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  • 11/06/17--00:52: Article 3
  • APEC, what the locals say


    The central city of Da Nang will host the Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation (APEC) Summit from November 5 to 11. Top officials and more than 1,000 CEOs along with 15,000 guests from 21 member economies will take part.

    People and expats living in Da Nang share their views on the event with Viet Nam News reporters Hoai Nam and Phuoc Buu.

    Dale Gerstenslager, US expat

    When I first heard that Viet Nam’s central city of Da Nang would host APEC 2017, I was strangely proud and thought that it was an exciting opportunity to showcase the remarkable progress and development that Viet Nam has accomplished over the last decade.

     Vietnam economy, Vietnamnet bridge, English news about Vietnam, Vietnam news, news about Vietnam, English news, Vietnamnet news, latest news on Vietnam, Vietnam
    Showcase: American Dale Gerstenslager believes APEC is a testament to Viet Nam’s growing importance.

    Hosting APEC is quite a coup and one more testament of Viet Nam’s importance and growing stature on the world stage. Let’s pull together and show the world what’s being done in Viet Nam.

    I think it is chance to develop relationships that will build trust.

    Kozaburo Yazawa, Japanese expat

    Since the media multitude represents the world, it is a big opportunity for people to learn the name of Da Nang. It is also great that the President of the United States will come. This should lead to investment from more member economies - and more tourists.

    APEC is similar to the Olympics and Expo. As the Government had to arrange the international conference, public works projects increased. After APEC is over, many foreigners will visit after learning about Da Nang.

    However, regarding the construction of hotels, it is a matter of over-supply I feel. I expect that the value of real estate will fall a little after APEC. Many rules were changed for APEC. I could not get a construction licence for a restaurant on the main street for a long time.

    There are many problems, but that is due to the development of Da Nang, not a negative thing I suppose. As Japan’s Prime Minister Abe will also visit  APEC, I hope it leads to more Japanese visitors and investment.

    Nguyen Thi Kim, 58

    I feel APEC is a strange event for local people. Pavements have been newly tiled and sign boards promote the event at busy traffic roundabouts and road crossings.


     Vietnam economy, Vietnamnet bridge, English news about Vietnam, Vietnam news, news about Vietnam, English news, Vietnamnet news, latest news on Vietnam, Vietnam
    Little impact: Hotel owner Nguyen Thi Kim says APEC is largely for upmarket hotels and restaurants.

    I manage a coastal three-star hotel, but it’s still quiet in the low season - as usual. APEC’s delegates may stay at four and five-star hotels and resorts, but not two and three-star hotels.

    APEC may be a major event for the city’s administration, but not really many local people. The city hosts the event, but main preparations are covered by central governments and agencies in co-operation with local departments.

    I have some hope APEC will lead to economic and tourism growth in the city.

    Nguyen Xuan Binh, 41

    I really hope APEC will help boost Da Nang City’s economic growth. It will not happen in a few weeks or months after APEC, but the city will become known worldwide when its name is repeated at business forums and in APEC member economies.


     Vietnam economy, Vietnamnet bridge, English news about Vietnam, Vietnam news, news about Vietnam, English news, Vietnamnet news, latest news on Vietnam, Vietnam
    Time: Nguyen Xuan Binh believes it will take time for the benefits of the summit to sink in.

    APEC is a big opportunity for Da Nang as business people, CEOs and journalists from 21 member economies attend. The preparation of the city will be highly appreciated by officials, businesses and tourists.

    The many destinations available through Da Nang - and its pristine white beaches - will be remembered by participants, while the hospitality of residents, volunteers, restaurants and hotel owners will boost the tourism brand of the city. The city also launched the Da Nang Smile campaign during APEC to promote good manners.

    APEC will be really a field trip in exploring the investment opportunities and potential of Da Nang and central Viet Nam. It’s also a big chance for industries such as tourism, hi-tech, property, green tech and services seeking partners.

    I think the impact of APEC on Da Nang’s economic growth will come several years after APEC as foreign businesses learn of the city’s investment environment and priority policies.

    Victor Ceano, candy maker, Spain

    I think that an event like APEC, apart from helping to put Da Nang in the map, will generate a psychological push for the local economy.


     Vietnam economy, Vietnamnet bridge, English news about Vietnam, Vietnam news, news about Vietnam, English news, Vietnamnet news, latest news on Vietnam, Vietnam
    Candy maker: Victor Ceano thinks APEC will provide a psychological push for Da Nang.

    At the end of the day, it is possible that the direct influence on the local economy will not be enormous, but it is clear to me that the momentum that it will generate will be highly positive.   

    I founded Pop Keo, a sweets and chocolate company in Da Nang last year using Ben Tre chocolate and Quang Trị honey. Thanks to the event, some embassies and companies will order chocolates and sweets from me as gifts for their contacts.

    Stuart Neal, publisher, Australian

    The fact that APEC will be held in Da Nang is not particularly relevant for big picture decisions and high level summit meetings. A lot of that stuff is probably known in advance by the main players and the meeting of economists with politicians at this level could happen anywhere.


     Vietnam economy, Vietnamnet bridge, English news about Vietnam, Vietnam news, news about Vietnam, English news, Vietnamnet news, latest news on Vietnam, Vietnam
    New deals: Australian Stuart Neal believes the summit is the place where new deals will be forged.

    Viet Nam is playing host to some of the most influential decision makers in the world, creating a fantastic opportunity to be heard before and after the big summit meetings and at dinners and functions during the process in every economic sphere of interest to Viet Nam.

    This is where new deals may be forged and probably these unofficial discussions will be of more importance to Viet Nam than attempts to reach consensus in an environment where growing protectionist policies from the US appear to be disrupting former accords and creating mayhem.

    Le Thi Thuy An, accountant

    The APEC Summit provides a good chance for people to get to know Da Nang, the most vibrant city in the country. The event is also helpful for local businesses servicing delegates from 21 member economies.


     Vietnam economy, Vietnamnet bridge, English news about Vietnam, Vietnam news, news about Vietnam, English news, Vietnamnet news, latest news on Vietnam, Vietnam
    Paving the way: Accountant Le Thi Thuy An believes the event will pave the way for better understanding of women.

    The city’s leadership is shifting from old to new. And I think APEC held in the city offers a great chance for city authorities to have an overview on both achievements and shortcomings.

    Furthermore, I overheard that the summit will make decisions over discussions by APEC forums in Hue on women and women-owned businesses. I believe APEC leaders will agree on policies that pave the way for greater contribution of women in economic development. 

    VNS


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  • 11/06/17--00:53: Article 2
  • Local wood sector takes firmer root


    With the leading position in Southeast Asia, Vietnam’s wood production and processing industry is under the spotlight of foreign companies and suppliers.


    Local wood sector takes firmer root, 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 

    Ingo Bette, a representative from German Woodworking Machinery Manufacturers (GWMM), said that Vietnam’s woodworking industry was still in its infancy compared to other regional markets like Indonesia, Malaysia, and Thailand. 

    Today, the country has gone through very impressive development. Vietnam has surpassed its regional peers to become the largest buyer of wood processing technology in Southeast Asia, despite its scarce wood resources.

    In addition, Vietnamese wood manufacturers have shifted from producing solid wood to indoor furniture. They have also improved their design competency to sell their own products on the global market. Thanks to the transition to more value-added products, GWMM companies have achieved sturdy sales performances in Vietnam compared to neighbouring countries. The association is looking to raise its market share in the country in the coming time.

    The American Hardwood Export Council (AHEC) ranked Vietnam as the second fastest growing global market for US-sourced hardwood lumber, following China in the number one position.

    Continuing its recovery from lows in 2015, the Vietnamese wood market’s demand for American hardwood was off to a great start in 2017.

    Through the first six months of the year, US hardwood lumber exports to Vietnam were up 18 per cent, led by a strong surge in the popularity of yellow poplar.

    AHEC’s international programme manager Tripp Pryor said, “Back in 2012, Vietnam’s market share in Southeast Asia was 67%.

    But in just five years, this market now purchases nearly three-fourths of all US hardwood lumber exported to the region. Vietnam’s purchasing decisions affect the rest of the region and truly lead the way for American hardwood exports.”

    Through the first half of 2017, US hardwood lumber shipments to Vietnam averaged an additional two million board-feet shipped every month compared to last year. 

    This growth added up to a significant increase this year, which will likely make 2017 the biggest trade year ever between the US and Vietnamese lumber and furniture industries.

    Deputy chairman of the Vietnam Timber and Forest Products Association, Ngo Sy Hoai, said, “As Vietnam opened up the wood production and processing industry, a large number of foreign companies  relocated their production to Vietnam to manufacture and export wood products. The total export turnover of wood products is projected to reach US$8 billion in 2017, half of which will come from foreign companies.”

    According to Hoai, Vietnam’s wood production and processing sector has achieved a double-digit annual growth of approximately 10% throughout the past decade. 

    The sector slowed down some last year – with full-year exports valued at US$7 billion – but rebounded in the first 10 months of 2017 with a growth rate of more than 10%. Exports of wood products are expected to increase once the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement comes into effect next year.

    VIR


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  • 11/06/17--01:10: Article 1
  • BUSINESS IN BRIEF 6/11


    Military Bank transfers equity in MCredit to Shinsei

    Military Bank (MBB) has completed procedures to sell 49 per cent stake in its consumer finance arm MCredit Finance Company to Japan’s Shinsei Bank and changed it into a two-member company.

    The inauguration of MB Shinsei Finance Limited Liability Company took place on Thursday. Military Bank holds 50 per cent stake, Shinsei Bank owns 49 per cent and Xuân Thành Investment Development & Construction Co has 1 per cent.

    The two sides in November 2016 signed an agreement on equity transfer, facilitating the Japanese bank’s entry into Việt Nam’s consumer finance market.

    The value of the deal has not been disclosed.

    Military Bank is the second bank after HDBank that has sold half its capital to Japanese partners.

    According to Lưu Trung Thái, vice chairman-cum-general director of MB Shinsei Finance, the two most successful companies in Việt Nam needed more than five years, or even 6-8 years, to attain the current position, but MB Shinsei Finance hopes to achieve success in less time.

    “We have a goal of advancing into the top three in five years, which means we want to go faster than our rivals and we chose to join hands with a partner rather than going alone,” Thái was quoted as saying on cafef.vn.

    Established in December 2016, MCredit turned profitable following just six months of operation, with total outstanding loans reaching over VNĐ1 trillion (US$44 million) ending October. The company has a big pool of customers from the military and defence sectors.

    It aims to serve five million customers by 2021, with total assets of over VNĐ14.8 trillion and networks extending nationwide.

    In Việt Nam, the four largest financial companies -- FE Credit of VPBank, HD Saison, Home Credit from Czech Republic and Prudential Finance -- hold a majority of the consumer finance market share.

    New regulation puts the squeeze on Vietnamese car importers

    While erecting technical barriers to hinder the flow of imported cars, Vietnam plans to cut taxes imposed on locally-made vehicles to boost its auto industry.

    Nguyen Dinh Thanh, the owner of a car dealership in Hanoi’s Long Bien District, is in danger of going out of business when a new decree regulating automobile imports takes effect next year.

    The decree stipulates that traders will only be permitted to import automobiles if they can provide valid vehicle registration certificates issued by authorities from the countries of origin.

    Original quality control certificates for each vehicle and letters of authorization regarding recalls of defective vehicles from the manufacturers will also be required, along with copies of quality assurance certificates provided by the countries of origin.

    “The requirements are too strict for car dealerships to meet,” Thanh said, worrying that the dealership that has fed his family and dozens of workers over the last 10 years will have to close.

    “We will import 40 more units before the decree takes effect (January 1, 2018). When they are sold out, maybe in two months, we will have to shut down the business.”

    Thanh is not the only car dealer concerned about the new regulations.

    Nguyen Tuan, director of auto dealership Thien Phuc An, said: “It is very difficult to get copies of quality assurance certificates for imported cars from foreign authorities. Only official distributors and subsidiaries of manufacturers in Vietnam can get them.”

    “Small traders who import cars through sub-agents or a third country are unable to do this,” he added.

    Another requirement that requires enterprises to have one car from each batch of imports technically accredited in Vietnam will cost importers more time and money, he said. “Businesses may have to spend weeks and up to VND100 million (US$4,340) to complete the accreditation procedure.”

    Under current regulations, only one certificate is required for each model of car, regardless of how many batches are imported.

    Pham Anh Tuan, head of the strategic planning department at Toyota Vietnam, said foreign authorities only provide quality assurance certificates for cars sold in their own countries, not for those that are exported. This is the same in Vietnam.

    In some countries, authorities do not issue these certificates at all. In the United States, for example, car manufacturers are responsible for quality control, and government agencies only take over after the assembly line, he said.

    Thanh urged the government to change the policy so that car dealerships can survive. He said it would be a waste of money if car dealers had to shut down after making huge investments. Thousands of employees would also lose their jobs, he added.

    Đắk Lắk starts to go solar

    Đắk Lắk Province’s People’s Committee has approved the construction of a solar power plant with a capacity of 50MW in Ea Súp District’s Ia Lap Commune.

    Long Thành Ia Lốp Co.Ltd has been selected to carry out the project.

    The plant will be built over 65 hetares situated on 500ha set aside for a solar power complex by Long Thành Đắk Lắk Investment Joint Stock Company.

    In addition, the provincial committee has approved a proposal to increase capacity of the complex from 50MW to 400MW.

    The committee asked the Ea Súp District People’s Committee and related departments to create conditions for investors to implement the project.It said investors should contact the provincial Department of Foreign Affairs for guidance if foreign experts were hired..

    According to the province’s clean energy development plan, between four and seven solar plants with the total capacity of 800 to 1,000 MW will be built by 2020.

    By 2030, the province plans to increase the capacity of existing solar power plants and build other plants with the total capacity of 3,500 to 4,000 MW.

    Đắk Lắk has approved the construction project of solar plants in Ea Súp and Buôn Đôn districts, including Xuân Thiện Solar plant with a capacity of 2,000 MW and total estimated investment capital of US$2.2 billion, the Green Power plant with a capacity of 1,117 MW and investment capital of $1.2 billion, and Long Thành plant with a capacity of 250 MW and total investment of $320 million.

    State treasury raises $133.3 million from bond auction

    The State Treasury of Việt Nam on Wednesday raised VNĐ3 trillion (US$133.3 million) from Government bond auctions, raising the total value of bond issuance to VNĐ156.2 trillion since the beginning of the year.

    Four tenures were offered for auction at the Hà Nội Stock Exchange - five-year and 10-year-term bonds valued at VNĐ1 trillion each, and seven-year and 30-year-term bonds valued at VNĐ500 billion each.

    Of the four types, the auction of seven-year bonds drew the attention of 12 market members. The bonds were sold at the average yield rate of 4.85 per cent per year, slightly higher than the rate during the previous auction on October 25.

    Auction of 10-year and 30-year bonds attracted nine and seven market members, respectively. The bonds were sold at average yield rates of 5.42 per cent and 6.1 per cent per year, respectively. The rates were the same as those on October 25.

    In October, the Hà Nội Stock Exchange held 15 Government bond auctions, raising total VNĐ7.51 trillion for the State treasury – a monthly increase of 45.5 per cent.

    The annual yield rates were 4.5-4.65 per cent for five-year bonds, 4.83 per cent for seven-year bonds, 5.42-5.9 per cent for 10-year bonds and 6.2 per cent for 15-year bonds.

    Compared with September, five-year and seven-year bonds saw their yield rates down, while the figure for 10-year bonds was up.

    Also in October, the secondary Government bond market saw total outright trading volume reach over 952 million bonds, worth VNĐ104.6 trillion – a monthly decrease of 10.9 per cent.

    Total bonds that were traded through repurchase agreement (repo) trading reached nearly 1.05 billion, worth VNĐ106.1 trillion – an increase of 17.7 per cent month-on-month.

    Foreign investors purchased bonds worth a total of VNĐ4.5 trillion through outright trading and bought none through repo trading. They sold more bonds worth more than VNĐ4.8 trillion through outright trades and VNĐ345 billion through repo trades.

    Petrolimex’s post-tax profit down 16%


     Military Bank transfers equity in MCredit to Shinsei, Petrolimex’s post-tax profit down 16%, Vietcombank to improve internet banking security, Construction Ministry: HCMC should approve mini-apartments

    Việt Nam National Petroleum Group (Petrolimex) reported a post-tax profit of VNĐ895 billion (US$39.3 million) in the third quarter of this year, 16 per cent less, year-on-year.

    Deputy General Director of Petrolimex, Trần Ngọc Năm, attributed the decline to the reduction in post-tax profit of Castrol BP Petco, a lubricant and grease marketing and production joint venture between BP and Petrolimex, during the period.

    As a result, the prorated post-tax profit that Petrolimex received from Petco reduced by 25 per cent, compared to the same period last year.

    The group’s business performance was also affected by other factors such as rising social insurance costs and outsourcing costs.

    According to the company’s financial report, Petrolimex earned VNĐ38.3 trillion in revenue during the third quarter, up 31 per cent year-on-year.

    In the first nine months of this year, the total revenue of Petrolimex reached VNĐ112.4 trillion, up 27.7 per cent over the same period of last year, mainly due to the 5 per cent increase in global crude oil’s average over the same period of 2016.

    Petrolimex post-tax profit during nine months was VNĐ2.9 trillion, down 13 per cent year-on-year.

    In the period, the petroleum business activities brought the highest profit for the group with VNĐ1.8 trillion, accounting for over 51 per cent of the total profit, while profit earned by non-petroleum business activities totaled VNĐ1.7 trillion.

    Vietcombank to improve internet banking security

    To improve security in online banking, Vietcombank on Thursday asked customers to change their password structure.

    Accordingly, from November 1, 2017, passwords for internet banking accounts must have seven to 20 characters, including a number, caps lock, normal letter and special characters.

    Customers are required to change their password within 12 months. Transactions via internet banking will be automatically stopped if customers do not implement any transaction within five minutes.

    In addition, the effective time for using a one-time-password (OTP) for online transactions will be five minutes if being received via SMS and two minutes if being received via EMV-OTP and eToken.

    All individual customers and organisations using VCB internet banking services will be subject to the changes.

    Users can access the website, www.vietcombank.com.vn, or call the 24-hour hotline, 1900545413, for any support.

    Read more at http://vietnamnews.vn/bizhub/416825/vietcombank-to-improve-internet-banking-security.html#lHiGlL18VZpqY3zF.99

    VN, Argentina to raise trade value to US$3.5 bln in 2017

    Head of the Party Central Committee's Commission for Information and Education Vo Van Thuong proposed Viet Nam and Argentina make efforts to raise their two-way trade turnover to US$3.5 billion in 2017.

    Mr. Thuong made that statement at his meetings with Argentinean Vice President Gabriela Michetti, Vice President of the Chamber of Deputies of Argentine National Congress Patricia Giménez and Minister of Information Hermán Lombardi during his working visit to Argentina from October 29-November 1.

    At these meetings, Mr. Thuong exchanged measures to enhance cooperative relations between the two nations through Party, National Assembly and Government channels, especially by 2018 when the two sides celebrate the 45th founding anniversary of diplomatic ties.

    He hailed the two-way trade value which increased 10 times over the decade from US$300 million in 2006 to more than US$3 billion in 2016.

    The Argentinean leaders consented to promote the bilateral relationship, especially in such areas as economics, trade, investment as well as discussed ways to strengthen cooperation with the Viet Nam Communist Party in the upcoming time. 

    Few local enterprises eligible as Samsung’s tier-1 vendors

    Minister of Industry and Trade Tran Tuan Anh, speaking at a discussion on socio-economic development at the National Assembly on November 1, said there are 25 Vietnamese tier-1 vendors supplying Samsung to make electronics products.

    To promote the participation of domestic enterprises in the Samsung supply chain, his ministry and Samsung Vietnam have jointly launched a training program on production and quality management for local companies in supporting industries.

    Samsung plans to provide training courses for 1,000 local enterprises in 2018-2020 at a total cost of US$800,000 to help them meet international production and quality management standards. The participating enterprises will be assessed before they can become tier-1 or tier-2 vendors for Samsung Vietnam.

    Shim Won Hwan, general director of Samsung Vietnam Complex, said at an exhibition at the Samsung Electronics HCMC Complex (SEHC) on October 19 that Samsung Vietnam looks to double the number of its tier-1 suppliers in Vietnam to 50 by 2020.

    There were 24 Vietnamese suppliers taking part in the exhibition. They specialize in motors for air-conditioners and washing machines, printed circuit boards for TVs and other home appliances, as well as signal decoders, and other automatic equipment.

    VCCI, ILO help SMEs join global supply chains

    Many small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) attended a forum themed “Increasing labor productivity - Participating in global supply chains” jointly held on October 27 by the HCMC branch of the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI-HCM) and the International Labor Organization (ILO).

    The forum, part of the Sustaining Competitive and Responsible Enterprises (SCORE) program implemented since June 2011, also attracted representatives of VCCI, ILO, the Embassy of Norway in Vietnam, the Consulate General of Switzerland in HCMC, the World Bank Group, the Ministry of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs, the Vietnam General Confederation of Labor, and relevant departments of Binh Duong, Dong Nai, Long An and HCMC.

    Enterprises and the SCORE program organizers talked about benefits of the program and proposed solutions to improve its effectiveness. The program aims to help SMEs overcome shortcomings, increase labor productivity, improve administration capacity and develop high-quality products for global supply chains and integrate deeply into the global economy.

    ”
Representing Switzerland at the Workshop, Mr. Othmar Hardegger, Swiss Consul General to Vietnam, congratulated VCCI, ILO and their partners for the successful implementation of Phase II. He expected that through phase III “the core values that Switzerland has embraced to develop SMEs include social dialogue, solidarity, human working conditions and integration into the world economy will be further shared with more Vietnamese SMEs in other sectors”. “The experience from Switzerland shows that strong social dialogue is essential for the prosperity of a country. Together, workers’ and employers’ organizations find tailored solutions to improve working conditions, increase productivity and assure the competitiveness of the economy”, emphasised Mr. Hardegger. 


    Mr. Vo Tan Thanh, Vice President of VCCI and Director General of VCCI HCM, said increasing labor productivity is the key to sustainable development at SMEs, thereby improving incomes and working conditions for workers.
    Over the years, VCCI and its partners have sought measures to help enterprises grow business in a sustainable way. The SCORE program includes training and consulting services for SMEs. In the initial stage, the program focuses on wood processing companies in Binh Duong, Binh Dinh, Dong Nai, Long An and HCMC and will be expanded to other key sectors such as supporting industries and textile.

    Thanks to the program, many companies can save costs and improve the environment, thus enhancing their competitiveness. Tan Thanh JSC in Binh Duong Province has saved VND200 million a year and Chutex International Co Ltd has reduced 33% of water use and 60% of gas emissions.

    More than 110 wood processing firms and 30 mechanical and textile enterprises have got support from the program. Some 91% of participating companies can cut production costs and 61% of companies can apply solutions to improve communication skills. In addition, errors in production lines have decreased by 29% and the number of employees quitting their jobs has dropped by 42%.

    Michael Elkin, chief technical advisor of the SCORE program, said the program has benefited over 300,000 employees, with 30% of them being women, at 1,400 enterprises in Bolivia, China, Colombia, Ghana, Vietnam and Peru. The program has gained a global satisfaction rate of 88%, helped 70% of businesses save US$500-50,000 in production costs and increase labor productivity by 30% on average.

    The program is expected to support SMEs in supporting industries, textile, footwear, food processing and electricity-electronics so that they can effectively take part in global supply chains.

    Japanese tourism promoted in Can Tho

    The Japan National Tourism Organization (JNTO) on November 2 organized a seminar in Can Tho City in a bid to promote tourism exchanges between Japan and Vietnam’s Mekong Delta.

    This was the first time the Japanese tourism promotion agency has held such an event in the Mekong Delta city of Can Tho to promote travel to Japan.

    Takahashi Ayumi, chief representative of JNTO in Vietnam, said at the Visit Japan seminar that there has been an upsurge in Vietnamese tourists to Japan since the Vietnam office of JNTO was opened in March this year. Japan welcomed 230,000 tourists from Vietnam in all of 2016, but in the first nine months of this year, the same number of Vietnamese visitors came to Japan, up 30% year-on-year, the highest growth rate ever, he noted.

    As for this year, Japan looks to attract up to 300,000 Vietnamese tourists, Takahashi Ayumi said.

    Among around 20 travel firms showing up at the seminar on November 2 were JTB-TNT, Song Han Tourist and Tagger Travel.

    “As Can Tho is the biggest city in the Mekong Delta and a fast-growing market, we hope both sides need more specific information about each other to boost tourism,” he noted.

    Can Tho City vice chairman Truong Quang Hoai Nam said at the seminar that more than 740,000 Japanese visited Vietnam last year. “However, the number of Japanese arrivals to Can Tho is still small due to a shortage of information for tourists and poor traffic infrastructure in the region.”

    Nam added the Visit Japan seminar and the Vietnam-Japan culture and trade event which is set to take place in Can Tho this weekend are expected to help both sides attract more tourists.

    Draft cyber security law mismatches WTO rules

    The Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) has pointed out discrepancies between some provisions of the draft Law on Cyber Security and the nation’s commitments to the World Trade Organization (WTO) and the Vietnam-EU Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA).

    VCCI has written to the National Assembly Security and Defense Committee detailing the incompatibility between the draft law and Vietnam’s commitments to WTO and EVFTA. The draft law, crafted by the Ministry of Public Security, is now on the table of the National Assembly (NA) for discussion.

    VCCI said Article 34 of the draft law specifies: “Foreign firms providing telecommunication and Internet services in Vietnam shall comply with Vietnamese regulations, respect national sovereignty, interests and security, user interests, obtain licenses, locate their representative offices and servers in Vietnam, and secure user data and accounts...”

    However, according to Vietnam’s WTO and EVFTA commitments, foreign telecommunication and Internet service providers are not required to locate their representative offices in Vietnam.

    Besides, Article 14.13 of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement which Vietnam signed in February 2016 says: “The Parties agreed not to require the use of computing facilities within their territories as a condition for doing business.”

    Although the NA has not approved the TPP, Vietnam and 10 other Pacific Rim countries are still conducting negotiations to finalize a deal without the United States. Therefore, VCCI said the draft law should run counter to the TPP.

    VCCI said the country’s Cyber Information Security Law crafted by the Ministry of Information and Communications came into effect on July 1, 2016, so there is no need to issue a law on cyber security.

    Article 11 of the draft law states the Ministry of Public Security is responsible assessing providers of cyber information security services. However, Article 44 of the Cyber Information Security Law regulates the Ministry of Information and Communications is in charge of coordinating with relevant ministries and agencies to issue licenses for those entities providing cyber information security products and services.

    This is a clear indication that the Draft Law on Cyber Security and the Cyber Information Security Law overlap to some extent.

    VCCI noted some requirements in the Ministry of Public Security’s draft law would make life difficult for businesses and push up the cost of doing business in the cyber security domain.

    VCCI suggested the Ministry of Public Security eliminate Article 49 of the draft law that requires enterprises to ask the ministry for permission before finalizing their contracts because the draft law does not provide the procedures for doing so.

    Construction Ministry: HCMC should approve mini-apartments

    The Construction Ministry has proposed the HCMC government permit the development of commercial apartment units measuring 25 to 45 square meters each, an issue which has remained controversial.

    The city wants to curb the minimum area of a commercial apartment at 45 square meters and that of a low-cost social home at 25 square meters given insufficient infrastructure in densely populated areas and severe traffic congestion.

    The ministry reasons that the management of planning, and urban order and aesthetics depends on a variety of factors, not just apartment size. The planning criteria for housing projects are intended to deal with population, building density, and residential block height issues.

    Countries such as Thailand, South Korea and France allow for mini-apartments measuring 14 to 20 square meters each. But their authorities can well manage population and planning issues in major cities, according to the ministry.

    The ministry underscored the need to create favorable conditions for residents and companies to build affordable condos to meet the demand for housing of low-income people, especially factory workers at industrial parks.

    Therefore, the ministry proposed the city limit the proportion of commercial apartments measuring 25 to 45 square meters in a housing project at 20-25% in the city center that has high population density and insufficient technical infrastructure.

    Housing projects outside the city center can have a higher proportion of mini-apartments if there are a lot of factory workers there, said the ministry.

    The ministry is crafting a set of national technical criteria for apartments, including the minimum area for commercial apartments.

    Earlier, the city said apartments of less than 45 square meters would speed up urbanization, increase the population, and put more pressure on its already-overstretched technical and social infrastructure.

    Toyota Vietnam lowers auto prices

    oyota Vietnam has cut prices of domestically assembled autos by 3% to 9% since Wednesday this week, according to a report on Vietnamnet news website.

    The Japanese automaker has adjusted down prices of Vios, Innova and Corolla vehicles, except for the Camry, said the report.

    Toyota Vios TRD has declined by VND58 million (US$2,553) to VND586 million (US$25,820), said Vietnamnet. Other models of the four-door subcompact car like Toyota Vios G, E CVT and MT have marked down by VND48-53 million to VND484-586 million per unit.

    Toyota Corolla subcompact and compact cars have seen their prices falling by VND24-31 million to VND678-936 million per unit. Notably, Toyota Innova retail prices have dipped by VND42-50 million to VND817-995 million per unit.

    The special consumption tax for autos with engine capacity of two liters or below is set to be slashed by 5% next year. Vietnam will also reduce import tariffs on auto parts from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to 0%, said the Vietnamnet report.

    Therefore, the average tax on auto parts will be around 5% next year, down from the current 15%, which might result in the automaker revising down its retail prices.

    Some dealers of Toyota Vietnam in Hanoi were quoted by Vietnamnet as saying that the firm’s selling prices are now equivalent to those of other dealers. This has prompted many customers to buy its vehicles since Wednesday.

    In a related development, some foreign-invested companies have decided to cancel their import orders for completely-built-up (CBU) autos next January as they have yet to meet the new requirements provided in Government Decree 116/2017/ND-CP on manufacturing, assembly and import of autos, and auto warranty and maintenance services that came into force on October 17.

    Specifically, they are required to provide the scanned copies of quality certificates for their imported autos issued by competent authorities in exporting countries.

    Vietnam should prepare for challenges from EU trade pact

    Vietnamese exporters are advised to be prepared to deal with stringent regulations if they want to maximise the benefits of the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA), which is expected to come into effect soon.

    Experts, at conference on November 2, stated that the trade pact will eliminate tariffs on 99.2% of Vietnamese exports but warned that domestic enterprises may fail to enjoy such preferential treatment if they do not take the necessary steps immediately.

    Expert Phan Duc Hieu from the Central Institute of Economic Management said that the EVFTA is anticipated to boost investment and technological innovations, thereby helping to improve productivity across many sectors, thanks to its broad scope of commitments.

    The trade pact was concluded in 2015 and is currently in the process of ratification.

    According to Claudio Dordi, leader of the EU’s trade assistance project in Vietnam, the EU has a strict consumer protection policy with high technical barriers on foreign imports, therefore Vietnam should be prepared to deal with these barriers, especially with regards to the rules of origin, before the trade agreement comes into effect.

    Former Trade Minister Truong Dinh Tuyen said that Vietnam also faces difficulty in complying with the regulations on intellectual property rights, labour and the environment as, while Vietnamese enterprises are quite apathetic concerning intellectual property rights, this is one of the EU’s top requirements.

    In addition, Vietnam’s agricultural products will face hurdles due to food safety regulations as pesticide residues remain high and the quality of exports is inconsistent due to poor harvest and storage practices.

    According to experts at the conference, Vietnam, given its limited resources, should concentrate on a number of sectors that the country is strong in, such as garments, footwear and the assembly of electronic devices.

    Moreover, Vietnam needs to continue fine-tuning its legal frameworks in order to meet the regulations on labour, intellectual property rights and the environment.

    Meanwhile, measures are needed to enhance the quality of the workforce and step up trade promotion activities to further expand the EU market.

    Proposal on establishment of Phu Quoc administrative-economic zone approved

    The People’s Council of the Mekong Delta province of Kien Giang on November 2 approved the proposal on the establishment of the Phu Quoc special administrative-economic zone and Ha Tien city.

    The Phu Quoc Special Administrative - Economic Zone, known as the Phu Quoc Special Zone in short, will have an area of over 57,532 hectares, a population of 117,460, and nine administrative divisions that are transformed from two townships and seven communes.

    The establishment of the Phu Quoc Special Administrative - Economic Zone is expected to make the best use of local advantages and attract investment, high technology and new advanced management to build a high-growth region and speed up economic restructuring and development.

    Ha Tien city is established on the basis of Ha Tien town, with an area of more than 10,048 hectares and a population of 81,576 people. The city consists of seven administrative units at the commune level, including five wards and two communes.

    The Standing Committee of the provincial People's Council emphasised the necessity of the establishment of Ha Tien city, meeting the aspiration of people of Ha Tien town in particular and Kien Giang in general, contributing to the local socio-economic development, improving both material and spiritual life of the locals, as well as firmly defending the seas and islands of the country.

    In addition to Phu Quoc, the Government has decided to initially develop two other special administrative-economic units - Van Don in northern Quang Ninh province and Bac Van Phong in central Khanh Hoa.

    Special administrative-economic units are magnet for investment, high technology and advanced management mode for the formation of a high growth area that generates more resources and accelerates local economic restructuring and development.

    Ba Na Hills Golf Club picks up national award

    The Ba Na Hills Golf Club won “Best New Course 2016-2017” at the annual Vietnam Golf Magazine Awards in Hanoi on October 31.

    Based on the results of an online survey and input from a panel of golf course design experts, the award is the third of its kind to come the club’s way in less than a year. 

    “While it’s possible those accolades may have paved the way for this honor, you just never know,” said Mr. Tim Haddon, Ba Na Hills Golf Club’s General Manager. 

    “Our No. 1 goal is to make the experience here better every single day. If you can do that, the awards should come.”

    Last November, Ba Na Hills was named “World’s Best New Course” at the World Golf Awards in Portugal and “Best New Course in Asia Pacific” at the Asia Pacific Golf Summit in Thailand.

    Since opening in March 2016 on the outskirts of Da Nang, Ba Na Hills has made a name for itself by offering a golf product unlike any other in Vietnam.

    Among the course’s standout features are its flexibility - it can play long, short, or anywhere in between, thanks to five sets of tee boxes - its comprehensive lighting system, and its views.

    The most breathtaking vantage point comes at the par 3 12th, which plays downhill to a bunker-guarded green backdropped by a dense forest stretching as far as the eye can see.

    Ba Na Hills Golf Club is managed by IMG and owned by the Sun Group, one of the leading investors in Vietnam and with The InterContinental Danang Sun Peninsula Resort, Novotel Danang Premier Han River Hotel, and Ba Na Hills Mountain Resort counting among its other properties.

    Standard Chartered & VCCI support SMEs in international trade

    Standard Chartered Bank Vietnam, in collaboration with the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI), announced its support of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in international trade and business at a workshop held in Hanoi on October 31 that attracted over 100 businesses from diverse industries.

    The workshop discussed key issues for local SMEs, including the latest government support policies, the outlook for the economy and foreign exchange next year, and how international banks can support SMEs in their international trade needs.

    Standard Chartered announced a campaign to offer a 50 per cent cash back on commission fees for the first ten overseas transactions made before the end of the year. 

    The campaign is applicable for new customers that open business banking current accounts at the bank using the 50 per cent cash back coupon obtained from VCCI or at the workshop.

    “Given the SME sector is a key contributor to trade, employment, and economic growth in Vietnam, it is critical that the sector receive adequate support to grow strongly and sustainably,” said Ms. Pham Thu Hang, General Secretary of VCCI. 

    “We appreciate the opportunity to work with Standard Chartered Bank to host this meaningful workshop, which provides SMEs with useful knowledge and experience to succeed in international trade. This is particularly important in the context of Vietnam’s increasing integration into the regional and global economies.”

    “For the last two decades, Vietnam has benefited greatly from the expansion of trade and investment links with various countries around the globe and SMEs play a crucial role in that process,” Mr. Nirukt Sapru, CEO of Standard Chartered Vietnam and ASA Cluster Markets, told the workshop. 

    “As Vietnam continues to expand trade with the rest of the world, SMEs will be a key part of this growth. They will be critical to further integrating Vietnam into global supply chains. As one of the oldest international banks in Vietnam, Standard Chartered Bank offers a wealth of experience and expertise to help Vietnamese businesses navigate the global economy and expand their business.”

    Standard Chartered Bank Vietnam in June was named Best Bank for Treasury and Working Capital in Vietnam for major customer segments, including multinational companies, large local companies, financial institutions, and non-bank financial institutions, as well as Best Service Provider in Vietnam in various categories at The Asset Triple A Treasury, Trade, Supply Chain and Risk Management Awards 2017, held by global financial magazine The Asset.

    HSBC Vietnam facilitates overseas education

    With growing demand for banking services to facilitate overseas education, HSBC Vietnam has introduced an Overseas Education proposition with a variety of services and benefits for Premier clients: overseas account opening from Vietnam, free fund transfers, and preferential foreign exchange rates. 

    As HSBC Premier clients, Vietnamese nationals who have children going to study overseas can gain support from HSBC Vietnam to open an overseas account prior to departure. 

    By holding premier accounts in multiple countries, the children can monitor their balances and transactions all in one place with HSBC’s Global View, and when required can transfer money free of charge with HSBC’s Global Transfer.

    To do so, the bank requires the following documents: (i) A passport with accompanying documentation from the foreign State as evidence that the customer (or customer’s child) is permitted to move abroad for study purposes (such as a Student Visa), and (ii) A confirmation letter issued by the relevant school or university overseas confirming the child has been accepted to study there (i.e. an acceptance letter).

    Besides educational purposes, HSBC Premier clients will also be eligible to open an account overseas if they move abroad for resettlement or embark on a business trip / assignment for at least 12 months.

    Vietnamese nationals can enjoy transfer benefits for educational purposes, including free transfers of tuition fees and living expenses. Funds of up to $25,000 per year can be proceeded to cover living expenses during the period of education. Preferential foreign exchange rates are also available.

    And to give parents peace of mind, HSBC offers Global Safety Net, which provides the children of Premier customers with emergency cash provisions when they need it most.
    According to HSBC’s latest report, released as part of the bank’s global series on “The Value of Education”, 41 per cent of over 8,400 parents in 15 countries and territories surveyed said that they are considering university education abroad for their children.

    Parents recognize the main benefits of an international university education for their child’s future, which are foreign language skills, gaining international work experience, and exposure to new experiences, ideas and cultures.

    “Similarly, Vietnamese parents place great importance on their child’s education and more and more now consider overseas education to improve the quality of education for their child,” said Mr. Sabbir Ahmed, Head of Retail Banking and Wealth Management at HSBC Vietnam. 

    “It is vital to seek professional help to plan for a child’s education, choose the bank that best suits your needs, and review your plans regularly.”

    According to the education ministry, the countries with the highest number of Vietnamese students are Japan, Australia, the US, China, and the UK. With its immense network of around 3,900 offices in 67 countries and territories in Europe, Asia, North and Latin America, and the Middle East and North Africa, HSBC is in an ideal position to support its clients to actualize their ambitions for the next generation in an increasingly mobile world. 

    HSBC’s flagship Premier proposition is a unique service offering available to the high net-worth individuals. Launched in 2010, HSBC Premier offers international recognition and comprehensive wealth solutions to bring maximum support for customers’ needs in education, insurance, retirement, legacy as well as wealth growth and management.

    Leading seafood export to sell golden goose

    Vietnam’s leading seafood processor and exporter, the Hung Vuong Corporation (HVG), has decided to sell its entire holding in its most efficient company, Sao Ta Foods.

    HVG’s Board of Directors has approved the sale of 21,128,000 shares, equal to 54.28 per cent of Sao Ta’s capital. The decision was unexpected, as Hung Vuong said at a meeting of shareholders at the beginning of the year that it had shelved plans to sell the holding to a Japanese partner.

    The company’s recent business results revealed a net loss of VND132 billion ($5.8 million) for the financial year from October 1, 2016 to September 30. HVG’s total debt is over VND7.9 trillion ($347.6 million), with interest payments of more than VND600 billion ($26.4 million) bringing about the $5.8 million loss.

    HVG is famous as the “Tra Fish King” after conducting a series of M&A deals in the seafood industry in a short period of time. The Sao Ta sale would have been a difficult decision for HVG’s leaders as it is one of the leading shrimp exporters in Vietnam and has earned major profits for HVG in recent years.

    HVG also recently decided to sell some plots of lands in District 6, Ho Chi Minh City, to recover capital.

    In the first nine months of this year, Sao Ta recorded its highest profits to date, with finished shrimp product output estimated at 15,441 tons worth $144 million. Pre-tax profit is estimated at VND125 billion ($5.5 million), exceeding the plan by 25 per cent increasing 60 per cent year-on-year.

    Sao Ta Foods was originally a State-owned enterprise in the Mekong Delta province of Soc Trang, which started in 1996. It was equitized in 2003, and the State holding has fallen to 10.6 per cent since.

    The company has generated continual profits over the years. It managed to recover its initial investment within the second year of operations and has been one of Vietnam’s five leading shrimp exporters. 

    According to the General Department of Vietnam Customs, seafood exports in October were estimated at $733 million, bringing the volume of seafood exports in the first ten months to $6.73 billion, up 17.6 per cent over the same period of 2016.

    Vietnam National Aviation Insurance Corporation lauches major promotion

    Vietnam National Aviation Insurance Corporation (VNI) has announced it is implementing a promotional program called “Messaging and Big Win” for customers nationwide purchasing motor vehicle insurance.

    Customers have the opportunity to win one First Prize of Honda Airblade 2017 (magnetic paint version) and three consolation prizes: Apple iPhone 6s with 32GB.

    To participate in the promotion, customers who buy auto insurance from VNI can enter the security code printed on the VNI certificate with: VNI*Security code* Car number plate then send to 8069 (For example: VNI * 123456 * 30E54589).

    VNI will pick a random security code on January 1, 2018 to determine the winners.
    Winners will be published within 30 days at the headquarters of VNI and announced in the media. They will be notified directly by VNI via email or phone and their names can be viewed on VNI’s website and at VNI outlets nationwide or heard by calling 1900 969 690.

    According to VNI, demand for renewing motor vehicle insurance increases at the end of the year. As VNI is looking forward to its 10th anniversary, the promotional program is being held to express its gratitude to customers who trusted in the company over the years. 

    Digiworld acquires stake in FMCG company

    The Digiworld Venture Company Limited, a subsidiary of the Digiworld Corporation, has recently completed a merger & acquisition (M&A) deal to purchase a 50.3 per cent stake in the CL Company Ltd., a fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) concern in Vietnam.

    According to its third quarter business report, consolidated after-tax profit for the third quarter was $1.2 million on net revenues of $50.4 million, up 14.2 per cent and 10 per cent quarter-on-quarter, respectively.

    Revenue was $118.7 million in the first nine months and after-tax profit $2.5 million.
    The third quarter saw robust earnings growth thanks to the exploitation of market expansion services (MES), bringing in more added value to new product lines, Digiworld noted in a statement. It acquired the 50.3 per cent of CL via its subsidiary, Digiworld Venture.

    Founded in 1998, CL specializes in distributing high-end FMCG products from Japan such as Kodomo toothpaste, Zact Lion whitening toothpaste, Systema toothbrushes, Essense detergent liquid, Bio Zip detergent powder, and Bubbi King dishwashing liquid. Its distribution network covers all 63 cities and provinces in Vietnam, including traditional channels and major supermarket chains.

    CL is also known as the exclusive partner of the Lion Corporation, the leading Japanese corporation in FMCG with annual revenues of more than $3.4 billion and a staff of nearly 6,900. Lion’s portfolio includes oral care, body care, clothing care, home care, kitchen care, and other healthcare and beauty care products. Lion’s toothpaste is renowned for being the top selling product in Japan.

    With its distribution network and Lion’s diversified and reputable product portfolio, this will be the ultimate platform for Digiworld to quickly penetrate, expand, and exploit the promising industry in the future.

    Digiworld also announced in August its entry into the local healthcare industry with the debut of its first product, Kingsmen, a supplement for men exclusively distributed by the company. 

    Along with developing its distribution network, Digiworld has set a revenue target for the product line of more than $3.5 million this year, $17.6 million next year, and $44 million in 2019.

    Dulux Professional sponsors Vietnam Property Award 2018

    Dulux Professional, a consolidated paints and coatings solution for professional customers by leading global paints and coating company AkzoNobel, officially became the “Silver Sponsor” of Vietnam Property Awards 2018.

    Under the auspices of this award, Dulux Professional will cooperate with Vietnamese companies to create an interesting playground for high-quality and prestigious real estate projects.

    Leading decorative paints brand Dulux works to grow and strengthen its relations with urban development experts, architects, and investors as well as introduce new outstanding products of the Dulux professional portfolio to customers interested in an environmentally certified product with improved and innovative features, such as easy application, high durability, optimal protection in all weather conditions. A leader in sustainability, Dulux Professional is a prominent name in the green architecture scene sweeping across Vietnam.

    Nguyen Cong Hai, head of marketing at AkzoNobel Paints Vietnam, said that the company always focuses on the sustainable development of Vietnamese enterprises because sustainability is the reason behind AkzoNobel’s success.

    Equipped with an extensive knowledge of sector specifications and regulations, AkzoNobel is proud to support construction and real estate developments in Vietnam by offering a one-stop paints and coatings contact point for industry professionals.

    “Vietnam Property Awards 2018 is a bridge to connect Dulux Professional with businesses as well as the public, giving an opportunity for Dulux Professional to affirm and strengthen its position in the market with optimal, sustainable, and efficient solutions for products and services for the project channel,” Hai added.

    Vietnam Property Awards is a part of the regional Asia Property Awards programme established in 2005. The aim of the awards is to honor the highest quality projects in interior design and creative architecture as well as to recognise the efforts of real estate developers in their commitment to the market.

    AkzoNobel creates everyday essentials to make people's lives more livable and inspiring. As a leading global paints and coatings company and a major producer of specialty chemicals, the company supplies essential ingredients, essential protection and essential colour to industries and consumers worldwide.

    Backed by a pioneering heritage, the company’s innovative products and sustainable technologies are designed to meet the growing demands of our fast-changing planet, while at the same time striving to make life easier.

    Headquartered in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, it has approximately 45,000 employees in around 80 countries, while its portfolio includes well-known brands, such as Dulux, Sikkens, International, Interpon, and Eka. Consistently ranked as a leader in sustainability, AkzoNobel is dedicated to energising cities and communities while creating a protected, colourful world where life is improved by what the company does.

    Cashew nut exports expected to exceed US$3 billion

    Việt Nam’s cashew nut exports are forecast to surpass the US$3 billion benchmark for the first time in 2017 thanks to increasing shipments in the first ten months of the year.

    According to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, cashew nuts raked in $2.87 billion from 289,000 tonnes, down 0.4 per cent in volume but up 23.1 per cent in value.

    With this growth, the country’s export revenue of cashew nuts is likely to hit some $3.4-3.5 billion in 2017.

    The result is spurred by a surge in both prices and demands. Việt Nam experienced a poor cashew crop during 2016-17 with productivity of 250,000 tonnes, thus cashew nuts has been sold at higher prices, average $9,909 per tonnes in nine-month period ending in September, an increase of 25.1 per cent year on year.

    Vietnam Cashew Association (Vinacash) Chairman Nguyễn Đức Thành said that export prices of cashew nuts in the nine months reached a record high, resulting in significant growth in export revenue from key markets like the US (34.7 per cent), the Netherlands (45.2 per cent), China (9.1 per cent) and the UK (4.6 per cent).

    Notably, Vietnamese cashew nuts have captured a lion’s share of the US market with 73.7 per cent and the Netherlands with 65.2 per cent, he noted.

    Despite a considerable increase in cashew nut prices, demands for the product are growing. The International Nut and Dried Fruit Council (INC) said that global cashew nut demands rose 6.1 per cent per year while cashew productivity only picked up 3.5 per cent per year.

    Thành said that it is crucial to develop a national brand for Vietnamese cashew nuts, given that although Vietnamese cashew exports occupied half of the world’s volume and value, foreign consumers believed that all cashew products are originated from India.

    Retail loan profits drive bank stocks

    Vietnamese lenders are heading towards high earnings in 2017 and 2018, resulting in a positive outlook for their stocks and capital raising plans.

    Things have been going quite well for Vietnamese lenders this year, after long periods of struggle and internal restructuring. In the first half of 2017, credit expanded by 9.12 per cent compared to the beginning of the year, driven by retail loans. Lending in foreign currencies went up by 11.5 per cent during the same period, 10 times higher than the growth pace of 2016. Deposits grew modestly, but were offset by the VND160 trillion ($7 billion) parked in the system by the State Treasury of Vietnam.

    Reports from the National Financial Supervision Council (NSFC) show that after-tax profits of the entire banking sector reached VND40 trillion ($1.7 billion) in the first seven months of 2017, up 60 per cent year-on-year. The system’s net interest margin, which is the difference between lending and deposit rates, stepped up to 2.9 per cent. A switch to retail lending is the main reason for this higher spread in net interest, the reports pointed out.

    Another major update is Resolution No.42/2017/QH14, which is expected to accelerate the process of solving non-performing loans. According to Saigon Securities Incorporation (SSI), banks are making bolder moves to address this chronic problem, including using reserves to write off sour loans and speeding up their sale to Vietnam Asset Management Company.

    “Overall, we expect strong growth for banks in the second half of 2017 and in 2018, thanks to prolonged credit expansion, aggressive measures to tackle bad debt, and stronger corporate governance to follow Basel II,” read the NSFC report.

    Analysts from Viet Dragon Securities believe that some commercial banks like Military Bank or Asia Commercial Bank have almost fulfilled their obligations for special bonds, paving the way for strong growth in earnings in 2017 and 2018.

