194 Hoang Van Thu Street, Ward 9, Phu Nhuan District.

    At the 24th International Consular Club Charity Bazaar, visitors will have chance to enjoy the festive spirit, food, and merchandise from all over the world, all while contributing to a good cause. 

    The club said proceeds from the Bazaar will be used to help the less fortunate people of Ho Chi Minh City and the surrounding area.  Projects supported by the Consular Club through funds generated from the annual International Charity Bazaar range from scholarships to medical care, providing fresh water, building bridges, schools and more. All Consular Club members volunteer their time to work towards improving the quality of life of the disadvantaged people in Vietnam.

    The event will begin at 9:30 am and run until 2:00pm.  Entry tickets cost 100,000 VND for adults. People can also purchase tickets for the bazaar's popular raffle drawing. Raffle tickets are available for 50,000 VND each, and prizes include round-trip airline tickets, free stays at deluxe resorts and hotels in many famous locations throughout Vietnam, spa packages, lunch or dinner vouchers in luxury restaurants in Ho Chi Minh City and much more.  Every prize in the raffle is valued at more than $100 USD.

    For further information on the Charity Bazaar (including limited advanced ticket sales and raffle tickets), contact the Consular Club at or the Consulate General of the State of Kuwait at 24 Phung Khac Khoan Street, DaKao Ward, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City, telephone: (+84-28) 3827 0555.

    Run for the Heart 2017 launched

    Gamuda Land Vietnam and Heart Beat Vietnam Fund announced the launch of the “Run for the Heart 2017” charity race a few days ago in Ho Chi Minh City, which will raise funds for children with congenital heart disease on November 12 at Celadon City in Tan Phu district.

    The run is expected to attract more than 15,000 people and raise funds to save disadvantaged children awaiting heart surgeries. Last year’s run attracted nearly 20,000 participants and raised $256,000, all of which went to pay for surgeries.

    This will be the fifth year the Malaysian-backed property developer has cooperated with the not-for-profit Heart Beat Vietnam to organize the run. In its first four holdings it attracted 48,000 people and raised nearly $470,000, helping 438 young hearts.

    “Social responsibility is an integral part of Gamuda Land’s business activities,” said Mr. Wyeren Yap Vooi Soon, General Director of Gamuda Land Ho Chi Minh City.

    “Community and environmental protection activities are our focus. ‘Run for the Heart’ is one of the important projects we want to develop in the long run to improve quality of life and create sustainable values for the community, because we believe that children are the future and are in need of care and protection.”

    The event has also received active support and donations from An Cuong, CBM, Hoa Binh, Phuoc Thanh, Fecon South, Asian International School, Tupperware, LeNom, Tham&Wong, Nippont, and VinaCapital.

    “We are excited about ‘Run for the Heart 2017’ at Celadon City,” said Mr. Rad Kivette, Director of Development and Government Relations at VinaCapital. “This year, with the help of the whole community, we hope that more poor children will be cured and unfortunate stories of being not treated in time will be minimized.”

    It’s estimated that more than 12,000 children in Vietnam are born with congenital heart disease each year, but up to 6,000 must wait and some even die before they are diagnosed. In order to save lives, doctors recommend surgery or early treatment, but the average cost of $2,500 to $8,500 is no small sum for families with economic difficulties.

    With this year’s goal of treating more than 120 children with congenital heart disease, “Run for the Heart 2017” seeks to mobilize 15,000 participants, including thousands of students at universities and the community in Ho Chi Minh City and neighboring provinces.

    Major flyover construction commences in capital city

    The Hà Nội People’s Committee on Friday commenced the construction of a major flyover in the inner city’s Tây Hồ District, the Dân Trí online newspaper reported.

    The VNĐ311 billion (US$13.7 million) flyover will go across the An Dương-Thanh Niên intersection, and is 271m in length and 10m in width.

    It is one of the eight major traffic construction projects of the city, aimed at easing traffic congestion in Ba Đình and Tây Hồ districts of the inner city.

    It will connect Ba Đình District – the city’s political hub – and Nội Bài International Airport through Nhật Tân Bridge, as well as the city’s inner and outer areas through An Dương Gate on Yên Phụ Street.

    Construction of the flyover is expected to be completed in seven months.

    The project also includes modifications to the structure of a section of the dyke on the right bank of the Red River, according to the Hà Nội Traffic Project Management Board.

    Motorbikes and cars with less than 16 seats will use the Nghi Tàm Street and the Yên Phụ Dyke while the An Dương-Thanh Niên flyover is being constructed.

    Coaches with more than 16 seats and trucks weighing more than one tonne will be prohibited from the two routes, except those that are required for construction.

    From November 5, all coaches and taxis will be prohibited from travelling on both directions of the An Dương-Thanh Niên intersection.

    Construction starts for Ring Road No.3.5

    Hanoi People's Committee held a ceremony on October 28 to start work on constructing Ring Road No.3.5’s Thang Long Highway to Highway 32 section.

    The ceremony was attended by Politburo member and Secretary of the Hanoi Party Committee Hoang Trung Hai and Chairman of the Hanoi People's Committee Nguyen Duc Chung, along with many leaders of the city.

    As an important infrastructure project, the project is scheduled to connect three main roads: National Highway 32, West Lake - Ba Vi, Thang Long Highway and in order to reduce traffic congestion at Ring Road 3.

    The 5.6-kilometre project has a total investment of approximately VND1 trillion. It is being constructed to withstand an 80 kilometre per hour speed limit. The first phase of the project has completed site clearance, ready for construction, expected to put into use by early 2019.

    Addressing the ceremony, Vice Chairman of the People's Committee, Nguyen The Hung, urged departments and contractors to mobilise all human, financial and material resources to ensure the quality and progress of the project as well as labour safety and to address any environmental issues.


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  • 10/30/17--02:09: Article 0
  • Property developers join hands with foreign management

    Many Vietnamese real estate developers are hiring foreign managers who have connections to potential customers. 

     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, CBRE, real estate market, 5-star hotel
    Nguyen Viet Thung, general director of TMS Group, revealed that he has chosen Welham as the management unit for his TMS Luxury Hotel Da Nang Beach.

    Thung said the investor chose an international management firm because he believes the firm’s prestige, experience and large global network will help lure foreign clients with a high spending level to the project.

    He also believes that foreign management units know how to manage the resort in the best way at the most reasonable costs.

    The projects with international management brands can be transferred at 20-30 percent prices higher than other projects. The income from leasing is always higher thanks to the high occupancy rate.

    “In general, foreign corporations are very strict in maintaining consistent quality of facilities and services globally. The resort will always be maintained in the best conditions,” he said.

    CEO Group has chosen Accor and Best Western for its huge project on Phu Quoc Island.  Vogue Resort in Nha Trang City has chosen AccorHotels, one of the world’s leading hotel management firms, and MBLand selected Pacific for Pan Pacific Danang - Hoi An Resort project.

    The representative of a real estate firm in Hanoi said that managing large real estate projects requires technologies and skills that Vietnamese firms don’t have.

    The biggest benefit is that foreign management firms will bring customers. In fact, the hotels with medium standards can be managed by Vietnamese firms.

    Meanwhile, luxury hotels need to be managed by foreign firms if they want to attract international guests.

