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- 11/16/17--01:53: Article 3
- 11/16/17--01:58: Article 2
- 11/16/17--02:10: Article 1
- 11/16/17--02:24: Article 0
- 11/17/17--00:24: Article 5
- 11/17/17--00:35: Article 4
- 11/17/17--00:48: Article 3
- 11/17/17--01:28: Article 2
- 11/17/17--01:41: Article 1
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- 11/18/17--23:34: Article 3
- 11/18/17--23:56: Article 2
- 11/19/17--00:39: Article 1
- 11/19/17--01:09: Article 0
- 11/19/17--19:52: Article 6
- 11/20/17--00:54: Article 5
- 11/20/17--01:17: Article 4
- 11/20/17--01:28: Article 3
- 11/20/17--01:45: Article 2
- 11/20/17--02:04: Article 1
Tourism finds golden opportunity, crude oil loses position
Deputy PM Vuong Dinh Hue says that Vietnam would rather attract one more million travelers than exploit 1 million more tons of crude oil.
Crude oil was an important factor which made a great contribution to economic growth for a long time. But things have changed.
Reports show little impact of crude oil exports on Vietnam’s export growth in the last two years. Instead, export growth now relies on electronics and mobilephone exports.
The mining industry has been declining in the last two years, especially crude oil and coal exploitation.
In 2017, Vietnam has exploited 13.28 million tons of oil, or 3 million lower than 2016, though it intends to exploit an additional 1 million tons of oil to boost GDP growth.
“It was easy in the past to exploit an additional 1-2 million tons of oil. But now it is not. The mining output in the first nine months of the year was 8 percent lower than the last year,” Hue said.
Economists said this is good news that Vietnam is now seeking new channels for economic growth with no reliance on crude oil, commenting that growth not based on crude oil will be a path to sustainable development in the context of shrinking fossil-based energy and a developing tourism and service sector.
Tourism an alternative solution
Hue said it would be better to attract 1 million more travelers because the tourism sector is green and safe.
The mining industry still makes up 10 percent of GDP, which analysts say is still very high. But is more difficult to exploit oil, and export turnover depends on global market demand and prices.
SSI Research commented that in the current circumstances, Vietnam needs to restructure the economy and seek new motivation for economic growth, such as hi-tech agriculture and tourism.
A report from VNAT (Vietnam National Administration of Tourism) found that in the first nine months of the year, revenue from the tourism sector reached $16.5 billion, an increase of 26.5 percent over 2016.
Vietnam ranked sixth among the 10 fastest-growing tourism countries and it is leading in Asia in tourism development.
HSBC believes that Vietnam’s tourism has developed rapidly thanks to investment activities.
South Korea is the biggest foreign direct investor in Vietnam with capital mostly in the manufacturing sector. And Chinese businesses are now more interested in Vietnam real estate because of the government decision to allow foreigners to buy houses.
Thanh Lich, VNN
Finance Minister: Loans should be concentrated on key projects
Hanoi -Minister of Finance Dinh Tien Dung pointed out shortcomings in public debt management and put forth solutions to overcome in the coming time while answering questions raised by lawmakers at the fourth session of the 14th National Assembly in Hanoi on November 16.
Minister of Finance Dinh Tien Dung (Photo VNA)
Dung said it is necessary to map out a roadmap to gradually reduce overspending to ensure public debt safety.
Under the NA’s Resolution 25 on the five-year mid-term financial plan for 2016-2020, the legislature set a target of keeping public debt, government debt and foreign debt not exceed 65 percent, 54 percent and 50 percent of the gross domestic product (GDP), respectively, he elaborated.
The minister said the NA is discussing to adopt the revised Law on Public Debt Management, adding that the Ministry of Finance has proposed the Government promulgate decrees on enhancing the management of public debt and strengthening coordination between ministries and sectors in managing official development assistance (ODA).
More than ever, it is necessary to concentrate loans on key projects and gradually control growth of public debt and reduce State budget over-expenditure, he stressed.
“Controlling overspending is of importance, which means controlling growth of public debt and public debt ceiling,” he said, stressing the need to tighten the Government’s guarantees.
It is also a must to pay debt on time, strictly control public investment, and improve a legal framework for investment, bidding, inspection and audit, Dung added.
APEC 2017: Jakarta Post praises Vietnam’s role
Jakarta -The Jakarta Post has published an article lauding Vietnam’s position following the country’s hosting of the APEC Year 2017.
President Tran Dai Quang walks with APEC leaders - Russian President Vladimir Putin, US President Donald Trump, and Chinese President Xi Jinping (Photo: VNA)
The article stressed that the APEC 2017 Economic Leaders’ Week in Da Nang was a success, adding that Vietnam made efforts to secure the event by deploying 2,800 security officers.
All APEC member economies, including Indonesia, were in favour of Vietnam’s APEC theme and initiatives on economic integration, it said.
It noted that the Vietnamese economy is thriving, with exports recording continuous growth. The country has attracted a large amount of foreign capital thanks to its commitments to free trade, globalisation and economic reform.
The paper said Vietnam is undergoing a transformation from an agricultural country to an export-oriented economy and a country of industrialisation and modernisation. The nation’s progress in poverty alleviation has been shown in the reduction of poverty rate from 58.1 percent in 1993 to 7 percent in 2015.
The article concluded that Vietnam is emerging as a global investor and a ‘new star’ in Asia.
Vietnamese embassy works to ensure justice for sailors in Indonesia
The Vietnamese Embassy in Indonesia on November 15 sent a consular official to the court of Ranai in Indonesia’s Natuna islands, a day before a hearing for five Vietnamese captains who were arrested by Indonesian authorities at sea, to discuss the case with Indonesian prosecutors and lawyers.
Meeting the captains of the vessels and their lawyers, Nguyen Thanh Giang, who is in charge of consular affairs, learned that they had rejected the accusations and pointed to differences between where prosecutors said they were arrested and where they believe their vessels where operating.
The captains believed that they were arrested while operating in Vietnam’s waters.
Giang had a working session with representatives of Ranai prosecuting agency, asking for fair judgment in line with international and local law. He requested the court give reliable and verifiable evidence, especially on the exact position of the sailors when they were arrested.
The Vietnamese embassy also asked the court to soon conduct trial of pending cases to avoid prolonged detention, and send notices to the embassy so that it could dispatch representatives to the trials.
Waher Thorhiran from the Ranai prosecuting agency pledged that the cases will be handled justly. He also committed to carefully considering the position of the Vietnamese vessels.
According to the agency, sailors violating Indonesia’s exclusive economic zones or illegal fishing will not be detained as they will be freed right after their dossiers are completed. However, those who use banned fishing tools harming the environment will receive strict punishment of about US$36,000-145,000 or 6 months-2 years of imprisonment, while their boats will be destroyed.
It is unclear whether the captains have been accused of using banned fishing tools.
According to the Vietnamese embassy, the Vietnamese captains are in good health, but are extremely worried as they feel unfairly treated.
Consular officials of the embassy will be present at the court on November 16 during the hearing to ensure justice is upheld.
It’s the era of billion-dollar business transactions
The Vietnamese stock market on November 7 witnessed its biggest-ever transaction: 415 million VRE shares of Vincom Retail, worth $740 million, were transferred within one trading session.
The amount of shares foreign investors registered to buy was actually much higher, estimated at $2 billion. Well-known names such as Dragon Capital, Genesis, GIC, HSBC and Templeton bought shares at the historic trading session.
Prior to that, in mid-July 2017, the Vietnamese stock market witnessed a record high amount of VP Bank shares (VPB), worth $1.2 billion that tens of foreign investors registered to buy.
The impressive debut made by Vincom Retail has put the company of the dollar billionaire Pham Nhat Vuong on the list of 24 companies with capitalization value of at least $1 billion.
Vincom Retail has surpassed many other big companies in different fields, including VietinBank, Masan and Petrolimex, to become one of the 10 biggest shares in the stock market.
The retailer now has capitalization value of $3.4 billion, higher than commercial banks, except Vietcombank.
In late 2016 and early 2017, investors noticed the appearance of a series of large companies which had capitalization value reaching $1 billion and more after entering the bourse. These included Petrolimex, a petroleum distributor ($3 billion), ACV, ($7 billion) and Sabeco, a brewer ($8 billion).
The others are FLC Faros which has capitalization value of $4 billion, Vietnam Airlines ($1.5 billion) and Masan Consumer ($1.4 billion).
The businesses with capitalization value of billions of dollars has helped Vietnamese stock markets grow rapidly. The capitalization value of the HCMC bourse has reached $100 billion, while the total value of all three bourses (Hanoi, HCMC, UpCom) would be $130 billion, or 60 percent of GDP.
Vietnamese analysts have recognized two Vietnamese dollar billionaires – Trinh Van Quyet who has stock assets of $2.7 billion, and Pham Nhat Vuong who has $2.1 billion.
Meanwhile, Forbes lists two Vietnamese billionaires – Pham Nhat Vuong ($3.4 billion) and Nguyen Thi Phuong Thao ($1.9 billion).
Contrary to the prediction about a ‘gloomy November’ which was believed to be even worse than May, the VN Index continued to rise and has easily exceeded the 850 point threshold. The index has been increasing for the 11th consecutive month.
However, analysts noted that the liquidity in the market is relatively low, while the demand is mostly for blue chips. And cash flow is mostly from foreign investors.
M. Ha, VNN
Social News 16/11
ASEAN sends aid to typhoon victims in Vietnam
Aid arriving from ASEAN arrives at Cam Ranh Airport.
An aid package from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) for victims of deadly typhoon Damrey arrived in the south central province of Khánh Hoà Thursday morning.
An airplane from Malaysia carried the goods, including 600 sets of utensils, 3,000 sets of personal hygiene aids, 1,000 sets of house repair tools, an aluminium-clad ship and a 40 HP engine.
The goods, worth more than US$174,000, were sent by the Jakarta-based ASEAN Co-ordinating Centre for Humanitarian Assistance on Disaster Management, the primary regional co-ordinating agency on disaster management and emergency response.
The action is based on the ASEAN spirit of “One ASEAN, one response”, agreed upon by all members last year. It calls for fast and collective response to disasters in and outside the region.
Trần Quang Hoài, director of the Department of Natural Disaster Prevention and Control, said it was the second time this year that ASEAN had supported disaster-hit regions in Việt Nam.
“The first time was to support victims of flash floods and landslides in northern mountainous area in August.”
The deadliest storm to hit Việt Nam this year reportedly killed 91 people and left 23 missing in the central and south-central regions.
It also destroyed thousands of houses and farm land.
The Central Steering Committee for Natural Disaster Prevention and Control will work with four hardly-hit provinces, Khánh Hoà, Phú Yên, Quảng Ngãi and Bình Định, to allocate the goods.
On November 9, Russia sent an aircraft carrying 40 tonnes of goods to Việt Nam.
Russian President Vladimir Putin also instructed the Russian government to provide emergency aid worth $5 million.
Việt Nam has also received emergency aid from other countries, including Japan, China, the United States, South Korea, and New Zealand.
Typhoon Damrey leaves Khanh Hoa VND13.5 trillion damage
The central province of Khanh Hoa alone suffered damage VND13.5 trillion (US$594.48 million) with the worst hit being seafood farming in the aftermath of Typhoon Damrey, making landfall in the south central region of Vietnam early this month.
That number was nearly double compared to the province’s report to the Government a week ago.
The province alone has reported 44 dead, one missing and 212 injured people; 2,792 houses completely collapsed, 114,098 roofless and 1,141 boats wrecked.
In addition, 29,381 hectares of farming crops have been damaged, 133,023 hectares of seafood farming area and 68,864 fish rafts swept away.
Operations to remedy the typhoon’s consequences have been ongoing. So far, all students have returned to school and power supply has been resumed in many localities.
Illegal shipments intercepted by customs
Hà Nội Customs has confiscated more than 47 kilos of ivory tusk products and nearly eight kilos of synthetic drug illegally transported into Việt Nam in two separate cases through express postal services.
The ivory tusks were seized on August 31 in two parcels sent from Germany, weighing more than 60 kilos. Customs scanning indicated the goods may have been made from animals so were sent to the Institute of Ecology and Biological Resources for tests. Tests released recently showed that all the 47-kilos of the industrial goods were made from ivory.
Trading, storing and transporting ivory is forbidden in Việt Nam. Violators can be fined from VNĐ5-50 million or imprisoned from six months to five years.
In the other cases, customs in co-operation with anti-smuggling and anti-drug police discovered a suspicious imported parcel weighing 12.14 kilos sent from the Netherlands to Hà Nội and HCM City. The eight-kilo goods were then tested positive with 3.4-methylenedioxy-methamphetamine (MDMA).
The police then arrested two suspects in Hà Nội and one in HCM City. The case in under further investigation.
International workshop in Czech Republic spotlights East Sea issue
The Centre for Indo-Pacific Studies (CIPS) under the Metropolitan University Prague recently held a workshop on security in Asia in the Czech Republic.
More than 60 researchers from universities of the Czech Republic, Austria, the UK, Romania and India attended the event.
Takashi Hosoda, a lecturer from the Czech Republic’s Charles University, underlined the value of the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA)’s ruling in July 2016, especially the rejection of China’s unreasonable “nine-dash line” in the East Sea.
He said respecting and implementing the PCA’s ruling as well as international law plays a significant role in addressing regional disputes.
Hosoda also suggested using diplomatic measures and promoting the central role of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and cooperation mechanisms with the bloc to ensure mutual economic benefits, peace and stability in the region.
Director of the CIPS Maria Strasakova talked Vietnam’s policies in maintaining cooperative ties with China, affirming this is politically and economically important to both countries.
Participants showed interest in discussions of issues relating to developments and prospects to address disputes in the East Sea.
Vietnam a priority in Algeria’s economic development policies
Vietnam is always a priority in Algeria’s policy of developing economic-trade relations in Southeast Asia, Algerian Minister of Trade Mohamed Benmeradi said while receiving Vietnamese Ambassador to Algeria Pham Quoc Tru and Trade Counselor Hoang Duc Nhuan on November 14.
Benmeradi said Algeria wants to elevate bilateral trade ties to the same level as their sound political relations.
He added that Algeria is diversifying its economy to avoid dependence on oil and gas. In 2018, the Algerian government will consider removing its wood import ban.
To promote bilateral trade, the two sides agreed to continue improving legal frameworks, re-negotiate a bilateral free trade agreement (inked in 1994), and facilitate businesses’ operations.
They decided to increase trade promotion activities, enable enterprises to partake in trade events in their respective countries, and inform each other about changes in new policies and trade measures.
Vietnam and Algeria also agreed to set up cooperative ties in the banking sector and build a coordination mechanism to help businesses address trade disputes.
The aforesaid plans will be debated at the inter-governmental committee’s meeting, scheduled to take place in Algiers later this month.
Ambassador Tru said Vietnam exported 241 million USD worth of goods to Algeria in the first ten months of 2017, a year-on-year rise of 6.8 percent.
According to the General Department of Vietnam Customs, two-way trade increased 17 percent to reach 273.6 million USD in 2016, with Vietnam exporting 271 million USD worth of goods.
VSS to cut social insurance debt to under 3 percent
The Vietnam Social Security (VSS) hopes to reduce social insurance debt to below 3 percent of its full-year collection plan for this year, heard a conference held in Hanoi on November 15.
According to Nguyen Tri Dai, head of the collection department at the VSS, by the end of October, compulsory social insurance and voluntary social insurance collection have failed to reach targets, hitting 95.2 percent and 58.9 percent respectively.
He also said unpaid social insurance premiums reached 16.6 trillion VND (731 million USD) by end of October, accounting for 6.3 percent of the full-year collection plan.
He said that of the 16.6 trillion VND, a large portion had been owed for less than six months, with social insurance making up 7.3 trillion VND and unpaid health insurance 1.5 trillion VND.
Dai attributed the huge insurance debt to poor compliance with social insurance regulations by enterprises and insurance agencies. Some agencies do not report debt to local governments.
The VSS will take measures to cut social insurance debt owed by businesses to slash the insurance debt ratio to below 3 percent of the plan in the last months of this year, he said.
Social insurance agencies in provinces were asked to collect from enterprises that have not paid for less than six months and work with law enforcement agencies to inspect those that have owed insurance for more than six months.
Tran Dinh Lieu, Deputy General Director of VSS said as of October 31, provincial social insurance agencies had conducted 2,328 inspections on the collection of social insurance, health insurance and unemployment insurance, with few results.
Lieu said suing businesses owing social insurance premiums is a measure to reduce debt.
According to the Social Insurance Law, Labour Code and Civil Law, firms owing social insurance premiums can be taken to court, but suing businesses on the brink of bankruptcy has been problematic, with even successful lawsuits unlikely to yield payment.
The VSS is working with agencies to set up a decree which detailed the inspections as well as punishment on businesses who failed to obey insurance regulations to protect the interests of labourers. Cases will be referred to the police and settled in accordance with the law, he said.
Lao Deputy PM lauds Vietnam home affairs ministry’s support
Lao Deputy Prime Minister Sonesay Siphandone has spoken highly of cooperation between the Vietnamese and Lao ministries of home affairs as well as the Vietnamese side’s effective support and assistance, especially in training human resources.
At a reception for a visiting delegation from Vietnam’s Ministry of Home Affairs led by its Deputy Minister Nguyen Duy Thang in Vientiane on November 15, the Deputy PM underlined that the two ministries should enhance their collaboration to better fulfill assigned tasks as they are important agencies for the operation of the State apparatus.
He hailed the visit by the Vietnamese delegation, saying that it took place amid celebrations of the Viet Nam-Laos Solidarity and Friendship Year, the 55th anniversary of the diplomatic ties and 40 years of the signing of the Treaty on Amity and Cooperation Agreement between the two nations.
The visit will contribute to fostering the traditional friendship between the two nations in general and the two ministries in particular, he affirmed.
Over the past years, the two ministries have cooperated in exchanging information and experience in issues related to state and local administration, administrative border, civil servants, emulation and reward, religion and archives, according to Thang.
The Vietnamese ministry has held numerous workshops and experience exchanges while offering short-term training courses for Lao officials, he said.
In the future, the two sides will continue their cooperation in multiple fields, including the exchange of delegations, information and experience in related areas, he added.
Party chief attends great national unity festival in Hai Phong
Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong attended the festival of great national unity in Thuong Dien cultural village in Vinh Quang commune, Vinh Bao district, the northern city of Hai Phong on November 15.
The event was meant to celebrate the 87th anniversary of the Traditional Day of the Vietnam Fatherland Front (VFF) (November 18).
Together with local residents, the Party chief reviewed the glorious tradition of the VFF since its establishment, lauding its great role in gathering patriotic forces, classes, ethnic groups, religions and people from all walks of life in the fight against invaders and the national construction and defence.
He praised the VFF for initiating the event to uphold the spirit of solidarity among the public.
The leader expressed wish that the entire Party, people and army would stand united under the leadership of the Communist Party of Vietnam and the direction of the government to build a prosperous, democratic, equitable and civilised country.
Tran Van Pha, Secretary of the Party Committee and head of the Front Committee of Thuong Dien village said the average income per capita in the locality reaches 36 million VND (1,600 USD) per year, up 9.1 percent from 2016. The rate of poor households under multi-dimension standard was reduced to 2.9 percent last year.
On the occasion, the Party chief presented gifts to six poor households in the village.
Earlier, he offered incense and planted a tree at a temple dedicated to cultural celebrity Nguyen Binh Khiem in Ly Hoc commune, Vinh Bao district.
Disabled people in Quang Binh receive wheelchairs
The Lawrence S. Ting Memorial Fund and the Child Protection Fund of the central province of Quang Binh on November 14 presented 96 wheelchairs to people with disabilities across the province.
Speaking at the ceremony, Phan Chanh Duong, Director of the Lawrence S. Ting Fund, said the organisation has handed over nearly 19,500 wheelchairs to disabled people nationwide.
This is the fourth time it has sent wheelchairs to people in Quang Binh, bringing the total number of wheelchairs given to the province to 700, he added.
Nguyen Tien Hoang, Vice Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee, voiced his hope that the organisation will continue to support disadvantaged people of Vietnam and Quang Binh province in particular.
Hai Phong port city asked to envisage future development
The northern port city of Hai Phong needs to regularly review its development master plan and envisage how it will be in the next 10-20 years in order to take supplementary moves in a firm, step-by-step manner, General Secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV) Nguyen Phu Trong has told local authorities.
At a working session on November 15 in Hai Phong, the Party leader said the city boasts a lot of advantages and plays a significant position in the north. He recognised its achievements in economic restructuring and new rural building.
However, Hai Phong should fully tap its potential to grow vigorously and map out what to do in the three-year or five-year periods.
He emphasized the Party building and reorganisation as a key task, which relates to not only millions of Party members but also the whole political system, State apparatus, personnel work, and working lifestyle.
The prevention of corruption and negative phenomena must be conducted completely, drastically and persistently to create remarkable changes, he stressed.
Meanwhile, international integration, industrialisation and urbanisation must go with cultural preservation and promotion of great national unity, resilience, and creativity, he said.
He asked Hai Phong to reform growth models and promote investment attraction to take the lead in the country’s “Doi moi” (renewal) process.
Earlier on November 14, the Party leader visited the VINFAST automobile manufacturing complex and Dinh Vu-Cat Hai sea bridge - part of Tan Vu-Lach Huyen Highway - the longest sea bridge in Southeast Asia.
According to Secretary of the municipal Party Committee and Chairman of the municipal People’s Council, the gross regional domestic product (GRDP) expands by 12.73 percent per year, higher than the yearly target of 10.5 percent.
The export turnover is expected to grow by more than 22 percent in 2017 and hit 12 billion USD by 2020. The budget collection across the city is estimated at 71 trillion VND (3.12 billion USD) in 2017, up 26.22 percent against the previous year, while the total social investment is projected to reach nearly 68 trillion VND (2.99 billion USD).
At the end of this year, the city strives to have 74 new rural communes, making up over 53 percent of the total communes. By 2019, all communes are hoped to gain this status.
Flyover branch near HCM City airport opens to traffic
The second branch of the N-shaped flyover at the Nguyễn Thái Sơn-Nguyễn Kiệm roundabout in Gò Vấp District near HCM City’s Tân Sơn Nhất airport opened to traffic today.
The 367m-flyover branch, which connects Nguyễn Kiệm and Hoàng Minh Giám streets, will help ease traffic congestion at Việt Nam’s busiest airport.
The flyover, which costs VNĐ504 billion ($22.17 million), will have three branches when fully finished: connecting Hoàng Minh Giám Street to Nguyễn Thái Sơn Street; Nguyễn Kiệm to Nguyễn Thái Sơn; and Nguyễn Kiệm to Hoàng Minh Giám.
In July, vehicles were allowed to use the first branch which connects Hoàng Minh Giám and Nguyễn Thái Sơn streets.
After land clearance is completed, the construction of the last branch of the flyover will take about three months, according to the city’s Transport Department’s Urban Traffic Management Unit No. 3.
Crowded public hospital gets more beds, new building
The District 2 Hospital in HCM City yesterday inaugurated an eight-storey building with 110 beds that increases its capacity to 560 beds.
The 4,642sq.m building on Lê Văn Thịnh Street cost nearly VNĐ170 billion (US$7.5 million), according to Dr Trần Văn Khanh, the hospital’s head.
A steady increase in demand from locals and people in neighbouring areas meant the hospital was operating at 110 per cent, he said, adding that 593,511 patients were treated in the first nine months of this year.
The hospital has also acquired advanced equipment.
At the inaugural ceremony the hospital signed training agreements with Chợ Rẫy Hospital and University Medical Centre, two of the city’s premier public hospitals, to improve its quality.
Students asked to donate VNĐ1,000 for poor classmates
A two-year-old campaign in schools in the northern province of Ninh Bình which called on each student to donate at least VNĐ1,000 has helped build eight houses for poor students worth total VNĐ500 million (US$22,000).
Head of the organisation, Trịnh Như Lâm said that the “VNĐ1,000 for Red Scarf Houses” campaign that was launched by the province’s HCM Young Pioneer Organisation last year was welcomed by students, their families, local authorities, civil organisations and companies.
Lâm said that the campaign aimed to mobilise resources to help families, particularly those unable to afford housing.
The donation was used to build or improve housing for poor families of students who overcame their difficulties to study well. “The houses are considered gifts to encourage the students to go to school and study,” he said.
Schools and teachers have paid much attention to students’ conditions in order to offer timely support.
An eight-grader, Nguyễn Trung Chiến of Gia Sinh Secondary School in northern province of Ninh Bình, held his mother’s hand at the ground breaking for their new house early this month under the campaign “VNĐ 1,000 for Red Scarf Houses”.
Chiến, who lost his left arm, lives with his mother who suffers from Cirrhosis. They struggle to make ends meet, and Chiến said he hardly asked his mother for a snack or for new clothes. “Money must be saved to treat mom’s illness,” he said.
Chiến and his mother are too poor to afford a house. They are living in his grandparents’ house - a rundown roofed house.
At school, Chiến performs well and at home, after finishing his homework, he does all the housework including cooking and herding a cow, all to reduce the burden on his mother.
Chiến said that he liked maths the most and he has many dreams. Now, he wants his mother to be cured.
He said that he will keep studying to get a good job and support her.
His mother said that without aid from his school and donators, she could never have dreamed of a new house.
The house of about 60sq.m is expected to be completed early next year. At the ground breaking ceremony, the youth union of Gia Viễn District gave Chiến’s family two tonnes of cement and the union members from communes including Gia Sinh, Gia Minh, Gia Phong, Gia Lạc and Gia Trung worked to speed up the construction.
Another beneficiary, Phạm Thị Lan Trang, studying in the eighth grade of Khánh Công Secondary School, said that she was very happy to live in a new house that was much better than her old one. “For the first time, I have a bright clean corner for studying at home,” she said.
Trang’s father suffers from a mental disorder and she said that her father’s health had improved after moving into the new house. “I wish the campaign could help more poor students,” she said.
Cửa Đạt reservoir threatened by erosion
Recent heavy rains and strong winds have caused serious erosion to hundreds of metres of Cửa Đạt reservoir’s strong dam in the central province of Thanh Hóa.
The reservoir’s wall and sluice gate to the left have been damaged by large concrete blocks, Dân Trí website reported.
According to the report of the provincial Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, due to the impact of typhoon Doksuri - the year’s 10th storm over the East Sea, nearly 400m of the concrete dam has been severely eroded, making the reservoir unsafe.
The provincial People’s Committee has reported the incident to the Government, seeking funding for urgent repairs.
Sông Chu One Member Limited Company has been asked to inspect and monitor the erosion, and build a forbidden signal against entering.
It also needs a special inspection by experts from the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development to evaluate the overall situation of embankment erosion in order to ensure stability of the reservoir in discharging water in cases of emergency.
Cửa Đạt reservoir has been in use from November 2010 and is the largest hydropower and irrigation construction of the country with a capacity of 1.5 billion cubic metres.
It was built in Thường Xuân District’s Xuân Mỹ Commune, with VNĐ7 trillion (US$311 million).
The reservoir has contributed to flood control in the downstream of Chu River, ensuring sufficient supply of water for more than 86,000 hectares of agricultural land, supplying water for domestic use and for industrial use.
Television reports competition on cigarette prevention launched
A television broadcast competition on the topic of cigarette harm prevention and control was launched on Wednesday in Hà Nội by the Ministry of Information and Communications.
The competition aims at improving education on cigarette smoking effects and encouraging reporters and television programme producers to enthusiastically participate in education activities to prevent cigarette harm.
Television programmes in Vietnamese or those that have Vietnamese subtitles on cigarette smoking effects, prevention and control that were broadcast on different channels this year can join the competition.
The competition organiser will award one first prize of VNĐ15 million (US$660), three second prizes of VNĐ13 million ($570) each, four third prizes of VNĐ10 million ($440) each and five encouragement prizes of VNĐ7 million ($310) each.
Besides this, the organiser will present one first prize and two second prizes for outstanding teams with prizes worth VNĐ20 million ($880) and VNĐ17 million ($750) each, respectively.
Submissions for the competition can be sent to the Ministry of Information and Communications at No 18 Nguyễn Du Street in Hà Nội’s Hai Bà Trưng District by the end of January next year at the latest.
Speaking at the launch ceremony, Deputy Minister of Information and Communications Hoàng Vĩnh Bảo said the organiser hoped that the competition would be a motivation for reporters and editors to make more television news and programmes on the issue to change awareness and behaviour of the whole society on how cigarette smoking harms people’s health and the economy.
Hanoi smashes trans-border drug smuggling via postal services
Hanoi’s customs officers in collaboration with forces from the Ministry of Public Security have busted a drug trafficking ring using express postal services.
As part of the raid, three suspects and 26,700 ecstasy pills were seized on November 15.
The drug ring was on the police’s radar as suspicions arose from a box imported from the Netherlands to Vietnam. After examination, officers found it contained nine plastic coffee bags, which were filled with blue pills. The pills were found to be synthetic drugs.
When three suspects, one from Ho Chi Minh City and two from Hanoi, came to retrieve the box, they were arrested.
Further investigation is underway.
APEC 2017: Jakarta Post praises Vietnam’s role
The Jakarta Post has published an article lauding Vietnam’s position following the country’s hosting of the APEC Year 2017.
The article stressed that the APEC 2017 Economic Leaders’ Week in Da Nang was a success, adding that Vietnam made efforts to secure the event by deploying 2,800 security officers.
All APEC member economies, including Indonesia, were in favour of Vietnam’s APEC theme and initiatives on economic integration, it said.
It noted that the Vietnamese economy is thriving, with exports recording continuous growth. The country has attracted a large amount of foreign capital thanks to its commitments to free trade, globalisation and economic reform.
The paper said Vietnam is undergoing a transformation from an agricultural country to an export-oriented economy and a country of industrialisation and modernisation. The nation’s progress in poverty alleviation has been shown in the reduction of poverty rate from 58.1 percent in 1993 to 7 percent in 2015.
The article concluded that Vietnam is emerging as a global investor and a ‘new star’ in Asia.
Vietnam triumphs at SEA age group swimming champs
Vietnam topped the Southeast Asian (SEA) Age Group Swimming Championship, which concluded at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Sports Complex Swimming Pool in Brunei on November 12.
Vietnam earned a total of 51 gold medals, 27 silvers and 13 bronzes to take the lead in the medal tally.
On the last day of competition, Vietnamese swimmers bagged 19 gold medals, six silvers and six bronzes.
This year’s event attracted the participation of 235 swimmers from nine countries. They competed in three age groups of 13 and under, 14-15 and 16-18.
Vietnam sent a total of 27 swimmers to the three-day meet including 15 males and 12 females. The youngest member from the Vietnamese team was aged 13.
Notably, 15-year-old Nguyen Huu Kim Son set a new record with a time of 3:56.46s in the boys’ 14-15 400m freestyle, eclipsing the old time of 4:01.01s set by his compatriot Nguyen Huy Hoang in December 2015.
Son also made a new SEA Age Group record after clocking a time of 2:06.47s in the 200m medley category, surpassing a five-year record of 2:06.50s previously set by his compatriot Tran Duy Khoi in June 2012.
At the same event held last year, Vietnam also triumphed with 39 gold medals, 39 silvers and 27 bronzes.
3,000 join Olympic 2030 sporting event
Around 3,000 people are attending the third Olympic 2030 sporting event for Vietnamese entrepreneurs, double the figure of last year.
