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  • 12/04/17--02:00: Article 1
  •  Buckwheat flowers bloom in Ha Giang


    Tourists often flock to Ha Giang from October to December in order to see the fields of buckwheat flowers that has become the province's signature.
    The locals plant the flowers everywhere, from the slopes of the mountains to the deep valley, under the winding mountain passes.

    The small white or pink flowers can thrive in the barren mountainous terrain. Leave behind the busy city life, tourists like to immerse themselves amid the flower fields and walk the Dong Van Plateau.

    To the locals, the buckwheat flowers are their food that can be made into cake or wine. Young flower branches can be used as vegetables. In order to attract more tourists, the locals also plant the trees in several famous places such as Sung La Valley or PhoBangVillage.

    The third Buckwheat Flower Festival is being held from November 24 to December 31 in Dong Van, Quan Ba, Yen Minh, Meo Vac districts and Ha Giang City. The theme of this year festival is Love Song from the Rocks.

    The festival aims to honour the unique cultural values of Dong Van Karst Plateau, promote tourism and further develop the buckwheat flowers into the provincial tourism brand.

    Various activities will be held including international geological park fair, a fair on local agricultural products, a music concert, paragliding over karst mountain ranges, traditional arts performances and folk games of ethnic minority groups.


     
     

    The buckwheat flower field
     
     
     

    Taking photo with buckwheat flowers


    The buckwheat flowers is also consumed in Ha Giang
    danviet


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  • 12/04/17--02:43: Article 0
  • VN yet to sow seeds of low carbon rice


     HÀ NỘI - Investment in low carbon farming models can speed up rice industry reform, increase productivity, boost farmers’ incomes and ensure sustainable development, a senior official have said.


     

    In Việt Nam, greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from rice cultivation are estimated to account for more than half of emissions by agriculture production as a whole.- Photo nongnghiep.vn

    It would also help the country access climate change funds for green growth, Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Lê Quốc Doanh said at conference in Hà Nội on December 1.

    In Việt Nam, greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from rice cultivation are estimated to account for more than half of emissions by agriculture production as a whole.

    Reducing GHG emissions in agriculture production in general and rice production in particular would be crucial to the nation’s climate change response, Doanh said.

    It would also contribute to fulfilling national commitments to reduce GHG emissions, he added.

    According to the General Statistics Office, Việt Nam grows rice on 4.14 million hectares, using up 59.2 per cent of agriculture production land for annual crops.

    According to the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, in 2014, rice cultivation generated 44.6 million tonnes of CO2 emissions or 50.5 per cent of the agriculture production in total. Total GHG emissions that year reached 225.6 million tonnes.

    Not much interest

    The deputy minister said that private firms were still not particularly interested in low carbon rice projects because of common risks involved in agricultural investments as well as a lack of supporting policies.

    The rice industry reform plan approved by the agriculture ministry last year promotes public-private-partnership in agriculture projects, but many localities have failed to raise funds for their own part while calling on the private sector to invest, Doanh said.

    Trần Xuân Định, deputy head of the agriculture ministry’s Cultivation Department, said that in rice production, greenhouse gas was mostly generated and emitted when the rice fields were covered by water.

    Underground chemical reactions in processing nutrients, the photosynthesis of rice, anaerobic micro-organisms’ activities produced greenhouse gases like dinitrogen monxide N2O or Methane NH4, he said.

    Mid-season drainage

    In Mekong Delta provinces, farmers have been applying the mid-season drainage method to reduce GHG emissions and save water.

    Mid-season drainage involves the removal of surface flood water from the rice crop for about seven days towards the end of tilling. The duration of the dry period must be long enough for rice plant to experience visible moisture stress.

    According to climatetechwiki.org, mid-season drainage aerates the soil, interfering with anaerobic conditions and thereby interrupting CH4 production.

    Mid-season drainage of a rice crop involves withholding flood irrigation water for a period until the rice shows symptoms of stress. It involves ridge and furrow cultivation technology, where some moisture still exists in the soil even after the toe furrow is drained.

    It is essential to check when the crop has used most of the available water. The degree of soil cracking will depend on the soil type and on the spatial distribution of the rice cultivars.

    The cumulative evapo-transpiration of the crop varies from 77-100mm during the time water is removed, depending on crop vigour and soil types. The field is then re-flooded as quickly as possible. It is necessary to cover the soil surface with water so that the plants start recovery. Water depth then can be gradually increased to that required for protection of the developing plant canopy from damaging high temperatures during anthesis.

    Mid-season drainage reduces methane emissions from paddy fields.

    Trần Văn Thể, deputy head of the Institute for Agriculture Environment, said this method is feasible and can deliver great benefits.

    In Mekong Delta provinces, if the right scheme is followed, farmers can save half the water used in a rice season. More sparse sowing helps rice have better photosynthesis, fewer diseases, and therefore, require less fertliser.

    Mid-season drainage could help save one third of product costs compared with conventional rice production while productivity was the same or higher, Thể said.

    “Farming techniques and drainage systems are key to the success of the mid-season drainage method,” he said, calling on the Government and investors to prepare a proper infrastructure for drainage works.

    Other experts at the conference agreed that the Government and private investors should pay more attention to integrating low carbon farming into the development of agriculture infrastructure.

    VNS


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  • 12/05/17--00:50: Article 3
  • Social News 4/12


    Binh Dinh homes submerged by heavy rain


    Binh Dinh homes submerged by heavy rain, Traffic death toll exceeds 7,600 in eleven months, ‘Book forest’ opens in Ho Chi Minh City, EU provides USD108m to develop national grid 

    Up to around 3,000 houses in the southern central province of Binh Dinh have been seriously flooded due to heavy rain.

    Phan Xuan Hai, chief office manager of the province’s Storm Prevention and Control and Rescue Centre, said that the water in many local rivers had sharply risen with many at alarming levels. Meanwhile, the heavy rains have continued in many local areas.

    Torrential rains are forecast to continue until December 5, Hai added.

    Phan Trong Ho, director of BinhDinhProvince’s Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, said that Cay Gai dam by La Tinh River in Phu Cat District has been damaged by the rains. Local authorities have been making efforts to consolidate this to prevent possible risks.

    BinhDinhProvince has listed all localities which have been affected or vulnerable to flood risks to have timely solutions. In case of long torrential rains, people will be evacuated from dangerous areas to ensure their safety. 

    On December 2, more than 6,500 pupils in some communes in Phu Cat District had to stay at home due to the flooding. Many areas have been isolated by the flooding.  

    Warnings for landslides and flash flood have been given to many districts, including An Lao, Hoai An, Hoai Nhon, Vinh Thanh and Van Canh. 

    Traffic death toll exceeds 7,600 in eleven months

    In the first eleven months of 2017, Vietnam recorded 18,384 traffic accidents that killed 7,604 people.

    Statistics from the National Committee for Traffic Safety showed another 15,189 people were injured in accidents, most of which took place on the roads.

    Compared to the same period last year, the numbers for traffic accidents, deaths and injuries decreased by 5.38, 3.83, and 11.61% respectively.

    The main causes of accidents were speeding, driving on the wrong lane, and poor driving skills, among others.

    In November alone, traffic accidents amounted to 2,217, with 77 deaths.

    Outstanding projects honoured at National Creative Youth Festival

    A ceremony was held in Hanoi on December 1 to honour the most outstanding projects, products and initiatives at the 2017 National Creative Youth Festival.

    The event was attended by the Politburo member and the Deputy Prime Minister Vuong Dinh Hue.

    This year’s festival was the tenth of its kind held by the Ho Chi Minh Communist Youth Union (HCYU) to encourage youngsters’ creativity in researching and applying science and technology.

    At the ceremony, 35 outstanding projects and products from members of the HCYU around the country were honoured. They are relevant to different fields, including automation, information technology, healthcare, environment, security, defence and mechanics.

    This year, the organising board received 254 projects from the local youth unions in many provinces and cities around the country.

    Addressing the ceremony, Deputy PM Hue affirmed that the Party and State always give much attention towards strongly developing the fields of science and technology as well as promoting the role creativity plays for the younger generation.

    He expressed his hope that the honourees would apply their research, works, and creatives into the life as well as actively conquer new challenges and seize the opportunities from the industrial revolution 4.0 thus improving the position of Vietnam in the international arena.

    The Deputy PM also asked the minitries, agencies and localities to continue to support and create favourable conditons for young people to promote their creativity in studying and working, particularly effectively implementing creative entrepreneurship programmes.

    On the same day, an exhibition, featuring outstanding creative projects and projects by youngsters from 13 units directly under the HCYU, was held in Hanoi.

    ‘Book forest’ opens in Ho Chi Minh City

    A giant rainforest-themed bookstore welcomed its first visitors on December 2 inside a shopping mall in Ho Chi Minh City.

    ‘book forest’ opens in ho chi minh city hinh 0 Operated by Phuong Nam Corp (PNC), the ‘Phuong Nam Book City’ is the second of its kind to be launched by the Vietnamese book company, aimed at creating “a unique space for books, a place where every book that a reader needs could be found,” according to PNC deputy director Ngo Le Huan.

    With over one million books available inside an area of nearly 3,000 square meters at The Garden Mall in District 5, it is the largest PNC bookstore in terms of stock size.

    Readers can spend the whole day ‘trekking’ along the five-kilometer pathway that snakes through the massive bookstore across sections including fiction, children’s books, stationery, souvenirs and a book café.

    The bookstore is a collection of books by both Vietnamese and foreign publishers, the latter including the likes of Hachette, Penguin Random House, Simon & Schuster, Phidal, Helen and Harper Collins.

    A whole section is dedicated to Chinese-language books ranging from contemporary literature to classic works and comic books imported from Singapore.

    Visitors are reminded of the 'book city'’s theme of mimicking a tropical rainforest with swaths of greens placed around every corner, while the children’s section is covered with wooden overhangs for added esthetic effects.

    PNC launches its first 'book city' in June at a mall in southern Binh Duong Province, realizing the firm’s vision of opening bookstores large enough to house massive numbers of books for readers of different ages.

    Bà Nà Hills named best golf course in Asia

    Bà Nà Hills Golf Club was voted Asia’s Best Golf Course 2017 at the ceremony of the World Golf Awards held in Spain last weekend.

    The Đà Nẵng course beat out 11 nominees, including Angkor Golf Resort of Cambodia, Black Mountain Championship Golf Course of Thailand and The 27 Club of China to take the title.

    Bà Nà Hills was also selected as Việt Nam’s Best Golf Course of the year, besting Đà LạtGolfPalace and Laguna Golf Lăng Cô and six other nominees.

    It is the second year in a row that the club has been honoured at this event, which has become one of the most prestigious awards in the world of golf since it was held for the first time in 2014.

    Last year, the Bà Nà Hills course was recognised as the World’s Best New Golf Course.

    Designed by former world No 1 Luke Donald and managed by IMG, the par-72, 18-hole course is located at the foothills of the famed Bà Nà Hills on Việt Nam’s central coast, 25 minutes from downtown Đà Nẵng.

    Its five sets of tees and balance of challenging and enjoyable terrain ensure players of all levels are assured a pleasurable round of golf.

    Another Vietnamese winner at the Spanish ceremony was The Grand Hồ Tràm Strip, named the World’s Best Golf Hotel. Việt Nam was named Asia’s Best Golf Destination. 

    Innovation in medical-ed highlighted

    As Việt Nam and its Southeast Asian neighbours integrate into the ASEAN block, which will require the free movement of health care workers and patients, there is an urgent need to update the country’s system of medical education including university curricula and approaches to teaching and learning, according to medical professors.

    Speaking at a two-day conference that ended on December 3 in HCMCity, Professor David Gordon, president of the World Federation for Medical Education, said that a training programme should include not only basic science and clinical medicine, but also teaching ethics and medical law, which are clearly not optional.

    Moreover, others subjects are important, such as health economics, anthropology and sociology, Gordon said.

    “However, how do we decide how much should be offered in these subjects, and how they should be taught and learned?”

    In thinking about these questions, medical universities should work with the International Federation of Medical Students’ Association, the World Medical Association, the International Committee of the Red Cross and others, he added.

    Gordon also highlighted the importance of accreditation of medical education, which ensures that medical schools are educating doctors fit to serve the needs of the population where they function.

    Accreditation also demonstrates to outside organisations and territories that accredited medical schools are competent and produce doctors at an accepted international standard, he added.

    Peter Ellis, professor of Medicine and associate dean for Medical Education at OtagoUniversity in New Zealand and executive committee member of the Association for Medical Education in the Western Pacific Region, said that medical schools must have a programme of routine curriculum monitoring of processes and outcomes.

    Currently, globalisation in medicine and medical education, medical migration, cross border education, and an explosion of medical schools are common challenges, Ellis said.

    The First Annual National Vietnam Medical Education Conference with the theme of “Preparing the 21st Century Physician” was held by the University of Medicine and Pharmacy in HCM City, the Partnership for Health Advancement in Việt Nam and United States Agency for International Development’s (USAID’s) Improving Access, Curriculum and Teaching in Medical Education and Emerging Diseases (IMPACT-MED) Alliance.

    Speaking at the conference, the US Chargé d’affaires to Việt Nam Caryn McClelland, said that a robust, well-trained reactive health workforce is critical to Việt Nam’s sustainable and equitable development.

    "Comprehensive reform of health-education curriculum is a big undertaking but we are on the right track," McClelland added.

    Associate Professor Dr Nguyễn Văn Phúc, deputy minister of Education and Training, said that medical education in the world has innovated toward applying advanced technologies in teaching and learning, so the country should begin step-by-step to integrate into this innovation.

    The conference attracted 400 leaders in medical education, students and faculty from Việt Nam and around the world. 

    The conference aims to stimulate discussions among medical education experts, inspire further innovations, and foster a community of medical educators invested in advancing medical education, research, quality improvement and patient care.

    Economic growth and demographic changes are driving demand for developing healthcare services throughout Việt Nam.

    Having a responsibility for developing national strategies and programmes, planning and budgeting, manpower allocation and supervision of national institutions, the Việt Nam’s Ministry of Health encourages the improvement of the health care system and emphasises investing in medical education and primary care.

    Vietnam participates in charity fair in India

    Representatives from the Vietnamese Embassy in India and from other countries’ diplomatic agencies and international organisations based in New Delhi joined a charity bazaar in the capital city on December 3.

    The Vietnamese booth showcased various kinds of handicrafts and coffee. Vietnamese foods “Pho” and “Nem” were also on offer.

    The annual event, held by the Commonwealth Women’s Union in New Delhi, aims to raise funds for disadvantaged people in India.

    The fair also aimed to promote cuisine cultural exchange between participating countries and India.

    EU provides USD108m to develop national grid

    The EU will give Vietnam USD108m in non-refundable ODA for energy development and to provide sustainable energy to rural, island and mountainous areas.  

    Minister of Industry and Trade Thuong Tran Tuan and Director-General of the European Commission's Directorate General for International Co-operation and Development Stefano Manservisi signed the EU-Vietnam Financial Agreement on December 1 at Brussels, Belgium

    The project will be carried out from 2018 to 2020. Vietnam will invest in renewable energy and expand the electrical grid for areas in the programme on electricity supply to rural, mountainous areas and islands during 2016-2020 period.

    It includes 23 smaller projects that provide electricity to rural and mountainous areas from the national grid. There will also be two projects that use renewable energy facilities in CaoBangProvince and Bach Long Vi Island, and projects to build two submarine electrical cables to TranIsland in QuangNinhProvince and NhonChauIsland in BinhDinhProvince.

    It is estimated that 60,000 households will gain electricity thanks to the projects. The smaller projects will also benefit the socio-economic development in remote areas and help erase poverty.

    The local electricity industry is set to undergo reform to improve capacity, attract more investors to renewable energy projects and reduce dependency on state subsidies.

    Fund raised for flood-affected people

    More than VND1.1 billion (US$48,400) was raised to build flood-proof houses at a musical event in Hanoi on December 3.

    Paintings and sculptures were auctioned for charity during the event.

    The 19 households to benefit from the project were introduced at the event, including two each from Ha Tinh, Quang Binh, and Quang Nam, four from Soc Trang and nine from Khanh Hoa.

    In 2018, the project aims to provide housing and financial assistance for flood-affected families in other regions, including the central, northern, the western and northern mountainous provinces.

    It will also pilot sustainable village models by ensuring locals have clean water, toilets, and livelihoods.

    The funds will also be used for training to enhance the capability of people to respond to natural disasters.

    According to Pham Thi Huong Giang, who launched and runs the fund, the project funded half of the housing cost.

    Previously, a similar event was held in HCM city on October 18, raising more than VND3.3 billion (US$193,600).

    The project, which started in November 2013, has so far built 523 flood-proof houses, benefiting 2,092 people.

    Over 900 form gigantic logo of HCM Communist Youth Union Congress

    Hundreds of college students in Ho Chi Minh City took part in a dance ensemble creating a massive logo on December 3 to welcome the 11th National Congress of the Ho Chi Minh Communist Youth Union.

    A giant logo of the 11th National Congress of the Ho Chi Minh Communist Youth Union is formed from hundreds of papers. 

    Founded in 1931, the youth union is the largest organization of young people in Vietnam, with nearly ten million members aged 16 to 30 as of 2017.

    Every five years, delegates from youth union chapters across the country meet at a national congress to vote on their direction for the next five years and select a six-member secretariat, the organization’s highest decision-making body.

    The Ho Chi Minh Communist Youth Union is under the leadership of the Communist Party of Vietnam, serving as its "reserves."

    To welcome the 11th National Congress of the Ho Chi Minh Communist Youth Union, set to commence in Hanoi on December 10, over 900 university students in Ho Chi Minh City gathered at the Youth Culture House in District 1 on December 3 morning for a dance ensemble.

    Each performer held a piece of paper that together formed a giant logo of the congress.

    Dancers were those partaking in an ongoing citywide competition to select ‘youth leaders’ – members of the municipal youth union chapter who excel in both academic endeavors and extracurricular activities.

    The top ten contestants will participate in the final round poised to take place in January 2018.

    Vietnamese youth bring film photography back in vogue

    The time-consuming, meticulous art of shooting photos with physical films, or film photography, that was once thought to have seen its final days with the introduction of digital cameras is now slowly getting back in style in Vietnam thanks to the renewed interest of young local.

    For these young dreamers, it is worth spending considerably more time on a photo to achieve the finest colors that digital filters just cannot compare.

    At a time when taking photos is reduced to a touch on the smartphone screen, to go through all the hassles of shooting with a film camera, having the film developed, and scanning the final photo into a computer is clearly old-fashioned and an unnecessary waste of time.

    Public disinterest in film photography led once big players in the industry like Yashica, Minolta and Pentax to fall into oblivion during the 2000s, as brands discontinued the production of more and more photographic films due to plummeting demand.

    But it is only human nature to crave for what one lacks.

    While people in the past were charmed by the revolutionary invention of digital cameras, those born in the digital age grow ever more curious about the technologies of their parents’ time.

    And so they – the nostalgic children of the age of information – pick up the time-worn cameras of their forebears and begin exploring the buttons to manually adjust the shutter speed and aperture – parameters so easily configured with modern cameras’ automatic shooting modes.

    Nguyen Tung Lam, 23, said he had been familiarizing himself with film photography since 2010.

    After the first year of trying film cameras, the Hanoi-born youth said he never wanted to pick up a digital camera again, as they could never come close to producing the natural and vibrant colors found in film photos.

    “Shooting with films makes me feel like I’m actually living in the past,” Lam said.

    Film photography requires patience: from picking the right film for a desired color grade and ISO level to loading it into a camera, shooting, developing and scanning to achieve a final product, not to mention the ever-present chance of shooting overexposed photos due to light leaks.

    But it is those very delicate details that fascinate film photographers.

    “It is always a moment of unspeakable suspense to wait for the final product,” said 21-year-old Tran Quoc Viet. 

    “As I only know how the photos look like after they are developed, it always appears to me that any photo is unique and singular, and that I can never capture the same moment ever again.

    “Film photography not only tests a person’s patience but also their creativity, as there are no filters or alterations that can be added after a photo has been taken.

    “It is not only a matter of skill, but also of emotion.”

    Film Photo Club – a Facebook group with over 48,000 members who are passionate film photographers in Vietnam– is proof of the art’s revival in the Southeast Asian country.

    Photos bearing the colors of the 70s and 80s are easy to be found on the group, taken and shared by youths who had not even been born during that time.

    “We choose our film cameras like we would our lovers,” Lam said.

    “There must be some kind of bond and sense of personal attachment.

    “Film cameras detach themselves from the rise of digital technology.

    “No matter how many new digital cameras are produced, film cameras will never lose their value.”

    Thai sisters open junior golfers’ eyes to the world

    For the first time, the young golfers of Vietnam today had an opportunity to learn directly from top-notch LPGA like Thai sisters Ariya Jutanugarn (May) and Moriya Jutanugarn (Mo) and were inspired by their amazing stories of conquering the professional golf world.

    Golfers hung especially on the words of May who has made history by becoming the first ASEAN golfer to be ranked as the World’s No. 1 by LPGA in June 2017.

    The Hanoi Department of Culture and Sports collaborated with SCG to bring the world-renowned May and Mo to Vietnam in the framework of the special project “Inspirational Golf Training” for 20 talented Vietnamese junior golfers.

    The training has taken place in the morning at Sky Lake Golf Club & Resorts. During the training, the two sisters showed junior golfers important golfing skills. Young golfers learned the longest drive from Ariya, while putt accuracy was demonstrated by Moriya. Most importantly, the Thai sisters shared tips and personal stories on how to practice like world class professional golfers.

    Ariya and Moriya were excited to visit Vietnam and were ever so eager to transfer their knowledge and experience to the youth.

    “This is our first time visiting Vietnam and the country has welcomed us so warmly. We are also excited to meet these enthusiastic young golfers who we believe also have a lot of potential. We understand how hard it is for a golfer to reach the international stage, and it takes a lot of motivation and determination. Sports science also plays an important role in preparing athletes for tense competitions on the world-class level. We are pleased to share all these experiences with these Vietnamese junior golfers,” said May.

    “Playing in LPGA is the dream of golfers. Reaching the top rank in the LPGA is not easy, but Mo and May made us believe that you can make any dream come true with dedication and passion. We will take this opportunity to learn from the Thai Sisters and practice to be excellent like them,” said Ms. Doan Xuan Khue Minh, junior golfer of the Vietnamese National Team at SEA Games 2017 in Malaysia.

    The leading supporter for regional sports initiatives, SCG has sponsored football and badminton as these are the two most popular sports that ASEAN athletes stand the best chance of reaching the international stage.

    After seeing the Jutanugarn sisters play in some amateur golf tournaments, the corporate decided to support them to bring out their talents at professional competitions. This was the first time SCG sponsors golf. In 2012, SCG officially announced its sponsorship for May and Mo as the sisters turned professional, marking an important milestone in their journey to put the ASEAN on the world golfing map.

    SCG entered Vietnam in 1992, and since then has supported the human resources development of the country through education and sports. In terms of sports, SCG officially sponsors Hanoi Football Club in the 2017-2018 season, and is a collaborator behind the first “Street Football Festival” in Vietnam. Besides, the company has facilitated world-class training for potential badminton players in Ho Chi Minh City via sports science. This Inspirational Training is part of the corporation’s continuous efforts to bring a better living to Vietnamese people.

    Dhep Vongvanich, president of SCG Vietnam, said, “SCG believes in the value of individuals and quality people can be the main factor in developing the country. We believe sport is one of the factors that can deliver a healthy lifestyle and well-being for everyone. This is the reason why we have sponsored potential athletes like Ariya and Moriya to reach the international stage. Their successes at the world’s toughest competitions in the LPGA Tour will be an inspiration for many young ASEAN golfers. And today, we are delighted to bring this great inspiration to Vietnam during this unique Inspirational Golf Training.”

    Ariya J. (May) reached the 1st place in the LPGA world ranking in the middle of June 2017 after winning LPGA Manulife LPGA Classic 2017. She got the Rolex Player of the year award 2016 after winning five tournaments in the 2016 LPGA Yokohama Tire, including LPGA Classic, Kingsmill Championship, LPGA Volvik Championship, Ricoh Women’s British Open, and Canadian Pacific Women’s Open. She is ranked as the 5th golfer on the LPGA world ranking now. Thai people call her as “Pro May.” Her signature move is longest drive.

    Moriya J. is 22nd on the LPGA world ranking. She ranked as the 5th of the birdies in 2017, with 416 birdies. She nearly got her first LPGA champion title by being second-runner up at the LPGA Evian championship 2017 and runner up at Blue Bay LPGA 2017. Thai people call her “Pro Mo.” Her specialty is putt accuracy.

    The two of them together are known as “the Thai sisters.” These two sisters made LPGA history by getting the highest rewards (more than $1 million in a single year).

    Vietnam-RoK festival attracts millions of visitors

    The Ho Chi Minh City–Gyeongju World Culture Festival 2017 in the Vietnamese southern hub, which closed on December 3, attracted more than 4 million domestic and foreign visitors.  

    The 23-day event featured the culture of Vietnam, the Republic of Korea (RoK), and 17 other countries. 

    Speaking at the closing ceremony, Chairman of the Municipal People’s Committee Nguyen Thanh Phong affirmed the festival contributed to not only promoting images of land and people of Vietnam and the RoK but also enhancing mutual understanding among countries. 

    The memorandum of understanding on friendship cooperation signed on the occasion of the festival between HCMCity and Gyeongsangbuk-do province of the RoK is an important milestone and foundation for future cooperation between the two localities, Phong stressed.

    Hosting the event showed Ho Chi Minh City’s dynamic role in international exchange activities, he added.  

    Governor of Gyeongsangbuk-do Kim Kwan-yong said the success of the festival will open up new opportunities for the two localities to strengthen their ties, thus enhancing the friendship between Vietnam and the RoK. 

    The RoK is currently the fourth largest investor in the Vietnamese southern hub with 1,300 projects in the economy, education, healthcare, tourism and culture.

    The Gyeongju World Cultural Festival has been held biennially by Gyeongsangbuk-do province since 1998. It was held six times in the RoK and twice in other countries (Cambodia in 2006 and Turkey in 2013).

    Office building inaugurated at Vietnam-Laos border checkpoint

    An office building was inaugurated on December 3 at the Cau Treo border checkpoint between Vietnam’s Ha Tinh province and Laos’s Bolikhamsai province in the presence of Vietnamese Deputy PM Vuong Dinh Hue.

    Construction on the building began in July 2011 at a total cost of VND214 billion (US$9.4 million).

    The four-storey building will be used for diplomatic activities as well as for security and defence at the border area.

    It will also be a symbol of culture, national sovereignty and the friendship between Vietnam and Laos.

    The same day, Deputy PM Hue attended a ground-breaking ceremony for construction of the Ngan Truoi Hydropower Plant, which has a capacity of 13.5 megawatt and costs at an estimated VND340 billion (US$15 million).

    The power station is expected generate 55 million kWh and produce revenues of VND60 billion, or US$2.64 million, a year.

    As part of his visit to Ha Tinh province, Hue also offered incense and planted trees at a memorial temple dedicated to the 18th renowned doctor Le Huu Trac in Huong Son district.

    Fundraising held in Hanoi to build houses for flood victims

    More than VND 2.3 billion (US$100,000) was raised at a fundraising in Hanoi on December 3 to build flood resilient houses for households in areas frequently hit by natural disasters.

    The money, which was raised through an auction of art works by famous Vietnamese painters and sculptors, will benefit households in Ha Tinh, Quang Binh, Quang Nam, Doc Trang and Khanh Hoa provinces.

    Previously, the same event was held in Ho Chi Minh City on October 18 with more than VND 3.3 billion (US$145,000) being collected.

    The fundraisings were organised under a crowd-funding project on building flood resilient houses for poor people across Vietnam, which was launched in November 2013 by Pham Thi Huong Giang. The project intends to create a safe living environment for the vulnerable communities, secure their livelihoods, and increase their resilience and climate change adaption.

    Over the past four years, a total of 523 flood resilient houses have been built under the project, benefiting people in Quang Ninh, Ha Tinh, Quang Binh, Quang Nam and Soc Trang province.

    Approximately 50 households in Mekong River Delta region also received assistance from the project team to cope with droughts and salt intrusion in 2016.

    In 2018, the project will be expanded to facilitate access to clean water, improve hygienic conditions, and raise the capacity of climate change adaption for those who are vulnerable to natural disasters.

    Da Lat farmer’s success with aeroponic vegetable growing model

    A farmer in Da Lat city, in the Central Highlands province of Lam Dong, has successfully grown many kinds of vegetables in the air, aka aeroponics.

    After a period of testing, Tran Huy Duong, owner of Langbiang Farm, in
    Xo Viet Nghe Tinh street
    , Ward 7, Da Lat city, has successfully developed his aeroponics model. His aeroponics garden covers about 500m2, cultivating nearly ten kinds of vegetables, including lettuces, kale, celery and spinach.

    Under this cultivation method, vegetables are planted on a platform that is isolated half a metre from the ground. The roots of the vegetables are not directly attached to the soil or water (as in hydroponics cultivation) but are placed in coconut fiber bags.

    Then each vegetable is planted on an apparatus with perforated holes in straight lines and the roots are suspended in the air and sealed with membranes. There is no water or soil in the rig, but only a mini water spraying system.

    An automatic sprinkler system, which is pre-installed for spraying, pumps the nutrients to the vegetable apparatus through a mini-valve system. The vegetable root system absorbs water vapour with nutrients in order to grow. Every irrigation lasts just a few minutes, so that the water and fertiliser do not leak, thereby helping to save costs.

    "As well as saving on costs, watering and fertilising using this method is suitable for leafy vegetables as nutrients aren’t sprayed onto the surface, thus keeping the vegetable leaves clean and uncontaminated with chemicals," Duong affirmed.

    According to Duong, he learned to construct the system from Dutch agricultural experts. However, in Vietnam, there aren’t any materials available for aeroponics, therefore Duong had to use local and common equipment to assemble an aeroponic system. Compared with the hydroponic system that is currently popular in Da Lat, the cost of building an aeroponic system is about 20% less and the cultivation time is also shorter by 7-10 days.

    Over the past month, Duong’s farm has harvested over 1 tonne of aeroponic vegetables. Due to being grown in a greenhouse, together with a modern farming system, the quality is guaranteed as all vegetables meet the Vietnamese Good Agricultural Practices (VietGAP) standards. However, the price of aeroponic vegetable gas is about 2-3 times higher than that of traditional cultivation, so it is suitable for high class customers or large restaurants.

    According to the Lam Dong’s Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, Duong's farm is the first to grow large-scale aeroponic vegetables in the province.

    Lai The Hung, Head of the Cultivation and Plant Protection Department (under Lam Dong Department of Agriculture and Rural Development), said that aeroponic farming is favourable to control fertiliser residue. If this model can be widely replicated, Da Lat vegetables would have more competitive advantages in the high-grade vegetable segment in the country, Hung added.

    Autumn Meeting held in Danang

    “The Autumn Meeting 2017”, an annual international film get-together, is taking place in the central resort of Danang from now until December 5, reports Sai Gon Giai Phong newspaper.

    More than 100 local and international filmmakers from South Korea, Taiwan, Japan, Denmark, Brazil and France, among others, are showing up at the fifth annual event.

    This is a rare opportunity for local filmmakers to meet up and share experiences with colleagues from different parts of the world. The event also includes numerous activities such as film screenings, workshops and talks.

    During the event, an actor training program for young people will be conducted by Vietnamese French director Tran Anh Hung, South Korean actress LydiaPark, movie star Moon Sori, director Yim Soon Rye and Vietnamese French actress Tran Nu Yen Khe.

    Musical performance marks 25 years of Vietnam-Korea ties

    A Vietnam-Republic of Korea friendship musical night was held at Hanoi Opera House on the evening of December 3 to mark the 25th anniversary of diplomatic ties between the two countries.

    The event brought together famous Vietnamese and Korean artists such as Huong Tram, Bao Anh, and Soobin Hoang Son, Ailee, Min and well-known Korean pianist Yiruam, who delivered special performances.

    Contemporary and traditional musical works provided an insight into cultural similarities as well as development trend of arts and music of both nations.

    Prize “ Red Ribbon 2017” responses to World AIDS Day

    The Vietnam Network of People Living with HIV (VNP+) under the sponsor of the Vietnam Administration of HIV/AIDS Control and AIDSPreventionCenter in Ho Chi Minh City yesterday organized the third award ceremony of "Red Ribbon 2017’. 

    This year ceremony themed "No discrimination toward people living with HIV and vulnerable people” was organized in the World AIDS Day and the action month of the National Prevention of HIV/AIDS. It attracted participation of celebrities like People’s Actress Bach Tuyet, Trinh Kim Chi, Thoai My, designer Sy Hoang.

    The prize for organization, individual that worked for the benefit of community was given to the Group Nu Cuoi ( Smile) for its efforts in helping teenagers living with HIV since 2004.

    Red Ribbon prize were given two good examples - Ngo Thi Mong Linh in Ho Chi MInh City and Ngo Lien from the northern province of Yen Bai. Two women living with the fatal disease spent their time assisting other infected people to live healthily and usefully,

    Additionally, the prize also honored those who took part in activities to help drug addicts, sex workers, homosexual people and transgender people, and helpful medical workers.

    Chief organizer Nguyen Anh Phong said with the theme “ No discrimination toward people living with HIV”, the prize aims to reduce discrimination against HIV infected people, drug addicts, sex workers, homosexual people and transgender people as well as improve their role in the society.

    Praising (VNP+)’s silent devotion in fighting the disease for years, head of the Department of HIV/AIDS Prevention and Control Nguyen Hoang Long said that stigma and discriminatory attitudes impeded HIV positive people to access to health-care services. He stressed Vietnam only achieve 90-90-90 goal only when stigma and discriminatory attitudes are eliminated.

    First organized in 2015, the annual prize was held with the aim to lauding HIV carriers who live healthily and useful as well as help improve others’ awareness of the disease in a bid to reduce stigma and discrimination against people living with HIV.

    HCMC to improve disabled people’s lives

    Though Ho Chi Minh City provides training of massage skills to disabled people, restricted issuance of massage parlors causes difficulties for people with disabilities to earn living. This is one of the stories that prevent disable people from integration into the society and earning their living.

    The city has 49,700 people with disabilities; 43,500 people are social welfare beneficiaries while nearly 4,000 homeless and alone elderly people are taken care of in 11 public social houses and 523 other are residing in private houses.

    Since the beginning of the year, 400 disabled people have received vocational training while nearly 1,700 others are employed. Moreover, they get free buses and visits to museums , libraries…

    The Department of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs in coordination with the Department of Health to propose HCMC authorities to add massage into the vocational training for people with visual impairment.

    Happy with the news, Ms. Dao Thi Le Xuan in Binh Thanh District said that massage job is suitable for blindness people and most of blind people earn living with the job. Nevertheless, the city authorities are restricted in issuing permit of opening massage parlor though applicants are disabled people.

    Ms. Xuan said where disabled people work if the government is restricted in the matter while Nguyen Van Thanh, another disabled people, said the government should be “ open” to massage parlor owned by visual impaired people to assist them.

    In other side, for years, HCMC has implemented special policies for disable people by providing them free buses. The Department of Transport has organized training courses to employees’ behaviors to disabled people as well as repair buses to facilitate special customers. However, there is discrimination against people with disabilities.

    Worse, banks refused to provide ATM account to disabled people. Ms. Dao Thi Le Xuan said that when the bank discovered she is a disabled person, it deleted her name out of the list of people to receive ATM card. Two other banks required her to have supervisors to be eligible for having ATM card.

    Deputy Chief of Social Sponsor Division of the Department of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs Vo Minh Hoang said that he will liaise with banks upon ATM issuance for disabled people.. moreover, in next time , the Department will organize employment fair for disable people as well as provide life skills to people with disabilities and rehabilitation training to disable people’s relatives.

    Furthermore, the Department will propose the People’s Committee to implement policies of housing for these special people.

    Health sector, authorities must simplify administrative procedures

    Chairwoman of the Ho Chi Minh City People's Council Nguyen Thi Quyet Tam asked the health sector and administrations to simplify administrative procedures to facilitate people in buying medical insurance and services. 

    The chairwoman made the station at a TV program themed “ Medical Insurance for people – Treatment Quality” held by the municipal People’s Council and HCMC Television yesterday.

    She also ordered infirmaries in the districts to improve quality of treatment to attract more patients.

    Governments must create good condition for private hospital to take part in providing medical service for people with insurance cards aiming to reduce pressure for public facilities.

    Moreover, administrators in districts have to increase information of people’s benefits in purchasing health insurance, she said.

    All agencies not alone the health sector take heed to improve treatment quality to expand the coverage of health insurance to the entire population, she stressed.

    Luu Thi Thanh Huyen, vice director of the HCMC Social Insurance, said after eight year implementation of Medical Insurance Law, HCMC achieved remarkable results with increasingly impressive coverage of medical insurance; moreover, treatment quality is improved much with more hi-tech medical services to be paid by health insurance fund.

    The coverage rate of medical insurance in HCMC is 81 percent, 1 percent lower than the nations’.

    Explaining that, Ms. Huyen said out of 6.7 million people participated in health insurance in the city, over 5 million receive assistance of the government fully or partially and laborers are paid by their employers while the rate of voluntary buyers is very low.

    She added in 2017, the insurance agency issued over 1,600 medical insurance cards to households. At present, around half of residents in HCMC have not purchased insurance. This is a big challenge for health sector to achieve the 90 percent goal.

    In the program, some participants said that there have been hiccups along the way; for instance, how to encourage laborers without permanent residency registration in HCMC to buy insurance.

    Ms. Huyen said that workers in industrial parks without permanent residency registration, local governments will confirm the names of people in the rented houses, insurance agency will help people to buy medical insurance.

    To achieve the goal of 90 percent residents in HCMC to have medical insurance by 2020, Ms. Tam asked local party unions and governments to consider it as one of important duties.

    In next time, the health sector and the insurance agency will liaise closely to solve barriers along the way to provide best service to people.

    Twenty-five million insured patients have had examination and treatment in first nine months, 12 percent up compared to same period last year. To attract patients, the Department of Health focused on improving healthcare quality by investing in facilities and developing hi-tech departments. 

    Additionally, it opened more satellite medical clinics, developed family doctor model, and expanded emergency network 115 citywide. Hospitals are forced to follow treatment plans guided by the Ministry of Health, said Deputy Head of the Department of Health Dr. Tang Chi Thuong.

    US to support Vietnam in medical education and health care

    The Vietnam Ministry of Health in collaboration with the Ho Chi Minh City University of Medicine and Pharmacy, the Partnership for Health Advancement in Vietnam (HAIVN) and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) yesterday organized the First Annual National Vietnam Medical Education Conference.

    The conference titled “Preparing the 21st Century Physician” with its target of medical education innovation, bringing medical universities into the 21st century with innovative pedagogical methods for teaching medical students as well as patient care.

    Speaking at the conference, U.S. Chargé d'Affaires to Vietnam Caryn McClelland said that Government of the United States is extremely proud to be a partner of Vietnam in the fields of medical education and healthcare.