    AccorHotels is one of the world’s largest hotel management conglomerates which now manages 3,800 hotels in 92 countries under different brands such as Sofitel, Pullman, Novotel and MGallery.

    Welham is the manager of Lotus Residences, Son Kim EXS Capital, VSP Vietnam, Sheraton Hotel, The Costa Nha Trang and Sai Gon Tower.

    “The world hotel brands have hundreds of year experience, so they have many frequent customers. Therefore, hiring international management firms will ensure sustainable revenue,” he commented.

    Knight Frank and Graham Associates said that the cooperation with international brands will help investors get high benefits from leasing and increase capital value.

    The projects with international management brands can be transferred at 20-30 percent prices higher than other projects. The income from leasing is always higher thanks to the high occupancy rate.

    However, analysts said it is not easy to find international management firms for cooperation. CEO’s president said prestigious management firms are always very choosy when selecting partners. Therefore, project developers need to have powerful capability and satisfy strict requirements on design, construction quality, interior decoration and services.

    Thanh Lich, VNN

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  • 10/31/17--00:32: Article 2
  • Vietnam spends $9.4bn on debts this year

    The government has outlaid VND213.8 trillion ($9.4 billion) on paying debt interest and principal since the beginning of the year to October 15, equal to 4.18 per cent of the country’s GDP, according to official data.

     Vietnam spends $9.4bn on debts this year, 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

    VND79.9 trillion ($3.5 billion) was paid in interest and a further VND133.9 trillion ($5.9 billion) on principal, a General Statistics Office (GSO) report showed.

    The government had collected VND865.6 trillion ($38.13 billion) for the State coffers this year as at October 15 while outlaying VND960.3 trillion ($42.3 billion) on expenditure, resulting in a fiscal deficit of VND94.7 trillion ($4.17 billion).

    Minister of Finance Dinh Tien Dung told a hearing before the National Assembly’s Standing Committee earlier this month that the ministry is likely to tame the fiscal deficit at 3.42 per cent of GDP this year, lower than the 3.5 per cent target.

    “This is the lowest budget deficit ratio in the past ten years, helping to keep public debt within the safety zone,” said Mr. Nguyen Duc Hai, Chairman of the legislature’s Finance and Budget Committee.

    The average term of bonds reached 13 years in the first nine months of this year, up from 8.7 years in 2016 and 2.97 years in 2012. 

    The average interest rate has been brought down to 6 per cent from 6.28 per cent in 2016 and 12 per cent in 2011, Mr. Dung said.

    According to a recent government report, the country’s public debt is projected to total VND3,128.3 trillion ($137.8 billion) this year, or 62.6 per cent of GDP, with government debt accounting for 82.8 per cent, government-guaranteed debt 15.94 per cent, and local debts the remaining 1.26 per cent.

    Vietnam’s foreign debt leaped 6.5-fold between 2001 and 2015, mainly due to weaknesses in managing and using loans. 

    Some debtors with government-guaranteed loans also lost their repayment capacity, passing on the burden to the government.

    At end-2016, Vietnam’s public debt stood at 63.7 per cent of GDP, up from 62.2 per cent in 2015 and 50.1 per cent in 2011, while government debt and foreign debt stood at 52.6 per cent and 44.3 per cent of GDP, respectively.

    The World Bank has forecast that Vietnam’s public debt will climb to 64.4 per cent this year and 64.7 per cent in 2018. 

    The mounting debt will impose a steadily increasing burden on the economy and make it increasingly difficult to cut the budget deficit, the bank said in a report released last year.

    VN Economic Times

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  • 10/31/17--00:55: Article 1
  • Social News 31/10

    RADCC project brings clean water to 6,500 Ben Tre households

    The project “Building response capacity, recovery and adaptation to disaster risks and climate for men and women” (RADCC) has helped 6,500 poor households in the Mekong Delta province of Ben Tre get access to clean water over five years of implementation.

    According to a statement of Oxfam Vietnam sent to the Daily last Friday when a conference on the implementation of RADCC project was being held in Ben Tre Province, the project has been carried out since 2013 in 15 communes in Binh Dai, Ba Tri and Thanh Phu districts.

    Thanks to the project, waterborne diseases have decreased from 15% to 5%.

    Nguyen Van  Buoi, deputy director of the Ben Tre Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, said over 3,000 goats and 6,000 water tanks have been handed over to poor households. Thousands of vulnerable people have been equipped with knowledge and skills of disaster mitigation and climate change adaption.

    The project also helps women participate in making important decisions with 60% of women attending workshops at their communes. Their roles in livelihood activities have been integrated into socio-economic development plans.

    Income of 11,000 poor workers with 60% of them being women has increased thanks to livelihood models adapting to climate change. Especially, the number of poor households receiving support from the project has reduced by 14%.

    Nguyen Thi Le Hoa, deputy director of Oxfam in Vietnam, said she was delighted at benefits of the project. The support of the provincial authorities and the enthusiastic participation of local people in the project will help more people benefit from the project, thus contributing to the sustainable development of the province.

    According to Oxfam Vietnam, the project, jointly implemented by Oxfam and the Ben Tre Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, has been funded NZD4.5 million (US$3.07 million) by the New Zealand Government.

    More pork traders adhere to city’s traceability program

     RADCC project brings clean water to 6,500 Ben Tre households, More pork traders adhere to city’s traceability program, Logo contest launched to celebrate 45 years of Vietnam - Belgium relations

    Pork traders at Hoc Mon and Binh Dien wholesale markets in HCMC have fully complied with traceability rules of the city government after being given a few more days.

    Le Van Tien, deputy director of the Hoc Mon Market Management and Trade Company in Hoc Mon District, said a delegation of the HCMC Food Safety Board and the market management board have inspected and found that 99-100% of traceability tags on pigs sold at the market have as sufficient information as required.

    There are 5,000-5,700 pigs brought into Hoc Mon Market a day including 3,100-3,200 pigs from Long An, Dong Nai, Tay Ninh and Binh Duong provinces, and 1,900 others from slaughterhouses in Cu Chi and Binh Tan districts of HCMC.

    The company has taken measures to encourage vendors to participate in the pork traceability program. The remaining traders said provincial veterinary agencies have not worked with them to supply sufficient product information.

    A representative of the Binh Dien Market Management and Trade Company in District 8, which consumes 3,000 pigs a day, also agreed that traders have implemented the program more seriously after being given more time. The percentage of pigs wearing approved traceability tags increased from 36% on October 21 to 99.7% last Thursday.

    The market management board also imposed stricter rules on pig traders. From October 21 to 25, traders had to wait for 30 minutes to two hours to enter the market if their pigs did not wear eligible traceability tags, and since last Thursday, traders have not been allowed to sell products without clear origin.

    On October 15 and 16 at Binh Dien Market, more than 2,900 pigs were detected not wearing the approved traceability tags and only 22% of 5,000 pigs brought into Hoc Mon Market had sufficient data. The management of the two wholesale markets then gave ultimatums to traders, giving them a few more days to comply or have their businesses suspended.

    Logo contest launched to celebrate 45 years of Vietnam - Belgium relations

    The Embassy of Belgium in Vietnam and the University of Industrial Fine Arts will hold a week-long logo design workshop from October 30 within the framework of a logo design contest marking the 45th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Belgium and Vietnam next year.