During the event until December 3, the contestants will compete in 15 sports, including football, table tennis, badminton, swimming, bowling, billiards, Chinese chess, futsal, golf, cycling, mountain bike racing, off-road racing and tennis.
Organized by the 2030 Businessmen Club under the Saigon Times Club, the annual sporting event is aimed at creating a playground for entrepreneurs to improve physical fitness and build business links.
This year’s event has received support from many local businesses such as Long Hoang Security Services, An Cuong Wood Working JSC, Thang Loi Group, U.S. Investment Services Company and Goli Garment Co Ltd.
Miss Vietnam World 2014 Bui Thi Ha is the ambassador of the sporting event. As part of the event, a photo contest and a sportwear costume show will be held.
Work begins on HCMC’s largest water pipeline project
Saigon Water Corporation (Sawaco) today starts work on a project for designing, providing and installing a 10-kilometer fresh water pipeline – the longest in HCMC, according to a Thanh Nien newspaper report.
This is the largest construction item of a project intended to reduce water loss, expand the water supply network citywide, and support Sawaco in the 2011-2015 period.
The project costs US$154 million, including an official development assistance (ODA) loan of US$138 million from the Asian Development Bank, US$13 million from the State budget and the remainder from Sawaco.
The project is implemented by Sawaco and France’s consortium comprising VINCI Construction Grands Projets and Bessac CW1, and is scheduled for completion within three years and a half.
The pipeline which has a diameter of 2.4 meters will pass from Binh Thai Intersection in District 9 to an intersection between Dien Bien Phu and Nguyen Binh Khiem streets.
Sawaco will receive water from water plants, and will improve service quality in water supply for more than half of local residents.
Fresh water suppliers in HCMC have a total treatment capacity of over two million cubic meters a day. Tan Hiep, Thu Duc 1, 2 and 3, BOO Thu Duc and Kenh Dong are the city’s major water plants.
Southeastern seaport exploitation shows many problems
Many problems in planning and exploiting seaports in Group 5 in the southeastern region were pointed out at a conference hosted by the Ministry of Transport yesterday.
Statistics from 2016 show that general and container ports in Cai Mep-Thi Vai area handled about 40.9 million tons of cargo reaching 45 percent of design capacity. Container goods reached 2.03 million TEU, increasing 50 percent compared to the same period last year but accounting for only 30 percent of their capacity.
In HCMC, Cat Lai container terminal has increasingly been overloaded and caused badly traffic jam while other container ports have operated at only 5-21 percent of their capacity. Macro solutions regulating cargo volume among seaports in the group has been short so goods has mainly streamed to HCMC. Cargo services and seaport connectivity has been asynchronous.
The Ministry of Transport has said it would not license new container ports in the group but it would speed up seaport removal, intensify connectivity, develop logistics service, improve polices and better administrative reform from now until 2020.
According to reports by Vietnam Marine Administration, seaports in Group 5 play the leading role in six groups nationwide, handling about 45 percent of cargo volume and 60 percent of containers through Vietnamese seaport system annually.
For the last past, the Government and ministries have paid attention to investing in infrastructure structure for the group. However seaport development process has raised some problems affecting investment and exploitation efficiency.
The Ministry of Transport has established a project to improve the efficiency of seaports in Group 5 and wharfs in Cai Mep-Thi Vai area. The project has been approved by the Prime Minister.
Afterwards the ministry has instructed relevant sides to review and adjust the detail plan for the southeastern seaports by 2020 with visions till 2030. The plan adjustment is towards slowing down the progress of building new seaports in the group and focusing on expanding general and container ports to maximize the capacity of existing seaports.
Since 2013, HCMC, Ba Ria-Vung Tau and Dong Nai People’s Committees have worked with the Ministry of Transport to not build new seaports; expand container and general ports to share pressure for overloaded seaports.
The ministry has drastically required relevant sides to remove wharfs from the Saigon river and Ba Son shipyard.
In addition, the project has implemented solutions about seaport connectivity intensification, service price policies and administrative reform and gained positive changes.
HCM City leaders congratulate senior teachers
Ho Chi Minh City’s leaders went around town this morning congratulating and praising senior teachers for the Vietnamese Teacher Day (November 20).
On behalf of the city authorities, Vice Secretary of the Ho Chi Minh City Party Committee Vo Thi Dung had a meeting with 80 year old Professor Cao Minh Thi , former director of the Department of Education and Training.
Though he sits on the wheelchair, he still gives his whole mind to scientific research especially in nano technology field.
Lately, he and his partners released a book on nanotechnology aiming to bring knowledge of the technology to every people simply especially students in high schools.
Ms. Dung sent her congratulation to the professor express her gratitude to his contribution to the education sector.
Later, she presented flower and congratulated Professor Nguyen Tan Phat, former education deputy minister and former director of Vietnam National University in Ho Chi Minh City expecting him to continue devote to the education sector generally and the university particularly.
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.
Awards honour Vietnamese talents nationwide
Hanoi -The Vietnam Talent Awards 2017 were presented in Hanoi on November 16, honouring persons with practical inventions and initiatives.
Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc (centre) and Minister of Information and Communications Truong Minh Tuan (first, left) present the first award in the field of IT (Photo: VNA)
The awards honoured people in the fields of information technology, science-technology, health care – pharmacy, environment, and talent encouragement.
Notably, up to 289 IT-related entries were submitted to this year’s contest. The top winner in IT was a team from the Da Nang-based Duy Tan University who created a programme that applies 3D virtual reality technology to simulate the human body for teaching, learning and researching activities in health sciences.
The Vietnam Talent Awards 2017, the 13th edition so far, were initiated by the Vietnam Association for Promoting Education. Since its launch, the awards have received entries from thousands of IT talents and hundreds of scientists, from octogenarians to primary students.
Addressing the awards ceremony, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc affirmed that the prosperity of each nation is closely associated with talents. He noted the awards have encouraged learning and creativity among people of all ages.
He congratulated the award winners, describing them as prime examples of the devotion, creativity and wisdom of Vietnamese people.
Mentioning national development amid Industry 4.0, PM Phuc said the country will grow if it makes use of development opportunities, or else it will lag behind. It’s time for young people to start their careers and intelligentsia to join hands to innovate for a bright future.
PM Phuc added that a learning and creative society is an ideal environment for the development of Vietnam and also an important driving force for building a growth-enabling and action-oriented Government.
The Vietnam Talent Awards are sponsored by the Ministry of Information and Communications, the Ministry of Science and Technology, the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Education and Training, the Vietnam Academy of Science and Technology, and the Vietnam Union of Science and Technology Associations.
Hanoi considers raising increased road rental fees
Hanoi authorities have considered tripling pavement rental fees in order to restrict private vehicles and reduce pavement violations.
Many pavements and roadbeds in Hanoi used as parking lots
The move is aimed to contribute to raising the city’s budget revenues and also encourage the construction of smart parking lots.
Under the proposal of the Hanoi People’s Committee, the pavement and roadbed rentals for car keeping at 12 major streets in Hoan Kiem District will be raised from VND80,000 (USD3.63) to VND240,000 (USD10.9) per square metre per month.
The rentals for other streets in Hoan Kiem District will be increased to VND150,000 (USD6.81) from VND60,000 (USD2.72) per square metre per month.
Meanwhile, the fees will be adjusted to VND135,000 (USD6.1) from VND45,000 (USD2.04) per square metre per month for motorbike keeping at 12 major streets in Hoan Kiem District. For other areas, the rentals will be raised to VND90,000 per square metre per month from VND45,000.
According to Thai Tien Dung, deputy head of Hanoi Tax Department, Hanoi kept pavement and roadbed rentals unchanged for many years. So, the higher rentals are aimed to restrict private vehicles amid the city’s serious traffic jams and help to add to the city’s budget revenues.
This would also encourage firms to invest in smart parking lot projects.
However, Nguyen Xuan Thuy, former director of Transportation Publishing House under the Ministry of Transport, said that Hanoi’s centre city was facing a serious shortage of parking lots, so, the pavement rental increases are not suitable. It would be more important to consider the construction of underground parking lots to serve people’s demand. The government needs to have preferential investment mechanisms to encourage investors for these projects.
Lawyer Tran Tuan Anh from Hanoi Lawyers Association said that increasing the pavement rentals is a way to raise the city’s budget, however, it was vital for Hanoi to think of how to use and manage this source of funding in an effective way to avoid waste.
However, Dr. Dao Ngoc Nghiem, vice chairman of Hanoi Urban Planning and Development Association, supported the proposal, said it is totally appropriate for Hanoi’s current condition.
Nguyen Nguyen Quan, Head of Urban Division of the Hanoi People's Council, said that Hanoi People’s Committee had submitted the proposal to the municipal Council for consideration. Municipal authorities will seek public opinion on the proposal.
Communication promoted on climate change adaptation in Mekong Delta
Can Tho -A communication strategy on the Mekong Delta Plan was launched at a workshop in Can Tho city on November 15.
Drought dries up a rice field in the Mekong Delta due to impacts of climate change. (Photo: VNA)
The event was jointly organised by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) in Vietnam, and the Can Tho University.
It was part of activities in the framework of the agreement on strategic partnership on climate change adaption and water management between the Governments of Vietnam and the Netherlands, funded by the Netherlands Enterprises Agency.
The workshop introduced a comprehensive publicity campaign on the Mekong Delta Plan in all 13 regional city and provinces, including lecturer training programmes and training courses targeting delegates from the 13 localities.
Pham Phu Binh, Director of the ministry’s Department of International Cooperation, highlighted the important role of the Mekong Delta in the nation’s economic development. However, he said the impacts of climate change, unplanned development and overuse of natural resources have put the region’s future at risk.
The Government and international community have developed strategies and programmes to adapt to and minimise climate change impacts, including the Mekong Delta Plan, Binh said.
Addressing the event, Dutch Consul-General to HCM City Carel Richter said the plan maps out disciplines on sustainable development for the Government of Vietnam to follow, taking into account the two factors of economic development and environment protection.
The plan has received support from the Vietnamese Government, sponsors, and partners, he added.
According to the Can Tho University, the Mekong Delta contributes 18 percent of the nation’s GDP, mostly in agriculture and fisheries. However, the region’s future is being threatened by climate change and economic development. The Mekong Delta is said to be one of the world’s five deltas hardest hit by climate change.
The plan is expected to help the Mekong Delta adapt to climate change challenges and turn them into opportunities to develop sustainably, thus ensuring locals’ stable and well-off lives as well as preserving the region’s traditional cultural value, said Deputy Rector of the university Tran Trung Tinh.
BUSINESS IN BRIEF 17/11
VNPT launches communication joint-venture in Myanmar
Within a visit framework to Myanmar, Minister of Information and Communications Truong Minh Tuan yesterday attended in a launching ceremony of StreamNet Company in Yangon capital.
The opening made at cooperation between Vietnam Posts and Telecommunications Group (VNPT) and Elite Telecom Public Company Limited in Myanmar.
Speaking at the ceremony, the minister emphasized the StreamNet company's establishment is from negotiation and cooperation efforts between VNPT group and Elite Public Telecom Company.
Chairman of VNPT's Members' Council Tran Manh Hung said that VNPT opened its representative office in Myanmar in 2014, aiming to develop its investment and business activities in Myanmar.
By 2015, VNPT became a partner of Elite Telecom Puplic Company. In September, 2017, StreamNet Company was officially established with total investment capital of US$ 15 million in the first phase, of these, VNPT contributed 67 percent and Elite Telecom was 33 percent over total capital.
After StreamNet company is put into the operation, it will provide communication services including FTTx, Leased Line VPN, IP transit, satellite system, email, web hosting to the people of Myanmar.
Italy Airways opens charter flights between Milan and Phu Quoc
Neos Airways said it would open charter flights from Milan (Italy) to Phu Quoc of the Southern province of Kien Giang from December 19 to April, 2018.
The flights will schedule every week on Wednesday using Boeing 767-300ER with 250 seats.
Earlier, Bangkok Airways opened flight route connecting between Bangkok-Thailand to Phu Quoc island district –Kien Giang province with four flights per week.
Phu Quoc island district is expected to attract more international visitors in the upcoming time.
Hà Nội to promote development of support industry in 2017-20
The capital city of Hà Nội has launched a development plan for support industries during the period 2017-20 with a vision to 2025 to promote development of enterprises within the industry.
According to the Hà Nội Department of Industry and Trade, the plan will focus on developing three key areas, including production of parts, auxiliaries for hi-tech products, along with the garment, textile and footwear industries.
The city will develop support programmes that match the ability of enterprises, requirements of multinational corporations, and that meet international standards in the field of support industries. It will also develop enterprises in the support industry, reaching international standards in production management and product quality.
The plan will establish production systems with connections among suppliers and multinational corporations, foreign enterprises, producers in Hà Nội, and other places nationwide.
Hà Nội will promote supplies in the key northern economic region, especially among industries having high demand for auxiliary products. These include automobile and motorbike production in Hà Nội, Vĩnh Phúc, Bắc Giang and Hải Phòng; mechanical products in Hà Nội, Vĩnh Phúc, Thái Nguyên and Hải Phòng; and mobile phones in Bắc Ninh, Thái Nguyên and Vĩnh Phúc.
To assure the plan is successful, the city will continue to offer more efficient support for enterprises and link Vietnamese enterprises with foreign businesses.
The city will also seek investments for the parts supply industry, supporting enterprises in human resources development and technology transfers, reforming administrative procedures, and improving the investment environment.
Currently, Việt Nam is home to about 0.3 per cent of the approximately 500,000 enterprises operating in the parts supply industry, including 200 enterprises in Hà Nội.
According to experts, the parts supply industry has not developed as expected due to poor awareness about the industry, lack of capital and technology, and low investment.
Also, implementation of policies on encouraging development of the support industry has not been as efficient as expected.
HDBank invites foreign shareholders before listing
Vietnam’s Housing Development Bank 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 the 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 normally holds 15 per cent of the shares.
Instead, it will court four overseas investors, offering less than 5 per cent of ownership to each.
This process is similar to what budget carrier Vietjet did last year when it sought foreign shareholders before listing. Nguyen Thi Phuong Thao is currently the airline’s CEO, besides holding the majority of the shares at HDBank.
In particular, Thao’s Vietjet conducted an initial public sale according to international standards, helping the airline’s stocks to attract overseas investors and rise by 26 per cent following the listing. Vietjet is also paying generous dividends to shareholders this year, a testament to its positive business results.
Back to HDBank, it seems that the lender is on track to receive foreigners’ attention, as the overall banking system in Vietnam has been recovering well this year.
Thao previously told the media that HDBank is planning to expand to other provinces in Vietnam, particularly to rural areas where locals are still new to financial services. The bank has hired Goldman Sachs as the strategic adviser for this deal.
“We want to target the 70 per cent of the Vietnamese population that has never used any financial services before. HDBank aspires to become Vietnam’s top digital retail bank in the next five years,” said Thao.
The lender’s stock is traded on the over-the-counter market at VND29,000 ($1.2), with limited supply.
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.
VIMO.vn E-Wallet makes shopping easier for Chinese tourists
VIMO.vn E-Wallet announced on November 13 the first intermediary payment unit that allows Chinese travelers to use WeChat Pay (Weixin Pay) e-wallets to make payments in Vietnam dong (VND) at VIMO-accepting stores when traveling to Vietnam.
Any store in Vietnam can install the “VIMO Merchant” app from phones or tablets and then register a bank account to receive sales revenue at https: //merchant.vimo.vn.
When Chinese tourists pay for a purchase, the vendor enters the order information and the payment amount in VND to generate a QR code. The tourists then use the WeChat Pay e-wallet installed on their phone to scan the QR code of the seller to complete the cashless payment transaction within seconds. The store receives the payment to its bank account in Vietnam within two working days at most.
WeChat Pay also has its own procedures to suggest shops and stores accepting VIMO Merchant Payments to Chinese travelers, which will help increase sales revenue for local businesses.
WeChat Pay and Alipay are the two dominant e-wallets in China, with growth of 20-fold over the last four years, reaching nearly $2 trillion in 2016 from 1 billion regular users.
Almost all activities, such as dining, shopping, entertainment and travel, can be paid for by scanning the QR code through the WeChat Pay and Alipay payment apps on mobile phones.
Following the wave of Chinese tourists traveling abroad in recent years, WeChat Pay and Alipay are also competing aggressively to expand their payment acceptance networks in Europe and Southeast Asia.
“Vietnam is one of the most attractive destinations in the region for Chinese tourists, estimated to reach 3.5 million people this year and bring in revenue of some $3 billion,” said Mr. Do Cong Dien, General Director of VIMO.vn. “After a period of inquiry and negotiation, in early June, VIMO signed an e-payment agreement and connection with Tenpay Payment Technology - the owner of WeChat Pay - with the aim of bringing convenience to Chinese tourists as well as bolstering tourism revenue in Vietnam.”
Vimo is now expanding its cooperation with many overseas partners in countries with a large percentage of tourists coming to Vietnam every year, such as South Korea.
After six months of testing, VIMO.vn has nearly 500 shops accepting QR Code payments via WeChat Pay, of which more than 50 belong to seven corporations at five international airports catering to direct flights from and to China.
“After the pilot of VIMO Merchant at certain stores at international airports, sales to Chinese visitors have grown several times in just a few months,” said Mr. Nguyen Quang Tuan, Deputy General Director of the Song Viet Group, which provides non-aviation services at most domestic and international airports in Vietnam. “Based on that achievement, we will be implementing VIMO Merchant extensively at all Song Viet stores nationwide before the end of the 2017 and early in 2018.”
VIMO is the first intermediary payment unit cooperating with WeChat Pay to allow Chinese travelers to make payments in Vietnam.
Vietnam, Norway share experience in aquaculture cultivation
Norway, the world’s leading seafood exporter, shared its experience in applying advanced technology for aquaculture farming and processing at a conference held in Ho Chi Minh City on November 14.
Harald Naevdal, trade counsellor at the Norwegian Embassy in Vietnam, said that along with using high technologies and a modern management system, Norway has paid due attention to seeking markets for its seafood.
Norwegian enterprises are willing to share their experience with Vietnam so that the country can develop its aquaculture sector sustainably, he noticed.
Tran Dinh Luan, Deputy Director General of the Directorate of Fisheries under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, said that despite Vietnam is always in the world’s top countries in terms of aquaculture cultivation, the country has yet fully tapped the sector’s potential.
He hoped that exchanging information and experience with Norway will help Vietnam promote effective aquaculture farming.
Else Marie Stenvik Djupevag from the Norwegian Directorate of Fisheries underlined that in Norway, various production and cultivating areas are zoned off based on environmental evaluation to reduce risks for aquaculture development.
Meanwhile, Oyvind Fylling-Jensen, Managing Director of the Norwegian Institute of Food, Fisheries and Aquaculture Research, stressed that bio-tech should be deployed in breeding, genetic and nutrition research, which will bring efficiency in aquaculture farming and processing chain.
Last year, Vietnam had 1.3 million hectares of aquaculture farming areas with total productivity of 3.65 million tonnes. Key importers of Vietnamese seafood are the US, the EU, the Republic of Korea, and Japan.
Learning academy TEKY conducting ICO
The first STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics) initial coin offering (ICO) in the world is being conducted by Vietnamese learning academy TEKY from November 11 to January 14.
Two hundred and eighty million TEKY coins are up for sale, with a target of raising as much as $25 million, a senior executive at the company confirmed with DEALSTREETASIA and also emphasized that buyers from Southeast Asia, China, Russia, Japan, South Korea, and India are on the radar.
The sale consists of two sessions, with a pre-sale open until December 10. Up to 40 per cent in bonuses will be offered to buyers in this session, while 25 per cent in bonuses will be offered to buyers in the ICO public sale from December 15 to January 14.
TEKY Coin owners can use the digital currency to purchase smart toys and technology devices at TEKY’s e-retail shop, MEK.store, which is expected to be launched in March next year, or apply for a STEAM course at a TEKY Academy in Southeast Asia.
After the ICO, TEKY will be listed on the Token Exchange to serve the needs of international technology exchange.
The first two TEKY facilities were established in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City in 2016 with investment from Vietnam’s Electronics Technology NextTech, also an e-commerce ecosystem developer.
The market for IT training is estimated at some $500 million in Vietnam, with approximately 21 million K-12 students, about 40 per cent of whom are from the two cities.
Many people anticipate virtual currencies will flourish in Vietnam. As one of the world’s fastest-growing economies, many of its citizens now have access to smartphones but have never utilized traditional banking services.
Vietnam is examining an increase in investment and businesses transactions with digital money, the scale of which is undoubtedly escalating.
Vietnam attends India international trade fair
Vietnam is participating in the 37th India International Trade Fair (IITF) held in New Delhi as a partner country.
Speaking at the opening ceremony on November 14, Indian President Ram Nath Kovind described Vietnam as a pillar in India’s Act East Policy.
He expressed his belief that the IITF, which lasts till November 27, will help reinforce the bilateral trade relations.
Meanwhile, India’s Minister of Trade Suresh Prabhu highlighted Vietnam as an important trade partner of India.
According to the Vietnam Customs, two-way trade reached 5.62 billion USD in the first nine months of 2017, a year-on-year rise of 43.4 percent.
The Indian Ministry of Industry and Trade expects the bilateral trade to hit 10.73 billion USD at the end of this year.
Nearly 3,000 enterprises are taking part in the trade fair.
Property and tourism investment becomes Quang Ninh’s strength
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.
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.-
Can Tho, RoK’s Gimcheon discuss future cooperation
The Mekong Delta city of Can Tho and Gimcheon, the central city of the Republic of Korea discussed their future cooperation in trade, investment and social welfare in a meeting between the two cities’ leaders on November 13.
Chairman of the People’s Committee of Can Tho Vo Thanh Thong hosted a reception for Mayor of Gimcheon Park Bo Saeng in which he briefed his guest on the local socio-economic development, noting the RoK has been assisting the city in two ODA projects – the Vietnam-Korea Industrial Technology Incubator and a project supporting the city in agricultural mechanisation.
Can Tho, the Mekong Delta’s economic hub, looks to enhance partnership with the region’s developed economies, particularly the RoK, Thong said, adding that the city welcomes all Korean investors to explore business opportunity here.
Park, for his part, said Gimcheon wants to boost cooperation with Can Tho in the fields of economics, culture and education for mutual development.
The Korean city wishes to set up partnership between Gimcheon University and local leading universities such as Can Tho University, Nam Can Tho University and Vo Truong Toan University, he noted. Can Tho would be the first in the Mekong Delta to have links with Gimcheon University after the University of Social Sciences and Humanities in Hanoi, Hanoi Polytechnic College, and HCM City Vocational College of Technology.
He unveiled that Gimcheon plans to coordinate with travel agencies in Vietnam to introduce more tours to popular destinations in the Korean city, for example community-based holidays or those with a wide range of activities like horse riding, mountain hiking, and sightseeing at ancient relics.
The city also wants to boost cooperation with Can Tho in infrastructure development and high technology with the aim of helping improve the partner’s competitiveness and backing its shift from agriculture to support industry.
By October, the RoK has operated nine FDI projects, worth 247 million USD, in Can Tho, mainly in the fields of sport equipment, electronic games, retailing and wholesale and counseling services in industrial development and investment.
Tax refund on H-shaped steel products
The Ministry of Industry and Trade has sent a document to General Department of Customs on tax refunds for H-shaped steel products which were eliminated from paying temporary anti-dumping duties.
Accordingly, H-shaped steel products meeting with one of conditions including height of more than 704 mm or width of more than 304 mm or size of 100m and 55 mm or 120 mm and 64 mm will be refunded the temporary anti-dumping paid duties.
The ministry also said they would not collect temporary anti-dumping taxes on H-shaped steel products meeting with the above conditions.
Earlier, the ministry on August 21 and August 24 promulgated the Decision 3283/QD-BCT and 3299/QD-BCT on imposing anti-dumping duties on H-shaped steel products imported from China with HS code of 7216.33.00, 7228.70.10, 7228.70.90.
Can Tho to have US$663 million smart city
The southern city of Can Tho’s leaders held a meeting on Tuesday with An Tin Group for a “smart city” in Vo Van Kiet Street with investment of VND15 trillion (US$663.7 million).
Nguyen Duc Tho, An Tin Group’s chairman, said they planned to build the smart city with total area of 300ha, of which, a half would be used for residential areas, 25 per cent for commercial centres and the rest for offices for rent.
Tho said architects from Singapore would design the city to fully make use of natural resources with an aim to effectively manage energies, reducing pollution and improving the quality of life for people.
Vice chairman of the municipal People’s Committee Truong Quang Hoai Nam asked their Centre for Trade Promotion and Exhibition to be in charge of all procedures for the construction. The city would create favourable conditions for the group to implement the project.
Nikkei Asian Review Forum starts
The Nikkei Asian Review Hanoi Forum, taking place in Ha Noi today, aims to commemorate and recognise Viet Nam and Japan’s strategic investment partnership as the former constantly enhances its global status as a leading economy in the ASEAN region.
The Forum is jointly organised by Japan’s NIKKEI Inc. and the Embassy of Japan in Viet Nam, with support from the Ministry of Planning and Investment, as an ideal opportunity for Viet Nam to showcase its new economic strategy. It will highlight the Nikkei Asian Review’s findings on the country’s progress.
Today’s event features keynote speeches from high ranking Vietnamese government officials and representatives from leading Vietnamese and Japanese companies. They will share their views on concrete strategies for continued development and increased prosperity in the near future with approximately 150 attendants.
Speakers from established financial institutions such as international investment funds, banks, insurance companies and development organisations, including the International Finance Corporation, the World Bank Group, the Japan International Cooperation Agency’s Vietnamese Office and members of the Japan Business Association in Vietnam will also be contributing their insights at the forum.
Since 2013, the Nikkei Asian Review, published by Japan’s NIKKEI Inc., has been bringing pan-Asian perspectives and insights to their wide base of global readers, following 300 must-watch companies across the region, based on market capitalization and growth potential and providing up to date coverage and in depth analysis.
Targeting Viet Nam’s increasing purchasing power as a growing economy with over 50 million people in the labour force, Japanese companies have focused their investment in Vietnamese manufacturing, consumer electronics, automobile, and retail sectors.
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, Tran 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.
Le Van 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 cooperating 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.
Agricultural Bank of China now in Ha Noi
The State Bank of Viet Nam (SBV) agreed in principle to allow the Agricultural Bank of China to open a branch in Ha Noi, Governor Le Minh Hung said.
Hung was speaking at the meeting with the China Banking Regulatory Commission’s Chairman, Guo Shuqing, in Ha Noi on Monday.
Hung proposed to the two sides to enhance co-operation in supervising the cross-border entities to ensure safety and efficiency of the banking system and to create conditions for these entities to contribute to boosting the investment-trade relations between the two countries.
On Sunday, the two banks signed a memorandum of understanding about information exchange in banking supervision, which replaced the memorandum of understanding signed in 2008.
Agricultural Bank of China is the third largest bank in China and in the world by total assets.
The bank had total assets estimated at US$2.82 trillion.
ABT to acquire stake in Sao Ta Foods
Ben Tre Aquaproduct Import and Export JSC (ABT) will likely purchase a 20.1 per cent stake in shrimp exporter Sao Ta Foods, equivalent to 54.28 per cent of Sao Ta Foods’ capital
Sao Ta Foods is one of the most-effective subsidiaries under Hung Vuong Corp. The shrimp exporter reported the best-ever result with estimated pre-tax profit of VND125 billion in the fiscal year 2016-17, an increase of 25 per cent over the yearly target and up 60 per cent year-on-year.
If the transaction is successful, Sao Ta Foods will become an associate of Ben Tre Aquaproduct, focusing on shrimp processing and exporting.
Ben Tre Aquaproduct focuses on tra fish and oyster farming. Its performance is getting worse this year with the nine-month profit reaching just VND15.6 billion, a sharp decline compared to VND40 billion earned in 2016’s nine months.
Two companies selected as strategic investors for IDICO
The Ministry of Construction (MoC) has announced the names of two institutions qualified to become strategic investors of the Vietnam Urban and Industrial Zone Development Investment Corporation (IDICO).
They are US-based SSG Corporation and Bitexco Group.
Kinh Bac City Development Share Holding Corporation was not selected due to the lack of essential documents, including the guarantee certificate and evidence to prove it has enough capital for the stake purchase.
The MoC will also release its blockade on Kinh Bac’s deposit of VND162 billion (US$7.1 billion) set for the purchase.
The shares offered to strategic investors are being negotiated at VND23,940 ($1.05) per share, equal to the average winning price at the company’s initial public offering (IPO) on October 5.
IDICO sold its entire offering of over 55.3 million shares, equivalent to 18.44 per cent of its capital, at the IPO. Foreign investors purchased 75 per cent of the total shares.
Under the equitisation plan, the State will retain 36 per cent stake in IDICO after the IPO but will divest entirely by the end of 2018.
IDICO has charter capital of VND3 trillion ($132.2 million), of which 45 per cent stake, or 135 million shares, will be offered to strategic investors.
SSG Corporation and Bitexco Group have registered to buy some 90 million IDICO shares and 45 million shares are "open" for purchase after Kinh Bac was ruled out.
MoC said the two chosen investors may register to buy an additional maximum 15 per cent of IDICO’s charter capital and at least 5 per cent of capital. The deadline for registration is November 15.
TPBank to finalise list of shareholders for IPO
Tien Phong Commercial Joint Stock Bank (TPBank) will finalise the list of shareholders on November 20 for its planned initial public offering (IPO).
Accordingly, TPBank will collect shareholders’ opinions in a written document for the listing, no later than the end of this month.
Earlier, Do Minh Phu, the bank’s chairman, said at the shareholder meeting in April that the bank planned to make the IPO this year without citing specific time as it wanted to stablise performance before listing.
In the first nine months of the year, TPBank posted positive results with pre-tax profit of some VND807 billion (US$35.7 million), triple that of the same period last year and surpassing the target by 3.5 per cent.
The bank targeted pre-tax profit of VND780 billion this year, increasing 10.3 per cent from last year.
By the end of September, its total assets reached VND114.5 trillion, increasing 8.2 per cent from the beginning of the year.
Its lending in the period was VND56.7 trillion, representing an increase of 21.6 per cent year-on-year, while deposits rose by 6.9 per cent to VND58.9 trillion.
Accountants warned on marginalisation
As digital technology transforms businesses and economies across the globe and increasingly affects the accountancy profession, it is imperative for members to equip themselves with the skills to deliver higher-value services or risk becoming marginalised by automation and artificial intelligence.
The statement was made by David Lyford-Smith, technical manager of Information Technology Faculty, Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW), at a conference held in Ha Noi on Tuesday.
Digital technology powered by exponential growth of computing power opens a whole new world of opportunities, according to the manager. This allows for unprecedented innovations in financial services resulting in a higher level of operational efficiency and access to entirely new markets. A good example of the technology that is changing today’s global business landscape is ‘blockchain’- a system of universal entry book-keeping where a transaction or a single input of data can be easily viewed by or shared with many parties on the same network in a systematic and secure manner.
"If a marketplace or system is running on a blockchain, the nature of assurance that is needed will change. You don’t need assurance that your asset exists or that your records agree with others’ because that’s certain in a blockchain environment. So instead the focus of assurance turns to the tie between the blockchain record and the physical world, and more generally to the economic reality of the transaction that is seen in the blockchain," Lyford-Smith said.