    These positive prospects are already reflected on the banks’ stock prices this year. The share prices of most commercial banks have grown by rates between 30 and 80 per cent year-on-year, and trading volume was high. The market also welcomed newcomers such as Vietnam International Bank, Kienlongbank, LienVietPost Bank and, most notably, Vietnam Prosperity Bank, which raised $1.2 billion from 78 foreign investors before the listing.

    Vinh Tuan Ngo, head of investment banking at Viet Capital Securities, told VIR that the upcoming listing of Techcombank will be the biggest ever in the Vietnamese financial sector. The bank is slated to make its public debut in the second quarter of 2018, and has locked in its foreign ownership limit to seek strategic investors from abroad.

    “Banking will be among the most attractive sectors in Vietnam next year. Previously, bank stocks in Vietnam traded below their book value as investors were concerned about various issues in the sector. However, after the recent wave of listings and a more positive earnings outlook, bank shares have been doing much better. It will be easier for the banks to find foreign investors,” said Ngo.

    Researchers from SSI believe that stricter capital requirements from Basel II will force Vietnamese banks to increase their funding, which includes issuing more bonds and searching for strategic investors. Most recently, Bank of Investment and Development of Vietnam, one of the state-owned lenders, was in negotiations with a potential partner, while LienVietPost Bank is seeking strategic investors from overseas.

    That said, the 30 per cent cap on foreign-owned shares remains a major drawback for Vietnamese banks when seeking foreign capital, according to Ngo. This rule has been relaxed for smaller, indebted lenders but not for profitable banks, which are usually the targets for overseas investors.

    For state-owned lenders, analysts at SSI emphasise that the government plans to own more than 50 per cent of outstanding shares, but also 65 per cent of voting shares. This implies that there might be some form of non-voting shares in these banks, giving hope to foreign investors who are restricted by the banks’ small amount of free-floating shares.

    Vietnamese goods favoured in RoK

    Made-in-Vietnam goods are more competitive than those of other Asian countries in the Republic of Korea (RoK) thanks to the effective implementation of the Vietnam-RoK and ASEAN-RoK free trade agreements, experts said at a workshop in Ho Chi Minh City on November 2.

    Apart from making use of preferential tariffs, Vietnamese businesses are aware of the significance of studying the market and investing in designs to create high-quality products.

    Notably, Vietnam’s southern economic hub of Ho Chi Minh City has many opportunities to expand its presence in the RoK.

    According to the municipal Department of Industry and Trade, the RoK is the fifth biggest importer of the city, making up nearly five percent of its total export turnover.
    HCM City mainly exports garment-textile, footwear, electronic products and spare parts, computers, wood and timber products.

    In the first ten months of 2017, the city exported 29.15 billion USD worth of goods through the country’s border gates, a year-on-year rise of 13.3 percent.

    Deputy Director of the department Nguyen Huynh Trang said Vietnam has signed 12 free trade agreements, including 10 effective ones.

    To promote exports to the RoK, Vietnamese firms should address shortcomings in packaging and papers declaration and map out a proper strategy to increase competitiveness in the market, she suggested.

    Cashew nut exports expected to exceed 3 billion USD

    Vietnam’s cashew nut exports are forecast to surpass the 3 billion USD benchmark for the first time in 2017 thanks to increasing shipments in the first ten months of the year.

    According to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, cashew nuts raked in 2.87 billion USD from 289,000 tonnes, down 0.4 percent in volume but up 23.1 percent in value.

    With this growth, the country’s export revenue of cashew nuts is likely to hit some 3.4-3.5 billion USD in 2017.

    The result is spurred by a surge in both prices and demands. Vietnam experienced a poor cashew crop during 2016-2017 with productivity of 250,000 tonnes, thus cashew nuts has been sold at higher prices, average 9,909 USD per tonnes in nine-month period ending in September, an increase of 25.1 percent year on year.

    Vietnam Cashew Association (Vinacash) Chairman Nguyen Duc Thanh said that export prices of cashew nuts in the nine months reached a record high, resulting in significant growth in export revenue from key markets like the US (34.7 percent), the Netherlands (45.2 percent), China (9.1 percent) and the UK (4.6 percent).

    Notably, Vietnamese cashew nuts have captured a lion’s share of the US market with 73.7 percent and the Netherlands with 65.2 percent, he noted.

    Despite a considerable increase in cashew nut prices, demands for the product are growing. The International Nut and Dried Fruit Council (INC) said that global cashew nut demands rose 6.1 percent per year while cashew productivity only picked up 3.5 percent per year.

    Thanh said that it is crucial to develop a national brand for Vietnamese cashew nuts, given that although Vietnamese cashew exports occupied half of the world’s volume and value, foreign consumers believed that all cashew products are originated from India.

    Vietnam – Potential market for foreign food firms

    Vietnam has been considered as a “fertile land” for foreign food firms as many trademarks from the Republic of Korea (RoK), Japan and Thailand are seeking ways to penetrate the 93 million-strong market.

    Statistics from the Vietnam Retailers’ Association (VRA) showed that the country’s food consumption in the 2011-2016 period reached about 30 billion USD with two-digit growth predicted in the future.

    Han Kyung Joon, Vice Director of the Korea Trade and Investment Promotion Agency (KOTRA), said that after with the Korea-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (KVFTA) became effective in 2015, Korean enterprises have switched their focus from the Chinese market to Vietnam in an effort to boost the export of consumer goods.

    Along with merging and acquisition deals with high value, a strong wave of Korean investments has been seen in Vietnam’s food and beverage market.

    On October 31, a delegation of businesses operating in the food and beverage industry from the RoK’s Jeju visited Ho Chi Minh City to seek Vietnamese distributors. The Ho Chi Minh City Branch of the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) said that the visit was a success.

    At the beginning of the second quarter, RoK’s K-FOORAND ZONE opened its shop in Lotte Mart in Ho Chi Minh City, marking an expansion of Korean food coverage in Vietnam.

    On November 8, the second Food and Beverage Exhibition 2017 will be held in Hanoi after the first one in August in Ho Chi Minh City where the RoK took the lead in the number of participating enterprises.

    Japanese food brands are also deploying plans to bring their products into the Vietnamese market. Takimoto Koji, head of the Japan External Trade Organisation (JETRO) in Ho Chi Minh City, said Vietnam is the first country chosen by Japan in its campaign to export more food to the world.

    Since late 2016, JETRO has cooperated with some distributors of Ministop, FamilyMart and Aeon in Vietnam to sell Japanese food. JETRO plans to increase food exports by 30 percent next year from the current amount of 10 million USD.

    A report released by StoxPlus in 2016 showed that in 2015-2016, the majority of merging and acquisition deals in the processed food market of Vietnam came from Asian investors, including those from Japan, Thailand and the RoK.

    Vietnam takes 2nd place to no one in organising APEC 2017: diplomat

    Vietnam takes second place to no one in the organisation of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum, former Canadian Ambassador to Vietnam David Devine has told the Ottawa-based Vietnam News Agency correspondent.

    He said hosting APEC 2017 is a great honour but also big responsibility for Vietnam. The country expects to welcome representatives from the 21 member economies and leading businesses in the region to discuss important issues in the Asian-Pacific region.

    The diplomat highlighted APEC objectives, including the connection of member economies for mutual benefits.

    He also anticipated difficulties, including trade protectionism, which need to be addressed.

    For Vietnam, the country has gained achievements thanks to the implementation of the “Doi moi” (reform) policy since 1986, he said, adding that Vietnam has the strongest growth pace than any other country around the world.

    He also called on APEC leaders to reiterate their commitments to fulfilling the Bogor goals for realising free and open trade in Asia-Pacific by 2020.

    Established in 1989, APEC comprises Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, China, Hong Kong (China), Indonesia, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Peru, the Philippines, Russia, Singapore, Chinese Taipei, Thailand, the US, and Vietnam.

    The year 2017 sees the second time Vietnam has played host to the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum after 19 years of being a member of the forum.

    Themed “Creating New Dynamism, Fostering a Shared Future”, the APEC Year 2017 aims to seek dynamism for integration, connectivity, and economic growth and realise the long-term goals of “fostering a shared future” of peace, stability, development and prosperity.

    The APEC Economic Leaders’ Week, the most important external event in Vietnam, is scheduled to take place in the central city of Da Nang from November 4-11 with the participation of leaders from the 21 member economies along with over 2,000 leading corporate executives and nearly 3,000 reporters in the region and around the world.

    Vietnamese exhibitors take part in Havana Int’l Fair

    Some 20 Vietnamese exhibitors are participating in the 35th Havana International Fair (FIHAV 2017) in the capital city of Cuba from October 30 to November 3.

    The businesses bring to the fair a wide range of made-in-Vietnam products including farm produce, processed foods, dairy products, clothing, sports instrument, building materials, bathroom fixtures, traditional handicrafts, beauty products and others.

    According to the Vietnam Trade Promotion Agency (Vietrade), the event, the largest ever in the region, hosts a 300-sqm Vietnam Pavilion of 30 booths which has been visited by a number of businesses from Central America, Caribbean, Africa and the Middle East to look for partnership opportunity.

    The fair witnessed the signing of a memorandum of understanding between the Thai Binh Investment and Trading Corporation (Thai Binh) from Vietnam and TRD Group from Cuba, facilitating the opening of a showroom for building materials in Cuba and the launch of the Vietnam-La Sortija House selling imported goods from Vietnam.

    The FIHAV attracted about 3,400 exhibitors from 70 countries and territories this year.

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


    0 0
  • 11/06/17--01:27: Article 0
  • Death toll from Vietnam storm nears 50

    The death toll from the typhoon that struck Vietnam at the weekend has risen to at least 49

     
    People ride motorcycles along flooded road after typhoon Damrey hits Vietnam in Hue city, Vietnam November 5, 2017. Photo: Reuters

    The death toll from the typhoon that struck Vietnam at the weekend has risen to at least 49, the government said on Monday.

    After Typhoon Damrey’s winds tore off roofs, felled trees and ripped up electricity poles, heavy rains brought floods to central Vietnam just days before the region is due to host the APEC summit of Asia-Pacific leaders.

    The state’s Steering Committee for Disaster Prevention said 49 people had been killed and 27 were missing. It did not say how the victims died, but said most casualties were in Khan Hoa province near the city of Nha Trang, where the storm made landfall on Saturday.

     ​Death toll from Vietnam storm nears 50
    People go along flooded road after typhoon Damrey hits Vietnam in Hue city, Vietnam November 5, 2017. Photo: Reuters


    Nearly 2,000 homes had collapsed and more than 80,000 had been damaged, it said. Roads that had been flooded or washed away caused traffic jams across several provinces.

    In Danang, authorities called on soldiers and local people to clean up after the rains so that the beach resort would be ready for delegates to the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) meetings, which started on Monday.

    Although the rain continued, organizers said the schedule had not been disrupted.

     ​Death toll from Vietnam storm nears 50
    Officials sail a boat out of a submerged local government building after typhoon Damrey hits Vietnam in Hue city, Vietnam November 5, 2017. Photo: Reuters

    Danang will host U.S. President Donald Trump from Nov. 10, as well as China’s President Xi Jinping, Russia’s President Vladimir Putin and counterparts from other APEC members.

    The storm moved from the coastal area into a key coffee-growing region of the world’s biggest producer of robusta coffee beans. The typhoon had damaged some coffee trees at the start of the harvest season, farm officials said. But farmers in Daklak, the heart of the region, said the damage was limited.

    Floods killed more than 80 people in northern Vietnam last month, while a typhoon wreaked havoc in central provinces in September. The country of more than 90 million people is prone to destructive storms and flooding due to its long coastline.

     ​Death toll from Vietnam storm nears 50
    A man pushes his motorcycle along flooded road after typhoon Damrey hits Vietnam in Hue city, Vietnam November 5, 2017. Photo: Reuters

      By Reuters 


    0 0
  • 11/07/17--00:37: Article 2
  • BUSINESS IN BRIEF 7/11


    Quang Ninh needs special administrative-economic unit


     Quang Ninh needs special administrative-economic unit, Japanese firms expand investment in Vietnam, New regulation puts the squeeze on Vietnamese car importers, Zara and H&M to discount all items at Hanoi debut

    The north-eastern border province of Quang Ninh needs a special administrative-economic unit with specific preferential mechanism to make the best use of local advantages, and attract investment, high technology and new advanced management to build a high-growth region and speed up economic restructuring and development.

    Deputy head of the management board of Quang Ninh economic zone Hoang Trung Kien said the building of Van Don special administrative-economic unit is suitable with the global development trend. So far, Van Don has attracted 51 trillion VND (2.24 billion USD) from big investors in various fields such as transport infrastructure, tourism and services, he noted.

    Sun Group has been selected to be Quang Ninh’s strategic investor in socio-economic development and building Van Don into a “special economic region”, he said, adding that the group has poured investment in a number of major projects, including the Van Don international airport, which was constructed under the build-operation-transfer (BOT) form on an area of around 400 hectares in Doan Ket commune. The nearly two-billion-USD project is expected to be put into operation in mid-2018.

    The group has also been investing in building a hi-end resort complex in Van Don with a casino, a 2,000-room five-star hotel, a conference hall, and a trade centre.

    Other big investors, including Viglacera corporation, is investing in a hi-end resort area of Quan Lan island with 150 rooms, while CEO Group and FLC Group are nurturing ambitious plans in Van Don district.

    Vice Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee Nguyen Van Thanh said Quang Ninh is confident with the Van Don special administrative-economic unit project, adding that local preferential policies are drawing much attention from investors.

    Meanwhile, Vice Chairman of the People’s Committee of Van Don district To Van Hai said Van Don boasts favourable conditions to build a special administrative-economic unit, including its strategic political, economic and geographical position as lying along the strategic transit route from East Asia to Southeast Asia and ASEAN-China, a rapid growth area and one of the most dynamic development centers in the world.

    Additionally, the transport infrastructure is being improved, notably the Hanoi-Hai Phong-Ha Long-Van Don-Mong Cai expressway, the Van Don international airport, and the Hon Net-Con Ong seaport which is 21 meters deep and capable of receiving 150,000 DWT ships.

    The Government has decided to initially develop three special administrative-economic units - Van Don in northern Quang Ninh province, Bac Van Phong in central Khanh Hoa and Phu Quoc in southern Kien Giang.

    The Van Don special administrative-economic unit project defines key industries of tourism-service, industry and agriculture. In the first phrase (2018-2022), the project will focus on casino entertainment tourism, seaport, aviation, trade, international shopping centers, innovation technology, and start-up centers, while the second phrase (2023-2026) will feature parks, fisheries, aquatic processing, logistics services, education and training, financial services, and healthcare. The third phrase (2027-2030) will aim at biological technology, green technology, and hi-tech agriculture.

    Special administrative-economic units are magnet for investment, high technology and advanced management mode for the formation of a high growth area that generates more resources and accelerates local economic restructuring and development.

    Japanese firms expand investment in Vietnam

    Vietnam’s improving investment climate has made the country become an alluring destination for Japanese investors who commit to furthering investment in the Southeast Asian nation in the future.

    Some 3,600 Japanese investment projects landed in Vietnam by the end of September with total registered capital of 46.1 billion USD. Japanese investment alone accounted for 14 percent and 14.8 percent of the country’s total projects and registered capital, respectively.

    Giant investors include Honda, Toyota, Canon, Mitsubishi, Yamaha, Sumitomo and AEON. The groups have enjoyed robust operation and business results and they are increasingly expanding investment in Vietnam.
     
    Honda Group is an example, from one factory in Vinh Phuc province, the group has set up three motorbike manufacturing factories and one automobile manufacturing plant. Meanwhile, Canon Group established two new plants at Que Vo and Tien Son industrial parks in Bac Ninh province following the first plant in Thang Long industrial zone.

    Despite attracting attention from Japanese enterprises, Vietnamese economic experts noted that the undeveloped support industry remains a bottleneck in the country’s business environment.

    They said that Canon Vietnam has to pay 40 million USD to import spare parts for production, resulting in time and money consuming of the enterprise.

    Along with promoting investment in support industry, the Foreign Investment Agency under the Ministry of Investment will join hands with Japan to carry out the industrialisation plan until 2020 with vision towards 2030 in the framework of the Vietnam-Japan Joint Initiative.

    Accordingly, they will work to put forth cooperation in six branches: electronics, agricultural machineries, agro-fishery processing, ship building, environment and energy saving, and automobile spare parts.-

    Dong Nai: 1.7 billion USD in trade surplus in ten months

    The southern province of Dong Nai enjoyed a trade surplus of 1.7 billion USD in the January-October period, according to the provincial statistic office.

    The country’s exports in the first ten months of this year totalled at over 13.8 billion USD, up 11.3 percent from the same time last year. Of the figure, 11.9 billion USD was contributed by the foreign-invested sector, over 1.7 billion USD by the non-State economic sector and 170 million USD by the State economic sector.

    Groups of products seeing high export values comprised footwear (262 million USD, up 25 percent), garment (164 million USD, up 8.2 percent), fiber (121 million USD, up 6.18 percent), wood products (115 million USD, up 8.8 percent) and machineries and spare parts (103 million USD, up 4.1 percent).

    Meanwhile, the province’s import turnover was over 12.1 billion USD, a year-on-year increase of 12.2 percent. The State economic sector contributed 87 million USD, while the non-State economic sector and the foreign-invested sector made up 1.56 billion USD and 10.4 billion USD, respectively.

    Items seeing high import turnover were chemicals (450 million USD, up 12.2 percent), plastic materials (981 million USD, up 17.4 percent) and computers and electronic equipment (over 456 million USD, up 25.3 percent).

    Deputy PM backs Belgian firms expanding investment in VN
       
    Deputy Prime Minister Vuong Dinh Hue received Mayor of the Belgian city of Ostend Johan Vande Lanotte in Ha Noi on Thursday.

    At the meeting, the Deputy PM said the Vietnamese Government is committed to building a transparent and open business climate to facilitate investment.

    He stressed Viet Nam supports Belgian investors to operate in Viet Nam, carry out market research, and invest in local green energy projects.

    Viet Nam expects European and Belgian enterprises to help accelerate the signing and ratification of the Viet Nam–EU free trade agreement for mutual benefits, he added.

    For his part, Johan Vande Lanotte, former Belgian Deputy Prime Minister, said Belgian businesses want to expand their operations in Viet Nam and highlighted his support towards the ratification and implementation of the Viet Nam–EU FTA.

    Thua Thien-Hue attracts $96m investment
       
    The central province of Thua Thien-Hue has attracted 11 more projects with total registered capital of over VND2.18 trillion (US$96 million) during the first ten months of this year.

    So far, industrial parks (IPs) and economic zones (EZs) in the province have attracted a total of 147 projects with total registered capital of VND65.75 trillion. This includes 34 foreign-invested projects with total registered capital of $1.37 billion.

    Notable licensed projects include the Suoi Voi ecological tourist project, invested in by Hoa Lu-Hue Investment, Trading and Service Co Ltd, with registered capital of VND218.2 billion, spanning an area of 51.1ha. The other is a granite tile factory, owned by Vitto Phu Loc Company, with a capacity of 7.2 million sq.m of tile per year and registered capital of VND610.9 billion, spanning an area of 10ha.

    Of the total registered capital poured into the province in the first ten months of this year, capital worth VND2 trillion was disbursed. This figure for the whole year is estimated to reach VND2.6 trillion, equivalent to 74.3 per cent of the yearly plan.

    In the last two months of this year, the Management Boards of Thua Thien-Hue IPs and EZs will give licences to four more projects with total registered capital of VND6.5 trillion.

    They comprise the Dang Kim Long Thua Thien - Hue tourism service complex invested by Dang Kim Long Co Ltd, with registered capital of VND3.7 trillion; the expansion project of the Mediterranean Legend Resort owned by Vicoland Development & Construction Group JSC, with registered capital of VND1.8 trillion; the urban area and tourism project backed by Vinaconex’s Infrastructure Development and Investment Construction JSC, with registered capital of VND908 billion; and a project producing textile raw materials financed by Song Thien Long Co Ltd, with registered capital of VND37 billion.

    The Chan May – Lang Co Economic Zone in Thua Thien – Hue province has so far attracted 43 projects with total investment of nearly VND40 trillion.

    Among them is the second phase of the Laguna eco-tourism site, worth some $1.1 billion, developed by Singapore’s Banyan Tree Group and a consortium of others run by the Saigon Investment Group and the Viet Nam National Oil and Gas Group.

    Another is Chan May Port’s Wharf No 2 project backed by Chan May Port Joint Stock Company with registered capital of VND849 billion, spanning an area of 14ha. Construction of the wharf will begin in February 2018.

    In September 2018, Chan May Port’s Wharf No 3 will be set up by the Hao Hung Hue One Member Limited Liability Company. It is expected that by 2020, Chan May Port will have a total of three wharfs, enabling it to serve large cruises and accommodate vessels of up to 50,000 DWT (deadweight tonnage).

    Chan May Port is located between the two largest cities in the central region – Hue and Da Nang. The port also lies on the main sea route linking Singapore, the Philippines, Hong Kong (China) and Viet Nam. It is among 46 seaports in Southeast Asia selected by the Asia Cruise Association as a stopover for cruise ships.

    The port can now accommodate vessel of up to 30,000 DWT and cruise ships carrying 3,000-4,000 passengers each.

    In 2018, the Management Board of Chan May - Lang Co Economic Zone will strive to lure investment into 18 new projects in the fields of industry, tourism, infrastructure of industrial parks, non-tariff areas and urban areas, with total estimated capital of VND5 trillion.

    Thua Thien – Hue Province will manage to increase the occupancy rate of Chan May - Lang Co EZ to 32 per cent in 2018.

    In order to support businesses in attracting investment, the Management Board of Chan May - Lang Co EZ has focused on creating favourable conditions and removing difficulties and obstacles for investors in order to make sure that the projects are implemented on schedule. For large projects, the board has set up working groups, in co-operation with the investor, local People’s Committee and related departments and agencies to quickly resolve issues arising in site clearance.

    In 2017, together with the promotion of investment attraction, the Management Boards of Thua Thien-Hue EZs and IPs have repeatedly reviewed delayed projects to timely and resolutely handle cases of projects that show signs of inability to be implemented, and withdrawing investment licences if needed to re-allocate them to other potential investors.

    SHB posts $59.1m pre-tax profit in 9 months
       
    Sai Gon-Ha Noi Commercial Joint Stock Bank (SHB) on Wednesday posted pre-tax profit of over VND1.33 trillion (US$59.1 million) in the first nine months of the year.

    This was an increase of 69 per cent from the same period last year.

    The bank said the high profit was due to its strong growth in services, especially bancassurance.

    SHB’s financial report revealed that its other important financial criteria saw high growth rate from the corresponding period last year and were expected to surpass the set target for 2017.

    Its total assets reached more than VND265.3 trillion, while capital mobilisation was VND212 trillion, meeting with 97.55 per cent of the whole year’s target. The results have helped the bank ensure liquidity, stability and sustainable growth.

    Its total outstanding loans were VND191.7 trillion, up 18 per cent from the beginning of the year. Loans were focused on sectors with less risk and prioritised by the Government, such as agriculture, export, processing, manufacturing and hi-tech industries.

    The bank’s chartered capital reached nearly VND11.2 trillion. The State Bank of Viet Nam (SBV) allowed SHB to increase its chartered capital to over VND12 trillion, which was approved at this year’s SHB shareholder meeting.

    SHB said it had targeted safe and sustainable development as its first priority. Its safe indexes have always met the central bank’s standards. Its Capital Adequacy Ratio reached 12.15 per cent, which was higher than SBV’s stipulation.

    SHB expanded its network this year to Ha Nam, Ha Tinh, Dak Lak, Binh Dinh and Tay Ninh provinces. The bank will also open a new representative office in Myanmar to increase its presence in Southeast Asia.

    The bank currently has 7,000 employees and 500 transaction points in Viet Nam, Laos and Cambodia to serve some four million customers.

    State treasury raises $133.3 million from bond auction
       
    The State Treasury of Viet Nam on Wednesday raised VND3 trillion (US$133.3 million) from Government bond auctions, raising the total value of bond issuance to VND156.2 trillion since the beginning of the year.

    Four tenures were offered for auction at the Ha Noi Stock Exchange - five-year and 10-year-term bonds valued at VND1 trillion each, and seven-year and 30-year-term bonds valued at VND500 billion each.

    Of the four types, the auction of seven-year bonds drew the attention of 12 market members. The bonds were sold at the average yield rate of 4.85 per cent per year, slightly higher than the rate during the previous auction on October 25.

    Auction of 10-year and 30-year bonds attracted nine and seven market members, respectively. The bonds were sold at average yield rates of 5.42 per cent and 6.1 per cent per year, respectively. The rates were the same as those on October 25.

    In October, the Ha Noi Stock Exchange held 15 Government bond auctions, raising total VNĐ7.51 trillion for the State treasury – a monthly increase of 45.5 per cent.

    The annual yield rates were 4.5-4.65 per cent for five-year bonds, 4.83 per cent for seven-year bonds, 5.42-5.9 per cent for 10-year bonds and 6.2 per cent for 15-year bonds.

    Compared with September, five-year and seven-year bonds saw their yield rates down, while the figure for 10-year bonds was up.

    Also in October, the secondary Government bond market saw total outright trading volume reach over 952 million bonds, worth VND104.6 trillion – a monthly decrease of 10.9 per cent.

    Total bonds that were traded through repurchase agreement (repo) trading reached nearly 1.05 billion, worth VND106.1 trillion – an increase of 17.7 per cent month-on-month.

    Foreign investors purchased bonds worth a total of VND4.5 trillion through outright trading and bought none through repo trading. They sold more bonds worth more than VND4.8 trillion through outright trades and VND345 billion through repo trades.

    New regulation puts the squeeze on Vietnamese car importers

    While erecting technical barriers to hinder the flow of imported cars, Vietnam plans to cut taxes imposed on locally-made vehicles to boost its auto industry.

    Nguyen Dinh Thanh, the owner of a car dealership in Hanoi’s Long Bien District, is in danger of going out of business when a new decree regulating automobile imports takes effect next year.

    The decree stipulates that traders will only be permitted to import automobiles if they can provide valid vehicle registration certificates issued by authorities from the countries of origin.

    Original quality control certificates for each vehicle and letters of authorization regarding recalls of defective vehicles from the manufacturers will also be required, along with copies of quality assurance certificates provided by the countries of origin.

    “The requirements are too strict for car dealerships to meet,” Thanh said, worrying that the dealership that has fed his family and dozens of workers over the last 10 years will have to close.

    “We will import 40 more units before the decree takes effect (January 1, 2018). When they are sold out, maybe in two months, we will have to shut down the business.”

    Thanh is not the only car dealer concerned about the new regulations.

    Nguyen Tuan, director of auto dealership Thien Phuc An, said: “It is very difficult to get copies of quality assurance certificates for imported cars from foreign authorities. Only official distributors and subsidiaries of manufacturers in Vietnam can get them.”

    “Small traders who import cars through sub-agents or a third country are unable to do this,” he added.

    Another requirement that requires enterprises to have one car from each batch of imports technically accredited in Vietnam will cost importers more time and money, he said. “Businesses may have to spend weeks and up to VND100 million (US$4,340) to complete the accreditation procedure.”

    Under current regulations, only one certificate is required for each model of car, regardless of how many batches are imported.

    Pham Anh Tuan, head of the strategic planning department at Toyota Vietnam, said foreign authorities only provide quality assurance certificates for cars sold in their own countries, not for those that are exported. This is the same in Vietnam.

    In some countries, authorities do not issue these certificates at all. In the United States, for example, car manufacturers are responsible for quality control, and government agencies only take over after the assembly line, he said.

    Thanh urged the government to change the policy so that car dealerships can survive. He said it would be a waste of money if car dealers had to shut down after making huge investments. Thousands of employees would also lose their jobs, he added.
       
    Zara and H&M to discount all items at Hanoi debut

    On November 8, on the first day of opening in Hanoi, both Zara and H&M will offer customers to join a complementary discount for all items at their stores in the capital.

    The discount programmes aim to celebrate their first stores in Hanoi, which are the companies' second in Vietnam. To celebrate this momentous event, the two fashion stores invite customers to join the discounts of up to 25 per cent at the Zara store and 20 per cent at the H&M store.

    These stores will showcase the latest menswear, women’s clothing, footwear, undergarment, and accessories product lines, as well as products for kids.

    Zara has spent several months preparing for the opening of its store in Hanoi's Vincom Center Ba Trieu, including employee recruitment and site selection. By now, all preparation work has been completed.

    Zara came to Vietnam last September with the first store at Vincom Dong Khoi, Ho Chi Minh City, covering 2,400 square metres. The store reportedly achieved sales of VND5.5 billion ($246,000) on its first day.

    Vietnam promises great opportunities for Zara as the majority of the population is in the young-to middle-aged bracket. The rapid urbanisation and globalisation in Vietnam has seen the number of consumers who care about international high-street fashion increase dramatically.

    Zara made the decision to enter the market because of the potential brought by more and more young Vietnamese pursuing fashion that is not readily available in the country.

    Established in Spain in 1975, Zara now has 2,213 stores strategically located in leading cities across 93 countries. The brand is popular thanks to its diversified products and reasonable prices.

    Currently, Zara Vietnam is in the top 5 of Zara’s highest revenue stores across the world. This is seen as strong motivation for other fashion brands, such as Uniqlo and Forever21, to approach the Vietnamese fashion market.

    Regarding H&M, situated in Vincom Mega Mall Royal City in Hanoi, its second store in Vietnam is planned to target the same market segment of affordable fashion as the first one in Ho Chi Minh City.

    The brand’s spokesperson shared that H&M is searching for new locations for store openings, without disclosing any further leads on the business plan. To boot, the brand promises to launch new designs at reasonable prices, which is likely a business strategy to compete with Zara’s store.

    Fredrik Famm, H&M’s country manager for Southeast Asia, said that the fashion brand was off for a great start at the debut in Ho Chi Minh City and is counting down to the opening in the capital.

    Fredrik also noted that H&M planned to deliver unique shopping experiences to fashionistas in Hanoi as well as customers supporting the brand by purchasing H&M products from overseas.

    H&M’s first store was opened in on September 9, 2017, situated in Vincom Dong Khoi, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City, a two-storey 2,200-sq.m flagship.

    According to the brand’s representative, the debut witnessed a record number of 4,000 customers queuing up for the opening and a total of 10,000 customers visiting on the opening day.

    With two stores in the two metropolitan cities, Vietnam is H&M’s sixty-eighth market and the fourth in the Southeast Asia.

    Retail sales and services reach almost $143 billion

    The total revenue from retail sales and services topped US$142.9 billion during the first 10 months of 2017, surging 10.7 per cent year-on-year, according to the General Statistics Office (GSO).

    Excluding inflation, the increase would be 9.4 per cent, reaching the highest rate this year, GSO said. It was the second consecutive month with a growth rate of more than 9 per cent.

    The growth showed that people’s purchasing power is improving and it is likely to remain stable this year, the office said.

    Travel services, and sale of wooden products and building materials showed the highest growth rate at 15.2 per cent and 13.5 per cent, respectively, in the first 10 months of this year.

    This was followed by retail sales in accommodation, restaurant and catering services with a growth rate of 12.5 per cent, revenue from food and foodstuffs showed a growth of 10.5 per cent, and education and cultural products of 9.9 per cent.

    Other products that showed growth in revenue included textile and garments at 9.8 per cent, home appliances at 8.8 per cent, and transport services at 8.4 per cent.

    Some localities recorded an encouraging growth in retail revenue including Bình Dương, Bình Phước, Lào Cai, Hà Nam, Long An and Quảng Ninh provinces.

    Meanwhile, Thái Bình, Thanh Hóa, Hải Phòng and HCM City gained high revenue from tourism services.

    Fruit park construction to be stopped

    The Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment on Wednesday requested Tiền Giang People’s Committee to order a halt on the construction of a fruit park.

    Moreover, the provincial People’s Committee and other related agencies have been directed to reevaluate the project’s impact on the environment, especially on drainage and flood prevention. Simultaneously, it is essential for functional forces to consider carefully governmental regulations on land, environment and water resources.

    At present, the local authority has asked Cái Bè District People’s Committee to make a report on the project’s environmental impact before considering it for approval. However, the content has not received any comment from State agencies on water resources since Tiền is an inter-provincial river.

    With some parts located on Tiền River, Tiền Giang Fruit Park Project aims to turn Cái Bè District into an ecotourism spot. The project is invested by Cái Bè District People’s Committee.

    Until now, the constructor has finished piling concrete poles along the project’s length and made embankments, preparing to use sand to backfill Tiền River.

    The park’s construction will have an impact on the flow of Tiền River, leading to landslides in surrounding and downstream areas.

    Vietnam Airlines offers discounted tickets to regional nations

    The national flag carrier Vietnam Airlines on November 1 launched a special promotional programme for flights from Vietnam to three Southeast Asian countries, namely Thailand, Singapore and Malaysia.

    Under the discount programme which will be valid until March 31, 2018, passengers could buy economy tickets for the routes from just 799,000 VND (35.18 USD).

    A second and third ticket bought at the same time will have further discounts of 30 percent and 50 percent, respectively. The tickets must have the same passenger’s name and journey.

    Vietnam Airlines is providing daily flights from Vietnam to Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore with 1-2 flights to Malaysia, five to Singapore and six to Thailand.

    New board to boost private sector

    A board comprising senior executives of major national corporations and industry associations has been launched with the aim of understanding and removing hurdles to a greater private sector role in the national economy.

    Announcing the board’s establishment on Monday night, Minister and chairman of the Government Office Mai Tien Dung said the “IV board” will function under the Prime Minister’s Advisory Council for Administrative Procedure Reform (ACAPR).

    The board will be chaired by Truong Gia Binh, president of Viet Nam Software and IT Services Association and deputy chairman of ACAPR.

    Dung, who is also chairman of ACAPR, said the board would be tasked with researching, advising and proposing reforms in mechanisms, policies and administrative procedures relating to private sector development.

    "The Prime Minister has very high expectations of the private sector," Dung said, adding that the IV Board had been set up to identify and remove several barriers to fulfilling its potential.

    "The establishment of the IV Board also demonstrates the Government’s determination to bring the spirit of the Party Central Committee’s Resolution 5 on Private Sector Development to life," Dung said.

    This would promote private sector development and enhance its role and position in the Vietnamese economy, he added.

    Dung also said that a ACAPR meeting on Monday discussed remaining tasks in 2017 and key tasks for 2018.

    The council determined that it would prioritise cutting formal and informal costs for businesses, he said.

    Accordingly, it would ask ministries and agencies to assess how many business procedures could be reduced towards minimising the costs of doing business.

    The council would also propose appropriate solutions for different business fields after strengthening its dialogue with enterprises and business associations, Dung said.

    IV Board Chairman Binh said that in accepting the new task, he and other board members felt a solemn sense of responsibility, keeping in mind the great expectations of the business community.

    "To do well, we know we have to overcome many difficulties. We will have to be very cautious, and not become an interest group," Binh said.

    He said the first principle that the IV Board had set out was to boost the private sector’s development with specific, practical and detailed proposals.

    “For example, if logistics costs are higher than in other countries, we will have to clarify how much higher it is, and how much of the cost is on the road and how much is related to storage," he said.

    The board will focus its attention on most-affected business areas and act to remove entangled bureaucratic procedures that are costly and take a lot of time.

    "We have promised the Prime Minister that we will increase private businesses’ GDP contribution from 40 per cent to 60 per cent in the future," Binh said.

    Binh also said the board would initiate long-term support for innovation and startups, take the initiative in dealing with industrial revolution 4.0 in Viet Nam.

    Binh’s deputy, Don Di Lam, is general director of the Vina Capital Group and deputy chairman of Global Agenda Council on ASEAN (World Economic Forum).

    Other members of the board include representatives from the Viet Nam Software and IT Services Association, Binh Duong Business Federation, Binh Thuan Shrimp Association, Tourism Advisory Board and Vina Capital Group.

    Vietnam seeks to export pork to RoK

    Vu Trong Nghia, director of the Bien Dong Trade Developed Investment Corporation, said his company has signed a contract with the Korea Food Company to sell 2,000 tonnes of pork per year.

    The company has also inked a Memorandum of Understanding with Japan’s Minami Kyushu University on cooperation in developing agriculture and transferring technologies to process food, he added.

    It has completed the building of a clean food processing and green breeding complex while a slaughtering plant with capacity of 300 pigs per hour and a cold storage are due to be put into operation in November 2017.

    The company has two safe pig raising farms in the northern province of Nam Dinh. It has connected with the high-quality livestock breeding centre at Vietnam National University of Agriculture to apply advanced technology in production.

    Nghia said through the VIETGO Company, his firm has received orders of importing around 9,000 tonnes of pork for the first year from Korean businesses.

    He hoped the State management agencies will soon open export market for Vietnamese pork products.

    Workshop spotlights support for SMEs in foreign trade

    The Vietnamese Government’s latest support policies for small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and foreign banks’ assistance for their international trade activities were updated at a workshop in Hanoi on October 31.

    The event, which was co-hosted by the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) and Standard Chartered Bank Vietnam, attracted many economists and representatives of commercial banks, business associations and more than 100 enterprises.

    VCCI Secretary General Pham Thi Thu Hang said SMEs have been contributing remarkably to trade activities, creating jobs and fostering Vietnam’s economic growth for many years. Therefore, it is essential to provide them with necessary assistance to develop effectively and sustainably, she added.

    Hang also spoke highly of opportunities of cooperation with Standard Chartered, which could give SMEs useful information and experiences to gain success in international trade activities, saying this is of special importance amid Vietnam’s deeper integration into the regional and global economies.

    Nirukt Sapru, CEO of Standard Chartered Bank Vietnam, said over the last two decades, the country has gained a number of benefits from expanding trade and investment ties with many countries.

    Vietnam is now enhancing external trade relations, and SMEs are an essential part of this process, helping the nation to further integrate into global supply chains, he added.

    Standard Chartered Bank Vietnam pledges effective support for Vietnamese firms to integrate into the global economy and expand their business activities, Sapru stressed.

    He added that his bank provides banking solutions for all activities of SMEs from capital management, activity expansion, profit improvement to cross-border business activities. They are particularly designed to help SMEs carry out bank transactions more easily so that the companies can focus on developing their business activities.   

    Vietinbank reports 318.6 million USD in pre-tax profit

    The Vietnam Joint Stock Commercial Bank for Industry and Trade (VietinBank) has reported it earned over 7.23 trillion VND (318.6 million USD) in pre-tax profit in the first nine months of 2017, up 11.5 percent year-on-year.

    The figure is equal to 82.2 percent of VietinBank’s target set for the whole year.

    In the reviewed period, the bank’s post-tax profit exceeded 5.87 trillion VND (258.7 million USD), up over 13 percent compared to the same period last year.

    By the end of September, VietinBank’s total assets were valued at over 1,062 trillion VND (nearly 46.8 billion USD), an increase of 12 percent compared to the figure at the end of 2016.

    Its outstanding credit increased by 14.4 percent from the year’s beginning, higher than the banking sector’s growth rate.

    The bank’s operating revenue in the January-September period rose 18.7 percent year-on-year to 23.9 trillion VND (10.5 billion USD).

    US garment-textile firms seek opportunities in Vietnam

    US garment-textile and footwear businesses are seeking their own investment opportunities in Vietnam as their country has withdrawn from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) earlier this year.

    In late October, the American Apparel & Footwear Association (AAFA) and the American Chamber of Commerce in Vietnam (AmCham Vietnam) held a series of activities in Ho Chi Minh City, including an international workshop on product safety and compliance issues.

    In the first eight months of 2017, Vietnam exported over 30.16 billion USD worth of goods to the US, making up 1.99 percent of the US’s total import turnover.

    However, during the eight-month period, Vietnam paid over 2.2 billion USD in taxes, ranking second out of the 15 countries paying the highest import taxes to the US.

    According to Nate Herman, Senior Vice President of AAFA Supply Chain, Vietnam continued to surpass rivals in export growth to the US in spite of receiving no benefits from any trade preferential programmes or free trade agreements.

    The Southeast Asian country’s garment-textile and footwear exports to the US are likely to increase in the coming time, even without TPP, he evaluated.

    He noted that the US’s imports of Vietnam’s garment-textile and footwear grew by 8.74 percent and 11.83 percent respectively over the past 12 months and Vietnam was the second biggest exporter to the market, after China.

    US retailers and consumers recognised Vietnam’s strengths of quality, prices and delivery commitments, he said, adding that this is the reason why the AAFA and US businesses want to arrive in Vietnam.

    Earlier, the National Cotton Council of America (CCI) coordinated with the Vietnam Textile & Apparel Association to organise the Cotton Day 2017 and granted investment licenses to 12 businesses operating in Vietnam and using the US cotton.

    The event aims to connect Vietnamese garment-textile enterprises with the US partners, suppliers and experts.

    Ryan Cabrera Tuazon, regional director of the US HanesBrands group, said after 10 years of operating in Vietnam, its total investment has stood at around 55 million USD with three factories in the central province of Thua Thien-Hue and the northern province of Hung Yen.

    Vietnam is defined as a production destination for HanesBrands in the Southeast Asian region, he said, adding that the factory in Hue is equipped with the latest technologies and manufacturing equipment.

    Jon Fee, a senior adviser of Alston & Bird LLP, said without TPP there are other opportunities for the garment-textile and footwear producers in Vietnam such as the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA), the “One Belt One Road” initiative, and the “Two corridors and one economic belt” of Vietnam-China strategic cooperation.

    Experts said Vietnam’s exports to the US will face difficulties in the coming time due to the US’s tighter regulations on product safety to reduce trade deficit.

    Nevertheless, US garment-textile and footwear companies still have opportunities in Vietnam, they said, warning firms to pay due attention to product safety and compliance matters.-

    Dutch organisation aids agricultural cooperatives in Quang Nam

    How to build development plans for agricultural cooperatives was the main topic of a workshop jointly held in the central province of Quang Nam on October 31 by the provincial People’s Committee and the Netherlands-based agricultural organisation Agriterra.

    The workshop was designed to find out solutions to enhance the operation efficiency and competitiveness of cooperatives in the agricultural value chain.

    Quang Nam is now home to 172 agricultural cooperatives and one alliance of agricultural cooperatives. However, cooperative members lack comprehensive knowledge about cooperatives, especially the 2012 Law on Cooperatives, while cooperatives management boards’ leadership and planning capacity remain weak.

    In addition, local cooperatives are still facing difficulties in getting access to markets and capital sources as well as advanced machines and technologies.

    Harm Haverkort, a representative of Agriterra Vietnam, emphasised the need to set up a transparent and modern financial system to provide members with updated information.

    He also suggested some solutions, such as offering preferential policies to encourage university graduates join cooperative management boards, organising training courses on production planning and marketing, and enhancing connections with businesses in processing, distribution and technology transfer.

    Previously, experts from Agriterra Vietnam paid fact-finding trips to cooperatives in Dien Ban town and Dai Loc district to offer consultancy on business strategies, marketing plans, brand development, and basic financial management.

    Founded 20 years ago by the Dutch farmers association, Agriterra has become an international development organization providing support for cooperatives in terms of financial management, business administration and development.

    Vietnamese goods shown at Hong Kong fashion fair

    An increasing number of overseas buyers are sourcing products from Vietnam as the country is rapidly improving its supply chain for locally made garments and taking part in more free trade agreements.

    The availability of a young, skilled labour force is also attracting foreign buyers to the country, Pham Thiet Hoa, director of the HCM City Investment and Trade Promotion Centre (ITPC), said during a recent interview with Vietnam News.

    Hoa spoke on the occasion of the business-to-business fashion trade show which wrapped up in Hong Kong on October 31, showcasing quality garments, textiles, and products and services from fashion-related industries.

    As many as 27 leading Vietnamese manufacturers of garments, textiles, fashion accessories and garment-related industries displayed their products at the Global Sources Fashion Show. 

    ITPC is supporting most of the Vietnamese pavilions as part of its mission is to help HCM City businesses and attract foreign investment to Vietnam.

    “Vietnam has become a more attractive complementary garment sourcing destination for overseas buyers. We’re seeing an increasing number of multinational firms from Taiwan, Hong Kong and Singapore making not only completed finished clothes, but also buying fabrics, textiles, yarns, plastics, printing and other accessories,” Hoa said. “They’re looking to expand their production capacity in Vietnam and are shifting their production bases to Vietnam to enjoy tax incentives and other advantages.”

    Before the show, ITPC worked with Global Sources, a Hong Kong-based B2B media company, to provide effective B2B export marketing workshops to help increase professionalism and buyer-supplier communication among firms.

    Vu Ngoc Khiem, chief representative of Global Sources, said: “In collaboration with ITPC, we have created a one-stop shop sourcing platform, for yarns and fabrics to completed clothes, from labels and tags and interlining fabrics to textiles and fashion bags, hats, caps and jewelry, so that buyers can meet businesses offline.”

    Vietnamese exhibitors have improved their manufacturing capabilities and expanded markets, finding new business buyers and growing exports, according to Khiem.

    Vietnamese-made garments can be alternatives to Chinese suppliers, he said, adding that competitive price points were also important. 

    “The idea of our show is to help our buyers get in front of Vietnam’s top-quality export manufacturers at one trade-show floor where decision-makers can meet and negotiate trade possibilities.

    “We’ve seen a trend where many export orders are shifting to Vietnam not only because China is heading toward more sophisticated higher-value manufacturing industries but also because Vietnamese makers have stepped up to a new level of FOB export capabilities, and are more ready to compete with rivals via differentiation and excellent services, not just cost advantages anymore,” Khiem told Vietnam News. 

    Many of Vietnam’s products will be featured during the fashion parade and at the New Market Pavilion, according to Khiem.

    Analysy’s Choice, the trusted column viewed and evaluated by top buyers, designers and sourcing professionals, has also taken note of many of these products, he added.

    Pham Minh Huong, director of the Vietnam National Textile and Garment Group (Vinatex), said: “This is the third B2B tradeshow that Vinatex has exhibited with Global Sources. Vinatex aims to show buyers our wide range of production scale from small to mass production, and our one-stop sourcing house for buyers, from woven to knit items, with our developing ODM services.”

    “Our capability of supplying materials in a vertical integrated system impresses buyers,” she said. “Not only is this a good opportunity for us to collaborate with new buyers and see global trends, but it is a chance for buyers to learn about our group and other professional manufacturers from Vietnam at one convenient offline event. We met several buyers face-to-face before the show and we will meet them again to further our discussion in the pipeline.”

    The four-day tradeshow hosted 1,800 booths of accessories, fabrics and apparel from Vietnam, China, the Republic of Korea, India and the Philippines.

    The on-site Fashion Parade featured many products made in Vietnam, including totes, bags and jewelry. The show offered a unique one-stop shop theme where buyers were enabled to discover Vietnamese manufacturers offering all kinds of garments, textiles, labels, bra cups and fashion accessories.

    Other highlights include conference programmes, fashion parades and the Trends Forum, presented by Fashion Snoops and Pantone.

    Global Sources is a B2B media company and a primary facilitator of global trade using its integrated online and offline services. In Vietnam, Global Sources helps match buyers and suppliers through offline events.

    Korean group proposes BOT road project in Can Tho city

    YK Group of the Republic of Korea (RoK) suggested a transport project under the build-operate-transfer (BOT) format in the Mekong Delta city of Can Tho during a working session with municipal authorities on October 31.

    YK Chairman Jang Sang Kyu said his group is interested in some projects in Can Tho, including the construction of a road linking National Highway 91 with Nam Song Hau road.

    Proposing two plans for this project, he said under the BOT format, the construction could be funded with the RoK’s capital and toll collection will last for 30 years. In the second plan, Can Tho will be the investor and cover 20-30 percent of the total cost while the remaining capital could be borrowed from the RoK Government.

    According to the municipal Department of Transport, the project will have total length of about 30km, including nine intersections and 25 bridges. Total cost for the construction is estimated at 15.07 trillion VND (714 million USD), including 791 billion VND (38 million USD) for site clearance.

    Chairman of the municipal People’s Committee Vo Thanh Thong said Can Tho is very interested in the YK-suggested project. It has planned to build this road for a long time but lacks funding.

    The city wants this project to be carried out under a BOT contract which is more feasible than the implementation funded by the State budget, he noted, suggesting YK Group carry out some cultural or tourism projects to capitalise on this road.

    Vietnam ships sugar to 28 markets

    Vietnam exported 43,000 tonnes of sugar to 28 markets, earning 20.6 million USD, in the first nine months of this year.

    Vietnam currently has 41 sugar plants with a total designed capacity of around 150,000 tonnes of sugarcane a day.

    According to the Agro Processing and Market Development Authority under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Vietnam concluded the 2016-2017 sugar production crop.

    During this crop, more than 13 million tonnes of sugarcane were used to produce over 1.2 million tonnes of sugar.

    The new crop is scheduled to begin in November.

    Ha Giang seeks solutions to sustainable beekeeping development

    A forum held in Dong Van district, the northern mountainous province of Ha Giang on October 31 discussed how to branch out bee farming sustainably to ensure food safety.

    Representatives from the National Agricultural Extension Centre and many other agencies under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development shared experience in beekeeping, information about market prices and honey bee consumption.

    Advanced technology in bee farming, particularly genetic and breeding preservation, and cultivating techniques for mints, whose flowers are favored by bees, on Dong Van Karst Plateau, were introduced to the event.

    The forum also created opportunities for the state, scientists, businesses and local beekeepers to hold dialogues to handle challenges when keeping bees.

    Ha Thuy Hanh, Deputy Director of the National Agricultural Extension Centre, said that honey bee farming in the country has developed rapidly. The country is housing 1.5 million beehives.

    Some 90 percent of the honey is sold abroad and the remainder is consumed domestically, she added.

    According to Nguyen Duc Vinh, Director of the provincial Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, the province’s 34,093 beehives produce over 193 tonnes of honey per year. Bee farming on mint fields is being developed in four mountainous districts of Dong Van, Meo Vac, Yen Minh and Quan Ba.