    The workshop will be presided over by Belgian Ambassador H.E. Jehanne Roccas and Dr. Nguyen Xuan Nghi, Rector of the University of Industrial Fine Arts.

    Through the week-long workshop, conducted by Arno Heeren, a Belgian professional graphic designer, the Embassy seeks to give students from the university the opportunity to harness their creative potential and gain a critical insight into modern logo design.

    With knowledge and inspiration gained from the workshop, the students will then design their own logos for the contest.

    The winner will be selected through a Facebook contest and a jury comprising Ambassador Roccas, a representative from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and professionals.

    The winning design will serve as the official logo for all celebrations linked to the anniversary. The winner will be offered on-the-job-experience through a two-week internship at the creative PR agency Happiness Saigon in Ho Chi Minh City, founded by Belgian Alan Cerutti.

    Friendship and multifaceted cooperation between Belgium and Vietnam have been developed over the last 44 years since the two countries established diplomatic relations in 1973.

    This year, the two are also looking back on 40 years of the presence of Belgian development cooperation in Vietnam. Belgium has taken pride in supporting the development of Vietnam in a number of areas. In particular, it has assisted the education sector through scholarship programs and knowledge exchange. More than 2,000 Vietnamese have received a Belgian education to date.

    From being long-standing partners in development cooperation, Belgium and Vietnam have been maturing bilateral ties in different sectors. The workshop is an occasion for Belgium to reiterate its support towards education in Vietnam and honor 45 years of diplomatic relations with the country.

    Cho Ray Hospital receives recording certifications in organ transplant

    Leading Cho Ray Hospital in Ho Chi Minh City honorably received certifications for eight records in organ transplants at the fourth meeting of organ transplantation in the southern province of Ba Ria – Vung Tau. 

    The Vietnam Society of Organ Transplantation and Cho Ray Hospital organized the event, one of the annual activities to update local organ transplantation and an opportunity to exchange experience with international counterparts.

    At the meeting, the Vietnam Record Book Center gave recording organ transplant certifications in Vietnam. This is the first time records in medicine field at the sector’s meeting to honor contributions of medical workers.

    Cho Ray Hospital was given eight record certifications for individuals and teams of surgeons including “The first hospital performs kidney transplant from brain-dead donor”, “ The first hospital performs kidney from donor whose heartbeat stopped”.

    Professor Tran Ngoc Sinh was certified as “ The first surgeon to carry out kidney transplant from brain-dead donor “ and “ The first surgeon take and transplant kidney from clinically dead people.

    The Surgery Department was given record of “The Department performs most kidney transplantation in the country” while the organ coordinating department was recorded as the department transport donated organ in longest distance from South to North for saving people. Its head was given a recording certification also.

    Head of the Surgery Department Professor Thai Minh Sam was certified as the first surgeon conduct cross-kidney transplantation in the country.  Australia, US provide air ambulance training to Vietnam

    Medical experts from Australia and the US organised a training course on October 30 to provide air ambulance training to doctors of the Military Hospital 175, under the Ministry of Defence.

    The training course is part of technical assistance for Vietnam's level 2 field hospital in its peacekeeping missions at the UN.

    The course lasts from now till November 6, with the participation of representatives from several units such as the Vietnam Military Medical Academy, Level- 2 field hospital, Regiment 917 of Air Force Division 370.

    During training, Australian experts shared their expertise in air ambulances and the standard operating procedures (SOP) for air ambulance operations in South Sudan. In addition, there are a number of training flights at Bien Hoa airport to help trainees practise emergency skills on different planes and helicopters.

    US experts will also hold some training sessions in emergency skills for traumatic injuries, and dealing with major injuries.

    Upon completion of the training, Vietnamese doctors will be assessed for an international certificate, to be awarded prior to the implementation of the UN peacekeeping mission in South Sudan.

    Colonel Nerolie McDonald, Australian Defence Attaché in Vietnam, said he believes that the training will help Vietnam fulfill UN peacekeeping operations.

    Female artists nationwide meet at "the colors 2017" exhibition

    “The Colors 2017” art exhibition was opened this afternoon at the National Museum of Fine Arts in Hanoi (66 Nguyen Thai Hoc Street). 

    The exhibition displays 40 artworks of 15 female artists across over the country such as Ha Khanh, Bui Mai Hien, Nguyen Thi Lan Huong, Tran Thanh Thuc, Nguyen Thi My, Ngo Hai Yen and Tao Huong (Hanoi);  Nguyen Thi Tam, Tran Thuy Linh, Dang Thi Duong, Cao Thi Duoc (HCMC); Nguyen Thi Hue, Ngo Dinh Bao Vy, Ton Nu Tam Hao (Hue) and Ngo Thi Xuan Thu (Gia Lai). 

    The exhibition lasts until November 5.

    Abandoned infant rescued by locals

    An abandoned infant was rescued by locals in Trảng Bom District in the southern province of Đồng Nai.

    On Sunday, Nguyễn Thị Trang, head of Sông Trầu Commune Women’s Union, announced that the baby’s health had stabilised following four days of care.

    On October 25, a resident heard strange sounds coming from a waste bin, which led to the discovery of the baby girl, who was wrapped in a plastic bag, without any information attached.

    Immediately, the women’s union and Sông Trầu Commune’s Department for Children Protection transferred her to the Trảng Bom District Medical Centre for a check-up.

    According to Trang, the local authority is making announcements hoping to find the infant’s family. After one week, if there is no response, it will begin procedures for adoption for couples unable to have a biological child.

    Walk raises funds for disadvantaged youth

    A 3-km charity walk was held on Sunday as part of an effort to raise VNĐ500 million (US$21,929) by December to benefit disadvantaged youth from five social welfare centres in HCM City and Bà Rịa-Vũng Tàu Province.

    The walk attracted more than 500 attendees, including adults and children.

    Participants included representatives from HCM City Department of Culture and Sports and District 7 People’s Committee staff and their families as well as friends and partners of Kingsmen Vietnam Co Ltd, and youth from social welfare centres.

    The walk in District 7 was part of Kingsmen Vietnam’s corporate social responsibility campaign. The company is part of the Kingsmen Group, which provides communication design and production services.

    After the walk, a pop-up store road show will begin in November at major shopping malls in HCM City, including Saigon Centre, SC ViVoCity and Crescent Mall, selling mass-produced Humpty Dumpty statues to raise funds from the public.

    The statues were designed by five winners from the five social welfare centres in the Humpty Dumpty Design Contes

    Int’l seminar talks competition management in telecommunications

    The Ministry of Information and Communications (MIC)’s Authority of Telecommunications held an international seminar in Hanoi on October 30 on competition and telecommunications rates management. 

    Speaking at the event, Deputy Minister of Information and Communications Nguyen Thanh Hung said telecom providers are competing with each other by providing below-market rates and regular promotions, adding that if this prolongs, they will easily go bankrupt. 

    In order to grow sustainably, he suggested they take new approaches to corporate governance and sales to better serve customers. 

    The MIC will stand side by side with telecom companies to develop services and adopt technological advances for the country’s economic development, he said. 