"For example, a blockchain might give you certainty over the timing and amount of a purchase of some goods, but it can’t assure you of the condition of those goods," he added.
One much-cited use of blockchain is in land registry. The provenance and transfer of geographical assets is a great fit for its transparency, verifiability and ability to publicly show who has previously owned, sold and divided land.
These days, finance and business processes are increasingly moving online. Some finance functions have recently focused on increasing operational efficiency through sophisticated capabilities such as automation, artificial intelligence, and natural language processing.
For instance, some are using virtual assistants instead of finance staff in answering questions from suppliers on invoices and payments.The world is also seeing a renewed focus on shared service centres, global process hubs and outsourcing, where economies of scale justify substantial investments in extensive process automation.
To take advantage of these new emerging opportunities, it is important for accountants to look out for the key trends including big data, crypto currencies, distributed ledger systems, payment systems, mobile money, and also new platforms connecting providers and users of financial services as well as analytics-based financial services.
However, along with new opportunities, comes the growing fear that traditional approach to financial reporting and routine accounting tasks are steadily being taken away by automation and artificial intelligence.
Members of the profession are not adapting to the new technological trends quickly enough to take advantage of the new available platforms and risk becoming marginalised.
Sharing his view on the future role of accountants, Lyford-Smith said: ‘I think what will happen is not that accountants will disappear, but that the definition of an accountant will evolve and that the profession as a whole will move to the higher-value adding activities such as assurance over complex areas, analysis, prediction, and advisory services’.
Nguyen Canh Thang, deputy head of Sectorial Economic Laws Division, Department of Civil and Economic Laws, Ministry of Justice, said that currently, transactions related to virtual currency such as Bitcoin had been used by many individuals, but the protection or adjustment of the transaction was not yet regulated by law.
The rules on external assets were very specific, however, virtual property is currently not regulated.
According to Decision No. 1255/QD-TTg on virtual currency, electronic currency and virtual property, electronic currency is considered a means of payment. "Electronic currency is displayed as an electronic wallet with a 1: 1 conversion rate with the real cash that it is legally recognised by law. The things which are not regulated will not be considered electronic money, for example, bitcoin is not considered electronic money used in payment,” Thang added.
Thang also suggested that the law need to have clear provisions to ensure fair dealing for traders. "Virtual property is a very broad issue compared to virtual currency and electronic currency. If virtual property is considered as real property, the goods will involve many other issues, especially tax,” Thang told Viet Nam News.
The event was organised by ICAEW in Viet Nam and drew the participation of representatives from the Ministry of Finance, the General Department of Taxation and experts in financial sector.
Ford sees rising number of vehicle sales despite new tax policy
Ford Vietnam saw an increase in October retail sales from the previous month to 2,282 vehicles amid a slowdown in industry sales as customers delay purchases ahead of the new tax policy slated for January.
Led by the Ranger, Transit, and EcoSport, the company’s year-to-date sales have risen slightly versus last year to 23,634 vehicles, representing a market share of 10.4 per cent.
“Our sales remained steady in October as the overall demand continued to slow ahead of the new excise tax policy’s implementation,” said Pham Van Dung, managing director for Ford Vietnam.
The Ranger model delivered an exceptional month with retail sales rising 13 per cent from the prior month to 1,425 vehicles. It continues to lead Viet Nam’s pickup segment with year-to-date sales that have increased 7 per cent to 12,159 vehicles.
The popular Transit reached October sales of 360 vehicles and year-to-date sales of 4,929 vehicles.
Both the EcoSport compact SUV and Explorer premium SUV continued to lead their respective segments.
The EcoSport delivered October sales that rose 5 per cent from the prior month to 280 vehicles, driving its year-to-date sales up to 3,205 vehicles. The Explorer recorded sales of 75 vehicles in October with year-to-date sales reaching 981 vehicles.
Year-to-date sales of the sporty Focus increased 21 per cent to 874 vehicles, including October sales of 74 vehicles.
VN’s largest textile and garment expo attracts hundreds of int’l brands
A total of 400 exhibitors from 14 countries and territories will show their latest technologies and machines at the 17th edition of Viet Nam’s leading textile and garment trade fair in HCM City from November 22-25.
The Vietnam International Textile & Garment Industry Exhibition and the Vietnam International Textile & Apparel Accessories Exhibition (VTG 2017) will be held at the Saigon Exhibition & Convention Centre.
Most of the exhibitors are from mainland China, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, Switzerland, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, Uzbekistan and Viet Nam.
The country’s textile and garment sectors had $14.58 billion in outbound shipments in the first six months of the year, representing a significant annual increase of 11.3 per cent.
A number of seminars will be held during the trade fair. Some of the highlights will focus on how Viet Nam prepares for free trade areas; the impact of the 4.0 industrial revolution; and the future for the market in changing times.
Coffee sector strives for US$6 billion export turnover
The coffee industry should improve output, quality and added value for an export turnover target of US$6 billion by 2030, said Lương Văn Tự, chairman of Việt Nam Coffee and Cocoa Association.
Tự told the press meeting to introduce the first Việt Nam Coffee Day held in Hà Nội on Tuesday that the coffee industry has been growing impressively over the past three decades. Việt Nam’s coffee output made up just 1 per cent of world market shares in 1991, but that figure rose to nearly 20 per cent in the 2015-16 crop year.
However, the industry has been affected by climate changes. Last year, the sector suffered the most severe drought in the past 30 years. Meanwhile, the areas of old coffee trees, which need to re-plant in the next five years, was up to 160,000 ha. The re-farming progress has been slow in the Central Highlands region.
He said the industry should make great efforts to fulfil two main targets including maintaining its place as the second biggest producer and exporter of coffee beans in the world and stepping up the processing of instant and roasted coffee. These aim to increase export value from the current $3 billion to $6 billion by 2030.
The chairman added that the coffee industry needed a big capital and comprehensive solutions to increase output and product quality.
“If the investment speed in instant and roasted coffees is faster, time to meet the $6 billion target would be shortened. Currently, many foreign groups have been investing in Việt Nam’s coffee industry due to its abundant material areas and preferential tax,” he said.
For example, Indian Tata Coffee Limited invested in an instant coffee processing plant with a total investment of $60 million in the southern province of Bình Dương.
The organiser of Việt Nam Coffee Day said the first event is scheduled to take place in Đà Lạt City in the Central Highlands province of Lâm Đồng from December 9-11.
The event, featuring many products of Việt Nam’s famous coffee localities nationwide, is described as an opportunity to promote products to domestic and international consumers, raising the value of Vietnamese goods in the international market.
An international conference on the development of the coffee sector is scheduled to be held on the sidelines of the event, with the participation of representatives from coffee-producing countries and the International Coffee Organisation (ICO).
APEC, potential market for Vietnam’s garment-textile
Major member economies of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum, including the US, Japan, the Republic of Korea (RoK) and China, could make up 74-75 percent of Vietnam’s total garment-textile export turnover in the coming time.
Director General of the Vietnam National Textile and Garment Group (Vinatex) Le Tien Truong said this year, the apparel sector continues to maintain good growth in the four APEC markets and the European Union (EU).
Vietnam’s apparel export to the US has increased by about 6.5 percent so far and is expected to reach approximately 13 billion USD this year, accounting for 13-13.5 percent of the market shares.
Truong said before 2016, Vietnam had only four billion-USD markets, namely the US, Japan, the EU and the RoK; however, this year China has become a key market of Vietnam.
He noted that Vietnam’s garment-textile exports to China increased 30 percent to hit 670 million USD in the first eight months of 2017.
Countries from the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU), including Russia – an APEC member – recorded growth of 90 percent. Export to Russia is likely to surpass 200 million USD in 2017, making the country one of the top 10 garment-textile markets of Vietnam.
Pham Xuan Hong, President of Ho Chi Minh City’s Association of Garment, Textile, Embroidery and Knitting, said Russia is expected to be a billion-USD market for the apparel sector in the next 4-5 years.
He suggested businesses developing markets in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU), and India.
Chairman of the Vietnam Textile & Apparel Association Vu Duc Giang said the expansion of markets should go with the development of technology and brand names to create more competitive products in the global arena.
According to the Vietnam Textile & Apparel Association (VITAS), the garment-textile exports earned 23 billion USD in the first nine months of 2017.
The sector targets 30.5 billion USD in revenue in 2017, much higher than that of the previous year (28.1 billion USD).
Vietnam has less to gain from CPTPP: expert
Vietnam will not benefit as much from the newly created Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) in comparison to the original TPP.
The country’s gross domestic product (GDP) is estimated to increase by a mere 1.32% under the CPTPP, compared to 6.7% had the US still been part of the deal, experts say.
The original TPP agreement was signed in February 2016 and included the U.S. alongside Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, and Vietnam, with the intention of expediting the flow of goods and commerce throughout the region.
In January 2017, the US pulled out of the trade pact, forcing the remaining 11 members to renegotiate parts of the deal under a new name, TPP-11.
On November 11, the TPP-11 ministers, who met in Vietnam’s central city of Da Nang, reached a consensus to move forward with the deal under the new name of CPTPP, and leaving room for the possible return of the US in the future.
Twenty provisions of the new accord are pending further negotiations before any final approval.
Though relieved by the positive outcome of the renegotiation of the TPP, Vietnamese experts do not jump for joy just yet.
“The results of our analyses reveal that Vietnam will not benefit as much from the new trade deal, at least in quantitative terms, while there are only 11 members,” said economic expert Tran Toan Thang, from the National Center for Socio-Economic Information and Forecasting.
According to Thang, the US’ withdrawal from the trade agreement has shattered Vietnam’s prospects of increasing its GDP by 6.7%. Without the US, the country’s GDP rise will be a mere 1.32% under the CPTPP.
Vietnam’s exports are forecast to grow by 4% following the expected ratification of the CPTPP, compared to 15% while the US was party to the original trade agreement, Thang said.
The respective figures for imports are 3.8% and 10.5%, he added.
“This means that, compared to TPP-12, Vietnam’s benefits from joining TPP-11 have decreased significantly in the absence of the US.”
Nevertheless, even with 11 members, the CPTPP is still a welcome boost to Vietnam’s growth, commerce, investment, and domestic policy reform, he said.
Nguyen Dinh Luong, Vietnam’s former chief negotiator in the US-Vietnam Bilateral Trade Agreement, said it would be unlikely for the US to return to the negotiating table in the immediate future, though the possibility has not been ruled out by the participating CPTPP economies.
The desire of US President Donald Trump to enter bilateral trade deals with former TPP members also might be difficult to realize, Luong said, as the countries’ economic interests were mostly tied to multilateral economic deals.
“It’s therefore necessary for Vietnam to implement domestic reform, especially to curb corruption, if it wants to meet the high standards set out by the US should it decide to return to the trade pact,” Luong said.
Social News In Brief
Vietnamese culture introduced at tea party in Laos
Vietnamese cuisine, tourist information and handicraft products were introduced at a tea party held in Vientiane, on November 17, by the Women’s Union of the Lao Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Vietnam’s booth at the event was among 30 set up by the female staff members of Laos, as well as other countries and international organisations.
The Women’s Union of the Vietnam Embassy in Laos brought books and magazines to the tea party, popularising Vietnam’s tourist attractions, cultural essences, and people, as well as Vietnamese dishes such as ‘nem cuon’ (spring roll), Da Lat wine, cakes and ‘banh bot loc’ (clear steamed tapioca cake).
Works on display also include sophisticated Vietnamese handicrafts and souvenirs.
Vietnamese students, who are studying in Laos, performed a conical hat dance at the event and received great applause from the audience.
The tea party is held annually as an activity to tighten the friendship and solidarity among domestic and foreign female diplomats and popularise their countries’ identities.
This year event, attended by more than 300 guests, also aimed to welcome Lao National Tourism Year 2018.
Fifteen traditional handicraft villages join festival in central Vietnam
The festival of traditional handicraft in central Vietnam kicked off yesterday in the central City of Da Nang with the participation of fifteen handicraft villages from the central provinces of Quang Nam to Da Nang.
Of them, nine villages in Da Nang include cake Quang Chau in Hoa Vang District, Cam Ne village widely known for its long-standing sedge mat-making craft, fish sauce Nam O in Lien Chieu District; bamboo bed Tan Hanh, Can wine Phu Tuc (wine drunk out of a jar through pipes), girdle cake Tuy Loan and veggies...
Quang Nam province has six village participants including bronze-casting village Phuoc Kieu in Dien Ban District, pottery Thanh Ha; carpenter Kim Bong, lantern-making village Hoi An, Palm-leaf conical hat Duy Xuyen and brocade-weaving Co Tu - Nam Giang.
Speaking at the opening ceremony, director of Da Nang museum Dinh Quoc Thien said that traditional handicraft villages are alive museum and treasures of cultural heritage. Time flies, traditional handicraft villages become important part of the countryside districts’ history and culture
Nowadays, many such villages in Quang Nam province and Da Nang City not only make products but also become interested tourist attractions.
On the contrary, these villages are facing harsh competition with modern products which are likely to be lost in oblivion."
Accordingly, the festival aims to honor and develop traditional handicraft villages in the central Vietnam. It is also a chance for people to find out the beauty and cultural value of these villages generating sympathy with villagers; and then join hand with the government to reserve and help them to develop the country's traditional culture values more, Thien said.
The festival which wraps up on November 19 have also cultural performances of traditional musical instruments, performance of kid in Ao dai, experience in making products with artisans.
Ministry, contractor find cause of cracks at Vam Cong bridge
The Ministry of Transport has pofficially confirmed cracks which were discovered on the girder of under-construction Vam Cong Bridge.
The construction of VND5,700 billion ($250. 7 million ) which connects Dong Thap Province and Can Tho City across the Hau River has to be delayed due to the crack.
Deputy Minister of Transport Nguyen Nhat November 17 convened a meeting with the participation of many sides to correct the bridge because it is going to be completed and opened to the traffic.
The Vam Cong Bridge project is funded by the official development assistance (ODA) from the South Korean government and counterpart fund from Vietnam. It is examined by South Korean Joint Venture of Dasan - Kunhwa – Pyunghwa, and the contractor is Joint Venture of GS Engineering & Construction Corp and Hanshin.
During performing the construction of the bridge, the crack was discovered on November 14. Right after informed the incident, the transport ministry then asked the Cuu Long Corporation for Investment, Development and Project Management of Infrastructure (Cuu Long CIPM), the developer of the bridge, to cease the construction to ensure safety for workers as well as its structure.
The Ministry sent a team of officers from the Transport Engineering Construction and Quality Management Bureau, the Department of Science and Technology, and local pundits to examine the work. Results showed that there were no other cracks on the bridge except those found on abutment No.P29.
In the meeting, Deputy Minister Nhat said the Ministry wanted a thorough assessment from design to construction to find out the cause and adopt measures to ensure the bridge quality. It has sought help from South Korean experts to examine the error at the construction of Vam Cong bridge as well as proposed remedies.
Contest for island sovereignty songs kicked off
The politics division of border guard in coordination with the Vietnam Music Association have met musicians in the South for the launch of border, island and border guard contest.
Entries should have content to praise the country’s tradition of keeping border and forefather’s heroic courage in protecting and building the country in border crossing as well as martyrs’ example in fighting for the country’s sovereignty and island.
Moreover, entries laud examples in the process of protecting and building the country.
Furthermore, entries should reflect movement “ All Vietnamese people take part in protecting the country’s sovereignty and border security, the solidarity between races in the country and between Vietnam and its neighboring nations.
From December, 2017 to May, 2018, some Vietnamese musicians will make a tour in border crossings in the North, the South, the central highlands, to have more documents and emotion for writing songs.
Entries should be sent before October 31, 2018. The organizer will give prizes to 20 good entries. The first prize will be VND50 million, the second prize VND30 million, the third VND10 million and the encouragement VND5 million.
Dak Nong province plans to allocate $4.8mln for square construction
The Highlands province of Dak Nong planned to allocate VND900 billion ($39,670,443); of which VND110 billion ($4.8 million) for building square while the remaining amount of VND700 billion for compensation and resettlement for 220 households.
People’ Committee yesterday announced the square construction project in Gia Nghia Town. Speaker of the People’s Committee Ngo Xuan Loc said that the work is located in the area of 19.5 hectare and the square is on the area of 1.7 hectare.
The project aims to offer playground for the communities, helping to turn Gia Nghia into the province’s center of politics, economics and culture.
However, he emphasized that the amount for the construction is not exact because the project will be under examination of relevant ministries and agencies before submitting to the government.
OVs in Czech Republic fundraise for storm victims
A large number of overseas Vietnamese living in the Czech Republic gathered for a November 16 music performance and charity auction in Prague raising funds for victims of the recent storms and floods hit the central region of Vietnam.
The event was also attended by Vietnamese and Czech artists and singers.
Czech artist Eva Buhlova said he found out about the event through a Vietnamese student and decided to join in to offer help to Vietnamese people affected by the recent natural disasters.
Nguyen Minh Nguyet, an organizing member of the event, said the program to support storm victims has received a positive response from many OVs throughout the Czech Republic since its launch on November 7.
Some pictures went on sale at the event to raise funds for storm victims.
The organizers said they had collected around VND360 million so far and will continue to receive money from benefactors until November 23. They will then travel to the central region on November 24 to deliver support to storm victims.
Children's voices to be heard on World Children's Day
On World Children’s Day, November 20, Vietnamese children will join millions of other children from around the world in raising their voice to help save children’s lives, fight for their rights, and help them fulfill their potential.
They will meet with senior leaders of the National Assembly, the national government, and provincial governments to learn about the work being carried out by the legislative body and government agencies to advance children’s rights and will discuss the challenges children face, especially disadvantaged children.
They will also “take over” UNICEF’s Vietnam social media for a week to reflect the voices of children in different regions of the country.
November 20 marks the anniversary of the adoption of the Convention on the Rights of the Child in 1989 and the first World Children’s Day. Children around the world will also “take over” key roles in the media, politics, business, sports, and entertainment, to help put children’s issues on the public agenda.
Phu Tho hosts exhibition on Hoang Sa, Truong Sa
An exhibition displaying maps and documents on Vietnam’s Hoang Sa (Paracel) and Truong Sa (Spratly) archipelagos opened in the northern province of Phu Tho on November 17.
The event, which runs until November 22, was co-organised by the Ministry of Information and Communications (MIC) and the People’s Committee of Phu Tho province.
At the opening, Deputy Minister of the MIC Hoang Vinh Bao said the event is part of important activities to raise awareness of the country’s sea and islands among local people, especially youths.
It is also designed to nurture people’s love for the nation and enhance their solidarity and responsibility in protecting Vietnam’s sovereignty over the Hoang Sa and Truong Sa archipelagos.
The event is organised annually across the country to affirm Vietnam’s sovereignty over the archipelagos through historical documents. To date, a total of 97 exhibitions have been held in 63 localities, 11 island locations and districts, and 22 military units of Vietnam.
On display are documents, items, publications and nearly 100 maps published by domestic and international researchers and scholars, including materials in Chinese, Nom (old Vietnamese writing using Chinese characters), modern Vietnamese and French issued from the 17th to the 20th century by the Vietnamese feudal states and the French government in Indochina (on behalf of the then Vietnamese state) proving Vietnam’s sovereignty over Hoang Sa and Truong Sa archipelagos as well as the country’s exercise of sovereignty over the islands.
The exhibition also features 65 maps certifying that the Hoang Sa and Truong Sa archipelagos belong to Vietnam, published by Western nations and Vietnam since the 17th century.
Photos depicting activities of soldiers and people on Hoang Sa and Truong Sa islands, and contributions of the provincial Party Organisation and local residents to the country’s seas and islands have been also displayed.
After the event, all the exhibits will be presented to the provincial People’s Committee for further display.
Week highlights great national unity, Vietnam’s cultural heritage
A week themed “Great National Unity – Vietnam’s Cultural Heritage” kicked off at the Vietnam National Village for Ethnic Culture and Tourism in Hanoi on November 18.
The annual week aims to honour cultural heritage of Vietnam’s ethnic groups and help enhance the great national unity bloc. It marks the founding anniversary of the Vietnam Fatherland Front (November 18, 1930) and the Vietnam Cultural Heritage Day (November 23).
This year’s event draws the participation of nearly 200 people from 13 ethnic groups, namely Tay, Dao, Mong, Muong, Thai, Kho Mu, Ta Oi, Co Tu, E De, Khmer, Cham, Kinh and Raglai, along with local tourism associations and travel companies.
A highlight of the week, which lasts until November 23, is the re-enactment of the culture of Cai Rang floating market, which is part of national intangible cultural heritage. Cai Rang, one of the three biggest floating markets in the Mekong Delta city of Can Tho, specializes in trading fruit and specialties of the Mekong Delta region.
The re-enactment of Cai Rang market’s culture will include performances of the art of “Don ca tai tu” music and song, named in UNESCO’s Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.
Various activities will be held as part of the week such as ethnic groups’ exchanges, a workshop on developing the Vietnam National Village for Ethnic Culture and Tourism, and the inauguration of phase I of Phap An Pagoda in the village.
At the opening ceremony, Chairman of the Vietnam Fatherland Front Central Committee Tran Thanh Man said the great national unity bloc is always the most important and strongest resource for the whole Party, people and army to weather every difficulty and challenge to succeed in reform and national development.
Great unity is also one of the most precious cultural values of the Vietnamese people, he noted, calling on people from all social strata to join hands to bring into play the strength of the great national unity bloc.
Tourism programme promotes heritage sites in Viet Bac region
A ceremony was held at Ba Be Lake in the mountainous northern province of Bac Kan on November 18, to open the ninth tourism programme entitled ‘Through Viet Bac Heritage Sites’ and Ba Be – Bac Kan tourism week.
The annual programme aims to introduce the land, people, culture and tourism potential of six provinces in Viet Bac region, including Cao Bang, Bac Kan, Ha Giang, Tuyen Quang, Lang Son and Thai Nguyen.
Speaking at the opening ceremony, Deputy Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Dang Thi Bich Lien said that the programme is a meaningful event to promote the values of the historical and cultural relic sites and landscapes in the region.
The event also contributes to enhancing the cooperation and exchange among the regional localities to build unique tourism products in order to attract more domestic and foreign investors and visitors, gradually turning the tourism sector into a spearhead economic sector.
The main activities during the programme and the Ba Be – Bac Kan tourism week include: cultural and arts exchange performances, a folk arts festival, a show of traditional costumes from the ethnic minority groups in the six provinces, and a photo exhibition on the tourist sites and people of Viet Bac localities. They will be held in Bo Lu village, Nam Mau commune, Ba Be district.
The programme will also feature a wide variety of other activities, including tourism activities at Ba Be Lake; a display of books, newspapers, paintings and photos of the land and people of Bac Kan provinces; screening of films on the Viet Bac region; and pavilions to introduce the typical products from the localities.
At the opening ceremony, more than 1,000 actors, actresses and artisans from six localities in Viet Bac region gave performances of folk songs and dances praising the Party and President Ho Chi Minh, as well as reproducing festivals and cultural identities of each locality in the region.
Hokkaido wants to exchange human resources with HCM City
Businesses from the Japanese prefecture of Hokkaido are keen to cooperate with Vietnamese partners in Ho Chi Minh City to exchange human resources in nursing, agricultural machinery manufacturing, agricultural production and trade.
Vice Governor of Hokkaido Tsuji Yasuhiro expressed his wish at a meeting with Chairman of the municipal People’s Committee Nguyen Thanh Phong in HCM City on November 17.
He said Hokkaido wants to boost cooperation with Vietnam in general and HCM City in particular, especially in such potential areas as agriculture, trade, seafood and tourism.
The prefecture’s administration and business association have proposed the launch of a direct air route between Hokkaido and Vietnam with the hope of promoting the bilateral trade and tourism relations, he said.
Hokkaido considers HCM City a potential partner and wants to introduce high-quality agri-products to the local customers, he added.
Phong recommended the Japanese prefecture enhance cooperation programmes with the city such as exchanging apprentices and highly-skilled workers as Hokkaido small-and medium-sized enterprises are facing a shortage of human resources due to the country’s aging population.
He believed that Hokkaido’s high quality farm produce will soon win customer confidence in HCM City.
Chinese firm facilitates Vietnamese workers in Algeria
Che Quan Qing, director of a construction company of the Metallurgical Construction Corporation of China (MCC Group), has pledged to create all favourable conditions for Vietnamese workers hired by his company in Algeria.
He made the assertion at a reception for Nguyen Van Dung, first secretary in charge of consular affairs at the Embassy of Vietnam in Algiers, who came to visit the company’s construction site of social houses in Berrouaghia, about 120km from Algiers capital, on November 17.
Qing said his company has freshly received nearly 50 Vietnamese workers, increasing the total number of Vietnamese workers at the company to 195.
He highly valued the working style and skills of the Vietnamese workers and hoped to employ more.
After completing contracts in Algeria, many Vietnamese workers have been introduced to work at companies of the MCC Group in Vietnam.
The Vietnamese workers at Qing’s company in Algeria have an average monthly salary of 600 USD. Skilled workers have earned up to 1,000 USD per month.
On behalf of the Vietnamese Embassy in Algeria, Dung thanked the Chinese firm for facilitating Vietnamese workers over the past time.
He affirmed that the embassy will propose the discussion of the Vietnamese labour issue at the 11th inter-governmental meeting held in Algeria from November 27-29 to create more favourable conditions for them.
National development, great national unity bloc inseparable: PM
Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc on November 17 joined residents in Dien Bien ward of Hanoi’s Ba Dinh district in the great national unity festival, an annual event held nationwide to mark the founding anniversary of the Vietnam Fatherland Front (November 18, 1930).
Local officials reported that in 2017, authorities, the Vietnam Fatherland Front Committee and organisations in Dien Bien ward, where many top agencies of the Party and State are headquartered, presented hundreds of Lunar New Year gift packages to low-income and policy beneficiary families.
Local authorities and residents have paid attention to caring for revolution contributors and the elderly. Meanwhile, solidarity and mutual support have been maintained, becoming a cultural custom in the community.
Offering his best wishes to Dien Bien residents, PM Phuc said national development and the great national unity bloc are inseparable.
He applauded the ward’s achievements, especially in supporting impoverished households and promoting civilised lifestyle. He asked Dien Bien authorities to enhance people’s role in managing and developing the ward.
The Government leader also called on locals to uphold solidarity and mutual support and join hands to build a strong political system, thus continuing to bring into play the strength of the great national unity bloc.
At the event, the PM, National Assembly Vice Chairman Uong Chu Luu and Chairman of the Hanoi People’s Committee Nguyen Duc Chung presented gifts to deprived families in Dien Bien ward.
Khmer ethnic culture festival opens in Bac Lieu province
The seventh Culture, Sports and Tourism Festival of the Khmer in 12 southern provinces kicked off in the Mekong Delta province of Bac Lieu on November 17.
The traditional festival themed "Preserve and Promote the Khmer Ethnic Culture to Meet Demand for Sustainable Development of the Country" will close on November 19.
Participants include 2,000 artists, actors, musicians, spectators and Khmer groups from the Mekong Delta city of Can Tho and the southern economic hub of Ho Chi Minh City as well as the provinces of Tay Ninh, Binh Phuoc, Vinh Long, Tra Vinh, An Giang, Hau Giang, Kien Giang, Soc Trang, Bac Lieu and Ca Mau.
Speaking at the opening ceremony, Chairman of the Bac Lieu People’s Committee Duong Thanh Trung said the festival creates a good opportunity for the province to promote solidarity, arts and cultural exchanges that help preserve ethnic Khmer’s traditional culture.
The festival aims to have "all people unite to build a cultural life" and new countryside, he said.
Deputy Prime Minister Truong Hoa Binh said the Khmer community had made great contributions to the nation’s independence and freedom in the past and sustainable development in recent years.
He praised the provincial authorities for supporting the Khmer people’s spirit and culture.
“Besides paying attention to reviving and preserving traditional culture, localities should promote new cultural values, especially in the border areas,” he noted.
The three-day festival features traditional ethnic Khmer activities, including folk games, art and musical performances, costume shows, and cuisine and sports competitions.
The province has built and upgraded nine Ghe Ngo (traditional Khmer boats) and 17 traditional Khmer pentatonic musical instruments.
Every three years, the event features sports, culture and tourism traditions of the Khmer community and offers visitors an opportunity to take part in various activities.
In 2014, the sixth Khmer festival was hosted by Hau Giang province.
Vietnam wants to develop multifaceted ties with Nigeria
Vietnam places importance on developing multidimensional ties with Nigeria, regarding the country a prioritized partner of its investment in Africa, Deputy Prime Minister Vuong Dinh Hue has said.
At a reception for Minister of Agriculture of Nigeria Audu Innocent Ogbeh in Hanoi on November 17, Hue spoke highly of Nigeria’s leading position in West Africa in particular and Africa in general and its contributions to peace, stability and development in the region and the world.
He said potential for bilateral cooperation remains vast, suggesting the two countries to elevate their relations, step up the exchange of visits at all levels, and seek specific joint projects to fully tap their potential.
Vietnam is very keen on developing bilateral trade ties and encourages the two countries’ businesspeople to invest in telecommunication, information technology, and especially agriculture, he said.
He stressed the need for both countries to create a favourable business environment to attract their businesspeople to pour their money into sectors of the respective country’s strength.
Minister Audu Innocent Ogbeh said he is impressed with Vietnam’s socio-economic development achievements attained under the Party’s leadership and the Government’s drastic steering.
He said his visit aimed to seek increased cooperation with Vietnam in agriculture, hoping Vietnam will transfer farming machineries and plant varieties to his country.
He also sought cooperation opportunities with Vietnam in trade and education.
The Nigerian Government welcomes and provides all possible conditions for Vietnamese businesspeople to come to seek long-term investment and business in Nigeria, the minister underlined.
Government, NA leaders highlight importance of education
National Assembly deputies who are teachers and former teachers gathered at a meeting in Hanoi on November 17 to celebrate the 35th anniversary of Vietnamese Teachers’ Day (November 20).
The event was attended by Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc and NA Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan, among others.
Addressing the function, PM Phuc emphasised the important role played by education and training as well as teachers in national development, especially during the cause of industrialisation, modernisation and international integration.
He urged teachers to make more thorough preparations to contribute to national construction and development in the context of the fourth industrial revolution.
The PM’s views were echoed by NA Chairwoman Ngan who noted that the Party and State have always given top priority to education and the NA is responsible for completing a legal framework on education and training.
She lauded contributions made by NA deputies who are teachers and former teachers to finalising the legal system in general and laws on education and training in particular.
Website, logo of 26th Asia-Pacific Parliamentary Forum launched
National Assembly Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan and her deputy Tong Thi Phong launched the official website of the 26th Asia-Pacific Parliamentary Forum (APPF-26) at a ceremony held in Hanoi on November 17.
The website, available at http://appf26.vn, consists of seven main sections in Vietnamese and English. It offers official and updated information on the event, which will be held in Vietnam in January 2018. Delegations of participating countries and news agencies can also register to online conferences through the website.
At the ceremony, the APPF-26 logo was also introduced, which features the image of the Vietnam National Assembly House and national flag.
The APPF was founded by former Japanese Prime Minister Yasuhiro Nakasone on March 15, 1993. Bringing together parliamentarians from across the Asia-Pacific region, the forum aims to directly assist the APEC, contributing to peace, stability and prosperity in the region.
The APPF is a mechanism that enables parliamentarians to discuss issues of common concern, and to deepen their understanding of the region and the interests and experience of its diverse members. The forum’s proceedings address political, security, economic, social and cultural issues, thus furthering regional cooperation and building relations between and among parliamentarians from the Asia-Pacific region.
