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  • 11/27/17--01:52: Article 1

    Vietnam and Poland set to tighten trade and investment co-operation

    Vietnam and Poland are expected to sign several co-operation deals this week to beef up their investment and trade ties, which are on an uptrend at the moment.

    Polish President Andrzej Duda will pay a state visit to Vietnam during November 27-30.

    Duda will have bilateral talks with his counterpart Tran Dai Quang, who invited him to Vietnam, and have meetings with Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong and Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc.

    The two sides are expected to discuss various issues, with a focus laid on measures to strengthen the two countries’ trade and investment co-operation, which is strongly rising, despite the current humble figures.

    The two countries are expected to sign bilateral co-operation deals in the sectors of education and training, investment, environment, finance and banking, and agriculture.

    During this visit, many Polish businesses will also come to Vietnam to seek investment opportunities in their primary areas of business, such as waste treatment, food processing, green technology, mining and mining equipment manufacturing, medical equipment, and shipbuilding.

    Polish firms also want to avail themselves of the advantages from the free trade agreements that Vietnam has and will ink with foreign nations to boost their exports.

    A Vietnamese-Polish economic forum will see these businesses meet with Vietnamese partners during the visit, which will also witness the launch of the Poland Investment and Trade Office in Ho Chi Minh City.

    The Polish government has identified Vietnam as one of the six key markets of Poland. In particular, Vietnam is expected to become a bridge for Polish firms to penetrate the Southeast Asian market of over 630 million people.

    As of October 2017, Poland had 14 valid investment projects in Vietnam, registered at nearly $183 million. Within 2014-2017, the Polish-Vietnamese investment co-operation doubled, largely focusing on the sectors of real estate (Euro Vietnamese Village), processing (VIFON), and services (Halong Plaza).

    Vietnam currently has only four valid investment projects in Poland, registered with $5.1 million, focusing on the fields of services and foodstuff.

    These projects include a Vinamilk’s $3-million Vinamilk Europe, which specialises in trading agricultural materials and milk products.

    At present, Poland is Vietnam’s largest trading partner in the East-Central European region, while Vietnam is Poland’s seventh largest trading partner outside the EU.

    Bilateral trade turnover rose from $650 million in 2010 to $761 million in 2015 and $790 million last year. In the first nine months of this year, the figure was $730 million. The figure is expected to hit about $1 billion throughout this year.

    Vietnamese exports to Poland include garments and textiles, aquatic products, rice, coffee, pepper, confectionery, mobile phones, and electronic items, while imports from this nation are powdered milk, pharmaceutical products, fruit, and equipment for the coal and shipbuilding sectors.

    Canada's Vision Transportation Group proposes developing metro project

    Vision Transportation Group (VTG) from Canada proposed the government to develop the urban railway project linking Noi Bai International Airport with the West Lake area under the public-private partnership (PPP) model, according to information published on the Government Portal. 

    In the framework of the meeting with Deputy Prime Minister Trinh Dinh Dung, VTG chairman Richard Courey submitted the overall report on the method to develop the project, the technology to be used, the investment schedule, as well as a number of proposals to the government.

    The deputy prime minister asked VTG to work with the Hanoi People’s Committee, ministries, and relevant authorities to study investment procedures as well as the proposal before submitting a detailed report to the government.

    DPM Dung also proposed VTG to study other railway infrastructure projects, especially the North-South Express Railway project.

    The urban railway project linking Noi Bai with the West Lake area is one of ten urban railway projects approved by Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc to develop in Hanoi under the capital’s transport scheme until 2030 with a vision towards 2050.

    In the 2017-2020 period, Hanoi has found investors to develop four railway routes, namely Noi Bai International Airport-South Thang Long (18 kilometres), Thuong Dinh-2.5 Ring Road-Buoi (7km), Van Cao-Hoa Lac (38.4km), and Nhon-Troi-Dan Phuong (5.9km).

    At present, five domestic investors and two foreign investors have registered to invest in Hanoi’s urban railway projects.

    These seven investors are Vingroup, Xuan Thanh Corporation, Lung Lo 5 Company, Tan Hoang Minh Group, Licogi Company, and MIK Group JSC, Lotte Group from Korea and OJSC Mosmetrostroy from Russia.

    Hanoi currently has four urban railway routes, two of which—Ngoc Hoi-Yen Vien and Cat Linh-Ha Dong—are invested by the Ministry of Transport. The remaining two—South Thang Long-Tran Hung Dao and Nhon-Hanoi Railway Station—are invested by Hanoi authorities and are currently under construction.

    Canadian-based VTG is a master developer of infrastructure projects specialising in development and implementation under the models of private investment (PI) and public-private partnership (PPP).

    Since 1992, VTG has been involved in more than 165 major infrastructure projects with a total investment capital sum of $35 billion in 42 different countries.

    Citi Vietnam launches new Citi Simplicity+ credit card

    Citi Vietnam today introduced Citi Simplicity+, the first credit card in the market to provide 10 per cent interest back for on-time payments and no late payment fees. As a special introduction, Citi Simplicity+ comes with a 0 per cent annual interest percentage rate for the first three months.

    “The launch of Citi Simplicity+ provides peace of mind to customers in the form of a credit card, which is simple yet extremely convenient. Also, this card allows us to show our appreciation to our customers who pay their bills on time by giving them 10 per cent interest back,” said Natasha Ansell, Vietnam Citi  country officer.

    Additional Citi benefits on the card include “0 per cent Paylite,” a feature which allows customers to easily convert high value card transactions into 12 monthly installments at no extra cost, and partner offers, such as deals at Starbucks, CVG cinema, and discounts at many others.

    “In line with the needs of today’s customers, Citi Simplicity+ is an innovative card that helps to simplify the banking experiences of our card members. Citi Simplicity+ is evidence of Citi Vietnam’s commitment to constant progress and to maintaining our position as the country's leading provider of banking products that cater to different lifestyles,” added Ansell.

    The rapid evolution of urban society in Vietnam provides Citi with the opportunity to grow its portfolio of first-rate banking products for those who live busy lives pursuing a variety of activities.

    This simple and straightforward card offers savings and convenience, backed by the global Citi brand. Cardholders are empowered to take charge of their card repayment through increased transparency, flexibility, and control.

    Vietcombank’s $15 million back-to-back divestments

    Vietcombank’s $15 million back-to-back divestments, HDBank offers 20 per cent to foreign investors this month, NPLs in property drop significantly, HN, HCMC asked to report apartment disputes

    From the latest two divestments from Saigonbank and CFC, Vietcombank earned a total of $15 million, stepping up among the top 48 most profitable financial institutions across Asia.

    In late October, the State Securities Commission of Vietnam (SSC) issued the share-selling licence to Joint Stock Commercial Bank for Foreign Trade of Vietnam (Vietcombank) which permitted the bank to divest a bulky estimation of 19.8 million shares from Saigon Bank for Industry and Trade, Saigonbank and Cement Finance Company (CFC).

    On November 20, the bank (under ticker VCB) withdrew 13.2 million shares (4.3 per cent stake) from Saigonbank at the base price of VND12,550 ($0.55) and 6.67 million shares (10.9 per cent stake) from CFC at the base price of VND11,549 ($0.51).

    Regarding the participants of the Saigonbank share transaction, 20 investors (19 individual investors and one corporate investor bought 53.8 million shares, which roughly quadrupled the initial offered volume.

    The bid price was VND20,100 ($0.88) and the ask price was VND12,550 ($0.55) per share. At the end, VCB earned over VND266.3 billion ($11.7 million) which exceeded the initial estimated earnings by VND100 billion ($4.4 million).

    Regarding the purchasers of the CFC share sale, nine individual investors acquired 6.67 million shares, which exceeded the initial offered amount by a single per cent. The bid price was VND11,560 ($0.51) and the ask price was 11,550 ($0.51) per share. Via the transaction, VCB gained a total VND76.2 billion ($3.3 million).

    After finishing the transaction, Vietcombank was estimated to have made a total of $15 million on the two divestments.

    Previously, Nghiem Xuan Thanh, Vietcombank’s chairman of the board of directors, noted the bank would proceed with the divestment of Saigonbank, CFC, and Orient Joint Stock Commercial Bank (OCB) as part of the bank’s end-of-the-year plan.

    He also highlighted that VCB expected to divest a total of VND300 billion ($13.2 million) from the three aforementioned financial institutions with no sign of financial loss by the end of 2017.

    Thanh added the bank had planned to divest an estimated VND1 trillion ($44 million) in Military Commercial Joint Stock Bank (MB) and Vietnam Export-Import Commercial Joint Stock Bank (Eximbank) in January, 2018.

    Vietcombank has earned a solid standing in the financial intermediary environment of Vietnam by leading the country in terms of profitability and being the 48th most profitable financial institution in Asia.

    CFC is a Vietnam-based financial institution, specialising in mobilising funds in the money and capital market, investing, and trading on the money, bonds, and securities markets as well as providing funds with foreign exchange and other financial advisory services. CFC was founded in 2008 with the initial charter capital of VND300 billion.

    Saigon Bank was one of the first commercial joint-stock banks, founded in Vietnam in 1987 with an initial charter capital of VND650 million, specialising in serving a great pool of clients ranging from individuals, joint ventures, enterprises in industrial processing zones on the basis of its high-tech banking platform.

    HDBank offers 20 per cent to foreign investors this month

    Housing Development Bank (HDBank) will offer 20 per cent of its shares to foreign investors at its initial public offering (IPO).

    According to Reuters, the IPO is expected to be conducted in November, however, HDBank has yet to disclose the official date.

    Unlike other lenders in Vietnam, the bank does not seek a single strategic investor who would normally hold 15 per cent of the shares. Instead, it will court four overseas investors, offering less than 5 per cent of ownership to each. At present, numerous foreign investors from Hong Kong, Japan, and South Korea expressed interest in becoming HDBank’s foreign investors.

    The pre-listing share sale is expected to raise $300 million for the bank, which counts Vietnam’s first female billionaire Nguyen Thi Phuong Thao as its major shareholder.

    After completing the auction, HDBank said that it would list on the Ho Chi Minh City Stock Exchange in early 2018.

    HDBank reported bright business results. For the first nine months of 2017, HDBank reaped VND1.91 trillion ($84 million) in pre-tax profit, of which the parent bank earned VND1.7 trillion ($74.8 milion). This result, which is 1.5 times higher than the entire year of 2016, marked the bank’s highest achievement so far.

    Assets under management reached VND174.5 trillion ($7.6 billion), a 26-per-cent increase from the same period last year. Bad debt takes up less than 1.14 per cent of all outstanding loans.

    HDBank’s return-on-assets ratio is 1.18 per cent, while returns-on-equity stood at 18 per cent as of the third quarter of 2017.

    Hanwha Life Vietnam launches “Health is Wealth” insurance package

    On November 21, Hanwha Life Insurance Co., Ltd. (Hanwha Life Vietnam) officially launched the new insurance package called “Health is Wealth” in Ho Chi Minh City, with the intent of delivering optimal insurance services to promote individuals and households’ overall well-being in Vietnam.

    The “Health is Wealth” insurance package was created to provide insurance coverage, including healthcare benefits against accidental incidents, for registered customers.

    As informed by the company’s representative, the “Health is Wealth” package targets to provide residential and outpatient treatments, payment guarantee for hospitalisation, as well as various insurance options offered at a reasonable cost.

    The insurance package will be promoted across Asia and, later on, on a global scale.

    Thanks to Hanwha Life Vietnam’s co-operation with Insmart Co., Ltd. (an insurance and healthcare provider), registered customers could gain access to medical institutions in Asia or anywhere else in the world (except for the US and Canada).

    Regarding the benefits provided by the package, the insured customers are given assistance to minimise the medical charges in case of unfortunate incidents.

    For instance, with the in-patient treatment, the firm committed to help the package’s registrants to diminish the fees of hospital stay (for patients and the patient’s caregivers), special care, daily health examination, pre-hospitalisation treatment, after-discharge treatment, in-home medical services, surgery, accident-related emergency treatment,  traumatic dental injuries, domestic ambulance, day treatment, and physiotherapy, among a whole range of other services.

    Additionally, subscribers could expect Hanwha Life Vietnam to help out with cancer treatment fees, including radiation therapy, chemotherapy, surgery, and organ transplant.

    Talking about the new insurance service, Back Jong Kook, chairman and general director of Hanwha Life Vietnam, noted that the demand for healthcare and personal savings plans for potential future health-related issues has been substantially increasing among the younger generations of Vietnam, especially with the increasing likelihood of critical health conditions.

    He also added that the key objective of the insurance package was to reinforce the firm’s vision of elevating the standards of wellness after the firm successfully launched the insurance package “Family is Everything” in Vietnam three years ago.

    Earlier this year, Hanwha Life Vietnam provided financing to poor people in eight provinces and cities across the country with over 9,500 health insurance cards in March. The total sponsorship was estimated at VND2 billion ($88,000).

    Hanwha Life Vietnam, a branch company under the management of Hanwha Group, is one of the leading life insurers in South Korea with a diverse business portfolio comprising of services tailored for each customer.

    The insurance firm’s products vary from guaranteed education plans, health and pension insurance packages, to savings and investment plans.

    NPLs in property drop significantly

    The ratio of non-performing loans in the real estate sector has dropped significantly since 2013, according to the State Bank of Việt Nam’s Credit Department of Economic Sectors.

    Statistics showed that real estate NPLs dropped from 7.05 per cent in 2013 to 4.06 per cent as of July 31.

    Governor of the State Bank of Việt Nam Lê Minh Hưng at a recent hearing of the National Assembly said lending for the real estate sector accounted for 7.1 per cent in the first 10 months of this year, compared with 10 per cent last year.

    The central bank would continue to control credit flow into the property sector.

    HN, HCMC asked to report apartment disputes

    The Ministry of Construction has asked the people’s committees of Ha Noi and HCM City to report existing disputes between buyers and developers at apartment projects before the end of this month.

    The report would then be submitted to the Prime Minister as the basis to implement solutions to tackle these problems.

    From the beginning of this year, disputes between buyers and developers at apartment projects have been mounting in the two major cities, specifically related to projects’ progress, services fees, maintenance fees and construction quality, as well as the use of shared areas, house ownership certificates and selection of the management board.

    Previously, the Prime Minister said appropriate solutions must be raised to tackle disputes.

    Long An aims to up dragon fruit exports

    Long An Province, which produces about 215,000 tonnes of dragon fruit every year, is aiming to increase its exports of the fruit by using state-of-the-art technology to develop 2,000ha of new growing land in Châu Thành District.

    The plan, which the provincial agriculture department says will be completed by 2020, will expand the province’s dragon fruit-growing area from its current 9,200ha. The new cultivation area will produce pesticide-free dragon fruits.  

    According to Long An Province’s Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, 80 per cent of Long An’s dragon fruit is sent to the Chinese market. Fifteen cent is consumed domestically, and the rest is sent to Japan, Thailand, USA and Europe.

    The price of dragon fruit in the Chinese market is considered unstable and determined by traders, so farmers would like to sell to a broader range of markets.  Therefore, it is necessary to invest in different production methods that will allow the fruit to meet the standards set by importers like Japan, the US and the EU.

    In order to expand the dragon fruit-export market, the province has made detailed plan to develop growing areas according to GlobalGAP and VietGAP standard.

    Thanks to these strategic directions, Long An dragon fruits have been accepted by foreign markets such as Japan, South Korea, New Zealand and Taiwan, all of which have strict standards for produce safety. 

    In order to implement the plan, the district developed two 5ha clean dragon fruit-growing models at the two co-operatives of Long Hội and Tầm Vu last year. The models grow dragon fruit following VietGAP (Vietnam Good Agricultural Practices) standards,  using organic fertilizers, bio-fertilizers, bio-products and insect traps.

    This year, the district has implemented six pilot models with a total area of 145.2 ha. At the pilot sites, staff have guided farmers to use organic fertilizers, bio-fertilizers, probiotics and advanced technology for grafting.   

    Another pilot area in Long Tri Commune applies an advanced irrigation system for dragon fruit trees on acreage of 5,000 sq.m.

    Nguyễn Văn Phi, a farmer who was participating in a pilot dragon fruit project at An Lục Long Commune, said that using the VietGAP-standard model was costly but the consumption market was guaranteed.

    Phi said all the dragon fruits produced at An Lục Long Commune’s pilot project were purchased by Hoàng Phát Ltd.Co.

    Võ Văn Vấn, head of Châu Thành District’s Agriculture Office, said the local agricultural sector has implemented VietGAP standards on 700ha of dragon fruit cultivation area, with the participation of 1,800 families.

    "Although the implementation of the project has coped with difficulties, including a lack of fertilizer storage, pesticides and the field-cleaning process, I believe that the project is moving in the right direction," he said.

    Lê Văn Hoàng, Director of Long An Province’s Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, said that in the current market, farmers must move to clean agriculture and high technology, aiming at stabilizing output and improving the value of their products.

    However, according to the Department, the expansion of the clean dragon fruit-growing model was difficult because it requires a large amount of money from farmers who wanted to participate in the project.

    For example, the model at Long Trì Commune asked farmers to contribute 70 per cent of the total investment, while the Central budget covered 30 per cent.

    The province also has no policy or budget to implement the VietGAP dragon fruit projects.

    According to Phạm Văn Cảnh, Deputy Chairman of Long An Provincial People’s Committee, the province will direct the agriculture department and grass-roots authorities and guide farmers and enterprises to improve production capacity and pack dragon fruits according to export standards.

    Currently, Châu Thành District is home to four companies, three enterprises, four cooperatives and 107 gardens involved in dragon fruit production.

    Most companies buying the fruits for export have contracts with export companies in Bình Thuận Province and HCM City.

    Second EuroCham Central Vietnam Business Forum successfully hosted in Danang

    On November 24, European Chamber of Commerce in Vietnam (EuroCham), in collaboration with EU-Vietnam Business Network (EVBN), hosted EuroCham Central Vietnam Business Forum (ECV Business Forum) 2017 in the central city of Danang. This is the second time this event has been organised in the city.

    More than 70 participants from a multitude of sectors gathered at the event, including economists, governmental officials, media organisations, and diplomats. The forum was co-sponsored by Savills Vietnam, NS Blue Scope, and Green Shoots International School, with support from KPMG.

    At the event, experts and officials covered cross-cutting business topics from a site-specific perspective, including investment practices, tax incentives, local talent management, real estate development, green building, and smart cities.

    Aymar de Liedekerke Beaufort, CCO of BNP Paribas Vietnam and EuroCham Executive Committee Member, opened the event and officially launched EuroCham’s new project, the Greenbook and the Greenbook website ( The two platforms aim to be the ultimate portal on green business in Vietnam.

    After Aymar’s opening remark, Phuc Nguyen, director at KPMG, delivered content related to the economic outlook for Central Vietnam, as well as tax incentives for businesses and investors in the area.

    Also at the forum, EuroCham announced three representatives of EuroCham in Central Vietnam for the tenure of 2018. These representatives will be responsible for co-ordinating activities in the region.

    Gellert Horvath, co-chairman of EuroCham, highlighted: “Outside of Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi, Danang and with it Central Vietnam are a leading trade and investment destination for European businesses. What we have heard from our nearly 50 members doing business in the region is that they are very satisfied with their growth and they are here to stay. EuroCham realised this promising outlook and the potential of Central Vietnam when we became the first large foreign chamber of commerce to launch a representation in Danang in November 2016. We are certain that areas such as ICT, tourism and hospitality, infrastructure, green technology—namely renewable energy and sustainable building—and education will remain strong here in the coming years.”

    “ECV Business Forum is a good example of how companies with an interest in important projects can ask questions directly from the investment authorities in cities and provinces, while also being able to establish contacts for future partnerships. I am happy with the success of this event, and I am certain that it will continue to grow every year,” he said.

    “Since our Danang office was opened in 2015, we have made significant progress in regional trade promotion activities, such as participation in the APEC’s side-lines events, investor relations, and working with local partners in promoting the investment environment in Central Vietnam at events and in publications," Phuc Nguyen, partner of KPMG Vietnam, said. "Over the years, we quickly recognised that EuroCham Central Vietnam Chapter’s initiative to assist in the region’s socioeconomic development is a perfect fit to KPMG’s strategy and core values. We will work shoulder-to-shoulder with EuroCham, its members, and the provincial authorities of Danang, Quang Nam, and the surrounding areas, to make the initiative a great success.”

    Vietnam Expo 2017 in HCMC on horizon

    The 15th Vietnam Expo 2017 in Ho Chi Minh City will take place from December 6 to 9 at the Saigon Exhibition and Convention Center (SECC) in District 7.

    Building upon the successes gained over its fourteen years, the expo will provide a venue for local and international businesses to exchange opportunities and further trade and investment.

    Vietnam is considered a market of potential in ASEAN, with long-term prospects for growth through an improved business environment and greater participation by private investors in GDP growth.

    The country has signed or is negotiating 16 free trade agreements that will help it integrate more deeply into the global economy.

    Vietnam Expo celebrates its 15th holding by organizing the largest exhibition to date. Organizers said that in 2015 there was 320 businesses and 520 in 2016, while 750 will attend this year, in 800 pavilions from 16 countries and territories such as India, Taiwan, Germany, South Korea, Indonesia, Malaysia, the US, and China. The expo was attended by 11,650 customers last year and thousands of agreements were concluded.

    Showcasing a diverse range of products, the expo is a good platform to introduce new products and seek partnerships, with customers providing feedback on market consumption at the 800 pavilions in different categories, including electronics and electrical appliances, tech devices, equipment and accessories, manufacturing machinery, construction materials, tools and hand tools, interior and outdoor décor, food and beverages, and cosmetics.

    “We visit similar exhibitions in different countries every year and this is my third time at the Vietnam Expo in Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi,” said Mr. Peter Chan from Singapore. “More and more products and categories being introduced every year prove how local market demand is rising.”

    There were 890 registrations on the expo’s website, e-newsletter, and fanpage, of which 65 per cent are from the UK, the US, Portugal, Russia, Slovakia, Belarus, and Asia.

    Vietnam Expo in Ho Chi Minh City is honored to welcome more than 140 enterprises from South Korean trade promotion organizations, including the Gyeonggido Business & Science Accelerator (GBSA), the Daejeon Business Agency, the Suwon Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Incheon Business Information Technopark, the Korea Institute of Startup and Entrepreneurship Development, and the Daegu Technopark Sports Support Center (Daegu Technopark Sports Support Center).

    For the first time, a group of famous South Korean universities will be in attendance: SunChon National University, Chosun University, Jeonju University, Chungbuk University Chungbuk National University, Korea National University of Transportation, Hannam University, and Hoseo University. The Korea Pavilion covers 1,260 sq m.

    Though South Korean traders already have an extensive presence in Vietnam, they expect more opportunities will be created through business matchmaking programs at the expo.

    FDI from South Korea has tripled since 2012, to $50 billion, making it the leading investor in Vietnam. Bilateral trade doubled, to $42.8 billion, primarily in processing, manufacturing, information and communications, and real estate. Leading FDI recipients in Vietnam are Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Hai Phong, and southern Dong Nai and Binh Duong provinces.

    This year marks the 25th anniversary of diplomatic relations being established between Vietnam and South Korea, with the numerous achievements reached contributing to development and cooperation in the region and the world at large.

    One-hundred and forty South Korean enterprises will introduce new products and services based on advanced technology, to bolster bilateral trade to $100 billion in 2020.   

    The Taiwan Trade Center Inc., (TAITRA), which is also a sponsor, will present well-known products at the Taiwan Pavilion in an attempt to promote trade among producers and traders. 

    Taiwan has made ceaseless efforts to promote research and development (R&D), with the aim of achieving the highest level of quality and environmentally-friendly products, such as bottle hooks, water bottle racks, mousetraps, and insect traps, as well as useful solutions in daily life such as customized desks for students and offices, luggage, water heaters, fruit washers, R.O water purifiers for the home or industry, towels, pet food and accessories, unique and creative jigsaw puzzles for kids, and tools. 

    Visitors can also learn more about pain therapy studies and beauty care treatment with natural medicines and cosmetics.

    Update needed

    With 60 years in the cosmetics business, Thorakao has become known as a brand that operates under the old ways of doing business. Despite foreign cosmetics brands launching large-scale marketing campaigns, Thorakao has for many years continued to put too much focus on researching production. 

    It has seen varying levels of success and failure in the domestic market over the years but expects to retain its current market share despite the competition becoming tougher. 

    The Lan Hao Cosmetics Limited Company, which owns Thorakao, was well-known by Saigonese in the 1960s and was founded by a Vietnamese family who worked in the traditional medicine field for many generations. 

    After succeeding with exports, Lan Hao returned to the domestic market and recorded turnover growth of 20 per cent in 2010 and then 35 per cent in 2016. 

    “The returns are a good sign,” said Mr. Le Quoc Vinh, Chairman and CEO of Le Invest (Holdings) Corp. 

    “However, the company remains unfamiliar with the trend towards modern brand communications. The view of natural incense is no longer suitable in gaining market access, especially for cosmetics brands, which require customer interaction at the highest level.” 

    Similarly, Mr. Bui Minh Tuan, a local marketing expert, said the company hasn’t focused on branding or building emotional attachment among customers. It hasn’t made any branding efforts but has increased its sales in the past.

    Lan Hao has defined Thorakao’s products as natural and is trying to lead in creating new products that stand out from others in the market, according to the company’s Deputy Director of Business Development Mai Tan Dung. “Quality is the basic value of Lan Hao, as the company started with a traditional family,” said Mr. Tuan. 

    “Frankly speaking, at this time, the development strategy of Lan Hao based on products being the core is still partly effective in the market and the company also has a strategy of low price. The most important thing is whether consumers are aware of the difference or not. Quality is the most important factor for the manufacturer but it isn’t everything.”

    As product quality is relatively homogenous and not especially notable, emotional attachment among customers makes a difference to the competitiveness of a brand, according to Mr. Vinh. 

    “I haven’t seen the difference at Thorakao,” he said “Most current customers are still nostalgic for Thorakao’s glorious past while others are interested in its cheap prices. These are not factors that increase the competitiveness of the brand. The competitiveness other small domestic cosmetics have gained is not in quality based on scientific criteria, but built from feelings about quality through experiencing products.” 

    Recognizing that a weakness for Thorakao is its packaging, Mr. Dung said that improving this would increase production costs and limit its approach to a number of consumers. But packaging is an important part of the customer experiences, according to Mr. Vinh. 

    “Thorakao should conduct specific market research on its packaging and design and the efficiency of past marketing strategies, and then learn and adopt a revised strategy,” he said. “I would suggest that the aesthetic of the packaging is higher than the normal requirements of the targeted customer segment, as cosmetics are a luxury product, not an essential one.”

    Thorakao’s strategy aims at rural customers, an area large foreign cosmetics brands haven’t focused on. Rural areas account for 65 per cent of the total population and 55 per cent of domestic trade turnover. Lan Hao should rapidly extend in the market and apply competitive strategies and tactics in the mid and long terms, Mr. Tuan said, as global giants are also turning strongly towards the rural market. 

    The rural market is now being impacted by new trends and brand loyalty is low. With better living conditions and access to information reaching levels seen in urban areas, demand in rural areas will be more advanced. 

    “If Thorakao’s branding remains in the old style, it will be hard for it to hold on to its markets,” Mr. Vinh said. 

    With total cosmetics turnover standing at VND26 trillion ($1.1 billion) in 2015 and 20 million women in Vietnam being aged from 16-39 representing major potential, competition in the industry will become tougher and correct strategies in marketing and branding must be adopted. Developing sales networks in key locations, increasing coverage and displays as well as promotional programs for shoppers would help the company, according to Mr. Tuan.

    Lan Hao is now also investing in online channels to expand its customer base. According to Mr. Vinh, however, while the channel has developed strongly in urban areas, Thorakao’s targeted customers are in rural areas. The online cosmetics business also relies heavily on brand loyalty. “Brands must build an online community through changing their marketing strategies and creating interaction with consumers,” he said. 

    Brand repositioning is an issue Thorakao should seriously consider. Its brand value relates to heritage, which very few Vietnamese brands can rely on, Mr. Tuan said, and its production quality over its 60-year history needs to be incorporated into its brand attributes. 

    Lan Hao is currently negotiating with a Japanese partner and expects to make use of technology in materials processing. But, according to Mr. Vinh, it needs a strategic partner rather than a financial investor, to make a breakthrough in terms of brand strategy.

    Siemens signs MoU with HUST to foster next generation of digital talent

    Siemens has signed an MoU with the Hanoi University of Science and Technology (HUST) to promote mutual cooperation in science and technology development towards Industry 4.0.

    HUST will consider Siemens as a technology partner and mobilize Siemens’ knowledge and experience in the development of its Digital Factory Lab, while Siemens is committed to providing HUST with state-of-the-art technology to enable Vietnam’s leading technical university to empower the next generation of digital talent in the country.

    Siemens will grant 200 Solid Edge 3D CAD licenses to HUST, with a commercial value of about $30,000 each. Solid Edge software is an intuitive product development platform for accelerating all aspects of product creation, including 3D design, simulation, visualization, manufacturing, and design management.

    Siemens will also support HUST in the development of its curricula and of a tailor-made “Train the Trainer” course to help HUST sustain its world-class quality in education and training in the digital age.

    “Education is the key to sustainable development,” said Dr. Thai Lai Pham, President and CEO of Siemens Vietnam. “Siemens has been a strong supporter of the younger generation’s education and training worldwide. And today, through our partnership with HUST, we are proud that we can help to empower the next generation of digital talent in Vietnam.”

    “HUST is pleased to partner with a global corporation that is on the cutting edge of digital technology,” said Professor Hoang Minh Son, President of HUST. 

    “This partnership will enable us to meet needs in enhancing our education and training system, especially in the era of Industry 4.0. It fits well with our new strategic project known as ELITECH. Our students stand to benefit significantly because hands-on experience with leading digital technologies in the classroom will give them a distinct advantage as they begin their engineering and manufacturing careers.”

    The collaboration between HUST and Siemens dates back to 1996, which was only three years after the establishment of Siemens’ official operations in Vietnam. 

    Siemens helped HUST establish an Automation Training Center and since then has donated a range of automation equipment and different types of software to the university, including SIMATIC PLC and Siemens PLM software such as Tecnomatix software - a best-in-class digital manufacturing solution, NX software - a comprehensive digital product development solution, and software for simulation and planning of power grids (SINCAL). Siemens has also supported HUST in training kits, curriculum development, technical workshops for teachers and students, career talks, and much more.

    MPOS Vietnam Technology launches QR code mobile payment solution

    The MPOS Vietnam Technology JSC has officially launched its QR code mobile payment solution that allows more than 3,000 retailers to integrate QR payments into devices accepting the MPOS technology.

    The payment solution is based on EMVCo’s international standards and allows retailers to use one QR code to accept payments from mobile applications on mobile devices activating the QR code.

    Mr. Nguyen Huu Tuat, General Director of MPOS Vietnam, said the QR payment solution of Visa will promote e-commerce payment transactions as well as mobile payment services and delivery and charging at home.

    “This service will be implemented nationally, especially in areas where electronic payments are still in their infancy,” he added. “There will be approximately 100,000 acceptance points by 2020.”

    “The use of mobile phones and QR code technology will support existing POS sites by providing businesses with a reasonably priced and highly efficient way to use them,” said Mr. Sean Preston, Director of Visa in Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos. “We recognize the significant opportunities for QR code technology to accelerate the adoption and acceptance of electronic payments around the country, particularly in small or card-accepting units in remote areas.”

    The idea of applying QR codes for electronic payments brings huge benefits to consumers, businesses, and banks during the boom in mobile technology. In China, QR code payments are available everywhere.

    The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) said in August it would develop a QR code payment system for country. Thailand has adopted EMVCo’s QR standards and other countries in Southeast Asia are standardizing QR ecosystems to promote electronic payments.

    In Vietnam, some banks and electronic wallets have developed QR code payment methods. Closed payment solutions remain but are incompatible with other networks or force accepting units to use different QR codes. This is both annoying and confusing for users.

    The MPOS Vietnam Technology JSC is the first in Vietnam and Southeast Asia to provide Mobile POS solutions.

    Shipping lines required to use digital signatures for customs declarations

    Shipping lines, cargo agents and freight forwarders will have to use digital signatures from January 1, 2018 when they make customs declarations through the single national portal.

    According to Document No.7392 issued by the General Department of Vietnam Customs, shipping lines, cargo agents and freight forwarders are required to register and authenticate their digital signatures no later than December 15, 2017.

    According to the customs, the use of digital signatures on customs declaration forms will simplify customs procedures and thus help businesses save time and money.

    Bank leaders banned from holding senior positions at other firms

    The revised Law on Credit Institutions, passed by the National Assembly on Monday, prohibits bank leaders from taking up senior positions at other businesses, VnExpress online newspaper reports.

    Board members, general directors and directors of credit institutions cannot hold top executive posts at other businesses.

    The general director and deputy general directors of a bank are not permitted to sit on the board of another bank unless the latter is a subsidiary of the former, according to the amended law, which will take effect on January 15 next year.

    This means those bank leaders holding leadership roles at other banks or companies will be affected by the law.

    In reality, many bankers are holding senior positions at both a bank and an enterprise, such as Do Quang Hien who now serves as chairman of both SHB and T&T Group, Vu Van Tien who is chairman of both ABBank and Geleximco, and Nguyen Thi Nga who is chairwoman of both SeABank and BRG Group. Others include TPBank and DOJI Group chairman Do Minh Phu, and Viet A Bank and Viet Phuong Investment Corporation chairman Phuong Huu Viet.

    Le Minh Hung, governor of the State Bank of Vietnam, said last Friday the amended Law on Credit Institutions would help do away with cross ownership in the banking system.

    At present, no individuals own a stake of more than 5% in a credit institution. The number of credit institutions with cross ownership has dropped from seven in 2012 to two.

    In addition, the number of banks and enterprises owning their respective shares has dipped from 56 to two.

    Fight against fake goods produces disappointing results

    Local companies have played an active role in the process of investigating producers of counterfeit goods using their brands but their efforts have left little impact.

    The HCMC representative office of the National Office of Intellectual Property of Vietnam, the HCMC Consumer Rights Protection Association, and Vina CHG, an anti-counterfeiting solutions consultant, held a seminar in HCMC on November 21 on how strengthen the fight against goods that infringe intellectual property rights.

    Tran Thanh Kha, senior head of the Sales and Marketing Division at NGK Spark Plugs (Vietnam) Co Ltd, said his company detected a Hanoi-based shop selling fake spark plugs bearing NGK brand two years ago. But when the company and law enforcement agencies inspected the shop, no counterfeit products were found.

    “We could not conclude what had actually happened. However, the said case shows how difficult it is to fight fake products,” he stressed.

    On behalf of Unilever Vietnam, the Vietnam Anti-Counterfeiting and Intellectual Property Protection Association of Foreign Invested Enterprises took many photos of a counterfeit goods production facility using Unilever’s brands, said Nguyen Thi Xuan Lan, the association’s general secretary.

    As the association informed authorities of the illegal activity of the facility, no evidence was found during an on-site inspection, Lan said, adding this was common now.

    She also put the capacity of law enforcement agencies into question as their fight against fake goods has not produced as good results as hoped.

    Kha of NGK Spark Plugs told the Daily on the sidelines of the seminar that producers of genuine goods had been discouraged by these incidents.

    Budget revenue to fall over FTAs

    Vietnam may lose over VND110 trillion in budget revenue in the next three years as a result of new-generation free trade agreements (FTAs), according to the Ministry of Finance.

    News site Dan Tri cited estimates of the ministry as saying budget revenue losses in 2018, 2019 and 2020 could be VND30.15 trillion, VND36.34 trillion and VND43.97 trillion respectively.

    Next year, more than 90% of tariff lines in the ASEAN Trade in Goods Agreement (ATIGA) will be cut to 0%. Of these, some products with big tariff revenues are autos, parts, steel, farm produce, tobacco and alcohol.

    Under the ASEAN-China Free Trade Agreement (ACFTA) and the ASEAN-Korea Free Trade Agreement (AKFTA), over 400 tariff lines with the current rates of 5%, 7% and 10% will also be lowered to zero as from next year.

    Statistics of the General Department of Vietnam Customs have shown Vietnam’s imports are contributed considerably by China, South Korea and ASEAN countries. As for the Chinese market, Vietnam’s imports and trade deficit have declined. 

    Given falling imports from China, Vietnam has imported more from South Korea and ASEAN countries, mostly machinery, electronic components and autos from the former and machinery, building materials, consumer goods, autos and auto parts from the latter.

    According to the ministry, Vietnam has signed 10 international trade agreements to attract foreign investments, cut costs, and increase budget collections from domestic sources like corporate income tax, land tax, value added tax and personal income tax. The ten agreements Vietnam has signed are with ASEAN, ASEAN-China, ASEAN-Korea, ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand, ASEAN-India, ASEAN-Japan, Vietnam-Japan, Vietnam-Chile, Vietnam-Korea and Vietnam-Eurasia Economic Union.

    The fulfillment of FTA commitments will result in a decline in import tax revenue. In the coming time, Vietnam may participate deeper in some new-generation FTAs such as the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) and the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).

    HCMC agrees to extend metro line to Dong Nai, Binh Duong

    The HCMC government has given the nod to an extension of Metro Line No.1 to the neighboring provinces of Binh Duong and Dong Nai.

    The city has written to the two neighboring provinces announcing a plan to prolong the first metro line which now connects the Ben Thanh Market in District 1 and the Suoi Tien Park in District 9, HCMC to Bien Hoa City of Dong Nai and Di An Town of Binh Duong.

    Dong Nai and Binh Duong authorities have also approved of the plan.

    An extended section of the metro line linking Suoi Tien, and Dong Nai and Binh Duong, when put into use, will facilitate commuting between HCMC and the two provinces, boosting urban development along the road and reducing congestion in the northeast of HCMC.

    VND21.234 trillion (US$0.93 billion) will be needed for the extension.

    Both underground and elevated sections of Metro Line No.1 are under construction. Viaducts of the 17-kilometer-long elevated track from Ba Son station in District 1 to Long Binh station in District 9 have been installed. The entire metro line is scheduled for completion and operation in 2020.

    Obstacles to SOE equitization addressed

    The Government has issued Resolution No.121/NQ-CP detailing solutions to shortcomings and difficulties in transforming State-owned enterprises (SOE) into joint-stock concerns, the Government news website reports.

    To meet the 2017 equitization schedule approved by the Prime Minister, the Government allows SOEs to go public in line with the Government’s Decree 59/2011/ND-CP dated July 18, 2011 until Decree 126/2017/ND-CP takes effect.

    Those entities that have announced their corporate value but their equitization plans cannot be finalized before January 1, 2018, and those whose equitization plans have been approved but their land use plans have not been passed can continue the process as required by Government Decree No.59.

    However, their land use plans must be approved before they obtain a business registration certificate for the first time as a joint stock company.

    Decree No.126, issued on November 16, 2017, will take effect on January 1, 2018. It amends and adds some regulations on forms of equitization, initial public offering, rights and duties of equitized companies, corporate evaluation and policies for laborers in the equitization process.

    Few enterprises keen on information security outsourcing

    any southern enterprises have paid much attention to information safety but few of them have chosen to outsource the information protection job, according to security experts.

    At the Vietnam Information Safety Day in HCMC on November 23, Vo Van Khang, vice chairman of the Vietnam Information Security Association (VNISA), said that in a survey of southern enterprises, VNISA found that many of them were concerned about ransomware attacks such as WannaCry.

    However, only 35.1% of them have used outside information security service although the number of providers of such service surged 62%.

    Most enterprises are hesitant to let network security firms get access to their data. Meanwhile, small and medium firms that cannot afford to invest in information safety staff and infrastructure.

    In case of a cyber attack these firms often inform their top

    executives and in-house information security teams, instead of working with network security firms.

    The survey also showed that 68.9% of the firms surveyed have their own information security teams. Besides, 75.7% said they have information safety policy and 72.5% regularly update their security systems.

    Nguyen Trong Huan from security firm Kaspersky Vietnam said the company has short-term training courses on ransomware analysis and solutions to cyber attacks for small and medium enterprises to improve their capacity to deal with cyber attacks.


    0 0
  • 11/27/17--02:21: Article 0
  • Vietnam brewer Sabeco gets strong response at Singapore investor roadshow: chairman

    Vietnam’s biggest brewer has received a strong response from potential suitors at an investors’ roadshow in Singapore

    ​Vietnam brewer Sabeco gets strong response at Singapore investor roadshow: chairman 
    An employee works at the factory of Sabeco. Photo: Tuoi Tre

    Vietnam’s biggest brewer Sabeco has received a strong response from potential suitors at an investors’ roadshow in Singapore, its chairman said, as the government moves closer to finalizing a stake sale in the $9 billion maker of Bia Saigon and 333 brews.

    Vo Thanh Ha said the government is due shortly to publish details of a divestment plan for its nearly 90 percent stake in Saigon Beer Alcohol Beverage Corp, as the brewer is formally called, as part of a lengthy fund-raising exercise.

    The sale has attracted interest from brewers seeking access to one of Asia’s most-promising beer markets, which is already the second-most profitable for Dutch brewer Heineken NV. Vietnam’s per capita beer consumption is forecast to become one of Asia’s highest within the next couple of years.

    The sale could also provide a template for more planned privatizations including that of peer Habeco.

    “We met a number of very high-profile investors – strategic investors and industry players,” Ha said in an interview in Singapore.

    “We’ve received very good feedback from investors that they consider Sabeco as an extremely good company with high potential to grow,” Ha said, in comments translated from Vietnamese by an adviser for the roadshow.

    Attendees at the Singapore roadshow included representatives of Japanese pair Kirin Holdings Co Ltd and Asahi Group Holdings Ltd, said Ha, who has been chairman for two years. He said representatives of Vietnam’s Ministry of Industry and Trade were also present.

    “The divestment is on schedule. The government will be publishing the plan to divest very soon,” said Ha, speaking in a private bus en route to Changi Airport.

    The roadshow will next move to London and Ho Chi Minh City this week.

    The government said this month it aims to complete a stake sale in December, though it has yet to disclose a size or price. Complicating the process is a near-trebling of Sabeco’s share price over the past year to 318,800 dong ($14), compared with a 40 percent rise in the benchmark index .VNI to 10-year highs.

    “The price is determined by the market,” said Ha, when asked to comment on the surge.

    Some investors said a small free float has inflated Sabeco’s market value.

    Sabeco dominates Vietnam’s beer market where its main rivals are Heineken and state-owned Hanoi Beer Alcohol & Beverage JSC. Heineken owns 5 percent of Sabeco.

    Sabeco expects the introduction of premium products to help it maintain a market share of 40 to 42 percent over the next two or three years, Ha said.


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  • 11/28/17--20:06: Article 3
  • Social News In Brief

    HCMCity wants to cooperate with Israel in various fields

    Chairman of the Ho Chi Minh City People’s Committee Nguyen Thanh Phong received Israeli Ambassador to Vietnam Nadav Eshcar on November 28 to exchange bilateral cooperation programmes.

    HCM City wants to cooperate with Israel in various fields, Vietnam News Agency resumes cooperation with Polish counterpart, Illegal sand mining ships to be investigated, Hanoi cracks whip on site clearance 

    Chairman of the Ho Chi Minh City People’s Committee Nguyen Thanh Phong (R) received Israeli Ambassador to Vietnam Nadav Eshcar  (Source

    The official proposed the diplomat enhance cooperation between the city and Israel in various fields, primarily in hi-tech agriculture, education, healthcare, water management, tourism, and innovative start-up development.

    He highly valued the scholarships provided by Israel to help Vietnamese experts in water management, rural development, economics, education, and environment.

    HCMCity is applying successfully most of Israel’s technologies, he added.

    He also highlighted the growing relations between the two sides, noting that two-way trade hit nearly one billion USD in 2016. Israel is running 12 projects worth 9.5 million USD in the southern economic hub.

    Phong described Israel as a start-up nation with the developed economy and modern science-technology.

    He hoped the Ambassador will serve as a bridge to connect HCMCity with Israel in wide-ranging fields such as hi-tech agriculture, information-technology, telecommunication, education, water management and share experience in starting a business and establishing a start-up ecosystem.