    Ashish Narayan from the International Telecommunication Union’s Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific said competition now covers not only prices but also transmission capacity and services innovation. 

    Participants shared the view that anti-monopoly must be put in top priority to create a transparent market, thus ensuring the benefit of customers. 

    Vietnam now records 70 telecommunications firms, including 37 ones receiving infrastructure licenses and 33 others offering telecom services. 

    As of the late June, there were 124 mobile phone subscribers, 50 mobile broadband subscribers and 11 fixed broadband subscribers per 100 people. 

    Last year, the sector’s revenue grew by 7.5 percent from the previous year.  

    The event will last till October 31, focusing discussions on business activities and technological advances in the field to catch up with Industrial Revolution 4.0.

    Art exchange program on Vietnam-Russia friendship

    An art exchange program to mark the 100th anniversary of the Russian October Revolution was held on October 29 in Hanoi by the Voice of Vietnam (VOV) and the Russian Embassy in Vietnam.

    Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc, National Assembly Vice Chairman Uong Chu Luu, and VOV President Nguyen The Ky were among the attendees. 

    The program entitled “October songs echo” featured the path from the October Revolution to the Vietnamese Revolution and Vietnamese and Russian melodies. Documentaries produced by VOV recreated the historical period 100 years ago. 

    Phan Quang Minh, who studied in Russia for many years, said that this program is practical in connecting Vietnamese and Russians. He recalled his youth in Russia and remembered sentiment of the Russians, including Russian teachers, for the Vietnamese students. 

    Tân wins title at Trạng Cờ Đất Việt

    Tôn Thất Nhật Tân of Đà Nẵng won the third Trạng Cờ Đất Việt, a year-end Chinese chess tournament for eight best athletes in Ninh Bình Province.

    At the matches held on Sunday, the 41-year-old won two games and drew one in the group round.

    He then beat Nguyễn Anh Mẫn, also from Đà Nẵng, in the semi-finals and overcame Trần Quốc Việt from Bình Dương to take the title.

    Tân became the third winner of the tournament after Phạm Quốc Hương of Hà Nội in 2013 and Trềnh A Sáng of HCM City in 2015. Tân was the first runner-up in 2015.

    Trạng Cờ Đất Việt lured more than 600 athletes competing in the qualification rounds. They then advanced to the finals of three regions. The regional champions and runners-up and two wide-card holders participated in the national finals. Tân was the central region winning master.

    Vinh Long boosts residents’ access to clean water

    A clean water supply system began operation in the Mekong Delta province of Vinh Long on October 30.

    With capacity of 240 cubic metres per day, the system will benefit 600 households in Long Ho district’s Dong Phu commune.

    The facility had total investment of more than 4.1 billion VND (180,482 USD), of which over 2.2 billion VND (96,844 USD) were sourced from US-based Latter-day Saint Charities, and the rest from the provincial budget.

    Secretary of the Dong Phu Party Committee Dao Trung Nen said the commune’s only groundwater plan failed to meet the demand of local residents, thus they still had to pump water from rivers, ditches for use.

    The new system will help alleviate the situation and improve locals’ health, he added.

    Le Van Hau, deputy head of the provincial union of friendship organisations, said the agency will continue raise funds for more clean water works to be built in the locality.

    Vinh Long has a total of 122 rural water supply stations, with 72.2 percent rural households using the sources. The rate is expected to increase to 98.2 percent by the end of 2017.

    Exhibition spotlights Vietnam-Laos special solidarity

    An exhibition highlighting the traditional friendship, special solidarity and comprehensive cooperation between Vietnam and Laos opened on at Kaysone Phomvihane Museum in Vientiane, Laos, on October 30.

    The event, co-organised by the offices of the Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV) Central Committee and the Lao People’s Revolutionary Party (LPRP) Central Committee, is part of the activities of the Laos-Vietnam Friendship and Solidarity Year 2017 and 72 years of the military alliance between the two countries.

    Opening the exhibition, Khampha Phimasone, deputy chief of the LPRP Central Committee’s Office, said that more than 400 exhibited photos, documents and items introduce major events and partnership between the two Parties and States, as well as outstanding achievements of each country.

    Historical turning points and important events of Vietnam and Laos during national defence and construction are also spotlighted.

    The exhibition also shows main foundations for the development of the special ties and fighting alliance between Vietnam and Laos, along with the role of Presidents Ho Chi Minh, Kaysone Phomvihane and Souphanouvong as well as leaders of the two parties and generations of Vietnamese and Lao people in growth of the ties.

    Khampha Phimasone said that the event is a chance for people of the two countries to get deeper understanding on the special relations between the two countries, thus working together to nurture and develop the ties.

    The exhibition stays open until the end of this year.

    Int’l conference sheds light on Binh Dinh’s ancient ceramics

    An international conference has held in Quy Nhon city, the central province of Binh Dinh, to look into ancient ceramics dating back to the Kingdom of Champa many centuries ago.

    Scholars from Vietnam, France, the US, Japan, China, Thailand, Singapore, Cambodia, the Philippines and Brunei shared their research findings about ancient ceramics in Binh Dinh and the relationship between Vijaya capital of Champa Kingdom and Thang Long capital of Dai Viet, now Vietnam.

    In the past, Binh Dinh was Vijaya capital of the ancient Kingdom of Champa. From the 11th to the 15th centuries, Vijaya was the most important political, economic and cultural centre of Champa.

    From the 10th to the 13th centuries, the Vijaya Dynasty built big citadels such as Cha, Do Ban, and Thi Nai as well as towers like Canh Tien, Phu Loc, Duong Long, Binh Lam and Thu Thien here.

    The area which is now Binh Dinh is also known as an ancient ceramic centre with six concentrated production workshops under the Vijaya Dynasty.

    A number of excavations in Vietnam and other countries have showed that Binh Dinh ceramics were also shipped to many countries from Southeast Asia to the Near and Middle East.

    However, most of foreign experts as well as collectors still believe that those ceramic products came from China.

    Meanwhile, the creators of Binh Dinh’s ancient ceramics remain a controversial problem. There are three suppositions that they could be Chinese, Cham or Vietnamese people.

    In October 2017, the Research Centre for Imperial City under the Vietnam Academy of Social Sciences and the Binh Dinh Museum excavated the archaeological site of Go Cay Me in An Nhon township of Binh Dinh. They found many kilns and ceramics in various styles, including the Cham, Vietnamese and Chinese styles.

    Prime Minister calls for proactive response to natural disasters

    Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc on October 30 conveyed a message to mark the 20th year of devastating Typhoon Linda – the worst to strike the Mekong Delta in 100 years, in which he called on people to stay vigilant and play a more active role in response to natural disasters.

    The powerful, unexpected and unusual Typhoon No.5, also known as Linda, tore through the Mekong Delta, rarely hit by storms, during the night of November 2, 1997, PM Phuc said in the message.

    The typhoon caused heavy losses of life and severe property damages, especially for Ca Mau province, he recalled, adding that thousands of fishermen and boats sank at sea while many houses and regional infrastructure were destroyed.

    Two decades later, the pain of families who lost kith and kin in the storm is still there and on behalf of the government, Phuc extends his deepest condolences and sympathies to all affected people. He also acknowledges the efforts made by soldiers and disaster response forces in providing relief to the victims.