Vietnam hosted of the 13th APPF in Ha Long city in January 2005.
PM appoints two VNA Deputy General Directors
Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has signed decisions on the appointment of two Deputy General Directors of the Vietnam News Agency (VNA).
Vu Viet Trang, head of the VNA’s Editorial Secretariat and International Relations Department, and Le Quoc Minh, Editor-in-Chief of VietnamPlus, an e-newspaper of the VNA, were appointed to the posts under the PM’s Decisions No. 1830/QD-TTg and 1831/QD-TTg, respectively.
The VNA is a Governmental agency which is responsible for providing official information and documents of the Party and State, according to the Government’s recently-released Decree No 118/2017/ND-CP.
The decree also regulates that the VNA provides information in service of the Party leadership and State management; and collect and provide news through various forms of press and multimedia for mass media agencies, the public and readers of all kinds at home and abroad.
The VNA is managed by the Ministry of Information and Communications in terms of press, broadcasting and television.
The VNA is also responsible for collecting and compiling information for public consumption and reference via various forms of media and multimedia in service of the Party leadership and State management; announcing official viewpoints of the State on “hot” issues; adjusting direction regarding information that is not in line with national interests; correcting wrongful information; and issuing announcements to reject distorted information when necessary.
Performing its function as a key national external news agency, the VNA collects, compiles and provides information about Vietnam in different languages for domestic agencies and organisations and foreign media outlets as well as for foreigners and Vietnamese people abroad.
The VNA is also tasked with providing information and publishing news materials for ethnic minority people in their languages.
It is in charge of archiving information, building an information and data bank and managing national photo materials; and providing information and coordinating with relevant agencies to provide information in services of national security and defence.
According to the decree, the VNA has a system of news units including the Domestic News Department, the World News Department and the Press Photography Department. It also has several newspapers, both print and online, including the Viet Nam News, Le Courrier du Vietnam and VietnamPlus. The VNA has representative offices for the South and the Central and Central Highlands regions, in cities and provinces nationwide as well as major cities worldwide.
It also has news support units including the VNA Technical Centre, the VNA Training Centre, the VNA Media Development Centre, the VNA Informatics Centre and the VNA International Cooperation Centre, and five consultancy and functional units to assist the VNA General Director.
The VNA has a General Director and a maximum of four Deputy General Directors.
The VNA General Director and Deputy General Directors are appointed and dismissed by the Prime Minister in line with laws.
Drug traffickers arrested in central Thanh Hoa province
Two men were arrested on November 17 in Na Meo commune, Quan Son district, the central province of Thanh Hoa, for allegedly transporting 26,200 methamphetamine pills.
They are 40-year-old Sung Van Dinh and 34-year-old Sung Van Ly, both residing in Cat hamlet, Nhi Son commune, Muong Lat district, Thanh Hoa province.
The men confessed that on November 15, they illegally entered Laos to buy the methamphetamine pills which were hidden in cans of beer and soft drinks, and intended to be sold in Vietnam.
The case is under further investigation.
On June 15, Thanh Hoa police also captured a man residing in Laos’ Houaphan province for transporting 1,200 methamphetamine pills.
Earlier this month, three people were arrested in the province for smuggling three bricks of heroin from Laos to Vietnam.
Vietnam, China foster literature cooperation
Measures to bring Vietnamese literary works, especially contemporary literature, closer to Chinese readers were discussed by writers from the two countries at a meeting held in Hanoi on November 17.
President of the Vietnam Writers’ Association Huu Thinh noticed that enhancing the translation of Vietnamese works into Chinese is a significant move.
A line-up of Chinese works was translated into Vietnamese, helping Vietnamese people understand the value and quintessence of Chinese literature and culture, Thinh said.
For his part, Li Jingze, Vice President of the China Writers’ Association, said that literature has made significant contributions to fostering cultural exchanges as well as relations between the two associations.
Visits to Vietnam by representatives of the China Writers’ Association are catalysts to promote ties between the two associations, he said.
Li hoped that further literature exchanges will be organised, creating opportunities for writers from both sides to discuss ways to promote values of Asian literature.
Role of livestock in achieving SDGs in spotlight
Experts and policy-makers from eight Southeast Asian countries gathered in a workshop on “The Role of Livestock in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in Southeast Asia” in Hanoi on November 16.
The event, held by the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), sought to enhance current contribution of the livestock industry to the sustainable livelihood and develop its potentials in the region.
Speaking at the workshop, Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Le Quoc Doanh said Vietnam has adopted the National Action Plan to implement the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development which promotes sustainable agriculture among its goals.
The country has been implementing agricultural reforms, including steps to improve added values of livestock farming and at the same time, develop livelihoods of the farmers, protect the environment and ensure food safety, Doanh noted.
The livestock industry grew about 4.5 – 5 percent annually between 2011 and 2016 and contributed to around 30 – 32 percent of the agricultural earnings, he added.
Director of the National Institute of Animal Sciences Nguyen Thanh Son said progress in livestock farming plays a major part in achieving ten out of 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). He expected public awareness of the significance of the livestock industry to the SDGs will be improved in the time ahead while there will be more activities to encourage investment into the sector to maximize its contribution to the SDGs.
Livestock helps boost economic growth, creates incomes, and improve food security, nutrition and human health, said ILRI Director General Jimmy Smith, adding that research and development activities and policy support programmes are able to transform small and medium-scale breeding farms in the region into more adaptive, efficient and dynamic food supply systems, bringing better opportunity for women and young people.
At the workshop, attendees shared experience and study findings about the growth of the livestock in Southeast Asia and the regional countries’ priorities and investment plans for the sector to develop sustainably. They also discussed ways to step up cooperation between the countries and organisations in the region to address common challenges in the field.
HCM City department wants rational master plan
The HCM City Department of Construction has called for amending the agricultural zoning master plan, promoting housing development and changing the construction inspection model to reduce violations, which increased by 16 per cent year-on-year in the first 10 months of this year.
“Each locality must decide which lands cannot produce crops any more to amend the master plan and avoid a situation where urban plans are made on fertile lands while land suitable for urban development is used for farming,” Trần Trọng Tuấn, director of the department, told the Sài Gòn Giải Phóng (Liberated Sài Gòn) newspaper.
Nhà Bè District Party Secretary Nguyễn Văn Lưu agreed with Tuấn, saying current land use and construction plans were released nearly 10 years ago and many things need to be changed.
“Many places were earmarked for building new residential areas or green public spaces, but now people are living there.
“A master plan that has been in place for too long has forced people to build without permission to meet their living needs.”
Tuấn cited the example of Bình Chánh District, whose 25,000 hectares of land includes 10,000ha of land designated as agricultural. But agricultural land in Phạm Văn Hai and Lê Minh Xuân communes don’t produce crops as there are industrial parks in these communes.
He revealed that by the end of this month his department would draft regulations for issuing licences for temporary construction on agricultural land and changing the purpose of farm land that is no longer fertile.
“There is real demand and the department must guide local authorities in meeting development demands and reducing unlicensed construction,” he added.
For instance, he pointed out, some constructions need to be done on farmlands for growing organic vegetables, but cannot get licences.
In many places, the local community needs buildings for activities such as sports on unused lands, he added.
So far this year the authorities have uncovered 2,545 cases of construction violations, 48 per cent of them without licences and 37 per cent violating licence provisions.
Faced with a shortage of space for economic activity, HCM City wants the Government to give it more authority to decide land use.
It has also petitioned the National Assembly to adopt a resolution allowing it to use 10 hectares or more of contiguous rice paddies for other purposes.
The city is focusing on the development of services and industry, and needs land for the efforts.
According to land use statistics, farm lands accounts for some 118,000ha, or more than 55 per cent of the city’s total area, but agriculture makes up less than 1 per cent of the city’s economy.
Services and industry use 14,265ha, or 6.8 per cent, but make up 99 per cent of the economy.
According to the city People’s Committee, services and industry add 813 times the value agriculture does from a hectare of land. Thus, if just a quarter (28,875 hectares) of the agricultural land is used for services or industry instead, the economy would expand 1.68-fold.
As for agriculture, the city plans to allocate more land for research centres to develop higher yielding crops instead of for farming.
HCM City committee to unclog congested road
An inter-departmental team of officials will study the 10 areas with the worst traffic congestion in HCM City and recommend measures to ease the problem by year-end.
The 10 areas are Tân Sơn Nhất airport, Cát Lái Port in District 2, Trường Thọ Port and Tây Hoà junction in District 9, Thủ Đức junction in the district of the same name, and the Phạm Văn Đồng – Nguyễn Thái Sơn – Bạch Đằng – Hoàng Minh Giám roundabout in Gò Vấp-Phú Nhuận.
The team will consist of traffic police officers, Department of Transport inspectors, Traffic Safety Committee officials, district police officers and others.
The HCM City Traffic Safety Committee has warned that officials in the team failing to resolve the problem at any of the spots would face disciplinary action.
In the city, 37 areas suffer from major traffic congestion.
JICA workshop on construction projects
The Ministry of Construction and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) yesterday organised a training workshop on management of construction projects in Việt Nam.
The workshop was co-organised as part of a JICA-funded project, launched in April 2015, for improving capacity in cost estimation, contract management, and quality and safety in construction investment projects in Việt Nam.
The workshop focused on quality management, safety and environmental management, and cost estimation.
The event, which was attended by state agencies, project management units, contractors and consultants, discussed the project’s outputs and focal points related to Việt Nam’s laws and regulations on construction.
The project, implemented by the Ministry of Construction and JICA, aims to improve the capacity of staff in the ministry and related organisations to ensure that all construction projects in Việt Nam are managed in accordance with international standards and regulations of public construction projects.
Similar workshops will also be held in Đà Nẵng, Cần Thơ and HCM City.
Việt Nam has maintained sustainable economic growth in recent years and implemented a large number of major infrastructure development projects.
However, due to inadequate project management and quality and safety management of construction works, many construction accidents have been recorded.
In addition, construction contracts that have been poorly managed have led to numerous disputes, obstructing the smooth implementation of construction projects.
Community-based care programme in Ninh Bình helps elderly
Community-based care for the elderly, a pilot programme in the northern province of Ninh Bình, has helped hundreds of elderly people access better healthcare services.
The programme has been implemented in six communes of Yên Khánh District since 2015. It has been expected to promote the role of the elderly in society and to improve their quality of life.
After two years of implementation, the project has gained support from the local elderly, who said they experienced a happier and healthier life.
Nguyễn Thị Loan, a resident of Yên Khánh District’s Khánh Cường Commune, told Việt Nam News that she was encouraged to join the club nearly a year ago, and found it helpful and interesting. “I was guided on how to take care of my health, especially for chronic diseases that old people usually deal with, such as diabetes and high blood pressure,” she said.
Loan said that she previously stayed at home watching television most of her time. Now she walked or did exercises with other members of the association.
“It’s much more fun,” she said.
Phạm Quang Minh, chairman of the Association for the Elderly, said that the model has attracted 970 members of six communes to join poetry and gymnastic clubs.
A special club has been set up to help lonely and ill people living in the commune. This club has gained support from all the people in the commune, including young people, he said.
Annually, more than 70 per cent of the association’s members access free health check-ups and examinations, and are given financial support to buy medicines. More than 350 people have been given eye examinations so far.
Nguyễn Thị Kim Tuyến, director of the district’s Centre for Population and Family Planning, estimated that there are more than 17,000 elderly people in the district, accounting for 13 per cent of the total number of people.
Most of them live in rural areas and have no pension, thus their life is quite hard, especially for those who have serious diseases and cannot engage in agricultural production to earn their living.
Thus, the centre worked with the district’s People’s Committee to set up a programme management board to study and implement the programme effectively.
Tuyến said the programme contributed to helping 67 per cent of the elderly get health insurance and more than 16,000 get regular health check-ups. More than 70 per cent of the elderly in the district are now eager to join charity organisations.
The initial success will encourage more elderly people to join the programme and improve their lives, step-by-step, she said.
The programme of consulting and caring for the elderly in the community has been carried out by the Ministry of Health’s General Department of Population and Family Planning since 2010, in 29 cities and provinces. In Ninh Bình Province, the programme has been implemented on a trial basis in six communes in 2015 and will end in 2020.
Cars banned on Kim Mã to build metro station
Cars will be banned from a 500m-long section of Hà Nội’s Kim Mã Street as construction on an underground metro station begins in December.
The Hà Nội Urban Railway Management Board (HURMB) said on Friday that it would set up construction barriers along Kim Mã Street from the Nguyễn Chí Thanh flyover to Alley 415, near Pizza Hut, early next month.
The whole one-way lane in the direction of Nguyễn Thái Học Street towards Kim Mã will be blocked for traffic, forcing vehicles of both ways onto the opposite lane.
The HURMB said it would demolish two metres of pavement in the opposite lane to make way for traffic.
Cars, however, are not allowed into the road section due to the limited traffic space.
The nearby Ngọc Khánh parking area will also become a temporary warehouse for construction materials of the metro station.
The HURMB added that 50 trees along Kim Mã Street will be chopped, while another 67 will be moved to clear the site for the metro construction.
The metro station in question will be the ninth station of the urban railway line No 3, running from Nhổn to Hà Nội Railway Station. The line is now expected to be completed in 2021, having missed several deadlines before.
145 school kids hospitalised due to food poisoning
As many as 145 children in Cẩm Khê District in the northern province of Phú Thọ were hospitalised on Thursday night due to alleged food poisoning.
Director of Cẩm Khê District Medical Centre Vi Văn Miên said the centre received students with symptoms of exhaustion and nausea last night.
All the victims were from Hương Lung Commune’s kindergarten.
Sixty-eight of them were treated in Cẩm Khê General Hospital and the remaining children were released immediately after the examination.
At 9am on Friday, 59 kids had recovered and the remaining nine were expected to go home in the afternoon, the doctors said.
Miên said after eating food, including bánh dầy (round glutinous rice cake), banana and grapefruit, all the students suffered from symptoms of food poisoning.
The Food Hygiene and Safety Sub-department took the food samples for testing.
Khmer weavers tell stories through brocades
The Khmer people in southern An Giang Province take pride in their age-old tradition of brocade weaving. Local artisans in the province produce products including scarves, tablecloths, dresses and even murals depicting folklore stories and legends.
It takes a lot of time and attention to detail to make a beautiful piece of brocade, while even more work is required to create a unique pattern, which can become an artisan’s trademark. Materials must be treated, spun and dyed through a process that has been passed down from generation to generation of Khmer weavers. Artisans use only natural ingredients for dying to make sure the colours stay and the product’s texture is soft and silky.
Weavers say their ancient trade is not just a great way to preserve the Khmer cultural heritage and identity. In recent years, their products have been well received and started to build a reputation among visitors to the region as well as abroad. Weaving has become an income source for many local families.
Ancient town and Andong, Korea to boost cultural exchange
The International Mask Arts & Culture Organisation (IMACO) and Andong City, Korea have agreed to work with the Hội An’s information and culture center to promote cultural exchanges in the coming years.
The parties signed a Memorandum of Understanding in Hội An on Wednesday on the occasion of the Andong City Cultural Day held in Hội An.
The two cities will host art performances, exhibitions and friendship exchanges. They will promote tourism and introduce each other’s cuisine through regular events.
The ancient town already has a history of cultural exchange with Gyeongsangbuk Province, where Andong is located.
In June, the art troupe of Hahoe Folk village, a UNESCO-recognised world heritage site in Gyeongsangbuk, performed mask dances in Hội An. In September, Vietnamese art troupes from Hội An also performed in the province.
The people of Hội An, an UNESCO-recognised world heritage site, and other residents of the central province of Quảng Nam will host the Korean Cultural Day next month as part of a series of programmes to celebrate Việt Nam-Korea diplomatic ties.
Buildings illegally constructed under Haiphong overpass
Ten buildings under construction beneath a Hanoi-Haiphong Highway overpass seem to have been ignored by the authorities.
The buildings located in Haiphong City’s Kien Thuy District are nearly finished.
Buildings illegally constructed under the overpass on Hanoi-Haiphong Highway
A worker at the site said that the buildings seemed to be a billiards hall, building materials shop and restaurants. He added that construction had been carried out for several months.
According to chairman of Kien Thuy District People’s Committee Bui Duc Thao, the space under the overpass is managed by the local Transport Board and the Hanoi-Haiphong Highway investor Vietnam Infrastructure Development And Finance Investment Joint Stock Company (Vidifi).
Thao guessed that the construction might have been allowed by the investor and the management agency and so far Vidifi had taken no action.
The construction had been carried out for several months
Nguyen Van Huyen, head of Directorate for Roads of Vietnam, said such buildings were not permitted under bridges and the directorate would work with Vidifi on the problem.
The highway management board admitted the violation, saying that until now, it has not yet caused any problems. The board added that they would persuade local people to stop such building work.
US billionaire Bob Parsons pledges more support for Vietnamese children
US billionaire Bob Parsons, chairman and founder of Parsons Xtreme Golf, has pledged continued support for impoverished Vietnamese children through charity programs implemented by BRG Group, Vietnam’s leading golf course operator.
At a gala dinner to present the Asian Golf Award 2017 on November 16, Bob Parsons, founder of GoDaddy and a US veteran in Vietnam, said he will initially donate US$100,000 to BRD Group’s charity programs, largely the ‘Swing for the Kids’ program. Another US$100,000 will fund other charity programs.
During his visit to Vietnam, Bob Parsons attended the Asian Pacific Golf Summit (APGS) held on November 15-16 in central Da Nang City, where he shared his valuable business experience.
Korean companies donate over $200,000 to charity
More than 130 Korean companies donated over $200,000 to Kocham Charity Night 2017 to promote corporate social responsibility in Vietnam.
Park Noh Wan, Consul General of the Republic of Korea’s Embassy in Vietnam, said that Kocham Charity Night is an opportunity for all individuals, companies, and government of Korea and Vietnam to work together for economic growth and the development of the co-operation between the two countries.
The trade volume between the two countries already exceeded $50 billion by October 2017 and is expected to reach a new record this year. Based on the expansion of trade and investment, Korea and Vietnam have established inseparable political, social, and economic ties. Now Vietnam´s economic and social development means the development of Korea.
More than 5,000 Korean companies have entered Vietnam with a cumulative investment of $55 billion. Korea has earned position as the No.1 investor in Vietnam.
“The active participation in charity activities will leave an impression that Korean companies are friendly and responsible in Vietnam, which will be a great help for the development of Vietnamese-Korean co-operation in this 25th year of diplomatic ties,” he said.
Kocham Charity Night, which celebrates its 14th anniversary this year, is the annual event where Korean companies doing business in the southern parts of Vietnam combine their efforts to support disadvantaged Vietnamese people.
This year, the charity event collected VND4.4 billion ($193,600) in donations as well as gifts worth VND600 million ($26,400). Major sponsors include Hwaseung Vina, Taekwang, CJ Corporation, Hyo Sung, Lotte Group, and Sung Huyn Vina.
The donation was awarded to several organisations, like Ho Chi Minh City Eyes Hospital, the Poor Patients’ Support Fund, Tien Phuoc Disability Facility, the Centre for Social Protection in Long An province, and the Ho Chi Minh City Relief Association for Handicapped Children.
Starting operations in 2003, Kocham has around 700 company members and represents over 2,500 Korean companies investing in the central and southern regions of Vietnam. Kocham has five branches in the provinces of Binh Duong, Dong Nai, Ba Ria-Vung Tau, Long An, and Ho Chi Minh City. The association also has four main business branches, including garment, finance, commerce, and logistics.
BUSINESS IN BRIEF 19/11
Airlines to provide flight info all by electronic means
All airlines active in Vietnam will provide flight information by electronic means instead of paper documents from tomorrow, and all to the single national portal instead of different agencies, according to the Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam.
The regulation is part of the one-door mechanism in the aviation sector which will come into force tomorrow. Regulations on managing aircraft at international airports separately issued by various State agencies have caused management overlap, according to the authority.
Take the customs sector for example. The border security and immigration management agencies ask airlines to provide passenger information in advance while the airport authorities also request them to offer this kind of information for general management.
Providing paper-based information makes it tough for management agencies to share and use general information. Besides, this practice makes life difficult for airlines.
Airlines will send relevant information to management agencies via the one-stop-shop customs system called the Vietnam National Single Window at vnsw.gov.vn at a single time. The one-door aviation mechanism will help connect general flight information with the systems of all management agencies in the sector.
The move will help shorten customs clearance and offer support to logistics companies, and enterprises involved in export and import activities via airlines.
Data of the General Department of Vietnam Customs shows all airlines have signed up for the one-door mechanism in the aviation sector.
Vietnam to apply new power retail prices
The Ministry of Industry and Trade is drafting a set of regulations on new electricity retail prices, according to a Vietnamnet report.
The draft states that electricity retail prices would be set for each category of customers, namely producers, businesses, lodging facilities, administrative agencies, and households.
The retail price for households is still divided into six groups. Families who consume up to 50 kWh of electricity per month would pay 92% of the average retail price. Those using from 51 to 110 kWh will pay 95% of the price, 101-200 kWh 110%, 201-300 kWh 138%, 301-400 kWh 154%, and over 401 kWh 159%. The move is to encourage household customers to save electricity.
The Government will subsidize poor households with an amount equal to the retail price of 30 kWh per month.
Earlier in July, the Government issued a new mechanism stipulated in the Prime Minister’s Decision 24/2017/QD-TTg allowing the State-run Vietnam Electricity Group (EVN) to hike the average power retail price when input cost rises 3% instead of 7% as before.
Depending on the input cost increase, EVN will decide the price hike of between 3% and less than 5% before reporting to the ministries of industry-trade and finance.
For increases from 5% to less than 10%, EVN can raise prices after obtaining approval from the trade ministry.
For hikes from 10% or beyond the permissible price frame, which could potentially impact the macro economy, the two ministries will work together to look into the power price plan presented by EVN.
The average power retail price has remained unchanged since March 2015.
ASEAN Port Association meets in Ba Ria-Vung Tau
The 43rd Conference of the ASEAN Port Association (APA) opened in Vung Tau city, the southern coastal province of Ba Ria-Vung Tau, drawing representatives of the ASEAN member countries, excepting for land-locked Laos.
Participants at the two-day event discussed measures to manage and exploit seaports, while sharing experience in developing seaports in the region.
At the same time, they shared experience in simplifying administrative procedures at the port, strengthening the application of information technology, and developing a network to share information.
They will also exchange ideals and initiatives to protect maritime economy, making seaport greener and friendlier to the environment.
Ho Kim Lan, General Secretary of the Vietnam Seaport Association (VSA) said that the annual meeting aims to review operation of regional seaports in 2017 and map out the association’s plan of actions for 2018.
Lan added that through the event, the VSA will introduce the deepwater seaport system and the formation of Thi Vai-Cai Mep port cluster, one of the most modern of its kind in Vietnam, thus seeking partnership with regional countries and world supply chains.
VSA also will discuss cooperation with APA members in developing high quality human resources for the region and the world.-
Strong industry, trade sectors account for 33% of HCMC’s GRDP
HCM City’s industry and trade sectors were among the leading, the city’s Department of Industry and Trade, said on Wednesday.
Compared with 2016, the index of industrial production (IIP) this year is expected to increase by nearly 8.5 per cent; turnover from retail goods and consumer services by 10.9 per cent; and export turnover by 15.1 per cent.
Industry and trade reached added value of around VND356 trillion (US$15.8 billion), accounting for 33.6 per cent of the city’s GRDP.
“The breakthrough growth of four key industries — food processing, chemistry-rubber engineering, electronics and information technology — saw significant achievements with IIP 1.83 times higher than that of national industry,” Pham Thanh Kien, director of the department, said.
“Infrastructure for modern trade included an additional 18 supermarkets, three shopping malls, and 218 convenience shops compared with 2016. There was remarkable growth of online trade, which contributed to commodity retail and consumer service turnover,” he added.
City authorities have launched many support policies for enterprises. Enterprises in the industry and supporting sectors can now borrow capital of up to VND200 billion ($8.9 million) per project, with preferential-loan interest periods lasting seven years.
This year, the city organised 35 trade promotion campaigns by connecting international retail groups with local producers and helping enterprises expand market share in neighbouring provinces and international markets.
Rapid establishment of new enterprises, with nearly 330,000 this year, an increase of 8.45 per cent, also contributed to growth.
However, most of the new enterprises were micro and small-sized companies, which have difficulty accessing preferential capital from the Government and banks.
The supporting industry has gained initial achievements, but is not strong enough to meet material demand for local producers.
“In the coming time, the trade and industry department will promote trade focusing on key markets with trade surpluses with Viet Nam of over $1 billion, like China, South Korea, Singapore, Taiwan and Thailand,” Kien added.
“We will focus on policies to help supporting enterprises so they can take advantage of free trade agreements, and develop technical barriers to minimise any negative impact from such agreements,” he added.
Economists have said that HCM City must identify its export advantages and focus all resources to promote key export industries like electronics, computers, software and digital content and services.
VN foodmakers urged to up quality
Vietnamese food producers need to focus on improving product quality, invest in new technologies and build brands to meet consumer demand and increase export value, experts said at the Vietnam Food Forum held in HCM City on Thursday.
With consumers increasingly concerned about product hygiene and food safety, more attention should be paid to the food chain’s different stages, where hazards can occur, according to Nguyen Song Ha, assistant chief representative of the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) of the UN.
Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) should be applied to improve safety and quality, he said.
“Vietnamese businesses should invest more in GAP to enable our products to be more delicious and safer so as to improve our position in the world market,” Ha said.
The volume of VietGap-certified products remains modest compared to market demand, he added.
According to FAO’s forecast, consumption of high-quality food products will increase significantly until 2020, Hai noted.
Speaking on the sidelines of the forum, Nguyen Huong Quynh, managing director of Nielsen Vietnam, said consumers were willing to pay for high-quality, prestigious products.
“Vietnamese food producers have paid a lot of attention to export markets and are selling products that they have, but haven’t focused on what consumers really need,” she said.
Businesses should not forget that the domestic market has great potential and that many foreign players want to jump in, she added.
Quynh suggested that they focus more on domestic consumer demand, develop suitable products and improve their technology and product designs.
Speaking at the forum, Do Thang Hai, deputy minister of Industry and Trade, said the food industry had greatly contributed to export revenue, creating jobs and improving workers’ incomes.
Export of agricultural and food products were worth US$29.6 billion last year, a year-on-year increase of 12.7 per cent. But 90 per cent of Vietnamese farm exports are raw products, with low added value.
Leon Trujillo, an expert in branding, said: “Viet Nam has become a food production powerhouse, but not every country is aware of this.”
He urged Viet Nam’s food sector to develop a brand identity that brings value to products, the country and its food producers.
More investment in technologies is needed to raise the ratio of processed products, delegates said, adding that more research and development was necessary to increase competitiveness and add more value to products.
Nguyen Trung Anh, R&D director of the PAN Group, said the company had developed a farm-food-family closed value chain to offer trusted and traceable products.
It has also worked with local and foreign partners to transfer technologies, develop new products and automate production.
In addition, it has invested in R&D and built linkages with farmers to develop its own material sources, he said.
Deputy minister Hai said the Ministry of Industry and Trade in collaboration with ministries, business associations and companies are implementing measures to develop markets, improve quality and build brands for Vietnamese food products to gradually raise the export value of products.
At the forum, the Vietnam Trade Promotion Agency (Vietrade) signed a memorandum of understanding with the Hong Kong Trade Development Council for co-operation in trade promotions between Hong Kong and Vietnamese businesses.
Vietrade also signed an MoU with Nielsen Vietnam for co-operation in market research and development.
At the event, Jocelyn Tran, from Walmart, also described how companies could become suppliers to Walmart.
The forum included a business-to-business meeting between Vietnamese producers and foreign importing groups from France, the US, Italy, Japan and China, as well as local and foreign supermarkets and hypermarkets such as Walmart, CJ Group, Lotte, Central Group, Vinmart and Satra.
Held on the sidelines of the Vietnam Foodexpo, the forum was organised by Vietrade, the FAO and VP Bank.
Banks fail to meet businesswomen’s capital needs
A new study has found that only 37 per cent of women-owned SMEs Viet Nam have accessed bank loans in the last two years, compared to 47 per cent of male business owners. The study authors urged banks to design uniquely tailored products and services for women-owned small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in order to support the under-tapped potential of this segment.
The study, by the International Finance Corporation (IFC) under the World Bank, “Women-Owned Enterprises in Viet Nam: Perceptions and Potential”, released on Thursday, said that investing in women and promoting gender equality helps businesses reach new markets and expand.
The IFC report identifies Viet Nam’s women entrepreneurs as one of the significant forces within the SME sector. Their 95,900 firms account for 21 per cent of the country’s total formal enterprises, and 42 per cent of women’s businesses are SMEs.
Running nearly 45,000 SMEs across sectors, women entrepreneurs were found to bring in average annual revenue similar to that of male entrepreneurs. Despite their strength, women entrepreneurs are less likely to access loans than their male peers.
“One of the key difficulties that women-owned businesses find is limited capital access in banks. They feel they are not taken seriously as the customer segment,” said Rubin Japhta, senior operations officer of the IFC’s Banking on Women/SME Banking division.
Speaking with the Viet Nam News on the sidelines at the seminar, Rubin said women more often find informal forms of financing. For example, they borrow from their families or take personal loans from banks and use the money for their businesses.
“This is a more expensive financing option for business,” Rubin said. “Banks need to change their services and see the women-owned SMEs as a distinct market segment. You need to think and look through what we call the gender lens.”
The financing gap is estimated at $1.2 billion for women-owned SMEs in Viet Nam. Though Viet Nam has policies to encourage women’s entrepreneurship, most banks see this segment as less profitable, higher risk and lacking in financial management skills.
The IFC’s research showed that women business owners want to borrow more to invest in their companies and they typically record higher revenue per employee and lower default rates than their male counterparts.
“Vietnamese women are great at doing business. They are more aware of risk than male counterparts which allows them to better run their businesses,” said Craig Chittick, Australian Ambassador to Viet Nam.
Vietnamese women have a large role in their families but they are very good at balancing family responsibilities and running businesses, the ambassador said. He endorsed the idea that banks should provide better services to women entrepreneurs.
Dao Gia Hung, deputy head of SME Banking of the Viet Nam Prosperity JSC Bank (VPB), said VPBank initiated its pilot women strategy one year ago and the percentage of businesswomen in its SMEs portfolio increased from 15 per cent to 25 per cent this year.
“The non-performing loan (NPL) rate among women-owned businesses is lower than among men,” Hung said, adding that he believes women are more risk-averse than men and they make payments carefully. “We see a big opportunity in the over $1 billion market of women entrepreneurs.”
On Thursday, IFC also launched the study “Tackling Childcare: The Business Case for Employer-Supported Childcare” which encourages companies to support childcare for women employees. By doing so, they can hire and retain talented women, boosting profits and productivity.
IFC has invested more than $1 billion in private-sector banks via its Banking on Women programme and has provided advisory services to banks that want to better serve the women’s market.
Empire 88 Tower to be new HCMC focal point
Empire 88 Tower, part of the Empire City project, is set to become HCM City’s new focal point, sculpting a symbiotic vision of nature and living within city space.
Situated on the central peninsula of the Saigon River, Empire 88 Tower comprises an integrative environment that fuses natural landscape with the rapidly growing metropolis. As a result, new qualities of urban living will emerge in this mixed-use environment of work, life, culture, entertainment and public enjoyment.