    The country pledged to help organizations in improving the life quality for Vietnamese people through the Alliance for Improving Access, Curriculum and Teaching in Medical education and Emerging Diseases (IMPACT MED) sponsored by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

    The project was organized by the Agency for Vietnam Health Development Cooperation, the Vietnam medicine and pharmacy universities, Government of Vietnam and private companies.

    Additionally, the first Annual National Vietnam Medical Education Conference is considered as a special chance for educators and leaders from the country’s medical universities to share their innovative ideas and advances in the medical education in Vietnam and the world.

    The event has attracted the participation of students and leaders from medical universities in Vietnam and the Southeast Asia region, representatives from the Vietnam Ministry of Health and Ministry of Education and Training, private partners ...

    VNN  


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  • 12/05/17--01:01: Article 2
  • Central bank acts as credit fund goes rogue


    The State Bank of Viet Nam (SBV) office in the southern province of Dong Nai is investigating the delay in repaying principal and interest by the Thai Binh People’s Credit Fund to 82 customers in Bien Hoa City’s Tan Hoa Ward.


    Transport firms, taxes and fees, Vietnam economy, Vietnamnet bridge, English news about Vietnam, Vietnam news, news about Vietnam, English news, Vietnamnet news, latest news on Vietnam, Vietnam
    The State Bank of Viet Nam (SBV) office in the southern province of Dong Nai is investigating the delay in repaying principal and interest by the Thai Binh People’s Credit Fund to 82 customers in BienHoaCity’s Tan Hoa Ward. - Photo cafef.vn


    According to the customers, they had deposited nearly VND50 billion (US$2.2 million) but have not received interest since the middle of last year and have also been unable to withdraw their deposit.

    Meanwhile, the director of the fund, Vu Cong Lien, reportedly quit his job and is absconding.

    The case has opened authorities’ eyes to the need to carefully manage people’s credit funds across the country so that system does not collapse or many of them go bankrupt.

    Analysts said the most important measures include oversight and inspection of their operations.

    According to the Viet Nam Association of People’s Credit Funds, there are more than 1,100 such funds with 1.8 million members and deposits of VND88 trillion ($3.9 billion).

    Thus, potentially a lot of people could be affected.

    Employees of many of the funds said they are managed in a very loose manner.

    To compete with banks, the funds always offer very high interest rates to depositors, often 4-5 per cent higher than bank rates.

    The deposits are often lent to individuals or organisations involved in high-risk sectors like real estate. 

    But authorities responsible for overseeing the people’s credit funds said they are all now under the management of the SBV and the Cooperative Bank of Viet Nam (Co-opBank).

    In addition, the Deposit Insurance of Viet Nam also has special control over the funds.

    The question is why, despite multiple agencies managing and controlling the people’s credit funds, such violations are occurring so often.

    Tran Quoc Tuan, director of the SBV office in Dong Nai Province, said managers of funds that act dubiously clean up their balance sheets ahead of audits by authorised agencies before again lending money to high-risk sectors like real estate.

    An official from the SBV’s department for banking system safety supervision admitted that management and oversight of people’s credit funds remain poor.

    So it is necessary to strengthen internal control and audit, and ensure the funds comply with the laws on cooperatives, one of which requires them to lend only to members.

    Analysts said the model is appropriate for Vietnam and the funds have proved to be really useful in rural areas, but they need to be carefully controlled to ensure their effectiveness and safety. 

    The central bank plans to restructure the credit funds after first identifying weak ones. The weak funds that cannot be improved will have their licences withdrawn.

    Besides, many new funds will also be set up in rural areas.

    Transporters hit hard by taxes, fees

    Huynh Huu Trung, owner of a transport company based in HCMCity’s Tan Binh District, said he had been offering 15 container trucks for sale at only VND500 million each since early October but none of them has been bought.

    The rest of his vehicles are only operating for 15-20 days a month and so the company’s turnover is down sharply, he said.

    Many trucking firms in the country are in a similar plight, with many facing a danger of being shut down.

    Do Xuan Phu, director of the Minh Lien Transportation Company, said he had to significantly reduce the number of vehicles in operation as well as staff but business situation has not improved.

    He said in the past when the transportation industry was still profitable, every container truck could operate for 275 days a year and not run the other 90 days because they were weekends and festivals, and there were days when they had to stop for repairs or maintenance.

    Recently, the number of working days has decreased because of fierce competition.

    Since April 2014, after the Ministry of Transport cracked down on overloading and other violations, many companies with goods to transport bought their own vehicles instead of hiring them.

    Thus, transport operators are competing for an increasingly smaller pie.

    This has in turn brought freight rates down, affecting their turnover. 

    Meanwhile, taxes and fees have been increasing.

    Transport firms are shouldering a heavy burden of more than 10 different taxes and fees, including road maintenance fee, toll fee and parking fee.

    The road maintenance fee alone comes to at least VND17.16 million ($756) a year per vehicle.

    According to the HCM City Cargo Transport Association, toll now costs even more than fuel because a majority of the main roads collect toll.

    For instance, fuel for a trip between HCM City and Vung Tau City costs around VND750,000 ($33) (for 60 litres of diesel) while the total charges for using the roads come to VND800,000.

    Fuel for a trip from HCMCity’s District 7 to BienHoaCity costs VND437,000 but toll costs VND560,000.

    Most trucking firms are small or medium-sized, and many depend on bank loans to buy their vehicles and run their business. The ballooning costs are making it unsustainable for them.

    According to a report from the Road Maintenance Fund, since 2013 it has collected more than VND43.45 trillion.

    According to the Viet Nam Auto Transport Association, both road maintenance and toll fees have to be paid on several routes in the country.

    But the director of the Viet Nam Road Administration, Nguyen Van Huyen, said the road maintenance fees only meet 43 per cent of the cost of maintaining roads.

    The country has a total of 575,000km of roads, including 23,000km of highways.

    Deputy Prime Minister Trinh Dinh Dung has instructed the Ministry of Transport to check toll rates to ensure they are calculated in a scientific and practical manner to ease transport firms’ burden while still ensuring the proper maintenance of the country’s road network. 

    VNS


    0 0
  • 12/05/17--01:22: Article 1
  • Vietnam wins high prizes at Seoul International Invention Fair


    Vietnam claimed high prizes at the Seoul International Invention Fair 2017 (SIIF 2017) held in the Republic of Korea (RoK) from November 30 to December 3.


     Vietnam wins high prizes at Seoul International Invention Fair, social news, vietnamnet bridge, english news, Vietnam news, news Vietnam, vietnamnet news, Vietnam net news, Vietnam latest news, vn news, Vietnam breaking news

    The event was jointly organised by the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) and the International Federation of Investors Associations (IFIA).

    The work “automatic control and optimization of energy for crude oil distillation, Dung Quat oil refinery” by scientists Dao Xuan Gioi, Nguyen Nhanh, Vuong Ngoc Trai, Phan Minh Thanh, Do Hong Quang, Bui Ta Vu, Nguyen Manh Thinh and Nguyen Minh Canh won a gold medal presented by the organising board and a special prize from the Malaysian Association of Research Scientists (MARS).

    Meanwhile, the work “designing equipment for flood prevention in Ho Chi Minh City and coastal delta provinces” by Truong Dinh Du, Phung Van Ngoc and Ngo Sy Loc bagged a special prize presented by the Indonesian Invention and Innovation Promotion Association.

    While participating in the fair, the Vietnamese delegation had an exchange with Chairman of the Korea Invention Promotion Association (KIPA) Joon Seok Lee on enhancing cooperation with the Vietnam Fund for Supporting Technological Creations (VIFOTEC) in the coming time.

    They also worked with President of the IFIA Alireza Rastegar to call for its cooperation and support.

    The SIIF2017 drew 632 inventions from over 30 countries around the world such as the US, Russia, France, Germany, Japan, Croatia, Vietnam, Thailand and the Republic of Korea.

    VNA


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  • 12/05/17--02:53: Article 0
  • BUSINESS IN BRIEF 5/12


    Electronic toll collection available nationwide in late 2019


     Electronic toll collection available nationwide in late 2019, Ministry targets US$5 billion from sale of Sabeco stake, New FDI approvals in Binh Duong up 127%, Hanoi reports 8.5 percent rise in industrial production in Nov

    The Ministry of Transport has plans to provide electronic toll collection (ETC) service at all toll stations nationwide in late 2019.

    The ministry on November 29 held a meeting to review the installation of ETC systems at toll stations located on
    National Highway
    1A and a section of
    Ho Chi Minh Highway
    passing through the Central Highlands.

    According to ETC system provider VETC, up to 22 of 24 toll stations on these two routes have signed contracts with the company to install the systems. It is in talks with the two remaining stations – Can Tho-Phung Hiep in Can Tho City and Cam Thinh in KhanhHoaProvince

    To date, the ETC systems have been operational at 13 stations. VETC has also finished installation work at six stations and is setting up ETC systems at three others.

    The company has also supplied E-tag cards for 270,000 automobile owners.

    In addition to VETC, Vietnam Bank for Industry and Trade (VietinBank) will launch the service at nine other toll stations. The bank has submitted the feasibility study to the Ministry of Transport for approval.

    Minister of Transport Nguyen Van The has urged the Directorate for Roads of Vietnam to draw up specific roadmaps to ensure that ETC service will be available at all toll stations on National Highway 1A and the section of Ho Chi Minh Highway passing through the Central Highlands in late 2018 and stations nationwide in late 2019.

    The minister also asked the Department of Science and Technology to study other toll collection technologies that shall be used for expressways in the future.

    The Ministry of Transport earlier had plans to finish installing ETC systems at 28 toll stations on
    National Highway
    1A and
    Ho Chi Minh Road
    ’s Central Highlands section in June 30.

    However, it failed to meet the schedule due to protracted negotiations between providers of ETC systems and build-operate-transfer (BOT) road builders.

    Some BOT road investors have not finalized contract terms over fees charged by ETC system providers. They said there should be more providers so that they can have more choices.

    According to the Ministry of Transport, ETC will help save VND3.4 trillion (US$150 million) a year, including VND700 million to VND1 billion in paper ticket cost, if all toll stations on National Highway 1A and Ho Chi Minh Road’s Central Highlands section use ETC service.

    In order to pay a fee through an ETC system, automobile owners will be issued an E-tag card based on Onboard Unit (OBU) equipment installed on their vehicles, along with a toll payment account.

    When the vehicle passes through a toll collection lane, the system will activate a camera to photograph the vehicle’s number plate while reading the card. The vehicle owner’s account will be deducted, and a text message will be sent to their mobile phones.

    If drivers do not use the system or their accounts do not have enough balance, they will have to pay in cash as in the traditional toll collection way.

    Ministry targets US$5 billion from sale of Sabeco stake

    The State will sell more than 343 million shares in Saigon Beer-Alcohol-Beverage Corporation (Sabeco) at VND320,000 each, fetching an estimated VND110 trillion, or nearly US$5 billion.

    The Ministry of Industry and Trade, after several delays, on November 29 announced the starting price of VND320,000 per share, quite high compared to market prices, at a roadshow in HCMC. This price is equivalent to the closing price of Sabeco shares (coded SAB) on the Hochiminh Stock Exchange (HOSE) on Tuesday.

    According to the ministry, the Government has permitted the sale of State-held shares equivalent to 53.59% of Sabeco’s chartered capital, thus reducing the State stake in the brewery from 89.59% to 36%. The remaining shares are sufficient for the State to have veto rights at Sabeco.

    According to Truong Thanh Hoai, director of the ministry’s Heavy Industries Department, foreign investors showed keen interest in Sabeco at the roadshows in Singapore and London owing to the brewery’s high profitability. There is no chance that the brewery brand would disappear following foreign acquisitions of huge volumes of shares since the State still has a 36% stake with veto power. 

    The share sale will not be divided into stages but be made all at once, depending on the market’s absorption.

    Local investors are not confined to a certain volume out of 343 million shares on offer, whereas the foreign ownership cap is 49%. Given the SAB shares that foreign investors are holding, the room left for foreign investors in Sabeco is 38.59%, equivalent to around 247 million shares.

    At the share auction on December 18, investors can bid either in local or foreign currencies, or in the form of guarantee.

    New FDI approvals in Binh Duong up 127%

    New foreign direct investment (FDI) approvals in the southern province of Binh Duong in January-November have picked up a staggering 127% year-on-year to over US$2.5 billion, beating the full-year target by 79%.

    Nguyen Thanh Truc, director of the provincial Department of Planning and Investment, gave the statistics at a meeting with Taiwanese enterprises on November 29. 

    According to Truc, the province approved 178 new projects in the period with total pledged capital of US$1.3 billion. In addition, investors of 111 operational projects injected an additional US$965 million to expand their operations, plus US$247 million worth of share sales and stake transfers to foreign investors. 

    The province’s attraction of FDI capital has turned more effective owing to the improving investment environment, Truc said.

    Priority areas of the province such as electricity, electronics, mechanical engineering, pharmaceuticals, chemicals and services have continued to attract the attention of foreign investors, Truc added.

    Binh Duong has so far licensed 3,027 FDI projects with total registered capital of US$28.28 billion from 64 countries and territories. Compared to other localities in terms of pledged FDI capital, the province ranks second, just behind HCMC.

    Regarding Taiwanese investment in Binh Duong, Truc said that Taiwan had invested in 772 projects worth a combined US$5.8 billion, making it the largest foreign investor in the province.

    However, some Taiwanese enterprises at the meeting complained about a number of difficulties they have encountered, such as tax payment, residence permit, visa and payment of social insurance for laborers.

    Hanoi reports 8.5 percent rise in industrial production in Nov

    Hanoi’s industrial production index showed an 8.5 percent rise year-on-year in November, according to the city’s statistics office.

    The office attributed the increase to production gaining speed for the year-end holiday season in such industries as confectionery, beer, ceramic bathroom fixtures and wood furniture.

    Total retail and services revenues in the month were estimated at 52 trillion VND (2.28 billion USD), up 2.1 percent on October’s figure.

    Export activities by Hanoi-based enterprises earned 1 billion USD in November, up 2.9 percent on month. Meanwhile, imports surpassed 2.4 billion USD, increasing 7.6 percent from October but dropping 2.9 percent from one year ago.

    The Consumer Price Index (CPI) for November in Hanoi was equal to just 99.83 percent of the previous month’s figure, with prices for food catering services, food and grains dropping slightly.

    During the month, the capital city welcomed 390,000 foreign visitors, an 11.4 percent increase from October and up 40.1 percent from the same period last year. Domestic visitors to the city numbered 867,000. In all, the tourism sector reported revenues of 5.7 trillion VND (250 million USD).

    Proptech to alter real estate industry

    After financial technology (fintech), which changed the way the financial sector worked, now, property technology (proptech) is expected to effect a change in the real estate industry.

    Proptech has emerged in the world after nearly a decade and has started to grab attention in Vietnam.

    A report by real estate and investment services firm, Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL), showed that 4.8 billion USD, out of 7.8 billion USD worth of funding, was poured into Asia Pacific proptech start-ups between 2013 and 2017.

    Asia Pacific was leading the investment into proptech start-ups, with a great deal of potential, according to JLL. “With its young population, rapid urbanisation and popularity of mobile phones, all the conditions are in place for this new sector to grow,” JLL’s report said.

    According to Nguyen Quoc Anh, deputy director of Dai Viet Group, which owns property information website batdongsan.com.vn, proptech would help minimise risks for both buyers and sellers.

    Proptech is defined as technology applied to real estate information, transaction and management to digitalise services and products, so as to improve real estate processes and solve modern challenges.

    Proptech would help property developers and real estate businesses to make changes and adapt to a new generation of customers via the internet, build brands and direct their products to the right targeted buyers, Quoc Anh said. He said that applying the technology would also promote sales efficiently.

    With proptech, customers could search for products to meet their demands, compare prices and choose the best financial solutions to minimise risks. In addition, all transaction procedures would be conducted online, Quoc Anh said.

    Besides Dai Viet Group, other firms in Vietnam also invested in proptech or hastened the application of proptech in their real estate business, such as Holomia – a startup offering virtual reality in marketing for real estate projects and Homedy – a website which helps search project information and compare projects.

    Recently, a number of developers such as Vingroup, Sun Group and BIM Group made use of virtual reality and augmented reality to provide customers with real-life experiences of their projects.

    According to the Vietnam Association of Real Estate Brokers, the development of proptech was an indispensable trend, but it was important to improve the awareness of both buyers and firms in applying proptech to fuel a boom in Vietnam.

    Nguyen Thanh Hung, chairman of the Vietnam e-Commerce Association, said at a recent online forum that proptech would also help promote the transparency of the real estate market because it made access to real estate information much easier.

    According to Pham Van Hung, from property developer CenGroup, technology such as big data, artificial intelligence, augmented reality and the Internet of Things was being applied in the real estate industry of Vietnam, catching up with the global trend.

    Vietnam Airlines and Agribank sign co-operation agreement

    National carrier Vietnam Airlines and Agribank have signed a co-operation agreement to promote the sale of each other’s products and services in the future.

    Accordingly, Vietnam Airlines will provide airfreight services with special incentives for officials and employees of Agribank. 

    The bank, meanwhile, is committed to providing a variety of financial services to Vietnam Airlines, such as deposits in term, payment of airfare and credit co-operation.

    The two sides will strengthen co-ordination to conduct regular customer care programmes. At the same time, they also agreed to share experiences and document information to reach co-operation efficiency.

    Vietnam Airlines has inked many co-operation agreements with large companies such as FPT Corporation, Vietnam Post Corporation and Vietnam Oil and Gas Corporation.

    Vietjet offers promotional tickets on routes to Thailand

    Jubilantly welcome new routes to Thailand, Vietjet gives a series of golden days from November 30 to December 2, offering 15,000 tickets priced only from zero Vietnam dong within the golden hours from 12:00 to 14:00 on websitewww.vietjetair.com.

    The promotional tickets are applied on the following international routes: Ho Chi Minh City– Phuket/ Chiang Mai (Thailand) and Dalat/ Hai Phong – Bangkok (Thailand) with the flight time being from November 30, 2017 to March 24, 2018. Except for the travel period for Ho Chi Minh City– Chiang Mai route runs from December 12, Ho Chi Minh City– Phuket route from December 15 and Da Lat – Bangkok route from December 18, 2017.

    Opening new routes from December this year, Vietjet will operate six international routes connecting Thailand and Vietnam, offer more traveling and trading opportunities between these cities. Recently, Thai Vietjet also has officially received new Air Operator Certificate (AOC) which is in line with the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) standards from the Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand (CAAT).

    With high-quality services, diverse ticket classes, special low-fare tickets, Vietjet offers its passengers flying experiences on new aircrafts, comfy seats, delicious hot meals, beautiful and friendly flight attendants and other interesting added-on services.

    HCMCity needs faster economic growth to hit annual target

    Ho Chi Minh City needs to speed up December growth to achieve its economic growth target of 8.25 percent, heard a review meeting on November 30.

    “We had to reduce the growth target from 8.4 percent to 8.25 percent because of inaccurate computation at the beginning of the year,” Vo Van Hoan, head of the People’s Committee Office, told the meeting held to review socio-economic development in the first 11 months.

    Hoan pointed out that the general growth index had risen sharply, and higher than last year, but the economy needed to accelerate to achieve the target.

    “Revenue collection has been only 88.34 percent of the target and related authorities must work hard to fulfil the full-year plan.”

    Pham Thanh Kien, director of the Department of Industry and Trade, said the city should focus on its four key industries in the final month.

    “Shopping malls, supermarkets and convenience stores have increased significantly, while e-commerce has grown 31 percent.

    “The city should focus on e-commerce besides traditional businesses.”

    He said software exports had seen very high growth this year with revenues reaching 1.5 billion USD in the year-to-date compared to 1 billion USD for full-year 2016.

    Su Ngoc Anh, director of the Department of Planning and Investment, said the city’s revenues had grown by 12.6 percent to 307.3 trillion VND (13.5 billion USD), or 88.34 percent of the full-year target.

    FDI has doubled to nearly 5.57 billion USD.

    Services and retail sales grew by 11.5 percent and industrial output by 7.9 percent.

    The city’s four key industries -- engineering and automation; electronics; chemicals, rubber, plastics; and food processing -- continued to perform strongly, expanding markets, investing in technology and improving quality and competitiveness, and growing at over 12.9 percent.

    This year, 37,596 new companies with a combined registered capital of 778.5 trillion VND (34.6 billion USD) have been licensed, three times the number in the same period last year.

    Job creation, vocational training and support for poor people have been carried out efficiently to ensure social welfare.

    The number of jobs created rose marginally to 298,225 or 106.5 percent of the full-year target.

    Exports were worth around 32 billion USD, an increase of 16.1 percent.

    Exports to Singapore grew by 69.7 percent, to Myanmar by 75.1 percent, to India by 33.7 percent, to Malaysia by 24.1 percent, to Thailand by 25.8 percent, to China by 21 percent, and to the Republic of Korea by 22.2 percent but shipments to the Philippines, Indonesia, Italy, Germany, and the UK shrank.

    Exports of rubber, vegetables, computers and electronics, and vehicles grew by 18 – 55 percent.

    Imports were worth 38.9 billion USD, an increase of 13.5 percent.

    Imports from China, India, the Philippines and Cambodia soared, with raw materials, equipment, electronic accessories and metals being the main imported items.

    “Authorities have paid close attention to the environment, flooding and traffic as well as price stability,” Hoan added.

    Customs revenue to surpass target     

    The budget revenue of the General Department of Customs (GDC) surpassed VND261.1 trillion (US$11.5 billion), or 91.6 per cent of the 2017 target as of November 28.

    The information was released on Thursday during a press conference held by the GDC. Budget collection for the whole year is targeted to touch VND285 trillion. Collections of the export-import, special consumption and environmental protection taxes reached VND101.7 trillion, while those of the value-added tax reached VND183.3 trillion.

    November budget revenue is estimated to reach VND25 trillion.

    According to Luu Manh Tuong, director of the Import-Export Tax Department, budget revenue in December every year tends to surge as enterprises usually boost the import of goods before the occasion of Tet (Lunar New Year). The department expects this month’s revenue to reach VND26 trillion.

    GDC forecasts that budget collection for the whole year will likely surpass the annual target of VND285 trillion, to total VND295 trillion.

    From now until the end of the year, the department will instruct local customs departments to tighten the collection and disbursement of the State budget and tackle difficulties in tax policies in a timely manner, GDC said.

    The GDC will also increase the implementation of post-customs clearance and inter-sectoral co-operation to prevent and detect trade fraud.

    In turn, the local departments must propose measures to prevent losses and increase management by price consultation and price and tax code assessment.

    The high revenue was also attributed to the effective instruction of the Party, National Assembly and Government and provinces’ implementation of plans to achieve annual national socio-economic development goals. 

    HCM City gets Italy-Viet Nam Textile Technology Centre     

    The Italy-Viet Nam Textile Technology Centre was set up at the HCM City University of Technology on November 29 to support training and research in textile technology.

    It is an Italian-funded joint project between the university and the Italian Trade Agency with technical support from the Association of Italian Textile Machinery Manufacturers and the International Polytechnic for Industrial and Economic Development.

    Prof Dr Vu Dinh Thanh, rector of the university, said the centre is equipped with Italian machinery and equipment, while Vietnamese lecturers and engineers have been trained by Italian experts.

    The centre would be a reliable place for training and supplying manpower for Vietnamese and Italian textile-garment businesses, he said.

    “With the Italy-Vietnam Textile Technology Centre, Vietnamese textile-garment enterprises will be able access advanced technology and interact with professors and researchers from Italian universities.”

    Nguyen Phuong Dong, deputy director of the HCM City Department of Industry and Trade, said the garment and textile sector has developed strongly with exports topping US$21.4 billion in the first 10 months of the year, a year-on-year increase of 9 per cent.

    But the sector faces challenges like a reliance on imported materials and a lack of qualified designers and workers who can handle technology, he said.

    “With active support from a global leading in the garment and textile sector, the centre would help train skilled human resources and improve design capacity, boosting the country’s textile-garment industry and making it globally competitive,” he said.

    Paolo Lemma, chief representative of the ITA in Viet Nam, said: “Viet Nam is a promising market with many opportunities for Italian enterprises in textile and apparel, leather and footwear, tanning, agriculture, and infrastructure.

    Viet Nam has advantages in terms of human resources, economic conditions and an open market, and the two sides can help each other.

    “I believe that if the two countries’ enterprises strengthen their information exchange and co-operation, bilateral trade will increase steadily.”

    Italy is now the 18th biggest export market for Viet Nam

    Sacombank’s shareholders don’t want listing transferred to HNX     

    Shareholders of the Saigon Thuong Tin Commercial Joint Stock Bank (Sacombank) disagreed with the bank’s decision to transfer its listing to the Ha Noi Stock Exchange (HNX) under new code SCM.

    After collecting shareholders’ opinions on the amendments, Sacombank on Wednesday released the result, which showed 83.36 per cent of the bank’s shareholders disagreed with the change.

    Previously, in October, Sacombank, which is currently listed on the HCM Stock Exchange as STB, sought shareholders’ approval to transfer its listing to the HNX under new code SCM.

    According to the proposal, Sacombank will cancel its registration of STB at the Viet Nam Securities Depository Centre (VSD), delist from the southern bourse, re-register SCM at VSD and finally list SCM on HNX.

    This came as a surprise to investors because the code STB has been associated with Sacombank for the past 11 years.

    Sacombank was the first bank to launch its IPO at the initial price of VND200,000 (US$8.8) per share in 1996 and also the first to list on the national bourse in July 2006.

    In 2012, STB was included on the VN30, which consists of the largest stocks by market capitalisation. However, in 2015-16, Sacombank struggled with a huge stockpile of bad debts.

    Duong Cong Minh, who became chairman of Sacombank on June 30, 2017, has been speeding up efforts to resolve bad debts. In the first nine months of this year, Sacombank announced it handled bad debts worth VND2 trillion and posted pre-tax profit of more than VND1 trillion, doubling its VND585 billion target for the full year.

    STB shares yesterday closed at VND13,200, up against VND12,600 in the previous session. 

    Ministry details Grab app’s losses ahead of tax inspection

    The Ministry of Finance has released a detailed report on Grab Vietnam’s consistent annual losses since it began operating in the country, despite the ride-hailing app’s mushrooming popularity among local commuters.

    During the fourth session of the lawmaking National Assembly which wrapped up last week, a delegate demanded that the finance ministry explain why Grab Vietnam, with a total registered capital of only VND20 billion (US$881,057), has accumulated VND938 billion (US$41.32 million) in losses after three years of operating in the country.

    The ministry has responded to the question with the release of a document on November 29 detailing the company’s financial situation.

    Grab made its Vietnam debut in 2014, launching in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. Since then, the Malaysia-based company has adjusted its registered capital five times, totaling VND20 billion as of March 2017, according to the finance ministry.

    In 2014, Grab Vietnam logged losses of VND51.6 billion (US$2.27 million). The company managed to take that number to VND441.8 billion (US$19.46 million) and VND444.7 billion (US$19.59 million) in 2015 and 2016, respectively.

    The finance ministry attributed the steep losses to massive marketing expenses and service prices set deliberately low to undercut conventional taxi operators.

    Grab Vietnam, financed by its parent company in Malaysia, has borrowed $50 million from Grab Malaysia with zero interest, the finance ministry said, citing Grab Vietnam’s financial statement.

    The Vietnamese ministry underlined that Grab Vietnam is considered a business with high operational risk, thus categorized as needing special tax oversight.

    The finance ministry said it will cooperate with the State Bank of Vietnam (SBV) and relevant agencies to review the company’s ‘borrowing’ and crack down on tax evasion or trade fraud, if any.

    Grab Vietnam’s Ho Chi Minh City headquarters are in District 10. According to the district’s tax division, the company paid more than VND142 billion (US$6.26 million) in taxes between January 1 and November 24, 2017.

    Last week, the General Department of Taxation requested that local tax departments countrywide focus their 2018 tax inspections on ‘special’ businesses, such as Grab, Uber, online shopping platforms, and multilevel marketing companies.

    Danang Hotel Association to provide training to scale up low-rated hotels

    The Danang Hotel Association is starting a training and assistance programme in December to guide one- and two-star hotel members on transforming their business to attract a more lucrative clientele, in a bid to ensure Danang maintains her reputation as a quality destination.

    In an interview in Singapore, Nguyen Duc Quynh, deputy chairman of the Steering Committee of the Danang Hotel Association cum deputy general director of Furama Resort Danang said, “The biggest issue we have in Danang is the large supply of one- and two-star hotels. 

    There are 25,570 hotel rooms in Danang, 40% of which are in one-and two-star hotels. These hotels tend to attract lower-end tourists who may bring with them certain social issues that will ultimately influence Danang’s reputation as a holiday destination. Da Nang needs to be a destination for quality tourists.”

    As a solution, deputy chairman Quynh recommends that one- and two-star hotels “convert into long-stay properties that are suitable for business travellers and domestic family groups on holidays.”

    He explained, “Following the APEC meetings in Danang on November 4-11, trade and foreign investment will pick up in Da Nang, which will result in more foreigners coming in for business projects. They will need a place to stay and one- and two-star hotels could provide that by scaling up their facilities and changing their business structure.”

    “Going after the long-stay market will also help alleviate these hotels’ poor business during the winter season,” he said.

    The association will provide guidance on business transformation and training on critical knowledge such as revenue management.

    When asked where the association will get its funding for these activities, Quynh said, “They will come from membership fees and sponsorship from businesses that have an interest in our members, for example hotel booking technology companies that hope to introduce their solutions to these one- and two-star hotels.”

    VIS divestment brings dual benefits for Thai Hung

    Thai Hung Trading JSC’s offer to buy an additional 5.35 per cent stake in Vietnam-Italy Steel JSC (VIS) right after selling 20 per cent of this steel company to Kyoei Steel Ltd. is considered a wise move aiming to retain Thai Hung’s controlling right in VIS, while simultaneously receiving technology support from Japanese partners.

    In early November, Thai Hung’s offer to buy a 5.35 per cent stake in VIS right after handing over 20 per cent to Kyoei Steel surprised enterprises. However, this move will bring more benefits for Thai Hung.

    The first is to receive technology support as Kyoei Steel is known as the leading steel manufacturer in Japan with the chartered capital of $166.5 billion. Besides, Kyoei currently has two steel manufacturing plants in Vietnam, namely Vina Kyoei Steel JSC in Ba Ria-Vung Tau and Kyoei Steel Vietnam JSC in Ninh Binh.

    Previously, at the ceremony to announce its strategic shareholders, the VIS board of directors expressed their desire to receive technology support from Kyoei Steel to upgrade the existing manufacturing capacity and improve business results. 

    The second is the controlling rights. Before handing over 20 per cent to Kyoei Steel, Thai Hung held a controlling stake in VIS with 65.66 per cent stake (which promptly decreased to 45.66 per cent after the sale). However, in case the offer to buy an additional 5.35 per cent is approved, Thai Hung will retain its controlling rights with a 51.01 per cent holding as well as its role as the parent company of VIS.

    Remaining the parent company of VIS is important to Thai Hung because Thai Hung would retain the right to add VIS’ business results to its consolidated financial report. 

    Needless to say, Thai Hung has an advantage to recover its controlling right because, with the exception of Kyoei Steel, no investor can overcome Thai Hung’s existing holding of 45.66 per cent to seize a controlling shareholding.

    Along with the two above benefits, Thai Hung also acquired profit from the sale of the VIS stake to the Japanese partner because in September 2016, Thai Hung completed the purchase of 12.8 million VIS shares at the price of VND13,500 ($0.59) apiece and then bought an additional 12 million shares in July 2017 at the price of VND15,000 ($0.66). Selling 20 per cent to Kyoei at the price of VND25,597 ($0.99) apiece brought significant profit.

    Regarding VIS, after Thai Hung’s acquisition, VIS saw positive increases in its business results. Notably, in 2016, VIS reported a net revenue of VND3.7 trillion ($162.8 million) and a pre-tax profit of VND75 billion ($3.3 million), signifying on-year increases of 21 per cent in revenue and a 100 per cent in pre-tax profit. In 2017, the company targets making VND6.2 trillion ($272.9 million) in revenue and VND102.6 billion ($4.5 million) in pre-tax profit.

    Thai Hung is well-known for its large-scale M&A deals. Besides, it is a major material supplier as well as the largest steel distributor of northern factories like VIS, Posco, Pomina, and Tisco.

    Two billion dollar projects in Haiphong calling for investment

    The two projects are a railroad construction to HaiphongInternationalPort and a professional industrial park for Japanese companies.

    The length of the railroad construction to HaiphongInternationalPort is 57 kilometres and its width is 1.4 metres. The project would run under the formats of public-private-partnership (PPP) and build-operate-transfer (BOT) formats.

    The total investment of the project is estimated at $1.6 billion, part of which will be financed from Japanese official development assistance (ODA) loans. It is expected to be implemented in until 2030 to construct 16.56 kilometres of railway, 26.9 kilometres of bridges, and seven new railway stations.

    The main line, which is 35.7 kilometres long, starts at the new Hung Vuong Railway Station (equivalent to Km95+215 of the Hanoi-Haiphong railway route), goes through Dinh Vu Industrial Zone (IZ) (now known as Deep C IZ), crosses Nam Trieu Seaport, and arrives at HaiphongInternationalPort in CatHaiIsland.

    The secondary line, which is 7.78 kilometres long, starts at South Dinh Vu Railway Station (equivalent to Km23+940) and will run parallel with the main line until Km26+337, then turn left towards Dinh Vu Seaport and arrive at Deep C IZ.

    After launching, it is estimated to transport 30 million tonnes of cargo per year by 2020 and 95 million tonnes per year by 2030.

    The second project to call for foreign investment is the professional industrial park for Japanese companies in the north, located on an area of 300-400 hectares in Dinh Vu-Cat Hai Economic Zone.

    Earlier, the Haiphong People’s Committee announced the general master plan of Dinh Vu-Cat Hai Economic Zone (EZ) until 2025. Accordingly, the zone, which has a total area of about 22,540 hectares, will become a multi-sector economic zone of the NorthCentralCoast and the whole country, in order to become an international logistics seaport.

    Samsung elevates 29 Vietnamese vendors to tier-1 supply chain

    Samsung completed the consultation programme for 12 enterprises in 2017 and has achieved the target of 29 Vietnamese businesses becoming Tier-1 vendors by the end of the year.

    During the two days of November 29-30, 2017, the Board of Directors of Samsung Vietnam paid a visit, worked, and surveyed six businesses, including three in the north and three in the south, which have joined the consultation programme for vendors under the guidance of Samsung South Korea’s experts.

    The list of these vendors consists of Manutronics Vietnam JSC (Bac Ninh), Tien Thanh JSC (Bac Ninh), Bac Viet Technology JSC (Bac Ninh), Nhat Minh Company (Binh Duong), Minh Man Manufacturing Trading & Printing Labels Co., Ltd. (Ho Chi Minh City), and Vinavit Corp. (Ho Chi Minh City).

    South Korean experts have spent two weeks surveying and evaluating each enterprise, and then directly consulted and worked with the Vietnamese vendors in the next 10 weeks in order to improve manufacturing procedures and satisfy Samsung’s standards in supplying products and accessories for the corporation’s plants in Vietnam.

    With great efforts to seek and connect Vietnamese vendors, the number of Samsung’s tier-1 Vietnamese vendors has increased dramatically from four businesses in 2014 to 29 at the moment.

    Working towards the target of having 50 Tier-1 vendors by 2020, while creating support for the development of the Vietnamese supporting industries, Samsung has collaborated with the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT) to expand the business consultation programme by establishing an advisory board in order to build and implement the programme on a larger scale.

    According to Shim Won Hwan, president of Samsung Electronics Vietnam Complex, “The business consultation programme, which has been carried out by Samsung since 2015, has helped 26 Vietnamese enterprises attain many achievements in the process of business reforms and enhance competitiveness. We believe that this consultation model, with the co-operation from MoIT, will create a widespread effect. This is the motivation for us to persevere in our efforts to accompany the development of the Vietnamese supporting industries.”

    Vietnam ranks 8th in tourist arrivals to Korea

    With a rapidly increasing inflow of tourists in 2017, Vietnam now ranks 8th in terms of arrivals to Korea, moving up two places since last year.

    As of November 19, Korea welcomed more than 300,000 Vietnamese tourists, signifying an annual rise of 29.9 per cent even without December. The number of Vietnamese tourist arrivals is expected to reach 330,000 in 2017, according to the Korea Tourism Organisation (KTO) in Vietnam.

    MICE tourism (meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions) also achieved healthy performance. As of November 30, there were over 55,000 MICE tourist arrivals travelling from Vietnam to Korea, up 61.7 per cent against the same period last year.

    More tourism products by local agencies have been launched to cater to Vietnamese tourists visiting Korea. Tour agencies like Fiditour, Vietravel, Transviet Travel, TST Tourist, and Saigontourist have rolled out new Korean winter tours to serve the rising demand. KTO works in collaboration with these agencies to develop 15 Korean winter tour products in the price range of VND14-16 million ($617-705).

    “2017 is a successful year for Vietnam and Korean tourism. With rapid growth and the 8th ranking, Vietnam presents huge opportunities for the Korean tourism sector,” Jung Chang Wook, director of KTO in Vietnam, said.

    He noted that KTO will continue its efforts to develop new and unique products for the Vietnamese market like Hallyu tourism and Korean beauty tourism. The organisation has hosted over 20 seminars to promote Korean tourism in Vietnam, including MICE and medical tours.

    In the upcoming time, Korea will issue attractive programmes to lure in Vietnamese tourists during the 2018 Winter Olympics, which is scheduled to take place from February 9 to 25, 2018 in Pyeongchang county. In particular, Vietnamese visitors have been granted visa-free entry through YangyangInternationalAirport until April 2018.

    VCIC to provide support worth US$75,000 to ideas on smart agriculture

    The Vietnam Climate Innovation Centre (VCIC) will provide support worth US$75,000 to ideas and solutions in smart agriculture at the Vietnam International Exhibition on Machineries & Technologies of Agriculture, Forestry and Fishery (Growtech 2017), being held in Hanoi from November 30 to December 2.

    Co-organised by the ministries of Science and Technology, Industry and Trade, and Agriculture and Rural Development, Growtech 2017 is the first event of its kind in Vietnam.

    Addressing the opening ceremony, Pham Duc Nghiem, deputy head of the National Agency for Technology Entrepreneurship and Commercialisation Development, under the Ministry of Science and Technology, said that the event is not only a chance for professionals and businessmen to exchange new technology products but will also serve as a bridge to help farmers to gain better access to high-tech products.

    Growtech 2017 has attracted more than 60 companies from countries with developed agricultural sectors, such as Israel, the UK, China, Japan, South Korea, Italia, India and New Zealand, to showcase their latest equipment and technologies.

    During the expo, a number of agro technologies and pieces of equipment were introduced, such as hydroponics, urban farming, irrigation solutions, greenhouses, rice planting machines and a sowing robot that received significant attention.

    Under the framework of the expo, two more conferences will be held to discuss the commercialisation of technology in the agricultural sector of Vietnam and strategies to develop the processing and preservation of agricultural products.

    Taiwanese Group eyes Dong Nai food investment

    Taiwan’s Want Want Group is planning to invest in a $160-million rice cake factory in southern Dong Nai province.