    Ambassador Eshcar invited Chairman Phong to visit Israel to study the fields of cooperation.

    Since Vietnam and Israel are celebrating the 25th founding anniversary of diplomatic ties in 2018, he hoped HCMCity will support Israel to host celebration activities in the most effective manner.

    The fields that HCMCity wants to strengthen cooperation with Israel are of the country’s strengths, he noted.

    Vietnam News Agency resumes cooperation with Polish counterpart

    The Vietnam News Agency (VNA) and the Polish Press Agency (PAP) have agreed to exchange information and enhance professional cooperation in the time to come, resuming their ties after a long time of interruption.

    A memorandum of understanding (MoU) to this effect was signed by VNA General Director Nguyen Duc Loi and Polish Ambassador to Vietnam Barbara Szymanowska in Hanoi on November 28.

    The signing was witnessed by President Tran Dai Quang and his Polish counterpart Andrzej Duda who is on a State visit to Vietnam from November 27-30.

    Under the MoU, the two agencies will exchange text news, photos and video clips in English, for the purpose of publishing on their news channels.

    They also consented to support each other’s correspondents working in the respective countries.

    The VNA and the PAP first signed a cooperative agreement in 1978. However, the deal is no longer effective due to historical changes.

    The signing of the new document is in line with the VNA’s policy on intensifying international cooperation in order to develop its foreign news services, and to access direct information about Central Europe where the agency has yet to establish a bureau.

    The cooperation also runs along the Party’s and State’s foreign policy on diversifying and multilateralising foreign relations.

    Established in 1918, the PAP is Poland’s largest media agency with about 300 reporters.

    Meanwhile, the State-owned VNA boasts a network of 63 bureaus in all the cities and provinces nationwide and 30 overseas bureaus across five continents.

    With more than 60 media products by more than 1,000 reporters and editors out of its 2,400-strong staff, the VNA is now the media office with the largest number of products in the country: bulletins, photos, television programmes, dailies, weeklies, monthlies, magazines, pictorials, books, TV channel, e-newspapers and information programmes on mobile platforms.

    The agency also delivers news in the largest number of languages. In addition to official Vietnamese-language news provided for domestic and foreign media outlets, stories for foreign service are written in English, Chinese, French and Spanish, not to mention print and e-newspapers in four other languages, namely Lao, Korean, Japanese and Russian.

    Mexico's Labour Party chief hails Vietnam’s development

    Mexico’s Labour Party (PT) chief said the Doi Moi (Renewal) process, initiated in 1986, was a wise decision of the Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV), which helped turn Vietnam from a food importer into one of the world's largest exporters in numerous goods.

    In an interview granted to the Vietnam News Agency in Mexico on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the establishment of relations between the CPV and the PT (November 25), the PT’s National Coordinator Alberto Anaya Gutierrez highlighted Vietnam’s high economic growth rate of over six percent for many years.

    He said Vietnam’s hosting of the recent successful APEC 2017 Economic Leaders' Week demonstrated the progress and prosperity of Vietnam, as well as the increasingly high role and position of Vietnam in the international arena.

    Alberto Anaya expressed his delight at the traditional friendship and cooperation between the PT and the CPV over the past two decades, which contributed to ties between the two governments and mutual understanding between the two peoples.

    He emphasised the results of the cooperation between the two parties, including the establishment of three acupuncture centres in Mexico with the help of Vietnam's CentralAcupunctureHospital, the partnerships in human resource training, printing, and experience exchange in agriculture sector.

    Vietnam and Mexico need to continue promoting all-around relations, he said.

    Illegal sand mining ships to be investigated

    QuảngNamProvince’s functional forces caught six illegal sand mining vessels on ThuBồnRiver across Điện BànTown on Monday, and arrested the persons responsible.

    Lê Phan Minh Mẫn, head of the provincial waterway police team, said that the vessels were operated by Quảng Nam-based Tăng Phúc Hiền, Phạm Còn, Nguyễn Dũng, Phạm Tùng and Nguyễn Sự.

    At the time they were caught, there was 200cu.m of sand found on the ships.

    According to Mẫn, this activity is being continued due to the huge income it brings.

    “This is the most serious case we have ever handled. We seized all vehicles, equipment and fined them at least VNĐ57.5 million (US$253),” he said.

    Hanoi cracks whip on site clearance

    The People’s Committee of Hoàn Kiếm District in Hà Nội has asked local households to quickly hand over their land to an apartment building project by the end of this month.

    The announcement was made on Monday with 11 households in the project’s area having yet to move.

    The site clearance work is set to begin at 8am on November 30.

    In 2011, Hà Nội’s People’s Committee approved the apartment building project on nearly 1,170 square metres connecting between 30A Lý Thường Kiệt and
    33 Hàng Bài Street

    At the time there were 41 households and five State-owned agencies in the area.

    The project aims to replace the old building, which has been downgraded for years.

    The households living in the old building have been offered resettlment in the new one.

    Environmental sanitation campaign launched in HCMCity

    A publicity campaign was launched in Ho Chi Minh City on November 26 to encourage people to keep the city cleaner.

    The programme, part of activities of the World Bank-funded Ho Chi Minh City Environmental Sanitation project will be implemented from 2017 – 2022.

    Nguyen Ngoc Ha, Deputy Director of the project management said the campaign will be conducted on a monthly basis, calling on locals to keep the city clean, particularly along the Nhieu Loc – Thi Nghe canal, thus promoting tourism on the canal.

    As part of the programme, students of local universities will collect garbage and clean Thi Nghe market. Members of the local youth union, police force, associations of women and veterans join in the cleaning campaign, from Thi Nghe bridge to Dien Bien Phu bridge on Hoang Sa and Truong Sa roads.

    Nguyen Si Thi, a member of the Da Kao ward youth union, district 1 hopes that the campaign will help send a message to all people in the city, particularly those living near the Nhieu Loc – Thi Nghe canal, thus encouraging them to keep the city clean.

    The project, worth nearly 20 trillion VND (883.4 million USD), aims to improve the living environment of over 1.2 million people in the targeted areas. The first phase of the project was implemented from 1999 – 2012. The second phase is underway from 2014-2021.

    Under the first phase, a number of flood-proof works were constructed, benefiting 1.2 million people in districts 1, 3, 10, and Phu Nhuan, Tan Binh, Go Vap, and Binh Thanh districts. Wastewater and rainwater was collected in the Nhieu Loc – Thi Nghe basin for treatment and released into the SaigonRiver.

    Upgrades, worth over 554 billion VND (24.47 million USD) were made to Truong Sa and Hoang Sa roads.

    The second phase will focus on recovering the ecosystem and improving environmental sanitation in the basins of the Dong Nai river, Saigon river and Vam Co river.

    A wastewater treatment plant will be built in Thanh My Loi ward, district 2 to collect and treat wastewater from Nhieu Loc – Thi Nghe basin. A similar plant will be built to treat wastewater in the basins of Thao Dien, Nam Thao Dien and Binh Trung Dong – Binh Trung Tay in district 2.
    Quang Ninh hosts forum on reproductive, sexual health

    A forum on reproductive and sexual health and rights of young people was held in Ha Long city, the northern province of Quang Ninh on November 27.

    The event was a sideline activity of the ongoing ninth Asia Pacific conference on reproductive and sexual health and rights (APCRSHP), scheduled for November 28-30.

    Bjorn Andersson, Asia Pacific Regional Director of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), said the conference has the theme “Leave no one behind! Justice in sexual and reproductive health”.

    He underlined the need for investment in reproductive health care and gender education, particularly at primary level, to help children respect each other while improving their communicative skills.

    Legal framework should be developed and enforced to ensure that teenagers and youths are well taken care of in terms of reproductive and sexual health, and that their rights on the issues are fully implemented, according to Bjorn Andersson.

    According to UNFPA, Asia Pacific Region, around 10,000 girls are annually reported dead due to pregnancy-related complications. Some 5.2 million teenagers get pregnant and 6.3 million have sex without contraceptive measures. The region also reports 90,000 new cases of HIV infection.-

    More aid sent to disaster-affected people in Vietnam

    he Vietnam-Republic of Korea (RoK) Friendship Association on November 27 received aid for disaster-affected localities from two Panko Corporation factories.

    The Panko Vina Company in southern Binh Duong province donated 500 million VND (22,010 USD), while the Panko Tam Thang Company in central Quang Nam province provided 100,000 T-shirts.

    The northern provinces of Hoa Binh and Yen Bai will receive 200 million VND and 40,000 T-shirts each, and the central province of Thanh Hoa will be presented with 100 million VND and 20,000 T-shirts.

    President of the RoK-Vietnam Friendship Association Choi Young Joo expressed his hope that these gifts will help locals in disaster-hit areas surmount flood consequences.

    On November 26, the General Union of Vietnamese in France (UGVF) hosted a meal as part of the “Bridge of Love” programme to raise funds for people affected by floods in Thach Dinh and Thach Lam communes of Thanh Hoa province.

    More than 70 overseas Vietnamese and French people raised some 100 million VND (4,402 USD) at the meal.

    Currently, the “Bridge of Love” programme is implementing two projects. The first project aims to provide 100 long-term scholarships for students in Lai Chau and Tien Giang province, while the second looks to raise funds to buy water purifiers for island soldiers.

    The UGVF also plans to establish a rehabilitation centre for children with disabilities in Huong Son district of Ha Tinh province.

    HCM City 1 win, maintain national top spot

    HCM City 1 strengthened their position at the top, beating Việt Nam Coal and Minerals 2-0 in their 14th round match of the National Women’s Football Championship yesterday at Nam Định’s Thiên Trường Stadium.

    Trần Nguyễn Bảo Châu opened the score in the 33rd minute, converting a corner kick into the net with a close-range tap.

    Substitute Tuyết Ngân doubled the result in the 50th minute. Ngân received a ball from a counter-attack. She left all Việt Nam Coal and Minerals’ defenders behind to come face-to-face with goalkeeper Khổng Thị Hằng. A low straight shot by Ngân to the left corner gave Hằng no chance to save her net.

    HCMCity have 39 points, 11 more than closest rivals Hà Nội 1.

    HCM City 1, Hà Nội 1, Việt Nam Coal and Phong Phú Hà Nam are the four teams that have qualified for the semi-finals which will be held on Thursday.

    Vietnamese workers in RoK receive consultations

    Vietnamese agencies held a meeting on November 26 with Vietnamese guest workers in Gwangju city, about 300km west of Seoul, and neighbouring areas, to give them legal consultations and encourage them to return home on schedule.

    Addressing the meeting, the second of its kind this year that drew about 300 workers, Minister Counsellor and Vice Ambassador to the RoK Tran Anh Vu noted that with support from both Vietnam and the RoK, many workers have learned skills and saved money under their working contracts in the RoK.

    He called on the workers to go back to Vietnam on time, thus giving the vacancies to those who wish to work in the RoK.

    Vu also expressed hope to continue receiving coordination from the RoK side and Gwangju province to ensure the legitimate interests of Vietnamese guest workers.

    A representative of Gwangju city lauded the contributions of Vietnamese workers to the growth of the locality and the RoK over the years, while revealing that local authorities have applied strict measures to prevent people working illegally.

    Meanwhile, Le Manh Hung, Vice Director of the Overseas Worker Centre under the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs, said those who return home from the RoK on schedule will have a good chance to work in the RoK again, adding that workers returning from the RoK have also received support from the ministry to seek jobs.

    During the meeting, Vietnamese and RoK authorities also answered questions raised by guest workers related to their interests after returning home on time, as well as legal problems that they counter in the RoK.

    The organisation board also held a contest on Vietnam and RoK law at the event.

    Nearly 50,000 Vietnamese workers are working in the RoK, with about 16,000 of them having stayed after their contracts expired. Gwangju city and neighbouring areas host about 3,000 Vietnamese labourers.

    Photo exhibition takes people on visual tour of Panama

    Images of old and modern Panama are on display at an exhibition entitled ‘Visit Panama’, which opened yesterday in Hà Nội.

    The photos from different locations around Panama, from the past and the present day, invite visitors on a visual tour of the small country in Central America.

    “Panama has become one of the largest countries in terms of transit, tourism and investment in the region,” said Ambassador of Panama to Việt Nam, Servio S Samudio B. “In the part on Old Panama, visitors will appreciate images of the valuable ruins – irrefutable proof reminding us that our beautiful country has a great historical past both in the Pacific where the Old Panama was destroyed and in the Atlantic where our beloved Portobelo was recognised for its famous Ferias during the Pre-Columbian colonial period, and where we received great assistance with visitors of different nationalities since then,” he said.

    “This means that Panama was and will be the centre of the universe as our beloved liberator Simon Bolivar would recognise us since our origin.”

    The part on modern Panama presents photos depicting the country’s economic growth and tourism potential.

    The photos introduce many destinations in Panama such as Bocas del Toro beach on the Caribbean Sea, the coral reef in VereguasProvince and ruins of Santo DomingoChurch constructed in the 17th century.

    People can also contemplate the culture of the country through handicrafts of the indigenous people, and the dances of the Congo and Dirty Devil.

    “In this way we have managed to turn our country into a destination you will not want to miss on your next trip to our American continent,” he said. The exhibition will run until December 1 at Hà Nội University,
    Nguyễn Trãi Street
    , Thanh Xuân District, Hà Nội.

    Waste-to-energy a solution to waste management: experts

    The HCM City People’s Committee on Sunday hosted an investment seminar on its waste-to-energy project.

    Speaking at the event, Đặng Huy Đông, deputy minister of planning and investment, said that burning garbage to produce electricity was similar to coal power technology. Therefore, the city authority has to carefully consider proposals submitted by investors to ensure technical parameters and capacity before signing contracts. Moreover, innovation also needs to be fostered for better environment protection, he said.

    A representative of HCMCity said it plans to call for private sector’s investments instead of allocating the State budget for development projects.

    By funding the project, investors can enjoy the land free for 11 years or a reduction of 70 per cent on land rent. Also, the city will adopt the subsidy policy for incineration generator projects.

    On the occasion, several experts stressed on waste-to-energy as the innovative solution in waste management. International and domestic companies also expressed their interest in the project.

    At present, the daily solid waste in HCMCity is 8,700 tonnes, of which 76 per cent is to be buried and 14.7 per cent is for composite production. Additionally, there are about 2,000 tonnes of industrial waste, 400 tonnes of hazardous waste and 22 tonnes of medical waste. These numbers are expected to rise by 5 to 10 per cent in one year. HCMCity aims to reduce the amount of buried waste to 20 per cent by 2025.

    All project bidding will be publicly organised.

    Exhibition on Hoang Sa, Truong Sa comes to Bac Giang

    Officers and members of the 2nd Corp High Command at the exhibition

    The exhibition titled “Hoang Sa, Truong Sa of  Vietnam: Historical and legal evidence” is taking place at the 2nd Corp High Command in Luc Ngan district of the northern province of Bac Giang.

    The exhibition, organised by the Ministry of Information and Communications from November 24, features evidence affirming that Hoang Sa (Paracel) and Truong Sa (Spratly) archipelagos belong to Vietnam.

    On showcase are documents issued by the Vietnamese feudal regime from the 17th to 20th century and research of Vietnamese and international scholars, along with maps, images and atlases published by other countries, asserting Vietnam’s sovereignty over Hoang Sa and Truong Sa archipelagos.

    The event is part of activities to raise public awareness and responsibility of Vietnamese people, especially youths in protecting the country’s sovereignty over Hoang Sa and Truong Sa.

    Photo exhibition on Vietnam, Laos relations opens in Hanoi

    The Vietnam News Agency (VNA) opened a photo exhibition on the traditional friendship between Vietnam and Laos in Hanoi on November 27.

    The event is part of activities to celebrate the 55th founding anniversary of Vietnam - Laos diplomatic ties, the 40th years of the signing of the Vietnam - Laos Treaty on Amity and Cooperation and Vietnam - Laos Solidarity and Friendship Year 2017.

    The exhibition features more than 100 photos taken by VNA photo journalists, which reflect the special bond of the two countries in the struggle for independence and in each country’s national construction. Photos of President Ho Chi Minh, Lao President Souphanouvong and other leaders of the two countries were also on display.

    Speaking at the event, VNA General Director Nguyen Duc Loi said 2017 is a special milestone in the Vietnam - Laos relationship, as activities have been launched in the two countries as proofs of a special international friendship.

    He noted that bilateral relations have been thriving over the years in all fields, including politics, defence-security, external affairs, economy, trade-investment, education-training and people-to-people exchange.

    Vietnam’s press agencies have contributed to the development of bilateral relations, he added. In January 2018, VNA and Lao News Agency (KPL) will celebrate 50 years of cooperation.

    The event runs until November 30 on
    45 Trang Tien Street
    . A similar exhibition will be held by VNA and KPL in Laos’ capital city of Vientiane in December 2017.

    Deputy Defence Minister receives Russian chief military prosecutor

    Deputy Defence Minister Sen. Lieut. Gen. Le Chiem had a received Deputy Prosecutor General and Chief Military Prosecutor of the Russian Federation Petrov Valery Georgievich in Hanoi on November 27.

    Sen. Lieut. Gen. Chiem lauded the outcomes of the Russian official’s working sessions with Vietnam’s Central Military Procuracy and other military procuracy agencies.

    He expressed his belief that the visit will lay the foundation for new cooperation orientations, contributing to promoting the traditional friendship between people and armies of the two countries.

    He proposed that Vietnam and Russia should continue strengthening ties through increasing delegation exchanges and enhancing defence strategy cooperation and mutual support at multilateral forums, while maintaining win-win technical affiliation.

    The Russian guest said that he hopes in the coming time, the traditional friendship between the two countries in general and military judicial bodies of both sides in particular will be further fostered and developed.

    Poverty reduction – leading task assigned to Ha Giang

    Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc described poverty reduction as the leading political task of the northern mountainous province of Ha Giang.

    At a working session with the Standing Board of the provincial Party Committee on November 27, the PM said although poverty rate in Ha Giang dropped by 5 percent, the number of poor households in the locality has remained high.

    Pointing to shortages and backwardness in local socio-economic infrastructure, along with small economic scale, PM Phuc asked Ha Giang to continue to apply information-technology, build trademarks and seek resources for infrastructure development. 

    At the same time, Ha Giang should make all-out efforts to improve budget contributions, he stressed.

    The leader also asked the province to better spread start-up spirit, strongly restructure the economy and revamp the operational apparatus.

    Taking into account Ha Giang’s proposals, PM Phuc assigned the Ministry of Transport to roll out a plan to mobilise capital for the construction of a route linking Ha Giang with Hanoi-Lao Cai Expressway.

    Earlier, the PM made a field trip to the Thanh Thuy International Border Gate to examine the implementation of export-import procedures and administrative management at the border gate.

    As of October 2017, total export-import turnover via the border gate reached nearly 2.53 million USD, up 266.7 percent year-on-year.

    While in Ha Giang, PM Phuc visited a 110 USD project on milk cow breeding and high-tech milk processing in Phong Quang commune, Vi Xuyen district. Once operational, the project is expected to generate job for thousands of labourers, both directly and indirectly.

    He also visited and presented gifts to a number of families of revolutionary contributors, social beneficiaries and war invalids in Ha Giang city.

    Association of Vietnamese Cambodians in Mondolkiri holds first congress

    The Association of Vietnamese Cambodians in Mondolkiri province of Cambodia held its first congress in Sen Monourom city on November 25.

    At the event, Nguyen Van Duc was elected Chairman of the association’s new eight-member executive board.

    The association agreed on its plans from November 2017 to 2020, with a focus on strengthening cooperation with Mondolkiri province’s authorities, authorities and offices of Vietnamese localities bordering Cambodia and Vietnam’s diplomatic offices in Cambodia.

    Attention will be also paid to social and charitable activities, and to help children learn not only Khmer but also Vietnamese language.

    The executive board pledged to soon rent a space to open a Vietnamese language class.

    Speaking at the event, Chairman of the General Association of Vietnamese Cambodians Chau Van Chi asked the association to connect overseas Vietnamese in Mondolkiri.

    He also expressed his hope that the Vietnamese community here will abide by Cambodia’s law and follow the customs of Khmer people.

    There are about 100 Vietnamese households in Mondolkiri province.

    Fatherland Front leader visits Long Xuyen diocese ahead of Christmas

    President of the Vietnam Fatherland Front Tran Thanh Man extended Christmas greetings to Catholic dignitaries and followers in the diocese of Long Xuyen in the Mekong Delta province of An Giang on November 26.

    Visiting the Long Xuyen Bishop’s Palace, Man offered congratulations to Bishop Tran Xuan Tieu and Vice Bishop Tran Van Toan of the Long Xuyen diocese, along with local dignitaries and followers.

    He expressed his delight that Catholic dignitaries and followers in the diocese have maintained solidarity, adhered to the Party and State’s policies and law, and engaged in patriotic emulation movements like new-style rural area building, charity work, and poverty reduction.

    The official expressed his hope that dignitaries of the diocese will continue encouraging Catholics to take part in more social activities and patriotic emulation movements.

    Bishop Tieu appreciated the Party, State and An Giang administration’s support for local Catholic followers’ religious practice.

    He added that Long Xuyen diocese will continue encouraging followers to maintain solidarity, comply with the Party and State’s policies and law, and participate in patriotic emulation movements.

    PM believes investors will help turn Ha Giang into well-off province

    Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc appreciated the presence of investors in an investment promotion conference of Ha Giang on November 27, noting that they will greatly help to develop the northernmost province of Vietnam into a well-off locality.

    In his speech, the Government leader expressed his belief that investors will overcome every challenge and reap the rewards in Ha Giang.

    “What you have done today will not only help improve livelihoods and living standards of local ethnic people and but also create breakthrough development in this remote border region in the future,” he said.

    Good business models and inclusive investment projects that can create sustainable jobs and income for locals are what local authorities target as they are also key to the development of the whole northwestern region, including Ha Giang, in the time ahead, he added.

    He asked provincial authorities to persist in building an incorruptible and growth-enabling administration that support businesses. They need to minimise unreasonable business expenses so as to help enterprises increase labour efficiency and gain sustainable profits, thereby enhancing Ha Giang’s attractiveness to investors.

    “Ha Giang’s competitiveness ranking must be promoted in the coming time, which is an urgent requirement for the province’s political system and public employees,” PM Phuc said.

    With regard to tourism, he said the province is completely able to attract tourists all year round. To do that, it needs to step up popularising local images and identities, develop community-based tourism, and revive and bring into play cultural values of traditional festivals. Ha Giang should also boost manpower training to meet demand for exploration tourism, leisure, agriculture and herbal farming.

    He suggested the province expand ecological and clean agricultural production, apply high technology in agricultural production and processing, and build and upgrade agricultural brand names.

    The Government will do its utmost to provide favourable conditions for Ha Giang to develop strongly, PM Phuc promised.

    Ha Giang, which is home to Dong Van Karst Plateau UNESCO Global Geopark and 19 ethnic groups, aims to become a key tourism area by 2020.

    Secretary of the provincial Party Committee Trieu Tai Vinh said Ha Giang is determined to have active and effective integration in the fourth industrial revolution. It has also offered some incentives for businesses investing in the province such as supporting a maximum of 15 billion VND (662,500 USD) for each herbal material processing factory and 10 billion VND (441,700 USD) for each feed factory.

    At the conference, the local administration introduced 26 investment projects worth 16.1 trillion VND (711.1 million USD) in total. It pledged to work to enable investors to quickly launch these projects soon.

    Scholarships presented to students in flood hit regions

    The Vu A Dinh Scholarship Fund on November 27 held a ceremony to present scholarships to students of ethnic groups and children of naval soldiers and fishermen in the central coastal province of Phu Yen who were severely affected by storm Damrey.

    Accordingly, each of a total of 140 students received a gift set and a scholarship totalling 1 million VND (44 USD).

    Addressing the ceremony, former Vice President Truong My Hoa, who is Chairwoman of the Fund, expressed her sympathy to the students over losses due to the storm.

    She noted that over the years, the Vu A Dinh Scholarship Fund and the “For beloved Hoang Sa-Truong Sa” Club established by the fund have presented thousands of grants to students nationwide, especially those of ethnic groups and from islands.

    More support of the fund will come to students in Binh Dinh, Quang Nam and Quang Ngai provinces in the coming time, Hoa added.

    Damrey, the 12th storm in the East Sea this year, made landfall in Vietnam on November 4 with winds of up to 135 km/hour, 50 km south of Nha Trang (Khanh Hoa province), and became one of the worst storms to strike Vietnam’s southern coastal region in years.

    The typhoon and subsequent floods claimed 89 lives and left 18 missing and 174 others injured in central and Central Highlands localities as of November 7.

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  • 11/28/17--20:48: Article 2

    Market economy to drive Vietnam’s growth 

    Market economy to drive Vietnam’s growth, Vietnam promotes Vietnamese brands in RoK, Footwear exports enjoy 13 percent rise during Jan-Oct, Sabeco towering over stock market  

    Next year is expected to bring a flurry of stock listings by Vietnam`s state-owned enterprises -- a development symbolized the country`s shift from a government-led economy to one powered by market principles.

    The "new driving force of Vietnam is the acknowledgment that the state will not mobilize or distribute or regulate resources, but direct [companies] via policies," Nguyen Duy Hung, chairman and chief executive of Saigon Securities, said on Nov. 15 at the Nikkei Asian Review Forum in Hanoi

    Already, the government's changing approach is encouraging companies to be more proactive about expanding their businesses, spurring positive changes in the economy that will promote a better environment for both local and foreign investors.

    While the government has moved to allow greater foreign ownership and is pushing its approximately 700 SOEs to list, the pace of initial public offerings has been slow so far.

    Progress is expected to pick up in 2018, however, as the government is warning there will be consequences for those in charge of state companies that miss the deadline for restructuring and equitization.

    Shosuke Mori, deputy head of international banking at Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp., noted that the SOE sector has seen slower growth than the private sector and foreign-owned companies in Vietnam. "I think SOE reform will be the key in driving the evolution of the Vietnam economy," Mori said.

    A number of forum participants from Vietnamese companies said they have had positive experiences welcoming overseas shareholders. Vietnam Airlines Chairman Pham Ngoc Minh said its Japanese partner, ANA Holdings, "satisfied all criteria" for an investor. ANA holds an 8.8% share, and the strategic partnership can "support Vietnam Airlines’ expansion and growth," Minh said.

    Nguyen Quoc Khanh, executive director of research and development at Vietnam Dairy Products (Vinamilk), said the company will "improve itself in every field" to attract investors. Vinamilk was the first in the country to completely remove limitations on foreign ownership, paving the way for international investors to hold more than 58% at present. Large shareholders include Singapore-based peer Fraser and Neave.

    Following a successful second auction of Vinamilk shares in early November, the State Capital Investment Corp. began to inform potential investors of the divestment procedures for its four blue chip companies, including information technology player FPT and Tien Phong Plastic.

    Nguyen Quang Dung, the deputy CEO of Vietnam National Petroleum Corp., or Petrolimex, hailed a partnership the company forged last year with Japan's JX Nippon Oil & Energy. The two sides are working closely in numerous areas, including corporate management and market development, he said.

    In the background of all this is the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement, to which Vietnam is a party. Saigon Securities' Hung said the TPP negotiations have prompted domestic companies to adhere to international business standards, further improving the environment for investors from abroad.

    Meanwhile, Pham Hong Son, vice chairman of the State Securities Commission of Vietnam, said his organization is planning to launch bond futures at the local stock exchange. "Besides covered warrants products to be launched later this year, we are planning to launch government bond futures next year," said Son during his opening speech at the forum. This follows the opening of the derivatives market at the Hanoi Stock Exchange in August this year.

    Vietnam city proposes subsidizing airlines flying to local airport

    The administration of a city in southern Vietnam has suggested using state money to provide subsidy to airlines opening new routes to its unmarketable airport.

    The proposal has been submitted to the municipal People’s Council for review and approval.

    According to the proposal, all airlines opening new routes to the Can Tho International Airport will be subsidized based on ticket price.

    Specifically, passengers flying from the airport would enjoy an airfare of just 70% the normal cost, with the remaining 30% paid for by the city.

    The subsidy is expected to encourage local and foreign airlines to open new routes to the airport, which is operating well below its design capacity of five million passengers a year.

    Located in Can Tho’s Binh Thuy District, Can Tho International Airport was upgraded from the former TraNocAirport between 2006 and 2011 with a view to boosting the Mekong Delta’s economy as well as improving defense, security and international integration.

    Can Tho is considered the economic hub of the delta.

    However, airlines have been reluctant to operate flights to the airport due to low demand, as it sits only 180 kilometers away from the busy TanSonNhatInternationalAirport in Ho Chi Minh City.

    Airlines eligible for the planned subsidy must be committed to operating at least three flights weekly for domestic routes and at least two flights weekly for international routes.

    All routes must be available for a period of at least three years.

    According to the administration of Can Tho, the airport is expected to welcome over 612,000 passengers in 2017, which is only about 20% of its current maximum capacity.

    Despite being an international airport, it currently serves predominantly domestic routes, including those to and from Hanoi, Phu Quoc, ConIsland and Da Nang.

    The only international route between Can Tho and Taipei is only available during the Lunar New Year travel season.

    Formosa exceeds emission limit after raising capacity for evaluation

    Recent reports of emissions exceeding the permissible amount at Formosa steel mills in north-central Ha Tinh Province were the result of a raised capacity to evaluate the company’s emission treatment system, Vietnam’s Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MONRE) has said.

    The ministry gave the explanation on November 25 following rumors that the Taiwanese steel business was once again bringing harm to Vietnam’s environment.

    Hung Nghiep Formosa Ha Tinh Steel Co. Ltd., or Formosa for short, is the Vietnamese steel business of Taiwan’s Formosa Plastics Group.

    Last June, the firm’s top executives admitted wrongdoing and pledged a hefty monetary compensation of US$500 million after wastewater from its factories was found responsible for mass fish deaths along the central coast of Vietnam two months earlier.

    Formosa has been allowed to continue doing business in Vietnam regardless, though with increased monitoring and inspections by local authorities to ensure such incidents never repeat.

    In a statement released on November 25, MONRE acknowledged that some readings on Formosa’s emissions had exceeded the permissible amount recently.

    Specifically, the sulfur dioxide (SO2) and nitrogen oxides (NOx) levels in Formosa’s emissions were above the standards at some points.

    However, such incidents were due to the company raising its capacity above the usual level to inspect and evaluate the emission treatment system.

    According to the ministry, responsible authorities have kept a close watch on the company’s operations and emissions since the scandal last year, and so far have found no violation of environmental standards.

    A US$100 million SO2 and NOx treatment system is being installed at its steel plants, with the completion date scheduled for June 2019.

    In the meantime, the company is obliged to use clean fuel to power its mills to make sure no air contaminants are produced and emitted to the environment.

    The ministry also dismissed claims that it was drafting a new set of environmental standards to legalize Formosa’s emissions.

    Vietnam promotes Vietnamese brands in RoK

    Vietnam-Republic of Korea trade ties are flourishing with trade revenue growing from US$500 million in 1992 to US$45 billion in September this year. But the number of Vietnamese brands in Korea remains small.

    Trung Nguyen coffee is the only Vietnamese product widely distributed in the Republic of Korea. Other brands like Trung Thanh chili sauce and Nam Ngu fish sauce are only sold here and there in smaller shops.

    Do Kim Lang, Deputy Director of the Trade Promotion Department of the Ministry of Industry and Trade, said Vietnam has 90 enterprises recognized as national brands. But they still pay little attention to promoting their brands globally. Most Vietnamese businesses are small and medium-sized businesses that export products with little added value.

    Le An Hai, Deputy Director of the Asian–African Market Department, urged Vietnamese businesses to learn Korean food safety, product quality, and trademark registration in order to secure a firm foothold in the Korean market.

    Hai said “We have to export our products through Korean distributors, who have their own standards and requirements in design and packing. Securing a market share in the Korean market depends on the competence of each company.”

    Pham Duy Khuong, Director of SB Law, a law firm specializing in intellectual property, said “Domestic enterprises should increase their market study and professional evaluation. We need legal experts who will help us check and verify legal issues with our trading partners and whether our trademark and packing meets the host country’s standards.”

    Vietnam products introduced at Prague International Christmas Fair

    A full range of Vietnam’s traditional products like silk cloth, fine arts and handicrafts, healthy drinks and special dishes were introduced at the International Christmas Fair on November 26 in Prague, the CzechRepublic.

    The annual event organized by the Diplomatic Spouses' Association (DSA) in the Czech Republic aims to raise funds for charitable activities in the resident country.  This year’s fair provided an opportunity for visitors to buy special and unique products and savour traditional food of 48 countries from across the world.

    Myung-Ji Suh, Korean Ambassador’s wife and DSA president, said since 2000, the Association has donated 66 million CKZ to charity programs in the Czech Republic through the fair, making such an event become more well known to the international public.

    She said she hopes that the event will help bring different cultures closer towards tightening friendships among countries and promoting humanitarian activities in support of unprivileged people in society.

    The organizers said around 30 charity projects will receive aid from the DSA in the coming time. Last year roughly 2.8 million CKZ (VND2.8 billion) was allocated to 34 programs.

    Distinguished businesswoman sets shining example of patriotism

    Hoang Thi Minh Ho, wife of patriotic businessman Trinh Van Bo, passed away on November 5 at 104, was a great patriotic spirit, dedicated to the nation.

    Hoang Thi Minh Ho was born in the capital city to a Confucian scholar and wealthy merchant in the early 20th century. Her husband, Trinh Van Bo, was the son of Trinh Phuc Loi, also a well-known merchant.

    In 1932, Trinh Van Bo married Hoang Thi Minh Ho. Together, they leveraged their inherited silk store to even greater prosperity. The couple showed great generosity to disadvantaged people and they were totally dedicated to the revolution. 

    Responding to a Gold Week launched by the government in the early days of the 1945 August Revolution, they donated more than 5,000 tael of gold equivalent to more than US$8 million at the current rate and mobilized another 1,000 tael of gold from other businesses in Hanoi.  During the catastrophic famine of 1945, Ho’s family donated money and delivered porridge to starving people on the streets. 

    90-year-old Dinh Quang Thieu of Dong Da district, Hanoi, recalled “At that time, we had absolute confidence in President Ho Chi Minh. Everyone voluntarily responded to his appeal to contribute to the revolution. Ho’s family’s generous donations showed their patriotism and devotion to the nation”.  

    During the struggle against the French colonialists, Ho and Bo received a delegation from the interim Government, who travelled from the Viet Bac military base to their house at
    48 Hang Ngang street
    , Hanoi, to lead the 1945 Revolution. At that time, the couple did not know the delegation, which included President Ho Chi Minh and several senior officials of the Government. In this house, President Ho Chi Minh wrote the Declaration of Independence establishing the Democratic Republic of Vietnam. Later, Ho and her husband donated the house to the government as a historical relic site.

    Nguyen Xuan Ha, Ho’s daughter in law, said: “For my mom, money is not too important. She said giving creates happiness”. 

    Mr. Trinh Van Bo passed away in 1988. Bo and his wife were awarded the Order of Independence, first class, by the State.

    A street
    in Cau Giay District, Hanoi, will be named for Trinh Van Bo.

    Youngsters show off talent in performing Cai Luong 

    A national competition on performing reformed opera and drama for young artists took place in Dong Nai province recently drawing 20 art troupes nationwide. The contest created an opportunities for the young performers to show off their talents and preserve the traditional art form.

    Art troupes from Long An, Tien Giang, Can Tho, Dong Thap, Ca Mau, Bac Lieu and Kien Giang province were among the contestants.

    Performing three excerpts, 4 young artists of the Huong Tram troupe of Ca Mau province were highly applauded by both judges and the audience for their excellent, and emotional performing skills. 

    Artist Quoc Tin of Head of the troupe said "We tried our best to enable young artists to demonstrate their talent. 2 of our contestants were newly recruited and don’t have experience. But we want them to participate in the contest to learn experience from other artists from across the country.”

    Emeritus Artist Dinh Minh Man, Head of the Dong Thap troupe, said that they set up a new play for the contestants while senior artists played supporting roles. 

    “We invited some Emeritus artists to the play to assist the young ones. Emeritus Artists Trong Duong and Hai Yen played supporting roles for young artists”, said MrMan.

    Performances of the Tay Do troupe province received much applause from judges thanks to their thorough preparation. 

    Director of Tay Do Theater Hong Quoc Khanh said "Our young artists received good comments that made them very happy. But to be honest artists of other troupes are much better than us because they perform more regularly. This contest created an opportunity for our artists to gain more experience.”

    Organizing the contest, the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism hopes to honor artists with outstanding achievements, creativity, and talent.

    Footwear exports enjoy 13 percent rise during Jan-Oct

    The export turnover of Vietnamese footwear products hit 11.82 billion USD in the first ten months of 2017, up 13 percent year-on-year.

    Exports to Indonesia recorded the highest growth, at 53 percent, followed by Singapore (45 percent), Hungary (34 percent), India (33.7 percent) and Poland (33 percent).

    The Vietnam Leather, Footwear and Handbag Association predicted that the footwear sector’s production will enjoy a growth rate of 5 percent this year compared to last year, while the export value of footwear and handbags will reach nearly 18 billion USD, or a 10-percent rise a year-on-year.

    Vietnam is aiming for 24-26 billion USD in leather, footwear and handbag exports by 2020, 35-38 billion USD by 2025 and 50-60 billion USD by 2035.

    Sabeco towering over stock market

    The value of Saigon Beer, Alcohol, and Beverage Company (Sabeco)’s shares flew to a new record, surpassing VND300,000 ($13.21) apiece to become the largest value ticker on the Vietnamese stock exchanges.

    According to information published by the Ho Chi Minh City Stock Exchange (HoSE), as of half of the transaction session on November 27, the value of Sabeco shares reached VND319,000 ($14.09), increasing its capitalisation to VND200 trillion ($8.8 billion).

    Being a point of extreme interest among investors, the state divestment from Sabeco has been accelerated after the Ministry of Industry and Trade asked the HoSE to organise roadshows in Singapore and the UK.

    Within the framework of the roadshows, a representative of Sabeco would provide general information about the corporation, its manufacturing system, subsidiaries, distribution network, its financial potential (through the financial reports from the past three years), as well as its plans to develop after being equitised.

    Accordingly, on November 24, the roadshow was organised in Singapore and the next roadshow is in the UK today.

    Back to Sabeco’s share value, it is not the first time that Sabeco’s shares are pushing records. Previously, on the first transaction day on December 6, 2016, Sabeco’s shares increased by the ceiling set by the HoSE. Notably, from a reference price of VND110,000 ($4.9), the ticker opened the day already at VND132,000 ($5.84), a 20 per cent increase from the get-go. 

    After eight transaction sessions, Sabeco’s shares increased to VND211,500 ($9.40), up 92.3 per cent from the launch.

    Divesting the state’s ownership in Sabeco has drawn in investors by the droves, especially foreigners. To date, several foreign breweries have admitted to eyeing Sabeco since it was earmarked for equitisation, such as San Miguel, Heineken, SABMiller, Thai Beverage Public Company Limited (Thai Beverage), Japanese Asahi Group Holdings Ltd., and Kirin Holdings Co.

    Sabeco is the largest brewer in Vietnam. The firm currently owns 24 manufacturing plants with a total designed capacity of 1.8 billion litres per year, 20 of which are in operation, while the remaining four are expected to come into operation in the near future.

    Mixed-use development boom in Vietnam’s cities

    During the last 10 months, Vietnam continued to see strong interest from developers for large-scale, mixed-use projects with residential components in major cities.

    In mid-November, Singapore-based CapitaLand announced that it paid $38 million to acquire a new residential project located in Ho Chi Minh City’s District 4. This acquisition is CapitaLand’s 11th project in Vietnam so far.

    According to Chen Lian Pang, CEO of CapitaLand Vietnam, 2017 has so far been a record year in terms of growth for CapitaLand in Vietnam, with home sales in the year’s first nine months surpassing those of fiscal year 2016 by close to 50 per cent.

    “Beyond the residential market, we have made strategic inroads and expanded our footprint in the country with prime assets in gateway cities,” Chen said.

    In September, VinaLand Limited – the real estate investment arm of Vietnam-based asset manager VinaCapital – transferred its stake in VinaSquare, a mixed-use 3.1-hectare development site in Ho Chi Min City’s District 5, to Tri Duc Real Estate for $41.2 million.

    In addition, its 182ha My Gia, one of the largest township projects in the central city of Nha Trang, was also unloaded by VinaLand for over $11 million.

    In August, Anpha Holdings, a Vietnamese real estate development firm, acquired nearly 100 per cent of Nova Galaxy, a subsidiary of the listed developer Novaland.

    In Hanoi, Growing Sun Investment acquired the 4.2ha Diamond Rice Flower complex project from the listed company Kinh Bac City Group.

    In a similar move, FLC Group won a bid for the land-use rights of the 6.4ha DM1 land plot, located in South Tu Liem district, for nearly $38 million. They plan to build townhouses, villas, and apartments on the parcel.

    According to a recent report released by Savills Vietnam, the Vietnamese property market is trending upward, across all sectors, with a particularly positive outlook for the office-space sector.

    With strengthening demand on the back of healthy foreign direct investment and robust GDP growth, Savills Vietnam expects to see extremely low vacancy rates across all office grades, with average rental growth exceeding 8 per cent per annum in the next three years.

    Vikram Kohli, executive director of Business Operations and Strategy at CBRE Southeast Asia, said that the real estate market in Vietnam will remain a destination for foreign investment – especially from APEC members – in the coming time.

    “For developed countries like Japan, South Korea, and Singapore, the profits from real estate projects are not as attractive as they are in emerging countries. Therefore, investors in more developed countries are willing to diversify their portfolios in emerging markets like Vietnam,” Kohli said, adding that the Vietnamese government has recently enacted a policy to encourage foreign investors to join the local market through mergers and acquisitions (M&As).

    However, in order to make the M&A market in real estate more attractive to foreigners, there needs to be more product diversity to provide foreign investors with more choice. 

    Furthermore, increased transparency and legal protection for contracts are also needed to properly develop the M&A real estate market, which has seen increased participation from foreign developers in Japan, South Korea, and Singapore

    These buyers are interested in large-scale mixed-use developments comprised of apartments, serviced apartments, retail, and office space in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City.

    Major expos to promote Vietnamese supporting industries

    Vietnam Hardware & Hand Tools 2017 will take place on December 6-9 in Ho Chi Minh City and is expected to drive the Vietnamese supporting industries forward.

    According to Do Phuoc Tong, chairman of the Ho Chi Minh City Association of Mechanical and Electrical Enterprises, the on-going expansion of multinational corporations in the manufacturing sector has facilitated the development of the domestic supporting industries in recent years. A growing number of local firms have seized the chance to join global supply chain networks.

    Vietnam has given priority to investment in the supporting industry with a view to developing the manufacturing sector and contributing to the country’s industrialisation and modernisation process. Thus, the expo will be a practical and efficient playground for local and foreign enterprises to explore new opportunities in the hardware and hand tools industry,” he said.

    This year, the exhibition will welcome 250 enterprises from 20 different countries and territories. It will cover an area of 5,000 square metres at Saigon Exhibition & Convention Centre (SECC). The four-day event is expected to attract 6,000 visitors.

    Vietnam Hardware & Hand Tools 2017 focuses on four main sectors, including tools and DIY, building hardware, fasteners and security solutions, locks and fittings. The expo will be an effective commercial connection programme to bridge the gap between sellers and buyers as well as give buyers a chance to approach new technology and products.

    Along with Vietnam Hardware & Hand Tools 2017, another mega exhibition known as Vietnam Expo 2017 will be hosted at SECC from December 6 to 9. The expo is a major trade promotion channel between Vietnam and other countries in the world.

    With the participation of 750 companies from 16 countries and territories, Vietnam Expo 2017 will showcase a plethora of products, including electronics, electrics, tech devices, and equipment and accessories. Manufacturing machines, construction materials, tools and hand tools, interior and outdoor decorations, food, beverages, and cosmetics will be on ample display.