The project will comprise three skyscrapers, which will soar above a mountain-shaped, garden-like podium, with the central tower reaching a height of 333m. Its 88 floors will encompass residences, apartments, a hotel and a public observation deck. Breaking open the shaft of the tower and projecting vertical gardens at towering heights, the expressively undulating platforms of the “Sky Forest” will elevate the podium’s urban landscape into the sky. Hovering terraces will cantilever in manifold directions around the tower’s central axis, reaching out into the urban context and the peninsula’s natural surroundings as a gesture of reconciliation between the city and the countryside.
Another highlight of the project, the Cloud Space, is located at the very top of the highest tower, with various possibilities to hold events and recreational activities.
In addition to the soaring landmark tower, two accompanying high-rises will comprise more traditional office typologies and residential spaces atop the landscape podium.
Empire City Project is developed by Empire City Limited Liability Company, a multi-national joint venture of prominent names in real estate development in Vietnam, Singapore and Hong Kong – Tien Phuoc Real Estate JSC, Keppel Land Ltd., Gaw Capital Partners and Tran Thai Lands Co., Ltd.
Deals signed for Hilton hotel expansion
Hotel chain Hilton and Viet Nam’s BRG Group Jsc recently signed two hotel management agreements in HCM City and Vung Tau City.
The two new facilities are branded Hilton Garden Inn and DoubleTree by Hilton, respectively.
With these additions, Hilton now has 11 hotels in operation or under construction in Viet Nam, eight of which are owned by the BRG Group.
Guy Phillips, Senior Vice President Development - Asia & Australasia at Hilton Worldwide, stated that both hotels should play an important role in marking the continued expansion of the Hilton chain in Viet Nam.
In the past three months, the company has signed three hotel management contracts in Viet Nam, showing the country’s potential for hotel business development.
Nguyen Thi Nga, Chairwoman of BRG Group, agreed with Phillips, saying that both the DoubleTree by Hilton in Vung Tau City and the Hilton Garden Inn in HCM City are the result of a long-term partnership between the two companies.
She hoped that the new hotels entering the market would attract a large number of domestic and foreign tourists to Viet Nam.
The Hilton Garden Inn is situated in District 1, HCM City, where most of the administrative offices, embassies and multinational companies are located.
The DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel in Vung Tau City is located in the heart of an already popular tourist destination with coastal stretches and natural hot springs.
By initial estimation, the two hotels will officially open in the first quarter of 2022.
The agreements between Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc. and BRG Group were signed during a visit to Viet Nam by the former’s representative during the 2017 Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC).
Vinasun, MoMo partner on smart payments
Taxi service provider Vietnam Sun Corporation (Vinasun) and MoMo E-wallet developer M_Service Company signed a strategic cooperation agreement on Wednesday to provide smart payment service to customers.
Under the agreement, customers using Vinasun’s services can use the MoMo E-Wallet on their smartphone to scan QR codes provided by taxi drivers to pay taxi charges.
In addition, passengers who book a car via the Vinasun app can choose to link with the MoMo E-Wallet integrated in the app and the system will automatically pay the exact amount after each trip.
Once the trip and payment is completed, a message will be sent and the transaction history will be saved on the customer’s e-wallet application. This helps customers find information and manage their spending effortlessly.
Money in the MoMo E-wallet can be deposited directly from accounts at 11 banks and through international cards of users or topped up at more than 5,000 transaction points of MoMo nationwide.
Local car maker to debut new Mazda car model
Truong Hai Automobile Joint-Stock company (Thaco), in co-operation with Japan’s Mazda Motor Corporation, has launched a new Crossover Utility Vehicle model, the Mazda New CX-5, in Chu Lai-Truong Hai Industrial Complex in Quang Nam Province.
Thaco said the new Mazda will prelude the new Mazda plant – the second Mazda factory in Quang Nam Province – which is under construction.
The new Mazda plant, built at a total investment of US$380 million from 2016, is expected to produce 100,000 Mazda cars per year with a localisation ratio (local made spare parts and accessories) of 44 per cent.
The Japanese car maker also plans to boost co-operation with Thaco in producing spare parts and accessories locally.
Mazda is the leading Japanese brand in Viet Nam, with the CUV (Crossover Utility Vehicle) CX-5, Mazda3, and Mazda2, in addition to Mazda2 and 3 All-New, and Mazda 6.
Thaco has invested $400 million in constructing a logistics centre, car production factories, a vocational training college, a seaport, storage facilities and shipping services.
It plans to produce a total annual capacity of 215,000 trucks, vans, commercial cars, and achieve a localisation ratio of 16 per to 46 per cent, and expect a revenues of $3.1 billion in 2017.
It currently manufactures and distributes Korea’s Kia model, Japan’s Mazda and France’s Peugeot.
Thaco will become the new official importer of BMW and Mini vehicles in Viet Nam in January 2018.
Vietnam Cycle 2017 opens in Hà Nội
As many as 50 major manufacturers from France, Italy, Japan and the Republic of Korea, as well as China and Viet Nam, are displaying renowned brands of bicycles and electric bikes at the 6th Vietnam International Bicycle Exhibition (Vietnam Cycle 2017) in Ha Noi.
Speaking at the opening ceremony held on Thursday, Deputy General Director of Vietnam National Trade Fair and Advertising Company Trinh Xuan Tuan said the event was the perfect opportunity for cycle makers to introduce their latest products from different countries and territories, including United Kingdom, France, Italy and Japan, as well as the Republic of Korea, China, Taiwan and Viet Nam.
The event has 150 booths, of which some 60 per cent are for bicycles, including sports bikes and bikes for kids; 30 per cent are electric bikes; and 10 per cent are bike parts and components.
Many kinds of bicycles and electric bikes have been designed in modern, young and creative styles to serve customers of different ages.
On the opening day, giant electric bike makers Takuda and Yadea introduced brand names Honda and Yumi, respectively, which are their latest products this year.
The event is also an opportunity for Vietnamese manufacturers to develop trade links and seek domestic and international partners and distributors while enhancing brand identification and connecting enterprises and Vietnamese customers.
The event is on until November 19. Significant activities will be held on the sidelines of the event, including a seminar on bicycles and electric bicycles hosted by the National Traffic Safety Committee, during which the committee will answer inquiries of enterprises on urban planning for transportation and procedures for import and registration for vehicles; a bicycle fashion show; a creative photo corner with bikes; and a playground to experience new cars.
According to the organisers, Vietnam Cycle 2016 exhibition attracted more than 10,000 visitors. Some 400 bicycles were sold and 47 contracts were signed.
The event has been organised by Vinexad and the Vietnam Auto Motorcycle and Bicycle Association under the patronage of the Ministry of Industry and Trade in collaboration with the National Traffic Safety Committee.
FLC plans roadshow in Republic of Korea
Property developer FLC Group will organise a large-scale roadshow and seminar in the Republic of Korea (RoK).
The November 20 event is aimed at informing participants about investment opportunities in the hospitality real estate sector as Vietnam has been named Asia-Pacific’s premier golf tourism destination 2017.
The roadshow is part of a series of events to advertise Vietnamese resort properties and golf courses to foreign countries, as well as to expand FLC’s partners in the RoK.
The event is expected to attract more than 400 investors, financial organisations, investment funds and estate and tourism firms in Vietnam, the RoK and Asia.
FLC said a seminar would focus on the latest trends in the resort property and golf course market in Vietnam. In addition, this would be an opportunity for Republic of Korean suppliers in the areas of tourism, construction and hi-tech agriculture to search for cooperation potential with prestigious firms in Vietnam.
The event follows the success of FLC’s roadshows and seminars in Singapore and Japan this year. It would be a pre-condition for the group to establish representative offices in foreign countries.
FLC established its first representative office in Japan earlier this month.
CPTPP offers global cooperation opportunities
Attendees at the 2017 APEC Economic Leaders’ Week agreed to change the name of the TPP to the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) without the participation of the US.
Minister of Industry and Trade Tran Tuan Anh and Japanese Minister in charge of Economic Revitalisation Toshimitsu Motegi at a press conference on November 11th, 2017.
The new CPTPP agreement was reached by 11 countries (Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, and Vietnam) on the sidelines of the just concluded 2017 APEC Economic Leaders’ Week in Da Nang.
The agreement maintains the content of the old TPP deal but allows member countries to temporarily postpone a number of their obligations.
The 11 APEC economic ministers agreed that the CPTPP is a comprehensive and highly standardized agreement on the basis of benefits of its member nations with regard to their development level.
The CPTPP salvagtes the TPP which received a severe blow when the US announced its withdrawal. Economists call it a breakthrough for free trade in the region that counters a growing trend of protectionism and nationalism.
Vietnamese Minister of Industry and Trade Tran Tuan Anh said all members, including Vietnam, will re-assess their requirements, benefits, and the equilibrium point that will keep the new deal viable.
Minister Tuan Anh said, “All the remaining TPP members have affirmed their determination and desire to continue the deal without the US. The nature and quality of the new agreement is reflected in 2 added words - Comprehensive and Progressive - which all 11 TPP ministers agreed reflect the agreement’s overall objective.”
The CPTPP deal embraces a globalization that is characterized by connectivity, cooperation, and development.
Minister Tuan Anh said that, together with Japan, Vietnam plays an important role in creating more global cooperation opportunities, adding: “Negotiating a TPP-11 that maintains the balance of the 12-member TPP has been difficult. Vietnam conducted researches to assess the requirements of its reforms and integration as well as its political, social, and economic requirements to ensure its benefits in participating in TPP 11 and also contributed to the realization of the deal.”
Japanese Minister in charge of Economic Revitalisation Toshimitsu Motegi says TPP members agree on the importance of the deal. Freezing some clauses is the easiest way to realize the agreement right now, and leave open the possibility of the US returning in the future.
“The agreement will be translated into French and English. It will take effect 60 days after at least 6 members approve it. The new deal will temporarily freeze 60 clauses of the initial TPP agreement, 12 of which relate to intellectual property. Four other clauses are set aside for further discussion. Though we still have many points of disagreement, we agreed that we must reach consensus on the deal at the Da Nang meeting. We are trying to balance and preserve the quality of the original agreement and at the same time ensuring its practicality,” Minister Motegi said.
The agreement reached in Da Nang is expected to boost economic growth, generate jobs, improve people’s living conditions, facilitate trade, and enhance economic cooperation among CPTPP members.
Da Nang to host ASEAN Banking Council Meeting
The 47th ASEAN Banking Council Meeting hosted by the Vietnam Banks Association (VNBA) is scheduled to take place at Furama Resort in central Da Nang City on November 23-24.
The major annual event of the regional banking community will be presented by banking associations of ASEAN countries - Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.
This is the third time the VNBA has held such a meeting with the first one in 2000 and the second in 2007.
The meeting will focus discussions on sustainable financial development, financial inclusion, the application of state-of-art technologies, human resource training and others as well as proposing cooperation initiatives and action plans.
It will be an excellent opportunity for participants to share experience and strengthen cooperation among regional banks and partners.
Vietnam halts exportation of silica sand used in glassmaking
Customs departments across Vietnam have been asked to stop clearing the export of silica sand as per a government order to preserve the resource.
Silica sand is quartz broken down by water and wind into tiny granules used as the primary component in glassmaking.
According to statistics acquired by Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper, Vietnamese companies shipped nearly 800,000 metric tons of silica sand to foreign markets last year.
The General Department of Vietnam Customs had previously added silica sand to its list of price-sensitive goods subject to government control over their export rate.
Accordingly, the sale of washed silica sand to foreign buyers was given a price floor of US$20 and price ceiling of US$116 per ton.
In March, a series of investigative reports by Tuoi Tre revealed that Vietnam’s sand was being transported to Singapore to fuel an ongoing megaproject in the city-state.
The revelation sent a shockwave through the local public and authorities, prompting Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc to take firm steps to put an end to the resource drainage, including a decision to indefinitely halt saline sand exports from September.
The recent dispatch by the General Department of Vietnam Customs asking its subordinate bodies to cease their clearance of silica sand for export is therefore seen as another move toward preserving Vietnam’s natural resources.
SOE reform to fuel higher economic growth
Shosuke Mori, senior managing executive officer at Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation, told yesterday’s Nikkei-led forum on Vietnam’s growth outlook in Hanoi that the Vietnamese economy boasts great potential for higher growth with higher quality.
“The Vietnamese economy has been consistently growing over 20 years. Vietnam is the only country among the ASEAN-5 that has consistently achieved more than 5 per cent growth since 2000,” Mori said.
According to him, along with this high growth, Vietnam’s economy has undergone transformational changes since 1990. The country’s GDP per capita has grown by 22-fold, from $98 in 1990 to $2,172 in 2016, and nominal GDP has expanded about 31 times, from $6.5 billion in 1990 to $201 billion last year.
“These figures are expected to accelerate even further. According to the International Monetary Fund, Vietnam’s GDP per capita is projected to reach $3,300, and nominal GDP $300 billion by 2022,” Mori stressed.
However, Mori also underlined Vietnam’s slow equitisation of state-owned enterprises (SOEs) as one of the biggest challenges for the economy in general and the country’s investment attraction.
“I think the SOE reform will be the key in driving the evolution of the Vietnamese economy,” Mori said. “The SOE sector accounts for about 30 per cent of the GDP in Vietnam, and is linked to many industries.”
“The reform of SOEs would bring Vietnam to the next stage of its development. The average growth rate of the SOE sector from 2006 to 2016 was around 3.8 per cent, lower than the private sector’s at 4.9 per cent, and the foreign invested sector’s 7.7 per cent.”
He also highlighted the government’s efforts to revamp the SOE sector.
“Since SOE reform was mentioned in 1986 in the doi moi policy, I understand that the Vietnamese government has been taking proactive steps in this regard,” he said.
For example, rules on corporate governance and disclosure, which were a long-standing issue, were established in 2015, and individual directions for the equitisation of SOEs were also announced last year under the strong leadership of the government.
The number of SOEs in which the government has more than 50 per cent ownership decreased from 4,000 to 2,800 over the past ten years due to the government's efforts.
“SOEs are key drivers of Vietnam’s economic growth, and with these reforms, I believe they can help transform domestic industries,” Mori stressed.
Kenmark Industrial Zone calls for buyers again
Bank for Investment and Development of Vietnam (BIDV) today announced for the second time putting Viet Hoa-Kenmark Industrial Zone (IZ) on sale via an auction, with the initial price of VND830 billion ($36.6 million).
A notable piece of information is that the property includes land use rights until 2057 for 440,707 square metres of land in Viet Hoa-Kenmark IZ, a favourable investment destination adjacent to Highway No.5, approximately 52 kilometres from Hanoi and 53 kilometres from Haiphong.
Additionally, all properties are attached to the land (buildings, factories, infrastructure) in the area of Viet Hoa-Kenmark IZ. All existing properties (including machinery, equipment, furniture, vehicles…) and those to be formed during the investment and implementation period will also form part of the estate.
Accordingly, interested investors will need to submit their application to participate in the auction within seven days of the announcement.
Earlier in March, BIDV called on buyers for the Kenmark property to recover capital, but received little interest from investors.
Viet Hoa-Kenmark IZ was licensed in 2005. At the time, the developer Kenmark Group from Taiwan promised to inject $500 million into turning the empty land into a mammoth IZ and an urban township.
During the first phase, Kenmark was set to disburse about $98 million and, in fact, spent $44 million building internal roads, workshops, as well as a wastewater treatment facility and an electricity generation system.
However, in 2010, the developer abruptly returned home, suspending the project without further notice.
The problem is that previously Kenmark borrowed $67.6 million from three banks ($39.1 million from BIDV, $18.5 million from SHB, and $10 million from Habubank). Subsequently, Habubank was merged with SHB, who inherited Habubank’s loans.
When Kenmark left, its suspended payments on its $67.6-million debt to Vietnamese banks, causing major headache with no solution on the horizon.
To open a path to dealing with the debt, Kenmark chairman Hwang Ding Kuo flew to Vietnam numerous times to work with relevant lenders and local management authorities.
They came to a consensus on selling the IZ to recoup the investment capital and pay off bank debts. However, all negotiations with potential buyers failed due to transfer price-related issues.
At the moment, as the IZ’s price is fixed by the lenders instead of the developer, the IZ promises to be more appealing to investors, paving the way for a happy ending to a fraught journey of adversity.
Finnish firm pours over 33 million USD into clean energy project in Hanoi
Kimmo Tuppurainen, sales director for Southeast Asia for Watrec, said his company has launched a clean energy project worth 30 million EUR (more than 33 million USD) in Hanoi.
The waste-to-energy project is designed to treat some 600 tonnes of waste per day, he said.
It aims to collect, classify and convert urban solid waste into biogas and other materials to produce electricity, he added.
Watrec is negotiating with partners to arrange capital for the project.
Watrec is a leading biogas technology company in Finland, which treats 31,500 tonnes of organic waste each year.
The waste-to-energy project in Hanoi is intended to manage mixed waste without classification and treat urban solid waste, Tuppurainen noted.
Saku Liuksia, Finpro’s programme manager of waste-to-energy and bioenergy, said Vietnam has a lot of potential to develop clean energy projects from urban waste and agro-forestry waste products.
FinPro has focused on converting waste into energy and bioenergy in Vietnam for about two years, so it understands the country’s challenges and potential, he said.
In fact, many Finnish businesses have invested in this sphere in Vietnam and made progress.
The Doranova company is building a landfill treatment factory worth 6 million EUR (7 million USD) on the outskirts of Ho Chi Minh City, aiming to convert 35,000 tonnes of waste into energy.
A year ago, Doranova was one of the Finnish enterprises to implement a waste-to-energy project in the southern province of Binh Duong.
Matti Miinalainen, Valmet’s director for Asia Pacific & China, said Vietnam is a priority investment destination for Valmet.
He suggested defining the feasibility of projects and introducing new technologies to customers.
A representative from FinPro said Finnish businesses will work with Vietnamese companies and transfer technology to local firms.
Vietnam needs to build brands in RoK
Vietnamese businesses need to get involved in the Republic of Korea (RoK)’s goods value chains via distribution channels and pay more attention to positioning products and label designing to build brands in the market.
Deputy head of the Ministry of Industry and Trade’s Department of Asia and Africa Markets Le An Hai said a notable feature in trade relations between Vietnam and the RoK over the past 25 years is the supplementary import-export structure.
He named some made-in-Vietnam products sold in the RoK such as coffee, pho, chutney, fish sauce and dragon fruit.
Though the RoK is a promising market, businesses face many challenges, such as strict regulations on food safety, quality of products and registration for product labels, he noted.
Furthermore, the distribution system in the RoK is complicated with hundreds of supermarkets and tens of thousands of convenience stores, resulting in high competition, he said.
The Ministry of Industry and Trade is working to support businesses to access the RoK via Lotte Mart, Seven Eleven and E-mart, he added.
Vietnam is also seeking to make full use of the free trade agreement with the RoK to penetrate the market.
Apart from obeying regulations on quality and food safety, Vietnamese firms should focus on creating eye-catching products and study customers’ demand, Hai suggested.
Yoon Sang Ho, director of the Koran association of small- and medium-sized enterprises, said a strong brand will help enterprises secure market shares at home and abroad.
He advised Vietnamese enterprises to learn the Korean customers’ habits to increase their presence in the market.
Trade between Vietnam and the RoK rose nearly 87 fold over the past two decades to reach 43.4 billion in 2016 from 0.5 billion USD in 1992. In the first nine months of 2017, the figure continued to increase to hit 45.09 billion USD. The RoK is the third biggest trade partner of Vietnam, after the US and China.
Vinapharm clinches strategic partnership with Sanofi
Vietnam Pharmaceutical Corporation (Vinapharm) has inked an agreement on strategic partnership with French-invested drug producer Sanofi Vietnam.
According to a statement of Sanofi Vietnam, the signing ceremony took place on the sidelines of the APEC CEO Summit in the central coast city of Danang with the attendance of Deputy Minister of Health Truong Quoc Cuong and Sanofi executive vice president Olivier Charmeil.
Vinapharm will become a strategic partner of Sanofi Vietnam, a Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) drug plant at the Saigon Hi-Tech Park in HCMC. The plant is capable of annually producing 150 million boxes of high-quality medicine.
Sanofi has been present in Vietnam for more than 50 years. The expansion of the cooperation with Vinapharm since 1993 to strategic partnership demonstrates the company’s commitment to Vietnamese people’s health, said Nguyen Anh Tuyen, general director of Sanofi Vietnam.
Vinapharm chairman Le Van Son said Sanofi as a multinational drug firm is excellent at all phases of supply chains of healthcare products. The collaboration with such a pharmaceutical giant will help Vietnamese patients gain access to drugs meeting international standards.
Sanofi Vietnam has more than 1,000 employees and its three plants in HCMC meeting WHO-GMP standards account for 80% of Sanofi’s products in Vietnam. Last year, Sanofi Vietnam held a market share of 4% in Vietnam.
HCM City asks ministry to rethink extending toll collection from old expressway
The HCMC government has requested the Transport Ministry to reconsider toll collection from the HCMC-Trung Luong Expressway for an additional period of eight years and two months, saying the expressway tollgate is close to another tollgate on National Highway 1A.
The ministry wants to extend the fee collection on the expressway to raise funds for building another expressway running from Trung Luong to My Thuan and the Mekong Delta city of Can Tho.
According to a recent document sent to the Government Office, the city agrees with the ministry on the need to accelerate the construction of Trung Luong-My Thuan-Can Tho Expressway to reduce traffic congestion on National Highway 1 and promote socioeconomic development in the key southern economic region.
The Trung Luong-My Thuan-Can Tho Expressway under the initial plan should be completed by the end of 2018, but despite two kick-offs, the project has not got off the ground over multiple delays.
As pointed out by the city, the toll station on the HCMC-Trung Luong Expressway is quite close to the An Suong-An Lac toll station on National Highway 1, which has a long toll collection duration.
The ministry has approved the adjusted feasibility study of the expressway section between Trung Luong and My Thuan, under which the section will have four lanes in phase one, instead of two lanes.
With an investment of nearly VND15 trillion in the first phase, the Trung Luong-My Thuan section is 51 kilometers long and has 4.5 kilometers of approach road. It will be connected with the HCMC-Trung Luong Expressway at Than Cuu Nghia intersection and end at an intersection with National Highway 30.
Under the initial plan, the section was proposed to have two lanes in phase one and six lanes in phase two and use official development assistance (ODA) capital.
The Trung Luong-My Thuan Expressway is part of the expressway connecting HCMC and Can Tho City. Of the three sections of this expressway, the 40-kilometer section from HCMC to Trung Luong has been put into use since February 2010.
Petrolimex stocks fall with sinking performance
Vietnam National Petroleum Group (Petrolimex, coded PLX), has witnessed a sharp drop in share prices after a vast wave of investors started selling its stocks and setting up stock discounts, following the drop in profitability since April 2017.
In the wake of Petrolimex's bad performance since April, shareholders went on an aggressive sales campaign
Prior to the falling business performance, the ticker stood at a record price of VND69,000 ($3.03) in September.
The current price of Petrolimex plunged to VND56,200 ($2.47), a roughly 20 per cent drop from the September record.
According to the group’s consolidated income statement for the first three quarters, the consolidated before-tax profit was only VND3.5 trillion ($156.13 million), which was 87.3 per cent of the same period in 2016 and 75.7 per cent of the target.
On the contrary, the consolidated revenue of the first three quarters was VND112.4 trillion ($4.95 billion), up 27.7 per cent against the same period in 2016.
Despite the burgeoning revenue growth in the first nine months, the company’s profit went on a steep downward slope.
Speaking about losing profitability, Petrolimex’s spokesperson clarified that the key elements negatively affecting the company’s petroleum trade were incurred costs, such as social insurance expenses and outsourcing services, as well as Korean import tariffs (which is lower than the existing applicable 10 per cent value-added tax on all imports and domestically-manufactured goods).
Besides, the petroleum business also encountered obstacles in other business lines, such as petroleum aviation and bitumen in road construction.
Many economists asserted that Petrolimex might be undergoing significant pressure to improve business performance. One of the group’s business enhancement strategies was to initiate the supply of the bio-fuel RON 92 E5 from the beginning of 2018.
Nguyen Quang Dung, deputy director general of Petrolimex, noted that the petroleum group put great maximum effort into assuring that 100 per cent of the group’s petrol stations would be capable of supplying E5 bio-fuel by January 1, 2018.
Dung also added that most of the petroleum input would be acquired from domestic bio-fuel plants that meet the company’s fuel quality requirements.
In addition, regarding business administration, the petroleum provider also applied the enterprise resources planning (ERP) and enterprise gas (Egas) with the intent of enhancing business performance in 2018.
Petrolimex is a Hanoi-based company founded in 1956. The petroleum provider primarily operates in the businesses of petroleum, transportation, gas, and petrochemicals. It also provides design and engineering, commercial, as well as insurance and banking services.
Startups still looking for capital from venture funds
Few venture funds have been set up in Vietnam, and few startups have successfully called for capital from the funds.
Vietnam is striving to become a ‘startup nation’, but the number of venture funds operating in Vietnam remains so modest that all their names are known by startups.
These include FPT Ventures (Vietnam), Seedcom (Vietnam), IDG Ventures (the US), Cyber Agent (Japan), Golden Gate (Singapore) and 500 Startups (US).
Some funds have been set up, but they just exist on paper because they are still under the fundraising process. These include the IDT startup fund, and the fund of First project and VSF.
The number of venture funds is small, while the number of projects successfully calling for capital is even smaller. There are over 15,000 startups in Vietnam, mostly in Hanoi and HCMC. But only 20-30 startups have successfully called for capital from the funds in Vietnam.
The number of investment deals worth $1 million or more is modest. The investments in Momo, Lozi, vatgia and ononpay are among them.
Analysts said Vietnamese startups don’t have feasible business strategies which can convince venture funds to make investments. Many funds have money, but they cannot find potential startups.
The problem is that most startups have small targeted markets which do not fit venture funds. In general, funds have requirements on capital management and minimum investment amounts ($500,000 at least), while Vietnamese startups cannot satisfy the requirements.
In developed countries, venture funds can easily divest from businesses at any time by selling a stake on the stock market. But this is not an easy thing in Vietnam. Meanwhile, the success rate of investments, according to experts, is just 10 percent.
In many countries, investment funds are established by the government, aiming to give support to startups. But there is no such fund in Vietnam.
Though Vietnamese startups cannot call for much capital from venture funds, they still have close relations with the funds. In many cases, they receive advice, which to some extent is more valuable than money.
CEO Tran Nguyen Le Van of Vexere said his company received strong support from CyberAgent Ventures. The investor even gave consultancy and helped Vexere successfully call for capital the second time from Pix Vine Capital.
CEO Nguyen Ngoc Diep of vatgia.com has expressed his gratitude to Nguyen Hong Truong, former vice president of IDG Ventures, for Truong’s strong support to Vatgia, including development strategy planning.
Mai Chi, VNN
BUSINESS IN BRIEF 20/11
Ho Chi Minh City boosts ornamental fish exports
Ho Chi Minh City’s ornamental fish breeding industry is seeking to expand consumption markets as production and export of the species have been growing.
According to statistics from the municipal Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, in the first nine months of the year, the city produced 115 million ornamental fish, up 18 percent year-on-year, and earned 15.11 million USD from exporting 13.36 million fish, respectively surging 35 percent and 23 percent from the same time last year.
Small-scale and scattered production without cooperation among production establishments has made it difficult for Vietnamese suppliers to satisfy large orders, said Le Minh Phu, owner of Phu Ca ornamental fish farm in District 12.
To handle the problem, a specialised area should be zoned off to raise different kinds of ornamental fish, he suggested.
However, Tong Huu Chau, owner of Chau Tong ornamental fish farm in District 12 and Chairman of the city’s ornamental creature association, said that it is difficult to set up such a zone due to limited land fund in the city.
Establishment of “satellite” ornamental fish farm systems will be a better choice as it reduces planning for ornamental fish farming land and helps breeders form their own ornamental fish village to branch out business.
Linking with fish exporters is the best solution for fish breeders to increase their income, said Vo Thi Mong Thu, head of the city’s fisheries department.
New pet fish species must be developed in parallel with improving their quality as they play significant roles in improving Vietnamese fish’s competitive capacity. Especially, Asian countries like China and Singapore import new kinds of Vietnamese ornamental fish and then export to other countries in their brand names.
Vietnamese pet fish are shipped to 47 countries, with Europe accounting for 60-70 percent of the market share. Other major buyers are Germany, the UK, Sweden, Denmark, France, Italy, Switzerland and the Czech Republic.
Ho Chi Minh City is a major centre for breeding ornamental fish, accounting for 50 percent of the country’s ornamental fish export earnings, according to the city’s Centre for Agricultural Consultancy and Support. It has bred many species, both foreign and local, and has established many feed mills that contributes to the growth of the industry.
Siemens Healthcare signs MoU with VijaMetech
Siemens Healthcare Ltd. and the Vietnam Japan Medical High-Tech Development JSC (VijaMetech JSC) have officially signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on promoting mutual cooperation.
The two have agreed to consider feasible business models for cooperation in order to develop oncology screening and early detection and treatment networks in Vietnam.
Siemens Healthcare will provide a spectrum of solutions for Vietnam – Japan International K Hospital projects, ranging from medical imaging and laboratory diagnostics and CT simulation in radiation therapy to value added management services such as consulting and healthcare IT services, as well as state-of-the-art technologies for therapeutic and molecular diagnostics.
Siemens Healthcare is committed to supporting VijaMetech in technology transfer, strategic advisory, clinical and workflow advisory, education and training, clinical studies, marketing, and the development of an oncology center network.
The cooperation with Siemens Healthcare will enable Vietnam – Japan International K Hospital to be one of the leading centers in the screening and early detection and treatment of oncology in Vietnam and help make VijaMetech’s plans become a reality.
According to the World Health Organization, cancer is the second leading cause of death globally and was responsible for 8.8 million fatalities in 2015. Worldwide, nearly one in six deaths is due to cancer, with more than 10 million new cases each year. In Vietnam, it is estimated that there are around 100,000 to 150,000 new cancer cases and roughly 75,000 cancer deaths each year.
The Vietnam – Japan International K Hospital is a 100 per cent locally-owned oncology hospital that operates in close cooperation with the oncology hospital network in Vietnam as well as worldwide. The hospital is financed by the VijaMetech JSC and forms part of its ambitious plans to develop a network of oncology screening, diagnostics, and treatment centers around Vietnam under international standards.
The hospital is invested to meet internationally quality requirements and is equipped with a range of the most advanced equipment in order to support diagnostic, treatment and care for cancer patients as well as to support highly efficient research and training in oncology.
Quang Ninh strives to become leading tourism centre in the region
In recent years, the number of domestic and international visitors to Quang Ninh province has strongly increased, affirming the position as well as rapid and stable development of the local tourism sector. With the investment in modern infrastructure and gradual improvement of the quality of services, Quang Ninh is aiming to become a leading international tourism centre in the country and in Southeast Asia region.
Determining tourism as a spearhead economic sector, in recent years, Quang Ninh agencies have drastically directed and implemented the investment in a series of traffic works and tourism infrastructure, of which numerous completed important projects have brought practical effects, such as the upgrade of the Uong Bi - Ha Long section of the Highway 18, bringing electricity to Co To island and the island communes in Van Don district, and telecommunication infrastructure providing mobile and in-vehicle coverage to all tourism destinations.
