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  • 11/12/17--06:12: Article 1
  • Social News 12/11

    Vietnamese student receives APEC 2017 VOF’s leadership award

    Vietnamese student receives APEC 2017 VOF’s leadership award, Vietnam promotes aquaculture, fishery at Algeria’s int’l fair, Defence law needs updating: Minister, Project on vocational training quality ends 

    Twenty-year-old Nguyen Cam Tu from Vietnam was the only delegate to receive the leadership award at the APEC 2017 Voices of the Future (VOF) for her outstanding contributions to the freshly-ended event held in the central city of Da Nang.

    Tu, who is currently a student at the Academy of Finance, told a Vietnam News Agency reporter after receiving the award, which is a surprise to her.

    She will receive funding from the award to attend the APEC VOF next year in Papua New Guinea.

    She said she will make greater efforts to gain more knowledge and better her English to accomplish her task at the VOF 2018.

    “I hope to raise a voice to contribute to the development of APEC in particular and the world in general,” said Tu.

    Within the discussions during the APEC 2017 VOF, the Vietnamese delegation proposed the establishment of an APEC university meeting APEC standards, Tu said, expressing her hope that APEC leaders will consider and realise the initiative.

    She also highlights the importance of youth contributions to the APEC vision beyond 2020, saying she hopes APEC leaders will review young people’s suggestions regarding APEC’s future development and make them come true.

    Vietnam promotes aquaculture, fishery at Algeria’s int’l fair

    Vietnam’s aquaculture, fishery industry and seafood are on display at the seventh International Exhibition of Fishing and Aquaculture (SIPA 2017) which is underway in Oran, Algeria from November 9-12.

    At the biennial fair, Vietnamese Trade Counsellor to Algeria Hoang Duc Nhuan gave local companies an overview of the Vietnam-Algeria trade and prospects for future cooperation and introduced Vietnam’s major exporters.

    Vietnam and Algeria signed a Memorandum of Understanding in aquaculture and fishery in 2010, Nhuan said, adding that since then, seafood has been among Top 5 export earners of Vietnam to the African nation which brought home 9-10 million USD annually. But the export revenue dropped to 6.8 million USD last year.

    According to the ambassador, some Algerian firms looked for Vietnam’s experience in aquaculture, particularly prawn and tra fish farming, while others were seeking Vietnamese investment partners and sources of fish feed and fishing nets in Vietnam for import.

    This year’s SIPA is held to promote aquaculture and fishery as a way to achieve sustainable development and economic diversity. The event features 77 domestic booths and 35 booths run by foreign exhibitors working in different areas of the industry. It also hosts a wide range of side activities, including seminars, business forums, and B2B meetings.

    Defence law needs updating: Minister

    A new constitution in 2013 featuring several new guidelines and views of the Party and the State, made it necessary to introduce amendments to the law on national defence to “match the present reality,” said Minister of Defence Ngô Xuân Lịch in an address to the National Assembly yesterday during its fourth meeting.

    The law on national defence was approved by the National Assembly in June, 2005, and started to take effect in 2006.

    Lịch said that in the last 10 years, implementation of the law had made numerous important achievements, helping to ensure the country’s sovereignty, territorial integrity and national security and order, which ultimately contribute to the country’s socio-economic development.

    However, the defence minister said that the 2013 constitution’s principles regarding national defence had not been institutionalised, and some content of the 2005 law was not compatible or synchronised with the existing system of legal documents.

    He said the demands of new reality, in which besides traditional forms of war there had emerged several new forms – unconventional warfare, proxy warfare, cyber warfare, information warfare; and hi-tech weapons together with electronic warfare would be the primary tools deployed from the beginning and during the war. On the other hand, the world had been witnessing increasingly unpredictable changes in the manner, size, scope, space, time, environment, forces and warfare tactics involved in war-waging, he added.

    “In order to effectively prevent wars and have winning responses in all possible scenarios in all forms of warfares, there needs to be amendments introduced to the law, which would create a higher legal corridor for national building and defence, ensuring a peaceful and politically stable environment to serve the country’s development,” the defence minister said.

    The defence minister also told the NA that the draft law was built as a framework law, only providing essential over-arching guidelines and policies, while allowing for more flexibility to adapt to changing practical conditions.

    Võ Trọng Việt, chairman of the NA’s National Defence and Security Committee, reporting on the committee’s assessment of the proposed draft law, said the committee agreed the defence law would need to be amended. The committee also noted that the draft law had been built and presented in line with existing regulations on legal document promulgation and was eligible for submission to the National Assembly.

    However, the lawmaking agency should make clear the issues and obstacles, giving assessments of new policies such as military zone defence, and add regulations on martial law and curfew,” Việt said.

    Mông villagers in Đắk Lắk access solar electricity and clean water

    More than 190 households from the Mông ethnic group in Ea Rớt Village, in the Krông Bông District of Central Highlands Province of Đắk Lắk have gained access to electricity and clean water thanks to a solar energy system supported by the Green Innovation and Development Centre (Green ID).

    The electricity and clean water supply system using solar energy was transferred to the local community on Friday. The system has an installation capacity of 6.24 kWp using solar panels to generate electricity for domestic use and electricity for a Reverse Osmosis water filtration system.

    The design enables the system to generate 20kWh per day, meet the lighting demand of about 20 households and supplying 700 to 1,000 litres of clean water per day for the villagers.

    It needs about four sunlight hours, from 10am to 2pm, to generate electricity for the water filtration system. The remaining generated electricity will be saved in battery accumulators used for lighting at night. The electricity generating capacity will increase when the electricity demand is high.

    The electricity and clean water supply system using solar energy will function for the next 20 years. It received investment worth VNĐ500 million (US$21,700) by the McKnight Fund, within the framework of a project that supports the engagement of stakeholders and sustainable energy solutions in Việt Nam’s energy development plan. The project has been conducted by Green ID and Đắk Lắk Province’s Department of Industry and Trade between January 2016 and December 2017.

    To ensure the fiscal sustainability of the project, locals will pay VNĐ2,000 ($0.09) for 1kWh and about VNĐ7,000-8,000 ($0.3) for a 20-litre fresh water bottle. The money will be used for operation and maintenance.

    Nguyễn Văn Tâm, Chairman of Cư Pui Commune’s People’s Committee said that Ea Rớt Village did not have access to electricity, so the villagers are happy with this system.

    “The villagers will be responsible for preserving the system. The authorities must send a technician to fix any problem,” he said.

    According to Green ID, the system has the advantage of low-cost installation fees and simple maintenance. When the national grid comes to the village, this system can be adjusted to fit with the national grid.

    “The system not only provides humanitarian benefits, but also brings about locality-specific results by establishing energy plans in line with the community’s demands,” Ngụy Thị Khanh, Green ID Executive Director said, expressing her wish to bring similar systems to other localities, thanks to support of State agencies and sponsors. -

    Project on vocational training quality ends

    Nearly 1,400 educational managers and lecturers received training from experts from six different schools of the United Kingdom (UK) during the past three years.

    This is part of the co-operation programme on building and developing a system ensuring quality between Việt Nam and the UK.

    The conference closing the programme was held on Friday in Hà Nội by the British Council Việt Nam and the General Department of Vocational Training under the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs.

    The programme is part of the international co-operation project to ensure quality in several vocational training colleges, which will be invested into high-quality colleges. The project was signed between the British Council in Việt Nam and the General Department of Vocational Training in 2015.

    Also under the programme, 68 educational managers and lecturers from Việt Nam went to the UK to study about developing skills and building up a system to ensure quality. Three national conferences were held with the participation of nearly 500 representatives and experts on vocational training.

    Nearly 250 new tools of the system ensuring quality were set up at 183 faculties of different schools in Việt Nam.

    Associate professor, Lê Quân, Deputy Minister of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs, said that vocational training colleges in Việt Nam studied and applied effectively the UK model of ensuring quality.

    The colleges’ capacity had improved, the culture of ensuring quality was set up in schools and the lecturers’ professional skills also improved towards international quality, he said.
    Giles Lever, UK Ambassador to Việt Nam, said, “Quality assurance is at the heart of a successful education or training system, it is the guarantee of trust in the system, so that students and employers alike have confidence in the qualifications gained and awarded.”

    Việt Nam’s attractiveness to foreign investment, as well as the development of Việt Nam’s own private sector, would only be sustained if the country can produce workers with the right skills, relevant to the employer’s needs, he said.

    Danny Whitehead, director of the British Council Việt Nam, said that the British Council is honoured to have worked with the General Department of Vocational Training during the past three years.
    The British Council hoped to support Việt Nam to internationalise the vocational training system, to increase opportunities for graduate students to find jobs, he said.

    Propaganda poster contests launched

    Two propaganda poster contests have been launched by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism in Hà Nội.

    The contests aim to celebrate the 70th anniversary of President Hồ Chí Minh’s appeal for patriotic emulation and his communication on culture, sports and tourism.

    The competition is an occasions to disseminate information on President Hồ Chí Minh’s appeal for patriotic emulation, strengthen national solidarity, defend border sovereignty and the country’s seas and islands.

    This is also an opportunity to enhance all levels of government and public awareness over the protection of the environment, and to cope with climate change in the fields of culture, sports and tourism.

    Anyone, bar the organising board, can enter the contest and the number of entries is unlimited.

    All entries must be 54x79cm and new creations which have not been submitted to other contests before.

    No entries will be returned, and the organising board can display the works for national communication activities in all forms, like festivals, anniversaries and political missions.

    The deadline for all entries to be sent to the ministry is December 14 for the first contest and December 24 for the second.

    The first prize for both contests is worth VNĐ15 million (US$660), and the authors will receive royalties if their works are displayed at any exhibition.

    At the launching ceremony, the organising board gave awards for a previous contest, APEC Year in Việt Nam, to 20 finalists from 552 entries. The first prize was given to Đỗ Trung Kiên from Hà Nội.

    Nam Kỳ Khởi Nghĩa cycling tourney to start

    More than 10 teams will compete in The Nam Kỳ Khởi Nghĩa cycling tournament, VOH Cup, which is scheduled to start on November 17 in HCM City.

    Cyclists will compete in seven stages over a total length of nearly 1,000km, through the provinces of Bình Dương, Đồng Nai, Bình Phước, Đắk Nông, Đắk Lắk, Khánh Hòa, Lâm Đồng.
    They will face many challenges on the road including conquering Khánh Lê, Giang Ly and Phượng Hoàng mountain passes.

    The first stage is the 117km stretch from HCM City to Đồng Xoài Twon of Bình Phước Province.

    The event, which has belonged to national competition system since 2009, has a total prize pot of VNĐ300 million (US$14,500).

    The organising board will give awards for winners of the yellow, green, white and team categories, alongside other prizes.

    It will run until November 23.

    Belt Road No 3 buildings could rise 50 storeys
    The Ha Noi People’s Committee has approved the urban design project in areas along Belt Road No 3. Accordingly, buildings in these areas could rise up to 50 storeys.

    The project is for a 4.22km-long belt road running from Khuat Duy Tien to Nguyen Xien streets and covering 61.68ha.

    On Khuat Duy Tien Street, the project encouraged the development of office and residential housing buildings, which could be 50 storeys in height.

    For Thanh Xuan intersection where Khuat Duy Tien, Nguyen Trai and Nguyen Xien streets meet, mixed-use commercial projects were encouraged to exploit advantages from the metro line.

    On Nguyen Xien Street, residential housing projects with an average height of 25-30 storeys were encouraged.

    Vietnam-RoK fine arts exhibition opens in HCM City

    Natural landscapes and the people of Vietnam and the Republic of Korea (RoK) are highlighted through 130 art works at the Vietnam-RoK Fine Arts Exchange Exhibition which opened in Ho Chi Minh City on November 11.

    Images of the countries and their people are illustrated on wood sculpture, lacquer, oil and silk paintings.

    In addition, visitors to the exhibition also have chance to contemplate the RoK’s standout genres like traditional ink wash painting and Nubi (RoK traditional quilting).

    The exhibition is part of the activities held within the Ho Chi Minh City-Gyeongju World Cultural Festival 2017, taking place from November 11 to December 3 in the southern hub. The festival is organised in celebration of the 25th founding anniversary of Vietnam-RoK diplomatic ties.

    The event aims to bolster exchanges and mutual understanding between the Vietnamese and Korean people.

    The exhibition will run until December 3.-

    APEC 2017: Mexico applauds Vietnam’s proposed agenda

    Mexican Secretary of Foreign Affairs Luis Videgaray has said that he was impressed by ideas proposed by Vietnam at the APEC 2017 Economic Leaders’ Meeting, adding that Mexico fully supports the agenda.

    In an interview granted exclusively to the Vietnam News Agency on the sidelines of the APEC 2017 Economic Leaders’ Meeting, Videgaray described APEC as an important international forum and under the chair of Vietnam, it would be an effective meeting with a view to re-boosting trade promotion programmes for comprehensive development and integration.

    He said the meeting featured a number of topics of Mexico’s concern, such as the development of small and medium-sized enterprises and their integration into the value chain, trade coordination, especially in the digital economy.

    The minister also underscored sustainable food production and agricultural development amid climate change as both Mexico and Vietnam have been heavily affected by natural disasters.

    About the prospect of Vietnam-Mexico ties within the APEC cooperation mechanism and bilaterally, Videgaray affirmed that bilateral relations are in the period of the best development, adding that the recent meeting between President Tran Dai Quang and Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto achieved positive results.

    He expressed wish that Mexican firms would invest more in Vietnam and welcome more Vietnamese students to the country for study and cultural exchanges.

    The two countries could be geographically distant but share similarities that make them closer, he stressed.

    APEC 2017: Russian expert praises Vietnam’s role in region

    Vietnam is becoming one of the leading players in the region, said Maria Zelenkova, a research fellow at the Russian Institute of Strategic Studies in a recent analysis.

    The successful hosting of the APEC 2017 Economic Leaders’ Meeting, which concluded in Vietnam today, will further promote the country’s image in the international arena, she wrote.

    “Vietnam is the center of close attention on the part of the leading countries of the Asia-Pacific region,” the Russian researcher said, adding that this is due to the increasing role of the country in the international arena that is caused by a number of interrelated reasons.

    Among them is Vietnam’s desire to be an active participant in regional affairs in an effort to promote economic integration, which is necessary for the country to achieve optimal growth and attract foreign investments.

    Zelenkova cited the fact that Vietnam is a member of many international organisations and a participant of various integration summits and forums and the country is open for new initiatives, particularly the idea to revive the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement proposed by Japan.

    She pointed out major tasks for the country are to attract foreign investment and ensuring energy and food security. “Hanoi has used its chairmanship to the maximum benefit by organising the new format of meetings – conference “Doing Business in Vietnam” with the participation of the World Bank.”

    In the near future, experts expect new agreements between Vietnamese businesses and regional investors in the field of trade, infrastructure, energy, technology, she said.

    Deputy PM wants to further cultural cooperation with China

    Vietnam and China should continue jointly carry out the already signed cultural cooperation agreement and other cooperation deals between culture agencies of the two nations, Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam has said.

    He made the statement while holding a reception for Chinese Minister of Culture Luo Shugang in Hanoi on November 11.

    Luo’s visit to Vietnam will make significant contributions to elevating the bilateral cultural cooperation to a new height, Dam noted, highlighting that cultural exchanges have been enlarged in scale, numbers, types and contents, which are important to bolster collaboration ties between the two countries.

    For his part, Luo said that his ministry will work and ink a Memorandum of Understanding on cooperation in the culture industry with the Vietnamese Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism.

    In the occasion of President Xi Jingping’s State visit to Vietnam, the two culture ministries will organise a photo exhibition entitled “China through the eyes of Vietnamese photographers” and inaugurate a Chinese culture centre in Vietnam.

    Vietnam attends ASEAN Family Day in Czech Republic

    The Vietnamese Embassy joined its counterparts of Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines and Thailand in the annual ASEAN Family Day held in Prague, the Czech Republic, on November 10.

    The event was attended by ASEAN ambassadors to the Czech Republic, their families and several families of diplomatic officials of the host nation.

    According to Vietnamese Ambassador Ho Minh Tuan, who is also Rotary Chair of the ASEAN Committee in Prague (ACP), said the event is of significance to enhancing mutual understanding among ASEAN missions through games, art performances and cuisine festival.

    The event also helps Czech guests understand more about the ASEAN bloc as well as solidarity among its members, he noted.

    In the past years, the Vietnamese Embassy in the Netherlands have actively participated in ACP’s activities, representing its responsibility for the ASEAN community as well as popularising Vietnamese images to international friends.-

    Workshop highlights Vietnam – Russia relations

    An international workshop on the link between Vietnam’s national liberation struggle and Russia’s October revolution was organised in Moscow on November 9 as part of activities to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Russian October Revolution (November 7).

    The event took place amid Vietnam – Russia relations having new impetuses for their development.  In designing its new policies towards Southeast Asia, Russia considers Vietnam’s role as a door for it to enter the region of political and economic significance.

    At the event, Director of the Russian State Archive of Social and Political History Andrei Sorokin said numerous activities have been conducted and jointly organised by Vietnam and Russia in the year of celebration of the 100th anniversary of the Russian October Revolution, adding that the workshop as well as the debut of the book “Soviet Union and Vietnam in Indochina War” are among of the activities.

    Vietnam teams up with Netherlands, WB in food safety

    Vietnam seeks to enhance food safety management with support of the Netherlands and the World Bank (WB), announced the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) on November 10.

    At a ceremony to announce the memorandum of understanding on sustainable agricultural and food sector development, Vietnam expressed hope to increase cooperation with the Netherlands and the WB in evaluating risks of food safety.

    Projects and activities will be launched under the cooperation to improve Vietnam’s food supply chain toward international standards of food safety.

    Accordingly, it will build a food safety monitoring system based on risk evaluation, as well as improve food processing and quality of surveillance agencies.

    Speaking at the ceremony, MARD Deputy Minister Vu Van Tam said that Vietnam has paid attention to food safety and given priority to agro-forestry-fishery products management.

    The ministry will launch measures to improve food safety management in the coming years, raising productivity and quality for demand of domestic consumers and exports. To realise the target, in addition to the country’s efforts, the agricultural sector should make use of international support, the Deputy Minister added.

    For her part, Deputy Chief of Mission of the Netherlands to Vietnam Pauline Eizema said the MoU aims to concretize cooperation between Vietnam and the Netherlands in food safety management, with the participation of the WB.-

    APEC 2017: Delegates appreciate VOF outcomes

    Delegates to the APEC Voices of the Future (VOF) spoke highly of the results of the forum, which was held from November 6-10 on the sidelines of the APEC 2017 Economic Leaders’ Week.

    “I think after five days in Vietnam, the result is very encouraging. The young people interacted with the leaders and some of them met the heads of governments and voiced their concerns,” said James Soh, Co-Chair of the APEC Voices Leadership Council.

    They told the governments to consult and work with them because they want to make Asia Pacific a dynamic region, he said, adding that Vietnam provides a very good platform for them to interact with the governments of APEC economies.

    According to James Soh, the delegates are impressed with not only the forum but also the visit to beautiful Hoi An ancient town, the peace village and mural village in the central province of Quang Nam that some of the young people have never seen if they don’t participate in the APEC Voices of the Future.

    “Now they have better understanding of Vietnam and I told them after all the hardwork, they should try to spend a few days in Vietnam and enjoy the beauty of country,” he said.

    Le Thi Huong, a delegate from Vietnam, said this VOF was a successful event. It offered her opportunities to meet with and voice their wishes to the leaders of 21 APEC economies.

    At the forum, the Vietnamese delegation voiced the contributions of Vietnamese youth and suggested each member economy help its young people better understanding of APEC, she said.

    Each economy should have an online forum where youngsters can send their questions and aspirations to, she added.

    VOF is an opportunity for all young people in not only Vietnam but also other APEC members to sit together to talk about the future of their economies and the whole APEC, according to Huong.

    Catalina Villanueva Matar from Mexico said youths are really important as they are the future of economies.

    The biggest interest of young people is to have their voiced heard, she said, adding that forums like VOF should have seminars to discuss what involve the youth and the active participation of not only local youth but global youth, because they are future leaders.

    Meanwhile, Robert Lachlan Deppeler, an Australian delegate, said he was was most impressed with the first topic, Vision beyond 2020.

    “I think a lot of the youth have excellent ideas and I hope all ideas will be taken into account and be implemented,” he noted.

    He also emphasised the importance of the youth declaration, which can be measured only when it is implemented by the leaders.

    “We are trying to talk to, try to make our voices heard and I think that it is fundamentally important that the leaders take note. I do believe that all of us can make the voices heard. It’s remarkable to hear that so many people have similar ideas and I think it is really promising to the future,” he said.


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  • 11/12/17--07:14: Article 0

    Lao Cai, China’s Yunnan to soon open temporary border gates

    Northern Lao Cai province and its Chinese neighbor, Yunnan province, will soon open extra temporary border gates and cross-border roads in an attempt to boost the two-way trade and facilitate travel of their people.

    The information was revealed at a talk on trade and economic cooperation between the two provinces on November 10 held within the framework of the 17th Vietnam-China International Trade Fair which is underway in Lao Cai from November 10-15.

    The Vietnam-China trade via the Lao Cai/Hekou border gate reached over 1 billion USD in 2016 with export from Vietnam estimated at 462 million USD while imports worth 637 million USD. The bilateral trade hit 1.3 billion USD in the first 10 months of 2017, a year-on-year increase of 43 percent.

    More Chinese investors have come to Lao Cai to seek business opportunities. The province is so far home to 15 Chinese FDI projects with the total registered investment of 400 million USD.

    However, the two sides agreed that the trade via the Lao Cai/Hekou gate is still below potential as it only accounted for 1.6 percent of the total trade between the two countries in 2015 and 1.52 percent last year, much lower than that via border gates in Quang Ninh and Lang Son provinces. The difference in rail gauge between the two countries was believed to be the main barrier to the trade.

    The provinces were advised to improve infrastructure at their border gates and simplify customs clearance to facilitate the bilateral trade. They will also propose ministries to broaden the list of goods permitted to be transported across the border by trucks.

    On the same day, Lao Cai province and China’s Honghe prefecture also co-held a conference to promote trade between Vietnam and China as part of this year’s Vietnam-China International Trade Fair, bringing together representatives from the Ministry of Industry and Trade and tourism promotion agencies from 19 cities and provinces across Vietnam alongside over 100 enterprises from both sides.

    At the conference, Lao Cai invited investment to four projects, including the Bac Ha resort, worth 350 billion VND (15.4 million USD), and a 26.4 million USD hi-tech agricultural project in Lung Phinh commune, Bac Ha district.

    The event saw signing of numerous deals between businesses from the two sides in e-commerce, logistics, agriculture, tourism, chemicals and more.

    VN-RoK business forum aims to boost trade, investment

    A quarter-century of diplomatic relations between Vietnam and the Republic of Korea has yielded impressive progress, especially in investment and trade, said Kim Jaehong, Chairman of the Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency (KOTRA) at the Vietnam-Korea Business Partnership Forum held on November 10 in Hanoi.

    “Bilateral trade in the first three quarters of this year reached 47.2 billion USD and we expect that the figure for the whole year will exceed 50 billion USD, increasing by 100 times from 0.5 billion USD in 1992,” Jaehong said.

    Investment by Korean firms in Vietnam has also increased significantly, rising to 55.8 billion USD as of September, making it the largest foreign investor in Vietnam, he added.

    On the occasion of the APEC 2017 Summit held in Da Nang and on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of diplomatic ties between Vietnam and the Republic of Korea, the Korean Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy (MOTIE) and the Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency (KOTRA) co-organised the Vietnam-Korea Business Partnership Forum, hoping the event would create opportunities for businesses of the two countries to co-operate in trade, technology, supporting industries, mergers and acquisitions (M&A), intellectual property rights and social responsibility, he said.

    Jaehong also said there were many Korean businesses interested in M&A deals in Vietnam. He hopes that the two countries can co-operate well in M&A activities, through which the two sides can collaborate in technology transfer and joint venture investment.

    “I also expect the two sides can co-operate in services and education,” Jaehong added. “I believe that the co-operation between the RoK and Vietnam in all fields will significantly contribute to the development of the two countries.”

    The forum comprised a series of events, including one-on-one business meetings between Vietnam and Korean enterprises, gathering 100 Vietnamese companies and 17 Korean firms operating in the fields of information technology, electrical machinery, components automation, chemicals, construction equipment and industrial materials.

    The forum also featured an Infrastructure Technology Road-show, helping Vietnamese and Korean companies discuss technology transfer and technical co-operation in the field of transport infrastructure building technology.

    In addition, the Vietnam-Korea M&A Seminar held within the framework of the event brought together private investment professionals from Korea, private equity fund managers and cross-border M&A advisory firms.

    The seminar is designed to give participants the opportunity to learn about private investment opportunities in Vietnam and investment demand and strategies of Korean investors, to meet with Vietnam investees and Korean investors and make connections with industry professionals.

    APEC 2017: The Diplomat lauds Vietnam’s economic integration

    The Diplomat magazine recently published an article on Vietnam’s continuous global economic integration since its first hosting of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Economic Leaders’ Meeting in 2006.

    According to the article, the end of the second Indochina War in 1975 resulted in Vietnam’s reunification and was also the start of a relatively long reconstruction.

    During economic development via trade liberalisation, Vietnam joined the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in 1995, allowing Hanoi to benefit from increased trade and investment with its ASEAN neighbors through the ASEAN Free Trade Area (AFTA) and ASEAN’s free trade agreements (FTAs) with China, Japan, the Republic of Korea, India, Australia, and New Zealand.

    The capstone of Vietnamese economic development efforts was membership in the World Trade Organization (WTO) in early 2007.

    The APEC 2006 summit in Hanoi was Vietnam’s coming-out party, its debut on the world economic stage. Improved ties boosted trade, foreign investment, and economic growth, it said.

    The article quoted the World Bank as saying that Vietnam’s gross domestic product (GDP) more than doubled from 25 billion USD in 1996 to 66 billion USD in 2006. The gross national income (GNI) per capita improved from 310 USD in 1996 to 760 USD in 2006.

    Vietnam is hosting the APEC Year 2017. The APEC 2017 Economic Leaders’ Meeting in the central city of Da Nang on November 10-11 is the most important external event of Vietnam this year, with the participation of leaders from the 21 member economies.

    Ha Giang inks cooperation deal with Philippine province

    The northern mountainous province of Ha Giang and the Philippine province of Benguet signed an agreement on cooperation in culture-sports, tourism, agriculture and investment following a workshop held in the former locality on November 10.

    Under the terms of the agreement, the two provinces will regularly maintain visits and share experience in sustainable tourism development. They will also facilitate export of agro-forestry products, workforce training and trade promotion via fairs and exhibitions.

    Speaking at the event, Chairwoman of the Legislative Council and Vice Governor of Benguet province Florence B.Tingbaoen said Benguet is a highland located 1,500m above the sea water level with mild climate, mostly relying on agriculture, mining, energy and tourism.

    She said after touring Dong Van Karst Plateau Geopark, the delegation found out similarities between the two localities so that both sides will partner in tourism, agriculture and education.

    Vice Chairwoman of the provincial Ha Giang People’s Committee Ha Thi Minh Hanh said Ha Giang is home to abundant and diversified medicinal herbs and is working to become a key medicinal herb area by 2020.

    With cultural diversity and imposing scenery, the Dong Van Karst Plateau Geopark has been recognised by the UNESCO as the first one of its kind in Vietnam.

    The province’s export-import value hit 1.38 billion USD last year and is forecast to reach 2.7 billion USD this year.

    Hanh vowed all possible support to the implementation of the freshly-signed agreement.

    Vietnamese, French businesspeople meet up in Hanoi

    Vietnamese and French businesspeople attended a get-together in Hanoi on November 10 on the occasion of Vietnam Entrepreneurs’ Day (October 13) and Vietnam Corporate Culture Day (November 10).

    Speaking at the event, Vice Chairman of the Central Committee of Vietnam-France Friendship and Cooperation Association Nguyen Lan Trung said the event will warm up a seminar on bilateral economic and trade ties next year.

    The association wishes that French and Vietnamese firms operating in each country would become a strong and united community to boost two-way trade, he said.

    French Deputy Ambassador to Vietnam Olivier Sigaud said the free trade agreement between Vietnam and the European Union, which will be ratified and take effect in the near future, will make important contributions to promoting bilateral ties.

    As Vietnam and France will celebrate the 45th founding anniversary of diplomatic ties and the fifth anniversary of strategic partnership next year, a number of high-level mutual visits will be scheduled with an aim to step up trade activities. 

    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.

    APEC 2017: Experts highlight value of free trade

     Experts have stressed that the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum plays an increasingly important role in ensuring a global system of free, open and equal trade amid rising protectionism.

    Talking with reporters prior to the APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting in Vietnam’s central Da Nang city, Jayant Menon, an expert at the Asian Development Bank (ADB), noted APEC has pushed its member economies to pursue “open regionalism”, which is a consistent principle of the bloc since its establishment in 1989.

    APEC’s open regionalism means promoting intra-bloc trade liberalisation while maintaining an open market that welcomes non-member economies, he added.

    Amid increasing anti-globalisation trend and pressure from protectionism, APEC needs to enhance its crucial role in maintaining a free and open global trade system, he said.

    Sergio Ley Lopez, President of the Business Section for Asia and Oceania under the Mexican Entrepreneurial Council for Foreign Trade, Investment and Technology (COMCE), lauded APEC’s role in fostering  and building a multilevel cooperation structure in the region amid growing trade protectionism.

    He said the most important axis of global integration will be the Atlantic Ocean and Asia-Pacific, thus APEC member economies are on their way to form the world’s most powerful economic community.

    The official said APEC’s cooperation structure and mechanisms are a “cure” for trade protectionism.

    Prof. Carl Thayer, an expert of the Australian Defence Force Academy, said the central concern of APEC member economies is how to realise their goal of boosting free trade and investment in the region through the Free Trade Area of the Asia-Pacific (FTAAP).

    He recommended the bloc’s members to commit to the implementation of the Lima Declaration on FTAAP by mapping out long-term plans and setting out major deadlines.

    Prof. Yeah Kim Leng from the Malaysia-based Sunway University said free trade is vital to the globalisation and trade flow.

    He expressed his belief that Vietnam, as the host of the APEC Year 2017, will help arouse more attention on trade liberalisation in order to lift trade barriers and encourage cross-border investment.-

    Vietjet, HDBank launch joint promotion

    Vietjet and Ho Chi City Development Joint Stock Commercial Bank (HDBank) have launched a promotional programme for new customers and existing Vietjet – HDBank international co-branded credit card holders.

    Under the programme, which runs from now to December 31, the first customers to sign on for an international co-branded credit card and the earliest cardholders buying tickets will be reimbursed for the total Vietjet air ticket purchase by 20 percent (up to a maximum 500,000 VND or 22 USD) and 10 percent (maximum 200,000 VND or 9 USD) respectively when they finalise payment on the website

    The promotion will be applied for all Vietjet’s domestic and international routes flying to Seoul and Busan, the Republic of Korea; Hong Kong;  Kaohsiung, Taipei, Taichung and Tainan, Taiwan (China); Singapore; Bangkok, Phuket and Chiang Mai, Thailand; Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; Yangon, Myanmar; Phnom Penh and Siem Reap, Campuchia.

    New cardholders will be reimbursed only one time in the first month after opening cards and no more than two times on the following month, while existing cardholders will be reimbursed a maximum of three times during the promotional time, Vietjet said, adding that the promotional money will be transferred to cardholders’ payment accounts within 20 days after the end day of each month’s programm.

    APEC 2017: First Digital Prosperity Award winner announced

    The first APEC Digital Prosperity Award was given to Airlala, a Vietnamese-based e-commerce platform, on November 7 as APEC senior officials began their policy deliberations.

    Airlala’s mission is to support local artisans selling products globally, according to a press release issued by the APEC Secretariat.  

    The APEC Digital Prosperity Award is a special prize to acknowledge the creation of a digital product that uses innovation to increase prosperity and inclusive growth across economies in the Asia Pacific region.  

    “We are honoured to receive the first APEC Digital Prosperity Award,” said Hai Nguyen, Founder and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Airlala. “The award offers great support towards our mission of supporting local artisans and small businesses in the APEC region.” 

    “Airlala is more than a marketplace, it is empowered by machine-learning that will match international buyers with local artisans and small firms, based on the information buyers and sellers put through the platform,” he added. 

    The e-commerce platform was selected for the APEC Digital Prosperity Award from a pool of eleven teams that participated in the first-ever APEC App Challenge in May, where Asia-Pacific’s most talented developers competed to build an app for small businesses on the sidelines of the APEC Ministers Responsible for Trade Meeting in Hanoi.

    “Small businesses are the key to boosting innovation in the Asia-Pacific region and form the backbone of the region’s business sector,” said the APEC Secretariat’s Executive Director Dr. Alan Bollard.

    “Given its importance and potential, they must continue to be afforded an environment that enables them to thrive.

    “The APEC Digital Prosperity Award aims to motivate the region’s creative entrepreneurial spirit to solve the challenges small business players are facing through innovation and technology,” he added.  

    The APEC Digital Prosperity Award Selection Committee is comprised of the Asia Foundation, the APEC Secretariat, the Vietnamese Ministry of Industry and Trade, and Google. 

    “Airlala provides the platform for SME players to expand their businesses outside their home market,” said John Karr, Senior Director of the Asia Foundation’s Technology Programmes. “It uses the familiar and proven marketplace model which has high scalability and replicability. This is the reason why we decided to grant the APEC Digital Prosperity Award to Airlala.”  

    “Small businesses hold great potential. All they need is to have the tool to sell online, sell their crafts, skills and their goods to the world,” added Andrew Ure, Google’s head of Trade and Economic Affairs in Asia Pacific.

    “If we’re able to double the number of small businesses in Asia-Pacific that are exporting, it would add 35 million new jobs, and 1.5 trillion USD in export sales in the region.” 

    The winner of the APEC Digital Prosperity Award was announced during the Concluding Senior Officials’ Meeting (CSOM) in conjunction with the 2017 APEC Economic Leaders’ Week in Da Nang, Vietnam.

    APEC 2017: Startups face numerous difficulties, says VBS delegate

    Too many regulations, too much paper work, too many rules and a lack of capital are among difficulties startups in the Asia-Pacific region are facing, said a US delegate to the Vietnam Business Forum (VBS).

    Talking to a Vietnam News Agency reporter on the sidelines of the event, which took place in the central city of Da Nang on November 7, Virginia B. Foote, President and CEO of Bay Global Strategies, emphasised the importance of startups to any economy, adding that it is necessary to set up a regulatory regime to facilitate their activities. 

    “Part of what we are working on is to help get smaller sums of capital available to startups or groups of startups working together and help each other to get access to loans and capital,” she shared.

    According to her, it’s hard for the government to help startups because they know better what they want than the government does. 

    “To mostly not regulate them, the government needs to sometimes get out of the way,” said Virginia. 

    She also suggested set up an environment where startups are free to experiment. 

    Virginia, who used to be the chair of the American Chamber of Commerce in Vietnam, appreciated the VBS’ theme “Vietnam: We Mean Business.”

    “With this theme, Vietnam sends a message that Vietnam opens for businesses, welcomes businesses, is working to grow the economy and bring in international standards and open the door to the world,” she said. 

    Regarding Vietnam’s investment potential, she said most foreign investors in Vietnam, which has attracted foreign investment for 20 years, have done very well. 

    “Vietnam reputation is quite good,” she said, adding that the country has joined trade agreements and continually raised standards for doing business.

    It not only attracts foreign investment but also helps domestic investors, according to her.

    Initiated by Vietnam, the VBS was part of the ongoing APEC 2017 Economic Leaders’ Week in Da Nang city from November 6-11.

    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.

    1.76 billion USD invested in Chan May-Lang Co economic zone

    As much as 1.76 billion USD has been poured into 43 projects in the Chan May-Lang Co Economic Zone in the central province of Thua Thien-Hue so far.  

    In 2018, the economic zone’s management board targets to lure additional 18 projects with total registered capital of 5 trillion VND (220.1 million USD) in industry, tourism, industrial infrastructure, non-tariff area and urban area.

    The occupancy rate at the zone is expected to increase to 32 percent next year.

    The economic zone is currently drawing the attention of ten large investors like J.W Co., Ltd from the Republic of Korea’s project to develop automobile spare part plant and Sunjin Group’s three large projects: distributing warehouse and gasoline business in Chan May port, bus production in non-tariff zone and an entertainment complex in Lap An lagoon.

    The achievements were spurred by the management board’s efforts to create favourable conditions and address bottlenecks for the investors to ensure that the projects are implemented in a timely manner. 

    Regarding large projects, working groups are set up to join hands with relevant authorities to handle issues arising from land clearance process.

    The 875 million USD Laguna Lang Co resort developed by Singaporean Banyan Tree Group has just been completed and put into operation. Meanwhile, Vicoland Group has fulfilled the construction of 40 villas in the Mediterraneo resort.

    According to Nguyen Que, head of the Chan May-Lang Co Economic Zone Management Board, with strategic position as a significant gate of the East-West Economic Corridor together with rational development strategies and streamlined mechanisms, Chan May-Lang Co will develop into a proactive and modern economic zone in the central region.

    Chan May-Lang Co Economic Zone was established under the Prime Minister’s Decision 04/2006/QD-Ttg. It spans 27,108 hectares over Lang Co town and Loc Thuy, Loc Tien, Loc Vinh communes in Phu Loc district.

    APEC 2017: Symposium focuses on special economic zones

    A symposium on special economic zones and tourism took place in the central city of Da Nang on November 7 within the framework of the Vietnam Business Summit.

    Vu Thanh Tu Anh, Director of Research at the Fulbright Economics Teaching Programme in Ho Chi Minh City and member of the Prime Minister’s advisory team, said that the special economic zone model is expected to become a new driving force for economic growth.

    Vietnam has 18 economic zones, but many of them have not been prioritised for investment.

    To make special economic zones successful, special regulations, firm legal frameworks and dynamism and creativity are needed, Anh stressed.

    Deputy Minister of Planning and Investment Nguyen Van Trung said that many countries have invested much in building special economic zones.