    Ha Giang’s mint honey was known for its remarkable quality and at certain times, can fetch 1 million VND per litre. In 2013, the National Office of Intellectual Property granted Meo Vac Geographical Indication (GI) for the mint honey product made in the four districts.

    Mint honey product has been grown in stature among consumers. Beekeeping has helped ethnic people residing on Dong Van Karst Plateau alleviate poverty, he said.

    Coffee exports down 23 percent in quantity

    The volume of coffee exports decreased nearly 23 percent since the beginning of 2017, dragging down overall revenue from overseas shipments of the products.

    Statistics showed that Vietnam exported 1.17 million tonnes of coffee for 2.69 billion USD in the first 10 months of this year, with the US and Germany being the top markets.

    Coffee prices have soared by 28.5 percent, but the local sector has yet to seize the opportunity.

    The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development recommended coffee-planted localities to invest in high-capacity processing and stocking models and not to deliberately expand plantations.

    RoK’s venture fund funnels capital into Vietnamese startups

    Lotte Accelerator Corporation, an accelerator and venture capital firm under Lotte Group from the Republic of Korea (RoK), will pour at least 1 million USD into Vietnamese startups in the first five years.

    The money will be channeled through an alliance with Vietnam Silicon Valley Accelerator (VSVA), which was established based on the Vietnam Silicon Valley (VSV) project.

    The RoK venture fund and the VSVA inked strategic cooperation agreement last weekend to set up the first venture investment fund designed for startups in Vietnam. The move is expected to serve as a catalyst for the venture investment market in the country.

    Lotte Accelerator’s capital will be prioritised for retail, information and technology (IT) and trade.

    Lotte Accelerator and the VSVA will discuss before making investment decision, said Jin Sung Rhee, CEO of Lotte Accelerator.

    Along with pumping in capital, the RoK venture fund also plans to organise short-term training sources for Vietnamese startups in the RoK, he noted, given that his country has thorough understanding of startup ecosystem.

    “Vietnam is one of the fastest stably growing economies in the world where Lotte Group has established a strong footprint in various sectors, from real estate, retail, distribution, to commerce and IT. It is a big market and startups are potential. That is why we want to invest in,” he said.

    Before joining hands with Lotte Accelerator, the VSV trained and offered investment support to over 50 Vietnamese startups.

    According to Tran Van Tung, Deputy Minister of Science and Technology, strategic collaboration between the two accelerators is a considerable stride for business accelerator models.

    The VSV project, the Government’s first project to endorse startups, was introduced in 2013 when international venture funds set foot in Vietnam and the country was housing a system of incubators; however, startups’ access to the funds was limited, Tung underlined.

    He noticed that seeing the benefits that startups and innovation bring to socio-economic development, the ministry supported the implementation of Business Accelerate models and the VSVA has been carried out since 2014 with significant achievements.

    The VSVA has incubated 50 companies, several of which attracted next rounds of funding from regional venture capital firms.

    Thach Le Anh, VSV Founder, said that success of a startup depends not only on investors but also mentors who helps the new firm approach the investors.

    The VSV pays due attention to cooperation with foreign partners to seek market and learn experience, she added.

    Vietnam-South Korea FTA highly increases two way trade turnover

    The two way export import turnover between Vietnam and South Korea neared US$45 billion during the first ten months this year, increasing 52 percent over the same period last year thanks to Vietnam-South Korea Free Trade Agreement (VKFTA).

    According to a representative of the HCMC Department of Industry and Trade, South Korea is now the fifth largest export market of Vietnam with turnover accounting for over five percent. The representative was speaking at a meeting discussing solutions to improve the competitive ability of Vietnamese goods in South Korea yesterday.

    Explaining the turnover high growth rate, Ms. Trinh Thi Thu Hien, head of Goods Origin Division under the Export Import Department of the Ministry of Industry and Trade, said that VKFTA has worked to boost export of Vietnamese goods which South Korea needs and vice versa.

    Businesses of the two countries have no direct contradiction so the export turnover of Vietnamese goods to the market has highly increased, she said.

    In addition, Vietnamese firms have significantly improved goods packaging, designs, quality and types to suit South Korean consumers’ demand. The offering prices of Vietnamese goods are more competitive than Filipino, Chinese, Indonesian and Thai products.

    Vietnamese firms have well taken advantage of tax incentives from the FTA, especially those exporting seafood, pepper, vegetable and fruit, footwear and vehicle components and accessories.

    In HCMC, the most exported items are garment and textile accounting for 29 percent; computer, electronic products and accessories 28.9 percent; wood and wooden items 6 percent; seafood 5.9 percent and footwear 5.2 percent.

    Moreover, they have also got the best out of the FTA to export to the EU. Vietnam-EU FTA has been signed and the EU has also signed FTA with South Korea. When importing materials from South Korea and exporting products to the EU market, businesses enjoy export tax incentives and vice versa.

    Director of the HCMC Department of Industry and Trade Nguyen Huynh Trang said that Vietnam has signed 12 FTAs with 10 having taken effect. According to commitments, most of the signed FTAs will enter the phase of strong import tariffs cut or exemption in the phase of 2017-2020.

    FTAs have brought domestic firms more chances to expand export market but tighter trade barriers.

    The VKFTA has brought them not only many advantages but also barriers. South Korea has just applied preferential tax rates on products which local production is short. This does not create opportunities for businesses from other industries. 

    For instance, Vietnamese beef products are imposed the import tariff rate of up to 32-45 percent.

    Mr. Nguyen Quan Phuc, head of Export Import Management Department in HCMC, said that many businesses describe their goods in Vietnamese when making custom declaration, causing confusion and wrong export code application. As a result, their goods have been returned or exported without enjoying tax incentives.

    Origin regulations have also limited the export volume of Vietnamese goods to South Korea as domestic material source has depended on import.

    Many businesses at the meeting said that although the Ministry of Industry and Trade has permitted businesses to apply rules of self-certification but so far only two have been licensed to do so including Nestlte and Vinamilk.

    Mr. Phuc said that implementation of the self-certification rule will be carefully considered and gradually broadened to prevent from affecting the prestige of genuine businesses and improve the competitive ability of Vietnamese businesses in South Korea. 

    The Vietnamese Government is speeding up negotiations to sign FTAs with the Philippines and Thailand to increase advantages for domestic businesses.

    The Ministry of Industry and Trade will intensify organization of trade promotion activities for businesses of Vietnam and South Korea to have more opportunities to contact, learn about each other and sign cooperation agreements.

    In the domestic market, the ministry will implement programs to assist local businesses to improve packaging, designs and quality of products through the distribution channel of Korean firms in Vietnam so that they can meet standards to attend Korean supply chains in the country and in the world.

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


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  • 11/07/17--00:49: Article 1
  • Social News 6/11


    Doctors discuss hearts

    More than 800 local and international cardiologists are exchanging notes about the latest advances, new trends and innovative therapies for cardiovascular diseases at a congress on “New Trends in Management of Cardiovascular Diseases” that opened yesterday in HCM City.

    More than 20 leaders in cardiovascular medicine from the US, the UK, Germany, Japan, South Korea, Thailand, Malaysia and Việt Nam delivered updates on clinical practices in cardiology, chronic coronary artery disease, heart failure, interventional cardiology, aortic surgery, coronary artery bypass surgery, minimally invasive cardiac surgery and management of acute coronary syndrome during the two-day event.

    The annual cardiovascular conference provide opportunities for local cardiologists and cardiac surgeons to share knowledge, and learn the latest techniques in the fields of cardiology and cardiovascular diseases as well as expertise along with networking opportunities between a large number of medical professionals, according to Trương Quang Bình, deputy director of the University Medical Centre, the congress’s organiser.

    According to the World Health Organisation, 17.7 million people die each year from  cardiovascular disease. More than 75 per cent of cardiovascular disease occur in low-income and middle-income countries.

    In Việt Nam, cardiovascular disease takes the lives of around 200,000 people every year, an estimated 25 per cent of all deaths nationwide.

    Two poor-quality petrol sellers to be investigated


     Two poor-quality petrol sellers to be investigated, Officials seek to stop dumping of 62,000cu.m of mud waste, Viet Nam-Russia Tropical Centre offers hyperbaric oxygen therapy 

    Nghệ An Province Police Department of Criminal Investigation in Economic Management and Positions (PC 46) on Thursday began its investigation into a case related to making and selling poor-quality A92 petrol.

    Defendants Trần Văn Tuấn of Kiên Lục Entreprise in Quỳnh Lưu District and Phan Thị Thanh of Thanh Ngũ Entreprise in Diễn Châu District are accused of producing and selling counterfeit goods and cheating customers.

    On October 10, Nghệ An Province’s functional forces found that the two enterprises were mixing cheap solvent and colouring powder into A92 petrol to sell to customers.

    With the help of the defendants’ testimonies, the functional forces discovered that since August 2017, more than two million litres of poor-quality A92 had been consumed.

    Analyses of 12 samples collected from a gas station distributing Kiên Lục Entreprise’s petrol showed that 11 were substandard according to the National Technical Regulations.

    According to the value-added invoices collected, solvent price is VNĐ10,600 (US$0.5) per litre while A92 petrol price is VNĐ18.000 ($0.7) per litre.

    Officials seek to stop dumping of 62,000cu.m of mud waste

    Quảng Ngãi Province People’s Committee, on Friday, urged the provincial Department of Natural Resources and Environment (DoNRE) to ask Việt Nam Maritime Safety – North (VMS – North) to stop the dumping of 62,000cu.m of waste mud near Mỹ Khê Beach.

    According to the People’s Committee, because of environmental consequences, VMS – North has to halt the dumping plan, as they await the official decision of the local authority.

    Additionally, the DoNRE is directed to collaborate with other agencies to review the proposal submitted by VMS – North on October 27th and report to the People’s Committee by November 10th, at the latest.

    Earlier, Quảng Ngãi Province Department of Culture, Sport and Tourism objected to the proposal. According to officials, since Mỹ Khê Beach attracts thousands of tourists annually, dumping mud waste near the area could destroy the tourism site, environment and residents’ livelihood.

    Plans called for dumping 62,000cu.m of mud waste in an area of 4.97 ha in Tịnh Khê Ward from October 2017 to March 2018.

    Việt Nam-Russia Tropical Centre offers hyperbaric oxygen therapy

    Việt Nam-Russia Tropical Centre, set up 30 years ago under a long-standing and close friendship between Việt Nam and Russia, has made significant medical achievements, especially in hyperbaric oxygen therapy.

    The centre’s branch in the southern region has offered hyperbaric oxygen therapy since 1994.

    Dr Nguyễn Phương Nam, head of the Hyperbaric Oxygen Treatment and Research Centre, which is managed by Việt Nam-Russia Tropical Centre, told Vietnam News Agency that the therapy had been used on nearly 200,000 patients with a variety of diseases, including ulcers caused by diabetes.

    With the therapy, patients breathe pure oxygen at high pressure, Nam said, adding that it was especially suited to children and the elderly.

    The therapy is also used in conjunction with other treatments for strokes, endarteritis obliterans, sudden deafness, dengue fever, and autism.

    Because of the effectiveness of treatment, the Hyperbaric Oxygen Treatment and Research Centre has trained doctors at other hospitals in the southern region, including traditional medicine and rehabilitation hospitals in the provinces of Phú Yên, Khánh Hòa, and Bình Thuận, and Đồng Nai General Hospital.

    The Việt Nam-Russia Tropical Centre is also involved in vegetable cultivation on the Trường Sa Islands.

    Nguyễn Văn Thành Nam, deputy head of the centre’s environmental analysis division, who is leading the research work, said that when he was on a business trip to the islands in 2005, he saw a shortage of vegetables.

    He and his colleagues began to conduct research on cultivation techniques in greenhouses, and later installed an automatic drip irrigation system and multi-layer trays in greenhouses. The effort was a success, Nam said.

    The Việt Nam-Russia Tropical Centre has also conducted many international research projects in defence security.

    Colonel and Dr Nguyễn Văn Khuê, director of the Việt Nam-Russia Tropical Centre’s branch in the southern region, said the centre has had many achievements thanks to supports and help of Russian experts.

    Around 100 to 130 Russian experts every year come to the centre to co-operate in research and projects.

    The Russian government has helped train Vietnamese scientists and staff for many years, according to Khuê.

    Spam phone numbers blocked in Hà Nội

    Hà Nội’s Department of Information and Communications has asked telecom companies to stop providing service for 348 phone numbers that keep illegally sending spam messages.

    The spam messages sent to clients invite them to buy real estate, hire rented rooms and advertise services of lending money at high rates of interest, tutors, concrete cutting and drilling, as well as cesspit cleaning, Internet and delivery.

    Phone number owners who have any queries about the service are asked to contact cultural division of their district for further information.

    This is the 79th time Hà Nội’s Department of Information and Communications has ordered the service of spam phone numbers to be stopped

    In 2016, more than 3,000 spam phone numbers were blocked in the city.

    Two charged over false seals

    Police in Hà Nội’s Thanh Trì District have charged two men for counterfeiting seals and documents of organisations and agencies.

    Nguyễn Văn Thắng, 27, from Nam Từ Liêm District, and Lê Trần Tiến, 26, from Thanh Xuân District, were alleged to be members of a ring of counterfeiters preparing health examination papers in Hà Nội.

    Initial information showed that in late September, police in the Department of High-Tech Crime Prevention (known as C50), and police in Thanh Trì District caught Hoàng Mạnh Hùng red-handed in Tân Triều Commune transporting about 50 fake health examination papers with seals from the Transport Hospital JSC.

    Police made a raid on Hùng’s house and found more than 700 fake health examination papers with Transport Hospital seals.

    The papers had results of medical examinations, but had no name of patients.

    After quick investigation, police caught Thắng and Tiến.

    At the police office, Tiến admitted that he and Thắng counterfeited health examination papers and sold them for between VNĐ50,000-200,000 (US$2.2-8.8) since mid August.

    The two suspects allegedly hired Hùng to find customers and paid him commission.

    They are said to have admitted using five seals from five doctors and one seal from the Transport Hospital.

    Đắk Lắk starts to go solar

    Đắk Lắk Province’s People’s Committee has approved the construction of a solar power plant with a capacity of 50MW in Ea Súp District’s Ia Lap Commune.

    Long Thành Ia Lốp Co.Ltd has been selected to carry out the project.

    The plant will be built over 65 hetares situated on 500ha set aside for a solar power complex by Long Thành Đắk Lắk Investment Joint Stock Company.

    In addition, the provincial committee has approved a proposal to increase capacity of the complex from 50MW to 400MW.

    The committee asked the Ea Súp District People’s Committee and related departments to create conditions for investors to implement the project.It said investors should contact the provincial Department of Foreign Affairs for guidance if foreign experts were hired..

    According to the province’s clean energy development plan, between four and seven solar plants with the total capacity of 800 to 1,000 MW will be built by 2020.

    By 2030, the province plans to increase the capacity of existing solar power plants and build other plants with the total capacity of 3,500 to 4,000 MW.

    Đắk Lắk has approved the construction project of solar plants in Ea Súp and Buôn Đôn districts, including Xuân Thiện Solar plant with a capacity of 2,000 MW and total estimated investment capital of US$2.2 billion, the Green Power plant with a capacity of 1,117 MW and investment capital of $1.2 billion, and Long Thành plant with a capacity of 250 MW and total investment of $320 million. 

    Health experts share experiences on cancer control

    More than 300 local and international health experts shared scientific research and experience on cancer diagnosis and treatment at an international conference on cancer control that began in Hà Nội today.

    “Cancer is a burden all over the world, especially in low and middle income countries. In Việt Nam, there is an increasing burden of cancer across the country, drawing attention from the whole society,” Deputy Minister of Health Lê Quang Cường said at the event.

    “However, with the strong leadership of national leaders and international support, Việt Nam has made several achievements in cancer control.” Cường added.

    “For example, we have seen an increase of 5-10 per cent in cancer patients diagnosed in early stages, along with decreased cancer mortality rate of several cancers such as breast cancer, cervical cancer, oral cancer and colorectal cancer. Community awareness on cancer prevention and early detection and quality of cancer treatmet have also improved.”

    At the conference, participants focused their discussions on proposing the direction and strategy of cancer control, as well as conducting comprehensive training and sharing opportunities in cancer control.

    They said the forum was an opportunity for local and international experts to discuss the current situation and consolidate the objectives of cancer control, targeting the direction and strategy in Việt Nam.

    A cooperation agreement on cancer research and treatment was signed between the Việt Nam National Cancer Institute, the Korean National Cancer Center Graduate School of Cancer Science and Policy, the Institute of Preventive Medicine and Public Health, and the Hà Nội Medical University at the conference.

    According to GLOBOCAN - a project of the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) provides estimates of cancer, at national level, for 184 countries of the world every year, Việt Nam reports more than 126,000 new cancer cases and some 94,000 cancer deaths. Most patients visit hospital for cancer examination and treatment when they are already in an advanced stage, which is very late and costly in terms of treatment.

    At the national level, the Prime Minister has approved the national strategy on cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and COPD, as well as asthma and other non communicable diseases, during the 2015-25 period, with strong investment in local community and primary healthcare.

    Việt Nam has set targets of improving adult awareness on cancer consequences and prevention to 70 per cent, reducing adult smoking by 30 per cent and heavy drinking by 10 per cent, improving early cancer detection to 40 per cent and decreasing cancer deaths below the age of 70 by 20 per cent, compared with 2015.

    Cường, Linh complete semi-finals at Beer Lao badminton tourney

    Only Phạm Cao Cường and Nguyễn Thuỳ Linh of Việt Nam remained to compete at the Beer Lao International Series badminton tournament in Vientian.

    Cường is the No 2 seed in the men’s singles. He defeated Faiz Rozain of Malaysia 21-10, 10-21, 21-19 in the quarter-finals after 51 minutes.

    He will next play No Kantawat Leelavechabutr of Thailand. Leelavechabutr overcame Vietnam’s Nguyễn Hải Đăng 21-14, 18-21, 21-15 yesterday.

    His teammate, No 3 seed Lê Đức Phát, was surprisingly defeated by No 8 seeded Mek Narongrit of Thailand.

    On the women’s side, Linh, No 1 seeded, defeated Nuntakam Aimsaard from Thailand in the quarter-finals.

    Linh will face Manassanan Lerthattasin, another Thai, in the final four rounds.

    Hue Central Hospital celebrates anniversary of 1,000 IVF babies

    A gathering was held in the Hue Central Hospital this morning with the participation of parents, children to celebrate 10 year anniversary of implementation of in- vitro fertilisation (IVF) and congratulated 1,000 babies conceived by the technique

    From July, 2008 till now, the hospital has applied the technique to assisst infertile couples to have babies of their own.

    The hospital manager said that before 2002, the infertility treatment was conducted at the Maternity Department by examining and simple treatment. At the end of 2007, experts in infertility field in Ho Chi Minh City transfered the IVF technique to the hospital.

    In July, 2008, the hospital welcomed first six babies conceived by IVF and till now, over 1,000 babies have been born thanks to the technique.

    Additionally, the hospital has carried out seven surrogate pregnancy and three babies were born healthily.

    Vietnam fights violence against women and girls

    The Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs held a ceremony in Ho Chi Minh City on November 4 to launch a national action month for gender equality and to tackle abuse against women and girls.

    Speaking at the event, Deputy Minister of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs Dao Hong Lan said gender inequality and gender-based violence is an issue across regions and social classes. 

    She noted the action month calls for concerted efforts from public agencies, organisations and the community, particularly male citizens, to implement the national goals on gender equality and protection of girls and women from violence.

    Responding to the launch, Vice Chairman of the Ho Chi Minh People’s Committee Le Thanh Liem stated the southern city will enhance its gender policies, particularly on the improvement of living standards for female residents.

    Elisa Fernandez, head of office at the UN Women Vietnam, said violence against women and girls is a prolonged human rights problem despite economic and social progress.

    She pointed to a survey that showed 87 percent women encountering sexual abuse in public spaces do not speak out or seek help due to a lack of support services.

    The UN representative also urged the removal of gender stereotypes.

    Earlier, a photo exhibition on women took place at the local Nguyen Hue pedestrian street in District 1, featuring a flashmob, a household chore contest for men, and a painting competition on a safe city for women and girls. 

    Book on Vietnam-US relation, AO issue launched

    The book: “From Enemies to Partners: Vietnam, the US and Agent Orange” was launched during a roundtable discussion with the two authors – Le Ke Son and Charles R. Bailey in Washington DC, the US last week.

    The event was held by the US Centre for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) on November 1 with Vietnamese Ambassador to the US Pham Quang Vinh, and Senior Adviser and Deputy Director of CSIS’s Southeast Asia Programme in attendance.

    Le Ke Son used to serve as vice director general of the Vietnam Environmental Administration at the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources while Charles R. Bailey is the former US Ford Foundation representative in Vietnam who headed the foundation’s Hanoi office from 1997 to 2007.

    During the discussion, the two authors said the book is a result of their long-term study on a time when the two countries were going from enemies to partners and overcoming differences to resolve the impacts of Agent Orange/ Dioxin on human health and the environment.

    The US’s efforts in helping Vietnam cope with the war’s aftermaths contributed to fostering bilateral ties and demonstrated a sense of humanity and morality, according to the authors.

    In this book, two leading experts on Agent Orange and its aftermath also considered solutions to addressing the consequences of its use. They urged more comprehensive long-term efforts between the two countries, including an Agent Orange cleanup at Bien Hoa Airport and additional support to affected people in Vietnam.

    Speaking at the event, Ambassador Vinh lauded the book and the US assistance over the past 19 years in supporting victims and a dioxin cleanup project at Da Nang Airport.

    The dioxin cleanup project at Da Nang Airport is a symbol for the two nations’ cooperation in humanitarian issues and addressing war aftermaths, Vinh said. He also asked the US Government to soon launch the cleanup project at Bien Hoa Airport.

    Thousands of Hanoians hit the streets for PhotoMarathon

    From septuagenarians to teenagers, more than 4,000 photography enthusiasts flocked to the final leg of the three-part 2017 Canon PhotoMarathon held in the capital on Sunday.

    “At 70, I still attend this competition as a good way to keep fit, health and of course, to fulfil my passion,” said Trinh Than Phi.

    Meanwhile, 18-year-old Dao Thi Van, whose is passionate about candid photography, said he was making his debut and doing it for the experience. “Win or lose doesn’t matter,” he said.

    They contestants hit the streets of the capital city on Sunday morning. They will record images under three themes and submit them by 5pm in the evening.

    This year has shattered all records for the 12-year-old contest with over 1,200 and 7,000 ‘racers’ in Đà Nẵng and HCM City, respectively, representing a 50 per cent increase over last year.

    Leading Vietnamese and Viet Nam-based photographers Hải Đông, Hải Thanh and Justin Mott, who have spent this year’s PhotoMarathons in the judging booth, will join the contestants on the streets of Hà Nội. 

    Later, they will evaluate the submissions based on four criteria: creativity, composition, colour and adherence to the theme. Winners will be announced within the day.

    Hiroshi Yokota, CEO of Canon Marketing Vietnam said: “The PhotoMarathon strikes just the right chord between photography, flexibility and creativity.  The contest has gone on to flourish not just in Viet Nam but all around the region. 

    "As we celebrate our 15th anniversary in the country and our 80 years of development, the PhotoMarathon is one of the most powerful ways that we share our message of cultural development, positive living, and passion for photography with photo-lovers here and abroad.”

    Canon PhotoMarathon 2017 features several new categories including the admittance of images from drones, and a separate section for online entries for those unable to attend the event in person.  

    Winners will be announced on the Canon Vietnam fanpage on November 15. More information can be found at: www.canon.com.vn/PhotoMarathon.

    Along with their fellow-winners from Đà Nẵng and HCM City, pictures taken by contetants in Hà Nội victor will present Việt Nam at Canon PhotoMarathon Asia Championship in Japan along with 16 regional champions. Winners can win awards of up to US$5,000 and have their work throughout Asia. 

    All registration fees will be transferred to a charity programme called “For Future Generations” that aims to build schools for poor students and make photography a ‘bridge’, and a meaningful ‘instrument’ to support the community.

    Green works – new trend in sustainable development in Vietnam

    Green works are construction projects that offer energy and materials efficiency, minimal environmental impact, and maximal user friendliness. They have become a global trend in sustainable development to which climate change is a looming challenge.

    The first green works in Vietnam were built in 2007 and were enthusiastically welcomed by the government, and the general public. In the following decade, 60 construction projects in Vietnam have been certified internationally as green works.

    Architect Hoang Thuc Hao, a lecturer at the National University of Civil Engineering, says green works have been considered the right development direction because they conserve energy, preserve natural landscapes, and promote a healthy environment.

    “Vietnam has traditional architecture works that save energy. For example, the 5-chamber houses in the rural area of the Red River Delta are constructed with organic materials in a north-south orientation, link gardens, ponds, and pigsties, and have front eaves made of timber, rocks, or soil.

    These are environmentally friendly materials. These houses are warm in winter and cool in summer. Our ancestors’ experience in architecture should be respected in modern architecture by combining advanced technology with native Vietnamese culture,” said Hao.

    In the past decade, Vietnam’s annual construction and urbanization rate grew 12% and 3.4% respectively.

    Energy consumption has increased 14% per year, growing faster than GDP.

    Vietnam uses 36% of all its consumed energy for construction works, 33% of which is electricity consumption. This produces 25% of all greenhouse emissions and one third of all carbon dioxide output, the main contributor to global climate change. It is predicted that Vietnam will suffer severe ecological damage if it doesn’t take appropriate steps now to boost green works and conserve its natural resources.

    Phan Thi My Linh, Deputy Minister of Civil Engineering, said the development of green works is part of the implementation of the National Green Growth Strategy. 

    She said: “We have defined green works as green architecture adapted to climate change. This means choosing the right scale and increasing the use of wind energy, solar energy, and environment-friendly materials.”

    Green works development has been combined with sustainable development of urban and rural environments.

    Architect Nguyen Thanh Le, Director of the 5.i.v.E Architecture and Construction Consultancy Company, said “Green buildings must be environmentally friendly, so architects must pay attention to environmental issues from the original concept through the construction process. Because Vietnam has hot, humid weather, houses must be designed with modern technology, non-baked bricks, and double glazing. Ventilation must use convection to make the house cool and dehumidified. The house should be designed to take advantage of its own shadow to avoid direct sunlight, especially in summer.”

    Vietnam can have more green buildings if the State, the public, architects, and builders all participate. The National Strategy on Climate Change and the National Strategy on Green Growth are the keys to promoting green works. 

    Professor Hao says the development of green buildings will bring great benefits to the national economy, society, and the environment. But Vietnam needs more qualified architects, he added.

    “Architects, especially young architects, should lead the development of green buildings and convince investors to put money into these programs. When the idea spreads throughout the community, people will see the benefits of green buildings. If only one or two architects are involved, it will be hard for them to have an impact. But if 100 to 200 architects join the movement, there will be a major breakthrough,” Hao noted.

    Although the development of green works in Vietnam is relatively new, it has achieved positive results. The Vietnam Real Estate Association has set up a Green Building Program Coordination Committee comprised of architects, builders, and experts to provide a foundation for the development of green buildings in Vietnam.

    Woman killed by car crash while sitting inside restaurant in Vietnam

    A car caused multiple crashes before plunging itself into a restaurant in Hue in central Vietnam near midnight on November 3, killing a woman inside.

    The 24-year-old driver, named Duong Duc Huy, hit a motorbike at around 11:15 p.m., throwing the latter around 20 meters away. The collision somehow caused it to lose control and slam into many motorbikes parked on the sidewalk before sliding into the restaurant.

    A car is badly damaged after crashing multiple motorbikes and eventually into a restaurant in Hue on November 4. Photo by VnExpress/Nguyen Vuong

    Many diners managed to run but a 22-year-old woman was hit and killed on the spot.

    The car was badly damaged. The driver reportedly fled the scene.

    Police are investigating.

    Road crashes are a leading cause of deaths in Vietnam, killing an average of one person every hour. Some of them happened in the most bizarre ways.

    Vietnam decides to stop controlling citizens with permanent residence book

    The government has decided to scrap the archaic residence books in favor of an online database whereby each citizen will be registered with a personal identification code.

    The resolution issued earlier this week says that Vietnam will stop managing its citizen registration through the residency book, which attaches a person to a permanent address.

    The book, ho khau in Vietnamese, has been in effect since the 1960s as an instrument of public security, economic planning, and control of migration, similarly to China's hukou. In the post-war period, the book was used as a means to ration food and allocate jobs under the then planned economy.

    But following economic reforms since the late 1980s, Vietnam has adoped a socialist oriented market economy and ho khau has been kept to limit migration to booming cities, to no avail.

    A report issued last year by the World Bank says 36% of the population in Ho Chi Minh City and 18% in Hanoi lack ho khau.

    “This study shows that the ho khau system has created inequality of opportunity for Vietnamese citizens,” Achim Fock, the World Bank’s Acting Country Director for Vietnam, said in 2016.

    The book has come to signify Vietnam's excessive red tape. It is required in most administrative procedures including filing a birth certificate, going to school, getting married, and it decides how easy it is for one to find a job, buy a house or a vehicle.

    A person who is registered outside Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh City will not be able to buy a motorbike or a house under their own name in these cities, for example.

    In most cities and provinces in Vietnam, people can only become a public worker where they are registered as permanent resident.

    And once a person moves, he or she will have to go through many doors to remove their name from one residency book and add it to another.

    It is not yet clear how the new personal code would work and whether it will create any breakthroughs in paperwork.

    But from now on, people will at least have one less document to worry about.

    Female farmer’s innovative farming method helps sustainable poverty reduction

    Nguyen Thi Hue, head of a lemon growing cooperative in Can Tho city, was among 10 individuals who received a 2017 Vietnam Women Award for their outstanding contribution to social development.

    The two-year-old cooperative led by Hue has promoted fresh agricultural products, and helped farmers expand markets, and escape poverty.

    Nguyen Thi Hue was born in 1956 in Hau Giang province. After she got married and moved to Can Tho City in 1978, Hue grew oranges and jackfruits on a 3,000 square meter farm using chemical fertilizer and preservatives, but it was not very profitable due to soil degradation.  

    In 2010, Hue switched to growing seedless lemons. In two years, her family has escaped poverty. 

    Ms. Dang Thi Thu of Truong Long commune, said, “Hue was the first to grow seedless lemons and was very successful. She shared the idea with other local women, and now the lemon cooperative is booming”.

    With the support of the Women’s Union, Hue and other local women expanded their lemon trees to five hectares. After finding an outlet at supermarkets, in 2015 the group became a cooperative of 24 members, cultivating 12 hectares for both domestic consumption and export: “We guarantee safe, high-quality and fresh produce. Our lemons are exported at a stable price”.

    Hue did a lot of research and applied technology to produce organic lemons. Le Van Anh, Deputy Chief administrator of Truong Long commune, said many local farmers have followed Hue’s method, and are moving toward a collective economic model. 

    Mr Anh said “The successful lemon cooperative has changed local farmers’ mindset and created momentum for the establishment of a star apple cooperative in 2015. As a new-style rural commune, we encourage new cooperative models”. 

    HCMC to build more pedestrian bridges

    The HCMC Department of Transport will construct more footbridges near schools and hospitals to guarantee safety for pedestrians.

    The department’s Urban Traffic Management Authority No.1 broke ground for a pedestrian bridge on Nguyen Van Cu Street in front of Le Hong Phong High School for the Gifted in District 5 on November 2.

    The bridge, 23 meters long and four meters wide, costs around VND3.8 billion (over US$167,300) and is scheduled for completion in late December.

    The pedestrian overpass will help students from Le Hong Phong High School and the nearby HCMC University of Science cross the street safely.

    The traffic management authority has been also seeking a contractor to build a pedestrian bridge on Hoang Minh Giam Street in front of Gia Dinh Park in Go Vap District. The VND11.6 billion (US$510,600) footbridge will be 37 meters long and 4.4 meters wide.

    In addition to these two bridges, Urban Traffic Management Authority No.3 has invited tenders for construction of a footbridge on Quang Trung Street Go Vap District.

    The cost of the bridge, 23 meters long and four meters wide, is VND3.3 billion (over US$145,200). When in place, it will allow students of Thong Tay Hoi High School to cross the street safely.

    The city has six operational footbridges including one on Cong Quynh Street in front of Tu Du Maternity Hospital in District 1.

    2,500 packs of smuggled cigarettes seized

    A car transporting 2,500 packs of smuggled cigarettes was seized on Sunday by the traffic police in the central province of Thanh Hóa.

    On National Way 1A, the traffic police stopped a car with number 74C-48.02 for violating traffic rules and discovered that the car was transporting 2,500 555 Blend No Gold cigarette packs, currently of unknown origin.

    The car was driven by Nguyễn Ngọc Hùng, born in 1970 and residing in Đông Hà Township of central Quảng Trị Province.

    Hùng told the police he was transporting the cigarettes from Hà Nội to sell in Quảng Trị Province.

    Deeming the incident required investigation since it appeared to be a criminal offence, the traffic police transferred all seized goods and the vehicle to the investigation police agency of Thanh Hóa City.

    Quảng Ninh mulls tunnel for Cửa Lập Strait

    The northeastern province of Quảng Ninh is considering building a tunnel across Cửa Lập Strait to reduce traffic pressure on Bãi Cháy Bridge.

    The province’s Party Committee Secretary and head of the province’s People’s Council Nguyễn Văn Đọc told Lao động (Labour) newspaper that the tunnel was part of the province’s newly-updated transport plan until 2030.

    He said that the tunnel was expected to help ensure smooth travel between Bãi Cháy and Hòn Gai wards – two parts of Hạ Long City.

    So far, the two parts are connected by Bãi Cháy Bridge which is experiencing overcrowding and traffic congestion, especially during rush hours, Đọc said.

    If a traffic accident occurred on the bridge, traffic would be blocked.

    Moreover, during stormy season, the bridge could not be used in strong winds of level six (40-50km per hour) or more. The bridge was built in 2006 and stands about 60 metres above the water level.

    Vũ Văn Khánh, director of the province’s Department of Transport, said that the tunnel would not be very far from the Bãi Cháy Bridge.

    “As the tunnel has been added to the province’s transport plan, there is no more detailed information about it at this time,” Khánh said.   

    Transport experts and local residents expect that the tunnel would ensure smooth traffic and provide a new tourist destination for visitors to Hạ Long.

    The Bãi Cháy Bridge is a cable-stayed bridge on Highway 18, connecting Hồng Gai with Bãi Cháy over the Cửa Lục Straits, separating Cửa Lục Bay with Hạ Long Bay. Bãi Cháy Bridge was the first central-line cable-stayed bridge in Việt Nam. At the time of its inauguration, it set a record as the longest central-line span for a cable-stayed bridge. — VNS

    Festival commemorates ancestors in Bình Thuận

    More than 200,000 locals and visitors are taking part in the Thầy Thím Temple Culture and Tourism Festival in La Gi Town in coastal Bình Thuận Province, which closes on November 4.

    The event, which began on November 2, featured rituals worshipping ancestors, including the couple Thầy (Master) and Thím (Lady).

    According to legend, Thầy and Thím use their magic powers to help and cure poor people, and to build boats for fishermen. The legend was illustrated by a miniature statue at the venue.

    The festival also included a lion dance, folk music performances, and traditional games.

    The Thầy Thím Temple was built in 1879. Each year, local people organise a festival on September 14-16 of the lunar calendar to show their respect to the couple.

    This year’s festival celebrates the 20th anniversary of the temple, which is slated to be recognised as a National Artistic and Architectural Relic.

    VNN


    0 0
  • 11/07/17--01:19: Article 0
  • Industry hits a peak in October


    The manufacturing and processing sector rose to a record level in October, pushing up the whole country’s 10-month industrial production, a key driver for reaching the whole-year economic growth target.


     Industry hits a peak in October, vietnam economy, business news, vn news, vietnamnet bridge, english news, Vietnam news, news Vietnam, vietnamnet news, vn news, Vietnam net news, Vietnam latest news, Vietnam breaking news

    The government last week reported that in October, the manufacturing and processing sector, which creates 80 per cent of Vietnam’s industrial growth, rose by a record 22.3 per cent year-on-year, doubling the rate of 11.9 per cent in the same period last year.

    The manufacturing and processing growth has led to a 13.6 per cent rise in this sector’s first-10-month figures, and a record 17 per cent ascension in the country’s October industrial growth – against the 7 per cent industrial growth of last October.

    This record growth has also created an 8.7 per cent rise in the country’s 10-month industrial growth, higher than the 7.7 per cent climb in last year’s corresponding period, and also higher than the 7.9 per cent of this year’s first nine months.

    Pham Van Can, director of Van Phu An JSC – specialised in producing garments and textiles in the northern province of Hai Duong – told VIR that in this year’s first 10 months, his firm’s total investment value increased 20 per cent year-on-year to about $6 million, with an export turnover surging up by 23 per cent year-on-year.

    “The economic situation is getting far better than that of previous years. We have benefited from the government’s pro-business policies since early last year,” Can said.

    This firm’s optimism is also reflected in the General Statistics Office’s (GSO) statistics that the local textile and garment sector – one of the key manufacturing and processing industries in the economy – has witnessed a year-on-year increase of 16.3 per cent in production and 32.8 per cent in consumption in this year’s first 10 months.

    Other industrial sectors have also strongly ascended in this year’s first 10 months, such as electronics and computers (29.3 per cent), steel (24.8 per cent), metal (18.6 per cent), and fertiliser (15.7 per cent).

    GSO stressed that electronics and computers contributed the most to the economy’s industrial growth. In October, the segment grew by a record 70 per cent year-on-year, with key driver Samsung – which is expected to generate an export turnover of about $54 billion this year – accounting for 26.73 per cent of Vietnam’s estimated $202 billion export turnover.

    The Korean giant’s contributions have also helped drive the 10-month industrial production growth of several provinces, such as Bac Ninh (32 per cent) and Thai Nguyen (18 per cent), which are home to Samsung projects worth about $8.7 billion in total.

    According to the government, the economy is likely to reach its 6.7 per cent growth target, thanks to strong growth in the economy’s key sectors this year, including in agro-forestry-fishery (up 3 per cent – a fourfold increase against 2016 to hit a record $35 billion in export turnover), industry and construction (up 7.17 per cent), and service (up 7.25 per cent – the highest rise since 2008). The manufacturing and processing sector is expected to rise by a record rate of 12.8 per cent year-on-year.

    And if the mining sector were not to suffer its projected decrease of 5.9 per cent, the economy’s growth figure would likely be 7.24 per cent, the government said.

    In this year’s first 10 months, the mining sector went down by 7.4 per cent year-on-year, while the exploitation of crude oil and natural gas decreased 9.6 per cent year-on-year.

    VIR


    0 0
  • 11/08/17--00:01: Article 1
  • BUSINESS IN BRIEF 8/11


    Vietnam earns US$6.15 billion from wood exports


     Vietnam earns US$6.15 billion from wood exports, Suncity to buy into Hoiana An casino resort, Potential impact of EU-Vietnam FTA, New regulation puts the squeeze on Vietnamese car importers

    The export turnover of Vietnamese wood and wooden products is estimated at US$6.15 billion since the beginning of this year, up 10.1% year on year.

    According to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, the US, China, and Japan were the biggest importers of Vietnamese wood and wooden products.

    In the period, markets posting high growth rates included the US (18.8%), Canada (15.1%), the Republic of Korea (11.1%) and China (9.1%).

    Experts said that the goal of US$8 billion in wood exports this year is feasible as the main season for wood exports is the last three months of the year.

    Vietnam imports a large amount of wood materials worth US$1.7-US$1.8 billion annually, equivalent to about 20%-30% of export turnover.

    Suncity to buy into Hoiana An casino resort

    Macau’s biggest junket operator Suncity Group is negotiating the purchase of 34% stake in South Hoi An integrated casino resort complex, now called Hoiana, while simultaneously confirming to pour US$26.2 million in the project, according to newswire Dealstreetasia.

    Accordingly, Suncity will take over 34% stake from Chow-Tai-Fook Group’s subsidiary Golden Yield Enterprise (GYE), which is a partner in the joint venture established to develop the Hoiana project.

    Suncity entered into a co-operation with GYE and Vietnam-based Vinacapital to develop the US$4-billion Hoiana project in the central province of Quang Nam.

    The project’s first, US$650-million phase is in implementation. As of now, VinaCapital invested US$89 million into the first phase and will mobilise an additional US$484 million. With the 34% holding in the project, Suncity will have to contribute US$26.2 million to develop the first phase, which is expected to come into operation in 2019.

    Licensed in 2010, the project was initially developed by VinaCapital and Genting Malaysia Berhad and comprised of five-star hotels, villas, and a casino targeting foreign tourists.

    However, in September 2012, Genting suddenly announced its withdrawal in the midst of site clearance, forcing VinaCapital to find other partners to jointly develop the project.

    After finding suitable partners, in late April 2016, the joint venture held the ground-breaking ceremony. The construction was implemented by Vietnamese contractor Coteccons.

    Investing in the Hoiana project is part of Suncity’s plan to pour billions of dollars into integrated casino resorts in Vietnam and Japan, aiming to realise its ambition of becoming an overseas casino operator on par with Las Vegas Sands Corp. and Wynn Resorts Ltd.

    In spite of operating VIP rooms where monthly bets recently surpassed US$17 billion, Suncity still plans to seize ownership in casinos and bid on contracts to manage casinos aboard. The ambitious expansion is planned even as Macau’s high-roller business continues the rebound that began last year.

    “In the future, if we own integrated casino resorts with golf courses, swimming pools, and restaurants, our clients will stick more with us,” said Andrew Lo, executive director of the group’s listed vehicle, Suncity Group Holding Ltd.

    Suncity selected Vietnam as an overseas investment destination due to its potential in the gaming sector. According to a report published on August 9 by Grant Govertsen, an analyst at Macau-based Union Gaming Securities Asia Ltd., Vietnam could generate as much as US$1.2 billion in gross gaming revenue in the upcoming years.

    Ben Tre’s vast coconut groves

    Most of Ben Tre’s vast coconut groves are in the western districts of Chau Thanh, Cho Lach, Mo Cay, and Giong Trom. Annually, the province harvests 600 million coconuts from 70,000 hectares of land to lead Vietnam in both growing area and production output.

    Ben Tre brand coconut products are diverse and account for 85% of the region’s total output.  

    Tam Trung’s Dat Dua candy workshop is located in Tan Thanh hamlet. Trung and his family use traditional methods to make coconut candy. Tran Thi Huong, a worker at Dat Dua workshop, described the steps used to make coconut candy while wrapping candies in paper.

    She said, “First the coconut flesh is separated from the hard shell, ground, and all of the bits of the brown skin is removed. The white coconut is dried on a hot pan for 45 minutes, then cooled, molded into bite-sized pieces and wrapped in paper. All steps are done manually.”

    Every day, Trung’s workshop welcomes hundreds of foreign visitors who come to see how sticky coconut candies are made and, of course, to buy some candy. Even while attending to crowds of visitors, Trung still has to pay close attention to making his coconut products.

    “Ben Tre is home to many coconut trees. All parts of the coconut are useful. The tree-trunk is used to make fine art pieces. Coconut flesh is for candies while the hard shell is used to make char coal. Coconut juice is for making coconut jelly. When coconuts turn browner and lighter, we use the flesh to make coconut oil or food for fish,” said Trung.

    On display at Trung’s workshop are numerous fine art pieces, including baskets, containers to keep teapots hot, clocks, and toy animals – all made by Tan Thanh villagers.

    Tu Dang who has created statues from coconut tree trunks, said “In the past growing coconut trees didn’t produce much income. But it always offered a stable livelihood because all parts of coconut trees are useful. To make fine art pieces, the trees must be 40 years old or more.”

    Phan Thu Nguyet, who has long been involved in coconut-based fine arts, told VOV: “Our living conditions have much improved thanks to making fine arts products. We, for example, can utilize the most of free time to make decorative lanterns from coconut stems.”

    For some locals, the coconut tree has been closely linked to their lives for years. It has entered Vietnamese literature and poetry and helped the villagers achieve heroic feat of arms during times of national defense.

    Nguyet said the coconut tree symbolizes the Ben Tre people, who are also sturdy and proud, adding: “Generally coconut trees are close to the locals. In the lyrics of a song called ‘Posture of the Coconut Tree’, the tree represents the friendliness and hospitality of Ben Tre people.”

    Ben Tre is famous for its coconut industry. Everything that comes from coconut trees, including the trunk, the leaves, hard-shells, the fiber – even coconut worm larvae - can be used in cooking or made into something for export.

    Ben Tre’s products are available in 68 countries and territories bringing the province revenues of US$200 million a year and comprising 40% of the province’s total exports turnover.

    Potential impact of EU-Vietnam FTA

    The EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA), which is going to be signed in 2018, will boost Vietnam’s GDP by US$3.2 billion by 2020, US$6.7 billion by 2025, and US$7.2 billion by 2030.

    The EU is an economic union consisting of 28 member states and a population of 508 million people, and an aggregate GDP of US$18 trillion, making it the largest unified market all over the world. The EU is one of Vietnam’s leading trade partners, accounting for 19% of Vietnamese exports.

    Vietnam-EU’s export turnover was US$20.6 billion in 2015. The EU ranks second among the official development assistance (ODA) donors of Vietnam with more than 40% of non-refundable aid.

    “The EU is a very important partner for Vietnam in every field of the economy, with strong impact on the country’s development. The EVFTA has become more important to the development of Vietnam after the US’ withdrawal from the TPP,” emphasised Truong Dinh Tuyen, former Minister of Trade.

    EVFTA negotiations were closed in 2015, the document has been translated into 23 languages and are going to be signed in 2018. Upon entering into force, it will impact the development of modern market institutions and Vietnam’s international integration via the multiple commitments to open up the market to ensure the freedom of movement for goods, services, as well as investment and factors of production, promoting transparency and stability.

    The FTA will also impact Vietnam’s growth through investment and export expansion. Following a 7/10 roadmap, the EU will remove all import taxes on Vietnamese goods within seven years, while Vietnam will do so in return within 10 years.

    This arrangement means the EU will remove taxes faster, and many of Vietnam’s flagship export products will be able to enter the EU completely exempt of tariffs after the EVFTA comes into effect or a short time later. These advantages will create new motivation for Vietnamese exports to the EU.

    According to a report of economist Pham Thi Lan Huong, a researcher of the European Trade Policy and Investment Support Project (EU-MUTRAP), presented at the workshop consultation on the potential impact of the EVFTA held on November 2, 2017, Vietnam’s export turnover towards the EU will gain approximately US$33 billion by 2020, US$42 billion by 2025, and US$47 billion by 2030.

    Specifically, 50% of the tariff lines on aquatic products will be removed right after the FTA comes online. 0% tax will be applied to rice imports (within a quota of around 20,000 to 30,000 tonnes per year). Goods like coffee, pepper, cashew nut, honey, fresh vegetables, fruits and their processed products or juice will see tariff exemption instantly, while they are imposed rather high tariffs at the moment (up to 17-20% for some products).

    Apparel and footwear are two of Vietnam’s major export goods to the EU, with annual turnover of US$3.5 and 4 billion, respectively. These product categories will see tariffs cut by 42.5% and 37%, respectively, after the enforcement of the FTA. Wood and wood products, computers, electronic products, and components will also see tariff cuts.

    Vietnamese businesses could bid to provide goods, services, and to be involved in construction projects in EU member states. This is an opportunity for them to approach the EU markets.

    However, firms must follow the original rules applied to each specific product in the FTA, while conducting export or import activities, as well as understand EU regulations and frequently update on information to enjoy the best tax incentives.

    Hung Yen creates favorable conditions for investors

    Hung Yen province’s economy has improved in recent years thanks to more investment in local industrial zones and incentives for domestic and foreign enterprises.

    Hung Yen plans to build 10 industrial zones on an area of 2,400 ha. Four industrial zones have been put into operation attracting about 380 projects.

    Around 70% of these industrial parks have been filled, thanks to their favorable location.

    Nguyen Duc Thang, Director of Thang Long Industrial Park II Company of the Japanese Sumitomo Group which has been operating in Hung Yen since 2006, said "Sumitomo Group invested in Hung Yen because of its favorable geographical location and developed transport infrastructure. It’s easy to go to Hanoi or to major sea ports in the north including Hai Phong and Cai Lan. We have received much support from the provincial People’s Committee, particularly in land clearance."

    Hung Yen has particularly focused on luring high tech and environmentally friendly projects and those on mechanics, electronics, and support industry.

    Pham Thai Son, the Director of the Management Board of Industrial Zones in Hung Yen, said, "Every year since 2014 Hung Yen has attracted US$300 to US$350 million worth of foreign investment. 

    They include high tech projects from Japan’s Nikiso Group, Hoya Glass Disk Vietnam, and TOTO Vietnam Company with registered investment capital of between 70 and US$100 million each. Some Vietnamese companies including Hoa Phat Group and Nutifood have invested in Hung Yen."

    Son said Hung Yen province is speeding up land clearance and constructing three more industrial parks.

    “Hung Yen plans to develop a 3,000-hectare urban industrial park which is close to the Hanoi-Hai Phong Highway and the new Road 39 to attract more investment. The province is calling on Vietnamese, Japanese, and the Republic of Korean investors to invest in the local infrastructure. We hope to draw American and European investors whose investment in the province remains modest," Son added.

    By September, FDI projects in Hung Yen came from 17 countries and territories with a total registered investment capital of more than US$3 billion. 

    Japan is the biggest investor with 107 projects worth more than US$2 billion, followed by the Republic of Korea with 37 projects worth more than US$412 million.

    The achievements are attributed to the province’s specific solutions to create a favorable environment for investors. Hung Yen has invested in electricity, transport, water supply, and drainage, and speeded up administrative reforms.

    Nguyen Duc Thang, Director of Thang Long Industrial Park II Company, praised local support for enterprises, adding, "The province has created favorable conditions for Japanese investors in Thang Long Industrial Park II. They talk with businesses every year to promptly address problems and difficulties encountered by enterprises in the production and business process."