In addition, a number of strategic projects have been accelerated including Ha Long – Hai Phong expressway which will shorten the travel time from Ha Long to Hanoi to 1.5 hours by car; and Van Don International Airport and the Ha Long - Van Don expressway which are expected to be completed in 2018, becoming an important premise to bring into full play the strengths of the Van Don Special Economic Zone.
Ha Long – Mong Cai expressway will continue to be built to connect Quang Ninh province with Guangxi province of China and ASEAN countries; while the Ha Long international sea port will create favourable conditions for visitors to visit Ha Long and Bai Tu Long bays by five-star cruise. Notably, after the master plan for tourism development to 2020, with orientation to 2030 was released, Quang Ninh has attracted a series of strategic projects with numerous high-profile investors such as BIM Group, Vingroup, Sun Group, MyWay, Tuan Chau and FLC.
The new tourism products of these corporations have contributed to positively changing the province’s tourism, increasing the number of domestic and foreign visitors. Rio Kobayakawa, a tourist from Japan said: “Ha Long bay is very wonderful. I have traveled extensively, but I see that rare places have been endowed with many beauties as here. Its wild beauty makes me really want to explore. I am very impressed with the local specialities.”
Quang Ninh province has a number of resorts which have been synchronously invested including the Ha Long Ocean Park complex, the largest amusement park in Southeast Asia, Halong Marina urban area, Vinpearl Ha Long Bay Resort, Vincom Ha Long Trade Centre, and Vinhomes Dragon Bay sea urban area.
Chairman of Quang Ninh provincial People’s Committee Nguyen Duc Long noted that “the success of strategic investors in the locality will create the spread and attractiveness for other investors, making a new investment flow to the province. Their success is the province’s success”.
In addition, Vietnamese investors, Quang Ninh attracted the projects worth billions of US dollars from famous international corporations from the US, Chinese Taipei, Thailand and United Arab Emirates. For example, international hotel management groups Wyndham and Starwood have built five-star hotels, Wyndham Legend (with 217 rooms) and Sheraton Ha Long Bay (with 330 rooms and apartments). The joint venture between Amata (Thailand) and Tuan Chau Groups is promoting the investment of a high-tech industrial urban area covering over 7,800 hectares, with a total investment of nearly US$2 billion. ISC Corporation from the US also planned to invest around US$7.5 billion in an entertainment complex (including casino) in Tuan Chau island (Ha Long city). The US$1 billion ecological urban area project by Lucky Cement Corporation from Chinese Taipei, with total area of 516 hectares in Hoang Tan island, Quang Yen town, is being planned.
“The gather of major brands will help Ha Long improve its position on the map of domestic and international tourism. Luxury travellers around the world will see that, in addition to visiting the Ha Long Bay, there are many other options of resorts and entertainment.”, said Huong Tran Kieu Dung, General Director of FLC Group.
According to a report by Quang Ninh Tourism Department, tourists from major markets, including the US, Thailand, Japan, Australia, China and Europe, to stay in the province have seen a strong growth. Since 2001, the number of visitors to Quang Ninh has increased 4.2 times, with total revenue from tourism has increased 4.8 times. In recent years, the growth of revenue is higher than the increase of the number of visitors, which has affirmed that the quality of tourism activities and services in Quang Ninh has markedly improved markedly.
Director of Quang Ninh Tourism Department Pham Ngoc Thuy said: “New investment projects have contributed to changing the appearance of the urban area and tourism centres in the province, helping to boost the tourism development towards modernisation and professionalisation as well as enhance the competitiveness and create new impression for Ha Long – Quang Ninh tourism brand. The attraction of investment for tourism development has positively changed, contributing to improving the quality of services and effectively exploiting the key tourism centres to meet the increasing demands of both domestic and foreign visitors.”
Quang Ninh has formed four tourist spaces with typical products including Ha Long city associated with Ha Long bay, Mong Cai – Tra Co associated with border tourism, Van Don – Coto associated with sea and island tourism and a high quality resort with casino, Uong Bi – Dong Trieu – Quang Yen area with a cultural and spiritual tourism and community and trade village tourism.
The province has also developed numerous new tourism products which have attracted a large number of visitors such as Yen Duc trade village; Binh Lieu ecological and experience tourism; exploring Ha Long bay by kayak and seaplane; Vingroup’s shopping and entertainment centre; Marina Plaza; luxury restaurants, hotels and ships; Ha Long park; Sa Vi border information cluster; Tra Co - Binh Ngoc junction travel icon (Mong Cai city).
Changes in entrance and exit procedures have also contributed to increase the number of visitors to Quang Ninh. The reception of Chinese tourists using the passport to visit Mong Cai city has gained the effectiveness, connecting tours to destinations in the city’s centre and Tra Co and Sa Si tourist area. Mong Cai city, in collaboration with China’s bordering town Dongxing, launched a tour through Ha Long and Mong Cai to Dongxiang and Guilin (China) as well as pilot the self-drive tours from Mong Cai to Dongxing. So far, after six months of pilot operations, there have been around 110 vehicles carrying out entry and exit procedures at the Mong Cai international border gate, of which 70 from China and 40 from Vietnam.
Chairwoman of Mong Cai city People’s Committee Vu Van Kinh said: “The city is effectively implementing the project to improve the quality of tourism services and build Mong Cai tourism brand as friendly, convenient and reliable. In order to attract more European visitors, the city has focused on building and developing two lines of products including resort and ecological tourism. Therefore, Nhan Dao ecotourism farm is expected to put into operation in Hai Xuan commune by the end of 2017.’
Quang Ninh tourism sector strives to welcome 15-16 million tourists, including seven million international visitors, earning around VND30 trillion – VND40 trillion by 2020; as well as receive 23 million tourists, including 10 million foreigners, earning a total revenue of VND130 trillion and creating jobs for 120,000 local people.
Vice Chairwoman of the provincial People’s Committee Vu Thi Thu shared: “Quang Ninh tourism sector is determined to become a spearhead economic sector with high professionalism and synchronous and modern infrastructure as well as high-quality tourism products imbued with local cultural identities, creating a driving force for the socio-economic development. The province is expected to become one of the leading localities with developed tourism industry in the country and the Southeast Asia.”
Tourism space of the province has been expanded through the enhancement of tourism promotion and international cooperation. Numerous festivals, including the annual Ha Long Carnival, Cherry Blossom festival, and Yen Tu golden apricot festival, have introduced the land, people and culture of Quang Ninh province to domestic and foreign visitors.
Minister: Property market still awash with problems
The property market is still rife with risks, Minister of Construction Pham Hong Ha told the 2017 Vietnam Real Estate Forum in Hanoi yesterday.
Ha’s view is based on signs of the market such as limited funding sources which are mostly mobilized from credit institutions, and small equity of project investors. Some big investors use capital borrowed from their subsidiaries and affiliates, which makes it hard to supervise credit for property projects.
Besides, the structure of the market has been gradually adjusted, but not well-balanced yet. There is abundant supply of high-end homes whereas budget and low-cost commercial homes are in short supply. Many enterprises have focused on investing in high-end residential projects but given little care to the segments of social and low-cost commercial houses and those for rent.
Having a similar viewpoint, Nguyen Quoc Hung, head of the Credit Department at the State Bank of Vietnam, said the property market had an abundance of risks. There has existed an imbalance among housing segments.
Regarding transparency in the property market, Ha said the implementation of the decree on the building, management and use of the information system for the housing market was going slowly.
In addition to limited capabilities of some investors, management agencies have not improved and issued regulations required to tightly govern the property market. Some projects do not fit the market’s needs, and limited management capabilities have led to slow implementation and a waste of land.
Despite such problems, according to Ha, the market will not see any extreme volatility next year.
The Ministry of Construction is working with relevant units and experts to draw up a scheme to evaluate the market, give mid-term forecasts and propose mechanisms to stimulate a stable and healthy development of the market. The scheme will be presented to the Government in the coming time.
Vietnam imports large amount of steel from India
Vietnam had imported 1.24 million tons of steel products from India in the year to October, a hefty rise of 673% compared to the same period last year.
Data of the General Department of Vietnam Customs shows the country imported roughly 1.2 million tons of steel products worth US$792 million from foreign markets last month, increasing 13.1% and 17.5% respectively over the previous month.
The steel import volume in the first 10 months of the year totaled 12.7 million tons worth US$7.48 billion, down 17.5% in volume and up 13.6% in value over the year-ago period. In particular, Vietnam purchased 1.24 million tons of steel worth US$652 million from India in the period, up 673% and 614% year-on-year respectively.
India offered the lowest price among Vietnam’s main steel suppliers, according to the customs agency.
China remained the biggest steel exporter to Vietnam though its steel exports to the country fell. The northern neighbor shipped 6.11 million tons worth US$3.49 billion to Vietnam in the year to October, down 32.5% and 4.3% respectively.
Japan came second with 1.85 million tons worth US$1.12 billion, down 17.7% in volume and up 13.2% in value.
Vietnam needs institutional reform to achieve stronger growth
Vietnam needs to step up its institutional reform in order to achieve stronger economic growth and ensure the quality of growth as well, heard a seminar in Hanoi City on November 15, Tien Phong newspaper reports.
The seminar was held to identify driving forces behind the nation’s future economic growth.
Nguyen Quang Thuan, president of the Vietnam Academy of Social Sciences, the organizer of the seminar, said economic growth depending on old resources is no longer appropriate, and even entails risks.
New driving forces for economic growth should be able to improve productivity in a way that enhances growth in terms of quantity and quality. The seminar aims to assess the true picture of growth in the past period, he noted.
Deputy Prime Minister Vuong Dinh Hue told participants at the seminar that fast and sustainable growth is a goal included in the 12th National Party Congress.
“We must grow faster to shorten the gap between Vietnam and other countries so that (our country) will not be left behind any more. At the same time, it is vital to develop economic, social and environmental pillars in a sustainable manner,” the Government leader stressed.
The Fourth Industrial Revolution opens up new opportunities but Vietnam may be left far behind if the country does not make good use of them, he added.
He underlined the importance of changing the growth model and restructuring the economy.
“The localization rate of Samsung is 57% – the growth of the group creates momentum for many provinces across the country. The view of the Party is that internal forces are decisive while external forces are important,” stated the Deputy Prime Minister.
Tran Dinh Thien, director of the Vietnam Economics Research Institute, said economic growth in the third quarter of this year is incredible, as it surged from 5.24% in quarter one to 6.4% in quarter three. Meanwhile, disbursements in public investment projects remain slow, and growth in the sectors like the oil and gas industry has slowed sharply.
He added the growth rate in the past five years has seen a shift in momentum. The private sector has heavily invested in business so far this year. The agriculture sector has grown dramatically over 2016 while the services sector has also followed suit.
Economic expert Tran Du Lich said the country is having difficulty achieving stronger growth and maintaining the quality of growth. To fulfill the targets, he stressed, the Government should proceed with institutional reform.
Lich said that it is necessary to pay special attention to major economic zones associated with the development of urban economy. They would serve as an impetus for growth in the coming time, he added.
EVFTA expected to boost Vietnam footwear exports to EU
The EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) is expected to boost Vietnamese leather and footwear exports to the European Union market, heard a conference organized by the European Trade Policy and Investment Support Project (EU-Mutrap) in Hanoi on November 15.
Vietnam fetched US$16 billion from leather and footwear exports in 2016, the fourth biggest export earner after phones and phone parts, textiles and garments, and computers, and electronics, Vietnamplus news website reports.
Data of the Vietnam Leather and Footwear Association (Lefaso) shows that in 2016, Vietnam was the third largest footwear manufacturer in the world after China and India.
As of late 2016, two years since Vietnam enjoyed the EU’s generalized system of preferences (GSP) with tariffs slashed from 13-14% to 3-4%, the country’s leather and footwear exports to the EU hit nearly US$5 billion, making the EU the second largest leather and footwear importer of Vietnam after the U.S.
Phan Thi Thanh Xuan, vice chairwoman and general secretary of Lefaso, said when EVFTA goes into force, it would boost Vietnamese leather and footwear exports to the EU.
However, domestic leather and footwear manufacturers and exporters will also face several challenges. To meet the EU’s requirements, Vietnamese businesses will have to improve technologies and manufacturing processes to ensure high quality.
Besides, most leather and footwear manufacturers in Vietnam are foreign-invested. Therefore, domestically owned firms will have to improve competitiveness and increase market share.
According to Trinh Thu Hien, director of the origin of goods division under the Ministry of Industry and Trade’s Export-Import Department, to make the most of EVFTA, businesses would have to comply with EVFTA’s rules of origin.
“Businesses will not be able to enjoy tariff cuts to 0% if they fail to meet EVFTA’s rules of origin,” Hien said.
Professor Sanggeeta Khorana, an expert from EU-Mutrap, said when Vietnamese businesses are subject to the EU’s barriers and anti-dumping measures, they should provide sufficient evidence of the absence of subsidy.
According to Sanggeeta Khorana, an anti-dumping investigation can be initiated whenever the Directorate General for Trade of the European Commission decides that data are sufficient to launch an official investigation.
Foreign traders look to import more Vietnam farm produce
Traders from France, Japan, Spain, China, and South Korea, among others, expressed interest in importing Vietnamese farm produce at the Vietnam International Food Exhibition 2017 (Vietnam Foodexpo 2017) that kicked off in HCMC on November 15.
French Ambassador to Vietnam Bertrand Lortholary said France has imported Vietnamese seafood and herbs that are very much sought after in France. The country is seeking to import other agricultural products like coffee and cocoa from Vietnam.
In addition to fresh products, French companies will import Vietnamese materials to produce high-quality food. Marou chocolate, which is made from Vietnamese cocoa, has become popular in France.
On the occasion of Vietnam Foodexpo 2017, French leaders, companies and associations have worked with Vietnamese partners to boost imports of Vietnamese farm produce, according to Bruno Dupont, chairman of the French Fruit Producers Association.
Meanwhile, Hidekatsu Ishikawa, director of Tokyo-based Vient Co. Ltd., said his company imported 2,000 tons of banana from Vietnam in 2016, and 50 tons of Vietnamese mango and red dragon fruit in the year to date, adding that the company has plans to import cashew nuts from Vietnam.
At the expo, foreign enterprises also introduced their products to Vietnamese consumers. Particularly, the French pavilion displayed French vegetables, ham and dairy products.
Data of the French Consulate General in HCMC shows that Vietnam imports about 10 tons of French ham a year. The country also imported 3,000 tons of French apples between August 2016 and March 2017.
Jointly organized by the Ministry of Industry and Trade, the Vietnam Trade Promotion Agency and the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development at the Saigon Exhibition & Convention Center (SECC) in HCMC’s District 7 from November 15 to 18, Vietnam Foodexpo 2017 features 600 booths of 450 foreign and domestic businesses.
On display are a variety of products like vegetables, fruits, seafood, beverages, spices, confectionary, dairy products, canned food, and machinery for the food industry.
According to French Consul General in HCMC Vincent Floreani, France is a special participant at Vietnam Foodexpo 2017, with a 360-square-meter pavilion introducing French cuisine, agricultural products and food processing machines.
Startups have strong demand for recruiting fresh graduates
Fresh graduates often face challenges to land a job as they lack necessary skills and experiences, but startups are keen to recruit them, according to a report of Navigos Group, a company specializing in professional recruiting services.
In the report on the recruitment of startups released on Monday, the company said the startup environment opens up many employment opportunities for fresh graduates in the coming time.
As high as 54% of companies joining the survey have the demand for recruiting employees in the next three months while around 17% of them plan to add more staff in the next three to six months.
Besides, about 11% intend to follow suit in the next six to twelve months. Notably, some companies say they are always in dire need of new staff.
The report reveals work experience is not a decisive factor for employing new graduates. Around 35% of companies say they need candidates who just leave university while 12% say they do not care about the previous work experience of job applicants.
According to Navigos Group, fresh graduates are often enthusiastic and motivated candidates who are able to adapt to the fast changing startup environment. In addition, recruiting new graduates may suit their budgets.
Therefore, such jobseekers have to accept relatively low salaries. The survey finds salary is the biggest obstacle to the recruitment of 49% of enterprises, as their limited salary budgets bar them from luring suitable candidates.
Around 18% of startups also have difficulty looking for a job owing to their lack of experience.
As startups find themselves tough to compete with large companies in terms of wage they offer their employees other attractive benefits.
The survey indicates a whopping 59% of startups reveal what lures candidates into working for their companies is thanks to job positions suitable to candidates and how candidates are treated and recognized, in addition to development opportunities and the interesting working environment.
Training centre powered by Siemens technologies debuts
The Digital Process Industries Training Centre debuted has made presence in Viet Nam to meet increasing education requirements for digital technologies, especially in the context of 4.0 Industry Revolution.
The centre was launched in Ha Noi on Thursday.
Its establishment is the result of the co-operation between Polyco Group, East Asia University of Technology and Siemens in a joint effort to equip present and future Vietnamese engineers with knowledge, skills and latest technologies for the digital manufacturing age.
The centre, which is located at Polyco Group’s headquarters in Ha Noi, has been equipped with Siemens automation and digitalisation technologies.
It will enable students and engineers to learn and practice directly through actual demonstration, which include products from field level to management level applied in industrial production in general and in the food and beverage industry in particular.
In addition, learners can visualise the five steps in the digitalisation value chain for process industries, namely product design, process and plant design, engineering and commissioning, operation, and services.
Pham Thai Lai, president and CEO of Siemens Vietnam, said he believed the centre will remarkably enhance human capacity, not only for Polyco group but also for the whole food and beverage industry in Viet Nam to face challenges in the present and the future.
Korea-Vietnam Incubator Park draws only five companies after two years
Korea Vietnam Incubator Park (KVIP) in the Mekong Delta city of Can Tho has managed to attract only five enterprises since its establishment in November 2015, though the park can accommodate up to 40, said its director Pham Minh Quoc.
The director said at KVIP’s two-year anniversary on November 14 that five companies namely Nhat Viet High Technology Application Research Co Ltd, Hoang Thang Co Ltd, Pham Nghia T&N Co Ltd, and Calevy Rice Milk JSC have set up shop at KVIP so far.
Only Pham Nghia T&N Co Ltd is qualified to leave the incubator to establish production facilities outside, while others have yet to achieve “graduation” qualifications, according to Quoc.
Meanwhile, KVIP can support 40 enterprises. As such, the current number of new businesses is quite modest.
At the anniversary on November 14, the director said, KVIP has teamed up with Vietnamese and Korean experts to purchase equipment worth over US$2 million in order to facilitate startups.
In order to bolster economic growth in Can Tho in the coming time, the city’s chairman Vo Thanh Thong asked KVIP to fulfill three key targets to become a key driving force behind the city’s business startup program.
First, KVIP should become the place to support many creative enterprises for the city, and the Mekong Delta region as a whole, as the municipal government is striving to have around 1,200-1,300 startups a year.
Second, KVIP should create as many as creative products as possible.
Finally, KVIP should help lure investors at home and abroad into the city in a bid to promote the local socio-economic growth.
KVIP has a total investment of US$21.13 million, with US$17.7 million of non-refundable aid from the South Korean government and the remainder from the Vietnamese government.
Vietnam’s energy sector faces tough competition
Vietnam’s energy sector is facing tough competition with many countries in Asia and America since most energy giants have scaled down investment due to the low oil price, said Mark Edmunds, Southeast Asia Energy & Resources Industry Leader and Asia Pacific Oil & Gas Sector Leader for Deloitte.
Speaking to the Daily, Edmunds said many countries are struggling to attract foreign investors in the sector as the oil price has remained low over the past four years. Even big companies like ExxonMobil, BP and Shell have become choosy before entering a market.
To attract investors, authorities should consider important factors such as tax policies, business environment and administrative papers. With less capital moving around, companies are looking for shorter investment cycles to recover cash quickly.
Aside from Southeast Asia, Mexico is emerging as a new investment destination for oil giants. It has opened its market after prohibiting foreign investment for nearly 80 years.
Regarding power generation in Vietnam, Edmunds said the nation has seen many coal fired and hydropower plants. However, the Government is shifting to renewable energy sources such as solar, wind and natural gas.
The U.S. has improved air quality significantly thanks to the use of gas-fired electricity, while China and India are also following suit. This move would be good for Vietnam as well as a more balanced use of energy sources will help protect the environment.
At present, Vietnam still imports natural gas for domestic use. However, as the demand for natural gas continues to rise, the nation is expected to become a natural gas exporter in the future.
The expert said Vietnam is going on the right way for giving incentives to attract foreign investors into the energy sector. Earlier, many large enterprises have invested in Vietnam because of the qualified workforce and appropriate investment policies.
Under the current circumstances, the nation should invest in technology to develop its natural resources properly, and protect its natural gas reserves and the environment, Edmunds added.
Taxman wants sweeping power to fight tax violations
The General Department of Taxation has proposed new regulations that give sweeping power to tax authorities to fight tax violations, including putting violators in custody or filing criminal charges against them.
In the draft law on tax management sent to the Government, the tax authority plans to set up a force with investigative power, build a database and take professional measures to prevent violations against the tax law.
Besides, the tax authority wants to have authority to ask related agencies, organizations and individuals to provide information and documents to facilitate investigations, as well as seal goods, storehouses, documents, and detain violators in case there is proof of violations.
If serious violations subject to criminal charges are detected, the taxman can initiate prosecution and undertake investigations in accordance with the criminal procedure code and the law on organization of criminal investigation bodies.
According to the tax authority, those regulations are proposed to deter and prevent tax evasion and fraud.
As explained by the tax department, tax investigations are by nature prosecutions against taxpayers who intentionally decline to fulfill their tax obligations.
The taxman, according to the proposed regulations, can launch investigations without prior notice, and investigated tax payers will have lawyers or representatives during the process.
Many countries have already assigned tax investigations to their tax bodies. Once violations need to be prosecuted, tax authorities will take measures to collect evaded taxes, and at the same time hand over the cases to competent authorities in compliance with the criminal proceedings law.
More than 80 countries, including some ASEAN countries, have set up tax investigation bodies. The tax management body in Vietnam consists of both tax and customs agencies, with the customs having been given power to launch investigations in its area but the tax authority having no such power.
HCM City’s ornamental fish exports near US$18 mil in 10 months
Ho Chi Minh City exported 16.2 million ornamental fish, earning nearly US$18 million in nine months leading up to later October, showing respective increases of 15% and 21% against the same period last year according to the municipal Department of Agriculture and Rural Development.
Ornamental fish are exported to more than 50 countries and territories with the EU taking the top spot among importers with 54%, trailed by Asia (30%) and America (12%).
HCM City aims to produce between 140-150 million ornamental fish this year, a year-on-year rise of 10-15%, and export around 18-20 million fish with a value of US$20-25 million,15-20% higher than one year earlier. The figures are expected to reach 150-180 million in fish output, and 40-50 million in fish exports by 2020.
The ornamental fish market is forecast to continue growing strongly as most businesses in the city are in need of strengthened links in production and domestic and foreign market expansion.
Cuong Ca Canh Vina Fish Farm Company in Binh Chanh District currently supplies more than 30 kinds of ornamental fish for both domestic and foreign markets. The company’s director Truong Trung Cuong said the major focus will be on potential markets in the EU and Asia to improve added value as the two markets have sustained a high rate of yearly growth.
In addition, trade promotion measures are being intensified to bolster exports and domestic consumption.
HCM City set for 2 new Japanese restaurants
People who like Japanese food have two more options in HCM City with Redsun-ITI Corporation this week opening restaurants in Phú Nhuận and Bình Thạnh districts.
Tasaki BBQ in Phú Nhuận, the chain’s fourth outlet in the city, has hundreds of grilled beef, pork and seafood dishes and other traditional Japanese ones.
The restaurant also serves Japan’s famous Wagyu beef.
Sushi Kei, which opens on Saturday (November 18), will be the third in the city and sushi will be its speciality.
Redsun-ITI has more than 12 restaurant brands, including King BBQ, Seoul Garden and ThaiExpress.
Toyota Vios leads bestselling car list in October
Viet Nam in October witnessed many changes in the group of bestselling cars, according to report from the Vietnam Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (VAMA).
Small sedan Toyota Vios sales were recorded at 1,916 units for the month, outperforming all other models and continuing to maintain its leading position on the top 10 list.
If Vios has been a familiar name on the list for many months, pickup Chevrolet Colorado from automaker GM entered the bestselling car category for the first time, although its sales were not very impressive, with 338 cars delivered to consumers. Chevrolet Colorado’s sales are still far behind rival Ford Ranger, which ranks the second on the list.
GM recently decided to sell 100 special edition Colorado cars to Viet Nam to celebrate the 100th anniversary of its trucks and pickups production under the Chevrolet brand. This limited edition production by GM Global was offered to the Vietnamese market as a priority, just behind Thailand.
October also saw the absence of the five-seat SUV Honda CR-V after Honda Vietnam sold out the vehicle by offering a discount of hundreds of millions of dong in September before rolling out the new-general version this month.
Meanwhile, domestic carmaker Truong Hai Auto Corporation (Thaco) is hoping to sell out current model Mazda CX-5 to pave the way for the new-generation and modern model of CX-5 in the near future.
Customers of current model Mazda CX-5 enjoyed discounts from automaker Thaco and its agents nationwide, due to which the model jumped from the seventh position in September to third on the list in October.
The change in positions of car models on the list is primarily due to discounts and promotional programmes from automakers. In the remaining months of this year, it is predicted the automakers will continue their promotions, therefore the list of top 10 bestselling cars will see changes.
Chinese fakes hurting domestic products in Vietnamese market
Vietnamese businesses say copycats from China are costing them hundreds of thousands of dollars each year.
Clothing dyed with carcinogens. Chemical-laden fruit. Toothpaste tainted with an ingredient used in anti-freeze. Tires missing a key safety component.
Many Vietnamese shoppers are worried about the safety of Chinese goods, and are trying to avoid products from their northern neighbor at all costs. The trouble is, that may not be possible.
In addition to Chinese products slapped with counterfeit German, French and Italian labels, copycats of many Vietnamese gadgets smuggled into Vietnam from China are believed to be flooding both modern stores and traditional markets nationwide.
Up to 70% of fruit and vegetables sold in some traditional markets in Saigon come from China, but many of them bear Vietnamese labels, according to surveys conducted by local media.
"Public doubt of food safety is always cast over Chinese products," the World Bank said in a report on food safety in Vietnam published this year. "However, this is not well backed by the available data and test information.”
The bank explained that supplies from China are not officially recorded, so tracing vegetables when samples are found to contain hazardous substances is almost impossible.
Given the situation, shoppers often have no choice but to listen to friends and family or use their own instincts and experiences in the hope of avoiding dangerous counterfeits.
“Local consumers have grown increasingly wary of Chinese food, fruit, vegetables and garments," Nguyen Thu Huyen, a housewife in Hanoi, said. "We tell each other how to distinguish between Chinese and Vietnamese goods.”
“Chinese fruit has been boycotted,” she said while scanning a wide selection of oranges in the fresh produce aisle of a modern supermarket in Hanoi.
Echoing Huyen, Nguyen Vu Le, a 30-year-old resident in Hanoi, said: “Vietnamese products, especially houseware, food and clothing, are now the number one choice for many consumers. They are of good quality and reasonably priced.”
But an ongoing criminal probe into local silk firm Khaisilk begs otherwise. The renowned high-end Vietnamese brand with a history of over 30 years has admitted to placing "Made in Vietnam" tags with its logo on Chinese silk scarves.
To make matters worse, the scandal only broke when a business in Hanoi took to Facebook to complain about products it had bought from the brand saying they were actually made in China.
Most garments with “Made-in Vietnam” labels available in the country are actually fake products smuggled from China, local media quoted Vu Duc Giang, chairman of the Vietnam Garment and Apparel Association, as saying.
Le Hong Son, a member of National Steering Committee 389, the government's anti-smuggling body, said: “Smugglers often bring their goods in from China, slap a ‘Made in Vietnam’ label on them and then sell the contraband to unsuspecting customers.”
“Counterfeit products range from sweets and cosmetics to lightbulbs and clothes,” he added.
The stigma attached to Chinese products has prompted many businesses to simply replace the tags with a more reputable country of origin.
Authorities in Vietnam uncovered nearly 90,000 cases of smuggling in the first half of this year, but were only able to take 1,200 of those cases to court, according to the committee.
Vu Vinh Phu, chairman of the Hanoi Supermarket Association, said that widespread copycats in the domestic market has caused consumers to lose confidence in locally-made products.
Agreeing with Phu, Vu Kim Hanh, head of the Center of Business Studies and Assistance, said many handicraft villages and businesses are facing bankruptcy due to the infiltration of Chinese duplicates.
Local businesses have also complained that fake products are costing them hundreds of thousands of dollars each year in lost revenue.
Experts said fake products are able to enter the country due to poor cooperation between border guards. More border controls are needed, but that poses a challenge because the border with China is long.
Authorities need to stop fake goods from entering the country at the border, as it costs more to track them down in local markets, they said.
While waiting for state agencies to get a grip of the situation, some companies have found ways of protecting themselves.
Nguyen Hong Nhung, the owner of a garment company in Hanoi, said the only real way to fight back against the duplicates is to keep improving her products. The life cycle of many fashion products is short, with new designs on the market within months, she said.
“You innovate faster than the counterfeiters," Nhung said. "You shouldn’t hesitate to throw money at your designers. That’s how you play the game.”
Businesses encouraged to seek trade opportunities in Middle East, Africa
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.
Punctuality rate of airlines hits 89.4 percent in October
Domestic Vietnam Airlines, Vietjet Air, Jetstar Pacific and Vasco in October together operated 18,392 flights on time, accounting for 89.4 percent of the total flights, according to the Civil Aviation Administration of Vietnam (CAAV).
National flag carrier, Vietnam Airlines, recorded a punctuality rate of 90.1 percent, or 9,141 flights, while the rate of low-cost Vietjet Air was 88.6 percent, or 6,559 flights, in the month.
The on-time performance record of Jetstar Pacific was 84.9 percent and Vasco’s were 98.9 percent.
The main cause of delays and cancellations was faults on the side of the airlines and late return of planes. Other reasons included airports’ limited infrastructure and services, flight management and operation, weather and technical issues, CAAV said.
According to a new regulation issued by the Ministry of Transport which took effect on November 1, airlines must provide information on the status of the flight to the airport authority and enterprises that provide services on the delay or cancellation of the trip.
In case of delay, an interruption of 15 minutes or more of the flight schedule, the carriers have to inform the passengers, explain the reason, inform them about the expected takeoff time and apologise the passengers.
Drinks, meal and accommodation should be provided for the passengers if the flight delay is for more than two hours, three hours and six hours, respectively.
For flights that are delayed for more than six hours beginning from 10pm to 7am the following day, accommodation or alternative arrangements must be arranged with the consent of the passengers.-
JLL to manage Nine South Estates
JLL has signed an agreement with VinaCapital and VinaLiving to provide Property and Asset Management Services at Nine South Estates.
Nine South Estates is located in Nha Be district, just 9 km from the center of Ho Chi Minh City and close to existing leisure, retail, healthcare, and education facilities. The project is scheduled for completion in the fourth quarter, with a mix of 381 riverfront villas and garden homes within a secure private and fully-equipped residential compound.
It will also offer resort facilities, including a free-form swimming pool, a fitness center, meeting facilities, and a snack bar.