    The expo also features a series of conferences and programmes, such the Vietnamese-Chinese mechanical engineering exchange programme, a seminar on economic, trade and investment co-operation in China’s three provinces of Beijing, Tianjin, and Hebei, as well as a workshop on opportunities and challenges for Vietnam’s supporting industries in the context of Industrial Revolution 4.0.

    Italian businesses seeking partnerships

    The Italian Business Mission to Vietnam 2017 will bring more than 70 Italian firms and 150 delegates representing world-leading Italian brands and businesses to meet with Vietnamese counterparts to seek business opportunities and strengthen ties between the two countries.

    Led by Mr. Ivan Scalfarotto, Deputy Minister of Economic Development, the Italian Business Mission 2017 is organized by the Italian Trade Commission (ITC), the Italian Confederation of Industries (Confidustria), and the Italian Banks’ Association (ABI). Events will be held in Hanoi on November 27 and 28 and in Ho Chi Minh City on November 29.

    Economic cooperation is a central pillar in Italy-Vietnam ties. Bilateral trade has achieved significant outcomes and increased ten-fold over the last decade, reaching over $4.6 billion in 2016 and making Italy Vietnam’s third-largest business partner in Europe.

    Bilateral trade and cooperation are still growing steadily as officials from both countries have been actively focusing on fostering trade and investment relations to provide better access to the market in each country.

    “Vietnam is an important market with the key traditional and developing sectors of footwear, textiles, building materials, and foodstuff, and is now escalating to more sustainable industries such as renewable energy and smart infrastructure,” said Mr. Paolo Lemma, Italian Trade Commissioner in Vietnam.

    “Italian companies consider Vietnam a perfect gateway to accessing ASEAN markets. They are also increasingly interested in Vietnam as an emerging market in the region, with promising potential for investment and trade.”

    This year’s Business Mission includes roundtables on the following three focus sectors: infrastructure and transportation, power generation and renewable energy, and machinery and technology. A major highlight of the Mission is the Vietnam-Italy Business Forum on November 28, where all delegates will have the chance to hear keynote speeches from Mr. Scalfarotto and presentations by representatives from Vietnam’s Ministry of Industry and Trade as well as the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI).

    Vietnamese companies who are already doing business with Italian counterparts or seeking new ones are encouraged to register for the event, particularly the two business-to-business (B2B) meetings in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City.

    The last Italian Business Mission to Vietnam took place in 2014, which successfully established more than 1,000 B2B meetings.

    Retail industry aims at 15.5 percent GDP by 2025

    The Ministry of Industry and Trade has issued a commerce development strategy by 2025, setting up the target that retail field will contribute to 15.5 percent of the country’s Gross Domestic Product by 2025.

    The retail trade revenue will reach VND419 trillion (US$18.44 billion) by 2020 and VND700 trillion ($31 billion) by 2025.

    According to the strategy, total retail sale of goods and services will post the annual growth rate of 13 percent to approximate VND5.8 trillion by 2020, jumping to 14 percent to hit VND11 trillion in the phase of 2021-2025.

    The country now has 8,660 traditional markets where goods volume accounts for 35-40 percent.

    Modern retail channel has strongly developed with the establishment of supermarket chains and convenient stores. The network of supermarkets and trade centers last year hiked 2.1 times compared to 2006, present in 62 out of 63 provinces and cites in the country.

    Vietnam beer hits Israel supermarket shelves

    Saigon beer has been recommended to customers at the first Asia food fair in Tel Aviv, Israel by Israel’s leading sales and distribution company for global consumer brands, cosmetics and food, the Rakuto Diplomat International.

    The fair held in mid-November aims to promote food and drink from India, Thailand, Japan, Tibet (China), the Republic of Korea, and Vietnam.

    President and CEO of Diplomat, Roni Bornstein said he was impressed by the showcased Vietnamese products. The company decided to import Saigon beer into Israel because of its best quality and beautiful design.

    Diplomat had spent two years persuading Israel management agencies to allow the import of Saigon beer. Currently all labels of Saigon beer are printed in Hebrew language according to Koser standards, said Mr Bornstein.

    He revealed that the first batch of Saigon beer imported into the country had been sold out at the fair.

    Vietnamese Ambassador to Israel Cao Hoang Quoc Hai said to help Saigon beer enter the market, the embassy was actively accelerating the completion of import procedures and product promotion.

    The fair provided a good chance for Vietnam to advertise its beverage industry in Israel and help local businesses and customers access Vietnamese famous food and drink, said ambassador Hai.

    Vietnam attends Sirha trade fair in Istanbul

    Sixteen Vietnamese businesses have showcased their agricultural products like rice, cinnamon, cashew nuts, pepper and coffee at the Sirha trade fair in Istanbul, Turkey.

    At the opening ceremony on November 16, Vietnamese Ambassador Pham Anh Tuan spoke highly of domestic businesses’ efforts to help Vietnam farm products enter Turkey. He encouraged them to strengthen connectivity to boost exports to the potential market. 

    vietnam attends sirha trade fair in istanbul hinh 1 During the fair on November 16-17, Vietnamese businesses joined a Business-to-Business (B2B) forum co-organized by the Vietnam Trade Office and the Foreign Economic Relations Board of Turkey (DEIK). Some of them succeeded in signing trade deals at the event. 

    vietnam attends sirha trade fair in istanbul hinh 2 Ambassador Pham Anh Tuan held a working session with DEIK president Nail Opak, who affirmed that DEIK will serve as a bridge to further foster economic cooperation between the two countries.

    Mr Tuan expressed his hope that DEIK and the embassy continue to regularly exchange information to further promote their roles in supporting businesses of both sides.

    Sembcorp increases stake in VSIPPL

    Sembcorp Industries’ wholly-owned subsidiary Sembcorp Development has entered into a sale and purchase agreement that will increase its interest in Vietnam Singapore Industrial Park Pte., Ltd. from 92.9 to 96.6 per cent.

    According to the firm's press release, the share acquisition in Vietnam Singapore Industrial Park Pte., Ltd. (VSIPPL) from a minority shareholder is expected to be completed by the end of November 2017. The total purchase consideration of $6.9 million was calculated based on the net asset value of VSIPPL as of September 30, 2017.

    VSIPPL represents the Singaporean consortium which holds a 51 per cent stake in Vietnam Singapore Industrial Park Joint Venture Co., the developer of VietnamSingaporeIndustrial Park projects in Vietnam.

    The acquisition will be funded internally and is not expected to have a material impact on the earnings per share and net asset value per share of Sembcorp Industries for the financial year ending on December 31, 2017

    Since 1996, Sembcorp has been a partner to the Vietnamese government to create integrated townships and industrial parks in the country that are complete work-live-play environments. There are seven VSIPs in Vietnam's southern, northern, and central regions.

    These projects uniquely integrate industrial, commercial, and residential solutions localised to suit the demands of Vietnam's rapid urbanisation and industrialisation.

    Fibre segment to beat $3-billion export target

    Bypassing the concerns that the application of anti-dumping tariffs in some export markets might cast a negative impact on export performance, the fibre sector is solid on its way to beat the 2017 export value of $3.1 billion.

    According to preliminary figures from the Vietnam Textile and Apparel Association (Vitas), Vietnam raked in $2.8 billion from fibre exports in the first ten months of this year, a 23 per cent jump on-year.

    As the fibre sector is encountering anti-dumping tariffs in some major export markets like Turkey, India, and Brazil, this outcome proves encouraging.

    According to Vitas chairman Vu Duc Giang, after Turkey imposed anti-dumping tariffs on several types of export fibre, such as draw textured yarn (DTY) and synthetic fibre in 2016, local export firms have been successful in finding alternative markets, which was the factor behind the more than 20 per cent jump in the fibre sector’s ten-month export value.

    Soi The Ky JSC (STK), a major player in the local fibre industry, is one of the businesses whose export operations were affected by Turkey’s tax imposition, as the company had exported DTY there.

    Via effective market expansion activities, in the first nine months of this year the company reaped VND1.45 trillion ($66 million) in total export value, a big jump compared to the VND972 billion ($44 million) it posted in 2016’s similar period.

    The company’s net revenue rose by VND206 billion ($9.3 million) in 2017’s third quarter alone, up 67 per cent on-year.

    According to an STK source, the company’s soaring revenue came on the back of effective sales promotion activities, particularly successes in finding new markets and customers.

    With such upbeat results, STK is confident in reaching the full-year revenue and after-tax profit targets of VND1.9 trillion ($87 million) and VND87 billion ($3.9 million) by the end of the year.

    The Vietnamese fibre sector has carved itself a place in the global fibre map and is well positioned to compete with big foreign rivals like India, China, Turkey, and Middle Eastern countries on equal footing.

    The export prospects of local businesses in the rest of the year and next year are forecast to be bright.

    According to Nguyen Minh Dao, head of the Fibre Business Department of Vinatex Nam Dinh Spinning Factory, a member of state textile and garment conglomerate Vinatex, with a monthly export value averaging at $1.1 million, they are confident in reaching 2017’s export target of $15 million.

    For a plant which only commenced operations a little over a year ago, not having unsold stock and counting stable export value is deemed as fair business results.  

    Why to enter Vietnamese fruit processing market now

    The Vietnamese fruit industry has been steadily growing in recent years, however, there remains much place for development by applying new technology in production to enhance added value for processed products, grow the share of sustainable profit, and meet domestic and international demand.

    According to data from the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) released at the seminar on Vietnam's fruit processing market and technology on November 21, 2017 in Hanoi, with growth across various segments, Vietnamese fruit production and export value has been continuously growing in recent years: from several hundred million dollars per year to over $1.07 billion in 2013 and reaching $2.458 billion in 2016, the first time exceeding rice exports ($2 billion), and for the first time accounting for more than 80 per cent of total export value.

    In the first ten months of 2017, the export value of fruits reached $2.48 billion, an increase of 47.3 per cent over the same period in 2016. Major fruit export products include dragon fruit (about $900 million in 2016), banana, rambutan, longan, litchi, mango, mangosteen, and durian.

    Major fruit and vegetable import markets continued to grow in value: from 13 markets importing over $1 million in 2004 to 10 markets over $20 million in 2016. Aside from China, which is the largest market (accounting for 70.8 per cent of total fruit exports), growing volumes have been exported to high-demand markets, such as the US, Korea, Japan, the Netherlands, Malaysia, Taiwan, Thailand, Singapore, and Australia.

    However, with the global import value of vegetables and fruits being in excess of $200 billion per year since 2011, Vietnam’s export value is less than 1 per cent of the world market.

    In additional, the main exports of Vietnam are fresh fruit, which has lower value and many technical barriers to trade, such as phytosanitary requirements, quick expiration dates, and short fruit life because of limited technology.

    “Fruit production and processing in Vietnam is also facing difficulties and challenges due to the small scale of producers and the decentralised production taking place all over the country with little to no linkeages. The quality and productivity of fruit is low, the application of technical equipment is not synchronised, lost harvest is large, the processing technology is not updated, and a far smaller volume of processed food products are exported than fresh fruits. The high cost of transportation (by air) and no brand in the market lead to low added value and low competitiveness of Vietnamese fruit products,” asserted Nguyen Nhu Cuong, deputy director general of the Department of Crop Production at MARD, at the seminar on Vietnam's fruit processing market and technology on November 21, 2017 in Hanoi.

    It is necessary to continue promoting the application of science and technology to fruit production in order to increase productivity, yield, and improve quality, which would ensure food safety and reduce postharvest losses. Additionally the development of preservation and deep-processing technology for fruit products would increase production value as well as expand markets, raising export volume and value on traditional and new markets alike.

    There are two pieces of high-technology for fruit processing to help enterprises in Vietnam to develop fruit processing lines and access higher added-value market segments. Bertuzzi’s technology helps to increase product quality and output efficiency through the use of specialised machinery and equipment that are suitable for any type of fruit. Hiperbaric applied high pressure processing (HPP) helps to keep the whole nutritive value as well as the taste of pure fruit juice and increase the expiry date of products.

    Vietnam grows the most diversified types of fruit that I know, especially tropical fruits, so we provide you the solutions to optimise the added value for processed fruits products, increase productivity, and expand the export markets of processed food products,” said Hans-Juergen Wichmann, general director of the Business Unit Machinery at Rieckermann Vietnam.

    Rieckermann was established in 1892, is a reliable partner for industrial production and processes, as a full-service solution provider along with the whole value chain of industrial production and processes. It offers complete engineering design, from concept to the last detail, supplies single machines, process lines, integrated systems and technical services.

    “According to the 2020 target, the total area of orchards in the country will be 910,000 hectares, with a total output of over 9.5 million tonnes of fruit. Through this, the fruit and vegetable export turnover will increase by an average of 20 per cent per year, striving to achieve the export value of over $4.5 billion in 2020, of which fruit will account for more than 80 per cent,” noted Nguyen Quang Huy from the Department of Crop Production at MARD. 

    SCIC to divest from powerful companies next month

    Next month, State Capital Investment Corporation (SCIC) will divest the state’s stake in a number of large-scale companies, including FPT, Bao Minh Corporation, and Domesco JSC.

    The total state capital value in these firms is VND1.645 trillion ($74.77 million). As planned, detailed information about the divestment will be announced in December.

    According to Le Long, manager of SCIC's Strategy and Planning Department, SCIC has so far divested from 975 companies with proceeds of VND27.47 trillion ($1.24 billion), equivalent to three or four times the book value.

    During 2017-2020, SCIC plans to divest from 132 companies with expected proceeds of over VND13.5 trillion ($613.6 million). They include the two giants: Vinamilk with 39 per cent and Vietnam Construction Import-Export JSC with 58 per cent.

    For 2017, SCIC plans to divest from 115 companies. It has divested over 30 firms and will divest the rest by the end of 2017.

    DHL eCommerce launches ServicePoints

    DHL eCommerce, a division of the world’s leading logistics company, the Deutsche Post DHL Group, has launched a nationwide network of ServicePoints, enhancing its already successful and rapidly growing domestic delivery network, which was launched in July. The new service offers considerably more choice and convenience for e-tailers and consumers.  

    The ServicePoint network allows Vietnam’s e-tailers to easily process domestic parcels at convenient and easy to reach locations and deliver to their online customers the very next day in Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi, and Tier 1 cities, and between two to seven days in the rest of Vietnam. While the majority of shoppers still receive door-to-door deliveries, they can now choose to pick up their orders from the very same and easily reached retail locations.

    Vietnam’s e-commerce sector is expected to grow seven times its current size and the number of parcels each day is expected to grow 26 per cent by 2020,” said Mr. Thomas Harris, Managing Director of DHL eCommerce. “Since we launched in July, we have seen fantastic growth, which tells us that our customers love our service, and we will continue to launch new services and solutions that exceed our customers’ expectations and ensure we continue to ‘deliver the smile in the last mile’.”

    DHL eCommerce has already launched more than 100 ServicePoints and will continue to rapidly expand to more than 1,000 in the coming months.

    E-tailers can register with DHL eCommerce and simply deposit shipments at the nearest ServicePoint and have their shipments processed in less than a minute without any paperwork. ServicePoint operators manage the processing and handover of all parcels with a single mobile app, while their shoppers will receive shipment confirmation via SMS and email. Shipment track-and-trace, cash on delivery, and shipment insurance services are also available.

    Vietnam has more than 600,000 SMEs, comprising 97.5 per cent of the country’s total number of companies and contributing more than 40 per cent of GDP,” Mr. Thomas added. “These enterprises need a convenient and effective solution to quickly deliver their products to their customers. Beyond high quality and reliable delivery, we want to offer greater convenience and choice for sellers to help them grow their e-commerce business.”

    Expanding the ServicePoint network is a strategic move by DHL eCommerce after its major investment in launching the Domestic Delivery network in Vietnam this year. The investment also includes a fleet of vans, bikes, and electric motorcycles, in line with the Deutsche Post DHL Group’s recent announcement to reduce its logistics-related emissions to zero by 2050.

    Conditions in place to develop innovative startup ecosystem

    Vietnam is considered to have significant potential for the development of an innovative startup ecosystem, a forum on startup ecosystems held recently by the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry heard.

    The components for eco-innovation in the country are in place and are actively supporting innovative projects and enterprises in the country.

    There are now about 21 institutions, seven business promotion organizations, and 22 domestic and foreign investment funds that are key components of a startup ecosystem.

    Mr. Tran Van Tung, Deputy Minister of Science and Technology, told the forum that in Vietnam’s startup eco-system there are sufficient components for development, with good quality startups, venture capital funds, and individuals and organizations that support startups or provide certain services.

    For many reasons, however, the ecosystem has not been able to bring its potential into full play, mainly due to the fact that startup supporters are active but lack cohesion.

    Over the last two years, many specific policies have supported young people wishing to do business, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), startups, innovative businesses, and businesses with growth potential. Decision No. 844 from the Prime Minister approved the scheme on “Supporting the National Innovation System to 2025”.

    Ms. Thach Le Anh, Project Manager at Silicon Valley Vietnam, reviewed some of the traditional channels that companies can take advantage of in calling for capital: family and relatives, banks, venture capital funds, the stock exchange, State funds, and non-government organizations.

    “Despite these capital mobilization channels, startups are often only able to mobilize capital from angel investors, venture capital funds, and initial investment funds,” she told the gathering. “The amount of fund management is very small and often not enough to scale up the fund management team.”

    Mr. Dam Quang Thang, General Director of the Agricare Vietnam Co. and Chairman of the Hanoi Agricultural Chemicals Association - Entrepreneurship Advisor, said the best solution now is to exploit the huge resources of SMEs.

    According to Mr. Thang, SMEs have quite a lot of experience from their successes and failures - the experience that starting a business is easy. In addition, they can also advise and help with product development, have good financial resources, and stable businesses.

    “At the same time, SMEs are applying technology that is a good example for startups in regards to innovation,” he said.

    Digital technology changing accountancy

    Digital technology is transforming businesses and economies across the globe and increasingly affecting the accountancy profession, technical sessions organized by the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City heard.

    Mr. David Lyford-Smith, ICAEW’s IT Faculty Technical Manager, emphasized that it is imperative for members of the profession to equip themselves with the necessary skills to deliver higher-value services or risk becoming marginalized by automation and artificial intelligence.

    During the technical sessions, he shared the findings of recent research by ICAEW on how current digital technology trends are changing the accounting profession in terms of emerging business opportunities and challenges and also outlined its approach to helping industry professionals stay on top of the game.

    Today, digital technology powered by the exponential growth of computing power opens up a whole new world of opportunities. 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 security assurance that is needed will change,” said Mr. Lyford-Smith. “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 ties between the blockchain record and the physical world, and more generally to the economic reality of the transaction that is seen in the blockchain. 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.”

    Another example is the change taking place in the relationship between individuals and taxpayers and national tax authorities and the role of professional advisers, including accountants. A recent study by the ICAEW on the digitization of tax systems in seven countries shows that with greater automation and analytical capacity and based on connected database infrastructure, tax authorities can provide basic tax information based on self-contained data, and then send this to individuals and taxpayers for confirmation.

    Electronic tax in Vietnam began to be deployed from 2009 and many agencies and businesses had turned to electronic declarations by 2015. “Electronic tax declarations have been implemented in Vietnam’s 63 cities and provinces,” said Mr. Phan Vu Hoang, Deputy General Director of Tax Consultancy at Deloitte Vietnam. “This new form of tax return brings clarity and reduces paperwork, helping taxpayers save a lot of time. The implementation of electronic tax in Vietnam has seen solid development.”

    However, along with new opportunities comes the growing fear that the traditional approach to financial reporting and routine accounting tasks are steadily being taken away by automation and artificial intelligence, and members of the profession are not adapting to the new technological trends quickly enough to take advantage of new platforms and risk becoming marginalized.

    According to Ms. Trang Dang, Head of ICAEW Vietnam, technology capabilities need to be applied into the specific business context in a way that provides value. As the pace of change in technology is typically faster than change in human behavior, even where capabilities exist, altering the way accountants perform their daily tasks can be a long process.

    “To provide greater leadership in the exploitation of data, accountants may well need stronger technical skills around data and a greater understanding of statistics to challenge the method, assumptions, and output of predictive models,” Ms. Trang added.

    Can Tho to host Int’l Agriculture Fair 2017

    The festival aims to support agricultural development in the Mekong Delta region through the research and application of science and technology advances in production and building trademarks to increase competitiveness.

    Major activities of the event include introducing farm produces, meetings of scientists and enterprises to deal with current issues in researching and applying science and technology in agricultural production to increase productivity and quality.

    An exhibition on agricultural products  will be held with the participation of about 200 enterprises, along with a conference on science-technology application in agricultural development.

    Domestic businesses and those from the Republic of Korea, Japan, India, the UK, China, Taiwan, Germany, the U.S. and others will showcase their products on 330 stands with a focus on machines, equipment, agricultural mechanics and materials, plant varieties, processed agricultural products and models for safe and clean agriculture.

    In addition, diverse activities will be held during the fair to facilitate farming in the Mekong Delta region. They include a production agriculture seminar, a consultation workshop on agricultural equipment and products, a training workshop on farming techniques, art exchanges, trade promotion and introduction of agriculture start-up projects in Can Tho.

    The event is part of the national trade promotion program 2017.  

    Shipping lines required to use digital signatures for customs declarations

    Shipping lines, cargo agents and freight forwarders will have to use digital signatures from January 1, 2018 when they make customs declarations through the single national portal.

    According to Document No.7392 issued by the General Department of Vietnam Customs, shipping lines, cargo agents and freight forwarders are required to register and authenticate their digital signatures no later than December 15, 2017.

    According to the customs, the use of digital signatures on customs declaration forms will simplify customs procedures and thus help businesses save time and money.

    Palm-leaf design sought for Long Thanh airport

    Airports Corporation of Vietnam (ACV) has proposed the Ministry of Transport select the palm-leaf design for the LongThanhInternationalAirport project, citing the consulting firm’s experience and the low suggested cost.

    When a decision is made, ACV will proceed to the design stage for the passenger terminal, the local news site VnExpress reports.

    According to ACV, the three proposed designs come with the shapes of lotus, bamboo and palm leaf. They all appear to be feasible and can be used for the feasibility study for the terminal.

    The cost of the feasibility study as previously estimated by ACV and examined by the Institute of Construction Economics is US$4.52 million.

    In the preliminary round, the lotus-shaped design prepared by Heerim Architects & Planners was favored by a board of professionals, but the cost was suggested at around US$6.5 million, 1.44 times higher than estimated.

    Meanwhile, the bamboo-shaped design of the Japan Airport Consultants-Adp Ingenierie-Shigeru Ban Architects consortium and the palm-leaf design of the CPG Consultant-Azusa Sekkei-Pae consortium come with lower consulting costs, US$3.88 million and US$3.64 million respectively, equivalent to 86% and 80% of ACV’s estimates.

    Heerim then proposed US$3.61 million.

    ACV has told the consulting firms to reconsider their costs. The adjusted costs of the three firms are now US$3.4 million, US$3.61 million and US$2.99 million respectively.

    The LongThanhInternationalAirport project is expected to get off the ground in 2019. Of the three investment phases, the first phase will cost around US$8 billion.

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  • 11/29/17--01:09: Article 1
  • Maybe it is time to rethink household daycares in Vietnam

    Insiders claim it costs a little more than $1,300 to open a household daycare in the country

    Nursemaids tuck children in at a public kindergarten in Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Tuoi Tre

    Recent disturbing footage of kindergarteners being subject to physical abuse by their caretakers at a daycare center in Ho Chi Minh City has raised the question of whether it is time to tighten the licensing of such household facilities.

    Located in the city’s District 12, the Mam Xanh childcare facility is run by the owner and two assistants who provide care for 30 to 40 children between two and five years old.

    Such household daycares are not uncommon across Vietnam, especially in neighborhoods with a high density of blue-collar workers who cannot afford to send their children to a public kindergarten, either because it is too far away from their workplace or the tuition is not as cheap.

    But conditions at such facilities are often questionable, while reports of children’s maltreatment by their caretakers are no longer scarce.

    In 2013, nursemaids at a preschool in Ho Chi Minh City’s Thu Duc District were accused of frequently abusing and torturing preschoolers, including holding the children upside down over a barrel of water and threatening to drop them into it.

    Earlier this year, authorities ordered the closure of a daycare in Go Vap District where nursemaids had been found to use violent measures to force-feed the kids, including pushing their heads backwards and shoving spoons of food into their crying mouths.

    Piece of cake

    “There are a whole range of strict regulations concerning the establishment of kindergartens, and they are subject to frequent inspections. But the same cannot be said about household daycares,” said M., owner of a private kindergarten in Ho Chi Minh City.

    According to M., it only costs a little more than VND30 million ($1,300) to open such a facility.

    “That includes the costs of renovating your house to add spaces for sleeping and dining, buying some toys, and making over the kitchen to conform with standards.” M. explained. “That’s all it takes to be licensed.”

    Chung Bich Phuong, a former education official in Ho Chi Minh City’s Tan Phu District, acknowledged the fact that some daycares even bypass authorities by hiring certified nursemaids at first, only to replace them with unqualified ones after having been licensed to cut down on monthly costs

    This explains the low tuition fee advertised by such facilities compared to more formal kindergartens, which is also their main selling point for low-income families.

    Even worse, more than 5,000 preschools in 50 cities and provinces across Vietnam were found unlicensed in a 2014 reportby the Ministry of Education and Training.

    That number translated into 34 percent of the private preschools that take care of kids under 36 months at the time of the report.

    A kindergartener is forced to carry plastic chairs on his head as a punishment at the Mam Xanh daycare center in Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Tuoi Tre

    Solution needed

    According to Nguyen Hong Ha, vice chairman of a socio-cultural committee of Ho Chi Minh City’s People’s Council, the long-term solution to this issue would be to reduce household daycare while raising the number of larger-scale kindergartens for ease of management.

    “In the meantime, we should encourage locals to join hands with authorities in keeping these household facilities in check,” Ha said.

    “In addition, requiring the daycares to install surveillance cameras is also hoped to put a stop to this aching problem of child abuse.”

    Ho Chi Minh City authorities have already set out to implementthe measure, after the municipal People’s Committee convened a meeting with relevant agencies on Monday afternoon to seek solutions to child abuse.

    The city had since 2013 put in place state-funded training programs for managers, teachers and nursemaids at private preschool facilities to improve their professional skills as well as moral standards.

    Tuoi Tre News

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  • 11/29/17--01:15: Article 0
  • Party chief Nguyen Phu Trong receives Polish President

    Hanoi -General Secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam Central Committee Nguyen Phu Trong has assured President of Poland Andrzej Duda that Vietnam always treasures traditional friendship with Poland as well as its position and role in Europe.
    Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong (R) and President of Poland Andrzej Duda (Source: VNA)

    During a reception in Hanoi on November 28, Party chief Trong hailed the visit as marking a new development of bilateral ties. He spoke highly of Poland’s active and practical support to Vietnam as well as Vietnamese nationals living in the host country over the past years.

    Welcoming the outcomes of talks between the two Presidents during the visit, the host said he supports the further intensification of ties between the two States and peoples in fields of strength and demand such as mining, environment protection, agriculture and food processing.

    Duda, for his part, affirmed that Poland attaches importance to strengthening friendship and traditional cooperation with Vietnam and vowed to realise signed cooperation agreements in the fields of economy, finance, education-training, agriculture, environment protection and media.

    He informed the host about the opening of the representative office of the Polish Investment and Trade Agency in Ho Chi Minh City to further bilateral economic and trade ties.

    The guest wished that the Vietnamese people would reap more achievements in the national development.


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  • 11/29/17--01:38: Article 0
  • Foreign firms dominate VN electronics

    HÀ NỘI - Although Việt Nam is the world’s 12th-largest exporter of electronics and the third-largest in ASEAN since 2015, up to 95 per cent of the country’s electronics output comes from foreign-owned enterprises instead of domestic ones, the Central Institute for Economic Management (CIEM) announced yesterday.

    Workers assemble electronics products at a Samsung Electronics factory in Thái Nguyên City, Thái Nguyên Province. — VNA/VNS Photo Hoàng Hùng 

    With Việt Nam’s expected 2017 electronic export turnover exceeding US$70 billion, the CIEM noted that foreign companies operating in the country account for the lion’s share of the value, with domestic companies producing relatively little. The continuing weakness of the electronics industry, even as it is relatively large, sparked heated discussion at yesterday’s Conference on the Development of Việt Nam’s Electronics Industry.  

    Cao Bảo Anh from the Industry Department under the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT) emphasised that the development of Việt Nam’s electronics industry had been imbalanced, with consumer electronics such as audio-visual equipment and entertainment facilities dominating the market.

    Without a long-term development strategy, the electronics industry in Việt Nam would lose significant market share at home, warned Bảo Anh.

    Bảo Anh also noted that the MoIT found the electronics sector’s overall return on investment to be low, as the national Incremental Capital-Output Ratio (ICOR) coefficient is below that of other countries such as Thailand, Malaysia and China.

    The electronics sector has to import about 77 per cent of their products’ added value, meaning that the domestic supply of electronic components is very low. The country produces mainly a few mechanical spare parts and simple components made from plastic and rubber, according to a 2016 survey by the Supporting Industry Enterprise Development Center (SIDEC) quoted by the CIEM.

    Research and product design development for Vietnamese enterprises is still weak. As a result, most Vietnamese firms only outsource foreign products, never venturing to develop their own products.

    The report also states that first-tier suppliers to the electronics sector are mostly FDI firms.

    Household electronics accounts for about 80 per cent of output and about 30 per cent of total revenue. Only 20 per cent of output is comprised of specialised electronics products, according to Nguyễn Thị Tuệ Anh, CIEM’s deputy director.

    Tuệ Anh also warned that the localisation rate of products only reached 20 to 30 per cent, meaning most of the products on the electronics market are now imported completely or assembled with imported components.

    "Domestic enterprises are only involved in packaging, or producing low-cost components that do not carry much added value," said Tuệ Anh.

    The CIEM’s findings show that after more than 30 years of development, Việt Nam’s electronics industry is still in the process of outsourcing for foreign brands. Domestic electronics companies are producing outdated products for low profits and only 5 to 10 per cent of added value annually.

    Meanwhile, electronics- and electrical appliances-producing FDI enterprises are facing pressure to reduce costs, as the number of supporting enterprises in Việt Nam is still very low compared to the number of assemblers, and the quality of products is disputed.

    The total mobile phones and accessories produced in the country in 2016 were worth more than $34 billion, with foreign-invested enterprises accounting for 99.8 per cent of the value.

    "This means most FDI enterprises have to import parts from neighbouring countries or directly from their country of origin," Tuệ Anh noted.

    She nonetheless acknowledged that Việt Nam’s electronics industry played an important role in the country’s economic development. Though it got off to a slow start compared to a number of other industries, it had grown rapidly over the years.

    As cited by the CIEM, data from the General Statistics Office for the period from 2012 to 2016 show that the domestic electronic products consumption index was consistently high, peaking between 2012 and 2013 and stabilising in the 2014-2015 period.

    In 2016, although the consumption index of electronic products decreased sharply over the previous year, it was still significant in comparison with the total manufacturing industry consumption index.

    The number of jobs in the electronics industry increased seven times in eight years, from 46,000 in 2005 to 327,000 in 2013, and to 500,000 in 2016.

    Such high demand for electronic products is a good sign for efforts to promote Việt Nam’s electronics industry.

    In order to improve the efficiency of the electronics industry, Bùi Bài Cường from the Ministry of Information and Communication said that in the future, it is necessary to focus on research and development, define the sector’s development strategy, focus on identifying core products and generate breakthroughs to promote faster and more efficient products.

    He also noted that implementation of supporting industry development policies is slow. The industry faces a significant shortage of high quality human resources and lacks investment especially in the electronics industry’s supporting manufacturing sector.

    Yesterday’s forum was organised by the CIEM, with attendance by representatives from business associations, universities and government departments.


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  • 11/30/17--01:00: Article 4
  • Sabeco to list at 320,000 VND

    HCM City -Shares of the Saigon Beer, Alcohol and Beverage Corporation (Sabeco) - Vietnam’s biggest brewer - will be offered at an initial price of 320,000 VND (14 USD) each on December 18, it was announced on November 29.

    Shares of the Saigon Beer, Alcohol and Beverage Corporation, Sabeco, Vietnam’s biggest brewer, will be offered at an initial price of 320,000 VND (14 USD) each on December 18 (Photo:

    Over 343.6 million shares, equivalent to 53.59 percent of Sabeco’s charter capital, will be on sale, the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT) said.

    The sale, aimed to significantly reduce the State’s holding in Sabeco, coded SAB on the HCM Stock Exchange (HOSE), from nearly 90 percent, will be offered via open competitive bidding to eligible investors, in accordance with relevant regulations.

    The sale is set to attract great attention from both domestic and foreign investors, given the company’s leading position in the industry.

    Truong Thanh Hoai, deputy director of the ministry’s Industry Department, said foreign investors will be allowed to buy up to 247.4 million shares, or 38.59 percent stake in Sabeco. They own 10.41 percent stake currently and foreign ownership is limited to a maximum of 49 percent.

    The State’s divestment from Sabeco was accelerated after the Ministry of Industry and Trade asked the HoSE to organise roadshows in Singapore and the UK.

    The roadshow in Singapore was organised on November 24 and the one in UK on November 27.

    The divestment from Sabeco has drawn great interest from investors, especially foreign buyers. Several foreign breweries have expressed interest in Sabeco, including San Miguel, Heineken, SABMiller, Thai Beverage Public Company Limited (Thai Beverage), Japanese Asahi Group Holdings Ltd., and Kirin Holdings Co.

    “Sabeco, valued at 9 billion USD at current prices, has received a strong response from potential suitors at an investors’ roadshow in Singapore and London.

    “However, the maximum foreign ownership ratio of 49 percent is also an obstacle to foreign investors,” said Deputy Minister Cao Quoc Hung.

    Sabeco currently owns 24 manufacturing plants with a total designed capacity of 1.8 billion litres per year, 20 of which are in operation. The remaining four are expected to begin operations in the near future.

    The company holds about 41 percent of the nation’s 6.5 billion USD beer market. Vietnam is among the top three beer consumers in Asia.


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  • 11/30/17--01:05: Article 3
  • Social News 29/11

    Audio books library for the blind inaugurated in HCMCity

    The audio books library for the blind was inaugurated in Ho Chi Minh City after three years of reconstruction.

    The library covers on an area of 632 square meters at 18B
    Dinh Tien Hoang Street
    in District 1.

    The new building includes a studio for recording at a high quality, an audio book production studio, a computer training room, chess learning area and other facilities.

    The audio books library has produced more than 1,800 talking books with over 402,000 copies that have been served for free 103 branches of the Blind People Association and schools for the blind nationwide. Its website has reached about 16.7 million viistors.

    Fire at wood processing company causes financial damage 

     Audio books library for the blind inaugurated in HCM City, Fire at wood processing company causes financial damage, Passengers banned from flights for fake documents, Police bust football betting ring 

    A fire occurred in Nam Hải Wood Processing Company in Dĩ An Town, the southern province of Bình Dương, on Tuesday, causing serious financial damage.

    Since the facility contained several flammable substances and objects, the fire quickly spread to the neighbouring areas. It took the firefighters one hour to extinguish the fire.

    Fortunately, all the workers escaped safely from the burning site.

    On the same day, another fire burnt all the commodities in KCC Hà Nội Company’s 300sq.m paint factory in Yên Phong Industrial Zone, the northern province of Bắc Ninh.

    According to Yên Phong District Police, the functional forces successfully evacuated all the workers. The fire was brought under control after 45 minutes. However, the loss of property has not yet been estimated.

    Korean-invested KCC Hà Nội Company has two factories in Đồng NaiProvince and BắcNinhProvince.

    Passengers banned from flights for fake documents

    The Civil Aviation Administration of Vietnam (CAAV) has given a 12-month ban to three passengers who used boarding passes under different names and falsified identification cards.

    Passengers, including Nguyen Y Thanh, Do Manh Hung and Nguyen Thi Be have been banned from November 27, 2017 to November 18, 2018. They will then have to undergo compulsory checks in 6 months to board a flight.

    The CAAV has also asked all Vietnam airline firms and foreign aviation firms that are operating in Vietnam are not allowed to provide domestic or international flight services these passengers during the above-mentioned period.

    Free examination provided to kids suffering child abuse

    Under the guideline of People’s Committee in Ho Chi Minh City’s district 12, 18 kids who suffered child abuse in Mam Xanh daycare center in the district have been gratis examined in local infirmary. 

    District hospital Director Nhan To Tai yesterday said doctors examined the children, victims of child abuse in Mam Xanh daycare center in the district, for effect of child maltreatment as per the guideline.

    Doctors not only checked kids by carrying out test but also provide consultation to their parents.

    Isolated rooms were arranged for examination of abused children. Dr. Tai said a few kids had bruise but no one showed psychological and mental effects.

    The hospital and local administrations encouraged parents to take their kids for medical check-ups to discover possible psychological effects.

    As per the article on Sai Gon Giai Phong newspaper on November 26, Pham Thi My Linh, born in 1974 from the Central Highlands province of Lam Dong and her assistants were filmed physically abusing kids in their daycare center.

    The clip showed the owner and two assistants kicked on children’s back and hit toddlers with plastic casks. Police investigators soon apprehended the three women and began to prosecute them.

    Police bust football betting ring

    Police in central Hà Tĩnh Province busted a football betting ring worth VNĐ310 billion (US$13.6 million) and arrested three people for allegedly organising the ring.

    The three people arrested from the gambling network included Dương Minh Tuấn, 26, Bùi Bá Việt, 32, and Phan Sỹ Hoàng, 26.

    As many as 27 other people have also been summoned for their alleged involvement in the ring.

    An initial investigation showed that the three accused set up the betting activities since September 18.

    The case is under investigation.

    UN provides extra $4m for flood relief

    The United Nations has approved an additional allocation of US$4.21 million from the Central Emergency Response Fund to assist 150,000 people, including 46,973 children, in six provinces affected by the devastating Typhoon Damrey.

    Earlier, an emergency cash grant of US$100,000 was made from the Office for the Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs to support immediate relief operations.

    The additional funding will allow UN agencies to scale up water, sanitation and hygiene, food security and emergency shelter recovery after more than 300,000 houses were damaged or destroyed.

    “The UN funds will cover immediate life-saving needs and support time-critical interventions over the next six months,” said Kamal Malhotra, UN resident co-ordinator in Việt Nam.

    The funding will allow four UN agencies - FAO, IOM, UNDP and UNICEF - to meet the most urgent needs of affected communities. The agencies will use the funding to provide people whose homes have been damaged with shelter materials and cash grants to make repairs, provide water filtration systems and hygiene kits to prevent the spread of diseases; and unconditional cash transfers and vouchers to compensate for the loss of livelihoods and to procure agricultural supplies.

    Typhoon Damrey made landfall on November 4, causing widespread flooding and destruction across the central and south-central regions of Việt Nam. An estimated 4.33 million people have been affected, including 400,000 people who require humanitarian assistance. 

    Vietnam, China launch joint anti-smuggling campaign

    Vietnam and China on November 27 began a joint campaign against the smuggling of drugs, firearms, counterfeit money, endangered animals and plants as well as unquarantined products.

    The five-month campaign is run by customs authorities of Vietnam’s Quang Ninh, Lang Son, and Cao Bang provinces which share borderline with China, and the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region of China.

    According to China’s General Administration of Customs, customs of both sides will discuss single-window clearance, recognise prioritised enterprises, enhance information sharing on smuggling activities and join hands to improve efficiency of the fight against cross-border smuggling.

    HCMC to build more dorms for workers

    Ho Chi Minh City plans to build eight worker dormitory projects on the area of 18 hectare supplying 4,962 dwellings.

    Two projects invested by Thien Phat Commercial Tourism Construction Company will be implemented this year including dorm in Linh Trung No.2 Industrial Park in Thu Duc District providing 1,500 accommodation and in Hiep Binh Phuoc Ward of Nhon Hoa Balance Company with 720 dwellings.

    Other six projects in districts of 2, 9, Binh Tan, Binh Chanh and Cu Chi will be launched in 2018 and scheduled to complete in 2020.

    The above-mentioned projects has been approved by Deputy Chairman of People’s Committee Tran Vinh Tuyen.

    In order to encourage firms to take part in social housing projects for workers in the city, HCMC authorities announced to adjust regulations for managing worker dormitories and rental houses for laborers in accordance with the current one; additionally, it will amend policies on loans and provide preferential loans to attract investors.

    Furthermore, the municipal authorities also asked the Department of Construction to beef up construction speed of social housing projects for workers as well as put forward solutions for hiccups along the way.

    The Labor Union is required to forecast workers’ demand of accommodation and entertainment in three industrial parks to develop policies and organize sport and leisure activities for them.

    The Department of Construction said that the current accommodation with 39,400 dwellings just meet 15 percent of demand.

    Before, HCMC had adopted policies of preferential loans for investors of worker dormitory projects; yet, limited state budget plus complex paperwork have disheartened investors.

    No land for building worker dormitories in the industrial parks make the problem to be more difficult. From now to 2020, the city needs to build additional 240,000 dwellings to satisfy the increasing demand. In 2018, the city plans to build more 2,220 dwellings for workers with 32,000 square meter.

    National Action Month for HIV/AIDS Prevention and Control 2017 launched in HCMC

    On November 27, the Ho Chi Minh City HIV/AIDS Prevention and Control Center hosted a meeting at Le Thi Rieng Park in response to the National Action Month for HIV/AIDS Prevention and Control 2017 and the World AIDS Day (December 1).

    According to the center, Ho Chi Minh City has reached 73 percent of 90 of HIV-infected people knowing their HIV status; 75 percent of 90 of people diagnosed with HIV being treated with antiretroviral (ARV) medicines; and 96 percent HIV-infected people treated with ARV medicines limiting the virus to low levels.

    Speaking at the evnt, Deputy Chairwoman of the People’s Committee of HCM City Nguyen Thi Thu officially launched the National Action Month for HIV/AIDS Prevention and Control 2017 in the city.

    She has called Society to join hands in participating in HIV/AIDS prevention activities and international organizations to support the city in implementing the action plan on HIV/AIDS prevention and control in 2017 and responding the 90-90-90 targets of the UN by 2020, including 90 percent of HIV-infected people knowing their HIV status, 90 percent of people diagnosed with HIV being treated with antiretroviral (ARV) medicines and 90 percent of HIV-infected people treated with ARV medicines limiting the virus to low levels.

    Fire burnt down 300 year-old communal house in Thai Binh

    A huge fire happened in the ancient communal house of Luu Xa, Dong Phuong commune, Dong Hung district, Thai Binh province yesterday morning. 

    Chairman of the People’s Committee of Dong Phuong Commune Pham Xuan Canh said that a massive blaze suddenly burnt and gutted the national historical site at 10 AM.  

    After receiving the information, local people and authorities made their effort to control the blaze. 

    Fire Police of Dong Hung district quickly sent two fire trucks to the scene in order to extinguish the blaze.

     The blaze was extinguished by 2 AM. 

    Although nobody was hurt and killed in the fire, the massive flame gutted the 300 year- old communal house. 

     Accordingly, Luu Xa communal house had total area of 170 square meters which was recognized as the National Historic Site in 1990. 

    Currently, the functional agencies are investigating the reasons of the fire.

    ICFO supports Vietnamese fishermen

    Chairman of the International Cooperative Fisheries Organisation (ICFO) Kim Im-Kweon has agreed to provide 10,000 USD to support fisheries cooperatives and fishermen in Vietnam’s central coastal provinces of Khanh Hoa, Phu Yen and Ninh Thuan, which were severely affected by the recent typhoon Damrey.

    Chairman of the Vietnam Cooperative Alliance (VCA) Nguyen Ngoc Bao will present the cash to fisheries cooperatives in Phu Yen on November 29 and Khanh Hoa and Ninh Thuan on November 30.

    Earlier he had a working session with Kim Im-Kweon – who is also Chairman of the National Federation of Fisheries Cooperatives of the Republic of Korea (NFFC) to exchange the development situation of Vietnamese fisheries cooperatives and share difficulties they are facing.

    He proposed the ICFO provide both material and spiritual assistance for fisheries cooperatives in the central part of Vietnam, which suffered heavy losses caused by the storm.