    The PM went on to say that natural disasters have become much more complicated and hard to be predicted in recent years while climate change impacts, forest degradation in coastal protected areas, erosion and sea level rise are among factors increasing vulnerability when natural disasters hit the delta.

    “As lessons learnt from Typhoon Linda, I call on people, soldiers and disaster response forces nationwide, including from the Mekong Delta, to be vigilant, get prepared for and proactive in response to natural disasters so as to minimize losses,” he wrote.

    Natural disasters in Vietnam have killed hundreds of people and destroyed thousands of houses, causing an economic loss of over 35 trillion VND (1.54 billion USD) since the beginning of this year.

    According to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, heavy rains and floods on August 2-3 and October 9-10 in Thanh Hoa, Hoa Binh, Yen Bai and Son La provinces left 91 people dead or missing and 356 houses completely damaged or lost. It estimated total property losses at over 8.5 trillion VND (377.7 million USD).

    Vietnam highlights women’s role in realising development goals

    Vietnam highly values the achievements gained in the implementation of the United Nations (UN)’s “women, peace and security” agenda, which makes significant contributions to realising sustainable development goals.

    The statement was made by Ambassador Nguyen Phuong Nga, Head of Vietnam’s Permanent Mission to the UN at an open debate recently held by the UN Security Council.

    In her speech, the Ambassador shared her concerns over challenges posed for women and condemned cruel acts such as forcing and recruiting women and girls to conduct terrorist attacks.

    She called for stepping up efforts to ensure women’s benefits and integrate gender issues in all fields of building peace and preventing conflicts in a consistent and inclusive manner.

    Ambassador Nga also highlighted the remarkable role and contributions of Vietnamese women to the cause of national building and development and the State policies to tap women’s potential and creativity and increase their position, material and spiritual life as well as promote gender equality and advancement of women.

    Vietnam is strengthening coordination with the UN to prepare for the dispatch of the first female soldiers to join the UN mission in South Sudan, she said, adding that other nine servicewomen are ready to take on tasks at the level-2 field hospital in South Sudan.

    Nearly 90 member nations participating in the open debate pledged to promote the leadership and involvement of women in preventing and addressing conflicts and restoring peace.

    Vietnamese, Lao supreme courts strengthen cooperative ties

    Supreme People’s Courts of Vietnam and Laos have agreed to continue exchanging delegations at all levels to share experiences in trial, court management and judicial reform.

    The consensus was reach at the talks between Deputy Chief Judge of the Supreme People’s Court of Vietnam Nguyen Thuy Hien and her Lao counterpart Khampha Sengdala in Vientiane on October 30.

    The two officials expressed their delight at the sound cooperation between the courts in personnel training, research and experience sharing, especially after the two Supreme People’s Courts inked a cooperation agreement in 2008.

    They affirmed that the collaboration has brought benefits to the two countries’ court systems, contributing to traditional cooperative relations between Vietnam and Laos.

    Both sides agreed to develop a project on supporting Laos to establish administrative courts under the people’s court system.

    The same day, the Vietnamese delegation is scheduled to meet with Lao Minister of Justice, Prosecutor General of the Lao Supreme People’s Procuracy and Chief Judge of the Lao Supreme People’s Court.

    The delegation will share judicial experiences with Lao courts on October 31.

    Vietnam, China hold stage exchange programme

    Art troupes of Vietnam and China are holding a stage exchange programme featuring their traditional dramas.

    The programme is being co-organised by the Vietnam National Drama Theatre, the Vietnam National Tuong (classical drama) Theatre and several art troupes from China.

    After a show by a Chinese opera theatre troupe from China’s Guangdong province on October 28 evening, Hanoi’s audiences will be entertained with traditional puppet and classical drama performances by artists from both countries at Kim Ma Theatre tonight (October 30).

    A Chinese classical drama on Buddhist monk Xuan Zang and his journey to the west will be brought to the stage by an art troupe from Nanning city, China’s Guangxi province, at the same venue the following night.

    Various activities marks Vietnam-Algeria 55th diplomatic ties

    The Vietnamese Embassy in Algeria held a ceremony in Algiers on October 29 to mark the 55th anniversary of Vietnam-Algeria diplomatic relations.

    At the event, a special publication on Vietnam-Algeria relations was introduced, along with the screening of “Fleur de Lotus”, a film by an Algerian filmmaker on a romance between an Algerian soldier and a Vietnamese woman during the war in Vietnam.

    A conference on cooperation between the two countries was also held, together with an exhibition showcasing photos and publications on diplomatic ties between the two countries, and a banquet hosted by the embassy.

    Addressing the ceremony, Vietnamese Ambassador to Algeria Pham Quoc Tru said that Vietnam and Algeria have enjoyed sound relations even before they set up diplomatic relations in 1962.

    The two countries have supported each other not only in their past struggle against invaders, but also in national development.

    Vietnam was among the first countries to recognise the provisional government of Algeria in 1958. Only a month after the two sides set up diplomatic relations, Vietnam opened its embassy in the country, said the diplomat.

    He also noted that the two countries have signed about 30 bilateral cooperation agreements in various fields, while the Vietnam-Algeria Inter-Governmental Committee meets every two years, boosting bilateral partnership.

    For his part, Boumedienne Guennad from Algeria’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs noted the warm sentiments that people of both countries have for each other as well as achievements in bilateral partnership over the past 55 years.

    He expressed his belief that bilateral ties will thrive in the future, especially in diplomacy and trade.

    Statistics showed that two-way trade between Vietnam and Algeria has grown well every year, reaching about 270 million USD in 2016 and is likely to hit 300 million USD in 2017.

    The two sides are working together to raise the figure to 1 billion USD in 2020. Algeria is currently the third largest partner of Vietnam in Africa.

    FrieslandCampina brings over Dutch farmers to share expertise in VN

    Farmers in HCM City and a few provinces where cows are raised for dairy received training in the implementation of best practices from their Dutch counterparts.

    The programme was run by Agriterra, which is a Netherlands’ agriculture agency founded in 1997 to promote, facilitate and support lasting co-operation between rural organisations in the Netherlands and in developing countries, in co-operation with FrieslandCampina Vietnam from October 16 to 27.

    The Dutch farmers were chosen by Agriterra.

    Like during previous training programmes, they visited dairy farms at times when Vietnamese farmers milked the animals to study their techniques and take samples of milk for making tests on somatic cell counts (SCC) and bacterial levels.

    They then collaborated with experts from FrieslandCampina Vietnam to tailor a training programme based on practical cow raising techniques for the Vietnamese farmers.

    The programme was aimed at improving milking techniques to reduce the somatic cell counts and bacterial levels in the milk.

    The Vietnamese farmers learnt best practices in raising and will now train others to help improve the country’s dairy cow farming industry.

    They were also trained in advanced technologies for raising cows to raise productivity and ensure high quality of milk.

    Wim Van Ittersum, one of the Dutch farmers, said he was back after three years in Việt Nam and was impressed that local farmer’s techniques had been improved, leading to higher quality and quantity of milk, which is bought by FrieslandCampina.