    The Group’s CEO Lee Yu Sheng recently held a meeting with the Deputy Chairman of the Dong Nai Provincial People’s Committee to determine its investment policies in the food industry.

    The factory’s estimated investment in the first phase is about $60 million and then $100 million in the second phase.

    Want Want is a multi-disciplinary corporation founded in 1962. It began to produce food and beverages then expanded into other areas such as real estate, hotels, agriculture, medical, insurance, and media.

    According to provincial figures, Taiwan ranks second out of more than 40 countries and territories investing in Dong Nai, with 1,457 valid FDI projects worth more than $27 billion.

    In the first eleven months of this year, Dong Nai attracted 73 FDI new projects worth $586.1 million while 78 existing projects increased their investment, by $330.5 million. Projects include the $60 million Powerknit Vietnam Co. project from the British Virgin Islands, the $80 million in additional capital for the Pou Sung Vietnam project, the $55 million Pou Phong Vietnam Co. project from the British Virgin Islands, and the $24 million Phu Lam Plastic Industry JSC project from Taiwan.

    The provincial Department of Planning and Investment estimates the province will attract FDI worth $1.5 billion in 2017.

    According to provincial authorities, Dong Nai has advantages in climate, with enterprises investing in the province never at risk of suspending operations due to natural disasters. Its industrial zones have good infrastructure, so the cost of building a factory is cheap and transportation is convenient.

    More FDI companies and groups have come to Dong Nai in recent times to determine policies and procedures when investing in the province in the fields of industry, agriculture, and the environment. According to Mr. Olaf Muller, Managing Director of the Eggersmann Equipment Manufacturing Group from Germany, the group is looking to invest in Dong Nai in the field of industrial and waste treatment, with the most modern technology in the world. Dong Nai has a very favorable location for investment because of its large land area, favorable climate, and transportation links.

    Many investors from South Korea, Japan, China, Taiwan, Finland, the US, and France have come to the province with a desire to invest or expand their investment.

    Bosch adds $67 million to Vietnamese plant

    Bosch plans to further strengthen its presence in Vietnam with an additional EUR58 million ($67 million) investment in its gasoline systems facility in the southern province of Dong Nai.

    “With this investment, we are able to meet the rising demand for continuously variable transmission pushbelts from automakers across the Asia-Pacific and North America,” said Peter Tyroller, member of the Bosch board of management responsible for the Asia-Pacific region.

    The additional investment will be used to extend production capacity and construct a new production building within the plant premises. With this investment, the company will have invested a total of EUR321 million ($372 million) in the plant.

    “We are also on the way to turn the plant into a smart factory and started implementing Industry 4.0 solutions,” said Martin Hayes, president of Bosch Southeast Asia.

    The plant started operations in April 2008, producing continuously variable transmission (CVT) pushbelts for automobiles for the global market. By March 2017, the plant reached a significant milestone by producing its 20 millionth CVT pushbelt.

    Bosch has become one of the largest European investors in Vietnam, operating in all four areas: research and development (R&D), manufacturing, sales, and services. Hayes said that, “The establishment of Bosch Vietnam as an organisation ten years ago was an important step for our success story here in the ASEAN.”

    Celebrating its 10th anniversary in the country, Bosch continues seeing great potential in the market.

    “With a population of almost 96 million, a rising middle-income class, high internet penetration, and a growing tech-savvy consumer base, Vietnam has become one of the key growth drivers of Bosch in Southeast Asia,” added Hayes.

    After a fruitful decade, Bosch aims to continue making a difference in the country with its products and solutions as a top employer and by strengthening the local industry.

    Cathay Pacific aircraft to offer Wi-Fi
       
    Cathay Pacific has said it will offer high-speed Wi-Fi on its Boeing 777 and Airbus A330 aircraft from mid-2018.

    It said it plans to offer the service in response to growing demand for in-flight connectivity. It already offers broadband services on its Airbus A350-900 aircraft.

    The carrier’s chief customer and commercial officer, Paul Loo, said: “we have been listening to our customers who have told us that staying connected in-flight is important to them.

    “We envisage that by 2020 all of our wide-bodied aircraft will have in-flight connectivity. This will open up a wealth of opportunities for us to provide more innovative experiences for our customers.”

    Cathay Pacific and Cathay Dragon will be the first major carrier in Asia to adopt Gogo’s 2Ku satellite-based broadband in-flight connectivity technology on their Boeing 777 and Airbus A330 aircraft.

    It will allow passengers to check e-mails, browse the web, access social networks and shop online.

    Minh Anh Group builds garment factory
       
    Minh Anh Group held a groundbreaking ceremony for its garment factory in Quang Son Commune, Do Luong District, central Nghe An Province, on Tuesday.

    The project is built on an area of 6ha with total investment of VND150 billion (US$6.7 million). The project is expected to be completed and put into operation in the second quarter next year.

    After completion, the factory will produce and process some 60 million products per year for the domestic market and exports, and create jobs for 5,000-6,000 workers.

    Nguyen Dinh Sinh, director of Minh Anh-Do Luong Joint Stock Company, said the company would accelerate construction to create jobs, generate income for employees and produce branded products for the domestic market and exports.

    Speaking at the ceremony, Ngoc Kim Nam, chairman of the district People’s Committee, said he hoped the group would focus on speeding up construction and ensuring quality, in addition to continuing to invest in other projects in Do Luong, generating jobs and income for the district’s people and contributing to development. 

    VNN


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  • 12/06/17--00:40: Article 1
  • Social News 5/12


    Hanoi plans to raise parking fees from January, 2018


     Hanoi plans to raise parking fees from January, 2018, Nearly US$8.5 million invested for rural development, “Safety walk” extra-class to be held for primary students in HCMC, Microsoft Office Specialist Championship launched

    At the Hanoi municipal People's Council’s meeting, the Hanoi People’s Committee has proposed to increase car and motorbike parking fees in the city from January 1, 2018 with a popular increase of up to 50 percent.

    Thus,  the new fee for motorcycles will be from VND 3,000 to VND 5,000 a vehicle while the fee for car will increase from VND 30,000- 50,000 per each.

    In some areas, the monthly car parking fee will increase from VND1.7 million to VND2.6 million per each.

    The Ha Noi People's Committee said that the adjustment would not affect to local people's lives because in fact the parking fees which they have been paying for units and individuals are 1.5-2 times higher than the city's proposal.

    Police seize 1,300 unclear-origin poultry in Nghệ An

    Traffic police in the central province of Nghệ An seized a coach transporting nearly 1,300 baby poultry without clear origin on Monday in Diễn Châu District’s Diên Hồng Commune.

    Đỗ Minh Hiếu - the coach driver - failed to show the police legal documents proving the origin of the poultry, the online newspaper Infonet reported.

    According to the initial investigation, Hiếu admitted to the police he was hired to carry the baby poultry from Hà Nội to Nghệ An.

    The police have handed over the baby poultry to the district’s animal health division.

    The case is being investigated further.

    Nearly US$8.5 million invested for rural development

    An international on Saemaul Undong (New Village Movement) was organized in Ho Chi Minh City by the Korea Saemaul Undong Center under the Ho Chi Minh City University of Social Sciences and Humanities in cooperation with the Saemaul Globalization Foundation and the Central Steering Committee for National Target Programme on the New Rural Development.

    The event attracted more than 300 participants from Srilanka, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam, including Associate Professor Dr. Vo Van Sen -principal of the HCM City University of Social Sciences and Humanity; Mr. Lee Sang Woo - Head of Representative Office of Saemaul Globalization Foundation; Dr. Ngo Thi Phuong Lan, Director of Saemaul Undong Center for Rural Development; Pham Thanh Duy Vice director of Saemaul Undong Center for Rural Development.

    The Korean rural development model extensively has been applied in 14 countries including Vietnam.

    In Vietnam, the project has been implemented in 8 villages in 5 provinces, including Thai Nguyen, Bac Ninh, Hue, Ninh Thuan and Hau Giang in the 2014-2021 period with a total capital of US$8.5 million.
    The Saemaul Undong, also known as the New Community Movement, New Village Movement, was a political initiative launched in 1970 to modernize the rural South Korean economy.

    Saemaul Movement has chieved great success in reducing poverty and improving living conditions in rural areas, thus narrowing the urban-rural divide.

    Businesses accompany Vietnam to develop smart industry

    Domestic and international businesses participating in Smart Industry World 2017 have committed to accompanying Vietnam to soon develop the smart industry effectively.

    They made the promise at a meeting with Nguyen Van Binh, head of the Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV) Central Committee’s Economic Commission, in Hanoi on December 4.

    Binh said the Vietnamese Party and State have issued a number of guidelines and policies on industrial development, including smart industry.

    Last year, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc issued a directive on enhancing capacity to access the fourth industrial revolution, the official added.

    However, he said, Vietnam lacks a master plan on the revolution, which is forecast to change production methods of countries and remap the global economy.

    Binh stressed that international businesses play an important role to Vietnam’s industrialisation and modernisation process which is expected to be completed by 2030.

    The Party and State of Vietnam will offer incentives to foreign enterprises and investors who come to the country to introduce state-of-the-art technologies.

    The Economic Commission and other Vietnamese ministries and sectors want to learn from experience of international firms to finalise policies, apply science-technologies and develop human resources, thus creating a favourable environment for the development of the fourth industrial revolution in Vietnam, he said.

    HCMCity plumps for co-operative model to develop agriculture

    HCMCity will adopt the co-operative model to develop its agriculture, the administration has decided.

    Speaking at a workshop on December 3, the city’s Party Secretary Nguyễn Thiện Nhân said: “To develop the city’s agricultural production, besides choosing right plants and animals, the most important factor is choosing the best model.”

    He pointed out that the ratio of agricultural workers in the city has fallen sharply from 5 per cent in 2000 to 1 per cent last year.

    Globally, the co-operative model is the most popular, not households or joint ventures, he said.

    “Households do not know what the market needs: the market wants high-quality products, a large number of them and with brands, and food quality and safety. All can be addressed through the co-operative model.”

    Besides, co-operatives would find it easier to approach banks since they have proper production plans and enough customers, can adopt technology and farm more efficiently than households, he said.

    “If HCMCity wants to sustain its agriculture, authorities must switch the production model from household to co-operatives.”

    Currently, some 77 per cent of the agriculture is carried out by households while co-operatives account for only 5 per cent.

    Lê Thanh Liêm, deputy chairman of the city People’s Committee, said: “Farmers’ profits at co-operatives are 30 – 50 per cent and co-operatives are a must for agricultural development.”

    The city has 230 agricultural production groups and 10–20 per cent of them should be upgraded into co-operatives soon, he said.

    “The city has already issued support policies for newly established co-operatives but related authorities should implement them gradually.

    “The Department of Agriculture and Rural Development along with relevant authorities should educate farmers for them to understand the benefits of the co-operative model and its success.”

    According to the department, the city has 41 co-operatives with 2,235 members, and plans to set up seven model co-operatives in Củ Chi, Hóc Môn, Bình Chánh, Nhà Bè and Cần Giờ districts.

    “The department has suggested that the city should send well-educated staff to manage co-operatives for the first three years at a salary of over VNĐ11 million (US$500) a month,” Trần Ngọc Hồ, deputy director of the department, said.

    Two schoolboys drown in Yên Bái

    Two schoolboys, aged 6 and 9 years, reportedly drowned while playing in Khe Dài Stream in the northern mountainous province of Yên Bái’s Đồng Tâm Ward on Sunday afternoon.

    According to an initial investigation, the two boys fell into the stream when they were playing nearby. The six-year-old boy studied at NguyễnTrãiPrimary School and the nine-year-old boy studied at YênNinhPrimary School.

    Local rescue teams discovered the bodies of the two boys at about 5pm on the same day, after a one-hour-long search.

    Representatives from the locality visited the two boys’ houses to offer condolences to their families.

    “Safety walk” extra-class to be held for primary students in HCMC

    An extra-curricular class will be organized by the academic year 2017-2018 for students in 28 primary schools in Ho Chi Minh City.

    The class “Safety walk” organized by the city’s Department of Education and Training in coordination with the Asia Injury Prevention (AIP) Foundation from December 4, 2017 to March 6, 2018.

    Selected schools to hold the extra classes are these near bus stations in districts 1, 5 and 6.

    Students will be taught how to walk safely and they will practice walking in school yard.

    The extra classes will not affect their general curriculum.

    Iranian film directors to give workshops in HCMCity

    Directing and acting training courses by film director Reza Dormishian and actor Parsa Pirouzfar from Iran will be held at Ho Chi Minh City University of Theater and Cinema on December 11-12.

    The classes launched by the Vietnam Cinema Association are opened for filmmakers, directors, screenwriters, cameraman, stage deisgners, make-up artists, students and lecturers of the movie industry.

    Iranian film director, screenwriter and producer Reza Dormishian is one of the most prominent and distinguished directors of the new generation of the Iranian cinema. His first feature film, Hatred was received well by critics and cinema writers and the Iranian critics gave it three awards , including Best Directing, Best Cinematography, and Best Editing.

    Actor and theater director Parsa Pirouzfar is a founder member of Iranian Theatre Actors Association and also member of Khaneh Cinema (The Iranian Alliance of Motion Picture Guilds), Iranian Film Actors Association (I.F.A.A.), Iranian Theatre Actors Association and The Theatre Forum.

    Microsoft Office Specialist Championship launched

    The Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) World Championship 2018 in Việt Nam was launched on Tuesday by the Hồ Chí Minh Central Youth Union and IIG Việt Nam, an organisation for testing and educational quality accreditation.

    In the national primary examination round, candidates will take the MOS Specialist test – to assess their skills in Microsoft Office, including Microsoft Office 2013, Microsoft Excel 2013 and Microsoft PowerPoint 2013.

    A total of 120 most outstanding candidates will participate in the national final round.

    Three most outstanding candidates from the national final round will take part in the world final round, which will be organised in Florida, the United States, from July 29, 2018 to August 1, 2018.

    The first prize for the world final round will be US$7,000 while the second and third prizes will be $3,500 and $1,500, respectively.

    Speaking at the launch ceremony, Nguyễn Anh Tuấn, secretary of the executive board of the Hồ Chí Minh Central Youth Union, said he highly appreciated the efforts of IIG Việt Nam during the past eight years to bring the competition to Vietnamese students.

    “The competition helps impart information technology teaching and studying based on international norms, helps schools assess their teaching quality, and, therefore, creates good condition to develop young talent in the present international integration scenario,” he said.

    Also at the launch ceremony, the organiser honoured Vietnamese MOS ambassadors who won outstanding achievements at the world final round MOS World Championship 2017. The competition was organised in California in the United States in August this year. The ambassadors are Bùi Mạnh Tú from Lê Hồng Phong High School for Gifted Students in the northern province of NamĐịnh, Dương Quốc Trung from HCM City University of Foreign Trade and Đỗ Tiến Điệp from People’s SecurityAcademy.

    When the competition was first launched in 2010, just some 30 universities and colleges across the country participated. At present, the competition has attracted more than 500 junior secondary schools, high schools, universities and colleges, with more than three million students across the country.

    Viettel to play U21 national event semifinal

    Viettel played outstandingly to tie goalless with Hoàng Anh Gia Lai (HAGL) in the final match of the qualifying round of Group B on December 3.

    This helped them earn the last ticket to compete at the National U21 Football Championships.

    With HAGL already having booked a semifinal ticket, they played with many substitute players, making it easier for Viettel, who needed one more point to enter the next round.

    With efforts and a defence strategy, Military team Viettel succeeded in drawing with mountainous football team HAGL.

    Following this draw, HAGL topped the group, while Viettel ranked second. The two teams will compete against Sông Lam Nghệ An (SLNA) and Becamex Bình Dương, who topped Group A, respectively.

    As scheduled, SLNA will face Viettel in the first semifinal, while HAGL will meet Bình Dương in the other semifinal on December 5 in the southern province of Bình Dương.

    Cường wins first stage of television cycling event

    Phạm Quốc Cường won the first stage of the Bình Dương Television Cycling Tournament, Ống Nhựa Hoa Sen Cup, on December 3.

    Cường of Đồng Tháp triumphed in the 153km stage from the southern province of Bình Dương to Bình Thuận, in which he competed in 3:21.31.

    Nguyễn Minh Luận of the Việt Nam youth team and Hà Văn Sơn of BTV Đại Nam Bình Dương were the runners-up.

    Cường also held the yellow jersey award for the best overall time and the green jersey award for the best sprinter, with 15 points.

    The event has attracted the 10 strongest teams in the country, including HCMCity, Đồng Tháp, An Giang and Đồng Nai with nearly 70 cyclists, more than 20 of whom are now members of the national team.

    They will compete in nine stages, with a total length of nearly 1,100km via the provinces of Bình Thuận, Ninh Thuận, Khánh Hòa and Gia Lai, as well as Kon Tum, Đắk Nông, Bình Phước and Bình Dương.

    The tournament has a total prize of VNĐ400 million (US$17,400), of which the winners of the overall yellow jersey will earn VNĐ60 million ($2,600).

    The event’s organisers will hold charity activities on the sidelines of the event, including giving 900 gifts to disadvantaged households and 90 bicycles to poor students in the provinces the cyclists will pass through.

    The event will be a chance for national cyclists to hone their skills to prepare for the Asian Games to be held in Indonesia next August.

    Tiền Phong golf tourney in Hà Nội

    The Tiền Phong Golf Championship is scheduled to tee off on December 16 at BRG King’s Island Golf Club in the outskirts of Hà Nội.

    The event will feature about 140 golfers from across the country.

    The tournament, which aims to raise money for the Fund for Vietnamese Young Talents, has a total prize fund of VNĐ7billion (US$304,300).

    According to the organising board, about VNĐ500million ($21,700) is expected be collected for the fund during the event.

    It is organised by Tiền Phong (Vanguard) newspaper and the National Sports Administration.

    Minh a victor at Bình Dương cycling race

    Despite the rain, Lê Nguyệt Minh triumphed in the second stage of the Bình Dương Television Cycling Tournament, Ống Nhựa Hoa Sen Cup, on December 4.

    With best sprint in the last metres, Minh from VUS-HCMCity beat strong rivals to take lead with a time of 3:29.40 in the 132km race from PhanRang-ThápChàmCity to Ninh Hòa District in KhánhHòaProvince.

    Minh’s teammates, Lê Văn Duẩn and Mai Nguyễn Hưng finished second and third.

    The national cyclist Minh also won the green jersey with 28 points, followed by Phạm Quốc Cường of Domesco Pharmacy Đồng Tháp with 13 points.

    Although, Phạm Quốc Cường of Đồng Tháp didn’t rank in top three of this stage, he still held the yellow jersey award for the best overall time.

    Today, nearly 70 cyclists will compete in the third stage from Ninh Hòa to Krông Pắk of Đắk LắkProvince, lasting 124km.

    The tournament, which covers nine stages, has a total prize of VNĐ400 million (US$17,400), of which the winners of the overall yellow jersey will earn VNĐ60 million ($2,600).

    Land clearance for Long Thanh airport project sped up

    Tran Van Vinh, Vice Chairman of the Dong Nai province People’s Committee, has urged units involving in site clearance, compensation, support and resettlement of the Long Thanh international airport project to double efforts in order to ensure the feasibility study report to acquire land for the construction is completed in December 2017.

    At a working session with representatives of the units on December 4, Vinh said land reclaiming, compensation, support and resettlement work will target all 5,000ha of the project.

    The work will be carried out for only one time right after Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc approves the report and is expected to come to an end before 2021, he noted.

    Vinh said to ensure the process of the work, Dong Nai is set to build infrastructure of the Loc An-Binh Son and Binh Son resettlement areas, covering a total area of 585ha, in January 2018.

    Land clearance for the first phase of the project is due to be completed in 2018 to ensure the construction begins in 2019 as scheduled, he added.

    He said Dong Nai will send a document to the Transport Ministry to ask for the planning of routes linking to the airport.

    Dang Minh Duc, Director of the provincial Department of Natural Resources and Environment, said the Ministry of Transport has asked Dong Nai to soon establish a steering board for the land clearance, compensation, support and resettlement project.

    The Long Thanh airport project aims to serve 100 million passengers and 5 million tones of cargo each year. It includes three phases with the first one is expected to be done no later than 2025, the second by 2035 and the final after 2035.

    HCM City seeks stronger educational ties with Ontario

    Ho Chi Minh City wants to step up cooperation in general education and vocational training with the Canadian province of Ontario, said Chairman of the municipal People’s Committee Nguyen Thanh Phong.

    At a meeting with Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne on December 4, Phong considered his guest’ first official visit to Vietnam as an illustration of the Canadian Government and Ontario’s interest in the Southeast Asian nation and HCM City.

    Economic cooperation between HCMCity and Ontario remains modest compared to its potential, he said, noting that there are many fields in which they have opportunities to reinforce cooperation, especially the areas matching Ontario’s strength and HCMCity’s demand like information technology, infrastructure building, and automobile assembly.

    HCMCity pledges to provide the best possible conditions for Ontario investors to learn about and invest in the city, thus bringing successes to Canadian businesses and contributing to local development, he added.

    Wynne said Ontario is ready to cooperate and share experience in training teachers and improving general education. It successfully applied public-private partnership in resolving the problem of urban infrastructure construction, and it is ready to share this experience with HCMCity.

    At the meeting, the officials said the two localities share many similarities such as the role in their respective countries’ economies and challenges facing their development like population aging and climate change impacts. These are also chances for them to augment cooperation in the future.

    With 67 projects worth some 110 million USD, Canada now ranks 21st among more than 90 countries and territories investing in HCMCity. Toronto, the capital of Ontario, signed a cooperation agreement with HCM City in 2006.-

    Deputy PM highlights improvements in Vietnam-Kazakhstan trade

    Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh highlighted improvements in Vietnam-Kazakhstan trade ties while receiving Kazakh Deputy Foreign Minister Akylbek Kamaldinov on December 4.

    At the meeting in Hanoi, Deputy PM Minh noted with satisfaction the progress in bilateral relations in various spheres, from politics, economy-trade, to culture, tourism and security.

    Visits by the two countries’ leaders, with the most recent being an official trip to Kazakhstan by National Assembly Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan in October, have created a driving force for multifaceted cooperation.

    He highly valued the initial improvements in bilateral trade since the Vietnam-Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) Free Trade Agreement took effect in October 2016, reaching 184 million USD in the first nine months of 2017 which approximates last year’s figure.

    The two countries need to devise measures to continue carrying out the trade pact in an effective manner, he said, adding that Vietnam is ready to act as a bridge for the implementation of a free trade agreement between Kazakhstan and ASEAN.

    For his part, Deputy Minister Kamaldinov spoke highly of Vietnam’s socio-economic achievements over the past years and congratulated the country on the successful APEC Year 2017.

    He asked the two countries to promote the traditional friendship and win-win cooperation in a substantive fashion, thus meeting the aspirations of the two countries’ Governments and people.

    Earlier, the Kazakh official had a political consultation with Vietnamese Deputy Foreign Minister Dang Dinh Quy.

    The two sides agreed to maintain all-level delegation exchanges and political consultations to boost mutual understanding and bilateral cooperation. They will coordinate closely and support each other at the United Nations, the Conference on Interaction and Confidence-Building Measures in Asia, and other international forums, particularly amid Kazakhstan’s non-permanent membership of the UN Security Council for 2017-2018.

    At the event, the officials also discussed cooperation and security in Asia-Pacific. They underscored the importance of peace, stability, security, safety and freedom of navigation in the EastSea, peaceful settlement of disputes on the basis of international law, and not using or threatening to use force.

    They concurred in bolstering trade and investment ties and creating favourable conditions for the countries’ businesses to partner in their strong fields such as agriculture, processing industry, manufacturing, infrastructure building, and defence industry

    On December 5, Deputy Foreign Minister Akylbek Kamaldinov will co-chair the 8th Meeting of the Vietnam-Kazakhstan Intergovernmental Committee for Economic, Trade, Scientific and Technological Cooperation with leader of the Vietnamese Ministry of Industry and Trade in Hanoi.

    Ho Chi Minh City leader wishes to boost trade with New Zealand

    Secretary of the Ho Chi Minh City Party Committee Nguyen Thien Nhan has expressed his wish to boost trade and tourism with New Zealand, particularly the export and import of farm produce.

    During a reception in Ho Chi Minh City on December 4 for New Zealand Ambassador to Vietnam Wendy Matthews, Nhan lauded New Zealand’s strength in agriculture, adding that the country has poured 57 million USD into 15 projects in the city, a modest figure compared to potential.

    Matthews, for her part, described education as a key field to connect the two countries.

    She vowed to reinforce education and trade ties with Ho Chi Minh City for sustainable development of the two countries.

    In the afternoon the same day, Vice Secretary of the municipal Party Committee and Chairman of the municipal People’s Committee Nguyen Thanh Phong hosted a reception for the Premier of Ontario, Canada Kathleen Wynne.

    Leaders visit Hải Phòng and Hà Tĩnh

    The Government will focus on boosting economic development and ensuring social welfare, Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc told voters in Kiến An Ward in northern HảiPhòngCity yesterday. 

    The PM briefed the voters on Việt Nam’s socio-economic achievements so far this year. Exports expanded by 21 per cent above the planned figure to over US$200 billion. The country has a trade surplus of $2.8 billion, along with over $47 billion in foreign currency reserves in the first 11 months of 2017.

    He also noted that more than 120,000 new firms have been set up, while Việt Nam has attracted over $33 billion in foreign direct investment this year for the first time. Meanwhile, the number of poor households has been reduced significantly and defence and security have been ensured, he said. The APEC Economic Leaders’ Week 2017 and related meetings were held successfully, he added.

    Voter Hoàng Đình Chiến asked the PM to describe the Government’s management in 2018 to ensure sustainable growth and complete the 2015-2020 plan.

    PM Phúc said that in the coming time, along with overcoming the consequences of disaster and ensuring national security, the Government will also work hard to improve social security and welfare. At the same time, the Government will apply drastic measures to combat corruption and wastefulness.

    Answering voter Đinh Đặng Hùng on solutions to develop high technology agriculture, the PM said that the cabinet will continue gathering voters’ opinions on the adjustments to the Law on Land, thus facilitating the development of hi-tech agriculture on a large scale.

    Meanwhile, voter Nguyễn Đức Hạnh showed interest in the Party and State’s policy in protecting sovereignty over seas and islands and cooperation in exploiting maritime resources.

    The Government leader stressed said that Việt Nam resolutely safeguards national sovereignty over seas and islands in line with international law, including the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea 1982.Việt Nam will continue using peaceful measures and negotiations combined with protest to protect this sovereignty, he stated.

    Recalling the EU’s issuance of a yellow card to Vietnamese seafood, the PM said he hopes fishermen will abide by international law in fishing activities. He asked Hải Phòng locals to take the pioneering role in the work.

    On the same day, Deputy Prime Minister Vương Đình Huệ met voters in central Hà Tĩnh Province’s Đức Thọ District.

    Huệ praised achievements made by people and authorities of the district, particularly in building new style rural areas.

    Regarding the construction of safe water projects in rural areas, Huệ said the Government had a plan to provide preferential policies in terms of land lease to lure investors in building safe water supply stations at a low cost. He instructed social policy banks to provide businesses with low-interest loans to implement these projects.

    In order to help promote sustainable agricultural development and ensure incomes for local people, the Government would organise models of production linkage in co-operation with businesses and adjust policies on agricultural insurance, he said.

    At the meeting, local voters voiced their concerns about infrastructure damage from natural disasters, hampered people’s daily activities. They also said illegal sand exploitation along La River has affected the environment and harmed local agricultural production.

    The deputy PM said he would entrust relevant Government agencies or local authorities to address these concerns.

    VFF chief meets New Zealand leaders

    President of the Vietnam Fatherland Front (VFF) Central Committee Tran Thanh Man visited Speaker of the Parliament of New Zealand Trevor Mallard in the country’s capital Wellington on December 5.

    Man, who was in New Zealand from December 3-5, was the first foreign guest hosted by Mallard after taking office on November 7.

    The VFF leader congratulated New Zealand on its successful general election in September 2017 and forming a new government, believing that the New Zealand government and parliament will continue improving the country’s stature.

    Lauding New Zealand’s contributions to the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Leaders’ Meeting recently held in Vietnam, Man affirmed that Vietnam is ready to share experience with New Zealand to fulfill the role of APEC host in 2021.

    The guest asked New Zealand’s parliament and government to continue supporting Vietnamese nationals in the country that now number nearly 7,000, who he said, serve as a bridge for bilateral cooperation.

    The VFF leader welcomed close support between the two countries in regional and global forums, as well as New Zealand’s stance on the EastSea issue in the spirit of respect for international law.

    He expressed his wish to continue receive New Zealand’s support of Vietnam and ASEAN’s stance on the issue.

    Mallard, for his part, briefed his guest about progress in New Zealand’s education sector, adding that New Zealand wants to extend ties with countries, including Vietnam, via education-training collaboration.

    The same day, Man had a brief meeting with Prime Minister of New Zealand Jacinda Ardern.

    Earlier, he met Vietnamese nationals in the country. 

    At present, nearly 2,500 Vietnamese students study in New Zealand. The AucklandHo Chi Minh City direct air route, which opened in June 2016, has been tapped effectively. Two-way trade has grown by nearly 20 percent annually, reaching 900 million USD last year and the figure is estimated to hit 1.7 billion USD by 2020.

    New Zealand currently has 28 valid investment projects worth nearly 101.94 million USD in Vietnam, 41st out of 120 countries and territories investing in the country.

    Vietnam, Cambodia fast-track upgrade of friendship monuments

    The upgrade of 12 Vietnam-Cambodia Friendship Monuments in Cambodia has been completed while work is under way on three others under a joint project, heard a conference in Ho Chi Minh City on December 5.

    At the conference reviewing outcomes of the project on renovating Vietnam-Cambodia Friendship Monuments in Cambodia, the two sides said they have closely coordinated in the work, noting that it is a vivid demonstration of the friendship and neighbourliness between the two countries.

    With financial support of the Vietnamese side, Cambodian localities have ensured progress and quality of the project.

    The two sides agreed to continue effectively implementing contents of the minutes of the second meeting between the Vietnamese Ministry of National Defence and the National Council of Solidarity Front for Development of Cambodia Motherland held in HCMCity on November 24, 2016.

    They will also speed up the progress of the ongoing upgrading projects, aiming to finish the work in the first quarter of 2018.

    At the same time, the Cambodia side will continue to examine friendship monuments in the country and inform the Vietnamese side about their conditions.

    They will propose the Vietnamese and Cambodian Governments construct new friendship monuments in historical sites in Cambodia if necessary.

    New trial run needed for Hà Nội’s first metro line

    Another trial run should be planned for Hà Nội’s Cát Linh–Hà Đông urban railway project, after the first one was cancelled, according to Deputy Minister of Transport Nguyễn Ngọc Đông.

    Đông said the trial run process for the city’s first metro line, which was slated to start in October to prepare for official operation in the second quarter of 2018, missed the deadline so another plan should be set up to replace it.

    The deputy minister of transport was quoted on Bnews online newspaper on Sunday saying that the trial would be developed based on the amount of equipment and trains available, which is dependent on disbursement from China Eximbank.

    “The Ministry of Justice and relevant ministries are completing procedures to put forth the disbursement”, Đông said.

    As of November 24, five out of 13 trains for the railway had been delivered to Hà Nội.

    By May this year, China Eximbank had disbursed US$18.25 million for the project, according to Vũ Hồng Phương, Deputy Director General of the Railway Project Management Unit under the Ministry of Transport.

    The amount, part of a delayed $22.75 million, has been transferred to the Engineering, Procurement, Construction (EPC) contractor, to be paid to sub-contractors.

    About 90 per cent of construction work has been completed by May this year. Equipment installation was underway. However, the delay in capital disbursement had hindered the project’s progress.

    The 13 kilometre Cát Linh-Hà Đông urban elevated railway will have 12 stations and one depot area.

    Out of the initially projected investment of $552 million, $419 million (76 per cent) was sourced from Chinese loans, with the rest matched by the Vietnamese Government.

    Construction started in 2011, but in November 2014 it was announced the project would need a total of $868 million, an increase of $300 million or 160 per cent over the initial estimate.

    An additional preferential loan worth $250.62 million, negotiated three years ago, was signed between the Ministry of Finance and China Eximbank on May 11.

    WWF, Intel continue wetland reforestation project in Long An

    The World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) and the Intel Vietnam - Malaysia on December 5 launched a joint effort to plant 7,000 trees at the Lang Sen Wetland Reserve of the Mekong Delta province of Long An.

    This is a continuation of the project to grow 12,000 trees at the reserve in the previous year, in a bid to restore degraded forests, improve resilience of wetland plants and mitigate negative impacts of flood and drought.

    The planting also aims to provide wood and non-wood products such as cajuput oil, honey and valuable medicinal herbs as well as eco-tourism services to support local residents.

    The project, with the participation of 270 volunteers of Intel Vietnam, will also contribute to the WWF’s strategic plan which helps Lang Sen reserve and local community enhance climate change adaptation.

    Officially established in 2004, Lang Sen Wetland Reserve is among the few natural remnants of the Plain of Reeds (Dong Thap Muoi), and home to almost 400 species of plants and animals.

    Workshop marks 60 years of VN’s ratification of 1949 Geneva Conventions

    The Foreign Ministry and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) held a workshop in Hanoi on December 5 to mark the 60th anniversary of Vietnam’s ratification of the Geneva Conventions of 1949 on international humanitarian law (IHL).

    Nguyen Minh Vu, Assistant to the Vietnamese Foreign Minister, emphasised that Vietnam’s ratification of the 1949 Geneva Conventions was an important milestone demonstrating the country’s respect for and promotion of the enforcement of the IHL in particular and international law in general.

    At present, changes in the forms of armed conflicts and the strong development of science-technology, including the development of tools and weapons used in war, are posing substantial challenges to the interpretation and application of regulations of these conventions, which were drafted in the 19th century.

    Therefore, the workshop also provides a platform for domestic and foreign experts to discuss the latest developments in the interpretation and application of regulations in the IHL, along with international efforts in promoting the IHL enforcement in the world, Vu said.

    Beat Schweizer, head of the ICRC Regional Delegation in Bangkok, said the ICRC highly valued Vietnam’s active support for and leadership in strengthening and developing the IHL.

    The ICRC has established and maintained relations with civil and military organisations of Vietnam to enforce the Geneva Conventions, and hopes to enhance dialogue on IHL-related issues with the Vietnamese Government, he added.

    At the workshop, participants shared Vietnam’s experience in implementing the Geneva Conventions of 1949 during wartime and in dealing with war consequences, raising awareness of the IHL, and stepping up the enforcement of the Geneva Conventions and other contents of the IHL.

    On June 5, 1957, then President Ho Chi Minh signed a document declaring Vietnam’s joining of the Geneva Conventions of 1949. They comprise the Geneva Convention for the Amelioration of the Condition of the Wounded and Sick in Armed Forces in the Field; the Geneva Convention for the Amelioration of the Condition of Wounded, Sick and Shipwrecked Members of Armed Forces at Sea; the Geneva Convention Relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War; and the Geneva Convention Relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War.

    These conventions have had 196 parties, and they are among the few international treaties that have such a large number of member states and are applied around the globe.

    VNN  


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  • 12/06/17--00:42: Article 0
  • More than 200 audits to be conducted in 2018


    More than 200 audits will be conducted in 2018, focusing on State budget use, according to a plan from the State Audit Office of Vietnam (SAV).


    More than 200 audits to be conducted in 2018, social news, vietnamnet bridge, english news, Vietnam news, news Vietnam, vietnamnet news, Vietnam net news, Vietnam latest news, vn news, Vietnam breaking news 

    As many as 50 audits will be conducted on investment projects in 2018


    The audits will be carried out in ministries, centrally-run agencies, cities and provinces,  the General Department of Taxation and its chapters in localities. 

    There will be 23 thematic audits, including examinations of the efficiency of investment preferential policies in economic zones and the management and use of official development assistance. 

    As many as 50 audits will be conducted on investment projects, including metro line 1 – Ben Thanh-Suoi Tien section in Ho Chi Minh City, Ben Luc-Long Thanh expressway, Cat Linh-Ha Dong urban railway in Hanoi, Lai Chau hydroelectric plant, Duong Noi new urban area in Hanoi and Quang Ninh airport. 

    Under the plan, financial reports and the use of State capital and assets by 33 corporations and financial-banking organisations will also be examined.

    The SAV said the audits will focus on major guidelines and policies such as those on the restructuring of economic sectors, the financial market and the State budget. 

    There will be thematic audits in service of the National Assembly’s supervision, covering environmental protection, national disaster prevention and climate change response, with priority given to projects in big cities like HCMCity

    To materialise the state audit development strategy by 2020, the SAV will continue to scale up audit activities.

    VNA


    0 0
  • 12/06/17--01:43: Article 1
  • BUSINESS IN BRIEF 6/12


    Lam Dong tea & silk to be promoted at Da Lat flower festival


     Lam Dong tea & silk to be promoted at Da Lat flower festival, Deputy PM pushes SOE equitisation, Korean firms eye Vietnam partners, Fruits, vegetables export reach 3.16 billion USD in 11 months

    A week-long festival spotlighting tea and silk products of the Central Highlands province of Lam Dong is scheduled as part of the Da Lat flower festival.

    Provincial officials said at a press conference on December 1 that the event will take place from December 23 to 27 in BaoLocCity, where most of the provincial silk products are produced. It will feature activities honouring tea and silk makers, and a silk fashion show.

    Le Hoang Phung, Secretary of the Bao Loc Party Committee, said silk production in Lam Dong is thriving again after years in oblivion.

    During 1997 – 1996, the entire province turned out 500 tonnes of silk threads and 1.8 million metres of silk. Now it produces 1,600 tonnes of silk threads on annual basis and expects to make about 6 million metres of silk in 2017. The sector has thus far created some 12,000 jobs for locals.

    Bao Loc city plans to build the Bao Loc silk brand, with ten firms earmarked to receive brand certification for their silk products during the upcoming festival.

    Deputy PM pushes SOE equitisation

    Deputy Prime Minister Vuong Dinh Hue called for speeding up the equitisation of State-owned enterprises (SOEs) at a recent meeting of the Steering Committee for Business Renovation and Development.

    Hue asked relevant ministries to finalise the regulations describing the rights and obligations of State ownership representatives in order to boost SOE privatisation. He also asked them to submit reports on the results of SOE restructuring in 2017 to the Government.

    Statistics of the Steering Committee for Business Renovation and Development showed that 21 SOEs were equitised between January and November, collecting a total of more than 2.2 trillion VND (97 million USD).

    If enterprises under the Ministry of National Defence were included, 43 SOEs were privatised in the 11-month period. As many as 55 SOEs were scheduled to be equitised this year, equivalent to the number of equitised enterpries in 2016.

    Four SOEs were allowed to delay their privatisation to 2018, which are the Housing and Urban Development Corporation, Vietnam Cement Industry Corporation, Khanh Viet Corporation and Vietnam Television Cable Corporation.

    State capital divestments from January to November collected 25 trillion VND, 20 trillion VND of which came from capital withdrawal from national dairy firm Vinamilk. After liabilities, the divestments were worth more than 5.2 trillion VND in book value.