    "The provincial People's Committee has also supported investors with streamlined administrative procedures. It takes only one to three days to get an investment license or business establishment certificate. If we have any administrative difficulties, we discuss with the provincial People's Committee for a prompt solution," he added.

    New regulation puts the squeeze on Vietnamese car importers

    While erecting technical barriers to hinder the flow of imported cars, Vietnam plans to cut taxes imposed on locally-made vehicles to boost its auto industry.

    Nguyen Dinh Thanh, the owner of a car dealership in Hanoi’s Long Bien District, is in danger of going out of business when a new decree regulating automobile imports takes effect next year.

    The decree stipulates that traders will only be permitted to import automobiles if they can provide valid vehicle registration certificates issued by authorities from the countries of origin.

    Original quality control certificates for each vehicle and letters of authorization regarding recalls of defective vehicles from the manufacturers will also be required, along with copies of quality assurance certificates provided by the countries of origin.

    “The requirements are too strict for car dealerships to meet,” Thanh said, worrying that the dealership that has fed his family and dozens of workers over the last 10 years will have to close.

    “We will import 40 more units before the decree takes effect (January 1, 2018). When they are sold out, maybe in two months, we will have to shut down the business.”

    Thanh is not the only car dealer concerned about the new regulations.

    Nguyen Tuan, director of auto dealership Thien Phuc An, said: “It is very difficult to get copies of quality assurance certificates for imported cars from foreign authorities. Only official distributors and subsidiaries of manufacturers in Vietnam can get them.”

    “Small traders who import cars through sub-agents or a third country are unable to do this,” he added.

    Another requirement that requires enterprises to have one car from each batch of imports technically accredited in Vietnam will cost importers more time and money, he said. “Businesses may have to spend weeks and up to VND100 million (US$4,340) to complete the accreditation procedure.”

    Under current regulations, only one certificate is required for each model of car, regardless of how many batches are imported.

    Pham Anh Tuan, head of the strategic planning department at Toyota Vietnam, said foreign authorities only provide quality assurance certificates for cars sold in their own countries, not for those that are exported. This is the same in Vietnam.

    In some countries, authorities do not issue these certificates at all. In the United States, for example, car manufacturers are responsible for quality control, and government agencies only take over after the assembly line, he said.

    Thanh urged the government to change the policy so that car dealerships can survive. He said it would be a waste of money if car dealers had to shut down after making huge investments. Thousands of employees would also lose their jobs, he added.

    Private economy thrives in southern localities

    The increasing number of newly-established firms in the southern region in recent years has demonstrated their stronger confidence in Party and State policies designed to support the development of the private economy.

    The private economy is defined as an important contributor to the economic development of cities and provinces and the country as a whole. Therefore, such southern localities as Ho Chi Minh City, Dong Nai and Binh Duong provinces have attached great importance to promoting private firms and creating all possible conditions for their development.

    Following the spirit of the 12th Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV) Central Committee’s Resolution on developing the private economy, the southern economic hub of Ho Chi Minh City has put forth a number of policies to support businesses’ operation, including taxes, customs and production premises, according to Huynh Thanh Dien, member of the city’s Support Industry Development Project.

    Statistics from the municipal Department of Planning and Investment showed that more than 309,000 enterprises are active in the city with a total charter capital of over 3.5 trillion VND (154 million USD). The number of businesses is forecast to double by 2020.

    Similarly, Binh Duong and Dong Nai provinces have devised numerous policies to develop the private economy, especially improving administrative procedures and investment promotion efficiency.

    As a result, more than 29,000 enterprises have registered to operate in Binh Duong with a total capital of over 200 trillion VND, generating jobs for 15,000-20,000 workers annually. The province targets additional 23,000 new firms in 2016-2020.

    The number of newly-established businesses in Dong Nai is increasing with an average of over 2,000 firms each year.

    Synchronous measures from both State and businesses are essential to create a driving force for the private economy, including the reduction of production costs.

    Nguyen Dinh Tue, Director of HCM City Centre for Supporting Small and Medium Sized Enterprises, said the southern metropolis is leading the country in promulgating policies to support businesses. 

    He advised the city to create fundamental changes in administrative reform and improve the business environment.

    For Dong Nai, the province has given priority to improving the quality of administrative procedures and ensuring transparency in addition to encouraging businesses’ innovation and application of science and technology into production and supporting individuals and start-ups.

    Vice Chairman of the Binh Duong People’s Committee Dang Minh Hung said the province aims to become a developed industrial locality in the Southeast Asian region by 2020. 

    The promotion of start-up movement is considered a key strategy, he said, adding that local authorities have approved a plan to implement a project on national innovative start-up ecosystem through 2025.

    APEC 2017: Vietnam affirms active role in APEC

    Hosting the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Forum for a second time shows that Vietnam is an active and responsible member of the group, making effective contributions to APEC’s development after 19 years of membership.

    Vietnam’s admission to APEC in 1998 marked an important milestone in the country’s external policy of expansion, diversification and multilateralisation of relations and international economic integration. 

    APEC was the first economic cooperation mechanism in Asia-Pacific Vietnam joined after entering the “Doi moi” (reform) process, with a focus on long-term cooperation frameworks with partners in the region.

    Over the past 19 years, with the motto of cooperating to jointly build a peaceful, stable, developing and prosperous Asia-Pacific community, Vietnam has proved an active member via promoting economic connectivity and reinforcing the regional multilateral trade system. 

    Vietnam has not only participated in APEC cooperation programmes in various fields and implemented APEC cooperation commitments but also put forth proposals and initiatives to facilitate trade and investment in the region.

    The country’s practical and remarkable contributions to APEC during its 19-year membership have increased trust from other economies. Notably, Vietnam made positive impressions during its first time hosting APEC in 2006, which mapped out long-term cooperation plans for APEC, especially the Hanoi Action Plan to implement the Busan Roadmap towards the Bogor Goals on trade and investment liberalisation by 2020.

    The hosting of APEC 2006 and other forums in recent years has helped Vietnam gain experience in preparing for and contributing ideas, initiatives and major orientations for the APEC Year 2017. 

    The country selected “Creating New Dynamism, Fostering a Shared Future” as the theme of APEC 2017 to promote growth via extensive and intensive economic cooperation and integration in Asian-Pacific.

    Vietnam proposed four main priorities, including promoting sustainable, innovative and inclusive growth; deepening regional economic integration; strengthening competitiveness and innovation for micro-, small-and medium-sized enterprises in the digital age; and enhancing food security and sustainable agriculture in response to climate change.

    The 25th APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting this week in the central coastal city of Da Nang will contribute to maintaining the role and position of APEC as well as building a self-reliant, dynamic and prosperous Asia-Pacific.

    Established in 1989, the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum comprises 21 economies, including Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, China, Hong Kong-China, Indonesia, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Peru, the Philippines, Russia, Singapore, Chinese Taipei, Thailand, the US, and Vietnam.

    APEC represents about 39 percent of the world’s population and contributes 57 percent to global GDP and 49 percent of international trade.

    VPBank posts $246.8m pre-tax profit     

    Viet Nam Prosperity Joint Stock Commercial Bank (VPBank) posted a pre-tax profit of VND5.6 trillion (US$246.8 million) in the first nine months of the year, a 79 per cent year-on-year increase and reaching the top three of country’s banks following Vietcombank and Vietinbank.

    VPBank’s third-quarter business results included impressive growth in profit, total assets, equity, and capital adequacy ratio, showing that the bank is likely to reach its ambitious VND7.2 trillion profit target by year’s end.

    Its profits have been mainly generated from total operating income, which increased by 48 per cent compared with the same period last year and reached VND17.5 trillion. Net interest and similar income in the first nine months was VND14.9 trillion, up 41 per cent year-on-year.

    Meanwhile, operating expenses grew at a rate of only 33 per cent, much below the growth rate of total operating income. The non-performing loans ratio of the bank remained at 2.6 per cent. 

    Japanese firms eye big opportunities in Vietnamese water sector

    As many as 23 Japanese firms are expected to take part in VietWater 2017, Vietnam’s leading international water supply, sanitation, water resources, and purification event this week on November 8-10.

    Accordingly, the Japanese Pavilion will be launched for the sixth consecutive year, promoting Japanese's high-technology in machinery and water treatment services.

    The firms include Ogiso Kentiku Co., Ltd., Takasago Industry Co., Ltd., TAK Manufacturing Co., Ltd., Kowa Trading Co., Ltd., Miura Chemical Equipment Co., Aplus Trading Co., Ltd., and Marusan Kinzoku Corporation.

    Five of the Japanese participants are planning to establish units in Vietnam.

    At VietWater 2016, a similar number of Japanese companies attended the event with 863 trade exchanges recorded and 87 trade agreements signed worth a total value of JPY500 million ($4.4 million).

    "VietWater 2017 is expected to open up wider business opportunities for Japanese firms," said an official of a Japanese firm.

    Due to the rising population, economic development, and industrialisation, the demand for daily waste and industrial waste treatment in Vietnam has grown significantly. This has made the country more appealing to foreign investors in the field.

    To be held in Ho Chi Minh City, this year's event will attract over 480 exhibitors from 38 countries and regions, as well as 14 international pavilions, including Australia, Belgium, China, the EU, Finland, Germany, Hungary, Singapore, Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, and the UK.

    A wide array of cutting-edge technologies, solutions, products, and equipment in all subdivisions of the water and renewable energy industry will be showcased at this business platform. They will give great opportunities to connect and find solutions for managing, operating, and controlling water and energy projects.

    My Thuy Port might be kicked off in 2018

    With foreign investors lining up, My Thuy International Seaport in the central province of Quang Tri will likely be kicked off in early 2018, according to the Quang Tri Department of Planning and Investment.

    The Ministry of Transport (MoT) has green-lighted the development of My Thuy International Seaport project which will take place in three stages to ensure its feasibility.

    In a document sent to Quang Tri on October 31, MoT agreed with the plan to first develop four piers by 2020. In the second stage three other piers will be built by 2030, and three more in the third stage.

    This adjustment was made following comments from MoT, which said that the earlier-proposed project is too much bigger than the detailed planning for ports of the central region including Quang Tri.

    According to a VIR source, the investor, My Thuy International Port Joint Venture Company (MTIP), has finished the feasibility study of the project.

    "As many as 14 investors have showed interests in the project. If everything goes smoothly, we plan to kick it off in early 2018," a senior official of the province told VIR.

    Getting in-principle approval from the government in April 2017, the project has been stuck since then as Quang Tri and MoT failed to reach a consensus on the capacity of the $630-million project.

    MoT suggested that the province carefully consider the volume of goods forecast to be shipped via the port. Particularly, the volume of goods from industrial zones (IZs) in the South East Economic Zone and other IZs in the province, as well as goods in transit for Laos, the East-North region of Thailand in the East-West Economic Corridor.

    According to MoT, the volume of goods shipped via My Thuy Port is estimated to be 18.36 million tonnes by 2020 and 35.75 million tonnes by 2030, much higher than the 1.1 million and 1.5 million tonnes projected in the detailed planning for ports of the central region.

    Located in Hai Lang district, My Thuy Port will work as a transshipment port for goods in the East-West Economic Corridor, thus creating a driving force to attract more investors to the province.

    At present, many projects in the South East EZ are awaiting the project’s approval. About 10 projects have been so far registered in the EZ with a total investment capital sum of VND62.3 trillion ($2.83 billion), focusing on seaport services, thermal power, energy, and infrastructure.

    Solar market embraces local-international partnerships

    High-quality partnerships of local know-how and international experience are key to unlock Vietnam’s solar potential.

    Solar energy market embraces stronger partnerships between local and international experience 

    This insight was shared today with more than 100 representatives from provincial authorities, investors, and other stakeholders at the workshop entitled “Introduction of Circular No.16/2017/TT-BCT on Solar Power Project Development and Standardised Power Purchase Agreement for Solar Power Projects.”

    Solar power is high on the agenda in Vietnam since the publication of the prime minister’s Decision No.11/2017/QD-TTg in April, which sets the feed-in-tariff at  9.35 US cents/kWh. However, the decision also sets June 2019 as the deadline for the solar power plants to be built and connected to the grid in order to receive this feed-in tariff (FIT). 

    ”In this context, the workshop is a very important initiative as it provides guidance to investors, local governments and financial institutions. It is also an opportunity for local governments to better understand the circular and gain insight into the latest solar developments, which will be helpful to better assess and approve solar power plants at provincial levels,” said Sonia Lioret, head of GIZ’s 4E project at the workshop.

    As part of the workshop, representatives from the Electricity and Renewable Energy Agency explained the content of Circular 16 and answered questions from participants.

    Consultants from GIZ shared international observations on solar power development in Vietnam, together with a presentation about international and regional experiences regarding the technical and financial assessment of solar power projects.

    Solar projects require high upfront investment. In some provinces land availability or grid capacity limit the number of projects that can be approved by local and central authorities. It is therefore important to carefully assess the general viability of these new solar projects.

    This includes the choice of the site, the experience of all parties and contract partners involved in the project, as well as the quality of the equipment and the installation process in order to avoid project failures or economic underperformance. 

    "As solar power is still quite new in Vietnam, bearing in mind that all projects have to be built and connected by June 2019, we believe that the combination of local knowledge and international experience will be a great recipe for successful projects,” said Rainer Brohm, a German solar energy expert who held a presentation at the workshop.

    RoK’s SY Group opens representative office in Bac Lieu

    The SY Group from the Republic of Korea has opened a representative office in Bac Lieu city of the Mekong Delta province of Bac Lieu.

    SY operates in multiple industries such as construction materials, architecture, colour-coated steel and energy.

    At an inauguration ceremony for the office last week, Deputy Director of the provincial Department of Planning and Investment Tran Thanh Hai said Bac Lieu will provide the best possible conditions for the group.

    The province will support businesses and investors since their development also means growth for the locality, he stressed.

    The SY Group is carrying out a solar power plant in Long Dien Dong commune of the province’s Dong Hai district.

    Covering 400ha, the project will be implemented from 2017 to June 2019 at a total cost exceeding 10.24 trillion VND (450 million USD). It will have total capacity of 300MW when fully operational.

    This is the biggest solar energy project in Vietnam so far, according to Chairman of the SY Group Hong Young Don.  

    Vietnam reports US$5 billion phone exports in October

    Export revenue from phones and phone parts last month rose a staggering 76.4% year-on-year to an estimated US$5 billion, according to the General Statistics Office.

    Phones and phone parts were the biggest export earner of Vietnam last month. Their outbound sales were roughly two times higher than those of electronics, computers and accessories (US$2.43 billion), and textile and garment products (US$2.3 billion).

    Total export revenue from phones and phone parts in January-October increased 28.8% year-on-year to over US$36.5 billion.

    ASEAN and the European Union, the United Arab Emirates, and the United States were the main buyers of phones and phone parts from Vietnam.

    There were four other groups of items bringing in export revenue of over US$10 billion each in the period, according to the statistics agency. Textile and garment products earned US$21.5 billion, a year-on-year rise of 9.5%; electronics, computers and accessories US$20.9 billion, up 38.8%; footwear with US$11.6 billion, up 11.9%; and machinery, equipment and accessories with US$10.3 billion, up 28%.

    The nation’s January-October export turnover expanded 20.7% year-on-year to an estimated US$173.7 billion while its import bill reached US$172.5 billion, up 22%, resulting in a trade surplus of US$1.23 billion.

    Finance Minister: Ratio of budget revenue to GDP not too high

     Minister of Finance Dinh Tien Dung, speaking at the ongoing National Assembly (NA) session in Hanoi, said the ratio of State budget revenue to gross domestic product (GDP) is not too high compared to other countries, says a report on VietnamFinance news website.

    A NA deputy earlier said Vietnam ranks third in the world after Japan and China in terms of the ratios of fee and tax revenues to GDP.

    Dung said State budget revenue accounts for 23.9% of GDP this year, of which taxes and fees make up 19.7% of GDP. Meanwhile, a report of the International Monetary Fund issued last month showed that the 2016 proportions were 44.3% in European Union (EU) countries, 25.5% in developed and emerging Asian countries, 28.2% in China, 21.3% in India, 22.4% in Thailand and 20.4% in Malaysia.

    In Vietnam, revenues from crude oil exports, land use fees and proceeds from the sale of state-owned houses go straight to the State budget while in some other countries, such revenues are not included.

    Some developing countries even include social insurance revenues into their budget revenues, which is not the case in Vietnam.

    The country has cut taxes more considerably than expected to help enterprises overcome difficulties, thus fueling economic growth.

    Tax reductions, together with falling crude oil export revenue, have affected tax and fee collections. Fee and tax collections are expected to account for 19.7% of GDP next year, down from 20.1% this year and failing to meet the 21% target for the 2016-2020 period.

    Dung was quoted by VietnamFinance as saying that the ministry will adjust tax management policies to create favorable conditions for taxpayers and at the same time prevent tax evasion. The Government has asked the ministry to make preparations for sending the amended Tax Law to the NA next year.

    State budget revenue growth this year is expected at 10.1% over last year. Of which, revenue from domestic production and business activities will edge up 14.1%, offsetting the decline of budget revenue caused by tax deductions and lower crude oil export earnings.

    In addition, revenue from State-run, foreign-invested and non-State-owned enterprises are not as high as expected as the target this year is much higher than last year, 8.8%, 22.9% and 23.8% higher than last year.

    Vegetables emerge as major export earner

    Vegetables have become a major export earner of the country as their export revenue is even higher than that of crude oil, said Nguyen Thien Nhan, secretary of the HCMC Party Committee, at a National Assembly session on November 1.

    The country last year exported crude oil worth US$2.4 billon, rice US$2.15 billion, coffee US$3.3 billion, fisheries US$7 billion, and vegetables US$2.45 billion, Nhan said, stressing this was the first time export revenue from vegetables was higher than that from crude oil.

    He said outbound sales of crude oil in 2005 totaled US$7.3 billion, 31 times higher than vegetables (US$235 million). However, the current figure for crude oil represents 98% of that for vegetables.

    Export revenue from crude oil has dipped by US$5 billion in the past five years. Meanwhile, vegetable exports have soared 30% a year, and the export value of this commodity is forecast to amount to US$10 billion.

    He proposed adopting policies to prop up vegetable farming to facilitate the export of this produce.

    Minister of Industry and Trade Tran Tuan Anh said Vietnam has seen strong export growth of agricultural and aquatic products. For example, Vietnamese fruits like dragon fruit, rambutan, longan and litchi have made their way to the U.S. market.

    Toyota Vietnam lowers auto prices

    Toyota Vietnam has cut prices of domestically assembled autos by 3% to 9% since Wednesday this week, according to a report on Vietnamnet news website.

    The Japanese automaker has adjusted down prices of Vios, Innova and Corolla vehicles, except for the Camry, said the report.

    Toyota Vios TRD has declined by VND58 million (US$2,553) to VND586 million (US$25,820), said Vietnamnet. Other models of the four-door subcompact car like Toyota Vios G, E CVT and MT have marked down by VND48-53 million to VND484-586 million per unit.

    Toyota Corolla subcompact and compact cars have seen their prices falling by VND24-31 million to VND678-936 million per unit. Notably, Toyota Innova retail prices have dipped by VND42-50 million to VND817-995 million per unit.

    The special consumption tax for autos with engine capacity of two liters or below is set to be slashed by 5% next year. Vietnam will also reduce import tariffs on auto parts from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to 0%, said the Vietnamnet report.

    Therefore, the average tax on auto parts will be around 5% next year, down from the current 15%, which might result in the automaker revising down its retail prices.

    Some dealers of Toyota Vietnam in Hanoi were quoted by Vietnamnet as saying that the firm’s selling prices are now equivalent to those of other dealers. This has prompted many customers to buy its vehicles since Wednesday.

    In a related development, some foreign-invested companies have decided to cancel their import orders for completely-built-up (CBU) autos next January as they have yet to meet the new requirements provided in Government Decree 116/2017/ND-CP on manufacturing, assembly and import of autos, and auto warranty and maintenance services that came into force on October 17.

    Specifically, they are required to provide the scanned copies of quality certificates for their imported autos issued by competent authorities in exporting countries.

    Farm exports face more technical barriers

    Vietnamese exporters will face more technical barriers to trade when they send farm produce to foreign markets in the coming time, according to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD).

    At a conference on farm export jointly organized by the Plant Protection Department (PPD) under MARD and CropLife Vietnam in HCMC on November 2, a representative of MARD said that as of October, MARD had received 35 notices from foreign countries about the Maximum Residue Level (MRL) standards for farm produce.

    PPD’s report shows the contribution of farm exports to the country’s total outbound sales declined from 13% in 2012 to 8.6% in 2016. One of the reasons is Vietnamese farm produce could not meet MRL standards in importing countries.

    According to PPD, it takes a long time for Vietnam and importing countries to reach agreement on MRL standards and other issues before importing countries allow Vietnamese fruits to enter their markets.

    Vietnam needs at least two years to wrap up negotiations. Particularly, it took Vietnam eight years to strike a deal to ship dragon fruit to Australia.

    Japanese tourism promoted in Can Tho

    The Japan National Tourism Organization (JNTO) on November 2 organized a seminar in Can Tho City in a bid to promote tourism exchanges between Japan and Vietnam’s Mekong Delta.

    This was the first time the Japanese tourism promotion agency has held such an event in the Mekong Delta city of Can Tho to promote travel to Japan.

    Takahashi Ayumi, chief representative of JNTO in Vietnam, said at the Visit Japan seminar that there has been an upsurge in Vietnamese tourists to Japan since the Vietnam office of JNTO was opened in March this year. Japan welcomed 230,000 tourists from Vietnam in all of 2016, but in the first nine months of this year, the same number of Vietnamese visitors came to Japan, up 30% year-on-year, the highest growth rate ever, he noted.

    As for this year, Japan looks to attract up to 300,000 Vietnamese tourists, Takahashi Ayumi said.

    Among around 20 travel firms showing up at the seminar on November 2 were JTB-TNT, Song Han Tourist and Tagger Travel. 

    “As Can Tho is the biggest city in the Mekong Delta and a fast-growing market, we hope both sides need more specific information about each other to boost tourism,” he noted.

    Can Tho City vice chairman Truong Quang Hoai Nam said at the seminar that more than 740,000 Japanese visited Vietnam last year. “However, the number of Japanese arrivals to Can Tho is still small due to a shortage of information for tourists and poor traffic infrastructure in the region.”

    Nam added the Visit Japan seminar and the Vietnam-Japan culture and trade event which is set to take place in Can Tho this weekend are expected to help both sides attract more tourists.

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


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  • 11/08/17--00:33: Article 0
  • Social News 7/11


    Border guards destroy heroin trafficking ring 

     Border guards destroy heroin trafficking ring, Fight against illegal sand mining to intensify, Painting exhibition on Soviet Union opens in Hanoi, PM requires to inspect unspoken rules in river
    Thao In and Thao Senh (third and forth left) were caught by the Điện Biên Province Border Guards and the Laos’ Phongsaly District Security Headquarters for trafficking heroin.  

    The Điện Biên Province Border Guards, in co-ordination with the Laos’ Phongsaly Province’s Security Headquarter, during the early hours of Tuesday, destroyed a complex heroin trafficking ring.

    Thanks to an information exchange with the Phongsaly Province’s Security Headquarter and reports from local residents, the border guards are in the know about the work of several heroin traffickers in Muong Khoa District in Phongsaly Province.

    The main heroin traffickers were Thao In, 55, from Muong Khoa District, and Thao Tua, 34, from Bun Tay District. They are considered the main men responsible for the heroin transporting ring from Udom Xay, Luang Namtha and Bokeo provinces to Phongsaly Province. They gave instructions to a number of accomplices in all the northern provinces of Laos.

    After collecting enough evidence, last Tuesday, the Điện Biên Province Border Guards decided to set up a trap together with the Phongsaly Province’s Security Headquarter to catch the culprits in the act.

    For one month, the police followed all the activities of the two main traffickers, and discovered that Thao was in direct, regular contact with Thao Senh, 28, from Udom Xay Province’s Muong Na District. The police said that Senh was the heroin supplier for In and decided to catch the two.

    The police caught In and Senh, red-handed, exchanging money and heroin at a hotel in Muong Khoa District. Objects of evidence included 90,000 tablets of ecstasy and 3 million Lao kip (US$360). 

    In and Senh admitted to the police that they had worked along with several people from Việt Nam to transport the heroin to be sold in Việt Nam.

    Fight against illegal sand mining to intensify

    A barge is caught exploiting sand illegally in Can Gio District, HCMC

    HCMC will join forces with five neighboring provinces to fight illegal sand mining as the unchecked problem needs a concerted effort to solve, heard a meeting on November 3.

    Illegal sand mining has worsened in HCMC, Tien Giang, Long An, Ba Ria-Vung Tau, Binh Duong and Dong Nai. Recent news reports said HCMC’s Can Gio District, whose mangrove forest is a world biosphere reserve, has been struck by illegal sand mining.

    According to Nguyen Toan Thang, director of the HCMC Department of Natural Resources and Environment, nearly 100 illegal sand mining and transport cases were detected in Can Gio and other areas between 2015 and mid-2017.

    When barges and vessels are found illegally exploiting sand, they would flee to neighboring localities due to a poor coordination mechanism between provinces.

    At the meeting, leaders of the six localities pledged to enhance cooperation and reinforce law enforcement agencies to effectively address illegal sand mining.

    They suggested the Ministry of Public Security impose stricter sanctions on individuals and organizations pumping sand without licenses.

    Painting exhibition on Soviet Union opens in Hanoi

    A painting exhibition featuring the Russian October Revolution as well as the people and landscapes in difference places of the Soviet Union opened at the National Museum of Vietnamese History on November 7.

    The exhibition showcases 100 oil and watercolour paintings drawn by painter Tran Quan Ngoc when learning and working in the Soviet Union from 1954 to 1972.

    The exhibition, held on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the Russian October Revolution (November 7), aimed to disseminate the significance of the revolution for the revolutionary movements in the world and in Vietnam.

    Painter Tran Quan Ngoc, born in 1938, owns 250 paintings on the Soviet Union. Apart from the 100 paintings exhibited at the National Museum of Vietnamese History, the remaining are on display at another exhibition in Ho Chi Minh City.

    On this occasion, he presented four paintings to the National Museum of Vietnamese History.

    PM requires to inspect unspoken rules in river

    Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has prompted the Ministry of Public Security to work with Dong Nai and Binh Duong provincial people’s committees to inspect and ascertain unspoken rules in rivers as per press information recently.

    Specifically, Thanh Nien Newspaper has published information about the situation in which traffic police and waterway traffic inspectors just dropped by to take ‘small sheets’ and quickly left while inspecting boats and barges in the Dong Nai river.

    Mr. Phuc required the ministry to strictly handle spotted violations according to the law and report results him.

    In addition, the Prime Minister has assigned the Ministry of Transport to coordinate with the Ministry of Public Security to inspect the information reflected in early October that waterway transport fee is higher than road, railway and marine fees party because of bribery in rivers.

    The issue has caused the southern region unable to exploit its potential and strength of the entangled river and canal system. according to the information.

    Flood damaged railway to resume operation on November 9

    The North-South Railway has been damaged by Typhoon Damrey and big flooding in the central region, repair is expected to complete on November 9 to resume the entire route, said Vietnam Railways yesterday.

    The worst damaged stretch is from Hao Son station in Phu Yen province to Dai Lanh station in Khanh Hoa province.
    Vietnam Railways has mobilized hundreds of workers to repair the eroded rail track. After the route is resumed, trains will be able to travel at five kilometers an hour.
    During the repair time, the railway industry will continue organizing transit buses to transport passengers from Hao Son to Dai Lanh.

    12 percent cooperatives provide farm produce processing, consumption services

    Only 12 percent of agricultural cooperatives have provided services to process and consume farm produce while the remaining ones have just supplied input services for households’ production activities.

    That was reported by Cooperative Development Department under the Ministry of Planning and Investment yesterday at an international workshop on agricultural cooperatives.

    According to the agency,  the country now has 19,569 cooperatives with over 6.2 million members.

    Of the number, 10,762 are agricultural cooperatives accounting for 55 percent. Most of them have just supplied input services for production activities of households.

    At the workshop, deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Tran Thanh Nam stressed that the Cooperative Law effective since 2013 has created positive changes. Specifically, the operation efficiency of agricultural cooperatives has increased from 10 percent to 33 percent. Around 20.5 percent have operated under link chains.

    Still, agricultural cooperatives are facing three challenges. Firstly, they might return back to old model waiting for the state’s assistance, running after economic efficiency and forgetting their social responsibilities.

    The second challenge is from climate change and market pressure. The last one is the cooperatives’ internal challenge with little capital, small scale, technology shortage, leaders’ thinking and ability limitation.

    Joint efforts needed to help flood-hit people: Prime Minister

    Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has asked ministries, agencies and localities to join hands to help people affected by typhoon Damrey stabilise their lives, considering this an important, urgent task.

    At a teleconference in Hanoi on November 6 held by the Central Steering Committee for Natural Disaster Prevention and Control, the PM expressed his deep sympathy to families of flood victims.

    He said resources and vehicles should be promptly mobilised in response to unexpected natural disasters, with special attention paid to people in Da Nang city and Quang Nam province in the central region, which host activities of the ongoing APEC Economic Leaders’ Week.

    Regarding the post-flood work, the leader urged ministries, agencies and localities to implement policies towards flood-hit residents, search for missing persons, provide medical care for the injured and prevent diseases.

    Under the PM’s decision, each of the flood-affected localities will receive from 100-500 tonnes of rice or more, depending on the damage they have suffered.

    According to the committee, the heavy toll exacted by typhoon Damrey, the 12th storm to hit Vietnam this year, continued to rise, with the number of deaths reaching 49 on November 6.

    The latest available update from the committee also listed 27 people as missing and at least 64 others injured since November 4, when the storm made landfall in the south-central region, its impacts spreading to the central, Central Highlands and southern regions.

    It said as many as 1,358 houses in Quang Ngai, Khanh Hoa, Binh Dinh and Phu Yen provinces in the central region and the Central Highlands provinces of Gia Lai, Dak Lak, Dak Nong and Lam Dong collapsed.

    The roofs of 114,886 other houses were blown off by the typhoon’s strong winds. More than 20,000ha of crops and hundreds of kilometers of roads were damaged by the typhoon.

    The National Centre for Hydro meteorological Forecasting warned that inundation would continue in districts of Phu Loc, Phu Vang, Huong Tra and Hue city in Thua Thien-Hue province.

    In Quang Nam province, the districts of DaiLoc, Duy Xuyen, Dien Ban, Nghia Hanh, Mo Duc, Tu Nghia, Chau To town, and the cities of Quang Ngai and Hoi An would also experience continued flooding.

    A similar warning applied to the districts of Van Canh and Hoai Nhon, as well as Quy Nhon city in Binh Dinh province.

    The mountainous areas of Quang Tri, Thua Thien-Hue, Quang Nam, Quang Ngai, Binh Dinh, Kon Tum, Gia Lai and Dak Lak provinces have been put on high alert of landslides.

    After making its landfall in Vietnam, the typhoon weakened into a tropical low-pressure system and entered Cambodia on November 6.

    Heavy rains were forecast in the central region, from Ha Tinh to Quang Ngai provinces from November 6-8 due to impacts of a cold front combined with wind disturbances.

    Public servants raise funds to support storm victims

    The Office of the Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV) Central Committee on November 6 raised funds to support people in the central, Central Highlands and south central regions affected by storm Damrey.

    Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong and former Party General Secretary Nong Duc Manh joined the staff at the fund-raising ceremony.

    Each of the public servants donated at least one-day salary to help the victims overcome the devastating consequences caused by the storm, promptly restore production and soon stabilise their lives.

    A similar event was held by the President’s Office the same day, during which President Tran Dai Quang called for joint efforts to assist the flood-hit people.

    National Assembly Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan and Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc also responded to the fund-raising campaign held by the Offices of the NA and the Government on November 6.

    The same day, the Presidium of the Vietnam Fatherland Front (VFF) Central Committee called for donation to help victims of the storm.

    After launching, the People Committee of Hai Phong city donated 12 billion VND (528,000 USD), while staff and workers of the VFF supported at least one-day salary.

    As of November 6 morning, typhoon Damrey, the 12th storm to hit the East Sea so far this year, left 44 people dead and 19 others missing. Low-lying areas like Thua Thien-Hue, Quang Nam, Quang Ngai and Binh Dinh in the central region and the Central Highlands province of Kon Tum still have to face a high risk of flooding and landslides.-

    Photo exhibition displays Vietnam, China’s beauty

    About 80 photos on the beauty of Vietnam and China and the two countries’ relations are on display at an exhibition which opened at the Ho Chi Minh Museum in Hanoi on November 6.

    The photos not only depict the beauty of Vietnam’s and China’s nature, cultures and peoples but also reflect the two countries’ long-standing relationship, their modernity in the new era and China’s Silk Road.

    The event, entitled “Viet Nam Tuoi Dep – Trung Quoc Tuoi Dep”, was co-organised by the Vietnam News Agency’s Vietnam Pictorial and China Pictorial to deepen the comprehensive strategic partnership between the two nations.

    Speaking at the opening ceremony, VNA Deputy Director Nguyen Hoai Duong said the two news agencies have always supported each other in their works to uphold the bilateral relations. He hoped that the exhibition would demonstrate the effective cooperation between Vietnam Pictorial and China Pictorial.

    The exhibition is underway until November 15.

    Students to compete for national football trophy

    The National Student Football Tournament will kick off today at the Hà Nội University of Science and Technology’s stadium.

    The fifth competition sees the participation of 16 teams with the best results among 60 squads that competed in the qualification.

    Teams will be divided in four groups and will play in a round-robin format. The first and second-placed teams will advance to the knock-out round.

    The final is scheduled on November 18 and will be aired live on television.

    The organisers will present VNĐ80 million (US$3,600) to the winners. Other prizes, including awards for outstanding players, will also be presented.

    Last year, Hải Phòng University beat Hải Phòng Private University 2-0 to bag the trophy.

    Phương beats Hsiou in Bình Dương

    Young Vietnamese ace Nguyễn Văn Phương defeated Hsu Yu Hsiou of Chinese Taipei in the first round of the men’s singles of the Mens’ Futures F1 tennis tournament in the southern province of Bình Dương yesterday.

    The 16-year-old Phương, who ranks in top 300 of the world junior rankings, crushed world junior No 13 Hsiou 6-4, 6-3.

    Another Vietnamese representative, Phạm Minh Tuấn, beat Kesley Stevenson of Canada 6-3, 6-0.

    Both national bronze medallist Phương and Tuấn  earned wild cards to compete in this tournament.

    In the men’s doubles, Vietnamese Lý Hoàng Nam and Ti Chen of Chinese Taipei came from behind to best Lin Wei-de of Chinese Taipei and Wan Chu Han of China 4-6, 6-3, 10-5.

    The duo Nam and Chen triumphed in the men’s doubles category of the Mens’ Futures F9 in Bình Dương last year.

    The tournament attracted the participation of 30 players from 22 countries and territories including Japan, Canada and China, competing in the men’s singles and doubles.

    The event will finish on November 12.

    Hải Dương triumph at table tennis event

    Hải Dương triumphed at the Double Fish table tennis tournament which concluded at Hồ Xuân Hương Gymnasium in HCM City on November 5.

    The team defeated An Thuận Phát 3-0 in the final to take the title in the mixed gender team event.

    Hải Dương’s stable includes top players like Đoàn Bá Tuấn Anh and Nguyễn Đức Tuân, who won gold medal in the men’s team at the Southeast Asian Games in Malaysia in August. An Thuận Phát also have stars such as Nguyễn Anh Tú, Lê Tiến Đạt and Nguyễn Thị Nga.

    For winning, Hải Dương walked away with prize money of VNĐ30 million (US$1,300).

    The amatuer event, which attracted nearly 50 players from eight teams, aimed to develop table tennis in the country and in HCM City.

    It was organised by Việt Nam Modern Fare Joint Stock Company and the Việt Nam Table Tennis Federation.

    Linh wins title at Beer Lao event

    Nguyễn Thuỳ Linh of Việt Nam won the Beer Lao International Series badminton tournament, beating Benyapa Aimsaard of Thailand in the women’s singles final match in Vientiane on Sunday.

    Linh, the tournament No. 1 seed, beat unseeded Aimsaard 21-12, 16-21, 21-11 in a 46-minute match at the Thai-Lao Friendship Gymnasium.

    It is Linh’s second international title this year, earlier triumphing at a Mongolian event in June.

    Linh’s male teammate Phạm Cao Cường claimed the bronze medal, losing to Thai Kantawat Leelavechabutr in the men’s singles semifinals.

    No 4 Leelavechabutr went on to win the title, beating No. 8 Mek Narongrit, his country-fellow, 16-21, 21-12, 21-12.

    The Lao tournament attracted nearly 100 athletes from nine countries, vying for a total purse of US$8,000 across five categories.

    3,200 children join Valuing Nature in Childhood Programme

    Some 3,200 children in northern Ninh Bình Province’s Nho Quan District are expected to join this school year’s Valuing Nature in Childhood Programme.

    The programme which was officially launched on Sunday, is being implemented by Save Việt Nam’s Wildlife.

    As scheduled, the children will be divided into 116 groups. They will participate in the programme until May 2018.

    The programme is designed to offer children a better chance to explore nature and wildlife, shape the right attitude and inculcate awareness of environment protection and forest resources from a young age.

    The programme has been organised for the second year in the province. With a similar agenda as last year, the kids will enjoy a full day at Cúc Phương National Park and the education centre of Save Việt Nam’s Wildlife.

    However, this year, schools and parents have decided to partially contribute funds to the programme. It is believed to be an important milestone, marking the commitment of schools and families in wildlife conservation and education, and bringing children closer to nature.

    According to the previous season’s report, the programme’s design matches a five-year-old’s development stage, the centre said.

    Children’s recognition rate of five specific wildlife species has improved significantly after joining the programme, especially birurong, pangolin and leopard at 79 per cent, 93 per cent and 98 per cent, respectively, the report said.

    The kids were also able to remember the striking feature of each species and became aware of the dangers of illegal hunting and trade or using wildlife products.

    President Ho Chi Minh – friend of Romania

    For Romanian people, President Ho Chi Minh is a big friend who laid a firm foundation for the friendship and cooperation between the two countries, heard a recent workshop in the country’s capital Bucharest.

    The event was held to celebrate 60 years of the President’s State-level visit to Romania in August 1957 and the 67th founding anniversary of Vietnam-Romania diplomatic ties in February 1950.

    Speaking at the workshop themed “President Ho Chi Minh and people around the world”, Vietnamese Ambassador to Romania Tran Thanh Cong highlighted the contributions of the Vietnamese great leader to the cause of national liberation and the enhancement of friendship between Vietnam and other countries.

    Professor Radu Musetescu from Bucharest Academy of Economic Studies under the Department of International Economic Relations said he was impressed by Vietnam’s socio-economic accomplishments and its people’s hospitality.

    Meanwhile, Director of the One-up company Marius Camber described Vietnam as an attractive market to foreign investors, including those from Romania.

    He called on businesses of the two countries to seize investment opportunities.

    The workshop also screened a documentary about President Ho Chi Minh.

    A photo exhibition titled “President Ho Chi Minh and Romanian people” was held to introduce photos and documents on the historical visit of the President to Romania from August 17-21, 1957, as well as feature Vietnam’s protection of sea and island sovereignty in the 20th and early 21st century.

    Germany’s Thuringia state fosters relations with Vietnam

    The Minister-President of the German Federal State of Thuringia, Bodo Ramelow, and Trade Counsellor of the Vietnamese Embassy to Germany Nguyen Huu Trang have discussed measures to intensify cooperation between the state and Vietnam.

    At a meeting in Berlin last weekend, Ramelow said he is impressed by Vietnam’s trade surplus with Germany.

    Many Vietnamese enterprises in Germany have introduced Vietnamese products in the country, contributing to the surplus, he added.

    Boosting collaboration with Vietnam is supported by political parties and people in Thuringia, he said, adding that the state wants to strengthen economic, training and scientific ties with Vietnam.

    For his part, Trang stressed the importance of cooperation between the two countries’ localities, while welcoming the organisation of the Vietnam-Thuringia Business Forum in the first quarter of 2018.

    He took the occasion to thank the Minister-President and his administration for creating favourable conditions for the Vietnamese community in Thuringia.

    In the first quarter of next year, the two sides will coordinate in holding the “Vietnam Day in Thuringia”, which will include the Vietnam-Thuringia Business Forum.

    Ramelow also plans to lead a business delegation to Vietnam in the time to come.

    Currently, there are about 3,000 Vietnamese people living in Thuringia.

    Finnish firms ready to partner Hanoi in clean water, energy sectors

    Finland is transferring modern technology to provide clean water and renewable energy solutions for Hanoi, Finnish Deputy Minister of Economic Affairs and Employment Petri Peltonen told a Hanoi official on November 6.

    At a working session with Vice Chairman of the Hanoi People’s Committee Nguyen The Hung, Peltonen said with the two countries’ 45-year diplomatic relationship, there are opportunities for Vietnam and Finland to enter a new stage of cooperation.

    Large cities play a crucial role in a country’s development, he said, noting that Finland hopes to contribute to the development of Hanoi and Vietnam by giving support in clean water supply, renewable energy development and smart city building.

    Highlighting similar development targets, Peltonen said Hanoi and Finland can enhance cooperation. With their experience, companies operating in the energy and environment sectors in Finland are ready to become partners of Hanoi.

    For his part, Vice Chairman Hung said cooperation between the two countries’ governments and between Hanoi and Finnish cities has brought encouraging outcomes. Since the 1990s, the Finland-built Mai Dich water plant has been one of the best water plants in Hanoi.

    However, clean water is still an urgent issue in the Vietnamese capital city, which has a population of about 10 million, he noted, adding that Hanoi is mobilising resources to ensure clean water, about 180 litres each person per day, for all residents. It is also working to end groundwater exploitation.

    The city welcomes investors who can provide effective clean water solutions, and it hopes for more Finnish investment, Hung said.

    Hanoi also wants Finnish investors to participate in waste-to-energy projects since Finland is a leading country with clean energy. About 6,000-8,000 tonnes of waste are released in the city every day, with most of it still buried.

    Hung noted that Hanoi is taking the first steps to turn it into a smart city, and it also looks forward to Finnish investment in this field.

    Proposal to increase toll fee rejected

    The Ministry of Transport has rejected the proposal to increase toll fee at the Build-Operation-Transfer (BOT) Bắc Thăng Long-Nội Bài toll collection station.

    After turning down the proposal, the Transport Ministry said on Monday the adjustment of toll fee would be considered when the company completes the project’s financial balances, solves problems related to toll taxes and adjusts the BOT contract of National Highway 2 (the transition section in Vĩnh Yên City of Vĩnh Phúc Province) as per regulations.

    Previously, the investor, Vietracimex 8 Company, had submited to the ministry a proposal with two options to increase toll tax at the Bắc Thăng Long-Nội Bài toll collection station.

    The first option was to collect fee for 19 years, starting from Janurary 2018, with rate increasing to VNĐ25,000 (US$1.1) from the current rate of VNĐ10,000 (0.44 US cent).

    The toll fee would continue to increase up to three times from 2021 to 2024, and up to 3.5 times to 2030.

    The second option was that toll fee collection would continue for 17 years, with rate increasing to VNĐ30,000 (US$1.32) from VNĐ10,000 (0.44 US cent) by 2020. Subsequently, the fee would be increased to four times by 2030.

    The Bắc Thăng Long-Nội Bài toll collection station was set up as per the ministry’s decision in 1997, and then in 2009 was transfered to the Vietracimex 8 Company for collecting fee to refund investment capital of the BOT project on the transition section on National Highway 2 in Vĩnh Yên City of Vĩnh Phúc Province.

    Thái Nguyên beat Sơn La at football championship

    Thái Nguyên crushed Sơn La 2-1 in the opening match of the second leg of the National Women’s Football Championship.

    The championship was held in the northern province of Hà Nam on Monday.

    In the sixth minute, receiving a pass from Lương Thị Xuyến in the left wing, Trần Mai Tuyên opened the score for Thái Nguyên.

    Only five minutes later, Cầm Thị Hằng suddenly levelled the score for Sơn La.

    Hằng’s goal was a driving force for Sơn La to play more aggressively. They stopped their rival’s attacks effectively.

    However, Lê Thị Thuỳ Trang helped Thái Nguyên win 2-1 in the extra time of the first half. That was also the final score of the game.

    In the other match, the hosts, Phong Phú Hà Nam, tied goalless with Việt Nam Coal and Mineral.

    Taking full advantage of playing on the home turf, Hà Nam were determined to take a win in this opening match but they met with challenges by the close defence of Việt Nam Coal and Mineral.

    After the break, the hosts proved their strength with many dangerous attacks. However, goalie, Khổng Thị Hằng, played outstandingly to save many losses for Việt Nam Coal and Mineral.

    HCM City 1 are still temporarily atop the rankings with 18 points, followed by Hà Nam with 17 points and Việt Nam Coal and Mineral with 15 points.

    HCM City Buddhist Sangha holds ninth congress

    More than 800 Buddhist dignitaries and followers gathered at the ninth Congress of the Ho Chi Minh City Buddhist Sangha for the 2017-2022 tenure that opened in the city’s District 10 on November 7.

    Addressing the event, Most Venerable Thich Tri Quang, Deputy Patriarch of the Vietnam Buddhist Sangha said that the congress is an important event marking the growth of the city’s Buddhist Sangha in the past five years. It will figure out weaknesses and problems to be tackled for the future efficient tenure.

    He called for constructive ideas for the sustainable development of the city’s Buddhism in the integration period.

    He also lauded the strong performance of the municipal Buddhist Sangha over the past 35 years through eight tenures.

    Meanwhile, Vice Secretary of the municipal Party Committee Tat Thanh Cang highly valued the achievements that the city Buddhist Sangha has made in all fields, including its fulfillment of both religious and social tasks and contributions to the stability and growth of Buddhism as well as the national defence and construction.

    Expressing hope that the Sangha will continue promoting its tradition and acting as part of the national solidarity bloc and an active member of the Vietnam Fatherland Front, he suggested that the Sangha encourage dignitaries and followers to actively engage in socio-economic development movements as well as poverty reduction, environmental protection and national culture promotion. The Sangha should also focus on fighting superstition and actions aimed to harm the national unity, he said.

    A report at the congress showed that in the past five years, the Ho Chi Minh City Buddhist Sangha made many attainments in the field of politics, culture, economy and social charity.

    In the next five years, it aims to develop its organization, responsibly respond to security and defence movements and educate followers to abide by the law.

    Participants at the congress selected an 83-member Executive Council of the municipal Buddhist Sangha for the 2017-2022 tenure, led by Most Venerable Thich Tri Quang.

    On the occasion, outstanding individuals and collective of the Ho Chi Minh City Buddhist Sangha were honoured with noble awards from the State President, the Prime Minister, the Vietnam Fatherland Front’s Central Committee and the municipal People’s Committee.

    Earlier the same day, the Sangha inaugurated the Vietnam Quoc Tu (Vietnam National Pagoda), which is designed to become a cultural, administrative, and spiritual hub and a venue of the Sangha’s major activities in the future.
        

    VNN


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  • 11/09/17--01:02: Article 2
  • ILO offers wage reform recommendations to Vietnam


    Specialists from the International Labour Organisation (ILO) on November 8 shared experiences in wage and social insurance issues and gave recommendations to Vietnam’s draft plan for reforming wage, social insurance and benefits for national contributors.


    ILO offers wage reform recommendations to Vietnam, social news, vietnamnet bridge, english news, Vietnam news, news Vietnam, vietnamnet news, Vietnam net news, Vietnam latest news, vn news, Vietnam breaking news 
    Deputy Prime Minister Vuong Dinh Hue spoke at a meeting with ILO specialists on November 8


    Deputy Prime Minister Vuong Dinh Hue, head of the steering committee for reforming wage, social insurance and benefit policies for national contributors, said the Vietnamese Government is drafting the reform plan, which is expected to be considered at the seventh session of the 12th Party Central Committee in May 2018.

    This is a difficult job since the scope of the plan is large, Hue said, adding that it covers the public sector and State-owned and private enterprises, relates to social insurance policies – one of the pillars of social welfares, and impacts almost all people of working age and retirees.

    ILO Vietnam Director Chang Hee Lee said the national policy on wage and social insurance is a key socio-economic policy that affects all citizens’ livelihoods and businesses’ competitiveness. Across the world these policies can be controversial, and it is hard for governments, trade unions and employers to reach consensus, he added.

    According to the ILO official, minimum wage functions limitedly in some spheres of a market economy. Collective bargaining between employers and employees is the key process to specify actual levels of pay and other working conditions.

    He said that collective bargaining has yet to develop in Vietnam. Meanwhile, the Vietnam-EU Free Trade Agreement requests the ratification of the ILO Convention No. 98 on the Right to Organise and Collective Bargaining Convention, which will promote wage bargaining.

    Lee suggested Vietnam improves wage statistics and enhance the capacity of the National Wage Council’s secretariat in monitoring minimum wage’s impacts and ties between wages and jobs.

    He also asked for a formula estimating adjustments to minimum wage or fixed parameters in that formula so that adjustments to minimum wage are predictable.

    Regarding ways to improve salaries in the public sector, the official said this is a complex problem as it relates to many different factors, including the size of the public sector which is huge in Vietnam, the pay gap between public and private sectors, and pay levels for different positions.

    He suggested a basic wage in the public sector be specified according to the rank employees hold while allowances should be concrete numbers instead of coefficients.

    At the meeting, ILO specialists also recommended Vietnam to change its social insurance policy step by step and expand insurance coverage.-VNA


    0 0
  • 11/09/17--01:24: Article 1
  • BUSINESS IN BRIEF 9/11


    Construction Ministry: HCMC should approve mini-apartments


     Construction Ministry: HCMC should approve mini-apartments, Extra of 76 Japanese products present in Vietnam, Boom of mobile payment in Vietnam: Deputy PM, Opening door for export of livestock products
    The Construction Ministry has proposed the HCMC government permit the development of commercial apartment units measuring 25 to 45 square meters each, an issue which has remained controversial.