    Special economic zones can attract more foreign investment and help the country better integrate into the global economy, Trung added.

    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 province and Phu Quoc in southern Kien Giang province.

    Special administrative-economic units are magnets for investment, high technology and advanced management modes, aiming to form a high growth area that accelerates local economic restructuring and development.

    Regarding tourism, Anh said that Vietnam’s tourism sector has enjoyed growth of 25-27 percent in recent years. The number of tourists to the country recorded an impressive rise of nearly 30 percent in the first nine months of this year.

    The Vietnam Business Summit 2017 is a part of the APEC Economic Leaders’ Week which is taking place in Da Nang city from November 6-11. 

    Hanoi pledges favourable conditions for Japanese investors

    Hanoi’s authorities are committed to creating a favourable business climate for Japanese investors, said Deputy Chairman of the municipal People’s Committee Nguyen Doan Toan.

    The official made the statement while receiving Seiji Suzuki, President of the Japan Friendship Parliamentary Alliance in Saitama Prefecture, in Hanoi on November 7.

    At the reception, Toan briefed his guest on the capital’s socio–economic progress and growth forecasts. 

    He said Hanoi is focusing on attracting investment in infrastructure, industrial parks and high-tech application, to create jobs and form a high-quality workforce.

    Toan hoped Saitama’s investment in Hanoi would rise in the future.

    For his part, Seiji Suzuki stressed the prefecture wants to invest in Vietnam, particularly Hanoi, with 34 Saitama enterprises already operating in the city.

    He said his visit aims to boost cooperation between Saitama and Hanoi.

    VN-Korea business forum aims to boost trade, investment     

    A quarter-century of diplomatic relations between Viet Nam and South Korea has yielded impressive progress, especially in investment and trade, said Kim Jaehong, Chairman of the Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency (KOTRA) at the Viet Nam-Korea Business Partnership Forum held on Friday in Ha Noi.

    “Bilateral trade in the first three quarters of this year reached US$47.2 billion and we expect that the figure for the whole year will exceed $50 billion, increasing by 100 times from US$0.5 billion in 1992,” Jaehong said.

    Investment by Korean firms in Viet Nam has also increased significantly, rising to $55.8 billion as of September, making it the largest foreign investor in Viet Nam, he added.

    On the occasion of the APEC 2017 Summit held in Da Nang and on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of diplomatic ties between Viet Nam and Korea, the Korean Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy (MOTIE) and the Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency (KOTRA) co-organised the Viet Nam-Korea Business Partnership Forum, hoping the event would create opportunities for businesses of the two countries to co-operate in trade, technology, supporting industries, mergers and acquisitions (M&A), intellectual property rights and social responsibility, he said.

    Jaehong also said there were many Korean businesses interested in M&A deals in Viet Nam. He hopes that the two countries can co-operate well in M&A activities, through which the two sides can collaborate in technology transfer and joint venture investment.

    “I also expect the two sides can co-operate in services and education,” Jaehong added. “I believe that the co-operation between Korea and Viet Nam in all fields will significantly contribute to the development of the two countries.”

    Yesterday’s forum comprised a series of events, including one-on-one business meetings between Viet Nam-Korea enterprises, gathering 100 Vietnamese companies and 17 Korean firms operating in the fields of information technology, electrical machinery, components automation, chemicals, construction equipment and industrial materials.

    The forum also featured an Infrastructure Technology Road-show, helping Vietnamese and Korean companies discuss technology transfer and technical co-operation in the field of transport infrastructure building technology.

    In addition, the Viet Nam-Korea M&A Seminar held within the framework of the event brought together private investment professionals from Korea, private equity fund managers and cross-border M&A advisory firms.

    The seminar is designed to give participants the opportunity to learn about private investment opportunities in Viet Nam and investment demand and strategies of Korean investors, to meet with Viet Nam investees and Korean investors and make connections with industry professionals.

    Yesterday’s event also included the Viet Nam-Korea economic cooperation forum, introducing prospects for economic co-operation between Viet Nam and Korea and the application of the Viet Nam-Korea Free Trade Agreement.  

    Chinese Taipei seeks bilateral trade pact with VN     

    A bilateral trade agreement would significantly boost trade, investment and tourism between Chinese Taipei and Viet Nam, a senior official said on Friday.

    James Soong, representative of the Chinese Taipei delegation at the APEC CEO 2017 Summit in Da Nang, said he had visited Viet Nam three times and witnessed drastic growth in the country.

    He said a trade agreement between the two APEC member economies and favourable conditions offered by Viet Nam would lure more investment from Chinese Taipei into the country.

    He said Chinese Taipei has invested a lot in manufacturing industries (78 per cent of total investment projects), education, hi-tech agriculture and health care service, and will increase its investment in hi-tech industries and medical services in the coming years.

    Soong also called for visa exemption for Chinese Taipei businesses and tourists in order to promote two-way trade, investment and tourism.

    He said his government plans to exempt visas for Vietnamese management staffs and technicians participating in long-term education programmes in Chinese Taipei.

    According to Viet Nam’s Planning and Investment Ministry, Chinese Taipei, with more than 2,500 projects worth US$30.8 billion, is the fourth biggest foreign investor in Viet Nam.

    In the first nine months of this year, Viet Nam has attracted 87 new projects from Chinese Taipei, while 64 existing projects have increased their investment. Together, the new and existing projects have a total capital of $935 million.

    The southern province of Binh Duong alone has attracted 688 projects from Chinese Taipei with a total investment of $2.6 billion.

    Soong said he hoped Da Nang would soon emerge as the second favourite destination for Chinese Taipei investors.

    Viet Nam exported farm produce and seafood worth $1.9 billion to Chinese Taipei in the first nine months of this year.

    Chinese Taipei plans to import more agricultural and seafood products from Viet Nam in the years to come, Soong said. 

    Korean firms hire at HCM City job fair     

    Fifty one South Korean firms in sectors like manufacturing, travel, construction, water treatment, marine transport, POS software and hardware, trading, garment and textile and others are taking part in a Korea-Việt Nam job fair that opened on Friday in HCM City.

    Organised by the Korean Ministry of Employment and Labour, consulate in the city and the Korea Trade and Investment Promotion Agency, the fair is aimed at helping Korean companies in Việt Nam recruit skilled human resources.

    The companies include CJ Group Vietnam, Lock & Lock, Lotte PK Duty Free, Hansae HCM, Posco Daewoo Vietnam, and LG Hausys, and they are seeking to hire 390 Vietnamese and Koreans for the positions of production manager, HR specialists, accountants, engineers, interpreters, translators and others.

    Nguyen Dang Minh Vu, HR and GA manager at Lotte PK Duty Free, said his company would recruit four to eight people at the fair for the positions of marketing, purchasing and planning staff.

    Billy Tae-Hyeong Kim, chief engineer of Huvis Water Vietnam Company Limited, said his company plans to hire laboratory, construction and technical sales engineers for its water and wastewater departments and other positions.

    Around 25 Vietnamese work for his company now, and it plans to hire more, he revealed.

    According to the Foreign Investment Agency, as of last month South Korea was the biggest foreign investor in Việt Nam with a cumulative US$57.1 billion or 18.2 per cent of all FDI.

    An increasing number of Korean firms are investing in Việt Nam, and they require a large number of workers in many sectors.

    The job fair, first held in the city in 2013, gets positive feedback from South Korean businesses as well as Vietnamese job applicants, and there are 2,000 participants this year, double the number last year. 

    Cooperation to enhance animal feed supply chain management     

    A memorandum of understanding was signed on Thursday between Business Association of High Quality Vietnamese Products and Netherlands-based GMP+ International and Business Support and Application Services Limited Company (BSAS).

    The agreement is aimed at enhancing the capacity of managing the animal feed supply chain for Vietnamese firms.

    This was among several efforts to help Vietnamese food companies produce safe meat products by using safe animal feed, association chairwoman Vu Kim Hanh said.

    Accordingly, GMP+ International will provide support to the association and BSAS to enhance capacity for the Vietnamese animal feed supply chain, which will contribute to ensuring food hygiene and safety in animal husbandry.

    Nguyen Van Ngoc, deputy chairman of the Southeastern Animal Husbandry Association, said hygiene and safety remained a headache in Viet Nam.

    GMP+ International is an international non-profit organisation that promotes safety in feed production.

    Its GPM+ Feed Certification has more than 16,940 participating companies worldwide. 

    HCMC completes 2017-20 resettlement plan     

    The southern city’s Department of Construction has completed the resettlement housing plan for urban development projects for the 2017-20 period.

    The plan was recently submitted to the municipal People’s Committee for approval.

    During the 2006-16 period, more than 25,360 apartments and 14,680 land plots were completd but 10,305 apartments and 3,625 land plots were unutilized, statistics showed.

    Under the plan, the construction department proposed 3,500 unoccupied apartments to be used for resettlement for key projects implemented in the 2017-20 period.

    Some 291 apartments would be used for temporary resettlement.

    More than 2,140 apartments and 1,700 land plots would be allocated to districts for resettlement of 153 unfinished projects.

    The rest would be put up for auction to recover capital for the State budget.

    The southern city plans to develop resettlement housing projects for more than 20,000 households whose houses were cleared for urban development projects by 2020. 

    Tin Thanh Group to buy BSR stake     

    Renewable energy firm Tin Thanh Group has expressed a desire to become a strategic partner of Binh Son Refinery and Petrochemical Company Limited (BSR).

    “Tin Thanh Group plans to buy a 5 per cent of stake in BSR in 2017,” BSR said on its website. The deal would cost the energy firm around VND3.6 trillion.

    In addition, “Tin Thanh Group and BSR will propose the Prime Minister allow the energy firm to buy up to 55 per cent of its stake,” BSR added.

    In May, Tran Anh Tuan, the industry and trade minister, signed a decision that valued BSR at US$3.2 billion, or roughly VND72.88 trillion.

    Therefore, Tin Thanh Group would have to spend around VND39.6 trillion or $1.76 billion to purchase 55 per cent of BSR shares.

    Representatives of Tin Thanh Group were not available to comment on the deal.

    The company is headquartered in Tan Binh District, HCM City, and it was founded in 1992, focusing on energy, hi-tech agriculture and environment solutions.

    Tin Thanh Group has VND200 billion in charter capital, which was raised from VND108 billion on January 3. The biggest shareholder is Nguyen Dinh Quyen with 80 per cent ownership, followed by Nguyen Thi Thanh Hien who holds 20 per cent, reported.

    According to BSR, Tin Thanh Group will work to come up with the final contract in November and participate in BSR’s expansion plan.

    “Tin Thanh Group will work as a middle company between BSR and US-based refineries and complete the development of projects before December 31,” BSR said.

    BSR IPO delayed until January 2018

    The initial public offering (IPO) of Binh Son Refinery and Petrochemical Co. Ltd. has been delayed until January 2018 instead of opening on Tuesday.

    The company’s Chief Executive Officer, Tran Ngoc Nguyen, told Reuters on Monday that Viet Nam’s biggest oil and gas refinery firm planned to sell more than the original of 4 per cent of shares.

    BSR expected to raise about $80 million from selling that 4 per cent stake, Nguyen said, without revealing further information about the coming plan.

    The State-owned refinery business has delayed its IPO several times with the latest having been scheduled in November.

    In the previous plan, BSR planned to raise nearly VND2 trillion from selling a 5-6 per cent stake in IPO and offload 49 per cent of capital to the strategic investor 12 months later to reduce the State’s ownership to below 50 per cent.

    In the first nine months of 2017, BSR reported VND55 trillion in revenue and VND5.46 trillion in post-tax profit. 

    The business of helping businesses     

    To expand the start-up ecosystem, enterprises needed management agencies to help build a platform for effective implementation and increase the number of successful businesses. This was stated at the third Start-up Forum held in Ha Noi on Thursday.

    Tran Van Tung, Deputy Minister of Science and Technology, said that the start-up movement associated with innovation had been welcomed by young people nationwide.

    Apart from the success of some typical first-generation enterprises, the third generation had become the dominant business generator in the last two to three years in fields of technology education, agriculture, and technology finance, e-commerce, entertainment and media.

    According to Tran Van Tung, Viet Nam has about 30 venture capital funds for start-ups, showing that the start-up ecosystem in Viet Nam already has all the components for development.

    However, the ecosystem has not been fully developed mainly because that start-up supporters were working incoherently or there was a lack of mechanisms to mobilise and develop the potential of the ecosystem.

    Businesses and delegates attending the forum agreed that management agencies needed to build legal mechanisms, creating favourable conditions for the start-up ecosystem to develop properly.

    Tran Tri Dung, consultant of Swiss Entrepreneurship Program SwissEP, said that the Vietnamese start-up ecosystem was similar to those in other countries.

    The problem was how to connect and operate together efficiently. When developing ecosystems, people were trying to work at all tasks. This was extremely difficult, Dung said. "We should try to focus on what we are good at,” he added.

    "As a start-up supporter, I hope that ministries, and agencies will support the ecosyetem but they also need to be selective. We need more successful stories in Viet Nam," he said.

    Attorney Nguyen Van Loc, a start-up consultant and LP Group chairman, proposed the distribution of a circular guiding the law supporting small and medium-sized enterprises and encouraging localities to take initiatives in supporting start-ups.

    First Blockchain Hackathon in Viet Nam launched     

    The first blockchain Hackathon in Viet Nam with the theme “Vietnam Blockathon – Building Blocks to Vietnam’s Future” is being held this month in Ha Noi and HCM City, aiming to create widespread public awareness and engagement with blockchain technologies and nurture an emerging Blockchain ecosystem in Viet Nam.

    The Vietnam Blockathon is backed by more than 10 world-class mentors and trainers and features one week of intensive Blockchain training, a 36-hour competitive challenge, cash prizes and rewarding incubation opportunities.

    The on-board training week is backed by first-class mentors that inspire and empower the community to address chronic challenges in Viet Nam using blockchain applications.

    The blockchain training week covers engineering, business analysis and product development. At first, 15 teams (2-5 members per team) will advance to the competitive challenge round, during which each team will have 36 hours (from 8pm on November 24 to 8am on November 26) to deliver a proof-of-concept and later pitch to a group of expert judges.

    Three to six teams will be shortlisted and entitled to a collaborative incubation programme within the National Fintech Challenge programme.

    Winning teams will be entitled to VND100 million in cash after the Hackathon and up to a VND100 million prize following the incubation round. Winning teams also experience valuable engagement with first-class mentors, trainers, investors and partners to realize their blockchain proof-of-concepts.

    Registration for the Blockathon began in early November and will close on November 16 at 11:59pm.

    The first Hackathon of its kind in Viet Nam is organised by Infinity Blockchain Labs in collaboration with top-notch Fintech and technology players, including Mekong Business Initiative, Saigon Innovation Hub and FinTech Club Vietnam.  


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  • 11/13/17--00:25: Article 0
  • Uber, Grab, Bitcoin and Vietnam’s digital economy

    The fierce opposition by traditional taxi firms to Uber and Grab, the uncertainty of state management of bitcoins, and the number of Vietnamese starting up businesses in Singapore all show that it is necessary to amend the legal framework in the context of the digital economy.

     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, Uber, Grab, IoT
    The development of the digital economy may increase GDP in ASEAN by $1 trillion in the next 10 years, according to one research report. 

    Thailand, for example, has established the Ministry of Digital Economy and Society whose functions are planning, developing and implementing activities for the digital economy. 

    Malaysia has decided to allocate a budget of $36 million to develop an e-commerce ecosystem and has also encouraged digital invention movement with projects worth $100 billion, to be implemented in the next 10 years.

    Akamai’s quarterly reports showed that Vietnam ranked 95th in the world in internet connection speed in 2015, but jumped by 37 grades to 58th in the first quarter of 2017.

    Considerable improvements in information security have been noted with a report from the Vietnam Information Security Association saying that the information security index has been increasing year after year, surpassing the world’s average level for the first time in 2016.

    In terms of a database, Vietnam has many companies that collect, analyze and process specialized data. 

    Considerable improvements in information security have been noted with a report from the Vietnam Information Security Association saying that the information security index has been increasing year after year, surpassing the world’s average level for the first time in 2016.

    Vietnam is in not inferior to regional and world countries in the growth rate of high-speed internet, smart electronic devices and mobile phone users. It is expected that by 2020, the number of Vietnamese smartphone users will increase by 30 times to 60 million (60 percent of population) compared with 2010.

    “We have basically become ready,” said Nguyen Xuan Hai from EPG-AVSE Global, the Association of Vietnamese Scientists and Experts.

    “The images of older people reading news on iPads or children learning via the internet, and images of businesspeople connecting with their assistants via mobile phones or housewives doing online shopping have become very common,” he said.

    As information technology develops rapidly, the legal framework cannot keep pace with it, he said. 

    According to Hai, there are two scenarios for legal framework. First, apply a closed-door policy and rely completely on internal resources. Second, remove legal barriers to let technology firms develop freely.

    Both scenarios have their advantages and disadvantages, and Vietnam has to make a choice. However, the 4.0 revolution bringing about the digital economy is inevitable.

     Kim Chi, VNN

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  • 11/13/17--00:47: Article 0
  • Social News 13/11

    Hanoi asked to evaluate traffic density around railway station

    Hanoi asked to evaluate traffic density around railway station, BOT stations to automatically collect toll by 2019, Installation art celebrates APEC Week’s success, Vietnam attends ASEAN Family Day in Czech Republic, 
    Hanoi Railway Station

    The Ministry of Transport has asked Hanoi to survey roads around the Hanoi railway station project to evaluate the population and traffic density, in order to avoid overloading the transport infrastructure nearby.

    The request was made after the city’s committee submitted their plans for the Hanoi Railway Station to ministries and sectors for opinions.

    In a document sent to the Hanoi People’s Committee on the planning of the Hanoi railway station, the ministry agreed with the city on the necessity of aligning the project with the city’s other transit infrastructure development.

    The ministry said that the project has the potential to affect the city’s ancient architecture, landscape and urban structure. Therefore, the city must consult historical and architectural experts to complete the project.

    Hanoi’s infrastructure has come under strain as the city grows. The problem is particularly acute with regard to transport infrastructure due to the rapid increase in the number of transport vehicles.

    The city’s current plans for the project state that targeted land for traffic infrastructure was about 25 percent, but did not evaluate whether traffic patterns would change as a result of planned transit development when the rail station pens.

    In addition, the project plans have not projected the number of guests entering or leaving commercial areas within the planned area and do not make full use of the underground space of the railway station.

    The ministry said that the city needed to carefully review the project’s ability to meet transportation demand as the population is expected to increase significantly in the future.

    The Hanoi Railway Station was the centre of the national railway trans-shipment and urban railway network. Thus, traffic density in the area could increase significantly if the project was combined with commercial centres.

    The ministry also requested the city to clarify the sources of capital for the project. 

    The State budget would be allocated to invest in the national railway works. Other construction works would be built by local budget and other capital sources.

    Previously, the municipal People’s Committee has consulted the relevant ministries and branches for the planning of Hanoi Railway Station and surrounding areas. Total land area for the project is about 98 hectares with a total population of 44,000. About 40,300 people would need to be resettled.

    Total investment capital was estimated to be about 23.8 trillion VND (1.04 billion USD), to be prepared by the city’s Department of Planning and Architecture in consultation with Japan’s Nikken Sekkei Civil Engineering Ltd (NSC).

    On September 28, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc asked the municipal People’s Committee to be careful in planning of the project to ensure sustainable development. 

    The project to upgrade the capital’s old railway station and the surrounding areas into a Japanese-style modern urban depot was approved by the municipal People’s Committee last month. The plan calls for six zones of high-rise buildings of between 40 storeys to 70 storeys for financial and media purposes, a railway station, and three areas of low-rise buildings with a park, international trade zone and a new lifestyle zone.

    BOT stations to automatically collect toll by 2019

    All Build-Operate-Transfer (BOT) toll stations across the country have to install a system for automatic collection of fees by 2019 to ensure transparency.

    This was stated by Minister of Transport Nguyen Van The at a recent meeting in Hanoi, Giao thong (Transport) online newspaper reported.

    The said transparency was very important. If people felt information related to BOT projects was clear, they would stop questioning the model and showing disagreement.

    Thus, transparency would be improved by publicising all information related to BOT projects in the future, including the total fees that a BOT toll station collected each day, he said.

    The also said the National Assembly Standing Committee had already adopted a resolution that only allowed application of the BOT model on new roads, instead of both old and new roads like before.

    This meant residents would have two options, and could decide whether or not they wanted to travel on the BOT road, he said.

    New BOT projects would follow the resolution. Relevant agencies were told to re-check ongoing BOT projects, implement solutions for each project and send reports to the Government, he said.

    It is estimated that the country currently has 88 BOT toll stations. 

    Quảng Trị commuters risk lives on unsafe bridges

    Commuters in central QuảngTrị Province are risking their lives commuting on old, unsafe bridges, which have been weakened by recent floods in the locality.

    Hải Lăng, a remote district in the province, has 170 concrete bridges across its canals. Forty of them were built in the 1980s and are getting weak due to time-related deterioration and increasing number of commuters.

    Trương Hòa, a 60-year-old resident in the district’s Hải Trường Commune, said he found more travelers using the nearby bridge despite its risky status. Hòa said months ago, the bridge vibrated whenever a commuter travelled on it, forcing locals to reinforce it through temporary measures.

    Recently, residents tied steel bars with the bridge poles in an attempt to reduce vibration on the bridge when commuters travelled on it. Locals said many bridges in the district are in very bad condition.

    A statistic report made by the district’s economy and infrastructure division said 2,800 commuters travelled on the bridges daily. Trần Kim Cương, the division’s deputy head, said all these bridges were built from 1980 to 1985, with concrete, steel and wooden structures.

    Cương said the division was aware of the status of these small bridges, but was struggling to find a sound capital source for construction of new bridges to replace the existing ones.

    According to Cương, the district’s authorities have received no reply yet in response to the call for capital for these bridges.

    Thousands join dance for kindness in Ha Noi

    A thousand people of different ages joined a dance yesterday at Lý Thái Tổ Square beside Sword Lake in Hà Nội, to celebrate the annual Worldwide Dance for Kindness.

    In honour of World Kindness Day (November 13), similar events are also being organised in HCM City, Hải Phòng, Nha Trang, Vinh and the southern province of Vĩnh Long.

    The Dance for Kindness event is organised worldwide to inspire, empower and educate people of all backgrounds to lead a life of kindness. It shows that regardless of differences in race, religion, ethnicity or background - the common thread that unites us all is kindness. The event includes FreezeMobs and FlashMobs. Those participating in the FreezeMob are given a specific kindness position to freeze in and by so doing, giving passersby’s the unique opportunity to notice the kind moments that are in constant motion. In the FlashMob, many people break out in dance.

    Yesterday, besides the activities for the Dance for Kindness, participants in Hà Nội also collaborated to clean up the environment and created paintings with the theme of kindness. The paintings were sold to raise funds for flood victims in the central region, according to Đỗ Đức Duẩn, head of the organising board.

    “This year we focused on the theme ‘Be kind to the health of yourself and other people’. Accordingly, we should take physical exercises and protect the environment.”

    Many celebrities joined the event including Miss Việt Nam 2010 Đặng Ngọc Hân, Miss Global Beauty Queen 2017 Hoàng Thu Thảo and winner of The Voice Kids 2016 Trịnh Nhật Minh.

    Installation art celebrates APEC Week’s success

    Children and artists yesterday collaborated on an installation art piece at Đông Kinh Nghĩa Thục Square in Hà Nội’s Old Quarter to celebrate the success of the APEC Economic Leaders’ Week held in Việt Nam.

    Titled "APEC and the Chamber of Secret No 21", the artwork includes 21 chairs made out of paperboard symbolizing the 21 members economies of APEC. Each chair has been decorated with images of the member’s flag and traditional culture or architecture.

    The chairs are grouped together around a flame like international leaders gathering at an important conference to discuss international affairs. They are united in the same direction as the flame, as a symbol of the strength and solidarity of APEC, according to Mai Ly, initiator of the installation.

    “Each chair sits on an area of 1.6m by 1.2m, and has been decorated by children paint to present the wonderful culture of the member economies. For example, the Russian chair is painted with images of Red Square in Moscow.”

    The artwork is inspired by Dutch artist Vincent Van Gogh’s famous painting Chair, she said.

    The installation, organised by Pop Art Green, an art education company, will be displayed in HCM City and Đà Nẵng.

    Botswana praises Vietnam’s economic achievements

    Vietnamese Ambassador to South Africa and Botswana Vu Van Dung has recently presented credentials to Botswanan President Seretse Khama Ian Khama.

    Dung affirmed that Vietnam always attaches importance to its traditional relations with African countries, including Botswana.

    He expressed his hope that bilateral trade ties will grow further and exceed the current modest level of 30 million USD.

    The ambassador asked Botswana to support Vietnam’s candidacy for the post as a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) in the 2020-2021 tenure.

    President Ian Khama said he sympathised with and hoped the Vietnamese people would soon surmount severe consequences caused by storm Damrey in central localities.

    He affirmed to back Vietnam’s bid to run for a non-permanent seat of the UNSC.

    The President congratulated Vietnam on its strong economic development and poverty reduction achievements, suggesting the two countries share experiences and strengthen collaboration to contribute to each country’s development.

    During his working visit to Botswana, the Vietnamese diplomat also paid a courtesy visit to Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Pelonomi Venson Moitoi.

    He also held a working session with head of the ministry’s Asia-Pacific Department Diabi Mmualefe on measures to boost bilateral relations, including those to speed up the signing of an agreement on economic, cultural and scientific and technological cooperation.

    Hoa Binh hydropower plant – symbol of Vietnam-Soviet Union friendship

    After 20 years of construction, the Hoa Binh Hydropower plant started operating in 1988, producing 80% of Vietnam’s total electricity.

    The plant was completed thanks to the support of 700 Soviet engineers and experts, some lost their lives in accidents at the construction site. The plant is now a symbol of the friendship between Vietnam and the Soviet Union.  

    Despite two huge floods in September and October this year, the Hoa Binh Hydropower plant has managed to continue operating its 8 generators and satisfying national demand for electricity at the rate of 10 billion kilowatts per year. The facility also control flooding and supplies water for the northern delta region.

    At the site, there is a monument dedicated to the 168 workers who lost their lives during the plant’s construction, including 13 Russians. The monument reads “The Fatherland acknowledges your contributions”. 

    On the 100th anniversary of the Russian October Revolution, Bui Thuc Khiet, the first Director of the plant, paid a visit to the plant where he spent 12 years during its construction. 

    He said "Many Russian friends came to take part in the construction of the plant. They devoted their wholehearted efforts as if they were working for their Russian Fatherland. Many of them spent more than a decade working at the construction site and several of them also died while on duty. We’re very grateful for their selfless support and sacrifice."

    Vu Xuan Bang, who used to be an interpreter for the Russians who worked at the plant during its construction, said "I still remember the flood of 1978 when many people were digging tunnels. There was a dyke to protect them but it was weak and about o break. I remember hundreds of Russians holding hands and praying the dyke would not break.

    Pham The Dung, who lives near the plant, said the Russian engineers lived with their families in a nearby area called “the Russian village”. As they lived in Vietnam for a long time, they were very friendly with the local Vietnamese. 

    He recalls "The Russian experts together with their wives and children used to go the village market every afternoon. They were very sociable. The local Vietnamese children learned to speak some Russian in order to greet them."

    The Hoa Binh Hydropower plant was one of the most complicated works in the world at the time it was constructed. Nguyen Van Minh, Director of the Hoa Binh Hydropower Company, told VOV "We often organize contests to encourage our staff to learn about the history and development of the plant. We’re grateful for the valuable support of the government and people of the Soviet Union."

    A letter preserved in a stone block at the plant will be opened in the year 2100 to remind future generations of the solidarity and friendship between Vietnam and Russia.

    Vietnam attends ASEAN Family Day in Czech Republic

    The Vietnamese Embassy joined its counterparts of Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines and Thailand in the annual ASEAN Family Day held in Prague, the Czech Republic, on November 10.

    The event was attended by ASEAN ambassadors to the Czech Republic, their families and several families of diplomatic officials of the host nation.

    According to Vietnamese Ambassador Ho Minh Tuan, who is also Rotary Chair of the ASEAN Committee in Prague (ACP), said the event is of significance to enhancing mutual understanding among ASEAN missions through games, art performances and cuisine festival.

    The event also helps Czech guests understand more about the ASEAN bloc as well as solidarity among its members, he noted.

    In the past years, the Vietnamese Embassy in the Netherlands have actively participated in ACP’s activities, representing its responsibility for the ASEAN community as well as popularising Vietnamese images to international friends.

    3 Vietnamese cities named among the most visited in the world

    Ho Chi Minh City has been ranked 36th on a list of the 100 leading cities in the world in terms of international tourist arrivals.

    The list, compiled by global business intelligence firm Euromonitor International, also placed Hanoi in 52nd and the northern city of Ha Long in 56th.

    Ho Chi Minh City is expected to receive 5.5 million foreign visitors this year, up 5.8% from last year. Hanoi will welcome an estimated 4.3 million visitors, while Ha Long is expected to receive 4 million arrivals, respective increases of 7.5% and 14.3%.

    The Telegraph recently recommended Hanoi as an amazing food destination, while Ho Chi Minh City has cracked various lists of top destinations for solo and retiree travelers, including being named by as one of the cheapest cities for backpackers. Both cities were named among the world's fastest growing destinations by MasterCard last year.

    According to the report, Hong Kong was the most visited city in the world with 26.6 million arrivals in 2016, benefiting from its strategic location and relationship with China, followed by Bangkok, which overtook London in 2015.

    Asian cities dominated the global destination rankings thanks to the inexorable rise of Chinese outbound tourism, said Euromonitor International.

    In 2010, 34 cities from Asia Pacific made it onto the list. That figure has jumped to 41 cities on the latest ranking and is expected to grow to 47 cities in 2025. Asia Pacific is the standout region that has driven change in the travel landscape and is expected to continue doing so in the coming decade, with Singapore overtaking London as the third most visited city in the world by 2025 to make the podium fully Asian, said Euromonitor International.

    New expressway to cut travel time from Hanoi to Ha Long Bay by half

    A new expressway scheduled for completion in March next year will reduce travel times from Hanoi to the world famous Ha Long Bay to just an hour and a half.

    The obvious transit point for people wishing to visit the bay is Hanoi, which is 180 kilometers (112 miles) to the west and home to an international airport.

    The journey currently takes at least three hours.

    Van Don International Airport around 50 kilometers from the bay is also scheduled to open next spring.

    The US$330 million airport is designed to receive two million arrivals a year by 2020, and there are plans to expand the capacity to five million by 2030.

    Officials said the new infrastructure is being put in place so that Ha Long and Quang Ninh Province can host a national tourism year for the first time in 2018 and the ASEAN Tourism Forum in January 2019.

    The national tourism year will include a paragliding tournament in April, an international car race in June and a food festival in the fall.

    Ha Long Bay was named a UNESCO world heritage site in 1994, and is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Vietnam.

    Visitors to Ha Long during the first half of 2017 rose 12% on-year to more than 4.3 million, including 1.7 million foreign travelers, according to Quang Ninh's news portal.

    The bay was used to film the recent Hollywood blockbuster “Kong: Skull Island”, and has been raved about by many travel bloggers.

    150 coastal trainers receive education on ICT and marine conservation

    More than 150 trainers, including teachers, as well as officers from schools and local organisations of the northern province of Quang Ninh's Halong city have participated in training courses on information technology (IT) and marine conservation.

    These activities took place within the framework of the "Raising Awareness of Marine Conservation and Access to Information Technology for Adolescents in Need of Improvement in Coastal Living," or the “Enabling Boat” campaign jointly implemented by the Center for Marinelife Conservation and Community Development (MCD), the Vietnet Information Technology and Communication Centre (Vietnet-ICT), with technical support and sponsorship from Microsoft.

    The trainings provided participants with practical knowledge on basic Information Technology (IT) and computer science—including Office 365, online safety, social networks, and coding with Kodu—as well as marine conservation and climate change adaptation.

    Most importantly, trainers exchanged innovative teaching methods based on IT and computer science. These trainers will later implement initiatives to provide opportunities for adolescents, especially those from difficult coastal families, to access IT and marine environmental knowledge, not only in the project activities, but also in local programmes.

    The “Enabling Boat” project was launched in Quang Ninh at the beginning of 2017, with the aim of raising awareness and building capacity on ICT, computer science, and knowledge related to climate change adaptation and environmental protection for adolescents and communities in difficult coastal areas.

    Specifically, the project is expected to support 200 children from the resettled fishing villages and others who live in remote coastal areas without good access to learning facilities. It enables children to have the capacity to seek, and promote opportunities for better lives.

    Students from the northern port city of Haiphong, and Quang Ninh's Hung Thang, Tuan Chau, and Ha Khanh wards have been selected to participate in "Enabling Boat" trainings. The classes took place in schools, cultural houses of the villages or sometimes consisted of simple computer-based tutorials and basic IT classes for those who never used computers before.

    All activities are carried out with the help of local authorities, educational management organisations, and local youth.

    Vu Xuan Viet, a teacher of Van Lang Secondary and High School, shared: "The training courses are very useful. They provide basic IT skills, knowledge about programming, and their application in marine conservation and mineral resources management of Quang Ninh in particular and the islands of Vietnam in general."

    "We care about marine life conservation, the heritage of Halong Bay, and climate change adaptation, but have not had access to much information and knowledge before. After this training, we know what we need to do to preserve and protect our environment and heritage. In addition, the application of IT and computer science to life is also essential, helping to solve problems faster and more accurately, and contributing to the integration into the global technology revolution," he said.

    Metropole Hanoi welcomes New York Jazz Diva

    The Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi’s Le Club Bar, Vietnam’s house of jazz, has welcomed New York Jazz Diva Michelle Walker to perform from November 9 to February 9.

    Michelle will sing from Tuesdays to Sundays from 8pm, accompanied by the hotel’s jazz ensemble. She has a well-deserved reputation among the jazz cognoscenti for her ability to artfully blend genres and for her beautiful, distinctive voice.

    She studied vocal performance at the University of Maryland, College Park as well as the Amsterdam Conservatory of Music. Highlights of her musical career include invitations to perform at The White House for the lighting of the National Christmas Tree and The Diet Coke Women in Jazz Festival at the Lincoln Center. Michelle has also toured with legendary jazz vocalist Mark Murphy, whom she calls her “mentor”.

    She began her career in Washington D.C., where she was nominated for a Washington Area Music Association Award (WAMA) for best jazz vocalist, best debut album of the year (for Slow Down) and best jazz group. While living in the D.C. area, The Washington Post placed her several times on its Top Ten Area Performers to see performing live.

    Since relocating to New York, where she currently lives, she has performed in more than 1,000 concerts in the US and over 150 throughout Europe, Russia, Israel, and the Far East.

    The gifted singer’s latest offering, Love Misery, features 13 ear-catching arrangements that blur the lines between swing, jazz and blues, bebop and soul - all enriched by the sultry and soul-stirring Walker sound.

    Sofitel Legend and & Sofitel So are two labels that enrich Sofitel Luxury hotels.

    Sofitel Legend hotels are iconic and mythical. They are often centuries-old listed heritage buildings, such as the Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi, the Sofitel Legend The Grand Amsterdam, the Sofitel Legend Old Cataract Aswan, and the Sofitel Legend Santa Clara Cartagena.

    South Korean tourism and culture promoted in HCMC

    Events to promote tourism to Seoul and Gyeongju culture are being organized for the first time in Ho Chi Minh City from November 10 to December 3.

    The “I Seoul U - Seoul Beauty & Festival Gallery” event will take place from November 10 to 12 at Ka Koncept working space, 9 Nguyen Trai, District 1, to promote tourism to the South Korean capital.

    Visitors can experience a space that resembles travelling in Seoul, such as Han River park, the wall of Seoul, which offers painting activities and attractive gifts, Korean-style make-up classes, and other interesting activities.

    In particular, the seven members of the popular music group BTS will attend, allowing fans to take selfies with the group and post on their social pages to receive gifts.

    From November 11 to December 3, the Ho Chi Minh City - Gyeongju World Cultural Festival, themed “The prosperity of the Asian community via cultural exchanges”, will be held for the first time at popular sites around the city, such as the vehicle-free Nguyen Hue Boulevard, 23/9 Park, and theatres.

    Highlights include the opening ceremony, a performance reviving Gyeongju Historic Culture City, the former millennial capital of the Shilla Dynasty, Hallyu, the Korean term for the phenomenon of the Korean Wave, which now widely used to refer to the popularity of South Korean entertainment and culture across Asia and other parts of the world, a show of traditional and modern Korean dress, a painting exhibition by South Korean and Vietnamese artists, a South Korean EDM music party, musical performances by famous South Korean singers and bands, and opera.

    There will also be numerous programs promoting traditional products and tourist attractions of Ho Chi Minh City and Gyeongsangbuk-do province from 60 enterprises and 300 products in K-Beauty and K-food at 23/9 Park in District 1, where local and international visitors can experience a unique Korean cultural space and admire a road lit with sparkling lights along the sides of the park.

    The festival is expected to attract more than 800,000 visitors, including city residents, Korean people, and expats residing and working in the city.

    It is being held to celebrate 25 years of diplomatic relations (1992-2017) between Vietnam and the Republic of Korea. South Korean investment in Vietnam had surpassed $50 billion by the end of 2016, making it the largest foreign investor in the country, according to the Korean Trade Investment Promotion Agency (KOTRA). Many South Korean companies have arrived in Vietnam in recent times to seize opportunities in its developing economy. Bilateral trade is expected to reach $70 billion by 2020 due to the Vietnam-South Korea Free Trade Agreement (VKFTA), which came into effect a year ago.

    HCMC celebrates festival for national solidarity

    To celebrate the 87th anniversary of the Vietnam Fatherland Front’s traditional day, Secrectary of Ho Chi Minh City Party Committee Nguyen Thien Nhan participated in a meeting for the national solidarity in the residential block fifth in District 7’s Tan Thuan Tay Ward. 

    In the meeting, Professor Nguyen Huong Viet offered to give sets of computers connected with microscope to serve the community. The professor’s initiative and his partners which enlarges picture of things from microscope to computer aims to facilitate students, researchers’ studies and research.