    The ICFO, one of the sectoral organisations of the International Cooperative Alliance (ICA), was founded in 1976. It assists fisheries development by providing information on fisheries to fisheries cooperatives around the world, and promotes exchange of expertise and experience among them through training, symposiums, seminars, and other means. 

    Typhoon Damrey, the 12th major storm in the EastSea, hit Vietnam’s south central coast on November 4. Following downpours and floods had claimed 89 lives and left 18 missing and 174 others injured in central and Central Highlands localities as of November 7, according to the National Committee for Search and Rescue.

    Imex Trà Vinh’s former director to be investigated

    The Police Department for Economic Crimes and Corruption (C46) under the Ministry of Public Security and Trà Vinh Province Police, on Tuesday, began an oficial investigation into former leaders of a State-owned food company in the southern province.

    Trần Văn Tâm, 42, former director of Trà Vinh Food Company (Imex Trà Vinh) and three other former officials were also arrested.

    Following an initial inspection, functional forces found that since 2011, because of a loss of profit, Tâm asked his staff to make fake business contracts and misdeclare the company’s inventory to hide a fiscal deficit of VNĐ659 billion (US$29 million).

    Simultanously, his staff proposed fake reports to both Southern Việt Nam Food Corporation (Vinafood 2) to ask for more funding and to banks for loan disbursement.

    As the unprofitable company was unable to pay loans, the capital deficit kept increasing, causing serious damage to the State budget.

    Other suspects include Nguyễn Tấn Vinh, former manager of finance and accounting, Phan Văn Hiệp, former director of Imex Trà Vinh’s Cầu Kè Food Processing Faculty, and Võ Văn Sen, former director of Đại Phúc Company.

    C46 are collecting dossiers for a deeper investigation and case expansion.

    Early last month, Vinafood 2 collaborated with the AASC audit firm to inspect its companies and factories. They then found that the actual amount of stocking rice in Imex Trà Vinh’s warehouse was only 4,000 tonnes, in comparison to the 87,000 tonnes presented in its reports.

    Vietnam, India step up judicial cooperation

    Chief Judge of the Supreme People’s Court Nguyen Hoa Binh has suggested the Supreme Court of India (SCI) dispatch a group of experts in reconciliation and e-court to help Vietnam in these fields. 

    Chief Judge of the Supreme People’s Court of Vietnam Nguyen Hoa Binh (R) ​and Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of India

    Binh made the suggestion during his talks with SCI Chief Justice Dipak Misra in New Delhi on November 28 as part of his working visit to India from November 27-29. 

    After being briefed on India’s court system and its recent reforms, the Vietnamese Chief Judge applauded reconciliation work at Indian courts.  

    He took the occasion to invite Misra to pay a visit to Vietnam in 2018. The Indian Chief Justice accepted the invitation with pleasure and pledged to send judges and experts to assist Vietnam in areas of the country’s interests. 

    The same day, Binh had a working session with Chief Justice of the Delhi High Court Gita Mittal, who introduced a reconciliation model recently piloted in the Indian court system to her guest. 

    Binh asked the Indian side to help Vietnamese courts in the settlement of disputes, by sharing information, organising training courses and dispatching judicial experts and officials to Vietnam and vice versa.

    HCMC alerted against highly-toxic fumes from incinerators

    Exhaust emissions from incinerators in HCMC will be a big threat to the environment and the health of residents living near waste-to-energy plants, so the city government should be carefully screen such projects, said experts at a seminar in the city on Sunday.

    At the seminar to call for investment in waste-to-energy projects, Nguyen Toan Thang, director of the HCMC Department of Natural Resources and Environment, said the city discharges about 8,700 tons of solid waste a day including 60-80% being food waste. With such a big amount, the city will need dozens of waste-to-energy projects in the coming years.

    The city’s garbage is currently collected and transported to two waste treatment complexes, Da Phuoc in Binh Chanh District and Tay Bac in Cu Chi District, for treatment. The two complexes, which daily receive 5,500 tons and 3,100 tons of garbage respectively, are in fact dumpsites where waste is mainly buried.

    Apart from around ten waste-to-energy projects in the pipeline, HCMC needs to build two or three more waste-to-power plants, a plant to process hazardous waste, and another for medical waste treatment as the volume of waste may annually increase 5% to nearly 13,000 tons by 2025. These projects together with existing ones will generate 200 MW of electricity by 2025.

    At the seminar, Dang Huy Dong, Deputy Minister of Planning and Investment, proposed the HCMC government set out strict requirements for waste-to-energy projects, as such plants may pose huge problems for the environment and public health.

    The city should closely control such projects as it is more complicated to deal with fumes from waste-to-energy plants than those from coal-fired power plants, although public concerns so far largely center on the coal-fired power plants.

    The seminar was attended by 40 investors who are interested in developing waste-to-energy projects in HCMC. Some of them and scientists presented technologies claimed to be advanced for garbage treatment.

    Deputy Minister Dong, however, cast doubt on such technologies, asking environment agencies in the city to carefully appraise technology and exhaust volume of projects before approving them.

    Phan Tri Dung, chairman of Petech Science Technology Corporation, told the Daily on the sidelines of the seminar that garbage must be burned at more than 1,200 degrees Celsius to reduce toxic gases. The required temperature for plasma incinerators is 2,000 to 4,000 degrees Celsius, which is a more suitable technology for such projects.

    A survey on 100 incinerators showed that toxic gases from these incinerators are 100 times higher than permitted. Therefore, HCMC should apply suitable technology to reduce toxic gas emissions from waste-to-energy plants, Dung noted.

    Northern Son La province builds 550-bed hospital

    The Health Department of the northern mountainous province Son La has held a groundbreaking ceremony for the construction of a 550-bed general hospital.

    The 9.06ha hospital is located in the Chieng Sinh ward of Son La city.

    The total cost of the project is upwards of 1.5 trillion VND (66 million USD), primarily sourced from government bonds.

    The Son La GeneralHospital features two seven-floor buildings serving as technical facilities and inpatient areas and one four-floor building for medical examinations and outpatient treatment, in addition to several auxiliary buildings.

    The hospital campus boasts large areas of green space and other decorations.

    The project is expected to be completed and put into use in 2020.

    Speaking at the groundbreaking ceremony, Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee Cam Ngooc Minh stressed that the hospital would significantly improve treatment in the region.

    “The hospital will be an important link in the expanding network of the province’s health care facilities in the region, to timely and efficiently serve people’s healthcare demands,” he said.

    HCMCity to install CCTV in kindergartens to prevent child abuse

    Ho Chi Minh City authorities are set to apply specific measures, including the installation of surveillance cameras, to end the physical abuse of children at local kindergartens and childcare facilities.

    The municipal People’s Committee convened a meeting with relevant agencies on November 27 to seek solutions to child abuse, following a recent article by Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper.

    The story shined the spotlight on the Mam Xanh childcare facility in Distinct 12, where its manager and employees had been discovered beating children aged two to five on a daily basis.

    Speaking at the gathering, Bui Thi Diem Thu, deputy director of the city’s Department of Education and Training, said that daycare centers have mushroomed across the southern hub due to increasing demand in recent years.

    However, the oversight of these venues is still limited, Thu assessed.

    “The local education sector is responsible for letting such a serious case develop,” the official remarked.

    In a bid to prevent similar cases, Thu suggested the installation of CCTV cameras at local kindergartens and childcare facilities.

    The proposal was backed by the municipal Department of Police as surveillance cameras provide close monitoring of the situation at these places.

    However, the locations of such devices should be taken into careful consideration in order not to violate human rights, another police official stated.

    Following the discussion, the municipal education department was tasked with formulating a detailed plan for the installation of CCTV cameras at kindergartens across the city.

    The cameras will be added to all rooms except for bathrooms and other sensitive areas.

    In addition to existing safety requirements, new childcare centers will need to have surveillance cameras installed in order to be granted a legitimate license.

    In another relevant development, the Ho Chi Minh City Party Committee on Monday ordered a comprehensive inspection of non-public childcare facilities across the metropolis.

    Any action that violates the law and well-being of children must be severely punished, Deputy Secretary of the city’s Party Committee Tat Thanh Cang said in a statement.

    Vietnam supports solidarity with Palestinian people

    President Tran Dai Quang has cabled congratulatory messages to Secretary-General of the United Nations Antonio Guterres and Chairman of the UN Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People Fode Seck on the occasion of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People (November 29).

    He also congratulated President of the State of Palestine Mahmoud Abbas on the day. 

    President Quang affirmed the support and solidarity of the VietnameseState and people to Palestinian people in the just struggle for their fundamental national rights.

    Deputy PM hosts Foreign Press Agency delegation

    Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam hosted a reception in Hanoi on November 28 for a delegation from the Foreign Press Agency (FPA) in Switzerland and Liechtenstein led by President Jean Musy. 

    Dam informed them about socio-economic development in Vietnam, affirming that the country will spare no effort to improve the business climate, build synchronous infrastructure, and pay attention to environment protection and education reform. 

    He said the success of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Year 2017 and the APEC Economic Leaders’ Week recently held in Vietnam proves the inevitable trend of economic connectivity, integration and trade freedom among economies. 

    The host also expressed wish to build a country of peace, stability and sustainable well-being. 

    Musy, for his part, said the FPA was founded in 1928 and based in Geneva, Switzerland with 120 member organisations. It gathers professional journalists of different nationalities covering the latest news about Switzerland, the United Nations and international organisations in Geneva

    He informed the host that the FPA and the Vietnam Journalists’ Association (VJA) signed a cooperation agreement for 2017-2018, under which both sides pledged to encourage its member units to increase the exchange of delegations and offer mutual support in information sharing. 

    The same day, FPA and the Vietnam News Agency (VNA) held a workshop to increase Vietnam-Switzerland press exchange. 

    VNA Deputy General Director Le Quoc Minh briefed guests about VNA’s role and mission, saying that VNA is the only news agency in Vietnam to have a 2,500-member staff, including nearly 1,200 journalists. It has set up representative offices in all 63 cities and provinces nationwide and 30 others overseas. VNA has issued nearly 60 publications in all forms and joined major press networks in the region and the world and partnered with around 40 international press agencies and outlets. 

    He expressed wish to increase partnership with foreign press agencies, including the FPA, to improve the delivery of external news.

    Musy said in order to make Asian and Vietnamese news attractive to European readers, they should be more general and written in reader-friendly style. He suggested holding more cultural events to make both sides closer. 

    In the afternoon the same day, the VJA held talks and signed a cooperation agreement for 2017-2018 with the FPA. 

    VJA Chairman Thuan Huu updated the guests about press activities in Vietnam, adding that VJA expanded partnerships with foreign press agencies from China, the Republic of Korea and ASEAN member states. 

    The FPA President wished to welcome more VJA delegations to Switzerland in the near future. 

    The FPA delegation is in Vietnam from November 27 – December 3.

    Binh Dinh fishing vessel sinks in Vung Tau waters

    Rescue forces recovered the bodies of two crewmembers 6 nautical miles from sunken fishing vessel 30366 TS of central Binh Dinh province on the morning of November 28.

    The Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre (MRCC) Region III received a report from a local man that the fishing vessel with six fishermen on board had capsized for unknown reasons around 42 nautical miles southeast of Vung Tau.

    The MRCC Region III immediately implemented rescue measures and transmitted emergency messages, asking all vessels in surrounding areas to search for and rescue fishermen in distress. It also dispatched rescue vessel SAR 272 to the scene.

     They found the bodies of two fishermen on the morning of November 28, the search for the remaining four missing crewmembers continues.

    Vietnam, Singapore strengthen cooperation in intellectual property

    Vietnam wants to learn from Singapore’s experience in developing the intellectual property (IP) system in order to make IP an effective tool supporting technology development and boosting socio-economic development.

    Vietnamese Minister of Science and Technology Chu Ngoc Anh made the statement at his meeting with Indranee Thurai Rajah, Senior Minister of State for Law and Finance of Singapore’s Ministry of Law, on November 28 within the framework of the official visit to Singapore of National Assembly Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan.

    The Ministry of Science and Technology is building a National Strategy on Intellectual Property to be submitted to the Prime Minister for approval in 2018, Anh said.

    Rajah agreed on the Vietnamese minister’s proposals, affirming that Vietnam always receives Singapore’s priority and attention due to its diversity in business and investment activities.

    At the meeting, both sides witnessed the signing of a cooperation plan for 2018 between the National Office of Intellectual Property of Vietnam and the Intellectual Property Office of Singapore (IPOS).

    Earlier, Minister Anh had a working session with representatives from Singapore’s Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR), during which he asked the A*STAR to consider the signing of a legal document to serve as a foundation to carry out international research cooperation programmes.

    National Library celebrates 100th anniversary

    The National Library of Vietnam held a ceremony in Hanoi on November 28 to mark its 100th anniversary.

    Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Nguyen Ngoc Thien said 100 years is a glorious and proud moment for the National Library of Vietnam in raising people’s knowledge, cultivating human resources, and developing reading culture in Vietnam.

    Established in November 1917, the library has become the largest of its kind in Vietnam with more than 2.5 million documents.

    A number of precious collections from the 17th century are being preserved at the library. In recent years, the library has developed new documents, creating a collection of digital documents with more than 5,000,000 pages of materials.

    The library serves more than 2,000 readers each day on average and more than 6,500 online readers.

    Vietnamese, Lao young officers hold exchange

    A seminar was held in Hanoi on November 28 for Vietnamese and Lao young officers who shared information on military youth operations, especially activities celebrating 40 years since the signing of the Vietnam-Laos Treaty of Friendship and Cooperation and the 55th anniversary of diplomatic relations.

    The two sides noted that over the years, military youth of both sides have and promoted the tradition of the two nations and armies.

    At the same time, they have worked together for the growth of friendship between the two Parties, States, armies and peoples of Vietnam and Laos.

    They agreed on the need to continue strengthening communications and education on the ties.

    Lao Cai seeks measures to optimise poverty reduction aid

    The People’s Committee of Lao Cai province held a meeting on November 28 with representatives from several foreign embassies and non-government organisations in Vietnam to review their collaboration and exchange ideas for managing poverty reduction projects in the locality.

    From 2013 to October 2017, the northern mountainous province received aid worth nearly 248 billion VND from 24 non-governmental and 123 international organisations, which reduced poverty and boosted development in the locality.

    Health care drew the most assistance with 14 projects and more than 50 billion VND, or 32.9 percent of the total support. The projects focused on providing equipment, improving health care staff capacity and service quality, and HIV/AIDS prevention and control.

    Addressing the meeting, Dang Xuan Thanh, Vice Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee hailed the role of the aid in the province’s poverty reduction efforts.

    He noted that poverty ratio of Lao Cai dropped from nearly 43 percent in 2010 to only 12.11 percent in 2015. The percentage of poor households per the multi-dimensional poverty line also fell from 34.3 percent in 2015 to 27.41 percent in 2016 and was estimated at 22.9 percent in 2017.

    Meanwhile, Tran Dai Hai, Director of the Lao Cai Department of Foreign Relations acknowledged some obstacles in receiving aid in materials as well as administrative procedures. He pledged that in the future, Lao Cai will design policies to support the operations of its partners.

    On the occasion, the provincial People’s Committee presented certificates of merit to collectives and individuals from the embassies and organisations in recognition of their support to the locality.

    Book on Chăm fairytales published

    The first book of Chăm fairytales collected and translated into Vietnamese by teacher Kinh Duy Trịnh of Bình Thuận Province has been released.   

    Truyện cổ Chăm (Fairytales of the Chăm People) contains 25 stories with illustrations by Tôn Nữ Thị Bích Trâm of Kim Đồng Publishing House.

    They feature stories of gods, forests, animals, friendship, love and offer a window into Chăm history, culture and lifestyles.

    Kim Đồng has signed a copyright deal with the author.  

    Trịnh, 61, who lives in PalayChavetVillage in Tuy Phong District, used to work as a Chăm language teacher at pedagogic colleges and universities in the region before moving to the provincial Department of Education and Training.  

    He and his colleagues have written and edited 20 books in the Chăm ethnic languague that are used in primary schools in Bình Thuận and other provinces.  

    He has spent years collecting and translating Chăm fairytales into Vietnamese.

    Trịnh said: “My collection Truyện cổ Chăm features the best fairytales of the Chăm people. Through the book, I wanted to preserve and take Chăm culture and literature to young people of different nationalities in Việt Nam.”

    For the compilation and translation, he said he used Chăm-Vietnamese-French, Chăm-French and Chăm-Vietnamese dictionaries.  

    “I hope my books will help young readers, particularly children, improve their mind and character.”

    He said the next book of the series has been completed and will be printed early next year.

    Bà Nà Hills to host Christmas celebration

    The Christmas Lighting Ceremony will be held at FrenchVillage in the Bà Nà Hills Mountain resort in the central city on December 9th, starting a month of performances and events to celebrate the New Year.

    At the ceremony, visitors can enjoy the three-metre Christmas Tree in front of the Hôtel de Paris with fun games, a buffet and drinks.

    Hotel staff will perform carols in the Saint Dennis church.

    The unique Christmas tree, made from more than 300 bottles of wine, will surely bring warm feelings to cold winter nights at the resort, located 20km west of Đà Nẵng city.

    Visitors can also enjoy the cozy atmosphere of Christmas in two unique Bà Nà Hills French Village restaurants, L’Étable and La Crique. The restaurants are decorated for the season and offer a festive space for family and friends to gather, with live music from December 23-25.

    The mountain resort also hosts a countdown-to-the-New Year at La Piscine Pool, a cozy indoor pool on top of Bà Nà Hills, on December 31st.

    Christmas for kids with cancer

    Also on the occasion, students from Đà Nẵng’s Đông Á College have launched a campaign to make 1,000 paper Sunflowers and paintings to raise money and gifts for kids with cancer at the city’s oncology and pediatrics hospitals.

    The college also called for donations of gifts, books and toys among students at universities in Đà Nẵng during a week-long charity campaign.

    All gifts and donations will be given to kids at hospitals next month in celebration of the Christmas season.

    Bình Dương top Group A at U-21 event

    Becamex Bình Dương beat Promotion Fund for Vietnamese Football Talent FC (PVF) 3-2 in the opening match of the National U-21 Football Championship’s Group A yesterday in BìnhDươngProvince.

    Nguyễn Tiến Linh made a double and Nguyễn Trọng Huy scored for Bình Dương while Nguyễn Thành Lộc and Hà Đức Chinh netted for PVF.

    The win pushes Bình Dương to the top of the group with three points.

    In an earlier match of the group, Sông Lam Nghệ An tied with An Giang 1-1.

    Sông Lam Nghệ An’s Đồng Văn Đoàn opened the score in the last minute of the half with a penalty.

    Thanh Sang levelled for An Giang just four minutes after the interval with a low straight finish.

    In the next fixture, Sông Lam Nghệ An will see PVF while An Giang meet Bình Dương.

    Today will see activities of Group B. Hoàng Anh Gia Lai will play Đồng Tháp and Viettel will face Huế.

    Thái Sơn Bắc, Cao Bằng in Futsal final

    Thái Sơn Bắc secured the first slot in the finals of the National Futsal Cup after defeating Tân Hiệp Hưng 3-2 in a penalty shoot-out yesterday in Đà Nẵng.

    The second leg match ended 5-2 for Tân Hiệp Hưng. The aggregate result after two legs was 6-6, forcing two teams to the penalties.

    After two successful finishes for each side, Tân Hiệp Hưng’s Thái Huy shot found goalkeeper Văn Huy’s face and the ball went out. Later, Minh Quang did not waste his chance to score the third goal for Thái Sơn Bắc and his team advanced into the final.

    The two other teams in the final are Cao Bằng and Sanest Tourist Khánh Hòa after their wins over Hoàng Thư Đà Nẵng and Kim Toàn Đà Nẵng, respectively.

    The finals will begin on Thursday at the TiênSơnSportsPalace.

    Region’s poor lack reproductive health access

    Poor and marginalised communities in Việt Nam and other countries in the Asia-Pacific region lack access to good quality health services, especially in sexual and reproductive health.

    While rapid growth in the region has lifted millions from poverty, the benefits and costs of development are not equitably shared among countries and population groups, according to experts at the 9th Asia Pacific Conference on Reproductive and Sexual Health and Rights. The event was hosted by the Việt Nam Public Health Association yesterday in Hạ Long City in northeastern QuảngNinhProvince.

    The three-day event, which will conclude on November 30, attracted around 1,000 delegates from over 40 countries. It will seek to advance the implementation of the Programme of Action of the 1994 International Conference on Population and Development and contribute to achieving the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, underpinned by the Sustainable Development Goals.

    Five main topics of sexual and reproductive health are being discussed during the conference.

    The topics include overcoming social, cultural and religious barriers in sexual and reproductive health, achieving a just economic order for sexual and reproductive health, strengthening justice systems for sexual and reproductive health and rights, making good quality sexual and reproductive health education available to all and advancing justice and equity in sexual and reproductive health.

    At the event, Deputy Minister Nguyễn Viết Tiến said the sexual and reproductive health sector had improved in recent years. The rate of people using contraceptives reached 80 per cent in 2015 and the rate of maternal mortality has fallen to 60/100,000.

    Despite progress, there is still a disparity in sexual and reproductive health between vulnerable groups and the rest of the population.

    Lê Vũ Anh, president of the Việt Nam Public Health Association, said the conference provided a platform for participants to share their experiences and lessons learned. It will also offer opportunities for individuals and networks to strengthen regional co-operation to advance sexual and reproductive health and rights for all.

    The Asia Pacific Conference on Reproductive and Sexual Health and Rights is a biennial gathering of civil society organisations, young people, academics, government officials, media and private sector firms concerned with sexual and reproductive health and rights. This is the first time Việt Nam hosted the conference.


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  • 11/30/17--01:23: Article 2
  • Central Highlands forest faces continued illegal logging

    Illegal logging is still rampant in the Central Highlands despite Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc’s order to close the forests in the Central Highlands more than a year ago.


    Timber found at a forest managed by Chu Pha Forestry Company

    According to the locals in Ea H'leo Commune in DakLakProvince, the deforestation in the forest lands managed by Chu Pha Forestry Company is rampant and the loggers openly work during the day.

    Reporters of the Labourer Newspapers disguised as orchid collectors and tried to go to destroyed forest area 5km away from a forest protection post. However, they were blocked by three men. Head of Ea H'leo Forest Ranger Unit Truong Van Hong refused to send out rangers to lead them to the scene.

    They went around and saw a huge timber cutting site with various equipment. Ea H'leo forest rangers and the security guards of Chu Pha Company said they discovered the site last week but had been unable to clean up and transfer the timber out so they sent guards to protect the site.

    Chu Pha Company director An Ngoc Tan said they were informed about the site on November 22 and inspected it immediately. "The deforestation occurred right after Storm Haikui. Due to heavy rains and slippery paths, we couldn't patrol and detect the site. There's no way the security guards ignored the deforestation," he said.

    According to Ea H'leo Forest Ranger Unit, the site was discovered and reported to them on November 21. The rangers arrived at the scene and found various vehicles and equipment with newly cut-down trees and over 45 cubic metres of timber. On the next day, they asked the police, representatives of district people's procuracy, and Ea H'leo People's Committee to survey the scene and filed the report.

    The site is difficult to access. The rangers only found three hired drivers who were bailed out by their families.

    During a National Assembly meeting session, NA Deputy Nguyen Sy Cuong from NinhThuanProvince said that despite the prime minister's order, the forest was not closed and local authorities even helped to destroy forests.

    "Owner of a forestry company told me that illegal logging wouldn't be that bad if the loggers didn't get help from forest ranger units and local authorities," he said. "If the authorities only arrive at the scene and give opinions after the forest is destroyed, without suffering from any punishment, then when will the prime minister's order to close the forest will finally be realised?"


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  • 11/30/17--01:32: Article 1

    VIB to use profits to add to core capital   

    Vietnam International Bank (VIB) will submit to the general shareholders meeting (GSM) a plan to use part of its after-tax profits to add to the bank’s core capital.

    Accordingly, VIB will temporarily use the after-tax profit accumulated until November 11, 2017, to add to the bank’s Tier 1 capital. The amount will not exceed VND700 billion (US$30.83 million) and the bank’s after-tax profit up till November 30.

    The board of directors authorises the board’s chairman to decide the detailed amount to submit to the GSM. Implementation will be done before December 31 this year.

    Previously, in early October, VIB unexpectedly decided to cancel a plan to increase charter capital to VND5.64 trillion from VND4.84 trillion by issuing bonus shares approved at the GSM in April 2017. It instead used the money to buy 10.1 per cent of treasury shares.

    According to the bank’s Q3 accumulated financial report, its after-tax profit until the end of September was VND799 billion.

    VIB’s outstanding loans stood at VND53.37 trillion in the first nine months of the year, 11.7 per cent higher against December 31; while deposits grew 12.1 per cent since December 31 to VND59.77 trillion.

    The bank’s non-performing loan ratio fell to 1.54 per cent compared with 1.84 per cent at the end of the second quarter and 2.07 per cent at the end of 2015, and its capital adequacy ratio stood at 15.6 per cent, significantly higher than the 9 per cent required by the State Bank of Viet Nam.

    VIB’s credit ranking was upgraded to B2 in a Moody’s report ranking of Vietnamese banks released last month, putting it in the group of banks with the highest credit ranking in the market.

    Expert: Vietnam economic growth slows down

     Expert: Vietnam economic growth slows down, Outstanding farm products honoured, Trade surplus of US$2.8 billion recorded in Jan-Nov period, Developing tourism into a spearhead economic sector

    Vietnam’s economic growth rate has seen a decline in every 10-year cycle despite significant achievements over the past 30 years, according to Tran Dinh Thien, director of the Vietnam Institute of Economics.

    Speaking at a seminar on opportunities and challenges of the fourth industrial revolution in the Mekong Delta province of Tien Giang on November 24, Thien said economic growth of the country has slowed by nearly one percentage point every ten years.

    According to Thien, the decline has resulted from internal weaknesses.

    Thien pointed to several factors, especially credits.

    The economist said compared to other ASEAN countries and China, Vietnam’s credit interest rate is the second highest after Indonesia, with an average of 6% per year over the past ten years. “The credit interest rate in Vietnam is more than twice higher than that of China, the Philippines and Malaysia,” Thien explained.

    Besides, the country’s logistics cost is the highest in the world. “Logistics cost presents more than 20% of Vietnam’s gross domestic product (GDP), twice as high as the global average of nearly 12%,” Thien said.

    The State budget deficit has widened although the country has called for the stronger participation of the private sector in investment projects.

    Thien said Vietnam has increasingly depended on the foreign direct investment (FDI) sector. FDI firms have grown much faster than domestic firms.

    According to Thien, FDI enterprises not only know how to make the most of Vietnam’s cheap labor and natural resources but also enjoy land and tax incentives from the Vietnamese government.

    Meanwhile, domestic enterprises have to deal with a complicated investment mechanism, with a total of more than 5,700 kinds of certificates and business conditions managed by ministries and departments.

    “The FDI sector now contributes a whopping 70% to the country’s total export revenue,” Thien said.

    Integration is expected to boost the domestic sector but in fact, Vietnamese firms have faced many difficulties and are now left behind.

    Outstanding farm products honoured

    Nearly 160 high quality agricultural products and 25 outstanding companies were honoured at a ceremony in Hanoi on November 28 by the Vietnam Farmers' Association (VFA).

    Speaking at the meeting, Politburo member, Secretary of Party Central Committee (PCC) and Head of PCC Economic Commission Nguyen Van Binh, said that these are individuals and organisations which have made significant contributions towards raising the value of products and also promoting the sustainable development of these products.

    The Party and State will continue to mobilise their resources to develop rural areas, while creating favourable conditions for businesses to invest in socio-economic infrastructure and production in disadvantaged areas, as well as to improve the competitiveness of Vietnam’s agricultural products and promote agricultural restructuring and the construction of new-style rural areas, he noted.

    According to the VFA President Lai Xuan Mon, the programme was launched in 63 provinces and cities, with over 180 agricultural products being nominated.

    The organising committee, in co-ordination with local agencies and agricultural experts, selected 157 high-quality products to be honoured at the ceremony, he added.

    Mon noted that the ceremony is also an opportunity to encourage and recognise businessmen and entrepreneurs who are actively supporting farmers in improving productivity, quality, as well as effective product consumption with high value.

    Trade surplus of US$2.8 billion recorded in Jan-Nov period

    Vietnam enjoyed an estimated trade surplus of US$200 million in November, raising the total trade surplus for the first 11 months of 2017 to US$2.8 billion, as announced by the General Statistics Office of Vietnam (GSO) on November 29.

    According to the latest statistic from the agency, during the 11 month period, the domestic economic sector recorded a trade deficit of US$23.4 billion, while the foreign invested sector enjoyed a surplus of US$26.2 billion.

    In total, export turnover in the first 11 months of this year was estimated at US$193.8 billion, up 21.1% over the same period last year, of which the domestic economic sector achieved US$53.1 billion, up 16.8%; the foreign invested sector (including crude oil) reached US$140.7 billion, an increase of 22.8%.

    Export turnover of key products continued to increase, compared with the same period last year, with cellphones and components reaching US$41.3 billion, up 30.6%; electronics, computers and components reaching US$23.6 billion, up 38.1%; textiles and garments gained US$23.6 billion, up 9.5%; footwear US$13 billion, up 11.6%; and machinery, equipment and accessories reached US$11.5 billion, an increase of 27%.

    Regarding the import figures during Jan-Nov, total turnover was estimated at US$191.0 billion, up 21% against the same period last year, of which the domestic sector imported goods worth US$76.5 billion, up 17.9%; while the figure for the FDI sector stood at US$114.5 billion, increasing by 23.2%.

    For November alone, exports were on a downward trend compared to the previous month, with total export turnover estimated at US$19.2 billion, down 5.4% against October, of which the domestic sector net in US$5.0 billion, down 2.2%, and the FDI sector (including crude oil) reached US$14.2 billion, down 6.5%.

    Imports this month increased in comparison with October, as import turnover reached US$19 billion, up 4.9%, of which the figure for the domestic economic sector was at US$7.6 billion, increasing by 7.1%; and the FDI sector stood at US$11.4 billion, up 3.5%.

    In the past 11 months, the US remained the leading export market of Vietnam with US$38.1 billion, up 9.5% over the same period last year; followed by the EU with US$35 billion, up 13.9%; China US$30.3 billion, up 54.2%; ASEAN US$19.8 billion, up 25.8%; Japan US$15.2 billion, up 14.9%; and the Republic of Korea (ROK) US$13.6 billion, up 30.4%.

    In the opposite direction, China remains the largest import market for its neighbouring country, with turnover reaching US$52.1 billion, up 15.5% over the same period last year; followed by the ROK with US$42.4 billion, up 46%; ASEAN US$25.4 billion, up 17.5%; Japan US$14.7 billion, up 7.5%; the EU US$11 billion, up 10.5%; and the US$ 8.4 billion, up 7%.

    Developing tourism into a spearhead economic sector

    The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism held an online conference on November 28 to implement the Government's Action Programme and the Ministry's Action Plan on developing tourism into a spearhead economic sector.

    The conference was held simultaneously in 63 provinces and cities across the country in response to the Politburo Resolution No.08, issued in January 2017, on developing tourism into a spearhead economic sector by 2020.

    Addressing the conference, Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Nguyen Ngoc Thien said that the tourism sector has witnessed strong growth over the past few years, contributing positively to the national socio-economic development.

    The tourism sector grew by 27% in 2016, receiving approximately 10 million foreign visitors. Vietnam also welcomed 11.7 million foreign arrivals in the first 11 months of this year and the number is estimated to rise to 12.8 million by the end of the year, up 28% over 2016 and up nearly 60% compared to 2015, Thien noted.

    The minister emphasised that, with such outstanding performance, the tourism sector has a great opportunity to become a key economic sector in Vietnam, adding that with this rapid growth, the Vietnamese tourism sector would be able to keep pace with other countries in the region including Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand.

    At the conference, representatives from the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism also introduced the key content of the Government's Action Programme and the Ministry's Action Plan on developing tourism into a spearhead economic sector and the Tourism Law 2017 (revised), which was adopted by the National Assembly in June 2017.

    Under the Action Programme, the Government has assigned the related ministries and localities to carry out eight key tasks, including the restructuring of the tourism sector, the completion of policy on tourism, and investment in order to upgrade tourism infrastructure, among others.

    11M FDI up 83%

    Total foreign direct investment (FDI) in Vietnam reached $33.09 billion in the first eleven months of this year, up a staggering 82.8 per cent year-on-year, according to the latest report from the Foreign Investment Agency (FIA) at the Ministry of Planning and Investment.
    There were 2,293 new projects granted investment certificates during the period, with total registered capital of $19.8 billion, an increase of 52 per cent year-on-year.
    There were also 1,100 existing projects raising their investment capital by a total of $8 billion, up 57.6 per cent year-on-year.
    Foreign investors also purchased shares in 4,535 local enterprises, spending $5.29 billion, up 57.6 per cent year-on-year.
    Disbursement was also higher, reaching $16 billion as at November, up 11.9 per cent year-on-year.
    The FIA figures reveal that foreign investors invested in 19 sectors. Processing and manufacturing industry continued to attract the most, with $14.95 billion, accounting for 45.2 per cent of the total. Electricity production and distribution followed, with $8.37 billion, accounting for 25.3 per cent, then real estate with $2.5 billion, accounting for 7.6 per cent.
    Some 112 countries and territories have investment projects in Vietnam, of which Japan led the way with capital of $8.94 billion, accounting for 27 per cent of the total. South Korea followed, with $8.18 billion, accounting for 24.7 per cent, then Singapore with $4.69 billion, accounting for 14.2 per cent.
    Foreign investors invested in 59 cities and provinces around Vietnam in the period, of which Ho Chi Minh City attracted the most, with $5.68 billion, accounting for 17.2 per cent of the total. Northern Bac Ninh province ranked second, with $3.28 billion, accounting for 9.9 per cent, then northern Thanh Hoa province with $3.16 billion, accounting for 9.5 per cent.

    Solutions on offer for clothing producers

    Vietnamese apparel companies face a host of obstacles from globalization and industrialization, especially in the context of the changing pace of fashion, a seminar entitled “Is Vietnam’s Apparel Industry Ready for Fast Fashion?” held a few days ago in Ho Chi Minh City by ThreadSol, a fast-growing Singapore-based technology company in the apparel industry, heard.
    In cooperation with the Vietnam Textile and Garment Association (VITAS), ThreadSol organized its second edition of the Apparel Tech Up Forum Vietnam series to discuss issues and solutions for Vietnam’s apparel manufacturers in coping with the rapidly growing trend of fast fashion, within the context of the Vietnam International Textile & Garment Industry Exhibition (VTG).
    Over recent years, Vietnam has become a destination for major international fast fashion brands thanks to its large and young population and increasing incomes. Brands such as ZARA, H&M, Topshop, and Mango are rushing to set up more shops around the country.
    The seminar welcomed a number of Vietnam’s leading apparel manufacturers, who heard speeches and presentations from representatives of VITAS and ThreadSol, providing an overview of Vietnam’s apparel industry, in particular the problems faced by manufacturers due to the changing pace of fashion.
    The seminar also featured a panel discussion that gave those in attendance a closer look at how manufacturers can rely on a combination of technology and best practice to deliver timely output without compromising on quality or cost, adapting their business operational structure and management model to the new context of the fast fashion market.
    ThreadSol’s solutions enable apparel companies in Vietnam to turn challenges into opportunities, assisting manufacturers in boosting their topline (revenue) and bottom line (profit) directly. Right from buying accurate amounts of fabric through intelloBuy and shipping 3 per cent more garments with the same amount of fabric through intelloCut, these solutions can help manufacturers boost their revenue and profit.
    “By anticipating change and placing customers’ needs at the heart of our technology, ThreadSol is committed to continually innovating, helping our customers succeed in a fast-evolving industry,” said Mr. Saurav Ujjain, Business Head of ThreadSol South East Asia.
    Both intelloBuy and intelloCut have been adopted by leading manufacturers in Vietnam such as Luenthai (Oceans Sky VN), Duc Hanh, Fashion Garments Limited, Saitex, and Tristate (Upgain VN).
    ThreadSol was established in 2012 to challenge manufacturing industries with its innovative solutions. Over 120 customers in 15 geographies plan 1 billion garments through its solutions every year.

    Coffee production to rise 10% in MY2017/18

    The US Department of Agriculture (USDA)’s Foreign Agricultural Service reports forecasts coffee production in Vietnam for Marketing Year (MY) 2017/18 at 28.6 million bags, a 10 per cent increase compared to MY2016/17 due to favorable weather in the first half of this year.
    Vietnam’s coffee exports fell 22.5 per cent in the first eleven months of 2017, according to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD).
    November exports were 83,000 tons, worth $185 million, resulting in a fall of 22.5 per cent in volume and 3.8 per cent in value in the first eleven months of 2017 year-on-year. The decline in the domestic coffee market was based on a decline in the global Robusta price.
    Vietnam’s MY2016/17 coffee production is revised down from about 26.7 million bags to 26 million bags in the report, due to unusual rain during the harvest that resulted in further losses to already lower
    According to the MARD’s Water Resource Directorate, the wet season arrived early this year in the central highlands, Vietnam’s main coffee producing area, and will also end earlier than expected. The El Nino weather pattern could also return in the second half of calendar year 2017. If this happens, the quality of coffee cherries could be affected, as could the new crop.
    The report revises estimates for Vietnam’s MY 2016/17 coffee exports upwards, including green beans, roasted and ground, and instant coffee, from 26.05 million bags to 26.55 million bags, due mainly to an expected increase in green bean coffee exports. Total exports for MY 2017/18 are forecast at about 26.65 million bags, due to limited production and carry-over stock.

    Exports of green coffee beans are expected at about 24 million bags in MY 2016/17, up some 500,000 bags compared to the USDA’s estimate, due to expected increases in exports of Robusta green beans, but less than the 2.95 million bags recorded in MY 2015/16, due to limited production. MY 2017/18 green bean exports are forecast at 24 million bags, due to expected low coffee carry-over stock from MY 2016/17.

    The report maintains exports of roasted coffee in MY2015/16 at 550,000 bags and exports of soluble at 2.0 million bags GBE (Green Bean Equivalent). It forecasts the same volume for MY2016/17 for roasted coffee due to the flat growth of these sectors, but an increase of 100,000 bags to 2.1 million bags for soluble coffee due to increasing investment in companies that are exporting to the Chinese market.
    Vietnam continues to import small quantities of green coffee beans, as well as roasted and instant coffee, from Laos, Indonesia, Brazil, and the US. Imports of roasted/ground coffee from the US have increased in the past couple of years due to Vietnam’s expanding coffee retail sector. US brands such as Starbucks, McCafé, Dunkin Donuts, and PJ’s Coffee and several South Korean coffee brands have expanded their outlet numbers in Vietnam’s major cities.
    Total coffee imports in MY 2016/17 are expected to be up from 640,000 bags to 1 million bags GBE, due to the rapid expansion of café and coffee shops in Vietnam. Of the total, about 160,000 bags GBE are soluble coffee, 340,000 bags GBE are roast and ground, and 500,000 bags are green bean imports. The report’s forecast for total coffee imports in MY 2017/18 is 1.06 million bags.

    600 B2B meetings organised under Italian business mission to Vietnam 2017

    More than 600 business-to-business meetings between Vietnamese and Italian enterprises have been organised to help the two countries’ enterprises seek partners in numerous sectors, including infrastructure and transport, power generation and green technology, and machinery and technologies.

    These meetings are organised in the framework of the three-day event “Italian Business Mission to Vietnam 2017” by the Italian Trade Commission (ICE), the Italian Banks’ Association, and the Italian Confederation of Industry Associations, with strong support from the Vietnamese Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Vietrade, and the Italian Embassy.

    The mission, which was kicked off in Hanoi today and will last for three days (November 27-28 in Hanoi and November 29 in Ho Chi Minh City), attracts a delegation of 150, representing world-leading Italian brands and more than 600 Vietnamese enterprises.

    Speaking at the opening ceremony, Cecilia Piccioni, Italian Ambassador to Vietnam, said that orgainising the “Italian Business Mission to Vietnam 2017” event show the two countries’ efforts to realise the commitments between the two countries’ leaders to increase co-operation in the energy, infrastructure and transport, and machinery sectors, among others.

    The relationship between the two countries has been elevated to strategic partnership and comprehensive co-operation. Besides, Vietnam and Italy are both signatories to the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA).

    The two countries have complementary strengths, which makes them a good fit to help each other develop. Notably, Italy is known as the world’s leading country for energy, infrastructure and transport, machinery, textile, leathers and footwear, food processing and packaging, plastic or building material industries, while Vietnam has seen strong growth in terms of socioeconomic development, thus it has an increasing demand for capital and expertise in transport infrastructure and other industries.

    However, trade and investment co-operation is still limited. Italy is the fifth-ranking partner of Vietnam in Europe. As of September 2017, Italy ranked 31st among 126 nations and territories investing in Vietnam, with 82 investment projects worth more than $600 million. In 2016, the two countries' bilateral export turnover reached $5.14 billion, up 7 per cent only. In the first six months of this year, the figure was $3.47 billion.

    “Through this event, Italy wants to provide more advanced technology equipment and automation at competitive prices and high productivity, while also focusing on infrastructure and renewable energy in Vietnam,” said Ivan Scalfarotto, Italian Deputy Minister of Economic Development.

    “Italy does not only wish to co-operate in the area of trade as in previous years, but wants to help Vietnam develop, support both human resources training and skills development,” he added.

    The partnership and co-operation agreement (PCA) between Vietnam and Italy effective since October 2016, and the EU-Vietnam FTA to be signed in 2018 will define the basic rules for comprehensive relations between Vietnam and EU members in general and between the two countries in particular.

    Law battles non-state corruption

    Publicly held companies, credit organisations, and investment funds in Vietnam may be subject to the new Law on Anti-Corruption, whose draft is currently under discussion by the National Assembly.

    The legislature is scrutinising the draft amendments to the existing Law on Anti-Corruption. One of the new points in the draft is that the law, which is now applied to state-run agencies and firms, is also to cover non-state firms, including publicly-held companies, credit organisations, and investment funds as pilot non-state entities.

    The draft’s Article 106 states that publicly-held companies, credit organisations, and investment funds have to issue regulations on transparency in their organisational structure and operation, and on responsibility of their heads, including chairmen, CEOs, general directors, directors, and chief accountants.

    Meanwhile, Article 107 of the draft also states that these companies, organisations, and funds are required to maintain transparency and control over their heads’ assets. This is aimed at protecting the interest of stakeholders and depositors.

    They also have to issue regulations on the declaration of their heads’ assets and income, and be subject to inspections from the governments, ministries, cities, and provinces.

    Under the existing Law on Anti-Corruption, only state-run agencies and firms are subject to these regulations. However, according to drafters, these regulations must be applied to non-state enterprises because they will help “enhance enterprises’ role in anti-corruption”, and “the development of corruption-free and healthy business culture plays a very important role in both state and non-state sectors”.

    However, these new provisions have gotten poor reviews from both experts and firms.

    “While the proposed changes to the law can appear justifiable in the abstract, given the Criminal Law provisions that are already in existence, there is a danger that the changes could have a chilling effect on legitimate business while adding little in the way of deterrence to the illegitimate,” Tony Foster, managing partner of law firm Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer Vietnam, told VIR.

    Nguyen Quang Vu, a business lawyer from Venture North Law Limited, told VIR that the provisions are “irrational”. “Moreover, private firms have their own regulations about asset transparency and control and supervision over all activities of their heads. Thus the state should not interfere in their activities. Private firms often have many stakeholders, whose interests are protected by the law and the firms’ regulations. The stakeholders are responsible for their assets, not the state,” Vu said.

    Despite this disagreement, many National Assembly members are putting their weight behind the new provisions.

    Deputy Nguyen Quang Dung of the central province of Quang Nam said it would be necessary for the new law to cover non-state firms and those working for these firms, because this will be in line with the existing Criminal Law, which also covers these entities with specific punishments.

    Like many deputies, Tran Tat The, representing the northern province of Ha Nam, also said that corruption in the non-state sector “has been growing rampantly and with complexity, especially in the areas of loaning, bidding, contracting, and in unofficial costs like gifts, tours, or job generation”.