    The city wants to curb the minimum area of a commercial apartment at 45 square meters and that of a low-cost social home at 25 square meters given insufficient infrastructure in densely populated areas and severe traffic congestion.

    The ministry reasons that the management of planning, and urban order and aesthetics depends on a variety of factors, not just apartment size. The planning criteria for housing projects are intended to deal with population, building density, and residential block height issues.

    Countries such as Thailand, South Korea and France allow for mini-apartments measuring 14 to 20 square meters each. But their authorities can well manage population and planning issues in major cities, according to the ministry.

    The ministry underscored the need to create favorable conditions for residents and companies to build affordable condos to meet the demand for housing of low-income people, especially factory workers at industrial parks.

    Therefore, the ministry proposed the city limit the proportion of commercial apartments measuring 25 to 45 square meters in a housing project at 20-25% in the city center that has high population density and insufficient technical infrastructure.

    Housing projects outside the city center can have a higher proportion of mini-apartments if there are a lot of factory workers there, said the ministry.

    The ministry is crafting a set of national technical criteria for apartments, including the minimum area for commercial apartments.

    Earlier, the city said apartments of less than 45 square meters would speed up urbanization, increase the population, and put more pressure on its already-overstretched technical and social infrastructure.

    Construction of Mövenpick Hotel & Residences kicked off in Da Nang

    The construction of Movenpick Hotels & Residences - Risemount Apartment Da Nang has been kicked off on November 4, as part of activities marking the 2017 APEC Summit.

    The VND 1,800-billion property covering on an area of 5,000 square meters in Hai Chau District includes two 31-storey towers. Movenpick Hotels & Residences has 151 hotel room and 259 suites, and 300 apartments. 

    Leisure facilities include a swimming pool, fitness centre, spa and kids' club, as well as a ballroom and state-of-the-art meeting rooms.

    Located in on the banks of the Han River within Danang's commercial heart, just six kilometres from Danang International Airport, the hotel will offer a range of contemporary amenities to support its well-appointed riverside rooms, including a signature rooftop bar and restaurant, lobby lounge, Café and wine bar, pool bar and speciality restaurant.
       
    Extra of 76 Japanese products present in Vietnam

    Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) said that Japanese businesses have exported in Vietnam an extra of 76 new products comprising confectionary, beverages, ice-cream and comic books.

    The new products are shelved at 254 convenient stores and trade centers FamilyMart and Ministop.

    Mr. Takimoto Koji, Jetro’s representative head in HCMC, said that previously the organization had taken 70 Japanese products to Vietnam. After pilot sale period, over 40 percent of the products have been accepted by Vietnamese consumers.

    Basing on that, Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry has established a cooperation council between Jetro and convenient stores to boost trade of Japanese food and agro-aqua-seafood products to foreign markets including Vietnam.

    Boom of mobile payment in Vietnam: Deputy PM

    Speaking at the opening of Vietnam E-Payment Forum (VEPF) in Hanoi this morning, Deputy Prime Minister Vuong Dinh Hue said that he believed mobile payments would boom in Vietnam like mobile using ten years ago.

    The event with the themed “Mobile Payment - Mobile payment driving cashless payment” is an annual reputable forum where participants can discuss and agree on solutions to promote electronic payment/non-cash payment for the whole market.

    It will have three sesions including the global explosion of mobile payment and the current trend in Vietnam, How to develop an ecosystem for mobile payment in Vietnam, and Discussion with Jack Ma – Chairman of Alibaba Group.

    During ten years, the appearance of smart phones has changed human communications resulting in changes in distribution networks, design networks and banks’ service designs.
    Statistically, Vietnam is one of leading countries in the number of smart mobile users connected with internet. This facilitates mobile payments to create breakthroughs in promoting non-cash payment and financial services in the country.

    Deputy Prime Minister Hue said that new payment generates opportunity to get access to financial services conveniently with reasonable costs for millions of low- income people.
    The mobile payment helps the low-income community to join in and to directly benefit from the Fourth Industrial Revolution, or Industry 4.0.

    In Vietnam, telecommunication firms, banks and Fintech also began providing the service to locals in disadvantaged districts, industrial parks so that laborers can get access to financial services.

    The government also wanted to have a boom of mobile payment aiming to reduce the rate of payment in cash lower than 10 percent by 2020.

    At present, Vietnam has 140 mobile subscribers over 100 residents and nearly 60 million 3G, 4G subscribers in most districts nationwide. SmartPhone broadband subscribers is scheduled to rise to 80 million by 2020. 

    All are ideal condition to push up mobile payment as well as financial services, electronic commercial services in all regions benefiting firms and groups of people in Vietnam. It is hoped to change Vietnamese people’s habit of paying in cash.

    Accordingly, the government has adopted many policies and projects to beef up non-cash payment generally and mobile payment particularly.

    Deputy PM Hue stressed that the government pledged to create favorable condition to promote mobile payment in Vietnam by frequently organizing dialogues with providers and users, local and foreign financial organizations to solve difficulties during the process.

    Moreover, problems will be solved soon to ensure benefit of residents and firms.

    Furthermore, the government will update mechanism to facilitate action programs aiming to advertise mobile payment and financial and commercial services.

    In the framework of the event, Jack Ma– Chairman of Alibaba - will talk about experience in promoting e-commerce, mobile payment and suggestions for Vietnam
    As per the Department of Payment under the central State Bank of Vietnam, 41 commercial banks have implemented mobile payment service with rising deals. In the first nine months, the number of mobile payment reached 90 million with value of over VND423 trillion.
       
    HCMC tries to boost exports, reduce trade deficit

    HCMC Department of Industry and Trade has synchronously implemented solutions to boost cargo export to major markets and reduce trade deficit.

    The department is expected to submit to the city People’s Committee an export development project in the phase of 2017-2020 in February next year.

    The project will determine city's export dominance in every specific market and apply suitable export promotion policies.

    In addition, the department has also focused on raising trade promotion efficiency toward major markets with the turnover of over US$1 billion such as China, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand and South Korea.

    Moreover, the city will closely work with the southern provinces in logistics service development to reduce costs and improve Vietnamese goods’ competitive ability in domestic and export markets.

    The agency has attempted to lessen dependence on import materials and develop brand names for key industrial products of the city.

    According to the Department, HCMC saw a trade deficit of US$6.02 billion during the first ten months this year, accounting for 20.7 percent of total export import turnover.
    Major import items have been computers, electronic items and components, machines and equipment, tools and accessories and cloth to serve production of businesses in the city.

    HCMC is also the export import gateway of southern provinces and cities. So goods have been imported and transported to neighboring provinces such as Dong Nai, Binh Duong and Long An to serve production there.
       
    Opening door for export of livestock products

    The livestock export sector has recorded optimistic signals in the past two months, amidst the bleak context of the domestic husbandry industry.

    In early September, the poultry sector exported the first consignment of chicken (approx. 300-400 tonnes) to the Japanese market; until the end of the year, pork products are expected to receive a "visa" into the fastidious market in the Netherlands, with approximately 10,000 tonnes per year.

    The export of chickens leading the way for pigs to enter into fastidious markets marks a significant milestone for the domestic livestock sector. However, in a comprehensive manner, these figures remain too small for a country with a large livestock potential such as Vietnam, with total pig heads of 27.5-28 million a year, more than 300 million poultries and 500,000 dairy cows.

    Moreover, each year, agro-forestry and fishery export turnover reaches more than US$30 billion, of which ten main items gain a value of over US$1 billion. However, the products of the livestock sector only make up a negligible proportion, especially live weight pigs and products processed from pork, which for many years have not made any breakthroughs.

    Vietnam has just stopped exporting live weight pigs to the Chinese market through border routes, while exporting suckling pigs and non-fully-grown pigs to Hong Kong (China) and Malaysia via official channels, with an estimated output of 20,000 tonnes per year.

    The cause leading to no way out for pork products in both domestic and export markets is that Vietnam has just ensured the very first stage of the whole chain that is production organisation, while processing and market activities have not been concerned yet. The situation led to difficult consumption in the domestic market, while exports are just “dripping” in small volume and value.

    However, from the lesson of chicken being exported to the fastidious Japanese market, Vietnam’s husbandry industry has the right to hope that pork will also make breakthrough.

    It is necessary to reorganise this sector under the chain link model at all levels, in which, the large scale production by enterprises must be concentrated to exporting pork, while the medium and small scale production ensures the supply to the domestic market. It is also important to develop specialty pigs associated with organic livestock in order to meet the needs of demanding consumers who require high quality products.

    In addition, investment should be paid in terms of livestock area planning and the veterinary service from the central to grassroots levels, ensuring the fulfillment of the national programmes on epidemics prevention and combat, especially for dangerous animal diseases, such as foot-mouth disease and pork cholera, as these diseases are under very strict quarantine subjects by foreign markets.

    Furthermore, the livestock sector should closely coordinate with the Ministry of Industry and Trade, as well as the trade representative offices of Vietnam in foreign countries, in order to promote contacts and exchanges between Vietnam and the markets in huge need, such as Japan, the Republic of Korea and the European Union to grasp the demand, promote its products and timely resolve any technical barriers and disputes arising in trading activities with each importing country.

    Hopefully, synchronous solutions would help, not only with regards to chickens and pigs, but many other products in Vietnam’s breeding industry to sustainably develop both the domestic and foreign markets, contributing to improving the status and image of Vietnamese agricultural products within the international community.

    Hanoi Sales Promotion Month 2017 attracts nearly 1,000 enterprises

    The Hanoi Sales Promotion Month 2017 was launched in Hanoi on November 4, receiving confirmation from nearly 1,000 enterprises operating in the city.

    Held jointly by the Hanoi municipal People's Committee and the Standing Committee of the 'Vietnamese PrioritiseUse of Vietnamese Goods' campaign, this is the ninth consecutive year that the Hanoi Sales Promotion Month has been held as one of the largest commercial events in Hanoi.

    A string of activities will be organised during the marketing month with over 1,000 locations offering promotions.

    Deputy Chairman of the Hanoi People's Committee Nguyen Doan Toan said the Sales Promotion Month will create opportunities for consumers to buy discounted goods, particularly goods made in Vietnam and have the opportunity to take advantage of sales promotion offered by an array of businesses.

    The event is also one of a number of substantial activities in response to the campaign “Vietnamese people prioritiseusing Vietnamese goods”, he added.

    He noted that the Sales Promotion Month also offers an opportunity for enterprises to promote and sell their products, contributing to the fostering of production.

    Also at the opening ceremony, 69 enterprises with 115 products were recognised as the favourite amongstVietnamese brand names.

    More Japanese products enter Vietnam

    Seventy-six new products of Japan have recently been brought into the Vietnamese market, according to the Japan External Trade Organisation (JETRO).

    The products are in four groups, namely confectionery, beverage, ice cream and comic books.

    They will be sold at 254 convenience stores and trade centres of FamilyMart and Ministop.

    Takimoto Koji, JETRO Chief Representative in Ho Chi Minh City, said 70 other products had been previously introduced to Vietnam, with more than 40 percent welcomed by local consumers during a trial period.

    Therefore, the Japanese Ministry of Economic, Trade and Industry has established a cooperation council between JETRO and convenience stores to bring more Japanese agro-forestry-fisheries products abroad, including Vietnam.

    Policy dialogue seeks to support poor households in production

    The Department of Cooperatives and Rural Development under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) recently held a policy dialogue in the Mekong Delta province of Soc Trang to support poor households to develop production.

    Participants discussed policies designed to help poor families in ethnic minority-inhabited and disadvantaged areas escape poverty.

    Director of the provincial Department of Agriculture and Rural Development Luong Minh Quyet said the locality has mobilised all capital resources to reduce the rate of poor households to below 15 percent, down almost 10 percent from five years ago.

    He highlighted effective models to reduce poverty such as rotational cultivation of rice and shrimp, aquaculture, raising cows, and growing vegetables and fruits.

    Ta Huu Nghia, head of the poverty reduction and rural social security division under MARD, said the national target programme on rural poverty reduction has support policies to develop climate change adaptive production, diversify livelihoods, and expand poverty reduction models in disadvantaged communes.

    The delegates also shared difficulties and shortcomings in policies and exchanged experiences to implement them more effectively.-

    EU & Da Nang launch solar energy development project

    The European Union and the Da Nang Energy Conservation Center (DEEC) launched a project entitled “Development of Solar Energy in Da Nang” (DSED) on November 3.

    Co-funded by the EU and the DECC, the $517,000 project will run for 40 months, from July this year until October 2020. The EU’s contribution represents more than 85 per cent of the overall budget.

    The project aims to promote the development of solar energy in the central city through data collection, information sharing, awareness raising, and training, targeting policy makers, small and medium-sized enterprises, and households. Pilot projects for a limited number of households and five public facilities will also be installed and the DECC showroom upgraded.

    At the moment, the showroom only displays renewable energy and energy efficiency equipment that are not in operation. The project will allow the DECC to acquire more recent equipment and install it, to demonstrate how solar photo-voltaic panels produce electricity from capturing energy from the sun and how net metering connects production to the national distribution grid.

    Solar photo-voltaic panels are good for economic development, as jobs are created in production, installation, and maintenance. They are also good for electricity consumers, as it reduces monthly electricity bills, and the climate also benefits, as they do not emit greenhouse gases.

    The DECC will also cooperate with the Electricity Regulatory Authority of Vietnam, the Vietnam Standards and Quality Institute, the World Bank, and GiZ, who are also working on improving the overall framework to drive more investment into the solar energy sector.

    Mr. Alejandro Montalban, Head of Cooperation at the EU Delegation, stressed that renewable energy and energy efficiency play an important role in the sustainable development of energy. They are a smart and suitable solution, especially in the context of the depletion of natural resources.

    Vietnam has huge potential in renewable resources, he added. “Limitations on knowledge and awareness of the benefits and the importance of renewable energy and energy efficiency is a barrier to the sector’s development,” he said. “Therefore, we hope that the cooperation with the DECC will hasten the dissemination of solar technology knowledge in Da Nang.”

    Argentine Week to introduce cuisine, seek co-operation
       
    The Argentine Embassy to Viet Nam will host a series of activities to promote Argentine food and culture in Ha Noi and HCM City.

    Argentine Week will be held on November 2-4 at Ha Noi’s International West Lake Hotel and on November 9-12 in HCM City’s Caravelle Saigon Hotel. The event will introduce traditional Argentine cuisine by Argentine chefs. Guests will be able to enjoy tango performances on site.

    A workshop on Argentine fish and seafood will be organised for the first time in HCM City on November 9 to introduce the Argentine fishery sector. The workshop will also connect enterprises of the two countries and seek further co-operation between the two countries.

    Crossknowledge partners to provide training to Vietnamese businesses
       
    France-based Crossknowledge, with 17 years of delivering digital learning solutions to businesses globally, is partnering with MVV Coaching to provide solution-based training to Vietnamese firms.

    “Viet Nam is a promising market for us, given the country’s large population and number of businesses,” Alexandre Giry-Deloison, Crossknowlege's channel sales manager for Asia Pacific, Middle Ease and North Africa, said at a media briefing on Thursday.

    Not different from businesses worldwide, Vietnamese firms also face challenges such as talent retention, sale performance or cost reduction. Deloison said Crossknowledge’s solution-based approach would help solve corporate challenges and drive business.

    “What makes Crossknowledge’s e-learning programe different is that it is tailor-made to the demand of each company,” Deloison said, adding that Crossknowldge’s e-learning solutions were engaging, customisable and adaptive to different cultures and different businesses.

    E-learning was now an increasing trend in the world which could be easily accessed by the firms’ entire workforce although there were many employees and they were in different places. In addition, e-learning solutions would help firms save costs and time, while enabling them to track progression and manage training quality, he said.

    Crossknowlege, which three years ago was acquired by US-based Wiley, one of the most prestigious publishers in the world, in a deal worth around $175 million, is now growing at a rate of around 20-25 per cent per year.

    The company has around 350 corporate clients worldwide, many of whom were in the Fortune 500 list.

    MVV Coaching is a business administration capacity training programme – an initiative to promote corporate university of MVV Education, a member of the MVV Group.

    ROS plans $21m dividend payout, defends profit tally
       
    FLC Faros Construction Joint Stock Company (ROS) expects to beat its 2017 profit target soon and will pay a dividend rate of 10-12 per cent for this year, the company has announced.

    At this rate, the company is forecast to spend about VND473-568 billion (US$21-25 million) for the dividend payout on a total 473 million outstanding shares in the market.

    ROS posted an after-tax profit of VND208 billion ($9.2 million) in the nine months through September, approximately 36 per cent of its yearly target of VND580 billion ($25.6 million).

    However, the company’s CEO Do Quang Lam said the accounting of revenue and profit of a construction company can be irregular and depends on the implementation process of individual projects.

    With the breakthroughs ROS has made in Engineering Procurement Construction (EPC) activities and its newly begun projects, the executive believes the company will meet its profit target ahead of schedule.

    The value of contracts and projects that the company has signed and carried out has reached VND20.1 trillion, including large-scale deals such as the Quang Binh golf, villa and high-end entertainment project worth VND5.6 trillion and the second phase of the FLC Vinh Phuc project worth VND1.4 trillion.

    It expects to record combined revenue of VND3.5 trillion from 12 major projects. It is also speeding up the implementation for handover in the 2017-18 period at a wide range of projects such as FLC Garden City, FLC Twin Towers and FLC Ha Long complex.

    The price of ROS shares has more than doubled this year, rising from VND104,000 per share to over VND214,000 each. It has become one of the top three most expensive stocks on the HCM Stock Exchange in over one year since its debut on September 1, 2016.

    Together with brewer Sabeco (SAB), ROS is seen as the main push behind the expansion by 27 per cent of the benchmark VN-Index since the beginning of this year.

    ROS and SAB are two of the top 10 biggest stocks by market value on the HCM Stock Exchange and their movements heavily influence the index.

    According to SSI Research, the growth of these two stocks accounted for over 50 per cent of the VN-Index’s gains. Without the two stocks, the VN-Index may have increased by only 11.8 per cent.

    According to analysts, the large impact of the two stocks on the market may affect investors’ evaluation about the overall market outlook.

    Commerce chamber hoped to boost Vietnam-Malaysia trade

    Trade and investment ties between Vietnam and Malaysia are expected to enjoy a new driving force created by the recently established Malaysia-Vietnam Chamber of Commerce (MVCC).

    Key leaders of the MVCC officially made debut in Malaysia on November 2 at an event attended by representatives of the Embassy and trade office of Vietnam, some major Vietnamese businesses, and many Malaysian firms that have business partnerships with Vietnam.

    In his speech, Vietnamese Ambassador Le Quy Quynh reviewed bilateral trade and investment relations, elaborating that Vietnam is currently the fourth biggest ASEAN trade partner of Malaysia. Bilateral trade surpassed 10 billion USD in 2016.

    Meanwhile, Malaysia is the seventh largest foreign investor in Vietnam with total FDI of 914 million USD as of December 2016. Big Malaysian enterprises like Petronas, SP Setia, Emivest, Berjaya Land and Gamuda have been operating in Vietnam.

    Quynh stressed that the MVCC will be a bridge linking Malaysian businesses with Vietnamese partners, thus creating more business and investment opportunities and contributing to each country’s prosperity.

    He added the Vietnamese Embassy will coordinate closely with the MVCC to strengthen trade-investment ties, including raising bilateral trade to 15 billion USD in 2020 as targeted by the two countries’ leaders.

    With a view to boosting trade, the MVCC will help develop joint ventures between Vietnamese and Malaysian private companies, organise trade delegations’ visits to Vietnam and hold forums to discuss issues of shared concern, according to MVCC Chairman Howard Choo.

    Malaysia’s Minister of International Trade and Industry Mustapa Mohamed expressed his interest in the MVCC’s foundation and asked the chamber to organise trade forums between the two countries annually.-

    Can Tho city woos Japanese investors

    Japan Desk, which serves as a bridge between Japanese businesses in the Mekong Delta city of Can Tho and local authorities, made its debut at the 59th Asia Business Conference in the city on November 4.

    Established in September 2017, the working group comprises 14 members with Vice Chairman of the Can Tho city People’s Committee Truong Quang Hoai Nam as its head and Kyoshiro Ichikawa, Director of I.B.C Vietnam Co., Ltd as its advisor.

    The group will collect information about Japanese enterprises operating in Can Tho and partner with the local authorities to roll out solutions to support them, while introducing cooperation and investment opportunities of Can Tho and the Mekong Delta to Japanese firms.

    According to Nguyen Khanh Tung, Director of the Can Tho Investment-Trade Promotion and Exhibition Centre, by the end of September 2017, Japan had been Vietnam’s second largest foreign investor.

    In Can Tho alone, four projects funded by Japanese ODA to the tune of over 7 billion VND (308,000 USD) have been completed since 2013, he said, adding that in the first eight months of 2017, Can Tho exported 59.4 million USD worth of products to Japan while importing 11.2 million USD from the country.

    Vice Chairman of the Can Tho city People’s Committee Truong Quang Hoai Nam said Can Tho is calling for investments in a number of projects, with priority given to Japanese partners. They include a high-tech agriculture project with estimated capital of 26 million USD in Co Do district, an industrial infrastructure project for Japanese firms in O Mon district, a centralised IT area and a logistics centre, both in Cai Rang district.

    Japanese businesses investing in these projects will receive the best support from the city, he promised.

    The 59th Asia Business Conference took place within the framework of the third Vietnam-Japan Cultural Festival.

    Discounted air tickets, tours offered at Hanoi tourism festival

    Special offers are being given by airlines and tour operators to visitors to a tourism promotion festival which is underway in Hanoi on November 3-5 to boost tourism until the year end.

    The event, part of the 2017 Hanoi Promotion Month, was launched by the city’s Department of Industry and Trade and the Hanoi Centre for Investment, Trade and Tourism Promotion.

    Vietnam Airlines is giving 1001 bonus miles to new Lotusmiles members and a 20 percent discount for online bookings on both domestic and international flights while low-cost carrier Jetstar is offering 200 tickets at 0VND through its Wheel of Fortune at the festival.

    The airlines and travel agencies have also shaken hands to introduce to customers domestic and international tours with discounts of up to 50 percent.

    Highlights are Vietnam Airline holiday tours to popular destinations like Quy Nhon, Da Lat, Nha Trang, Can Tho and Phu Quoc which are sold from 5.299 million VND (over 233 USD); four-day tours to Da Nang that only cost about 4 million VND (176 USD) and five-day tours to Thailand offered at 5 million VND (220 USD).

    Tour operators are also giving away 4,000 E-vouchers, worth from 100,000 VND to 6 million VND (4.4-264 USD) to visitors to the website www.thangkhuyenmaihaoi.vn.

    HCM City promotes trade, investment, tourism in New Zealand

    A workshop and business networking programme was recently held in Auckland city of New Zealand to promote Ho Chi Minh City’s investment, trade and tourism.

    The event, co-organised by the HCM City Investment and Trade Promotion Centre (ITPC), the municipal Department of Tourism and the Vietnam Trade Office in New Zealand, drew the participation of representatives from 20 companies and officials of HCM City and 40 businesses of New Zealand.

    Nguyen Kim Phuong, Commercial Counsellor of the Vietnamese Embassy in New Zealand, briefed the participants on trade cooperation between Vietnam and New Zealand over the past years.

    She stressed that the cooperation activities have been enhanced through Government to Government (G2G), Businesses to Businesses (B2B) and People to People (P2P) relations, which showed comprehensive development in not only in trade but also in education-training, agriculture, labour, aviation and tourism.

    These cooperation achievements have contributed to the annual growth of 20 percent, bringing two-way trade to 1.5 billion NZD (nearly 1.04 billion USD). Vietnam had become the 16th biggest trade partner of New Zealand by the end of the financial year which ended in June.

    At the event, representatives from HCM City’s Department of Tourism introduced the city’s economic advantages and tourism potentials, as well as its plans to attract more visitors and businesses in the coming time.

    Meanwhile, enterprises from New Zealand voiced their hope to expand business operations in Vietnam and HCM City in particular. They also suggested launching a frequent direct flight between HCM City and Auckland, as currently there are only seasonal flights operated by Air New Zealand.

    Gov't talks development mechanisms for HCM City: press conference

    The Government’s monthly meeting featured discussions on pilot development mechanisms for Ho Chi Minh City, with a plan to be submitted to the National Assembly during its ongoing fourth session for review.

    The information was made by Chairman of the Office of the Government Mai Tien Dung during a press conference in Hanoi held following the meeting on November 3.

    The mechanisms for the southern economic hub will concern four main areas: urban planning and land management, finance and investment management, authorisation mechanisms, and the income of the city’s public servants.

    According to the chairman, the issuance of a resolution on these mechanisms is “a necessity” as HCM City is the ‘economic locomotive’ of the country and contributes the most to the State budget.

    Regarding the country’s economy situation, also according to Dung, Vietnam’s macroeconomy remains stable and in line government’s monetary and credit plans.

    Foreign direct investment (FDI) reached a record of 28.2 billion USD in the first 10 months, up 37.4 percent from the same period in 2016. Import and export of goods also posted positive results, increasing by 22 percent over the same period, and the trade surplus reached 1.2 billion USD.

    In terms of tourism, international arrivals reached 10.4 million by the end of October against the the year-end target of 13 million.

    Regarding slow the equitisation of State-owned enterprises, Deputy Minister of Planning and Investment Nguyen The Phuong said this even though this process must be done quickly, but “in order to achieve effective equitisation, thorough asset evaluation must be carried out, otherwise, serious losses of State assets could occur.”

    On the controversial draft law on cyber security, whereby foreign technology corporations like Facebook and Google could be asked to relocate servers holding Vietnamese users’ information to Vietnam, the chairman of the Government Office said the fact remains that overseas servers make State management much more difficult especially with hostile organisations and individuals having used social media to spread anti-State propaganda.

    Vietnam-China trade fair opens in Lang Son

    The Vietnam-China Trade Fair 2017 opened at the Lang Son Trade Fair Centre in the northern province of Lang Son on the night of November 3.

    The event, which was jointly held by the People’s Committee of Lang Son province and the Ministry of Industry and Trade, is the largest-ever trade fair in Lang Son province, attracting thousands of visitors.

    The fair themed 'Connectivity, Cooperation, Mutual Development’ features products and services in various areas from enterprises at home and abroad at more than 300 pavilions, including over 30 ones from Chinese enterprises.

    The event, which runs until November 8, provides enterprises with a chance to seek cooperation opportunities and expand market to domestic provinces and localities in China, contributing to the strengthening of relationships between enterprises and peoples of the two countries.

    Nguyen Cong Truong, Vice Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee and head of the organising board, said that the trade fair is one of the activities within the framework of the national trade promotion programme in 2017.

    This is the fourth fair of its kind held in Lang Son under a cooperation agreement on rotationally organising the annual trade fair in Vietnam’s Lang Son province and China’s Guangxi province.

    Petrol price up 271 VND per litre

    The Ministries of Industry and Trade, and Finance decided to increase the retail price of RON 92 petrol by 271 VND to a maximum of 18,146 VND (79.8 US cents) per litre from 3pm of November 4.

    The price of E5 bio-fuel rose by 224 VND to maximum 17,858 VND per litre, while the prices of diesel and kerosene up 201 VND and 199 VND to 14,611 VND a litre and 13,198 VND a litre, respectively.

    This is the 21th adjustment of fuel prices this year, with nine falls and eight increases.

    The two ministries also decided to keep using the price stabilisation fund for RON92 petrol and E5 biofuel at 300 VND per litre.

    Meanwhile, the use of the fund for diesel was 250 VND per litre .

    HCM City pledges to support Cuba’s reform, development efforts

    Vice Secretary of the Ho Chi Minh City Party Committee Vo Thi Dung met on November 3 with Orestes Llnanes Mestre, deputy head of Cuba’s Committee for the Defence of the Revolution, who is on a working visit to the city.

    The local official congratulated Cuba on the attainments during the five years of updating its socio-economic development model. She stressed that Vietnamese people always keep in mind the solidarity and precious support that Cuba has given to Vietnam throughout history.

    HCM City hopes for stronger cooperation with Cuba in biotechnology, health care, education and tourism. It also wants to increase exchanging experience in economic management and market mechanism with the Latin American nation, she added.

    The authorities and people of HCM City pledge to support Cuba’s reform and development efforts, she said, adding that they will do their best to help reinforce the faithful friendship between the two countries.

    At the meeting, Orestes Llnanes Mestre said despite geographical distance, Cuban and Vietnamese people share a number of similarities in terms of the revolutionary fighting spirit. He described Cuba as a Vietnam in Latin America and Vietnam as a Cuba in Asia.

    The revolutionary spirit of former generations and the special friendship between the two Parties, States and peoples need to be popularised among young Cuban and Vietnamese people, thereby contributing to bilateral relations, he added.

    APEC 2017: APEC Business Advisory Council convenes fourth meeting

    The fourth meeting of the APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC) is taking place in the central city of Da Nang on November 4-6 with the participation of its members from 21 APEC member economies.

    On the day, delegates are gathering for meetings of the Asia-Pacific Financial Forum (APFF) and the Advisory Group on APEC Financial System Capacity Building.

    The ABAC is the private sector arm of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation. APEC economic leaders established ABAC in November 1995 to advise them and other APEC officials on issues relating to business activities in the region.

    ABAC also responds to requests from various APEC sub-groups for information about the business perspective of specific areas of cooperation.

    ABAC meets four times per year to make proposals to be submitted to APEC Economic Leaders’ Week.

    The three previous meetings took place in Bangkok, Thailand on February 19-23, Seoul, the Republic of Korea on April 26-29, and Toronto, Canada on July 24-28.

    The fourth meeting, scheduled to last until November 6, is one of the main activities of the APEC Economic Leaders’ Week, which will take place in Da Nang city from November 6-11.

    Established in 1989, the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum comprises 21 economies, including Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, China, Hong Kong (China), Indonesia, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Peru, the Philippines, Russia, Singapore, Chinese Taipei, Thailand, the US, and Vietnam.

    APEC represents about 39 percent of the world’s population and contributes 57 percent to global GDP and 49 percent of international trade.

    Phu Quoc to host international cashew conference


    The 9th Vinacas Golden Cashew Rendezvous will be held from November 13-15 in Phu Quoc island of southern Kien Giang province, organisers announced at a press conference in Ho Chi Minh City on November 3.

    The event, co-organised by the Vietnam Cashew Association (Vinacas) and the Vietnam Trade Promotion Agency (Vietrade), is expected to draw about 400 domestic and international delegates from 40 countries and territories across the world.

    A number of activities will take place during the event, including a networking programme, dialogues between domestic and foreign cashew businesses, conferences on international cashew cooperation and women’s role in the cashew sector.

    Vinacas Vice President and General Secretary Dang Hoang Giang said the event aims to promote trade and expand markets for cashew products, helping cashew growers and processing firms raise their incomes.

    Statistics released by Vinacas showed that Vietnam earned 2.98 billion USD from exporting 294,000 tonnes of cashew nuts in the first 10 months of 2017, year-on-year rises of 0.4 percent and 25.6 percent, respectively.

    The sector is expected to ship abroad 330,000 tonnes of cashew nuts this year, raking in 3.3 billion USD – the highest amount so far.

    With the figure, Vietnam will continue retain a lion share of the global cashew nut market which is estimated at 5.5 billion USD.

    Workshop seeks to enhance exports of Vietnam agri-products

    A workshop was held in Ho Chi Minh City on November 2 to seek to increase the export of Vietnamese agri-products.

    Deputy head of the Plant Protection Department under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development Le Van Thiet said Vietnam exported over 14.3 billion USD worth of agri-products in the first nine months of 2017, a year-on-year rise of 17.7 percent.

    Despite high growth over the past five years, the sector is still meeting some difficulties and challenges, including global fiercer competition and stricter quarantine regulations of plants, food safety and quality.

    Le Thi Thu Huong, a senior consultant from Fresh Studio company, said many countries tend to make use of technical measures to limit the imports of goods and protect domestic production, while others request pest risk analysis with complicated procedures and long duration.

    For example, such major markets as the US, Japan and the Republic of Korea want to send their experts to inspect the growing areas, packaging facilities and phytosanitary.

    Director of the Southern Pesticide Control Centre (SPCC) Tran Thanh Tung said Vietnamese farmers still apply old production customs and make unreasonable use of pesticides. Furthermore, they are unaware of the maximum residue level (MRL) regulated in different markets, resulting in violation of import regulations, causing economic losses and affecting national brand names.

    Experts said quality is key to enhancing the export capacity for Vietnamese agri-products.
    Thiet recommended selecting good varieties and developing post-harvest, preserving, and processing technologies to increase the values of farm produce while enhancing connectivity between farmers, scientists, businesses and State management agencies to develop large-scale production models and ensure the quality of agri-products in the long run.

    He called on the State to support farmers and businesses to promote trade of farm produce and prevent trade fraud and unhealthy competition.

    According to Huong, it is necessary to encourage farmers and businesses to develop the production chain to control the quality of agri-products effectively.

    She urged relevant agencies to build a set of criteria on food safety and phytosanitary in addition to enhancing negotiations with exporters to have appropriate technical standards.

    Seminar talks aquaponics industry in Vietnam, Australia

    If 3 percent of 26.9 million Vietnamese farming households engage in aquaponics model, they will together make it a potential market valued at more than 403 million AUD.

    The figure is based on the assumption that each household makes an investment of 500 AUD (385.6 USD), Dr Wilson Lennard, head of the international consulting firm Aquaponic Solutions, made the calculation at a seminar in Sydney on November 2.

    The seminar was held by the Australia Vietnam Business Council (AVBC), discussing aquaponics potentials in Australia and Vietnam.

    Lennard said Australia, beginning its study of the model in early 2000s, has developed plans to build commercial aquaponics systems, while Vietnam and many APEC member economies are yet to pay attention to it.

    He said the model holds potential to become a key industry in Vietnam, as it will create jobs, boost growth, and ensure food security and safety.

    AVBC President Laurence Strano said the Vietnamese and Australian economies have supplemented each other to propel bilateral trade over the past 26 years.

    The AVBC and Vietnamese Government have sealed a number of agreements in aquaponics and large-scale aquatic farming, he added.

    Strano expressed his hope to host Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc at a Vietnam – Australia business forum during his trip to Australia to attend the ASEAN-Australia Special Summit in March 2018.

    Formed in 1996, the AVBC aims to promote the development of trade, commerce and investment between Australia and Vietnam and to facilitate communications and co-operation among its members, friends and governments.

    Conference looks to promote online exports in digital era

    Overall solutions to bolster online exports were introduced for the first time in Vietnam at a conference held in Hanoi on November 2.

    The conference was jointly held by Novaon Internet Group and E-commerce Giant Alibaba to support the programme “1,000 pioneers in online exports”.

    Experts at the conference said that although e-commerce has been well developing in Vietnam, many exporters hesitate to use e-commerce websites to sell their products overseas.

    Vietnam’s export revenue captured the lion’s share of national gross domestic product, 93.6 percent as compared with the world’s average of 30 percent. This shows exports’ crucial role to the economic development.

    However, only 1 percent of exporters know how to utilise e-commerce tools to attract online orders.

    As online export serves as a useful channel to provide information on foreign markets while helping local firms save time and reduce transaction costs, experts encourage local businesses to boost shipments through online sales.

    Tran Thanh Hai, deputy head of the Foreign Trade Agency under the Ministry of Industry and Trade, said that Novaon’s considerable experience and power of global basis like Google, LinkedIn and Alibaba, Vietnamese exporters can access to efficient overall online export solutions.

    Through the “1,000 pioneers in online exports” programme, Vietnamese businesses will receive supports to take advantage of e-commerce to promote exports, said Tran Xuan Thuy, Country Manager of Alibaba to Vietnam.

    Meanwhile, Novaon Chairman Nguyen Minh Quy pledged his efforts to help exporters apply online export solutions to create explosive growth.

    Nearly 1.18 billion VND worth of G-bonds mobilised

    The Hanoi Stock Exchange (HNX) raised nearly 1.18 trillion VND (51.9 million USD) by selling Government bonds issued by the State Treasury at an auction on November 1.

    The bonds were offered for four tenures: five years valued at 1 trillion VND, seven years at 500 billion VND, 10 years at 1 trillion VND, and 30 years at 500 billion VND.

    The five-year bonds did not see a winning volume.

    Meanwhile, the seven-year bonds were sold at a total value of 500 billion VND, with a winning yield of 4.85 percent a year, 0.02 percent higher than bonds of the same term sold at the previous auction on October 25.

    The 10-year bonds brought in only 295 billion VND with a winning yield of 5.42 percent, equal to the sale during the October 25 session.

    Some 350 billion VND worth of 30-year bonds sold at the auction had an interest rate of 6.1 percent per annum, equal to the previous sale on September 27.

    Since the beginning of this year, the Vietnam State Treasury has mobilised nearly 156.26 trillion VND (6.87 billion USD) through Government bonds issued on the HNX.

    Japanese daily Nikkei hails Vietnam’s economic development

    Vietnam’s economic achievements after over three decades of Doi moi (reform) were highlighted in an article published by Japanese daily newspaper Nikkei on November 1.

    Vietnam has enjoyed better economic performance after Doi Moi, the article noted, making a review of Vietnamese gross domestic product (GDP) growth in the past 30 years. GDP per capita also inched up, from 471 USD in 2003 to 2,300 USD in 2016.

    It gave a positive outlook to the Vietnamese economy with improved business climate, resulting in more foreign investment flows, and two-digit growth of export revenue. Key economic zones and industrial areas have been well developed so far.

    The article also stated that Vietnam has pulled off rosy achievements in mechanism completion, which bolster the sound development of all economic sectors like industry and construction, agriculture, and services.

    State-owned enterprises have undergone sweeping restructuring while the number of private businesses has grown up significantly and foreign direct investment (FDI) capital is prioritised.

    Vietnam has shown its deeper integration into the global economy as it has set up strategic partnership relations with many foreign countries. The country has proactively contributed to the construction of the ASEAN Community and worked to accomplish domestic market mechanisms as committed to the World Trade Organisation (WTO).

    The article stated that 59 countries, including large trade partners, have recognised Vietnam as a market-oriented economy. The country has inked ten regional and bilateral free trade agreements and completed negotiations of the free trade deal with the EU, and is working to negotiate three other pacts.

    It has joined three global value chains with the increasingly important role to global economy, including the food value and security chain, the energy value and security chain, and the garment and footwear value chain.

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


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  • 11/09/17--01:56: Article 0
  • Vietnam to be among top 20 economies by 2050, says PwC


    Vietnam could be among the top 20 economies by 2050, projected PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) in a report on its perspectives on Vietnam.


    Vietnam to be among top 20 economies by 2050, says PwC, 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 
    A view of Nhat Tan Bridge in Hanoi


    The report was released on the occasion of the APEC CEO Summit, which is taking place in the central city of Da Nang on November 8-10 as part of the APEC 2017 Economic Leaders’ Week.

    According to the report, in the long term, PwC forecast that Vietnam will be among the fastest growing economies in the world as its average real GDP growth reaches 5.1 percent per year.

    These projections rest on Vietnam’s youthful population and rising middle class, a cost-competitive and skilled workforce, and a predictable pro-investor orientation, it said.

    The report also showed that most CEOs in Vietnam (92 percent) are confident in growth for their business over the next 12 months.

    A net of 62 percent of Vietnamese CEOs said they would increase investment in 2018, above the APEC average of 50 percent.

    Close to half of foreign investors (47 percent) plan to expand their investment in the country in the next 12 months.  Vietnam is among the top four economies, including China, Indonesia and the US, where at least 40 percent of foreign CEOs intend to raise spending.

    According to PwC, Vietnamese CEOs are more likely to expect new growth from trade agreements, with 38 percent of them expect an increase in revenue opportunities over the next year due to a new trade agreement compared with 27 percent of all APEC CEOs.

    A net of 86 percent of CEOs in Vietnam pin hope on their organisations’ footprints will expand in the next three years compared to 63 percent of all APEC CEOs.

    Dinh Thi Quynh Van, PwC Vietnam General Director, said Vietnam’s investment climate has become much better than previous years thanks to improvements in institutions, competitiveness, human resources and market.

    Through the annual surveys of PwC, including those on Vietnam, confidence in the country’s development potential and business environment is very high.

    “Facts and figures show that partners and investors in Vietnam are developing strongly and more and more investors are now interested in the Vietnamese market,” she stressed.-VNA


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  • 11/10/17--00:19: Article 2
  • Transparent policies needed to draw foreign capital


    Clear, transparent and efficient policies are needed to encourage more foreign investors to jump into the Vietnamese securities market if it is to reach its considerable potential.


     Transparent policies needed to draw foreign capital, 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

    According to the State Securities Commission (SSC), the local market is valued at US$124 billion and has been among the seven fastest-growing in the world in the past two years. It has made significant developments and become more attractive to foreign investors. 

    But although over 1.86 million accounts have been opened so far, only 1.1 per cent of them belong to foreign investors, showing the market could absorb more foreign investors.

    “We saw foreign investors escape from the local securities market in 2016, but they have returned with focus on both stock and bond markets,” said Tran Van Dung, SSC chairman.

    At the end of October, the total value of indirect foreign investment in the securities market rose 47.4 per cent year on year from the end of 2016.

    As of October 25, foreign investors purchased a total of VND93.9 trillion (14 per cent of the market’s trading value) and sold a total of VND79 trillion (11.94 per cent of the market’s trading value), resulting in a total net buy value of VND14.9 trillion.

    The total value of assets possessed by foreign investors has reached $27.2 billion in the first nine months, an increase of 34 per cent from last year.

    There are several factors that could help Vietnamese securities market draw more foreign investment in the near future, Dung said.

    Firstly, macro-economic conditions should be stable. The country’s growth is estimated to be above 6.7 per cent for 2017 and the next five years, inflation is kept under control, and foreign exchange and lending rates should be stable, he said.

    “Viet Nam has made changes in its view to the private sector as the Government now sees private businesses as the most powerful force for the country’s socio-economic development,” he said. “This favours the development of the capital-securities market in the future.”

    Secondly, the equitisation and privatisation of State-owned enterprises (SOEs) should be enhanced to transform those firms into joint-stock companies in the next one to two years. Then their shares could be traded on the stock market, increasing the number of available high-quality stocks and attracting more foreign investment, Dung said.

    In the first three quarters, the Government offloaded its stakes in 34 of the 44 targeted SOEs that are slated for the equitisation process.

    In the remaining months of the year, the Government is speeding up the equitisation of the PetroVietnam Oil Corporation (PV Oil) and PetroVietnam Power Corporation (PV Power), while it will continue selling its ownership in brewer Sabeco and dairy producer Vinamilk.

    The Government will sell its capital in 64 others companies next year, including Viet Nam Paper Corporation and mobile service provider MobiFone. Deals expected to come in 2019 include Viet Nam National Coffee Corporation (Vinacafe), telecom operator Viet Nam Posts and Telecommunications Group (VNPT), Viet Nam National Chemical Group (Vinachem) and Viet Nam Coal and Minerals Industry Group (Vinacomin).

    Thirdly, new financial products should be introduced to the market, increasing the opportunities for investors, Dung added.

    Incoming products include covered warrants, which will be launched late this year or early next year, and the Government bond futures contracts, which will be available on the derivatives market in 2018.

    In addition, new derivatives products are being assessed so that they may become tradable in the next one or two years, meeting investors’ demand for tools to prevent market risks, he said.

    Fourthly, the legal framework for the capital-securities market will be supplemented in the near future, starting with the amended Law on Securities to be released in 2019, according to the SSC chairman.

    Others, such as the Law of Enterprises 2016 and relevant regulations will also be amended, allowing businesses to raise funding through share and bond issuance, and helping market regulators improve the monitoring of the market, he said.

    Nguyen Viet Duc, market analyst at MB Securities Company, said that more foreign investment is being drawn into the Vietnamese market as investors note the quality of local assets and market trading liquidity—the two most important factors to draw higher foreign capital, Duc said.

    Many large-cap companies debuted on the securities market this year, such as VPBank, gas station operator Petrolimex and aviation firm Vietjet, offering a large number of high-quality shares for the market, he said.

    Those listing also helped boost trading liquidity – a factor that helps foreign investors increase their purchases easily as they are able to offload existing shares as soon as possible, he added.

    Existing problems

    Major barriers to foreign investors now include English information disclosure, the restriction on exchanging the Vietnamese dong to foreign currencies and the limits on foreign ownership in listed companies whose business involves national security issues, Duc at MB Securities said.

    The Government “needs to work with the Morgan Stanley Capital International and other foreign institutional investors on their standards and make adequate changes to the current legal system,” he said.

    Of the problems, it appears that the restrictions on foreign ownership remain the biggest challenge for foreign investors.

    Foreign investors are not allowed to freely become strategic shareholders of listed companies, though the Government has made its efforts to improve existing policies.

    A decree that took effect in September 2015 limits the foreign ownership in conditional businesses to 49 per cent in sectors involving national security issues, such as real estate, telecommunications and banking.

    According to the Foreign Investment Agency under the Ministry of Planning and Investment, there are about 113 conditional sectors, in which foreign ownership is limited.

    Most of the companies in those sectors are State-owned firms, operating in commodity production, transportation, construction, agriculture and aquaculture.

    According to Phan Duc Trung, head of the enterprise renovation and development department at the Central Institute for Economic Management (CIEM), the current policies limiting foreign ownership may help protect the country’s young industries but will make those businesses less attractive to foreign investment.

    Foreign investors are discouraged from buying stakes in the companies as they are not guaranteed a chance to participate in the business management and governance, he said.

    In large-cap SOEs, foreign investors do not have controlling stakes, though they have spent millions of dollars buying stakes in those companies, he added. “Concerns have been raised among foreign investors as they could be outnumbered by a majority of shareholders and benefit less from the investments.”

    CIEM director Nguyen Dinh Cung said that limits on foreign ownership will discourage strategic shareholders from fulfilling their obligations stated in the agreements and contracts.

    “Foreign investors could avoid implementing the contracts and agreements properly as they do not have the rights to make decisions but still have to provide assistance for the businesses,” he said.

    According to Adam Sitkoff, executive director of the American Chamber of Commerce in Viet Nam, the Vietnamese Government needs to come up with a transparent procedure to evaluate SOEs accurately and allow foreign investors to buy larger stake in the SOEs, ensuring foreign shareholders are able to make decisions and have positive impacts on the business governance and management.

    Economist Can Van Luc said that to draw more foreign investment into the local market and keep the flow stable year after year, Viet Nam must be consistent with its macro-economic growth targets, speed up the restructuring of the economy and encourage the development of the private sector.

    “The Government needs to make ensure the securities market operates transparently to reduce the chance of cross-ownership among companies and the manipulation of share prices,” Luc said.

    Market regulators should offer more securities products, and market members must operate transparently and meet the standards on corporate governance and risk management, he said. - VNS


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  • 11/10/17--00:37: Article 1
  • Trudeau meets leader, students in HCMC


    HCM CITY - Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Thursday flew south to HCM City after spending the first day of his State visit in the capital Hà Nội.


     
    Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau (centre) on Thursday talked to students from Tôn Đức Thắng University in HCM City. - VNA/VNS Photo

    He visited the Hồ Chí Minh Stock Exchange, striking a traditional Vietnamese gong to open the afternoon session before attending a roundtable with leaders of local businesses.

    Trudeau later held a meeting with the leader of HCM City where he had visited 22 years ago as a young student.

    He told the city People’s Committee Chairman, Nguyễn Thành Phong, that he was “impressed” with the rapid growth of the city, especially in trade and investment sectors.

    HCM City and Canada have a lot of potential to strengthen co-operation in trade and business to further contribute to the city’s development, Trudeau said.
    Phong, for his part, expressed a wish that HCM City and Canada could further strengthen their co-operation in several fields, including trade, urban management and education.

    Students’ talk

    On the same day, the Canadian PM spoke in front of students from Tôn Đức Thắng University in HCM City, sharing with them his thoughts on the global role of the young generation.

    During the event, the PM stressed the sound partnership between Canada and Việt Nam while expressing his hope for the further development of ties between the two countries. 

    He said he supports students who speak out and make efforts to enhance their education. 

    Trudeau urged them to think about the world today and in the future, and to face difficulties in life instead of avoiding them. 

    He talked about his travels across the globe, noting that he finds Vietnamese people hospitable and friendly.

    Sharing his thoughts on the benefits of immigration, Trudeau said Canada has issued policies to protect the safety of its citizens and hoped the younger generation will think more positively about the matter. 

    He also highlighted a need to respect cultural diversity among nations and to balance economic benefits and environmental protection for sustainable growth. - VNS


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  • 11/10/17--00:52: Article 0
  • Australian Prime Minister enjoys his first ‘Banh mi’ in Da Nang


    Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull on Friday morning shared a bánh mì breakfast with Australian-Vietnamese celebrity chef Luke Nguyen at a local street food restaurant, before beginning a busy day of meetings for the APEC Economic Leaders’ Week.


    Australian Prime Minister enjoys his first ‘Banh mi’ in Da Nang, social news, vietnamnet bridge, english news, Vietnam news, news Vietnam, vietnamnet news, Vietnam net news, Vietnam latest news, vn news, Vietnam breaking news 
    Australian PM Malcolm Turnbull shared a bánh mì breakfast with Australian-Vietnamese celebrity chef Luke Nguyen at a local street food restaurant in Da Nang. - Photos: Australian Embassy



    Prime Minister Turnbull said “Vietnamese food is enjoyed every day by Australians, which is just one of the many positive contributions of the nearly 300,000 Vietnamese who call Australia home. But this is the first time I’ve ever tried bánh mì! I love the fresh flavours of Vietnamese food.”