    The programmes are being carried out as part of an agreement FrieslandCampina Vietnam signed with Agriterra in 2012 to sustainably develop the dairy farming industry in countries where it has operations to improve the lives of farmers there.

    Vietnam cultural festival in RoK bonds two peoples

     RADCC project brings clean water to 6,500 Ben Tre households, More pork traders adhere to city’s traceability program, Logo contest launched to celebrate 45 years of Vietnam - Belgium relations

    A Vietnamese cultural festival was held at Sejong University, the Republic of Korea (RoK) on October 29 under the auspices of the Vietnamese Embassy in the RoK, as part of activities to mark the 25th anniversary of diplomatic ties between the two countries.

    The event, the seventh of its kind, was attended by thousands of Vietnamese labourers, students, members of Vietnam-RoK multicultural families and representatives from local authorities.

    Vietnamese Ambassador to the RoK Nguyen Vu Tu lauded the Vietnamese community’s efforts to organise the festival, expressing his hope that it will help bolster bilateral relations in various fields, especially people-to-people exchanges.

    The two countries elevated their ties to a strategic partnership in 2009 and have enjoyed fruitful cooperation in people-to-people exchange and culture, he affirmed, adding that the festival will promote understanding between the two peoples. 

    Nguyen Ngoc Cam, Honourary Mayor of Seoul and Chairwoman of the Vietnamese Association in the RoK, stressed the significance of the festival in popularising Vietnamese culture to RoK friends and tightening ties between the two countries. 

    Meanwhile, Kim Yong-han, an official from the Seoul government, spoke highly of the Vietnamese Association’s development over the years, contributing to strengthening friendship between both sides.                                                  

    She committed to doing her utmost to help Vietnamese people integrate into Korean society.                                                    

    Members of the association were honoured at the event for their efforts to introduce Vietnamese images and culture to international friends. 

    Besides activities including art performances, traditional cuisine and folk games, the festival also featured an exhibition on Hoang Sa (Paracel) and Truong Sa (Spratly) archipelagos, affirming Vietnam’s sovereignty of the two islands.

    Sci-tech development projects in south-eastern region reviewed

    About 1,090 projects of scientific research and technological development have been implemented in five provinces and cities in the south-eastern region in the period of 2015-17, according to a seminar themed “Promoting regional linkage” held late last week.

    The seminar, jointly organised by the Ho Chi Minh City’s People’s Committee and the Ministry of Science and Technology, heard that each locality used up to between 60-70 percent of the local budget for research projects that deploy and apply science and technology.

    Speaking at the seminar, Deputy Minister of Science and Technology Pham Cong Tac, said the south-eastern region has a number of advantages to develop the local service and industry sectors, but it also is facing many problems, especially those related to the inter-provincial connectivity.

    He said provinces and cities should enhance co-operation with each other regarding scientific research and technological applications to create an industrial value chain and promote local products with unique values, thus improving competitiveness at international markets.

    In addition, sharing scientific research and technological developments among localities is necessary to avoid wasting investment and time, as in the case of duplicated projects.

    The localities should establish steering committees to make supporting policies for start-up projects.

    It was necessary to build an information infrastructure system that could be easily accessed by localities for management and operations, which would create linkages for the region, Tac said.

    Nghe An should make methodical steps to develop: Party leader

    The central province of Nghe An should develop by making firm, instead of hasty, steps, General Secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam Central Committee Nguyen Phu Trong told local officials on October 29.

    Secretary of the provincial Party Committee Nguyen Dac Vinh reported that Nghe An recorded average gross regional domestic product (GRDP) growth of 7.67 percent in 2016 and 2017 with GRDP pace estimated at 8.13 percent this year. Per capita GRDP is about 1,500 USD, up 12.5 percent from 2015.

    Despite difficulties, local industrial production has performed well, rising by 14.17 percent in 2016 and 2017 on average, while retail sales increased some 16.2 percent and exports rose 25.3 percent. The number of tourists to Nghe An also grew by an average of 15 percent over the two years.

    He noted the province has enhanced Party building at all levels. It has gained initial success in following late President Ho Chi Minh’s ideology, morality and lifestyle, helping to prevent the degradation of political thought, morality, and self-transformation among Party members.

    Asking Nghe An not to pursue “hot” growth, Party General Secretary Trong described the marine pollution caused by steelmaker Formosa, based in the neighbouring province of Ha Tinh, last year as an “expensive lesson”. He told the province to make methodical steps.

    He and other central officials expressed hope that Nghe An would develop more strongly so as not to lag behind other provinces. The leader suggested it fully tap its strengths while reforming its mindset and capitalising on ties with central agencies and nearby provinces.

    The General Secretary expressed his belief that with its achievements, experience, potential, and determination, Nghe An will become the economic locomotive of the northern central region.

    Also on October 29, the Party leader attended a programme marking 49 years of the Truong Bon Victory at the Truong Bon national historical site in Do Luong district, Nghe An province.

    On October 31, 1968, 13 of the 14 youth volunteers of Company 317 were killed by US bombing in this area, a few hours before the US declared a halt to the bombing of the north of Vietnam. Since then, Truong Bon has been a symbol of the bravery of Vietnamese youth volunteers.

    From 1964 to 1968, the US dropped 18,936 bombs and tens of thousands of rockets onto Do Luong district, including Truong Bon area. However, tens of thousands of Vietnamese soldiers, youth volunteers and locals persisted in fighting the enemy and securing the route for trucks carrying support to the southern battlefield.

    Conference seeks to strengthen women’s role in digital economy

    A conference on “Businesswomen in the digital economy” held recently in Hanoi highlighted the need for women-owned businesses to take advantage of opportunities created by the advancement of digital technology, e-commerce, and online marketing amidst the 4th industrial revolution.

    The conference intended to offer opportunities for female entrepreneurs to access information and share their experiences in the digital economy. 

    Vu Tien Loc, Chairman of the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI), called on female entrepreneurs to improve their knowledge and skills to keep abreast of market changes, as the digital economy demands businesswomen’s creativity and flexibility.

    Addressing the difficulties and challenges that female workers must overcome in the digital economy, Dao Hong Lan, Deputy Minister of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs, said the ministry was ready to strengthen co-operation with national and international agencies to enhance the participation of women in the digital economy, contributing to ensuring the goal of gender equality in Vietnam.

    Clair Deevy, head of Economic Growth Initiatives for Asia-Pacific at Facebook, introduced the programme #SheMeansBusiness, which launched in Vietnam in September. The initiative aims to equip women entrepreneurs with the knowledge, connections, skills and technology required to build and grow their business online through a series of workshops, training sessions and online resources.

    Forty percent of pages on Facebook are women-owned, and new data indicated that women-owned pages have grown more than 60 percent year-on-year. In Vietnam, the number of women-owned small business pages increased by a factor of 2.5 over the previous year, Deevy added.

    The conference highlighted the growing need to ensure women’s economic empowerment as means of achieving greater growth overall.

    “There is international consensus on the fact that the full and equal participation of women in the economy is necessary to achieve economic growth, poverty reduction and the overall sustainable development of nations,” Elisa Fernandez Saenz, head of office, UN Women Vietnam said.

    “Women entrepreneurs are an essential talent pool that can bring great value added to Vietnam’s economy.  Reducing barriers for their participation, development of skills especially in STEM fields, and promoting their access to greater markets, especially in the digital economy, including through the use of social media for business and growth, must be promoted.”