    “Finally, all the costs of this type of corruption are paid by consumers who have to buy products at high prices,” The said. “The fact that the new law covers the non-state sector is in line with the United Nations Convention against Corruption in which Vietnam is a signatory.”

    According to deputies Do Van Binh from the northern port city of Haiphong and Nguyen Van Khanh from the southern province of Binh Duong, one of the biggest challenges is found in the complicated connections between state-owned agencies and firms with non-state enterprises in trading materials and goods.

    “The most corruption can be seen in public services and projects in administration, construction, road projects, education, and healthcare,” Khanh said.

    “If we focus the fight against corruption only in the state sector, without the non-state sector, the desired result cannot be gained,” Binh said.

    But lawyer Vu argued, “If the state-run agencies’ operations are made transparent, no private firm would dare to bribe them. [Without corruption,] this is the thing that a private firm never wants to do.”

    Viettel earns VND50 billion on Trung Van apartment sales

    Military-run mobile operator Viettel reported an after-tax profit of VND49.48 billion ($2.18 million) from selling the apartments at CT2 Building at Trung Van New Urban Area located in Hanoi's South Tu Liem district.

    Previously, according to the Conclusion No.1203/KL-TTCP published on May 16, 2017 by the Government Inspectorate of Vietnam, Viettel suffered a loss of VND40.63 billion ($1.79 million) after investing and then divesting from the project. The Government Inspectorate of Vietnam proposed the Ministry of National Defence to ask Viettel to review its after-tax profit from selling apartments at the CT2 project.

    According to a representative of Viettel, in early October, Viettel conducted the review of financial data from the 2011-2014 period, and confirmed that the after-tax profit of VND49.48 billion ($2.18 million) came from selling apartments at CT2 Building at the Trung Van project to its staff. Simultaneously, Viettel has enough data to prove the above profit figure and is willing to take responsibility for the legality of the above-mentioned data.

    Viettel added that it recovered the total proceeds of VND154.84 billion ($6.8 million) after divesting from the project, VND12.44 billion ($547,606) higher than the initial investment capital, ensuring the safety of the investment capital according to the investment planning approved by the Ministry of National Defence.

    Viettel is currently the No.1 Vietnamese brand in technology and telecommunications, and has valiantly fought its way to the Top 100 most valued telecom companies around the world. It has made large contributions to national production and facilitated national defence as well as co-operated with other factories and agencies to invest in qualified projects.

    Viettel ranks first on Profit500

    Viettel ranked first among the top 500 Vietnamese firms reporting the highest profit in 2017 (Profit500), according to an evaluation conducted by Vietnam Report JSC (Vietnam Report) and

    The Profit500 ranking has been built based on pre-tax profit, revenue, and the indexes of return on assets, return on equity, and rate of return.

    Besides, Viettel ranks first in the top 1,000 Vietnamese enterprises paying the largest corporate income tax, as published by the General Department of Taxation and the Ministry of Finance.

    Accordingly, in the first six months of this year, Viettel reported a total revenue of VND118 trillion ($5.19 billion) and a pre-tax profit of VND21.67 trillion ($953.95 million), reaching 100.1 per cent of its targets for the whole year.

    Besides, in April, Viettel officially became the first telecommunication services provider in Vietnam to supply 4G services. It is also one of the 60 telecommunication services providers on the world to use 4-transmit-4-receiver (4T4R) technology for its 4G services, increasing coverage 1.4 times and doubling download speeds in comparison with the currently popular 2T2R technology.

    It currently has 36,000 4G Base Transceiver Stations (BTSs) nationwide that can cover 95 per cent of the country’s population.

    Viettel successfully deployed its third online billing system named vOCS v.3.0 and put it into operation successfully for 90 million subscribers in Vietnam and five overseas markets.

    Furthermore, Viettel became a rare telecommunication services provider on the world by producing a real-time billing system, which is comparable to Core Banking in the banking system, but with more complexity and a larger scale.

    Only 6% of Becamex’s shares are booked before IPO
    Only 158 investors have registered to buy more than 18.95 million shares, equivalent to just 6.1 per cent of shares offered, at the initial public offering of the Investment and Industrial Development Corporation (Becamex IDC).

    The IPO is scheduled on December 1 on the HCM Stock Exchange.

    Among them, only five are foreign institutions, booking the purchase of nearly 10.64 million shares, and 153 are domestic investors --149 individuals and four institutions -- who want to buy some 8.3 million shares, the HCM Stock Exchange announced.

    The information is disappointing as the IPO was expected to draw special investors’ attention given its sizable share offering as well as the leading position of the company in the industry.

    Early this month, Becamex said it would float over 311.2 million shares, equivalent to 23.63 per cent of its charter capital, through the IPO. The initial selling price is set at VND31,000 (US$1.37) per share, valuing the company at VND40.83 trillion ($1.8 billion).

    The company is expected to collect at least VND9.65 trillion from the sale (if all the shares are sold), making it the second largest IPO of a State-owned enterprise since Vietcombank’s IPO worth VND10.5 trillion in December 2007.

    Established in 1976, Becamex IDC is one of the largest real estate companies in Viet Nam, focusing on developing industrial, residential, urban and transport infrastructure. Under the equitisation plan, the State will retain 51 per cent of the company’s charter capital worth VND13.17 trillion.

    Van Phu Invest becomes 9th largest property firm after stock debut
    Shares of Van Phu-Invest Investment Joint Stock Company (code VPI) soared 29.7 per cent on its first trading day on the Ha Noi Stock Exchange on Tuesday to close at VND35,800 (US$1.57) a share.

    At this price, the company was valued at more than VND5.7 trillion ($251 million), making it the ninth largest real estate company on the stock exchange.

    Its chairman and CEO To Nhu Toan, with an ownership of 25 per cent stake in the company, advanced into the stock exchange’s billionaire with estimated total assets of over VND1.43 trillion.

    Established in 2003, the company has current charter capital of VND1.6 trillion, equivalent to 160 million shares. The company began attracting market attention since 2010 with a series of projects including Van Phu Urban Area and Van Phu – Victoria apartment building in Ha Noi’s Ha Dong District.

    It posted a net profit of VND238.3 billion in the first nine months of this year and targeted a yearly profit of VND420 billion. The earnings per share (EPS) ratio was VND4,500.

    98% of Ha Noi enterprises pay taxes online
    Ninety-eight per cent of total enterprises in Ha Noi have implemented online tax declaration and about 95.36 per cent of them have paid their taxes online.

    This was revealed by the Ha Noi Department of Taxation. The figures have exceeded targets under Resolution 19, in reducing the time and cost for taxpayers and tax offices in declaring and paying tax.

    The registration time of newly-established enterprises and the automatic granting of a tax code has reduced by 87.5 per cent, four hours less than earlier. That has helped enterprises and taxpayers save time and money.

    The department has also coordinated with relevant departments in solving administrative procedures relating to land, and reducing the period of implementing the procedures from five days to three days, VTC reported.

    Nguyen The Manh, deputy director of the General Department of Taxation and director of the Ha Noi Taxation Department, said that over the past years, the taxation department of Ha Noi has focused on accelerating tax administrative reforms and ensuring transparency to create favourable conditions for businesses and taxpayers.

    The Ha Noi Taxation Department has applied IT in stages of tax management, contributing to transparency and simplification of tax administrative procedures.

    The biggest target of the Ha Noi Taxation Department is to create the best conditions for taxpayers to enjoy full tax incentives and comply with tax policies and law.

    Work on $66m wind power plant starts in Ben Tre
    Construction of a wind power plant worth nearly VND1.5 trillion (US$66 million) began in the southern province of Ben Tre’s Binh Dai District on Tuesday.

    Financed by Mekong Wind Power Joint Stock Company, an affiliate of Thanh Thanh Cong Group, the Binh Dai plant will comprise 15 turbines with a total capacity of 30MW.

    Once operational, the plant – the first of its kind in the province – will produce about 84 million kWh each year.

    In a speech at the plant’s ground breaking ceremony, provincial People’s Committee vice-chairman Truong Duy Hai said Ben Tre had great potential for wind power development thanks to a long coastline and strong wind intensity.

    The province has selected 11 areas in Binh Dai, Ba Tri and Thach Phu districts to develop plants, following a master plan to 2020, Hai said.

    He added that the Binh Dai plant would help speed up provincial economic growth and create more jobs for local people.

    In July, provincial authorities granted investment licences to seven wind power projects, with total pledged capital of about $900 million at an investment promotion conference held in the locality.

    Bus plant ready for ASEAN zero tax
    Car maker Truong Hai Automobile company (Thaco) has opened a new bus plant in the Chu Lai-Truong Hai Industrial Complex in QuangNamProvince. In conjunction with South Korea’s Hyundai Motors, it will make 20,000 buses and minibuses a year from 2018, mostly for export to ASEAN countries.

    Deputy director of Thaco, Pham Van Tai, said the plant, which covered 17ha and involved investment of VND7 trillion (US$310 million), would supply high-quality vehicles. He said the new plant, built using 60 per cent Vietnamese-made components, would produce engines meeting Euro 4 Emission Standards.

    "We have sped up the localisation ratio to produce good quality and competitively priced vehicles to take advantage of the zero tax being introduced throughout the ASEAN region next year,” Tai said.

    He said the company had developed a supportive industry zone with 24 plants producing spare parts and accessories for local use and export.

    Thaco has also built a research and development centre at the new bus plant as well as an automatic welding line and power coating for painting vehicles.

    In 2010, Thaco invested $44 million to build the first plant to make 45-seat buses with a capacity of 5,000 vehicle per year.

    Vietnam-Japan steel venture officially opens

    Vietnam’s Mechanization Electrification Construction Corporation JSC (Agrimeco) and Japan’s JFE Steel Corporation (JFE) held an opening ceremony for the two companies’ newly merged unit, Agrimeco & JFE Steel Products Co., Ltd (ANJ) in Hanoi on November 28.

    The new entity, ANJ, has a registered capital of 2 million USD and is the first joint venture that JFE Steel Corporation has established with a construction and steel-processing company in Vietnam.

    As of February 17, 2017, JFE announced the establishment of a joint venture with 50-50 percent shareholding in Agrimeco, a contractor engaged in hydroelectric power plants and steel high-rise buildings, as well as processing construction materials.

    Le Van An, chairman of Agrimeco, explained that despite the successful merger in February, both sides needed time to understand each other’s working methods, and most importantly, to have ample preparation for upcoming international projects, hence the opening ceremony in November.

    ‘As we have now secured some major contracts with other companies outside of Vietnam, we plan to utilise each party’s core strength to build one of the largest mechanical complex here in Asia,’ he added.

    The joint venture will focus on importing structural steel sheet and steel materials from Japan, which will then be processed by Agrimeco and exported to neighbouring South East Asian markets, after it has consolidated operations in Vietnam.

    According to Fukushima Isao, general director of JFE Steel Vietnam Co., Ltd., in order to avoid competing with cheap Chinese steel, the new unit will focus on high-end anti-corrosion products.

    Domestic demand for construction materials is expected to remain strong and stable as Vietnam continues actively expands its roads, railways, power plants and other transportation infrastructure, consuming 18 million tonnes of steel annually, Fukushima added.

    He also said that the Vietnamese high-end construction steel market is expected to nearly triple by 2025, while integrated steel works and steel products consumption is expected to grow further.

    Italian government, firms praise Vietnam’s free trade policy

    The Italian Government and businesses have highly evaluated Vietnam’s policy on open and free trade, said Italian Deputy Minister of Economic Development Ivan Scalfarotto.

    The Italian official made the comment when he was received by Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc in Hanoi on November 28. He is visiting Vietnam to attend the 4th session of the Vietnam-Italy Joint Committee for Economic Cooperation.

    PM Phuc applauded the success of the 4th session of the Vietnam-Italy Joint Committee for Economic Cooperation and the Vietnam-Italy Business Forum, and recommended the two countries intensify economic and trade cooperation in a bid to lift up bilateral trade.

    While suggesting Italian firms increase investments in Vietnam, PM Phuc said the Vietnamese Government will create favourable conditions for Italian investors.

    He listed a number of spheres for bilateral cooperation, including tourism, green technology, transport, and infrastructure and stressed the need to open a direct air route between the two nations.

    PM Phuc urged both sides work closely to implement the 2017-2018 action plan on strategic partnership, continue organising strategic diplomatic and defence dialogues, and carry out activities marking 45 years of diplomatic ties.

    The PM said Vietnam expects Italy to help speed up the EU’s signing and ratification of the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA).

    Scalfarotto said his delegation included 130 businessmen from 60 top Italian companies who are looking for investment and cooperation opportunities in Vietnam.

    The exchange of high-ranking delegations between the two countries showed Italian’s attention to Vietnam, he said, adding that the official signing of the EVFTA would stimulate economic, trade, and investment relations between the EU and Vietnam as well as between Italy and Vietnam.

    India boosts agricultural cooperation with Mekong Delta

    Agriculture is a key field of cooperation between India and Vietnam, especially the Mekong Delta region - the largest granary in the country, an official has said.

    Speaking at a workshop held in the Mekong Delta province of Tien Giang on November 28, Indian Ambassador to Vietnam Parvathaneni Harish said farm produce and processed food continue to account for a large proportion in bilateral trade.

    Indian companies have poured a remarkable amount of investment in Vietnam in recent years, focusing on key commodities such as sugar, tea, coffee, pepper, seeds, and agricultural equipment, he said.

    The ambassador suggested the two nations focus cooperation on building hi-tech agriculture, promoting trade in fruits, vegetables and aquatic products, developing harvest and post-harvest technologies, training high-quality human resources for agriculture, and studying varieties and advanced cultivation techniques.

    Vo Hung Dung, Director of the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI)’s Branch in Can Tho city, said the Mekong Delta is the country’s largest agricultural production region which also has a favourable business environment.

    The Mekong Delta also has good conditions to further promote international integration and cooperation, he said, adding that India is one of the most important partners of the region.

    Chairman of the provincial Tien Giang People’s Committee Le Van Huong said the outcomes of the workshop will help the region foster the development of sustainable agriculture, shifting from quantity to quality and from chemical agriculture to organic and hi-tech agriculture.

    Italians hope to boost trade with Vietnam

    Italy wants to boost its investment in Vietnam, focusing on providing more advanced technology equipment at competitive prices, while also supporting the country’s sustainable development with infrastructure and renewable energy projects, said Ivan Scalfarotto, Italian Deputy Minister of Economic Development.

    He was speaking at the Business Forum Italy Vietnam held for Vietnamese and Italian entrepreneurs to share investment and cooperation opportunities in Vietnam.

    The forum hosted 150 delegates representing some of Italy’s world-leading brands, in industries from renewable energy and infrastructure to machinery and banks and entrepreneurial associations. More than 200 Vietnamese counterparts also attended.

    Italy is now Vietnam’s eighth-largest trading partner in the world and the largest in the EU. Italian exports to Vietnam include machinery, leather products and electronics. Italian investment in Vietnam increased to 360 million USD in 2016 with 78 projects implemented.

    Bilateral trade between Vietnam and Italy increased sharply from 1.13 billion USD in 2006 to 4.68 billion USD in 2016. In the first eight months of this year, bilateral trade reached 2.9 billion USD, a year-on-year increase of 9 percent.

    Identifying economic cooperation as a priority pillar of bilateral cooperation, the two countries aim to increase trade turnover to 6 billion USD in the 2017- 18 period. They hope to increase Italy’s investment in Vietnam, especially in sectors in which Italy is strong, creating favourable conditions for Vietnamese agriculture and seafood products to access the Italian market.

    “Italy does not only wish to cooperate in the area of trade as in previous years, but also wants to help Vietnam develop by supporting human resources training and capacity-building. To date, Italy has provided technological and financial support to establish a leather and footwear technological, training and application centre in Binh Duong province, which opened in July this year,” Scalfarotto added.

    As regards the obstacles of Italian firms when doing business in Vietnam, Pham Hoang Hai, executive director of the Italian Chamber of Commerce in Vietnam (ICHAM), told Vietnam News that Italian firms are frustrated by the weakness of supporting industries in Vietnam. Since most Italian firms doing business in Vietnam are small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), they are in need of component factories or auxiliary suppliers in Vietnam and struggle to find the high-quality products they want to use.

    However, Vietnam also offers many factors that reassure Italian investors of its strong potential, such as the stability of its policy system, an encouraging corporate tax system and workers whose skills are flexible and transferable to a variety of tasks.

    At the conference, two Memorandum of Understanding (MOUs) have been signed. One MOU is between the Confidustria Marmomacchine – an association of Italian stone and marble manufacturing companies—and the Vietnam Association for Building Materials and the Luc Yen White Marble Association. The other is between the ICHAM and Vietnam’s General Department of Customs.

    This is the first time that ICHAM has signed an agreement with Vietnam’s General Department of Customs aimed at limiting trade fraud and smuggling, as well as guaranteeing that all products coming from Italy to Vietnam are 100 percent made in Italy or 100 percent produced by Italian companies, said Michele D’Ercole, chairman of ICHAM.

    The event was organised by the Italian Trade Commission (ICE), the Italian Banks’ Association (ABI) and the Italian Confederation of Industry Associations (Confindustria), with support from the Vietnamese Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) and the Embassy of Italy in Vietnam.

    Vinamilk enters domestic sugar industry
    Viet Nam’s dairy giant, Vinamilk, marked its presence in the local sugar industry by debuting the Viet Nam Sugar Joint Stock Company (Vietsugar) on Tuesday in central KhanhHoaProvince’s Cam Lam District.

    In a move to ensure sufficient raw material for business expansion, Vinamilk this year has spent nearly VND1 trillion (US$44 million) on acquiring a 65 per cent stake of the Khanh Hoa Sugar Co and changing its name into Vietsugar.

    Representatives of Vinamilk said that Vietsugar, which was launched from a strategic handshake between two long-standing companies in Viet Nam’s food industry, will open a new direction for the local sugar industry by gradually helping sugarcane farmers in Khanh Hoa province and neighbouring localities improve their competitiveness and actively integrate into regional and global markets.

    Established in 1989, Khanh Hoa Sugar Co has a current production capacity of 1,500 tonnes of sugar each day and strives to raise its daily capacity to 2,000 tonnes of sugar in the future.

    India boosts agricultural cooperation with Mekong Delta
    Agriculture is a key field of co-operation between India and Viet Nam, especially the Mekong Delta region – the largest granary in the country, said an official.

    Speaking at a workshop held in the Mekong Delta province of Tien Giang on Tuesday, Indian Ambassador to Viet Nam, Parvathaneni Harish, said farm produce and processed food continue to account for a large proportion in bilateral trade.

    Indian companies have poured a remarkable amount of investment in Viet Nam in recent years, focusing on key commodities such as sugar, tea, coffee and pepper, as well as seeds and agricultural equipment, he said.

    The ambassador suggested the two nations should focus co-operation on building hi-tech agriculture, promoting trade in fruits, vegetables and aquatic products, developing harvest and post-harvest technologies, training high-quality human resources for agriculture and studying varieties and advanced cultivation techniques.

    Vo Hung Dung, director of the Viet Nam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI)’s Branch in Can Tho City, said the Mekong Delta is the country’s largest agricultural production region, which also has a favourable business environment.

    The Mekong Delta also has the conditions necessary to further promote international integration and co-operation, he said, adding that India is one of the most important partners of the region.

    Chairman of the provincial Tien Giang People’s Committee, Le Van Huong, said the outcome of the workshop will help the region foster the development of sustainable agriculture, shifting from quantity to quality and from chemical agriculture to organic and hi-tech agriculture.

    Local FMCG draws Malaysian interest

    Malaysian investors are keen on Vietnam’s fast-moving consumer goods segment, which enjoys significant growth in both online and offline retail.

    A delegation of eight Malaysian companies paid a working visit to Vietnam last week to explore the possibilities of selling their fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) on the domestic market. Their products include processed foods, beverages, ingredients, and spices, as well as food packaging.

    Dato’ Theng Bee Han, president of the Malaysian Business Chamber in Vietnam, said that Vietnam’s market is ready for the FMCG sector.

    The expansion in modern retail seen in hypermarkets, shopping malls, and convenience stores has pushed the development of the sector. E-commerce is also getting more popular, driving the FMCG segment further.

    On top of that, consumers are increasingly willing to buy foreign products due to their changing lifestyles and rising incomes over the past 10 years.

    PitaBerry, Malaysia’s leading beverage producer, is looking to export its canned drinks to the Vietnamese market. Raymond Chong, the firm’s founder, told VIR he is in talks with Vietnamese supermarkets about offering his company’s Big Power and All WiiNS drinks in their stores.

    “We are looking for opportunities in ASEAN, which is becoming a single market after the establishment of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC). Within AEC, Vietnam is emerging with huge opportunities for energy drinks thanks to the country’s large young population. So we will not only export our products, but are also planning to open a factory in the future, if our drinks are accepted by local consumers,” he said.

    Meanwhile, Anggun Fusion, a brand for premium ingredients, is searching for strategic partnerships and planning for long-term business in Vietnam. Mimie Azura Mohamad, the firm’s founder, said, “We want to sell ready-to-eat sauces in Vietnam. We plan to hold food testing events and find suitable partners for the products.”

    According to Kantar Worldpanel’s report “The future of e-commerce in FMCG”, online FMCG sales reached a 0.5 per cent share in Vietnam in 2017, recording a rise of 69 per cent in comparison to last year.

    According to David Anjoubault, general manager of Kantar Worldpanel Vietnam, although the size of Vietnam’s e-commerce market is still small compared to other segments, it holds large potential.

    The value growth of e-commerce within FMCG is up 69 per cent, which makes Vietnam one of the countries with the highest e-commerce growth rates in the world.

    “It’s now a critical time for investors to enter this promising market, while current retail giants should gradually move their offerings online and take advantage of their brand equity with omni-channel strategies, to be successful and to defend their current position,” Anjoubault said.

    “On the whole, consumer trust and high logistics costs for delivery are major challenges that need to be addressed by businesses in order to move Vietnam’s e-commerce forward.”

    HCMCity welcomes RoK’s Huneed Technologies group

    Ho Chi Minh City will create optimal conditions to welcome Huneed Technologies group of the Republic of Korea (RoK) to its Saigon Hi-Tech Park.

    Chairman of the municipal People’s Committee Nguyen Thanh Phong made the pledge at a reception for Eugene Kim, chairman of the group, in the city on November 27.

    He said the city will offer the group its abundant labour resources, developed traffic infrastructure facilities and investment incentives.

    The city will help multinational companies join global supply chains, Phong said, adding that it will facilitate the group’s information exchange and investment exploration in the park.

    For his part, Eugene Kim expressed his respect for the development of the city, suggesting local authorities support his group to invest in the city’s Saigon Hi-Tech Park.

    Huneed Technologies is the leading provider of defence equipment of the RoK. It is a strategic supplier of the Boeing Group for electronic items on civil aircraft.


    0 0
  • 11/30/17--01:58: Article 0
  • Vietnam wooden furniture products now target high-end market

    2017 is the first year Vietnam gained a 2-digit growth rate in wooden furniture exports thanks to heavy investment in technology and design.

    vietnam economy, business news, vn news, vietnamnet bridge, english news, Vietnam news, news Vietnam, vietnamnet news, vn news, Vietnam net news, Vietnam latest news, Vietnam breaking news, woodwork, Hawa, CFC certificate 

    Vietnam exported $5.55 billion worth of wood and woodwork in first nine months

    According to GDC (General Department of Customs), the export turnover of wood and woodwork in the first nine months of the year reached $5.55 billion, an increase of 11.3 percent over the same period last year.

    Meanwhile, according to the Handicraft and Wood Industry Association of HCMC (Hawa), Vietnamese companies usually export more in the last months of year. Therefore, it predicts the total export turnover in 2017 will reach $8 billion, or 14 percent higher than 2016.

    In 2016, the export turnover of wood, non-wood forestry products and woodwork was $7.3 percent, of which wooden exports brought $5.12 billion, up by 7.1 percent over the year before.

    In 2016, the export turnover of wood, non-wood forestry products and woodwork was $7.3 percent, of which wooden exports brought $5.12 billion, up by 7.1 percent over the year before.

    Hawa’s deputy chair Huynh Van Hanh commented that Vietnamese enterprises obtained two-digit export growth rate this year because they invested in technology and design.

    Many enterprises expanded their factories and set up more production lines with advanced technologies. Others increased investment capital by two or three times. The moves helped them obtain more orders from importers.

    In the past, Vietnamese enterprises simply did outsourcing according to the designs given to them. But now, they design new products and export products under their own names.

    Hanh said modern technologies now are affordable for Vietnamese enterprises, and, even small manufacturers can also install new production lines. With old technologies, every worker can create productivity value worth $20,000 per annum. The figure is $35,000 with new technologies.

    Huynh Quang Thanh, general director of Hiep Long Wood Processing in Binh Duong province, said he has invested in new technology and set up a design division.

    The products designed by the company are priced at 10-20 percent higher than products made in accordance with designs provided by clients. Thanks to this, the company usually obtains orders from resorts in the US and Japan, worth $3-4 million each order.

    In the domestic market, Vietnamese manufacturers are targeting the high-end market segment, which was previously dominated by imports. At some construction works, 80 percent of woodwork is made in Vietnam.

    According to Hawa, the domestic market grew by 5-6 percent per annum and the consumption is expected to increase to $2 billion this year.

    Unlike previously, the domestic market is being controlled by Vietnamese enterprises. Vietnam only imports $68 million worth of wooden furniture products every year, mostly from China.

    Imports have become less favored because the products are not as diverse, and they are more expensive.

    Mai Chi, VNN

    0 0
  • 12/01/17--01:00: Article 2
  • Social News 30/11

    Social insurance debts amount to VND14.7 trillion 

     Social insurance debts amount to VND14.7 trillion, Population law must protect elderly: experts, Patrol road built along Vietnam-Cambodia border, HCM City to build more dorms for workers 

    Companies across the country still owe about VND14.7 trillion (over US$646 million) in social insurance premiums, which may leave their employees on the verge of losing their health and retirement insurance benefits, Thanh Tra newspaper reports.

    Unpaid social, healthcare and unemployment insurance premiums accounted for 6.3% of all receivables by November, according to Vietnam Social Insurance.

    Of which, debts of less than six months made up a large proportion at VND7.3 trillion (over US$321 million), and enterprises failed to pay healthcare insurance premiums of more than VND1.5 trillion (around US$69 million).

    Overall, as many as 102,900 companies still failed to pay social insurance premiums totaling about VND14.7 trillion for around 2.6 million employees.

    Social insurance officials have filed about 8,800 lawsuits involving enterprises accused of owing roughly VND6 trillion. However, courts at all levels have settled roughly 4,000 cases.

    The chief judge of the Supreme People’s Court Nguyen Hoa Binh was cited by the newspaper as saying that prevailing legal procedures require social insurance agencies to inspect enterprises regarding insurance payments, and impose fines on those owing them.

    Upon inspections, sanctions, and administrative procedures, he added, courts will handle the cases. This is why courts have turned down numerous cases as their procedures are not in line with the newly-issued criminal procedure code.

    The Law on Trade Union, the 2012 Labor Code, the 2014 Social Insurance Law and the 2015 Civil Code allow labor unions on behalf of their employee members to file lawsuits against companies failing to pay social insurance premiums in order to guarantee their legitimate rights and interests.

    Reports of local governments across the country showed as of end-October, more than 2,300 specialized inspections on payments of social, healthcare and unemployment insurance premiums had taken place. However, the figure is just a drop in the ocean.

    Deputy general director of the Vietnam Social Insurance Tran Dinh Lieu asked agencies nationwide under his organization to carry out more specialized inspections in a bid to reduce the amount of insurance debts.

    “The Vietnam Social Insurance and the Supreme People’s Court are working together to come up with a circular guiding the inspections and sanctions against enterprises that fail to comply with or not strictly conform to (prevailing regulations),” he said.

    The National Assembly had passed the amended Penal Code which goes into force early next year. Failing to pay social insurance in due time is treated as a criminal offense. Therefore, courts at all levels will handle such cases in the coming time.

    Eleven Apparel and Footwear Factories in Viet Nam Take the Extra Mile for Children

    UNICEF and eleven factories in the footwear and apparel sector in Viet Nam have launched today the “Children’s Rights in the Workplace Programme for Footwear and Apparel Manufacturers” to look specifically at improving the wellbeing of children, working parents, and young workers. As part of the initial activities, factories will roll out the awareness raising campaign 60 minutes working as a mum that was developed in partnership with iCare Benefits and the Purpose Group to increase awareness on breastfeeding in workplace among workers and to encourage management to introduce policies to support breastfeeding workers.

    “The footwear and apparel industry employs around 3.5 million workers in Viet Nam, 80% of whom are young women and most of them have migrated from rural areas to take factory jobs.” said Jesper Moller, UNICEF Deputy Representative in Viet Nam. “Therefore, those businesses impact millions of children, both directly and indirectly through the policies and practices for their workers. I commend the participating factories for recognizing the role that they play and for committing to take action and to become new child rights advocates.” 

    This progamme launched is supported by UNICEF, the Viet Nam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI), and iCare Benefits. “The promotion of child rights by businesses will contribute towards the achievement of the objectives set out in the National Action Plan on the Implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development”, said Mr. Tran Ngoc Liem, Deputy Director of VCCI Ho Chi Minh City Branch

    Today’s launch event brought together representatives from the business community (factories, industry associations, brands, vendors), government, international and non-profit organizations to raise awareness on how businesses in the footwear and apparel sector can minimize their risks and maximize their opportunities through global guidance on respecting and supporting children’s rights. The guidance is outlined in the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights and further elaborated in the Children’s Rights and Business Principles developed by UNICEF, the Global Compact and Save the Children.

    Mr Yao Cheng Wu, Director of Pou Yuen Vietnam– one of the participating manufacturers – explained at the event that the company’s factory in Ho Chi Minh City currently employs 74,000 workers, 80% of whom are women and on average they have 400 child births every month. This means that Pou Yuen has an opportunity to make a difference and directly contribute to the well-being of more than 4,500 children per year through family-friendly workplace programs and policies.

    “We have seen that businesses who use their leverage to support and promote the rights of children can have an immense positive impact on the lives of children and become an accelerator for children’s rights” stressed Ms. Ines Kaempfer, Executive Director of Center for Child Rights and Corporate Sustainability during her presentation. 

    UNICEF works closely with companies, business associations, brands, relevant government departments, non-profit organizations, youth groups, academia and other UN agencies to promote children’s rights and business in the country. During the event, representatives from the factories shared their current policies to support working parents, children and their thoughts on the role of various stakeholders – brands, industry associations, government and NGOs in promoting children’s rights within the sector.

    Population law must protect elderly: experts

    The nation’s population policy must be integrated with other socio-economic factors including national defence and security to ensure rapid and sustainable development, experts said at a meeting in Hanoi on November 29.

    The meeting was aimed at gathering recommendations for the draft Law on Population, which will be submitted to the fifth National Assembly session for discussion.

    Truong Hai Cuong, member of the Vietnam Fatherland Front (VFF) Central Committee, said the country’s population was aging rapidly, so the draft law should have provisions that ensure the rights, interests and responsibilities of the elderly, and encourage senior citizens to do suitable jobs, based on their health and experience.

    Quach Sy Hung, also with the VFF, said the draft law should have clear regulations on responsibilities of relevant ministries and agencies on family planning services and taking care for old people.

    International principles and commitments should be observed in building population policies, said Nguyen Ngoc Quynh of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) in Vietnam.

    She said the draft law should meet international standards and comply with human rights principles, including the right to decide to have babies, time to have babies and the number of children.

    Regulations should ensure the provision of full and clear information, education and qualified services on reproductive health, with priority given to population in disadvantaged areas, she said.

    Dialogue participants also discussed and shared their experiences on the development and implementation of population and development policies; raising awareness and changing societal behaviour; and integrating population variables into development policies.

    The dialogue organised by the VFF, the UNFPA in Vietnam, the General Office for Population and Family Planning and the Ministry of Health.

    Patrol road built along Vietnam-Cambodia border

    The People’s Committees of the southwestern provinces of Tay Ninh, Binh Phuoc and Long An began construction of a patrol road along the Vietnam-Cambodia border

    The People’s Committees of the southwestern provinces of Tay Ninh, Binh Phuoc and Long An began construction of a patrol road along the Vietnam-Cambodia border on November 29.

    The 270-km road will be built at a cost of 2.35 trillion VND (103.6 million USD) sourced from Government bonds between 2017 and 2020, including 130km in Tay Ninh, 110km in Binh Phuoc, and 30km in Long An.

    Lieutenant General Vo Minh Luong, Commander of the Military Region 7, said the project aims to serve the management and protection of national sovereignty, security, social order and safety in border areas.

    It also aims to develop the local economy as well as strengthen ties with Cambodia, he said.

    He noted that before 2014, the Military Region 7 had built 128km of border patrol road in Binh Phuoc and Long An, and 48.94km in Long An in 2014-2016.

    He asked the management board of the project to work with authorities of the three localities to address land clearance issues while coordinating with agencies of the Ministry of National Defence to ensure the progress of the project and to uphold border entry and exit regulations.

    Quang Ninh hosts regional reproductive, sexual health conference

    The 9th Asia-Pacific Conference on Reproductive and Sexual Health and Rights (APCRSHR) kicked off in the northern province of Quang Ninh on November 28.

    With the theme of “Leave No One Behind! Justice in Sexual and Reproductive Health”, the function attracted nearly 1,000 delegates, including scientists, researchers, educators, youths and representatives of organisations and community groups from 40 countries in the region.

    At the conference, Dr Rosalia Sciortino from the Institute for Population and Social Research at MahidolUniversity, stressed development gaps amid rapid growth across the Asia-Pacific have minimised poor and disadvantaged people’s chances to access high-quality healthcare services, particularly sexual and reproductive health.

    She expected that the event will help speed up the review of policies and practices to bring justice to sexual and reproductive health, ensuring that no one was left behind.

    Vietnamese Deputy Minister of Health Nguyen Viet Tien said with the progress achieved in the past two decades, Vietnam is working to reduce and eventually remove uneven access to good health services, with particular attention paid to ethnic and remote areas.

    The conference consists of five plenary sessions under five sub-themes, which spotlight social, cultural and religious barriers, sexual and reproductive health education, as well as justice and equity concerning the matter.

    A total of 166 reports will be delivered at 35 parallel sessions, while more than 147 abstracts will be presented as posters. Delegates are scheduled to undertake field visits to reproductive and sexual health and rights projects in Quang Ninh. 

    The 9th APCRSHR, the first of its kind hosted by Vietnam, will last until November 30.

    NA cancels VND10 trillion allocation for flood control in HCMC

    Flood control projects in HCMC will not get an allocation of VND10 trillion from the central budget though such projects were initially included in the medium-term public investment plan for 2016-2020, according to a National Assembly resolution.

    However, HCMC can benefit from revenues generated from equitization and divestments of State capital at State-owned enterprises in HCMC.

    Nguoi Lao Dong newspaper cited the NA resolution on piloting the special development mechanism in HCMC, saying the city could use such revenues and its budget collections to develop socioeconomic infrastructure, including flood control projects. Besides, HCMC will be allocated with VND8.8 trillion to carry out hospital projects.

    With the resolution, HCMC will have more resources for development. In particular, the HCMC People’s Council can decide to convert the use purpose of rice farming land of over ten hectares into service land, and propose tax increases of no more than 25% on certain goods and services subject to the environment protection law and the special consumption law.

    The city is allowed to enjoy 100% of additional revenues to invest in infrastructure.

    The pilot implementation of new tax collection policies must have a reasonable road map that suits the city’s development needs, and create a favorable business environment.

    HCMC can issue local government bonds, borrow from local financial institutions, and international loans secured by the Government for relending, with outstanding loans not higher than 90% of the city’s budget collections.

    In addition, the city can get 50% of land use collections when selling public assets under the law on management and use of public assets, and work towards wage reform.

    The National Assembly also issued a resolution on site compensation at the Long Thanh international airport project, focusing on recalling land, compensating and resettling affected households.

    The NA agreed to have the project carried out in an area of nearly 5,400 hectares, with some 5,000 hectares for the airport, 282 hectares for the Loc An-Binh Son resettlement area and 20 hectares for a cemetery.

    Investments of the project totaled VND22.94 trillion, inclusive of backup costs. Land recall, compensation and resettlement will be completed by 2021.

    Youth Conference on reproductive health

    On the sidelines of the event, the Youth Conference was held on Monday to gather young people from across the world who are working in the field of sexual and reproductive health and rights.

    Bjorn Andersson, Asia Pacific Regional Director of the United Nations Population Fund, said that statistics showed that in the 21st century, despite many advances in health and science, approximately 10,000 adolescent girls die every year from pregnancy complications in the region.

    About 5.2 million adolescent pregnancies occur every year. In several countries adolescent pregnancies are actually increasing despite the global trend of a decline.

    All of this points to the obvious fact that we must have supportive laws and policies that ensure that young people can achieve their sexual and reproductive health and rights, he said.

    Manulife Vietnam raises $30 million for Hearbeat Vietnam

    Manulife Vietnam has raised VND115 million ($5,061) to support Heartbeat Vietnam, a programme running in the framework of the 2017 Techcombank Ho Chi Minh City International Marathon, increasing the total funds raised by Manulife Vietnam to VND700 million ($30,811) since August 2017.

    The funds will be disbursed for surgeries for 30 children with heart disease to give them a chance at a healthier life. The first five children had successful surgeries in mid-November and all of them recovered quickly.

    With 18 years of operation in life insurance, Manulife Vietnam has become known for its initiatives promoting healthy and active lifestyles through large-scale sporting events in recent years.

    Manulife Vietnam was the major sponsor for Danang International Marathon for three consecutive years, while simultaneously accompanying charity jogging events. This is how Manulife Vietnam wants to spread the positive spirit to its customers and the community in general.

    Furthermore, Manulife Vietnam often stimulates its staff to join yoga, cycling, and jogging clubs.

    Continuing to accompany the 2017 Techcombank Ho Chi Minh City International Marathon by joining both the jogging and the charity programmes, Manulife Vietnam once again speaks out for a healthy and loving life.

    Event affirms capacity of people with disabilities

    Disabled people who are active in the fields of economics, development, society and management participated in the “We can do it” event in Hanoi on November 29.

    The event was held by the Embassy of Switzerland in Vietnam along with the Action to the Community Development Centre (ACDC) and the ICRC MoveAbility Foundation under the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).

    Despite have a leg disability, Truong Cong Nghiem, Chairman of the Da Nang Association of Disabled People, has become an owner of a printing company.

    Meanwhile, Dang Tran Thanh has become Director of FiveColour Company, despite having a hearing impairment. The firm, which specialises in handicraft production in Hanoi, also generates jobs for many hearing-impaired people.

    Nguyen Thi Thuy, who lost one third of her left leg, represented Vietnam at the ASEAN Para Games in 2015 in track-and-field. She won a gold medal in the 200m and has won a total of 17 gold medals in international competition.

    Despite having osteogenesis imperfecta, also known as brittle bone disease, Nguyen Thi Lan Anh, has overcome difficulties to become Director of the ACDC, a consultant of the National Committee for Vietnamese Persons with Disabilities and a member of the Central Committee of the Vietnam Federation for Disabilities in 2017-2022.

    Addressing the programme, President of the Vietnam Red Cross Society (VRC) Nguyen Thi Xuan Thu said the VRC has implemented several activities to support poor people and those with disabilities across Vietnam.

    The association has also called on organisations and individuals to support disabled people, she added.

    Swiss Ambassador to Vietnam Beatrice Maser highlighted the theme of the 2017 International Day of Persons with Disabilities (December 3), which is “Transformation towards sustainable and resilient society for all”.

    To realise this goal, it is necessary to create equal opportunities for people with disabilities, she said.

    The annual day was launched in 1992 by the United Nations General Assembly, aiming to promote the rights and well-being of the disabled in all spheres of society and development, and increasing awareness of disabled people in political, social, economic and cultural life.

    NA a parliament of debate: Hanoians

    Many citizens in Hà Nội applauded improvements in the National Assembly (NA)’s recent activities, especially its fourth session, while meeting with Party General Secretary Nguyễn Phú Trọng and other NA deputies of Hà Nội yesterday. 

    The legislators met with citizens in Ba Đình, Tây Hồ and Hoàn Kiếm districts to detail the outcomes of the 14th NA’s freshly concluded fourth session, the implementation of their action programme in 2017, and the action plan for next year. 

    Many local constituents lauded the fourth sitting’s outcomes, especially question and answer sessions, adding that the NA changed from a parliament of discussion to a parliament of debate. During this sitting, the Government also pointed out shortcomings that need to be addressed so as to boost national development. 

    Hà Nội citizens said they want the NA to continue reforming its activities and shorten its sessions’ durations so that authorities and sectors can focus on implementing targets set by the parliament. 

    Echoing this view, the Party chief said the fourth session was successful as reforms and improvements were made in a democratic, straightforward, responsible, and constructive manner. 

    At the meetings, citizens also lauded the NA’s approval of many laws, including the Law on Planning. They asked the legislative body to monitor the enforcement of this law. 

    However, they also voiced concern about the fact that although many laws were issued, law enforcement is still weak. The issuance of documents guiding enforcement remains sluggish while there is a shortage of personnel and funding for law dissemination. They asked the NA to watch the issuance of legal documents so as to avoid issuing documents that are impractical or run counter to law. 

    Several people mentioned deforestation and mining that affect ecosystems, the new universal education curriculum and textbooks, teaching and learning facilities, and policies for educational workers. 

    Regarding the fight against corruption, they expressed their support for the Party and State’s resolve, noting that once violations are discovered, they must be handled stringently. 

    General Secretary Trọng said this is a serious problem on which the Party Central Committee has issued many resolutions. Although efforts have been made and more effective actions have been taken, this is a long-term fight that needs to be ramped up. 

    He called on voters to have greater consensus and determination to join the entire Party, people and political system in fighting corruption and developing Viet Nam into a prosperous, democratic, equitable and civilised country. 

    Vietnamese Ambassador extends greetings on Laos’s National Day

    Vietnamese Ambassador to Laos Nguyen Ba Hung and a delegation of the Vietnamese Embassy in Laos have extended greetings to leaders of the Lao People’s Revolutionary Party, the Lao Government and people on the occasion of Laos’s 42nd National Day. 

    Visiting the headquarters of the Commission for External Relations of the LPRP Central Committee in Vientiane on November 29, the Ambassador congratulated the Lao people on the great achievements they have made under the leadership of the LPRP over the past 42 years. 

    He stressed that Laos has recorded important progress in external relations in 2017, with the LPRP having strengthened ties with ruling parties of many countries. 

    The ambassador took the occasion to thank the Commission for External Relations of the LPRP Central Committee and other agencies for their coordination and support in organising activities to mark the Vietnam-Laos, Laos-Vietnam Friendship and Solidarity Year 2017. 

    He said the activities contributed to fostering the special solidarity and comprehensive cooperation between the two countries as well as educating their people on the significance of the ties.    

    Head of the Commission for External Relations of the LPRP Central Committee Sunthon Xayachak said Vietnam has always had a role in Laos’s achievements over the past years and affirmed that the LPRP, Government and people of Laos will do their best to together with their Vietnamese partners preserve the special Laos-Vietnam solidarity. 

    The same day, Ambassador Nguyen Ba Hung and the Embassy delegation also visited the LPRP Central Committee Office, the Lao Prime Minister Office and the Lao Foreign Ministry to deliver their greetings on the Lao anniversary.

    Hanoi voters laud improvements in parliament’s fourth session

    Many voters in Hanoi applauded improvements in the National Assembly (NA)’s recent activities, especially its fourth session, while meeting with Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong and other NA deputies of Hanoi on November 29.

    The legislators met with voters in the districts of Ba Dinh, Tay Ho and Hoan Kiem to inform the outcomes of the 14th NA’s freshly concluded fourth session, the implementation of their action programme in 2017, and the action plan for next year.