    Moved by good deed of local in the residential quarter, Party Chief Nhan praised the quarter’s accomplishment expecting that it will develops solidarity amongst locals during the campaign “ All residents show their solidarity during new rural construction and civilized city”.

    He emphasized members of youth communists, party members and members of fatherland front should take a lead in the campaign as models.

    He also order the fatherland managing board in the residential block to understand people’s feeling and desires to report to the authorities in order to solve problems.

    Meantime, Deputy Chairman of People’s Committee Tran Vinh Tuyen took part in the meeting in the residential block in district 2’s Binh An ward.

    In the evening of the same day, while attending the meeting in the residential block in district 1’s Nguyen Thai Binh ward, the chairman of People’s Committee Nguyen Thanh Phong lauded the accomplishment of the block’s fatherland front managing board in assisting poor households and near-poor households under innumerable ways as well as taking heed to education and social order.

    Meanwhile chairman of HCMC Party Committee Commission for Inspection Nguyen Van Hieu arrived in the residential block No.2 in district 7’s meeting.

    Vietnamese Vice President Dang Thi Ngoc Thinh and Chairwoman of Vietnam Fatherland Front Committee in Ho Chi Minh City To Thi Bich Chau were present at a meeting in the residential block No.3 in district 4’s ward 6 yesterday.

    The annual meeting is a chance for locals in residential wards to gather to celebrate the fatherland front’s traditional day and think about late President Ho Chi Minh’s last message on the national solidarity and importance of this. At the meeting, locals reviewed what they had done in the campaign “All people reunite”.

    Head of the fatherland front at residential quarter in district 4’s ward 6 Duong Xuan Bien said that people have built 45 clean and safe roads and contributed VND30 million to the fund for the poor, the fund for the country’s island. Moreover, 50kg of rice is sent to five low-income earners in the quarter and scholarships for poor households’ kids monthly.

    On the behalf of the government, Vice President Dang Thi Ngoc Thinh congratulated the quarter and the district on its accomplishment. She continued being a locality with complex social order, the district is now safer and cleaner. Locals in the quarter develop the spirit “Ragged leaves protect tattered ones” to take care of poor household; accordingly, the number of needy households dropped to 20 ones. 

    Thanks to the local party, authority and locals’ efforts, the quarter, the ward and the district have better living quality.

    On the occasion, Vice President Thinh presented gifts to 20 social welfare household beneficiaries and poor households and 30 needy students.

    Over 5,000 people walk to raise fund for the poor

    Over 5,000 people took part in the walk for the poor organized by the Fatherland Front Committee in Thu Duc District yesterday to contribute more than VND2.5 billion to the fund. 

    First secretary of the Ho Chi Minh Communist Youth Union Central Committee Le Quoc Phong, Chairwoman of Vietnam Fatherland Front Committee in Ho Chi Minh City To Thi Bich Chau, deputy chairman of HCMC People’s Committee Huynh Cach Mang and representatives from people’s councils, people’s committees , Fatherland Front Committee in Thu Duc district and organizations, firms to raise fund for the poor attended the event.

    Speaking at the event, Party deputy chief of Thu Duc District Nguyen Tho Truyen said in response to the action month “ For the Poor” launched by the Vietnam Fatherland Front Committee, for years, the managing board of the fund in Thu Duc district had called for contribution of individulas and organizations to donate over VND50 billion, helping 5,514 poor households and near-poor households in the district by providing capital for business, repairing, building charity houses, giving scholarships.

    Right after the launch, many benefactors donated VND2.5 billion to the fund for the poor.

    Giant electric pumps installed in Nguyen Huu Canh street

    Quang Trung Industry Joint Stock Company has installed electric pumps with the capacity of 2,000 cubic meters a hour to pump out wastewater from Nguyen Huu Canh street, said director general Nguyen Tang Cuong yesterday. 

    The company is the investor of the smart pumping system which test operation has started since September to cope with flooding in the street.

    Mr. Cuong said that the street and drainage system located low. Therefore, wastewater could not flow out in a timely manner in case of high tide and might cause flooding. Hence, the company had installed electric pumps to remove wastewater out.

    The smart pumping system should function with the capacity of 27,000-96,000 cubic meters an hour when there are heavy rains to completely solve flooding in the area. In case of small rains, electric pumps will run to save costs.

    On the other hand, the system will see longevity reduction if operating interruptedly during short times, added Mr. Cuong.

    According to the company, the system well operated during the rain in the evening of November 8 so Nguyen Huu Canh street was not flooded. Previously, it had installed an observation device to measure the rainfall in the area.

    2,000 square meter park opens in Mekong delta

    Jump Arena Trampoline Park yesterday opened in Tan An Co.opmart in the Mekong delta province of Long An.

    It is the biggest park with total area of 2,000 square meter built by Saigon Co.op and Jump Arena Vietnam (franchised from Singapore).

    The park has 12 different games including indoor mountain climbing, Ninja challenge, indoor wall climbing, section for kids, indoor laser shooting, and section for gym which are suitable for all ages.

    The park is very new in Vietnam, promising to bring interesting experiences to players.

    The park opens from 9AM to 9PM everyday.

    Vietnamese representative travels to US for 2017 Miss Universe Pageant

    The second runner up of the Miss Ethnic Vietnam 2013, Nguyen Thi Loan traveled to the United States for the 2017 Miss Universe Pageant which is taking place in Las Vegas from November 10-11. 

    The 27-year-old girl from Thai Binh province was listed among top five at Miss Vietnam 2010 pageant after crowing Miss Sea title. She was also named in top 25 Miss World 2014 contestants.

    Miss Universe 2017 is the 66th Miss Universe pageant with the participation of nearly 90 delegates throughout the world. The pageant is taking place at the Planet Hollywood Las Vegas.

    Hà Nam, Coal and Mineral win 10th match

    Hosts Phong Phú Hà Nam and Việt Nam Coal and Minerals emerged triumphant at the National Women’s Football Championship on Sunday in Hà Nam Province.

    Phong Phú Hà Nam and Việt Nam Coal and Minerals won by a narrow score of 1-0 over TNG Thái Nguyên and Sơn La, respectively.

    Playing on home turf under strong support, Phong Phú Hà Nam started a good game, opening the score just 10 minutes from the first whistle.

    Lê Thu Thanh Hương escaped from Thái Nguyên defenders and lobbed the ball over goalkeeper Hải Yến into the net.

    The hosts continued dominating the match in the rest time. Hương had another chance to double the result but her finish went out.

    Both sides failed to find more goals.

    In the later match at Hà Nam Stadium, Việt Nam Coal and Minerals grabbed the only winner by national team striker, Nguyễn Thị Vạn, at the 70th minute.

    Keeper Mè Thị Hoá of Sơn La had to work hard during the whole game but she succeeded in saving her net in the last few minutes, despite strong attacks from Coal and Minerals.

    After their 10th game, Phong Phú Hà Nam are at second position at 23 points, one less than leader HCM City 1 who played only nine games.

    Coal and Minerals are third, with 21 points.

    In Monday’s fixture, Hà Nội 1 will face HCM City 2 and Hà Nội 2 will face HCM City 1.

    Vietnam-China Friendship Palace debuts in Hanoi

    General Secretary of the Communist Party of China and President Xi Jinping (R) and Chairwoman of the Vietnam National Assembly Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan inaugurate the Chinese Cultural Centre in Hanoi 

    General Secretary of the Communist Party of China and President Xi Jinping and Chairwoman of the Vietnam National Assembly Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan attended an inaugural ceremony for the Vietnam-China Friendship Palace in Hanoi on November 12.

    The ceremony formed part of the Chinese leader’s two-day State visit to Vietnam from November 12.

    The Vietnam-China Friendship Palace is located at No. 188 Le Quang Dao street, Nam Tu Liem district. It was built with non-refundable aid from the Chinese Government and Vietnam’s corresponding capital.

    The 14,000-square-metre palace lies on a 3.3-hectare land area with lotus-inspired architecture. It will serve as a venue for cultural, art and people-to-people exchange activities between the two countries, as well as conferences and meetings.

    On the occasion, the Vietnamese and Chinese leaders also inaugurated a Chinese Cultural Centre in Hanoi.

    Following the ceremony, Xi and Ngan met with delegates of the Vietnam-China People’s Forum and some intellectuals having outstanding contributions to the growth of ties between the two countries. 

    Party senior official receives delegates of Vietnam-China People’s Forum

    Head of the Communist Party of Vietnam’s Central Committee’s Commission for Mass Mobilisation Truong Thi Mai hosted a reception on November 12 for delegates attending the ongoing ninth Vietnam-China People’s Forum in Hanoi.

    Mai, who is a Politburo member and Secretary of the Party Secretariat, spoke highly of the organization of the forum on the occasion of General Secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) and President Xi Jinping’s State visit to Vietnam right after the 19th National Congress of the CPC.

    She acknowledged that after eight editions, the forum has become a platform for scholars, intellectuals and experts of both countries to exchange, contributing to promoting the healthy and effective growth of the Vietnam-China ties on the foundation of common perceptions reached by leaders of both countries.

    The forum has dealt with current bilateral relations, helping deepen mutual understanding and political trust between the two countries, and creating a solid foundation for both sides to develop together, she noted.

    At the meeting, Mai was also briefed on major outcomes of the forum by heads of the Vietnamese and Chinese delegations.

    During the ninth Vietnam-China People’s Forum, taking place from November 10-14, participants discussed the current situation of the Vietnam-China relationship, while giving ideas to promote future ties in a healthy and sustainable manner.

    Requiem held in Binh Duong for traffic victims

    A grand requiem for traffic accident victims was held at Hoi An Pagoda in Thu Dau city, southern Binh Duong province, on November 11 with the view of easing the pain of losing relatives of the bereaved families.

    The function, with the participation of over 10,000 Buddhist monks and followers and people, was jointly held by the Vietnam Buddhist Sangha and the National Committee for Traffic Safety. 

    At the requiem, Minister of Transport Nguyen Van The, Head of the National Committee for Traffic Safety, called on all central and local relevant agencies, organisations and people to improve their road sense and adherence to traffic safety regulations. 

    According to Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee Tran Thanh Liem, the event also aims to warn traffic participants to observe traffic safety regulations, thus to ensure safety for themselves and others.

    The requiem, the six of its kind in Vietnam, is part of activities in response to the World Day in Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims (the third Sunday of November) launched by the UN.

    From January to October this year, traffic accidents nationwide claimed 6,800 lives and injured 11,785 others.

    HCM City-Gyeongju World Cultural Festival 2017 opens

    The Ho Chi Minh City – Gyeongju World Cultural Festival 2017 is taking place in the Vietnamese southern hub on November 11 as part of activities to celebrate the 25th founding anniversary of the diplomatic relations between the two countries (December 22).

    The festival, the first of its kind in HCM City held by the two cities, features a series of cultural exchange activities between Vietnam and the Republic of Korea (RoK).

    Addressing the opening ceremony on November 11, Chairman of the HCM City People’s Committee Nguyen Thanh Phong highlighted the similarity in culture, history and people of Vietnam and the RoK, and stressed that this year marks the 25 years of the fruitful cooperation between the two nations in numerous fields, including economics, culture, trade, education and tourism.

    Phong said the event, which runs until December 3, is expected to convey a message of peace, cooperation and friendship among people all around the world, while lifting friendship and cooperation between Vietnam and the RoK to a new level in a more sustainable manner.

    For his part, Governor of the RoK’s province Gyeongsangbuk-Do province Kim Kwan-yong underlined the Vietnam – RoK ties, saying that they are big economic partners of each other  as well as a huge number of the two nation’s people are living in the respective country.

    The festival helps usher in a path of peace and cooperation in culture and economic development, he said, adding that it contributes to promoting the cooperation between the two nations in tourism, trade and investment.

    The event comprises art performances, fashion show, film screening, among others.

    The Gyeonju World Cultural Festival is held biennially by Gyeongsangbuk-Do province since 1998. It was held six times in the RoK and two times in other countries (Cambodia in 2006 and Turkey in 2013), attracting over 17 million people.     

    HCM City wants to bolster cooperatives ties with RoK localities

    Ho Chi Minh City always treasures and wants to boost cooperation with localities of the Republic of Korea (RoK) in the fields of tourism, healthcare, investment and environment.

    Chairman of the municipal People’s Committee Nguyen Thanh Phong made the statement on November 11 when receiving RoK delegations who are in the city for the Ho Chi Minh City–Gyeongju World Cultural Festival 2017.

    Phong said that the RoK is currently the fourth largest investor in Ho Chi Minh City with 1,300 projects in the economy, education, healthcare, tourism and culture.

    Particularly, the World Cultural Festival taking place in the city from November 11 to December 3 is an important event, marking the 25th anniversary of the Vietnam-RoK diplomatic ties, he noticed.

    Governor of Gyeongsangbuk-Do province Kim Kwan-yong and Mayor of Gyeongju city Choi Yang Sik said that the cultural festival will help deepen ties between the Vietnamese southern hub and seven localities from the RoK.

    Gyeongju and Ho Chi Minh City will further promote cooperation in fields of their strength like culture and tourism after the event, Choi added.

    Meanwhile, RoK Deputy Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Na Jong-min believed that Ho Chi Minh City would lure more international visitors, especially those from the RoK, to realise its target of 10 million visitors travelling between the two countries in the coming time.

    Lauding Ho Chi Minh City’s development in recent years, Kwon Young-jin, Mayor of Deagu city thanked the city’s leaders for facilitating operation of RoK enterprises.

    There are some 84 Deagu businesses investing in Ho Chi Minh City, he said, adding that Deagu city wants to put forth cooperation with the city in water, healthcare and culture.     


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    Vietnamese firm builds housing project in US

    HQC USA LLC, a member of Vietnamese property developer Hoang Quan Group, recently held a groundbreaking ceremony for a 40 million USD mixed-use development project at Tacoma city, Washington.

    The seven-storey HQC Tacoma is the first overseas project of the Hoang Quan Group.

    Covering more than 3,000sq.m on 1210 Tacoma Avenue South, HQC Tacoma has two basement floors for parking with 214 lots, ground-level retail amenities and 166 apartments with area ranging from 41.8sq.m to 95.2sq.m, of which 20 percent will be affordable units.

    The News Tribune reported last month that in exchange for providing lower priced apartments, HQC will receive an exemption from property taxes for 12 years on the improved value of the land used for the residential units.

    The project is set for completion in the second quarter of 2019.

    Hoang Quan Group is developing 36 projects, including 22 social housing projects.

    APEC 2017: Vietnam’s joining TPP to benefit export firms

    Vietnam’s engagement in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) will benefit her export businesses, President and CEO of the Asia-Pacific Foundation Stewart Beck said.

    He described Vietnam as a big exporter of farm produce, aquatics, garment-textile, and processed products in an interview with Vietnam News Agency’s reporters in Da Nang.

    Beck advised Vietnamese firms to build proper strategies to make better access to different markets as well as study their culture and prices.

    Trade ministers from 11 member countries of the TPP agreed on core elements of the pact, which is from now on called the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), at their meeting within the framework of the APEC Economic Leaders’ Week in the central city of Da Nang on November 6-11.

    They agreed not to make amendments to the original text but freeze the implementation of some clauses to ensure balance and the quality of the document in the new context.

    The CPTPP is a comprehensive and high-standard agreement on the basis of balancing interests of its member countries, with regard to their development levels, they said.

    The trade pact was officially inked on February 4, 2016 among 12 countries, including the US, Canada, Mexico, Peru, Chile, New Zealand, Australia, Japan, Singapore, Brunei, Malaysia, and Vietnam. TPP is a new-generation free trade agreement with high level of commitment covering trade and non-trade issues.

    However, after taking the office in January, 2017, US President Donald Trump decided to withdraw his country from the pact. The remaining TPP countries are working toward a new deal that can move forward without the US.-

    Vietnam enjoys strong growth in shrimp exports to RoK

     Vietnamese firm builds housing project in US, Vietnam enjoys strong growth in shrimp exports to RoK, Singapore’s businesses pour 41.7 billion USD into Vietnam, Online Friday 2017 to return in December

    Vietnam has so far this year exported 243.2 million USD worth of shrimp to the Republic of Korea (RoK), a surge of 29.8 percent 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.

    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.

    VNPT launches community-based project

    The Vietnam Post and Telecommunications Group (VNPT) on November 6 launched a community-based business model called Freedoo.

    Bui Trung Kien, head of the Freedoo project, said that Freedoo will create a new, dynamic and creative working environment, opening chances for people to earn money when taking part in VNPT’s products and services distribution channels. People will work for VNPT as collaborators.

    To join VNPT’s business network, people can access the website,, and register as collaborators. The collaborators will choose sales promotion programmes on VNPT’s links and share them on their personal pages such as Facebook and Google.

    Collaborators will receive a commission for each successful transaction, when customers click on the links they share, Kien said.

    People who can apply to be VNPT’s collaborators are diversified, such as office staff, students and anyone who is interested in technology and wants to earn money from mobile devices and computers.

    VNPT has designed many products and services with suitable charge packages, and customers can pay via Internet Banking services or using a QR code.

    Collaborators can also contribute their opinions on products and services development to receive rewards from VNPT.

    Hanoi attractive to investors

    Hanoi plans to grant investment licences to several large projects throughout the rest of this year, according to the municipal People’s Committee.

    The projects include a 220 million USD solid waste treatment project in Ta Thanh Oai, a 319 million USD waste-to-power plant in Soc Son and a 420 million USD horse racing track.

    To be more attractive to investors, the capital city has employed measures to improve its investment and business environment, while talking with enterprises to remove their difficulties.

    At the same time, the city has enhanced the use of information technology in business registration and tax payment processes, creating optimal conditions for enterprises. So far, 98 percent of local firms have used online tax declaration.

    At an October meeting of the municipal People’s Committee, Chairman of the committee Nguyen Duc Chung asked the Department of Information and Communications to work with the Department of Home Affairs to review administrative reform to simplify all processes and provide online public services.

    So far, the city has received 128 projects in public-private partnership, eight of which have been finished worth 13.68 trillion VND and 12 underway ones worth 28.5 billion VND.

    It has also issued business licences to 25,160 companies worth 240 trillion VND, up 11 percent and 4 percent respectively, raising the total number of firms in the city to 231,922.

    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 15.8 billion USD, 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 3.19 billion USD.

    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 6.5 billion USD, 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 41.7 billion USD into Vietnam

    Vietnam attracted more than 1,900 foreign direct investment (FDI) projects from Singaporean businesses in January-October, which were valued at 41.7 billion USD.

    According to the Ministry of Planning and Investment, a Singaporean project has average capital of 21.6 million USD, above the foreign project average in Vietnam of 12.9 million USD.

    Singapore is investing in 18 out of the 21 economic sectors in Vietnam, including the manufacturing and processing industry with 548 projects worth nearly 18 billion USD, making up 44 percent 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 10.3 billion USD, 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 10 billion USD. Businesses at VSIPs also earned 32 billion USD from exports and generated jobs for about 200,000 workers.

    Vietnam’s exports likely to hit 210 billion USD this year

    Vietnam’s exports are likely to hit 210 billion USD this year, up 18.9 percent, the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT) forecast. 

    Exports hit 19.4 billion USD in October, up 0.3 percent month-on-month, of which 5.2 billion USD was contributed by the domestic economic sector, up 2.4 percent while the remaining was from the foreign-invested sector, down 0.4 percent. 

    Ten-month export revenue soared 20.7 percent annually to 173.7 billion USD, surpassing the MoIT’s forecast and raising the trade surplus to 1.23 billion USD. 

    A representative from the MoIT’s Export-Import Agency attributed the growth to manufacturing expansion in the foreign direct investment (FDI) sector, notably Samsung Display project. 

    Statistics from the agency showed that FDI enterprises, including crude oil, brought home 125.5 billion USD in ten months this year, a 22.1 percent rise. Meanwhile, domestic businesses raked in 48.2 billion USD, up 17.2 percent. 

    Up to 5.05 million tonnes of rice were shipped abroad in the period, earning 2.25 billion USD, up 22.3 percent in volume and 21.1 percent in value. Vietnam also signed a number of rice export contracts in the Philippines, China and Bangladesh. 

    Apart from agro-forestry-fisheries, exports of minerals and processed industrial products also hiked 29.7 percent and 21.9 percent, respectively. 

    Ten-month imports increased by 22 percent year-on-year to 172.5 billion USD.

    Online Friday 2017 to return in December

    Online Friday, the biggest annual event for e-commerce businesses and consumers, will return on the first Friday of December this year with a series of huge discounts. 

    The Ministry of Industry and Trade’s Vietnam E-Commerce and Information Technology Agency said consumers will be able to shop and interact with enterprises via online and offline events. 

    Outstanding exhibitors include Adayroi, Lazada, Shopee, Nagakawa, Sunhouse, FPT, Anbico, Sendo, Badasa, Leflair. Banks and delivery firms will also be a part of the event. 

    The organising board will build strict registration process and enhance inspections to ensure product quality. 

    Last year, the event featured more than 3,000 businesses with 200,000 discounted products.

    Lazada launches online shopping promotion

    Giant online shopping platform said it would start its “online shopping revolution” on November 9.

    Organised in the country for the sixth consecutive year, the event this year is called “Mua Sao Bang” (A Meteor Shower of Sales) with huge discounts on the peak sales days of November 9, 10 and 11.

    On these three days, Lazada will be applying free delivery policies nationwide, the company said.

    Under the programme, the company will co-operate with many famous brands like Samsung, Abbott, Huggies, Philips, Comet, Rohto, Unilever, Biti’s, Kangaroo and Bosch to offer discounts of up to 50 percent.

    Alexandre Dardy, CEO of Lazada Vietnam, said the company had decided to choose many leading brands since the quality of products for all sales in the online revolution would be given priority.

    The online revolution is one of the biggest shopping online events in Southeast Asia. It has been organised since 2012.

    This year, the event will be organised in six countries where Lazada is operating, bringing millions of products ranging from fashion to electronic products.

    The event is also a chance for merchants to increase their sales at the year-end shopping season. Last year in Vietnam, the event received two million orders on the first day.

    Int’l water, energy exhibitions open in HCM City

    Vietnam’s leading international water supply, sanitation, water resources and purification event, Vietwater, and Vietnam's leading renewable energy and energy efficiency exhibition, RE & EE Vietnam, opened in Ho Chi Minh City on November 8.

    More than 480 companies from 38 countries and territories specialising in the water and the energy industry are showcasing their latest technologies, solutions and innovations at the combined events.

    According to the organising board, the sequence of events will open opportunities to exchange and bolster collaboration among experts, investors, managers, international enterprises and local partners.

    Eliane van Doorn, Business Development Director (ASEAN Business), UBM Asia, the organiser of Vietwater, said: “We continue to build an international business platform for 14,000 participants to connect, exchange and share their industry expertise.

    “The exhibition features 14 international pavilions, displaying the latest technological updates in the water industry.”

    Vietwater features a “Water Innovation” gallery with the latest technologies and solutions to assist the development of water technologies in Vietnam.

    Within the framework of the exhibitions, to last until November 10, there will be several seminars to address the industries’ issues, especially pragmatic solutions in the Mekong Delta, the Central region and the Central Highlands which are all affected by climate change.

    Huynh Kinh Tuoc, Director of the Energy Conservation Centre in Ho Chi Minh City said Vietnam has devised its renewable energy development strategy to 2030 with a vision to 2050, which affirms the development and use of renewable energy sources will contribute to realising durable environmental and green economic development targets. 

    He added Vietnam is a potential market for local and foreign enterprises to invest and develop renewable energy and energy saving.

    AIIB wants to help Da Nang develop infrastructure

    The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) wants to boost cooperation in infrastructure investment with Da Nang so as to help promote the development of the central city of Vietnam, AIIB President Jin Liqun told local officials on November 8.

    Talking to Secretary of the municipal Party Committee Truong Quang Nghia, the AIIB leader, who was in Da Nang to attend the APEC Economic Leaders’ Week, said rapid urbanisation and strong development in many aspects have required infrastructure to be expanded in Da Nang.

    Compared to many other localities, Da Nang’s infrastructure has been built in a relatively methodological and synchronous manner. However, problems will soon arise and local advantages and beauty will be affected if infrastructure is not further upgraded, he said.

    Jin noted that AIIB is interested in major projects of Da Nang because of their feasibility and the city’s sound management of previous loans.

    Aside from big transport projects, the bank is also ready to invest in electricity and water supply projects and developing the western area of Da Nang if the city has demand, he added.

    Introducing local achievements, Secretary Nghia highlighted the synchronous construction of infrastructure, rapid urbanization and socio-economic development of Da Nang over the last two decades.

    He thanked the AIIB President’s attention to local infrastructure projects, noting that Da Nang will soon provide information about those projects so as to enhance development cooperation.

    On November 7, Chairman of the municipal People’s Committee Huynh Duc Tho met with World Economic Forum (WEF) Managing Director Philipp Rösler, who was also taking part in the APEC Economic Leaders’ Week in the city.

    Rösler said he is impressed with Da Nang’s accomplishments, especially in infrastructure development and tourism growth, congratulating the city on being chosen as the venue for the Week.

    Chairman Tho asked the WEF Managing Director to connect international businesses who are interested in investing in the city’s prioritised areas like information technology, high technology, health care, education, tourism and logistics.

    He proposed his guest consider choosing his city to hold the upcoming WEF on East Asia.

    Rösler valued the proposal, noting that he and the WEF managing board will consider this idea with reference to the Vietnamese Government. He added Da Nang is suitable for organising this important event.

    Vietnamese, Chinese deals hit 60 billion VND at int’l trade fair

    The Vietnam – China international trade fair in the northern mountainous province of Lang Son from November 2-8 attracted nearly 8,000 visitors per day and earned over 50 billion VND (2.17 million USD). 

    About 60 Vietnamese and foreign exhibitors formed networking and introduced products, and half of them signed deals worth roughly 60 billion VND. 

    Deputy Director of the provincial Department of Industry and Trade and deputy head of the organising board Nguyen Quoc Hai said it is the largest-ever fair of its kind with the best quality products on display. 

    Vice Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee and head of the organising board Nguyen Cong Truong said the annual event is held alternately in Lang Son and China’s Guangxi province. 

    The fair featured more than 320 stalls, 30 of which were by foreign and Chinese exhibitors. 

    The organising board also arranged two stalls showcasing fake and genuine products, making it easier for consumers to differentiate between them. 

    The event is expected to raise mutual understanding and tighten friendship between businesses and people from Vietnam and China, and from Lang Son and Guangxi in particular.

    VPBank posts 246.8 million USD pre-tax profit

    Vietnam Prosperity Joint Stock Commercial Bank (VPBank) posted a pre-tax profit of 5.6 trillion VND (246.8 million USD) in the first nine months of the year, a 79 percent 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 7.2 trillion VND (317 million USD) profit target by year’s end.

    Its profits have been mainly generated from total operating income, which increased by 48 percent compared with the same period last year and reached 17.5 trillion VND (771 million USD). Net interest and similar income in the first nine months was 14.9 trillion VND (656 million USD), up 41 percent year-on-year.

    Meanwhile, operating expenses grew at a rate of only 33 percent, much below the growth rate of total operating income. The non-performing loans ratio of the bank remained at 2.6 percent.

    Vietnam Airlines wins regional award

    Vietnam Airlines was awarded the prestigious “CAPA Asia Pacific Airline of the Year” at the 2017 CAPA Asia Pacific Aviation & Corporate Travel Summit held in Singapore on November 8.

    This is the first time the national carrier has won the award for its rapid growth, high level of profitability and successful partial privatisation.

    The award is given to the airline that has been the biggest standout strategically during the year, had the greatest impact on the development of the airline industry and provided a benchmark for others to follow.

    The airline's profit reached 114 million USD in 2016 and exceeded 100 million USD in the first three quarters of 2017.

    Vietnam Airlines completed listing shares on the Hanoi Stock Exchange under stock code HVN in January 2017, becoming one of the first and largest State-owned airlines in Vietnam to be partially equitised.

    In addition to the public float, Japan’s All Nippon Airways Holdings acquired 8.77 percent stake in Vietnam Airlines in 2016 as part of a new strategic partnership.

    Malaysian firm to partner with Vietnam

    MPOS Vietnam Technology Joint Stock Company and Malaysia’s payment service provider GHL Systems Berhad  signed a strategic cooperation agreement on electronic payments in Hanoi on November 8.

    The agreement will open up opportunities for vigorous development of electronic payments in Vietnam and Southeast Asia for MPOS. It also marked GHL’s first step to enter the Vietnamese market.

    Nguyen Huu Tuat, general director of MPOS Vietnam, said as the only mobile payment service provider in Vietnam, he strongly believes in the potential of this strategic partnership.

    Through GHL, MPOS will expand its business activities in all other markets in the region, exporting payment technology developed by the Vietnamese people, aiming to become the "Square” of Southeast Asia, he added.

    Shimon Loh, GHL Systems Berhad’s vice chairman, said GHL believes Vietnam has key factors for the explosive growth of electronic payments.

    The strengths of both companies will enhance MPOS’s position in the field of electronic payment in Vietnam and ASEAN, he noted.

    This strategic partnership is complemented by ACTIS, a 13 billion USD investment fund in Fintech and also the largest shareholder in GHL, he said.

    Vietnam’s electronic payment market is growing significantly with more than 112 million cards issued by 40 financial institutions, however, there are only some 300,000 devices accepting payment.

    Therefore, the next strategy of MPOS and GHL is strongly promoting the development of mobile and internet based payment methods, including QR-Code and NFC.

    The cooperation between MPOS and GHL will open a new direction in the development strategy of the two sides, bringing more benefits to card accepting units and customers, promoting the market’s development for electronic payment not only in Vietnam, but throughout Southeast Asia.

    Established in 2014, MPOS is currently the first and the only Vietnamese firm that is able to replace the traditional heavy-duty card acceptors with compact card readers connected to a mobile phone via Bluetooth.

    MPOS is cooperating with 3,000 business units at more than 7,000 points accepting payment cards, helping to increase sales and profits through the solution "interest-free installment payments."

    Meanwhile, GHL Systems Berhad is a leading payment service provider in ASEAN, operating in Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand, Indonesia and Australia markets. GHL manages more than 160,000 merchants in ASEAN accepting credit card and debit card payments, prepaid payments, electronic wallets, mobile top-ups as and fee-collecting services.

    Vietjet Air offers half million tickets from 0 VND

    Budget carrier Vietjet Air will offer half a million tickets from 0 VND, excluding taxes and fees, this November.

    The promotional tickets will be available on the airline’s official website from November 8-10 and November 14-16.

    The special offers are applicable to all international flights connecting Vietnam and Seoul and Busan of the Republic of Korea; Hong Kong; Gaosyong, Taipei, Taichung, and Tainan of Taiwan (China); Singapore; Bangkok, Phuket, Chiang Mai of Thailand; Yangon of Myanmar; and Phnom Penh and Siem Reap of Cambodia for travel from December 1, 2017 to May 31, 2018.

    The offers will be subject to travel from December 12 for the HCM City – Chiang Mai route and from December 15 for the HCM City – Phuket route.

    Vietnam, China bolster trade ties

    Vietnam’s trade balance with China is expected to improve after enterprises from the two nations inked investment contracts at a trade connection conference in Hanoi on November 8. 

    The event, held by the Vietnam Trade Promotion Agency under the Ministry of Industry and Trade and China’s Foreign Trade Department under the Ministry of Commerce, was attended by representatives from sectors, departments, associations and more than 100 import-export enterprises from the two countries.

    Bui Huy Son, Head of the Vietnam Trade Promotion Agency, said that Vietnam-China trade ties have been growing and China is one of the biggest trade partners of Vietnam.

    Breakthroughs have been made in two-way trade which surpassed targets set by leaders of both nations, he said, noting that with similarities in culture and geographical location, China is always a top market for Vietnam.

    According to statistics from the General Department of Vietnam Customs, bilateral trade revenue reached 71.9 billion USD in 2016, a year-on-year increase of 7.9 percent. Vietnam exported 21.97 billion USD worth of products to China while spending 49.93 billion USD on Chinese goods.

    By the end of September, Vietnam had earned 22.2 billion USD from exports to the neighbouring country, surging 62.2 percent from the same time last year. Its imports from China increased 15.9 percent to 41.7 billion USD.

    Statistics from the China’s General Administration of Customs showed that Vietnam has risen to become largest trade partner of China in ASEAN and its ninth largest in the world.

    Notably, with China’s foreign trade and imports from ASEAN falling this year, the value of the country’s purchases from Vietnam has continued to grow by double digits.

    Zhi Luxun, Deputy Director-General of the Department of Foreign Trade, said that both sides pose huge trade cooperation potential as they enjoy sound bilateral ties.

    Visits made by high-ranking Vietnamese and Chinese leaders over the years together with joint statements and cooperative documents are evidence of the opportunities to bolster investment and business cooperation between the two countries.

    First Africa-ASEAN Business Expo opens in South Africa

    The first Africa – ASEAN Business Expo 2017 (AABE 2017) took place in Johannesburg city, South Africa from November 6-8, with hundreds of firms from Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam and African countries in attendance. 

    Speaking at the opening ceremony, South African Minister of Small Business Development Lindiwe Zulu said the event, initiated by the African Union and the ASEAN, is a step forward in promoting economic and trade integration between Africa and ASEAN. 

    At the event, the Vietnamese embassy in South Africa opened a stall showcasing farm produce, apparel, handicrafts, food processing and household appliances. 

    Also on the occasion, the Singapore Manufacturing Federation and the Johannesburg Chamber of Commerce and Industry hosted the Africa – ASEAN Business Forum (AABF). 

    Speaking at the AABF, Vietnamese Ambassador to South Africa Vu Van Dung said with average growth of more than 6.6 percent from 1986-2016, Vietnam is a fast-growing economy. After 24 years of reforms and integration into the global economy, Vietnam became a middle-income country in 2016 when GDP per capita neared 2,000 USD. 

    From 1995-2015, Vietnam’s trade value increased 30-fold, reaching 333.06 billion USD last year, up 6.4 percent year-on-year. Exports rose 8.5 percent to 167.83 billion USD while imports reached 165.23 billion USD, up 4.3 percent. 

    Two-way trade between Vietnam and South Africa topped 1.2 billion USD last year. 

    The second AABE is scheduled for 2018 in Singapore.

    APEC 2017: Russia backs FTAAP establishment

    Russia supports the formation of a Free Trade Area of the Asia-Pacific (FTAAP), President Vladimir Putin affirmed in an article posted on the Kremlin’s website on November 8 on the threshold of the APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting in Vietnam’s Da Nang city. 

    Russia believes that the FTAAP’s establishment represents an opportunity for the country to strengthen its position in rapidly growing markets in Asia-Pacific, Putin wrote.

    He noted that over the past five years, the share of APEC economies in Russia’s foreign trade has increased from 23 to 31 percent, and from 17 to 24 percent in exports.

    According to him, the project to create the FTAAP should be “carried out with due account of the experience gained from implementing key integration formats in the Asia-Pacific region and Eurasia, including the Eurasian Economic Union, in which Russia cooperates with Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan”.

    This union has been developing dynamically, he affirmed, adding that it is eager to build relations with all countries and associations.

    Vietnam, the host of this year’s forum, was the first state to sign a free trade agreement with the Eurasian Economic Union.

    With the title “The 25th APEC Economic Leaders' Meeting in Da Nang: Together Towards Prosperity and Harmonious Development”, the Russian leader’s article also stressed the importance of effective cooperation to support innovation.

    Putin suggested starting consultations within APEC on international information security and protection of computer software.

    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.

    The APEC 2017 Economic Leaders’ Meeting, which runs in Da Nang city from November 10-11, is the most important external event of Vietnam this year, with the participation of leaders from the 21 member economies.

    Ha Nam lures investment in industrial parks

    The northern province of Ha Nam has so far this year attracted 25 investment projects, raising the total number of valid investment projects to 281, according to Head of the Ha Nam province Industrial Park (IP) Management Board Tran Xuan Duong.

    They include 14 domestic and 11 foreign investment projects, with total newly-registered capital of nearly 1.98 trillion VND (87.12 million USD), and added capital of 144 million USD.

    The province aims to lure between seven and ten additional projects in the rest of the year.

    To lure more investment to IPs, the province has urged investors to accelerate land clearance and complete their facilities, activities which the provincial IP management board will assist them in performing.

    The locality also helps investors complete administrative procedures quickly and recruit employees, while strengthening their management of environment, human resources and food safety.

    The management board also reviews delayed and ineffective projects while holding events with trade promotion agencies, such as the Investment Promotion Centre – North Vietnam, the Japan External Trade Organization, and Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency to lure more investors to local IPs.

    By 2020, Ha Nam plans to develop eight concentrated IPs. Six of them are under construction, namely Dong Van I, Dong Van II, Chau Son, Hoa Mac, Dong Van III, and Dong Van IV, on a total area of nearly 1,212 hectares.

    Expo showcases Korean cultural products in HCM City

    More than 100 businesses from the Republic of Korea and other nations are displaying their products at the Korea Brand & Entertainment Expo (KBEE) that began in Ho Chi Minh City on November 8.

    The event, part of activities to celebrate the 25th founding anniversary of Vietnam-RoK diplomatic ties (December 22), is hosted by the Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency (KOTRA).

    Several Vietnam-RoK trade promotion events will take place during the three-day event. Visitors  will have a chance to see modern cosmetic products and other household products.

    Other activities promoting cultural, economic, education exchanges will be held, including a workshop on RoK-Vietnam education technology, a job fair, and art performances.

    Addressing the opening ceremony, KOTRA Chairman and CEO Kim Jae Hong said the RoK is the second largest trade partner of Vietnam and the biggest foreign investor in the country, adding that cultural exchanges have enhanced mutual understanding between the two nations.

    RoK enterprises want to seek Vietnamese partners during the exhibition, he said, expressing hope that the event help firms explore the ASEAN market.

    The KBEE started in Thailand in 2010 and has been held in nations across the world, including France, the UK, Japan, and China. 

    Mineral sector posts low growth rate

    The growth rate of the mineral exploitation sector in the first 10 months of the year posted a decline of 7.4 per cent from the same period last year.