     Australian Prime Minister enjoys his first ‘Banh mi’ in Da Nang, social news, vietnamnet bridge, english news, Vietnam news, news Vietnam, vietnamnet news, Vietnam net news, Vietnam latest news, vn news, Vietnam breaking news
    Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull takes a selfie with local residents in Da Nang.


    Turnbull also said it was fantastic to see Australian agricultural exports featured in such iconic Vietnamese dishes.

    “Vietnam is Australia’s second largest export market for wheat and beef - wheat is predominantly used to make wheat noodles, and the majority of bánh mì that Vietnamese enjoy everyday,” he said.

    Vietnam also imports Australian malt and barley for its growing beer industry. In 2016, Vietnam imported AU$446.2 million of wheat, AU$94.9 million of barley, and AU$37.5 million of beef and veal from Australia.

    Australian-Vietnamese celebrity chef Luke Nguyen is pleased that Vietnamese people increasingly have the opportunity to enjoy Australia’s premium food and beverages. 

    “As the Taste of Australia Ambassador in Vietna, I’m excited to work with the Australian Government to bring more high-quality Australian food and beverages, including our famed beef, wine, wheat and dairy, to Vietna,” he said. - VNS


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  • 11/10/17--01:27: Article 0
  • US to support Vietnam’s direct power purchase agreements for clean energy next year

    The DPPA mechanism will also allow businesses to competitively procure renewable energy in Vietnam


    A mechansim allowing businesses in Vietnam to directly close contracts to buy power at competitive prices from renewable energy generators is expected to enter a pilot run next year under a program backed by the U.S. Agency for International Development


    ​US to support Vietnam’s direct power purchase agreements for clean energy next year
    Delegates talk ahead of a USAID event in Da Nang, central Vietnam, on November 8, 2017. Photo: Son Luong/Tuoi Tre News


    The USAID and Vietnam’s Ministry of Industry and Trade are working together to enable private sector electricity buyers and renewable energy providers to enter into Direct Power Purchase Agreements (DPPA).

    The DPPA mechanism will allow businesses to competitively procure renewable energy in Vietnam while also creating new business opportunities for world-class clean energy technologies, according to USAID.

    An event was held on Wednesday on the sidelines of the APEC CEO Summit in the central city of Da Nang to celebrate a unique partnership of governments and the private sector in the DPPA project.

    Among the attendes were leading executives from global businesses including ABB, Nike, and Citibank, who affirmed their urgent need for expanded and simplified access to renewable energy and pledged to work with Vietnam’s trade ministry and USAID to help accomplish this goal.

    Newly-appointed U.S. Ambassador to Vietnam Daniel Kritenbrink also had his first meeting with local media since taking the post earlier this month.

     ​US to support Vietnam’s direct power purchase agreements for clean energy next year
    U.S. Ambassador to Vietnam Daniel Kritenbrink (right) is seen at the event. Photo: Son Luong/Tuoi Tre News


    Asked why the DPPA is necessary when businesses in Vietnam can now easily buy industrial electricity from EVN, the country’s power giant, Michael Greene, USAID Mission Director for Vietnam, said the mechanism will allow companies to enjoy constant power prices and utilmately save power costs.

    While EVN power price is as low as 7.5 U.S. cents per kWh for industrial buyers, Greene said the rate is expected to rise to 13 cents per kWh by 2030. “By signing a long-term DPPA to buy power from a clean energy generator, businesses can have a constant power price in a long term,” he elaborated.

    “The second thing is that by locking in the price for renewable energy, such as solar, wind or biomass power, we will have a lower price over the long term compared to the price charged by EVN.”

    The USAID Vietnam leader asserted that the U.S. government and his agency are supporting Vietnam to develop the DPPA because they believe the Southeast Asian country “needs clean energy to power its incredible growth.”

    “The DAPP allow companies, energy suppliers and electricity buyers to have direct purchase contracts and reduce the risks of those agreements,” he said.

    Greene added that the DAPP will also help Vietnam attract foreign investment from experienced companies worldwide into the private energy sector.

     ​US to support Vietnam’s direct power purchase agreements for clean energy next year
    Michael Greene, USAID Mission Director for Vietnam. Photo: Son Luong/Tuoi Tre News


    Vietnam seeks to ramp up renewable energy generation from solar and wind power to 1,650 megawatts (MW) by 2020 and to 18,000 MW by 2030, according to USAID.

    Greene said USAID and Vietnam’s Electricity Regulatory Authority are working to have the DPPA enter a pilot run in 2018. Asked if there are any barriers that may prevent the pilot program from getting started as scheduled, Greene said he does not see any potential obstacles to the plan.

    “The U.S. government has been committed to moving forward with the project and so has the Vietnamese authorities and you can see how businesses are eager for it at the event today,” he told Tuoi Tre News.

    Tuoi Tre News


    0 0
  • 11/11/17--05:38: Article 5
  • BUSINESS IN BRIEF 10/11


    Reference exchange rate down by 4 VND


     APEC 2017: Hong Kong pins hopes on Vietnam market, Korea Brand Entertainment Expo 2017 kicks off in HCM City, HCMC’s IIP rose the highest in five years, Deputy PM asks to adjust power tariffs


    Reference VND/USD exchange rate on November 10 morning is at 22.465 VND per USD as set by the State Bank of Vietnam (SBV), down 4 VND compared to the previous day.

    With the current  +/- 3 percent VND/USD trading band, the ceiling exchange rate is 23.131 VND per USD and the floor rate is 21.793 VND per USD.

    The exchange rates remained stable at major commercial banks in early hours on November 10 morning.

    Vietcombank, Vietinbank and BIDV kept both rates unchanged from the previous day at 22, 680 VND (buying) and 22,750 VND (selling), per USD.

    APEC 2017: Hong Kong pins hopes on Vietnam market

    Many Hong Kong firms are investing in Vietnam and looking for potential projects, said chief executive of Hong Kong Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor said.

    In an interview with the Vietnam News Agency ahead of her attendance at the APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting in the central city of Da Nang, she lauded growing cooperation between Hong Kong and Vietnam, particularly in economics, trade and investment. 

    Hong Kong (China) is the 6th biggest trade partner of Vietnam, while Vietnam is the 3rd biggest trade partner of Hong Kong in ASEAN.

    The official said she believes the partnership would thrive after the Hong Kong – ASEAN free trade agreement is signed this November.

    The number of Hong Kong tourists to Vietnam has soared as the country keeps offering more attractive tourism products, Carrie Lam added.

    She said Vietnam houses beautiful sea ports and diverse tourism potentials that could enable bilateral cooperation in the sector.

    NA Vice Chairman welcomes ExxonMobil Vice President

    Vice Chairman of the National Assembly Phung Quoc Hien held a reception for Paul Greenwood, Vice President of Africa and Asia Pacific Business Development at ExxonMobil Gas and Power Marketing in Hanoi on November 9.

    Lauding Greenwood’s visit to Vietnam to attend the APEC 2017 Economic Leaders’ Week, Hien appraised ExxonMobil’s participation in the gas exploitation and investment project at Ca Voi Xanh (Blue Whale) field.

    The project will help Vietnam ensure national energy security and lay a foundation to construct and operate its gas power plants in the central region, he said, noting that the Vietnamese National Assembly will create favourable conditions to ensure sound implementation of the project in line with Vietnamese and international regulations.

    For his part, Greenwood stressed that the Ca Voi Xanh project is important to the corporation in bolstering its cooperation with Vietnamese Government in exploiting and producing oil and gas products.

    ExxonMobile expects to receive support from the Vietnamese Government and National Assembly so that the cooperative project can be successful to bring benefits to both sides.

    Ca Voi Xanh field is about 100 kilometres east of the central coast. The Prime Minister approved the construction of four gas-fired power plants in the central provinces of Quang Nam and Quang Ngai with total capacity of 3,000 MW using gas from the field. The PM also agreed to use part of the gas taken from the field to develop oil refinery industry.

    Over the past 135 years, ExxonMobil has evolved from a regional marketer of kerosene in the US to the largest publicly traded petroleum and petrochemical enterprise in the world. It operates in most of the world’s countries and is best known by familiar brand names: Exxon, Esso and Mobil. It makes products that drive modern transportation, power cities, lubricate industry and provide petrochemical building blocks that lead to thousands of consumer goods.

    Spanish fashion retailer opens store in Hà Nội

    Hundreds of guests, including models and fashionistas, attended the opening of Zara, a Spanish Inditex store, in Hà Nội on Wednesday night. The store, which features Zara clothing and accessories, is the second in Việt Nam by the world’s biggest fast-fashion retailer. The first was opened in HCM City last September.

    Covering more than 4,500sq.m in the Vincom Bà Triệu Shopping Centre, the three-storey store, presents collections for men, women and children from the Spanish brand.

    The store in Hà Nội is one of the 4,500 eco-eficient stores worldwide opened by the Spanish retail giant Inditex. The stores use at least 20 per cent less electricity and 40 per cent less water than conventional stores. By using technologically innovative systems, these stores have reduced energy and water consumption.

    The newly opened store also uses Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) to keep track of inventory and restock its clothing racks more quickly.

    In the World’s Most Valuable Brands issued by Forbes, Zara stands at the 51th position with the brand value as of May 2017 is US$11.3 billion.

    According to Forbes, the clothing retailer has more than 2,200 stores in 93 countries and is the flagship brand of the Inditex Group. Zara is renowned for its ability to develop a new product and get it to stores within two weeks, while other retailers take six months.

    Spain is the biggest market with 436 stores, followed by China (193 stores), France (129), Italy and Japan (100 each). The US has 78 stores as of January 2017.

    2nd Ornamental Fish Festival opens in HCM City     

    The second Ornamental Fish Festival opened at Le Van Tam Park in HCM City’s District 1 on November 9, with 120 ponds of fish and 50 booths displaying materials and equipment used for breeding.

    The festival offers ornamental fish enthusiasts a chance to learn more about different species of fish, promotes their breeding and is a forum for aficionados to exchange experiences.

    There will also be a conference on developing the market for ornamental fish.

    HCM City is the country’s ornamental fish breeding hub, with nearly 88ha of breeding ponds and more than 290 breeding establishments.

    The city targets production of 140-150 million ornamental fish this year, a year-on-year increase of 10-15 per cent.

    With demand expected to remain strong, businesses and breeders in the city seek to expand linkages in production and boost sales to both the domestic and export markets.

    The festival is part of the sixth Hi-Tech Agriculture and Food Industry Fair (Hi-Tech Agro 2017) being held at the park from November 9 to 13.

    Organised by the Investment and Trade Promotion Centre of HCM City, the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, the HCM City Agricultural Hi-Tech Park and the HCM City Food and Foodstuff Association, the fair has 300 booths set up by 220 companies from HCM City and elsewhere.

    Besides showcasing hi-tech agricultural products, fresh and processed foods and foodstuffs, the event also has 80 booths exhibiting food processing equipment and technologies.

    The expo seeks to help businesses introduce their products directly to consumers, improve product quality and generally enhance the competitiveness of Vietnamese agricultural products and processed foods in the domestic market. 

    Binh Duong Province: a leader in hi-tech investment     

    The southern province of Binh Duong is continuing to improve its business climate in an aim to attract investment in hi-tech industries and take advantage of the fourth industrial revolution.

    Tran Thanh Liem, chairman of Binh Duong People’s Committee, in an interview with Viet Nam News, said: “The fourth industrial revolution will have a great impact on the province’s socio-economic development and help businesses apply science and technology so they can make hi-quality products.”

    “But it will bring both opportunities and challenges. If investors know how to take advantage of the opportunities, they will improve competitiveness and build advanced production systems,” he added.

    “To attract foreign investment, we plan to issue a range of policies and incentives related to administrative procedures and land and facility construction, especially in hi-tech industries.”

    “The province has already become a popular investment destination, especially for Taiwanese, Japanese and Korean investors,” Liem said. “It shows the province’s role in Viet Nam’s FDI attraction in general and the Southern Economic Zone in particular.”

    Binh Duong has made great strides in improving its water and power supply, road network, waste treatment facilities, and in providing available land for new projects.

    The province has invested a great deal in road infrastructure, facilitating connections with HCM City, the Mekong Delta and the Central Highlands region, among others.

    Major transport routes, including Binh Duong Boulevard and My Phuoc-Tan Van Highway, connect local Industrial Parks (IPs) with seaports and airports in the southern region.

    The province is also the leading province in the country in IPs, new urban areas and services.

    In addition to the existing IPs, the province plans to open new industrial zones to attract more foreign investment.

    In recent years, more and more investment has been poured into Việt Nam via foreign direct investment (FDI) and official development assistance (ODA).

    Binh Duong Province is the country’s second-highest FDI recipient, following HCM City.

    In the first nine months of 2017, the province had a record-high FDI compared to the same period in any previous year, reaching 140 per cent of its annual target.

    Nguyen Thanh Truc, director of Binh Duong Province’s Department of Planning and Investment Department, said that total FDI investment reached almost $1.97 billion in the first nine months, up 27 per cent over the same period last year.

    Today, the province is giving priority to FDI projects with high technology and large-scale urban and service development projects.

    In the first nine months, it attracted 148 new projects valued at a total of $1.165 billion.

    Another 87 capital expansion projects added a total of $765 million, and around 90 per cent of the projects targeted industrial zones.

    Binh Duong is now home to a total of nearly 3,000 FDI projects from 60 countries and territories, worth more than $27.7 billion.

    To create a better investment climate, the province’s leaders and authorities regularly meet with investors and businesses to help them resolve problems.

    “Improving the infrastructure system and creating an open dialogue with foreign investors are the keys to attracting investment,” Truc told Viet Nam News.

    Vu Ngoc Khiem, chief representative of Global Sources, a Hong-Kong based B2B media, said many FDI firms, especially those from Taiwan (China), had been expanding and shifting their production to Viet Nam, especially Binh Duong, which is home to manufacturers of garments, textiles, furniture, shoes and hardware.

    Leading Taiwanese-owned firms, including furniture maker Kingtec, window blinds manufacturer Global View, and garment and fabric makers Huge Bamboo and Motong were among those with high potential, he said.

    “The key factors that investors consider are technologies, infrastructure and highly skilled human resources,” Khiem said. “A shortage of skilled staff is one of the challenges facing FDI firms as many of them have moved to HCM City to earn better salaries.”

    Charles Yeh, sales director of Taiwan-based Global View Co. Ltd, said: “We’ve built a new factory in Binh Duong on an area of 72,000 square metres with 2,000 skilled workers. The province is an attractive destination for Taiwanese. We’ve noticed that the number of foreign investors visiting the province has increased significantly year on year.”

    “With the fourth industrial revolution, the company will have better conditions to continue to uphold our technical innovations in production,” he told Viet Nam News.

    “To create a better investment climate, the province’s leaders and authorities should work regularly with investors to learn about their challenges and help solve their problems related to business operations by making reasonable adjustments,” he said.

    Japanese investors are also making significant investments, including more than $5.2 billion in 249 projects this year.

    Japan remains the second biggest investor in Binh Duong Province behind Taiwan (China), accounting for 18.7 percent of the province’s total FDI capital, according to Truc.

    Major Japanese projects in Binh Duong include the $1.2 billion Tokyu Binh Duong property project, the $450 million Wonderful Sai Gon Electrics project in the Viet Nam– Singapore Industrial Park, and the $95 million Aeon Mall shopping centre.

    Kawaue Junichi, general consul of Japan in HCM City, said: “Many Japanese companies are continuing to choose Binh Duong to invest, which shows the attractiveness of the business climate here.”

    During a recent meeting with Binh Duong’s leaders, James Ha, chairman of the South Korea-based Sae-A Group, said that nearly 19,000 employees of the group’s 70,000 staff were working in Viet Nam.

    The Sae-A Group operates in the field of textile and garments, but plans to invest in electronics and hi-tech in the future, according to Ha.

    South Korea is Binh Duong’s third-largest investor after Taiwan and Japan, with 619 projects valued at more than $2.69 billion.

    In the first months of 2017, South Korean investors continued to pour money in Binh Duong, with 16 new projects and 17 projects that registered to increase capital, amounting to total investment of $306 million from the country.

    From now to 2020, Binh Duong plans to call for investment in 20 projects in transport infrastructure, healthcare, education, and other fields. 

    Korea Brand Entertainment Expo 2017 kicks off in HCM City     

    More than 100 Korean companies and 400 foreign enterprises are taking part in the three-day Korean Brand & Entertainment Expo 2017 (KBEE 2017), which opened in HCM City on Wednesday.

    The expo aims to promote Viet Nam – Korea relations through cultural and commercial exchanges. It is part of the activities to celebrate the 25th anniversary of diplomatic relation between the two nations.

    The Korea Brand & Entertainment Expo, one of the biggest events organised by the Korea Trade & Investment Promotion Agency (KOTRA), promotes the Korean Wave and products to foreign consumers and businesses.

    This event features famous celebrities from the two countries, including Song Ji Hyo of iKON (Korea), who is the official ambassador of KBEE 2017 HCMC; SNUPER (Korea) and singer Noo Phuoc Thinh, who appear as special guests; and KRUNK, an iconic artist from YG who is a special ambassador of the programme.

    The exhibition consists of four main activities: business-matching with trade and investment promotion activities; and experimental programmes with activities such as a home-shopping show for Korean products, a Korean wave make-up demonstration by Korean artists, and a Korean style make-up show.

    In addition, there is K-wave in which KBEE ambassadors and famous Korean artists take part in fan meetings and fan-signing events as well as promote Korean products to Vietnamese consumers; and K-pop music performances by Korean stars, all of which promise to be an exciting environment for Vietnamese audiences.

    Held in Thailand for the first time in 2010, the Korean Brand & Entertainment Expo has been held in many countries, and is one of the largest events promoting Korean brands and entertainment to global consumers. 

    Large trade fairs open in north and south     

    Two large fairs featuring industrial and agricultural products in the Mekong Delta and the northern delta opened on Wednesday, attracting hundreds of visitors.

    In An Giang Province, the Mekong Delta Industry and Trade Fair, held by the provincial Investment and Trade Promotion Centre in cooperation with the Ministry of Industry and Trade’s Trade Promotion Agency, will feature products of 150 enterprises from in and outside the province in 250 booths.

    The fair will introduce commodities such as consumer goods, foodstuffs, household appliances and footwear, as well as garments, electronics, furniture interior decoration and construction materials.

    The Mekong Delta Fair for Industry and Trade is an annual event held in the provinces of the Mekong Delta to facilitate localities, investors and businesses in the region in particular, and the whole country in general, to meet and seek partners, thereby expanding business markets.

    Taking place in the Golden City Urban Zone in Long Xuyen City’s My Hoa Ward, the Mekong Delta Fair for Industry and Trade - An Giang 2017 is scheduled to last until November 13.

    In the framework of the 2017 fair, there will also be a conference on the supply-demand connection to be held today.

    Meanwhile, in the northern province of Thai Binh, the Northern Delta International Fair for Agriculture opened, with the participation of 200 domestic and foreign enterprises introducing their products in 300 booths.

    This is an activity within the framework of the National Trade Promotion Programme held every year, bringing in many opportunities for cooperation and development in the agriculture sector and rural areas.

    The international agricultural fair is being held in Thai Binh Province since 2005. Through each year, the scale of the fair has expanded in both quantity and quality, attracting many investors, domestic and foreign enterprises.

    Speaking at the opening ceremony, Bui Huy Son, director of the Trade Promotion Agency, highly appreciated the effort to organise the international agricultural fair of the Thai Binh Province for the past 12 years.

    The fair, with many useful products for agricultural production such as farming machines, bio-products, and processing machines, will allow businesses to reach consumers, promote products, and seek opportunities to join hands with domestic and foreign enterprises.

    In addition, there will also be an exhibition area for socio-economic and cultural achievements of the Thai Binh Province. The VNS fair of the northern delta will take place until November 14. 

    HCMC’s IIP rose the highest in five years     

    The industrial production index (IIP) of HCM City in the first 10 months recorded the highest year-on-year growth at 7.75 per cent over the past five years.

    The HCM City Department of Industry and Trade said the city’s IIP in the last two months of 2017 will increase sharply over the previous months and the IIP in 2017 may increase about 8.4 per cent in comparison with the IIP in 2016.

    The manufacturing industry will continue to be the engine for growth of the municipal industry because it has now accounted for 75 per cent of the total production value in HCM City.

    In terms of industry structure, the department said four major industries, food processing, chemicals - rubber, mechanics and electronics - information technology saw a year-on-year increase of 12.67 per cent in the first 10 months, higher than the average growth rate of the IIP in HCM City.

    Nguyen Phuong Dong, deputy director of the HCM City Department of Industry and Trade, said the department had offered support to local industrial enterprises in accessing preferential capital, improving competitiveness, expanding the market, and connecting with foreign direct investment (FDI) enterprises.

    In December, the Support Industry Development Centre under the Department of Industry and Trade would organise an event to hunt for suppliers in the support industry 2017, he said.

    "This is an opportunity for local industrial enterprises to find suppliers and connect with domestic enterprises, FDI enterprises and end-user enterprises in the fields of electronics and mechanical engineering of automobiles, motorcycles and trucks," he said. 

    Deputy PM asks to adjust power tariffs     

    Deputy Prime Minister Vuong Dinh Hue has asked the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT) to quickly complete its plan for electricity tariff adjustment. However, the increase should be at the lowest level, he said.

    Hue said the country’s consumer price index (CPI) in the first nine months of the year was under control, creating favourable conditions for adjusting prices of some items.

    “CPI growth rate in the January-September period showed that inflation this year could meet the National Assembly’s set targets of less than 4 per cent. However, there would be many factors affecting prices in the year-end months, such as increase of input and material as well as rising goods demand for the upcoming Tet (Lunar New Year) holiday,” he said.

    He added that price management should be cautious to curb inflation to less than 4 per cent, thus reducing costs for businesses and supporting the economy’s growth.

    The deputy PM’s requirement was raised as power tariffs have not been adjusted for two years, resulting in lack of investment capital for developing new power resources.

    For petroleum products, he asked the ministry to cooperate with MoF in continuing to manage the market following Decree No. 83/2014/ND-CP and suitably using the price stabilisation fund to control prices, especially on holidays and when there was a continuous increase in world petrol prices, to avoid high inflation.

    He asked the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development to instruct localities to closely follow changes in the agricultural products market. The ministry should co-operate with MoIT in ensuring supply-demand balance of necessary products such as rice, food, sugar, he said.

    The Ministry of Transport should undertake calculations with the MoF to negotiate and reduce fees of Build-Operate-Transfer (BOT) stations with the target to reduce at least a half of the audited stations in 2017.

    He also required the Ministry of Health to instruct localities to complete adjustment of healthcare services fees outside the payment scope of the health insurance fund.

    He noted that the Government should closely manage prices of aviation, education and training, BOT, construction, drugs and milk for children under six years and seaport services.

    The State Bank of Viet Nam was, meanwhile, required to continue managing monetary policies flexibly in co-operation with financial policies to curb inflation. 

    HN to license large projects by year-end     

     Ha Noi will give investment licences to a series of large projects by the year-end after the capital city has synchronously implemented solutions on improving investment and business environment, the People’s Committee said.

    The projects include the Ta Thanh Oai solid waste treatment project with registered capital of US$220 million, Nidec Corporation with registered capital of $400 million, Soc Son plant producing power from waste with registered capital of $319 million and a horse racecourse with registered capital of $420 million.

    According to the committee, earlier, the Taxation Department, Customs Department, Department of Justice, Department of Planning and Investment and people’s committees of districts organised meetings with enterprises to remove difficulties and obstacles faced by the business community operating in the city to promote production and business.

    Meanwhile, Ha Noi’s authorities have instructed municipal departments and districts’ authorities to support investors and enterprises from business registration to implementation of a project and remove difficulties in the process of a developing project. 

    One of the key tasks is to accelerate the application of information technology in business registration and tax declaration, creating the most favourable conditions for enterprises in this field.

    According to the draft report on the implementation of the socio-economic development plan in 2017 and the key tasks in 2018, the People’s Committee of Ha Noi expected the capital city to attract $3.575 billion in foreign direct investment for this whole year.

    Next year, Ha Noi will continue improving the investment and business environment and encouraging innovation and development enterprise, promoting economic growth.

    The city also continues to restructure the economic sectors to reform economic growth models and increase productivity, quality, efficiency and competitiveness in production and business.

    It will focus on increasing efficiency in state management of Ha Noi’s state offices to further improve the investment and business environment. 

    Ba Ria-Vung Tau, an ideal investment destination     

    With its goal of becoming a facilitator and partner to businesses, the Ba Ria-Vung Tau Province government has constantly reformed and built a transparent institution to create favourable conditions for investors a level playing field for businesses.

    Ba Ria-Vung Tau has thus become an ideal destination in the eyes of many investors.

    Located in the southern key economic zone and nearly 100km from the country’s largest economic hub, HCM City, Ba Ria - Vung Tau boasts many strengths and its maritime economy, including tourism, ports, oil and gas, and seafood exploitation and processing, has great potential.

    The province’s potential is in fact unique in Viet Nam.

    It is the largest steel, gas, electricity and nitrogen producer in the country, ensuring uninterrupted supply of inputs and fuel for large projects by strategic investors.

    In the last few years the province has made relentless efforts to build comprehensive, modern infrastructure to facilitate trade, and has gradually transformed its growth model from mainly exploiting natural resources to services, tourism, ports, and hi-tech agriculture.

    With its Cai Mep – Thi Vai port complex, ranked among the top ports in Southeast Asia and one of only 19 in the world that can handle 190,000 dead weight tonnage (DWT) vessels, the province will be a gateway for international trade and trans-shipment in Southeast Asia.

    This is also the only port complex in Viet Nam from where container ships can sail directly to Europe and America.

    In tourism, besides continuing to exploit existing attractions like Con Dao and Binh Chau Hot Spring, the province plans to develop some world-class sites.

    The province has completed the coastal road from Vung Tau City to Xuyen Moc District, forming a unique beach tourism route with luxury hotels and resorts along the pristine coast. But there are still many sites where investors can develop classy tourism projects.

    Besides 14 general industrial parks with comprehensive infrastructure, the province also has two industrial parks specialising in supporting industries: Phu My 3 and Da Bac.

    Work on the US$5.4 billion Long Son Petrochemical Complex will start soon and it is expected to go on stream in 2022, providing a big push for economic development.

    The province has approved a programme for high-tech agricultural development for up to 2020 with a vision to 2025, which envisages setting aside more than 5,000ha in various localities for high-tech agriculture.

    Investors in high-tech agricultural projects will always be welcomed with many incentives.

    To meet the increasing needs of local development, Ba Ria - Vung Tau has invited leading domestic and foreign experts and consultants to help it draft zoning plans harmonised with the southern key economic zone’s master plan approved by the Government.

    The province has made active efforts to put in place mechanisms and removed investment hurdles that could have prevented it from achieving the “big dreams, big ambitions” Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc wants it to have.

    Nguyen Van Trinh, chairman of the province People’s Committee, said: “ Ba Ria - Vung Tau will try to reduce the time taken for granting investment licences and building permits, modernise customs to reduce clearance time ... and at the same time build a transparent and investor-friendly government.”

    Nguyen Hong Linh, member of the Central Party Committee, secretary of the province Party Committee and chairman of the province People’s Council, said: “Ba Ria - Vung Tau is committed to building a facilitating government and actively improving policies to turn the province into an attractive place for well-intentioned local and foreign investors.

    “The province’s vision is to attract investors selectively, with a focus on large projects, modern technology, high value-addition in the fields of industry, ports, port services and logistics, tourism, and high-tech agriculture.”

    The province has attracted more than $27 billion worth of foreign investment in over 300 projects and VND250 trillion from Vietnamese firms in nearly 500 projects.

    In 2017-20 the province hopes to attract US$4 billion worth of FDI in 80 projects, VND100 trillion worth of domestic investment in 90 projects and VND15 trillion in 15 public-private partnership projects. 

    Water and energy exhibitions open in HCM City     

    More than 14,000 people are expected to visit VIETWATER 2017 and RE & EE VIETNAM 2017 exhibitions, two leading international events on water supply, sanitation, water resources, purification and energy, which opened on Wednesday in HCM City.

    The three-day events have attracted more than 480 companies in the water and energy sectors from 38 countries and territories.

    The companies are showcasing their products and services at 14 international pavilions: Australia, Belgium, China, the EU, Finland, Germany, Hungary, Japan, Korea, SME Tokyo, Singapore, Chinese Taipei, Thailand and the UK.

    They have brought the latest technologies, solutions, equipment and products to the exhibitions, which are expected to help promote business partnerships between local and international enterprises, contributing to the sustainable development of water and energy activities in Viet Nam.

    Products include pumps, valves, fittings, chemicals, purification products, desalination equipment, boilers, water measurements and controls, and other services and products in the water supply, sewerage and purification sectors.

    For instance, companies from Taiwan displayed energy management systems and Long Chen technology which is used in water purifiers, Walrus pumps and cashido, which is a kind of water purifying equipment.

    At the opening ceremony of the event, organisers said that water and energy were essential industries for a nation’s socio-economic development.

    They are used in all businesses and operations in industry, and services and construction, as well as agriculture, livestock, aquaculture and residential living.

    The demand for water and energy continues to increase day by day, with demand for energy expected to increase to an estimated 13 per cent annually in the next four years.

    The government aims to increase clean water access in the water industry by 95-100 per cent by 2025.

    Water and energy are two important sectors which have direct influence on socio-economic development.

    Over the past few years, Viet Nam has made efforts to improve water and renewable energy resources, promote international cooperation, absorb advanced technologies, and integrate with global development trends as well as attract investment in these two industries, according to the Deputy Minister of Construction Phan Thi My Linh.

    Organising international exhibitions creates a good platform for businesses, organisations and individuals to exchange experiences, promote technology transfer, cooperation and investment, she said.

    “The Ministry of Construction pays close attention to the efficiency and necessity of organising an international exhibition on water supply, sewerage and renewable energy,” she said.

    Within the exhibition’s framework, seminars, conferences and workshops will take place concurrently on a number of topics, such as “Towards Sustainable Water Development – International Experience”, “Toward Developing Renewable Energy and Energy-Efficiency Projects in Viet Nam” and “Viet Nam – Urbanisation towards Sustainable Development”.

    One of the highlights of the exhibition is the drinking water tower, which is part of a community water project the ministry is working on in cooperation with the Australian Water Association, Viet Nam Water Supply and Sewerage Association, Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, SkyJuice, and Khanh Hoa’s People Committee.

    This project will provide 20,000 litres of water per day at two primary schools in Khanh Phu and Lien Sang communes in Khanh Hoa Province.

    The project is hoped to contribute to sustainable water development in Viet Nam. The drinking water tower will be showcased outside the exhibition area and will be moved and placed at the two schools after the exhibition.

    The exhibition was organised by UBM and Viet Nam’s Water Supply and Sewerage Association, with support from the Ministry of Construction, International Water Association, Singapore Water Association, Taiwan Water Association, Korean Water Association and other energy associations, including Viet Nam Energy Conservation and Energy Efficiency Association, Viet Nam Automation Association, Energy Conservation Centre HCM City, and the EU-Vietnam Business Networks, among other associations.

    The exhibitions are being held at the Sai Gon Exhibition and Convention Centre in District 7 in HCM City. 

    VN, China promote trade ties

    The Viet Nam-China trade relationship has seen strong development. China is now Viet Nam’s key export market and its biggest trade partner, said Bui Huy Son, director of the Viet Nam Trade Promotion Agency under the Ministry of Industry and Trade.

    Son told a conference to help businesses of the two countries search for co-operation opportunities held in Ha Noi yesterday that bilateral trade had seen a high growth rate. With cultural similarities and favourable geographical locations, China was a potential trade market for Viet Nam.

    According to the Vietnamese General Department of Customs, by the end of September this year, Viet Nam’s exports to China reached $22.2 billion in January-September period, marking a year-on-year increase of 62.2 per cent. Its imports also rose by 15.9 per cent to $41.7 billion. Viet Nam’s total import-export turnover with China was $63.9 billion or 25.1 per cent higher from the corresponding period last year.

    China’s Customs Department said Viet Nam had become the country’s biggest trade partner in ASEAN and its 9th biggest overall.

    Notably, since the beginning of the year, Chinese imports from ASEAN countries have fallen by one per cent. However, its import turnover from Viet Nam has maintained double digit growth.

    According to a representative from the Chinese Ministry of Commerce, trade opportunities between the two countries are set to expand thanks to the two countries strengthened bilateral relationship.

    The visits of high ranking leaders from the two countries in recent years together with co-operation agreements are evidence of growing ties, he said.

    In the last two decades, Viet Nam has actively integrating into the world economy. This creates a favourable environment for the two countries’ firms to operate in each other.

    Viet Nam and China also signed investment co-operation agreements at the event, aiming to balance trade between the two countries, enhance exports of Vietnamese products to China and attract Chinese firms to Viet Nam.

    The event was attended by leaders from the two countries’ ministries, agencies and associations and more than 100 import-export companies of dragon fruits, rubber, tra fish, rice and garment and textiles. 

    Conference to solicit investment in VN food processing industry     

    Investment opportunities in the food processing industry and technology transfer from foreign investors will be among the key topics to be discussed at a conference in HCM City on November 15.

    According to the Viet Nam Trade Promotion Agency, despite developing strongly in recent years the food processing industry has not met domestic demand, meaning a huge opportunity exists for investors.

    Viet Nam is one of the world’s largest exporters of many kinds of farm produce, but it mainly exports raw products with low added value.

    Therefore, attracting investors with modern processing technologies would be among the keys to developing the food processing industry, Vietrade said.

    The Investment Promotion Conference on the Food Processing Industry, held by Vietrade, the Foreign Investment Agency and others, is among a series of activities by the Viet Nam International Food Industry Exhibition (Vietnam Foodexpo 2017) to be held in HCM City from November 15 to 18.

    Vietnam Foodexpo, the country’s top trade promotion event for agricultural products, seafood and food, will have 600 booths set up by more than 450 exhibitors from 31 Vietnamese cities and provinces besides over 20 countries and territories.

    On display will be fruits and vegetables, seafood, beverages, tea and coffee, food ingredients, processed foods, and food processing technologies and equipment.

    With France being the Country of Honour, 33 French companies and industry groups will introduce some of their finest products and brands from the processed meat, dairy, farm produce and food processing machinery sectors.

    Speaking at a press briefing in HCM City yesterday, Ta Hoang Linh, Vietrade deputy director, said the exhibition would contribute to the development of the food industry, promoting brands, products and services and enabling Vietnamese foods to expand market share in both domestic and export markets.

    The exhibition would also serve as a catalyst for technological innovation, thereby increasing productivity, quality and safety, he said.

    There would also be a Vietnam Food Forum, the Saigon International Cooking Contest and an exclusive area for large supermarket chains such as Hapromart, Lotte Mart and Big C to directly meet with local suppliers, he added.  

    Food and beverage expo returns to Ha Noi     

    The 2017 VietFood, Beverage and Professional Packing Machines (VietFood & Beverage-ProPack) international exhibition has returned to Ha Noi.

    The second annual show kicked off with an opening ceremony held on Wednesday, gathering over 200 participants from 11 countries and territories.

    The exhibition, taking place at the Ha Noi International Exhibition Centre in 91 Tran Hung Dao Street, will last until November 11.

    It has been successfully held in HCM City for 22 years annually and was held in the capital city for the first time last year. Both cities will now host the expo every year.

    Vietfood & Beverage-ProPack 2017, a prestigious and professional event in the food industry, attracts well-known domestic and international brands. This year, the event in Ha Noi has more than 200 pavilions of exhibitors from South Korea, Greece, Singapore and Denmark, as well as Bulgaria, Japan, Taiwan, Thailand and India, along with China and Viet Nam.

    Products displayed at the exhibition include vegetables (fresh, dried, canned, processed), seafood (cooked, frozen), agricultural products (coffee, tea, cashew, pepper) and food ingredients, as well as beverages and confectionery, in addition to machinery and equipment, packaging and food preservation products and franchise opportunities.

    Local companies make up about half of the 200 participants.

    For the first time this year, the event will host a business from Greece, Kronos S.A., an industrial and commercial enterprise of canned fruits and vegetables.

    Michalis Luchounas, Export Commercial Director of Kronos S.A., told Viet Nam News the company was established in 1971 and had been selling products in Việt Nam now for three years.

    “We have an agent in HCM City, selling peaches under the brand ‘Kronos’. Our business is growing well in the Vietnamese market, which is a very potential market for us,” Luchounas said. “Our factory in Greece produces many kinds of fruit but we are starting with the peaches in Viet Nam as they are much favoured here. Our products are mainly consumed by coffee shops and beverage companies.”

    Kim Eung Hwan, from the Agriculture Services Bureau and Agriculture Products Distribution Division in Chungnam province of South Korea, told that the company would display many products and local specialties.

    He added that his province was introducing organic and clean agriculture products, which had been sold in some supermarkets in Viet Nam for some years now.

    “We are very grateful to VietFood & Beverage-ProPack 2017 for creating opportunities for us to meet with local buyers and investors, thus expanding our opportunities for exchanges and investment,” Kim Eung Hwan said.

    Nguyen Quang Chien, Director of the Phan Thiet Seafood Co., Ltd said this was the second time his company had attended the expo.

    “In addition to the Vietnamese businesses that are participating in the event, there are also foreign companies that are promoting their products. I think that besides product quality, local businesses also need to focus on the product designs and services to compete with foreign competitors,” Chien said.

    The expo is organised by the Viet Nam National Trade Fair and Advertising Company (Vinexad), collaboration with the HCM Food and Foodstuff Association (FFA), the Viet Nam Beer-Alcohol-Beverage Association (VBA),

    In August, the exhibition in HCM City attracted 512 companies and 608 pavilions from 20 countries and territories, including Poland, South Korea, Malaysia, India, Thailand and China.

    The event drew over 15,300 visitors. Working sessions enabled 3,000 businesspeople to secure deals.  

    28 provinces, cities approve urban development programmes     

    Twenty eight out of 63 provinces and cities have so far approved their urban development programmes, under the Decree 11/2013/ND-CP about management and investment in urban development.

    Besides, 23 others were underway to develop or adjust their urban development programmes, according to the Ministry of Construction.

    The ministry said that these programmes were necessary to contribute to ensuring harmonious and sustainable urban development.

    Focus would be placed on completing the legal framework for urban development to ensure consistency and tighten management, the ministry said, adding that existing regulations about urban development were still proving to be ineffective.

    The ministry is working on drafting a law on architecture.

    The Decree 11/2013/ND-CP issued on January 14 aimed to ensure the consistence between local and national socio-economic development planning and synchronous urban infrastructure development. 

    OPIC CEO signs commitments with JBIC and NEXI     

    Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) has inked a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) and Nippon Export and Investment Insurance (NEXI).

    Under the agreement, OPIC, the US government’s development finance institution, aims to tackle development challenges and to bolster investment in infrastructure, energy, and other critical sectors throughout Asia and the Indo-Pacific region, the Middle East, and Africa.

    The MoU was signed by OPIC President and Chief Executive Officer Ray W. Washburne, JBIC Chief Executive Officer and Executive Managing Director Tadashi Maeda, and NEXI Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Kazuhiko Bando.

    During his remarks on Monday in Tokyo to American and Japanese business leaders, President Donald J. Trump stated that the agreements are “a major development that will advance our shared interests in the region.”

    Each MoU develops a framework for co-operation between the agencies to bolster support for investment in emerging markets by mutually collaborating on projects that meet policy objectives and by co-ordinating business development efforts.

    “These agreements will allow us to have a broader impact while strengthening the continued work between the US and Japan,” Washburne said. “Through focusing on infrastructure and energy projects around the globe, we can enhance the position of our respective private sector companies in an increasingly competitive global market.”

    The MOUs follow the recent Japan-US Economic Dialogue, when the governments of Japan and the United States committed to bolstering energy and infrastructure projects in emerging markets.

    To date, OPIC, JBIC, and NEXI have co-ordinated support for several projects together, including a 370MW natural gas-fired power plant in Jordan and a private equity fund supporting the renewable energy value chain in India and South Asia.

    From Tokyo, Washburne is traveling to Viet Nam in conjunction with President Trump’s visit to the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Chief Executive Officer Summit.

    OPIC is a self-sustaining US government agency that helps American businesses invest in emerging markets. Its services are available to new and expanding businesses planning to invest in more than 160 countries worldwide. Because OPIC charges market-based fees for its products, it operates on a self-sustaining basis at no net cost to taxpayers. All OPIC projects must adhere to best international practices and cannot cause job loss in the United States. 

    Product origin info to be enhanced     

    The General Department of Customs has ordered the management of origin and labels of imported products to be enhanced.

    The move comes in the wake of a probe into Khaisilk’s trade fraud of selling "Made-in-China" products under the Vietnamese brand, which caused a stir.

    Accordingly, customs departments across the country must enhance their management of product origin and labels following the Government’s Decree 19 on product origin, Decree 43 on labeling and Ministry of Finance’s Circular 38 on customs management procedures.

    Special attention must be paid to Vietnamese companies’ products that were produced abroad and then imported into the country.

    All violations must be reported to the General Department of Customs.

    According to current regulations, organisations and individuals placing goods in circulation must be in charge of labeling, and the labels must provide clear and accurate product information.

    The Khaisilk fraud was uncovered more than a week ago when a company which bought Khaisilk-branded scarves at a Khaisilk store on Hang Gai shop in Ha Noi found one scarf with two tags – one with “Khaisilk Made in Viet Nam” and the other with “Made in China.”

    Hoang Khai, chairman of the group which is considered a top Vietnamese silk brand, later admitted that the scarves were actually imported from China.

    On Saturday (November 4), Deputy Prime Minister Truong Hoa Binh asked the Ministry of Industry and Trade in coordination with relevant ministries to clarify violations of Khaisilk and report the findings before December 15.

    Customs’ statistics showed that imports of silk products from China were worth US$1.2 million in the first nine months of this year, while the figures were $2.3 million in 2016 and $4 million in 2015. From 2015 to September 2017, Viet Nam imported more than 8,800 silk scarves from China, worth some $35,800.

    In another development, the Ha Noi Department of Taxation recently reported on the tax payments of Khaisilk’s store on Hang Gai Street.

    Accordingly, the store, which is owned by Nguyen Thu Nga and began selling silk products from January 2004, earned revenue of VND14 billion in the January-September period and paid tax of more than VND200 million for the period.

    The company earned VND15.6 billion in 2015 and VND16.11 billion in 2016 as revenue, and paid taxes worth VND234 million and VND241 million, respectively.

    The tax department said that the store was not in arrears of taxes.

    Earlier, the General Department of Taxation had asked the municipal tax department to report on the performance of tax payment of Khaisilk Group and its stores in Ha Noi.      

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


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  • 11/11/17--06:41: Article 4
  • Social News 10/11


    EU condoles with Vietnam over typhoon losses



     EU condoles with Vietnam over typhoon losses, 1,000 in vitro fertilised babies born at Hue central hospital, Hanoi: 83 percent of population covered by health insurance, President sends thank-you letter to Russian President, 

    The European Union (EU)’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini and Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management Christos Stylianides on November 8 issued a joint statement sending condolences to Vietnam over losses caused by recent typhoon Damrey.

    The statement said: “The typhoon that has struck Vietnam over the past days has taken many lives and caused considerable damage, adding to the toll of a number of storms in the past weeks. On behalf of the European Union, we express our heartfelt condolences to the victims, their families and loved ones, and to all those affected.”

    “The European Union stands alongside the people of Vietnam and the Vietnamese authorities at this time, in particular the emergency services and response teams who are working to save lives and minimise the damage to homes, livelihoods and infrastructure.”

    The statement also added that the EU is in touch with Vietnamese authorities and ready to help Vietnam address consequences caused by the storm.

    The bloc’s 24/7 Emergency Response Coordination Centre is monitoring developments and will send a team in the coming days to assess the damage and explore any assistance requested by the Vietnamese authorities.

    1,000 in vitro fertilised babies born at Hue central hospital

    The Hue Central Hospital has so far delivered 1,000 babies conceived via in vitro fertilisation (IVF) after 10 years of practising the technique.

    Since the first six IVF babies were born in July 2008, the hospital has improved its capacity to carry out about 400 – 500 IVF cycles per year, with success rate ranging between 35 and 40 percent.

    The Law on Marriage and Family allowed surrogacy from January 1, 2015. On July 28, 2016, the Hue Central Hospital’s first surrogate baby was born, weighing 3.5 kilogrammes.

    In April 2016, the hospital established a reproductive support department. It aims to build a reproductive support centre for the central region in the future.

    Hanoi: 83 percent of population covered by health insurance

    About 83 percent of Hanoi’s population has joined the health insurance scheme so far, the city’s Social security Agency announced at a conference to review its performance on November 8.

    The coverage exceeded this year’s target of 82.8 percent set by the government and the municipal authority.

    According to the agency, the collection of social insurance, health insurance and unemployment insurance over the past three months exceeded 26.7 trillion VND (1.17 billion USD), up 21 percent over the same period last year.

    More than 54,000 local employers have been paying towards social insurance and health insurance, a year-on-year increase of 12.5 percent.

    However, compulsory social insurance debt by the end of October remained high, worth more than 2.96 trillion VND (130.2 million USD), affecting the rights of nearly 681,200 workers in the city.

    The agency proposed local police provide guidance on how to report enterprises that shirk or owe social insurance dues. It also asked the Hanoi Tax Department to coordinate in social insurance inspection, and the municipal Department of Planning and Investment to provide monthly updates on the status of the enterprises.

    President sends thank-you letter to Russian President

    President Tran Dai Quang has sent a letter to thank President Vladimir Putin, the Government, and people of Russia for their prompt and valuable aid sent to the Vietnamese people affected by typhoon Damrey.

    On November 7, the Russian President instructed the Government of Russia to provide an emergency aid worth five million USD to help Vietnam recover from the severe damage caused by storm Damrey in the central region.

    On November 8, an aircraft of the Ministry of the Russian Federation for Affairs for Civil Defence, Emergencies and Elimination of Consequences of Natural Disasters landed Cam Ranh airport in the central coastal province of Khanh Hoa with relief goods for the storm victims.

    According to the National Committee for Search and Rescue, storm Damrey hit Vietnam on November 4. Following downpours and floods had claimed 89 lives and left 18 missing and 174 others injured in central and Central Highlands localities as of November 7 night.

    14th NA deputies hear reports on revised Law on Complaints

    The 14th National Assembly (NA) convened a plenary session in Hanoi on November 8 under the chair of NA Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan during its ongoing fourth meeting.

    In the morning, Government Inspector General Le Minh Khai presented a report on acquiring feedback on the draft amended Law on Complaints.

    Later, Chairman of the NA’s Committee on Legal Affairs Nguyen Khac Dinh delivered a report examining the draft revised Law on Complaints.

    In the afternoon, the deputies discussed in groups a scheme on building several highways in the eastern part of the north-south route in 2017-2020 and the Law on amendments and supplements to several articles of the Law on Sports and Physical Training.

    As scheduled on November 9 morning, the NA will hear reports and discuss the implementation of the national target programme on gender equality which will be broadcast live nationwide.

    Later in the afternoon, lawmakers will hear reports regarding the draft revised Law on Corruption Prevention and Control and discuss the bill in groups.

    Exhibition featuring Cambodian culture opens in Hanoi

    An exhibition featuring Cambodia’s culture was opened at the Vietnam Culture-Art Exhibition Centre in Hanoi on November 8.

    The event forms part of the activities of the Cambodian cultural week jointly hosted by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism (MCST), and the Cambodian Ministry of Culture and Fine Art (MCFA) to mark the two countries’ five-decade-old relations.

    The ribbon cutting ceremony was attended by MCST Deputy Minister Vuong Duy Bien, MCFA Minister Khim Sarith, and Cambodian Ambassador to Vietnam Prak Nguon Hong.

    The event introduces to visitors the beauty of Cambodian people and the country’s renowned sites, including Angkor Wat temple, Preah Vihear temple, Sambo Prei Kok archaeological site, Khmer dances, as well as several traditional music tools.

    Addressing the opening ceremony, Deputy Director of the MCST’s International Cooperation Department Nguyen Phuong Hoa said the cultural exchanges between Vietnam and Cambodia, such as the cultural week, lay the foundation for the development of the two nations’ relations and friendship.

    Hap Touch, Director General of the MCFA’s Cultural Technique Department expressed his hope that the exhibition helps enhance mutual understanding and friendship between the two countries in general, and promote the two ministries’ cooperation in the 2018-2023 period, in particular.

    During the cultural week, 32 artists from the Cambodian National Art Troupe performed in Hanoi on November 8 and will stage a performance in the northern province of Quang Ninh on November 10.

    APEC 2017: Vietnam’s hosting good experience for Papua New Guinea

    The government and people of Vietnam have done excellent preparation for APEC 2017 and Papua New Guinea wants to learn from Vietnam, said Rimbink Pato Obe, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade of Papua New Guinea, host of APEC 2018.

    Talking to a Vietnam News Agency reporter on the sidelines of the 29th APEC Ministerial Meeting (AMM) in the central city of Da Nang on November 8, the minister elaborated that he enjoys his stay in Vietnam and the service here is fantastic.

    He also affirmed “everything in terms of preparation for the next APEC Year in Papua New Guinea is on track”.

    Papua New Guinea sets three key areas: improving connectivity, deepening regional economic integration; promoting inclusive and sustainable growth; and strengthening economic growth through structural reform as priorities for next year’s APEC, he revealed.

    Regarding the AMM’s recommendations to be submitted to the APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting on November 10, Rimbink Pato Obe said all of them are important.

    “We are members of the APEC community, we are part of inclusiveness, part of connectivity, trade liberalisation, inflow and outflow investment, trade within the APEC economies so anything enhances trade and investment between APEC economies we will support,” he said.

    He also said he expects all recommendations to be adopted because APEC’s future will go through all of them.

    “If there is a challenge in relation to one or two recommendations, I think our leaders are working on it and we are looking for them reaching consensus,” he noted.