    Most of local constituents spoke highly of the fourth sitting’s outcomes, especially question and answer sessions, adding that the NA changed from a parliament of discussion to a parliament of debate. During this sitting, the Government also straightforwardly pointed out shortcomings that need to be addressed so as to boost national development.

    Hanoi voters said they want the NA to continue reforming its activities and shorten its sessions’ duration so that authorities and sectors can focus on implementing the tasks and targets set by the parliament.

    Echoing the view, General Secretary Trong said the fourth session was one of the successful sessions of the parliament as reforms and improvements were made in a democratic, straightforward, responsible, and constructive manner.

    At the meetings, voters also lauded the NA’s approval of many important laws, including the Law on Planning. They asked the legislative body to closely monitor the enforcement of this law.

    However, they also voiced concern about the fact that although many laws were issued, law enforcement is still weak. The issuance of documents guiding the enforcement remains sluggish while there is a shortage of personnel and funding for law dissemination. They asked the NA to keep a close watch on the issuance of legal documents so as to avoid documents that are impractical or run counter to law.

    A number of constituents raised opinions on deforestation and mining that affect the ecosystem, the new universal education curriculum and textbooks, teaching and learning facilities, and policies for educational workers.

    Regarding the fight against corruption and negative phenomena, they expressed their support for the Party and State’s resolve, noting that once violations are discovered, they must be handled stringently.

    General Secretary Trong said this is a big and serious problem on which the Party Central Committee has issued many resolutions. Although many efforts have been made and more methodological and effective actions have been taken, this is a long-term fight that needs to be ramped up.

    He called on voters to have greater consensus and determination to join the entire Party, people and political system in fighting corruption and developing Vietnam into a prosperous, democratic, equitable and civilised country.

    CPV delegation pays working visit to China

    A delegation of the Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV) is paying a working visit to China from November 26 to December 3 during which they will also attend a high-level dialogue between the Communist Party of China (CPC) and world political parties.

    The delegation, led by Phan Dinh Trac – Secretary of the CPV Central Committee, Chairman of the CPV Central Committee’s Commission for Internal Affairs and deputy head of the Central Steering Committee for Anti-Corruption, had a meeting on November 29 with Yang Xiaodu – member of the CPC’s Politburo, Secretary of the CPC Central Committee’s Secretariat and Deputy Secretary of the CPC Central Committee’s Discipline Inspection Commission.

    Trac highly valued the enormous achievements China recently obtained. He voiced his belief that under the leadership of the CPC with General Secretary Xi Jinping being the core, China will successfully attain the targets set at the CPC’s 19th National Congress.

    He expressed his delight at recent developments in relations between the two Parties and the two countries, affirming that the Vietnamese Party, State and people sincerely want to join their Chinese counterparts in promoting the two countries’ neighbourliness and comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership in a stable, healthy, sustainable and substantive manner, thus actively contributing to each country’s development as well as peace, stability and development in the region and the world.

    For his part, Yang also congratulated Vietnam’s successes in socio-economic development, Party building and corruption fight. He noted that led by the CPV, the Vietnamese people will achieve the targets set at the CPV’s 12th National Congress and gain even greater accomplishments in reform and socialism building.

    He reiterated that the Chinese Party, State and people attach special importance to relations with Vietnam and are ready to together with the country make all-out efforts to foster bilateral ties.

    He also applauded the progress in China-Vietnam relations, adding that he wishes both sides will increase high-ranking visits, enhance political trust, step up strategic connectivity, and increase people-to-people exchanges.

    Also on November 29, the CPV delegation had talks with the CPC Central Committee’s Discipline Inspection Commission to learn about China’s experience in Party building and corruption fight.

    They will attend the CPC’s high-level dialogue with world political parties from December 1 to 3.

    PM encourages Australian group Sakkara’s investment in real estate

    Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has told the Australian property group Sakkara that there are huge investment opportunities for the group in Vietnam.

    Receiving the group’s president Neil Robert Wilson in Hanoi on November 29, the Prime Minister said urban development is important for Vietnam but the Vietnamese Government does not has sufficient financial capacity to invest in the field. Therefore, many opportunities are available for investors, he said.

    PM Phuc suggested the group can expand investment to other fields, such as transport, environment, waste and waste water treatment, and infrastructure development in the forms of build – operate – transfer (BOT) and private – public – partnership (PPP).

    He affirmed that the Government of Vietnam always facilitates foreign investment in the country.

    For his part, Neil Robert Wilson expressed his impression of Vietnam’s hosting of the APEC Economic Leaders’ Week.

    According to him, the group decided to make investment in Vietnam considering the country’s young and dynamic population. He said Sakkara has gained success since entering Vietnam in 2003, noting that Vietnam is the only foreign market the group has made investment in.

    He expressed his hope for more assistance from the Government of Vietnam and the PM for his group when it invests in large-scale projects on home development and equitisation of State-owned enterprises.

    French group urged to expand investment in Vietnam

    Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has hoped that France’s VINCI Group will increase investment in Vietnam, especially in infrastructure and environment.

    At a reception in Hanoi on November 29 for visiting VINCI Chairman Jerome Stubler, the PM spoke highly of what have been done by the group and its VINCI Construction Grands Projects in particular in Vietnam, especially projects in environmental protection and wastewater treatment.

    As Vietnam is in need of infrastructure development, especially expressways, the Vietnamese Government leader urged VINCI to continue engaging in projects in this field, even purchasing the right to exploit expressways.

    Vietnam’s urban areas are developing rapidly, posing an urgent need for clean water supply and wastewater treatment, he said, noting that it is a great chance for VINCI to invest in the country.

    He expressed that Vietnam wishes to select good and capable partners via transparent biddings and VINCI may invest in the country in the forms of build-operate-transfer (BOT) and public-private partnership (PPP).

    For his part, Jerome Stubler said his group implemented a wastewater treatment project in Hoi An, the central province of Quang Nam 10 years ago and will carry out a water supply project using high technology in Ho Chi Minh City in the coming time.

    He expressed wish to engage in other major water supply and drainage projects in Vietnam and even urban railway projects in HCM City.

    He also revealed that his group recently signed a cooperation agreement on investment in the Thanh Hoa-Ninh Binh section of the North-South Expressway with the Vietnam Expressway Corporation (VEC).

    VNCI hopes the Vietnamese Government, ministries, agencies and localities will support the group in implementing this project, he said, adding that the group will contribute to human resources development in the country.

    Mekong Delta preserves water-related cultural values

    The preservation and promotion of water cultural values in the Mekong Delta have become more urgent than ever before under the impacts of the fourth industrial revolution and international integration as well as the global climate change, heard a workshop in Can Tho city on November 28.

    Rector of Can Tho University Associate Professor PhD. Ha Thanh Toan, said water culture in the Delta covers various aspects from history, art, literature, and religion to tourism.

    Representatives from the PoliticalAcademy under the Ministry of National Defence said localities, which are able to tap natural advantages and native culture to develop tourism, record stable growth.

    They suggested promoting the region’s unique culture of floating markets, gastronomy, boat traveling, and mangrove forest system as well as improve the quality of tourism services.

    The southern province of Kien Giang is an example, which earned 3.5 trillion VND (154 million USD) in revenue in 2016 with around 5.4 million tourists, a year-on-year rise of 42 percent.

    Nguyen Ho Thanh from An Giang University and other speakers from Ho Chi Minh City’s CultureUniversity mentioned the preservation and development of traditional craft villages such as brocading, Bang Buong conical hat making, boat building, and fishing, which, they said, should receive more financial and technological support from authorities.

    Researchers from Can Tho and Saigon universities highlighted the diversity and cultural interaction of Kinh – Hoa – Khmer in the southwestern region, creating spiritual, architectural and gastronomic milestones. 

    Pagodas and traditional festivals of ethnic groups are always a highlight in tourism, especially for tourists from Europe, they said.

    Red Cross to gift clothes to kids in storm-hit provinces

    The Việt Nam Council of Red Cross on Tuesday launched a charity programme called Tiết Kiệm Vì Miền Trung Yêu Thương to raise VNĐ2 billion (US$88,105) to buy new clothes for children for Tết in three storm-hit central provinces of Quảng Nam, Khánh Hòa, and Phú Yên.

    Members of the public can donate money through the smartphone application Tiết Kiệm Nhóm (Group Saving).

    The programme is being run by the Red Cross along with VTVCorp and Trust Circle Company’s Tiết Kiệm Nhóm app.

    Hanwha Life gives health centre to Bắc Kạn

    Hanwha Life Vietnam in partnership with Child Fund (Korea) and Child Fund Vietnam on Tuesday gifted a new medical centre costing US$100,000 to Lãng Ngâm Commune in BắcKạnProvince’s Ngân Sơn District.

    The donation aims to improve healthcare and living standards in the remote area.

    This is the third such medical centre that Hanwha has set up in the northern mountains, where residents still find it difficult to access healthcare services.

    The other two are in Bắc Phong Commune, HòaBìnhProvince (2015), and Kim Truy Commune, Kim Bôi District, HòaBìnhProvince (2016).

    In more than eight years of operations in Việt Nam, Hanwha has sponsored many community projects.

    Between 2014 and 2016 Hanwha gifted health insurance cards to more than 27,260 poor people in 14 provinces and cities around the country, helping ease the burden of medical expenses on them and enabling better treatment.

    This year Hanwha has continued to collaborate with the HCM City Sponsoring Association for Poor Patients, donating more than 9,500 health insurance cards worth nearly VNĐ2 billion to poor people in HCMCity, Thanh Hóa, Nghệ An, Hà Tĩnh, Đắc Nông, Kon Tum, Quảng Trị, and Cà Mau.

    Chance is open for all teams in women’s football semi-finals

    The semi-finals of the National Women’s Football Championship will take place today, with defending champions HCM City 1 facing Việt Nam Coal and Minerals in Hà Nam Province.

    HCM City 1 are the favorite for the title this season. They have shown their power with 13 wins in a row and suffering no goal losses in the second-leg round, before advancing to the semi-finals as the leading team.

    HCM City are home to national team members, such as Golden Ball winner Huỳnh Như, midfielder Chương Thị Kiều and Thùy Trang, along with goalkeeper Đặng Thị Kiều Trinh, who recently retired from the national squad.

    Meanwhile, Việt Nam Coal placed fourth in the ranking after the qualification, which saw their one loss and one win against HCM City 1.

    Coach Đoàn Minh Hải of Việt Nam Coal said he had to make careful plans for the match, because HCM City 1 were really strong and playing at a higher level than other semi-finalists.

    He believed, however, that the chance for the two teams was 50-50, as there were other elements that decided the result of the match.

    In a later match, former winners Hà Nội 1 will play hosts Phong Phú Hà Nam.

    The two teams have the same number of national team members and both admitted that their strikers had wasted too many chances during this tournament.

    Coach Đặng Quốc Tuấn of Hà Nội 1 said Phong Phú Hà Nam had outstanding players who could be substituted during a match. However, the connection between players was not good enough. Their strong point was Hà Nội 1’s weak point and vice versa.

    He said it would be a difficult match because they understood each other well. The winner would be the team who could convert their chances into goals.

    Coach Nguyễn Thế Cường of the hosts shared the same idea. He added that despite being equal in power, his team had an advantage of the home ground, although sometimes it also created pressure on his players.

    In the qualification, two matches ended in draws. 

    Hà Nội wins men’s team petanque after 13 years, top national champs

    Hà Nội topped the National Petanque (iron ball) Championship, which closed yesterday in SócTrăngProvince.

    The Hanoian athletes secured three gold medals, half of the total gold medals at the tournament.

    Bình Dương came in second with two titles and Sóc Trăng was in third place with one gold medal.

    Yesterday, during the last day of competition, Hà Nội triumphed in the men’s team event, ending their wait of 13 years.

    “This victory makes us more confident, ahead of the National Sports Games. We hope to win another one at next year’s Games, which is to be organised on our home field,” said Đặng Xuân Vui, manager of Hà Nội Petanque Club.

    Two other titles won by the team were in the men’s doubles, with a team of two men and one woman. 

    Embassy marks 42nd National Day of Laos, Vietnam-Laos ties

    The Lao Embassy in Vietnam hosted a banquet on November 29 in celebration of the 42nd National Day of Laos (December 2, 1975) and the 55th founding anniversary of the two countries’ diplomatic ties (September 5, 1962).

    Addressing the event, Lao Ambassador Thongsavanh Phomvihane acknowledged the support the Vietnamese Party, State and people have given to his country’s struggle for national liberation in the past and national development at present.

    That support illustrates the pure relationship between Vietnam and Laos, which is a priceless asset which must be maintained and passed down to future generations, he noted.

    On behalf of the Vietnamese Party, State and people, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh offered congratulations on Laos’s National Day. He expressed his belief that the country will successfully implement the resolution of the 10th National Congress of the Lao People’s Revolutionary Party and the eighth five-year socio-economic development plan, building Laos into a prosperous nation.

    Despite ordeals, hardships and sacrifices, “history has proven that the special solidarity between Vietnam and Laos is a wellspring that amplifies our strength and empowers us from one victory to the next,” he said.

    The official stressed that the Vietnam-Laos Year of Friendship and Solidarity 2017, the 55th founding anniversary of their diplomatic ties and the 40th anniversary of the signing of the countries’ Treaty of Amity and Cooperation are a bright milestone in their friendship.

    Deputy PM Minh also spoke highly of Vietnam-Laos cooperation in both bilateral and multilateral aspects in 2017, noting that he believes the two countries’ people will continue to intensify bilateral cooperation, thereby living up to Vietnamese and Lao people’s aspiration and interest and for peace, stability and prosperity.

    Vietnam – EU parliamentary friendship marks in Belgium

    European officials and international friends gathered in Brussels, Belgium on November 29 to mark the second anniversary of the Vietnam – EU parliamentary friendship group in the European Parliament (EP) (November 11).

    The event was organised by the Embassy of Vietnam in Belgium and Vietnam’s Mission to the EU.

    Addressing the ceremony, Vietnamese Ambassador to Belgium and Head of the Vietnam Mission to the EU Vuong Thua Phong lauded the contributions made by the EP to promoting Vietnam– EU relations.

    Phong highlighted significant achievements in the past two years, including  the conclusion of negotiations for the EU - Vietnam free trade agreement (EVFTA) in December 2015, and the EU-Vietnam Framework Agreement on Comprehensive Partnership and Cooperation becoming effective in October 2016.

    Vietnam supports EU efforts to expand cooperation in Asia– Pacific, Phong said, expressing his hope that the two sides will accelerate the ratification of the EVFTA.

    For his part, president of the parliamentary friendship group, Jan Zahradil detailed the group’s operations over the past two years.

    The most important task is to push ratification of the EVFTA, he said, adding that final legal documents are under review.

    As part of its efforts to push ratification of the EVFTA, the group President is scheduled to visit Vietnam from December 3-5. A delegation from the group will also tour Vietnam next year to strengthen parliamentary cooperation between the two nations.

    The Vietnam– EU parliamentary friendship group gathers nearly 40 parliamentarians in different parties in the EP, with the aim of boosting Vietnam– EU relations.

    Mexico parliament values ties with Vietnam

    Mexico attaches importance to relations with Vietnam, according to Chairman of the Mexican Senate’s Foreign Affairs Committee for the Asia-Pacific region, Senator Teofilo Torres Corzo.

    He made the remark while receiving Vietnamese Ambassador to Mexico Nguyen Hoai Duong on November 29.

    Praising the ties between Vietnamese and Mexican parliaments, the legislator stressed that the Senate of Mexico is willing to reinforce relations for mutual benefits.

    He said he believes a recent meeting between President Enrique Peña Nieto and his Vietnamese counterpart Tran Dai Quang on the sidelines of the APEC 2017 Economic Leaders’ Meeting would lift the two nations’ relations by identifying new cooperation areas and building an effective agenda.

    Congratulating Vietnam on successfully hosting the APEC Year 2017, he said increasing trade between Vietnam and Mexico in recent years laid a basis for the formation of a common agenda that benefits both countries.   

    He revealed that a Mexican delegation of five senators and five federal electoral deputies will attend the 26th Asia-Pacific Parliamentary Forum (APPF-26) in Hanoi next year.

    He said the delegation wants to work with different committees of the Vietnam National Assembly on the sidelines of the event.

    The lawmaker underscored the Mexican Senate’s goodwill in working with the Vietnam Embassy to foster bilateral cooperation across politics, economics, and culture.

    For his part, Ambassador Duong said based on the meeting of the two state leaders, it is a good time for Vietnam and Mexico to bolster their relations, particularly in the field of parliamentary diplomacy.

    The diplomat pledged to try his best to stimulate bilateral ties between the two countries and parliaments, asking for support from the Mexican law-making body to fulfill his mission in the country.

    Vietnam, UK boost audit partnership

    Comptroller and Auditor General of the National Audit Office of the UK (NAO) Amyas Morse and State Auditor General of Vietnam Ho Duc Phoc have agreed to share information about financial auditing and continue with IT and personnel training cooperation. 

    Phoc is visiting the UK from November 26 – 30 to boost ties between the State Audit Office of Vietnam (SAV) and the NAO, the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA), and the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW). 

    During a working session with the NAO, Phoc suggested the NAO continue sharing the UK’s law on state auditing, operational processes, environment and tax auditing with Vietnam and sending experts to the country to share experience. 

    He asked both sides to regularly update each other about skills and documents and offer support in multilateral events hosted by the International Organisation of Supreme Audit Institutions. 

    During a working session on November 28, the SAV and ACCA agreed to continue discussing contents of a joint study project on environmental auditing for sustainable development and to hold seminars and dialogues to share experience in financial and public asset auditing. 

    The ACCA vowed to open training courses to improve the SAV’s capacity of holding the Congress of the Asian Organisation of Supreme Audit Institutions (ASOSAI). 

    The SAV and the ICAEW also pledged to hold training courses on operating and environmental audits.

    The Vietnamese delegation proposed the ICAEW continue sending experts to Vietnam to share experience via teleconferences, workshops and training courses. 

    On the occasion, Phoc invited NAO Auditor General Morse, ACCA Chief Executive Officer Helen Brand and ICAEW Chief Executive Officer Michael Izza to the 14th ASOSAI Congress scheduled for September 19-22, 2018 in Hanoi.

    Khanh Hoa hosts ASEAN-India workshop on blue economy

    An ASEAN-India Workshop themed “Blue Economy: From Concept to Action” is taking place in Nha Trang city, Khanh Hoa province, from November 24-25.

    The workshop, jointly held by the Vietnamese Foreign Ministry, the India’s Ministry of External Affairs, and the Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA), has been initiated by Vietnam as part of the activities to celebrate the 25th anniversary since the establishment of the dialogue partnership between ASEAN and India.

    Speaking at the event, Vietnam’s Deputy Foreign Minister Nguyen Quoc Dung emphasised the importance of blue economy in the growth of the world and the region.

    Recalling the maritime cooperation activities in ASEAN, and between the bloc and its partners, Dung asked the participants to make specific proposals to build a common perception in the region on protecting and preserving the marine environment and build suitable economic cooperation mechanisms in order to facilitate sustainable development.

    Indian Ambassador Parvathaneni Harish suggested that ASEAN and India step up sustainable economic collaboration on the basis of international law and each side’s advantages and potential.

    He recommended conducting studies on blue economy, exploiting aquatic resources sustainably and to consider the possibility of cooperation in ocean energy.

    At the workshop, representatives from the participating countries hailed the significance of regional and inter-regional collaboration in blue economy, especially in the context of increasingly exhausted marine resources, declining bio-diversity, increasing environmental pollution and climate change.

    According to the World Bank, blue economy is the sustainable use of ocean resources for economic growth, improved livelihoods and jobs, and ocean ecosystem health.

    Project empowering civil society, workers launched

    A conference was held in Hanoi on November 29 to launch a project empowering civil society and workers.

    The project, co-financed by the European Union and the Vietnamese government, will be run until May 2021 aiming to improve the capacity of social organisations involved in labour, thus contributing to the development of Vietnamese society.

    Speaking at the event, Director of the Institute for European Studies Nguyen An Ha said that during international economic integration, Vietnam’s economic structure is shifting from agriculture to industry and services. Many labourers in rural areas have migrated to urban areas and surrounding areas.

    However, they face difficulties in settling in these areas and many of them have to return to their homeland when aged above 35, an age at which many factories lay off workers, posing pressure on labourers and the social welfare system, Ha stated.

    The Vietnam General Confederation of Labour, which represents labourers, have carried out many activities to support labourers. However, it can’t reach all aspects of labourers’ lives.

    Therefore, the involvement of social organisations in assisting labourers is essential, Ha affirmed, adding that the participation of these organisations will contribute to supervising the implementation of free trade agreements.

    The project aims to establish a network of social organisations related to labour, increasing the role of selected organisations through providing training and financial assistance for them, and expanding the involvement of the organisations in policy dialogues.


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  • 12/01/17--01:14: Article 1
  • Southern Vietnam tollgate shuts down over repeated opposition from drivers

    The station was shut down within 14 hours after reopening on Thursday
    Vehicles stop at the Cai Lay toll station in the Mekong province of Tien Giang on November 12, 2017. Photo: Tuoi Tre
    A toll station belonging to a BOT (build-operate-transfer) project in southern Vietnam was forced to shut down again due to fierce opposition from commuters on Thursday, after a three month closure for the same reason.

    The Cai Lay toll station on the section of National Highway 1 running through CaiLayTown in the Mekong Delta province of Tien Giang resumed operations on Thursday morning following a three and a half month shutdown.
    A BOT project upgrading the section of highway and building a detour across CaiLayTown at a cost of VND1.389 trillion ($61.1 million) is currently operating the facility.

     Southern Vietnam tollgate shuts down over repeated opposition from drivers
    Drivers prepare small denomination banknotes to pay their toll.

    BOT is a project-financing framework in which the developer receives a concession from the private or public sector to finance, design, construct, and operate a facility for a certain period, during which it can raise finances and retain all revenues generated by the project.

    The facility is then transferred to the public administration at the end of the concession agreement.

    At round 12:45 pm, three hours after re-opening, the tollgate was forced to close after too many drivers paid the fee in small denomination banknotes as a show of protest.

    The station resumed operations at around 3:35 pm before being forced to cease the toll collection at 4:50 pm for the same reason.

     Southern Vietnam tollgate shuts down over repeated opposition from drivers
    Chaos occurs at the toll station on November 11, 2017 as drivers express their opposition.

    At around 1:30 am on Friday, a group of commuters changed their protest tactics; this time requiring attendants to give them back VND100 in change.

    As the smallest denomination note, the VND100 bill is effectively never used by members of the public, despite its validity.

    Consequently, the employees did not have enough VND100 banknotes and were once again forced to close the facility for a third time since reopening it on Thursday.

    The repeated incidents caused traffic backups from Ho Chi Minh City all the way down to the Mekong Delta city of Can Tho.

     Southern Vietnam tollgate shuts down over repeated opposition from drivers
    Police officers at the toll station

    Ineffective measures

    The Cai Lay toll station was first put into operation on August 1 despite fierce opposition from drivers over the tollgate being placed on the existing highway instead of the new detour. 

    The location of the tollgate means that a fee is collected regardless of the route chosen by drivers, rather than only being collected from drivers wanting to use the new detour.

    Commuters believed that paying their regular road maintenance fees would give them the right to travel on the upgraded national highway without paying tolls.

     Southern Vietnam tollgate shuts down over repeated opposition from drivers
    The tollgate on November 11, 2017

    Following continuous objection, the toll station was temporality shut down on August 15.

    The Ministry of Transport later announced that the facility would not be relocated.  Instead, the toll rate would be decreased.

    The new fees now range from VND25,000 ($1.1) to VND140,000 ($6.17), about 30 percent lower than the original rates, said Nguyen Phu Hiep, director of the National Highway No.1 Tien Giang Investment Company, developer of the road project.

    On the Thursday reopening, security guards and traffic police officers were mobilized near the tollgate to prepare for potential disorder.

     Southern Vietnam tollgate shuts down over repeated opposition from drivers
    Vehicles rush through the station following its shutdown on the early morning of November 12.

    Developers also reserved two areas covering 800 square meters at the toll station for drivers wishing to pay in small change.

    However, the preventive measures proved ineffective against commuters’ refusal to follow the directions.

    Police also apprehended two drivers, Nguyen Minh Trung and Trinh Hong Phuong, for stirring public disorder.

    Trung and Phuong were released on the same night and are expected to be summoned again on Saturday.

    Tuoi Tre News

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  • 12/01/17--01:25: Article 0
  • PM requests active preparation for key socio-economic tasks in 2018

    Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc underlined the importance of building a resolution on key socio-economic tasks and solutions in 2018 at a cabinet meeting in Hanoi on December 1. 

    PM requests active preparation for key socio-economic tasks in 2018, Government news, Vietnam breaking news, politic news, vietnamnet bridge, english news, Vietnam news, news Vietnam, vietnamnet news, Vietnam net news, Vietnam latest news, vn news 

    An overview of cabinet meeting

    He said there is only a month left in 2017 and the workload is still very heavy.

    The PM requested ministries, departments and localities to closely follow objectives outlined by the 12th Central Committee of the Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV) as well as the conclusion of CPV General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong and the National Assembly’s Resolution on socio-economic development in 2018.

    He asked cabinet members to consider solutions to prevent corruption and wastefulness along with issues relating to culture, security and national defence.

    He also expressed concern over the unsynchronised political system and called for positive changes at the grassroots level.

    In November, Vietnam suffered from devastating natural disasters, including Typhoon Damrey that wreaked havocs across nine central localities, especially Khanh Hoa and Phu Yen. The storm killed 45 people and damaged property, he noted, asking ministries, sectors, organisations and localities to continue to support the disaster’s victims.

    Meanwhile, the PM pointed out that in November and the first 11 months of this year, the macro-economy remained stable, with inflation controlled and economic balance ensured.

    The consumer price index rose 0.13 percent in November and 3.14 percent in January-November. In the 11 months industrial production increased, with a 17.2 percent rise recorded in November, while total goods and services revenue increased 10.7 percent year on year.

    Foreign arrivals reached 1.17 million in November, pushing the total figure this year to 11.65 million, up 27.8 percent against the same period last year.

    At the same time, foreign investment hit 19.8 billion USD, up 52 percent, along with 33.1 billion USD of capital to purchase shares in State-owned enterprises, a rise of 23.4 percent.

    Notably, exports grew to hit nearly 194 billion USD, up 21 percent, with the highest rise recorded in agricultural products such as vegetables (43.2 percent), rubber (38.9 percent), cashew (23.2 percent) and seafood (16.2 percent).

    The country enjoyed a 2.8 billion USD in trade surplus, noted PM Phuc.

    Total budget collection recorded impressive growth at 14.2 percent, he added.

    The Prime Minister highlighted that 116,000 new enterprises were set up in the 11 months, with the figure likely to hit 120,000 for the year.

    Positive developments were also seen in culture, society, environment, defence and security areas, he said.

    At the meeting, cabinet members will discuss a report on four Government draft resolutions on issuing an action programme to implement resolutions adopted at the sixth session of the 12th CPV Central Committee.

    They will also hear proposals about building draft revised laws relating to land, construction, accommodation, environment, investment, businesses, and social welfare.

    The Government will give opinions on a report on the five-year implementation of the national strategy on human resources development in 2010-2020, the public investment restructuring plan in 2016-2020 and the mid-term public investment scheme issued in September 2015.


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  • 12/01/17--03:42: Article 0

    Wire-producing factory for Boeing may be set up in HCMC


    Son La ships first batch of passion fruit to France, Wire-producing factory for Boeing may be set up in HCMC, Local enterprises complain about tax, customs policies, Uber, Grab to face tax inspection next year
    Eugene Kim (L), chairman of South Korea’s Huneed Technologies  

    A factory producing wires for U.S. airplane maker Boeing may be set up in HCMC in the coming time, said Eugene Kim, chairman of South Korea’s Huneed Technologies, a strategic supplier of Boeing Company.

    Speaking at a meeting with the city’s Chairman Nguyen Thanh Phong on November 27, Eugene Kim revealed Huneed Technologies is bidding to provide equipment for Boeing. If the company wins, it may expand its production by establishing a factory in the Saigon Hi-Tech Park in HCMC’s District 9, which he visited the same day.

    He explained that the local low-cost budget airline Vietjet has plans to purchase 100 Boeing aircraft, a large order which may bring the U.S. firm to Vietnam to produce certain components.

    City chairman Phong pledged the municipal government would create favorable conditions for foreign companies, especially those in supporting industries, to set up shop in the city. If the wish of Eugene Kim comes true, the city would team up with the company to train workers.

    Vietnam – Poland economic forum opens in HCM City

    A VietnamPoland economic forum convened in Ho Chi Minh City on November 30 with the attendance of Polish President Andrzej Duda who is on a visit to Vietnam.

    Addressing the forum, the Polish President said the nearly-70-decade-long relations between Vietnam and Poland have laid the basis for bilateral cooperation across sectors, particularly in economics.

    Vietnam, among the most dynamic economies in the ASEAN region, is one of the five prioritised markets Poland has chosen for its investment and business operation, he added.

    Through the forum, Poland encourages Vietnamese and Polish firms to study each other market and exchange information to establish long-term partnerships, Andrzej Duda noted.

    Minister of Information and Communications Truong Minh Tuan stated Poland is an important partner of Vietnam in Europe

    He said Polish investment in Vietnam is on the rise, with value tripling from 2014 to 2017. However, the outcome still falls short of potential offered by both sides, the minister added.

    He said Poland is the 6th biggest economy in Europe, while Vietnam holds strengths in investment climate quality, consumer market, and human resources. Both nations have signed various agreements and memoranda of understanding to facilitate cooperation.

    He urged the local business community to make use of the forum to gain insights into the Polish markets and chances for their investment in electronic components, IT, and farm produce.

    The minister urged Polish investors to do business in Vietnam for mutual benefit and development of bilateral relations.

    Vietnam’s CPI up slightly in November

    Vietnam’s consumer price index (CPI) in November went up 0.13 percent monthly, 2.62 percent annually and 2.38 percent from the last December, reported the General Statistics Office (GSO). 

    The 11-month CPI rose 3.61 percent year-on-year. 

    Eight out of the 11 commodity groups enjoyed rises, with the highest growth of 0.68 percent seen in transport. It was followed by medicines and health services (0.2 percent); apparel, headwear and footwear 

    (0.15 percent); goods and other services (0.14 percent); food and catering services (0.11 percent).

    Only prices of housing and construction materials, post and telecommunications, and culture, entertainment and tourism dropped. 

    Do Thi Ngoc, deputy head of the GSO’s Prices Statistics Department, attributed the price hike to the recent flood in the central region which pushed up food prices in Phu Yen (1.62 percent), Ninh Thuan (1.51 

    percent), Khanh Hoa (1.05 percent), Quang Ngai (0.98 percent) and Binh Dinh (0.74 percent). 

    Petrol price adjustments on November 4 and November 20 also raised transport prices by 0.68 percent. Health service price hikes in Quang Ninh, Quang Tri and Bac Lieu and higher tuition fees in Quang 

    Ninh and Bac Lieu also contributed to CPI growth. 

    Falling prices of pork, iron and steel, domestic tours curbed CPI hike. 

    According to the GSO, core inflation that is the CPI excluding food and beverages, energy and State-controlled services like healthcare and education, in November rose by 0.06 percent from the last month, and 1.32 percent year-on-year.

    The average core inflation in the first 11 months was estimated at 1.44 percent, lower than the previous forecast of 1.6 – 1.8 percent indicating the effectiveness of the current monetary policy.

    The CPI in December is predicted to rise slightly from the previous month, mostly due to adjusted prices of food, health care services, construction materials and petrol.

    Hai Phong hosts exhibition on energy saving

    The International Exposition on Technologies and Products for Energy Saving and Environment Protection (E&E Expo Hai Phong 2017) kicked off in the northern port city of Hai Phong on November 29.

    The exhibition aims at introducing the achievements of technology development and energy saving solutions, promoting products, seeking partners to expand the production market and finding distribution agents for domestic and foreign enterprises.

    It has attracted the participation of 56 companies with around 70 booths and outdoor display areas, introducing energy saving products, renewable energy, nuclear energy and household electrical appliances, as well as industrial equipment and environmentally friendly products.

    In addition, the exhibition is also a space for businesses and experts to provide solutions on energy saving and environmental protection for daily life and business production, contributing to the propagation and raising of public awareness on economical and efficient use of energy for people, organisations and enterprises.

    The event is held at Vietnam - CzechFriendshipCulturalPalace and will run until December 2.

    German firms eye investment in Hanoi

    Members of the German Asia-Pacific Business Association (OAV) want to explore cooperation opportunities in urban development, infrastructure facility, means of transportation, energy, environment and human resource in Hanoi,

    Timo Prekop, member of the OAV Board, informed Nguyen Duc Chung Chairman of the municipal People’s Committee of the businesses’ intention at a meeting in Hanoi on November 29.

    He said German businesses in general and OAV members in particular hope to receive assistance from the city authorities in seeking opportunities in Vietnam

    Welcoming the delegation, Chung said Hanoi is working on some priorities  such as upgrading the supply of clean water to meet European standards, planting one million trees, developing an environment monitoring system, and improving local health care facilities and services.

    The city wants to apply European technologies in those fields, and a number of German advanced technologies have been applied in health care, landscaping, and wastewater treatment, he said.

    He called on foreign and domestic firms to invest in waste-to-energy sector, build public toilets, and clean lakes and ponds in the city.

    Underlining the fruitful cooperation of the two sides, Chung affirmed that in the coming time, the city will focus on sharing experience, transferring technology and luring investment from European firms, particularly German ones.

    Hanoi will facilitate bilateral cooperation with Germany, thus contributing to promoting the Vietnam– German relationship, Chung pledged.

    HCM City enhances investment cooperation with Italy

    Chairman of the Ho Chi Minh City People’s Committee Nguyen Thanh Phong on November 29 held talks with Ivan Scalfarotto, Italian Deputy Minister of Economic Development who is leading a business delegation on a visit to the city.

    The leader of HCMCity hailed the thriving cooperation between the city and Italy, notably with the city of Turin.

    HCMCity is striving to build itself into a centre of economy, finance, trade and science-technology in the region, Phong said. To realise the target, the city strongly needs foreign investment, especially in four major industries of food processing, chemical-rubber, mechanics and electronic-information technology.

    The official vowed to create favourable climate and ensure legitimate rights and interests for Italian investors in HCMCity.

    Lauding the dynamism of HCMCity and its role in Vietnam’s economic development, Scalfarotto said that Italian firms are willing to work with HCMCity in various fields, including mechanical engineering, green energy and traffic infrastructure.

    He stressed that the Italian Government is also ready to support Italian firms’ partnership with HCM City to develop small- and medium-sized enterprises, along with helping the city improve product quality in the 

    industries of textile, leather shoes and wooden furniture as they are Italy’s strong points.

    At the meeting, Alessandro Decio, CEO of Italy Export Credit Agency said the fund will earmark 250 million EUR for Italian firms that want to operate in Vietnam’s oil and gas industry, and another 400 million EUR for those which wish to invest in mechanical engineering, metal products and related fields.

    The fund is also willing to provide support for Vietnamese businesses to buy machinery and technology from Italy, he said.

    Italian businesses expressed their interest in projects in HCMCity in textile, architecture, smart urban building and traffic infrastructure.

    Two-way trade of HCMCity and Italy hit 600 million USD in 2016 and 510 million USD in the first 10 months of 2017. As of October 31, there were 28 Italian-funded projects in HCMCity with total capital of about 70 million USD.  

    Argentina aims to up VN imports     

    Argentina does not only want to boost exports of agricultural products to Viet Nam but also wants to buy more Vietnamese products, an agriculture official from that country has said.

    Rosario Martearena, undersecretary, agricultural markets, in the Ministry of Agriculture, is leading a trade mission comprising 11 companies selling animal feed, soybean, aquatic products, beef, etc. to HCMCity and Ha Noi to explore trade opportunities.

    Speaking at a business matching event in HCMCity yesterday, she said Argentina and Viet Nam have a very good partnership, especially in trade, as shown by their rising trade in recent years.

    Last year Viet Nam became only the fourth country import more than US$2.5 billion worth of products from Argentina.

    Of Argentina’s exports to Viet Nam, soybean meal accounted for nearly 59 per cent, maize for 29 per cent, and wheat for 5 per cent.

    She said through her visit Argentina hopes to diversify its exports to Viet Nam by also shipping beef, goat meat, pork and aquatic products.

    “I am also working to open more market opportunities for Viet Nam. Argentina is very interested in Vietnamese fruits and garments and textiles,” she said.

    Nearly half of the Argentinian companies represented in her delegation have done business with Viet Nam and so already know the market and about businesses here, she said.

    “The Vietnamese embassy in Argentina is very supportive in providing us with market information.

    “They have organised Viet Nam Day to present Vietnamese products and brought Vietnamese sellers there to introduce a wide range of products, not only in the agricultural sector but also in the industrial sector.”

    Ho Xuan Lam, deputy director of the HCM City Investment and Trade Promotion Centre, said his centre and the city have organised many trade promotion activities including business seminars and B2B events to acquaint local companies with the Argentinian market and solicit investment from Argentinian businesses.

    Argentina is now one of Viet Nam’s most important trade partner in Latin America.

    Bilateral trade topped $2.9 billion last year and is expected to rise to $3.5 billion this year.

    Viet Nam mainly exports footwear, textiles, rubber, electronic parts, and plastic products and imports soybeans, soybean oil, maize, wheat, cattle feed and drugs.

    Next year Viet Nam and Argentina will celebrate 45 years of diplomatic ties, which would be an important milestone encouraging the two sides to further strengthen co-operation, he said.

    There is still a lot of untapped potential in trade for the two countries to exploit, he added.

    ADB judges public-private-partnership investment in Vietnam

    The Asian Development Bank on November 27 launched its first annual report monitoring the progress of the public-private-partnership (PPP) environment in member countries, including Vietnam.

    Recognizing the country’s rising public debt and State-owned enterprises dominating the development and management of infrastructure projects, the Government is set to rein in the State role in the economy and encourage the private sector-led growth, according to the Public-Private Partnership Monitor.

    The PPP regulations provided in Decree 15 and taking effect in 2015 creates a legal framework to attract more private investment in the development of infrastructure in the nation.

    The PPP Monitor outlines the key advances in the PPP framework which include enabling availability/performance-based payment schemes; removing the previous limit on viability gap funding of 49% of total investment cost; enabling wider scope of infrastructure projects to be procured as PPP; and establishing processes for PPP project identification, appraisal and approval.

    From 1990 to 2016, the country closed 84 PPP projects amounting to US$16.2 billion, with 79% of the projects in the energy sector. However, no PPP projects have been implemented under this latest framework.

    The PPP Monitor finds that current challenges include foreign lenders’ security issues, as the framework for credit enhancements and guarantee mechanisms remains unclear, and restrictions on mortgage over land-use rights in favor of foreign banks where land is conferred on a rent-free basis.

    The Public-Private Partnership Monitor tracks the development of the PPP business environment across ADB member countries and provides insights for governments on structuring a sound environment for PPP.

    The report aims to benefit both policymakers and investors by providing in-depth information and data on the business environment for PPP over time, enabling infrastructure developers to assess opportunities across countries and sectors.

    Annual updates to the report will flag important reforms that could attract or deter investors, allowing policymakers to monitor progress in the PPP environment.

    Local enterprises complain about tax, customs policies

    Despite many administrative procedure reforms, enterprises said complex tax and customs procedures have hindered their operations, Lao Dong newspaper reports.

    At an annual meeting between the Ministry of Finance and enterprises on November 27, many complaints were heard on tax and customs procedures and policies.

    Doan Duy Khuong, vice chairman of the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI), said rapid changes on tax policies have caused difficulties for enterprises while procedures to heavily penalize enterprises incurring tax debts remain complicated.

    Many enterprises said they could not send their tax data to tax authorities online as the system often reports errors.

    Besides, tax agencies in many instances conduct late inspections, which should have been done five to ten years earlier, and after detecting these enterprises have not fulfilled their tax obligations, they slap steep fines and caused huge losses for enterprises.

    Enterprises also complained about vague solutions by competent agencies to their problems. When asked for specific instructions to problems encountered by enterprises, such agencies simply offer them circulars and decrees as references, instead of giving details.

    Customs officials’ behavior, asynchronous cooperation between customs agencies and relevant ones, and long time to implement procedures are other shortcomings of the sector.

    VCCI proposed the Ministry of Finance review and amend legal documents, clearly explaining customs procedures to enterprises.

    Khuong of VCCI said feedback from companies has been reported to the Ministry of Finance, the General Department of Taxation and the General Department of Vietnam Customs for review.

    Saigon Co.op opens first Co.op Food stores in Hanoi

    The Saigon Union of Trading Co-operatives (Saigon Co.op) on Saturday opened the first two convenience food stores Co.op Food in HanoiCity.

    Co.op Food Hapulico store is located at 1 Nguyen Huy Tuong Street in Thanh Xuan District, and Co.op Food Bac Ha store on the first floor of Block CT2 of Bac Ha C14 Building on To Huu Street in Nam Tu Liem District. The two stores each stock about 4,000 essential goods and fresh food.

    In addition to Hanoi’s specialties like Bao Minh young rice cake and Hoa Lam jam, the stores also sell specialties of other provinces like grapefruit and coconut candy from Ben Tre, seedless grapes from Ninh Thuan, and dragon fruit from Phan Thiet.

    The stores are open from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily, offer telephone order service and home delivery, and accept payments by debit and credit card, gift voucher, and privilege for VIP customers like other Co.op Food stores in HCMC.

    With 20-30 stores opened every year, Saigon Co.op now has 181 Co.op Food stores in HCMC and Hanoi. The firm also operates 90 supermarkets nationwide.

    Local mechanical firms decry unfair tax policy

    Vietnamese mechanical enterprises are at a disadvantage as they are subject to a 10-15% tax rate on imported equipment while foreign-made machines are exempted from import duty, said Do Phuoc Tong, chairman of the HCMC Association of Mechanical Engineering.

    At a press conference on the 15th Vietnam International Trade Fair 2017 (Vietnam Expo 2017) and Vietnam Hardware & Hand Tools Expo 2017 last Friday, Tong said the policy has made production costs of local enterprises surge, so they find it hard to compete with overseas rivals.

    Local enterprises and international investment funds are not interested in the sector due to small profits, Tong added.

    It is highly risky for local enterprises to make new investments because they have to face fierce competition from foreign firms.

    Meanwhile, foreign mechanical companies, such as those from Japan and South Korea, can easily find customers in Vietnam thanks to cooperation with groups implementing projects in the country. Therefore, Vietnamese firms cannot tap these projects, especially those that enjoy preferential policies.

    As a result, Vietnamese mechanical firms have to find opportunities in foreign markets. Several local enterprises have supplied precision components to foreign aircraft and metro manufacturers as they find it difficult to cut local deals.

    Tong highly valued local manufacturers’ capacity and techniques, saying they have managed to export mechanical products and components to many countries worldwide.

    He expressed his concern over opportunities for Vietnamese enterprises to be involved in foreign investment projects in Vietnam.

    Therefore, Tong proposed Vietnam should create a level playfield to support domestic enterprises.

    Vietnam Expo 2017 and Vietnam Hardware & Hand Tools Expo 2017 will be held by the Vietnam National Trade Fair and Advertising Company (Vinexad) at the Saigon Exhibition & Convention Center (SECC) in HCMC from December 6 to 9.

    Vietnam Expo 2017 will feature 800 booths of 750 enterprises from 16 countries and territories such as Belgium, Taiwan, Germany, Denmark, the Netherlands, South Korea, Hong Kong, Malaysia, the U.S., Japan, China, Thailand, Switzerland, Spain, Italy and Vietnam.

    They will showcase their electric and electronic products, technological toys, machinery and components, building materials, hardware, hand tools, and indoor and outdoor furniture, food and beverages and beauty care products.

    Meanwhile, Vietnam Hardware & Hand Tools Expo 2017 has attracted 200 firms from 16 countries and territories to display tools, DIY (Do It Yourself)-building hardware, and locks-fittings among others.

    Mekong Delta provinces call for investments in agriculture

    Three Mekong Delta provinces, Long An, Tien Giang and Dong Thap, have called on investors to develop 16 agriculture projects worth trillions of Vietnam dong, heard an investment promotion conference in Long An last Saturday.