    The information was revealed by the Ministry of Industry and Trade.

    The ministry said there was no change in coal output in the January-October period. Coal output was estimated at 31.5 million tonnes, representing 0.4 per cent year-on-year reduction, of which output of the Việt Nam National Coal and Minerals Group (Vinacomin) was 26.9 million tonnes, reducing 1.2 per cent from the corresponding period last year.

    The low growth rate of the coal sector was mainly because demand for coal for electricity and cement production sharply declined. It is expected that coal output for the whole year will be 39 million tonnes.

    The ministry added that Vinacomin’s coal inventory by the end of last month was some nine million tonnes, reducing 800,000 tonnes from the previous month.

    Over 200 businesses to join VietFood & Beverage – ProPack 2017 in Hanoi

    More than 200 domestic and foreign businesses will participate in the VietFood, Beverage and Professional Packing Machines (VietFood & Beverage – ProPack) international exhibition 2017, which is scheduled to take place in Hanoi from November 8-11.

    The annual event held by the Vietnam National Trade Fair & Advertising Joint Stock Company (Vinexad) offers 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.

    Apart from products from traditional markets such as Malaysia, the Republic of Korea, and Indonesia, the exhibition will provide new products from European markets like Denmark, Bulgaria and Greece. 

    The food and beverage market is expected to see potential for further development in the 2017-2018 period, according to the Vietnam Report Company (VNR).

    The Business Monitor International (BMI) forecast that the growth rate of the sector 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.

    In the time to come, the divestment of some leading State-owed enterprises in the sector such as Vinamilk, Sabeco and Habeco would offer opportunities for foreign businesses to enter the potential market, while creating fierce competition, VNR said.

    Transport firms seek easier FC driver licensing

    The HCMC Goods Transport Association has proposed the Ministry of Transport reduce the number of years of driving experience from three to one for drivers to take FC-class license tests due to a severe shortage of container truck drivers.

    Bui Van Quan, chairman of the association, said trucking firms earlier sent their proposal to the ministry but their proposal was rejected. The ministry reasoned that it had issued 18,870 FC-class driving licenses while the number of registered container trucks is 17,315, meaning there are more licensed drivers than registered container trucks.

    The association said these numbers did not reflect the reality as many FC-class drivers have quit their jobs and some others have moved to other cities and provinces. In addition, long-haul transport companies need two drivers for each container truck.

    The association said the ministry could improve training programs and extend training time for drivers to take tests to get FC licenses.

    10M agri-exports reach $29.76bn

    Agri-product export turnover in the first ten months of this year reached $29.76 billion, an increase of 12.7 per cent year-on-year, according to the latest report from the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development. 

    Vietnam also spent $22.9 billion importing agri-products during the period. It therefore recorded a surplus of $6.86 billion in the agriculture sector, contributing to a total trade surplus of $1.23 billion.

    Seafood still leads the way, with $6.73 billion in export value, followed by wood and wooden products with $6.15 billion.

    Cashew nuts followed, with $2.87 billion. Vegetables totaled $2.48 billion, coffee $2.69 billion, rice $2.25 billion, rubber $1.07 billion, and pepper $1.02 billion.

    China remains the largest market of Vietnam’s agri-product exports, for example accounting for 39.3 per cent of its rice exports. Of total rubber export of $1.07 billion, over $1 billion went to China.    

    China also accounts for 76 per cent of Vietnam’s fruit and vegetable exports, with growth of 53 per cent. In products such as cashew nuts, seafood, and wood and wooden products, China receives between 9 and 14 per cent.

    Input materials also depend on China. Vietnam imported $1.02 billion worth of fertilizer in the first ten months, nearly 40 per cent of which came from China, while it accounted for 54 per cent of pesticide imports worth $805 million.

    Fruit and vegetables remain among the fastest-growing exports, with most others (excluding rubber) seeing growth of less than 20 per cent. Fruit and vegetable exports for the year as a whole are forecast to exceed the $3-billion mark for the first time. 

    Exports of fruit and vegetables in the first half reached $1.67 billion, an increase of 44.4 per cent year-on-year, according to the General Department of Vietnam Customs.

    FLC Faros expects to exceed 2017 profit targets

    The FLC Faros Construction JSC (ROS) expects to exceed its 2017 profit target shortly and will pay a dividend of 10-12 per cent, according to its latest report.

    The accounting of revenue and profit has irregular characters, according to the report, and depends on the implementation process. This is why ROS is upbeat about meeting its profit targets for 2017 ahead of schedule, even though it recorded after-tax profit of just VND208 billion ($9.15 million) in the first nine months of the year compared to the annual plan of VND580 billion ($25.7 million).

    The value of contracts and projects the company has signed and carried out has reached VND20.11 trillion ($885.3 million). Among its large-scale deals are the Quang Binh golf, villa and high-end entertainment project worth VND5.58 trillion ($248 million), and the second phase of the FLC Vinh Phuc project worth VND1.41 trillion ($62.6 million).

    The company expects to record revenue of a combined VND3.5 trillion ($155.5 million) from 12 major projects on which it is focused. It is speeding up handover at a wide range of projects in the 2017-2018 period, such as FLC Garden City, FLC Twin Towers, and the FLC Ha Long complex.

    FLC Faros is currently carrying out work at the GAMI Group-invested Hoi An Cultural Impression theme park, which boasts major facilities such as a three-story open-air theater with 3,400 seats, roads and infrastructure surrounding the island, service and office areas, parking lots, and a front gate. With proven experience and outstanding capacity, FLC Faros is confident it will finish construction in just nine months and hand it over within this year.

    With such a large volume of contracts, FLC Faros says that it has already guaranteed orders for the next five years and can make full use of its existing resources.

    After MV Index Solutions announced its review for the second quarter of 2017, ROS was acquired by the Market Vectors Vietnam ETF and became one of the biggest constituents of the fund’s portfolio.

    The Market Vectors Vietnam ETF bought around 4.1 million shares in ROS between June 10 and 17 at an adjusted price of VND85,000 ($3.7) apiece on average. As at October 24, the investment had returned 124 per cent after four months.

    Besides the Market Vectors Vietnam ETF, the db x-trackers FTSE Vietnam UCITS ETF has purchased over 3 million shares of ROS since its first-quarter review in March 2017 at an average price of VND156,000 ($6.9) each. The fund continued to buying ROS and lifted the holding during the two consequent quarterly reviews in June and September. In total, the fund is holding nearly 4 million ROS shares, acquired at an average price of VND131,000 ($5.8) each. The shares have returned 45.8 per cent.

    Even before the FTSE Vietnam UCITS ETF, iShares MSCI Frontier 100 ETF - a fund that is investing in around 100 stocks in frontier markets across the globe with a combined value of $589 million - had added ROS to its basket, since February 10.

    Southeast Asian developers growing rapidly on Google Play

    Southeast Asian app developers have been growing their revenue by more than 150 per cent year-on-year on the Google Play platform, Google announced at the third annual invitation-only event for top app and games developers from Southeast Asia, Playtime South East Asia 2017, held in Singapore on November 2.

    Over 250 partners registered to attend the event, where leading developers from across Southeast Asia met with Google Play leaders and learned of best practices for building global businesses on Android and Google Play.

    A prominent app developer from Vietnam was at the Google PlayTime event. Amanotes is among the Top 15 Android app developers in the US, having the fifth-largest game apps in the US and leading in 92 other countries around the world. It uses mobile technology to give users the experience of playing a musical instrument and feeling the rhythm.

    Mr. James Sanders, Regional Director, Google Play Asia Pacific, opened the media session at Playtime South East Asia. He gave an overview of Google’s commitment to growing the developer’s ecosystem in the region and how it is increasingly seeing leading games developers coming out of Southeast Asia and having an impact not only within their local economies but regionally and globally. “Southeast Asian developers’ revenues are now growing at a good speed of more than 150 per cent year-on-year, and we are really proud to see our partners thrive,” he said.

    With consumers increasingly spending more time on apps, the desire for content grows, making the future bright for Southeast Asian developers. The region is rapidly expanding as a hotbed of digital innovation, and who better to talk about this than developers.

    Mr. Kunal Soni, Head of Business Development at Google Play for South East Asia, moderated a panel of developers from across the region. Developers from Vietnam, Indonesia, the Philippines, Malaysia, and Thailand joined him on stage to explain exactly how they are using Google Play tools to “Go Global” and build successful businesses.

    Playtime South East Asia 2017 reinforces Google’s commitment to growing the developer ecosystem in the region. It was a great opportunity to celebrate developers, bring the community together, and let the world know the incredible innovations coming out of the region.

    Google’s mission is to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful. Through products and platforms like Search, Maps, Gmail, Android, Google Play, Chrome, and YouTube, Google plays a meaningful role in the daily lives of billions of people and has become one of the most widely-known companies in the world.

    Japanese snack producer makes Vietnam debut

    Japanese snack food manufacturer Koike-yaInc has made its Vietnam debut by establishing a plant in the southern province of Dong Nai.

    The plant at the Long Duc Industrial Parkis the first of Koike-ya abroad though its products are present in many foreign markets like China, Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Canada and the US.

    A leader of Koike-ya said the plant costs US$8.7 million. Its products will be for local customers aged from 15 to 29 in the short run.

    Vietnam is a fast-growing market, so Koike-ya decided to set up shop in the country. The snack producer aims for two billion yen in revenue after two years of operation.

    Kenji Mikami, general director of Koike-ya Vietnam, said the plant will be equipped with modern production technology. It will bring out three main kinds of products made from potato, corn and shrimp.

    Many snack manufacturers like the Republic of Korea’s Orion Confectionery Co Ltd, the Philippines’ Liwayway Holdings Co Ltd and the US’s PepsiCo have already set up shop in Vietnam.


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  • 11/14/17--01:17: Article 2
  • Vietnam strives to brand rare and precious produce

    Among Vietnam’s rare and precious herbs, Ngoc Linh ginseng and agarwood are in the top positions in terms of preciousness and selling prices.   

    However, it is difficult to buy genuine ginseng and agarwood because of counterfeit products in the market.

    The first Ngoc Linh ginseng market day took place on October 1-3 in Nam Tra My district of Quang Nam province. All the ginseng products available, including 50 kilograms of ginseng bulbs, sold out as the demand was big, bringing VND4.5 billion.

    The market day was organized under the initiative by Nam Tra My district’s authorities in a plan to fight against counterfeit products and protect the precious product worth tens of millions of dong per kilogram.

    The market day was organized under the initiative by Nam Tra My district’s authorities in a plan to fight against counterfeit products and protect the precious product worth tens of millions of dong per kilogram.

    A year ago, when Ngoc Linh ginseng  received protection for geographical indication and recognition as national produce, the demand for ginseng began increasing rapidly and counterfeit ginseng began appearing in the market.

    Meanwhile, there is only one ginseng examination center located in HCMC. The identification and distinction between real and counterfeit Ngoc Linh ginseng depend on ginseng growers’ and researchers’ experience.

    Therefore, the Quang Nam provincial authorities allowed Nam Tra My district to organize Ngoc Linh ginseng market-day, once a month, in order to provide genuine Ngoc Linh ginseng to customers. The local authorities are taking responsibility for the quality of the products.

    Nam Tra My authorities have been making every effort to develop a brand for Ngoc Linh ginseng in recent years. It organizes Ngoc Linh ginseng festivals, workshops and ginseng market-days, issues stamps with Ngoc Linh ginseng images and gives live reports about ginseng market-days on YouTube.

    The activities have helped make Ngoc Linh ginseng become more popular and its selling price escalate. In 2015, one kilogram of ginseng was sold for VND30-50 million. One kilogram can be sold for VND60-90 million now.

    In 2015, Nam Tra My had 120 hectares of ginseng growing area, but now it has 1,500 hectares. TH True Milk and Vingroup alone have decided to invest VND16 trillion to ginseng projects.

    Agarwood market 

    Besides Ngoc Linh ginseng, Quang Nam province is also famous for its tram huong (agarwood).

    In the past, only several shops in Da Nang City sold the product. However, the trade has become bustling recently, since more Chinese and Korean travelers are coming to the province. Meanwhile, more counterfeit products have appeared in the market where the demand is increasingly high.

    In Da Nang and Nha Trang, incense and necklaces made of agarwood sell very well to travelers. The products are expensive, but the quality is unclear because there is no regulation about the required standards of the products.

    Chi Mai, VNN

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  • 11/14/17--01:41: Article 1
  • Aquaculture farmers need new loans after Damrey

    Lobster farmers in Phu Yen Province are in need of new loans to continue their business after most of their farms were damaged in Storm Damrey.

    Lobster cages are damaged by the Storm Damrey in Phu Yen Province

    The majority of households in Phu Yen live on aquaculture with Song Cau and Vung Ro communes the province's lobster hubs. Storm Damrey swept away almost everything and caused severe damage.

    Song Cau communal authorities reported that over 900,000 lobster were gone and the total damage was estimated at VND175bn (USD7.7m). Over 186 lobster cages in Vung Ro Commune, 50% of the total cages, have also been damaged.

    Nguyen Thi Sau, a local in Vinh Hoa Village, Song Cau said, "The storm swept away more than VND1.1bn (USD48,500) we saved up for years. The farmers want to start over again but we don't have the money."

    Another local Tran Xuan Long said his household lost VND250m (USD11,000). "Most farmers lost everything. They had borrowed, put up their houses as collateral in order to open the farms. We hope to get support from the government to overcome this difficult time," he said.

    Struggling to save the surviving lobsters

    The farmers are still diving to search for their missing lobsters. Many are struggling to raise the surviving lobsters.

    The delegation of the Directorate of Fisheries and other agencies in Phu Yen Province surveyed the damage and agreed that funding was a major problem. The farmers borrowed money to raise lobsters so they are incurring huge debts after the storm.

    Tran Dinh Luan, vice head of the Directorate of Fisheries said the government had directed related agencies to deal with the aftermath of the storm and banks have been asked to review and freeze loans. Luan said banks should also help farmers with new low-interest loans.

    "One of the solutions is to form co-operatives with more modern technology to avoid similar losses," he said.

    Nguyen Tri Phuong, deputy director of Phu Yen Department of Agriculture and Rural Development said they were surveying the damage to ask for support from the government.

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  • 11/14/17--01:58: Article 0
  • Fish farmers’ floating life on hydropower lake in central Vietnam  

    The young kids can easily fall into the river

    ​Fish farmers’ floating life on hydropower lake in central Vietnam  
    Farmers tend to their fish grown on the Song Tranh 2 Hydropower Reservoir in Bac Tra My District, located in the central province of Quang Nam. Photo: Tuoi Tre

    Over a dozen of households have settled down with their fish cages at a hydroelectricity reservoir in central Vietnam for years despite risks of drowning among their children and ravages by typhoons.

    The Song Tranh (Tranh River) 2 Hydropower Reservoir, located in Bac Tra My District, Quang Nam Province, is dotted with 14 wooden houses surrounded by scores of fish cages.

    The entire families initially put down roots on the lake surface to get out of poverty.

    From above, the encircling huts, each with a fluttering national flag on the roof, cast shadow on the clear lake surface.

    Nguyen Ngoc Canh, 50, is believed to be the earliest settler in the neighborhood.

    He took his whole family from the north-central province of Thanh Hoa to Bac Tra My District 23 years ago.

    Canh shared his family, who had previously eked out a meager living as a rice farmer, was one of the pioneers to raise fish and live on the reservoir after the district administration adopted a policy to encourage the practice five years ago.

    “At first I came here alone, while my wife and kids lived in our old house on land. Later on, I took them along so that we could be together,” he added.

    Canh’s relatively sturdy wooden hut on the lake is fully equipped with furniture, television and other items.

    The middle-aged man revealed the district assisted him in obtaining a bank loan of over VND100 million (US$ 4,322) to embark on the erection of his house and cages.

    Canh initially invested in four cages in which he kept dieu hong (Oreochromis), catfish and ro phi (Tilapia).

    He then switched to higher-efficiency breeds such as ca chinh (eel fish) and frogs, and increased the number of his cages to 20.

    His family earn more than VND100 million each year and can afford their three children a proper education.

    “My children and I were scared of living afloat at first, but gradually got used to it. Now we don’t want to live on land,” Nguyen Thi Xoan, Canh’s wife, said.

    The fish farm run by Canh’s fellowman and neighbor, 45-year-old Tran Van Mao, also flourishes.

    Fish typically thrive in the middle of the lake where the water is pure, he explained.

    Mao has his hands full tending to the enclosures every day, while his wife runs a store at the market that sells fish to clients from across the district.

    Their earnings from the cages totaled more than VND200 million ($8,644) in 2016.

    Mao had paid off his bank loan and splashed out more money on expanding his business.

    Likewise, Huynh Viet Dung, 38, the youngest in the fish farming village, sold his house on land and took his wife and children to the lake three years ago.

    Most of the residents hailed from central provinces, while the rest were members of Ca Dong ethnic minority groups, native to the district and some neighboring localities.

    ​Fish farmers’ floating life on hydropower lake in central Vietnam   
    Family members gather for a meal on the reservoir. Photo: Tuoi Tre

    Adversities, risks

    All the daily activities and traveling at the fish caging village take place by boat.

    They take their children to school on sampans every day.

    Back from school, the kids stand onshore, waiting for their parents to ride sampans to carry them home.

    Better-off families use electricity from generators, while children from needy households do their homework in the dim kerosene light in the evening.

    Their worst fear is that their unattended children might fall into the water and drown.

    “There were several times when the minors tripped over and tumbled into the water. Luckily adults saved them just in time,” Dung disclosed.      

    The villagers also dread the rainy, storm-packed seasons, when the currents rage and the water levels rise by dozens of meters, sending the huts to elevate as well.     

    They stayed awake all night long on nights that saw gusts and torrential rains coupled with cyclones to keep a watch on their fish enclosures to prevent huge waves from tearing the nets and freeing the fish. 

    Canh revealed several suffered hefty losses during last year’s rainy season as fish got out of the cages ripped apart by cyclones.

    “Houses shake violently during the cyclones on the lakes, which can be really ferocious,” he said.

    “Many got too scared to sleep at night if their raft and house give way unless they put their life vests on,” he added.

    The area is also prone to earthquakes, with the strongest quake that has ever struck Bac Tra My since 1957 happening in November 2012, measuring 4.7 on the Richter scale.

    The quake, which lasted for several seconds, got them to rush out of their houses in panic after they heard loud blasts and felt the ground shaking, walls cracking, and household items falling.

    “But we are used to these inclement weather conditions,” he said smilingly.

    The occupants from the close-knit neighborhood said the village comes alive during the days when they harvest and sell their fish to traders.

    After the sale, they prepare and offer a sumptuous meal to water deities in the hope of auspicious weather and hold a cozy get-together.

    Their greatest concern is now their output, with traders imposing low prices or refusing to buy the fish due to rough terrain and limited transport.

    They would suffer heavy losses due to additional costs, particularly feed for the aquatic animals if no traders come to buy them.

    According to Phan Thanh Phuong, deputy head of the Bac Tra My District Office of Agriculture and Rural Development, district leaders observed successful models of raising fish on the hydropower reservoir from other localities in early 2012, before piloting them on one household on the Song Tranh 2 reservoir.

    The model was later expanded, with district authorities offering these needy households no-interest loans of up to VND120 million ($5,187) each, fish for breeding purposes and technical assistance.  

    The lake is currently home to 14 farming households with 180 cages which produce approximately 1,200 metric tons of mature fish annually.

    “Thanks to their diligence and efforts in seeking economically-effective breeds, several have paid off their loans, expanded their business and made a decent living,” Phuong said.


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  • 11/14/17--18:55: Article 2
  • Social News 14/11

    Electric-buses to pick up passengers at water-bus stations

     Electric-buses to pick up passengers at water-bus stations, VN needs more women working in STEM: experts, Community advised to keep vigilant on dengue, Vietnamese students attend agricultural MSc programme in Israel

    An electric bus in the HCM City centre. The city’s Department of Transport has proposed offering electric-bus shuttles for passengers using the water-bus service, slated to begin in late November. 

    The HCM City Department of Transport has proposed offering several electric bus routes to pick up and drop off passengers using the city’s water-bus service, which is slated to start at the end of November.

    The three pilot electric-bus routes would serve water-bus passengers travelling to sightseeing locations or residential areas.

    The first route would cover the city’s centre, starting from Bạch Đằng Station, while the second and third routes would operate in District 2, starting from Bình An and Thảo Điền stations, respectively.

    The electric buses can carry eight to 14 passengers. Ten buses would cover the three routes, from 5 am to 10 pm daily.

    The water bus service will travel from District 1 to Thủ Đức District on the Sài Gòn River.

    Youth Union congress discusses support for start-ups

    HCM City leaders have called on the city Youth Union to provide greater support to young people starting up businesses, with a focus on innovation and technology.

    “The HCM Youth Union should be fully and deeply aware of the role of young people in the new development era,” city Party Secretary Nguyễn Thiện Nhân, said in his speech at the 10th Youth Union congress yesterday.

    “Young people play a very important role in any society, especially at the current time as the country strongly promotes industrialisation, modernisation and international integration.

    “Young people should take advantage of opportunities for their own development and contribute to the country.”

    The secretary of the central HCM City Communist Youth Union, Lê Quốc Phong, hoped the Youth Union would come up with more new development models for start-ups by young people.

    “The Youth Union must prove its role and mission in bringing about new developments. The Innovative Youth Movement should receive investment to achieve a new level of development.

    “The Youth Union should promote the spirit of learning among young people, especially English and new technologies, and improve the quality of its job consultancy.”

    Trương Lý Hoàng Phi, director of the HCM City Youth Federation’s Young People Startup Support Centre, said: “To make HCM City a city for start-ups, we must train and educate young people in start-ups and innovation. The Youth Union must be a close partner for young people in setting up businesses.”

    Phi suggested that the Youth Union should create an investment network and connectivity with the local and international start-up communities and invest in start-up incubation programmes.

    In its previous tenure in 2012-2017 the Youth Union arranged loans for over 31,000 young people to do business.

    In its current tenure it hopes to support at least 10,000 ideas and initiatives and assist 50 start-ups.

    At the event the Youth Union was conferred the president’s Independence Medal, first class.

    Deputy Minister urges geothermal research

    Việt Nam’s national energy development plan does not include geothermal sources, but a senior official said yesterday that it was time to study their potential in the country.

    Geothermal energy is heat energy generated and stored in the earth. It is said to be a clean, sustainable source.

    Nguyễn Linh Ngọc, Deputy Minister of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MoNRE), was speaking at a conference held in the capital city on geothermal energy in the Asia-Pacific region.

    Ngọc said that small-sized hydropower plants provide 70 per cent of the total country’s total energy output, leaving biogas/biomass a distant second at 14 per cent, while renewable energy, including solar and wind energy, both account for about 6 per cent.

    Meanwhile, geothermal energy has remained a complete no-show. Feasibility studies were only recently conducted in the central provinces of Quảng Bình and Quảng Trị.

    Ngọc said that energy production accounted for the release of 30 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions, but in Việt Nam, the figure was more than 50 per cent because of pollution from fossil fuels-based energy plants.

    In 2015, at COP21, the UN Climate Change Conference in Paris, Việt Nam pledged to unconditionally cut its greenhouse gas emissions by 8 per cent by 2030 compared to business-as-usual (BAU) projections, or by up to 25 per cent if international support was forthcoming.

    At yesterday’s conference, experts and scientists from many countries discussed direct use of geothermal power and ground-source heat pumps (GSHP), the benefits of geothermal energy and geothermal power production - and technologies for the treatment of geothermal reservoirs to enhance electricity generation.

    The many socio-economic benefits of geothermal energy were also highlighted, including energy security, improved ecology and low emissions.

    The conference was organised by the Việt Nam Institute of Geoscience and Mineral Resources and the Geothermal Implementing Agreement (IEA Geothermal).

    IEA Geothermal, operating under the International Energy Agency, aims to boost international co-operation on geothermal energy production and use.

    VN needs more women working in STEM: experts

    The number of Vietnamese women and girls in STEM (sciences, technology, engineering, and math) fields remains low, mostly due to social and environmental factors, Dr Lê Thị Kim Phụng, deputy head of HCM City University of Technology’s chemical engineering faculty, said yesterday at a conference held in the city.

    “There are very few senior women ahead on the path, and mentoring opportunities are rare. But just knowing those few women achieved success gives me hope,” said Phụng, who won the ASEAN-US Science Prize for Women last year for her research on biofuels created from agricultural waste such as rubber seed oil, ground coffee and fruit.

    Phụng spoke at the Women in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math 2017 Conference which examined the evolving role of females in Vietnamese society, especially in STEM fields.

    Many women scientists and engineers pursue academic careers despite conflicts between their roles as parents and as scientists and engineers, she said, adding that these efforts, however, are often not recognised as a high level of dedication to their careers.

    In childhood and adolescence, girls move away from STEM fields because of parents’ expectations of daughters, peer norms, or lack of fit with personal goals, Phụng said.

    In emerging adulthood, girls often feel like a misfit in STEM classes, and are outnumbered by male peers. They also lack female role models, which causes them to leave the field prematurely or not enter it at all, she added.

    Speaking at the conference’s opening, US Consul General Mary Tarnowka said: “While the initial choice to join STEM is important, what’s paramount is the engagement of young women in formal and informal environments, encouraging mentoring to support women throughout their academic and professional experiences, and supporting efforts to retain women in the STEM workforce.”

    “When we turn our attention to scientific research, we see that only one-fifth of key national science and technology programmes were conducted with women as scientific leaders or with a high percentage of women researchers,” Tarnowka said.

    Of more than a thousand Vietnamese patent applications, fewer than 9 percent were from women. At the same time, there’s a glass ceiling for women to gain professorships.

    Even though half of all university faculties employ women, only 11 percent gain professorships, with those in the STEM fields considerably lower.

    In addition, scholarships for advanced study become increasingly limited for women academics to excel beyond the initial level.

    “Yet we need more women in STEM fields,” she said. “Because STEM fields are dominated by men, much of the design we encounter in our everyday lives is made only with half of the population in mind.”

    The majority of computer programmers and coders are males creating smart homes, devices and cars, but not from the perspective of women, their primary consumer, she said.

    Women account for 85 per cent of all consumer purchases, including 66 per cent of computers and 65 per cent of new cars.

    Leaving women out of the product development process will potentially lead to technology companies with little value to their main customer, she said.

    Studies and research have shown that companies that employ more women consistently outperform their competitors.

    STEM careers offer women the opportunity to engage in some of the most exciting realms of discovery and technological innovation that are also the high-tech, high-wage jobs of the future, Tarnowka said.

    As a result, increasing opportunities for women in these fields are an important step towards realising greater economic success and equality for women across the board, she said.

    The conference was held by the HCM City University of Technology in co-operation with the Việt Nam Association for Intellectual Women, and the Building University-Industry Learning and Development through Innovation and Technology (BUILD-IT) programme at Arizona State University.

    Centre for kids with disabilities gets solar power

    The central province of Quang Ngai is cooperating with the Ho Chi Minh City-based SolarBK company to launch a solar power project for the centre for children with disabilities in Nghia Hanh district.

    The company told Viet Nam News that the renewable power system will provide 40.8KWh (kilowatt per hour) to the centre every day, and help saving 50 million VND (2,200 USD) in power consumption from the national grid each year.

    The centre hosts 120 children with different disabilities.

    The clean power system, built with 250 million VND (11,000 USD) in funds from the HCM City branch of national utility firm Vietnam 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 26 million VND (1,100 USD) 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 Binh islet off Ly Son 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.-

    Venezuelan FM extends sympathy to Vietnam over flood losses

    Venezuelan Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza on November 13 sent a message of sympathy to Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh over losses caused by recent floods.

    Typhoon Damrey, the 12th major storm in the East Sea, 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.

    Embassy in Netherlands raises funds for flood-hit victims

    The Embassy of Vietnam to the Netherlands held a charity event on November 12 to raise funds for people recently affected by storms and floods in Vietnam.

    The event attracted the participation of Vietnamese diplomats, expats and students living in the Netherlands.

    Speaking at the event, Vietnamese Ambassador Ngo Thi Hoa said the embassy has initiated the fundraising since early November to share difficulties with flood-hit victims back home. Since then, the embassy has received donations from Vietnamese expats and students from across the Netherlands in different forms, she noted.

    Hoa also added that she was very touched by the expats’ solidarity and love towards the homeland.

    According to the ambassador, the money raised, worth nearly 4,000 EUR, will be transferred to the State Committee for Overseas Vietnamese Affairs at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and later sent to the victims to help them return to normal life.

    Daegu city’s culture, arts introduced in HCM City

    A festival themed “Colours of Daegu City” opened in the evening of November 12 as part of the Ho Chi Minh City-Gyeongju World Culture Expo 2017.

    Hundreds of visitors were entertained with artistic and cultural performances by artists from the Republic of Korea (RoK)’s city and students of the Keimyung University. 

    Speaking at the event, Vice Chairman of the HCM City People’s Committee Le Thanh Liem said his city and Daegu set up cooperative and friendship ties in 2015, with encouraging outcomes recorded so far.

    He expressed his belief that the two cities will see more cooperation opportunities in the future, adding that mutual understanding between their people will be boosted via cultural and trade exchanges.

    Kwon Young Jin, Mayor of Daegu, said Daegu is a “city of culture and art.”

    Based on the basis of the established bilateral ties between Daegu and HCM City, their people will become closer through cultural and artistic activities.

    Daegu is one of the largest cities in the Republic of Korea, only behind the capital city of Seoul, Busan and Incheon.

    Community advised to keep vigilant on dengue

    Despite a recent sharp fall in the number of dengue cases, the community should not neglect preventive measures against the epidemics, warned the Department of Preventive Medicine under the Ministry of Health.

    According to the department, from October 30-November 5, as many as 2,744 dengue cases were reported across the country, down 17.9 percent over the previous week, without fatality.

    A downturn was seen in 47 out of 63 provinces and cities nationwide, while a slight increase was recorded in only three southern provinces, namely An Giang, Ba Ria-Vung Tau and Tay Ninh.

    Although cooler weather has recently reduced mosquitoes in the northern region, the southern and central regions are still in a peak season of dengue, the department said.

    In Hanoi, the ministry’s Steering Committee for Epidemic Prevention and Control has kept a close watch on developments of the disease, while stepping up the killing of mosquitoes and larva in risky areas. The ministry has also provided 40 additional chemical spraying machines and 30 large-capacity machines to serve these activities.

    People are advised to take measures to kill mosquitoes and larva, and protect themselves from mosquitoes, while coordinating with authorities in spraying anti-mosquito chemicals. They are also asked to reach health care facilities promptly for testing and treatment when finding any symptoms of dengue such as fever and joint paint.

    Vinamilk provides 3 billion VND in aid to flood-hit people

    The Vietnam Diary Products Joint Stock Company (Vinamilk) has offered 3 billion VND (132,000 USD) donated by its 6,000 managers and workers to support flood-hit local residents in Yen Bai, Hoa Binh and Thanh Hoa provinces to help them repair and rebuild their houses.

    Alongside, the company also provided free nutrition consultancy and milk to about 1,000 students, parents and teachers in local areas.

    Vinamilk has also sent its nutrition experts to the provinces to help improve the communities’ nutrition knowledge and practices to protect their health.

    Hoa Binh, Yen Bai and Thanh Hoa were seriously devastated by recent torrential rains and floods. The localities suffered heavy losses in both humans and property.

    In September, Vinamilk presented 116,000 milk packs equivalent to 1 billion VND (44,000 USD) to disaster-hit children in central Ha Tinh, Quang Binh and Nghe An provinces.

    A month later, the firm also presented 400 million VND (17,600 USD) to poor households in Hanoi’s Chuong My and My Duc districts that experienced severe floods.

    Last year, Vinamilk also donated 4.6 billion VND (202,600 USD) in aid to flood-hit locals in northern and south central regions.

    Vietnamese students attend agricultural MSc programme in Israel

    Five Vietnamese students joined 13 others from India, the Philippines and African countries to begin an agricultural MSc course on November 10 at Arava International Centre for Agriculture Training (AICAT), in the south of Israel.

    The MSc programme, the fourth of its kind, is carried out under the cooperation between the AICAT and the Tel Aviv University (TAU).  

    Khuat Van Quyen, First Secretary of the Vietnamese Embassy in Israel, thanked the AICAT and TAU for supporting Vietnamese students and expressed his impression on advanced technology applied in agriculture in Israel.

    He hoped that after the 18-month course, the Vietnamese students will acquire valuable agricultural knowledge to apply in their homeland.

    Professor Raanan Rein, TAU Vice Rector, said that this course is special as it is the combination of academic study and practical work. It is designed to support global food safety and security, he noted.

    Vietnam, China strengthen exchange of political theories

    Director of the Ho Chi Minh National Academy of Politics Prof. Dr. Nguyen Xuan Thang had a meeting in Hanoi on November 13 with President of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences Wang Weiguang.

    At the meeting, Thang congratulated the Communist Party of China (CPC) for successfully holding its 19th National Congress. He lauded the development of CPC theory which serves as a guideline for China’s socio-economic development.

    He also expressed delight at the new cooperation deal between the two academies, which was signed in the presence of CPC General Secretary and Chinese President Xi Jinping and General Secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam Nguyen Phu Trong.

    Highlighting the achievements of China and Vietnam, Thang affirms socialism still has vitality.

    For his part, Wang expressed pleasure at the growing ties between theorists and theory research agencies of Vietnam and China.

    The two sides also discussed the role and significance of researching political theories, especially Marxist-Leninist, and the teaching of the theory in the two countries.

    Thang said that academic exchange and theory cooperation between the Parties and researchers of both sides will help deepen Vietnam-China relations.-VNA

    Samsung Vietnam organises largest recruitment test

    More than 2,200 applicants were selected from 20,000 applications to answer the Global Samsung Aptitude Test (GSAT) for the northern region held in Hanoi on November 12.

    The selected applicants are either engineers or holders of a bachelor’s degree.

    GSAT is a Samsung global capacity test for new candidates graduating from universities, and includes three main topics: mathematical ability, deductive reasoning and visual thinking. This is one of the first rounds of the recruitment procedure for graduate staff of all Samsung subsidiaries worldwide.

    After the GSAT, high scorers will go through interviews in December. After passing two rounds, the most outstanding and suitable candidates will become official employees of Samsung Vietnam in early 2018 and will work at seven facilities and centres, including Samsung Electronics Vietnam Thai Nguyen (SEVT), Samsung Electro-Mechanics Vietnam (SEMV), Samsung Electronics Vietnam (SEV) and Samsung Display Vietnam (SDV), as well as Samsung SDI Vietnam (SDIV), Samsung SDS Vietnam (SDSV) and SVMC.

    Samsung Vietnam Mobile R&D Centre (SVMC) also held its monthly contest for recruitment of programming engineers with the participation of 250 students. 

    SVMC also examined the Samsung Talent Programme scholarship, with a value of over 54 million VND for each student along with the opportunity to work at Samsung R&D right after graduation.

    The GSAT recruitment test was first organised by Samsung Vietnam in 2011 and more than 12,300 employees have been recruited through this test so far. The recruitment of a large number of university graduates is a part of Samsung’s expansion plan in Vietnam. This is an important step in the transformation of Samsung’s strategy to strengthen its leading position as the world’s largest mobile phone manufacturer.

    Sun powers logistics system

    The New Port-Sóng Thần Inland Clearance Deport (ICD) company has launched the first rooftop, solar-power logistics centre in the southern province of Bình Dương.

    The company told Việt Nam News the renewable system, which was built in an area of over 4,000sq.m, will provide more than 748,000KWh (kilowatt per hour) per year – 30 per cent of total energy consumption of the ICD – while cutting carbon emissions by 518 tonnes each year.

    It said the solar power system was built with local equipment and facilities provided by the IREX Energy Joint Stock Company.

    According to experts from the European Union, Việt Nam has high potential for the integration of rooftop solar power production. The cost of solar power installation is lower than in countries such as the United States.

    The country has extensive resources to develop solar energy with technical potential estimated at 300 Gigawatt (GW). The Vietnamese Government has set ambitious targets to install 12GW of solar power by 2030.

    A Vietnamese expert said it needed US$2,800 for a home solar-power with a minimum capacity of 2KWp (kilowatt photovoltaic) in providing 240KWh ‘green’ energy each month.

    A solar-power driven lighting and sea-water filter system was developed on the Trường Sa Island and Song Tử Tây Island of Việt Nam two years ago. 

    Sand clogging prevents fishermen from entering sea

    Sand is clogging Cửa Đại Seaport in the central province of Quảng Nam’s Hội An City due to the floods over the past few days, posing difficulties for thousands of local fishermen.

    According to local fishermen, the incident occurred six days ago.

    At present, the water level at the seaport is only 1.5-2m deep, therefore, small boats and offshore fishing vessels with high capacity are not able to access it. The normal water level for ships entering from the Cửa Đại estuary is 3.5-4m.

    Lieutenant Colonel Trần Văn Ba, head of Cửa Đại border post, said Hội An City was deeply flooded, facilitating erosion along the coastline, which resulted in the seaport getting severely clogged.

    The buoy systems on the sea were washed away by the floodwaters, so boats were unable to navigate a safe path, Ba said.

    There are more than 1,000 boats belonging to fishermen in Hội An City, Điện Bàn Township, Duy Xuyên and Thăng Bình districts that are moored near the shore because they are unable to enter the sea. The localities have been informed of the incident.

    On Sunday, local authorities found the body of a fisherman named Trần Cưỡng in Điện Bàn Township. On Saturday, Cưỡng went missing while fishing in an area some 200m away from Cửa Đại Seaport.

    HCM City 1 struggle to beat Hà Nội 2

    Defending champions HCM City 1 struggled to beat Hà Nội 2 1-0 in round 10 of the National Women’s Football Championship, held in the northern province of Nam Định yesterday.

    The close score was an unexpected result for the fans. Hà Nội 2 are at the bottom of the rankings with nine losses from the beginning of the event.

    Lê Hoài Lương helped HCM City 1 win the game in the 69th minute.

    With this win, HCM City 1 maintain their lead in the rankings with 27 points, followed by Phong Phú Hà Nam with 23 points and Việt Nam Coal and Mineral with 21 points.