    In the remaining months of this year, the State expected to collect around 10 trillion VND from equitisation efforts. These include the initial public offerings of Song Da Corporation and Becamex Binh Duong and the sale of the State stakes at IDICO and Thanh Le Binh Duong to strategic investors, as well as the divestment from Sabeco.

    Hue also asked relevant ministries and agencies to hasten the restructuring and renovation of SOEs in 2016-20 period. On November 22, the Government issued Resolution No 121/NQ-CP to address difficulties facing SOE privatisation and speed up the progress.

    Korean firms eye Vietnam partners

    Executives from 20 companies based in the Republic of Korea’s Gyeongsangbuk-doProvince met with nearly 90 Vietnamese counterparts in HCMCity on December 1 to discuss business opportunities.

    The companies operate in sectors like cosmetics; food; beverages; and agricultural produce like rice, fruits, and ginseng.

    Speaking at the Vietnam-Korea B2B Meeting, Hoang Van Anh of the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said the RoK is Vietnam’s third largest trading partner and Vietnam is the RoK’s fourth largest.

    Their trade was worth over 45 billion USD in the first nine months of this year, with Vietnam having a deficit.

    The two have similar agricultural produce, but Vietnamese firms need to learn from their Korean counterparts to improve their production, Anh said.

    “Vietnamese companies should promote technical cooperation with Korean firms in processing farm produce or can work with Korean companies at the event to promote export of their products to Korea.”

    Kim Heung Soo, chairman of the Korean Chamber of Commerce and Industry in the south and centre of Vietnam, agreed with Anh, saying Korean firms should not only think of exporting their products to Vietnam but also consider importing Vietnamese products.

    Vietnam has an abundant supply of farm produce, including many high-value specialities at cheap prices, he said.

    Kim Chang Yil, a representative of Yeongju city businesses, said the RoK has many kinds of farm produce and processed specialities like red ginseng, ginseng, and fruit juices.

    These are of high quality and safe and popular in many countries, he said.

    With its rapid economic development and rising incomes, Vietnam has increasing demand for higher quality products, which the Koreans can offer.  

    The event, part of the RoK-Vietnam Trade and Culture Exchange Festival being held in HCMCity, is expected to further promote bilateral trade, Son In Rak, CEO of Yeoungnam daily newspaper, one of the organisers of the event, said.

    The festival, being held from November 30 to December 4, includes activities like a multi-cultural family reunion, an exhibition of Vietnamese and Korean products, a buyers meeting, art performances and a gala dinner.

    The event is hosted by Gyeongsangbuk-doProvince and Glocal Kim together with the newspaper in collaboration with the VCCI.

    Fruits, vegetables export reach 3.16 billion USD in 11 months

    The export value of fruits and vegetables hit 292 million USD in November, bringing the 11-month figure to 3.16 billion USD, up 43.2 percent annually, according to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development. 

    China, Japan, the US and the Republic of Korea remain major importers with respective market share of 75.6 percent, 3.6 percent, 2.9 percent and 2.6 percent. 

    Strong growth was seen in exports to Japan (67.6 percent), the United Arab Emirates (56.9 percent) and China (52.7 percent). 

    During the month, fruits and vegetables import reached 142 million USD, raising the import value in 11 months by 72.3 percent annually to 1.41 billion USD. 

    The ministry also reported that orange prices further declined in the Mekong Delta to 4,000 – 7,000 VND per kg, or one third of prices last year, mostly due to excessive supply. 

    Meanwhile, durian is sold at 130,000 – 160,000 VND per kg, 20,000 – 30,000 VND higher than imported ones. 

    In late November, supply of several vegetables recovered, leading to slight decrease in prices.

    11-month aquatic products export hit 7.57 billion USD

    Export value of aquatic products is estimated at 728 million USD in November, bringing the 11-month value to 7.57 billion USD, up 18.3 percent annually, according to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development. 

    The US, Japan, China and Republic of Korea (RoK) are the four leading importers, accounting for 58.2 percent of the country’s total shipment value. Markets seeing strong growth include China (67.9 percent), the Netherlands (47.5 percent), the UK (35 percent) and the RoK (29.5 percent). 

    Also in November, aquatic products import hit 150 million USD, raising the 11-month import value to 1.3 billion USD, or a 32.5 percent increase year-on-year. 

    In the Mekong Delta, tra fish used as material for processing plants is priced at 26,000 – 28,500 VND (1.15 – 1.26 USD) per kg, or even 29,000 – 30,000 VND in the provinces of Dong Thap and Vinh Long due to limited supply. 

    Prices of tiger prawn fell to 140,000 – 200,000 VND per kg wholesale.

    Sacombank offers $132 mil credit package to household businesses, small traders
       
    Sacombank has set aside VND3 trillion (US$132.15 million) for preferential loans to household businesses, small traders and firms converted from household businesses in HCMCity.

    The annual interest rate is 6.9 per cent for short-term loans and from 9 per cent for long-term loans.

    At a seminar to connect Sacombank with firms, household businesses and small traders in HCMCity held on November 30, the bank signed agreements to offer preferential credit to 55 customers in the city.

    The bank said it would continue to offer preferential loans to other eligible customers from now until mid-2018.

    Nguyẽn Ngọc Qué Chi, Sacombank’s deputy general director, said the bank has for years offered preferential loans to help enterprises, household businesses and small traders cut back operation costs and improve their competitiveness.

    The bank has taken part in the city’s programme to connect banks with enterprises for the last five years.

    Sacombank together with other banks have provided loans to thousands of enterprises, household businesses and co-operatives in the city’s 24 districts.

    Sacombank alone has provided enterprises and business households with preferential loans of up to VND15.3 trillion under the programme, Chi said.

    In January this year, Sacombank, the State Bank of Vietnam and the HCM City Department of Industry and Trade signed an agreement to provide a credit package of VND3 trillion for preferential loans to businesses operating in five key sectors: support industry, exports, agriculture and rural development, hi-tech application, and small- and medium-sized enterprises.

    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.

    It is expected that by the end of this year, the e-wallet would have at least 2 million users and 10,000 locations accepting payments through the e-wallet. 

    Algeria to export dates to Vietnam

    A representative from Algeria’s Ministry of Agriculture revealed that the country is conducting all necessary procedures to export dates to Vietnam

    Particularly, some Algerian businesses have found Vietnamese partners to negotiate conditions to distribute this product in the Southeast Asian country.

    Officials from the Embassy of Vietnam in Algeria joined nearly 160 Algerian and foreign businesses and diplomats at the third international exhibition on dates opened on December 2 in Biskra province - one of the most agriculture-strong localities in Algeria.

    The three-day event introduces high-grade dates harvested in oases in southern Algeria, including the popular one Deglet Nour.

    It also features handicrafts made from date palms and local farm produce as well as equipment for agriculture, livestock and cultivation.

    Sadek Khalil, Director of the Biskra Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said the expo drew a lot of enterprises from African, European and Asian nations with the main goal of promoting agri-products and seek trade partners.

    Statistics showed that Algeria exports around one million tonnes of dates annually, ranking fourth in the world in the total output (making up about 14 percent) after Iran, Egypt and Tunisia.

    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 among two slowest-selling automotive markets in ASEAN: report

    Vietnam and Brunei were the only two auto markets among members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to have turnover plunge this year, according to a report by the ASEAN Automotive Federation.

    Specifically, Vietnam sold 4.% fewer cars as of November this year compared to the same period last year, a drop from nearly 193,000 cars to just under 185,000.

    The fall was only behind Brunei, which saw a plunge of 7% year-on-year, from over 9,400 cars to around 8,700 in 2017.

    Cars are displayed at a motor show in Vietnam.

    Meanwhile, the markets like Thailand, the Philippines, Indonesia and Malaysia reported growth rates of 1%-1.5% over the same period.

    Myanmar’s recent opening of its market has resulted in car sales rocketing by 80 percent between 2016 and 2017, from 2,900 to 5,300 vehicles.

    Overall, the ASEAN automotive market saw a collective expansion of 5.6%, with growth rates forecast to remain slow in December despite the beginning of end-of-season sales.

    Experts attribute dropping car sales in Vietnam to the fact that consumers are waiting for cheaper cars to become available next year as the country is set to reduce tax on imported auto parts within the ASEAN bloc to 0% starting January 1, 2018, which has been made official via a government decree earlier this week.

    ASEAN is a political and economic organization whose current members include Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam.

    In 2009, its members signed the ASEAN Trade In Goods Agreement (ATIGA), which set the timeline for the gradual reduction of import tariffs among the member countries until 2018, including the lowering of taxes on imported motorized vehicles to zero by that year.

    Vietnamese businesses ready for Industry 4.0

    Vietnam is expected to face both opportunities and challenges brought about by the fourth industrial revolution (Industry 4.0). Vietnam’s small and medium-sized enterprises are doing their best to keep up with latest technologies and global development trends.

    Developing countries like Vietnam are not yet ready for Industry 4.0 due to lagging technology infrastructure and human resources. Since the beginning of this year, Vietnamese enterprises have done a lot of research to be better prepared for the 4th industrial revolution.

    "Enterprises are urged to use the latest production technologies. For example, we can advertise and sell our products online and offer customers a wider range of products and services. We’ve also adopted software applications for better business and customer management and try to stay updated on the Industry 4.0 latest trends.", noted  Nguyen Van Manh, Director of Quang Huy Minerals Joint Stock Company in Hai Phong city.

    Vietnamese enterprises need to revise their business models to include digital technologies.

    According to Le Tuan, Marketing Director of S Vietnam Travel, the three factors that ensure a business’s sustainable development are business knowhow, financing, and human resources. In addition to investment in science and technological development, enterprises should invest more in human resource development.

    "To some extent, technologies will help humans achieve better work results with more precise information and data. However, workers must improve their qualifications in order to control modern technologies. To survive and develop in the fourth industrial revolution, Vietnamese enterprises should pay more attention to training activities to help their staff make full use of technologies.", added Tuan.

    Global giants see Vietnam through beer goggles

    The young, hops-happy economy is alluring for big brewers like Asahi and Anheuser-Busch InBev.

    Traditional markets are as dull as a flat pint. But entrenched interests, tech-like multiples and the mixed experiences of early entrants should caution them to enjoy responsibly.

    Southeast Asia’s fastest growing economy also happens to be one of the last large beer markets to privatise. The country’s brew-friendly culture stands out in comparison with emerging Asian nations like India and Indonesia. In Hanoi, street-side “bia hoi” is common as coffee.

    This ticks a lot of boxes for suitors, as the government prepares to sell a majority stake in Sabeco, the market’s largest player worth more than US$9 billion. Habeco, the Hanoi rival, should follow. But brewers may wish to wait before clinking glasses.

    The opportunity is not news to Big Beer. Heineken has a 5% stake in Sabeco, also known as Saigon Beer Alcohol Beverage Corp, and Carlsberg has a 17% share in Habeco. Both have struggled to win more control and squeeze out rivals.

    For Heineken, Vietnam is its second most profitable market, but that is thanks to sales of Tiger lager and other brands.

    One problem has been delay. The fiscal structure discourages officials from fast-tracking divestment of a tax-paying cash cow. But the bigger issue is price.

    A phased process has driven up shares in Sabeco so they are trading at three times its December 2016 listing price. It now trades at a gobsmacking 43 times forward earnings.

    Multinationals are certainly thirsty for growth. Asian players like Thai Beverage and big Japanese brewers face flattening demand at home.

    This may explain why Asahi paid AB InBev top dollar for a batch of eastern European labels last year: almost 15 times EBITDA, higher than the 12 to 14 times norm.

    The prospect of rivals stepping in is worrying for Heineken and Carlsberg. Either could risk splashing cash to keep competitors out.

    But Sabeco’s enterprise value is now 38 times EBITDA, according to Eikon data. That’s a big bet on uninterrupted growth.

    Vietnamese mangoes officially enter the US

    The US has officially opened the door for Vietnamese mangoes to enter its market, according to the Vietnamese Embassy in WashingtonD.C.

    Dao Tran Nhan, Trade Minister Counselor and Vietnam Trade Office Chief Representative in the US, said the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) approved the import of Vietnamese mangoes into the country.

    He said the USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has announced the license to allow fresh mangoes from Vietnam to enter the US market from December 29, 2017.

    However, fresh mangoes must be subject to regulations, including orchard and packinghouse requirements, irradiation treatment, and port of entry inspection.  The fruit is also required to be imported in commercial consignments accompanied by a phytosanitary certificate issued by Vietnam’s Plant Protection Department, with an additional declaration stating that the consignment was inspected and found free of Macrophoma mangiferae and Xanthomonas campestris pv. mangiferaeindicae.

    This is one of the outcomes of the two countries’ commitments to opening up trade between both sides that their leaders made during US President Donald Trump’s recent visit to Vietnam.

    Vietnam’s garment exports in 2018: prospects and challenges

    Vietnam’s garments and textile industry is approaching the export target of US$31 billion set for this year. Economists predict the sector will continue to prosper next year.

    In 2016 and early 2017, orders from Vietnam’s partner countries fell sharply. In response, domestic garment and textile enterprises have increased their investment in improved production systems, designed more competitive products, and sought new markets.

    As a result, by the end of the third quarter the sector had earned nearly US$23 billion from exports. Fourth quarter revenue is projected to reach US$8 billion, raising the total export turnover to US$31 billion, up 10% over last year.

    If that goal is reached, Vietnam will rank 26th in the world for textile and garment export turnover.

    This achievement is attributed to businesses’ careful preparations and the government’s policy to support the development of auxiliary industries. 2018 is expected to be a thriving year for the industry with 2-digit growth.

    Nguyen Xuan Duong, President of the Hung Yen Garment Corporation, said “In 2018, there might be many orders and a great volume of products but prices will drop. It’s a common trend in all markets and is causing headaches for Vietnamese garment and textile enterprises because all types of input costs including workers’ salaries are on the rise. Increasing labor productivity through improving technology, equipment, and business management is considered the only solution.”

    Pham Tat Thang, a senior researcher with the Ministry of Industry and Trade, said Vietnam's textile and garment import markets are experiencing unforeseen fluctuations caused by trade protectionism.                     

    “Major markets are closing and this affects Vietnam. With competitors like Pakistan and China thriving, Vietnam must improve its competitiveness. Domestic companies should invest more in technology to catch up with the leaders tendency,” Thang noted.

    The industry’s competition is forecast to become fiercer as breakthroughs in science, technology, and IT create rapid changes in production and supply models. Vu Duc Giang, Chairman of the Vietnam Textile and Garment Association called for combining production, development of technology, branding, promotion, and mastering of advanced technologies, especially made-in-Vietnam technologies.

    He added “We have asked the government to prevent the penetration of imitation brands into Vietnam. The Vietnam Garment and Textile Association has been developing many support policies to help the industry and companies in the field grow sustainably.”

    Vietnam’s securities market attracts more foreign capital

    Macro-economic stability, positive economic growth, the government’s efforts to improve the investment environment, and the growing private sector are making the Vietnamese securities market more attractive to foreign investors.

    vietnam’s securities market attracts more foreign capital hinh 0 With its rapid growth, the securities market is becoming an effective capital mobilization channel.

    Over the past few months, the VN Index reached its highest point in 9 years and has increased 17% since the beginning of the year. According to the Ho Chi Minh City Stock Exchange, foreign investors have in the last 8 months invested VND14 trillion in HOSE stocks.

    The growth has been attributed to Vietnam’s clear and extensive economic integration policies. The government has made an effort to promote the private sector and reform SOEs.

    Nguyen Duc Hung Linh of the SSI Company said “Most SOEs own major market shares. The market capitalization will increase once these SOEs are listed.

    Total market capitalization now accounts for half of GDP. If the 100 biggest enterprises are listed that will increase to 80% of GDP. This will attract more foreign investors.”

    The Vietnamese government has implemented macro measures and fine-tuned market management and regulation policies to attract foreign investment.

    Dr. Can Van Luc, a banking financial expert, says the securities market has soared since the National Assembly resolution on dealing with bad debts took effect in August.

    “The resolution specifies requirements for settling bad debts which are very helpful for the banking system. This is the reason bank stocks are increasing. The securities market will grow even more as bad debts are settled,” said Mr Luc.

    More than 11% of investors in Vietnam’s securities market are foreigners. Most of the 45 investment funds are foreign. Economists predict that Vietnam’s securities market will continue to grow and the VN-Index will surpass 800 points.

    Vietnam, Nigeria firms seek opportunities at Hanoi forum

    The Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) hosted the Vietnam– Nigeria Trade and Investment Forum in Hanoi on December 4, giving the two countries’ businesses a chance to seek business opportunities. 

    Speaking at the event, VCCI Vice Chairman Doan Duy Khuong said Vietnam’s total foreign trade has hit 359 billion USD and the country is home to more than 22,000 projects worth upwards 290 billion USD invested by over 100 countries and territories. 

    Vietnam can be an important gateway for Nigerian firms to access large markets, especially the ASEAN, he said, vowing to serve as a bridge for the two nations’ enterprises to do long-term business. 

    According to the VCCI, two-way trade between Vietnam and Nigeria has topped 250 million USD annually over the past five years. Vietnam enjoys big trade surplus with Nigeria, but it buys cashew nuts, cotton, fruits and vegetables from the African country. The two nations hold potential of partnership in agriculture, farm produce processing, apparel, mining and construction materials. 

    Oye Akinsemoyin, Chairman of the Nigeria-Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry, suggested that the two countries should tap each other’s strength to develop the processing industry, including farm produce, while helping each other to boost exports of unprocessed products. 

    Nigerian Ambassador to Vietnam Fransis Efeduma said the African country wants to tap Vietnam’s technology to churn out locally-made products.

    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.

    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.

    Car imports up in November

    Vietnamese businesses spent some US$200 million to import 7,000 completely built-up units (CBUs) in November, according to an estimate of the General Statistics Office (GSO).

    The month saw increases of $45 million in value and 1,000 units in volume in comparison with figures of the previous month.

    GSO said import volume in September and October was 6,000 units per month – the lowest record in the last two years, with values of $155 million and $165 million, respectively.

    The recovery of import turnover of CBU cars in November is mainly attributed to the demand for cars at the end of the year ahead of Tết (Lunar New Year). At the same time, this is also the time when many auto firms complete signed contracts with foreign partners to ship cars to Việt Nam.

    In fact, the market has not shown promising signs for car imports because consumers are still waiting until January 1, 2018, to buy cars imported from Thailand and Indonesia at lower prices once the import tax is reduced to zero per cent in the ASEAN bloc.

    Auto importers have suffered from Government’s Decree 125, which includes a group of auto parts not yet produced domestically on the list of goods enjoying tax incentives at the rate of zero per cent.

    As soon as Decree 125 comes into force on January 1, 2018, some domestic automobile manufacturers and assemblers, such as Trường Hải Auto Corporation (Thaco) and Thành Công Hyundai, reduced the retail price of automobiles by between three per cent and five per cent.

    According to GSO, total import of CBU cars in the 11 months of this year is estimated at 84,000 units, worth over $1.9 billion, down 14.7 per cent in volume and 11.4 per cent year-on-year.

    PVEP achieves 2017 goals ahead of schedule

    The PetroVietnam Exploration and Production Corporation (PVEP) achieved all its 2017 goals by November 29, 32 days ahead of schedule. 

    PVEP fulfilled the task of tapping 3.55 million tonnes of oil and condensate as assigned by PetroVietnam. It also tapped 843 million cu.m of gas out of the total 2.795 billion cu.m that PetroVietnam exploited by October 8, hitting its target 84 days early. 

    Total revenue was estimated at 31 trillion VND (1.37 billion USD) as of late November, 1 percent higher than the target while revenue to the State budget reached 7.8 trillion VND, 12 percent above the yearly plan. 

    PVEP General Director Ngo Huu Hai said 2017 is the third consecutive year petrol prices have been kept low, making it hard for PVEP to find capital. To counter this, it cut unnecessary investment, restructured divisions and saved operating costs. 

    Between now and the year’s end, PVEP will continue tapping additional 1.3 million tonnes of crude oil and 1.5 billion cu.m of gas as assigned by the Government, contributing to gross domestic product growth and State budget collection.

    Operator says will maintain tollgate despite repeat protests

    The toll plaza on National Highway 1A passing through Tien Giang Province’s Cai Lay Town will not be relocated despite repeat protests by drivers, said a representative of the tollgate operator.

    Talking to the media on the morning of November 30 after the tollgate, known as BOT Cai Lay, resumed  operation after a three-month-and-a-half interruption, Luu Van Hao, vice chairman of National Highway No. 1 Tien Giang Investment Co., Ltd (BOT Tien Giang), said there would be no relocation of the tollgate even when drivers reacted strongly as they did last August.

    “That [tollgate relocation] will not happen… Toll collections will be as usual,” he said in reply to a question about whether the tollgate would be relocated over drivers’ strong reactions.

    Even in the case that the Ministry of Transport reimburse the investment spent on improving National Highway 1, Hao said his company would still not think of relocating the tollgate from the national highway to the bypass.

    Drivers have long demanded that the tollgate be relocated to the bypass developed by the company, saying it is illogical for the gate to stay on the national highway as the investor had spent just a small sum upgrading a section of the highway.

    Soon after the BOT Cai Lay tollgate restarted operation yesterday, many drivers objected to paying the fees, albeit lower than before, so they used banknotes of small denomination such as VND200 and VND500 or those of big denomination like VND500,000, leading chaotic traffic congestion there.

    Given the heavy traffic jam, it had to let vehicles pass free at 12:30 p.m.

    With regard to the inspection of the investment and the toll collection duration, according to Hao, the ministry has just reconsidered the value and the legality of the project. Details about the duration will be taken into account once the final valuation is worked out.

    Loan rates expected to fall after Tet

    Large banks have hiked their annual deposit rates over the past two weeks to raise more capital to meet the rising demand for loans in the lead up to the Lunar New Year, or Tet, but post-Tet lending rates are expected to fall, according to Dau tu Chung khoan newspaper.

    At VietinBank, the rates for six- to nine-month deposits have edged up to 5.8% from 5.5-5.7%. The rates for tenors of 12 months and more than 36 months are 6.8% and 7% respectively.

    BIDV has also revised up its interest rates for savings of one and two months to 4.8%. The rates are 5.2% for three-month savings and 6.9% for deposits of nine months or longer.

    Le Minh Hung, governor of the State Bank of Vietnam (SBV), said the central bank has told commercial banks to speed up the settlement of bad debt, reduce unprofitable assets and cut interest rates to help enterprises lower costs.

    However, interest rates at banks in Vietnam depend on many factors such as capital demand and supply, macroeconomic development, exchange rate stabilization policy and the banking system’s security.

    The Government and the central bank will keep inflation low and ensure liquidity at banks to cut lending rates.

    Banks currently offer an average annual lending rate of 8% for medium- and long-term loans and 9-10% for other loans.

    In addition, interbank interest rates for both Vietnam dong loans and deposits from November 13 to 17 increased by between 22 and 125 basis points for many tenors. The same situation was also seen at transactions in U.S. dollar with an increase of 10 to 166 basis points.

    SBV has injected VND20.6 billion (US$0.91 million) via open market operations (OMO) channel and issued VND1.9 trillion worth of new promissory notes while debt falling due this week totaled over VND12.2 trillion.

    Thus, the central bank has net injected VND10.305 trillion into the market, taking the total net injections via the two channels to nearly VND10.33 trillion.

    According to a report of the National Financial Supervisory Commission, the amount mobilized in the first ten months of 2017 grew 12% over last year while the central bank reported credit growth of 13.66% in the period.

    HCMC: Real estate firms outnumber other sectors

    The number of newly-established enterprises in HCMC in the year to end-November has surged, with property companies making up the largest proportion, 42.2%, according to the city government.

    In January-November, nearly 37,600 enterprises were set up with total registered capital of VND500.8 trillion (US$22.04 billion), up 14.1% and 87.9% year-on-year respectively.

    The number of enterprises in wholesale and retail, and automobile and motorcycle repair sectors ranked second with 15.7%, followed by construction firms with 12.1%, and those specializing in science, technology, consulting, design and advertising with 6.8%.

    Real estate businesses had total registered capital of VND212.2 trillion, surging 95.3% over the year-ago period.

    The city has encouraged household businesses to convert into enterprises, and in the 11-month period, nearly 2,800 family-run businesses turned into firms.

    As for foreign investment, the city attracted US$5.57 billion in the period, up a staggering 96.6% over the same period last year.

    Most of the new foreign investments were committed to property projects, amounting to VND984 trillion equivalent, 50.8% of the total, followed by processing, manufacturing, wholesale and retail sales, and repairs of automobiles and motorcycles.

    Samsung pledges support for local firms to join supply chain

    Samsung Vietnam on November 30 reiterated its promise to continue assisting Vietnamese firms in improving performance so that they can participate in the South Korean corporation’s supply chain.

    General director of Samsung Vietnam Shim Won Hwan told chairman of HCMC Nguyen Thanh Phong at a meeting here on November 30 that the corporation will send Korean experts to local firms to provide technical support.

    The meeting with the leader of HCMC where Samsung operates a sprawling electronic complex came just one day after the Korean conglomerate had a meeting in Hanoi with local suppliers on Wednesday (see related story page 2).

    At the meeting, Phong spoke highly of Samsung’s success in Vietnam, especially in HCMC. The city’s leader pledged to create favorable conditions for Samsung to expand its operations in HCMC.

    The Korean firm has become the largest foreign investor in Vietnam, with its total investment pledges amounting to US$17 billion. Particularly, Samsung has invested US$2 billion in the Samsung Electronics HCMC CE Complex at the Saigon Hi-Tech Park in District 9.

    Samsung expected exports of electronic products made or assembled in Vietnam would reach more than US$50 billion this year.

    At present, less than 30 of 100 businesses involved in the supply chain of Samsung Vietnam are local firms. The remainders are foreign-invested enterprises or joint ventures.

    The corporation expected there will be 50 local firms becoming its suppliers by 2020.

    In fact, many foreign-invested companies have said they are struggling to find Vietnamese suppliers, especially those able to provide hi-tech components.

    Taiwanese Group eyes Dong Nai food investment

    Taiwan’s Want Want Group is planning to invest in a $160-million rice cake factory in southern Dong Nai province.

    The Group’s CEO Lee Yu Sheng recently held a meeting with the Deputy Chairman of the Dong Nai Provincial People’s Committee to determine its investment policies in the food industry.

    The factory’s estimated investment in the first phase is about $60 million and then $100 million in the second phase.

    Want Want is a multi-disciplinary corporation founded in 1962. It began to produce food and beverages then expanded into other areas such as real estate, hotels, agriculture, medical, insurance, and media.

    According to provincial figures, Taiwan ranks second out of more than 40 countries and territories investing in Dong Nai, with 1,457 valid FDI projects worth more than $27 billion.

    In the first eleven months of this year, Dong Nai attracted 73 FDI new projects worth $586.1 million while 78 existing projects increased their investment, by $330.5 million. Projects include the $60 million Powerknit Vietnam Co. project from the British Virgin Islands, the $80 million in additional capital for the Pou Sung Vietnam project, the $55 million Pou Phong Vietnam Co. project from the British Virgin Islands, and the $24 million Phu Lam Plastic Industry JSC project from Taiwan.

    The provincial Department of Planning and Investment estimates the province will attract FDI worth $1.5 billion in 2017.

    According to provincial authorities, Dong Nai has advantages in climate, with enterprises investing in the province never at risk of suspending operations due to natural disasters. Its industrial zones have good infrastructure, so the cost of building a factory is cheap and transportation is convenient.

    More FDI companies and groups have come to Dong Nai in recent times to determine policies and procedures when investing in the province in the fields of industry, agriculture, and the environment. 

    According to Mr. Olaf Muller, Managing Director of the Eggersmann Equipment Manufacturing Group from Germany, the group is looking to invest in Dong Nai in the field of industrial and waste treatment, with the most modern technology in the world. Dong Nai has a very favorable location for investment because of its large land area, favorable climate, and transportation links.

    Many investors from South Korea, Japan, China, Taiwan, Finland, the US, and France have come to the province with a desire to invest or expand their investment.

    VNN


    0 0
  • 12/06/17--01:52: Article 0
  • Vietnamese police to fine sleeper bus driver for overtaking truck on mountain pass

    The dangerous maneuver was caught on the GoPro camera of a motorcyclist


    ​Vietnamese police to fine sleeper bus driver for overtaking truck on mountain pass 

    A Thanh Buoi sleeper bus overtakes a truck on the Bao Loc mountain pass in LamDongProvince in this still photo taken from social media footage.


    Police in Vietnam are moving forward with fining the driver of a sleeper bus that was filmed illegally overtaking a truck on a precarious mountain pass.

    The driver, 39-year-old Nguyen Viet Hoang, and representatives of Thanh Buoi Bus Company, which owns the sleeper bus, were summoned to the police station on Monday to complete paperwork for the fine.

    According to Cu Tuan Nghia, deputy traffic police chief of LamDongProvince, where the incident happened, Hoang were identified as the one behind the wheel of a Thanh Buoi sleeper bus in a clip uploaded to social media early this month.

    In the half-a-minute-long footage shot with the GoPro camera of a motorcyclist moving in the opposite direction, the sleeper bus could be seen overtaking a long truck at high speed while taking a narrow bend on the Bao Loc mountain pass in Lam Dong, located in the Central Highlands.

    The mountain pass is a part of National Highway 20 that connects Ho Chi Minh City with Lam Dong.
    The pass runs 10 kilometers at an elevation of 1,500 meters above sea level.

    Overtaking is not allowed on that section of the pass, Nghia said, and the sleeper bus driver violated another traffic law by not turning on its blinkers during the dangerous maneuver.

    The bus barely missed hitting the motorcyclist, as it occupied almost the entire opposite lane during the attempt on November 29.

     The driver admitted to his violations at the police station and accepted a disciplinary action of one month of unpaid suspension from his job imposed by the company.

    Lam Dong police officers have requested that the sleeper bus in question be brought in for determining its speed while traveling on the mountain pass.

    According to current regulations, sleeper buses taking the pass are not permitted to travel faster than 40 kilometers per hour, Nghia explained.

    A probe is pending into whether Hoang violated the speed limit before an official fine is issued, he said.

    Thanh Buoi is a transport company that operates shuttle buses between Ho Chi Minh City and Lam Dong’s Da Lat City, and between the southern hub and the Mekong Delta city of Can Tho.

     Tuoi Tre News


    0 0
  • 12/06/17--23:26: Article 2
  • Social News 6/12


    Photo exhibition on Vietnam-Laos relations opens in Vientiane 

     Photo exhibition on Vietnam-Laos relations opens in Vientiane, Chinese nationals expelled over false visa information, ASEAN students gather to build prosperous bloc, Worshipping of Mother Goddesses introduced in Russia
    VNA Director General Nguyen Duc Loi (R) and visitors at the photo exhibition


    A photo exhibition on Vietnam-Laos relations opened at the Lao National Cultural Hall in Vientiane on December 6 to mark the Vietnam-Laos, Laos-Vietnam Friendship and Solidarity Year 2017.

    The exhibition, jointly held by the Vietnam News Agency (VNA) and the Lao News Agency (KPL), will last until December 9.

    On showcase are over 100 black and white and colour photos captured by Vietnamese reporters reflecting solidarity and cooperation of Vietnamese and Lao people in resistance wars against colonists and imperialists and each country’s nation building and safeguarding cause.

    Speaking at the opening ceremony, VNA Director General Nguyen Duc Loi stressed that the year 2017 is of significance to the bilateral relations as numerous activities have been held to celebrate the 55th anniversary of diplomatic ties (September 5) and 40 years of the signing of the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation.

    This is also a chance for the countries’ Party members and people to gain full and deep understanding of the importance of the relations.

    Lao Deputy Minister of Information, Culture and Tourism Savankhone Razmonty spoke highly of the organisation of the exhibition of VNA and KPL, affirming that it manifests not only the traditional friendship and special solidarity between Laos and Vietnam, but also the long-lasting cooperation between the two news agencies.

    According to the official, the collaboration has become an important factor boosting the development of information and communications in the two countries, and contributing to encouraging young generations to maintain and nurture the special solidarity and comprehensive cooperation between Laos and Vietnam.

    After the exhibition, the VNA will present all exhibited photos to the KPL to serve the dissemination work about the bilateral relations.

    Chinese nationals expelled over false visa information

    A group of 52 Chinese were given administrative fines and forced to return to China, the police of QuảngNinhProvince reported.

    According to the province’s immigration department, the Chinese nationals were fined in connection with providing false immigration information.

    The police reported that the group came to Việt Nam on tourist visas, but, in fact, after entering, they hired hotel rooms in QuảngNinhProvince’s MóngCáiCity to operate an online trading activity via China’s Tabao website.

    Upon checking their rooms in Kim Hoàng Hotel in Trà Cổ Ward, the police found 40 laptops, 25 computers and some other equipment used for their illegal trading.

    The group comprises 46 men and six women.

    ASEAN students gather to build prosperous bloc

    The Ho Chi Minh City National University, the Can Tho University and the ASEAN University Network (AUN) jointly held the second student affairs network meeting and the sixth ASEAN student leaders' forum in 2017 in Ho Chi Minh City on December 6.

    Associate Prof. Dr. Huynh Thanh Dat, Director of the Ho Chi Minh CityNationalUniversity said that the annual events aim to strengthen exchanges and the sharing of viewpoints and commitments of officials in charge of student affairs and students’ associations of the AUN member universities.

    The events drew more than 90 delegates from 22 AUN universities. Exploring commitments and actions for a prosperous ASEAN, the forum focused on strengthening students’ skills to prepare for the free labour movement in the ASEAN region.

    Running through December 9, the event will highlight challenges and opportunities for youngsters stemming from the ASEAN free labour movement, as well as necessary skills for students to join the movement, and the role of the AUN member universities in support students during the integration process.

    Participants will also discuss support commitments for students to become well-prepared for the movement.

    They will join many cultural exchanges and activities to explore the development history of Ho Chi Minh City and Mekong delta Can Tho city.

    HCMCity get-together marks Japanese emperor’s birthday

    Japanese Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko during avisit to Vietnam in March 2017

    A get-together was held by the HCM City Union of Friendship Organisations (HUFO) and the Vietnam-Japan Friendship Association of HCM City on December 6 to mark Japanese Emperor Akihito’s birthday (December 23, 2017).

    The event was attended by Japanese Consul General Kaweue Junichi, Japanese businessmen and people living in HCMCity.

    Congratulating Emperor Akihito on his 84th birthday, President of the Vietnam-Japan Friendship Association of HCM City Nguyen Cong Tanh said this year’s celebration of the Japanese emperor’s birthday takes place when the two countries’ relationship is in its prime after they established the diplomatic ties 44 years ago.

    This year, Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko visited Vietnam for the first time, greatly contributing to the development of the bilateral relations in all fields, particularly politics, economics, culture and people-to-people exchange, he noted.

    Tanh added that the association will closely coordinate with the Consulate General of Japan in HCMCity and other Japanese organisations to host a wide range of events in celebrations of the 45th anniversary of the Vietnam-Japan diplomatic relationship in 2018.

    Consul General Kawaue Junichi thanked the HUFO and the Vietnam-Japan Friendship Association of HCM City for the celebration event and said he hopes to receive continued support from the two organisations in cultural exchange activities between the two nations in HCMCity in 2018.

    Worshipping of Mother Goddesses introduced in Russia


     Photo exhibition on Vietnam-Laos relations opens in Vientiane, Chinese nationals expelled over false visa information, ASEAN students gather to build prosperous bloc, Worshipping of Mother Goddesses introduced in Russia 

    A seminar was held in Moscow, Russia, on December 5 to introduce the Vietnamese worship of Mother Goddesses of the Three Realms.

    Mother Goddess worship, which was officially recognised by UNESCO as an intangible cultural heritage of humanity in late 2016, is a traditional practice in Vietnam with a long history, having stood the test of social changes. The belief in Mother Goddess reflects people’s desire for health, wealth and fortune.

    Speaking at the event, Venerable Thich Tam Kien briefed participants on cultural values of the belief.

    According to him, the Mother Goddess Worshipping belief is very important to Vietnamese people. The Mother Goddesses are Thoai Thoai who is in charge of Water, Thuong Thien (Lieu Hanh) who is in charge of the Heaven, Dia in charge of Earth and Thuong Ngan in charge of Mountains and Forests.

    The “hau dong” ritual is the most important part in practising the worship, Kien added.

    The practitioners are comprised of temple guardians, ritual priests, spirit mediums, mediums’ assistants, musicians who perform the songs for the spirits, disciples and lay adherents who share the same beliefs in the spiritual power, supernatural strength and protection of the Mother Goddess spirit pantheon. All of these practitioners form groups who worship together, take part in traditional festivals and perform spirit possession rituals at temples and palaces dedicated to Mother Goddesses.

    Vietnamese Ambassador to Russia Nguyen Thanh Son said that the event was a good chance to introduce to Vietnamese people living in Russia and Russian friends Vietnam’s world-recognised cultural heritage.

    Photo exhibition showcases Argentine tourist attractions

    An “Exhibition of Tourism Photos of Argentina” opened at Ho Chi Minh City’s Youth Cultural House on December 4 night.

    Organised by the Embassy of Argentina in Vietnam, the exhibition aims to introduce visitors in HCMCity and southern provinces to the beautiful landscapes and culture of Argentina. It includes 18 photos featuring famous tourist attractions in the country.

    One of the highlights is the image of Perito Moreno Glacier in the LosGlaciaresNational Park in Santa CruzProvince. The glacier, covering about 250 square kilometres, became a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1981.

    Photos of Buenos Aires and the MaderoHarbour and Planetario, and The Galileo Galilei planetarium are shown as well.

    Each photo includes written information about tourist services of each destination.

    The exhibition will close on December 9. The cultural house is located at
    4 Pham Ngoc Thach street
    in District 1.

    Vietnam National University continues to adopt CDIO

    The Vietnam National University - Ho Chi Minh City (VNUHCM) will continue to adopt conceiving-designing-implementing-operating (CDIO) as the framework for its member universities’ curriculum planning and outcome-based assessment until 2020.

    At its conference held on December 4 to review implementation of the CDIO Initiative since 2010, the university also called for adopting the framework for the country’s entire higher education system to develop an educational model appropriate for Industry 4.0.

    The CDIO Initiative focuses on incorporating entrepreneurial thinking in technical programmes whose students are often very technically skilled and know how to solve well-defined and often non-realistic problems.

    The initiative was designed as an innovative educational framework for producing the next generation of engineers.

    But the VNUHCM has also adopted it for non-engineering majors at some member universities.

    Assoc Prof Dr Nguyen Hoi Nghia, Vice President of the VNUHCM, said the CDIO Initiative is a standard educational framework to help set up and carry out training programmes to achieve comprehensive development of knowledge, skills, virtue, and capacity.

    Graduates from universities that have adopted the initiative have been able to work in other member economies of the ASEAN Economic Community and elsewhere in the world, he said.

    Thirteen universities in Vietnam have learnt about the CDIO for possible adoption while more than 100 universities around the world have already adopted it.

    A representative of VNUHCM-University of Technology, whose mechanical engineering faculty was one of the first two departments to adopt the initiative in 2009, said many enterprises have appreciated its alumni’s communication, teamwork and leadership skills.