    The Long An government calls for investments in nine agriculture projects worth VND3.52 trillion (US$155 million). Notably, a lemon processing project with a material growing area of 550 hectares in Ben Luc District requires a total investment of VND1 trillion, according to the organizer of the event.

    Meanwhile, Tien Giang Province put forth four projects worth over VND1.5 trillion (US$66.2 million), especially a hi-tech agricultural park project spanning 197 hectares in Chau Thanh and Tan Phuoc districts worth VND1.2 trillion.

    Dong Thap is in dire need of capital for three projects, with one for a logistics center and a wholesale fruit market, and the other two for hi-tech agriculture sub-zones in Sa Dec City and CaoLanhCity. However, local authorities did not reveal their total investment needs.

    Nguyen Van Duoc, vice chairman of Long An Province, said the local government will further improve their investment environment, and develop infrastructure within and beyond industrial parks in order to facilitate agricultural production.

    “We also further administrative reform and train (local) manpower in a bid to meet the requirements of enterprises. The provincial government is willing to create favorable conditions for investors,” he stressed.

    Dinh Thi Phuong Khanh, deputy director of Long An Province’s Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, told the Daily on the sidelines of the conference that the provincial government will shorten the time to allocate land, and offer tax and land rent incentives for investors.

    Besides, she said, the local government is carrying out breakthrough programs in order to promote the development of the hi-tech agriculture sector.

    Delegates at the conference witnessed the signing of seven memorandums of understanding on product consumption and business cooperation among local organizations.

    Binh Duong aims to enter Smart21 Communities

    The government of BinhDuongProvince has made up its mind to enter the Intelligent Community Forum (ICF), a global network of cities and regions with a think tank at its center, in a bid to be included in the Smart21 Communities of 2021.

    The provincial government last week held a press briefing on the 2017 Binh Duong Smart City Conference in order to implement the BinhDuongSmartCity scheme.

    Mai Hung Dung, vice chairman of BinhDuongProvince, said the local government attaches importance to great visions which create breakthroughs and comprehensive innovations in which manpower plays a vital role, and a smart city can be regarded as a dynamic, creative and connected ecosystem.

    The provincial government plans to apply the “Triple Helix” model of the NetherlandsEindhovenCity which involves a partnership among the State, enterprises, scientists and schools, and thus creates conditions for them to share their knowledge, aspiration, and resources. The move is to develop a shared vision, and carry out innovative action plans for the province.

    Based on the experience of Eindhoven, Binh Duong has decided to become a member of the ICF, and will be striving to fall into the Smart21 Communities in 2021.

    The vice chairman said the province has come up with a series of action plans in order to implement a social-economic strategic program called “Binh Duong Navigator 2021” which is the sister of the “Triple Helix” model.

    He added many projects which are related to education and training, scientific research, startups and urban modernization have been set up so far.

    He stressed the province is always striving to promote its creative dynamics, update new trends, and learn experiences and knowledge from global leaders and experts, as well as appreciate the role of cooperation.

    Samsung opens R&D center in HCMC

    Samsung last Friday inaugurated a research and development (R&D) center and an executive briefing center (EBC) at the Saigon Hi-Tech Park (SHTP) in HCMC’s District 9.

    SamsungHCMCResearch & DevelopmentCenter at the Samsung Electronics HCMC CE Complex (SEHC) includes a mold center, and automation, facility, QA test, circuit, software, modeling and 3D scanning labs, all of them located adjacent to the manufacturing area to promptly provide technical support.

    The center is developing techniques relating to washing machines, vacuum cleaners and fridges.

    At the opening ceremony, Le Hoai Quoc, head of the SHTP authority, said the city government and the SHTP authority highly evaluated Samsung Electronics Vietnam for the new R&D establishment and considered it an essential condition to grant the investment certificate.

    As much as US$600 million has been invested in machinery and equipment of the center, excluding costs for office construction. Covering some 5,000 square meters, the center is responsible for advanced technology research and application to develop Samsung’s traditional products.

    The center has employed nearly 400 staff and the number will increase to 500 by 2020, mainly Vietnamese employees.

    Quoc believed Samsung’s project to develop hi-tech electronic and telecom products would help promote foreign investment in Vietnam, train high-quality workforce, apply and transfer technology, build links with domestic enterprises to develop supporting industries and make good use of advantages for mutual benefits.

    SEHC with an investment of US$2 billion is the continuation of the Samsung Vina project with a larger scale.

    SEHC manufactures household appliances such as smart TVs, LED TVs, screens, air-conditioners and washing machines which have been exported to 65 countries to bring annual revenue of billions of U.S. dollars. This is the biggest foreign direct investment project at SHTP.

    In March last year, Samsung Electronics Vietnam received an investment certificate for an R&D center worth US$300 million in Hanoi to research and develop hi-tech electric, electronic and telecom products.

    Meanwhile, the EBC in HCMC’s SHTP is seen as Samsung’s biggest in Southeast Asia. The 500-square-meter center which consists of 11 areas equipped with modern facilities offers intelligent solutions for transport, entertainment, fashion, restaurants-hotels, education, plants, and air conditioning system among others.

    Flights to Can Tho may get compensation for losses

    The government of Can Tho City has proposed using the State budget to offset losses incurred by airlines opening new routes to the city, Tuoi Tre newspaper reports.

    In a document submitted to the municipal People’s Council, the city government suggested it would use the State budget to pay 30% of ticket prices of flights departing from Can Tho International Airport.

    The subsidy aims to encourage airlines to open new domestic and international routes to and from Can Tho to meet the travel demand of residents of Can Tho City and the Mekong River Delta as a whole, boost the development of tourism, trade and service, and contribute to improving the efficiency of Can Tho International Airport.

    Airlines that might be offered the subsidies include those that incur losses on new routes while following exactly the flight frequency as committed. In case airlines could not maintain the committed flight frequency, they will have to refund the financial support.

    For domestic flights, airlines should commit to operate new routes with a frequency of at least three flights per week in at least three years. For international flights, they have to open and operate new routes with a frequency of a minimum of two flights per week in at least three years.

    According to the city government, Can Tho International Airport was put into service in early 2011 with total capacity of 3-5 million customers per year, but the amount of customers only reached more than 550,000 in 2016 and is estimated at about 610,000 in 2017, accounting for 20% of the designed capacity.

    Currently, the airport handles only four domestic flights, connecting Can Tho with Hanoi, Phu Quoc, Con Dao and Danang, and only one international flight between Can Tho and Taipei which is available during the Lunar New Year only.

    November CPI up 0.13 percent: GSO

    The Consumer Price Index (CPI) was up 0.13 percent over the previous month with the sharpest increase in traffic group hitting 0.68 percent because of petrol price hikes on November 4 and 20, reported the General Statistics Office of Vietnam (GSO).

    The index was up 2.38 percent over December 2016 and 2.62 percent over the same period last year.

    Medicine and health group increased 0.2 percent. Of these, health service raised 0.23 percent because two provinces raised the service's prices to those without health insurance cards.

    Garment items, hats and footwear surged 0.15 percent. Food and restaurant soared 0.11 percent. Other goods and services moved up 0.14 percent.

    During the first 11 months this year, the CPI hiked 3.61 percent compared to the same period last year.

    Core inflation in November raised 0.06 percent over October and 1.28 percent over the same period last year. It was 1.42 percent year on year increase during the first 11 months this year.

    VN & German agree cooperation in marine services

    Hamburg delegation led by Senator Frank Horch, Minister of Economy, Transport and Innovation visited Vietnam Maritime Administration (Vinamarine), Vietnam Shipbuilding Industry Corporation (SBIC) and MOIT in Hanoi on November 27.

    During this visit, Senator Horch witnessed the memorandum of understanding (MOU) signing ceremony between SBIC and Maritime Cluster North Germany for the future cooperation and technology transfer.

    Other topics were also mentioned at the meeting including cooperation opportunities in marine services, port construction, logistics services, ship building technology and training & education. This visit created the hope to maximize the opportunity to exchange information, share ideas and enhance the business relationships between Vietnam and Germany.

    Lotte to open second duty-free shop in Cam Ranh airport

    Lotte Duty Free, the travel retail company of the Republic of Korea on November 27 announced that it will open the second duty-free shop in Cam Ranh airport next year.

    According to the company, it has been granted permission, valid until 2028, to open a duty-free store at the new terminal of the CamRanhInternationalAirport in the first half of 2018. 

    The new store is hoped to earn revenue of up to 700 billion KRW (664 million USD) in the next 10 years.

    Lotte Duty Free opened a similar store at Da NangInternationalAirport in early November, making it the first RoK duty-free retailer that has entered Vietnam’s market.

    Lotte Duty Free is the travel retail arm of RoK conglomerate Lotte Group, with six duty-free stores in Vietnam, Indonesia, Japan, Thailand and Guam.

    Nearly 11,000 new firms established in November

    Close to 11,000 enterprises were established with a registered capital of 109.9 trillion VND (4.8 billion USD) in November, data of the Ministry of Planning and Investment revealed.

    This was a decrease of 2.1 percent in the number of newly-established businesses and 7.8 percent in registered capital, as compared to the previous month.

    Of these, the number of enterprises resuming their operation in November was 1,338, an increase of 0.7 percent against October.

    Overall, in the first 11 months of this year, the total number of newly-established enterprises and businesses returning to operation was 140,394, with a total registered capital of 2.71 quadrillion VND.

    The average registered capital for each business in the January – November period was 9.8 billion VND, a year-on-year increase of 24.3 percent, while the figure in November only was 10.1 billion VND, down 5.8 percent over the previous month.

    The number of labourers in the newly-established enterprises was over one million people, down 8 percent against the same period last year.

    In the past 11 months, the number of enterprises concentrated mainly in the fields of wholesale, retail, automobiles and motorbikes repairing was 41,627, accounting for 35.9 percent; the processing and manufacturing industry had 14,846 enterprises, making up 12.8 percent; the construction sector had 14,695 enterprises, or 12.7 per cent; and science, technology, consulting services, design and advertising had 8,663 new enterprises, equivalent to 7.5 percent of the total number.

    Regarding registered capital, from January to November, the real estate sector had the highest registered capital of over 314 trillion VND, accounting for 27.8 percent, followed by wholesale, retail, automobiles and motorbikes repairing, worth more than 182 trillion VND, accounting for 16.1 percent, while the construction sector had a registered capital of 155.3 trillion VND, making up 13.7 percent.

    VN projected to be growth outperformer among ASEAN nations     

    Viet Nam and Myanmar will be the growth outperformers among ASEAN countries in the coming years, Fitch has forecast.

    According to a report released by Fitch last Friday, Viet Nam’s growth will be supported by a stable political environment, growing reform momentum, an improving business environment, and with the manufacturing sector benefiting from multinationals relocating in Viet Nam for lower production costs.

    Myanmar is also expected to grow 7.2 per cent on average per annum over the next 10 years due to an increase in investment, aided by improvement in the business environment and greater political stability, the report said.

    Meanwhile, Singapore and Brunei that already have much higher gross domestic product per capita are likely to see much slower rates of expansion.

    According to Fitch, Southeast Asian countries’ economic prospects look bright in the coming years, supported by greater regional integration, better transport connectivity and continued reform momentum.

    Citing the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership and China’s Belt and Road Initiative as two key factors aside from ASEAN’s Economic Community, Fitch’s BMI Research said these elements will bring the region closer and fuel growth in the future.

    Ha Giang attracts $706 million in investment     

    The northernmost mountainous province of Ha Giang attracted VND16.1 trillion (US$706 million) worth of investment into 26 projects at a promotion conference on Monday.

    Speaking at the Ha Giang Investment Promotion Conference, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc praised the province’s socio-economic development achievements, such as poverty reduction by 5 per cent annually, growth of 7 per cent in gross regional domestic product, forest coverage of more than 55 per cent and contribution to the budget worth VND2 trillion, despite its disadvantageous geographical location.

    Phuc also said he was impressed with the efforts of applying information and technology by local authorities, boosting e-commerce, tourism and preserving nature.

    “Businesses play an important role in turning Ha Giang into a rich but sustainable province and accelerating tourism in the northwest region, as well as the entire tourism industry of Viet Nam,” Phuc said.

    “What investors are doing today will not only contribute to enhancing the living standards of ethnic communities in Ha Giang but also lead to breakthroughs in the development of remote border areas.”

    “Thus, Ha Giang will need more big investors,” Phuc said.

    He said good business models and projects with inclusiveness and spillover effects, which provide jobs and stable incomes for local residents, should be targeted. This is key for the rise of the northwest region in general, and Ha Giang Province in particular, adding that the province had significant potential and competitive advantages in agriculture, medicinal plantation, tourism and border trade.

    “Ha GiangProvince must accompany business,” Phuc said, urging the development of a transparent and constructive government, cost-cutting for firms and improving overall competitiveness. Administrative reform must also be hastened together with improving land access for businesses, Phuc said.

    Specially, Ha Giang should focus on boosting tourism through diversifying tourism products, developing community-based tourism, restoring and promoting traditional festivals and cultural values.

    The province, which aims to become a key tourist attraction by 2020, has majestic mountain landscapes and a UNESCO-recognised global geological park, as well as 19 ethnic groups living together with attractive festivals, natural and cultural heritages. The number of tourist arrivals to the province has risen consistently, and is estimated to reach one million with a revenue of VND950 billion this year.

    With famous specialties such as oranges, honey, tea and medicinal plants, Phuc urged the province to study policies to boost hi-tech and organic agricultural production together with building brands.

    Nguyen Van Son, Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee said that the province was providing incentives to investments in border trade, agricultural production and tourism.

    On the same day, Phuc had a working session with the provincial Standing Committee of the Party to tackle difficulties and create conditions for further socio-economic development.

    He also visited Thanh Thuy International Border Gate

    Yesterday afternoon, PM Phuc attended the ground breaking ceremony for dairy firm TH Truemilk’s cow breeding and hi-tech milk processing plant, worth VND2.5 trillion, in Vi Xuyen District’s Phong Quang Commune.

    Phuc said that the project’s location in a remote area was important to socio-economic development and would bring benefits to local residents and contribute to the restructuring of the agricultural sector.

    The project would have a capacity of raising 10,000 heads of cattle, together with a raw material plantation area of 663 hectares plus 2,000 hectares of local farmers. The plant would apply advanced farming and management technologies from Israel and New Zealand.

    The project is expected to create jobs for 500 direct labourers and thousands of indirect labourers.

    This is the first huge dairy farm and hi-tech milk processing project in the northern border provinces, which will have a radical impact on livestock farming in the region. 

    Vietnamese confectionary giant attend FoodPro 2017 in Bangladesh

    Excellent taste and eye-catching packages have made products of the Huu Nghi Confectionery Joint Stock Company come in favour of visitors at the International Exhibition & Conference on Food & Beverage Products, Processing, Packaging Machinery & Allied Technologies (FoodPro 2017).

    The Huu Nghi company is among 250 enterprises from 16 countries attending the event which ran from November 23-25 in Dhaka capital, Bangladesh

    The company brought along various kinds of cakes to the exhibition to introduce made-in-Vietnam products to international friends as well as grasp taste of consumers in Bangladesh. This is an important move that helps the confectioner to expand its export market to South Asia.

    Visiting the company’s booth, Vietnamese Ambassador to Bangladesh Tran Van Khoa lauded its participation in the FoodPro while stressing that the Bangladesh market poses huge potential and challenges for Vietnamese confectionary products, thus Vietnamese businesses need to be plucky and make concerted efforts.

    Chairman of the Bangladesh Agro-Processors’ Association (BAPA) AFM Fakhrul Islam Munshi said that he was impressed by Vietnamese confectionary products and expressed his hope that Vietnamese food companies will enhance investment and enlarge business in Bangladeshi market.

    Attending the FoodPro 2017, the Huu Nghi company had chance to meet 100 food corporations from Bangladesh, opening opportunities for the company to boost exports to the South Asian country.

    As part of efforts to support Vietnamese businesses to enter the Bangladeshi market, the Vietnamese Embassy in Bangladesh and the Bangladesh-Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry will organise Vietnam-Bangladesh trade fair next year. The event is expected to help Vietnamese businesses meet their trade partners and nudge Vietnamese products closer to Bangladeshi consumers.

    Outstanding farm products honoured

    A total of 157 high-quality agricultural products and 25 outstanding companies were honoured at a ceremony held by the Vietnam Farmers’ Union in Hanoi on November 28.

    Addressing at the ceremony, head of the Party Central Committee’s Economic Commission Nguyen Van Binh praised the individuals and organisations for their products honoured this time as well as the union’s initiative to launch the programme.

    As Vietnam is integrating deeply into global economy with a slew of commitments to new generation agreements as well as bilateral and multilateral deals, Binh urged relevant ministries, localities and farmers to shake up the agricultural sector towards increasing added value, sustainable development and modern new style rural area building.

    He stressed that farmers, cooperatives and businesses should promote science-technology application into agricultural production to ensure quality and hygiene of the products while participate in global and regional value chain to ensure national food security and improve rural livelihoods.

    According to Chairman of the Vietnam Farmers’ Union Lai Xuan Mon, the programme was launched in all 63 provinces and cities, with 181 agricultural products being nominated.

    The honoured products were categorised into three groups: farming products, processed products and products serving agriculture, he said.

    He affirmed that the event, the fourth of its kind, not only honoured outstanding agricultural products but also served as a platform for individuals, organisations and businesses to cooperate and introduce products and advanced technology to the community.

    Uber and Vietnam’s number one fintech firm shake hands on strategic alliance

    Uber today officially became the strategic partner of Vietnam-based mobile electronic payment platform MoMo, with the intent of integrating a wholly digital payment experience into the leading ride-hailing online application.

    Consequently, this alliance will likely deliver a never-before-seen transportation service by fusing taxi-hailing with a cashless payment method supported by Vietnam’s leading mobile e-wallet firm.

    Prior to this co-operation with MoMo, Uber Vietnam offered three main payment methods: cash, credit card (including MasterCard and Visa) and debit card, as well as Android Pay exclusively for Android users.

    Thanks to the participation of MoMo, from now on, Uber subscribers will be spared the hassle of connecting their existing banking accounts with the payment option in the digital application. MoMo’s e-wallet would enable synchronised payments and save a substantial amount of time for Uber’s customers.

    Previously, on November 15, MoMo made a long-term commitment with taxi firm Vinasun to provide a smart and cashless taxi-riding experience.

    Also on November 15, VietinBank officially shook hands with MoMo e-wallet to accelerate mobile transactions, especially for members of the domestic credit programme called E-Partner, which is now directly linked with MoMo.

    Earlier, in 2015, MoMo partnered with Standard Chartered to launch the Straight2Bank wallet payment in Vietnam, which allows corporations, authorities, and organisations to conduct cashless transactions with either banked or unbanked individuals.

    To date, MoMo electronic wallet could receive deposits from accounts at 11 banks and via international cards and can enable topping up at more than 5,000 MoMo transaction points within Vietnam’s territory.

    MoMo is Vietnam’s top mobile e-wallet and over-the-counter remittance and payment platform. After a successful introduction in Vietnam, MoMo has made its way to overseas markets, such as the Philippines, Bangladesh, and Kenya. MoMo delivers virtual payment services, such as money transfer, bill payments, collection and disbursement, and mobile commerce.         

    Grab commits to long-term investment in Vietnam

    Grab co-founder Tan Hooi Ling affirmed that the ride-hailing firm would continue to invest in Vietnam and contribute to the country’s innovation process.

    Ling told local press last week that Grab is specialised in researching and developing applications in technology-based platforms. Grab is always looking to partner with local governments to develop the most efficient transportation and mobile payments for Vietnamese customers.

    With the development of a research and development (R&D) centre in Vietnam, Grab’s global R&D community will focus on solutions to optimise the efficiency of the transport sector. As a result, customers can have access to a wide range of vehicles with more convenient rides and affordable services. Meanwhile, Grab’s driver partners can utilise different services to serve customer demand and improve their own livelihoods.

    Grab’s two-year pilot programme will be finished in January 2018. Regarding this matter, Ling expressed gratitude to the Vietnamese government. When the pilot project started two years ago, Vietnam was one of the first countries to adopt ride-hailing technology in such an open and transparent way. Grab is willing to share best practices based on data collected from the programme, which will facilitate innovation and new technology application in Vietnam.

    To tackle traffic congestions, Grab plans to launch Grab Shuttle in the country to better utilise vehicle capacity. Grab Shuttle can increase the number of  passengers to seven people in a small bus. Grab Shuttle uses algorithms to arrange suitable routes for customers who are travelling at the same direction and at the same time. Following a local debut in Singapore, the government lauded Grab Shuttle’s effectiveness as well as encouraged the widespread use of the feature.

    Meanwhile, JustGrab has been launched in Hanoi and Danang city, which combines both GrabTaxi and GrabCar in a single feature. JustGrab will offer faster e-hailing services for customers, while improve the livelihoods of driver partners.

    The co-founder stated that Grab not only provides quick and safe rides to customers but also offers them better access to vehicles. The ride-hailing firm continues its efforts to develop sustainably in Vietnam.

    According to Ling, Grab has been active in Vietnam’s 4.0 industrial revolution. With its technological solutions, the ride-hailing firm helps cut down customers’ commuting time by 51 per cent, while boost the hourly income of driver partners by 55 per cent compared to the national average.

    “In addition to creating thousands of new jobs in Vietnam, Grab has invested in the new R&D centre so that local engineers and high-tech workers will be engaged in Grab’s global R&D community,” she added. Grab has invested in six R&D centres in Seattle (US), Beijing (China), Bangalore (India), Jakarta (Indonesia), Singapore, and Ho Chi Minh City. These R&D centres will explore new digital solutions to support Vietnam in developing its transport infrastructure.

    To move Vietnam towards 4.0 in the long-term, Grab will expand investment in the country in the near future. The ride-hailing firm commits to doing the best for Vietnam and its people.

    In the first ten months of 2017, Grab has contributed nearly VND140 billion ($6.16 million) to the Vietnamese state budget, according to Ling.

    In addition to ride-hailing services, Grab plans to launch its mobile wallet payment system known as Grab Pay in Vietnam next year.

    “Grab has been working in collaboration with several banks in Vietnam to promote online payment services to local customers. If Grab Pay is green-lighted in early 2018, it is expected to serve essential customer demand as well as contribute to develop Vietnam’s knowledge-based smart economy,” she said.

    Hải Phòng hosts exhibition on energy saving

    The International Exposition on Technologies and Products for Energy Saving and Environment Protection (E&E Expo Hải Phòng 2017) kicked off on Wednesday in the northern city of Hải Phòng.

    The exhibition aims at introducing the achievements of technology development and energy saving solutions, promoting products, seeking partners to expand the production market and finding distribution agents for domestic and foreign enterprises.

    It has attracted the participation of around 100 booths and outdoor display areas of domestic and international companies, introducing energy saving products, renewable energy, nuclear energy and household electrical appliances, as well as industrial equipment and environmentally friendly products.

    In addition, the exhibition is also a space for businesses and experts to provide solutions on energy saving and environmental protection for daily life and business production, contributing to the propagation and raising of public awareness on economical and efficient use of energy for people, organisations and enterprises.

    The event is held at Việt Nam - CzechFriendshipCulturalPalace, HảiPhòngCity and will run until December 2.

    Work starts on large milk production project in Ha Giang

    TH Group, the owner of  TH True Milk brand, on November 27 began work on a hi-tech project to farm dairy cows and process milk worth VND2.5 trillion (US$110 million) in the northern mountainous province of Ha Giang.

    According to the Government news website, the project which will be developed in Vi Xuyen District will develop a herd of 10,000 cows and a material cultivation zone of 2,663 hectares. The project will help create jobs for 500 people working directly at TH Group’s project and thousands of others providing cows’ feed and other services.

    This is the first time such a large milk production project has been developed in the area.

    The most advanced farming technology of Israel and disease control solutions of New Zealand will be applied in the project.

    Speaking at the groundbreaking ceremony, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc showed his impression at the project, highlighting its significance to local socio-economic development and will help restructure the agriculture sector of the province.

    Deputy PM: Counterfeit products prevention ineffective

    Counterfeit goods still flood the market although authorities have launched many anti-counterfeiting programs over the past 10 years, according Deputy Prime Minister Truong Hoa Binh.

    Addressing a ceremony to mark the 10th anniversary of Vietnam Anti-counterfeit Goods Day organized in HCMC on November 27, Binh said not only small enterprises but also large ones have been found producing and selling copycats to customers.

    According to Phap Luat online newspaper, counterfeit products have eroded customer confidence in both Vietnamese enterprises and products. Therefore, there should be more drastic measures to tackle the selling and manufacturing of counterfeit goods.

    The Deputy PM stressed that anti-counterfeit and market surveillance agencies should pay more attention to e-commerce and online shopping as a great source of copycats that has not been closely managed, in addition to traditional shopping channels.

    Border forces should carefully check the origin and labels of goods at the borders, ensuring that counterfeit goods are detected before they are imported into the country.

    Speaking at the ceremony, Nguyen Thanh Hai, deputy general director of Binh Minh Plastics JSC, said the company has faced lots of difficulties in protecting its brand and products due to the ineffective control of intellectual property infringements and counterfeit goods on the market.

    “The flood of counterfeit goods has affected the reputation of enterprises and health of the customers,” Hai said.

    Takimoto Koji, chief representative in Vietnam of the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO), said many Japanese products had been counterfeited in Vietnam, affecting the production and reputation of Japanese manufacturers. Particularly, about 4,700 items imitating Honda products have been detected.

    According to Le The Bao, chairman of the Vietnam Association for Anti-counterfeiting and Trademark Protection (VATAP), combating the selling and manufacturing of counterfeit goods requires the participation of the whole society, with heavy sanctions against violators.

    The functional agencies must become reliable addresses for enterprises and people to contact and coordinate with in the fight against counterfeit goods and intellectual property rights infringements.


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  • 12/03/17--23:47: Article 2

    Thu Thiem’s land prices forecast to rise 30-35% 

    Thu Thiem’s land prices forecast to rise 30-35%, Polish group acquires Vietnamese pharma company, Vietnam Expo 2017 to open in HCM City, Uber, Grab to face tax inspection next year  

     Land prices in Thu Thiem New Urban Area in District 2, HCMC are forecast to increase 30-35% in the coming time, according to property services provider Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL).

    JLL said prices of residential units in the peninsula are currently 30-35% below District 1’s levels.

    Meanwhile, in Shanghai, apartment prices in Pudong new center are 43% above the old central business district of Puxi, and Bonifacio prices are the same as Makati in the Philippines. Over time, the consultant expected Thu Thiem to follow a similar trend.

    Stephen Wyatt, country head at JLL Vietnam, said Thu Thiem’s average land price is roughly one-third of District 1 and relatively low compared to neighboring districts such as Districts 3 and 4.

    However, he added, with the establishment of Thu Thiem projects and some improvement in the legal and planning framework, it is reasonable to say that land prices will continue to increase in the coming years.

    Land prices in Thu Thiem have picked up by 30 to 40% over the past three years. JLL said this is a record but appropriate rise as prices were rather low initially. A majority of housing projects there are selling well.

    In Thu Thiem, some 45% of the total development areas have been officially approved through build-transfer agreements. Dai Quang Minh is developing the US$2.2-billion Sala housing project in Thu Thiem.

    Around 10 investors have developed projects worth about US$5 billion. In addition to the Sala project, some other major projects include the EmpireCity project of KeppelLand, Gaw Capital Partners, Tien Phuoc JSC, and Tran Thai Real Estate Co Ltd; and the Eco smart city project of Lotte Group.

    Many overseas investors from China, Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea and Japan have expressed interest to invest in the peninsula. They are hunting for good investment opportunities in Thu Thiem at a reasonable land price through acquisition or joint venture with local partners.

    The pace of development in Thu Thiem remained stagnant mainly because of land compensation issues.

    As of this June, 99% of the total area in Thu Thiem had been fully compensated for, according to the District 2’s Resettlement Committee. 87 land lots have yet to be compensated for, including 83 households and four religious establishments.

    Land has largely been handed over to investors but many lots of land there have yet to be developed, according to Stephen Wyatt.

    Many investors revealed it was difficult for them to estimate the investment timeline and return, due to the lack of transparency in the investment procedure, he stressed.

    He added developers, especially those with a strong investment appetite for commercial properties, are still waiting for more incentive policies for this area.

    The 657-hectare new urban area is located opposite to District 1. Comprising 176 land lots with roughly 3.2 million square meters of residential space and 3.4 million square meters of commercial space, the total peninsula will eventually accommodate 145,000 residents plus 217,000 workers. 

    Vietjet to pay 60% dividend for this year

    Budget carrier Vietjet Air (HoSE: VJC) is collecting shareholders’ opinions on increasing the estimated 2017 dividend payout from 50 per cent to 60 per cent, including a maximum of 40 per cent cash dividend.

    If approved, the estimated 2017 dividend payout ratio will be 60 per cent, with the cash dividend rising from 30 per cent to 40 per cent. The purpose of collecting shareholders’ opinions is to make the necessary arrangements for the advanced second dividend payment in 2017.

    Vietjet is also seeking shareholders’ opinions on a change of business line and the address of its headquarters to
    302/3 Kim Ma Street
    , Ba Dinh District, Hanoi. The close of registrations for shareholders to submit opinions is December 19.

    In mid-August, Vietjet advanced VND645 billion ($28.3 million) for a 20 per cent cash dividend payment in 2017. Prior to that, it also paid a 40 per cent bonus share dividend and finalized the 2016 cash and bonus share dividend payment at a rate of 119 per cent.

    Vietjet is the first airline in Vietnam to operate under the new low-cost model and provides a wide range of services to customers through advanced e-commerce technology applications.

    Vietjet is an official member of the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and has IATA Operational Safety Audit (IOSA) certification. In addition to being named among the “Top 500 Leading Brands in Asia 2016” and the “Best Employer Brand” in Asia for many consecutive years, Vietjet was also voted “Best Asian Low Cost Carrier in 2015” at the TTG Travel Awards and is among the Top 3 growing carriers on Facebook, as voted by Socialbakers.

    Vietjet is now operating 45 A320 and A321 aircraft, conducting about 350 flights a day and carrying some 40 million passengers on 73 routes to destinations in Vietnam and to Hong Kong, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, China, Thailand, Indonesia, Myanmar, Malaysia, and Cambodia.

    The airline plans to expand its Asia-Pacific network and purchase modern aircraft from leading manufacturers. 

    Polish group acquires Vietnamese pharma company

    The Adamed Group from Poland has acquired a controlling stake in Dat Vi Phu, Vietnam’s fastest-growing pharmaceutical company.

    The share purchase agreement was signed in Hanoi in the presence of visiting Polish President Andrzej Duda and State President Tran Dai Quang.

    The transaction is the largest direct Polish investment in Vietnam to date.

    The deal provides for an extensive investment plan, including the transfer of Adamed’s knowledge and expertise. The purchase agreement was signed by Dr. Małgorzata Adamkiewicz, Director General of the Adamed Group, and Mr. Pham Tai Truong, the founder of Dat Vi Phu, on November 28.

    Dat Vi Phu manufactures a wide range of medicinal products for both the Vietnamese and neighboring markets. “We consider our investment to be a launch pad for the further dynamic expansion of the Adamed Group into the Asia-Pacific region,” said Dr. Adamkiewicz. “I’m convinced that, in view of the scale of this transaction and further investments into the development of the company, our undertaking will constitute a milestone in strengthening economic relations between Poland and Vietnam.”

    In its more than ten years in the business, Dat Vi Phu has acquired a sizable share of Vietnam’s pharmaceutical market. “The investment by the Adamed Group is an opportunity for our continued dynamic development,” said Mr. Truong. “Cooperation with such an experienced partner will enable us to reinforce our position in the local market and expand in the Asia-Pacific region.”

    The investment forms part of the internationalization of the Adamed Group. It recorded a 15 per cent increase in export revenues in 2016 and aims to constantly grow its foreign sales.

    Dat Vi Phu was established in 2004 and manufactures nearly 300 medicinal products in most therapeutic classes. It is the fastest-growing company in Vietnam’s pharmaceutical market and exports its products to the Philippines, Cambodia, and Myanmar. Located in southern Binh Duong province near Ho Chi Minh City, it currently employs some 200 people.

    HCMCity’s November CPI picks up 0.17 percent

    The consumer price index (CPI) in Ho Chi Minh City in November gained 0.17 percent on a monthly basis and 4.32 percent year-on-year, the municipal Statistics Office announced on November 29.

    Prices of seven out of 11 commodity groups experienced slight increase, with the highest rise of 0.8 percent seen in transport, attributable to the impact of gasoline price adjustment in the month.

    Other goods with higher prices included food and catering services (0.27 percent), beverage and tobacco (0.15 percent), home appliances (0.15 percent), garment, hat and footwear (0.03 percent), housing, electricity, fuel and construction materials (0.02 percent) and culture, entertainment and tourism (0.01 percent).

    Meanwhile, prices of medicine and healthcare services, education, telecommunications and other goods and services remained stable in the month.

    In contrast, the price of gold dropped 0.08 percent and that of US dollar declined 0.04 percent from the previous month.

    Vietnam Expo 2017 to open in HCM City

    The 15th Vietnam International Trade Fair (Vietnam Expo 2017) will take place at the Saigon Exhibition and Convention Centre in Ho Chi Minh City on December 6-9.

    The expo continues to be an important bridge to connect Vietnamese and foreign enterprises, allowing them to meet and exchange views on business cooperation.

    It is also a destination where policymakers can update latest waves of market and producers can popularise their trademarks as well as expand consumption network.

    This year’s event will feature 800 booths of 750 businesses from 16 countries and territories including India, Taiwan (China), Germany, the Republic of Korea, Indonesia, Malaysia, the US and China.

    On display will be various products such as electronic devices and products, hardware products and hand tools, construction materials and household products-consumer goods.

    According to the Vietnam National Trade Fair & Advertising Company (Vinexad), participating companies want to introduce their new items for 2018 with the aim of seeking customers’ feedback for evaluating the market’s demand.

    Numerous activities will be held in the framework of the event, notably a trade exchange between Vietnamese and Chinese electromechanical firms.

    A seminar on Vietnam’s economic, trade and investment cooperation with three Chinese localities of Beijing, Tianjin and Hebei is scheduled to be held on December 6, offering opportunities for businesses of the two countries to exchange views and cooperate in various fields.

    A talk on infrastructure quality and construction of Asia’s future, with the participation of Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, will be organised, among others.

    According to the organising board, 520 businesses showcased their products at the 2016 expo, which attracted 11,650 visitors.

    SMEs urged to use energy efficiently


    Small- and medium–sized enterprises (SMEs) in industrial production were urged to develop green growth strategies to improve business efficiency and protect the environment, experts said at a conference held by the Central Institute for Economic Management (CIEM) on Wednesday.

    Trinh Duc Chieu, Deputy Head of CIEM’s Corporate Development and Reform Department, said that a large number of SMEs still used outdated and energy-consuming technologies, despite the Government’s push to promote green growth.

    Chieu cited a survey that found 75 per cent of processing and manufacturing enterprises in Ha Noi said that their energy consumption was higher than the world’s average.

    In 2015, 53 per cent of companies in the processing and manufacturing industry used technologies which were developed more than six years ago and only 14 per cent invested in technologies that had hit the market within the three most recent years.

    In addition, most SMEs did not conduct reports on their energy consumption and their awareness about the importance of using energy efficiently remained low.

    SMEs made up around 17 per cent of companies operating in the manufacturing and processing industry – the sector which consumed the most energy, accounting for 43 per cent of the country’s total energy consumption.

    According to Chieu, the lack of support and inconsistencies in policies has not encouraged SMEs to use energy more efficiently. Besides, the development of renewable energies still dramatically lags demand.

    “It is important for SMEs to enhance energy use efficiency, which will help cut production costs, improve quality, increase profits and develop in a sustainable way,” Chieu said.

    Moving towards green growth, using natural resources and energy more efficiently, will increase resilience to climate change.

    Chieu said the legal framework on energy must be improved to encourage energy efficiency and prod SMEs to shift towards renewable energies.

    According to Nguyen Dinh Khuyen from the General Statistics Office, an energy data system should be developed to provide information for analysis in order to craft appropriate policies.

    At the conference, experts also said that tax and credit policies should be established to encourage the development and use of renewable energies and so that SMEs will update their technologies.

    Uber, Grab to face tax inspection next year

    The General Department of Taxation has asked tax offices to prepare inspections of enterprises next year, especially ride-hailing services firms Uber and Grab, Tien Phong newspaper reports.

    Local tax authorities will have to check the fulfillment of tax obligations of at least 18.5% of enterprises under their supervision.

    In addition, hospitals, credit institutions, hotels, restaurants, casinos, seaports and companies in fuels, aviation, pharmaceutical products, tourism, automobiles, construction, real estate, mining and online business sectors will be subject to tax inspections.

    Tax agencies will have to pay attention to enterprises involved in transfers of capital, brands and projects, and also attend more to those declaring losses over the years or generating lower profit than other enterprises in the same sector.

    According to the General Department of Taxation, Grab has operated in Vietnam since February 2014. It has legal capital of VND20 billion (US$0.88 million) but has incurred a VND938-billion loss due to many promotion programs as explained by the company.

    Grab earned nearly VND1.8 trillion and paid over VND9.5 billion in tax between 2014 and last year. After inspections, the HCMC Department of Tax has required Grab to pay an additional VND2.9 billion.

    Meanwhile, Uber posted revenue of a combined VND2.7 trillion in the last three years and the first haft of this year and paid VND76.8 billion to the State budget. The ride-hailing service provider will also have to pay an additional tax sum of VND66.6 billion.

    Real estate business increases up to 60.5 percent

    The Ministry of Planning and Investment reported that the country had nearly 11,000 newly established companies in November, 2017.  

    From January to November, around 140, 394 nationwide enterprises were established and re-operated with total newly registered capital of US$ 119.5 billion. 

    Of the number, around 41, 627 firms operated in the fields of business, retail, repairing, automobiles and motorbikes, accounting for 35.9 percent; 14,846 enterprises in the sectors of processing and manufacturing industry accounted for 12.8 percent; 14,695 companies in construction accounted for 12.7 percent and 8,663 ones in the sectors of science and technology; consulting services, design, advertisement and other professional accounted for 7.5 percent etc…

    The average density of registered capital per an enterprise reached at VND 9.8 billion in the first 11 months of 2017, up 24.3 percent compared to the same period last year. 

    This year’s rate of enterprise increase in real estate sector accounted for 60.5 percent over the same period of 2016.

    In the first eleven months of 2017, total newly registered capital of real estate increased up to VND 314, 2 trillion, accounted for 27.8 percent of total registered capital of the country. 

    Aside from real estate, the fields of business, retail, repairing, automobiles and motorbikes had total registered capital of VND 182 trillion accounted for 16.1 percent, and  total registered capital of construction was at VND 155.3 trillion. 

    Footwear exports enjoy 13 percent rise during Jan-Oct

    The export turnover of Vietnamese footwear products hit 11.82 billion USD in the first ten months of 2017, up 13 percent year-on-year.

    Exports to Indonesia recorded the highest growth, at 53 percent, followed by Singapore (45 percent), Hungary (34 percent), India (33.7 percent) and Poland (33 percent).

    The Vietnam Leather, Footwear and Handbag Association predicted that the footwear sector’s production will enjoy a growth rate of 5 percent this year compared to last year, while the export value of footwear and handbags will reach nearly 18 billion USD, or a 10-percent rise a year-on-year.

    Vietnam is aiming for 24-26 billion USD in leather, footwear and handbag exports by 2020, 35-38 billion USD by 2025 and 50-60 billion USD by 2035.

    Franchise restaurants boom in Vietnam

    Not only are Vietnamese restaurateur reaching out to foreign brands to import their business models, global franchisors now view Vietnam as a huge potential market to expand their network.

    Popular global franchise brands like Little Caesars, Jumbo Group, The Boiling Crab, and Element Fresh have all sat down with Vietnamese partners in preparation for their entry into the 94-million-strong market.

    Presently, Vietnam is home to 71 foreign restaurant franchises, including ‘big players’ like McDonald’s, Starbucks, Burger King, and BBQ Chicken.

    Most of these franchises are currently flourishing in the country’s largest hubs of Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, but others are beginning to target growing cities such as Da Nang and Hai Phong to further cement their foothold.

    William Schreiber, vice-president of international development for US pizza chain Little Caesars, said he had traveled to Vietnam 15 times in search of opportunities to ink franchising deals with local businesses.

    The third-largest pizza chain in the US, Little Caesars already has over 5,000 locations in 18 countries, but Vietnam is looking like the first country in Southeast Asia to earn a franchising deal with the company.

    Recently, Singaporean seafood restaurant group Jumbo also partnered with a Vietnamese company to launch the franchise locally, having made successful entrances in China and Japan.

    Other popular franchises like Grimaldi’s Pizzeria, Boiling Crab and Presotea have announced their intention to open stores here.

    With prices that target middle-income earners, restaurant franchises are becoming increasingly popular with the younger generation in Vietnam as a go-to place for dining, hanging out with friends, and meeting with business partners.

    Vietnam-based Golden Gate Group, one of the first in the country to conduct business with foreign franchisors, has until now successfully imported and operated 22 restaurant franchises ranging from barbecue, hot pot to beer clubs.

    In 2016, the firm reported revenue of VND2,628 billion (US$115.77 million), a 524% growth rate on 2013.

    With its current network of 201 locations across Vietnam, it is estimated that the firm will reach 400 locations by as early as 2018.

    According to Hoang Tung, owner of the Vietnamese pizza chain Pizza Home, the cost of franchising a popular brand can amount to VND1 billion (US$44,000), not to mention a percentage of revenue paid regularly to the franchise owner.

    People line up outside Vietnam's first Starbucks restaurant in Ho Chi Minh City on its opening day, February 1, 2013. 

    Despite the overwhelming number of success stories in Vietnam, in reality many brands have been forced to depart the market after finding themselves falling behind in a dog-eat-dog environment.

    Examples include fast-food restaurant Subway and coffee houses such as Gloria Jean's Coffees, The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf and N.Y.D.C.

    “Not many Vietnamese franchisees have the experience to run restaurant franchises on a large scale, which often results in fatal mismanagement once the number of locations reaches the hundreds,” an official from the Ministry of Industry and Trade asserted.

    “They still have a lot to learn from foreign restaurateurs.”

    Son La ships first batch of passion fruit to France

    Nafoods Group has exported the first two tons of passion fruit to France, said the company representative.

    Nafoods has got a licence from northern Son La province to grow and process Passion Fruit. Currently, the company is growing the fruit on more than 500ha in two districts of Moc Chau and Thuan Chau with an estimated output of more than 12,000 tons this year. 

    The export of Passion Fruit to France will contribute to boosting exports of the province’s key agricultural products and diversifying trade outlets. 

    Son La has so far exported tea, plums, mangoes, and honeybee to overseas markets.

    SOEs able to apply book building for IPOs in 2018

    Vietnam’s company to plant 500 ha of rubber in Laos

    Quang Tri Rubber Co. Ldt., a subsidy of the under the Vietnam Rubber Group (VRG), will plant 500 hectares of rubber and build a rubber processing factory in Saravane province, Laos under a land leasing contract signed on November 29 in Vientiane.

    The project has a total investment of US$ 10 million with an operational duration of 30 years.

    Speaking at the signing ceremony, Deputy Minister of Planning and Investment Khamlien Phonsena welcomed the project, stressing that it would contribute to facilitating the socio economic development, reducing poverty and creating jobs for local residents in the Saravane province.

    As the project was signed in Vietnam– Laos Friendship and Solidarity Year 2017, he noted that the project would also tighten the special ties between the two countries.

    He asked the Quang Tri Rubber Co. Ldt to implement the project in accordance with its schedule while observing Lao law on environmental protection and Lao Government guideline for clean and green growth.

    He also affirmed that Lao authorities and relevant ministries and sectors would create more favourable condition for the project’s deployment.

    For his part, Van Luu, Director General of Quang Tri Rubber Co. Ldt expressed his thanks for the Lao Government for the signing of the project, pledging that his company would keep the project on track and closely follow Lao law and regulations during its implementation.