    Talking about relations with Vietnam, the diplomat said “Vietnam is a country of great history and we want to learn from it”.

    Vietnam has coffee, cocoa, some of the fisheries and training facilities that his country is in need, as a result, Papua New Guinea wants to connect better now with Vietnam, he added.

    The APEC Economic Leaders’ Week from November 6-11 is drawing around 10,000 delegates from the 21 APEC member economies.

    Established in 1989, APEC comprises Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, China, Hong Kong (China), Indonesia, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Peru, the Philippines, Russia, Singapore, Chinese Taipei, Thailand, the US, and Vietnam.

    It represents 39 percent of the world population, 57 percent of the world GDP and 47 percent of the total trade.

    Minister asks for faster internet for APEC 2017 events

    Minister of Information and Communications Truong Minh Tuan on November 8 asked telecom providers to increase internet speeds in order to facilitate the media covering the APEC Economic Leaders’ Week events.

    He made the statement when touring the International Media Centre (IMC) and conference venues in hotels and resorts in central Da Nang city where APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting and related meetings take place to inspect preparatory works there.

    He examined communications and transmission infrastructures and security at the IMC. He requested the local telecom providers to ensure internet connection, urgently increase the internet speed to facilitate works of the reporters and have backup plans for any emergency.

    The minister also urged media and news agencies of Vietnam such as the Vietnam News Agency, the Vietnam Television (VTV), the Voice of Vietnam (VOV) and the Vietnam Television Corporation (VTC) to better coordinate with foreign agencies to increase media coverage of events of the APEC Economic Leaders’ Week.

    Researchers back stronger Vietnam-China relations

    Promoting relations between Vietnam and China in a pragmatic and effective manner for mutual benefits meets the aspiration of the two countries’ Parties and people, researchers said at a forum held in Hanoi on November 8.

    President of the Vietnam Academy of Social Sciences Nguyen Quang Thuan said Vietnam and China are members of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) and the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum.

    The two sides have joined multilateral cooperation mechanisms and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP).

    The Communist Party of Vietnam and Government always want to develop comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership with China and support China to make more active contributions to the maintenance of peace, stability and cooperation in the region and the world.

    At the same time, Vietnam is keen to maintain the stable and healthy relations with China to promote peace, stability and stronger cooperation, Thuan said.

    As the bilateral relations are entering a new period of development, the two countries should devise new policies to elevate their ties to a new height while strengthening cooperation to balance economic partnership and increasing exchanges in politics, external affairs, culture and defense, he added.

    Guo Weimin, Vice Minister of the State Council Information Office, said China hopes to promote the stable and sustainable friendship and cooperation with Vietnam.

    The forum enables Vietnamese and Chinese researchers to seek to deepen the Vietnam-China comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership and maintain peace, stability and development in the Asia-Pacific region, he added.

    During the event, participants also shared information and experience regarding the Party building and management in the two countries as well as the bilateral cooperation within the APEC framework.

    Vietfood & Beverage - ProPack 2017 expo opens in Hanoi

    The VietFood, Beverage and Professional Packing Machines (VietFood & Beverage – ProPack) International Expo 2017 kicked off in Hanoi on November 8.
    The event draw than 200 domestic and foreign businesses from 10 countries and territories, including the Republic of Korea, Singapore, Denmark, Japan, Thailand, India, China and host Vietnam.

    The annual expo, held by the Vietnam National Trade Fair & Advertising Joint Stock Company (Vinexad), displays a wide range of products such as vegetables, seafood, farm produce, materials for food, beverages and confectionary, alcoholic drinks, fruit juice, tea, coffee, food packaging and preserving equipment, among others.

    A similar expo was organised in Ho Chi Minh City in August, with the participation of 512 companies from 20 countries and territories which showcased products at 608 booths.

    According to the organisers, more than 15,300 visitors came to the expo and about 3,000 trading contracts were signed between agricultural and processing firms.

    The food sector is forecast to continue its growth in the coming time, Nielsel Vietnam said, adding that the country’s food and beverage market was valued at 30 billion USD in 2016.

    BMI Research forecast that the sector’s growth rate would be at 10.9 percent in the 2017-2019 period thanks to people’s increasing income and a trend of using high value products.

    The latest figures from the General Statistics Office showed that food production and processing in the first nine months of the year rose by 6.6 percent, while that of the beverage sector was 5 percent higher than the same period last year.

    With a population of more than 90 million and an increasing number of tourists, the food and beverage industry has been getting the attention of both local and foreign investors.

    Hanoi seminar marks 100th anniversary of Balfour Declaration

    A seminar took place in Hanoi on November 7 to mark the 100th anniversary of the Balfour Declaration and discuss its impacts on the Middle East, especially Palestine.

    The event was held by the Embassy of Palestine to Vietnam in partnership with the Institute for Africa and Middle East Studies (IAMES), with Palestinian Ambassador Saadi Salam and scholars from the Vietnam Academy of Social Sciences in attendance.

    Addressing the seminar, Saadi Salam said Arthur Balfour, a then-British foreign secretary, decided to change the faith of Palestine by promising to hand over the land he did not own to Zionist in the 1917 declaration.

    The declaration had completely changed the history of Palestinian people, making thousands to live in exile, he stressed.

    The seminar also featured the screening of the short film “100 Balfour Road” and a discussion around the declaration, its consequences and the struggle for freedom of Palestinians.

    Cambodia’s 64th Independence Day marked in Ho Chi Minh City

    The Vietnam Union of Friendship Organisations and the Vietnam-Cambodia Friendship Association in Ho Chi Minh City held a ceremony on November 8 to mark Cambodia’s 64th Independence Day (November 9).

    Speaking at the event, President of the association Truong Minh Nhut affirmed that Vietnam and Cambodia hold good neighbourliness, time-honoured friendship and comprehensive cooperation.

    The two countries have strived to consolidate and develop the friendship and cooperation and coordinated closely at international forums in order to lift the bilateral relations to a new height, for the interests of the two peoples and for peace, stability, development cooperation in the region, Nhut added.

    Cambodian Consul General in Ho Chi Minh City Im Heng recalled the struggles for national liberation of the Cambodian and Vietnamese people.

    The sacrifice of the two nations has created traditional friendship and solidarity which have become a valuable treasure and nurtured by the two countries’ leaders and people.

    He took the occasion to thank Vietnam for helping his country escape from the Pol Pot genocidal regime and gain independence.

    Quang Ninh appraises biodiversity preservation plan

    The north-eastern border province of Quang Ninh has held a meeting to appraise its biodiversity preservation plan through 2020, with a vision toward 2030.

    The plan aims to promote biodiversity preservation and development, especially the natural ecosystem and rare species, to serve sustainable development, environmental protection, climate change adaptation, and ensure ecological security.

    The province hopes to increase the forest coverage by 55 percent by 2020 and 58 percent by 2030 and will prioritise the protection of endangered species.

    The plan will be carried out in three phases. In 2018-2020, Quang Ninh will upgrade existing nature reserves and establish Dong Rui – Tien Yen wetland nature reserves, and Co To and Dao Tran marine nature reserves.

    The province will launch Dong Son-Ky Thuong, Yen Tu and Bai Tu Long floral gardens and Bai Tu Long and Dong Son-Ky Thuong fauna gardens in 2021-2025, along with mountainous and maritime biodiversity corridors and Quang Hanh limestone nature reserve.

    The plan also sets measures for implementation regarding capital, human resources training, science-technology, policy mechanisms, information communication, and livelihood improvement.

    Vice Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee Dang Huy Hau suggested reviewing the proposals to expand areas for the Dong Son-Ky Thuong nature reserve and forecast risks and difficulties in implementing the project such as socio-economic development speed, declining water resources in some lakes, and the extinction of rare species.

    He stressed the need to implement the project to protect the environment, preserve biodiversity and develop the local economy.

    The official urged the consultant company involved to complete the plan before November 15, 2017.

    Quang Ninh is home to 4,350 species of fauna and flora, including 154 species listed in Vietnam’s Red Book. However, local ecological systems are being damaged by human activities. Tigers, bears and horses have vanished from the province while coral reefs have been spoilt.

    The province’s Bai Tu Long National Park, named the 38th ASEAN Heritage Park in 2017, has saved, taken care of and released to nature over 200 forest animals and five sea turtles. It has also worked with international organisations to preserve sea turtles, enhanced management capacity and biodiversity conservation, and supported eco-tourism and environmental education.

    APEC 2017: US President’s visit aims to boost ties with Vietnam

    US President Donald Trump’s attendance at the APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting and his State visit to Hanoi from November 10-12 show that the US wants to strengthen its ties with Vietnam in trade, economy and security.

    The statement was made by the US National Security Advisor Lieutenant General H.R. McMaster in an interview to reporters ahead of Trump’s trip to Asia from November 3-14.

    According to McMaster, one of the key topics for discussion during the visit in Hanoi will be sketching out plans to define and boost the bilateral relationship.

    At the APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting, Trump will deliver a speech which will “include his vision for a free and open Indo-Pacific region as well as the US relationship with countries in the region”.

    He will emphasise the importance of preserving sovereignty and maintaining international order that facilitates free, fair and reciprocal trade and economic relations.

    The President will have the opportunity to hear from other leaders about their concerns and their ideas about how APEC economies can work together to strengthen security and advance mutual prosperity.

    President Trump is committed to freedom of navigation as it has benefited all countries in and across the Indo-Pacific region, McMaster said, adding that the richness of commerce and trade in the region is associated with freedom of navigation.

    Contest on Vietnam - Laos special relations reviewed in Ha Nam

    The Party Committee of the northern province of Ha Nam on November 7 presented awards to the winners of a contest on studying the history of Vietnam - Laos relations.

    The contest was organised to mark the 55th anniversary of diplomatic relations (September 5, 1962-2017) and the 40th anniversary of the signing of the Vietnam-Laos Treaty of Amity and Cooperation (July 18, 1977-2017).

    It drew more than 25,000 submissions from members of the Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV), workers and students across the province. The entries highlighted the significance of the friendship between Vietnam and Laos and the beauty of Lao landscapes, people and culture.

    They also told stories of solidarity between the two nations in their past struggle for independence.

    HCM City works with Indian firm in urban flood control

    HCM City wants to work with Kirloskar Brothers Limited from India in fields of mutual concern, especially in urban flood control and solutions to saltwater intrusion, said Vice Chairman of the Ho Chi Minh City People’s Committee Tran Vinh Tuyen.

    The official made the statement on November 7 while receiving Shipra Tripathi, Vice President of the Indian firm.

    At the meeting, Tuyen lauded the development of Vietnam – India relations as well as the cooperation of HCM City and Indian businesses, including Kirloskar Brothers Limited. He vowed to create best conditions for the firm to set up projects in the city.

    For her part, Tripathi expressed her hope to expand ties with HCM City in the firm’s strong suits like flood management in urban areas, agricultural irrigation and solutions to fire control.

    The two sides agreed to study feasible projects in the future.

    Cambodian cultural days underway in Hanoi, Quang Ninh

    A Cambodian cultural week began in Vietnam on November 8 in celebration of the two countries’ five-decade-old relations.

    Lasting until November 12, the week features an exhibition introducing the land and people of Cambodia through photos, traditional costumes, Khmer kites and musical instruments.

    As part of the event, artists from the Cambodian National Art Troupe will perform in Hanoi and Ha Long City in the northern province of Quang Ninh.

    Cambodia is home to UNESCO-recognised Angkor, one of the most important archaeological sites in Southeast Asia, Preah Vihear Temple, the Sambo Prei Kok archaeological site and Khmer dance.

    In 2016, Cambodia welcomed more than five million international tourists, including nearly 960,000 from Vietnam.

    Activities mark Russian October Revolution’s 100th anniversary

    Various activities were held on November 7 to mark the 100th anniversary of Russia’s October Revolution, one of the most important revolutions in the 20th century.

    Local leaders and the Vietnam-Russia Friendship Association of the central province of Khanh Hoa laid flowers at the Vietnam-Russia Friendship Monument in Cam Ranh city. The monument honours 44 soldiers from the former Soviet Union (now Russia) and 176 Vietnamese officials and soldiers who died in Cam Ranh and the central region.

    The Khanh Hoa chapter of the Vietnam Union of Friendship Organisations and the provincial Vietnam-Russia Friendship Association also held a get-together with the Russian community in the province.

    Meanwhile, a conference was held in the central province of Quang Binh to highlight the historical significance of the October Revolution and discuss experience for Vietnam’s reform process at present.

    In the Central Highlands province of Dak Lak, a photo exhibition was held, showcasing 100 photos on the October Revolution, achievements of the former Soviet Union’s people in protecting the revolution and socialism, as well as the friendship between Vietnam and Russia. The event will run until November 11.

    Earlier on November 5, a ceremony was held in Hanoi to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the October Revolution.

    In his speech delivered at the ceremony, General Secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV) Nguyen Phu Trong stressed the significance of the revolution, which, he said, opened up a new period in humankind’s history.

    All victories of the Vietnamese revolution were linked with the impacts of the Russian October Revolution and the wholehearted support of the people of the former Soviet Union, he said.

    The Party chief expressed his belief that with the spirit of the October Revolution and Vietnam’s August Revolution, the people’s confidence in the CPV and joint endeavours, Vietnam will become a strong country with wealthy people, democracy and equality.

    Japan sends water purifiers to aid storm-hit areas

    The Japanese government, through the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), donated 105 water filtering systems to help residents in central Thua Thien-Hue and Quang Nam provinces cope with aftermath of flooding.

    The filterers arrived at Da Nang International Airport in the afternoon of November 7.

    Vietnam has been making efforts to cope with aftermaths of widespread flooding caused by typhoon Damrey which swept through central Vietnam last weekend.

    The aid has demonstrated the close friendship and cooperation between Japan and Vietnam at the time when many areas in Vietnam continue suffering severe damage and flooding due to the storm, said Head of the General Department of Natural Disaster Prevention and Control Tran Quang Hoai after his department received the aid.

    The National Committee for Search and Rescue reported that storm Damrey that hit Vietnam on November 4 and following downpours and floods had claimed 89 lives and left 18 missing and 174 other injured in central and Central Highlands localities as of November 7 night.

    Russia offers 5 mln USD aid to Vietnam in flood recovery

    Russian President Vladimir Putin on November 7 directed providing 5 million USD in aid for Vietnam to overcome consequences of typhoon Damrey.

    The aircraft Il-76 is to carry relief goods from Russia to Vietnam.

    Speaking to the media, Russian President’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov expressed his hope that the humanitarian initiative will be welcomed by many countries.

    Russia calls on the global community, including those attending the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Economic Leaders’ Meeting, to show solidarity with Vietnamese people, he said.

    Peskov added that Putin discussed with Prime Minister Dmitri Medvedev, Minister of Civil Defence, Emergencies and Disaster Relief Vladimir Puchkov, and Minister of Finance Anton Siluanov about damage caused by the storm in Vietnam.

    Causing the most serious damages over the past two decades, typhoon Damrey made landfall in central Vietnam at a time when the APEC Economic Leaders’ Week is ongoing in the central city of Da Nang from November 6-11.

    The typhoon has so far left 69 dead, 30 injured, tens of thousands of people evacuated, and collapsed over 120,700 houses.

    It also damaged transport infrastructure and left many areas in power outage.

    NA deputies discuss prevention of crime and corruption

    Legislators deliberated the Government’s reports on combating and preventing crime, legal violation and corruption at the ongoing fourth session of the 14th National Assembly (NA) in Hanoi on November 7.

    Lawmakers also heard reports presented by Chief Judge of the Supreme People’s Court Nguyen Hoa Binh, Prosecutor General of the Supreme People’s Procuracy Le Minh Tri, and Government Inspectorate General Le Minh Khai.

    Chairman of the NA Law Committee Nguyen Khac Dinh delivered an appraisal report on the settlement of citizens’ complaints and denouncements in 2017, while Chief of People’s Aspiration Department Nguyen Thanh Hai presented the inspection outcomes in the field.

    On November 8, deputies will discuss in groups the revised draft Law on denunciation.

    APEC 2017: Field trip leaves deep impression on VOF delegates

    Delegates to the ongoing APEC Voices of the Future (VOF) 2017 have voiced their satisfaction with a field trip to several famous destinations in the central province of Quang Nam.

    “The involvement in outdoor activities like this trip is very interesting and shows different sides of Vietnam.” Liam Jones, Australian team leader said after visiting Peace Village, Tam Thanh mural village and a lantern maker’s in Hoi An ancient town on November 7.

    It also helps boost friendship among VOF delegates, added he.

    Of the places he visited, Peace Village, which is caring for 112 disabled children, orphans and homeless old people in the province, impressed him the most.

    “The people living in the village are being taken good care,” he said, voicing his hope that he will have a chance to come back there. 

    Sharing the same feeling, Jieun Joy Park, a delegate from the Republic of Korea, said that “one of the duties of the youth in the region is taking care of vulnerable groups.”

    The youth should make more efforts to fulfill the task, she said.

    Many of them were also excited when visiting the Tam Thanh mural art village, a joint initiative by the Korean Community Art Exchange Programme and the People’s Committee of Quang Nam province to bring art to the people.

    For Diana Gorbulina, head of the Russian delegation, the village is a combination of natural beauty and art.  It helps show how the villagers treasure the beauty of nature, she added.

    At a lantern maker’s in Hoi An ancient town, the delegates learnt from artisans how to cover the lanterns’ frames with silk to finish a product.
    “Making a lantern and keep it as a souvenir will be an unforgettable experience for me,” said Miyuki Tsuru from Japan.

    Taking place from November 6-10, the APEC Voices of the Future 2017 (VOF 2017) has drawn 180 delegates from 17 APEC member economies. 

    The participants focus discussions on the contributions of the youth to APEC Vision beyond 2020 and the future; economic, financial and social integration, human resources development in the digital age; and policies to support start-up, renovation and small and medium-sized enterprises.

    Japan hosts contest of eloquence in Vietnamese

    The 11th contest of eloquence in Vietnamese took place at Kanda University of International Studies in Japan’s Chiba prefecture on November 7, bringing together 22 contestants from nine local universities and colleges.

    At the competition, the contestants, divided into five groups based on their fluency in Vietnamese, were required to talk about challenges and maturity.

    Yoshino Tamako from Tokyo University of Foreign Studies won a grand prize at the category for those with at least two years learning Vietnamese. Her story was about an unforgettable experience when she had to go to hospital while in Vietnam. It could have been a very tough time for her but her Vietnamese friends had come to her bedside to comfort her, giving her strength to become such an optimistic person today.

    Meanwhile, Ashida Haruka from Osaka University of Foreign Studies earned the first prize at the category for those with at least three-year Vietnamese education with a presentation about her effort in studying Vietnamese and exploring the Vietnamese culture.

    According to lecturer Atsushhi Kasuga, who is in charge of Southeast Asia Department at Kanda University, the number of students enrolling to study Vietnamese in the university has been on the rise since it started to offer a course in Vietnamese studies in 2001.

    This year, the university has about 60 students and five lecturers of Vietnamese studies, he noted.

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  • 11/11/17--11:33: Article 3
  • Social News 11/11


    HCM City, Egypt reinforce cooperation in administrative control 

    HCM City, Egypt reinforce cooperation in administrative control, Winners of Vietnam-Laos relations contest honoured, Hanoi hosts exhibition on Hoang Sa, Truong Sa, Climate change adaptation project fruitful in Tra Vinh 
      
    Vice Chairman of the Ho Chi Minh City People’s Committee Tran Vinh Tuyen met with visiting senior officials of the Administrative Control Authority (ACA) of Egypt on November 9.

    Tuyen applauded Egypt’s “Look East” policy, which aims to expand relations with Asian countries, including Vietnam. Vietnam-Egypt ties have been growing, especially since a visit to the Southeast Asian nation by Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi last September, opening up development prospects for both sides. 

    Egypt is currently the second biggest African trade partner of Vietnam with bilateral trade reaching 316 million USD in 2016.

    He also highly valued the memorandum of understanding on cooperation for 2015-2020 signed between the Vietnamese Government Inspectorate and the ACA. The two countries have many conditions and opportunities to share experience, enhance mutual understanding and boost cooperation between their ministries and sectors.

    The official also expressed his hope that the Egyptian delegation’s working visit will help strengthen partnerships between the two countries as well as between Egypt and HCM City in the fields that the African nation is strong at.

    For his part, ACA deputy minister of state Hamed Abdel Fattah Hememy noted his delegation had fruitful working sessions with relevant agencies of Vietnam, including the HCM City Inspectorate. Notably, they exchanged experience in corruption prevention and control.

    Apart from administrative supervision, Egypt wants to tighten links with Vietnam and HCM City in many other spheres. Egypt values Vietnam’s experience in economic and tourism development and wants to learn from it, he said.

    Lao President offers sympathies to Vietnam over typhoon damage

    Lao President Bounnhang Vorachith has sent a message to President Tran Dai Quang conveying his sympathies on heavy losses caused by storm Damrey in Vietnam.

    In his message, President Bounnhang Vorachith said he was sad and worried when hearing that typhoon Damrey has caused huge human and property damage for Vietnamese people, especially those in Da Nang city and Quang Tri, Thua Thien – Hue, Quang Ngai, Quang Nam, Binh Dinh, Phu Yen, Khanh Hoa and Binh Thuan provinces in the central region. 

    Typhoon Damrey, the 12th storm in the East Sea this year, hit Vietnam’s south central coast on November 4. 

    Following downpours and floods had claimed 89 lives and left 18 missing and 174 others injured in central and Central Highlands localities as of November 7 night, according to the National Committee for Search and Rescue.

    Winners of Vietnam-Laos relations contest honoured

    The Party Committee of the south central province of Binh Thuan on November 9 honoured winners of a contest on exploring the history of the special ties between Vietnam and Laos in 2017.

    Ho Trung Phuoc, head of the provincial Party Committee’s Commission for Information and Education, said that in four months from May, the contest received 5,843 entries from local officials, Party members and youngsters.

    As many as 180 outstanding writings were chosen. One first, two second and three third prizes were presented to collectives. Meanwhile, in the individual category, one first, two second, three third and 10 consolidation prizes were also announced.

    Vietnam and Laos have shared a special friendship and solidarity as well as long-lasting comprehensive cooperation. The two sides have walked hands in hands in both past struggle for independence and current national defence and construction.

    Since the two countries set up their diplomatic relations 55 years ago, bilateral relations have flourished in both depth and width.

    Last year, two-way trade reached over 800 million USD. The two sides have also focused on strengthening transportation connectivity and creating optimal conditions for each other in developing trade and investment.

    Hanoi hosts exhibition on Hoang Sa, Truong Sa

    An exhibition displaying maps and documents on Vietnam’s Hoang Sa (Paracel) and Truong Sa (Spratly) archipelagos is underway at the Fisheries Resources Surveillance under the Directorate of Fisheries in Hanoi.

    The event, from November 8-10, was co-organised by the Ministry of Information and Communications (MIC) and the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.

    At the opening, Deputy Minister of the MIC Hoang Vinh Bao said the event is part of important activities to raise awareness of the country’s sea and islands among officers and workers in the agricultural and fishery sectors.

    It is also designed to nurture people’s love for the nation and enhance their solidarity and responsibility, especially youths, in protecting Vietnam’s sovereignty over the Hoang Sa and Truong Sa archipelagos.

    On display are documents, items, publications and nearly 100 maps published by domestic and international researchers and scholars, including materials in Chinese, Nom (old Vietnamese writing using Chinese characters), modern Vietnamese and French issued from the 17th to the 20th century by the Vietnamese feudal states and the French government in Indochina (on behalf of the then Vietnamese state) proving Vietnam’s sovereignty over Hoang Sa and Truong Sa archipelagos as well as the country’s exercise of sovereignty over the islands.

    The exhibition also features 65 maps certifying that the Hoang Sa and Truong Sa archipelagos belong to Vietnam, published by Western nations and Vietnam since the 17th century.

    The exhibition also showcases publications and studies by domestic and foreign scholars, including the atlas Universel compiled by Belgian geographer Philippe Vandermaelen in 1827.

    Climate change adaptation project fruitful in Tra Vinh

    The project for adaptation to climate change in the Mekong Delta has produced positive results in Tra Vinh province, said Director of the project’s provincial coordinating board Huynh Nghia Tho. 

    He made the statement during a local working session with a delegation from the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) on November 8. 

    The IFAD-funded project is underway in Tra Vinh and Ben Tre from 2014-2020. 

    In Tra Vinh, it costs 24.8 million USD, 6 million USD of which is non-refundable aid and 11.1 million USD is lent by IFAD while the remaining is from the Vietnamese government. 

    It aims to support sustainable livelihoods for poor rural households in a changing environment and improve adaptive capacity of target communities to better respond to climate change. 

    About 15,000 poor and near-poor households in 30 communes in districts of Cang Long, Chau Thanh, Tra Cu, Cau Ngang, Tieu Can, Cau Ke and Duyen Hai have benefited from the project. 

    Tho said as many as 12.5 million USD has been disbursed in the province to carry out two components of the project and 3.6 million USD has been used to build small-scale infrastructure in adaptation with climate change, directly and indirectly benefiting over 11,000 and nearly 21,000 households, respectively. Up to 85 out of 88 facilities have been put into operation so far. 

    The project built 43 pilot models, conducted 12 out of 20 thematic studies on climate change response, established around 1,500 groups with more than 10,000 members receiving assistance in natural resources management and climate change risks. 

    All wards, townships and communes have come up with their own community-based plans to mitigate climate change risks and adapt to changing climate. 

    However, child malnutrition is yet to improve while farm produce production in 30 communes is yet to increase sustainably. 

    To ensure the project’s progress and efficiency, Tho suggested IFAD adjust capital allocation and indexes of poor and near-poor households, as well as assist in measuring new indexes. 

    Vice Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee Kim Ngoc Thai also committed all possible support for the project.

    Japan media highlights APEC 2017 in Vietnam

    Japan’s major media agencies, including  NHK World and Japan Today carried stories updating the APEC Economic Leaders’ Week 2017, which is taking place in Vietnam’s central city of Da Nang from November 4-11.

    The NHK World on November 8 posted a story saying Japan plans to stress the importance of free trade and investment to achieve sustainable growth at the ministerial meeting of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation.

    Representing Japan are Foreign Minister Taro Kono and Trade Minister Hiroshige Seko to discuss creating fair, transparent trade rules and a multilateral free trade framework, the article said.

    Japan will work to lead the discussion to establish high-quality trade and investment rules in the Asia-Pacific region, it added.

    On November 9, the NHK World carried a story titled “APEC ministers extend meeting over statement”, saying Japan and other member economies are stressing the value of sustainable growth through free trade and investment. 

    The Japan Today ran a story citing Vietnamese Minister of Industry and Trade Tran Tuan Anh as saying "I hope that we will seize this last opportunity before our leaders' meeting to show flexibility and willingness needed to bridge the remaining gaps so that we can come out with a meaningful package for regional economic integration.”

    "Given the rapid changes and uncertainties that the global economy is now facing, this will convey a strong message that reflects steadfastness and determination of APEC in pursuing a free and open region for trade and investment," Anh was quoted.

    The article also quoted Vietnamese Minister of Foreign Affairs Pham Binh Minh as saying Vietnam, the host of the summit, is using the occasion to showcase the progress its economy has made thanks largely to opening to foreign investment and trade.

    Established in 1989, APEC comprises Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, China, Hong Kong (China), Indonesia, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Peru, the Philippines, Russia, Singapore, Chinese Taipei, Thailand, the US, and Vietnam.

    The year 2017 marks the second time Vietnam played the host to APEC events. The APEC Year 2017 has the theme “Creating New Dynamism, Fostering a Shared Future”.

    Australia funds to empower women economically

    Australia will invest AU$33.7 million (US$25.6 million) through the new Aus4Equality programme, focusing on Sơn La and Lào Cai provinces in the north-west of Việt Nam.

    The new initiative to support women’s economic empowerment was announced by the Hon Julie Bishop MP, Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs, on Wednesday on the sidelines of the 29th APEC Ministerial Meeting (AMM).

    The mountainous north-west region of Việt Nam is home to a diverse ethnic minority population and has some of the highest levels of poverty and inequality in the country, according to a press release from the Australian Embassy in Hà Nội.

    “Women in these areas are particularly disadvantaged, experiencing challenges such as isolation, lower levels of education and lack of decision-making power in their households and community, which prevent them from accessing economic opportunities,” it said.

    The five-year programme will help improve the lives of women, their families and local communities, and contribute to improved productivity and economic growth in the region.

    Aus4Equality expects to increase the incomes of 40,000 self-employed female farmers and small entrepreneurs; create 4,000 full-time positions for women, achieve a 15 per cent increase in the number of women leading or co-managing formal businesses; and increase women’s profit and roles in policy, management, strategic decision-making and resource allocation in the agriculture and tourism market sectors.

    Of the amount, some AU$7 million will be leveraged in private sector investment for business opportunities and approximately AU$17 million will be used to help women in the provinces better engage in agriculture and tourism sectors at all levels. 

    Cardiovascular centre opens in Can Tho

    The Cardiovascular Centre under the Cần Thơ Central General Hospital, which is the largest and most modern centre in the Cửu Long (Mekong) Delta, opened on Tuesday in Cần Thơ.

    The hospital, which is the highest-level hospital in the Mekong Delta, decided to invest in a cardiovascular centre after dozens of years of consideration.

    Dr. Hà Bửu Kiếm, deputy director of the Cardiology Centre, said cardiology was one the five most overloaded departments at hospitals around the country, according to the Ministry of Health.

    At the Cần Thơ Central General Hospital, the cardiology department was designed to accommodate 97 beds but has expanded to 140-160 beds. However, it is still too crowded with patients.

    The Cardiovascular Centre, which includes internal cardiovascular, interventional cardiology and cardiac surgery departments, uses high technologies and methods in diagnosis and treatment for patients in the region.

    Since 2009, Cần Thơ Central General Hospital has invested heavily in human resources and equipment for cardiovascular treatment, helping to reduce the patient overload at higher-level hospitals.

    Since 2015, the Department of Cardiac Surgery at the hospital has performed surgery on 91 patients, including many critical cases. Many poor patients have been financially supported by benefactors.

    In addition, the Department of Cardiovascular Intervention offers immediate intervention 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Since 2013, the department has been involved in immediate intervention for 2,641 patients.

    Dr. Nguyễn Minh Vũ, director of Cần Thơ Central General Hospital, said the establishment of the cardiovascular centre was an important step to promote advanced techniques in cardiovascular treatment.

    “The centre will be a bridge to charities and social work departments in the region so that funding can be mobilised for poor patients to have free coronary interventions,” Dr. Vũ said.

    Petrol warehouse in residential area leaves locals scared

    Hundreds of households in An Tiên Village, Xuân Giang Commune of central province of Hà Tĩnh’s Nghi Xuân District are living in fear due to a large petrol warehouse which has come up in the vicinity, on an area of 14,000sq.m.

    There are big 6 tanks with a total containing capacity of 9,000cu.m of gasoline each, the online newspaper Dân Trí reported on Wednesday.

    Phạm Văn Ninh has been been worried about the warehouse setting up a shop next to his home for the last three months.

    “We are very worried. The six big tanks, like bombs, are parked next to our houses. Our families and neighbours can suffer serious injuries in case of any incident,” Ninh told the paper.

    “We have to bear the smell of petrol every day, and live in fear of a blaze at any time,” said Phạm Tý, another resident of the village.

    One month ago, when Miền Trung Company, owner of the warehouse, did some maintenance work at the warehouse, the local people had to suffer from the smell of gasoline and breath in the dusty air. Many households had to temporarily move away from their homes.

    The local people had protested against the company, but the local government did not give in to their demands.

    Nguyễn Hồng Lưu, chairman of Xuân Giang Commune, told the paper that he shared the worries of the locals but could do anything because the location of the warehouse was decided by district and provincial authorities.

    He also said he did not have any information about the company which owned the warehouse.

    Sangha head elected in HCM City

    The HCM City Buddhist Sangha elected a new executive board to serve in the 2017-2022 period at a conference yesterday.

    The board includes 61 official members and 22 alternate members.

    The Most Venerable Thích Trí Quảng, deputy head of the Supreme Patriarch Council of Việt Nam Buddhist Sangha, was re-elected as the head.

    Speaking at the opening ceremony, Quảng said: “Over the last 35 years, the HCM City Buddhist Sangha has developed sustainably in every aspect, attracting attention from followers at home and abroad and from people at all levels of society.”

    He added that the sangha has made great contributions to nation-building, defending and developing the country, and bringing peace and happiness to the people.

    In the 2017-2020 period, the city’s sangha will continue its contributions to the city’s development, as well as expand and develop the HCM City Buddhist Sangha to become a leading sangha in the country, said the Most Venerable Quảng.

    On behalf of the city’s Government at the conference, Tất Thành Cang, deputy secretary of the city’s Party Committee, said he greatly appreciated the achievements the sangha had made over the last five years, its contribution to the stability and development of Buddhism, and to the cause of defending, building and developing the country in general and HCM City in particular.

    Cang said: “Besides its duties, the sangha should encourage its clergy and followers at home and abroad to participate in activities aiming to develop the economy, pay tribute to heroic martyrs, reduce poverty, protect the environment, preserve and promote national culture, fight against superstition and use religion to support national solidarity, and contribute to the city’s development.”

    At the conference, the President granted the First-Class Labour Medal to the HCM City Buddhist Sangha.

    The Việt Nam Fatherland Front and the HCM City People’s Committee also presented certificates of merit to the sangha’s agencies and individuals for making contributions to the development of Buddhism and national solidarity.

    Participants at the conference, which was held at the Việt Nam National Pagoda in District 10,  included former President Trương Tấn Sang, former Secretary of the city’s Party Committee Lê Thanh Hải, and more than 800 nuns and monks from the city, as well as officials from the Fatherland Front and local government.

    On the same day, the city sangha held an inauguration ceremony for the new pagoda, Việt Nam Quốc Tự, in District 10. Construction began in 2014, costing VNĐ250 billion (US$11 million).

    Authorities confirm bacterium behind school poisoning in Hậu Giang

    Health authorities have confirmed bacteria as the main cause behind a mass poisoning that affected hundreds of children at two primary schools in the southern province of Hậu Giang after they drank a mixture of chocolate milk late last month.

    Two samples taken from the milk and victims’ vomit tested positive for microbes and bacteria, according to Nguyễn Thanh Tùng, director of Hậu Giang Province’s Department of Health.

    Tùng revealed the results at a meeting on Monday afternoon between the provincial People’s Committee and Department of Health after nearly two weeks of investigation since the case occurred on October 27.

    The results showed the sample contained Staphylococcus aureus, also known as golden staph, or a type of bacteria frequently found in the nose, along the respiratory tract, and on the skin in humans. It is a common cause of skin infections including abscesses, respiratory infections, and food poisoning.

    The bacterial infection is said to have been triggered during the mixing process of the drink provided by the M.C Advertising Service Company, Tùng added.

    Tùng said, based on the results, the department concluded the company had violated food safety regulations by providing unhygienic milk products that poisoned more than 500 students at the Lái Hiếu and Nguyễn Hiền primary schools in Ngã Bảy Town.

    Reports from local health authorities said that as part of a campaign to encourage sport and physical exercise among local students, the M.C Advertising Service Company offered free chocolate milk to more than 760 pupils of the two schools on the morning of October 27.

    About an hour after drinking the flavoured milk, the students began showing symptoms of nausea.

    Over 500 children from both schools were admitted to local medical centres.

    About 39 suffered more severe symptoms and were given infusions as well as special medications.

    Fortunately, all of the students were able to return home by the evening due to timely treatment.

    Đồng Văn Thanh, vice-chairman of the provincial People’s Committee said that the infection was caused by human error.

    The free drink programme has been implemented at 38 other schools in the province without any issue, Thanh told the paper.

    M.C Company will be asked to pay an administrative penalty and will be suspended from implementing the programme until the matter is resolved, the paper reported.

    It was also asked to issue a public apology to children and their families.

    Thanh urged the province’s health and education and training sectors to closely monitor and control all food product advertising programmes in school areas to ensure the products meet safety and hygiene standards before being supplied to children.

    Campaign teaches kids at HCM City school traffic safety

    Students of Trần Văn Ơn Primary School in HCM City’s District 12 on Tuesday learnt about road safety, including the right way to wear helmets, through games.

    Nguyễn Trần Phương Anh, a third grader at the school, said that she was excited to play the games which taught her about road traffic safety skills and they were fun.

    Students were also gifted helmets.

    “Road crashes are a leading cause of death among children aged five to 14, a personal and economic cost that we cannot afford to ignore,” Phạm Thùy Liêm of the District 12 Education and Training Division said.

    Greig Craft, president and founder of the Asia Injury Prevention (AIP) Foundation, said: “We need to increase public awareness of the dangers of unsafe driving behaviour and lack of child helmet use. Involving all members of the community, especially youth, is the only way to create a sustainable culture of road safety.”

    The event was organised as part of Safety Delivered, a campaign by the AIP Foundation and the UPS Foundation that is also being implemented in Thailand, Cambodia, and Myanmar, with its activities changed depending on the country.

    They include distribution of quality motorcycle helmets, education at primary schools, public awareness campaigns, and university-based road safety education.

    Over the next two years the programme will donate 17.000 helmets, including 9.000 at targeted schools in HCM City and Hà Nội.

    Ancient Mother Goddess festival thrives

    Đặng Thị Nhiễu, keeper of the Forest Temple in Ngọc Thụy Ward, Long Biên District, Hà Nội, performs a hầu đồng ritual, one of the features of Mother Goddess worship yesterday.

    The performance started a festival featuring the cult of Mother Goddesses which will run until November 13 at the Forest Temple with performances by 29 mediums. The festival has been organised by the Thăng Long Cultural Heritage Association.

    Each day, seven mediums will perform with cung văn (singers of spiritual rites) and to the accompaniment of traditional musical instrumentalists. They will present trance performances to pay tribute to 50 genies worshipped as part of the Mother Goddess beliefs.

    Lưu Minh Trị, chairman of the association, said the festival helped promote the cultural value of Mother Goddess worship and preserved the traditional elements of hầu đồng practice.

    The Mother Goddess cult predates Buddhist and even Taosit beliefs and is believed to be one of the ancestral religions of the Vietnamese people. Guests are always welcomed.

    Big propaganda posters featuring rural development

    An exhibition of large propaganda posters relating to construction in rural areas was held in Sơn Tây provincial town of Hà Nội on November 7.

    The exhibition was co-organised by the local culture agency under the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism and Sơn Tây provincial town’s People’s Committee.

    As many as 61 posters on display expressed the Party and State’s guidelines and policies on the movement to develop rural areas. The displays addressed government projects to reconstruct the agriculture industry, enhance and encourage rural work, strengthen technology appliances, improve vocational training for rural workers, develop education in rural areas, reduce poverty, increase healthcare and social security, clean the environment and provide high-quality cultural activities.

    New cinema magazine

    Nang, an English-language magazine dedicated to cinema in Asia, will be introduced at Inpages book store in District 2 on November 11.

    The magazine will consist of two issues annually over a period of five years, featuring reportage and photos about Asian cinema and well-known filmmakers in the region.

    The magazine features a rich and profound collection of essays and images on Asian cinema.

    The independent magazine’s editor-in-chef is Davide Cazzaro, who is based in Korea and Italy. It is printed in Sweden.

    The introduction will include a talk with Cazzaro, which will be presented in English with Vietnamese translation.

    The event will start at 7pm at 4 Lê Văn Miến Street in District 2.

    Canadians present experimental show

    Manzi tomorrow will host an experimental concert featuring Canadian artists, Elizabeth Millar and Craig Pedersen, with special guest artist Ngô Trà My. During the concert, which is entitled Tiếng Rền Của Núi/ Sound of the Mountain, the Canadian duo will present the hollowed-out sounds on amplified clarinet and trumpet accompanied by the đàn bầu (monochord) by Vietnamese artist My.

    Sound of the Mountain comes from a strong history of improvisation and extended performance techniques, offering their audience long-form deep listening experiences through the sculpting of vitalised breath.The concert will start at 8pm. Manzi Art Space, 14 Phan Huy Ích Street. Surcharge: VNĐ100,000/person. The concert is not appropriate for audience under 12.

    French Feast event at Equatorial Hotel

    The “French Feast in Saigon” event showcasing the best flavours of French food and beverages will take place at Hotel Equatorial in HCM City this Sunday.   

    Also on the occasion, renowned French chef Jean Michel Fraise will arrive in HCM City to cook up a French storm at the Balade En France, part of the “French Feast in Saigon”, running on November 10-12.

    Chef  Fraise owns the highly esteemed restaurant ‘French Feast’ in Kuala Lumpur,  notably famed for its deliciously authentic regional French cuisine. He will bring his artisanal French flair to deliver a traditional French dinner buffet.

    The event offers diners a chance to delight in an array of traditional French dishes at an affordable price, said a representative of the organising board.

    Favourites such as duck confit terrine, beef Bourguignon, coq au vin, Castelnaudary cassoulet, snapper with anise sauce and cured pork belly Basquaise are only a few of the many exquisite dishes that chef Jean Michel will be cooking. 

    A fine selection of French desserts including Armagnac apple croustade, tarte tatin, brioche façon pain perdu and chocolate mousse, will be the perfect way to end this spectacular dining extravaganza.

    The exclusive dinner buffet is offered for only VNĐ798,000++. Diners can enjoy the all-you-can-eat French dinner buffet, inclusive of free flowing French wine, beers and soft drinks.

    Equatorial Hotel is located at 242 Trần Bình Trọng Street in the city’s District 5. For reservations, please call (028) 3839 7777 or email: dine@hcm.equatorial.com.

    V-League: SLNA beat Becamex Bình Dương 2-1 in first leg of final round

    The first leg of the final round of the National V-League championship started yesterday. At Gò Dầu Stadium, Becamex Bình Dương faced the most successful club in the league: Sông Lam Nghệ An. SLNA won 2-1 in a match that had to be halted in the middle of the game due to heavy rain on the field.

    SLNA began the match strongly. At 18’, Xuân Mạnh of SLNA headed the ball into the corner of Becamex BD’s net, scoring the first goal of the match.

    The first half saw numerous attacks from Becamex BD towards SLNA, but no further goal was scored.

    Becamex Bình Dương fought hard against SLNA from the first minutes of the second half. Goalkeeper Nguyên Mạnh of SLNA saved his team from an equalizer by saving a penalty shot by Anh Đức of Becamex Bình Dương.

    Torrential rain from the beginning of the second half forced the game to stop for water drainage. After only six minutes, the game resumed.

    The post saved Bình Dương from yet another goal as SLNA Khắc Ngọc attempted a shot from the penalty spot.

    Only ten minutes later, the second goal came from SLNA as Phúc Tịnh quickly caught the ball and hit it hard towards the corner, making it 2-0 for SLNA.

    Continuous waves of attacks were launched as Becamex Bình Dương tried their best to recover. At 82’ Becamex BD Trung Tiến shot from about 30m toward SLNA’s goal, but hit the post. Only two minutes later, the first goal was scored by Trung Tiến for Becamex Bình Dương. Tiến shot the ball directly toward SLNA’s goal. It was direct and strong and made it impossible for goalie Nguyên Mạnh to catch.

    The first game ended at Becamex Bình Dương 1-2 SLNA. The two teams will meet again at SLNA’s home ground for the second leg.

    Cantho Catfish beat Saigon Heat at VBA

    Cantho Catfish defeated Saigon Heat 85-80 in the first game of the playoffs round of the Việt Nam Basketball Association (VBA) League at Hồ Xuân Hương Gymnasium in HCM City on November 8.

    Thanks to the support of fans on home turf, the Heat quickly dominated the game in the first period, although the Catfish scored first. With great performances of Darius Lewis and David Arnold, the Heat bounced back to lead 24-16. Lewis alone scored 10 points, while Arnold scored six points.

    In the second period, the Catfish proved they weren’t easy to beat. De Angelo Hamilton scored 11 points. Notably, in just the last four seconds, Hamilton had four points. He helped the Catfish finish the second quarter at 41-34.

    Seeing Hamilton’s wonderful performance, the Heat blocked him in the next period, due to which Hamilton wasn’t able to score any points. The hosts also made quick attacks to lead 59-53.

    The two sides made every effort for a final win. They scored points continuously and the fourth quarter ended in a draw — 74-74.

    In overtime, fans of the Heat jumped for joy as their team scored five points in a row to lead 79-74. However, the visiting side then showed their might with 11 points to win 85-80.

    Center Hamilton of the Catfish won the MVP award with 31 points, 22 rebounds and six blocks.

    The Heat will face the Catfish again on November 11.

    Expert highlights VN’s role on connecting Russia-ASEAN relations

    Head of the expert council of the Eurasian ideas foundation Grigory Trofimchuk  (Source azeridaily.com)

    Vietnam is serving as a bridge to connect the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) with the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) in general and Russia in particular.

    Head of the expert council of the Eurasian ideas foundation Grigory Trofimchuk made the evaluation in a story posted on Russia’s expert forum Realtribune.ru on November 9.

    He wrote that many countries, including Russia, are paying more attention to ASEAN and Vietnam since Asia has proved to be a centre of global economic growth and finance over the past decades while Vietnam – as a rotational Chair of ASEAN – has endeavoured to expand the bloc’s relations with multiple partners.

    Russia is now a comprehensive dialogue partner of ASEAN, he noted.

    A favourable factor for the Russia-ASEAN ties is all of the bloc’s 10 member nations, including Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam, have friendly relations with Russia, he said.

    The expert said Vietnam has become more outstanding in recent years thanks to the country’s increasing political and economic influence in the region and the world.

    He recognised Vietnam’s significant contributions to the development of ASEAN, adding that the special role of Vietnam in ASEAN was also hailed by participants at the Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok last September.

    EU condoles with Việt Nam over typhoon losses

    The European Union (EU) on Wednesday issued a joint statement sending condolences to Việt Nam over losses caused by recent Typhoon Damrey. 

    “The typhoon that has struck Việt Nam over the past days has taken many lives and caused considerable damage, adding to the toll of a number of storms in the past weeks. On behalf of the European Union, we express our heartfelt condolences to the victims, their families and loved ones, and to all those affected,” said the joint statement by the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini and Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management Christos Stylianides.

    The statement also added that the EU is in touch with Vietnamese authorities and ready to help Việt Nam address consequences caused by the storm. 

    The bloc’s 24/7 Emergency Response Coordination Centre is monitoring developments and will send a team in the coming days to assess the damage and explore any assistance requested by the Vietnamese authorities.

    Chinese President Xi Jinping on Thursday sent a letter of condolence to Party General Secretary Nguyễn Phú Trọng and President Trần Đại Quang over the devastating damage caused to Việt Nam by Typhoon Damrey.

    Xi said in the letter that China is ready to support Việt Nam in the search and rescue efforts post-disaster.

    Chinese Minister of Foreign Affairs Wang Yi also sent condolences to his Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Phạm Bình Minh.

    Lao President Bounnhang Vorachith in a letter to President Quang expressed his sadness and concern on learning that Typhoon Damrey has caused tremendous damage to the Vietnamese people and their property. 

    Chinese leaders extend sympathies to Vietnam over typhoon losses

    China’s Party General Secretary and President Xi Jinping has sent messages of sympathies to Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong and President Tran Dai Quang on the damage caused by typhoon Damrey in Vietnam.

    The Chinese leader said he believes that under the leadership of the Party and State of Vietnam, storm-affected people would soon recover from the natural disaster consequences and resume their normal life and production.

    He highlighted the friendly neighbourliness between Vietnam and China and mutual support between their people, saying that China is willing to assist search and rescue operations in Vietnam. 

    On this occasion, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi also cabled a message of sympathies to Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh. 

    Typhoon Damrey, the 12th storm in the East Sea this year, hit Vietnam’s south central coast on November 4. 

    Following downpours and floods had claimed 89 lives and left 18 missing and 174 others injured in central and Central Highlands localities as of November 7 night, according to the National Committee for Search and Rescue.

    Vietnam-Laos combat alliance monument inaugurated

    The Vietnam-Laos, Laos-Vietnam Combat Alliance Monument was inaugurated in the Lao province of Xaysomboun, Laos, at a ceremony on November 9.

    Addressing the function, Vietnamese Ambassador to Laos Nguyen Ba Hung highlighted the significance of the monument, which was built during the Vietnam-Laos, Laos-Vietnam Friendship and Solidarity Year as a symbol of solidarity between the two countries.

    Lao Deputy Defence Minister Sen. Lieut. Gen. Lakhamphong highlighted traditional friendship and special solidarity between Vietnam and Laos, saying Lao people always keep in mind the sacrifice of the Vietnamese volunteer soldiers and experts for the country.

    The monument will serve as a venue to educate young generations about the bilateral relationship, he noted.

    Echoing the officer’s view, Secretary of the Party Committee and Governor of Xaysomboun, Lieut. Gen. Silivong said the monument will contribute to promoting the friendship, special solidarity and comprehensive cooperation between Vietnam and Laos.

    Covering an area of 4,300 sq. m, the monument was constructed at a cost of 55,000 USD in non-refundable aid of the Vietnamese Government. It is planned to become a park and a cultural tourism destination.

    RoK supports Vietnamese flood victims

    The Republic of Korea (RoK) will provide an aid package of 1 million USD to support people affected by the recent typhoon Damrey in Vietnam, the RoK’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced on November 10.

    "The South Korean government expresses its sincere consolation to the people of Vietnam over the typhoon damage and hopes for their prompt return to normal as well as recovery of the damage," the ministry said.

    Earlier on November 7, Russia’s President Vladimir Putin directed providing 5 million USD in aid for Vietnam to overcome flood consequences.

    Typhoon Damrey, the 12th major storm to hit Vietnam this year, has left over 100 people dead and missing as well as destroyed more than 120,700 houses.

    HCM City, Finland promote cooperation in water management

    Ho Chi Minh City lauds Finland’s considerable experience in water management and innovation and wants to bolster cooperation with the European country in the fields.