    According to VNUHCM-University of Social Sciences and Humanities, it has adopted the CDIO model in its journalism and communication, English linguistics and literature, and education management courses since 2015, and it has played a vital role in improving quality.

    Vietnamese Culture -Tourism Festival in RoK opens

    The Vietnamese Tourism-Culture Festival will be held in the Republic of Korea (RoK) as part of activities celebrating the 25th anniversary of the Vietnam-RoK diplomatic relations (December 22), according to Vietnam’s Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism.

    During the festival, a tourism promotion programme will introduce tourism potential and policies of Vietnam as well as new tourism products of the country. The event is expected to draw 100 delegates from RoK travel firms and media agencies.

    According to the Korean Tourism Organisation in Vietnam, 2017 is a successful year of the RoK tourism sector in Vietnam. As of November 19, over 302,200 Vietnamese tourists visited the RoK, a rise of 29.9 percent year on year, making Vietnam the eighth largest market of the RoK.

    Vietnam is also a popular destination for RoK travelers, welcoming over 1.54 million arrivals in 2016, up 38.7 percent compared to 2015. At the end of November this year, more than 2.15 million RoK tourists came to Vietnam, a surge of 55.3 percent year on year. The RoK ranks second only after China in the number of visitors to the Southeast Asian country.

    Vice Director of the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism Ha Van Sieu said that over the past years, tourism cooperation between Vietnam and the RoK has been growing. He expressed his hope that in the coming time, businesses of both sides will foster connectivity, contributing to lifting bilateral tourism ties to a new height, thus boosting socio-economic growth in both countries.

    PM promises optimal conditions to Korean investors

    The Vietnamese Government always supports and creates favourable conditions for domestic and foreign investors, including those from the Republic of Korea (RoK), to expand business operations in the country, said Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc.

    PM Phuc made the statement while receiving Chang Dae-Whan, Chairman of the RoK-based Maekyung Media Group, in Hanoi on December 5.

    He lauded the coordination between Maekyung and the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) to hold a Vietnam-RoK economic forum, marking the 25th founding anniversary of diplomatic relations between the two countries.

    The PM said Vietnam wants RoK groups to develop manufacturing hubs in different fields such as electronics and auto components in the country, adding that investors must ensure environmental standards.

    As a major communications group in the RoK, Maekyung needs to disseminate more information so as to encourage Korean enterprises to invest in Vietnam, thus contributing to the bilateral friendship and cooperation, he said.

    Chang Dae-Whan said Vietnam is emerging as a leading nation in ASEAN, adding that the RoK government expects that the Vietnamese government will provide more support for Korean enterprises, particularly for those who are carrying out major industrial projects.

    He expressed his belief that the Vietnam-RoK economic forum would be a success, thus attracting more Korean investments into the country.

    Vice Chair of EP’s Int’l Trade Committee welcomed in Hanoi

    Deputy Prime Minister Vuong Dinh Hue hosted a reception in Hanoi on December 5 for Jan Zahradil, Vice Chair of the Committee on International Trade under the European Parliament (EP) and Chairman of the Friends of Vietnam Group at the EP.

    Hue thanked Zahradil for his efforts to help establish the Friends of Vietnam Group at the EP as well as his contributions to the relationship between Vietnam and the European Union (EU) and between the Vietnamese National Assembly and the EP.

    He stressed the important role and contributions of the Committee on International Trade to the two sides’ economic and trade cooperation process.

    According to him, the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) is one of the excellent agreements on trade liberalisation.

    Vietnamese ministries and agencies are checking the draft EVFTA and Investment Protection Agreement and will reply the EU soon, Hue said.

    The Vietnamese Government wants to welcome the Friends of Vietnam Group to the country in the soonest time, he added.

    Jan Zahradil stated that the Friends of Vietnam Group at the EP plays an important role in canvassing the EP to approve the EVFTA in 2018.

    Once taking effect, the agreement will stimulate bilateral economic, trade and investment ties, thus helping meet aspirations of the two business communities.

    He shared the group’s stance of avoiding the supplementation of non-trade matters to the EVFTA in order to soon submit it to the EP and the Vietnamese NA for discussion and approval.

    NA Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan meets Can Tho voters

    National Assembly Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan had a meeting with voters in Phong Dien town of the Mekong city of Can Tho to brief them on the outcomes of the NA’s fourth session.

    Phong Dien voters spoke highly of the outcomes of the session, saying NA deputies performed soundly their role and the PM and ministers frankly clarified issues asked by deputies.

    They raised their opinions on various issues, including education, anti-corruption, BOT (build-operate-transfer) toll fee collection, health insurance, markets for agricultural products, and credit support for high technology application.

    Answering the voters’ question on transport-related BOT projects, the top legislator acknowledged some problems in the location of toll stations, toll fee level and duration of toll fee collection. She cited the postponement of the operation of Cai Lay BOT toll station as a lesson in the work.

    She clarified that the NA Standing Committee issued a resolution on some tasks and solutions to continue completing and speeding up the implementation of some legal policies in investment and exploitation of some transport works in BOT form. In the future, the NA will continue to supervise the work.

    On anti-corruption issues, the NA Chairwoman said that the NA is considering the adoption of the revised Anti-Corruption Law. She stressed the Party and State’s policy of focusing on prevention corruption and applying strict punishments on violators.

    Responding to voter Trang Huu Thu’s worry on impacts of the addition of environmental fee to petrol price on production, Ngan said that a suitable roadmap will be designed to minimise the impacts on the life and production of the people.

    Meanwhile, replying voter Nguyen Kim Chi’s request on solutions to problems in health care services for health insurance card holders such as overload situation and limited number of paid medicine, Ngan said that the NA will consider measures to deal with the matters during discussion of the outcomes of the Law on Health Insurance.

    She also stressed the important role of the people in monitoring the implementation of policies and laws related to health insurance.

    US Pacific Command finances kindergarten in Thua Thien-Hue

    A kindergarten built with funding granted by the US Pacific Command was inaugurated on December 5 in Quang Dien district in the central province of Thua Thien-Hue.

    Located in Quang Vinh commune, the two-storey building consists of 10 classrooms, with construction costs amounting to 531,328 USD.

    The school will help improve kindergarten infrastructure in Quang Dien to meet national standards. The location is also earmarked as a shelter for local residents during storms and floods.

    On this occasion, leaders of Thua Thien – Hue extended their gratitude to the US Pacific Command and US Embassy in Vietnam for their aid, thus contributing to the province’s socio-economic development.

    Thai late King Bhumibol’s birthday marked in HCMCity

    The Thai Consulate General in Ho Chi Minh City held a ceremony in the city on December 5 to mark the 90th National Day of Thailand and the birthday of late King Bhumibol Adulyadej.

    Addressing the event, Thai Consul General in Ho Chi Minh City Ureerat Ratanaprukse highlighted the devotion of the late Thai King to the country’s development on the foundation of efficiency economy philosophy.

    The King’s birthday, December 5, has been chosen by the United Nations as the Soil Day in honour of his initiatives related to soil.

    Regarding the Vietnam-Thailand relations, the diplomat underscored the dynamism and the sound economic-political partnership between the two countries with many visits of senior leaders as well as growing trade and investment cooperation.

    Meanwhile, Le Thanh Liem, Vice Chairman of the Ho Chi Minh City People’s Committee conveyed greetings to Thai people on the day, while showing his belief that the friendship and all-round collaboration between the two countries and the relations between the city and Thai localities will continue thriving.

    Liem noted that Thai investors are running 458 projects worth 8.2 billion USD in many Vietnamese localities. Thailand is the 10th largest out of 116 foreign investors in Vietnam.

    With more than 180 invested projects with total investment of more than 270 million USD, Thailand is the 13th biggest foreign investor in Ho Chi Minh City, he said.

    In 11 months of 2017, trade between the city and Thailand reached nearly 2.7 billion USD, while over 100,000 Thai tourists visited the city in the period, added Liem.

    Conference seeks to lure Chinese investments in Vietnam

    The Bank of China in Ho Chi Minh City and China’s Shenzhen Stock Exchange held a conference in HCMCity on December 5, aiming to seek cooperation with Vietnamese securities companies to lure Chinese investment to Vietnam.

    Speaking at the conference, a representative from the Vietnamese Ministry of Planning and Investment said Vietnam is exceptional among major markets in Southeast Asia.

    The official explained that in the first 11 months of this year, especially November, many foreign companies participated in divestments of Vietnam’s State-run groups and corporations.

    Vietnam’s stock market has grown the best in the region, even surpassing Thailand, Indonesia and the Philippines, with the index up 45 percent compared with earlier this year, the official said.

    Hanoi leader receives Canada’s Ontario Premier, Pakistani guest

    Chairman of the People’s Committee of Hanoi Nguyen Duc Chung hosted a reception on November 5 for Premier of Canada’s Ontario state Kathleen Wynne, during which the two sides sought measures to forge cooperation in many areas.

    Chung expressed hope that the visit will strengthen bilateral collaboration in education and training, high technology application on administrative reform, health care, human resources, tourism, green technology transfer, and business experience exchange.

    Chung noted that Ontario is running 22 projects worth nearly 6 million USD in Hanoi, while two-way trade reached about 100 million USD. However, he said potential remains to improve ties, stating that Hanoi wishes to work with Ontario in all fields.

    For her part, Wynne said that Canadian businesses are interested in the Vietnamese and Hanoi market. Her visit aims to show Canadian goodwill for cooperation in a hope to deepen relations between the two sides, she said.

    Wynne told her host that Ontario is one of the economic driving forces of Canada with strength in green technology. She affirmed that Ontario is willing to support Hanoi in all areas, especially education and training.

    Stressing the need for the governments of both localities to pay more attention to linking businesses of both sides, she suggested that the two localities’ officials hold dialogues regularly.

    The same day, Chung also met with Vice Director of the Lahore National School of Public Policy of Pakistan Mian Muhammad Jamil Ahqi who is leading a Pakistani delegation to Hanoi to learn experience in managing and implementing development policies.

    Chung said that Hanoi is focusing on infrastructure development, human resources and administrative reform, especially streamlining public servant system.

    Mian Muhammad Jamil Ahqi said that his delegation learnt helpful experience during the visit. He expressed his hope that Vietnam and Pakistan will continue increasing cooperation and experience exchanges.

    Vietnam sci-tech academy’s support to Laos appreciated

    Lao Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith recognised the support the Vietnam Academy of Science and Technology (VAST) has given to the Lao Ministry of Science and Technology and National Academy of Science (LNAS) while receiving VAST President Chau Van Minh on December 5 in Vientiane.

    The host leader spoke highly of the VAST delegation’s visit from December 4 to 8 as it is made in Vietnam-Laos Friendship and Solidarity Year.

    The development of the LNAS is important to the socio-economic development of Laos, he noted, asking the VAST to share experience with the LNAS to effectively use funds for science and technology research projects, especially in research outcome application and manpower training.

    VAST President Minh said cooperation between the VAST and the LNAS has resulted in important outcomes which have contributed to their respective countries’ development.

    The two sides will enhance cooperation and assistance to fulfill tasks assigned by the two parties and states, helping intensify Vietnam-Laos relations, he noted.

    Earlier the same day, the VAST delegation had talks with their Lao counterpart led by LNAS President Boviengkham Vongdara, also Minister of Science and Technology of Laos. They lauded the outcomes of cooperation between the VAST and the Lao ministry and academy, particularly in a project boosting the LNAS’s capacity for scientific research and technological application.

    Thanks to this project, funded through official development assistance from the Vietnamese Government between 2016 and 2018, science and technology laboratories in Laos will reap research outcomes to contribute to the two countries’ development, they said.

    They agreed to increase delegation exchanges at all levels, share experience in science and technology research, apply and transfer research outcomes, and coordinate to effectively implement joint projects.

    The VAST side also pledged to continue helping the Lao ministry and academy in training science-technology manpower.

    Also on December 5, the Vietnamese delegation attended a ceremony to unveil a laboratory under the project boosting the LNAS’s capacity of scientific research and technological application.

    VAST President Minh and some members of the Vietnamese academy were granted with orders and medals of Laos in recognition of their contributions to the country’s development.

    World Dream cruise ship docks at Tan Cang – Cai Mep port

    The World Dream cruise ship with 3,600 people abroad arrived at the Tan Cang – Cai Mep port in the southern province of Ba Ria-Vung Tau on December 5.

    The 18-storey ship is 335 metres long and capable of accommodating over 5,376 passengers and crewmen.

    It was freshly built in Germany and Vietnam was chosen among destinations of its maiden trip.

    Following the arrival, World Dream passengers were scheduled to tour key tourist areas in Ho Chi Minh City, before leaving for the coastal city of Nha Trang in the central province of Khanh Hoa on December 6.

    The ship was set to conclude its Vietnam’s trip from Cam Ranh port in Khanh Hoa province at 9 pm on December 6.

    PM works with An Giang on key socio-economic project implementation

    Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc had a working session with authorities from the Mekong Delta province of An Giang in Hanoi on December 6 to seek measures to implement key socio-economic projects in the locality.

    Among the projects, the Ba Chua Xu Spiritual Cultural Tourism – Sam Mountain Cable Car System is expected to turn tourism into a spearhead economy in the province as well as increase local budget collection, job generation, and sustainable gross regional domestic product growth.

    The project invested by MGA Vietnam Co., Ltd is located in Chau Doc city, which welcomes more than 6 million domestic and foreign tourists annually. It will feature an entertainment park, restaurants, pagodas and temples, and a cable car system.

    Concluding the working session, PM Phuc urged An Giang to review its socio-economic development targets in 2017, striving to complete and even surpass these objectives, especially in State budget collection.

    At the same time, An Giang should take the initiative to soon realise targets for 2018, he said, asking the locality to speed up the implementation of centrally-invested projects.

    The PM also requested the province accelerate the restructuring process, particularly in agriculture, paying attention to high-tech agriculture and large-scale rice fields towards climate change adaptation.

    He asked the Ministries of Natural Resources and Environment and Agriculture and Rural Development to support An Giang to take advantage of its strength in agriculture.

    Apart from farming, An Giang needs to heed the tourism and service sector, considering this an economic spearhead, while boosting the border economy, he said.

    The leader expressed his approval for the Ba Chua Xu spiritual tourism site- SamMountain cable car system, saying the project should run with national defence and security.

    He, therefore, assigned the Ministry of National Defence to define the land area for the project.

    Cambodia upgrading monuments to friendship with Việt Nam

    All 17 Việt Nam-Cambodia friendship monuments in Cambodia will see their repairs and upgrades completed by the first quarter of next year, the Cambodian side reported to the Vietnamese military, which is funding the work.

    Speaking at the third review meeting in HCM City on Tuesday, Nhem Valy, vice chairman and general secretary of the National Council of the Solidarity Front for Development of Cambodian Motherland, said: “These monuments are not only dedicated to Cambodians and Vietnamese volunteers who laid down their lives for Cambodia’s liberation, but are also an everlasting symbol of the time-honoured solidarity and friendship between the two countries.

    “We are very grateful to receive support fund from the Vietnamese Ministry of Defence to upgrade the monuments and make them public spaces for local residents.”

    The work began late last year at a cost of US$7.8 million to mark the 50th anniversary of diplomatic ties between the two countries this year.

    Deputy Minister of Defence Senior Lieutenant General Lê Chiêm said: “The Việt Nam-Cambodia friendship monuments, which are in various localities in Cambodia, have significant historical and cultural value.

    “They are a symbol of the warm sentiments, solidarity, bravery and sacrifices of the people and armies of Việt Nam and Cambodia.

    “We would like to express our thanks to the Cambodian central and local governments, relevant authorities, and local residents who have helped us complete the work.”

    Upgrades to 12 of the monuments have been completed while work is under way at three others and will begin at the remaining two soon.

    The Cambodian side has asked for more funds for expanding some of the 17 monuments and also planned to review other monuments that have not been taken up for repairs or upgrades now.

    The two sides have agreed that more monuments could be built in localities with historical significance for their joint forces but without a monument yet.

    They will also consider conferring friendship medals on people making great contributions to their bilateral relationship.

    Thái wins third stage of cycling event

    With the support of his teammates, Phan Hoàng Thái of Domesco Pharmacy Đồng Tháp won the third stage of the Bình Dương Television Cycling Tournament, Ống Nhựa Hoa Sen Cup, on December 5.

    Thái triumphed in the 106km stage from Ninh Hòa to Krông Pắk of Đắk LắkProvince after clocking a time of 2:36.50. During the race, he had to conquer the Phượng Hoàng mountain pass which posed a significant challenge.

    The yellow jersey award for the best overall time still belonged to Phạm Quốc Cường of Đồng Tháp. Nguyễn Minh Luận and Trần Nguyễn Duy Nhân were the runners-up.

    National cyclist Lê Nguyệt Minh of VUS-HCMCity maintained the green jersey award as the best sprinter with 28 points. Huỳnh Thanh Tùng of the Việt Nam team is in the race for the green jersey award with Minh, as Tùng now has 23 points.

    The white jersey award for the best young cyclist went to Nguyễn Minh Luận of Vĩnh Long.

    Thái’s performance helped his team Domesco Pharmacy Đồng Tháp take the lead in the team rankings with a time of 23:21.23 after three stages, followed by VUS-HCMCity and Gạo Hạt Ngọc Trời An Giang.

    Today, cyclists will compete in the fourth 134km stage from Buôn Mê Thuột City in Đắk Lắk to Chư Sê District in GiaLaiProvince.

    Ankle injury forces Linh out of U23 team

    Striker Nguyễn Tiến Linh has dropped out of the U23 team following an ankle injury.

    Linh is one of six strikers called by South Korean coach Park Hang Seo for the national U23 team for the final round of the 2018 Asian Football Federation (AFC) U23 Championship.

    Linh of Bình Dương was named to the U23 squad because of his outstanding performance at the National U21 Football Championship.

    During a training session on December 2, he sustained an ankle injury and was forced to suspend practice.

    Doctors said Linh needs at least two weeks to recover so coach Park allowed him to leave the team and return to his club.

    Other injured players including Nguyễn Tuấn Anh, Bùi Tiến Dũng and Trần Hữu Đông Triều have recovered and began training with the team yesterday.

    To prepare for the AFC event, Việt Nam will hone their skills through the M-150 international friendly tournament held in Thailand on December 9-15 in which Việt Nam are grouped with U23 Myanmar and Uzbekistan.

    After this event, Việt Nam will play a friendly match against South Korea’s Ulsan Huyndai club, who are fourth in the K-League Classic 2017, in Hà Nội on December 21.

    Government supports 200 tons of rice to Quang Tri storm victims

    Central Quang Tri province People’s Committee has allocated 200 tons of rice funded by the Government to local people who were affected by the recent storms and floods.

    Accordingly, Huong Hoa district received 50 tons, Dakrong (35 tons), Vinh Linh (30 tons), Trieu Phong (24 tons), Hai Lang (24 tons), Gio Linh (22 tons), Cam Lo (10 tons), Quang Tri town (4 tons) and Con Co island district (1 ton).

    Each person is given 15kg of rice a month.

    The People’s Committee has asked districts and town to allocate rice to the people in need in an open and transparent manner.

    Vietnam wins Top-Coder title at WeCode 2017

    The Vietnamese national team won the championship title in all three categories (Top-Coder) at Digital Campus WeCode (WeCode 2017) held recently at SunwayCollege in Malaysia.

    Tran Hoang Le Thanh from DoanThiDiemPrimary School in Hanoi championed at the Apprentice category, Hoang Tran Nam Khanh from FPTSecondary School in Hanoi won first prize at the Intermediate Category and Bui Tuan Kiet from Nguyen Truong To Junior Secondary School was awarded a gold medal at the Advance Category.

    A Wecode 2017 national contest was held in Hanoi earlier to choose 73 outstanding contestants from Hanoi, Da Nang and Can Tho for the international competition. Top four entries was sent to the international final round.

    This is the third time Vietnam has taken part in the WeCode International Competition Finale and championed at all three categories. Contestants also bagged many other important awards. It’s noteworthy that Vietnam set a record with the youngest contestant winning the first prize at the Intermediate Category.

    Korean band NCT 127 performs in Hanoi

    The Korean band NCT 127 hit the stage of Lotte Hotel Hanoi on December 5 with an amazing performance.

    This is not the first time NCT 127 has been to Vietnam. The Korean band has given several very attractive concerts in the country.

    Previously, the boyband released a video clip, expressing their excitement to return to Vietnam and showing their appreciation for Vietnamese fans’ support.

    At the awards ceremony of Mnet Asian Music Awards (MAMA) in Hong Kong on December 1, NCT 127 won New Asian Artist title.

    Debuted in July 2016, the band includes 9 members from different countries. Their recent MV Cheery Bomb hit 25 million views after 6 months of release.

    Hanoi writers, poem lovers meet Korean poet Ko Un

    A talk with Ko Un, a famous poet from the Republic of Korea, was held in Hanoi on December 5 where he introduced his renowned poetry volume – Ten Thousand Lives.

    The event was organised by the Vietnam Writers’ Association (VWA).

    Speaking at the event, VWA Vice President Nguyen Quang Thieu said the VWA Publishing House has published two volumes of Ko Un’s poems so far, including “Ten Thousand Lives” which were launched in Vietnam last year.

    The event provides an opportunity for the publishing house to introduce the Korean poet’s life and works and for the poem lovers to listen to him reading his works and learn about his outlook for literature and life, Thieu noted.

    Korean Ambassador to Vietnam Lee Huyk, for his part, said lives of people in the book reflect the poet’s 85-year journey of life and the RoK’s development. He hoped that poems of Ko Un will attract more interest of Vietnamese people, particularly those from the “Ten Thousand Lives”, in the future.

    Ko Un was born in 1933 in Gunsan city, Jeohbuk, the Republic of Korea. He does write poems and novels and travel guides. He has to date published more than 150 books in 33 languages. He has been nominated for the Nobel Prize in Literature for many times.

    PM urges Lao Cai to protect SaPa traditional culture

    Prime Minster Nguyen Xuan Phuc has stressed the need to preserve SaPa’s traditional culture, considering this the most important job during the transformation process.

    At a working session with key leaders of the northern border province of Lao Cai in Hanoi on December 6, the PM agreed in principle to transform SaPa district in the province into a town, aiming to seek an international status for SaPa, which has been recently recognised as a national tourism site.

    Apart from protecting traditional culture, it is a must to improve living standards of local people, the leader said.

    He urged relevant ministries and agencies to coordinate with Lao Cai to roll out typical criteria for SaPa, explaining that the development of a mountainous town differs from that in the delta area.

    Therefore, an assessment council should be established to submit the plan to the Government before it is sent to the National Assembly’s Standing Committee, the PM said.

    Regarding Lao Cai’s socio-economic development, the leader asked the province to pay attention to border economy, tourism and organic agriculture, and complete local infrastructure to promote the economic corridor which links Lao Cai, Hanoi, Hai Phong and Quang Ninh of Vietnam with China’s Yunnan province. 

    He also agreed with the province’s proposals to turn Lao Cai into a leading locality in the North-western region, in terms of not only poverty reduction but also budget balance.

    In 2017, Lao Cai recorded an economic growth rate of about 11 percent, with gross regional domestic product (GRDP) per capita reaching 51.2 million VND (2.247 USD), up 11.3 percent over the previous year, ranking second among northern midland and mountainous provinces, after Thai Nguyen.

    Covering more than 68,000ha, SaPa has a population of 65,000, belonging to six ethnic groups, of which ethnic minorities make up 87 percent of the total population.

    Located 350km northwest of Hanoi capital city, SaPa is 1,600m high above sea level, with the average temperature of 15-18°C. The whole town is dominated by the Hoang Lien Son mountain range which is famous with the Indochina’s highest mountain of Fansipan at a height of 3,142m above sea level.

    Discovered in 1903 by the French, Sa Pa has many natural scenic sites such as Ham Rong Mountain, Thac Bac (Silver Waterfall), Cau May (Rattan Bridge), Bamboo Forest and Ta Phin Cave.

    Last year, SaPa welcomed 1 million tourists, up 35 percent year-on-year, earning more than 2.5 trillion VND (110 USD) from the tourism sector. The number of holiday-makers to SaPa is expected to reach 2.5 million in 2017, about 4 million in 2020 and over 8 million in 2030.

    Deputy PM surveys private preschools in Dong Nai

    Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam made a field survey of private preschools and social houses for workers in BienHoaCity, Dong Nai province on December 5.

    Early in the morning, the Deputy PM visited Ngoc Hung private preschool in Long Binh Tan district, Bien Hoa city and private child care centres for children of workers living in Long Binh district.

    Dam also dropped into the lodging houses in the locality to talk with workers and listened to their opinions on their living conditions and preschool education for their children.

    After the field survey, the Deputy PM held a working session with leaders of Dong Nai province on the management of preschool education and the development of social housing projects for workers at industrial zones in the locality.

    According to the People's Committee of Dong Nai province, the province has 324 preschools including 99 private preschools in addition to 1,067 private child care centres with a total number of children up to 172,780.

    Private child care centres mainly serve children of workers at industrial zones in Dong Nai which reports approximately one million workers at industrial zones with 70% of them being immigrant population.

    Many female workers showed their dissatisfaction as they have had to quit jobs in order to take care of their children because public preschools prioritise children of permanent residents and only receive children over two years old. Meanwhile, private preschools are costly and the education quality and facilities are unreliable.

    Thus, female workers hope that the Government calls on enterprises to build social houses for workers and preschools for their children while assisting preschool teachers in paying social insurance.

    Deputy PM Dam asked leaders of Dong Nai to resolve the inadequacies to encourage private child care centres to upgrade to preschools and create favourable conditions for the establishment and building of more preschools for local children.

    He also directed the province to continue the project on building 20,000 social houses for workers in the 2016-2020 period.

    WWF & Intel join in restoring Forests & ensuring livelihoods in Lang Sen

    After the joint efforts in reforesting part of Lang Sen wetland with more than 12,000 trees in 2016, Intel Products Vietnam (Intel) and WWF continue the partnership in restoring wildlife habitats and ensuring livelihoods for local people in Lang Sen Wetland Reserve (LSWR), Long An Province, by planting an additional 7,000 trees at the end of 2017. On December 4, 270 Intel volunteers joined in  the reforestation activities with the LSWR and local community.

    Officially established in 2004, LSWR is among the few natural remnants of the Plain of Reeds (Đồng Tháp Mười) and home to almost 400 flora and fauna species. The reserve provides natural resources and an ecosystem, such as fresh water and fisheries to 9,000 people in the surrounding areas.

    Recent rapid changes in climatic factors like temperature and rainfall, as well as the hydrological regimes of the MekongRiver, have led to serious degradation in the area’s forests. These changes have put further pressure on the ecosystem that plays a critical role in the regulating water in the Mekong Delta and providing sources of income for the local community.

    In order to overcome this emerging challenge, WWF started its partnership with Intel in 2016 to restore the degraded forests, provide habitat for wildlife and ensure livelihoods for the local people whose lives heavily rely on the area’s ecosystem.

    More than 12,000 native trees (plant species that have developed, occurred naturally, or existed for many years in an area and play a key role in local ecosystems) were planted during the project in 2016. The reforestation, with average tree survival rate over 80 percent, has contributed to WWF’s efforts in maintaining favourable conditions for wildlife, improving water regulation capacity of the wetland to better mitigate the negative impacts of floods and droughts, and providing non-timber products (such as Melaleuca oil, honey, medicinal herbs and forest ecotourism services) to support poor and considered-poor households in Lang Sen.

    “The continual support from Intel to plant 7,000 more trees in 2017 will further replicate the positive impacts of the project since 2016 to the 5,030ha area of Lang Sen,” said Ms. Trinh Thi Long - Programme Coordinator, Freshwater, WWF-Vietnam, “it also contributes to WWF’s strategic plan in increasing the resilience of Lang Sen Wetland Reserve and surrounding communities in the ever-changing context of climate change.”

    The program runs till December 9.

    Wood processing factory dumps unprocessed water into residential area

    Residents in Nghia Dan and Quynh Luu districts in Nghe An Province are increasingly concerned over illegal disposal of waste of Nghe An Wood Processing Factory.

    The factory has released foul-smelling black water into Nghia Hoi commune in NghiaDanDistrict and Quynh Thang commune in Quynh Luu District. The unprocessed waste aslo enters canals and Vuc Mau Reservoir, the largest irrigation reservoir in the province.

    The firm has been accused of causing environmental pollution and mysterious mass fish deaths.

    Hundreds of local people on December 1 gathered outside the factory to ask the enterprise to stop dumping into residential area and waterways.

    Nghe An Wood Processing Factory under the May Forestry Joint Stock Company (the project’s direct investor is Vietnam’s TH Group) was inaugurated in the industrial park of Nghia Dan district, central Nghe An province in last September.

    Book launched to mark Finland's 100th anniversary

    The Ho Chi Minh City Culture–Literature And Arts Publishing House in cooperation with Saigon Book Publisher released Icebreaker Snow -book series by Finnish writer Teemu Leppälä.

    The book launch aims to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Finland's independence (December 6).

    Icebreaker Snow -book series describe exciting stories that take both children and adults on freezing adventures on the icy seas.

    Author Teemu Leppäla earned a M.S. in Marine Sciences. He is founder and CEO at POB Production Ltd and currently living in Helsinki

    Publishing contract with Vietnamese publishing houses is also part of POB’s strategy to be more internationally recognized brand. The plan is to make Snow more familiar for Vietnamese and licensing contracts with different product partners.

    ‘Cocoon’ winner at ‘Housing solution for disaster areas’ contest

    “Cocoon” as a housing architecture model by a group of students from the Dalat-based Camus of the HCMC Architecture University, has just won the first prize of a contest named “Housing solution for disaster areas” organized by TOTO Vietnam. The three students, comprising Pham Quang Linh, Cao Hoang Son and Huynh Thi Thuy Dung, outperformed 35 other groups to bag the award with a cash prize of VND15 million at a ceremony in HCMC last Saturday.

    The students introduced the “Cocoon” as a compact housing unit for a family of four. The structure has the frame made of steel, while the floor is made of ready-tailored panels, while the wall and the roof are made of water-proof canvas. The housing unit is anchored to the ground, and can be towed from place to place.
    The award ceremony took place as part of the “Works & Humanitarian Activities” event last weekend in HCMC, attracting up to 1,500 architecture students and those who work in the field. The event was held by TOTO Vietnam and TOTO Gallery MA.

    Shigeru Ban, a Japanese architect known for his innovative works with cardboard tubes, was invited by TOTO Vietnam to give a speech at the event. Shigeru Ban is known to have helped the community via his housing solutions for homeless people as well as those who have lost their home due to natural disasters, by utilizing unique, low-cost, and eco-friendly materials.

    Ban noted that many people are suffering in the aftermath of natural disasters. Instead of providing them temporary shelters with poor infrastructure as authorities often do, Ban can help them live comfortably in unique shelters for disaster victims.

    Thanks to his innovative talent, Shigeru Ban was awarded the 2014 Pritzker Prize, a highly prestigious honor often regarded as the Nobel Prize of Architecture.

    Nguyen Tan Van, chairman of the Vietnam Association of Architects, said in a statement that Vietnam and Japan share a special relationship due to the similarities between the two economies and societies, and various Japanese projects and construction experiences have become educational examples for Vietnamese architects.

    The “Housing Solution for Disaster Areas” contest is an architectural design competition for university students in Vietnam, inspired by Shigeru Ban’s humanitarian architectural works.

    In addition to announcing the results and holding the awards ceremony for the Top 3 best designs, the organizer also dedicated a special award chosen by the Honorary Judge Shigeru Ban. The winning ideas will also be displayed at the “Works & Humanitarian Activities” exhibition space.

    Half of HCMC residents have household health insurance

    The HCMC Social Insurance Agency has issued over 1,600 household health insurance cards so far this year, so around half of the city’s residents are now medically insured thanks to this policy.

    Luu Thi Thanh Huyen, deputy director of the HCMC Social Insurance Agency, said about 81% of local residents have taken part in the health insurance program. But this figure is below the nation’s average of 82%.

    Among 6.7 million medically insured residents in the city, more than five million receive partial or entire assistance from the State. Meanwhile, those volunteering to join the program make up a fraction, she noted.

    It is hard for the municipal government to have 90% of residents gaining access to medical insurance in the coming time.

    The HCMC Social Insurance Agency has tried to help workers rent homes so that they can purchase household health insurance. For example, if workers who have temporary residence at industrial parks want to take part, grassroots authorities will just confirm how many people live in these rented houses, and the social insurance agency will then support them.

    If workers in the same rented house want to have household health insurance cards, they will have to prove they are family members to enjoy lower insurance fees.

    Workers from other parts of the country who come to HCMC for work can still use the card for medical examinations and treatments at hospitals citywide.

    However, experts said complicated procedures make it difficult for workers to prove they are from the same rented home or family.

    Tang Chi Thuong, deputy director of the HCMC Health Department, said more than 25 million patients from other provinces and cities had come to the city for medical examination and treatment services in the year to September, a year-on-year rise of 12%. Of them, 11.2 wanted the insurer to cover their health care expenses, up 15.3% year-on-year.

    Another vaccination centre opened in HCMCity

    Another vaccination centre was launched in Ho Chi Minh City’s Phu Nhuan district on December 6, aiming to meet the increasing demand of immunization of local people.

    As the second centre of its kind in the country after the first in Hanoi, the establishment includes 17 rooms for checkups and 13 others for inoculation, enabling it to serve up to 2,500 people a day.

    The centre provides all vaccines, including scarce ones such as five-in-one Pentaxim vaccine, six-in-one Infanrix Hexa, Synflorix, and Hepatitis A and B vaccines.

    According to Ngo Chi Dung, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Vietnam Vaccine Joint Stock Company, immunization safety at the center is always put on top with free screening examinations before vaccination, and all nurses working in the centre have been trained in injection skill.

    Tran Dac Phu, Director of the Preventive Medicine Department under the Ministry of Health, highlighted the significance of the centre in satisfying vaccination demand of local residents in the southern region.

    The centre will also help reduce overloading at vaccination establishments in the city, he said.

    Phu also stressed the necessity to strictly obey inoculation regulations to ensure absolute safety in the work.

    Vocational schools improve quality to meet businesses’ requirements

    Improving the quality of vocational education in line with businesses’ requirements was the main focus of a forum held in Ho Chi Minh City on December 5.

    Director of Vietnam Skills for Employment Project (VSEP) Michael Emblem said the annual forum gathers Vietnamese educational leaders and policy makers to discuss developing vocational education to meet the demand of the labour market – which is changing rapidly in the country.

    The project aims to help Vietnam develop a vocational education system according to Canadian models and help youngsters access education and training services and seek high-income jobs.

    President of Ho Chi Minh City-based Vietnam National University Huynh Thanh Dat said reforming to meet social development is a big challenge for the education sector.

    He added universities and vocational training facilities are working to forge links with businesses to train high-quality students who can use new technologies.

    Director of the National Institute for Vocational Education and Training under the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs Vu Xuan Hung reported that the country has nearly 2,000 vocational education facilities.

    Some businesses have worked with schools to provide employment requirements, technical information, and scholarships for students and taken them on for work experience, he said.

    However, ties between enterprises and vocational schools are still small scale and unsustainable, he added.

    The ministry is striving to develop 70 high-quality schools by 2020, including 40 reaching the level of developed countries in ASEAN.

    To realise the target, Hung suggested reforming State management in vocational education, including refining legal regulations and policies in the field.

    He suggested promoting autonomy in vocational schools and building national standards to ensure quality of training.

    Director of the General Directorate for Vocational Training under the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs Nguyen Hong Minh recommended increasing career guidance and professional skills competitions for employees in businesses.

    VNN


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  • 12/06/17--23:45: Article 1
  • New law prevents businesspeople from chairing both banks and companies



    The Law on Amending and Supplementing a number of Articles of the Law on Credit Institutions was ratified by the National Assembly on November 20 and will take effect on January 15, 2018.  

     

    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, cross ownership, Le Minh Hung, Do Minh Phu, DOJI
    Banks have been divesting shares to clear cross-ownership


    In finance and banking circles, Le Thi Bang Tam is a well known name. She was the Deputy Minister of Finance many years ago. After retirement, she was chair of HD Bank, a commercial bank, and chair of Vinamilk, a dairy producer.

    Under the new law, Tam will have to make a decision about her post – remain as chair of HD Bank or chair of Vinamilk?

    Most joint stock commercial banks in Vietnam now have chairs/CEOs holding high positions in other enterprises concurrently. These include SHB, Sacombank, HDBank, TP Bank, VIB Bank, Techcombank, SeABank, AB Bank, Kien Long Bank, Viet A Bank, Bac A Bank and NCB.

    The law aims to increase transparency, ensure the safety of the banking system, help reduce cross-ownership and stop manipulation activities in banking operations.

    Do Minh Phu, chair of TP Bank, is now the chair of DOJI Group. Resigning from his post at TP Bank will be a difficult decision for Phu, who deserves credit for restructuring the bank. Phu is the founder and the ‘soul’ of DOJI Group.

    According to Governor of the State Bank of Vietnam Le Minh Hung, the law aims to increase transparency, ensure the safety of the banking system, help reduce cross-ownership and stop manipulation activities in banking operations.

    However, analysts say that influential owners of banks will be reluctant to give up their posts.

    Duong Cong Minh, chair of Sacombank, is still called ‘Minh Him Lam’ because he is chair of Him Lam Group. Do Minh Phu of TP Bank is still known as ‘Phu DOJI’ because of his important role in the gold, silver and gemstone conglomerate.

    According to lawyer Bui Quang Tin, an expert in law and banking, Minh said that he will give up his post at Him Lam.

    However, Tin believes that Minh and others will not give up their enterprises while they manage banks.

    “They will keep their business though they don’t have official titles,” Tin said, adding that Tran Xuan Gia was once chair of ACB (Asia Commercial Bank) , but insiders said it was Tran Mong Hung who held the power at the bank.

    Banks have been divesting shares to clear cross-ownership status. Vietcombank sold 6.6 million shares, or 10.9 percent of charter capital of the Cement Finance Company (CFC). The bank also put 13.25 million shares of SaigonBank, or 4.3 percent of charter capital, into auction on November 20.

    Kim Chi, VNN


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  • 12/07/17--01:29: Article 0
  • BUSINESS IN BRIEF 7/12


    First five-star international hotel inaugurated in Ha Tinh


     , First five-star international hotel inaugurated in Ha Tinh, Becamex IDC IPO suffers from own indifference, CPI rises 0.13% in November: GSO, Work on pilot low-cost housing project starts

    A ceremony was held by Vingroup on December 2 in Ha Tinh province to inaugurate and put into operation the Vinpearl international hotel – the first five-star hotel in the central province.

    The event was attended by Politburo member and Deputy Prime Minister Vuong Dinh Hue.

    Located in the centre of Ha Tinh city, the hotel has 36 floors and a basement, with total 311 rooms, becoming the highest building in the north central region.

    Being the 17th hotel of the Vinpearl tourism and resort system, it consists of 311 rooms, bringing the total rooms of the system to 11,500.

    Vinpearl Ha Tinh hotel will also provide luxury services such as a high-floor swimming pool, a Vincharm spa, a gym, five restaurants, a bar and cafes.

    After Vinpearl Ha Tinh Ocean Villas, Vinperal Ha Tinh Hotel is the second hotel of Vingroup in the central province, meeting the demand of relaxation for visitors.