    The event was organised by VCCI, in accordance with VWEC and Facebook. It drew the participation of 200 women representatives and entrepreneurs from ministries, departments and associations.

    PM hails Saigon Hi-Tech Park achievements, confers Labour Order

    Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc has called on the Saigon Hi-Tech Park to accelerate R&D to expand the number of technological inventions and innovations made by Vietnamese companies.

    Speaking at a function held there yesterday to mark its 15th anniversary, he praised the HCM City-based park’s remarkable achievements.

    It houses 128 hi-tech manufacturing, services, research and development, training and incubation companies in the SHTP with a total investment of US$ 7 billion.

    Phúc underlined the vital role of the park in attracting investment, creating a favourable environment for R&D, training, and incubation of high-tech enterprises and other start-ups.

    He advised it to offer incentives to attract quality human resources, including foreign scientists, and strengthen collaboration with universities and enterprises to train scientists and engineers.

    The SHTP has gradually become an attractive location for foreign investors, and now boasts the presence of many global corporations and technology companies, who have invested in manufacturing high-tech products here. They include Intel, Samsung, Sanofi, Schneider, Jabil, Microchip, Datalogic, Rockwell Automation, Nidec, Sonion, Nipro, and Microsoft.

    The annual output of its tenants has been growing steadily, and has risen from US$ 0.5 billion in 2010 to $7.6 billion last year.

    It is expected to top $12 billion this year. By 2020 its annual revenues are projected at around $20 billion, or around 10 per cent of the city’s GRDP.

    The main reasons for the rising output are that the key products made in the zone meet global standards and the increasing value of R&D in its products, which is several times higher than for products in other industrial zones.

    Since 2010 a total of 38 projects and enterprises have been incubated here, and the park now has many domestic high-tech brands such as FPT, Minh Nguyên, and Nanogen.

    The park management has closely worked with the HCM City National University and several research institutes and universities to establish the Science City Study Technology North East City.

    The companies based in the SHTP employ more than 36,700 workers, including more than 400 foreigners.

    The number of highly skilled workers has increased gradually, and now accounts for 30 per cent of the workforce.

    The park contributes 30 per cent of the city’s total exports.

    City authorities have approved Saigon Hi-Tech Park No.2 on an area of 200 hectares in District 9.

    The PM awarded the park the Labour Order, first class, for its contributions to the country’s hi-tech development.

    Earlier, on Saturday, Phúc visited South Korean footwear company Tea Kwang Vina in Biên Hòa Industrial Park 2 in Đồng Nai Province.

    He met with officials from the Việt Nam General Federation of Labour and local authorities to discuss the condition of workers in the park and their career development.

    HCM City lead vovinam championships medal tally

    HCM City topped the National Vovinam Championships, which concluded in Bình Dương Province yesterday.

    The city’s athletes pocketed 15 gold, one silver and two bronze medals.

    Cần Thơ came second with seven golds, and Thanh Hóa were third with five titles.

    The tournament saw several surprises when defending champion in the men’s 57kg category Trần Anh Tuấn of Thanh Hóa was defeated in the quarter-finals. Young martial artist Nguyễn Hữu Lực of HCM City took his first national gold.

    Lê Văn Nam, also from Thanh Hóa, overcame many senior rivals to win the men’s 54kg class. 

    According to Nguyễn Văn Chiếu, vice president cum general secretary of the Việt Nam Vovinam Federation, teams showed great progress in the championship. It meant that vovinam had strongly developed in the localities, he said. It is a good sign for the Vietnamese martial art, which is expected to become popular in the world in the future, he added.

    The national championship was held from October 25 to October 29 with the participation of 380 artists. They competed for 48 sets of medals in 26 categories of combat and 22 disciplines for both men and women.

    FV Hospital to provide free corneal transplant surgeries

    FV Hospital announced on October 28 that it will partner with Dr. Donald Tan to provide free corneal transplants to three Vietnamese patients. This is the first time FV Hospital has established a charitable surgical program to share in social responsibility and help sight-impaired people.

    Patients will not only receive a transplant from Dr. Tan, the world’s leading ophthalmic professor, but also receive special care at FV Hospital, accredited by Joint Commission International (JCI), the leading healthcare accreditation with rigorous international standards in quality and patient safety.

    Dr. Nguyen Thi Mai, FV’s Head of Ophthalmology, and FV Hospital’s nursing team have previously gone to Vinh Chau in the Mekong Delta’s Soc Trang province to conduct examinations on corneas. After establishing the facts and comparing many sources, the team eventually confirmed that there are special circumstances in need of support.

    Dr. Tan will soon perform three transplants on the same day. Two patients will receive free corneas and surgical and hospital fees. One will receive a free cornea and receive a 30 per cent discount on the surgical and hospital fees. A fourth will also receive free treatment, but not until January.

    The total cost of these corneal transplants is about $44,000, while Dr. Tan’s services would normally run to $17,600. FV Hospital will cover hospital expenses and meals, as well as the travel and accommodation costs of the patients, which total about $17,600. The program also received funding from Asia Cornea Foundation in Singapore and eye drops from the Santen Pharmaceutical Company in Japan and Kamala in Ho Chi Minh City.

    The collaboration between FV Hospital and Dr. Tan has contributed to the reduction of corneal blindness among underprivileged patients in Vietnam.

    FV was selected by the Ministry of Health (MoH) to support it in developing all-round healthcare standards for Vietnam. The ministry has allowed the hospital to import corneas as well as granted a practice license to Dr. Tan’s corneal transplantations at the hospital. Corneal sources for patients are imported from major corneal banks in the US and Singapore, which have the world’s best treatment and preservation of donated corneas.

    Dr. Tan is the President of the World Corneal Society and Senior Partner of Eye & Retinal Surgeons (ERS), a private ophthalmic group in Singapore. He also formed the Asia Cornea Society (ACS) and the Association of Eye Banks of Asia (AEBA), dedicated to developing new treatment methods to mitigate corneal blindness. He ranks among the leading international doctors in the field of advanced corneal transplantation and refractive surgeries.

    Overseas Vietnamese raise fund for building bridges in disadvantaged districts

    Overseas Vietnamese in France organized a program to raise fund for the construction of bridges in rural districts in Vietnam on October 28. 

    The event was held in Ho Chi Minh City with the participation of French Consul in HCM City Vincent Floreani; vice chairman of the National Committee for Overseas Vietnamese in HCMC Tran Hoa Phuong and around 100 Overseas Vietnamese living in France, the US and Australia. 

    Engineer Nguyen Van Cong in France, representing for overseas Vietnamese to build bridge in countryside districts said that for 13 years, overseas Vietnamese residing in many nations acorss over the world have contributed to construct 236 cement bridges in disadvantaged and remote areas nationwide.

    The average length of bridges is 6, 000 meter with total investment of VND32 billion ($1,408,738).

    At present, the organizers have received as many as 350 appeals for help of building bridges in remote areas.

    Speaking at the event, Consul Vincent Floreani showed his deep respect to overseas Vietnamese people’s contribution for the country. Construction of bridges in countryside areas has helped locals in these areas to travel safely, adding that  this actvitiy has strengthened France-Vietnam relationship. At the event, VND 105 million and $2,000 were collected for the works.