“Nine South Estates is an exceptional villa development and we want to ensure residents feel comfortable and secure within this new environment, and after careful consideration we have decided to appoint JLL, the leader in property and asset management,” said Mr. Micheal Gammel, Deputy Managing Director of VinaCapital.
“JLL is an experienced management company, and we believe they understand the high level of service required. In addition, JLL is a strong international property management brand and our buyers, many of whom are from overseas, will recognize the difference and after-sales service that we will provide.”
Mr. Stephen Wyatt, Country Head of JLL in Vietnam, said the company is pleased to have been awarded the contract to manage the asset. “More than just a home, Nine South Estates offers a world-class lifestyle within a community that shares the same values as you,” he said.
VinaLiving is Vietnam’s first lifestyle and tailored-living brand that caters to the new generation of Vietnamese homeowners. The VinaLiving collection of properties carefully delivers customized living environments across a range of developments situated in premium locations. Each VinaLiving project is conceived with the aspirations and lifestyles of its prospective homeowners in mind.
JLL (NYSE: JLL) is a leading professional services firm that specializes in real estate and investment management. A Fortune 500 company, it helps real estate owners, occupiers, and investors achieve their business ambitions.
It has over 50 years of experience in Asia-Pacific, with 36,900 employees operating in 96 offices in 16 countries across the region. The firm won the “World’s Best” and “Best in Asia Pacific” International Property Consultancy at the International Property Awards in 2016 and was named the number one real estate investment advisory firm in Asia-Pacific for the sixth consecutive year by Real Capital Analytics.
Province implements solutions to export star-apples to US
The Mekong Delta province of Tien Giang will implement solutions to be able to export star-apples to the United States in December, the People’s Committee of Tien Giang said.
At a meeting on Tuesday at the Tien Giang Department of Agriculture and Rural Department, the People’s Committee, the department and enterprises discussed solutions on producing star-apples for export to the US.
After the US Department of Agriculture officially licensed Vietnamese star-apples to be imported into the country in September 2017, Tien Giang has started to complete procedures on exporting Lo Ren star-apples to the US, according to the department.
In addition, Tien Giang has also implemented technical solutions to improve output and quality of star-apple gardens.
The province has some 460ha of star-apples, declining by six times compared with the previous five years. Therefore, to be able to export the first batch of star-apples to the US market in mid-December 2017, Pham Anh Tuan, deputy chairman of the provincial People’s Committee, asked the department to call on farmers to cooperate with enterprises in pilot production of star-apples on a total area of 43ha in the communes of Huu Dao, My Long, Long Hung and Ban Long in Chau Thanh District.
At present, farmers have applied strictly advanced cultivation techniques and an improved irrigation system, used reasonably good fertilisers and pesticides, and obtained the production registration certificate according to Global GAP or Viet GAP.
Trading enterprises must have packing and pre-processing houses and the post-harvest preservation process which are necessary to meet the requirements of food hygiene and safety.
In particular, businesses need to cooperate with farmers to meet US standards to protect the reputation of Vietnamese fruits.
Tuan also asked the department and local authorities to actively support enterprises in terms of legal and administrative procedures and techniques as a requirement for having the first batches of provincial star-apples exported to the US.
FLC plans roadshow in South Korea
Property developer, FLC Group, will organise a large-scale roadshow and seminar in South Korea.
The show on November 20 is aimed at informing participants about investment opportunities in the hospitality real estate sector as Viet Nam has been named Asia-Pacific’s premier golf tourism destination 2017.
The roadshow is part of a series of events to advertise Vietnamese resort properties and golf courses to foreign countries, as well as to expand FLC’s partners in South Korea.
The event is expected to attract more than 400 investors, financial organisations, investment funds and estate and tourism firms in Viet Nam, South Korea and Asia.
FLC said the seminar would focus on the latest trends in the resort property and golf course market in Viet Nam. In addition, this would be an opportunity for South Korean suppliers in the areas of tourism, construction and hi-tech agriculture to search for co-operation potential with prestigious firms in Viet Nam.
The event follows the success of FLC’s roadshows and seminars in Singapore and Japan this year. It would be a pre-condition for the group to establish representative offices in foreign countries. FLC established its first representative office in Japan earlier this month.
HN prepares goods worth $1.14 billion for Tet
Ha Noi’s Department of Industry and Trade is partnering with firms and business households to prepare goods for the upcoming Tet (Lunar New Year) holiday, worth VND26 trillion (US$1.14 billion) in total.
This was a rise of 10 per cent over last year’s plan due to an anticipated increase in consumption, the department said.
Le Hong Thang, the department’s Director, said the department would keep a close watch on market supply and demand with a focus on essential items such as food products.
Thang also asked district authorities to create conditions for firms and business households to accumulate goods for the Tet holiday and urged firms to actively study market demand and implement plans for production and goods purchase to ensure adequate supply and prevent scarcity of goods and unreasonable increase in prices.
Demand for goods in the months ahead of Tet (from January 1, 2018 to February 28, 2018) is estimated to be 10-15 per cent higher than other months, the department said.
The volume of goods for the Tet holiday included 193,600 tonnes of rice, 50,000 tonnes of pork, 14,000 tonnes of chicken meet and 13,800 tonnes of beef, as well as 200 eggs, 220,000 tonnes of vegetables, 12,000 processed food products and 12,000 fishery products, along with 3,500 tonnes of dry agricultural products, 3,000 tonnes of confectionary products, 200 million litres of alcoholic and beverage products and 120,000cu.m of petrol and oil.
Ministry proposes to tightly supervise Sabeco stock transactions
The Ministry of Industry and Trade has proposed the Ministry of Public Security, State Securities Commission of Vietnam and HCMC Stock Exchange to keep a close eye on SBA stock transactions of Saigon Beer Alcohol Beverage Corporation (Sabeco).
In an announcement yesterday, the ministry said that the move aimed to spot and prevent unusual transactions, ensuring the market to operate stably and transparently until December 31 when state capital withdrawal from Sabeco will start.
At present, the ministry is rushing to prepare for the capital withdrawal.
According to the ministry’s project, Sabeco shares will be offered for sale to eligible domestic and foreign individuals and organizations. That will be similar to the way which State Capital Investment Corporation has sold state shares at Vietnam Dairy Products Joint Stock Company (Vinamilk).
The value of Sabeco share sale is forecast to reach tens of thousands of billions of Vietnamese dong.
Last year, the corporation’s revenue reached VND30,666 billion (US$1.35 billion), which is 2.5 time higher than that of Hanoi Beer Alcohol and Beverage Corporation (Habeco). After tax profit of Sabeco was VND4,655 billion ($205 million), up 33 percent over 2015.
Mountainous school struggles on with dedicated teachers
Tri Le 4 Primary School in the central province of Nghe An Province has an entire male teaching staff.
The school has 378 pupils who study at classes located in six different villages in the mountainous district of Que Phong. To date, these villages have not yet been linked to the national power grid.
Teachers drive on the muddy road to Tri Le 4 Primary School in Nghe An Province
The school has 46 teachers who are all male with more than half from other localities. The teachers have to learn the Mong language so that they can teach their pupils properly.
Lang Van Nhan, the school headmaster, claimed the conditions were too difficult for women, so women had never taught at the school for 40 years.
The school is some 30 kilometres from Tri Le Town, but 20 kilometres involves a steep mountain-side road.
Tri Le 4 Primary School
Teachers Lo Van Son who has been working for up to 17 years at the school, said that many of his colleagues at the school often experienced accidents on the road to the school. Luong Trung Thanh, the school’s former headmaster broke his legs when driving his motorbike on a rainy day.
Due to the rough roads, the teachers often stay at the school. Only at weekend when the weather is favourable, they return to their home.
The school headmaster Lang Van Nhan said all of the pupils are from poor households. They are provided with free books and notebooks.
The teachers also often call on the public to support the pupils.
All pupils of the school are from poor families
The teachers also have to come to many households to persuade parents to let their children to go to school.
There is no market and electricity so the teachers have to arrange their own food and then cook together.
The teachers of Tri Le 4 Primary School received an award in September at this year’s Vietnam Television awards.
By Hoang Lam, dtinews.vn
Will Jack Ma and Alipay make things happen in Vietnam?
Alipay has changed people’s payment habits in China. Will the same thing happen in Vietnam?
Jack Ma, the Chinese self-made billionaire, visited Vietnam to advertise Alipay and non-cash payment methods.
Analysts say he decided to bring Alipay to Vietnam because he is encouraged by achievements in China.
Chinese are now used to e-payments. In the country, even payment cards have become ‘out of fashion’.
People, after shopping, riding taxis and having meals at restaurants, use their smartphones to scan sellers’ QR codes and complete the payments. The payment process finishes in several seconds.
An analyst said it’s too early to say if Alipay will succeed in Vietnam, but commented that Jack Ma has been taking professional steps to conquer the Vietnamese market.
In April 2016, Alibaba spent $1 billion to take over Lazada, the online shopping channel operating in Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, the Philippines, Indonesia and Vietnam.
In April 2017, Lazada’s HelloPay, the online payment service, merged with Ant Financial, the mobile online payment platform owned by Alibaba.
Another wise move Alipay has taken, according to the analyst, is that it decided to cooperate with NAPAS- the National Payment Corporation of Vietnam.
NAPAS is a unique intermediary payment service provider granted a license by the SBV to provide switching and electronic clearing and settlement services in Vietnam. NAPAS’s majority shareholders include SBV and 15 large commercial banks.
NAPAS now runs a system which connects 16,800 ATMs and 220,000 POS, with more than 90 million cards issued by 43 commercial banks in Vietnam.
NAPAS also provides e-commerce payment portal service, connecting more than 200 large enterprises in the fields of aviation, telecommunication, hotel and tourism, and many other electronic payment services to customers.
With its position in the retail online payment market, NAPAS is the most attractive name for international payment service providers who want to conquer the Vietnamese market.
In fact, Alipay’s QR code payment app is not too special. In Vietnam, a lot of banks are providing the app including TP Bank, Vietcombank, VP Bank and ACB. However, QR code payment is still not popular in Vietnam because very few retailers and consumers use the app.
However, the analyst said Alipay may ‘make things happen’ because it has a large network of users, who are clients of Lazada, which Alibaba bought in 2016.
Meanwhile, Dau Tu quoted experts as saying that commercial banks don’t think Alipay would be a threat for them in the immediate time.
They would get benefits if Alipay develops the payment app, because this helps encourage people to make payments via cards.
Kim Chi, VNN
13th ASEM Foreign Ministers’ Meeting kicks off in Myanmar
Nay Pyi Taw - The 13th ASEM Foreign Ministers’ Meeting (ASEM FMM13) opened in Myanmar’s capital city of Nay Pyi Taw on November 20 in preparation for the 12th ASEM Summit slated for October 2018 in Brussels, Belgium.
The 13th ASEM Foreign Ministers’ Meeting opened in Myanmar’s capital city of Nay Pyi Taw on November 20. (VNA)
Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh is one of the four delegation heads invited to deliver a speech at the event’s first session under the heading of “Synergizing peace and sustainable development.”
Themed “Strengthening partnership for peace and sustainable development,” the two-day meeting includes three sessions, during which the ministers will discuss measures to enhance cooperation in areas of shared concern, as well as partnerships in implementing sustainable development goals (SDGs), combating climate change, mitigating and managing natural disasters, ensuring food, energy and water resource security, and narrowing development gap.
They will also seek ways to make the ASEM partnership more dynamic and connected in such realms as people-to-people exchange, transport, tourism, culture, education, trade and investment, along with comparing notes on other regional and international issues.
Since 1996, the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) has become an important dialogue mechanism between the two continents, bringing together 53 members, including four permanent members of the UN Security Council and 12 members of the group of the world’s 20 largest developing and emerging markets (G20). ASEM makes up 68 percent of population and contributes about 55 percent of the GDP and nearly 60 percent of trade globally.
As one of the founding members of ASEM, Vietnam has actively participated in the Asia-Europe cooperation, with the most noteworthy being the country’s hosting of the fifth ASEM Summit in 2004 and other ASEM ministerial meetings.
Vietnam has proposed 22 initiatives itself and coordinated with other members to raise 26 initiatives, which all have been materialized. Such initiatives mainly focus on culture, health care, transport, food and energy security, climate change, science-technology, tourism, economy, green growth and social welfare.
The country has participated in five out of 16 cooperation groups of water resource management, climate change response and vocational training, education and human resource development, and technological connectivity.
At the end of the event, the ministers are scheduled to adopt a Chair’s Statement of the ASEMFMM13, an action programme for 2017-2019 and new initiatives, including Vietnam’s initiative on the ASEM conference on joint actions in response to climate change to realise SDGs.
Singapore investor acquires 10% Vinamilk stake
The Singapore-based automotive group, Jardine Cycle and Carriage (JC&C), has made additional purchases of Vinamilk’s shares after its maiden US$616.6 million investment on November 10.
JC&C group now has an aggregate interest in nearly 145.6 million Vinamilk shares, representing approximately 10.0 per cent of Vinamilk’s issued share capital. - Photo tiepthithegioi.vn
This has increased its ownership in Viet Nam’s largest dairy producer to 10 per cent.
According to the group’s announcement on Friday, Platinum Victory Pte Ltd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of JC&C, has made further on-market purchases to acquire an additional of nearly 16.5 million shares from Vinamilk, representing approximately 1.1 per cent of the issued share capital of Vinamilk.
Following the acquisition, the JC&C group now has an aggregate interest in nearly 145.6 million Vinamilk shares, representing approximately 10.0 per cent of Vinamilk’s issued share capital.
On November 10, JC&C beat other bidders to purchase a 3.33 per cent stake in Vinamilk from the State Capital Investment Corporation (SCIC) at an open auction on the HCM Stock Exchange. It also acquired another 2.2 per cent stake via order-matching transactions to bring its holding to up to 5.53 per cent.
Currently, JC&C is the third-largest shareholder of Vinamilk, after SCIC with 36 per cent and Singapore’s food and beverages company Fraser&Neave, with 18.74 per cent.
Foreign investors hold a combined 56.44 per cent of Vinamilk. The firm’s market capitalisation reached VNĐ265.88 trillion ($11.71 billion) on Friday morning, rising 7.45 per cent from the $10.9 billion value on November 10 when the automotive major made the first investment in Vinamilk.
JC&C, a subsidiary of Jardine Matheson, has been present in Việt Nam for over a decade. It now owns a 25.1 per cent stake in automobile producer, Thaco, and nearly 23 per cent in the Refrigeration Electrical Engineering Corporation (REE Corp).
In addition to operating in real estate, hotel and financial services, Jardine Matheson, the parent company of JC&C, also holds shares of many franchise brands in Viet Nam such as KFC and Pizza Hut.
Social News 20/11
Vietnam celebrates World Children’s Day
Children from H’Mong ethnic group in the northern province of Hòa Bình.
Vietnamese children have joined millions of kids around the world to raise their voice to save children’s lives, fight for their rights and help them fulfill their potential.
The initiative is part of efforts to celebrate World Children’s Day, which falls on November 20.
Last Saturday, some 80 children in HCM City met Vice Chairwoman of the city People’s Committee Nguyễn Thị Thu and other leaders of different city departments. They talked about issues children in the city are facing, recommendations to address these issues, their view about a city that they would want to live in and what they themselves can do to contribute to build such a city.
The kids urged the city’s leaders and agencies to create favourable conditions and opportunities for them to learn more about national and the city’s history.
They also introduced the recently-established City Children’s Council and highlighted how this council could help realise their rights of participation.
On Monday, November 20, the children will meet Vice Chairwomen of the National Assembly Tong Thị Phóng to learn about the National Assembly’s role in ensuring the realisation of children’s rights.
They will also share with the vice chairwoman the outcomes of the National Children’s Forum and request due attention of the National Assembly to address these issues.
On the same day, Minister of Labour, Invalid and Social Affairs Đào Ngọc Dung will help children learn about the work the ministry, which is responsible for childcare and protection, has undertaken to realise children’s rights. The children will share their concerns with the minister, especially those related to violence against children, and request the ministry to put greater efforts in addressing these concerns.
The children will also “take over” UNICEF’s Việt Nam social media for a week 9 (November 17-23) to reflect the voices of children from different regions of the country.
“It’s a fun day with a serious point -- a day of action for children, and by children. When children meet with political leaders, it gives them an opportunity to shine a light on the most pressing challenges faced by their generation. It’s relevant to Việt Nam, given the recently-effective Law on Children, which provides greater alignment with the Convention on the Rights of Child, including children’s rights to participation,” Youssouf Abdel-Jelil, representative of UNICEF in Việt Nam, said.
November 20 also marks the anniversary of the adoption of the Convention on the Rights of the Child in 1989 and the mobilisation of the first World Children’s Day. Children from around the world will "take over" key roles in media, politics, business, sport and entertainment to help make children’s issues part of the public agenda.
At schools worldwide, children will also take over classrooms and assemblies to raise their voices and organise fundraising activities in solidarity with the world’s most disadvantaged and vulnerable children.
Bac Kan teems with mining potential: Prime Minister
Rich mineral deposits and timber plantation potential of the northern mountainous province of Bac Kan were highlighted to prospective investors by Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc on November 19.
Addressing an investment promotion conference in the province, the PM said with large deposits of lead, zinc and iron, Bac Kan has a lot of potential for mining and constructional material production.
Bac Kan has 38,000ha of large timber plantations of high economic values, he said, requesting all ministries and sectors to actively contribute and support the province’s economic development efforts.
He also urged local authorities to raise the provincial competitiveness index, which is currently near the bottom of the list of 63 cities and provinces in the country.
With its determination to boost economic development, the province has achieved initial successes, PM Phuc said.
He described Ba Be Lake area in Bac Kan as an attractive tourism destination with many spectacular caves.
However, the leader said, the province needs to improve its investment environment to attract companies with strong financial potential and high determination to boost local production and investment.
He also wanted the province to restructure its demography, reduce population density in certain areas and develop new education models.
At the conference, the provincial authorities called for investments in a number of fields, enumerating 33 key projects, mainly in infrastructure, agriculture, forestry and tourism.
Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee Ly Thai Hai said local authorities are committed to providing the “highest-level support” to investors, in keeping with the Government’s investment incentives.
It would also allocate land for agricultural and forestry projects, including those on medicinal plant cultivation, and issue policies easing credit access and supporting brand promotion, he said.
Hai said he expected the Government to support the province in infrastructure development, especially the building and upgrading of important roads linking the province with other localities in the region.
Currently, the province is seeking investments in building a new National Highway 3 stretch linking Cho Moi (Moi market) with Bac Kan city and a 40km road from Quan Binh commune in Bach Thong district to Ba Be Lake, he said.
Hai called on the PM to ask relevant ministries and sectors to study investors’ proposals for the construction project on National Highway 3 under the Build-Operate-Transfer (BOT) investment model.
He also sought approval for raising capital for the road running to Ba Be Lake.
PM Phuc gave a nod to the construction of the Cho Moi-Bac Kan high-speed road. He also assigned the Ministry of Transport to submit a plan for this project, which would be implemented in 2018.
The PM also assigned relevant ministries to consider options for the Quan Binh-Ba Be road.
Ba Be Lake is one of the 20 largest freshwater lakes in the world, but it does not have easy transport access, he noted, asking the ministries to actively seek financial resources for the road.
Speaking at the conference, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Nguyen Xuan Cuong said his ministry would help people in Bac Kan and its neighbouring provinces of Cao Bang and Lang Son use advanced technologies to cultivate fruits under VietGap standards.
Khmer ethnic culture festival closes
The seventh Culture, Sports and Tourism Festival of Khmer ethnic people in the 12 southern localities wrapped up in the Mekong Delta province of Bac Lieu on November 19.
Vice Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee Vuong Phuong Nam said the three-day event has left deep impression on visitors, accomplishing its purpose of promoting the traditional culture of Khmer ethnic people and contribute to building the great national unity.
Themed "Preserve and Promote the Khmer Ethnic Culture to Meet Demand for Sustainable Development of the Country", the festival featured a wide range of activities, including folk games, art and musical performances, costume shows, cuisine and sports competitions.
More than 600 artists were brought together at the festival. Particularly, nearly 300 artists from art troupes in Ca Mau, Soc Trang, Tra Vinh, Hau Giang and Bac Lieu provinces staged special performances at Khmer pagodas.
The eighth Khmer festival is scheduled to be held in Ca Mau province in 2020.
NA Chairwoman attends great national unity festival in Nghe An
National Assembly Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan joined residents in Sen 3 hamlet, Kim Lien commune, Nam Dan district, central Nghe An province, at the great national unity festival on November 19.
The festival is the annual event held nationwide to mark the founding anniversary of the Vietnam Fatherland Front (VFF) (November 18, 1930).
Kim Lien commune, the hometown of late President Ho Chi Minh, has been considered as a revolutionary cradle and a cultural and spiritual tourism destination.
Poverty rate in Sen 3 hamlet, which is home to 126 households, stands at 3.28 percent, and locals’ material and spiritual life have been improved significantly.
Speaking at the event, the top legislator urged local officials and people to strengthen solidarity in building new-style rural and civilized urban areas, while joining movements and patriotic campaigns launched by the VFF.
She expressed her hope for more outstanding socio-economic development models in the locality and greater efforts in ensuring local security and safety as well as social welfare.
On this occasion, NA Chairwoman Ngan presented officials and people of Sen 3 hamlet with a photo of “Uncle Ho and Uncle Ton” and items of sports equipment. Ten saving books, each worth 10 million VND (440 USD), were also handed over to ten needy families and a number of gifts were given to policy beneficiary families, prominent teachers and poor students in the hamlet.
Earlier, the chief legislator paid floral tribute and offered incense to late President Ho Chi Minh at the Kim Lien relict site in Nam Dan district.
The same day, NA Chairwoman Ngan visited Phan Boi Chau Gifted High School.
Association helps promote Vietnam-France relationship
Gerard Daviot, who was re-elected President of the France-Vietnam Friendship Association (FVFA) at its 16th congress, stressed the need for the association to play a more active role in diversifying the Vietnam-France friendship in the time ahead.
At the congress held in Paris’s suburban Montreuil city on November 18, Daviot said the diverse ties will cover economy, politics and culture, helping address challenges to the two countries in many sectors, including education-training, health care, water resources protection and climate change response.
He highlighted Vietnam’s position in Southeast Asia and the success of the Asia-Pacific Economic Leaders’ Meeting that recently took place in Vietnam’s central Da Nang city.
Vietnam is facing a range of major challenges, including those relating to climate change like sea level rise in the Mekong Delta, salt water intrusion and unusual floods, he said, describing the patterns as big threats to national economic development.
Such issues were discussed at the conference on non-concentrated cooperation between Vietnamese and French localities in September 2017 and mentioned in many programmes and initiatives launched by the association, he noted.
Daviot said the FVFA has also implemented an array of initiatives to promote Vietnam in general and its culture, achievements and position in the world in particular, along with revealing challenges and difficulties facing the country.
The association has raised voice to help Vietnam protect its sovereignty and sovereign right in the East Sea and support the campaign to gain justice for Vietnamese Agent Orange/dioxin victims, he said.
People to benefit from basic healthcare package
7In order to reduce pressure placed on central hospitals, the basic medical services package at commune-level medical facilities will be implemented from December 2017.
The package, including prevention, consultation and treatment services for all citizens, is fully covered by Vietnam Social Security (VSS).
According to the agency’s data, only 19 percent of health insurance card holders register commune-level medical facilities as their initial places for examination and treatment, while only three percent of the social insurance fund pays for medical services at those centres.
The shortage of services and skilled medical staff is the main reason for this phenomenon. Therefore, the Ministry of Health (MoH) and the Vietnam Social Security collaborated to develop this basic medical services package as a solution.
Thereby, people can access 76 basic services and 241 types of medicines at commune-level medical facilities.
Through the package, diabetic patients, instead of going to hospitals, can receive medicines at local medical centres.
Doan Van Bon, a diabetic patient in northern Hai Duong province, is interested in this initiative. “Since the district hospital is seven kilometres away from my house, I miss appointments sometimes. Therefore, it is more convenient for me that near-by medical centre start distributing necessary medicines,” he said.
Schools also stand to benefit from the policy. As kindergartens and primary schools are commonly located next to medical facilities, students can access better medical services.
According to Le Van Kham, head of the Social Insurance Department under MoH, that the basic medical services package also helps people save money and motivates local medical facilities to enhance their capabilities.
With all expenses paid by the State budget and local budget, the initiative aims to satisfy 70 percent of people’s healthcare demands at local medical facilities. At present, the related agencies are planning to r People to benefit from basic healthcare package
Binh Duong: The Urgent Run 2017 draws over 500 students
More than 500 students joined the Urgent Run 2017 in response to World Toilet Day in the southern province of Binh Duong on November 19.
The event was jointly hosted by the Kim Hoang Hiep Trading, Service and Environment Company, and the provincial Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism.
It aims to help raise the awareness of the importance of toilets in daily life, the environment, thus building civilised community and society.
The occasion is expected to help improve the quality of public toilets globally.
Le Van Hiep, head of the World Toilet in Vietnam, said of the World Toilet in Vietnam, who is also Director of the Company said, his company is Vietnam’s only official member of the World Toilet Organisation.
The annual Urgent Run was first organised in 2015. The initiative was introduced to 154 other members of the World Toilet Organisation, according to Hiep.-
PM asks Bac Kan to consider poverty reduction a political task
Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc asked the northern mountainous province of Bac Kan to launch a widespread poverty reduction campaign and consider this a political task.
At a working session with the Standing Board of the provincial Party Committee in Bac Kan on November 19, the PM pointed out that the province’s multi-dimensional poverty rate stands at 26 percent, which still remains high as compared with the national average.
Attention should be paid to forestation, husbandry and medicinal plant cultivation in order to spur growth and raise locals’ living standards, he said.
The leader noted that the first task is to review the province’s socio-economic targets in 2017, striving to complete major objectives, especially growth and budget collection targets. The long-term task is to select outstanding products for mass production.
PM Phuc gave a nod to the locality to open the Cho Moi (Moi market) – Bac Kan expressway and assigned the Ministry of Transport to submit the project to the leader for approval.
He requested Bac Kan and relevant ministries to work on measures to fully tap tourism potential of Ba Be lake.
The same day, the PM joined local residents of Tan Thanh hamlet, Bac Kan city’s Nong Thuong commune, in the great national unity festival, an annual event held nationwide to mark the founding anniversary of the Vietnam Fatherland Front (November 18, 1930).
He took note of attainments of the Party Committee and authorities of Bac Kan province, Bac Kan city and Tan Thanh commune, while hoping for locals’ more efforts for their locality’s development.
He highlighted the important role of the Vietnam Fatherland Front at all levels in gathering people in implementing the Party and State’s policies, the new rural-style area building programme, and caring needy people.
Bac Kan is home to seven ethnic groups of Tay, Nung, Kinh, Dao, Mong, Hoa and San Chay, with ethnic minorities accounting for more than 80 percent of its population.
The province’s state budget collection in the first ten months of this year was estimated at 560 billion VND (24.64 million USD), fulfilling 94 percent of the set target.
Its gross regional domestic product (GRDP) per capita in 2017 was around 26 million VND, up 1.2 million VND against 2016.
Training centre powered by Siemens technologies debuts
The Digital Process Industries Training Centre has made presence in Vietnam to meet increasing education requirements for digital technologies, especially in the context of 4.0 Industry Revolution.
The centre was launched in Hanoi on November 16.
Its establishment is the result of the cooperation between Polyco Group, East Asia University of Technology and Siemens in a joint effort to equip present and future Vietnamese engineers with knowledge, skills and latest technologies for the digital manufacturing age.
The centre, which is located at Polyco Group’s headquarters in Hanoi, has been equipped with Siemens automation and digitalisation technologies.
It will enable students and engineers to learn and practice directly through actual demonstration, which include products from field level to management level applied in industrial production in general and in the food and beverage industry in particular.
In addition, learners can visualise the five steps in the digitalisation value chain for process industries, namely product design, process and plant design, engineering and commissioning, operation, and services.
Pham Thai Lai, President and CEO of Siemens Vietnam, said he believes the centre will remarkably enhance human capacity, not only for Polyco group but also for the whole food and beverage industry in Vietnam to face challenges in the present and the future.
Show features traditional Vietnamese, Korean costumes in HCM City
Hundreds of traditional costumes of Vietnam and the Republic of Korea were displayed on the walking street of Nguyen Hue in HCM City on November 18.
The event was part of activities of the ongoing Ho Chi Minh City – Gyeongju World Cultural Festival 2017 in the city.
Locals and tourists had a chance to contemplate the traditional, yet modern Vietnamese Ao Dai (long dress) by Vietnamese designers, namely Sy Hoang, Thuan Viet, Dinh Van Tho; and Korean Hanbok dress by Lee Young-hee.
Addressing at the event, Director of the municipal Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism Huynh Thanh Nhan, said the exchange helps designers of the two nations have an insight of the history and culture of each nations, thus consolidating the friendship between the two countries.
The Gyeonju World Cultural Festival, opened on November 11 is jointly hosted by HCM City and Korean Gyeongsangbuk-Do province for the first time, with numerous activities.
The event is expected to help foster cultural exchanges between the two nations, thus deepening the strategic cooperation between Vietnam and the RoK, as well as the collaboration between HCM City and RoK’s localities.
JICA workshop on construction projects
The Ministry of Construction and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) has organised a training workshop on management of construction projects in Vietnam.
The workshop was co-organised on November 17 as part of a JICA-funded project, launched in April 2015, for improving capacity in cost estimation, contract management, and quality and safety in construction investment projects in Vietnam.
The workshop focused on quality management, safety and environmental management, and cost estimation.
The event, which was attended by state agencies, project management units, contractors and consultants, discussed the project’s outputs and focal points related to Vietnam’s laws and regulations on construction.
The project, implemented by the Ministry of Construction and JICA, aims to improve the capacity of staff in the ministry and related organisations to ensure that all construction projects in Vietnam are managed in accordance with international standards and regulations of public construction projects.
Similar workshops will also be held in Da Nang, Can Tho and HCM City.
Vietnam has maintained sustainable economic growth in recent years and implemented a large number of major infrastructure development projects.
However, due to inadequate project management and quality and safety management of construction works, many construction accidents have been recorded.
In addition, construction contracts that have been poorly managed have led to numerous disputes, obstructing the smooth implementation of construction projects.
KOCHAM donates 206,000 USD for charity
Some 4.64 billion VND (206,000 USD) was collected by the Korea Chamber of Commerce & Industry (KOCHAM) in Ho Chi Minh City at the 14th KOCHAM Charity Night on November 17.
Some 130 enterprises of the Republic of Korea (RoK) contributed 4 billion VND in cash and 600 million VND worth of gifts for charity.
The money was donated for the HCM City Children’s Disability Association; the Orphanage, Disabled Children Care Centre in Dong Nai province; the Association of Victims of Agent Orange/Dioxin Social Protection in Ba Ria – Vung Tau province; the Orphanage and Poor Patients Protection Association in Binh Duong province; the Social Protection Centre in Long An province; the HCM City Eyes Hospital; the Patient Support Fund; the Thien Phuoc Disability Facility in district 4, the Korean Elder Citizen Association in Vietnam; and the Korean Support Fund.
KOCHAM HCMC has been in operation since 2003 with 700 enterprises, which represents 2,500 RoK companies operating in the southern and central regions of Vietnam.
KOCHAM HCMC has organised the annual KOCHAM Charity Night since 2004.