    Speaking at the ceremony, Vice Chairman of Ha Tinh provincial People’s Committee Dang Quoc Vinh said that Vingroup’s projects and social welfare activities have significantly contributed to the locality’s socio-economic development.

    Becamex IDC IPO suffers from own indifference

    Despite being considered the second largest initial public offering (IPO) deal, Becamex IDC Corporation’s apathy in communications as well as in publicising information about its IPO plan resulted in 94 per cent of the offered stake being unmarketable.

    The Ho Chi Minh City Stock Exchange has released the results of Becamex IDC’s IPO organised this morning. Accordingly, 149 of 158 registered investors won in the bidding with the highest and lowest buying prices of VND40,000 and VND31,000 per share.

    After the bidding, Becamex, which is the domestic partner in Vietnam's leading industrial park and township developer VSIP, only acquired VND587.7 billion ($25.87 million) from selling 18.9 million shares or 6 per cent of the offered share volume. Originally, Becamex IDC offered 311.2 million shares at the initial price of VND31,000 ($1.36), with the expectation of earning VND9.65 trillion ($423.1 million) from the deal.

    It is a surprise that while other enterprises, especially large-scale enterprises owned by State Capital Investment Corporation, have been ready to communicate their IPO plans to draw in as many investors as possible—Sabeco and Vinamilk even organised roadshows abroad—, Becamex’s IPO deal was largely a quiet business. Notably, with the exception of publishing the bidding and divestment plans, Becamex IDC released no further information.

    There are opinions that the reason behind Becamex IDC remaining silent was that finding more investors via the IPO ranked rather low among the company’s priorities as it is currently collecting resources to develop the Binh Duong smart city project.

    In late November, the Binh Duong People’s Committee, in collaboration with the consultancy firm from the Netherlands, organised a conference to introduce the Binh Duong smart city project, attracting more than 1,000 participants.

    At the event, the province launched the new phase in the implementation of the project. At the same time, provincial leaders emphasised that Becamex IDC, with its strong financial potential and massive land area in the project, is considered the turnkey investor in developing the city.

    Becamex IDC is a leading name in the development of industrial, residential, urban, and transportation infrastructure in Vietnam.

    It currently has 28 subsidiaries and joint ventures in a multitude of areas from finance and banking through real estate to telecommunication-information technology, with a charter capital of approximately VND5.5 trillion ($242.1 million).

    Besides, it owns a massive volume of golden land plots in Binh Duong province. Notably, Became IDC owns 700 hectares in the Binh Duong smart city project. In case this land plot is valued at VND10 million ($440.25) per square metre, its total assets are estimated at more than VND70 trillion ($3.08 billion), seven times higher than its equity as of the end of the second quarter of this year.

    The 700-hectare area is just a part of the total 3,000 hectares that Becamex IDC is allocated to develop housing projects. In addition, it was allocated other massive areas to develop large-scale industrial park projects.

    Hyosung gearing up to kick off $1.2-billion polypropylene manufacturing project

    South Korean Hyosung Group is awaiting the Vietnamese prime minister’s approval to kick off the construction of its $1.2-billion polypropylene (PP) manufacturing plant located at Cai Mep Industrial Zone in the southern province of Ba Ria-Vung Tau.

    According to Nguyen Anh Triet, director of the Cai Mep Industrial Zone Management Authority, told VIR that the Ministry of Industry and Trade has approved the investment planning of the project. The investor had completed the administrative procedures to implement the project, while simultaneously the province completed the site clearance and handed over the land to the investor.

    “Next week, the management authority will submit the application documents for the project to the prime minister for approval. The investor will kick off the construction soon after receiving the prime minister’s approval,” Triet added.

    According to the plan, the complex is divided into two stages. In the first stage, Hyosung will inject $133 million and $336 million, respectively, into building a liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) storage tank and PP production plant with an annual capacity of 600,000 tonnes per year.

    In the second stage, it will invest $496 million and $226 million, respectively, to construct a propane dehydrogenation (PDH) plant and another PP plant, as well as a petrochemical product warehouse.

    Earlier in February 2017, representatives of Hyosung Group and the Vietnamese government signed the memorandum of understanding (MoU), marking a new step in implementing the project.

    Speaking at the MoU signing ceremony, the representative of Hyosung said, “We will boost our price competitiveness with the integrated production system ranging from LPG to PP and expand our share in markets with great potential, such as Vietnam, China, and Southeast Asia.”

    PP is a thermoplastic “addition polymer” made from the combination of propylene monomers. It is used for a variety of applications, including packaging consumer products, plastic parts for the automotive industry, and textiles.

    Regarding the investor, Hyosung is a multidisciplinary company operating in the textile, chemical materials, trading, construction, power and industrial sectors. It currently has a global network focusing on Asia, Europe, and America.

    Hyosung entered Vietnam in 2007 and developed three fibre factories in the southern province of Dong Nai. In May 2015, Hyosung received the investment certificate for a fourth, $660-million fibre production plant, increasing its Vietnamese investment to $1 billion to date. This new investment will make Hyosung’s first PP plant in a foreign market.

    Samsung’s Vietnamese subsidiaries make $19 billion profit

    Samsung has earned $19 billion of profit for seven years of operations in Vietnam, of which Samsung Thai Nguyen contributed the highest profit among Samsung's subsidiaries over the world.

    Samsung Group has just announced the detailed profit figures of its subsidiaries in the first nine months of 2017. The four Vietnamese subsidiaries, Samsung Bac Ninh (SEV), Samsung Thai Nguyen (SEVT), Samsung Display Vietnam (SDV), and Samsung Electronics HCMC CE Complex (SEHC), earned $31.4 billion of revenue and $4.6 billion of profit.

    According to TheLeader.vn, Samsung Bac Ninh, the factory dedicated to the production and assembly of cell phones hit $12.5 billion of revenue, including $1.53 billion of profit, up 50 per cent against the same period last year.

    Samsung Thai Nguyen, the factory dedicated to the production of electronic components, grew drastically with $18.6 billion of revenue, making an increase of 27 per cent, and $2.32 billion of profit, an increase of 30 per cent compared to the same period in 2016. This is the subsidiary reaching the highest profit in the Samsung Group system due to being exempt from tax for the first four years of operation in Vietnam.

    The revenue of Samsung Display Vietnam tripled to reach $8.7 billion, while profit in the first nine months hit $590 million. This company has risen its investment capital from $4 billion to $6.5 billion.

    Samsung Electronics HCMC CE Complex, the factory dedicated to the production of electronic products, reached $165 million in profit in the first nine months 2017 and doubled revenue against the same period last year.

    Samsung has just announced that the total profit of the four above-mentioned companies since 2010 hit $19 billion, 60 per cent of which came from Samsung Bac Ninh (SEV).

    Samsung Thai Nguyen (SEVT), one of the largest factories of the group over the world, gained $6.7 billion of profit.

    Up to now, the total registered capital of Samsung Group in Vietnam is $17 billion, including the $5 billion of SEVT, the $2.5 billion of SEV, the $6.5 billion of SDV, the $2 billion of SEHC, and the $1.2 billion of Samsung Electro-Mechanics. As of early 2017, Samsung Vietnam’s disbursed capital was over $10 billion.

    Total assets of the four companies in Vietnam is approximately $29 billion, consisting of $13.8 billion of payable debts.

    CPI rises 0.13% in November: GSO     

    The consumer price index (CPI) in November rose 0.13 per cent from the previous month and 2.62 per cent year-on-year, according to the General Statistics Office (GSO).

    This was the lower growth in November CPI, compared to the growth rate of 0.48 per cent in November 2016, 0.34 per cent in November 2013, 0.47 per cent in November 2012, 0.39 per cent in November 2011, and 1.86 per cent in November 2010.

    That meant the average CPI for the last 11 months rose 3.61 per cent year-on-year.

    Do Thi Ngoc, deputy head of GSO’s CPI Department, said the growth rate of 0.13 per cent in the November CPI was due to price increases in eight of 11 goods and service groups that were used to calculate CPI.

    Of these, the price surged 0.68 per cent for the transport group, following two increases in oil and petrol prices on November 4 and 20; and 0.20 per cent for medicine and health care services, because Quang Ninh and Quang Tri provinces increased prices for health care services, according to existing regulations, she said.

    Meanwhile, the prices of garment and footwear products rose 0.15 per cent, and the price of restaurant and catering services increased 0.11 per cent due to the price of food increasing by 1.12 per cent, caused by higher demand on food in flood-hit areas.

    However, there were three groups of goods that saw prices reduce in November, including the group of housing and building materials, with a reduced rate of 0.04 per cent due to the lower price of steel products for construction. Prices of cultural and entertainment services edged down 0.01 per cent and prices of post and telecommunication services fell 0.03 per cent.

    In November, the market saw a price reduction of 0.3 per cent and 0.01 per cent for gold and US dollars, respectively.

    Ngoc said core inflation in November rose 0.06 per cent from the previous month, and 1.28 per cent over the one year period.

    The eleven-month inflation increased by 1.42 per cent year on year, lower than the projected figure of 1.6 to 1.8 per cent, proving that the monetary policy has been carried out effectively. 

    Work on pilot low-cost housing project starts     

    Work on a pilot affordable housing project kicked off on Saturday in the central province of Ha Tinh’s Thach Linh District.

    Deputy Prime Minister Vuong Dinh Hue attended the ground-breaking ceremony.

    Financed by Ha Tinh Development Investment Fund, the project has investment capital of VND356 billion (US$15.6 million) in the first phase. It is slated for completion in the fourth quarter of 2018.

    Covering a total area of 3.97ha, the project will comprise approximately 1,000 low-cost apartments, a 7,000sq.m commercial area and an amusement park.

    In his speech at the event, Ha Tinh Province People’s Committee vice chairman Dang Quoc Vinh asked the project’s investor to mobilise sufficient investment capital in order to implement the project as scheduled.

    In its strategy for housing development, Viet Nam aims to build some 12.5 million sq.m in floor space for affordable houses in urban areas by 2020. 

    Vinalines partners with Belgian enterprise to build grain port in Hai Phong

    The Vietnam National Shipping Lines (Vinalines) has asked the Ministry of Transport to allow it to work with Rent A Port of the Belgian Ackermans & Van Haaren Group to invest in developing ports in Lach Huyen – Hai Phong international port.

    The two sides hope to develop a grain specialised port, capable of receiving 100,000 DWT ships, and construct a 250 hectare logistics centre opposite the grain port to facilitate the handling, storage and distribution of grain for the northern region.

    Rent A Port plans to buy 10 percent of Vinalines’ charter capital when the company launches an initial public offering (IPO) this month.

    The Belgian company has already hired a consultant company to evaluate the financial situation and equtisation progress of Vinalines and set up a group of international maritime experts to examine the infrastructure and logistics system of Vietnam’s leading marine firm.

    Rent A Port was established in 1885 specialising in port management. In Vietnam, it has injected more than 200 million USD into the Deep-C industrial complex, and pledged to add more 250 million USD to port and industrial park projects in Hai Phong and Quang Ninh province.

    Under the IPO plan, Vinalines is allowed to hold a maximum of 65 percent of registered capital at key ports, including Hai Phong, Sai Gon and Da Nang.

    Vinalines currently manages a fleet of off-shore vessels with total capacity of nearly two million tonnes, occupying some 25 percent of the national fleet’s capacity.

    From now to 2020, Vinalines will focus on developing and exploiting sea ports, which play important roles in the northern, central and southern areas of the country and are the lifeline of the national transportation network.

    Ben Tre’s export revenue picks up 16.37 percent

    The Mekong Delta province of Ben Tre’s export revenue from January to November surged 16.37 percent against the same period last year to 754 million USD, according to Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee Cao Van Trong.

    Of the total, 280.9 million USD was contributed by the domestic economic sector and 473.25 million USD by the foreign invested sector.

    Growth in revenue was seen in key exports like seafood (14.36 percent), coconut milk (36.17 percent), activated carbon (25.4 percent), and garment and leather shoes (50.05 percent), said Pham Thi Han, Vice Director of the provincial Department of Industry and Trade.

    Asian countries were the largest importers, spending 48.52 million USD purchasing Ben Tre’s products and accounting for 63.92 percent of market share.

    Thanks to provincial authorities’ move to address difficulties for enterprises as well as help them improve production capacity and develop export markets, local businesses have enjoyed robust exports, Han noted.

    The province plans to enhance trade promotion activities to popularise products and stabilise traditional markets while seeking more markets.

    November’s industrial production index up 17.2 percent year on year

    Vietnam’s index of industrial production (IIP) in November rose by 17.2 percent against the same month last year, according to the General Statistics Office (GSO).

    In the month, the manufacturing and processing sector grew by 24.3 percent, while electricity production and distribution increased 13 percent and water supply and waste and waste water treatment rose 10 percent. However, the mining industry’s production fell by 4.1 percent.

    Between January and November, the IIP expanded by 9.3 percent, higher than the 8.7 percent recorded in the first ten months of this year and 7.4 percent recorded in the same period last year.

    In the period, electronics, computers and optical products grew by 31.5 percent, metal production by 15.4 percent, and rubber and plastics production by 13.7 percent.

    According to the GSO, the northern province of Bac Ninh saw the highest year-on-year IIP increase of 35 percent, followed by the northern port city of Hai Phong (20 percent), the northern province of Thai Nguyen (18.3 percent), and southern Binh Duong province (10 percent).

    As of November 1, the inventory index of the processing and manufacturing sector rose by 9.3 percent against the same period last year.

    The number of labourers working in industrial enterprises as of November 1 was 5 percent percent higher than a year ago.

    Localities that saw increases in the number of labourers included Bac Ninh (20.3 percent), Da Nang (17.2 percent), Hai Duong (8.7 percent), and Vinh Phuc (7.6 percent).

    Mekong delta to develop agriculture with eco-tourism

    At a seminar to beef up agricultural product consumption in the vast Dong Thap Muoi area in the Mekong Delta of Vietnam, representatives of three provinces of Long An, Dong Thap and Tien Giang presented real situation, orientation and measures to assist the development of sustainable agricultural chain in the region. 

    As per the presentations, the Dong Thap Muoi area will turn out to be land for hi-tech agricultural production.

    The Dong Thap Muoi Area is calling for investment in 44 projects including nine projects on agricultural produce of Long an Province; 31 projects on farming infrastructure urban infrastructure, process industry, tourism, commerce of Dong Thap Province; four projects on husbandry, fishing logistics of Tien Giang.

    At the seminar, eight memorandums of understanding on consumption between cooperatives, producers and distributors were signed aiming to boost consumption of agricultural products of Dong Thap Muoi Area.

    Rice prices mitigate in southern, increase in northern region

    Rice prices have slightly reduced after hitting the record high this year in the Mekong Delta but increased higher than that of the same period last year since October in the northern region.

    In the Mekong Delta, traders and businesses have reduced purchase because they have stockpiled enough for signed contracts. However, prices of many rice varieties have been VND500-1,000 higher than the same period last year.

    IR 50404 is now priced VND5,100-5,200 a kilogram of fresh rice and VND6,000-6,200 a kilogram of dried rice. Long grain varieties are sold at VND5,300-5,600 a kilogram of fresh rice and VND6,300-6,600 a kilogram of dried rice.

    In the northern region, rice prices have been higher than the same period last year since October. Medium quality varieties such as IR50404, Khang Dan and BC15 have hiked by VND800-1,000 to VND12,000-15,000 a kilogram. High quality rice prices have surged from VND2,000-5,000 a kilogram.

    Many businesses said that rice consumption had been good but they were still cautious about signing new export contracts to prevent rice shortage for delivery as farmers in the Mekong Delta have almost reaped autumn winter rice and sold right after harvest.

    Agricultural trade fair to take place in Hanoi

    High-quality agricultural products and handicrafts will be showcased at nearly 200 pavilions in a trade fair in Hanoi from December 19-25.

    The information was released by Dao Van Ho, director of the Trade Promotion Centre for Agriculture at a press briefing in Hanoi on December 4.

    According to Ho, the event aims to honour agricultural products nationwide and sustainable agricultural development.

    It presents opportunities for firms, cooperatives, and producers to meet and introduce their products and services.

    “Ha Giang orange week 2017” will be among the highlights of the event. Other Ha Giang products will also be displayed during the fair, including San Tuyet tea, bee honey, and medicinal herbs.

    Mai Van Suong, Deputy Director of the Ha Giang provincial Department of Industry and Trade said the sector provides financial assistance for cooperatives and enterprises involved in VietGAP standard production.

    The Ha Giang orange association has worked with enterprises in promotion work, introducing the province’s special agricultural products to consumers.

    PM opens two projects in Hai Phong     

    Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc attended the inauguration ceremonies for LG Display’s US$1.5 billion project and the $41.8 million Nguyen Binh Khiem interchange in the northern port city of Hai Phong on Monday.

    LG Display’s project, specialising in producing organic light-emitting diode (OLED) screens for smartphones, smartwatches and tablets is expected to create 6,000 jobs for local labourers and boost the northern city’s exports by $3 billion per year when it becomes operational.

    This plant marks the first overseas OLED screen production project for South Korea’s LG Display.

    PM Phuc said that the project, which started construction in May 2016 in Trang Due Industrial Zone, contributes to fostering the strategic partnership between Viet Nam and South Korea.

    He also highly appreciated LG Display’s investments in building houses and canteens for workers and urged the South Korean display manufacturer to increase the local procurement rate, promote safe production and sustainable investment in Viet Nam.

    The Government of Viet Nam and local authorities in Hai Phong would strive to improve the investment climate to create favourable conditions for both foreign and domestic investors, Phuc said.

    Phuc believed LG Display would contribute to turning Hai Phong into an electronic production hub in Viet Nam.

    On the same day, Phuc attended the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the Nguyen Binh Khiem interchange.

    The project, including a four-lane flyover which is 252.2 metres long and 18.5 metres wide, was completed in nine months, 18 months ahead of schedule.

    This was a part of project upgrading the road from Nguyen Binh Khiem crossroads to Dinh Vu Dam which plays an important role in facilitating goods transportation via Hai Phong Port.

    Statistics show that 90 per cent of goods to and from the northern region’s largest port are transported via Nguyen Binh Khiem interchange.

    In 2017, the goods volume transported through HaiPhongPort was estimated at 92 million tonnes. 

    Hoa Phat to build post-tensioning steel plant     

    Hoa Phat Group has decided to invest VND1 trillion (US$43.9 million) in building a high quality post-tensioning steel factory, Vu Thi Anh Tuyet, deputy director of Hoa Phat Equipment and Accessory Company Limited, said.

    The plant is located in Dung Quat Economic Zone in the central province of Quang Ngai and will be the first high-quality steel factory in Viet Nam.

    It is built to replace steel imports and add value to its closed production model of the Hoa Phat Dung Quat iron and steel production complex.

    The project has a capacity of 160,000 tonnes per year, including three high-end products -- PC bar, PC Strand and PC Wire. These products are used in large-scale infrastructure projects that require high technology, high load capacity and safety, such as towers, viaducts, cross-sea bridges, high buildings and cables. Moreover, these products help optimise space and material costs, shortening the time of construction work.

    The post-tensioning plant is located right next to the complex, resulting in significant savings in transportation costs and inventory, as well as meeting the production schedule and delivering the goods quickly. Thus, the advantageous location will lower the cost of products and raise competitiveness compared with imported goods.

    The project will make use of opportunities to upgrade the value chain of Hoa Phat’s steel products. With a modern and synchronous production line from Europe, Hoa Phat post-tensioning steel factory has potential to meet the demand of related products, ensuring the highest quality.

    According to Tuyet, Viet Nam imports 100 per cent of post-tensioned steel products from China, Thailand, Indonesia, Republic of Korea and Japan, with annual output of over 70,000 tonnes of PC Bar and PC Strand steel to build infrastructure in the country. In the first nine months of 2017, this figure increased to 85,000 tonnes, an increase of 21 per cent over the entire previous year.

    Hoa Phat post-tensioning steel factory is expected to meet 100 per cent of the demand for construction of domestic infrastructure projects, supporting the country in actively investing in development, reducing dependence on the external market, restricting the bleeding of foreign currencies and providing the market with products of high quality and stability.

    The plant is scheduled to be implemented within 12 months from the beginning of 2018, right after being allocated land, and officially launched in early 2019. 

    Ontario, Vietnamese institutions ink agreements     

    Vietnamese and Ontario organisations on Monday in HCMCity signed 14 agreements in the fields of food, architecture/construction, agricultural machinery, biomass raw material and education, worth nearly CA$25 million (US$19.67 million).

    The Centennial College signed agreements, each valued at CA$5.25 million, to help advance academic exchanges, research collaborations and joint programming with HUTECH University of Technology, Hoa Sen College and Khanh Hoa University.

    Ontario is Canada’s largest province by population and economy with GDP of CA$798 billion ($628.15 billion), nearly 40 per cent of Canada’s total.

    Over the past decade, Ontario has welcomed representatives from Viet Nam and explored new ways of working together in key sectors, including healthcare, infrastructure and aerospace.

    Viet Nam and Ontario are both members of a number of international trade agreements.

    Trade between Ontario and Viet Nam has nearly quadrupled since 2012, reaching CA$3.1 billion last year.

    Ontario’s top imports from Viet Nam include telephone equipment, fabric and leather footwear, computers and furniture.

    The signing took place on the first visit of Kathleen Wynne, premier of Ontario, together with a delegation of 60 leaders of businesses, which aims to strengthen ties and foster business and innovation partnerships with Viet Nam.

    Speaking at the signing ceremony, Wynne said: “Viet Nam has one of the world’s fastest-growing economies, much like Ontario. This growth is bolstered by talented young entrepreneurs who are making their mark in technology and other sectors.”

    The relationship between Canada and Viet Nam is on the rise, especially with regard to the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for a Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), she said.

    “Just look at the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) talks (now the CPTPP). The 11 countries have now agreed on the core principles of an agreement. I am excited and optimistic about what that means for Canada and Viet Nam and the way it could open up even more trade opportunities and increase market access for businesses. I know all 11 countries will continue to work closely on this and land on an agreement that everyone can agree will be beneficial,” she said. 

    VN, Nigeria seek to boost trade cooperation     

    Viet Nam and Nigeria are seeking to boost co-operation in trade and investment to tap the significant potential between the two countries.

    At the Viet Nam-Nigeria Trade and Investment Forum in Ha Noi on Monday, Doan Duy Khuong, vice chairman of the Viet Nam Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said the two countries had significant room to boost co-operation.

    Khuong said Viet Nam was entering a new development period in 2016-20 with a stable macro-economy, high gross domestic product growth rate and total trade revenue of US$359 billion.

    Viet Nam was an important gateway for Nigerian firms to penetrate other markets, especially ASEAN markets, Khuong said, adding that Nigeria was a potential market for Viet Nam in Africa.

    Khuong said the two sides had potential to boost co-operation in agriculture, agricultural processing, garments, mining and building materials.

    Nigeria wanted to import products that were Viet Nam’s strengths and Viet Nam wanted to import raw materials for processing.

    Oye Akinsemoyin, president of the Nigeria-Viet Nam Chamber of Commerce and Industry, expected the two countries would further promote their co-operation in processing agricultural products.

    The trade revenue between Viet Nam and Nigeria averaged more than $250 million during the past five years.

    In 2016, bilateral trade reached $303.84 million, up by 23.8 per cent over the previous year.

    Viet Nam mainly exported ships, phones and components, garment and plastics, as well as chemicals, machinery and electronic products to Nigeria and imported cashew and wood from this African country. 

    US allows import of VN mangos     

    The United States Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has given permission for fresh mango fruit imports from Viet Nam to enter the US, effective December 29.

    According to the Viet Nam News Agency Television (Vnews), after analysing the potential plant pest risks, APHIS scientists determined that mangos from Viet Nam can be safely imported under a “systems approach”.

    APHIS defines the systems approach as a series of measures taken by growers, packers and shippers that together minimise pest risks prior to import into the United States.

    In this case, APHIS explained that the systems approach for mangos from Viet Nam included orchard or packinghouse requirements, irradiation treatment and port of entry inspection, to protect against the introduction of plant pests and diseases.

    The agency is also requiring these mangos be imported in commercial shipments and accompanied by phystosanitary certificates verifying the fruit was produced under these conditions. These certificates must include an additional declaration stating the fruit was inspected and found free of black mango spot.

    Vietnam Airlines joins hands with Bangkok Airways     

    National carrier Vietnam Airlines (VNA) will enter into a codeshare agreement with Bangkok Airways to operate flights between Viet Nam and Thailand.

    This will create travel options for passengers and expand the air network to popular destinations of the two countries.

    Under the agreement, passengers can buy Vietnam Airlines tickets from Ha Noi/Ho Chi Minh City to Bangkok and then connect to Thailand’s domestic destinations via Bangkok Airways, including Chiang Mai, Phuket, Koh Samui, Krabi and Chiang Rai. Passengers only need to book seats and make a one-time flight booking with Vietnam Airlines for the entire journey.

    Passengers of the two airlines also have more diversified route options between Viet Nam and Thailand, including the Bangkok-Da Nang route operated by Bangkok Airways with a frequency of one flight per day and the Ha Noi/Ho Chi Minh City-Bangkok route operated by Vietnam Airlines with a frequency of six flights per day.

    According to the Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation (CAPA), the Southeast Asian aviation market has high potential, reflected by the strong growth and high demand for travel. Six out of eleven Southeast Asian nations have achieved double digit growth in passenger traffic, of which the route between Thailand and Viet Nam reached total increase of 30 per cent last year, almost double compared with five years ago.

    This increasing trend is expected to continue in the coming years, CAPA said. 

    HNX raises over $400m from G-bonds in November     

    The Ha Noi Stock Exchange (HNX) announced it has mobilised more than VND9.15 trillion (US$403 million) from 31 Government bond auctions in November.

    This marked an increase of 21.8 per cent compared with the previous month, of which the State Treasury mobilised over VND2.93 trillion, Viet Nam Development Bank raised VND4 trillion and Viet Nam Bank for Social Policies raised more than VND2.22 trillion. 

    The coupon rates of five-year term bonds sold ranged from 4.5 per cent to five per cent per year, seven-year term bonds ranged from 4.85 per cent to 4.88 per cent per annum, 10-year term bonds ranged from 5.41 to 5.91 per cent per annum, 15-year term bonds were at 5.75-6.2 per cent per annum, 20-year term bonds were at 5.82 per cent per year and 30-year term bonds were at 6.1 per cent per annum.

    Compared with October, coupon rates in November of five-year bonds increased 0.02 per cent per annum, seven-year bonds grew 0.05 per cent per annum, and 10-year and 30-year term bonds remained the same.

    On the secondary market, the total volume of government bonds sold by the outright method reached more than 800 million, worth VND88.6 trillion, marking a 15.2 per cent decrease in value over October.

    Trading volume through repurchase agreements (repos) was 1.105 trillion bonds, worth over VND110.5 trillion, up 4.1 per cent in value compared with the previous month.

    Foreign investors also made outright purchases of more than VND4.3 trillion and outright sale transactions of over VNĐ5.6 trillion. They made repo sales of over VND247 billion and no repo buys in November. 

    Sacombank offers $132 mil credit package to household businesses, small traders     

    Sacombank has set aside VND3 trillion (US$132.15 million) for preferential loans to household businesses, small traders and firms converted from household businesses in HCMCity.

    The annual interest rate is 6.9 per cent for short-term loans and from 9 per cent for long-term loans.

    At a seminar to connect Sacombank with firms, household businesses and small traders in HCMCity held on November 30, the bank signed agreements to offer preferential credit to 55 customers in the city.

    The bank said it would continue to offer preferential loans to other eligible customers from now until mid-2018.

    Nguyẽn Ngọc Qué Chi, Sacombank’s deputy general director, said the bank has for years offered preferential loans to help enterprises, household businesses and small traders cut back operation costs and improve their competitiveness.

    The bank has taken part in the city’s programme to connect banks with enterprises for the last five years.

    Sacombank together with other banks have provided loans to thousands of enterprises, household businesses and co-operatives in the city’s 24 districts.

    Sacombank alone has provided enterprises and business households with preferential loans of up to VND15.3 trillion under the programme, Chi said.

    In January this year, Sacombank, the State Bank of Vietnam and the HCM City Department of Industry and Trade signed an agreement to provide a credit package of VND3 trillion for preferential loans to businesses operating in five key sectors: support industry, exports, agriculture and rural development, hi-tech application, and small- and medium-sized enterprises. 

    Nigeria offers new market potential for Vietnam

    Nigeria has become a potential commercial market for Vietnam in Africa as Vietnam is running a huge trade surplus with the market, focusing on such staple items as transportation vehicles, computers and electronic products.

    Doan Duy Khuong, vice chairman of the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) made the remarks at a Nigeria-Vietnam Business and Investment Forum in Hanoi on December 4.

    Businesses from the two countries have strengthened exchanges and cooperation on the principle of equal mutual benefits. Over the past five years, average two-way trade between Vietnam and Nigeria hit more than US$250 million annually, he said.

    Vietnam’s exports to Nigeria included transport vehicles, computers, and electronic products while imports were cashew nuts, cotton yarn, wood fibre, fruit and vegetables. 

    The two countries have also boast great cooperation potential in agriculture, farm produce processing, clothing outwork, mining, and construction material production.

    According to VCCI, Nigeria wants to import products that Vietnam is a leading producer of, while Vietnam desires to buy raw products to serve its export targets.

    The forum will help push up trade, investment, and import and export activities between the two countries, said Mr Khuong, adding that VCCI will serve as a bridge for setting up an effective and enduring partnership between businesses.

    Oye Akinsemoyin, chairman of Nigeria-Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said the Chamber hopes to receive assistance from Vietnam to fully exploit the two countries’ strengths in product processing, particularly farm produce.

    He hopes trade activities between Nigeria and Vietnam will further expandin the future, with a focus on exports of unprocessed products and cooperation in production and processing.

    Rice exports hit almost US$2.5 billion

    Vietnam’s rice exports achieved a great triumph in the 11 months leading up to December as they hit 5.52 million tons worth US$2.49 billion, up 24.1% in volume and 24.9% in value against the same period last year.

    These figures are much higher than last year’s total (nearly 4.9 million tons and US$2.2 billion).

    In the first 10 months of this year, Vietnam shipped rice to 132 world markets. China was the largest importer with 40% of the export volume or 2.03 million tons, up 35% over the corresponding period last year. Meanwhile, exports to other markets also witnessed a sharp rise such as the Philippines (up 41.3%), Malaysia (up 97.3%) and Ivory Coast (39.7%).

    According to the Ministry of Industry and Trade, 2017 is a successful year for the rice sector despite the forecast that many countries would implement a self-supply policy which causes difficulties to rice exporters.

    However, Vietnam’s rice exports obtained a rapid growth after rice production in some countries were negatively impacted by clime change. Major importers like China, the Philippines, Malaysia and the Republic of Korea were in great demand and particularly, new import markets such as Bangladesh and Iraq also helped push up rice exports.

    It is forecast that rice exports in the last month of the year will reach around 400,000-500,000 tons, bringing the total export volume to 5.9-6 million tons this year, 1.1-1.2 million tons higher than last year.

    Vietnam brings variety of traditional craft creations to Italian fair

    Some 30 Vietnamese enterprises have brought a variety of traditional handicrafts to L’Artigiano in Fiera 2017, an international craft exhibition running in Milan, Italy from December 2-10.

    Popular Vietnamese hand-crafted items like brocade garments and clothing, rattan- and bamboo-made furniture, lacquer paintings, souvenirs, and farm produces, alongside the country’s traditional foods are on display at Vietnam’s pavilion at the fair. 

    Vietnam launched its 1,500-sq.m pavilion with an opening ceremony featuring lion dances and traditional “Vovinam” martial arts. 

    Speaking at the event, Vietnamese Trade Counsellor in Italy Nguyen Duc Thanh said the 22nd edition of the event gathers more than 3,000 businesses from more than 100 countries and territories. It provides an opportunity for Vietnamese firms to learn the demands of foreign markets, promote their products, learn from others’ experience in production and expand networks of overseas consumers, he noted.

    Thanh also noted bilateral relations between Vietnam and Italy have seen significant progress over the past four decades after the two countries established diplomatic ties in 1973. Two-way trade rose more than four-fold from US$1.13 billion in 2006 to US$4.7 billion last year, the trade counsellor said. 

    Trade revenue between the two countries exceeded US$3.76 billion in the first ten months of 2017 with Vietnam’s exports to Italy hitting US$2.4 billion. Vietnam exported about US$4.5 million worth of handicraft products, such as rattan- and bamboo-made items, to Italy during the period while Vietnam’s shipments of garments and clothing exceeded US$186.8 million, he added.

    L’Artigiano in Fiera, the world’s biggest international handicraft trade fair, was first held in Italy in 1996.

    Shipping falls behind booming online shopping in Vietnam

    While online shopping platforms extend themselves to ensure they have adequate infrastructure to meet rising demand by Vietnamese consumers, they are still failing to satisfy when it comes to shipping, which is mostly done by third parties.

    More and more Vietnamese consumers are turning to e-commerce instead of jostling with crowds during shopping events like Black Friday.

    In previous years, online shopping websites became overloaded with orders, many of whom eventually failed to receive their purchased goods.

    This year, such technical problems were widely resolved and most online platforms have run smoothly, especially during the Black Friday season from November 24 to 26.

    However, customers have still filed complaints with e-commerce sites after their goods were delivered much later than scheduled.

    In some cases, deliveries were not made until two weeks after the time of purchase.

    Luu Huynh, who works for a food company in Ho Chi Minh City, bought a Wi-Fi modem on Lazada in November and was told that delivery would take five to seven days.

    However, after two weeks of waiting, Huynh contacted the Lazada hotline and received an auto-reply that told him to “go to the website and check the order status.”

    The problem is, Huynh said, that the order status simply stated that his purchase had been transferred to a third-party shipping service.

    Alexandre Dardy, CEO of Lazada Vietnam, officially responded to Huynh’s complaint, admitting that the shipping service was poor during the promotional campaign as the system had become overwhelmed with orders.

    During the November 24-26 campaign, Lazada managed to sell 1.5 million products, a threefold increase on last year, according to Dardy.

    The executive did, however, admit that multiple orders placed during the Black Friday shopping spree remained undelivered two weeks after the campaign, with the shipping service to blame.

    Many online shoppers have moaned that they received notifications of delayed delivery from the e-commerce websites as there were “too many orders to process.”

    The overloaded systems also resulted in the delivery of goods different from what some customers had ordered, according to other complaints.

    Most major online shopping websites utilize a third party to handle shipping and delivery, which ensures their service quality remains a headache.

    A representative of Lotte Vietnam, which has recently joined the e-commerce market, said more than 80% of its orders are being delivered by the company’s partners, so “a certain proportion of deliveries are made behind schedule.”

    Minh Bui, an online shopping expert, said the overloading of online retailers proves that Vietnam’s e-commerce infrastructure remains immature compared to the growth of the industry.

    Thomas Harris, managing director of DHL eCommerce Vietnam, cited a company research as saying that most online shoppers in Vietnam are not satisfied by the shipping services of local retailers.

    Sixty-six percent of online shoppers in Vietnam have demanded their goods be delivered by a trustworthy company, Harris added.

    While e-commerce currently only makes up one percent of Vietnam’s total retail market, the online shopping industry is growing steadily in the Southeast Asian country.

    David Anjoubault, general manager of Kantar Worldpanel Vietnam, says that the Vietnamese e-commerce market still has strong potential, even though its size is small when compared to others.

    Online sales of fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) reached 0.5% of the total market in Vietnam in the 12 months to March 2017, representing a significant lift of 69% in comparison to last year, Anjoubault said, citing the “Future of E-commerce in FMCG” report by Kantar Worldpanel, which they published on November 21.

    “[This] makes Vietnam one of the countries with the highest e-commerce growth in the world,” he said.

    VNN


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  • 12/07/17--23:34: Article 1
  • Vietnamese go crazy over bitcoin


    The skyrocketing price of bitcoin is creating frenzied trading. The price in Vietnam is rising in line with the world price, with the gap between buy and sell prices up to tens of millions of dong per bitcoin.  


     

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    Vietnamese go crazy over bitcoin


    “Hundreds of digital currency trading floors, including forums, websites, Facebook and millions of bitcoin traders, are making the atmosphere as hot as summer. I don't understand what is happening,” said Le Huy Hoa, a technology expert.

    At a trading floor, Hoa saw a quoted price of VND236 million per bitcoin that soared to VND251 million just one hour later. 

    The price in Vietnam is rising in line with the world price, with the gap between buy and sell prices up to tens of millions of dong per bitcoin.   

    The gap between the sell and buy prices are always fluctuating. The sell/buy prices were VND251,037,625 – 246,055,865 and VND249,470,000 VND – 245,427,553 one hour later. But half an hour later, the prices were VND249,381,668 VND – 244,035,000. 

    The prices were different at different trading floors. The prices were VND239,276,000 VND – 223,327,400 at another floor.

    Hoa said that anyone can access the website of any trading floor and provide basic information including names, emails and phone numbers to register accounts and begin making transactions.

    After completing a purchase transaction, the owner of the trading floor will transfer bitcoins into the registered account. Then he will be able to join other business activities, including investment authorization.

    The procedure for investment authorization is simple: one person calls on another to contribute money to make an investment. After collecting money, the head of the team may commit to pay interest on the capital. Investors can withdraw money if they do no longer want to make investments.

    An analyst said that in many cases the heads of the teams use the money contributed by later authorizers to pay to the previous authorizers. This could be seen as swindling. 

    In its latest announcement, the central bank, citing the Criminal Code and relevant documents, said that bitcoin and other digital currencies are not recognized as legal payment instruments in Vietnam, and that people will be subject to criminal prosecution if they make payments in bitcoin.

    Violators will be fined up to VND200 million from January 1, 2018.

    However, analysts say some legal problems still exist. There is no legal document which says that bitcoin is ‘money’ or ‘goods’.

    The owner of a trading floor also argues that bitcoin is not ‘money’ and ‘a payment instrument’, so it is not covered by current legal documents and that transactions in bitcoin do not violate any law.

    Thanh Lich, VNN


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  • 12/07/17--23:36: Article 0
  • Social News 7/12


    Clinics in NhaTrangCity deteriorated


     Clinics in Nha Trang City deteriorated, Ministry proposes three scenarios for Cai Lay tollgate spat, ASEAN student leaders meet in HCM City, Can Tho, Workshop looks to boost NGOs capacity in Vietnam

    All clinics in the central coastal province of Khánh Hòa’s NhaTrangCity have deteriorated with underdeveloped tools and machines, Lê Phán, director of the Nha Trang Medical Centre, said.

    On average, each doctor at a clinic examines some 100 patients per day, three times higher than the health sector’s regulations.

    Phán said the city has a total of five clinics all of which were built more than 10 years ago, with limited scope. 

    Although there are enough machines, they are outdated, according to the official.

    Typically, clinic No 3 was built more than 15 years ago and has not been upgraded even once. The walls have peeled off and are mouldy.

    At Clinic No 2, the examination room was also used as the waiting room due to a lack of space, Phán said.

    The shortage of modern machines at the clinics has forced many patients to be moved to central hospitals.