    In the other game played in the northern province of Hà Nam, Hà Nội 1 crushed HCM City 2 4-0.

    The No 1 team dominated the game from the moment the referee blew her whistle. They proved their strength with Nguyễn Thị Huế’s early goal in the seventh minute. Then the No 1 team set up many chances to double their score, but they failed as the defenders of the No 2 team played well.

    However, in the 35th minute, Hồ Thị Quỳnh helped her team take the lead of 2-0.

    After the break, recruit Bạch Thu Hiền scored two goals more for Hà Nội 1 in the 80th and 89th minutes for a final score of 4-0.

    Hà Nội 1 will next face Việt Nam Coal and Mineral, while Hà Nội 2 will meet Phong Phú Hà Nam on November 16.

    Vietnamese sailors rescued in Philippines return home

    Three Vietnamese sailors, who were rescued from captivity by the Philippines army, landed at Noi Bai international airport in Hanoi on November 14.

    Attacked and held hostage in Philippine waters last February by Islamist militant group Abu Sayyaf, the three crewmembers of the Giang Hai vessel – Bui Xuan Vien, Bui Trung Duc, and Nguyen Quang Huy – were liberated and handed over to the Philippines army unit on Tawi Tawi island on November 10. Another sailor, Nguyen Huu Truong, was also rescued but died due to illness. 

    The Vietnamese Embassy in the Philippines took charge of the three men and the body of the deceased from November 12. 

    At Noi Bai airport, a representative from the Consular Department under the Foreign Ministry said Truong’s body remained in Manila, with the Vietnam Embassy working to complete paperwork to transfer him to Vietnam.

    NA Vice Chairman receives Cambodian Senate committee head

    National Assembly Vice Chairman Uong Chu Luu met with Chairwoman of the Cambodian Senate’s Committee for International Cooperation, Information and Communications Ty Borasy in Hanoi on November 13.

    Luu said that the NA and people of Vietnam are delighted at the achievements Cambodian people have gained over the years, as well as the growing ties between the two countries, especially in economy, trade and investment.

    He lauded efforts of the two countries in completing 84 percent of work of land border delimitation, expressing hope that the work will be finished in 2018.

    Lauding the outcomes of talks between delegations from the Vietnam NA’s Committee for External Relations and the Cambodian Senate’s Committee for International Cooperation, Information and Communications, he asked the two committees to strengthen communications on the implementation of agreements and cooperation programmes between the two legislative bodies.

    Borasy appraised the success of Vietnam in all fields, saying Vietnam’s development brings about collaboration opportunities for both countries.

    She expressed hope that the Vietnam NA’s Committee for External Relations and the Cambodian Senate’s Committee for International Cooperation, Information and Communications will continue fostering ties in raising public awareness on the need to implement bilateral legislative cooperation deals.

    She said that Vietnamese investors in Cambodia contribute to bolstering the economic and trade cooperation between the two countries.

    The same day, head of the NA Committee for External Relations Nguyen Van Giau held talks with Borasy, during which both sides shared experience of the two committees in parliamentarian foreign relations and legislation.

    UBD - FPT Global Centre opens in Da Nang

    The UBD - FPT Global Centre, specializing in English training, opened recently in Da Nang under a collaborative effort between FPT Education and Universiti Brunei Darussalam (UBD).

    The center is one of two major collaborative training projects between the two parties. The opening ceremony was attended by Brunei’s Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah and representatives from the Da Nang City People’s Committee.

    Committee Chairman Huynh Duc Tho said the event marks a new step forward in cooperation between Vietnam and Brunei, to which Da Nang is honored to contribute. He added that the city always welcomes international investors as well as cooperation projects between Vietnam and APEC economies in general and ASEAN in particular, including Brunei.

    As a center of economics, culture, and social affairs in central Vietnam and a tourism city, he added, Da Nang needs training for a professional foreign-language workforce, especially in English. The UBD - FPT English Centre is therefore expected to help many local residents learn English through high quality training programs for students, cadres, and civil servants.

    Da Nang is committed to creating the best conditions for Brunei officials and teachers to live and work in the city as well as to supporting other development projects in the future.

    In the Top 200 universities in Asia and the Top 50 in the world, UBD is recognized for its professional, high quality curriculum and teaching staff by many leading universities in the world.

    It will send teachers to the center and be responsible for the development of the curriculum and faculty members. FPT Education, meanwhile, committed to creating a truly international campus environment with advanced facilities, giving students the opportunity to learn English in a professional manner.

    The first course will begin tomorrow, November 14.

    FPT Education and UBD began official cooperation activities in July 2013. Hundreds of students from Brunei have come to Vietnam for short-term studies and internships, making Brunei one of the largest student communities at FPT.

    Mekong Delta needs over $5.28 billion for green growth by 2025

    The Mekong Delta needs about VND120 trillion (US$5.28 billion) for public investment to ensure green growth in the phases of 2016-2020 and 2021-2025, reported the Ministry of Planning and Investment at a workshop yesterday.

    That workshop discussing an action plan for green growth in five Mekong Delta provinces was held by the Ministry of Planning and Investment and relevant agencies in Phu Quoc island, Kien Giang province yesterday.

    Capital demand is expected to reach VND105 trillion in the phase of 2016-2020.

    According to the ministry, the plan aims at making the Mekong Delta a motive power in socioeconomic development in association with the environment and ecosystem protection, focusing on connectivity models and limiting negative environmental impacts.

    At first, the plan will be implemented in five provinces namely Kien Giang, Soc Trang, Hau Giang, Ca Mau and Bac Lieu.

    In the upcoming time, relevant agencies will build and adjust plans to adapt to climate change, invest in infrastructure, urban and traffic development to suit climate change as per the region’s plan.

    Parking fee swings from VND3,000-150,000 in Tan Son Nhat Airport

    HCMC People’s Committee has issued Decision 6003 on parking fees at the domestic terminal of Tan Son Nhat International Airport, announced the Department of Transport yesterday. 

    Specifically, the parking fee is VND3,000 a bicycle and electric bicycle during the first eight hours, VND5,000 in the next eight hours and VND100,000 a month.

    Motorbikes and electric motorbikes pay VND6,000, VND10,000 and VND200,000 respectively.

    The fee for automobiles of 4-8 seater is VND30,000 during the first 90 minutes, VND10,000 an hour from the 90th minute to 24 hours, VND75,000 per 12 hours for parking more than 24 hours and VND2 million a car a month.

    Automobiles of 9-29 seater pay at least VND40,000 and the maximum of VND150,000 for once parking.

    In case of adjusting the fees to suit market situation, TCP Investment Join Stock Company must build a new fee project, send it to the Department of Finance for assessment before submitting to the city People’s Committee.

    Over 2,000 monks, Buddhists hold requiem for traffic accident victims

    Over 2,000 monks, Buddhists yesterday gathered in Vinh Nghiem pagoda in Ho Chi Minh City’s district 3 to hold a requiem for traffic accident victims in Vietnam. 

    The sixth event was jointly organized by the Vietnam Buddhist Sangha and the National Committee for Traffic Safety, was to commemorate the victims and share the pain and loss with their family members.

    At the ceremony, Deputy Head of the Committee Nguyen Ngoc Tuong spoke of the World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims’ message “Remembrance for the deceased, for the sake of the living” in order to warn the tragedy of traffic, its cause and hazards in HCMC and the country.

    Accordingly, the event aims to raise people’s awareness of social order, traffic safety and traffic prevention.

    Additionally, the traffic safety board in HCMC increased information to people about traffic safety. Moreover, departments, local administrations, and schools in the city will observe minutes in Monday (November 13)’s the flag ceremony of mourning for the victims.

    Mr. Tuong said that for years locality authorities have made efforts to reduce traffic accidents in term of three standards; however, 3,533 traffic accidents took place in the city in ten months killing 590 and injuring 2,756 people. This warns people to value lives by obeying regulations while in streets.

    Most Venerable Thich Tri Quang, Vice Chairman of the Vietnam Buddhist Sangha (VBS) Executive Board, called for contribution of monks and Buddhists in raising residents’ awareness of traffic.

    On the occasion, the Safety Traffic Committee presented VND120 million to families Nguyen Trung Truc and Le Van Canh whose relatives were dead in a traffic accident in HCMC’s Can Gio District for building houses.

    Khuat Viet Hung, Deputy Head of the National Traffic Safety Committee, representatives from Fatherland Front Committee of Vietnam, Deputy Chairman of People’s Committee Le Van Khoa and leaders of departments and districts attended the event.

    Storm aftermath, Health Ministry makes efforts to fight disease

    Mission team led by Health Minister Nguyen Thi Kim Tien yesterday arrived in two serious storm-hit central provinces of Khanh Hoa and Phu Yen to direct disease prevention as its aftermath. 

    In Khanh Hoa province, Minister Tien came to two medical centers in Binh Ha and Ninh Phu communes in Van Ninh District that are seriously affected by the storm.

    The Health Minister shared the difficulties with the two clinics encouraging medical workers here to surmount it.

    She gave the two clinics each an electric generator in case that power is out.  Then she toured to the general infirmary in Ninh Hoa Commune which suffered loss of VND4.3 billion.

    In Phu Yen province, the mission team dropped by medical clinic An Dinh which are submerged in one week. 

    TheHealth Minister expressed her sympathy with medical workers who work in poor repaired facilities as the aftermath of the storm.

    She presented a set of computer to the clinic promising to support the construction of new clinic.

    Khanh Hoa health sector proposed more drugs, disinfectants and ventilators for an infirmary in Ninh Hoa Commune, XQ machine for  the Lung Hospital, Ms. Tien ordered related agencies to liaise with the Khanh Hoa health sector on the matter.

    She confirmed the Ministry will provide enough disinfectants following Phu Yen’s request on chemicals to fight against waterborne disease after storm. She added the Ministry would find out source to assist building new infirmary in Phu Yen.

    Especially, she asked the health sectors in Khanh Hoa and Phu Yen to strengthen information of disease prevention and have safe food, water.

    HCM City, Japan’s Mie prefecture eye ties in multiple areas

    HCM City and Mie Prefecture of Japan are looking for cooperation opportunities in multiple fields, heard a reception hosted by Vice Chairman of the city’s People’s Committee Le Thanh Liem for governor of Mie Suzuki Eikei on November 13.

    Eikei was heading a delegation of about 100 officials and businessmen from Mie to visit HCM City.

    The number of Japanese investors doing business in HCM City has risen in recent years, Liem told his guest at the meeting, adding that city authorities have held annual meetings with business associations and investors from Japan to help them tackle problems and promote investment in the city.

    He vowed that the city will facilitate Japanese enterprises venturing into long-term projects to bring benefits for both sides.

    The official hoped Mie will exchange experience with the southern hub in tourism management and expand cultural exchanges and educational cooperation between the two sides, particularly between HCM City University of Education and Mie University.

    Mie governor Eikei, for his part, gave Liem an overview of the prefecture, saying it is forecast to post the highest economic growth in Japan in the future and has strengths in electronics, automobile, and seaport industries.

    Mie’s firms appreciate the business climate in Vietnam and HCM City and look forward to boosting economic ties and connectivity in tourism, culture and education with the city, he noted. 

    Irrigation system degraded after two years of use

    Only two years after an irrigation system worth VNĐ150 billion (US$6.6 million) was built in the southern province of Bến Tre’s Hưng Lễ Commune, it is showing signs of degradation.

    The Sơn Đốc 2 irrigation system, with six gates with a length of 17 metres, was put to use in June 2015. A bridge was built atop the system, with a length of 171 metres and a width of 6 metres.

    The work aimed at avoiding salt intrusion for more than 10,000 hectares of agricultural land in Giồng Trôm and Ba Tri districts and helped provide water for thousands of local households.

    The work was invested by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development’s Irrigation Work Investment and Construction Management Board No 10.  

    However, after a short period of use, holes have occurred at the two gates of the irrigation system, seriously affecting work.

    Lý Thị Nguyên, a resident of Hưng Lễ Commune, said the work could hardly prevent salt water from flowing into crops; so local residents still suffered losses. Although the system was shut down during the saline intrusion season, salt water still flew into their crops through holes, she added.

    Nguyễn Công Trận, vice chairman of the communal People’s Committee, said the authorised agencies spent nearly VNĐ10 billion ($440,000) to repair holes on the third and fourth gates of the work. However, the situation has not been improved due to strong water flow.

    More holes have occurred on the first gate, he said, adding that the construction work showed signs of subsidence, threatening the safety of the people going via the bridge.

    Trận said the committee has asked the provincial authority and the ministry to find solutions.

    Nguyễn Văn Ngân, deputy director of the provincial Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, said the ministry has already asked the Irrigation Work Investment and Construction Management Board No 10 to repair the system.  

    The management board would select contractors to deal with the problem in December, he said. 


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  • 11/14/17--19:01: Article 1
  • How special should be Vietnam’s special economic zones?

    Though experts all agree that SEZs must be run with ‘special political institutions and outstanding policies’, they dare not ‘make a breakthrough’ and design regulations which go beyond the current legal framework.

     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, SEZ, Phu Quoc, Van Don, Bac Van Phong

    There are two major reasons for Vietnam to be determined to develop SEZs. First, it is encouraged by the legendary development of the SEZs in China, Singapore, UAE and British Virgin Islands. Second, the momentum for domestic economic growth is critical.

    Vo Dai Luoc, a renowned economist, when discussing the legal mechanism for SEZs, said developing SEZs are nests for phoenixes to come to lay eggs. If Vietnam builds small nests that fit sparrows, phoenixes won’t come. 

    The compilers of the draft law on special administrative-economic units, imbued with the spirit of ‘special mechanism’, have suggested a new model of administrative organization.

    Under the draft law, people’s council and people’s committees in SEZs will not exist, but there will be an institution to rule the SEZs with 116 rights. The SEZ heads will be able to make investment decisions for A-group investment projects, except important projects at the national level.

    Developing SEZs are nests for phoenixes to come to lay eggs. If Vietnam builds small nests that fit sparrows, phoenixes won’t come. 

    According to Tran Duy Dong, a member of the compilation committee, SEZs will still belong to provinces, but even provinces’ chairs won’t intervene into the SEZs’ internal affairs. The head of SEZs will be appointed by the PM.

    “Not only suggesting the special regime, we have also designed socio-economic policies with outstanding features to be sure that Vietnam’s SEZs can be competitive with other SEZs,” Dong said.

    The tentative policies are unprecedented in Vietnam, and have stirred controversy.

    Some experts pointed out that if local authorities don’t have people’s committees and people’s councils, this will violate the Constitution.

    The number of experts who oppose the suggested regime with no people’s committee and people’s council is so high that Tran Dinh Thien, head of the Vietnam Economics Committee, predicted that the radical idea may not be advocated.

    “Even progressive experts also don’t support new policies, let alone conservative people,” he said.

    “SEZs need to have a special regime. However, they (the experts) fear that the new regime would go beyond the current legal framework,” he commented.

    “It is necessary to lay down special regime and policies for SEZs to develop, provided that the policies aren’t contrary to the Constitution,” he added.

    Nguyen Ba An, former deputy director of the Development Policy Institute, also said Vietnam won’t have SEZs if it only offers additional investment incentives compared with the current laws.

    He said that Vietnam has been too slow in building a legal framework for SEZs.

     Kim Chi, VNN

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  • 11/14/17--19:45: Article 0

    Mekong Delta needs VNĐ120 trillion in public investment by 2025

    Mekong Delta needs VNĐ120 trillion in public investment by 2025, Company to build factory to increase chicken exports, Agreement to promote sale of safe agricultural products, HAWA: Domestic firms dominate local wood market 
    Phu Quoc Island

    The Mekong Delta region needs an investment of VNĐ120 trillion (US$5.3 billion) for the green growth from 2016 to 2025, the Ministry of Planning and Investment (MPI) said.

    The investment will be used to implement the action plan on green growth in five Mekong Delta provinces of Cà Mau, Bạc Liêu, Sóc Trăng, Kiên Giang and Hậu Giang, changing the Mekong Delta into a region of strong economic development, social progress and a diversified ecosystem.

    Under the plan, those provinces will focus on high linkage and sustainability in development of the region, including increase of environmental sustainability and protection of diversified ecosystems.

    The infrastructure for the Mekong Delta region in general and those five provinces in the plan in particular will be built and adjusted to adapt to climate change in the near future.

    Phạm Hoàng Mai, director general of the Department of Science, Education, Natural Resources and Environment under the MPI, said those provinces must have synchronous solutions to implement this plan.

    There are four groups of solutions, including three groups relating to green growth. They are reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, greening of production and greening of consumer lifestyle.

    Company to build factory to increase chicken exports

    The Koyu & Unitek Company, based in the southern province of Đồng Nai, plans to develop a second chicken processing factory to meet the demand for chicken products of the Japanese market.

    The second factory, worth US$20 million, is expected to produce some 550 tonnes of processed chicken each month once operational in 2019. It will enable the company to export about 1,000 tonnes of products to Japan, according to a report from the Vietnam News Agency.

    The company’s first factory in the province’s Long Bình Industrial Zone has a monthly capacity of 350 tonnes, but it is yet to declare the location of its second plant, where construction will begin in 2018.

    Koyu & Unitek, a joint venture between Australia and Japan, started exporting chicken products to Japan in September, after receiving approval from Japanese authorities in June. The firm has currently shipped four containers of products to Japan.

    James Hiếu, general director of Koyu & Unitek, said that Vietnamese chicken products are favoured by many Japanese consumers.

    “Our goal is to bring Vietnamese chicken products into supermarkets in Japan. However, due to insufficient quantities, these products are only being distributed to restaurants and hotels over there,” he told the news agency.

    Apart from Japan, the company is exploring new export opportunities in other Southeast Asian countries, Hiếu added.

    Koyu & Unitek is a member of a supply chain that operates in the animal breeding and feed industry. Other three members of the chain are Bel Ga JSC, a joint venture of the Belgian Belgabroed Group and the Netherlands-based De Heus, as well as the Hùng Nhơn Group and De Heus.

    Agreement to promote sale of safe agricultural products

    The Department of Cooperatives and Rural Development on Monday signed an agreement with the Cooperative Union of Agriculture Consumption to develop production and distribution linkages for agricultural products.

    Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Trần Thanh Nam, said that increasing added values of farming products and reducing production costs were major problems in agricultural production, which required the development of a value chain.

    In addition, it was also important to develop large-scale and stable raw material areas and improve awareness of the cooperatives’ members.

    Lê Văn Tam, chairman of Lam Sơn Joint Stock Corporation, which had built a sugar production linkage with cooperatives and farmers since 1990s, said that enterprises should have stakes at cooperatives to enhance accountability. The preferential interests should also be provided to farmers, he said.

    According to Ma Quang Trung, director of the Department of Cooperatives and Rural Development, there were around 400 value chains established nationwide but the demand for co-operating between cooperatives and enterprises remained huge.

    Both sides were still confused about the operation models and accountabilities, Trung said.

    The Department of Cooperatives and Rural Department and the Cooperative Union of Agricultural Consumption completed a project on building and developing a value chain of Vietnamese safe agricultural products, which was submitted to the Government for approval.

    Under the project, regional and inter-regional centres connecting production and distribution of Vietnamese safe agricultural products will be established.

    These centres will also supervise the product quality to ensure origin, food hygiene and safety.

    This will also help promote a safe and transparent agriculture market, as well as exports of Vietnamese agricultural products.

    HAWA: Domestic firms dominate local wood market

    Domestic enterprises have dominated Vietnam’s wooden furniture market in recent years with annual revenue of US$2 billion, said Huynh Van Hanh, vice chairman of the HCMC Handicraft and Wood Industry Association (HAWA).

    At a press conference on the Vietnam International Furniture and Home Accessories Fair 2017 (VIFA Home 2017) last Friday, Hanh said Vietnam annually spends only US$68 million importing wooden products as reported by the General Department of Vietnam Customs. That is to say most wooden products on the domestic market are home-made.

    Local firms have made good use of their advantages and understood consumers’ demand. They have invested heavily in advanced machinery and techniques to improve their products’ quality and designs, and offered good after-sale services and other services to satisfy customers.

    However, local wood processing companies are facing numerous challenges. Duties on wood imports have been cut to zero due to the trade pact between China and ASEAN, opening the market for fierce competition between imported and local products, said Hanh.

    In addition, Vietnam has to spend a large amount of money importing wood materials, thus increasing production costs and prices of locally processed products.

    In order to enhance the competitiveness of domestic products, HAWA advised enterprises to invest in new machines and technological equipment, and study the market carefully to launch appropriate products. Enterprises were also urged to use wood from replanted forests rather than natural ones and use local materials to reduce imports.

    HAWA also said export of wood and wooden products in the first nine months of the years was strong. According to the General Department of Vietnam Customs, wooden product exports in January-September reached US$5.55 billion, up 11.3% year-on-year.

    Foreign-invested enterprises exported US$2.63 billion worth of wooden products in the period, accounting for 47.4% of the total export turnover.

    VIFA Home 2017, jointly held by Lien Minh Wood Handicrafts JSC and HAWA, will take place from November 23 to 26 at Phu Tho Indoor Stadium in HCMC.

    Hanh said as many as 87 enterprises with 487 booths have put their names down to participate in the expo. Of which, 31% of them are trading in wood processing, 33% in interior decoration, 11% in handicraft and the remaining in supporting industries.

    Hanh said HAWA would take measures to prevent producers from using illegal timber from participating in those fairs organized by the association. Enterprises that want to take part in HAWA’s expos must prove the origin of their products’ materials.

    In May, the Vietnam Timber and Forest Product Association (Vifores) coordinated with some agencies to hold a seminar on “Vietnamese wood industry says no to illegal timber”. Accordingly, Vietnamese associations and enterprises active in the wood processing and trading sector, including those in traditional craft villages, had to sign a commitment not to use illegal timber to ensure sustainable development for the industry.

    Resolution intended to fuel growth in HCMC

    Regulations provided in a draft resolution on pilot mechanisms and special policy intended to prop up growth in HCMC were delivered last week to the National Assembly (NA) by Finance Minister Dinh Tien Dung.

    These regulations would facilitate the municipal government to allocate more resources in order to improve its infrastructure and investment environment, and deal with social and environmental issues.

    They would help fuel the more rapid and sustainable growth of the city as a driving force of the southern economic region, contributing more to the national socio-economic growth and the State budget.

    HCMC, the largest city in the country, is home to an estimated 8.4 million residents this year, accounting for 9.1% of the nation’s population.

    In terms of economic scale, the city made up 21.6% of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP), and contributed 27.8% to the country’s total budget revenue in 2016. The city has posted an annual economic growth rate of 10.45%, higher than that of the country at 6.5%.

    However, its infrastructure does not keep up with its current situation, thus hampering the city’s fast and sustainable growth.

    SHTP attracts four more supporting industries projects

    The Saigon Hi-Tech Park (SHTP) last Friday granted investment licenses to four new hi-tech supporting industries projects in the park.

    Echigo Vietnam JSC will pour US$10.6 million into a high precision mold manufacturing project. The plant will be built on an area of 7,500 square meters with an annual capacity of 240 molds and 100 million accessories.

    THT Precision Engineering Co Ltd was approved to develop precision engineering products for hi-tech engines and machines. The company plans to spend US$12 million manufacturing 600,000 drive shafts a year.

    Meanwhile, APC Industry Corporation will invest US$7.5 million in a plant to manufacture hi-tech support equipment such as motors, electric generators, transformers and electricity distribution and control equipment.

    Duy Khanh Engineering Co Ltd will develop a precise mold and machinery plant at a total cost of more than US$5.2 million.

    The SHTP Authority and HCMC as a whole is encouraging investment in supporting industries and precision engineering.

    Le Hoai Quoc, head of the SHTP Authority, said the park had attracted 128 projects with a total investment of nearly US$7 billion as of last month. Among them, ten hi-tech corporations such as Intel, Microsoft, Nidec, Jabil, Sanofi, Datalogic, Samsung and Sonion have created jobs for nearly 40,000 workers.

    Notably, SHTP’s products annually make up 94% of the total value of hi-tech products in the city. Exports from the park account for 30% of the city’s total export revenue and is expected to contribute US$1-1.5 billion a year to the city’s budget from 2020 onwards.

    The HCMC government has assigned the hi-tech park authority to develop a 197-hectare science and technology park as the second hi-tech park in the city. The project to be built next to the current SHTP will be introduced to investors in the third quarter of next year.

    SHTP Labs promotes cooperation in sensor production

    In related news, the Research Laboratories of Saigon High-Tech Park (SHTP Labs) last Thursday signed cooperation agreements with Chienowa Vietnam and HeloLife on developing and manufacturing pressure sensors in Vietnam.

    This signings took place on the sidelines of an international conference on micro-electro-mechanical system (MEMS) and sensor technology organized in HCMC by the management board of SHTP.

    SHTP Labs in coordination with HeloLife will manufacture 1,000 pressure sensors and test the products. If the pilot run is successful, they will produce such products en masse for U.S. automakers.

    Meanwhile, Chienowa Vietnam will transfer technology to SHTP Labs, with an aim to foster cooperation in producing pressure sensors for Japanese automakers.

    SHTP Labs has researched, designed and manufactured its own pressure sensors, and got the HCMC government’s permission to install the devices in 15 flooded areas of the city for test run.

    According to SHTP Labs, the devices will automatically measure the water levels in areas flooded by downpours or flood tides, and send data to the servers.  The servers will then deliver flood warnings through a mobile app, and suggest appropriate routes that help the users avoid flooded areas.

    Cooperation with Chienowa Vietnam and HeloLife is expected to help SHTP Labs develop its pressure sensor products to supply automakers.

    SHTP Labs also signed agreements with Nhan Luat Steel JSC, Microlux Group and MTEX Co Ltd in developing MEMS technology and MEMS packaging.

    Up to now, SHTP Labs has been the only unit in Vietnam whose pressure sensor products are tested under real operating conditions.

    Speaking at the conference, vice chairman of HCMC Tran Vinh Tuyen said MEMS and sensor technology are important to the city’s economy as it is boosting restructuring.

    The conference has offered a chance for researchers, experts and manufacturers in the field, and policy makers to promote cooperation, seek partnership and share experience.

    “The city will create favorable conditions for domestic and foreign businesses to invest in the MEMS and sensor industry, especially the application of MEMS and sensor technology in healthcare, education, transport, flood prevention, environmental protection, food safety and hi-tech agriculture,” Tuyen said.

    Doing away with ‘barter trade’

    The good news now is that the HCMC government has decided to do away with the so-called barter trade in infrastructure development. The weird form of barter trade – which is not the preferable non-cash transaction, but the absence of money as a means of payment in modern-day business – has for quite a long time prevailed in not only the city but other parts of the country, under which an investor will develop a certain infrastructure project and is allocated land in return.

    For many years, there have been concerns about such an investment form, officially known as the Build-Transfer (BT) format as part of a wider public-private partnership that also includes the Build-Operate-Transfer (BT) format.

    In 2013, the Ministry of Planning and Investment voiced its concerns about the BT format, saying there remained many loopholes in regulations governing this form. Ever since, many State agencies have also complained about the waste of the country’s land resources, as vast areas of land have been offered to investors at low prices in exchange for roads and bridges.

    Most recently, Ho Duc Phoc, head of the State Audit of Vietnam, told a conference in Hanoi three weeks ago that flaws are awash in the BT format, as it is fertile ground for interest groups due to the lack of transparency. Investors in BT projects have for the most part been appointed by local authorities instead of having to go through a tight screening process or a competition.

    In an effort to remedy the situation, the HCMC government has just decided to put on hold all those BT projects still under negotiation, pending a new set of procedures governing this investment format. The key aim, said HCMC Vice Chairman Tran Vinh Tuyen at a seminar last week, is to make the whole process transparent and to ward off all possible irregularities. A report at the seminar shows that as many as 130 investors have submitted schemes to develop infrastructure projects in the city under either BT or BOT, with total estimated capital of VND350 trillion, or roughly US$15 billion.

    The city government does not mean to shun the BT format, which is said to have helped the city mobilize over VND20 trillion in 2015-2017 for infrastructure projects. However, land instead of being handed over to investors will be put up for auction, and the money will be used to reimburse such investors. Investors for infrastructure projects will also be chosen via competitive bidding.

    Such a move apparently will help enhance transparency in capital construction, and is seen a farewell to the old-fashioned barter trade in this field.

    However, more efforts need to be taken to do away with the weird barter trade still rampant in other areas of the economy. Donating a social housing building to get land for a commercial condo project, or building a school or a medical center in a certain region to gain similar privileges are just a few examples of barter trade that should be removed, if real transparency is to be achieved.

    Vietnam Foodexpo 2017 to take place in November

    International Food Industry Exhibition (Vietnam Foodexpo 2017) is scheduled to open at Saigon Exhibition and Convention Center (SECC) in district 7, Ho Chi Minh City from November 15- 18.

    The exhibition is expected to attract 600 booths of 450 domestic and foreign enterprises from 31 nationwide provinces and cities and more than 20 countries and territories; especially enterprises winning the title of the National Brand Name and the large- scale firms in the food industry will aslo introduce their products at the exhibition.

    Fresh vegetable, desiccated, processed and frozen food and drink, beverages such as ...will be displayed at the event.

    Vietnam Azalea Fund fully divests from Traphaco

    Mekong Capital has announced that its Vietnam Azalea Fund (VAF) has successfully divested its 24.99 per cent holding in the Traphaco JSC at VND141,500 ($6.2) per share, for a total consideration of more than $64.5 million, generating a gross return multiple of 6.3x in USD.

    VAF initially acquired a 5 per cent stake in Traphaco in 2007 through a pre-IPO investment, becoming the first foreign shareholder in the company. It subsequently increased its stake through several on- and off-market transactions to establish itself as a meaningful minority investor.

    “We have truly valued the opportunity to be an active partner of Traphaco over the past ten years,” said Mr. Chad Ovel, Partner at Mekong Capital. “Throughout, Ms. Vu Thi Thuan, Chairwoman, and Mr. Tran Tuc Ma, CEO, have provided visionary leadership driving the company’s rapid but sustainable growth. Together with the rest of the stable and loyal senior leadership team at Traphaco, they have built a company with excellent brand integrity, products of unquestionable quality, and a first-class distribution system to reach consumers in all 63 cities and provinces of Vietnam. Traphaco is now a role model for all other pharmaceutical companies in Vietnam.”

    When VAF invested in Traphaco in 2007, the company was ranked among the Top 20 pharmaceutical companies in Vietnam, with revenue and net profit of VND533 billion ($23.4 million) and VND38 billion ($1.67 million), respectively. During the lifecycle of its investment in Traphaco, VAF guided the company to develop into the second largest pharmaceutical company in the country.

    As an active and value-adding shareholder to its investee companies, VAF initially focused on supporting Traphaco to build its distribution network by growing from two branches at the time of its investment to the current 24.

    A second focus of VAF was to support the dramatic conversion from previously selling nearly 80 per cent of its products via wholesalers to a direct sales model reaching 26,000 retail pharmacies nationwide. In the last phase of its investment, VAF triggered a major enhancement in corporate governance by building one of the most independent and non-executive Boards of Directors among listed companies in Vietnam. 

    Traphaco is a vertically-integrated pharmaceutical company specializing in the development, marketing, and distribution of traditional Vietnamese medicines.
    The company is the clear leader in sector and the second-largest pharmaceuticals manufacturer in Vietnam in terms of revenue and net profit. It possesses a strong brand, two GMP-WHO manufacturing factories, and a nationwide distribution network with 24 distribution branches.

    The Vietnam Azalea Fund was launched in June 2007 to focus on pre-IPO investments. It made seven investments, in PNJ, FPT Corp., Intresco, Nam Long, Masan Consumer, Loc Troi, and Traphaco. Traphaco was its last remaining investment, and with the exit the fund has now fully divested from its portfolio companies.

    OPIC to support AES in energy project

    President and CEO of the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), Mr. Ray W. Washburne, presented a letter of intent on November 12 to the Virginia-based energy company AES, expressing its support for the construction of a liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal and 2,250 MW combined cycle power plant in Vietnam.

    The presentation took place at the Presidential Palace in Hanoi in the presence of State President Tran Dai Quang and US President Donald Trump, who paid a State visit to Vietnam on November 11 and 12.

    The power plant will provide around 5 per cent of Vietnam’s power generation capacity and support its continued economic development, OPIC said in a press release.

    “This project is in line with OPIC’s initiative to promote the expansion of LNG markets in the Indo-Pacific region,” said Mr. Washburne. “We are excited about the opportunity to support AES and look forward to facilitating critical investment in Vietnam’s energy infrastructure and supply.”

    “With this project, AES plans to leverage from our experience and replicate the success of our LNG businesses in Central America and the Caribbean,” said Mr. Mark Green, President of AES’s Eurasia Strategic Business Unit. “AES has been partnering with OPIC on various state-of-the-art power generation projects around the world and is grateful for the agency’s expertise and support with this new project in Vietnam.”

    The project will help bring sustainable and cost-effective energy to Vietnam while at the same time satisfying growing demand for electricity and the need for natural gas in Asia. Creating sustainable energy solutions, including renewables and natural gas, contributes to economic and social development. The integration of multiple sources of energy will help ensure reliability of energy supply as Vietnam continues to grow.

    Established in 1971, OPIC is a self-sustaining US Government agency that helps American businesses invest in emerging markets. It provides businesses with the tools to manage the risks associated with foreign direct investment, fosters economic development in emerging market countries, and advances US foreign policy and national security priorities.

    AES Corp. provides affordable, sustainable energy to 16 countries through its diverse portfolio of distribution businesses as well as thermal and renewable generation facilities. 2016 revenues were $14 billion and it owns and manages $36 billion in total assets.

    Unisto & Blue Dragon to open security seals factory

     in Asia, has recently signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Vietnam’s Blue Dragon Consulting Ltd to set up a joint venture company manufacturing high quality security seals. The deal aims to boost the current supply of high quality security seals in the domestic market by building a factory to manufacture such seals in southern Ba Ria Vung Tau province.

    Ms. Nguyen Thi Bich Thao, Managing Director of Blue Dragon, affirmed that with the current close cooperation with Unisto, the company is proud to be the leading company in Vietnam in supplying international-standard security seals and ensuring they are delivered safely and securely.

    “The trust of esteemed customers such as Vietnam Airlines, INSEE, Vinamilk, SASCO, DHL, Brink Vietnam, APL and many others is evidence of the efficiency and high quality seals Blue Dragon brings to customers,” she said.

    “The partnership with Blue Dragon aims to bring innovative security solutions into high quality security seals in Vietnam,” said Mr. Alex Tai from Uniss Manufacturing. “The cooperation plan for the factory’s construction is part of bringing Swiss technology closer to Vietnamese customers and expanding in overseas markets.”

    “We hope to bring our expertise and original security solutions through this joint venture, with a strong commitment that our security solutions will help customers from various industries such as transport and distribution, chemicals and pharmaceuticals, banking and cash-in-transit, and courier services to maximize their profit from our security solutions.”

    Blue Dragon and Unisto were selected last year as the trusted supplier of security seals for the “Pork Traceability Project” of the Ho Chi Minh City Department of Industry and Trade. “We are proud to contribute a small part in the supply chain to ensure that Ho Chi Minh City’s populace are using pork products that can be traced from the source, to ensure public health and safety,” Ms. Thao said.

    The selection of Unisto as joint venture partner helps Blue Dragon bring Swiss quality products to Vietnam and neighboring countries like Laos and Cambodia at the most competitive price.

    This is also a turning point in educating the general public and address counterfeit goods and low quality cheap seals, which are prevalent in Vietnam.

    Unisto AG is an international corporation established in 1926, with more than 90 years of experience in the fields of security seals and brand identification. It is headquartered in Switzerland and has manufacturing plants in Germany, France, India, and Malaysia.

    After eight years of establishment, Blue Dragon is now a leading company in providing high-quality products of international standard to Vietnam, ensuring goods safety in the process of transportation. In addition to supplying security seals for the TE FOOD project in Ho Chi Minh City, it also supplies security seals to Vietnam Airlines, Coop Mart, Holcim, True Milk, Vinamilk, Gemadept, Vietsun, and Brink Vietnam, among others.

    The scheme for pork origin traceability employing security seals is being implemented by the Ho Chi Minh City Department of Industry and Trade, with seal supplies from many enterprises, including Blue Dragon, a long-time partner of Unisto AG in Vietnam. Unisto’s products were selected under stringent requirements on technology as well as the assurance of safe delivery.

    As part of the smart urban construction plan to help Ho Chi Minh City become a more civilized and modern society and also adhere to the trend of international integration, the food safety project was launched in December 2016.

    Through the application of security seals, information originating from authorized piggeries are captured digitally, which includes origin, place of slaughter, and slaughter time, are displayed for consumer’s knowledge. “What is the source of nutritious food for the family?” is no longer an issue. This creates an atmosphere of consumer confidence in food supply countrywide.

    Navistar signs MoU with local distributor

    The Navistar International Corporation has signed an MoU with Hoang Huy, its distributor in Vietnam, that paves the way for the import of up to $1.8 billion in International trucks into the country over the next ten years.

    The MoU represents the next phase of an already successful relationship between Navistar and Hoang Huy to grow its business in Vietnam over the next decade through the sale of new trucks, used trucks, and service parts.

    The signing took place at the Presidential Palace in Hanoi on November 12 and was witnessed by State President Tran Dai Quang and US President Donald Trump.

    “Navistar is bullish about the Vietnamese market and we have established a strong and successful relationship with our partner, Hoang Huy,” said Mr. Persio Lisboa, Navistar’s Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer. “Working together, our exports of International brand trucks to Vietnam over the past two years have been phenomenal. We are poised to reach new heights in the months and years ahead as a result of this agreement. We could not have been in this position without the strong support of the US State Department and the US Department of Commerce.”

    Navistar was introduced to Hoang Huy in 2015 via a Gold Key partner search conducted by the US Department of Commerce. The Gold Key service provides US firms seeking foreign business partners with introductions to pre-screened candidates. Hoang Huy has sold more than 7,000 International ProStar trucks to trucking and logistics companies, capturing 50 per cent of the heavy truck market in Vietnam. The trucks are used to transport merchandise between Vietnam’s largest cities and carry export products to neighboring countries.