This year, Vietnam and the RoK celebrate their 25th anniversary of diplomatic relations.
Trade volume between the two countries exceeded 50 billion USD by October 2017.
13th Vietnamese Students’ Day in RoK held
More than 1,000 Vietnamese students across the Republic of Korea (RoK) came together for the 13th Vietnamese Student Day on November 19 at Seoul University.
Speaking at the event, Deputy Foreign Minister Vu Hong Nam, head of the National Committee for Overseas Vietnamese, applauded programmes initiated by the Vietnam Students Association in Korea (VSAK) to contribute to the homeland, such as fund-raising activities to assist disaster-hit victims.
He expressed his hope that events like the Vietnamese Student Day will be held regularly to help promote Vietnam’s culture to international friends.
Vietnamese Ambassador to the RoK Nguyen Vu Tu lauded the efforts of Vietnamese students in the RoK, believing that they will continue contributing to Vietnam’s nation building and safeguarding and act as a bridge helping develop Vietnam-RoK relations.
The Vietnamese Student Day is held annually by the VSAK, aiming to promote Vietnam’s culture and to tighten bilateral ties.
Art performances praising the beauty of Vietnam’s land and people took place during the event, together with different folk games.
Currently, there are about 15,000 Vietnamese students in the RoK.
Policeman helps fishermen move from boats to homes
Since 2012, Lieutenant Colonel Ngô Minh Tuệ of Hải Phòng City Police has assisted the families of 22 fishermen in moving from small boats—vulnerable to overturning amid waves caused by cargo ships—to homes in a new village in Máy Chai Commune.
The Cấm River is the main estuary in the city, located in Ngô Quyền District. Here, hundreds of vessels operate day and night. People from other regions of the country gather here in tiny boats, fishing for living. But these maritime homes are not safe: the constant cargo ship traffic creates unpredictable waves that can flip boats with little warning.
Back in 2006, Ngô Minh Tuệ came up with the idea of establishing a village for fishermen so that they could move into more secure homes. At first, they weren’t interested. Worried about being under the control of local authorities, none of them wanted to move to the riverside. The lack of electricity and clean water also made them reluctant.
To alleviate their concerns, Tuệ developed a detailed resettlement plan over the past five years. He attracted the support of Máy Chai Commune’s residents and won approval from local authorities. He also asked his colleagues, governmental agencies and other organisations to donate food and rice. Additionally, Tuệ helped them build houses and roads connecting the newly formed village to surrounding areas.
However, as the fishermen’s families were persuaded of the benefits of moving, there were more challenges to come.
To create educational opportunities for their children, he has helped them obtain school subsidies, changing people’s attitudes towards education. At present, all of the fishermen’s children go to school.
Now that they have moved from boats to more stable accommodations, people are rebuilding their lives. Some even gave up on the fishing profession, pursuing other careers for more sustainable income.
“My children and I have never dreamed of such a stable life,” said Trần Thị Nghiêm, 74, a resident of Máy Chai Commune.
Nghiêm had spent most of her life in tiny boats with five to six other people. Tuệ’s assistance allowed them to escape poverty and hunger.
“Thanks to Tuệ and other policemen, our fishermen are now having better livelihoods. We are grateful to have him,” she added.
Speaking to the Quân đội Nhân dân (People’s Army) Newspaper, Nguyễn Thị Với, head of Máy Chai Commune’s Residency Area no.1, said she was grateful for the initiative of Tuệ and his colleagues.
“Their efforts have transformed the area. With Tuệ as the pioneer, policemen and local authorities have provided support for fishermen to stabilize their lives,” she said.
Although the village has been established, must overcome further challenges.
“Only four households have obtained temporary residence registrations. The others, due to their lack of identification documents, have been not eligible for it,” he said.
Procuring daily essentials for the village is another concern.
“There is still no grid electricity so they must buy it from local enterprises. Environmental sanitation is not guaranteed. Those issues require local authorities’ cooperation to handle since we cannot do it alone,” added Tuệ.
Responding to Tuệ, Phạm Thị Thu Hà, deputy head of Máy Chai Commune People’s Committee, said that they took his concerns seriously.
“Improving people’s livelihoods and living conditions are also our priorities. We are finding solutions to gradually address those existing problems for people to enjoy a better life,” she said.
HCM City leaders hear teachers’ concerns
Leaders of the HCM City Party Committee and People’s Committee on Friday had a meeting with educators in the city on the 35th anniversary of Việt Nam Teachers’ Day (November 20).
During the meeting, more than 300 teachers and educational officials, who represent more than 10,000 educators in the city, shared their concerns with the city’s leaders.
Huỳnh Công Minh, former director of the city’s Education and Training Department, raised a question to the city’s leaders: “Can teachers live on their salary?”
He said the salary for teachers in Việt Nam was too low, only VNĐ3 million (US$136) for a new graduate.
Most of participants agreed with Minh, and pointed out that low salary did not encourage teachers to wholeheartedly dedicate to their career.
“A new payment mechanism for teachers will help the city’s education sector develop sustainably,” said Minh.
Delegates also expressed their thoughts on appyling advanced curricula in the school.
Hà Hữu Thạch, head of the Lê Quý Đôn High school in District 3, said “We suggest the city’s leaders and the Education and Training Department allow us to import internationally well-known advanced curricula to teach in the school along with the current curricula. This act may prevent the brain drain.”
He gave an example that his school lost about 90 excellent students each year to studying abroad, even though advanced curricula and outdoor activities for students were used in the school.
Thạch hoped the schools with advanced curricula would apply self-control financial mechanisms soon in order to attract more skilled teachers and to send teachers to study abroad.
In addition, the students’ moral in today society is also a huge challenge to the city’s educators.
Minh said “We are focusing on moral education in the high school, while kindergarten and primary are the best levels for teaching morals.”
He added that the city needed to care more about collaboration between society and the schools.
On behalf of the city’s leaders, Tất Thành Cang, deputy secretary of the HCM City Party Committee, said that the city’s education sector was facing challenges, such as an unattractive salary mechanism and out-of-date curriculum and textbooks.
Cang said “The city has collected all delegates’ opinions, which will be used for the project on educational development.”
He also expressed the city’s gratitude to educators in the cause of nation building, and developing HCM City.
Thắng wins third stage of cycling tournament
Nguyễn Thắng won the third stage of the Nam Kỳ Khởi Nghĩa Cycling Tournament yesterday.
The cyclist of the Ngọc Dung Nhi - Hóc Môn crew finished the 124km stage from Đắk Nông Province to Buôn Ma Thuột City, ĐắkLắk Province, within a time of 3hr 28.06min.
It was a special victory as he triumphed in his hometown.
Thắng was followed by Nguyễn Minh Việt of BTV Đại Nam Bình Dương and Đỗ Tuấn Anh of Calystos Đồng Tháp.
After three stages, Trần Thanh Điền of VUS HCM City took the yellow jersey for being the leading athlete, with a time of 9:19.45.
Trần Lê Tuấn Anh of Military Zone 7 and Nguyễn Nhật Nam of Domesco Đồng Tháp were second and third, respectively.
Today, the athletes will race from Buôn Ma Thuột to Nha Trang on 98km.
Bắc Kạn tourism week aims to boost northern mountain province cooperation
The Ba Bể - Bắc Kạn Tourism Week 2017 kicked off on Saturday at Ba Bể Lake in the northern province of Bắc Kạn, opening a series of cultural events that aim to strengthen tourism cooperation between the six participating provinces of Bắc Kạn, Cao Bằng, Lạng Sơn, Thái Nguyên, Tuyên Quang and Hà Giang.
The week’s events introduce and promote the historical and cultural relics, the landscape, people, food and culture of the northern mountainous provinces.
Speaking at the launching ceremony held on Saturday, Deputy Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism, Đặng Thị Bích Liên said, “The northern provinces of Việt Nam have several historical and cultural relics along with the spectacular landscape and unique cultural identity. They are attracting an increasing number of both domestic and international tourists. However, the result has not yet reached its full potential.
“The Ba Bể-Bắc Kạn Tourism Week this year is important for the northern mountainous provinces in strengthening cooperation in tourism, promoting and attracting investment for tourism and the preservation of historical and cultural relics. The plan is to develop tourism into a spearhead of the local economy,” Liên added.
More than a thousand artists from the participant provinces joined the performances at the opening event. Acts included singing, dancing and đàn tính (the traditional gourd lute of the Tày ethnic people) performances.
The event, which lasts till Tuesday, features traditional musical performances, a traditional costume show, food fair, folk and sports games, flower garlands and a photo exhibition featuring the landscape and people of the northern mountainous provinces. Festival-goers can also join a boat tour around the scenic Ba Bể Lake.
Ba Bể National Park is a highlight of Bắc Kạn’s tourist destinations. About 70 kilometres from Bắc Kạn centre, Ba Bể covers more than 23,000 ha and is home to more than 1,000 species of flora and fauna, a series of caves and a gigantic fresh water lake, which was recognised as the country’s third Ramsar Site, an indication of its international significance, by UNESCO in 2011.
Ba Bể Lake is located 145 metres above sea level and is said to have formed more than 200 million years ago.
Hà Nội win, lead V.League at penultimate round
Hà Nội maintained their hopes of defending their V.League title after beating Quảng Nam 1-0 at their home in Hàng Đẫy Stadium yesterday.
The match was considered an “early final” of the tournament because if Quảng Nam won they would take the trophy, with one round to spare. On the other hand, if Hà Nội won, they would replace Quảng Nam as the leading team in the ranking table.
National midfielder, Nguyễn Văn Quyết, pushed Hà Nội back to the top position after 12 rounds, with his close-range finish at the 73th minute.
Hà Nội have 45 points, the same as Quảng Nam but they take the lead due to their head-to-head results.
Quyết’s 70th goal for the club therefore means Quảng Nam might just enjoy their first national premier league title this weekend.
In another match, FLC Thanh Hoá joined the race to take the title after their 2-0 win over Sanna Khánh Hoà.
Thanh Hoá also have 45 points and are placed third.
In the last round matches, Hả Nội will travel to Hạ Long to play Quảng Ninh Coal who are currently at third place with 42 points.
Quảng Nam are said to have an easy rival in HCM City in the last round. They also have the advantage of playing at home.
Thanh Hoá will face former champions, Sông Lam Nghệ An, who have not lost in their three latest matches.
In another game yesterday, Quảng Ninh beat HCM City 4-2 in a match that saw former national head coach Toshiya Miura sitting on the stands.
The Japanese returned to Việt Nam after two years, upon an invitation by HCM City FC boss, Lê Công Vinh. There was no confirmation yet but Miura is said to be on his way to becoming head coach of the team that is under coach assistant Lư Đình Tuấn, after French coach, Alain Fiard, was fired last week.
The deal will be completed early next month and Miura is expected to compete in the V.League for two years.
Sông Lam Nghệ An struggled to have a 2-1 win over Cần Thơ yesterday.
Despite playing without their best players, Sông Lam Nghệ An put up a great performance with three chances to open the score in the first 15 minutes.
But it was the hosts who opened the score from a penalty at the 41st minute by Nsi.
The winner pushed Cần Thơ up. They played tit for tat with the visitors in the second half.
The situation made coach Nguyễn Đức Thắng of Sông Lam Nghệ An change his tactic. Several changes were made and players were asked to open more attacks.
Midfielder, Ngọc Hải, levelled the result at the 71st minute, with a straight shot and Trần Phi Sơn netted the second shot for the visiting side four minutes before the end.
At Lạch Tray Stadium, hosts Hải Phòng, whose coach Trương Việt Hoàng is to resign, lost 1-2 to Hoàng Anh Gia Lai.
SHB Đà Nẵng shared the same fate, losing 2-3 to Sài Gòn FC. Coach Lê Huỳnh Đức of Đà Nẵng also leaves after the end of the season. And Former champions Becamex Bình Dương found a 4-0 win over relegated Long An.
Cantho Catfish win first leg of VBA final
Cantho Catfish defeated Thang Long Warriors 83-78 in the first game of the Việt Nam Basketball Association League’s final yesterday in Hà Nội.
The two sides made a balanced first quarter as they rotated to score points, ending with 20-19 for the visiting Catfish.
The Warriors, with great backing from home supporters, came back in the second quarter when their trio Justin Young, Jaywuan Hill and Tô Quang Trung did a good job, bombing the Catfish’s basket with many points. They won 41-37.
The hosts continued their performance in the third quarter, but the Catfish did better. They came from behind to lead 63-59 with brothers Tâm Đinh and Sang Đinh taking the stage.
The Catfish maintained their lead and ended the match at 83-78, ignoring how hard the Warriors tried to level the score.
The second game will be on November 26, as the Catfish will host the Warriors on their home ground at Cần Thơ Gymnasium.
Vietnamese in Australia look towards to homeland’s sea, islands
Overseas Vietnamese (OVs) in Australia recently raised 18,000 AUD for the Vu A Dinh Scholarship Fund and the “For beloved Hoang Sa-Truong Sa” (Vi Hoang Sa-Truong Sa than yeu) Club.
The fundraising took place in a meeting in Canberra between Vietnamese expats, representatives from Vietnamese agencies in Australia and a delegation led by former Vice President Truong My Hoa, who is head of the fund and club.
At the event, Hoa briefed the OVs about challenges faced by ethnic minority groups, fishermen and soldiers in coastal areas.
She also highlighted the fund’s activities, which support the education of ethnic minority students and develop human resources in poor and remote areas, and the club, which aims to help children of soldiers and residents in coastal areas and islands.
The meeting urged the OVs to join national efforts to protect the sea and island sovereignty and to support the needy in their homeland.
Before the meeting in Canberra, Hoa met with the Vietnamese Consulate General in Sydney and Perth, and with Vietnamese expatriates and students in Brisbane and Adelaide.
She also presented certificates of merit for organisations and individuals for their excellent contributions to the Vu A Dinh Scholarship Fund and the “For beloved Hoang Sa-Truong Sa” Club.
US organisation helps Quang Tri boost pepper production
Authorities of the central province of Quang Tri met with representatives of US organisation Roots of Peace, pledging optimal conditions for it to help develop local agriculture, especially pepper production, according to Tai nguyen & Moi truong (Natural Resources & Environment) newspaper.
Roots of Peace has assisted more than 2,100 households in Vinh Linh, Cam Lo, Gio Linh and Huong Hoa districts to take part in 63 pepper cultivation clubs.
It has worked with the Mines Advisory Group (MAG) and Peace Tree organisation to clear unexploded ordnances from more than 45ha of land for more than 520 households to cultivate pepper. The organisation has also worked with the Korea International Cooperation Agency to mobilise 50,000 USD to help some 200 households in Cam Lo district farm pepper.
At the meeting on November 16, founder and CEO of Roots of Peace Heidi Kuhn appreciated Quang Tri authorities and people’s support to her organisation. She said she wants to make the province’s Tieu Cua (Cua pepper) known across the world as it is the best pepper she has ever tasted.
This could also be a symbol of peace as the pepper is produced in a formerly war-torn province, Kuhn added.
Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee Nguyen Duc Chinh lauded Roots of Peace’s activities in Quang Tri over the last years, helping the province reduce poverty and develop. The organisation has helped Quang Tri’s pepper be exported to the US and other countries, an encouraging sign for local agricultural brands.
The Quang Tri People’s Committee pledges to create the best possible conditions for Roots of Peace to partner with local companies to develop agricultural activities and clear unexploded ordnances, he noted.
Vietnam-RoK Film Festival held in Ho Chi Minh City
The Vietnam-Republic of Korea (RoK) Film Festival is taking place in Ho Chi Minh City from November 17-22, with twelve outstanding films of the two countries screened free.
The films, ranging from emotional and psychological to action, history and mystery, are expected to help Vietnamese audiences learn more about the RoK, as well as bringing the RoK and international friends an interesting experience of the history, land and people of Vietnam.
All eight of the Korean films being introduced at the festival have recently been screened in the RoK, including ‘Minh thich nhau di’ (Like for Likes), ‘Tham tu Hong Gil Dong’ (Phantom Detective), and ‘Okja’.
Meanwhile, Vietnamese films being screened at the festival are ‘Co can nha nam nghe nang mua’ (Like an old house), ‘Hotboy noi loan 2’ (Lost in Paradise 2), ‘Sieu trom’ (Bitcoin Heist), and ‘Co Ba Sai Gon’ (The Tailor).
During the festival, a workshop on film production via smartphones will be held.
The festival is part of the ongoing 2017 Ho Chi Minh City – Gyeongju World Cultural Festival, held from November 11 to December 3 to celebrate the 25th founding anniversary of the diplomatic relations between the two countries (December 22).
Dong Thap strengthens training cooperation with Cambodian province
The Mekong Delta province of Dong Thap has enhanced cooperation with Prey Veng province of Cambodia in health and education.
According to Vice Chairman of the Dong Thap People’s Committee Doan Tan Buu, Dong Thap College of Health has provided training for 363 students from Cambodia. The province also holds classes for Cambodian students at its primary schools in border regions.
Dong Thap has also recently raised 100 million VND (4,400 USD) to support the Khmer – Vietnam friendship primary school and granted financial assistance to more than 100 students of the school.
The provincial health sector also held frequent medical checkups in Prey Veng and Pursat provinces of Cambodia, providing free medicines and treatment for more than 12,000 people.
Commemoration held for traffic accident victims
A ceremony to commemorate nearly 7,000 people who died in traffic accidents was held in Gia Lai Province on November 19.
According to the National Traffic Safety Committee, there were over 14,300 traffic accidents in the first 10 months, killing 6,800 people and injuring 13,300. The main causes are because of traffic violations including driving in the wrong lane, speeding or drunk driving. Some elder people and children were killed in their sleep after a bus crashed into their houses.
One of the most serious accidents was on May 7. A truck collided with a passenger bus on Ho Chi Minh Highway while going through Chu Se District, Gia Lai Province. 13 people were killed and 32 were injured. This is also a reason why the ceremony was held in Gia Lai.
More than 500 people attended the ceremony and lit candles for the victims. The National Traffic Safety Committee also gave gifts to 10 families of the victims in Gia Lai Province. It is also hoped that the ceremony would help raise public's awareness and prevent more tragic accidents.
The ceremony marked the United Nations Decade of Action for Road Safety 2011-2020.
Chung Ang University Hospital donates medical equipment to Quang Ngai
Chung Ang University Hospital in Seoul, led by general director Dr Kim Song Deok has donated US$18,000-worth of medical equipment to the central province of Quang Ngai's healthcare sector.
Through Chung Ang University Hospital’s and Doosan's Q-Health programme, which began in 2009, free medical exams and medicine have been provided for 25,000 local residents of Quang Ngai and Quang Nam provinces. The programme has also provided surgical treatment for cleft palate, cataracts, and heart diseases for 82 patients, 19 of whom were children sent to the Republic of Korea for advanced treatment.
Yoen In Jung, CEO of Doosan Vina, said during the medical equipment donation ceremony, "Health, education, and housing are the three essential elements that Doosan Vina thinks are needed to develop a sustainable community.
The mission of Doosan Vina's Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programme is to "help build a healthy community," and to do so, Doosan Vina is committed to providing healthcare, education, and housing, these are the core principles of the company’s CSR activities as well as our business philosophy that are keys to a sustainable society."
Addressing the event, Chairman of Quang Ngai People's Committee Tran Ngoc Cang noted the contributions and continued support of Doosan Vina and Chung Ang University Hospital have transformed the Vietnamese healthcare sector.
They have also provided intensive training for medical staff, internship training in the Republic of Korea at Chung-Ang University Hospital, and a host of other initiatives to deliver quality care for the people of Quang Ngai.
Storm Kirogi weakens to tropical depression before landfall in Vietnam
Storm Kirogi has weakened to a tropical depression on the morning of November 19, when it was still 200 kilometers (124 miles) off Vietnam's south-central coast.
At 4 a.m., the tropical depression was in the waters of Ninh Thuan, Binh Thuan and Khanh Hoa provinces, with wind speeds of up to 60 kilometers per hour.
People in these provinces have resumed their daily life after a sleepless night expecting the storm.
The tropical depression will head west at 20 kilometers per hour. By 4 p.m. on November 19 it will be over Khanh Hoa, Ninh Thuan, Binh Thuan and Lam Dong provinces with maximum wind speeds of 50 kph.
It is expected to later form a low-pressure area in southern Cambodia.
Flooding across the coast from northern province Ha Tinh to southern province Binh Thuan could still occur due to heavy rains, the National Center for Hydro-Meteorological Forecasting said.
Kirogi is the 14th storm of the year. Typhoon Damrey, which made landfall in the central region two weeks ago, killed more than 100 people and damaged or destroyed over 100,000 houses. Deadly floods last month also killed more than 80 people and washed away hundreds of homes.
Last year, tropical storms and flooding killed 264 people in Vietnam and caused damage worth VND40 trillion (US$1.75 billion), nearly five times more than in 2015.
Reconstructed 11th century Tuong Long Pagoda unveiled in Hai Phong
A reconstruction of the Tuong Long Pagoda, which was built in 1058 under the reign of Emperor Thanh Tong of the Ly Dynasty, was unveiled in the northern city of Hai Phong on November 19.
Chairman Hoang Xuan Minh of Do Son district, where the structure is located, said that the reconstruction work began in June 2008 and included a nine-storey pagoda placed on a square base with four stairs.
Inside the pagoda is an Amitabha Buddha statue sitting on a stone lotus base, while the area next to the pagoda is a stele house and an excavation site for storing many wooden and stone artefacts bearing the typical patterns of the Ly Dynasty.
The remains of the original structure were already recognised as national heritage.
According to historical records, Emperor Thanh Tong ordered the construction of a pagoda when visiting the Do Son area and named it Tuong Long, meaning Auspicious Dragon after having a vision of a golden dragon in his dream.
The original pagoda was 45 metres tall and built on top of hill roughly 100 metres above sea level, making it one of the highest towers at the time of its completion.
In the past, Tuong Long was also used as a watch tower as part of an information transmission system in order to send warnings to the capital city if any suspicious foreign activities were detected offshore.
Since its construction nearly one thousand years ago, the pagoda underwent many renovations under the Tran and Le Dynasties but was demolished in the early 1800s to obtain bricks for the construction of the Citadel of Hai Duong.
Vietnam joins Diplomatic Charity Bazaar in Thailand
The Vietnam Embassy in Thailand joined 41 other diplomatic representative offices, international organisations and enterprises at the 64th Diplomatic Community Bazaar 2017, which took place at the Central World Shopping Centre in Bangkok (Thailand), on November 17-19.
The well-decorated Vietnamese pavilion attracted great attention from numerous visitors with a variety of products such as Ao Dai (Vietnam’s traditional costume), non la (conical hat) and many of the country’s typical souvenirs on sale, as well as Vietnamese cuisine.
This was the second time Vietnam has participated in the international charity event in Bangkok. The opening ceremony on November 17 was attended by the Princess Soamsawali of Thailand, Vietnamese Ambassador to Thailand Nguyen Hai Bang, representatives of countries and international organisations in Thailand.
The event featured 160 booths, which showcased hundreds of traditional items from many countries, such as food, fine arts and garments. A part of the revenue generated by the fair will be contributed to projects supporting disadvantaged children and women.
The fair, considered as a good opportunity to promote handicrafts and fine arts products, as well as the cuisine of each country, to those from other nations, attracted thousands of visitors.
Credit package with favorable interest rates for storm victims
Nam A Bank launched a credit package of VND500 billion with favorable interest rates to help locals in the central and the highlands Vietnam.
The package will be from now till December 31, 2017.
As per the bank’s promise, interest rate for the package is 6 percent for the first year.
Those who wish to rebuild houses, fishing boats, agricultural production, buying households items are eligible for the package.
People run for traffic victims
Though Hanoi was shivering with cold, many locals still took part in a run in Hoan Kiem Lake for traffic safety yesterday in response to the World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims Khuat Viet Hung, vice chairman of the National Traffic Safety Committee , also ran in the event.
Participants had to run a distance of 6,827 meter; generally most people finished the run.
The National Traffic Safety Committee said that in ten first months, nearly 7,000 people had been killed in traffic accidents and approximately 12,000 others suffered lifetime injuries. Averagely, one day has more than 20 people are killed in accidents and nearly 40 others are injured. The causes of accident are mostly violations such as wrong lanes, driving on the opposite direction , over-speeding, alcohol drivers…
The committee and People’s Committee in the Highlands province of Gia Lai yesterday observed a few minutes of mourning for the traffic victims. This ceremony was live broadcast on VTV1 chanel from *PM to 9PM.
There days ago on November 17, Mr. Hung visited injured victims of traffic accident in Hanoi-based Viet Duc ( Vietnam – German ) hospital who are in difficulties.
Activities to remember traffic accident victims and visiting to victims, relatives are taking place in many localities nationwide.
SAR 412 rescues 8 crew members at Quy Nhon sea
The Maritime Search and Rescue Coordination Center Zone 2 in the central city of Da Nang rescued and brought ashore crew members of the Ocean Bright ship during the storm Kirogi hit on the night of November 18.
The ship with 8 crew members on board, including 4 Indian people has lost its ways when trying to avoid the storm at Quy Nhon sea.
Shortly after receiving information, the center deployed ship SAR 412 to rescue crew members and tow the vessel to Border Guard Flotilla 48 in Quy Nhon city safely.
Mass flight cancellations as Typhoon Kirogi approaches
The national flag carrier Vietnam Airlines (VNA) has just announced that it will stop exploiting flights from/to Cam Ranh Airport in the central coastal province of Khanh Hoa from now until about 2 p.m on November 19 because of the influence of the 14th storm which hit the south-central provinces with international name Kirogi yesterday.
Due to the bad weather, the carrier has also changed flight schedule to domestic flights from/to central highlands cities, Da Lat and Buon Me Thuot; and canceled flights No.VN1651 and VN1650 between Hanoi and Tuy Hoa on November 19. these flights are expected to be taken off on November 20.
The budget airline Jetstar PacificJetstar Pacific adjusted its schedule of flights from airports, including Nha Trang, Da Lat, Buon Me Thuot, Tuy Hoa and Quy Nhon.
Meanwhile the low-cost carrier Vietjet Air is canceling flights on November 19, including VJ782 (Cam Ranh-Hanoi); VJ603, VJ605, VJ607 (Cam Ranh-HCM City); VJ741, VJ492 (Vinh-Buon Me Thuot-Hanoi); VJ362, VJ402 (HCM City-Da Lat-Hanoi); VJ713, VJ712 (Vinh-Da Lat-Vinh); VJ124, VJ775 (HCM City-Hanoi-Cam Ranh).
Carriers notify passengers to access its websites, or contact the ticket offices of the airlines throughout the country for further information about flight delay or cancellation.
Senior people eligible for free buses
The Department of Labor, Invalid and Social Affairs in Ho Chi Minh City yesterday sent a document to its sub-divisions in 24 districts, asking them to increase information of free bus for elderly people.
The sub-divisions will spread the information to local people’s committees, social unions and elderly unions about free buses for elderly people who are 70 up.
As per the city People's Council decision No.05/2017 which says that senior people aged 70 up will get free buses since August 1, 2017.
Illegal construction works under expressway bridge removed
The Directorate for Roads of Việt Nam asked relevant agencies to remove works illegally constructed under a bridge on the Hà Nội-Hải Phòng Expressway.
Since last August, Minh Long Construction and Industrial Limited Company, which is responsible for managing and maintaining bridges on the expressway, has been reporting to Hải Phòng City’s Transport Department about illegal works that have been built under Đa Độ Bridge in the city’s Kiến Thụy District.
The Minh Long company was unable to meet investors of the illegal works, which include houses, restaurants and garages.
Local authorities, including Kiến Thụy District People’s Committee, said they were not authorised to deal with the violations because the expressway is under the management of investor Việt Nam Infrastructure Development and Finance Investment Joint Stock Company (VIDIFI).
Soon after receiving reports about the violations last Friday, the Directorate for Roads of Việt Nam asked VIDIFI to address the violations quickly.
The removal of the illegal works must be reported to the directorate this week, it said.
Launched in 2008 under the build-operate-transfer agreement, the Hà Nội-Hải Phòng Expressway has total length of 105.5km, with six lanes and an intended speed of 120km per hour.
The expressway has 54 bridges in total.
Kon Tum, Attapeu provinces enhance youth cooperation
The Ho Chi Minh Communist Youth Union (HCYU) Committee of the Central Highlands province of Kon Tum and the Lao People’s Revolutionary Youth Union (LPRYU) Committee of Attapeu province held an exchange on November 20.
At the event in Kon Tum, the two committees signed a document on a coordination programme between 2017 and 2020 so as to intensify the friendship and solidarity between youths of Kon Tum and Attapeu in particular, and of Vietnam and Laos in general.
Accordingly, they will further share experience in youth union works and youth and children’s movements, thus enhancing unity and mutual understanding.
The provincial committees will continue directing the youth union committees of Kon Tum’s Ngoc Hoi and Dak Glei districts and Attapeu’s Phouvong and Sanxay districts to step up exchanges and communication activities to raise local youngsters’ awareness of keeping and building a borderline of peace, friendship, cooperation and development.
The two sides also agreed to organise voluntary activities, vocational training and training in youth union works in Attapeu. In particular, they are going to provide free check-ups and medicine for residents in Attapeu in 2018, along with training in tailoring and youth union works for young people in the Lao province in 2020.
Vice Secretary of the Attapeu LPRYU Committee Ongkham Khunsamay highlighted the strong development of the two provinces’ youth union works, asking both sides to increase mutual visits and exchanges and further coordinate in educating local young people about the countries’ traditional friendship and solidarity.
Secretary of the Kon Tum HCYU Committee Xieng Thanh Phuc said in 2015 and 2016, the two provincial committees organised exchanges and meetings involving over 100 officials and youth union members.
The Kon Tum side held two informatics classes for 30 LPRYU members of Attapeu, educated local youths on the shared borderline and border markers, supported disadvantaged Lao students, and gave free medical examinations and medicine to over 850 people in Laos, he added.
Mekong Delta provinces ensure schedule of climate change projects
The Mekong Delta provinces of Tra Vinh and Ben Tre have worked to ensure the implementation of a project on climate change adaption.
Country Director of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) in Vietnam Thomas Rath expressed his pleasure at the positive outcomes of the project at a meeting with local authorities in Tra Vinh on November 17.
He said the the two provinces should speed up the project by focusing on improving community-based adaptation capacity in the long run and increasing quality of agricultural and aquaculture practices.
Tra Vinh and Ben Tre should enhance experience exchanges to expand effective models while strengthening coordination with specialised institutions such as the provincial Department of Science and Technology, Department of Industry and Trade, Department of Environment and Natural Resources, and the private economic sector, to implement livelihood models.
Cornels Hubrencht Blok, a delegate from the IFAD, said that during the implementation of the project, the two provinces have integrated climate change adaptation and natural disaster risk management into socio-economic development plans. However, the solutions are just applied in the short run, he said, advising the pair to build future scenarios.
Vice Chairman of the Ben Tre People’s Committee Nguyen Huu Lap and his counterpart from Tra Vinh Kim Ngoc Thai, pledged to create the best conditions and arrange capital to support the project.
Sponsored by the IFAD, the project is being carried out from 2014 to 2020 in 30 communes of eight districts in Ben Tre and 30 communes of seven districts in Tra Vinh.
The project worth more than 1 trillion VND (44 million USD) aims to support sustainable livelihoods for the rural poor and to strengthen the adaptive capacity of target communities and institutions to better contend with climate change.