    Besides this, Damrey Typhoon, which occurred at the beginning of last month, caused further damage to the clinics.

    Each clinic has 5-6 doctors, however, in one day only 3-4 doctors conduct health checks on patients. The remaining have to attend regular training courses to improve their qualifications.

    Phán said the number of patients is the highest on Monday and Friday, and most are retired and old.

    The city health sector is now collecting all efforts to build the NhaTrangCityHospital in accordance with the KhánhHòaProvince’s construction plan, he said.

    The municipal health sector completed the design to build the NhaTrangCityHospital last year, but faced several troubles related to location of the new hospital, therefore, construction work has not started. 

    Ministry proposes three scenarios for Cai Lay tollgate spat

    Deputy Minister of Transport Nguyen Ngoc Dong on December 5  floated three scenarios for the controversial Cai Lay tollgate on National Highway 1 in TienGiangProvince.

    First, the tollgate would stay where it is and road users would have to pay fees when they pass the tollgate. However, the investor will improve services, such as opening more lanes.

    Second, the tollgate would be relocated from National Highway 1 to the 12-kilometer road which bypasses CaiLayTown. If this is the case, the Government would have to renegotiate with the investor to lengthen the toll collection duration. But according to Dong, the relocation option could not materialize as it would affect the investor’s financial plan and its commitment to loan repayment, which he said might increase bad debt in the banking system if it is prolonged.

    Third, there should be two toll stations, with one on National Highway 1 to recover the money used for re-asphalting a 26.5-kilometer section of the highway, and one on the 12-kilometer bypass to recover the cost of the newly built bypass.

    Speaking to Nguoi Lao Dong newspaper, Dong said there were several solutions proposed during an emergency meeting chaired by the Prime Minister on Monday.

    However, no final decision was made at the meeting. The PM told the Ministry of Transport and relevant agencies to review the project and come up with new solutions for the Cai Lay tollgate.

    Dong said build-operate-transfer (BOT) is an effective way to raise capital from the private sector to fund infrastructure development projects. However, the implementation of BOT infrastructure projects has shown some shortcomings due to the incomplete legal framework for this form of financing.

    Regional conference highlight female labourers, trade union’s role

    A conference on famle labourers and the role of trade union in the Asia-Pacific region was held in Hanoi on December 6 by the Vietnam General Confederation of Labour (VGCL) in collaboration with the World Federation Trade Unions (WFTU).

    The event drew the participation of 15 trade unions from 11 countries in the Asia-Pacific region, and some European countries setting up cooperation with the VGCL.

    Addressing the conference, VGCL President Bui Van Cuong highlighted policies towards female labourers are being improved in Vietnam, including the adoption of the Law on Gender Equality in 2006 and the Labour Code with a chapter related to regulations on female workers.

    Vietnam ranks 18th in the world in terms of the numbers of female deputies at the National Assembly, he said.

    However, Vietnamese female workers still face numerous challenges such as payment, working conditions, training opportunities, promotion and sustainable jobs, noted Cuong, who is also Vice President of the WFTU.

    The VGCL will pay more attention to developing policies and supervising the enforcement of relevant legal documents to better take care female workers, Cuong said.

    WFTU Head Office General Coordinator Anda Anastasaki described the conference as an important event to consolidate the movement of female labourers in the Asia– Pacific region and in the world as well.

    She stressed the improvement of the female workers’ working conditions is a top priority of the WFTU.

    At the event, participants discussed measures to promote and protect legitimate rights and benefits of female workers.

    Prime Minister commits support to Ontario businesses

    Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc committed all possible support to Canada’s Ontario firms to do business in Vietnam during a reception in Hanoi on December 6 for Premier of Ontario Kathleen Wynne. 

    The PM spoke highly of bilateral trade with Ontario which hit 3 billion USD out of the total 4 billion USD trade between Vietnam and Canada

    He said the agreement by relevant countries to continue with negotiation on the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), will lay a foundation for Vietnam and Cananda to boost all-around ties, including in trade. 

    Phuc expressed wish that two-way trade will grow at least 10-15 percent in the future. 

    With potential of partnership in mining, manufacturing, national defence-security, he called on more Canadian firms to invest in Vietnam, noting that many Canadian investors have succeeded in doing business in the Southeast Asian country. 

    Wynne informed the host that Ontario is the first state to implement the Vietnam-Canada cooperation agreement following the Vietnam visit by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, adding that as home to a number of big corporations, Ontario contributes to 40 percent of the gross domestic product of Canada

    She said the business delegation accompanying her in the visit comprises representatives from nearly 50 enterprises who want to seek business opportunities in infrastructure, education, clean industry and health care. 

    Many non-profit organisations are also ready to assist Vietnam in climate change response and environment protection, she said. 

    Agreeing with the host’s stance on free trade promotion, she said Ontario is actively pushing the Canadian administration on CPTPP negotiations.

    Hanoi People’s Council closes fifth meeting

    The fifth meeting of the Hanoi municipal People’s Council (15th tenure) wrapped up in the capital city on December 6 after three days of sitting. 

    The meeting adopted 5 regular resolutions and 11 specialised resolutions, and discussed reports on the city’s performance in 2017 and key tasks for 2018.

    The municipal People’s Council approved the 2016-2020 public investment plan, supplementation to the list of key construction works for 2016-2020, adjustment to the target programme on information technology application in State agencies in the city for 2016-2020, and adopted the master plan on Hoa Lac urban area till 2030 on 1:10,000 scale and a plan on issuing health insurance cards for leprosy patients and households living just above the poverty line. 

    The session also saw several changes in holding hearings, with the Council questioning relevant agencies on issues raised within the past one year in written forms. In particular, problems that are slow to be solved were selected for face-to-face question-and-answer sessions. 

    The session saw the largest number of officials called up for hearings, with 7 chairmen of ward/district People’s Committees, one vice chairman of the municipal People’s Committee and 9 directors of municipal departments going before the council. 

    Chairman of the municipal People’s Committee Nguyen Duc Chung thanked participants for giving straightforward and constructive feedback on reports and adopting important resolutions on socio-economic development, national defence-security for 2018. 

    In her closing speech, Chairwoman of the municipal People’s Council Nguyen Thi Bich Ngoc asked the municipal People’s Committee and departments to promptly make plans to realise adopted resolutions and raise the entire political system’s sense of responsibility for accomplishing tasks for 2018 and the following years.

    Lao Prime Minister hails Vietnam News Agency’s support

    Lao Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith lauded Vietnam News Agency (VNA)’s supports for the Lao News Agency (KPL) in the past years at a reception on December 6 for a VNA delegation led by General Director Nguyen Duc Loi.

    The Lao Government leader affirmed the important roles of the two news agencies, stating that VNA’s companion in the past years has helped the KPL better perform missions entrusted by the Lao Party and Government.

    The VNA General Director, for his part, informed his host about joint work between the two agencies, including information exchange, personnel training and upgrade of technical infrastructure.

    Notably, both sides effectively carried out popularisation work on significant events, especially the Vietnam-Laos Solidarity and Friendship Year 2017 and the Laos-Vietnam Solidarity and Friendship Year 2017, he stressed.

    The VNA hopes to receive further support from Lao leaders so that the two agencies can expand collaboration in the coming time, he said.

    On December 5, the VNA delegation had talks with the KPL representatives. 

    At the event, the two sides gave evaluations on their cooperation results in 2017 while discussed collaboration plan in 2018 under the spirit of the cooperation protocol during 2016-2020. 

    They agreed to enhance cooperation in information exchange and support each other in popularisation work.

    The VNA will continue training for KPL’s reporters and editors and help the Lao agency modernize technical infrastructure while KPL will continue to help with the publishing of the VNA’s Vietnam Pictorial magazine in Lao language and broadcast programmes of VNA television channel (VNews) in Laos.

    At the end of the talks, leaders of the two agencies inked cooperation minutes for 2018.

    Qatar treasures ties with Vietnam

    Qatar treasures cooperative ties with Vietnam and is seeking measures to bolster the sound bilateral multi-faceted relations.

    Emir of Qatar Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani made the statement during a reception on December 4 for Vietnamese Ambassador to Qatar Nguyen Dinh Thao who presented his credentials.

    The Emir hoped to welcome President Tran Dai Quang in Qatar at an appropriate time for both sides, while wishing that the upcoming visit to Vietnam by Qatar’s Foreign Minister and high-level officials will promote the implementation of agreements within the framework of the Vietnam-Qatar Intergovernmental Committee.

    The Vietnamese diplomat conveyed President Tran Dai Quang’s greetings to the Qatari Emir.

    Expressing his thanks the Qatari Emir for his interest in the bilateral relations, Ambassador Thao affirmed to do his utmost to elevate the Vietnam-Qatar relations to a new height, meeting expectations of people from both sides.

    Thống Nhất Railway adds new carriages

    Saigon Railway plans to add 10 new carriages to replace old ones on the Thống Nhất (North - South) route on December 10.

    They will be lighter and more soundproof, and will have bigger corridors and cleaner toilets. Each carriage will have 56 adjustable seats and an electrical socket per seat for charging electric items, as well as reading lights and TV screens along the carriages.

    The Saigon Railway said it would not charge passengers more for upgraded carriages.

    The carriages were designed by Dĩ An Train Joint-Stock Company, which built two trains last year used on the HCM City–Nha Trang route. 

    In the last two years, Saigon Railway and HARACO (Hanoi Railway Transport JSC.) spent around VNĐ957 billion (US$42 million) on upgrading trains and services.

    ASEAN student leaders meet in HCM City, Cần Thơ

    Student leaders from 30 member countries are taking part in the 6th annual ASEAN Student Leaders Forum (ASLF) and the 2nd ASEAN University Network – Student Affairs Network Meeting (AUN-SAN) held in HCM City and Cần Thơ City from Dec 5-9.

    The event, co-hosted by the Việt Nam National University HCM City (VNUHCM) and Cần Thơ University, seeks commitments toward a prosperous ASEAN Community.

    “While ASLF serves as a platform for student leaders in ASEAN to share experiences and opinions pertinent to student organisations and youth in general, AUN-SAN is a supportive and planning platform that will pave the way to the execution of the proposed programmes that student leaders discuss during ASLF,” said Choltis Dhirathiti, executive director of the AUN.

    Huỳnh Thành Đạt, president of the ViệtNamNationalUniversityHCMCity, said: “The event helps participants identify and discuss the opportunities and challenges of labor mobility within the ASEAN community, thereby identifying necessary preparation for students from universities in AUN.”

    In addition to keynote sessions on students’ opportunities, challenges and skills in labour mobility in ASEAN, participants will travel to Cần Thơ City to tour a museum and water puppet show and take part in a cultural camp, among other historical and cultural activities.

    The president of the HCM City Peace and Development Foundation, Tôn Nữ Thị Ninh, and chairman of the AUN Student Affairs Network Secretariat, Abdul Malek Abdul Karin, among other officials, attended the opening ceremony yesterday.

    Hà Nội People’s Court opens trial on agriculture ex-director

    The Hà Nội People’s Court on Wednesday opened proceedings in the case of ex-deputy director of the city’s Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, Phạm Minh Nguyệt, and five others accused of violations in economic management.

    Nguyệt and Nguyễn Thị Huyền Hảo, the former chief accountant of the Hà Nội Investment and Development Ltd Company (HADICO), Đỗ Văn Hảo, ex-general director of HADICO, Đặng Thị Thanh Tâm, former director of the Từ Liêm Tourism and Fruit Enterprise, Dương Thị Chinh, former accountant of the Từ Liêm enterprise and Nguyễn Trọng Hùng, former director of the Bắc Hà enterprise under the HADICO, were accused of property embezzlement, abusing their position while performing their duties and deliberately violating State rules in economic management resulting in losses of more than VNĐ40 billion (US$1.8 million).

    Among the six accused, Nguyệt and Huyền Hảo may face the highest penalties including the death sentences if found guilty of property embezzlement and abusing their position, while the four others were charged for wrongdoings during performing their duties including abusing their position and financial management.

    The hearing is scheduled to take place from December 6-8.

    Nine lawyers are defending the accused.

    According to the indictment, from late 2009 to 2014, Nguyệt ordered Huyền Hảo and other subordinate officials under his power including directors of member enterprises to set up false documents to withdraw money from HADICO’s production and market stablising funds. The money was supposedly delivered to him.

    The total amount of money withdrawn from the company to transfer to Nguyệt exceeded VNĐ40 billion by 2014.

    To hide the fraud, Nguyệt allegedly instructed his subordinates to sign a bank loan contract worth VNĐ19 billion so he could pay the money back to the HADICO and then used his own money to refund nearly VNĐ26 billion to the company.

    The procuracy accused Nguyệt of embezzling nearly VNĐ15 billion from HADICO, which his family has completely compensated.

    HADICO still lost more than VNĐ1.8 billion, mostly interest arising from the bank’s VNĐ19 billion loans, according to the indictment. 

    Đại wins fourth stage of Bình Dương race

    Young cyclist Hà Kiều Tấn Đại overcame veteran Lê Nguyệt Minh to triumph in the fourth stage of the Bình Dương Television Cycling Tournament, Ống Nhựa Hoa Sen Cup, yesterday.

    Đại from BTV Đại Nam Bình Dương finished first with a time of 4:3.11 in the 142km stage from Buôn Mê Thuột City in Đắk Lắk to Chư Sê District in GiaLaiProvince.

    Minh of VUS-HCM City and Nguyễn Huỳnh Đăng Khoa of Việt Nam Youth were the runners-up.

    The weather was favourable for cycling on the hilly course.

    Minh holds the green jersey award as the best sprinter, while the yellow jersey belongs to Phạm Quốc Cường of Domesco Pharmacy Đồng Tháp.

    The white jersey for best young cyclist is still held by Nguyễn Minh Luận of the senior Việt Nam national team.

    There was a change in the team’s rankings. VUS-HCMCity overthrew Domesco Pharmacy Đồng Tháp to lead, while Gạo Hạt Ngọc Trời An Giang are third.

    Today, nearly 70 cyclists will take part in the fifth 92km stage from PleikuCity in GiaLaiProvince to Đắk Tô District in KonTumProvince

    Party official reaffirms fostering ties with Russia

    Politburo member and head of the CPV Central Committee’s Inspection Commission Tran Quoc Vuong has affirmed CPV and VietnameseState’s consistent stance to foster ties with Russia

    During a working session with Deputy Chairwoman of the State Duma of Russia Irina Yarovaya in Moscow on December 6, Vuong thanked President Vladimir Putin and Russian leaders and people for helping Vietnam overcome the consequences of recent floods. 

    Both sides agreed that ties between the two legislatures have improved with regular exchange of visits at all levels. 

    Yarovaya said Russian political parties in the Duma always support strengthening ties with Vietnam

    Both host and guest stressed the need to enhance inspection of the implementation of agreements between the two governments, especially the free trade agreement between Vietnam and the Eurasian Economic Union. 

    During other talks, the Vietnamese guest and Director General of the United Russia Party’s Institute for Foreign Policy Studies and Initiatives Veronika Krasheninnikova discussed ways to boost ties between the two Parties, including facilitating high-level visits to share experience in state and social management, enhancing exchange between the two parties’ mass organisations, particularly young generations, and increasing links at political multilateral forums. 

    Later, they co-chaired a Party consultation on issues of shared concern. 

    At the event, Politburo member and head of the CPV Central Committee’s Commission for External Relations Hoang Binh Quan and Deputy Secretary of the General Council of the United Russia Party Sergei Zheleznyak signed a cooperation deal between the two Parties for 2018-2021.

    The Vietnamese delegation is visiting Russia from December 5-10.

    Workshop seeks measures to promote gender responsive budgeting

    The UN Women in Vietnam and the Asia Development Bank in Vietnam held a workshop on December 6 on promoting gender responsive budgeting in Vietnam.

    Addressing the event, UN Women’s Head of Office in Vietnam Elisa Fernandez said UN Women has supported more than 60 countries in gender responsive budget planning. In Vietnam, since 2014, the agency has conducted research and improved capacity for relevant parties in the work.

    She said that Vietnam’s Law on State Budget 2015 affirmed the country’s commitment to gender equality through State budget spending. However, Fernandez urged Vietnam to design specific guidelines for the work, including raising public awareness and building coordination mechanism between financial, planning agencies and other parties.

    Meanwhile, Aaron Batten, ADB Senior Economist, said that gender equality is a focus of the bank’s development support programmes for Asia-Pacific. Improving women’s capacity in economic development is crucial in poverty reduction and growth, he said, adding that the ADB has introduced gender responsive budgeting in Vietnam through a programme to improve public spending in Vietnam from 2014.

    At the workshop, experts defined gender responsive budgeting as the whole process of planning, implementing, supervising and auditing State funding with careful consideration to gender issues. 

    Nguyen Minh Tan, Vice Director of the National Assembly Office’s Department of Finance and Budget said that for the first time, the Law on State Budget 2015 prioritised the allocation of funds to meet gender equality goals.

    Participants also sought measures to build effective tools in promoting gender equality, while sharing experience of some countries in implementing gender responsive budgeting, and discussing Vietnam’s initiatives in the work.

    Over the years, Vietnam has gained achievements in gender equality, including improving laws and the national system on gender equality.

    However, Vietnam has faced a number of challenges, including employment conditions in the informal sector, climate change impacts and limited access to social welfare, which seriously affect women and poor people.

    Gender responsive budgeting, a tool for evaluating accounting responsibility and supervising gender equality support commitments of governments, has been applied in more than 100 countries.

    Vietnamese students enjoy 600 Samsung scholarships

    Samsung Electronics Vietnam has conferred 600 scholarships worth VND600 million to underprivileged students with excellent academic records in three provinces of Bac Ninh, Thai Nguyen, and Bac Giang.

    On December 1- 6, students in Bac Ninh and Thai Nguyen provinces received 400 scholarships while 200 students in Bac Giang province be given Samsung scholarships on December 15. Samsung also offered gifts packages of backpacks and learning kits to disadvantaged students to aid their studies.

    Since 2010, Samsung Vietnam has awarded 13,000 scholarships worth VND13 billion to students in 1,507 schools nationwide.

    Shim Won Hwan, General Director of Samsung Vietnam, said that as the largest FDI business in Vietnam, Samsung is fully aware of its corporate social responsibility and the company will continue to grant scholarships to needy Vietnamese students in future with the hope that successful graduates will progress to work for Samsung.

    Workshop looks to boost NGOs capacity in Vietnam

    A workshop to improve the performance of non-governmental organisations (NGOs) in Vietnam has taken place at the Vietnamese House in WashingtonDC.

    The workshop, held on December 4, introduced Vietnam’s current affairs and its priorities in development and cooperation for the goal of poverty reduction and sustainable growth.

    Representatives from NGOs operating in Vietnam, businesses and individuals with significant contributions to VietnamUS relations attended the event.

    On the occasion, the Vietnam– US Society, a member of the Vietnam Union of Friendship Organisations (VUFO) and the US Institute for Global Engagement signed a memorandum of understanding on cooperation for 2017 – 2022.

    Facing various challenges, including climate change impacts, war consequences, and natural disasters, Vietnam, with its limited resources, is in need of foreign support, particularly from NGOs.

    There are more than 500 foreign NGOs working frequently in Vietnam. They disburse funds worth about US$300 million to Vietnam on a yearly basis, one third of which come from US NGOs. They also offer training and technical transfers to local partners.

    The VUFO, which is in charge of NGOs’ activities in Vietnam, said it is committed to creating the best conditions possible for foreign NGOs and donors.

    Workshop seeks measures to promote gender responsive budgeting

    The UN Women in Vietnam and the Asia Development Bank in Vietnam held a workshop on December 6 on promoting gender responsive budgeting in Vietnam.

    Addressing the event, UN Women’s Head of Office in Vietnam Elisa Fernandez said UN Women has supported more than 60 countries in gender responsive budget planning. In Vietnam, since 2014, the agency has conducted research and improved capacity for relevant parties in the work.

    She said that Vietnam’s Law on State Budget 2015 affirmed the country’s commitment to gender equality through State budget spending. However, Fernandez urged Vietnam to design specific guidelines for the work, including raising public awareness and building coordination mechanism between financial, planning agencies and other parties.

    Meanwhile, Aaron Batten, ADB Senior Economist, said that gender equality is a focus of the bank’s development support programmes for Asia-Pacific. Improving women’s capacity in economic development is crucial in poverty reduction and growth, he said, adding that the ADB has introduced gender responsive budgeting in Vietnam through a programme to improve public spending in Vietnam from 2014.

    At the workshop, experts defined gender responsive budgeting as the whole process of planning, implementing, supervising and auditing State funding with careful consideration to gender issues. 

    Nguyen Minh Tan, Vice Director of the National Assembly Office’s Department of Finance and Budget said that for the first time, the Law on State Budget 2015 prioritised the allocation of funds to meet gender equality goals.

    Participants also sought measures to build effective tools in promoting gender equality, while sharing experience of some countries in implementing gender responsive budgeting, and discussing Vietnam’s initiatives in the work.

    Over the years, Vietnam has gained achievements in gender equality, including improving laws and the national system on gender equality.

    However, Vietnam has faced a number of challenges, including employment conditions in the informal sector, climate change impacts and limited access to social welfare, which seriously affect women and poor people.

    Gender responsive budgeting, a tool for evaluating accounting responsibility and supervising gender equality support commitments of governments, has been applied in more than 100 countries.

    Committee seeks to improve quality of external information work

    The Central Steering Committee for External Information Service should work harder to instruct external information work, ensuring its timeliness and liveliness.

    The remark was made by head of the Central Steering Committee Vo Van Thuong at a conference in Hanoi on December 6, who underlined the need to increase information in foreign languages and promote news through the internet and social media. 

    Thuong, also head of the Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV) Central Committee’s Information and Education Commission, urged the Central Steering Committee to complete relevant legal documents and materialise roadmaps on developing national print and e-newspapers serving external information work. 

    Participants at the conference agreed on the necessity to raise public awareness of news for foreign service in the context of renewal, national construction and development, and international economic integration. 

    They also called for closer coordination between relevant ministries, departments and agencies at central and local levels. 

    The Central Steering Committee will enhance its coordination with overseas Vietnamese representative offices, while paying attention to the reform work, aiming to improve the efficiency of this kind of information. 

    A report presented at the conference shows that in 2017, the committee joined hands with relevant agencies to implement a range of external activities, with the most noteworthy being APEC Year 2017, especially the APEC Economic Leaders’ Week in the central city of Da Nang in November. 

    Joint efforts were also made to highlight State visits to Vietnam by leaders of the world’s major economies like General Secretary of the Communist Party of China and State President Xi Jinping and US President Donald Trump, along with Vietnam-Laos and Vietnam-Cambodia friendship year, the report said.

    South African ambassador bids farewell to President

    President Tran Dai Quang received outgoing South African Ambassador Kgomotso Ruth Magau, who came to bid farewell at the end of her tenure, in Hanoi on December 7.

    Lauding the ambassador’s contributions to VietnamSouth Africa friendship and multifaceted cooperation during the past tenure, Quang wished her success in the coming time.  

    The Vietnamese Government always pays heed to increasing engagement with South Africa, considering the ties a priority in its foreign diplomacy, he stated.

    The State leader talked with delight about growing bilateral relations, with exchanges of high-ranking delegations organised frequently and annual trade exceeding 1 billion USD.

    He said he hopes the sides step up comprehensive collaboration across trade, mining, education, tourism, natural resources, and environment.

    Quang stressed the celebration of 25-year bilateral relations in 2018 with an expectation that the two countries will organise practical activities that help lift up their relationship to new heights. 

    The President took the occasion to invite his South African counterpart to visit Vietnam.

    For her part, Kgomotso Ruth Magau said she is happy that during her past tenure the two countries’ relations have progressed.

    She noted South Africa has capitalised on opportunities to cooperate with Vietnam at international forums, and at bilateral level via their party, government, and parliamentary agencies.

    South Africa is making efforts to boost economics – trade with Vietnam, the diplomat added.

    Lao foreign minister visits Diplomatic Academy of Vietnam

    Lao Foreign Minister Saleumxay Kommasith visited the Diplomatic Academy of Vietnam (DAV) in Hanoi on December 7, talking to local students about 70 years of Laos’s diplomacy and 55 years of the two countries’ relations.

    The Lao official was in Vietnam to co-chair the fourth bilateral consultation at the foreign ministerial level and attend an exchange between the two foreign ministries.

    DAV Director Nguyen Vu Tung described cooperation in education-training as a traditional cooperation area that has helped provide high-quality human resources for Vietnam and Laos

    About 14,000 Lao students are studying in Vietnam while 250 Vietnamese are studying in Laos. After graduating, the students have been contributing to their respective countries’ development as well as bilateral relations.

    Talking to DAV staff and students, Foreign Minister Kommasith said Vietnam and Laos have strongly supported each other’s development and obtained major achievements in socio-economic development and integration into the region and the world. They have also made practical contributions to the international community.

    Bilateral ties have been strongly developing in all aspects, including politics-diplomacy, defence-security, economy-trade, and culture-education, he said, noting that the countries are implementing joint statements and high-ranking agreements in an effective manner. Delegation exchanges and cooperation activities have been held regularly at different levels, considerably helping to improve people’s living standards and mutual understanding.

    The official added no countries in the world have such special relations like Vietnam and Laos. Their special bonds have been nurtured by late Presidents Ho Chi Minh, Kaysone Phomvihane, and Souphanouvong, along with generations of the two countries’ leaders and people.

    Therefore, young Vietnamese and Lao people should be responsible for maintaining and better bringing into play the traditional ties and special solidarity, he said.

    At the meeting, the minister also answered students’ questions about Vietnam-Laos relations and measures for enhancing bilateral ties.

    Hanoi Promotion Agency expands cooperation in communication

    Hanoi Promotion Agency (HPA) has expanded their cooperation with press agencies to enhance the trade and tourism promotion activities.

    The agency was formed in 2015 after merging six centres of relevant departments in Hanoi, including the Department of Planning and Investment, Department of Industry and Trade, Department of Tourism, Department of Foreign Affairs, Department of Agriculture and the City’s Export Processing Committee, under the Prime Minister’s decision.

    Being a focal point for information, the mission of the agency is the enhancement of the promotion of events related to three fields: agriculture, investment and tourism.

    According to Nguyen Gia Phuong, the HPA’s Director emphasised that the expansion of cooperation in communications is a common and current trend which plays an important role in promoting the country’s tourism. The online newspapers, particularly publications in foreign languages, are very effective for this type of promotion.

    Nhan Dan Online Newspaper, with Vietnamese, English and Chinese version, is one of the HPA’s partners and has become an official and high-quality address to provide useful information on investment and tourism.

    The HPA’s expansion of tourism and investment promotion was expected to boost trade and tourism activities of the capital, contributing to the socio-economic development of the country in general and Hanoi in particular.

    Seminar looks into potential of developing wind energy

    The Danish Embassy in Hanoi, in collaboration with Danish wind turbine company Vestas, held a seminar in Hanoi on December 7 to consider the potential of developing wind energy and the business of operating wind energy mills in Vietnam

    Speaking at the event, deputy head of the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT)’s Department of Electricity and Renewable Energy Do Duc Quan said renewable energy is proving increasingly competitive to other traditional energy sources, adding that renewable energy development will help Vietnam diversify and become self-sufficient in power supply while protecting the environment. 

    The MoIT will continue refining legal framework and propose mechanisms to facilitate the development of renewable energy; study smart grid and energy storage technology, and forecast capacity to fully tap access to power using renewable energy, he said. 

    According to the ministry, Vietnam now has only 6 operating wind energy mills with a total capacity of nearly 200MW. 

    Quan expressed his wish that Denmark could continue helping Vietnam with technology transfer, professional capacity improvement and providing financial means via business links and collaboration in development research. 

    Danish Ambassador to Vietnam Charlotte Laursen said Denmark will help Vietnam achieve the goal of greener energy and strengthen bilateral energy ties. 

    Vestas President for Asia-Pacific Clive Turton the companyVesta wants to assist Vietnam in the process to switch to renewable energy sources. 

    Earlier, the Danish Embassy, Tan Hoan Cau Corporation and Vestas Asia-Pacific signed a Memorandum of Understanding on conducting studies on wind strength in Huong Linh commune, Hoang Hoa district, the central province of Quang Tri. The two sides will build a research site for establishing a wind energy farm complex in Huong Linh commune through 6 sub-projects with minimum capacity of 30 MW.

    VNN


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  • 12/08/17--05:49: Article 1
  • Former PVN official Dinh La Thang arrested

    Hanoi -The Investigation Police Department under the Ministry of Public Security on December 8 issued a decision to arrest and start legal proceedings against Dinh La Thang, former Chairman of the Member Council of PetroVietnam (PVN).



    Dinh La Thang, former Chairman of the Member Council of PetroVietnam (Photo: VNA)

    Thang, who is currently a member of the Party Central Committee and deputy head of the Party Central Committee’s Economic Commission, was arrested to serve the investigation of two serious economic cases.

    He is suspected of involvement in the case of deliberately violating the State’s regulations on economic management, causing serious consequences (Article 165 of the Penal Code), and abusing position and authority to arrogate property (Article 280 of the Penal Code), causing losses of 800 billion VND in PVN’s investment in OceanBank.

    Thang is also thought to have a role in the case of deliberately violating the State’s regulations on economic management, causing serious consequences and committing embezzlement (Article 278 of the Penal Code) in PetroVietnam Construction Corporation related to the Thai Binh 2 thermal power project.

    The same day, the Politburo issued a decision on suspending Thang’s Party-related activities as from December 8, 2017.

    Also on December 8, the 14th National Assembly’s Standing Committee adopted a resolution suspending Dinh La Thang’s status of a NA deputy.


    In April this year, the Party Central Committee’s Inspection Commission decided to consider disciplinary action against seven former top executives of PetroVietnam, including Dinh La Thang.

    Dinh La Thang was Secretary of the Party Committee and Chairman of the Board of PetroVietnam from 2009-2011.

    The Commission found that the group’s Party Committee Standing Board had been negligent in advising the PetroVietnam Party Committee on a 2009 resolution that approved illegal contract packages, and a 2011 resolution on investing in OceanBank, contrary to the Law on Credit Institutions, which resulted in a loss of 900 billion VND (39.59 million USD), including 800 billion USD (35.19 million USD) for OceanBank.

    The Commission asked the Party Committee of the Central Business Bloc to take quick disciplinary action against the PetroVietnam Party Committee’s Standing Board.

    It found that Thang bore prime responsibility for resolutions and wrongdoings by the Party Committee Standing Board and the Member Council of PetroVietnam in 2009-2011.

    He was found to have violated regulations of the group’s Board of Directors by signing an agreement on contributing 20 percent and more of OceanBank’s capital before getting approval for the move from the Board of Directors.


    Thang was also held responsible for the Member Council’s resolutions authorising bidding packages in violation of Government decrees and advising the Prime Minister to approve many bidding packages that failed to meet legal regulations.

    He was also found responsible for violations of the Law on Bidding related to the engineering, procurement and construction contract for Dung Quat Biofuel Plant, as well as low investment efficiency in a number of projects, including the Dinh Vu Polyester manufacturing plant and several bio-energy projects.-VNA

    He was found to violate the working regulations of the group’s Board of Directors by signing an agreement on contributing to 20 percent and upwards of OceanBank’s capital before it got the approval of the Board of Directors.

    Thang was also responsible for the Member Council’s issuance of resolutions and decisions relating to the authorization of big bidding packages violating the Government’s related decrees and advising the Prime Minister to designate many bidding packages that failed to meet legal regulations.

    Later at the third working day of the 12th Party Central Committee’s fifth session on May 7, Thang received an official warning and was removed from the Politburo of the Party Central Committee for his wrongdoings as head of the National Oil and Gas Group (PetroVietnam).

    VNA 


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  • 12/08/17--06:21: Article 0
  • Social News 8/12


    Save the Children launches campaign on nutrition

    Save the Children has launched a communication campaign, entitled Every Last Child, with a focus on nutrition for ethnic minority children in Việt Nam.

    The campaign was launched at a workshop on “Strengthening communication on nutrition for ethnic minority children” on December 8 in Hà Nội.

    The global campaign aims to catalyse positive changes for millions of the most vulnerable children in the world, including in Việt Nam.

    “In Việt Nam, our objective is to join hands with the Government, institutions, communities, parents and children, and raise awareness on the issues minority children face, in order to improve their nutrition and education,” said Save the Children Country Director, Dragana Strinic.

    “This campaign is another step forward in our mission towards improving the nutrition of ethnic minority children nationwide. Save the Children believes that every child deserves to reach their full potential,” added Strinic.

    Director of the National Institute of Nutrition, Trương Tuyết Mai, said that about 24.3 per cent of the country’s children under five years of age or 1.9 million stunted children are waiting for breakthrough measures on malnutrition prevention in Việt Nam.  

    “More investment should be made towards improving children’s nutrition regimes, healthcare and living in Việt Nam, especially during the first 1,000 days of their lives."   

    At the event, participants agreed that priority should be given towards enhancing communication and increasing awareness over nutrition for children, especially among the ethnic minority children.

    They said that communication was one of the key interventions to improving nutrition for children, especially among the ethnic minority children. Effective and well-targeted communication on proper nutrition enhances awareness and knowledge that will lead to positive changes in nutrition behaviours, habits and practices of people.

    They believed that the campaign would contribute to the efforts of Government agencies to promote investment in and ensure the implementation of the National Nutrition Action Plan 2020.

    Việt Nam has made significant progress in reducing the rate of malnutrition in children under the age of five over the last seven years. The proportion of underweight children decreased from 17.5 per cent in 2010 to 13.8 per cent in 2016. However, nearly one quarter of Vietnamese children were stunted - 24.3 per cent in 2016. Stunting among ethnic children under five is nearly two times higher than the rate among Kinh children (32.1 per cent compared to 16.2 per cent).

    Japan shares experience in land management

    Japan’s experience in land management was introduced at a workshop held in Hanoi on December 8 within the framework of the “initiative and research on Japan-ASEAN strategic policy on land management institution” programme. 

    According to Masahito Hatoyama, deputy head of the Land Economy and Construction Industries under Japan’s Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism, land policy in Japan has focused on the planning of cities, farming and forestry land, and parks, and natural disaster response. 

    Prof. Shigeru Morichi from the National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies, said the national land use planning should take account of changes impacting on land management  and challenges to the work.  

    To ensure safe and sustainable land use, it is necessary to put forth basic land use guidelines, he added. 

    Participants at the workshop also heard a report on outcomes of research studies comparing land policies of Vietnam and Japan.

    Application of ICG opens new era in colorectal cancer treatment

    In yesterday science seminar themed “ Application of Indocyanine green (ICG) in endoscopy of colon”, director of Tumor Cancer in Hanoi Dr. Tran Van Thuan said colorectal cancer is popular amongst male.

    The World Health Organization’s calculation, around 14.1 million fresh cases of cancer are reported in the globe; of which 1.36 million being colorectal cancer. Worse, of 8.2 million cancer-related deaths, nearly 700,000 deaths due to colorectal cancer are also figured out.

    In Vietnam, colorectal cancer ranks the fourth of ten popular cancer amongst men with infection cases of 8,000; the number of infections is predicted to rise to over 13,000 cases by 2020.

    The cancer is also the second popular cancer amongst female with over 6,000 cases a year. The number of infections is likely to rise to over 11,000 cases by 2020.

    For colorectal cancer treatment, application of Indocyanine green (ICG) - a fluorescent dye that has been widely used for fluorescence imaging during hepatobiliary surgery – has opened new era because it improves the visualization of hepatobiliary anatomy and reduces the rate of post-operative complications.

    Fire destroys 1,000 s.q meter workshop in Binh Duong

    A blaze occurred at Binh Nham Packaging Company in Thuan An town of Binh Duong Province this morning. 

    Firefighters are trying to control the blaze


     Save the Children launches campaign on nutrition, Japan shares experience in land management, Application of ICG opens new era in colorectal cancer treatment, Firefighters are trying to control the blaze
      
    Workers said they saw smoke rising and heard an explosion in the 1,000sq meter wood workshop and then the flames quickly spread out and covered all areas of workshop.

    Fire spread to coffee shop and destroyed the neighbor’s 400sq meter mushroom growing house.

    Binh Duong’s Firefighting department sent 10 fire trucks and dozens of firefighters to the scene to control the fire from spreading to surrounding areas and till 10am today, the fire was extinguished.

    The cause of the fire is under investigation.

    Fine art exhibition features Central Highlands land, people

    The Alliance of Arts and Literature Association of Vietnam coordinated with the centre of culture, cinema and tourism in Gia Lai province to organise a fine art exhibition featuring land and people of the Central Highlands.

    On display were 55 art works made from various materials such as lacquer, oil-on-canvas, silk, and acrylic.

    A painting by artist Nguyen Van Trung born in 1982 reflects the water shortage in Central Highlands provinces in the serious dry season in 2016.

    Other pieces such as “Duong ve” (The way back), “Me” (Mother) and “Hoa huong duong” (Sunflower) demonstrate the artistic spirit and talent of painters.

    The exhibition will run until December 14.

    The Central Highlands region comprises Dak Lak, Gia Lai, Kon Tum, Dak Nong, and Lam Dong provinces, with total population of about 5.64 million people and 47 ethnic groups.

    Transport Minister works with Hai Phong city on airport expansion

    Minister of Transport Nguyen Van The yesterday presided over a meeting with the People’s Committee of Hai Phong city and relevant agencies to implement the Prime Minister’s requirement on Cat Bi airport adjustment and expansion. 

    According to Minister The, Cat Bi terminals, aprons and taxiways do not meet development requirements so it is necessary to be upgraded.

    He asked relevant agencies to review the airport’s plan and suggested Vietnam Aviation Corporation and VietJet Aviation Joint Stock Company to propose the policy of building some works in the airport within 15 days for consideration and estimation.

    Deputy chairman of Hai Phong city People’s Committee Nguyen Xuan Binh said that the city would take responsibility for site clearance and making a proposal to choose investors for the project.

    In addition, he suggested the Ministry of Transport and relevant agencies to continue assisting Hai Phong city to develop traffic infrastructure including Cat Bi airport.

    Not all family members listed in land certificates

    The Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment has issued a circular suspending a regulation that requires the names of all members of a family be written down on the land ownership certificate.

    According to Tuoi Tre newspaper, the minister has asked the General Department of Land Administration (GDLA) to instruct the implementation of Circular 53/2017, which went into force on December 5.

    Local governments, natural resources and environment departments, and relevant individuals and organizations are responsible for executing the circular.

    Difficulties in implementing the circular should be timely reported to the ministry.

    The ministry said the regulation is in line with the 2013 Land Law. However, it asked the Prime Minister for permission to delay it so that local authorities will have time to prepare and people to understand the benefits of all family members being named in the land ownership certificate.

    The suspension of the rule comes after media reports warned it would lead to an upsurge in disputes among family members.

    Thu Dau Mot recognized as first-class city

    The Prime Minister has signed a decision on recognizing Thu Dau Mot as a first-class city under the southern province of Binh Duong.

    Thu Dau Mot city is the economic and administrative center of Binh Duong province. Located in the southern key economic region and the Ho Chi Minh City region, Thu Dau Mot holds a special position, lying on HCM City’s radial arterial road and the HCM City-Thu Dau Mot-Chon Thanh Expressway.