    Navistar also exported 21 new International DuraStar trucks to Vietnam earlier this fall. The medium-duty trucks, which were manufactured at the company’s Springfield, Ohio plant, were purchased by the Vietnamese Government. The sale marked the company’s first sale of new trucks in Vietnam.
    “I am encouraged by the flexibility and performance of the new trucks and am confident they will be enthusiastically received by customers,” said Mr. Do Huu Ha, Hoang Huy’s Chairman.

    The Navistar International Corporation (NYSE: NAV) is a holding company whose subsidiaries and affiliates produce International brand commercial and military trucks, proprietary diesel engines, and IC Bus brand school and commercial buses. An affiliate also provides truck and diesel engine service parts. Another affiliate offers financing services.

    Hoang Huy is currently the leading truck distributor in Vietnam and is listed on Ho Chi Minh Stock Exchange (HoSE) under stock code TCH.

    PVGAS signs Alaskan LNG MoU

    The Alaska Gasline Development Corporation (AGDC) and PetroVietnam Gas (PVGAS) have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) setting forth the basic principles for collaboration on potential opportunities in liquefied natural gas (LNG) supply from AGDC to serve LNG import projects in Vietnam and to evaluate the possibility of upstream resource investment in Alaska.

    The agreement was signed in Hanoi on November 12 by executives of AGDC and PVGAS in the presence of State President Tran Dai Quang and US President Donald Trump.

    “The agreement with Vietnam fits very well with AGDC’s broader marketing program and recently announced deal with Sinopec, which leaves a portion of the Alaska LNG production capacity with AGDC for sale to regional Asian markets such as Vietnam,” said Mr. Keith Meyer, President of AGDC. “Vietnam is a new entrant to the LNG industry but has the potential to be a rapidly growing customer of LNG and we look forward to participating in the growth of Vietnam’s economy by providing reliable and stable natural gas supply.”

    “Alaska’s market proximity and enormous resource base present an attractive opportunity for PVGAS to provide stable and secure gas supplies to Vietnamese industrial users and citizens, and upstream investment opportunities for a bright long-term future,” said Mr. Duong Manh Son, President and CEO of PVGAS.

    PVGAS is a subsidiary of the State-owned PetroVietnam. It is developing LNG receiving and regasification terminals in Vietnam - Thi Vai LNG Terminal and Son My LNG Terminal - in order to supply natural gas to newly-built and proposed power plants and existing gas users.

    Alaska LNG is an integrated gas pipeline and LNG infrastructure project that will provide a direct and reliable link between the vast proven and conventional natural gas resources on Alaska’s North Slope with growing LNG markets across the Asia-Pacific region.

    VSMCamp 2017 seizes the digital flow

    More than 40 inspirational speakers will be gathering at Vietnam Sales & Marketing Camp (VSMCamp) and CSMOSummit 2017, which will take place on November 17-18 at Him Lam Palace in Tan Son Nhat Golf Course, to discuss the latest sales, marketing, and communication trends in the course of digital revolution.

    Organised by Vietnam Sales & Marketing Officers Club (CSMO Vietnam) and Le Bros, VSMCamp was first launched in 2016 to offer participants the chance to update on the latest trends and expertise as well as to broaden their networks for further career development.

    Coming back this year with the topic “Digital Transformation,” VSMCamp 2017 features two separate events: VSMCamp taking place on November 17, where every seller and marketer is welcome, and CSMOSummit on the next day, which was especially designed for C-level leaders.

    In-depth presentations and discussions at VSMCamp and CSMOSummit will be given by a wide range of influential industrialists from the UK, China/Hong Kong, Singapore, India, Thailand, and Vietnam, representing a mixture of marketing agencies and enterprises from different industries.

    VSMCamp focuses on updating on the latest digital trends and technology advancements of Industry 4.0, and providing an expert overview and assessment of all the opportunities and challenges this digital revolution brings to the sales and marketing industry.

    Meanwhile, CSMOSummit provides a deeper analysis into the restructuring of human resources management systems for better adaption to the digital revolution; exploiting effective digital campaigns to address untapped demand; and seeking solutions to strengthen internal-external relationships in the digital ecosystem.

    There will be also special topics that introduce digital adtech and martech trends, such as sensory technology, virtual reality, augmented reality, artificial intelligence, automation marketing, and SaaS (sales as a service).

    The rapid growth of social networking and the formation of technology advancements like artificial intelligence and virtual reality have paved the way for Industry 4.0, which is transforming our lives tremendously. Like a fast-flowing stream, digital trends penetrate every aspect of life and strongly affect the way we work, communicate, and interact with each other.

    With this substantial impact, it is inevitable that the sales and marketing industry is changing constantly in order to not only keep pace with current trends, but also set new ones in the digital era. Being agile and innovative to incorporate digital achievements into each sales and marketing activity is essential for enterprises to survive, to thrive, and to let their brands reach customers’ heart and mind.

    All of these contents will be thoroughly discussed at VSMCamp 2017.

    Businesses encouraged to seek trade opportunities in Middle East, Africa

    The Middle East and Africa have become a potential market for Vietnamese exporters with an import value of US$480 billion last year.

    The Ministry of Industry and Trade (MOIT) will hold a seminar in Hanoi on November 21 to update domestic businesses with market information, trade policies, trading habits and import demands of Middle East and African countries.

    Main speakers will be representatives from the MOIT, and embassies of the UAE and South Africa in Hanoi.

    The Middle East and Africa are considered a potential market with high import demands without strict requirements on the quality of products, said a MOIT representative. Import value of the Middle East hit US$807 billion last year and is expected to rise to US$1,500 billion by 2020.

    Vietnam has potential to export rice, tea, coffee, pepper, natural rubber, cashew nuts, fruits, seafood, garment, footwear and handicraft products to the Middle East.

    According to MOIT’s statistics, import-export values between Vietnam and the Middle East have constantly increased in recent years, reaching US$10.887 billion last year, up 100% against 2011, of which Vietnam’s exports to the Middle East were valued at US$8.059 billion and imports were at US$2.828 billion.

    Meanwhile, trade turnover between Vietnam and African countries reached US$5.364 billion last year, including Vietnam's exports of US$2.762 billion and imports of US$2.602 billion.

    Vietnam holds big potentials for software industry: Siemens manager

    Vietnam holds potential to develop its software industry thanks to having many young IT-savvy workers, according to Cedrik Neike, Member of the Managing Board of Siemens AG, Europe’s leading industrial manufacturer based in Germany.

    He made the comment at a meeting with Deputy Prime Minister Trinh Dinh Dung on November 13 while visiting Vietnam.

    In his remarks at the event, Deputy PM Dung affirmed economic ties are the backbone of Vietnam – Germany relations, and the two countries have much potential for further cooperation in the future.

    Dung hoped that Siemens, as one of Germany’s largest groups, will continue to help boost bilateral relations, particularly in trade, economics, and investment.

    The Deputy PM noted that Vietnam needs to develop its power infrastructure to keep up with economic growth and at the same time, must renovate and develop its power transmission network and enhance technology-based management and operation of the network to ensure safety and cost efficiency.

    Siemens has been working in many energy projects with a focus on thermal electricity, providing technical solutions in power network operation and control, Neike said.

    He said that the group is looking to expand into the software industry and transportation infrastructure development through offering solutions for smart traffic and smart city management.

    Welcoming the plan, Dung added that Vietnam will facilitate investment in machine building, energy, medical equipment and railway.

    During the meeting, the Siemens manager hailed Vietnam as a dynamic economy in the region and as a promising market for Siemens’ products with all the hallmarks for the company to expand production for export.

    Violations at South Korean-invested 300-hectare golf course

    The Government Inspectorate has pointed out violations at a 300-hectare golf course project in the northern province of Hoa Binh.

    According to the Government Inspectorate, Hoa Binh Province licensed the Phuong Hoang golf course project although it does not belong to the local land planning approved by the prime minister.
    The provincial people’s committee acquired land to hand over to the project investor, South Korea’s CharmVit Group. The committee and the investor negotiated the land rental by themselves before signing the agreement, but failed to conform to the government’s regulations.

    The land lease agreement was inked on January 31, 2009, but it was only a year later that the investor paid, violating government decrees and causing financial waste for the state budget.

    The investor and local authorities did not set up a detailed planning of the project at the rate of 1/500 as regulated. Many elements of the projects have been built without being licensed.

    The project investor has been requested to propose measures on re-defining its financial duties for the submission to the prime minister.

    Mai Linh to introduce app-based motorbike taxi service

    The soon-to-be-introduced Mai Linh Bike, known as M.Bike, will provide more options for app-based motorbike transport services and join UberMoto and GrabBike.

    The new service has been tested for a month, according to the Mai Linh Group. M.Bike and M.Bike Premium apps are now available on smartphones at app stores. M.Bike Premium will offer higher quality vehicles at double the cost. Drivers can also register via the apps.

    M.Bike is expected to allow customers to book rides from November 20, at VND11,000 ($0.48) for the first two kilometers and VND3,800 (0.167) for every subsequent kilometer. UberMoto charges a minimum of VND10,000 ($0.44) for the first two kilometers then VND3,700 (0.162) per kilometer and GrabBike charges VND11,000 for the first two kilometers and a flexible charge for every subsequent kilometer, depending on the time and demand.

    M.Bike will be available in Hanoi, Da Nang and Ho Chi Minh City before expanding to other localities, according to the Mai Linh Group.

    The Mai Linh Taxi booking app was launched a few months ago and there are plans to introduce more functions for searching, travel, shopping, and online payments.

    At the end of 2014, Grab began to develop “technology motorbike taxis” in Ho Chi Minh City, which found success and created fierce competition. Many traditional taxi businesses then considered the development of similar system to increase competitiveness.

    The Mai Linh Group, one of the major taxi operators in Vietnam, is the latest brand to offer the app-based service. In its financial report for the first half of this year, net revenues were estimated at VND1.72 trillion ($77.2 million), down 5 per cent year-on-year. The report also noted that up to 6,000 staff had resigned during the period, with the majority being drivers. The group currently employs 24,000 people. Many drivers have started working for app-based taxi services like Uber and Grab. The group announced it will recruit an additional 2,600 staff members, including 2,500 drivers.

    Piaggio Vietnam recalls more than 3,000 Medley scooters
    Piaggio Vietnam is recalling 3,335 Medley 125/150 ABS units to check and fix a problem related to a fault in the main frame, which can be seriously damaged if it carries goods heavily.

    The recall campaign for vehicles manufactured from February to August 2016 was launched after the Italian producer found a fault during periodic inspections of Piaggio Group’s quality control system.

    According to a representative from Piaggio Vietnam, no damage has been recorded in the Vietnamese market. The check of Medley vehicles under the recall will be free and an upgrade will enhance the rigidity of the main body.

    Piaggio Medley has invested in advanced technology with the anti-lock braking system; however, sales of this model are not as expected. Since its launch in Viet Nam in March 2016, the firm has witnessed only a few months of impressive sales. Numbers have declined dramatically since the beginning of this year.

    Piaggio Vietnam does not announce the sales figures for each specific model, however, retail sales figures from the Vietnam Automobile Manufacturers Association showed that the firm sold more than 23,000 units in the first nine months of this year. Medley is currently the lowest selling car of Piaggio Vietnam.

    OPPO F5 orders hit record at Mobile World
    Giant mobilephone retailer The Gioi Di Dong (Mobile World) has announced that it has started selling the new OPPO F5 mobilephone to customers.

    Mobile World said that before the phone officially hit the market, they had received nearly 14,000 orders, of which 11,000 had made a deposit.

    “This is a record,” the company said, comparing it to the previous record of 10,039 orders for OPPO F1s mobilephones in August 2016.

    The company began receiving orders for the F5 mobilephone on November 4 and within only four days, they had received 6,000 deposits.

    Sixty per cent of the orders were placed for the gold-coloured phone and 40 per cent for black.

    F5 is a new mobile phone released by OPPO with many new functions including a full HD 6-inch screen and 3,200mAH battery at the price of VND6.999 million (US$306).

    Firms to buy back their shares in bid to raise value
    Seeing share prices tumbling, some companies have decided to buy back their shares in an effort to increase their value.

    Lam Son Sugar Joint Stock Corporation (LSS) decided to repurchase six million of the company’s shares, equivalent to 8.6 per cent of outstanding shares, on the HCM Stock Exchange, after its shares lost over 33 per cent of their value in the last four months.

    The transactions are expected to happen from December 1-31.

    LSS shares have fallen below the par value of VND10,000 a share since early this month, a loss of 33.2 per cent from the peak of VND15,000 on June 26, and a loss of 15 per cent since the start of 2017. At this price, the company will likely spend about VND54 billion for the repurchase.

    The performance of sugar makers has slid this year after a strong showing in 2016. Revenues of Lam Son Sugar declined 53 per cent year-on-year to VND214 billion (US$9.4 million) in the first quarter of the fiscal year 2017-18. Its net profit, at just over VND12 billion, was just one third of its profits over the same period in 2016.

    In 2016, the company’s revenues and pre-tax profits increased 18 per cent and 38 per cent, respectively.

    The poor result could be blamed on falling sugar prices on the world market, currently being traded around $15 per pound of sugar, down sharply from $24 per pound at the end of September 2016.

    Another sugar company, Thanh Thanh Cong Tay Ninh JSC (SBT) is also considering a repurchase of 83.5 million shares, or 15 per cent of outstanding shares, after its shares plummeted 50 per cent in the last three months, from over VND41,000 per share in early August to just over VND21,000 on Monday.

    The company will seek shareholders’ approval for the repurchase programme, which is expected to take place during daily trading on the stock exchange in the shareholders’ meeting on November 20.

    Earlier, the company’s trade union registered to buy five million shares of the company for long-term investment purposes from November 15 to December 14.

    After the merger with Bien Hoa Sugar (BHS) on September 6 this year, the total assets of SBT increased from VND7.8 trillion to VND19.4 trillion, of which equity capital is more than VND6.9 trillion and liabilities were nearly VND12.5 trillion. The company holds about 30 per cent of the domestic sugar market share.

    Besides sugar firms, garment manufacturer Everpia JSC (EVE) has also announced a repurchase programme of three million shares, equivalent to 7.1 per cent of its capital. The company’s shares have lost about 32 per cent of their value this year after it reported gloomy business results in the first nine months: the company posted VND79.7 billion in net revenues and VND32.4 billion in net profit, down 62 per cent and 50 per cent year-on-year, respectively.

    Hoang Quan Consulting-Trading-Service Real Estate Corporation (HQC) has decided to buy back a maximum of 10 million shares, equal to 2 per cent of outstanding shares, to maintain the share value after it plummeted 50 per cent this year to around VND2,600 per share.

    Companies may buy back their own shares from the marketplace when the shares have declined sharply and are undervalued to push up the price and protect shareholders’ interests. This solution seems to be effective so far: shares of all these companies have begun rising again in recent sessions, indicating that investors believe share prices will rise on the companies’ buy-backs.

    New regulations on use of credit cards
    Credit cardholders will not be allowed to withdraw cash worth of more than VND5 million for domestic transactions and no more than VND30 million for foreign currency.

    The State Bank of Viet Nam (SBV) recently released a draft circular amending and supplementing Circular No 19/2016/TT-NHNN on bank card operation.

    Accordingly, for the withdrawal of cash by cards abroad, to limit the use of cash as foreign currency spent for improper purposes that are not permitted by the law, the draft stipulates that cash withdrawal transactions will be subject to a daily cap limit.

    For a withdrawal of foreign currency cash in a foreign country, a card holder can withdraw maximum amount of cash in foreign currency equivalent to VND30 million (US$1,300) per day.

    For cash withdrawal at domestic card accepting units, each card holder can withdraw maximum VND5 million in one day.

    The draft also stipulates that in case of issuance of credit card with security assets, the credit limit granted to the cardholder shall not exceed 80 per cent of the value of the security assets, which is valued at a maximum of VND1 billion.

    In case of credit card issuance without security assets, the credit limit granted to a cardholder is VND500 million.

    These stipulations have no precedent, therefore credit institutions should review them carefully.

    The draft also supplements regulations on the issuance of cards to foreigners to prevent the case where foreigners enter the country for a short period and then exit the country to carry out criminal activities by using the credit cards issued by institutions in Viet Nam.

    RCEP negotiating nations now aim to conclude agreement in 2018+
    The 16 nations involved in negotiating a free trade bloc in East Asia including China and India have now agreed to push to conclude an agreement in 2018, having missed deadlines for three years.

     "We have agreed that RCEP should complete negotiations in 2018," Indonesian Minister of Trade Enggartiasto Lukita told Kyodo News after a meeting in Manila among trade ministers from the countries involved in pursuing the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership free trade agreement.

    They include the 10 members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), plus Japan, China, India, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand. Together the group encompasses a population of 3.4 billion people, and a combined gross domestic product of US$49.5 trillion, or approximately 39 per cent of the global economy.

    Lukita said he urged countries with excessively high standards to reduce their expectations and be "more realistic and flexible."

    "The principle of flexibility is important," another source said. "We are so diverse, we have developed countries, developing countries, we have emerging economies, so we have to be realistic."

    "This is the only game in town," Lukita said in an apparent reference to the Trans-Pacific Partnership, another massive free trade pact which at one point seemed doomed when newly elected US President Donald Trump ordered the US to withdraw from it.

    However, the TPP now appears to have renewed prospects for adoption after its 11 remaining signatories agreed on Saturday to keep pursuing its implementation despite the US withdrawal.

    It is also not clear if the RCEP countries’ leaders will in fact set a new target date for completing negotiations in 2018 when they meet Tuesday in Manila, as India is against doing so, one ASEAN source said.

    Other differences also continue to stymie concluding negotiations that began five years ago.

    "RCEP is not going to be settled (soon) as China and India cannot agree on respective coverage of tariff reduction. Also Australia wants more concessions from ASEAN countries on services," the source said.

    "I would assume that would be the message from the leaders. They have been negotiating this for five years, missed two time targets, but now we have a new mandate with the understanding that we have to be more flexible to each other," said an Indonesian official involved in RCEP.

    RCEP had already missed 2015 and 2016 deadlines before officials conceded in recent months the group would not meet its 2017 deadline.

    So far "all the parties have submitted their improved offers for goods and services, improved reservations list, so we are moving, although in terms of the value put on the table it is not as high as we would expect. Now the issue for us is how to improve the quality of offers on the table," the Indonesian official said.

    HCMC promotes trade with S Korea’s Daegu city
    Viet Nam plans to eliminate tariffs on raw materials and spare parts and lower tariffs on small appliances and cosmetics imported from South Korea, according to Le Thanh Liem, vice chairman of the city People’s Committee.

    Speaking at the HCM City – Daegu Business Forum held on Monday in HCM City, Liem said in return Viet Nam would have opportunities to expand exports to South Korea of key products such as farm produce, seafood and textiles.

    “The South Korea-Viet Nam Free Trade Agreement (FTA), which came into effect at the end of 2015, opened new economic cooperative opportunities and is expected to bring two-way turnover at US$70 billion by 2020,” he said.

    South Korea is one of the three biggest trade partners of Viet Nam. “The country is HCM City’s fourth investor with 1,417 projects and total investment capital of $4.6 billion,” he said.

    Big Korean groups like Samsung, Lotte, CJ and GS have been successful investors in the city, he said.

    As for tourism, the city welcomed more than 423,000 Korean visitors last year, a surge of 35 per cent compared to 2015, according to Liem.

    “In the coming time, HCM City aims to achieve sustainable development and become a smart city,” Liem said. “The city will focus on improving the quality of human resources, quality of growth and competitiveness of the economy, giving priority to reducing traffic congestion and accidents and flooding as well as reducing environmental pollution.”

    The city will create the most favourable conditions and protect the rights and benefits for foreign investors, particularly Korean enterprises, to invest in Viet Nam, he pledged.

    “The country and the city will continue creating cooperation and exchange programmes through practical projects between the two countries,” he noted.

    Pham Thiet Hoa, director of the HCM City Investment and Trade Promotion Centre (ITPC), said HCM City was the largest economic and financial centre in Viet Nam and one of the most dynamic cities in the ASEAN region.

    The city is calling for investment in nine priority sectors, including finance - credit - banking - insurance, commerce, tourism, logistics, science and technology, post and telecommunication, real estate, healthcare and education.

    In addition, the city has offered many policies and incentives for four industries with high added value such as mechanical manufacturing, electronics - information technology, chemicals - plastic - rubber, and food processing.

    Kwon Young Jin, mayor of Daegu, said that the city, well known as a hub for thread industry, tourist, health and culture, would welcome businesses from HCM City and Viet Nam to invest in the city, and that Korean businesses, especially from Daegu, look forward to more opportunities for cooperation in investment in the city.

    South Korea also plans to open direct flights from Daegu to HCM City, he said.

    Korean banks and the Daegu Chamber of Commerce and Industry will open branches and representative offices in HCM City to facilitate trade and share information for business cooperation between the two sides, he added.

    More than 7, 000 Vietnamese people live and work in Daegu. There are 250 Daegu city’s businesses investing in Viet Nam.

    The HCM City – Daegu Business Forum was organised by Department of Planning and Investment and ITPC as part of the HCM City – Gyeongju World Culture Expo 2017 being held in the city. 


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  • 11/15/17--00:21: Article 2
  • PM concludes working visit to attend 31st ASEAN Summit

     PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc and the Vietnamese high-ranking delegation arrived in Ha Noi on November 15, concluding his visit to attend the 31st ASEAN Summit in Manila, the Philippines.

    PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc concludes working visit to attend 31st ASEAN Summit, Manila, the Philippines, November 14, 2017 - Phhoto: VGP/Quang Hieu

    Within November 12-14, the Vietnamese leader joined hands with other ASEAN leaders to evaluate the implementation of the ASEAN Community Vision 2025, discuss measures to enhance effectiveness of ASEAN activities and exchange issues of international and regional concerns. 

    The PM attended the special Gala on the establishment of the 50th founding anniversary of ASEAN and 10 official sessions. 

    The PM highlighted three key areas of ASEAN cooperation in his speech at the plenary session of the 31st ASEAN Summit.

    Accordingly, he called for determination to build a self-reliant ASEAN community that upholds common interests of citizens, develop the ASEAN Economic Community via economic connectivity and internal trade facilitation, and strengthen mutual support among member economies.

    Stressing the significance of ASEAN’s 50th founding anniversary, he said Vietnam is committed to building a strong ASEAN community.

    On the East Sea issue, PM Phuc welcomed ministers’ consensus on stance on principles at the 50th ASEAN Ministerial Meeting (AMM 50) held in Manila in August. 

    In such spirit, he asked for documents at the event to fully reflect the principles and stance featured at the joint statement of the AMM 50, including ensuring security, safety, maritime and aviation freedom in the East Sea; settling disputes by peaceful means in line with international law, the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), fully respecting legal and diplomatic processes and seriously implementing the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC). 

    The Vietnamese leader lauded ASEAN and China for ratifying the framework Code of Conduct in the East Sea (COC), adding that the effective and legally-binding COC should be negotiated in a practical and feasible way.

    On the sidelines of the meeting, PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc joined a meeting with leaders of Cambodia and Laos, met with Chinese Premier Li Keqiang, Russian PM Medvedev and Indian PM Modi and received Secretary-General of the United Nations António Guterres and President of the European Council Donald Tusk. 

    At these meetings, the two sides exchanged measures and orientations to boost bilateral relationship. 

    By Thuy Dung, VGP

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  • 11/15/17--00:30: Article 1
  • Domestic packaging firms under threat as foreign manufacturers arrive

    According to Euromonitor International, Vietnam was ranked 32nd in the world in demand for food packaging in 2015 with 3.915 million tons. 

    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, packaging, Tetra Pak, Vinamilk 

    The demand is expected to be 5.396 million tons by 2020, up by 38 percent, compared to global demand in the 2015-2020 period, an increase of 13 percent.

    Tetra Pak has started construction of a high-technology packaging factory in Binh Duong province. In the first stage of operation, the factory will have the capacity of 12 billion products a year.

    In 2016, Tetra Pak provided 7.5 billion products to domestic food manufacturers.

    The demand is expected to be 5.396 million tons by 2020, up by 38 percent, compared to global demand in the 2015-2020 period, an increase of 13 percent.

    Vietnam is one of Tetra Pak’s 10 fastest growing markets thanks to the increasingly high demand for canned dairy and beverage products.

    The consumption of dairy products is expected to double to 28 liters per head per annum by 2020, while the growth rate of 17.5 percent is projected for the fruit and fruit juice market the next year.

    Tetra Pak’s Chris Kenneslly commented this is the reason for more packaging factories to develop in the time to come.

    Nguyen Ngoc Sang, chair of the Vietnam Packaging Association (Vinpas), said that packaging is considered one of the fastest-growing business fields in both scale and number of enterprises.

    There are about 2,000 enterprises in the printing & packaging sector, while plastic packaging is the fastest growing segment with growth rate of 15 percent.

    Sang commented that many Vietnamese enterprises are facing a risk of being swallowed by foreign conglomerates. Some enterprises have been taken over by Japanese, while others have sold an 80 percent stake to Thais or South Koreans.

    Thai SCG Group has acquired an 80 percent stake of Batico in a deal worth $44 million. It also owns Kraft Vina factory belonging to Vina Kraft Paper.

    South Korean Dongwwon Systems Corporation has spent $21.86 million to take over Minh Viet Packaging and spent $39 million to acquire a 47 percent stake of Tan Tien Plastic Packaging.

    Prior to that, MeiwaPax Group bought Saigon Trapaco at $15.38 million, Oji Holding bought United Packaging and Sagasiki Vietnam bought Goldsun.

    The Vietnamese packaging market is dominated by foreign manufacturers, namely Tetra Pak (Sweden), Combibloc (Germany) and SCG (Thailand). Ninety percent of the plastic packaging industry is controlled by foreign manufacturers.

    Experts say the US consumes 60 percent of Vietnam’s plastic packaging products and Japan 15 percent. Japan may increase imports from Vietnam to offset decreases in imports from China.

    However, analysts warned that Vietnamese manufacturers may not receive benefits as they have been relying by 70-80 percent on imported materials.

    Meanwhile, the government has raised the import tariff on PP particles to 3 percent, thus leading to a production cost increase.

     Mai Thanh, VNN

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  • 11/15/17--01:04: Article 0
  • Property and tourism investment becomes Quang Ninh’s strength

    Hanoi -Investment has been poured strongly into property in the north-eastern border province of Quang Ninh, seeing the engagement of major property groups, BIM group, VinGroup, Sun Group and FLC, as a few to name.
    Investment has been poured strongly into property in Quang Ninh province. (Photo:

    Prominent projects include the Vinhomes Dragon Bay, worth 12 trillion VND (528.4 million USD), Marina Ha Long urban area, which was built at the cost of 2 billion USD, SunWorld Ha Long Park worth 7.8 trillion VND (343.46 million USD), FLC Ha Long costing 3.4 trillion VND (149.67 million USD), Mon Bay Ha Long worth 5 trillion VND (220.1 million USD) and Ha Long Star (550 million USD).

    Apart from those million-US dollar projects, the property market in the province’s Ha Long city has been thriving with the appearance of new resort-tourism products which are more suitable with local people’s demand.

    The first condo hotel (condotel) project named Citadines Ha Long was recently launched in the city, along with the Green Bay Premium hometel project. The project, the first of its kind in the city, allows owners with certificates of land use right to acquire long-term ownership and decide whether they want to stay or put their houses out for rent.

    The constructions are set to be officially completed and handed over to customers in the fourth quarter of 2017.

    In another move, the province has made efforts to speed up the implementation of Ha Long – Hai Phong expressway, Bac Luan II bridge, Van Don international airport, Van Don economic zone, Ha Long – Van Don and Van Don – Mong Cai highways, FLC Ha Long golf course and resort, Quang Hanh mineral hot spring resort, among others. Some projects will be put into operation at the end of this year or in early 2018.

    The Van Don international airport is scheduled to be completed and operating in late 2017 and it is estimated to serve two million passengers each year.
    These efforts aimed to reel in more visitors to explore interesting destinations in the locality. The number of visitors to Quang Ninh is predicted to continue to surge in the coming time.

    Vu Duc Ngoc, Director General of the G5 Property said that the number of tourists to Ha Long city alone has escalated over the recent years, hitting an average of about 7.5 million people per year. Occupancy rate in hotels from three- to five-star reached between 60 and 70 percent, he added.

    A series of large-scale tourism projects worth a total 61 trillion VND (2.7 billion USD) will be built in the Van Don Special Administrative – Economic Unit of Quang Ninh in 2018, according to Deputy Head of the management board of Quang Ninh economic zone Hoang Trung Kien.

    The overall plan on developing Quang Ninh tourism by 2020 and with a vision toward 2030 has made positive impacts on local tourism activities via attracting a series of new investment projects from strategic partners such as BIM Group, Vingroup, Sun Group, My Way, Tuan Chau and FLC. The active investment in tourism products from such businesses has brought facelift to the local tourism industry.


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  • 11/15/17--23:57: Article 9
  • Hanoi to prolong Hoan Kiem pedestrian streets pilot

    Hoan Kiem District People's Committee Vice Chairman Dinh Hong Phong said the pedestrianisation of the area around Hoan Kiem Lake would continue, based on the positive evidence so far.


    Hoan Kiem District People's Committee Vice Chairman Dinh Hong Phong speaks at a meeting on November 14

    During a meeting on November 14, Phong said the piloting of the pedestrian area from every Friday evening through to Sunday had proved popular.

    He claimed the number of tourists in the pedestrian area had increased, though how tourists were identified compared to locals was unexplained. About 3,000 to 5,000 people visited the pedestrian streets during the day and 15,000 to 20,000 people at night. The number of visitors could be as high as 20,000 during special occasions. 268 shops serve these people.

    The authorities also set up 23 security points to ensure public safety. There are 85 parking lots around the streets and locals living nearby are given entry cards or badges for cars.

    Visitors at a pedestrian street near Hoan Kiem Lake

    There are eight fixed art performance locations and the managers have collaborated with various artists to perform on the streets. Some of the most notable events featured tango dancers from Argentina and a classical music performance. Promotion programmes have also been held such as Quang Nam Heritage Festival and Tourism Promotion or H'Mong ethnic cultural space.

    However, Phong said there were still several problems that need to be dealt with such as unregulated street vendors and a lack of commercial booths. Lack of parking remained an obvious problem, and he cited local residents charging for parking in front of their houses.

    Phong suggested that Hoan Kiem People's Committee should work with the Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism to have more events to attract visitors and set up volunteer teams to raise public awareness about sanitary and etiquette rules, strictly deal with illegal parking lots and install more cameras. He also suggested bars in the Old Quarter should continue to remain open until 2 am on weekends.


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  • 11/16/17--00:14: Article 8
  • Social News 15/11

    Another Vietnam-Cambodia Friendship Monument inaugurated

    Another Vietnam-Cambodia Friendship Monument inaugurated, Xi’s Vietnam visit highlighted in Chinese media, 50 interesting books to be introduced at Hanoi Book Street, Two schoolboys drown in Ha Tinh sea 
    People take photo at the Vietnam-Cambodia Friendship Monument (Source:

    A Vietnam-Cambodia Friendship Monument was inaugurated in Steung Treng city of the province of the same name on November 15 after one year of restoration.

    It is the tenth of the 17 monuments across Cambodia that have been upgraded under a project funded by the Vietnamese Ministry of National Defence, aiming to mark the 50th anniversary of  bilateral diplomatic ties.

    Speaking at the inaugural ceremony, Secretary of State at the Cambodian Ministry of Cults and Religions Nhem Valy and Governor of Steung Treng province Mom Saroeun affirmed that the monument commemorates patriotic Cambodians and Vietnamese volunteer soldiers who laid down their lives for Cambodia’s liberation.

    It is also considered as an everlasting symbol of the traditional solidarity and friendship between the two countries, they stated.

    They reconfirmed that Cambodia can never revive and develop as it does today, without the support from Vietnam in overthrowing the Pol Pot genocidal regime with the historic victory on January 7, 1979.

    Vietnam, Morocco talk administrative decentralisation

    Experience in administrative decentralisation was shared among Vietnamese and Moroccan law experts at a ​seminar held in Hanoi on November 14.

    The event, jointly held by the School of Law of the National University-Hanoi and the Moroccan Embassy in Vietnam, is significant as it helps diversify cooperation between Vietnam and Morocco in the field, said Nguyen Thi Que Anh, Vice Dean of the School of Law.

    Vietnam has renovated its administrative apparatus to ensure that it operates in a more democratic and effective way, she said, stressing that the change in the 2013 Constitution, of which Chapter “People’s Council and People’s Committee” was revised into “Local Government”, is the biggest change in the country’s administrative reform.

    The National Assembly then passed the Law on Organisation of Local Administration in 2015 to concretise new articles in the 2013 Constitution, she highlighted, saying that exchanging experience in administrative decentralisation with foreign countries is necessary to realise the 2013 Constitution.

    Meanwhile, Professor Hassan Ouazzani Chahdi said that decentralisation means managing local authorities and promoting them to make significant contributions to the nation’s sustainable development goals.

    Local governments have crucial roles in implementing the international community’s activities like alleviating poverty, improving local people’s access to basic services such as fresh water, hygiene, education and healthcare, he added.

    Xi’s Vietnam visit highlighted in Chinese media

    The Chinese media on November 13-14 ran articles highlighting the State visit to Vietnam by General Secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) and State President Xi Jinping, as well as his attendance at the 25th APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting.

    In its November 13 issue, the People Daily published a story stating that, whilst in Hanoi, the two countries’ leaders agreed to boost the bilateral, comprehensive, strategic, cooperative partnership in the interests of the two peoples.

    Both sides appreciated each other’s development achievements, pledging to maintain and promote the time-honoured friendship between Vietnam and China.

    It also said that the article entitled “Development prospects for China-Vietnam relations” written by Xi in Vietnam’s Nhan Dan (People) Newspaper has been highly praised by the countries’ experts and scholars.

    China's news agency Xinhua stressed that Party General Secretary and President Xi called on both sides to pay attention to the general interests of the Parties and States which originate from the two peoples’ basic interests, and to work together to help the traditional friendship to overcome all difficulties and open up a new chapter in the bilateral relations.

    Meanwhile, Qiushi newspaper ran an article emphasising that, during their talks, the two countries’ leaders agreed to maintain the exchange of high-level delegations, continuously pursue friendship policies, intensify strategic exchanges and political trust, and satisfactorily solve disagreements in order to keep the China-Vietnam relations on the right track.

    The Global Times wrote that the two sides committed to expanding their cooperation in culture, education, communications, health, tourism and youth work.

    They also were unanimous in tackling sea-related issues satisfactorily, stepping up maritime cooperation in different forms, including maintaining peace and stability in the East Sea based on the consensus to be reached by the two countries’ Party and State leaders, it noted.

    Also at this time, China Radio International (CRI), China Central Television (CCTV) and Phoenix TV broadcast interviews by the two countries’ Ambassadors, experts and students on the nations' development achievements, and their time-honoured friendship, as well as the prospects for bilateral relations.

    50 interesting books to be introduced at Hanoi Book Street

    Con Soc Cultural And Media Joint Stock Company will introduce 50 interesting copyrighted books at Hanoi Book Street on November 15-16.

    The event will offer a good opportunity for publishers, bookstores and publishing companies to search and select copyrighted books in line with their area. 

    These books include winners of prestigious literary awards of the year with sales volume ranging from hundreds to millions of copies in many countries.

    During the event, the organizers will introduce the copyright of literature books written by famous authors and writers from Austria, Japan and Germany such as Ursula Poznanski, Edogawa Rampo, Keigo Higashino, Asano Atsuko, and Testsya Honda.

    The event will provide a valuable insight into the diversified and colourful world and latest trends of literature.

    Japanese companies offer scholarships for Dong Nai students

    Ajinomoto Scholarship Foundation and the Study Promotion Association of southeastern Dong Nai province have granted 200 scholarships totally worth VND 220 million to disadvantaged students in the province.

    Ajinomoto Vietnam’s general director Keiji Kaneko said the scholarship program has been implemented for 14 years. He hoped that these scholarships will help outstanding students from poor families overcome difficulties to improve themselves for a bright future.

    The company has so far engaged in many social activities such as building houses for the poor across Vietnam and giving scholarships to disadvantaged students in Dong Nai province.

    The 200 scholarships worth VND220 million offered to Dong Nai students this time are jointly funded by Ajinomoto Vietnam, Vietnam-Japan Gas JSC, Quadrille Vietnam Ltd and Kureha Vietnam Ltd.

    Green trees help Ha Tinh province move on

    The central province of Ha Tinh has been through its share of difficulties, but after six years of building new-style rural areas, the province is full of fields and gardens of high economic value. 

    One of the goals the province has introduced for new-style rural area building is that 70 percent of fences in the areas must be covered with green trees. 

    The province set the goal because in many other areas, concrete is used to build fences, which while being cleaner and sturdier, lack rural beauty. Thus the province uses the goal to ensure the rural landscape and economic value at the same time. 

    Ngo Viet Ha, Secretary of the Party Committee of Huong Tra commune in Huong Khe district, said that after years of setting up new-style rural areas, local residents are reaping the rewards. 

    Green trees are planted along the roads, with trees such as paper flowers, rose-mallows, loopah trees and gourd trees resplendent. 

    “Both local residents and authorities are happy and enthusiastic to work,” said Ha. 

    Remembering the very first days of the programme, Ha said that local authorities met many obstacles. 

    “Many households did not understand the programme so they refused our requests.  

    Village and commune managers educated and instructed them, so at last, they agreed and followed our directions,” said Ha. 

    Dinh Phuc Tan, Secretary of the Nam Tra village Party Committee, said that now Nam Tra village has 20 model gardens. Every year, the village welcomes hundreds of delegations from other provinces nationwide to visit and learn from its experiences. 

    The Yen My village in Cam Yen commune, Cam Xuyen district is also a good example of the work. 

    Nguyen Quoc Sy, Chairman of the Cam Yên commune People’s Committee, said that 70 out of 120 gardens in the village are model gardens, and the rest are green and clean. 