    Over VND2.7 quadrillion pumped in Vietnam's economy

    Over VND2.7 quadrillion (US$118.8 billion) has been pumped in the national economy over the past 11 months thanks to the establishment of more than 116,000 enterprises and the capital expansion of more than 32,200 others during the 11-month period.

    According to the General Statistics Office (GSO), the country witnessed the establishment of more than 116,000 firms in the January-November period with a total registered capital of over VND1.1 quadrillion (US$48.4 billion), up 14.1% in the number of enterprises and up nearly 42% in terms of registered capital compared to the corresponding period in 2016. The total number of workers registered at newly established enterprises was more than one million.

    During this period, more than 32,200 enterprises have registered to increase their capital with a total supplemented capital of over VND1.5 quadrillion (US$66 billion) which has helped raise the total newly registered and supplemented capital of enterprises to over VND2.7 quadrillion in 11 months.

    The GSO stated that the average registered capital per new enterprise reached VND9.8 billion (US$431,200), an increase of 24.3% compared to the same period last year.

    In addition, 24,349 enterprises have resumed their operations during the 11-month period, raising the total number of newly established firms and firms returning to operations to more than 140,000 in 11 months.

    The wholesale and retail sector reported the highest number of newly established firms which accounted for 35.9% of the total number of newly set up firms. Meanwhile, the manufacturing and processing industry accounted for 12.8% of the total number of newly established firms and the construction sector made up 12.7% of the total number of newly established firms.

    In the January-November period, more than 10,800 enterprises have registered to dissolve with 91.6% of them being small enterprises with the capital size less than VND10 billion (US$440,000) each and more than 55,600 enterprises have suspended their operations.

    Industrial production index continues to make breakthrough

    The industrial production index (IIP) in the first 11 months of 2017 was reported at a year-on-year increase of 9.3%, which was much higher than the 7.4% growth level of the same period last year, according to the General Statistics Office (GSO).

    Accordingly, industrial production sectors continued to see high growth, with the manufacturing and processing industry growing 14.4%, contributing 10.1 percentage points to the general IIP growth.

    The power production and distribution sector surged by 9.6%, contributing 0.6 percentage point, while the water supply and waste and wastewater treatment sector soared by 7.7%, contributing 0.1 percentage point to the 11-month IIP increase.

    Meanwhile, the mining industry decreased by 7.1%, therefore reducing the overall IIP by 1.5 percentage points.

    Some cities and provinces with large industrial scale posted high IIP growth during the January-November period, including Bac Ninh (up 35.5%), Hai Phong (up 20%), Thai Nguyen (up 18.3%), Binh Duong (up 10.4%), Hai Duong (up 9.6%) and Da Nang (up 9.5%). The two national hubs of Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City reported an IIP increase of 7% and 7.9%, respectively.

    In the meantime, Ba Ria–Vung Tau and Quang Nam provinces witnessed a respective decrease of 3.8% and 4.8% from the same period of last year.

    Businesses that take good care of employees honoured

    The Vietnam General Confederation of Labour (VGCL) organised a ceremony in Hanoi on November 29 to honour 74 businesses that take good care of employees.

    The ceremony was attended by Vice President Dang Thi Ngoc Thinh, President of the Vietnam Fatherland Front Central Committee (VFFCC) Tran Thanh Man and VGCL President Bui Van Cuong.

    Addressing the ceremony, VGCL President Bui Van Cuong, the ranking is a meaningful activity in encouraging and honouring enterprises which have made many efforts in creating an effective working environment for their employees, ensuring the quality of life of their employees and promoting their capacity and working spirit.

    After four years of organising, the program has ranked 275 enterprises, presenting credits to 119 enterprises. In addition, the organising board offering the “Businesses that Take Good Care of Employees” Award to 15 enterprises, and the Prime Minister's certificates of merit to 12 different enterprises.

    The “Businesses that Take Good Care of Employees” rankings was launched by VGCL since 2014, creating a wide-range movement in order to encourage businesses to take better care of employees, for the development of businesses and communities.

    SMEs urged to use energy efficiently

    Small- and medium–sized enterprises (SMEs) in industrial production were urged to develop green growth strategies to improve business efficiency and protect the environment, experts said at a conference held by the Central Institute for Economic Management (CIEM) on November 29.

    Trinh Duc Chieu, Deputy Head of CIEM’s Corporate Development and Reform Department, said that a large number of SMEs still used outdated and energy-consuming technologies, despite the Government’s push to promote green growth.

    Chieu cited a survey that found 75 percent of processing and manufacturing enterprises in Hanoi said that their energy consumption was higher than the world’s average.

    In 2015, 53 percent of companies in the processing and manufacturing industry used technologies which were developed more than six years ago and only 14 percent invested in technologies that had hit the market within the three most recent years.

    In addition, most SMEs did not conduct reports on their energy consumption and their awareness about the importance of using energy efficiently remained low.

    SMEs made up around 17 percent of companies operating in the manufacturing and processing industry – the sector which consumed the most energy, accounting for 43 percent of the country’s total energy consumption.

    According to Chieu, the lack of support and inconsistencies in policies has not encouraged SMEs to use energy more efficiently. Besides, the development of renewable energies still dramatically lags behind demand.

    “It is important for SMEs to enhance energy use efficiency, which will help cut production costs, improve quality, increase profits and develop in a sustainable way,” Chieu said.

    Moving towards green growth, using natural resources and energy more efficiently, will increase resilience to climate change.

    Chieu said the legal framework on energy must be improved to encourage energy efficiency and prod SMEs to shift towards renewable energies.

    According to Nguyen Dinh Khuyen from the General Statistics Office, an energy data system should be developed to provide information for analysis in order to craft appropriate policies.

    At the conference, experts also said that tax and credit policies should be established to encourage the development and use of renewable energies and so that SMEs will update their technologies.

    HCMC to invite tenders for BT projects

    HCMC will hold competitive tenders for infrastructure projects  to be carried out in the build-transfer (BT) format to ensure transparency and effectiveness.

    According to a source from the HCMC government office, the city will map out a process to implement BT projects to clarify responsibilities of competent agencies involved in projects and shorten the bidding time to select investors.

    The city will also put up land for auction to raise funds to pay for contractors of BT projects, instead of allocating land directly to chosen investors.

    In addition, the city will diversify payment methods by tapping land lots near projects, and issuing preferential policies on loan interest for projects which are difficult to generate profits.

    Although the BT investment form has helped raise huge amounts of capital from the private sector, it is fertile ground for corruption and group interests. The way land is exchanged for infrastructure in BT projects has not been transparent.

    Local contents of electronic products still insignificant

    Although Vietnam has invested in supporting industries for the electronic sector for about 30 years, local firms cannot still climb higher in the supply chain, mainly producing packaging and plastic and rubber parts for electronic manufacturers, heard a conference on electronic industry development in Hanoi on November 28.

    Speaking at the conference, Vu Thi Thanh Huyen, lecturer at the Vietnam University of Commerce, said most important components of electronic products made or assembled in Vietnam are imported.

    Data of the Supporting Industry Enterprise Development Center (SIDEC) shows that local contents contribute only 23% to the value of electronic products. Businesses tied to the supply chain of electronic product manufacturers are mostly foreign-invested firms or joint ventures.

    According to Huyen, most electronic products sold in Vietnam are imported. Some of them are assembled domestically but most of their components are foreign-made.

    Data of SIDEC shows that the country now has 610 producers of electronic accessories, accounting for half of the total number of electronic enterprises.

    However, Huyen said foreign-invested electronic makers and assemblers, such as Samsung Electronics, rarely sign long-term contracts with Vietnamese suppliers of components.

    Besides, local firms mainly provide low-value components like packaging, plastic and metal parts, or transport and catering services, while sophisticated components that make up most of products’ value are mainly supplied by foreign-invested suppliers.

    According to Nguyen Dinh Vinh, general director of Hanel JSC, Vietnamese enterprises are not strong enough to participate in the supply chain of multinational corporations. Local firms need to invest trillions of Vietnam dong if they want to become component suppliers of large foreign-invested enterprises like Samsung.

    Vinh said the weaknesses of local firms might result from the weak connection between them and foreign-invested enterprises, and the ineffective management of ministries and departments.

    Bang Hyun Woo, deputy general director of Samsung Vietnam, said foreign-invested enterprises have been struggling in seeking Vietnamese partners as they do not have adequate information of local firms, especially information on their scales and technologies.

    Veggies surpass crude oil in export earnings

    Outbound sales of vegetables have soared to US$3.16 billion in the year to date, well above crude oil export revenue of US$2.44 billion, Vietnamnet news site reports.

    The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development said in a report released on November 28 that the value of vegetables export has risen a staggering 43.2% compared to the same period last year. Vegetables exports in November along are forecast to reach US$292 million.

    As such, the commodity will likely maintain its third position among Vietnam’s biggest agriculture and seafood export earners.

    China, Japan, the United States, and South Korea were the major buyers of Vietnamese vegetables in the January-October period, making up 75.6%, 3.6%, 2.9%, and 2.6% of the total respectively. Japan, the United Arab Emirates and China saw their imports of Vietnamese veggies rising 67.6%, 56.9%, and 52.7%.

    The respective export revenues from rice and crude oil have been slow at around US$2.48 billion and US$2.44 billion in the year to November. However, veggies export has leapfrogged in the past two years.

    For example, according to the Vietnam Fruit and Vegetable Association, the export revenue of vegetables brought in US$2.4 billion in 2016, but the figure has now reached US$3.16 billion so far this year.

    A senior official of the Plant Protection Department under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development projected outbound sales of vegetables would amount to US$3.4-3.6 billion in all of this year.

    HCMC should build more boat stops for waterway tourism

    HCMC should build more boat stops to develop river tours into a major tourism product of the city to attract more travel enterprises to invest in the sector, heard a seminar on waterway tourism in HCMC on November 28.

    At the seminar held by the HCMC Departments of Transport and Tourism and Sai Gon Giai Phong newspaper, many enterprises said the city’s natural conditions are good to develop waterborne tourism products. However, the sector has not grown as strongly as expected due to a lack of stopover stations.

    The city currently has only three boat stops, namely Tan Cang, Cau Mong and Vuon Kieng, and last named situated at BachDangWharf. Among them, Tan Cang station is far from the city center and Vuon Kieng station has just been upgraded.

    Meanwhile, the fee to use Cau Mong station is high, VND500,000 for a boat each time. Besides, the station has no restrooms, so only four enterprises have used the facility, said Lieu Thi My Hanh, sales director of Hoang Trieu Construction Investment Corporation which operates 15 canoes.

    Other companies trading in restaurants and yachts in the SaigonRiver such as Indochina Travel Yacht, Viet Princess and Blue Pearl Voyages also agreed that the city should build boat stops at favorable positions, saying they are willing to invest in these projects.

    Nguyen Dinh Cuong, managing director of Blue Pearl Voyages, told the Daily that the company wants to invest US$10 million in the initial stage of a yacht station project on
    Nguyen Binh Street
    of Nha Be District.

    Active DIG trading drives turnover up

    Development Investment Construction Joint Stock Corporation (DIG) saw 128 million shares traded, buoyed by the Ministry of Construction’s capital divestment, which led trade value on the HCMC exchange to soar on November 28.

    DIG went up to its upper limit of VND19,250 a share and took the lead by liquidity on the Hochiminh Stock Exchange. Notably, foreign investors acquired over 56.4 million shares in the enterprise.

    Earlier, the Ministry of Construction announced to sell over 118 million DIG shares, or a 49.65% stake, within one month starting November 17. With the DIG price on November 28, the ministry earned an estimated VND1.7 trillion from the share sale.

    According to, DIG has nearly 3,200 hectares of land nationwide, including in prime locations in Ba Ria-Vung Tau, Dong Nai, Vinh Phuc and Lam Dong provinces, and PhuQuocIsland off KienGiangProvince. Between January and September, DIG saw its revenue and after-tax profit up 7% and 12% year-on-year at VND872 billion and VND43 billion respectively, meeting 62% and 34% of the full-year goals.

    DIG gave a boost to investor sentiment, sending the VN-Index up 2.6 points, or 0.28%, at 941.21 points. Trading volume rose 42.4% to 359.5 million shares and trading value jumped 48.7% to VND8.8 trillion, including block deals valued at more than VND2.1 trillion.

    With the current outstanding volume of over 238 million shares, investors changed hands up to 54% of the total DIG share volume. Its trading value reached over VND2.4 trillion, making up 28% of total turnover on the southern bourse.

    Among large caps, SAB, Vietnam’s top brewery firm, hit an intraday high of VND320,000 a share while construction firm ROS added 0.7% at VND189,100 per share. For VN30 stocks, MBB was the most liquid stock with 6.2 million shares changing hands, followed by oil and gas stock PVD with 4.1 million shares and sugar company SBT with 3.9 million shares.

    Many speculative stocks continued advancing strongly, in which agricultural firm HAI and mining stock AMD went up to their ceiling prices of VND8,460 and VND9,830 per share respectively. FLC, a property enterprise, reported trading volume of 14.4 million shares but fell 1.3% at VND7,020 per share.

    The HNX-Index retreated after a four-day rising streak, dropping 0.47% against the previous day at 111.5 points. There were 62.1 million shares worth nearly VND802 billion transacted on the Hanoi market, down 29% and 22% respectively.

    Lender SHB took the lead by liquidity with 14.3 million shares traded, followed by construction firm VCG and petroleum technical service firm PVS with 5.6 million shares and 5.5 million shares respectively. HKB, which operates in the food sector, hit its upper limit of VND2,500 per share with matching volume of one million shares.

    Vissan retails pork at wholesale prices

    Vissan, Vietnam’s leading meat processor, on November 28 inaugurated its first outlet to retail pork at wholesale prices on
    Bui Huu Nghia Street
    in Binh Thanh District, HCMC.

    The store will offer pork products at wholesale prices to vendors at traditional markets, restaurants, hotels, schools, factories and other collective users from midnight to 6:00 a.m. every day. Besides, fresh and processed food will be sold at the outlet from 6:00 a.m. to 21:00 p.m.

    Vissan general director Nguyen Ngoc An said the company expects to open five more such outlets near traditional wet markets by 2018.

    An stressed the store sell products provided by farms meeting VietGAP standards as controlled and inspected by competent agencies. The origin of products can be traced by using TE-FOOD app.

    Vissan has also set out its food safety requirements from the slaughter of pigs to pork distribution. Pork will be transported by special-use vehicles to outlets with refrigerators to store food and staff equipped with necessary facilities and knowledge about food safety.

    Vissan is developing a supply chain of pork without antibiotics. In the year to end-October, the company’s processed food sector grew 15% and fresh food 10% over the same period last year and its revenue increased 15%.

    Vissan now contributes 10% of HCMC’s fresh meat supply. In the coming time, the company will expand its markets to other large cities nationwide, An said.

    Ministry plans higher tariffs on steel imports to support domestic production

    The Ministry of Finance is seeking comments on a plan to revise up import tariffs on some products, especially steel, as proposed by Hoa Sen Group Joint Stock Company, Tap chi Tai chinh reports.

    In particular, Hoa Sen has proposed increasing the tariff on coated steel sheets coded 7210.41.11 from 20% to 25%, the tariff on rolled steel products coded 7211.19.11, 7212.40.10, 7212.50.91 and 7212.50.99 from the preferential rate of 0% to 10% as pledged in WTO commitments, and the tariff on steel products coded 7212.40.90 from 7% to 10%. The reason the company gave is that it can now produce such products.

    The tax increase proposal also aims to ensure the tariffs charged on semi-finished products are not higher than those on finished products.

    According to the Ministry of Finance, steel sheet products coded 7210.41.11 are subject to a duty of 20% as they are produced domestically. Imports of such products totaled US$136,000 in 2015.

    Under the Ministry of Planning and Investment’s Circular 14/2015/TT-BKHDT, the country can make products coded 7211.19.11, 7212.40.10 and 7212.40.90, and last year imported US$2.7 million, US$3.3 million and US$373,000 worth of these respective products. They are mainly imported from China, Japan, South Korea and Thailand at a zero duty under the ASEAN Trade in Goods Agreement (ATIGA), the ASEAN-China Free Trade Agreement (ACFTA) and the ASEAN-Japan Comprehensive Economic Partnership.

    As most of these products are produced domestically and imported with a duty of 0%, the ministry plans to increase the tariffs on such products to 10% to back domestic production.

    Regarding the potential impact on budget revenues, as estimated by the ministry based on 2016 imports, import tax collection will rise by US$0.6 million per year.

    Agriculture urged to automatise with IoT     

    The Fourth Industrial Revolution has seen a boom in breakthrough technologies and affected every sector, including agriculture. The changes require Viet Nam’s traditionally strong agricultural sector to implement smart agriculture solutions if it does not want to lose its markets.

    Hoang Quang Phong, vice chairman of the Viet Nam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) emphasised the importance of applying Internet of Things (IoT) devices in agriculture at a conference on hi-tech agriculture held in Ha Noi on Tuesday.

    The Fourth Industrial Revolution has witnessed the development of technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), cloud computing, IoT, bio-tech and nano-tech.

    He said the active operation of the IoT Open Community of Viet Nam (IOCV) has produced evidences showing how Vietnamese firms might apply smart agriculture. Businesses in the community have built hi-tech agricultural models to control products’ quality, save resources and improve the sector’s competitiveness.

    IOCV was initiated by VCCI’s Institute of Business Informatics in March. It includes 21 information and technology companies with the goal of building IoT software solutions for agricultural production models.

    For example, Wala Company under VNPT Technology has applied Delco smart farm demo model to make automatise all processes of monitoring, operating plantations and breeding. The company previously needed 20 to 30 workers to do what requires only five workers after the application of IoT.

    Bui Ngoc Son, head of the company’s marketing division, said they are applying IoT technology in melon plantations and chicken farms. They use sensors for monitoring to ensure products’ quality.

    Nguyen Hong Quang, chairman of Viet Nam Free and Open Source Software Association (VFOSSA) said they expected to provide solutions suitable with scale of farmer households with affordable investment.

    Quang added Viet Nam should also study IoT models from the US and Israel to develop more advanced technology products.

    Dao Van Chien, deputy director of the Hi-tech Department under the Ministry of Science and Technology, said they would closely co-operate with the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development to further promote the application of IoT in agriculture.

    LienVietPostBank and Woori Bank Việt Nam promote co-operation     

    LienVietPostBank and Woori Bank Viet Nam on Wednesday signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) in payment co-operation in Ha Noi.

    Under the MoU, LienVietPostBank will provide financial products and services to meet Woori Bank Viet Nam’s demand, in terms of Vi Viet e-wallets, insurance collection services and agencies for Woori Bank Viet Nam during money transfer from foreign countries.

    The two banks expected to offer customers good products and services, taking advantage of their wide network nationwide. In addition, the co-operation would improve business results and the brand name of the two banks in the time to come.

    Woori Bank Viet Nam also committed to give priority to use and introduce LienVietPostBank’s products and services to its customers.

    Woori Bank Viet Nam is an entirely foreign-invested bank in Viet Nam of South Korean Woori Bank.

    Founded in 1899 in Seoul, Woori Bank is one of the leading investment banks in Asia and the largest lender by assets in South Korea. It has transaction offices in Ha Noi, HCMCity and Bac Ninh.

    LienVietPostBank’s e-wallet was launched in August 2016. It could implement online payments of invoices, services and money transfers safely and quickly.

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  • 12/03/17--23:49: Article 1
  • Social News 3/12

    Awards of 9th Int’l Artistic Photo Contest in Vietnam presented 

     Awards of 9th Int’l Artistic Photo Contest in Vietnam presented, Vietnam, Italy agree to boost friendship, legislative ties, 99th Great Union Day of Romania marked in HCM City, HCM City cooperates with RoK to improve education quality

    The Vietnam Association of Photographic Artists (VAPA) presented awards of the 9th International Artistic Photo Contest in Vietnam 2017 in Hanoi on December 2.

    The biennial contest, sponsored by the International Federation of Photographic Art (FIAP), attracted 11,448 entries submitted by 958 photographers from 36 countries and territories, featuring the sections of portrait, daily life and landscape, and the open section.

    Eighty-eight outstanding photos were awarded. In each section, organisers presented one VAPA gold medal, one FIAP gold medal, two VAPA silver medals, two FIAP silver medals, three VAPA bronze medals, three FIAP bronze medals, five VAPA honorable mentions, and five FIAP honorable mentions.

    Vietnamese photographers won four gold medals in the four sections.

    In the portrait section, the FIAP gold medal went to “Phu nu Thai” by Vu Duy Boi (Vietnam). The VAPA gold medal was presented to “Papa Carlo” by Alla Sokolova (France).

    In the landscape section, “Tuyet voi dao Truong Sa” by Nguyen A (Vietnam) and “Early morning” by Giuseppe Tomelleri (Italy) respectively won the VAPA gold medal and the FIAP gold medal.

    In the daily life section, the FIAP gold medal was given to “Love in the snow” by Guanlai Ouyang (China) while the VAPA gold medal went to “Tu tam” by Bui Viet Dong (Vietnam).

    In the open section, the VAPA and FIAP gold medals were respectively granted to “The swan” by Tran Tuan Viet (Vietnam) and “Relationship” by Alla Sokolova (France).

    Also on December 2, an exhibition on the photos of the 9th International Artistic Photo Contest in Vietnam 2017 was also opened at the National Photo Archives and Exhibition Centre on Ton That Thuyet street, Cau Giay district. The exhibition will run through December.
    Vietnam, Italy agree to boost friendship, legislative ties

    A Vietnamese delegation led by Phan Thanh Binh, Chairman of the National Assembly Committee for Culture, Education, Youth and Children paid a working visit to Italy from November 29-December 3, aiming to promote friendship, diplomatic and legislative ties between the two countries.

    During the trip, the delegation had meetings and working sessions with representatives from the Chamber of Deputies’ Culture, Science and Education Committee, the Senate’s Foreign Affairs Committee, the Ministries of Education and Foreign Affairs, and SapienzaUniversity– the largest university in Europe.

    The Italian side appreciated the Vietnam - Italy cooperation, especially after the two countries signed an Agreement of Strategic Partnership in 2013, saying that the bilateral ties have developed across fields from politics, economy, culture, education, tourism to diplomacy.

    The two sides agreed to foster bilateral cooperation, especially in legislation, aiming to lay a legal foundation for stronger affiliation among social and economic sectors in both countries.

    Experience sharing and information exchange in law making, and those in professional and academic works will be also enhanced. The Italian side has had a plan to provide more scholarships for Vietnamese students in the fields of Italian language and culture, architecture, preservation of cultural and historical sites.

    The two sides debated specific cooperation orientations in the fields of legislation, university education and youth-related works, while pledging to facilitate cultural exchange and tourism cooperation, and consider the opening of direct air route from Vietnam to Italy as well.

    Italy will continue supporting Vietnam in implementing projects to preserve cultural and historical relic sites.

    As planned, a delegation from the Chamber of Deputies’ Culture, Science and Education Committee will visit Vietnam in January 2018 to specifically discuss future possibilities of cooperation with the National Assembly Committee for Culture, Education, Youth and Children of Vietnam.

    99th Great Union Day of Romania marked in HCMCity

    The Ho Chi Minh City Union of Friendship Organisations and the HCMCity chapter of the Vietnam-Romania Friendship Association held a ceremony on December 2 to mark the 99th Great Union Day of the European nation (December 1, 1918).

    Chairman of the HCMCity chapter of the Vietnam-Romania Friendship Association Nguyen Si Thang highlighted the Romanian people’s wholehearted support and assistance for Vietnam’s struggle for national reunification in the past and development at present.

    He noted more than 4,000 engineers and experts in various fields of Vietnam received training in Romania, and they have been greatly contributing to national development. They are a priceless asset of the two countries’ friendship and also a bridge enhancing bilateral cooperation.

    In recent years, cooperation between Ben Tre province and Tulcea country, Hue and Iasi cities, Da Nang and Timisoara cities, the PetroVietnam University and the Oil and Gas University of Ploiesti, along with trade promotion activities, cultural and people-to-people exchanges have helped intensified Vietnam-Romania relations in multiple spheres, Thang added.

    Addressing the ceremony, Romanian Ambassador to Vietnam Valeriu Arteni thanked people of Vietnam, including HCMCity, for their sound sentiments towards his country, adding that with many similarities, the Romanian and Vietnamese people are becoming closer, helping to bolster their multifaceted cooperation.

    He appreciated activities of the Vietnam-Romania Friendship Association over the last 26 years. The organisation and its local subsidiaries, particularly the HCMCity chapter, have continually supported the Romanian Embassy and actively helped to strengthen the two countries’ traditional friendship.

    HCM City cooperates with RoK to improve education quality

    The Republic of Korea (RoK) is willing to cooperate with Vietnam and particularly Ho Chi Minh City to increase education quality and lecturers’ capacity at all educational stages.

    Chairman of the Korea-Asia Friendship Foundation (KAFF) Choi Jae-sung made the statement at a meeting with Vice Secretary of the municipal Party Committee Tat Thanh Cang in HCMCity on December 2.

    He thanked the southern economic hub for supporting the building of an institute to enhance Vietnamese teachers’ capabilities, and hoped to build 2-3 models in Vietnam, including the first one in HCMCity with the participation of Korean and international lecturers.

    He suggested the two sides study cooperation programmes in education and enable the two countries’ lecturers to exchange experience in modern teaching methods.

    For his part, Cang welcomed the KAFF’s initiative as a practical move to help the city improve quality of the teaching staff and develop high-quality human resources training.

    He asked the KAFF to actively work with local agencies to study feasible and effective measures to carry out the project.

    HCM City cooperates with RoK to improve education quality

    The Republic of Korea (RoK) is willing to cooperate with Vietnam and particularly Ho Chi Minh City to increase education quality and lecturers’ capacity at all educational stages.

    Chairman of the Korea-Asia Friendship Foundation (KAFF) Choi Jae-sung made the statement at a meeting with Vice Secretary of the municipal Party Committee Tat Thanh Cang in HCMCity on December 2.

    He thanked the southern economic hub for supporting the building of an institute to enhance Vietnamese teachers’ capabilities, and hoped to build 2-3 models in Vietnam, including the first one in HCMCity with the participation of Korean and international lecturers.

    He suggested the two sides study cooperation programmes in education and enable the two countries’ lecturers to exchange experience in modern teaching methods.

    For his part, Cang welcomed the KAFF’s initiative as a practical move to help the city improve quality of the teaching staff and develop high-quality human resources training.

    He asked the KAFF to actively work with local agencies to study feasible and effective measures to carry out the project.

    German duo perform “Piano Battle” in Hanoi

    The internationally acclaimed pianists Andreas Kern and Paul Cibis from Germany enchanted music lovers with a variety of classical pieces in a concert show titled “Piano Battle” in Hanoi on December 2 as part of the European Music Festival 2017 in Vietnam.

    German duo perform “Piano Battle” in Hanoi

    The show was divided into several rounds, each featuring a certain musical style. The two artists, with distinctly different performance techniques, improvised on tunes that the audience requested.

    All members of the audience were invited to vote on the pianists’ performances and crown the winner.

    Originally created for the Hong Kong City Festival, “Piano Battle” has been performed for sold-out audiences in Europe, the US and Asia.

    The European Music Festival 2017 is an annual cultural event organised by the Delegation of the European Union (EU) to Vietnam, the Embassies of EU Member States and the European Cultural Institutes. Bringing together musical talents from all around Europe, the festival aims to celebrate the richness and diversity of European culture.

    Vietnam improves community awareness about green work investment

    Green works have become a global trend, especially when countries like Singapore, Malaysia, and Canada consider it a strategy for sustainable growth. But in Vietnam, green works remain relatively new.

    The green movement was launched in the 1990s to reduce greenhouse effects during the construction process. The development of green buildings will bring great benefits to the national economy, society, the environment, and added values, and create sustainable growth for the construction sector and real estate market. 

    Economists say there are many ways to understand what a green work is. They might be green trees, architecture, materials, energy and natural resource saving, and waste recycling. Each factor can contribute to the formation of a green work.

    Dang Hung Vo, former Deputy Minister of Natural Resources and Environment, said “It’s important to increase the production of solar and wind energy, and to produce and transport construction materials without causing greenhouse effects.”

    The most obvious benefit of green works is to cut transport costs which often make up more than 80% of investment spending through which to increase the value of assets, speed up the time to return investment capital, and attract more customers.

    The development of green buildings for housing for low and middle income earners  has become urgent in Vietnam, particularly when climate change and energies have been exhausted.

    Nguyen Thu Nhan in charge of Vietnam Green Work Management Program said “Investors play the vanguard role. When work is completed, investment capital only grows 1.2% but they can save 20% of energy, materials, and water.”

    Nguyen Tran Nam, President of Vietnam Real Estate Association, underlined the importance of promulgating specific mechanisms for investors to build more green buildings. He said “We need compulsory, mobilizing mechanisms as well as tax and land use, to share initial costs with investors.”

    Vietnam, Italy agree to boost friendship, legislative ties

    A Vietnamese delegation led by Phan Thanh Binh, Chairman of the National Assembly Committee for Culture, Education, Youth and Children paid a working visit to Italy from November 29-December 3, aiming to promote friendship, diplomatic and legislative ties between the two countries.

    During the trip, the delegation had meetings and working sessions with representatives from the Chamber of Deputies’ Culture, Science and Education Committee, the Senate’s Foreign Affairs Committee, the Ministries of Education and Foreign Affairs, and SapienzaUniversity– the largest university in Europe

    The Italian side appreciated the Vietnam - Italy cooperation, especially after the two countries signed an Agreement of Strategic Partnership in 2013, saying that the bilateral ties have developed across fields from politics, economy, culture, education, tourism to diplomacy.

    The two sides agreed to foster bilateral cooperation, especially in legislation, aiming to lay a legal foundation for stronger affiliation among social and economic sectors in both countries.

    Experience sharing and information exchange in law making, and those in professional and academic works will be also enhanced. The Italian side has had a plan to provide more scholarships for Vietnamese students in the fields of Italian language and culture, architecture, preservation of cultural and historical sites. 

    The two sides debated specific cooperation orientations in the fields of legislation, university education and youth-related works, while pledging to facilitate cultural exchange and tourism cooperation, and consider the opening of direct air route from Vietnam to Italy as well.

    Italy will continue supporting Vietnam in implementing projects to preserve cultural and historical relic sites.

    As planned, a delegation from the Chamber of Deputies’ Culture, Science and Education Committee will visit Vietnam in January 2018 to specifically discuss future possibilities of cooperation with the National Assembly Committee for Culture, Education, Youth and Children of Vietnam.

    ​Severe mountain pass mudslide blocks traffic in central Vietnam

    A mountain pass in south-central Vietnam has become congested with traffic between provinces in the area because of serious landslides.

    Repeated mudslides triggered by prolonged rain at the Khanh Le Pass since December 2 has blocked traffic between the tourist city of Da Lat in the Central Highlands and the beach city of Nha Trang in south-central KhanhHoaProvince.

    Local authorities had to prohibit all vehicles from traveling on the route to ensure safety and deal with the situation.

    According to Ta Thanh Tinh, an official from the Directorate for Roads in Vietnam, the rain started at around 5:30 am, causing rocks and mud to fall onto the pass.

    Landslides occurred three times on December 2 and again in the evening, with the amount of rock estimated at 7,000 cubic meters, Tinh continued.

    “As rain continued throughout the day, there are high risks of flash floods and landslips,” the official added.

    The bad weather conditions have posed immense challenges for competent authorities to ease traffic congestion.

    The Khanh Le Pass is 1,700 meters high and 33 kilometers long, being part of the over 120 kilometer long National Highway 27C, which is the essential route connecting Da Lat and Nha Trang.

    The pass snakes around the mountain and consists of multiple curves and sharp turns.

    On November 24, a couple were washed away by flash floods brought about by heavy rain as they were traveling on the mountain pass.

    The body of the woman has been found while the man remains missing.

    Due to an enhanced cold front, heavy downpours are forecast to continue from the north-central province of Ha Tinh to the south-central province of Phu Yen on December 3, according to the NationalCenter for Hydro-meteorological Forecasting.

    Vietnam flower village hit by rumors of cancer-causing chemical

    Farmers in a popular flower village in the southern province of Ben Tre now have to struggle to find customers for their products, after false rumors circulated that they had been treating them with a carcinogenic chemical.

    Most villagers in Cai Mon Commune, Cho Lach District earn a livelihood by growing great bougainvillea, scientifically known as Bougainvillea spectabilis or ‘paper flower’ in Vietnamese.

    However, their business has been adversely affected over rumors that one of the chemicals they use to tend to the crop can cause cancer.

    “Such rumors are ungrounded and harmful,” head of the provincial Department of Agriculture and Rural Development said on December 1.

    According to Dr. Liem, the rumored chemical is a solution containing Triacontanol, a natural plant growth regulator.

    The chemical is extracted from various plants by the Department of Applied Biotechnology of the Can Tho University and has been available for sale over the past five years to prevent petal abscission.

    Dr. Liem asserted that the chemical is harmless to human and it has been approved by relevant state’s agencies.

    “The groundless rumors just aim to drive down the price of great bougainvillea this year,” Liem said.

    Many Vietnamese would buy great bougainvillea to decorate their houses to prepare for the Lunar New Year, or Tet.

    Unlike this time last year, sales of the flower were slow as people were affected by the rumors, Liem said.

    Nguyen Van Tan, a farmer in Cho Lach, said he was able to sell a few thousands pots of the flower at this time last year, but his current sales are fewer than 1,000.

    Tan said farmers like him have invested several hundred millions of dong on their crops, but the rumors have taken their customers away. (VND100 million = US$4,400).

    Some even had to save the flowers at a loss, asking for VND300,000 (US$13) a pot, only a half of the cost price, according to a local trader named Tran Van Hau.

    114 Vietnamese students receive ROK scholarships

    The Republic of Korea Chamber of Business in Vietnam (Korcham) presented scholarships worth VND1.14 billion to 114 Vietnamese students at a gala dinner on December 1 in Hanoi.

    These underprivileged students who have maintained excellent academic records were chosen from universities nationwide by Vietnamese agencies such as the Ministry of Labour, Invalids, and Social Affairs, Ministry of Industry and Trade, Ministry of Planning and Investment, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Ministry of Public Security, and Hanoi People’s Committee.

    Since it was first launched in 2015, the gala dinner “Share Together” of Korean entrepreneurs has been held annually with the aim of supporting Vietnamese students. At present, more than 6,000 Korean businesses are operating in Vietnam.

    National awards honour contribution of volunteers

    Seven individuals and eight organisations dedicated to volunteering movements in Vietnam were honoured at a ceremony held in Hanoi on December 2.

    The ceremony, in coincidence with the National Volunteer Festival 2017 was jointly organised by the Central Committee of the Ho Chi Minh Communist Youth Union (HCYU), Vietnam Youth Federation Central Committee and the United Nations Volunteer Programme.

    The national volunteer award was launched in October and received 100 nominations. 

    Addressing the award event, HCYU Secretary Nguyen Phi Long said the voluntary movement, initiated by the HCYU in 2000, has involved 16 million volunteers with activities covering various aspects.

    He expressed his hope that the awarding will inspire Vietnamese youths to make greater contributions to the national development.

    The National Volunteer Festival 2017 presents an opportunity for Vietnamese youths to share experience and raise their sense of responsibility towards society, Long added.

    Young people from across the country shared experience and good practices in voluntary activities during the festival in response to the UN International Volunteer Day (December 5).     

    Autistic kids benefited from special library

    A library was established in Ho Chi Minh City to make it easier for local autistic children to integrate into society. It has catered for the demand for such a service.

    A lack of reading and playing spaces designated for autistic children has created a huge obstacle in helping the group integrate into society. Thus such a library is a friendly environment to help autistic children open their hearts and interact with other people.

    A parent of an autistic kid shared: "First of all, it is a playground. Secondly, it is a place where they have friends to interact with, which is especially important to these special kids."

    Le Thanh Tuy Vi, a volunteer revealed that volunteers' work is to instruct autistic kids through games to know how to do teamwork and talk to other people and their peers.

    The library offers a space and designated document system which suits the demand of autistic children between six and 20 years old.

    According to Dang Thuy Hong, founder of the Library, the library was established to address the lack of a reading space for the kids. Besides a book library,​ they also hope to build an equipment library so that parents can teach their children.

    Besides benefiting the kids, the library also provides parents with books and documents on raising autistic kids, which are rare and expensive in Vietnam. It also creates an environment for them to share experience in the field.

    A playground for autistic children to meet and develop while receiving more love is what this special library aims to do.

    The model is expected to be expanded so that the community will have a more open and sympathetic view of people with autism.

    International Day of Persons with Disabilities marked in Hanoi

    More than 300 disabled people from Hanoi and neighbouring localities attended a meeting in Hanoi on December 2 to mark the International Day of Persons with Disabilities.

    At the event, Dao Hong Lan, Deputy Minister of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs and vice chairwoman of National Committee for Vietnamese Persons with Disabilities (PWD), said Vietnam has nearly 8 million PWDs, accounting for 7.8% of its population, including 1.2 million disabled children. Vietnam has one of the highest proportions of PWDs in the Asia-Pacific region. Many Vietnamese PWDs, especially Agent Orange/Dioxin victims, live in difficulty.

    Over the past time, Vietnam has issued policies and implemented action programs to improve living conditions for the disabled. With support from the State, communities, and international organizations, PWDs have been provided with social allowances, housing, education, health care, vocational training, jobs, and preferential loans. However, available social supports have yet to meet many PWDs’ urgent and essential needs. Many PWDs are poor, illiterate, and unemployed and unable to access the necessary social services. They rely on assistance from their families and communities.

    Mrs Lan said the meeting provided a good opportunity for State agencies, organisations and individuals to accompany PWDs and implement commitments to supporting them in having a better life.

    Binh Thuan province to welcome large number of foreign tourists

    The south-central coastal province of Binh Thuan has grown to become one of the top resort destinations in Vietnam, attracting millions of foreign tourists. The number of visitors to Binh Thuan has increased annually and is forecast to increase sharply during the high season.

    The high season for foreign tourists visiting Binh Thuan province runs from November to May. Foreigners from colder countries find Binh Thuan one of the best destinations to enjoy their holidays. 

    Even at the beginning of high season, Ham Tien, a luxury resort in Mui Ne, Phan Thiet city has welcomed many tourists. 

    Mui Ne is a popular attraction of the province which is also called “Sand Paradise” because of its splendid sand dunes, blue sea and special foods. 

    Erin Phillips and her boyfriend, both from Australia, enjoyed their stay at Mui Ne and said “When I googled, I was looking at places and towns nearby where I could have a stop and I found Mui Ne. I looked at it and it has sand dunes and beautiful beaches. It looks like nothing else we have seen in and around Vietnam.  I know that it is a perfect place for us.” 

    Besides traditional tourists from North Europe and Russia Mui Ne has welcomed a large number of new foreign tourists from China. Ms Dao Thai Tuyet Nhung, head of the reception section of PoShaNu resort, in Phan Thiet city said that most of them booked their rooms online. 

    Nhung said “Nearly 70% of our rooms were already booked. More tourists will come here next month and most of our rooms will be fully booked. We have welcomed the most tourists from North European countries and Australia.”

    Seahorse resort is a favorite stay of Russian visitors. With 151 rooms, Seahorse can host more than 300 guests at the same time. 

    Mr Tran Anh Thi, Managing director of the resort said that more and more foreign travel agencies have chosen Binh Thuan province as the holiday stay for their customers, and so tourist services should be increased. 

    Mr Tran Anh thi said “Foreign travel agencies said that in order to attract more visitors to Mui Ne, there are many things that still need to be done, including improving our services, which means better tourist products and staff. This is a key factor for our success in developing tourism more effectively.”

    Ms Nguyen Lan Ngoc, Deputy Director of Binh Thuan Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism said that based on the number of tour contracts signed with travel companies, this high season, Binh Thuan will welcome  more foreigners than at the same period last year. 

    Ms Ngoc said “This is the high season for foreign tourists to Binh Thuan province. All businesses working in the tourism sector are asked to prepare well from infrastructure to human resource to offer the best services to visitors to Binh Thuan province.”

    Binh Thuan has welcomed more than 4 million tourist arrivals of which foreigners reached more than 400 thousand arrivals, increasing 17% against the same period last year. Binh Thuan’s final goal is always to become a safe, friendly, and quality destination so that they can attract more domestic and international tourists.

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  • 12/04/17--00:21: Article 0
  • Plan for Hanoi’s first metro line test run rebuilt

    The plan for the trial run of the Cat Linh-Ha Dong urban railway project, Hanoi’s first metro line, must be rebuilt as the date for the test run in October has passed, according to Deputy Minister of Transport Nguyen Ngoc Dong.

    Plan for Hanoi’s first metro line test run rebuilt, social news, vietnamnet bridge, english news, Vietnam news, news Vietnam, vietnamnet news, Vietnam net news, Vietnam latest news, vn news, Vietnam breaking news 

    Cat Linh-Ha Dong urban railway project missed test run in October. 

    Dong said that the plan will be organised based on equipment and trains received, which is influenced by disbursement from China’s Eximbank.

    “The Ministry of Justice and relevant ministries are completing procedures to put forth the disbursement”, Dong said.

    As of November 24, five out of 13 trains for the railway had been delivered to Hanoi.

    The 13 kilometre elevated railway project began in 2011 with investment of 552 million USD. However, in November 2014, it was announced the project would need a total of 868 million USD, 300 million USD more than initial estimates.

    In total, the project includes 12 stations and a depot in Phu Luong ward, Ha Dong district. 

    Constructed by the China Railway Sixth Group Co., Ltd, the line is set to have capacity to operate 13 trains with carrier frequency of every two minutes and a maximum speed of 80 kilometres per hour.


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  • 12/04/17--01:56: Article 2
  • Restarted First Solar plant draws in series of satellite projects

    A series of investors announced intentions to develop satellite projects, including assembly facilities as well as component manufacturing factories, to serve the US' First Solar project after it resumed construction with extended investment capital and capacity.

    Giving up on finding a replacement, First Solar has decided to continue implementing its manufacturing plant in Vietnam

    According to VIR’s sources, on November 10, Ho Chi Minh City Export Processing and Industrial Zones Management Authority (HEPZA) licensed Von Ardenne Vietnam JSC (Hong Kong) to develop a $300,000 factory to assemble equipment and machinery for the First Solar project.

    The investor hired the available workshop of Saigon VRG Investment Holding Corporation (Saigon VRG)—the owner of the SoutheastIndustrial Park—and then installed equipment and machinery to start operations in January 2018.

    Previously, Tran Nhu Hung, deputy general director of Saigon VRG, told VIR that dozens of investors dealing in manufacturing electric components and packaging arrived to the IP to find investment opportunities. All of them are satellite projects of First Solar.

    First Solar’s project was licensed in January 2011 and started construction two months later. At the time, the investor said the facility’s $300-million first phase, with a production capacity of 250 megawatts per year, would start operations in late 2012.

    According to plans, the total investment in the project would eventually reach $1.2 billion. It would be the first solar panel manufacturing facility in Vietnam employing advanced thin-membrane technology.

    However, just eight months after the construction was kicked off, the investor announced postponing the project.

    In 2012, First Solar announced plans to sell its factory and leave Vietnam, but failed due to unfinished legal procedures.

    This July, after years of looking for suitable investors to take its place, First Solar decided to resume the project.

    Accordingly, along with maintaining the installed equipment and implementing the construction of unfinished stages, First Solar has drawn up the environmental impact assessment report and completed the import-export procedures for goods and machinery to serve the plant’s operations.

    According to the latest movements, HEPZA has granted the adjusted investment certificate for the project. Accordingly, the investor decided to pour in an additional $62 million. The reason for the capital adjustment is exchange rate differences leading to the real investment capital being higher than initially expected.

    Besides, the investor is permitted to double the annual capacity of the plant to 5.31 million modules. Simultaneously, First Solar confirmed installing the most modern technology at the plant.

    According to First Solar's new plan, the plant will start operations in September 2018.

    By Hong Son, VIR

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