    Standing Vice Chairman of the municipal People’s Committee Le Thanh Liem made the statement while receiving Petri Peltonen, Deputy Minister for Economic Affairs and Employment of Finland in the city on November 9.

    Liem took the occasion to thank the Finnish Embassy in Vietnam for joining hands with the city to organise the Ho Chi Minh City Innovation Startup and Entrepreneurship Week 2017. He expressed his hope that Finland will continue its support for similar events, helping the city promote innovation and startup ecosystem development programmes.

    He noticed that besides traditional cooperation in water management and innovation, both sides have huge cooperation potential in waste treatment, green energy and smart urban area construction.

    For his part, the Finnish official said that robust development of urban areas in Vietnam in the past time is billed as opportunities to enhance collaboration activities between the two countries and provides a foundation for both sides to cooperate in economy, trade and investment.

    Finland and Ho Chi Minh City gained positive cooperation in education, water management and treatment and innovation, he underlined, adding that it serves as a basis for further effective cooperation in waste treatment, energy saving, renewable energies and smart urban area building.

    Forest business forum held in Hà Nội

    The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) has held its first ever Asia Pacific Business Forum in Hà Nội to provide an exclusive occasion for FSC certified forest product suppliers in the region to connect with local and international buyers.

    The event, which took place on Wednesday, also aimed to promote forest suppliers’ FSC labelled products available in domestic, regional and world markets.

    The demand for sourcing forestry products responsibly from the region has increased exponentially, with Việt Nam as a primary source, a press release from the FSC said.
    Over the last five years, the Asia-Pacific region has seen its Chain of Custody certificates for FSC certified timber products increase by 82 per cent.

    The forum focused on four key areas representing the core and upcoming forestry product industries in the region -- pulp, paper and packaging; furniture and solid wood; rubber; and lastly FSC as a market tool for procurement.

    Participants at the forum were representatives from the Việt Nam Administration of Forestry under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and many international ang domestic companies.

    The FSC is a global not-for-profit organisation dedicated to promoting environmentally sound, socially beneficial and economically prosperous management of the world’s forests.

    It was created in 1993 to help consumers and businesses identify products from the well-managed forests and sets standards by which forests are certified, offering credible verification to people who are buying wood and wood products.

    Currently, 195 million hectares and more than 57,000 businesses worldwide are certified according to FSC standards.

    Leaders visit typhoon hit localities, people

    President Trần Đại Quang yesterday inspected flood recovery efforts in Đà Nẵng City and visited some of the worst-affected residents.

    He had high praise for clean-up and post-storm repair work done by authorities of the city that is hosting the ongoing Asia Pacific Economic Co-operation (APEC) 2017 Leaders’ Week.

    The President noted the APEC 2017 Leaders’ Week was the most important international event of the year for the country in general and Đà Nẵng City in particular. It was an opportunity to boost the image of the country and the city among international visitors, he said.

    He also lauded the city’s residents for actively coping with the typhoon and taking measures to handle its consequences.

    At present, the cleaning of streets, urban renovations, replacement and repair of damaged properties had been completed, he was told.

    Visiting households in Hòa Vang District’s Hòa Khương Commune, the President stressed that the leaders of the Party, the State as well as people throughout the country cared for and shared the difficulties and hardship of people in the central and Tây Nguyên (Central Highlands) regions that were severely hit by the typhoon Damrey.

    He presented gifts to the residents and asked city authorities to pay close attention to limiting the damage caused and helping victims overcome the disaster’s consequences.

    City authorities said heavy rains caused by Damrey isolated many areas in Hòa Vang District, flooding 4,500 houses, dozens of hectares of vegetable and aquaculture farms. Total damage in the district was estimated at VNĐ40 billion (US$1.8 million).

    Alongside helping people clean up their living areas, local authorities should work on hygiene and sanitation to prevent disease outbreaks and help people stabilise their lives, Quang said.

    PM visits flood-hit Hội An

    Also yesterday, Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc asked authorities in Quảng Nam Province’s Hội An City to take good care of residents and help them overcome soon the consequences of floods caused by Damrey.

    Visiting Hội An Old Town in bare feet right after activities at the on-going APEC 2017 Leaders’ Week, Phúc noted that the flooding consequences were complicated and urged local authorities to proactively engage in search and rescue operations and pay close attention to ensuring food and daily necessities for affected people.

    He also asked all forces, including the army, police, youth and local mass organisations, to help residents overcome the damage caused by floods, especially in houses and schools, and soon restore daily life and production.

    The PM stressed that Hội An, as a key tourist city, needed to be cleaned up soon after waters recede to ensure hygiene and sanitation right, as also provide good services for activities within the framework of the APEC 2017 Leaders’ Week.

    “This is a key task and it should be done with a spirit of urgency,” Phúc said.

    The PM also advised Quảng Nam Province’s authorities to exercise caution in planning and acting to address damage caused by the floods in key heritage sites in Hội An.

    At the same time, preservation work needed to be accelerated to ensure tourism sites return to normal soon, he said.

    After visiting a number of deeply inundated areas in Hội An City, Phúc presented gifts to several badly affected households.

    Quảng Nam authorities said Hội An has suffered prolonged and severe flooding  over the last three days due to heavy rains, high tides and water discharged from reservoirs on Thu Bồn river’s upstream areas.

    Putin’s gesture

    According Vietnam News Agency correspondent in Moscow, Russian President Vladimir Putin yesterday directed a US$5 million support to Viet Nam for handling Damrey’s consequences. Besides, a II-76 aircraft was asked to be ready to carry relief materials from Russia to Việt Nam.

    Meanwhile, the Japanese Government, through the Japan International Co-operation Agency, donated 105 water filtering systems to help residents in Thừa Thiên-Huế and Quảng Nam provinces cope with the aftermath of flooding. The filters arrived in Đà Nẵng yesterday afternoon.

    To support flood victims in the central and Tây Nguyên regions, the Kiên Long Commercial Bank has decided to relax debt repayment due dates and exempt or reduce interest rates for customers badly affected by the floods.

    As of yesterday, Damrey was reported to have killed 69 people in the central and south-central regions, 20 more than reported on Monday. Most of those killed - 27 - were from Khánh Hòa Province.

    The Central Steering Committee for Natural Disaster Prevention and Control yesterday issued a document to local authorities in cities and provinces from Quảng Ninh to Kiên Giang, warning of a tropical low pressure in the Gulf of Thailand as well as strong winds in the sea territories of Việt Nam.

    Centre for kids with disabilities gets solar power

    The central province of Quảng Ngãi is co-operating with the HCM City-based SolarBK company to launch a solar power project for the centre for children with diablities in Nghĩa Hành District.

    The company told Việt Nam News that the renewable power system will provide 40.8KWh (kilowatt per hour) to the centre every day, and help saving VNĐ50 million (US$2,200) in power consumption from the national grid each year.

    The centre hosts 120 children with different disabilities.

    The clean power system, built with VNĐ250 million (US$11,000) in funds from the HCM City branch of national utility firm Việt Nam Electricity (EVN).

    This is the first charity project supported by EVN in the central province.

    Typically, the centre uses more than 16,000KWh at a cost of VNĐ26 million ($1,100) from the national grid each year. It said money saved using the solar power system will be used to provide service, food and healthcare for its young wards.

    In August, the company had put into operation a solar power system on An Bình Islet off Lý Sơn Island, 30km off the provincial coast, supplying free and clean power to 400 resident islanders.

    SolarBK said it plans to build a solar power system for operating the 2012-built seawater desalination station on the islet.

    Thanh Hóa to build more hygienic toilets

    The central province of Thanh Hóa will build 10,000 hygienic toilets by 2020 under a decision approved by the provincial People’s Committee.

    The activity is being conducted under a project of building hygienic toilets in coatal communes in the province.

    The beneficiaries of the project are poor households in 50 communes of six coastal districts and cities in the province -- Nga Sơn, Hậu Lộc, Hoằng Hóa and Sầm Sơn, as well as Quảng Xương and Tĩnh Gia.

    The project aims at reducing environmental pollution and diseases that spread via water sources.

    It also aims at improving people’s awareness, changing their habit of maintaining hygiene, and, therefore, improving their quality of life.

    Capital for the project is more than VNĐ11.4 trillion (US$510,600), contributed by the provincial fund for the national target programme, targeted at setting up new style rural areas in the 2016-20 period. The programme is sponsored by organisations, enterprises and individuals.

    VNN


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  • 11/11/17--12:39: Article 2
  • BUSINESS IN BRIEF 11/11


    Hosting APEC opens up new FDI opportunities


     Hosting APEC opens up new FDI opportunities, Vietnam enjoys strong growth in shrimp exports to RoK, Singapore’s businesses pour US$41.7 billion into Vietnam, State turns inward for PPP plans


    Hosting the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Leaders’ Week, especially the APEC CEO Summit 2017 with the participation of a series of CEOs of the world’s leading group, is expected to open a new age in attracting foreign direct investment (FDI) capital from APEC economies.

    On November 8, the APEC CEO Summit 2017 was officially opened in the central city of Danang with the participation of more than 800 CEOs from leading groups in the Asia-Pacific, including Elon Musk–the founder of Tesla Motors, Sheryl Sandberg–CEO of Facebook, Liam Mallon–chairman of ExxonMobil, Mark Konyn–investment director of AIA, and Scott Price–deputy chairman of Global Leverage-Walmart International, as well as the CEOs of DHL, Johnson & Johnson, and FedEx Express, among others.

    Many of the above mentioned groups has expressed interest in investing in Vietnam, including ExxonMobil with the $10-billion Blue Whale gas-to-power complex project and Walmart with the ambition to set its foot in the retail market.

    Thus, after the APEC 2017 CEO Summit, Vietnam expects to shake hands with more groups from APEC economies and attract more investment capital to numerous sectors, including processing and manufacturing and real estate, as well as new sectors in the framework of the Industry 4.0.

    The APEC Year 2017 was seen as a golden opportunity for Vietnam to lure FDI capital from APEC economies, and the past ten months have lived up to expectations. Notably, APEC economics poured $24 billion into Vietnam, making up 85 per cent of the total FDI inflow. The figure is expected to be much higher by the time the APEC 2017 ends.

    Vietnam officially joined the APEC in 1998 and during the past 30 years, APEC economies made significant contributions to Vietnam’s development. In particular, Japan, the US, the Republic of Korea, Thailand, and Singapore were the first foreign investors pouring investment capital into Vietnam after the economy opened to FDI capital in 1986.

    According to statistics released by the Foreign Investment Agency (FIA), as of October 20, 2017, with the exemption of Peru and Papua New Guinea, who have yet to invest in Vietnam, all APEC members poured an accumulated capital of $246.3 billion, equalling 78.6 per cent of the total FDI inflows coming to the country in the nearly 30 years past.

    Besides the British Virgin Islands, nine of the ten foreign investors having the largest FDI capital in Vietnam are APEC economies. These particularly include South Korea, Japan, Singapore, China, and the US, among others. All of them are strategic investors to Vietnam with the total investment capital of $237.5 billion, equalling 96.5 per cent of the total FDI capital from APEC economies and 76 per cent of the total FDI capital inflows.

    These economies and their projects have made remarkable contributions to the socio-economic development of Vietnam. For example, investments from Samsung (the Republic of Korea), Honda (Japan), Sembcorp (Singapore), as well as Microsoft, General Electrics, and Intel from the US are all great success stories that propelled Vietnam along its speedy development. 

    According to Prof. Nguyen Mai, chairman of the Vietnam Association of Foreign Invested Enterprises, FDI in general and FDI from APEC economies in particular play an important role in establishing spearhead economic sectors, including exploiting and refining petrochemicals, automobile manufacturing, cement, iron and steel processing, as well as electronics and food production, among others. These capital inflows have generated momentum for the Vietnamese economy at large.

    However, after 30 years of attracting FDI capital, Vietnam should establish a new strategy to optimise the benefits of this capital. Especially, Vietnam should focus on FDI capital from APEC economies because they are world-leading economies with modern technology and professional management capacity. Taking these opportunities will make it easier for Vietnam to join the global value chain.

    Thai Binh hosts international agriculture trade fair

    More than 200 domestic and international enterprises are displaying their agricultural products at a trade fair that opened in the northern province of Thai Binh on November 8.

    The event forms part of the annual national trade promotion programme to enhance cooperation in agriculture and rural development.

    Addressing the opening ceremony, Bui Huy Son, Director of the Trade Promotion Agency under the Ministry of Industry and Trade, hailed the locality for hosting the annual event over the past 12 years, adding that it presents opportunities for enterprises to meet consumers and seek partners.

    The event features local products and those from other northern localities, namely Hanoi, Hai Phong, Nam Dinh, Hai Duong, Ninh Binh, Thai Nguyen, Phu Tho, Yen Bai, Lai Chau, Ha Nam, and Hung Yen.

    The seven-day event also comprises a photo exhibition on the development of Thai Binh.

    APEC 2017: Vietnam has successful economic development model

    Vietnam has been appraised for its successful development model thanks to impressive economic growth and radical reform to attract investment, particularly after the country joined APEC forum in 1998, said PhD Arisman, director of the Centre for Southeast Asian Studies (CSEAS).

    In an interview with Jakarta-based Vietnam News Agency correspondent, he praised Vietnam’s meticulous preparation for APEC 2017 events with the most important APEC 2017 Economic Leaders’ Week in Da Nang city.

    He said that this is an opportunity for Vietnam to popularise national images as well as promote socio-economic development.

    Meanwhile, Kim Sang Yeol, Vietnamese honourable Consul General in Gwangju-Chonnam region, the Republic of Korea, made positive comments on Vietnam’s socio-economic development after more than 30 years of Doi Moi (reform) as well as expressed his belief in the Southeast Asian country’s economic potentials.

    Kim, who is also General Director of Hoban Construction Co., Ltd and President of the Korean Broadcasting System (KBS), highlighted that Vietnam is a promising market which offers favourable conditions for foreign investors including those from the RoK to enlarge their business.

    Shang Feng, a lecturer from China’s University of International Business and Economics, noted opportunities of Vietnam, the host of the APEC 2017 events, include rapid economic development, abundance of workforce, competitive labour costs and sound business climate.

    However, its formidable challenges are poor infrastructure system, shortage of skillful workers and incomplete economic institution reforms, he said.

    Thousands of people join H&M launch in Hanoi

    Despite there being two days left until the official opening day, thousands of people started shopping at the H&M store in Hanoi on its launching ceremony organised on November 8.

    People, especially young people, were excited to line up to buy their first H&M products in the Hanoi store.

    Besides, the launching ceremony attracted famous actors and models, including models Thuy Hanh and Kim Dung, among others.

    To celebrate the opening of their first stores in Hanoi, all customers will receive a complementary discount for all items at the stores in the capital and have the opportunity to receive special presents.

    The store showcases the latest menswear, women’s clothing, footwear, undergarment, and accessories, as well as products for kids.

    HCM City works with Indian firm in urban flood control

    Ho Chi Minh City wants to work with Kirloskar Brothers Limited from India in fields of mutual concern, especially in urban flood control and solutions to saltwater intrusion, said Vice Chairman of the Ho Chi Minh City People’s Committee Tran Vinh Tuyen.

    The official made the statement on November 7 while receiving Shipra Tripathi, Vice President of the Indian firm.

    At the meeting, Tuyen lauded the development of Vietnam – India relations as well as the cooperation of Ho Chi Minh City and Indian businesses, including Kirloskar Brothers Limited. He vowed to create best conditions for the firm to set up projects in the city.

    For her part, Tripathi expressed her hope to expand ties with Ho Chi Minh City in the firm’s strong suits like flood management in urban areas, agricultural irrigation and solutions to fire control.

    The two sides agreed to study feasible projects in the future.

    Vietnam enjoys strong growth in shrimp exports to RoK

    Vietnam has so far this year exported US$243.2 million worth of shrimp to the Republic of Korea (RoK), a surge of 29.8% year on year, reported the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers.

    The RoK is currently the fifth largest market of Vietnamese shrimp after the EU, Japan, China and the US.

    vietnam enjoys strong growth in shrimp exports to rok hinh 0 In 2007-2016, Vietnam’s shrimp exports to the RoK enjoyed strong growth, with the country a stable market where shrimp are sold at a high price.

    The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development views the RoK as a promising market with opportunities for domestic shrimp exporters amidst difficulties in traditional markets such as the US and the EU.

    Bac Ninh: A spotlight in drawing FDI

    The northern province of Bac Ninh had attracted 1,102 foreign direct investment (FDI) projects by the end of October with total registered capital of US$15.8 billion, sixth among the 63 cities and provinces nationwide in FDI attraction.

    According to the provincial Department of Planning and Investment, Bac Ninh recorded impressive growth in drawing foreign investment with 145 new projects and 103 existing ones with increased capital.

    The province came second nationwide after the southern economic hub of Ho Chi Minh City with total newly registered and additional capital of US$3.19 billion.

    Deputy Director of the department Nguyen Thi Phuong Thao said major groups such as Samsung from the Republic of Korea, Nokia from Finland, and ABB from Switzerland have invested in the locality.

    Among them, Samsung is the biggest overseas investor in Bac Ninh. The company was granted an investment license in 2014 and has increased its capital to US$6.5 billion, she noted.

    The FDI sector made positive contributions to local export growth, budget collection, and employment, Thao said, adding that foreign firms have generated jobs for more than 169,000 workers.

    Deputy Director of the Foreign Investment Department under the Ministry of Planning and Investment Vu Van Chung said Bac Ninh recognised the local achievements in FDI attraction; however, adding that the outcomes have yet to match potential.

    He called on local authorities to map out long-term strategies to lure foreign capital while improving the investment climate, administrative procedures, and infrastructure in addition to reforming investment promotion activities and developing high-quality human resources.

    Singapore’s businesses pour US$41.7 billion into Vietnam

    Vietnam attracted more than 1,900 foreign direct investment (FDI) projects from Singaporean businesses in January-October, which were valued at US$41.7 billion.

    According to the Ministry of Planning and Investment, a Singaporean project has average capital of US$21.6 million, above the foreign project average in Vietnam of US$12.9 million.

    Singapore is investing in 18 out of the 21 economic sectors in Vietnam, including the manufacturing and processing industry with 548 projects worth nearly US$18 billion, making up 44% of the country’s total investment in Vietnam.

    Singapore has also invested in 48 out of the 63 cities and provinces in Vietnam. The southern metropolis of Ho Chi Minh City drew the biggest number of Singaporean projects (992) with total registered capital of US$10.3 billion, followed by Hanoi capital (310 projects).

    Speaking at a recent ministerial meeting on connecting Vietnam and Singapore’s economy, Minister of Planning and Investment Nguyen Chi Dung said one of the highlights of Singapore’s FDI in Vietnam is the Vietnam-Singapore Industrial Park (VSIP).

    So far, the VSIP Group has invested in eight projects in Vietnam, including three in the southern province of Binh Duong, three in the northern provinces of Bac Ninh, Hai Phong and Hai Duong, and two in the central provinces of Quang Ngai and Nghe An.

    With the hope of expanding the VSIP model, Singapore’s Sembcorp Development group is preparing to build a similar industrial park in the north-central province of Quang Tri.

    The Vietnamese Government has approved the project and directed the Ministry of Planning and Investment and the provincial People’s Committee to work with the Singaporean group to carry out the project.

    VSIPs in Vietnam have lured more than 720 investors from 30 countries and territories with total investment of nearly US$10 billion. Businesses at VSIPs also earned US$32 billion from exports and generated jobs for about 200,000 workers.

    State turns inward for PPP plans

    Despite growing interest among international groups, Vietnam might have to pivot to domestic investment in developing the eastern spur of the North-South Expressway project amid a lack of a guarantee mechanism for foreign investors.

    According to Deputy Minister of Transport Nguyen Nhat, Vietnam lacks the type of guarantee mechanism requested by international groups and in line with global norms. The country currently cannot offer a guarantee for investors’ revenue and exchange rate risks.

    “Thus the project will be built with a plan to mobilise over VND63 trillion ($2.86 billion) worth of private investment, of which VND13 trillion ($590.9 million) will be from investors and VND50 trillion ($2.27 billion) from bank loans, aimed at targeting domestic investors,” Nhat told VIR.

    Amid state budget constraints, the country is seeking internationally capable groups to join the project via international bidding. Many supporting policies have been considered.

    Nguyen Danh Huy, head of the Ministry of Transport’s (MoT) Public-Private Partnership (PPP) Department, said, “For the first time, Vietnam agrees to provide a support of VND55 trillion ($2.5 billion), which includes site clearance, making it the highest state capital contribution in such a project so far. We have proposed the government increase the profit-to-equity ratio to 14 per cent to attract investors.”

    At present, the ratio is curbed at 11-12 per cent a year for build-operate-transfer (BOT) projects, a PPP format.

    In spite of that, at some meetings held in South Korea, Singapore, and India to consult international groups about this project, more than 28 leading international transport infrastructure developers and 17 international credit institutions all proposed the guarantee mechanism, while suggesting the profit-to-investment ratio be set at 17 per cent based on Vietnam’s economic scale.

    “The proposals make foreign investment attraction for such a project more difficult. The Dau Giay-Phan Thiet Expressway project, which was built to attract foreign investors under the PPP format since 1997, is a typical unsuccessful example because of the lack of this mechanism,” Nhat said.

    In the prefeasibility study for developing some routes of the project from 2017-2020 submitted to the National Assembly (NA) last week, MoT Minister Nguyen Van The said that priority will be given to the development of 11 routes in the first stage totalling 654 kilometres, including three public-invested ones and eight PPP projects. These priority segments include Cao Bo-Bai Vot, Cam Lo-Son La, Mai Son-Bai Vot, Nha Trang-Dau Giay, and My Thuan 2 Bridge.

    The total investment for the 2017-2020 period is estimated at VND118.72 trillion ($5.39 billion), with over VND63 trillion ($2.86 billion) to be mobilised by investors and VND55 trillion ($2.5 billion) to be sourced from the state.

    Over 700km of the expressway will be developed in each of the second and third stages. From 2021-2025, the Bai Vot-Cam Lo and Quang Ngai-Nha Trang routes will be built, and the La Son-Tuy Loan segment will be upgraded from two lanes to four. In the post-2025 period, the Can Tho-Ca Mau route will be built.

    The minister admitted that mobilising funds from domestic credit institutions has proven difficult, while getting loans from international lenders requires a government guarantee, a mechanism that Vietnam still lacks. “If approved by the NA, some routes of the project will be able to kick off in 2019,” he added.

    Vu Hong Thanh, head of the NA Economic Committee, agreed in principle with the investment plan. He, however, noted that the PPP model – especially the BOT format – has proven problematic, and asked the government to take measures to deal with the problems.

    The eastern spur of the North-South Expressway project, which is estimated to cost VND230 trillion ($10.5 billion) – with over 2,100 kilometres to be built by 2025– is considered an economically- and politically-important project. It will run through 32 cities and provinces, affecting 45 per cent of the country’s population, 65 per cent of ports, and 67 per cent of economic zones.

    The project has been attracting the attention of many foreign investors. South Korea-based Posco E&C has expressed its interest in the project after joining many transport infrastructure projects in Vietnam, including Hanoi-Lao Cai and Long Thanh-Dau Giay expressways.

    Another leading South Korean infrastructure developer, Lotte E&C, and many other international groups from Japan and the US are also studying investment opportunities in the project.

    Quang Ninh tourism reaches yearly target ahead of schedule

    The northeastern border province of Quang Ninh attracted more than 8.6 million tourists in the first ten months of 2017, including nearly 3.4 million foreigners, year-on-year jumps of 18% and 21%, respectively.

    In 2017, Quang Ninh aims to serve 8.5 million visitors, including 3.5 million foreigners, and earn VND13 trillion (US$572 million) in revenue.

    The number of visitors to the province’s Ha Long Bay increased 25% to reach 3.2 million by the end of October, including about 2.1 million international tourists (up 26% against the same period last year).

    The rise was attributed to the creation of more attractive and better-quality products and services along with improved tourism infrastructure and transport, experts said.

    Furthermore, several festivals were held such as Yen Tu festival, cherry and yellow apricot blossom festival, Ha Long-Quang Ninh tourism week, and Ha Long art programme.

    The diversification of tourism promotion activities drew much attention from domestic and foreign visitors.

    Themed “Ha Long: Heritage, wonder and friendly destination", the National Tourism Year 2018 will include 100 events hosted by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism along with some cities and provinces nationwide.

    A number of activities will be held in Quang Ninh, including the opening and closing ceremonies of the National Year, a cuisine festival, a paragliding competition, a photo contest, and a ceremony to present a certificate recognising Cua Ong temple as a special national relic site, among others.

    Under the Overall Plan for Tourism Development in Quang Ninh, Quang Ninh strives to become an international tourism centre and a leading tourism destination in Vietnam with modern infrastructure and diverse, high quality and competitive tourism products.  

    By 2020, Quang Ninh aims to welcome 15-16 million tourists, including seven million foreigners, and rake in VND30-40 trillion (US$1.3-1.7 billion) in revenue. The tourism sector is expected to contribute 14-15% to the gross regional domestic product (GRDP). 

    In 2016, Quang Ninh welcomed 8.3 million tourist arrivals, a year-on-year increase of seven percent, and earned more than VND13 trillion (US$571 million) in revenue, up 23%, according to the Quang Ninh Department of Tourism. 

    The world natural heritage site of Ha Long Bay alone welcomed 6.3 million tourists and grossed VND7.7 trillion (over US$338 million) in revenue, respective increases of 14% and 65% from the previous year. About 2.7 million of the visitors were foreigners, year-on-year growth of 16%. 

    With a range of stunning landscapes, clear turquoise sea and spectacular limestone pillars together with numerous tourism investment projects, Quang Ninh boasts huge potential to develop tourism.

    The province has a coastline of more than 250 kilometres and over 2,000 islets, two-thirds of the total number in Vietnam. The spectacular stretch of coast connects the UNESCO-recognised World Heritage Site of Ha Long Bay with majestic natural scenery, Bai Tu Long Bay, Van Don and Co To islands and Tra Co beach with Cat Ba National Park in the northern port city of Hai Phong.

    Ha Long Bay, Cat Ba island and Do Son beach (Hai Phong city) are slated to be developed into national tourism sites. 

    Along with the renowned Ha Long Bay, Quan Lan, Minh Chau, Ngoc Vung, Dai beaches in Van Don island district and Tra Co and Vinh Thuc in Mong Cai city have grown in stature among domestic and international tourists thanks to their breathtaking sea and coral reef.

    Farm co-ops target int’l links     

    Viet Nam wants to enhance co-operation with international organisations to promote the development of agricultural co-operatives, especially in supporting market access and management capacity, participants said at a seminar in HCM City on Monday.

    Dang Van Thanh, vice director of Co-operative Development Department under the Ministry of Planning and Investment, said Viet Nam’s legal framework for co-operative development had contributed to increasing the number of co-operatives and their improvement in scale, technology and markets.

    As of the end of last year, the country had 19,569 co-operatives with more than 6.25 million members. Of these, 10,726 were agricultural co-operatives.

    But agricultural co-operatives are facing difficulties, including a shortage of capital, lack of consultancy from staff and post-harvest preservation systems, and weak linkages among farmers, co-operatives and enterprises.

    There was also limited management capacity among co-operatives’ leaders, according to Thanh.

    Most of the co-operatives supply inputs to household farmers’ production, and only 12 per cent of co-operatives were active in processing and consumption of farm produce, while many operate moderately, which has not brought about practical benefits for members. Some are on the verge of dissolution.

    Tran Thanh Nam, the Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, said that agricultural co-operatives needed to learn from local and international experience to enable them to improve their performance and build new co-operative models to serve their members better and help them face challenges in the market.

    In the past, Vietnamese and international organisations have had good co-operation in developing agricultural co-operatives, he said.

    Through the seminar, the ministry wanted to provide international organisations with more information about agricultural co-operative development in Viet Nam and at the same time to enhance co-operation with them, he said.

    JongHa Bae, representative of the Food and Agriculture Organisation in Viet Nam, said: “Viet Nam agriculture has demonstrated remarkable growth in terms of production in the last three decades, but farmers’ income is still low. So right now, we should focus more on how to improve farmers’ livelihood.”

    Co-operatives provide an opportunity for small-scale farmers to improve their productivity, add value to their produce, and increase their access to national and international markets, Bae said.

    Nguyen Ngoc Bao, President of Viet Nam Co-operative Alliance (VCA), proposed that the ILO, FAO, UNDP, JICA and other international organisations sponsor advise the VCA to improve its communication capacity, modernise its information system, its investment and trade promotion centre, and train human resources in the co-operative sector and others.

    “The importance of co-operatives is especially significant in the context of restructuring of agriculture and new rural construction,” Le Duc Thinh, vice director of Department of Co-operative Economics and Rural Development, said.

    The country targets having 20,000 agricultural co-operatives by 2020, of which 15,000 operate efficiently.

    About 50-60 per cent of farmer households are members of agricultural co-operatives, with at least 1,000 safe agricultural product chains by then.

    He also listed eight priority missions in agricultural co-operative development, including raising awareness of the role, effective model of co-operatives, improving policies for agricultural co-operative development, and providing training and capacity building.

    Promoting linkages in the value chain, transferring science technology, and strengthening capacity of financial management and capital mobilisation are also considered important.

    The sector wants to co-operate with international organisations to promote the development of agricultural co-operatives, according to Thinh.

    At the event, a memorandum of understanding was signed to form the Network of Agricultural Co-operative Development Partners (NETCOOP) to promote the development of agricultural co-operatives, sustainable economic growth and the prosperity of the agricultural sector in Viet Nam.

    The main partners in NETCOOP are: Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Ministry of Planning and Investment, the VCA, the School of Management for Agriculture and Rural Development, the Department of Co-operative Economics and Rural Development, the Institute of Policy and Strategy for Agriculture and Rural Development, FAO, the German Agency for Development Co-operation (GIZ) and Canadian Co-operation Society for International Development (Socodevi), together with many other Vietnamese and international organsiations.

    The seminar was organised by MARD, GIZ and Bayer Viet Nam in the framework of the Better Rice Initiative Asia.     

    VietinBank issues bonds with attractive interest rates     

    Viet Nam Joint Stock Commercial Bank for Industry and Trade (VietinBank) is issuing 20,000 bonds in phase 1 of its public offering from October 25 to November 13, 2017.

    The bonds are issued at par value of VND10 million (US$440) per bond, equivalent to a total value of VND2 trillion. This is a non-convertible, unsecured by property bond and has a term of 10 years.

    The interest rate is equal to the reference interest rate plus 1.2 per cent per annum. The minimum number of registered bonds is 10 bonds, equivalent to VND100 million. The interest rate applicable to the whole 10-year period is a floating rate (periodically adjusted interest rate).

    The interest is paid annually, exactly one year from the date of issue. Only the interest for the 10th interest payment period of the bond is paid together with the bond principal on the maturity date.

    One can register to purchase bonds in the first phase from October 25 to November 13. The second phase is expected to take place from the end of November to December 2017. Customers can register to buy bonds at branches or transaction offices of VietinBank.

    VietinBank can repurchase all bonds at the repurchase price that is prevailing five years from the issue date. Customers are free to transfer, donate, inherit and use bonds as collateral or engage in other civil and commercial transactions in accordance with the provisions of law. 

    Banks offer high interest rates to mobilise deposits     

    Many banks, especially small- and medium-sized ones, are offering high interest rates and promotion programmes to compete for the mobilisation of deposits.

    They are offering high interest rates for long-term deposits to lure customers and to meet the rising capital demands in the last months of the year.

    For example, customers will enjoy interest rates of 8.2 percent per year for an 18-month term when depositing money at Viet Capital Bank, or 8 per cent per year for a 24-month term at VietABank.

    Besides, to attract customers, apart from high interest rates, the banks will also offer attractive promotion programmes. For example, HDBank has a promotion programme with a total value of nearly VND14.5 billion (US$638,700) for customers who deposit from just VND60 million for at least one month.

    Kienlongbank and Viet Capital Bank are also attracting capital through promotion programmes for depositors nationwide, with a total value of more than VND6.8 billion and VND2 billion, respectively.

    Apart from long term, some banks have also added an interest rate range of 0.2-0.4 per cent per year for medium-term deposits. For example, at PVcombank, customers will enjoy the highest interest rate of 7.9 per cent per year and an additional interest rate of 0.4 per cent per year when depositing at least VND30 million for a six-month term and above.

    At larger banks, competition in savings mobilisation is also rather intense, with an average interest rate of 5.5-6 per cent per year for terms of 1-6 months, and 7-7.8 per cent per year for terms from one year. For example, at a Vietcombank’s transaction office in HCM City, when customers withdraw a large amount of money, the manager quickly offers invitations to make a deposit, with interest rates being calculated on a daily basis.

    Another large bank allows customers to withdraw part of their principal when they urgently need capital and enjoy a no-term interest rate for that money, while the rest of the amount still enjoys a term interest rate.

    Financial experts said that the last quarter of the year is a very good time for banks to improve outstanding loans, as the capital demand of businesses has always increased during this period. However, banks should be cautious with the bad debt risk, as credit growth is high. 

    Rising capital demand puts pressure on liquidity     

    Rising capital demand in the last few months of the year has put pressure on the liquidity of the banking system.

    This has caused the central bank to pump a significant amount of money into the banking system to support the liquidity, a new report from the Saigon Securities Company (SSI) revealed.

    In its weekly report on the monetary market, SSI said the central bank pumped VND6.8 trillion (US$299.5 million) into the banking system last week following seven consecutive weeks of withdrawing money out of the system.

    The interest rate in the inter-bank market last week also increased for the second consecutive week. The overnight rate closed the week at 0.7 per cent, up 3 basis points from the end of the previous week. The rate for one-week loans rose by 14 basis points to 0.99 per cent.

    SSI forecast that the liquidity of the banking system will suffer more pressure in the next few months when the capital demand rises sharply.

    With the aim of meeting the rising capital demand, many banks, especially small- and medium-sized ones, are offering high-interest rates and promotion programmes to compete for the mobilisation of deposits.

    According to statistics from the State Bank of Viet Nam, credit growth in the first nine months of this year rose 11.02 per cent against December last year. The increase was much higher than the rates of 10.78 per cent and 10.46 per cent in the same period in 2015 and 2016, respectively.

    Gamuda Land plans to expand investment in VN     

    Gamuda Land, one of Malaysia’s leading property developers, plans to expand investment in Viet Nam, particularly in Ha Noi and HCM City.

    “We are exploring new landbank in Viet Nam and some of the areas that Gamuda Land is considering is in the north of HCM City in Go Vap District and District 12, as well as District 9 in the south of the city,” the company’s Chief Operating Officer, Ngan Chee Meng, said.

    Viet Nam was an investment destination for Gamuda Land’s first overseas project.

    In 2007, the company decided to develop Gamuda City, a high-end real estate project comprising residential homes and a bustling business and commercial hub built around Yen So Park in Ha Noi. The project is divided into three precincts: the underway Gamuda Gardens, Gamuda City Central and Gamuda Lakes.

    The company’s second project in the country is the ongoing Celadon City, which covers 82-ha in HCM City.

    “When we first ventured into Viet Nam in 2007, township development was a new concept in the country as property developments in those days were on a smaller scale. The legal framework for larger scale projects such as Gamuda City was still work-in-progress so implementation was a slow process for us as we continuously work with the government through constructive feedback to enhance the framework. Today, the market is much more stable with the State’s monetary policies,” Ngan said.

    According to Ngan, the high rate of urbanisation and the increased population allow his company to venture into new areas that have never been entered into previously by other developers, creating opportunities for new projects.

    At the same time, the company also has an option to invest in developments that have been delayed by other underqualified developers, with the support and encouragement from local government, he said.

    He further added that the company goal is to have a lasting presence in Viet Nam, to contribute to the company’s development, and to grow alongside the community.

    “In the short run, we strive to become one of leading developers in Viet Nam,” he said, adding that his company also wants to further solidify its reputation as a ‘town-maker’ that creates places people will call home, be a part of, as well as where they will grow up and grow old.

    Besides the business expansion, Gamuda Land has also joined many social activities.

    Since 2013, the company has joined hands with Heart Beat Vietnam Fund to organise a charity run to raise funds for Vietnamese children with heart disease. After four years, the run has raised VND7.9 billion (US$350,000), helping 338 young hearts.

    This year’s events will return to Ha Noi’s Yen So Park on December 3, and it is expected to attract more than 10,000 people. 

    BIM Group, Regent develop first six-star resort on Phu Quoc     

    Vietnamese property developer BIM Group is co-operating with Asian-based global hospitality group Regent Hotels & Resorts to develop the first six-star resort on Phu Quoc Island.

    Regent Phu Quoc, a luxury resort and residential development, will be built on an area of 15ha with 76 villas, 42 sky villas and 120 hotel rooms, together with luxury facilities and amenities such as rooftop bar, sky bar, gym, beach club, spa and a Michelin-star restaurant.

    It is expected that Regent Phu Quoc with its state-of-the-art design on an immense water surface in accordance with the typical colours of Vietnamese architecture will become a “pearl” of the island’s real estate market.

    Carrying the Regent brand, which has set the benchmark for luxury hotels worldwide since it was founded in 1970, synonymous with timeless style, supreme comfort and intuitive service, Regent Phu Quoc promises to attract the upper class who want to experience timeless elegance, to appreciate age-old traditions in rhythm with modern-day trends and to indulge in underrated luxury.

    Going beyond five-star luxury standards, it is easy to understand why Regent Hotels & Resorts is always on the list of favourite destinations of world celebrities such as singer Alicia Keys and model Cindy Crawford.

    Many believed Regent Phu Quoc is another big step forward for BIM Group, following success in a series of previous projects such as InterContinental Phu Quoc Long Beach Resort & Residences.

    Operated by one of the world’s leading hospitality groups InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG), InterContinental Phu Quoc Long Beach Resort & Residences has become a “phenomenon” in the real estate market of Phu Quoc since the first day it was launched for sale.

    Just a short 1-2 hour flight from the capital cities of ASEAN countries, Phu Quoc Island with beautiful white beaches, primary forest and abundant ecosystem is emerging as a must-go destination for tourists.

    The island has attracted huge investment in tourism property development to exploit its potential by prestigious developers such as BIM Group, Sun Group and Vingroup.

    The development of Phu Quoc Island in the southern province of Kien Giang is also promising, given the Government’s plan of developing it into a special administrative-economic zone.

    Under the project of establishing the Phu Quoc Special Administrative-Economic Unit which recently got approval by Kien Giang People’s Council, Phu Quoc was expected to become a hub for tourism, trade, research and development, and finance-banking services.

    The draft law on the Special Administrative-Economic Unit is being discussed at the fourth plenary meeting of the 14th National Assembly, which is expected, when it comes into force, will create a breakthrough for special administrative-economic units, including Phu Quoc, Van Don in the northern province of Quang Ninh and Bac Van Phong in the central province of Khanh Hoa.

    ASEAN Green Bond Standards launched to drive sustainable investments     

    The ASEAN Capital Markets Forum (ACMF) on Wednesdat held its first ASEAN Capital Market Conference in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

    Themed “Strengthening ASEAN Capital Market Connectivity”, the conference saw the attendance of over 300 participants from the region, representing issuers, investors, intermediaries, regulators and experts from institutions like the Asian Development Bank (ADB), the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), the International Capital Markets Association and the World Bank (WB).

    The panel sessions at the conference discussed topics, including infrastructure and green financing, corporate governance and changing market dynamics in the age of digitisation.

    The launch of the ASEAN Green Bond Standards (AGBS) was held in conjunction with the conference. The AGBS were developed based on ICMA’s Green Bond Principles tailored to meet the needs and commitment of ASEAN. The AGBS label is to be used only for issuers and projects in the region and specifically excludes fossil fuel-related projects.

    Addressing the event, Chair of ACMF Ranjit Ajit Singh said that ASEAN must grow in a responsible and sustainable manner. Growth cannot come at the expense of our future generations. It is necessary to support efforts to protect the environment and the ASEAN Green Bond Standards will help in the allocation of resources towards climate friendly investments.

    Martin Scheck, Chief Executive of ICMA, welcomed the alignment of AGBS with Green Bond Principles. He also congratulated ACMF’s remarkable initiative to introduce the ASEAN Green Bond Standards, which will promote the development of ASEAN Green Bonds and their compatibility with the international market.

    The ACMF remains committed to increasing ASEAN connectivity and facilitating the development of market solutions by engaging and collaborating with industry and stakeholders through dialogue. It will also increase its interactions with the Industry Consultative Panels that it established to gather industry input for its proposals.

    The ACMF is a high-level grouping of capital market regulators from all 10 ASEAN, including Viet Nam.  

    KBEE Ho Chi Minh City comes stronger than ever

    The Korea Trade & Investment Promotion Agency (KOTRA) held the Korean Brand & Entertainment Expo 2017 (KBEE 2017) at GEM Centre in Ho Chi Minh City on November 9,

    This is part of the activities celebrating the 25th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Vietnam and Korea and to promote Vietnamese-Korean friendly relations through cultural and commercial exchanges.

    Being one of the biggest events organised by KOTRA, KBEE aims to promote the Korean wave and products to foreign consumers and businesses. The event was co-organised and supported by the Korean Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy, the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, Korea Creative Content Agency, Lotte Homeshopping, Emart, Edutech, and Naver.

    KBEE 2017 Ho Chi Minh City saw the participation of 100 Korean companies and 400 foreign enterprises. This event also featured famous celebrities from the two countries, such as Song Ji Hyo, iKON from Korea as the official ambassadors of KBEE 2017 Ho Chi Minh City; SNUPER from Korea and singer Noo Phuoc Thinh as special guests; and KRUNK–the iconic artist from YG as a special ambassador of the programme.

    Taking place on November 8-10 at GEM Center, the exhibition consists of four main activities.

    The first is business matching. Accordingly, there will be many trade and investment promotion activities between the two countries. Exhibition booths at KBEE will give visitors the opportunity to experience the latest fashion trends from Korea and the Pyeong Chang 2018 Winter Olympics. In addition, visitors can also approach a wide range of Korean products to improve living quality, such as cleaning products, kitchen utensils, and washing machines.

    Other activities to promote economic exchange between the two countries are also organised at KBEE, such as Edutech Seminar and a Job Fair.

    Korean educational enterprises will introduce the most outstanding products and services, such as education and training services, publishing, franchising, online learning, next-generation education, digital English learning platform, and a variety of other services and training products.

    The second is experience. Many experimental programmes will take place with various activities, such as the livestream introduction of Korean products by leading bloggers in Vietnam, a home-shopping show for Korean products, Korean wave make-up demonstration by Korean artists, and a Korean style make-up show. There are also many entertainment activities at KBEE, such as movies, music, games, and virtual reality experience, among others.

    The third is K-wave, whereby KBEE ambassadors and famous Korean artists will appear to meet fans and hand out signatures as well as perform and promote Korean products to Vietnamese consumers.

    The last is that people will have the opportunity to enjoy K-pop music performances by Korean stars.

    In addition, within the framework of KBEE 2017, the Korean Consumer Goods Festival was held at LOTTE Mart in District 7 on November 3-5 and at Emart Go Vap on November 8-12, with many exciting activities, giving the opportunity to experience high-quality Korean products and receive interesting gifts.

    "KBEE is one of the biggest events held by KOTRA that aims to promote the Korean Wave and products to foreign consumers and businesses. This exhibition in Ho Chi Minh City is expected to promote cultural exchange and trade co-operation between the two countries,” said president and CEO of KOTRA, Kim Jae Hong.

    The first time held in Thailand in 2010, KBEE has been successfully held in many countries around the world, becoming one of the largest events to promote Korean brands and entertainment to global consumers.

    Vietnam highly entrepreneurial country: OECD official

    Vietnam is a highly entrepreneurial country, and rapidly modernising, said Phil O’Reilly, Chair of the Business and Industry Advisory Committee to the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

    “It would be important for Vietnam to make sure that the domestic reform process is going on and is executed well otherwise some of the entrepreneurial opportunities that the country has might not work,” he said on the sidelines of the ongoing APEC CEO Summit from November 8-10.

    Vietnam also plays its part in the multilateral system, including APEC and ASEAN, he said, adding that the future is bright for countries like Vietnam. 

    According to the official, Vietnam is among many countries benefiting from globalisation.

    “We can see people getting better jobs in places like Vietnam. So the energy around globalisation will continue but we need to explain it better, we need to make sure that more people benefit from it,” said he.

    “We have to make sure we have good social protection system, good learning and re-skilling so that more people feel that they have a stake in the success of globalisation,” he added. 

    He also expressed his belief that Vietnam will work well in improving human resources’ skills, which are good for the country in the 21st century, especially in the digital age. 

    “Making sure that our young people are resilient to changes so that they can move jobs, making sure that young people in particular and also mature age people in the economies have more digital skills,” he stressed.

    Regarding MSMEs’ contribution to APEC economies, he said they are the backbone of every economy in APEC and the world as well. 

    He shared that in New Zealand, his country, more than 90 percent of businesses are micro and small enterprises.

    “They are real job engines in any economy,” he said, adding that one of the measures to support them is to make sure that everybody, including women, migrants and those who might be disadvantaged in the labour market can play, and small businesses can access to finances.

    “That’s the kind of thing we should all be thinking about in APEC economies,” he suggested.

    VietJet CEO wants a Walmart connection on her airline

    The founder and CEO of Vietnamese budget carrier VietJet has said she wants to sell products from the world’s biggest retailer Walmart on her airline.

    Nguyen Thi Phuong Thao, the first and only female billionaire in Vietnam according to Forbes magazine, presented the idea to Scott Price, executive vice president of Global Leverage for Walmart International, at the ongoing Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit in Vietnam’s central city of Da Nang.

    “We call ourselves a consumers' airline,” Thao said on November 9 at the APEC CEO Summit.

    "The idea to work with Walmart is an example of VietJet’s customer-oriented approach, emphasizing our philosophy of providing more convenient services for Vietnamese clients in the near future," she said.

    She also spoke about the role of technology in trade and business, suggesting a tech connection with Walmart for VietJet’s passengers.

    Price said the company is willing to work with VietJet as it has yet to open any stores in Vietnam, providing there is demand for its products.

    “We plan to expand further," Thao said. "Vietnamese airlines play an important role in connecting Southeast Asia. In the near future we’ll collaborate with more airlines, such as the Republic of Korea’s ASIANA.” 

    Vietjet already has deals with Quatar Airway and Japan Airlines, and is in talks with an airline in the US and another in Europe.

    “Thanks to the connections that VietJet is building, passengers can fly anywhere they want to around the world,” Thao said.

    The CEO Summit has gathered more than 2,000 local and foreign businesses and is one of the most important events at the APEC Summit. It is hosting leaders from the 21 Pacific Rim nations and thousands of businesspeople, including Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg, UPS CEO David Abney, and chairman and CEO of J.P. Morgan Asia Pacific Nicolas Aguzin.

    Last week, Thao secured 55th spot on the World's 100 Most Powerful Women 2017 ranking, jumping seven places from the previous year, and was the only Vietnamese national named on the list compiled by Forbes.

    According to the magazine, Thao has an estimated net worth of US$1.93 billion, eclipsing the figure of US$1.2 billion it calculated in March.

    Thao launched VietJet in 2011. Her “bikini” airline, nicknamed after its unique yet controversial promotion scheme of putting female crew in bikinis on some flights, now offers 300 flights a day, or more than 40% of the country’s flights, with a fleet of 45 jets.

    In May, Bloomberg reported that the Hanoi-based VietJet Aviation Joint Stock Co. was in talks to become the first Vietnamese company to list on an overseas stock exchange.

    "We’ve been approached by some foreign stock exchanges including London, Hong Kong and Singapore, which expressed their interest in our stock," Thao was quoted as saying in the report.

    According to Bloomberg, VietJet reportedly received shareholder approval in April to boost its foreign ownership limit to 49% from 30%.

    She told Bloomberg in an interview a year ago that she has plans to make VietJet a global airline. “We want to make VietJet the Emirates of Asia.”

    Thai Vietjet opens new route to Dalat

    Thai Vietjet has announced opening a new route from Bangkok to Dalat this December. Vietjet Group and the Thai affiliate will operate a total of six direct routes between Thailand and Vietnam, including Bangkok to Hanoi and Haiphong and Ho Chi Minh City, and Dalat and Phuket and Chiang Mai to HCM City.

    Commencing on December 18, 2017, the new Bangkok-Dalat route will run with an Airbus A320, with four return flights per week on every Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday.

    Thai Vietjet has also been officially recertified with the Air Operator Certificate (AOC) from the Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand (CAAT).

    The new certificate, bestowed to the airline by Minister of Transport Arkhom Termpittayapaisit, is in line with the International Civil Aviation Organization's (ICAO) standards.

    Presented during a special ceremony themed “Let’s Enjoy a New Journey,” the airline also announced a new international route from Bangkok to Dalat, known as the ‘City of Flowers’ and a much loved mountainous retreat for local and international travelers, particularly from Thailand.

    “We believe that the re-certification will further reaffirm the confidence of travellers across the globe in our services and the Thai airline industry as well,” said Nguyen Thi Thuy Binh, Thai Vietjet CEO.

    “To further deliver our promise to contribute to the growth of Thai tourism, I am also pleased to announce the opening of Thai Vietjet’s new international route from Bangkok to Dalat in the Central Highlands of Vietnam. 

    The new flight will be launched just before the International Flower Festival of Dalat, which is held in December this year. I am delighted that people from these two countries can now enjoy their neighbouring country even more through our expanding flight network,” said Binh.

    According to Minister Termpittayapaisit, Thai Vietjet is the 12th carrier to pass the recertification process since CAAT started the programme.

    “I have witnessed the airline’s dedication to prepare and improve itself to successfully pass the overall operational standards of ICAO. And the new AOC, bestowed to Thai Vietjet today, is a remarkable milestone for the carrier to further prove its safety and services as it spreads its wings and continues to fly further and higher on this journey of sustainable development," said the minister.

        

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