    “When local residents have some work far from home, they can water their gardens via an automatic system controlled by mobile phone,” he said. 

    Sy added that on the average, each model garden brought 71-100 million VND (3,100-4,400 USD) per year. Most of them plant vegetables and fruit trees. 

    One typical household in Yen My village is Nguyen Thi Thuan’s family whose income exceeds 100 million VND (4,400 USD) per year thanks to growing oranges. 

    Thuan said that earlier she planted different kinds of trees in the garden, with her income unstable. Since she became a model garden, the garden was more beautiful and brought better income. 

    At present more than 7,500 households in the province have registered to build model gardens, of which 1,725 reached norms of model gardens and enjoy supportive policies from provincial authorities. It is expected that by the end of this year, 1,000 more gardens will qualify.

    Tran Huy Oanh, office manager of the Ha Tinh New-Style Rural Areas Operation Department, said that the province recognised seven communes as new-style rural areas in 2013, but the common landscape in the province was not good. 

    Thus the provincial authorities planned to set up model of new-style rural areas in three villages, and provide each village 300 million VND (13,300 USD) for the effort. 

    The movement of setting up new-style rural areas has spread rapidly. In several villages such as Tan An, Yen My and Hong Linh, local residents are determined to establish such gardens. 

    Duong Kim Hue, Secretary of the Party committee of Tuong Son commune, Thach Ha district said that the commune had six co-operatives, 21 working teams and four enterprises running effectively so they worked with local residents in manufacturing. 

    “It is the most important factor helping model gardens sell their products, and therefore be stable,” said Hue. 

    Ngo Tat Thang, Deputy Director of the National New-Style Rural Areas Operation Department, said the model gardens initiative was a success of Ha Tinh province. 

    “The model focuses on micro manufacture and being suitable with rural areas,” he said. 

    “Thanks to re-organising their lives, local residents will better understand their role in the national target programme on setting up new-style rural areas,” said Thang. 

    Thang said the province’s best achievement was that, via the model gardens, local residents’ health, awareness and living standards were improved. 

    Workers and managers from provincial to village level have also worked together so their guidance and instruction to residents is clear. 

    “Thus local residents participated in the programme enthusiastically and believe in its results. And as a result, the province has made outstanding achievements,” said Thang.-

    Two schoolboys drown in Hà Tĩnh sea

    Two schoolboys drowned while swimming in the sea in central Hà Tĩnh Province on Monday afternoon.

    Hồ Xuân Phong and Nguyễn Tông Dũng, both 14, were reported missing on Monday after strong waves swept them away from a beach in the province’s Thiên Cầm Township. Their bodies were found this afternoon following a one-day search by local authorities and residents.

    The two boys, accompanied by eight other schoolmates from Cẩm Trung Secondary School, were playing on Thiên Cầm’s beach when nine of them decided to go for a swim in the local sea. The only boy who stayed on the beach said sudden strong waves swept three boys away and he rushed to call for help from the nearby border guards.

    The guards later succeeded in rescuing one boy, but were unable to rescue Phong and Dũng. Nguyễn Đình Kỷ, the township’s chairman, said search for the missing boys started right after the incident occurred. However, the first body was found 3km from the incident site on Tuesday afternoon.

    The local search team said the rough sea prevented them from finding the bodies sooner.

    Recently, Hà Tĩnh reported a programme to train students in swimming was completed at local schools. Drowning is a major cause of deaths of children in Việt Nam, and educators have demanded the inclusion of swimming in the school’s extra curriculum, however, not many schools have achieved the target. 

    HCM City charity run raises $178k for kids’ heart surgery

    Around VNĐ4 billion (US$178,000) was raised for heart surgeries for poor children at the “Run for heart 2017” event in HCM City on Sunday.

    Organised by the “Việt Nam Heart Fund” and Malaysia’s Gamuda Land Joint Stock Company, the charity run attracted 17,000 participants.

    In its four years, the “Run for heart” event has collected a total of VNĐ10.6 billion ($472,000) and provided heart surgeries for 438 children with congenital heart disease.

    Every year 12,000 children are born in Việt Nam with congenital heart disease, half of them requiring surgery. Heart surgeries are very expensive, costing between VNĐ54 – 190 million ($2,400- 8,500). 

    Policies needed to improve healthcare for the elderly

    Việt Nam is advised to quickly develop the model of family doctors, as well as improve the capability of hospitals and medical centres that specialise in taking care of the elderly, in order to meet increasing demand from senior citizens.

    The advice was released at a workshop held on Monday in Hà Nội. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), Việt Nam is among the countries with the fastest aging rate in the world.

    The number of the elderly is over 10 million people, accounting for 11 per cent of the nation’s total population, but the national system to provide health care for the elderly remains severely lacking.

    Data showed that public healthcare centres only receive about 40,000 elderly people now. The number is too small compared to the real demand.

    Participants at the workshop also said that the Government should issue policies, including reductions on land tax, to encourage private sector investment in building healthcare centres specialised for older people.

    At present, a lot of companies are keen on establishing centres that focus on the elderly, however, they are hesitant because of the high price of land.

    Dengue fever cases keep falling

    The number of dengue fever cases keep dropping, according to the latest report from the Ministry of Health’s Department of Preventive Medicine.

    A downturn was seen in 47 out of 63 provinces and cities nationwide. However, a slight increase was recorded in three southern provinces, namely An Giang, Bà Rịa-Vũng Tàu and Tây Ninh.

    According to the department, from October 30-November 5,  2,744 dengue cases were reported across the country, down 17.9 per cent over the previous week. There were no fatalities in Hà Nội, one of the worst-hit localities. The city recorded a sharp decrease of 80 per cent last month (from 500 cases to 100 cases per day).

    The city recorded 31,572 cases in early 2017, including seven deaths. However, the number of cases fell to 1,100, who are being treated in hospitals.

    Dengue fever generally mimics flu symptoms and goes away within a week, but some cases can require hospitalisation.

    Experts said dengue fever in Hà Nội had been controlled due to campaigns to kill larva and mosquitoes on a large scale.

    The health ministry’s Steering Committee for Epidemic Prevention and Control has kept a close watch on developments of the disease, while stepping up the killing of mosquitoes and larva in risky areas. The ministry has also provided additional chemical spraying machines to serve these activities.

    Despite the sharp fall, the preventive medicine department  warns the community to not neglect preventive measures. Although cooler weather has recently reduced mosquitoes in the northern region, southern and central regions are still in the peak season for dengue fever, the department said.

    Deputy Director of the Hà Nội Department of Health Hoàng Đức Hạnh said the current weather conditions were still favourable for mosquitoes.  

    Hà Nội still had many hot spots of dengue fever and experienced unusual weather conditions, posing a high risk for the spread of the disease, he said.

    People were advised to take measures to kill mosquitoes and larva, and protect themselves from mosquitoes, while co-ordinating with authorities in spraying anti-mosquito chemicals. 

    Compensation to dialysis patients: Hospital says not irresponsible

    Director of the Hoà Bình City General Hospital in northern Hòa Bình Province on Tuesday dismissed news on social media that the hospital was irresponsible in compensating eight families of kidney patients who died in May while receiving dialysis at the hospital.

    Dr Lê Xuân Hoàng said the occurrence of serious medical problems was the responsibility of the hospital, and the hospital had apologised to the families of the victims.

    It also agreed to compensate the families of the victims with VNĐ50 million (US$2,200) per family, he said.

    The hospital held a dialogue with representatives of the eight families to reach an agreement on compensation. However, the two sides were unable to reach a deal because one family asked for too much compensation, which was outside the legal framework and the level of the hospital’s payment ability, Hoàng said.

    The case would be referred to the People’s Court for trial according to the provisions of law if the two sides were unable to reach an agreement on their own. The hospital would strictly adhere to the judgment of the court, he said.

    The incident took place on May 29, when seven of the 18 patients undergoing dialysis at Hòa Bình hospital displayed symptoms of anaphylactic shock and died soon after. Another patient from the same group died on June 4 after multiple organ failure, raising the death count to eight.

    President Tran Dai Quang joins national solidarity festival

    President Tran Dai Quang attended the National Solidarity Festival 2017 in Tan Hung commune, Lang Giang district of the northern province of Bac Giang.

    Tan Hung commune covers 1,336 hectares, with 15 villages, 2,825 households and 11,200 people. The recognised new-style rural commune is home to seven ethnic minority groups and one Catholic parish.

    Its economic growth in 2017 is likely to reach 14 percent and budget collection expected to hit 8 billion VND.

    Local poor households account for only 4.87 percent of total population, while per capita income of locals is 44 million VND annually. Up to 98 percent of local people have joined health insurance scheme.

    President Tran Dai Quang lauded the local community’s lifestyle changes, as well as efforts to preserve and promote traditional culture.

    He praised the communal Party cells, government and organisations for their endeavors to get local people engaged in patriotism movements, thus improving their spiritual and material life and ensuring security and order, and fostering solidarity and mutual support between the local communities.

    The State leader asked Tan Hung commune and Bac Giang province in general to continue encouraging individuals and collectives to involve in the building of Party, government and socio-political organisations as well as the implementation of new-style rural area building programme.

    Highlighting that solidarity is the primary strength of the nation, he expressed hope that local people and government will stay united to make their homeland greener and more prosperous.

    Thua Thien-Hue reviews trial dioxin remediation using microbial technology

    A workshop was held in the central province of Thua Thien-Hue on November 13 to look into the outcomes of the trial remediation of dioxin using microbial technology at A Sho airfield in A Luoi district.

    The event was organised by the Vietnam Association for Conservation of Nature and Environment (VACNE), the Republic of Korea’s BJC company, and the A Luoi district People’s Committee.

    VACNE and BJC experts shared the view that the trial remediation was carried out in line with the process, met technical standards for biological treatment, and matched local conditions.

    Biotechnology is relatively simple technology with low cost, high feasibility and considerable effects in dioxin contaminated land, they noted.

    The VACNE and Korean partners like BJC, KIT and KIOST have assisted A Luoi district to pilot remediating dioxin-polluted land of A Sho airfield over the past years.

    On this occasion, the VACNE and BJC presented gift packages to more than 30 families with Agent Orange/dioxin victims. They also supported A Luoi district with 60 million VND (over 2,600 USD) to help build a relic site showing chemical war remnants.

    The US army sprayed some 80 million litres of toxic chemicals from 1961 to 1971, 61 percent of which was Agent Orange containing 366 kilograms of dioxin, over nearly one quarter of the total area of South Vietnam. 

    Preliminary statistics showed that 4.8 million Vietnamese people were exposed to Agent Orange/dioxin, and about 3 million people became victims. Tens of thousands of people have died while millions of others have suffered from cancer and other incurable diseases as a result. Many of their offspring have also suffered from birth deformities.

    Plan helps protect aquatic resources in Ha Long Bay

    Ha Long city in the northern coastal province of Quang Ninh has issued a plan on intensifying measures to protect aquatic resources in Ha Long Bay - a UNESCO-recognised World Heritage Site - during the 2017-2020 period.

    The plan aims to strengthen environmental protection, protect and reproduce aquatic resources, and put an end to all fishing activities in the absolute protection zone in the bay.

    It also seeks to raise awareness of obeying the State, Quang Ninh province and Ha Long city’s regulations on seafood exploitation activities.

    The plan is expected to be implemented from October 25, 2017 to December 2020 in the buffer and absolute protection zones in the bay.

    Specifically, patrol is strengthened to detect and punish violations related to seafood exploitation and protection in coastal areas, especially in Ha Long and Bai Tu Long bays and banned fishing areas.

    Vehicles without registration, and violated fishing tools will be seized or destroyed.

    Additionally, under the plan, a survey will be conducted to define the number of fishermen working in Ha Long Bay to report to the provincial People’s Committee to support them change jobs if necessary.

    Fishermen and owners of fishing boats are requested to commit to strictly following regulations on aquatic resources protection, not using banned fishing vehicles and tools, not conducting fishing in prohibited areas.

    These moves are to aquatic resources and also the landscape of the world heritage site.

    With high per capita income and an increasingly synchronised infrastructure system, the tourism hub of Ha Long city has become an attractive investment destination for many real estate and resort investors.

    With Ha Long Bay - one of the seven natural masterpieces of the world, the city is a must-go place for those who spend holidays in Vietnam, in particular Quang Ninh province. 

    Ha Long Bay is prioritised to develop into national tourism sites. It welcomed 6.3 million tourists and grossed 7.7 trillion VND (over 338 million USD) in revenue, representing respective increases of 14 percent and 65 percent from the previous year. Of the visitors, about 2.7 million were foreigners, a year-on-year growth of 16 percent. 

    Quang Ninh has a coastline of more than 250 kilometres and over 2,000 islands and islets which account for two-thirds of the total number in Vietnam.

    Under a plan for tourism development in Quang Ninh, the province hopes to become an international tourism centre and a leading tourism destination in Vietnam with modern infrastructure and diverse, competitive tourism products. 

    By 2020, Quang Ninh aims to welcome 15-16 million tourists, including seven million foreigners, and rake in 30trillion VND - 40 trillion VND (1.3-1.7 billion USD) in revenue. The tourism sector is expected to contribute 14-15 percent to the gross regional domestic product. 

    In 2016, Quang Ninh welcomed 8.3 million tourist arrivals, a year-on-year increase of seven percent, and earned over 13 trillion VND (571 million USD) in revenue, up 23 percent, according to the Quang Ninh Department of Tourism.

    Hanoi Medical University asked to step up scientific research

    President Tran Dai Quang has urged lecturers and students of the Hanoi Medical University to increase their participation in scientific research, particularly those in emerging diseases.

    The State leader made the request addressing a ceremony held in Hanoi on November 14 to mark the university’s 115th founding anniversary.

    President Quang recognised the university’s efforts in training high-quality human resources and developing modern and traditional medicines, making Vietnamese medicine shining in the world.

    The university’s most significant achievement is the combination of medical academic knowledge with practice, training, studying and providing medical examinations to improve public health, he said.

    The President asked the university to make concerted efforts to become a leading medical training and research establishment in Vietnam, which trains both Vietnamese and foreign students, applies research results both inside and outside the country as well as services both Vietnamese and foreign communities.

    President Quang also ordered the university to effectively implement the Party and State’s policy on education-training, protecting and fine-tuning public health, particularly work to renovate education and education autonomy.

    On the occasion, the university was bestowed a first-class Labour Order.

    Young doctors volunteer to make a difference

    A medical specialist training programme has opened in Hải Phòng City for 19 medical graduates who have volunteered to work in various remote localities in the country.

    The programme, launched on Monday, will train the young volunteers for two years in seven specialties: internal medicine, surgery, obstetrics, pediatrics, anesthesia, diagnostic medical imaging and infectious diseases at the Hải Phòng University of Medicine and Pharmacy.

    The graduates were chosen by the Ministry of Health (MoH) based on outstanding academic performances.

    The training programme is part of a pilot project, started by the ministry in 2013, that sends medical graduates to disadvantaged areas, including mountainous regions, border areas and islands.

    It was prompted by a shortage of about 600 medical specialists in 62 poor districts of the country, according to Dr Phạm Văn Tác, project director as well as director of the ministry’s Department of Organisation and Personnel.

    “Some hospitals in the mountainous districts of the Lai Châu, Sơn La, Cao Bằng and Hà Giang provinces only have four to five doctors; and some don’t have any,” he told the Hà Nội Mới (New Hà Nôi) newspaper.

    “Meanwhile there are about 140 doctors in just a single district in Nam Định Province. It’s a huge discrepancy,” he said.  

    After getting project approval in February 2013, over the last three years, the ministry has collaborated with the Hà Nội Medical University to organise five training programmes for 78 medical graduates who volunteered to work in 37 poor districts across 13 provinces.

    The 78 chosen were medical students who’d graduated with distinction and volunteered to join the project, said Associate Professor Nguyễn Đức Hinh, principal of Hà Nội Medical University.

    These students will work at central hospitals for a short period of time before joining a two-year specialist training programme, after which they will be considered “doctors”, and sent to work at district-level hospitals in poor provinces for four years (men) and two years (women), he added.

    “After that they get to choose whether to go back to the central hospitals where they previously worked, or transfer to local hospitals in their hometowns,” he said.

    In July, the first seven medical volunteers who completed their training were sent to Lào Cai Province’s Bắc Hà and Mường Khương districts, Sơn La Province’s Sốp Cộp District, Bắc Kạn Province’s Pác Nậm and Ba Bể districts, and Điện Biên Province’s Mường Nhé District.

    Soon after he was sent to the Bắc Hà General Hospital, surgeon Nguyễn Chiến Quyết, 28, performed an endoscopic surgery on a Mông man suffering from appendicitis.

    “I hadn’t had much experience at that time and hadn’t even got used to working with my colleagues. But luckily the operation turned out fine,” Quyết told the Nhân Dân (People) newspaper.

    “From then on, I was determined to apply to the fullest what I had learned in school to take care of the local people here,” he added.

    The young doctors have anticipated the struggles and difficulties that come with working in remote areas among ethnic minority people whose languages they were not familiar with, said Trần Thị Loan, a female doctor from that first batch of seven, who was sent to the Mường Khương General Hospital in Lào Cai Province.  

    “I got used to them after a while,” she said. “Now I’m confident that I’ll ‘nail’ my two years of duty here.”

    Despite the well-meant intention to alleviate doctor shortages, directors of many local health departments have raised concern over the project’s effectiveness in the long run, said project director Dr Phạm Văn Tác.

    “Some say that two to three years are too short for the medical volunteers to actually improve their skills and help increase healthcare quality at district-level hospitals. Not to mention the ‘gaps’ left by these doctors when they fulfill their duty and leave,” he said.   

    The MoH will reconsider the duration of deputation, starting with the next batch of medical volunteers, Tác said. It will also work to retain them in the poor districts, he added.

    The ministry will also consider providing specialist training for local doctors in the poor areas so that they can fill up the spots left by the volunteers, he said.

    The project expects to send 300-500 doctors to 62 disadvantaged districts by 2020.

    Bình Dương cycling race to draw strong field

    The Bình Dương Television Cycling Tournament, Ống Nhựa Hoa Sen Cup, is scheduled to run from December 3-12 in the southern province of Bình Dương.

    The event will attract the 10 strongest teams in the country, including HCM City, Đồng Tháp, An Giang and Đồng Nai with nearly 70 cyclists, more than 20 of whom are now members of the national team

    They will compete in nine stages, with the total length of nearly 1,100km via the provinces of Bình Thuận, Ninh Thuận, Khánh Hòa, Gia Lai, Kon Tum, Đắk Nông, Bình Phước, and Bình Dương.

    The tournament has a total prize of VNĐ400 million (US$17,400), of which the winners of the overall yellow jersey will earn VNĐ60 million ($2,600).

    The event’s organisers will hold charity activities on the sidelines of the event, including giving 900 gifts to disadvantaged households and 90 bicycles for poor students in the provinces the cyclists will pass through.

    The event, which is co-organised by Bình Dương Radio-Television, the Việt Nam Sports Bicycle and Motorbike Federation and Hoa Sen Group, will provide the competitors a chance to hone their skills to prepare for the Asian Games to be held in Indonesia next year.

    Vietnam starts construction on education facilities in Laos

    The Ministry of Education and Training of Vietnam and the Ministry of Education and Physical Training of Laos held a ground-breaking ceremony for three education facilities in Vientiane, Laos on November 14.

    Total investment for the construction is 84 billion VND (about 4 million USD), which comes from the Vietnamese Government’s non-refundable aid.

    Of the total, 20.2 billion VND (889,400 USD) will be spent for the second phase of the Vietnam-Laos friendship high school, 40.14 billion VND (1.77 million USD) for the renovation of the dormitory for foreign students at the National University of Laos and the remaining for the construction of Vietnamese language department at Souphanouvong University.

    Lao Deputy Minister of Education and Sports Kongsi Sengmani thanked Vietnam for the country’s support, saying that construction of those education facilities takes place when the two countries are celebrating the 40th anniversary of the signing of the Vietnam-Laos Treaty of Amity and Cooperation and the 55th anniversary of diplomatic ties. 

    He stated that it will help tighten traditional and special solidarity as well as comprehensive cooperation between the two Parties and Governments. 

    The Lao Government and relevant authorities will create favourable conditions to ensure that the construction is completed as scheduled.

    Luxembourg supports climate change response in Thua Thien-Hue

    The Luxembourg Government has pledged 2 million EUR in non-refundable aid to support the central province of Thua Thien-Hue’s climate change response project through the Global Climate Partnership Fund.

    The 2.3 million EUR project will be carried out in 30 months in 11 communes in Quang Dien district and nine communes in Phu Vang district. The remaining 0.3 million EUR comes from local corresponding budget.

    The project aims to enhance local capacity to respond to climate change.

    The first component of the project, called “capacity”, focuses on raising public awareness on climate change response. Infrastructure facilities to cope with climate change in the targeted areas will be set up in the second component while management measures will be promoted in the third component to preserve natural resources and develop markets for organically-cultivated products, a new and sustainable sector for the region.

    TV report contest for prevention of tobacco harm launched

    The TV report contest themed “Preventing the harmful effects of tobacco” was jointly launched by the Ministry of Information and Communications and the Ministry of Health this morning in Hanoi. 

    At the launching ceremony, Information and Communications Deputy Minister Hoang Vinh Bao said the contest aims to increase information of preventing the toxic effect of tobacco through TV reports and encourage reporters, editors who actively take part in raising people’s awareness of tobacco evils of smoking and tobacco.

    The organizer expects that the contest becomes impetus for reporters and editors to produce good animated and genuine image with clear message of the contest theme; accordingly, these reports will help to change people’s awareness and behaviors to damages and losses of health and economy caused by tobacco.

    Entries are TV reports in Vietnam with subtitle in Vietnam released on TV channels from January 1 to December 31, 2017. They reflect tobacco-related harms and missions to prevent the harm carried out in 2017.

    Entries must highlight policies on price and taxation of tobacco in reducing demand in Vietnam, or the theme of the World Health Organization’s World No Tobacco Day, harmful effects of tobacco and secondhand smoking and regulation on public smoking ban as per the law of tobacco prevention.

    Besides, entries help improve non-smokers’ awareness in remind smokers not to emit fumes in public places according to the law as well as introduce shining examples in fighting smoking in a bid to tackling smoking.

    Entries must arrive at the Legal Department at 8 Nguyen Du Street in Ha Noi ‘s Hai Ba Trung District from November 16 to January 31, 2018.

    The organizer is going to present one first prize, three second prizes, five encouragement prizes for individual while one first prize, two second prizes for teams. Especially, one special prize will be given for team with more entries.

    The prize-giving ceremony is scheduled to take place in January 2018.

    Those are interested in the contest can seek further information in the website or on Facebook cuocthithuocla2017 and media.

    Private sector prompted to develop waterway transport

    Minister of Transport Nguyen Van The has required relevant agencies to boost the private sector's participation in developing waterway transport field.

    The requirement was made after the Prime Minister asked the ministry to report reasons for the currently undeveloped field.

    According to Mr. The, cargo and passenger transport by waterway now account for 17-19 percent and 4-6 percent of the market share, which are too low and unable to promote the strength of national waterway network.

    That has been because of asynchronous infrastructures to linking up seaports, old and outdated waterway transport means, low investment capital and businesses’ weak competitive ability.

    Minister The asked Vietnam Inland Waterway Administration to have suitable solutions basing on real situation. At first, the agency should issue legal documents to create a mechanism for private firms participate in developing the field, have policies to help them access credit sources and provide special preferences for residents and businesses to build new waterway transport means.

    He urged the agency’s leaders to get rid of the thought of using state budget to develop waterway projects in the current period and focus on solving difficulties for the private sector.

    Mr. The required the administration to soon organize a conference to review logistics activities in the Mekong Delta region to find out reasons why waterway transport has not developed in the area despite having advantageous conditions.

    Lam Dong spends VND 550mln to repair Mimosa Mountain Pass’s road surfaces

    People’s Committee in the central highlands province of Lam Dong this morning decided to invest VND 550million in upgrading and repairing the road surface on the Mimosa Mountain Pass in Dalat City.

    Lam Dong spends VND 550mln to repair Mimosa Mountain Pass’s road surfaces

    The amount of money is taken from the province’s road maintenance fund 2018, contributing to ensure traffic safety, serve Flower Festival 2017 on the Tet holidays.

    The province assigned Transport Department to complete related procedures to implement the upgrading of road surfaces before December 20.

    The Mimosa Mountain Pass is the length of 10km starting from Prenn fall to Dalat center however many recent years, this route has been downgraded seriously after a long time in use.

    Earlier, transport department of the central highlands province of Lam Dong sent document to the Vietnam Road Administration (VRA) to upgrade the road surfaces.

    However, to date, the VRA has not given any replies about this suggestion.

    Lam Dong transport department said while waiting for the suggestion to be approved, it should have to implement some works aiming to ensure traffic safety on this route as this route has seen crowded traffic day by day.

    Some accidents had ever occurred on this route.

    Book festival celebrates Vietnam Teacher's Day

    A book show marking Vietnam Teacher's Day (November 20) will be organized in Nguyen Van Binh Book street in Ho Chi Minh City from November 15-20.

    The event will display thousands of books in various fields, such as education, comics, literature, text and reference books and others. Publishing houses will offer a discount of up to 50 percent on books.

    There will be a clay flower making workshop and exchanges with the participations of veteran teachers.

    Kien Giang invests VND 60 bln in Phu Quoc - Tho Chau ship route

    Passenger ship on Phu Quoc - Tho Chau route has just been put into the operation from Phu Quoc Island to Tho Chau Island in the Mekong Delta province of Kien Giang and vice versa, said Vice Director of the Provincial Transport Department Le Viet Bac yesterday.

    Accordingly, the high- speed ship departs from Bai Vong Port, Ham Ninh commune, Phu Quoc district. 

    The Phu Quoc No.9 ship was designed with a length of 36.5 meters and width of six meters, speed 24 nautical miles an hour, with total investment capital of around VND 60 billion.

    It is able to carry 120 passengers.

    The ship runs every five days and trip duration is about 3.5- 4 hours.     

    Student basketball tournament attracts 163 teams

    Nestlé MILO Cup, a basketball tournament for students in HCMC, kicked off at Phu Tho Stadium in District 11 on Sunday, with 163 teams from 89 primary and secondary schools in the city taking part.

    Organized by the HCMC Basketball Federation and Nestlé Vietnam’s Milo brand, the basketball championship lasts until December 1.

    The 12th annual event has contributed to promoting sporting activities among school children and discovering talent for the city’s basketball teams.

    The tournament is part of a series of activities of the “Active Vietnam” program launched by Nestlé’s Milo brand in collaboration with the Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism this year.    

     Doing away with ‘barter trade’

    The good news now is that the HCMC government has decided to do away with the so-called barter trade in infrastructure development. The weird form of barter trade – which is not the preferable non-cash transaction, but the absence of money as a means of payment in modern-day business – has for quite a long time prevailed in not only the city but other parts of the country, under which an investor will develop a certain infrastructure project and is allocated land in return.

    For many years, there have been concerns about such an investment form, officially known as the Build-Transfer (BT) format as part of a wider public-private partnership that also includes the Build-Operate-Transfer (BT) format.

    In 2013, the Ministry of Planning and Investment voiced its concerns about the BT format, saying there remained many loopholes in regulations governing this form. Ever since, many State agencies have also complained about the waste of the country’s land resources, as vast areas of land have been offered to investors at low prices in exchange for roads and bridges.

    Most recently, Ho Duc Phoc, head of the State Audit of Vietnam, told a conference in Hanoi three weeks ago that flaws are awash in the BT format, as it is fertile ground for interest groups due to the lack of transparency. Investors in BT projects have for the most part been appointed by local authorities instead of having to go through a tight screening process or a competition.

    In an effort to remedy the situation, the HCMC government has just decided to put on hold all those BT projects still under negotiation, pending a new set of procedures governing this investment format. The key aim, said HCMC Vice Chairman Tran Vinh Tuyen at a seminar last week, is to make the whole process transparent and to ward off all possible irregularities. A report at the seminar shows that as many as 130 investors have submitted schemes to develop infrastructure projects in the city under either BT or BOT, with total estimated capital of VND350 trillion, or roughly US$15 billion.

    The city government does not mean to shun the BT format, which is said to have helped the city mobilize over VND20 trillion in 2015-2017 for infrastructure projects. However, land instead of being handed over to investors will be put up for auction, and the money will be used to reimburse such investors. Investors for infrastructure projects will also be chosen via competitive bidding.

    Such a move apparently will help enhance transparency in capital construction, and is seen a farewell to the old-fashioned barter trade in this field.

    However, more efforts need to be taken to do away with the weird barter trade still rampant in other areas of the economy. Donating a social housing building to get land for a commercial condo project, or building a school or a medical center in a certain region to gain similar privileges are just a few examples of barter trade that should be removed, if real transparency is to be achieved.    


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  • 11/16/17--00:20: Article 7
  • Hotel exceeding approved floor limit on Phu Quoc Island forced to chop top

    The five-star Seashells Hotel rises nine floors above the ground despite its license as a seven-story building

    Hotel exceeding approved floor limit on Phu Quoc Island forced to chop top
    The under-construction Seashells Hotel is seen on Phu Quoc Island, off southern Vietnam. Photo: Tuoi Tre

    An under-construction hotel on Phu Quoc Island whose developer deliberately breached the seven-story limit on its building license has been asked by local authorities to demolish its extra floors.

    The five-star Seashells Hotel, located on prime real estate in Duong Dong Town on Phu Quoc, an island off the southern province of Kien Giang, was licensed for seven stories, though the developer, Phu Quoc Tourism, chose to ignore its permit, eventually adding an additional two floors to the building.

    The violation was eventually noticed by the inspectorate of the Kien Giang construction department, which later consulted the provincial administration on how to handle the case.

    The Kien Giang administration’s ruling called on Phu Quoc Tourism Co. to remove the two stories not permitted by its construction license, the inspectorate confirmed to Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper on Wednesday.

    Later the same day, the developer had the newly finished top floor of the hotel removed. It is not clear when the eighth floor will follow suit.

    Rampant construction violations

    The Seashells Hotel has also been criticized by members of the public on Phu Quoc for its close proximity to the beach and obstruction of the remaining beachfront view on Vietnam’s biggest island.

    The Dinh Cau night market, one of the most popular attractions on Phu Quoc, was also relocated to make space for the hotel, upsetting many islanders.

    However, Kien Giang authorities later decided that the hotel had been licensed before regulations on beach protection came into effect; therefore, its construction was permitted to continue as planned.

    Despite this, Kien Giang deputy chairman Mai Anh Nhin admitted that violations on urban construction on Phu Quoc have been rife in recent times.

    “We have formed a working team and are cooperating with authorities on Phu Quoc to investigate and crack down on violators,” he added.

    Phu Quoc, an hour-long flight from Ho Chi Minh City, is currently in the process of being re-categorized as a special administrative zone.

    By Tuoi Tre News

    0 0
  • 11/16/17--00:31: Article 6
  • Domestic commercial banks accelerate foreign talks

    Aiming to reach the target to complete the selection the strategic investors before listing shares on the stock exchange, domestic banks are accelerating negotiations with foreign investors as well as propose the authorities to increase the foreign ownership limit to lure in foreign investors.

    Domestic commercial banks accelerate foreign talks, 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 
    Vietnam’s Housing Development Bank (HDBank) will offer 20 per cent of its shares to overseas investors before getting listed in early 2018.

    The pre-listing share sale is expected to raise $300 million for the bank, which counts Vietnam’s first female billionaire Nguyen Thi Phuong Thao as its major shareholder.

    HDBank said that it would list on the Ho Chi Minh City Stock Exchange in early 2018, after completing the auction. 

    Unlike other lenders in Vietnam, the bank does not seek a single strategic investor who would normally hold 15 per cent of the shares. 

    Instead, it will court four overseas investors, offering less than 5 per cent of ownership to each. At present, numerous foreign investors from Hong Kong, Japan, and South Korea expressed their interest in becoming HDBank’s foreign investors.

    HDBank reported bright business results. For the first nine months of 2017, HDBank reaped VND1.91 trillion ($84 million) in pre-tax profit, of which the parent bank earned VND1.7 trillion ($74.8 milion). This result, which is 1.5 times higher than the entire year of 2016, marked the bank’s highest achievement so far.

    Assets under management reached VND174.5 trillion ($7.6 billion), a 26-per-cent increase from the same period last year. Bad debt takes up less than 1.14 per cent of all outstanding loans.

    HDBank’s return-on-assets ratio is 1.18 per cent, while returns-on-equity stood at 18 per cent as of the third quarter of 2017.

    Along with HDBank, Saigon Commercial Bank (SCB) is also negotiating with banks, investment funds as well as insurance companies from Norway, Indonesia, and China to sell at least 50%. 

    SCB expects to acquire at least US$700 million from the deal.

    SCB is the first domestic bank to be permitted to sell at least 50 per cent of its stakes to foreign investors.

    SCB wants to co-operate with investors who have the capacity to help SCB to increase its financial capacity, accelerate the restructuring process and simultaneously accompany SCB on a journey of long-term development.

    Along with accelerating negotiations with foreign investors, these banks also proposed authorities to increase the FOL to lure in more foreign investors.

    According to the government’s Decree No.69/2007/ND-CP dated April 20, 2007 on foreign investors’ purchasing of shares in Vietnamese commercial banks, the strategic partner is permitted to hold a maximum of 20% of the chartered capital and a maximum of 30% stake in a domestic commercial bank.

    In case commercial banks have weak financial capacity—and are on the list of banks having to restructure—the holding ratios will be higher than the regulated ratios, however, the specific figure for individual banks will be decided by the prime minister.

    Le Minh Hung, Governor of the State Bank of Vietnam, stated that increasing the FOL is to stimulate strategic foreign investors’ interest in domestic commercial banks. 

    In order to permit this increase, domestic commercial banks need to propose plans with a clear explanation for the prime minister’s approval.


    0 0
  • 11/16/17--00:49: Article 5

    HCMC signs safe food agreement


     HCMC signs safe food agreement, Vietnam able to master parent shrimp production, Apparel firms advised to increase technology application, Japanese apparel firm acquires leading Vietnamese fashion brand NEM
    Officials from the HCM City Food Safety Management Board and Saigon Co.op check fisheries products at Mười Tuyền Co., Ltd in Bình Thuận Province.

    To find a safe food supply source for the city, Food Safety Management Board of HCM City and Saigon Co.op, in collaboration with the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development of Binh Thuan Province, carried out a fact finding trip to the province and signed agreements to produce and buy agricultural and aquatic products meeting food safety standards.

    The FSMB and the department signed an agreement to create safe supply chains for agricultural and fisheries produce, create favourable conditions for suppliers of the products to distribute their products in the city and co-ordinate for food safety oversight and inspection.

    Meanwhile Saigon Co.op also signed an agreement with Muoi Tuyen Co Ltd of Binh Thuan to buy around 100 tonnes of seafood a month for its retail systems.

    Pham Khanh Phong Lan, head of the FSMB, said the city’s agricultural production meets only 20-30 per cent of demand and the rest is supplied by other provinces and cities.

    Therefore, the agreements are very important to ensure that farm and fisheries produce supplied to the city are monitored at every stage from production to processing, she said.

    Mai Kieu, director of the Binh Thuan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, said the province has difficulty finding steady demand for its products and so co-operation with HCM City to build a production and consumption chain for its farm and fishery produce is very important.

    Nguyen Thanh Nhan, general director of Saigon Co.op, said ensuring hygiene and food safety through the safe food supply chain not only benefits consumers but also helps suppliers build brands.

    Besides seafood, Saigon Co.op also wants to buy other products from Binh Thuan Province for its safe food supply chain, especially its speciality products like dragon fruit, he said. 

    Vietnam Food Expo 2017 opens in HCM City

    The Vietnam Food Expo 2017 opened at the Saigon Exhibition and Convention Centre in Ho Chi Minh City on November 15 with an aim of supporting food enterprises to promote trade and expand markets both at home and abroad.

    Opening the event, Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Do Thang Hai said that Vietnam’s food industry is developing rapidly with increasing contributions to the country’s GDP and export revenues.

    He noted exports of Vietnam’s agro-forestry-aquatic products hit 22.4 billion USD in 2016 and 21.3 billion USD in the first 10 months of this year, up 17.1 percent year on year and accounting for 12.3 percent of the country’s total export earnings.

    In the coming time, the enforcement of new-generation free trade agreements and the dynamic development of the world economy are also expected to create new chances for Vietnam’s food industry.

    Meanwhile, Bui Kim Son, Director of the Vietnam Trade Promotion Agency under the Ministry of Industry and Trade, said that the event is a good chance for Vietnamese firms to promote their products and seek new partners.

    Son said that the two previous exhibitions have contributed to Vietnam’s food industry, adding that last year, the expo connected Vietnamese firms with Italian partners who later decided to build three agricultural product processing factories in Vietnam.

    The Vietnam Food Expo 2017 drew 600 booths of 450 enterprises of Vietnam and 20 countries and territories. France, which sent 30 leading firms in the food processing industry to the exhibition, was chosen as the honorary country of the event.

    On the occasion, the organizing board also held a number of conferences and trade promotion programmes.

    The expo will last until November 18.

    Vietnam able to master parent shrimp production

    Vietnam could become self-sufficient in parent shrimp production from now to 2020.

    The country’s shrimp sector has so far heavily depended on foreign markets, importing most of parent shrimp from the US, Singapore and Thailand. It has stayed passive in preventing diseases for parent shrimp.

    Therefore, the successful production of parent shrimp by the Vietnam-Australia Group is expected to open up opportunities for the sector to become self-sufficient in the work.

    At a launching ceremony of the group’s parent shrimp programme in Ho Chi Minh City on November 11, a representative said the outcome was attributed to the application of technology and careful selection for many years to create disease-free and high-quality parent shrimp.

    The group is now able to produce 50 billion breeding shrimp per year, accounting for 25 percent of the total breeding shrimp in the country.

    Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Vu Van Tam said the shrimp industry aims to gross 10 billion USD in exports by 2025 and produce 1.1 million tonnes of shrimp on 750,000 hectares. To realise this goal, Vietnam needs about 500,000-600,000 parent shrimp.