    Overseas Vietnamese engineers have directly designed and built the bridges, pledging their life span would be 40 years.

    Many people have no car purchase intention because of traffic jam: survey

    About 49 percent of residents in Hanoi consider abandoning cars because of travel problems such as traffic jam and parking places while 52 percent have no intention of buying cars in the upcoming time.

    According to a survey conducted by Audience Project and Uber Vietnam Company, the ratios are 48 percent and 47 percent in HCMC.

    Residents in Hanoi and HCMC take an average of 58 minutes and 51 minutes a day to overcome traffic jams.

    About 65 percent of respondents in the survey said that traffic jam was the biggest trouble while participating in traffic and 63 percent believed that the second biggest trouble was looking for parking places. In HCMC, the rates are 62 and 75 percent respectively.     

    “Int’l Walk to School Month” launched

    Some schools will take part in the campaign “Walk to School Month” in response to the "International walk to school month" campaign launched by the Department of Education and Training in Ho Chi Minh City and the Traffic Safety Steering Board Committee. 

    In its document, the Department requested its sub-divisions to participate in the campaign starting from now till November. Some selected schools in HCMC located in convenient traffic areas will call for participation of students and parents by walking to school.

    In the ceremony to salute the flag on Mondays, school managers will explain the meaning of the campaign and how students can take part in the campaign.

    Outside schools, there will be poster of the campaign to raise students and parents’ awareness of the campaign.

    Each student is encouraged to write a poster of their own about the benefit of walking to school through  their awareness of safe traffic for pedestrians and how to walk safely in roads through extra-activities in schools.     

    2,414 students receive scholarships from SPA

    The Ho Chi Minh City's Studying Promotion Association (SPA) yesterday held a ceremony to mark its program  and offer scholarships to needy but good students. 

    Since 2000, the association has given scholarships to 2,414 good students from low-income families worth VND21 billion ($924,415).

    The scholarship-giving program was sponsored by 592 individuals and groups of beneficiaries.

    In the academic year 2017-2018, the program continued offering scholarships to 123 freshmen who received the scholarships for the first time and 458 sophomore, third-year , fourth-year and fifth-year students totaling VND1.8 billion.

    On the occasion, the association also congratulated 166 graduates who had received scholarships in previous years.

    Speaking at the ceremony, Deputy Chairwoman of the municipal People’s Committee Nguyen Thi Thu praised the association and its program's contribution in the city’s studying promotion movement.

    In addition, Ms. Thu proposed the association to provide consultation of improving quality of learning promotion program for the local authority to prevent dropout because of financial problem.      

    Vietnam’s provincial department head stripped of post over ‘dishonest asset declaration’

    The director of the Department of Natural Resources and Environment of the northern province of Yen Bai has been reprimanded and transferred to another position, as punishments over his failure to fully declare his asset holdings.

    Quy received the warning decision and will no longer work as the environment department head, Yen Bai chairman Do Duc Duy confirmed late Friday.

    The official came to the public’s attention in June after local media outlets revealed that a 1.3 hectare villa complex in Yen Bai City was owned by his family

    Quy claimed that he had borrowed about VND20 billion (US$887,000) in bank loans, another sum from friends, and saved since he was young in order to build the property.

    He has been transferred to work as the deputy head of the office of the province’s decision-making People’s Council.

    The punishment came after the Government Inspectorate found that Quy has made multiple violations, including the dishonest declaration of his villa complex.

    According to findings of the four-month investigation, publicized by the government inspectors on October 23, Quy had not declared several portions of his assets since 2014, in violation of Directive No.33 of the Politburo.

    In Vietnam, officials are required to write down a list of assets they own in their profiles.

    In 2014, the official failed to declare 1,200 square meters of land and over 59,000 square meters of agricultural land, along with a bank loan worth VND3.8 billion (US$166,884).

    In 2015, over 13,000 square meters of residential land, 41,000 square meters of agricultural land, a VND6 billion (US$263,502) bank loan, and some VND1.9 billion (US$83,442) gifted by his parents were also not declared.

    In 2016, after Quy was appointed director of the provincial environment department, he failed to make known of over 7,900 square meters of residential land, 27,336 square meters of agricultural land, a 600 square meter house in Minh Tan Ward, Yen Bai City, more than VND9 billion (US$395,253) worth of bank loans, and 60 taels of gold borrowed from his friends.

    Official documents state that the land is owned by his wife, Hoang Thi Hue.

    The Government Inspectorate considers Quy’s dishonest asset declarations a serious violation and has ordered a suitable penalty.

    Vietnam to install automatic ticket gates at major train stations

    Starting from November, train stations in Hanoi, the central city of Da Nang, and Ho Chi Minh City will feature automatic ticket gates in a bid to increase service quality of the Vietnam Railways.

    The upgrade is meant to provide customers with better and friendlier service, as well as to ensure security at these stations, according to the state-run Vietnam Railways, which manages the country’s north-to-south train route.

    At the Hanoi station, there will be six lanes with ten automatic ticket gates to serve passengers, whereas the terminal in Da Nang will have two lanes and three gates, and Ho Chi Minh City, three lanes and five gates.

    Passengers can scan their printed or electronic tickets at these automatic ticket gates to enter platforms for boarding their trains.

    As the technology is quite new to some Vietnamese passengers, attendants will be on duty that those three stations to provide help, especially to the elderly, the disabled or pregnant women.

    At many railway stations, namely Lao Cai, Hai Phong, Nam Dinh, Thanh Hoa, Vinh, Dong Hoi, Hue, Nha Trang, and Dieu Tri, passengers now have to present their tickets before entering the check-in gates, instead of showing the tickets to the attendants before boarding.

    There will be waiting areas in front of check-in gates for relatives, friends, or people coming to the stations to pick up or say goodbye to the passengers.

    The new rule spares train attendants from checking passenger tickets again before they enter the train cars.

    Upon boarding, any on-board passengers suspected of not having proper tickets or having no tickets will be checked by the train attendants.

    French film Ciel Rouge officially screens in Vietnam

    “Ciel Rouge” (Red Sky), a film shot entirely in Vietnam in the early years of the Indochina War, was officially screened on October 27 in Vietnam.

    The film is the work of renowned French filmmaker, Olivier Lorelle, who has won several prestigious awards.

    Over 20 years after French films set during the war in Vietnam such as “L’Amant,” “Dien Bien Phu,” and “Indochine,” French film makers returned to Vietnam to produce a sentimental drama titled “Red Sky,” a war time romance.

    Filming got underway in 2015, and all scenes were filmed entirely within Vietnam, featuring an interesting and unique perspective about the Indochina war in 1946.

    The film tells a love story about French solider, Philippe, and a Viet Minh girl named Thi. During his mission in Vietnam, Philippe was forced to torture the young Vietnamese girl. He was touched by the girl’s resilience and escaped with her to the deserted forest.

    Aside from its romantic love story, “Red Sky” captivates audiences with shots of the stunning landscapes of Bac Kan and Ha Giang in Vietnam, with one particularly scenic view of Ba Be lake, where love blossoms between the young couple.


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