    Particularly, Vietnam has big demand for rapid-growth and disease-resistant black tiger and white-leg shrimp for extensive farming to create a huge amount of products which are able to meet strict requirements on food safety and quarantine from markets.

    The ministry is implementing a national action plan to develop Vietnam’s shrimp industry through 2025 and a project to develop national brackish shrimp products, he noted.

    Apparel firms advised to increase technology application

    Applying new technologies to reduce production cost and increase competitive edge is the urgent solution for the garment-textile industry given global fiercer competition.

    It is also necessary for businesses to seek more markets outside the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and reinforce its niche on major ones such as the US, the EU, and Japan to maintain growth.

    Another potential markets are countries from the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU), particularly Russia. Whereas the Republic of Korea continues to be a fertile land for enterprises to explore since the Vietnam-RoK free trade agreement has come into force.

    As the number of orders is likely to decline without price hike, businesses are warned to make full use of modern equipment to reduce production cost and increase competitiveness.

    Director General of the Vietnam National Textile and Garment Group (Vinatex) Le Tien Truong said the application of new technologies will help increase productivity and use less labour. 

    Besides opportunities, the fourth industrial revolution also poses challenges regarding investment, restructure and labour, he said, adding that the appropriate technological access and the clarification of self-potential will help businesses choose the most efficient way to penetrate into foreign markets.

    According to the Vietnam Textile & Apparel Association (VITAS), the garment-textile exports increased nearly 10 percent year-on-year to reach 19.8 billion USD in the first eight months of 2017.

    The US is making up the biggest proportion of 51 percent of Vietnam’s total apparel exports.

    The garment-textile export in 2017 is expected to hit 30.5 billion USD, much higher than that of the previous year (28.1 billion USD).

    Hai Phong develops tourism into spearhead economic sector

    The northern port city of Hai Phong is striving to make tourism a spearhead economic sector and turn itself into one of the nation’s key tourism destinations.

    According to the municipal People’s Committee’s action programme on tourism development from 2017 – 2020 with a vision through 2030, the city hopes to receive 8 million tourists and earn 3.5 trillion VND (154 million USD) with expected annual average growth rates of 8.2 percent and 8.9 percent, respectively.

    The city has invested in and brought into use an international wharf and developed Cat Bai island into a national tourism destination with smart and environmentally-friendly ecotourism models.

    By 2025, Ha Long Bay-Cat Ba island complex is hoped to be recognised by UNESCO as the world’s natural heritage while Cat Ba island will become an international tourism destination, and Do Son district a national tourism area.

    By 2030, Hai Phong aims to become a national tourism hub, with Do Son district and Cat Ba island able to compete with regional and international tourism sites.

    To that end, Hai Phong has focused efforts to raise the awareness among local authorities, sectors and people of the importance of tourism development. The tourism sector will also be restructured to ensure sustainable development in the market-oriented economy and international integration.

    Favourable policies will be developed to support tourism investment and development.

    According to Vice Chairman of the municipal People’s Committee Le Khac Nam, relevant bodies have been assigned with specific tasks in implementing the targets under the action programme.

    Over the past three years, Hai Phong has gained positive achievements in tourism development thanks to its potentials and favourable traffic infrastructure.

    In the first ten months this year, the city received nearly 5.7 million visitors, up 14.4 percent year on year.

    Top legislator asks for Deloitte’s technical support

    National Assembly Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan asked for Deloitte Global’s technical support in completing a legal framework for independent audit in Vietnam while receiving Deloitte Global Chairman David Cruickshank in Hanoi on November 13.

    Vietnam hopes for Deloitte Global’s sharing of knowledge and experience to help NA deputies improve the capacity of financial verification and supervision, she said.

    She asked Deloitte Global to continue recruiting Vietnamese staff and training quality human resources for Vietnam’s financial sector.

    Lauding Cruickshank’s attendance at the APEC CEO Summit in Da Nang city, Ngan expressed her belief that as a large audit organization with 180-year experience and network covering 150 countries, Deloitte will make positive contributions to the growth of the Vietnamese economy.

    She highlighted the indispensible role of the Vietnamese independent audit sector in the national economy, saying it has become an important component of the macro management tool system for economy and finance.

    She praised the development of Deloitte Vietnam, formerly the Vietnam Audit Company (VACO), the first independent audit firm of the Ministry of Finance, and one of the largest of its kind.

    The top legislator held that amidst the international integration, with the active engagement in free trade agreements of Vietnam, the role of independent audit and audit firms like Deloitte is increasingly important in improving transparency of business and investment activities, raising the value of the economy as well as people’s income.

    For his part, Cruickshank thanked Vietnam for backing Deloitte Vietnam, a member of the Deloitte Global.

    Expressing impression on Vietnam’s economic growth, he pledged that Deloitte Global will pay more attention to Vietnam and provide advanced technology and international experience as well as high quality audit services for businesses operating in the country.

    The firm will also give advice to Vietnamese Government agencies and the private sector, while assisting enterprises in mobilizing capital, he stated.

    He also asked for Vietnam’s cooperation in sharing experience in the field to the world.

    Vietnam – potential market for Deloitte Global: Deputy PM

    Deputy Prime Minister Vuong Dinh Hue has described Vietnam as a promising market for Deloitte Global while meeting with its Chairman David Cruiskshank in Hanoi on November 13.

    He said the Vietnamese Government moves to expand financial auditing for public service units, adding that this is essential to ensure governance transparency.

    He called on Deloitte to strengthen support for Vietnamese enterprises to make public financial reports in accordance with international standards and issue bonds on domestic and international markets.

    The official also hoped the global organisation to share experience with Vietnam’s Ministry of Finance in designing simple auditing and tax calculation programmes for start-up enterprises.

    Cruiskshank congratulated Vietnam on the successful organisation of the ministerial meeting for countries joining the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) – which now has the new name of Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).

    He said he saw numerous cooperation opportunities in Vietnam in the coming time. 

    With experience in defining the value of equitised enterprises and issuance of corporate bonds, Deloitte is willing to support and cooperate with Vietnam in the field to increase transparency and back start-up activities, he affirmed.

    HCM City, RoK’s Daegu forge stronger business collaboration

    Ho Chi Minh City and Daegu city of the Republic of Korea (RoK) should work together to optimise their cooperation potential in trade and investment in the future, said Le Thanh Liem, Vice Chairman of the municipal People’s Committee, at a business forum between the two cities on November 13.

    Liem noted that the RoK is the largest investor and among three biggest trade partners of Vietnam. The Vietnam-RoK free trade agreement, which goes along with tax exemption and reduction for RoK products, will create more opportunities for RoK products in the Vietnamese market, he said.

    At the same time, Vietnamese farm produce, seafood, garment and textiles have also enjoyed a good chance in the RoK, said Liem, adding that the target of 70 USD in two-way trade by 2020 is feasible.

    Liem also pointed out that HCM City is hosting over 1,400 RoK-invested projects worth more than 4.6 billion USD.

    HCM City and Daegu city signed a cooperation and friendship programme in 2015, he said, adding that activities fostering business communities of both sides and promoting trade and investment ties have been conducted in both localities.

    For his part, Mayor of Daegu Kwon Young Jin said that businesses from Daegu hope to expand operation in HCM City.

    The RoK side will soon launch a direct air route linking the two cities, while banks and the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Daegu will open their representative offices and branches in the city.

    Meanwhile, Pham Thiet Hoa, Director of the HCM City Investment and Trade Promotion Centre, introduced the investment environment in the city, highlighting that the city is the largest economic and financial hub of Vietnam and one of the most dynamic cities in the ASEAN.

    He also underlined advantages of the city in transportation connectivity with other countries as well as tourism, calling for RoK firms, especially those from Daegu, to increase trade exchange with local enterprises. He also pledged to continue administrative reforms and create optimal conditions for businesses from the RoK as well as Daegu city.

    Fair promotes wooden furniture

    The Vietnam Furniture and Home Furnishing Fair (VIFA Home 2017) will return to HCM City this month, promoting locally-made wooden furniture, home decor and handicraft products in the domestic market.

    VIFA Home 2017, to be held in District 11’s Phu Tho Sport Centre from November 23-26, will feature 487 booths set up by 87 local and foreign firms involved in wood processing, interior decoration, handicrafts, sanitation equipment and supporting services for the wood processing industry. The fair will offer opportunities for customers to shop for furniture and interior and exterior furnishing items that meet export standards, according to the Handicraft and Wood Industry Association of HCM City (Hawa).

    To be held by Hawa in collaboration with Hawa Corporation, the fair offers designers, manufacturers and distributors a good chance to co-operate and provide the market with the best quality products at reasonable prices.

    Huynh Van Hanh, Hawa’s standing deputy chairman, said consumption of wood products in the domestic market has enjoyed a growth rate of 6-10 percent per year and is expected to reach 2 billion USD this year.

    Vietnam-Korea IT Cooperation Centre officially opens

    Vietnam-Korea IT Cooperation Centre was officially established on November 13 by Korea's Ministry of Science and Information, Communication and Technology in collaboration with Vietnam's National IT Industry Promotion Agency (NIPA).

    The centre is considered an important bridge in promoting bilateral co-operation in IT and communication.

    Establishing the centre remarks the first international co-operation of Yoo Yong Min since he was assigned as the Minister of Science and Information Communication and Technology.

    Before joining the opening ceremony, Minister Yoo had a talk with Minister of Information and Telecommunication Truong Minh Tuan.

    Both ministers affirmed that the information science and technology sector is important for creating new industries as well as improving living standards. Thus, Vietnam and the Republic of Korea are booth looking to increase co-operation in this sector.

    During the past years, the governments and enterprises of the two countries developed numerous exchange programmes to work on IT-related policies and apply technology. As a result, Vietnam became the second largest IT export partner of the Republic of Korea.

    Speaking at the opening ceremony, the representative of NIPA said that during the past five years, the Republic of Korea welcomed over 100 Vietnamese experts to join training and experience sharing programmes.

    Besides, every year, NIPA sent 10 policy experts to Vietnam to work with public administrators to share NIPA’s experiences.

    Especially, in the framework of the Global Young Entrepreneur Contest orgainsed by NIPA, young Vietnamese entrepreneurs gained impressive prizes.

    Japanese apparel firm acquires leading Vietnamese fashion brand NEM

    On November 8, Stripe International, a Japanese apparel manufacturing giant, announced the acquisition of NEM Group’s apparel brand after the firm’s official announcement on August 8 to schedule the business acquisition.

    Stripe Vietnam JSC has been appointed to handle the acquisition. Stripe International targets to advance into Southeast Asia, where the thriving economic growth will play an important role in corporate strategy aiming for further penetration of the Vietnamese market.

    Thanks to this acquisition of womenswear production lines, the Japanese apparel will land the first time in Vietnam. According to the firm’s official press release regarding the acquisition, it stressed that Vietnam is a strategic market in the ASEAN that the firm intends to conquer.

    NEM Group expanded its women’s casual brand “NEM” to 44 stores as of October, mainly in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. To date, the NEM fashion brand has been a clothing outlet beacon for working women in their 20s to 40s.

    In recent years, the Vietnamese ladies’ fashion brand has managed to open over 10 stores each year, which so far earned over 20 per cent of the brand’s profits and are forecast to make a revenue of $26 million by the end of 2017.

    “It (womenswear) is a power product with high popularity in Japan. We will utilise the know-how of NEM Group. By promoting the opening of domestic NEM stores, we will further expand our NEM business in Vietnam, building on the country’s remarkable economic development,” said Stripe International’s spokesperson.

    Earlier in 2016, Stripe International successfully acquired a ladies’ clothing provider called Alphabet Pastel and a kids’ clothing brand called Smarby.

    The NEM brand was launched in 1997, growing to $26 million in size since. The brand is mainly developed in Hanoi.

    Stripe International was founded in February 1995, aiming at the market segment of apparel clothing manufacturing and retail sales. Stripe Vietnam JSC was founded in October 2017 with the chartered capital of VND175 billion ($7.7 million).

    Recently, on November 8, Spanish apparel label Zara and the Sweden-based multinational clothing retail company H&M made their debuts in Hanoi to break open the market of fast and affordable fashion for men, women, teenagers, and children.     

    MC-Bauchemie cracks open Vietnamese construction chemicals market

    Germany's MC-Bauchemie, one of the leading international producers of building chemical products and technologies, marked its official entrance to Vietnam today by setting up a joint venture with a local partner.

    MC-BIFI Bauchemie is the joint venture between the German firm and Vietnamese partner BIFI. It aims to become one of the leading construction chemical groups in Vietnam.

    "Our company now operates in 40 countries. We have already been present for some time in Southeast Asia, in Taiwan, Singapore, and Malaysia. We now decided to tap into Vietnam’s fast-growing economy, and BIFI fits very well to us," Nicolaus Muller, managing director of MC Group, told VIR.

    "In addition, Vietnam still has many infrastructure projects that need working on. It is a highly attractive market with numerous potential industries, including the energy industry, with both renewable and coal energy," he added.

    Established in 2004 with a focus on producing admixture for concrete, cement grinding aids, and mortar, BIFI is now one of the leading construction chemical companies in Vietnam.

    BIFI now operates three factories with a total area of over 10,000 square metres in the southern and northern regions. Their key products have been used in many important national hydro-power, bridge, road, and oil refinery projects.

    "First we will strengthen MC-BIFIs position in the concrete market by introducing additional solutions for ready-mix and precast companies. We will enhance our product range of admixtures and introduce technical additives," he added.

    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. 

    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.

    Moroccan companies keen on Vietnam

    Moroccan companies are very much interested in investing in Vietnam, primarily in agri-food, information technology, pharmaceuticals, and tourism, Ambassador of Morocco, H.E. Dr. Azzeddine Farhane, told VET recently.

    The Moroccan Office for Promotion of Trade and Export has undertaken a series of trade and B2B missions to Vietnam in order to establish contact between Moroccan and Vietnamese enterprises and explore opportunities for cooperation.

    These exploratory missions, along with the support of the Moroccan Embassy, have identified strategic industries in Vietnam in which Moroccan companies are interested.

    Ambassador Farhane also emphasized that Morocco and Vietnam have substantial potential for cooperation in investment and trade. The two have signed more than 15 agreements to enhance the legal framework for investment in myriad fields.

    He said that in recent years Vietnam’s economy has faced many challenges, such as the global economic recession and rapidly changing economic conditions. “Nevertheless, Vietnam remains a success story in terms of strong economic growth, among other markets that were floundering during the economic downturn,” he said. “I am confident that Vietnam will continue to offer remarkable opportunities to investors.”

    He added that Vietnam’s recent raking in the World Bank’s Doing Business Report 2018, where it was in 68th place, is testimony to the country’s improved business environment, thanks to its broad-based growth, low wages, and strong economic outlook. “Vietnam continues to be an attractive destination for investment,” he believes.

    The Doing Business 2018 report ranked Morocco 69th among the 190 countries surveyed, with a score of 67.91 points, consolidating its leadership in North Africa compared to Tunisia (88th), Egypt (128th), and Algeria (166th).

    It also ranked third among countries in the Middle East and North Africa, behind the United Arab Emirates (21st) and Bahrain (66th), and for the first time overtaking Oman (71st).

    The results achieved by Morocco are down to its attractive business environment, tax advantages, business creation, simplification of procedures, and improvement and strengthening of online services for the benefit of business and cross-border trade.

    Vietnam’s dynamic business environment is due to its young population, changing consumer behavior, and greater urbanization, which offer investors the right ingredients to invest and establish projects in the country. Ambassador Farhane expects there will be more companies from around the world investing in and boosting the strengths of both Vietnam and Morocco.

    M&As increasingly appealing to South Korean businesses

    Economic cooperation between Vietnamese and South Korean businesses will be much more diversified in the future, especially in the fields of support industries, services, and education, Mr. Kim Jae Hong, Chairman of the Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency (KOTRA), told the Vietnam-Korea Business Partnership 2017 program held on November 10 in Hanoi.

    He also pointed out that more and more South Korean businesses are interested in mergers and acquisitions (M&As) in the country. Through M&A, the two sides will have the opportunity to cooperate in technology transfer and establish joint ventures. “When South Korea boosts technology transfer to Vietnam, the two countries can together penetrate into other countries through free trade agreements signed by Vietnam,” he said.

    “Trade between the two countries in the first three quarters of this year was $47.2 billion, and I expect the figure to exceed $50 billion in 2017, or more than 100 times the 1992 figure,” he added. Vietnam is South Korea’s largest investment market in ASEAN and this trend will continue into the future, he said.

    Many M&A experts have said that South Korea’s M&A deals with Southeast Asian countries are increasing annually in both volume and value. However, South Korean businesses in Vietnam also face a host of difficulties in terms of financial reporting and a lack of advisors and experts with knowledge of Vietnamese businesses to negotiate M&A deals. 

    The Vietnam-Korea Business Partnership 2017 program targeted opening up favorable conditions for the two countries’ enterprises in terms of technology, trade, support industries, M&As, intellectual property rights, and corporate social responsibility.

    It comprised a series of events, including one-on-one business meetings between Vietnamese and South Korean enterprises, gathering together 100 Vietnamese companies and 17 South Korean firms operating in the fields of information technology, electrical machinery, components automation, chemicals, construction equipment, and industrial materials.

    M&A activities targeting Southeast Asia so far this year have reached $53.5 billion in 290 deals, increasing in value by 23.1 per cent compared to the same period of 2016. This is the second-highest value in the first three quarters of a year, according to Mergermarket data. In Vietnam, there were 37 deals in the period worth $1.218 billion.

    M&A deals in Vietnam hit an all-time record of $5.8 billion in 2016, growth of 11.92 per cent compared to 2015, according to a report released at a press meeting to launch the M&A Forum 2017 in July.

    South Korea and other countries, including Thailand, Singapore, Japan, mainland China, and Hong Kong are the Top 5 buyers in Vietnam.

    Kepco & Marubeni to build coal-fired power plant

    South Korean utilities provider the Korea Power Electric Corp. (Kepco) has signed a $2.3 billion deal to build a coal-fired plant in Vietnam, the company said on November 9.

    A consortium involving Kepco and Japanese trading firm Marubeni will be in charge of construction as well as the operation of the 1,200 MW plant at the Nghi Son 2 Economic Zone in the north-central province of Thanh Hoa, about 200 km south of Hanoi.

    The State-run Kepco and Marubeni will both hold a 50 per cent share in the project. Kepco expects to receive around $13.2 billion through the plant’s operations over a 25-year period.

    Construction will begin later this year with completion targeted for the end of 2021.

    The consortium signed a turnkey-basis contract with Doosan Heavy Industries and Construction to build the coal-fired plant, the company added. The Export-Import Bank of Korea will invest 75 per cent of the $2.3 billion needed for construction, Kepco said. 

    The two-turbine project with total capacity of 1,200 MW has been approved by the Vietnamese Government, who selected the two companies as investors under the build-operate-transfer (BOT) mode following an international public auction.

    The project is expected to supply electricity for the economic development of the northern region while ensuring national energy security.

    Vietnam’s annual power consumption is about 162 billion kWh, according to estimates by Electricity of Vietnam (EVN). It has some 20 coal-fired plants and plans to increase the number to 32 by 2020 and 51 by 2030. This means that, by 2020, the country’s coal plants will be producing 49 per cent of its electricity output by burning 63 million ts of coal.

    This would then reach 129 million tons by the time it has all 51 plants in operation. Its revised National Power Development Plan for 2011-2020 (PDP XII) makes it clear that thermal power will be the mainstay of its energy mix.

    CMC opens company in Japan

    One of Vietnam’s largest telecoms operators, the CMC Corporation, officially opened CMC Japan in Yokohama city, Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan, on November 7.

    CMC Japan will provide high quality software engineers and world-class, comprehensive IT solutions and services to customers in Japan.

    The company will be based in Yokohama city, Kanagawa Prefecture, which has a range of supportive policies for new companies such as CMC Japan. This is an important starting point, creating stable development for CMC Japan in the time to come. It is expected that, by 2020, CMC Japan will have 1,000 employees.

    Mr. Kuroiwa Yuji, Governor of Kanagawa Prefecture, said there are many Vietnamese companies now operating in the prefecture. “Kanagawa always welcomes all companies to Japan,” he said. “I want this relationship to grow closer and be ‘win-win’.”

    Ambassador of Vietnam to Japan, H.E. Nguyen Quoc Cuong, congratulated the corporation on the occasion of its arrival in Japan and hoped that all cooperation between the two sides will grow strongly.

    “The APEC Summit is taking place in Vietnam and shows the stable relationship between Vietnam and Japan,” said Mr. Nguyen Minh Hong, Deputy Minister of Information and Communications. “In the past, the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications of Japan has always cooperated closely with the Ministry of Information and Communications. The presence of the CMC Corporation in Japan continues to affirm this close partnership.”

    CMC Corporation has over 24 years of development, with ten member companies in Vietnam and overseas. Its core services are systems integration, telecommunications - internet, software services, and manufacturing and distributing ICT products.

    It has been providing ICT products and services to many major multinational corporations in 21 countries around the world, such as Japan, South Korea, the US, the UK, and Singapore.

    In Vietnam, it is a partner in many ICT and telecommunications projects relating to the government, education, treasury, customs, insurance, electricity, and banking and finance.

    NFSC: 10M credit growth at 13.5%

    Total credit in Vietnam’s banking system expanded 13.5 per cent in the first ten months of the year, up from a 12.16 per cent increase in the first nine months, the National Financial Supervisory Commission (NFSC) wrote in a monthly report.

    Medium- and long-term loans accounted for 53.7 per cent of total lending, down from 55.1 per cent at the end of 2016, while shorter-term loans made up the remaining 46.3 per cent, compared to 44.9 per cent ten months earlier.

    Notably, lending in foreign currencies picked up 11.5 per cent in the ten-month period; higher than the 4.4 per cent in the same period last year, buoyed by larger imports.

    The weight of lending for real estate has now fallen to 15.5 per cent of total credit from 17.1 per cent in 2016.

    Consumer lending soared 58.6 per cent between January and October, “in line with the uptrend of consumption in the economy,” the report noted.

    The commission said that capital mobilization grew by an estimated 12 per cent from end-2016; lower than the 14.7 per cent expansion in the same period last year.

    It noted that bank liquidity remained stable at low levels in October, evidenced by interbank interest rates sliding 20 basis points from the previous month, with rates of overnight, one-week, and one-month loans being 0.9 per cent, 0.9 per cent, and 1.5 per cent per annum, respectively.

    Liquidity was supported by the State Bank of Vietnam (SBV) pumping in around VND130 trillion ($5.72 billion) since the start of the year.

    Since August, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has called for an increase in credit growth to 21 per cent from the SBV’s target of 18 per cent this year to help the country hit its economic growth target, potentially adding to concerns over the pace of new lending.

    In July, the SBV sprang a surprise on markets by reducing the refinancing rate, rediscount rate, overnight electronic interbank rate, and the rate of loans to offset capital shortages in clearance between the central bank and domestic banks by 25 basis points.

    The cuts, which come three years after the previous move, reduced the refinancing rate to 6.25 per cent and the rediscount rate to 4.25 per cent and were aimed at stimulating the pace of economic growth towards the 6.7 per cent target for 2017.

    Vietnam-US trade and investment thriving since normalisation

    The trade and investment relationship between Vietnam and the US has been thriving since normalisation in 1995 with the US having been the largest importer of Vietnamese goods.

    According to the General Department of Customs, bilateral trade reached US$42.13 billion in the first ten months of 2017, of which Vietnam’s exports to the world’s largest economy were worth US$34.53 billion.

    Among the 37 categories of Vietnamese exports to the US, nine have revenues of at least US$1 billion, notably garments and footwear.

    Vietnam’s imports from the US also include animal feed, raw materials, computers, electronic products and machinery.

    Besides trade, US foreign direct investment has also been a considerable contribution to Vietnam’s economic growth.

    Data released by the Foreign Investment Agency shows that US companies have invested an estimated US$10 billion in Vietnam, ranking 9th out of 128 countries and territories investing in Vietnam.

    According to James W. Fatheree, a vice president of the US Chamber of Commerce, Vietnam-US cooperation will further prosper in the time ahead and the US business community is very interested in Vietnam’s market because of its young population, rapid growth and progresses in economic reform.

    In the Vietnam-US joint statement on November 12, President Tran Dai Quang and President Donald Trump pledged to deepen and expand the bilateral trade and investment relationship through formal mechanisms.

    The two leaders also welcomed the announcement of more than US$12 billion in new commercial agreements during President Trump’s visit.

    Budget revenue meets 80.2% of the year’s estimate during Jan-Oct

    Vietnam’s total budget revenue reached VND972.6 trillion (US$42.8 billion) in the first ten months of 2017, equivalent to 80.2% of the year’s estimate and up 13.8% compared to the same period last year, announced the Finance Ministry (MOF) on November 10. 

    Domestic revenue during the period was at VND776.8 trillion (US$34.18 billion), making up 78.4% of the estimate, an increase of 12.7% year on year. Of the figure, collection from production and business activities was estimated at VND605.7 trillion (US$26.65 billion), equal to 77.4% of the estimate, up 10.1% over the same period in 2016.

    Revenue from crude oil was at VND37.86 trillion (US$1.66 billion), equal to 98.8% of the estimate, up 16.1% annually, whilst collection from import-export activities reached VND237 trillion (US$10.42 billion).

    According to the MOF, between January and October, about 47 of 63 provinces had their budget revenue exceed 81% of the year’s estimate; 58 of the 63 localities collected more than the same period of last year; and five provinces recorded lower revenue compared to 2016, mainly due to objective reasons.

    The government spending in ten months was estimated at VND1.01 quadrillion (US$44.57 billion), accounting for 72.9% of the year’s estimate, up 7.1% over the same period in 2016, making the central budget deficit during the period at roughly 69.6% of the estimate. Local budget balances witnessed a difference as revenue was greater than expenditure.

    In the remaining months of 2017, the MOF said that it will continue to work with relevant agencies to strengthen collection management, prevent loss of revenue, and combat trafficking, trade fraud and price action. The ministry will also focus on handling and recovering tax arrears, striving to exceed the State budget revenue estimate set for 2017 at the highest level.

    Continuous efforts will be made by the MOF to closely control public debt and restructure the list of public debts in orientation towards sustainability. In addition, the ministry will negotiate and accelerate the progress of signing and disbursing foreign loans as planned, whilst closely following the development of the world’s petrol and oil prices in service of the regulation of petrol prices in line with current regulations.

    Mekong Delta needs over $5.28 billion for green growth by 2025

    The Mekong Delta needs about VND120 trillion (US$5.28 billion) for public investment to ensure green growth in the phases of 2016-2020 and 2021-2025, reported the Ministry of Planning and Investment at a workshop yesterday. 

    That workshop discussing an action plan for green growth in five Mekong Delta provinces was held by the Ministry of Planning and Investment and relevant agencies in Phu Quoc island, Kien Giang province yesterday.

    Capital demand is expected to reach VND105 trillion in the phase of 2016-2020.

    According to the ministry, the plan aims at making the Mekong Delta a motive power in socioeconomic development in association with the environment and ecosystem protection, focusing on connectivity models and limiting negative environmental impacts.

    At first, the plan will be implemented in five provinces namely Kien Giang, Soc Trang, Hau Giang, Ca Mau and Bac Lieu.

    In the upcoming time, relevant agencies will build and adjust plans to adapt to climate change, invest in infrastructure, urban and traffic development to suit climate change as per the region’s plan.

    Low cost apartment supply scarce amid increasing demand in HCMC

    Half a million of households in HCMC have no houses and many are in need of low cost apartments. Still supply has increasingly reduced especially for the last one year because of land fund scarcity and high land prices after an eventful period. 

    For a long time, businesess in HCMC’s real estate market had paid much attention to high class and forgot low cost apartments. For the last few years, the later one has created vitality for the market. 

    Sometimes the high class segment met with difficulties or even became frozen, low cost products still had good liquidity.

    Few years ago, apartments were priced VND1 billion but the price has increased to swing around VND2 billion. Most projects have been well received by customers recently.

    Mr. Doan Chi Thanh, chairman of Hoang Anh Saigon Real Estate Company, told SGGP Newspaper that the company recently offered for sale over 500 apartments at Son Ky 1 project, Tan Phu district. They were sold out within two months. At that time, an apartment measuring over VND50 square meters was sold at VND700 million, which has doubled so far.

    Low cost segment has not only seen the attendance of small but also large companies such as Him Lam Land which has developed some projects with the price of VND1.5 billion an apartment.

    Him Lam Phu An in District 9 with nearly 1,100 apartments have nearly been sold out. Previously, customers bought all 500 apartments of Him Lam Phu Dong in Thu Duc district.

    At the lastest, Vingroup has participated in the segment with VinCity apartments priced from VND700 million for medium income people, said deputy chairman of the group Le Khac Tiep. The company planned to provide 200,000-300,000 VinCity apartments in seven large cities nationwide in the next 3-5 years. In HCMC, projects will be implemented in District 9.

    According to a survey by HCMC Construction Department and HCMC Institue for Development Studies, HCMC now has half a million households have no houses and their housing demand will strongly increase in the future.

    Deputy director of L&L Group Company said that apartments priced around VND1 billion used to be the major supply source in HCMC. Still, it has been difficult to seek these products for the last one year because of land fund scarcity and high land prices, which have rocketed input costs of projects.

    In addition, long lasting administrative procedures, land use fee instability and up loan interest rates have furthered hike low cost products’ prices and made supply fewer.

    Mr. Do Van Manh, director of Dat Xanh Mien Nam Company, said that the price of low cost apartments would set a new high in the upcoming months because supply was short of demand. Projects in outskirt areas with the price of below VND20 million a square meter has been fewer and fewer.

    Chairman of Dat Lanh Property Company Nguyen Van Duc said that the Government should issue more policies of openness for businesses to facilitate businesses’ attention in the segment. He suggested permitting companies to develop low cost projects like social housing projects in term of land use coefficient, construction density, and apartment area.

    Chairman of HCMC Real Estate Association Le Hoang Chau said that of 1.74 million people have been in housing difficulties. Of these, 40 percent urban households earn less than VND8.8 million a month and 60 percent earn below VND11.9 million a month.

    They are affordable for apartments priced around VND1 billion. Besides savings approximating 20-30 percent of apartment value, they can get bank loans to pay the remaining amount.

    The demand for VND1 billion apartments will highly surge by 2020, he predicted.

    At present, the market has seen only some low cost projects eligible for sale such as Riverside City in Thu Duc with 1,700 apartments and price of VND1.2 billion an apartment, Saigon Gateway in District 9.

    Besides, Thai Bao Company will continue offering for sale apartments at The Avila 2 project, District 8 with 3,738 apartments. An apartment of 50-77 square meters is expected to be sold at VND16-18 million a square meter or VND VND800-1 billion on average.

    VN Foodexpo opens in HCM City


    More than 450 exhibitors from 31 Vietnamese cities and provinces and over 20 countries are displaying their products at the four-day annual Vietnam Foodexpo that opened in HCM City on Wednesday.

    The country’s biggest exhibition of agriculture, seafood and food features among others vegetables, beverages, food ingredients, processed foods, and food processing technologies and equipment.

    Speaking at the opening ceremony, France’s ambassador to Viet Nam, Bertrand Lortholary, said this year, France is the Country of Honour and has 33 companies introducing their best processed meat, dairy and farm products and food processing equipment.

    France would also organise seminars on “Food Taste, Quality and Safety”, “How to reduce animal feed related risks to consumers’ health in Viet Nam” and “Bonjour French Food”, he said.

    “I hope that the free trade agreement between Viet Nam and the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) will be completed next year, creating favourable business conditions for Vietnamese, French and European firms.”

    Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Do Thang Hai said Viet Nam’s food industry is developing rapidly.

    The Vietnam Foodexpo, with the theme this year of “Better Food, Better Life”, would contribute to the overall development of the country and promote food industry businesses and products and services.

    “I believe it will create a favourable environment to promote business opportunities and trade and investment match-making in the fastest and most effective way for Vietnamese food companies.”

    According to organisers, the Viet Nam Trade Promotion Agency, the first two days of the expo are only for business visitors and the public can visit after that.

    There will be many big names such as Habeco, Satra, Vissan, Bibica Confectionery, Mekong Fishery, K-Coffee and Vinasoy.

    An exclusive area for large supermarket chains like Hapromart, Lotte Mart and Big C to directly meet with suppliers will also be set up.

    The exhibition is expected to attract 20,000 visitors while the foreign exhibitors are from promising export markets including South Korea, Japan, China, the United States, France, the EU, Singapore, Malaysia and the Middle East.

    The event is being held at the Sai Gon Exhibition Centre in District 7.

    Pangasius, vegetable prices highly hike in Mekong Delta

    Long lasting rain in combination with high tide for the last recent days has largely impacted farming production in the Mekong Delta, caused supply scarcity and rocketed pangasius fish and vegetable prices. 

    Pangasius prices have surged to the record high of VND27,000-28,000 a kilogram, bringing breeders a profit of VND4,000-6,000 a kilogram, according to agriculture and rural development departments in the Mekong Delta.

    Despite the high prices, supply has been limited as farmers did not broadened farming area owing to losses in previous crops.

    Businesses say that pangasius fish import demand will increase from now until the end of 2017 to serve Christmas and New Year seasons. Therefore, export will be advantageous and prices will remain high.

    Many traders in Dong Thap, An Giang province and Can Tho city said that they were paying as much as VND25000 a kilogram of tomato, VND15,000 a kilogram of pumpkin and VND15,000-18,000 a kilogram of cabbage. The prices of other vegetables have raised by VND5,000-10,000 a kilogram.

    Rambutan and durian prices have also strongly moved up in Ben Tre and Tien Giang provinces.

    Mr. Bui Thanh Liem, head of Agriculture and Rural Development Department in Cho Lach district, Ben Tre province, says that Thai rambutan is priced up to VND40,000-45,000 a kilogram and durian VND80,000-85,000 a kilogram.

    China's Alipay enters Vietnam

    Alipay, one of China’s most popular mobile payment solutions, is now available to use in Vietnam.

    On November 10, the leading online payment platform under Alibaba from China has signed a a strategic partnership agreement with National Payment Corporation of Vietnam (Napas) in Hanoi.

    Under the cooperation, Alipay in Vietnam will provide an online application for Chinese travelers currently staying in Vietnam to enable cross-border payments. The service is expected help users to save time and transaction costs.

    Established in 2004 by Alibaba Group, ,Alipay currently has over 520 million userswith the service supported in 200 countries and 18 popular currencies.


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  • 11/16/17--01:35: Article 4
  • Automatic railway signaling systems prove ineffective in Vietnam

    The Chinese-funded train signaling systems have led to near-collisions and train derailments

    ​Automatic railway signaling systems prove ineffective in Vietnam 
    The 6502 automatic interlocking system is seen at Trang Bom Station, located in southern Vietnam.

    An automatic railway signaling system worth over US$300 million installed at several train stations in Vietnam is falling short of expectations, leaving trains susceptible to derailments and collisions.

    Railway signaling is a system used to direct railway traffic and keep trains a safe distance from eachother by redirecting their paths to avoid collision.

    A key element of the signaling system is the “interlocking”, a signal apparatus that decides whether a train will continue on its current track or be redirected, eliminating the risks posed by having two trains on one track.

    While this task is traditionally done manually by train station staff, smart interlocking platforms capable of automatically signaling trains to move to specific tracks at junctions or crossings now exist in order to prevent crashes and improve safety.

    In 2003, Vietnam’s Ministry of Transport approved a project to install a smart interlocking system along three train routes connecting Hanoi with nearby Lao Cai, Dong Dang, and Thai Nguyen stations. The project came with a VND3.51 trillion (US$233.92 million) price tag, funded by Chinese loans.

    In December 2004, the transport ministry gave the go-ahead for a similar system to be installed on the Vinh-Saigon train route. This project’s first phase alone cost VND2.42 trillion ($106.61 million), also financed by loans from China.

    The company responsible for installing the interlocking system, known as “6502," was China Railway No. 6 Group Co., Ltd.

    Just one year later, Hanoi-Vinh became the fourth train route in Vietnam to have a smart interlocking system installed. The newest interlocking system, known as SSI, was developed by French rail transport firm Alstom at a cost of VND1.08 trillion ($47.58 million).

    Despite such massive investments, the automatic interlocking systems were never quite able to live up to expectations, resulting in several near-crash incidents and train derailments.

    A series of train derailments were recorded at the Van Dien Station in Hanoi from late 2016 through early 2017.

    On July 14, two trains nearly collided when they both entered the same rail track at the Suoi Van Station, part of the Saigon-Vinh route using 6502 interlocking system developed by the China Railway No. 6 Group.

    The two trains were heading to Suoi Van in the south-central province of Binh Thuan from opposite directions, yet the interlocking system signaled that both could enter the station via the No. 2 track.

    One of the two drivers was able to stop his train in time to prevent a collision. The trains were only 80 meters away from a head-on crash.

     ​Automatic railway signaling systems prove ineffective in Vietnam
    The SSI automatic interlocking system is seen at Giap Bat Station, near Hanoi. Photo: Tuoi Tre

    ‘Not problematic’

    In April 2017, Vietnam Railways admitted to several safety risks at train stations using the 6502 and SSI interlocking systems.

    Following a series of incidents caused by the automatic interlocking platforms, the Vietnam Railway Authority opened an investigation. 

    By late August, they had concluded that the 6502 system is designed to “receive two incoming trains at a time” – a violation of national safety standards.

    Many of the affected stations have since reverted back to manual train signaling in an attempt to restore a measure of safety.

    On September 15, the railway authority ruled that relevant agencies will review all issues related to the SSI and 6502 system and report their findings to the transport ministry.

    One railway expert has suggested that the investments in the automatic interlock systems, collectively totaling VND7 trillion ($308.37 million), should be reviewed and the exact problems be identified.

    However, Doan Duy Hoach, deputy head of Vietnam Railways, told Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper on Tuesday that the train signaling systems in question only have “asynchronous, rather than problematic, functioning.”

    Hoach refused to give an immediate comment on whether Vietnam Railways has plans to resolve the issue.

    Tuoi Tre News

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