    It is an independent satellite city of the regional core city, featuring the functions of a clean and hi-tech industrial park with a high technology content, national and international tourism route and site, the training center of the region, and the national and regional-level service center.

    In addition, Thu Dau Mot is a city with the role of creating links and facilitating Binh Duong’s socio-economic and cultural development, and is also the core city of the province, with its satellite cities being the districts’ centers via interprovincial routes. 

    At present, Thu Dau Mot city has been exerting great efforts and has already reached a number of significant outcomes, with the economic structure transforming positively towards increasing the proportion of services and industry. 

    The city has been developing towards civilization and modernity, whilst focusing on upgrading its technical and social infrastructure and gradually developing itself towards green, clean, beautiful and smart one with the people’s living conditions enhanced. 

    The recognition of Thu Dau Mot as a first-class city under Binh Duong province is expected to create an important driving force for the city to develop in line with the national and provincial city development direction programs.  

    Hydrofoil services to Can Gio slated to start

    GreenlinesDP, which operates hydrofoils between Ho Chi Minh City and Vung Tau, is set to add services to Can Gio from the two cities as from December 23.

    There will be four trips either way between downtown HCM City and Can Gio district and eight trips either way between Can Gio and Vung Tau.

    They will operate from Bach Dang Wharf in District 1 – rather than Nha Rong Pier in District 4, from where Greenlines operates its hydrofoils to Vung Tau and Thanh An Wharf in Can Gio.

    In Vung Tau, the hydrofoils will continue to berth at Ho May Wharf.

    Can Gio residents and officials are entitled to a 50 percent discount, while it is free for disabled people.

    The company plans to operate boats with 50, 96 and 136 seats.

    HCMC Chairman Phong explains taxation, preschool management

    As per suggestion of Chairwoman of People’s Council Nguyen Thi Quyet Tam on December 6, Chairman of Ho Chi MInh City People’s Committee Nguyen Thanh Phong had explanations of preschool quality and taxation management. 

    Upon the preschool management, Mr. Phong affirmed agencies and local governments always take heeds to adopt preferential policies for development of preschool education.

    Annually, HCMC allocates around VND3,400 billion, accounting for 11.7 percent for education and training excluding regular spending; of the amount, VND1,300 billion is poured into preschool education, accounting for 3.8 percent.

    Building and expanding preschool are included government stimulus package which investors are eligible for borrowing up to VND100 billion. Since 2014, the city has approved 14 preschool projects in the stimulus package with total investment of VND 916 billion; moreover, additional 81 other projects in the program to call for social contribution for building preschool with total investment of VND4,339 billion.

    Averagely, the city has more 240 rooms for preschool children yearly. At present, the city has 1,200 preschools with 15,500 rooms. In nine districts with industrial parks and export processing zones, there are 600 facilities accounting for 50 percent.

    Chairman Phong assessed that for years, network of non-public preschools is mushrooming; therefore, it helps reducing pressure for public schools. However, in some districts, local governments are to neglect supervision and training for teaching staffs leading to child abuse.

    HCMC authorities has adopted measures to dress teaching and taking care of kids in private nurseries. 

    For instance, People’s Committee asked local administrations to instruct owners of private schools to complete paperwork as well as issue harsh punishment on violators. Owners are encouraged to install cameras.

    In addition, local governments also enhance supervision on food safety and education for children.

    Furthermore, relevant agencies will publicize licensed and unlicensed schools for parents to choose. Chiefs are local governments assigned duty and they are held accountable to the People’s Committee. Hence, if child abuse takes place, head of local government will have to assume full responsibility to the city.

    When it comes to questions on taxation, Chairman Phong said that HCMC authorities continued solving barriers for taxpayers; moreover, all procedures are transparent. 

    Besides, it adopted new policy called “one door” in Vietnamese, meaning businesses only have to work with one agency instead of many – like stepping through only one door – to have their paperwork cleared.

    So far, the city has sent SMS messages and email to facilitate taxpayers. A website was designed for start-up firms which really assisted 13,435 enterprises to solve its taxation difficulties.

    99.4 percent of enterprises have registered to declare tax and 97.8 percent of enterprises registered to pay tax electronically, Mr. Phong informed. In November, the city collected the tax arrears and issued fines of VND3,688 billion to 19,104 firms.

    Next time, HCMC will complete project to collect fees which have not collected before as well it will continue stepping up administrative reform, hi-tech application in taxation management and conversation exchange with enterprises.

    Agreeing with the opinion on remaining debts, Chairman Phong confirmed relevant agencies will collect all debts and adopt measures against losses and create healthy environment in business. Relevant agencies will focus on major issues such as dubious banking transactions, capital transferring; e-commerce management.

    One of important deed in the tax sector is to correct employees’ harassing behaviors. Mr. Phong said city leaders will keep tax payment procedure under observation; moreover, relevant agencies will send a confidential letter asking tax employees’ conduct on duty to have timely arrangement.

    Medical workers in schools trained drug prevention

    The Department of Education and Training in Ho Chi Minh City and its subdivisions, organized training courses on drug prevention for medical workers in schools.

    In order to implement some important missions in drug prevention in schools for the academic year 2017-2018 according to the Ministry of Education and Training’s guideline plus proving training for medical staffs in senior high school and continuous vocational training centers, 300 medical workers in schools will take part in the course.

    They will be trained how to identify some new drugs and how these drugs affect students, amendments of drug prevention law, some decrees and circulars on management of addicts after finishing post rehabilitation program to avoid relapse, of those who voluntarily do rehabilitation at homes or in the community.

    After theory training, all medical workers will make a fact-finding tour to the rehabilitation center No.3 in the southern province of Binh Duong’s Phu Giao District.

    Int’l conference on English training held in Thai Nguyen

    Managers, teachers and researchers involving in English training and representatives from the Ministry of Education and Training and the US Embassy in Vietnam gathered in Thai Nguyen city, the same name province, on December 7-8 to seek ways to promote the language’s training.

    The third international workshop on English training or VietTESOL was held by Thai Nguyen University in collaboration with the Management Board of the 2020 National Foreign Languages Project, the US Embassy, and the British Council.

    The event, themed “English Language Education in Diverse Contexts”, aims to exchange experience and initiatives on teaching English, while expanding the network of English language teachers, educators, and researchers in Vietnam and in the Southeast Asian nations.

    Participants were updated on new approaches to and effective reforms in researching and practising ways of teaching English, thereby seeking appropriate measures for the reality in Vietnam.

    Addressing the opening ceremony, James Dean Brow from the US’s Hawai’I highlighted the impacts of the globalisation, internationalisation, regionalisation and localisation, adding that English language education has witnessed changes in policies and approaches where English is considered a global language.

    Hoang Van Van from the Vietnam National University – Hanoi underlined the need to develop an English education programme meeting the European standards in terms of learning, teaching and evaluating, saying that such a programme should be piloted before being applied nationwide.

    Participants heard nearly 200 reports by 168 speakers, with focus on strategies for learners, English language and skills teaching, teaching methods, evaluation, curricula development.

    They also attended numerous academic and cultural exchanges during the event.

    The first and second VietTESOLs took place at the Hanoi National University of Education in 2014 and 2015.-VNA

    Quang Ninh province to expand sexual and reproductive health care

    The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) said reproductive health problems are a leading cause of ill health and death for women and girls of childbearing age in developing countries.

    Over the past few years, Quang Ninh province has paid much attention to making sure that all citizens from rural to urban areas receive appropriate medical services for sexual and reproductive health. Its progress has caught the attention of the UN agency, which promotes health and equal opportunities for all people. 

    VOV reporter followed UNFPA’s delegation to visit health centers in Van Don district, Quang Ninh province.

    Our first stop was 26-year-old Lieu Thi Tan’s small house near the river that she borrowed from a relative. Since Tan got married to her husband, who is a fisherman, they have been living and going fishing every day on their boat. She has been staying at her relative’s house since she gave birth to her second child two months ago. During her pregnancy with both children, she only went on shore when it was time for her regular prenatal check-up. 

    “The medical staff from the communal health center have taken very good care of me," Tan said. 

    "They kept track of my pregnancy and called to remind me every time the prenantal check-up was due, or to take injections. They helped me give birth as well,” Tan noted.

    Reproductive health care is the daily work of the staff at Van Yen commune’s health center. There are 4 officials at the facility, 2 assistant doctors and 2 nurses, who take care of more than 1400 citizens. The population is thinly scattered due to the mountainous terrain, but the staff try to make sure all people get their services.

    “We have a total of 30 expectant mothers in the commune, all of whom get 4 prenatal check-ups, and none has to give birth at home. We also go to their houses for postnatal check-ups. Previously, it took much effort to persuade people to receive medical care. But now they tend to have fewer children and are already aware of reproductive health care. We have contraceptive injections and pills, birth control implants, and free men condoms,” said Le Thi Chien, who has been working at the center for 30 years.

    Chien took the visitors on a tour of the clinics at her health center, and introduced their services. Bjorn Andersson, regional director of UNFPA Asia-Pacific commented:“The medical staff are doing a heroic job. The nurses and doctors here have c;pse contact with the patients. With a pregnant woman, I’m sure they also discuss with her other health issues.”

    The tour continued to the obstetrics department of Van Don district’s health center. In addition to regular prenatal check-ups and normal delivery, the department is also in charge of emergencies such as ectopic pregnancies, twisted ovarian cysts, and postnatal uterine bleeding.

    For the past 10 years, the department has had a program to prevent mother-to-child HIV transmission, in which nearly 100% of children have tested negative for HIV. The department also takes samples and sends them to provincial hospitals for cervical cancer testing.

    Doctor Vu Thi Thanh Thuy, head of the department, appreciates the close connection between the district’s health center and higher-level hospitals.

    “Higher-level health centers and hospitals often send doctors to our center to help us diagnose and treat patients with serious diseases, including emergency operations and endoscopic cervical disectomy surgery. For patients in critical condition, we get a lot of support when we transfer them to provincial hospitals. This close connection has helped us improve our operation remarkably,” Thuy noted.

    Bjorn told VOV his impressions after visiting the health centers in Van Don district. "I got a very good impression of what was happening in the clinics and how the patients seem to be treated. What was interesting for me is that I could engage in dialogues with a patient and then with the district level, so I could see the whole chain”, said Mr Bjorn Andersson.

    Since the UNFPA became active in Viet Nam in 1977, it has been paying much attention to improving people’s access to quality sexual and reproductive health services through better population data and policy dialogues. Bjorn believes what he learned from the visits is a great example of Vietnam’s progress in ensuring sexual and reproductive health care and useful information for regional countries.

    “What I think is beneficial both UNFPA and Vietnam is the interaction how the UNFPA can bring new ideas to Vietnam and how we can take what works for Vietnam to the regional and global level. Vietnam has a great capacity,” he said.   

    Tâm wins fifth stage of cycling event

    With a strong dash at the end, former national cyclist Nguyễn Thành Tâm defeated Lê Nguyệt Minh on December 7 to win the fifth stage of the Bình Dương Television Cycling Tournament, Ống Nhựa Hoa Sen Cup.

    Tâm of Gạo Hạt Ngọc Trời An Giang won the 89km-section from Pleiku City in Gia Lai Province to Đắk Tô District in Kon Tum Province, finishing with a time of 2:06.10. He was followed by brothers Lê Nguyệt Minh and Lê Văn Duẩn of VUS-HCM City.

    It is the first time Tâm has won a stage in this tournament.

    Although Phạm Quốc Cường of Domesco Pharmacy Đồng Tháp didn’t finish in the top three, he still held the yellow jersey for the best overall time of 15:38.46 after five stages.

    Minh retained the green jersey award as the best sprinter with 63 points, while the white jersey for best young cyclist is still held by Nguyễn Minh Luận of the senior Việt Nam national team.

    The team rankings are unchanged: VUS-HCM City in the lead followed by Domesco Pharmacy Đồng Tháp and Gạo Hạt Ngọc Trời An Giang.

    On December 8 morning, cyclists will compete doing 20 laps around Đại Đoàn Kết Square in Pleiku City.

    Korea’s band NCT 127 meets fans in Hà Nội

    Members of the South Korean boyband NCT 127 greet hundreds of Vietnamese fans and local media at a press conference held in Lotte Hotel in Hà Nội on Wednesday. 

    Formed by the S.M. Entertainment, the nine-member band is based in Seoul, with the number ‘127’ representing the longitude coordinate of Seoul.

    The band scored the ‘New Asian Artist’ award at the MAMAs (Mnet Asian Music Awards) 2017 in Hong Kong on December 1. 

    They released their first mini album NCT#127 with the theme track Fire Truck last July. 

    Their second mini album, NCT#127 Limitless was released in January 2017. The album is filled with a mix of Korean and English language phrases and spoken rap. Entertainment

    HCM City issues new land division regulations

    HCM City People’s Committee has issued new land division regulations which allow large plots of land to be divided into smaller plots, including land plots that have been part of delayed plans that have yet to be implemented.

    The new regulations take effect on January 1.

    Under the new Decision 60, which was issued on December 5, the criteria for the area and minimum width will vary depending on three zones.  

    For zone 1 (inner city), including districts 1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 10, 11, Gò Vấp, Bình Thạnh, Phú Nhuận, Tân Bình and Tân Phú, the divided land plots must each have a minimum area of 36 sq.m and width of at least three metres long.

    For Zone 2, (districts experiencing fast urbanisation), including district 2, 7, 9, 12, Bình Tân and Thủ Đức, the divided land plots must each have a minimum area of 50 sq.m and width of at least four metres long.

    For Zone 3 (outlying districts), including districts Bình Chánh, Củ Chi, Hóc Môn, Nhà Bè and Cần Giờ, the land plots must have a minimum area of 80 sq.m and width of at least five metres.  

    The new regulations on land division require a minimum area of 500 sq .m for a plot of farmland with annual crops, and at least 1,000 sq.m for farmland used for industrial plants, aquaculture and salt-marsh.

    Under the new regulations, land users have the power over land, as stipulated in the Land Law 2014, for plots in areas not suited for agricultural production and for plots in areas that will not be restored under zoning plans.

    With the new regulations, people in HCM City, especially those living on land plots that have been part of long-delayed plans, can now legally divide their land plots into smaller plots, which they were not allowed to do in the past because of planned projects on that land (which have been delayed).

    According to Decision 60, if there is no plan to develop the land after three years, residents living on land under delayed projects can move on to divide their land plots.

    People in Hoàng Đạo Thúy Street in An Phú Tây Commune in outlying Bình Chánh District, for example, which have been waiting for 24 years for plans to be developed on their land, will now be allowed to divide their land plots.  

    “We now can divide land plots for our children for them to build temporary houses to live while waiting for the planning to be carried out,” said Cao Thanh Bùi, 50, of Bình Chánh District.

    The new regulations replace Decision 33 which was issued by HCM City People’s Committee in 2014. Under the latter, each new plot of land had to be at least 50 sq.m and four metres wide.

    War veterans of Vietnamese, Lao provinces intensify cooperation

    The War Veteran Associations of central Thanh Hoa province and Laos’ Houaphan province signed their cooperation agreement for 2018-2019 on December 7.

    Under the document, the two sides pledged to continue dissemination to help their chapters at all levels and members have a thorough grasp of the two Parties and States’ laws and policies and the traditional friendship, special solidarity and comprehensive cooperation between the two countries and between Thanh Hoa and Houaphan.

    They agreed to encourage their members to join in movements to protect national border sovereignty and security, while asking the association chapters in border districts to actively coordinate with the border guard forces in protecting the border line and markers as well as in fighting illegal migration and cross-border smuggling.

    Both sides will regularly organise exchanges to share experience in economic development. The War Veteran Association of Houaphan will encourage its members to help search for remains of Vietnamese volunteer soldiers who laid down their lives in Laos during wartime.

    On the day, the War Veteran Association of Thanh Hoa province was awarded with the Labour Order, third class, of Laos.

    Finland’s 100th Independence Day marked in Hanoi

    A get-together was held in Hanoi on December 7 to celebrate the 100th Independence Day of Finland (December 6).

    The event drew the participation of Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development and President of the Vietnam-Finland Friendship Association Ha Cong Tuan, Finnish Ambassador to Vietnam Kari Kahiluoto, among others.

    Addressing the event, Tuan lauded the growth of Finland in all fields, while thanking Finnish people for supporting Vietnam during the past struggle for independence and the post-war hardship time through building water supply works, hospitals and shipyards.

    Vietnam always treasures the traditional friendship with Finland, stated Tuan, noting that the Government and people of Finland have continued their help for Vietnam, including renovations in all fields.

    He held that in the new period, the two countries are eyeing new development cooperation opportunities and advantages to developing bilateral ties, including contributions of the 9,000-Vietnamese community in Finland.

    For his part, Finnish Ambassador to Vietnam Kari Kahiluoto thanked the Vietnam Union of Friendship Associations and the Vietnam-Finland Friendship Association for organising the event.

    He expressed his belief that friendship between the two countries will thrive in economy, culture, and education. The diplomat affirmed that the Finnish Embassy in Vietnam always supports activities to strengthen bilateral traditional ties.

    Vietnam Medipham Expo opens in Hanoi

    The International Medical, Hospital and Pharmaceutical Exposition (Vietnam Medipharm Expo) 2017 opened in Hanoi on December 7.

    The expo featured 200 booths of 150 enterprises from 18 countries and territories, including India, the Republic of Korea (RoK), Canada, Germany, the US, Thailand, China, Australia and the host Vietnam.

    It aims to introduce the latest medical achievements, machines, technologies and techniques in the medical-pharmaceutical sector of many countries in the world and Vietnam.

    Statistics showed that compared to 2016, the number of foreign firms joining this year’s event rose by 15 percent, while domestic businesses also increased 10 percent.

    The new features of this year’s exhibition include the introduction of pharmaceuticals of Iranian firms, dental equipment of RoK companies, and Indian medicines and medical equipment.

    The expo has also given a chance for participants to visit hospitals and opportunities for businesses to seek partnerships.

    The expo will last until December 9.

    UN Int’l Day of Solidarity with Palestinians marked in Hanoi

    A ceremony marking the United Nations International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People was held in Hanoi on December 7.

    Co-organised by the Union of Friendship Organisations of Hanoi, the Palestinian Embassy in Vietnam, the Vietnam Committee for Solidarity with Palestinian People, and the Vietnam-Palestine Friendship Association, the event aimed to enhance solidarity and friendship between the Vietnam people and the Palestinians.

    A congratulatory letter by Vietnamese President Tran Dai Quang was read at the ceremony, affirming Vietnam’s consistent support to the Palestinian people’s righteous cause in their struggle for fundamental national rights.

    Meanwhile the congratulatory message from UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres read at the event expressed the UN chief’s belief that the two-state solution recognised by the UN General Assembly’s Resolution 181 is the only premise for a just, lasting and comprehensive peace.

    Speaking at the event, Venezuelan Ambassador to Vietnam Jorge Rondon Uzcategui, head of the diplomatic corps, reaffirmed the Venezuelan people’s solidarity with the Palestinians. 

    For his part, Palestinian Ambassador to Vietnam Saadi Salama thanked the Vietnamese Government and people for their consistent support to Palestine. 

    He stressed that Vietnam’s victories not only showed valuable lessons but also added strength and encouragement to the Palestinian people to pursue their struggle for independence and freedom. 

    On the occasion, a documentary entitled “This is Palestine” was screened, helping the audiences get a better understanding about Palestine.

    VFFCC President meets RMIT leader in Australia visit

    President of the Vietnam Fatherland Front Central Committee (VFFCC) Tran Thanh Man met with senior executives of the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT) in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia on December 7.

    Man, accompanied by Vietnamese Ambassador to Australia Ngo Huong Nam at the meeting, is making a tour of Australia from December 6-10.

    At the event, Vice-Chancellor and President of RMIT Martin Bean spoke highly of the educational cooperation between Vietnam and Australia in recent years in accordance with the two countries’ agreements, including the agreement in education and training for the 2013-2018 period, the Australia-Vietnam Human Resources Development Programme from 2016-2020, and the Australia Awards Scholarships.

    The VFFCC President, for his part, was delighted at RMIT’s launch of new programmes – bachelor’s degrees in Design Studies, Tourism and Hospitality Management, and Languages – in Vietnam this year. He said he looks forward to the university introducing a Graduate Certificate in Business Startups in the future.

    He hoped that RMIT will provide short-term courses in English language and administrative management for staff at the VFFCC and support the committee’s new centre for training and science studies which will be operational by the end of 2018.

    Later the same day, Man visited a high-tech farm of fruits and vegetables, namely Lotus, on the outskirts of Melbourne run by Thai Son, a Vietnamese expat.

    Before leaving Melbourne for Sydney, VFFCC President Man and Ambassador Nam had a talk with Vietnamese Business Association of Australia.

    Vietnam officials attend Malaysian ruling party’s congress

    A delegation from the Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV) is in Malaysia to attend the 71st annual congress of the United Malays National Organisation (UMNO) Party in Kuala Lumpur from December 5-8.

    The congress gathered over 5,800 delegates representing 3.2 million UMNO members, along with representatives from 17 political parties from 14 countries. 

    The Vietnamese delegation is led by Nguyen Van Hung, a member of the CPV Central Committee and Secretary of the Quang Tri Provincial Party Committee.

    In his speech at the opening session, UMNO leader and Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak highlighted the ruling party’s great role and contributions to the country’s development. He also reaffirmed maintaining the policies related to national reconciliation, social security, self-reliance, and pledged to promote the role of the Islamic community in national unity. 

    During their stay, the Vietnamese delegates paid a courtesy call to PM Najib Razak and had a meeting with UMNO General Secretary Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor, during which the Malaysian side congratulated Vietnam on the successful hosting of the APEC Economic Leaders’ Week 2017, and expressed their deep impression of Vietnam’s great achievements.

    They highly evaluated the friendship and cooperation between the two parties and States, expressing the hope that these ties will be stronger in the future, contributing to fostering the Vietnam-Malaysia multi-faceted relations.

    The Vietnamese guests spoke highly of Malaysia’s achievements in national construction and development under the leadership of the UMNO, and wished the party a victory in the upcoming general election. 

    On the sidelines of the congress, the Vietnamese delegation also met and exchanged views on issues of common concern with other international delegations.

    VNN


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  • 12/09/17--05:15: Article 1
  • BUSINESS IN BRIEF 9/12


    Forum talks future of retail banking in Industry 4.0 

     
      
    The trend of cashless payment and digitalisation in personal banking services is generating major opportunities and challenges to banks, especially amid Industry 4.0, according to a 2017 report on banking services compiled by IDG Vietnam Co. Ltd.

    The information was highlighted at the Retail Banking Forum in Hanoi on December 6. The forum on the future of retail banking and payment services in the Industry 4.0 era was part of a series of workshops and events on smart city building.

    The report said e-banking is increasingly popular in Vietnam with the rate of e-banking users reaching 81 percent at present, compared to only 21 percent in 2015. Financial technology (fintech) solutions are also gaining greater preference due to their convenience and modern security solutions.

    The trend of cashless payment and digitalisation in personal banking services is also opening up a market for IT firms in Vietnam to provide software products serving the finance-banking sector.

    Ha Huy Tuan, Vice Chairman of the National Financial Supervisory Commission, said Industry 4.0 with the appearance of an array of breakthrough technologies like Internet of Things, robotic technologies, artificial intelligence, automation, cloud computing, and big data is strongly changing many sectors and fields.

    In the service industry, many new business models have appeared such as Uber and Grab (transport), Traveloka and Airbnb (tourism, hotel room booking), Alibaba and Amazon (e-commerce), Atombank and Fidor bank (digital banks without branches), he noted.

    These technologies will help change the economy in general and the finance-banking sector in particular, Tuan said, adding that customers tend to use more and more new digital technologies and have higher requirements for banking services.

    Financial experts said there remain many shortcomings in e-banking solutions in Vietnam such as high transaction fees, frequent interface errors, and limited customer services.

    At the forum, participants discussed and shared information about new models in financial activities, new banking solutions, and digital infrastructure for the financial system. They also looked into customer data management, financial management in the use of big data, the use of artificial intelligence to calculate banking products and customer segments, personal information security, and the development of retail banking services.

    HCMC sets 20 targets for 2018

    HCMC on December 4 set 20 targets for 2018, including for socio-economic development, environmental protection and public administration reform.

    The city will focus on reviewing and adjusting the land planning for service and trade, industry, transport, housing and social infrastructure. 

    It will also accelerate work on traffic infrastructure, exhibition center, financial center, flood control, and waste treatment projects, as well as the rebuilding of old condo blocks.

    Speaking at the opening of a HCMC People’s Council meeting on December 4, Nguyen Thi Quyet Tam, chairwoman of the council, said the city has achieved encouraging socio-economic results this year.

    The city’s economic growth is higher than last year. The business environment has changed for the better and the application of technology has helped improve urban planning.

    However, Tam said administration reform remains slow, and flooding, traffic congestion, environmental pollution and child abuse have not been effectively handled.

    The city needs to take more drastic measures to improve the quality of economic growth, labor productivity and standards of living, she said.

    According to vice chairman of the city government Le Thanh Liem, the city’s gross regional domestic product (GRDP) has grown 8.25% year-on-year and budget collection has amounted to VND347 trillion (US$15.27 billion), beating the full-year plan.

    Total incoming remittances to the city have reached US$5.2 billion, with 70% of it used for investment. Almost 100% of the citizens have had access to clean water, exports have tripled compared to 2016 and the consumer price index (CPI) has been under control.

    Some of the main targets that the city has set for 2018 include GRDP growth of 8.3-8.5%, 46,000 enterprises established, poverty rate reduced by 1%, 130,000 new jobs created, and unemployment lower than 3.8%.

    The city will strive for the top 16 in the Public Administration Performance Index (PAPI), the top 5 in the Provincial Competitiveness Index (PCI), and the top 10 in the Public Administration Reform Index (PAR Index).

    CBU auto imports may exceed US$2 billion this year

    Vietnam spent more than US$1.9 billion importing 84,000 completely-built-up (CBU) autos in the first 11 months of the year and the number may exceed US$2 billion in all of 2017, according to data of the General Statistics Office.

    Some 7,000 CBU autos valued at US$200 million were imported last month, up 1,000 units and US$35-45 million over each of two previous months. Vietnam spent US$155 million in October and US$165 million in October importing 6,000 CBU cars from abroad.

    In December, auto sales may not pick up as seen in previous years because many people are waiting until next year when the duty on CBU auto imports from ASEAN countries goes down to 0%.

    Domestic auto manufacturers and assemblers may have to cut prices to compete with imports. They have actually rolled out a slew of promotion programs to attract customers.

    Toyota Vietnam, Truong Hai Auto Corporation (THACO) and Hyundai Thanh Cong have announced their prices for next year so that customers can make price comparisons. Price adjustments and early price announcements by these auto firms will help customers rapidly make decisions instead of waiting until next year.

    Toyota Vietnam has revised down prices of Vios, Innova and Altis vehicles, except for Camry, by 3% to 10%.

    An economic expert said imported autos might be hard to enter the Vietnamese market in the first months of 2018 due to strict regulations in the Government Decree 116/2017/ND-CP regulating conditions for auto production, assembly, import and maintenance and warranty services.

    Foreign currency loans increase sharply

    Credit growth rate of Ho Chi Minh City rose 15.57 percent at the end of October, 2017 compared to the end of 2016, being higher 2 percent than the country’s average credit growth rate, reported Vice Director of the State Bank in Ho Chi Minh City Nguyen Hoang Minh. 

    Of the number, loans in foreign currencies increased sharply at 15.38 percent. Debit balance in foreign currency loans in the first ten months of the year hiked 16 percent, being approximately loans in Vietnamese dong.

    The reason is due to the stable exchange rates and low interest rates (lower than 3 percent of loans in VND a year), so businesses took advantage of the foreign currency loans to reduce costs.

    Similarly, the country’s foreign currency loans also were up 11.5 percent in the first ten months of 2017 compared to the end of 2016. 

    According to the National Financial Supervisory Commission, the main reason is also due to the import demand being higher than to last year.

    According to circular of the State Bank, the foreign currency loans will be invalid by the end of 2017. So, the businesses will not be able to borrow foreign currency loans from the beginning of 2018 if they do not continue to be extended.

    Vietnamese ministry popularizes Chinese regulations on import watermelon

    The Ministry of Industry and Trade hosted an international conference to popularize Chinese regulations on import watermelon in the central province of Quang Ngai on December 6. 

    The conference was attended by the ministry’s Department of Asian and African Markets and representatives from China’s Guangxi province.

    In 2017, Quang Ngai province cultivates about 1,370 hectares of watermelon, up 265 hectares over last year. Average output reaches 40,783 tons and productivity hits 297.5 quintals a hectare. Still selling prices have reduced to only VND2,000-8,000 a kilogram. Pumper crop and low price drop situation has been occurring.

    At the event, the Department of Asian and African Markets informed of agricultural cooperation potentials between Vietnam and China and between Vietnam and Guangxi, a large watermelon farming province in China.

    In addition, it sufficiently supplied information about China’s regulations on quarantine and quality supervisions of import watermelon and consumption demand.

    Statistics by the General Department of Vietnam Customs show that Vietnam exported 238,363 tons of watermelon to China with the turnover of US$106.32 million last year.

    Meantime, China’s customs agency reported that Vietnamese watermelon accounts for 94 percent of the country’s import volume and 97 percent of value.

    The situation of bumper crop and price drop has been because some Vietnamese businesses and households have transported watermelon and other farm produce to the northern border line with China for sale without contracts covering goods quality, payment methods and other terms.

    The Department of Asian and African Markets has worked with Guangxi province’s agencies to solve problems in farm produce export import between the two countries.

    Aside from that, it is working with Trade Promotion Department to publish a handbook for watermelon growers and businesses.

    At the conference, representatives of businesses from China and Quang Ngai province signed a principle contract on watermelon purchase in 2018 and following years.

    Vietnam tuna exports exceed yearly target

    The Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP)’s target of 524 million USD in tuna exports for the year has been completed early as the figure already hit 541 million USD as of November.

    According to the General Department of Vietnam Customs, in the 11 months, Vietnamese tuna’s three major markets were the US, EU and ASEAN.

    However, Vietnam faced difficulties due to a “yellow card” issued by the EU as a warning for illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing.

    VASEP General Secretary Truong Dinh Hoe said the warning has worried the seafood sector due to its direct impact on tuna exports.

    Hoe said that the VASEP is working with the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) to deal with the yellow card for the rest of the six-month punishment.

    He noted that in 2018, the US will also apply IUU regulations in fishing, which will not only affect tuna and all seafood caught in Vietnam but aslo seafood products with material imported from elsewhere.

    The VASEP representative said that in order to maintain seafood export revenue, efforts to deal with IUU warnings and regain a green card are crucial.

    To control origin of seafood materials for export, the MARD has launched a national plan to prevent and minimise IUU fishing. Along with proposing to the Government an offshore fishing project, the ministry has set up a system to control domestic and imported seafood materials and monitor fishing activities.

    A fisheries database has also been formed to strengthen capacity in verifying seafood origin, thus stopping illegally exploited seafood from being imported to Vietnam.

    The MARD is determined to completely end IUU fishing and fishing violations in foreign waters next year. It also aims for 95 percent of all seafood’s origin to be determined at port by 2025.

    Vietnam, UK seek to boost trade ties

    The UK always considers Vietnam as its important and potential trade partner and wants to expand multifaceted cooperation with the Southeast Asian nation, said British Secretary of State for International Trade Liam Fox.

    At a meeting with Vietnamese Minister of Industry and Trade Tran Tuan Anh, who paid a working visit to the UK from December 4-5, Fox reasserted the British Government’s commitment to further boosting trade ties with Vietnam. 

    The two countries should take new measures and initiatives to foster bilateral trade cooperation, he said.

    For his part, Anh affirmed that Vietnam has attached great importance to the multifaceted strategic partnership with the UK, and has been making every effort to promote bilateral cooperation. 

    Solutions and initiatives should focus on sharing information about import policies, trade barriers and management of fake goods management as well as increasing trade promotion and market studying activities, thus facilitating two-way trade, he stressed. 

    The minister proposed the UK create favourable conditions for prestigious Vietnamese exporters to join distribution networks in the UK, especially for ago-aquatic products, textiles-garments and footwear. 

    Vietnam highly evaluates the dialogue mechanism of the Vietnam-UK Joint Economic and Trade Commission (JETCO), considering this as a useful channel to regularly exchange measures and solutions to remove difficulties facing enterprises. 

    The upcoming 10th session of JETCO is scheduled to take place in the UK in the first quarter of 2018, focusing on ways to encourage the participation of businesses in JETCO and to enhance cooperation among localities of the two countries.

    Economic and trade relations between Vietnam and the UK have been developing fruitfully in recent years, with two-way trade hitting 5.62 billion USD in 2016, up 4.3 percent year-on-year. The UK is now the third largest trade partner of Vietnam in Europe after Germany and the Netherlands.

    Official visit from Poland spurs co-operation efforts

    Polish President Andrzej Duda underscored the immense potential for further co-operation between Vietnam and Poland in trade and investment during his state visit to Vietnam.

    Speaking at last week’s Vietnam-Poland Economic Forum on November 30, President Duda said that Vietnam is Poland’s greatest ally in the region, adding that there are no other countries or groups of people in this region that are as close to Poland as Vietnam.

    He described Vietnam as an ‘Asian tiger’, with an annual GDP growth rate of more than 6 per cent. The Polish government considers Vietnam to be one of the five most promising investment and export markets for Poland worldwide.

    “Vietnam could be Poland’s gateway to Asia, and Poland should be the gateway to Europe for Vietnam,” President Duda said, adding that Poland has implemented a special government programme from 2017-2019 to facilitate Polish micro-, small-, and medium-sized enterprises in their pursuit to do business with Vietnam.

    The Vietnam-Poland Economic Forum saw the participation of 100 Vietnamese companies and 60 Polish companies seeking potential partnerships. Polish companies operate in several key areas in which Vietnam is interested, including pharmaceuticals, healthcare, banking, managerial consulting, IT, food and fruit processing, printing, and packaging.

    At the forum, Hydro Vacuum inked an agreement with Vietnam Water Supply and Sewerage Association to step up its operations in Vietnam. Hydro Vacuum is the most notable Polish manufacturer of pumps and pumping systems.

    In addition, the Polish Investment and Trade Agency also signed an agreement with the Vietnamese Chamber of Commerce and Industry. The two institutions will work closely to facilitate businesses from the two countries.

    Meanwhile, Adamed Group would spend $50 million acquiring a controlling stake in Davipharm Co., Ltd., Vietnam’s fastest-growing pharmaceutical firm, marking the largest direct Polish investment in Vietnam to date.

    The purchase agreement was officially signed by Adamed general director Małgorzata Adamkiewicz and founder of Davipharm Pham Tai Truong on November 28 in Hanoi, in the presence of each country’s respective president.

    According to President Duda, these agreements are expected to trigger a new wave of investment from Poland to Vietnam. On November 30, he also joined the inaugural ceremony of the representative office of the Polish Investment and Trade Agency in Ho Chi Minh City. The Foreign Trade Office will facilitate trade, business, and investment co-operation between businesses from the two countries.

    Poland also provides official development assistance to Vietnam. The latest framework credit agreement, worth €250 million ($296.5 million), was signed during the visit.

    For Poland, Vietnam is its most important economic partner and biggest trade partner in ASEAN. After the ASEAN Economic Community entered into force, Vietnam became a primary gate through which international firms can access the ASEAN market. It is also one of the most important markets for all non-European countries, with a total bilateral trade turnover of nearly $2 billion in 2016 and $1.58 billion in the first nine months of 2017.

    The strong position of Vietnam in Polish trade development strategy was confirmed when the Polish government placed Vietnam on its list of the top five markets in the world with the most potential for trade. The main sectors where co-operation is most dynamic are agro-food and pharmaceuticals. Agro-food accounts for nearly 65 per cent of Poland’s overall exports to Vietnam, while Polish pharmaceuticals have significant export value within Vietnam as well.

    There is also a lot of potential in other sectors, such as cosmetics and diet supplements; green technologies like clean energy, eco-transport and wastewater treatment; software and IT systems; and heavy industries like mining, shipbuilding, machinery, and equipment for agricultural production and food processing.

    Tek Experts launches second arm in Hanoi

    On December 7, Tek Experts Vietnam will launch its second office in Hanoi as part of its business expansion strategy to maintain the robust and sustainable development of the firm’s operations in the information technology (IT) sector.

    Located at a prime location on Nguyen Chi Thanh Street, the second office of Tek Experts is spectacularly accommodating with large open spaces and a panoramic view of the city. The IT firm also provides its staff with an Xbox 360 gaming station and software test areas with the intent of delivering in-depth product experiences and support soft skills in customer service.

    Previously, on August 9, the IT firm launched its first office in Lotte Center Hanoi, which is one of the company’s three largest offices in the world.

    Company founder Yaniv Natan noted, “Tek Experts is known for offering exceptional services to our clients and their customers around the world. Our clients recognise the value we bring to their business, the commitment we have to their success and our dedication to providing an exceptional customer experience. Because of our success in the commercial space we have been given a great opportunity to provide that same level of service to consumers in a number of new and exciting spaces.”

    The founder also said more appealing job offers will be posted for Vietnamese staff to fill out the second office.

    Likewise, speaking about the second launch in Hanoi, Nguyen Manh Tuong, country manager of Tek Experts Vietnam, asserted, “The second office of Tek Experts Vietnam will bring a breakthrough for the firm to conquer different fields. Besides, the firm’s investment in Tek Academy exemplifies our commitment to nurture young talent in Vietnam, altering the mindset of people who assume IT is not their strength and offering a wide range of employment opportunities."

    In December, the IT service supplier will launch Tek Academy to provide training courses of IT-related skills, soft skills, and English language skills for young adults interested in the field and also for non-IT individuals. The IT-specialised academy expects to train 900 students by the end of 2018.

    Tek Experts is a global provider of IT products, business outsourcing support services, and cloud-based software solutions to blue-chip enterprises. The IT firm’s operations are currently present in seven markets, including Bulgaria, China, Costa Rica, Cyprus, Malta, the US, and Vietnam.

    Tek Academy offers training programmes designed to further the skill development of attendees, such as advancing soft skills, language skills, and IT-related specialisation skills in order to match Tek Experts’ new business strategy.

    Nissan, Honda recall cars to fix problems     

    Viet Nam Register (VR) has announced the recall of 3,073 Nissan Navara pickup trucks, imported from Thailand, manufactured from September 20, 2010, to December 1, 2014, due to airbag faults.

    According to the Japanese automaker Nissan, front passenger airbags in Nissan Navara LE and Navara XE are manufactured by Takata. After long-term exposure to the environment, the air blower can be exposed to moisture, which prevents normal operation as per the design.

    Nissan Viet Nam will check and replace the air pump for LE and XE versions of Navara pickup trucks.

    The repairing duration is 1.3 hours per truck and the programme is scheduled to begin on December 20, 2017, and finish on December 20 next year.

    VR also noticed the recall of 652 Honda cars, including Accord CR3 produced in 2012, Accord CR2 manufactured from 2013 to 2016 and Odyssey cars manufactured in the 2015-2017 period.

    According to Honda Viet Nam, handling the contact surface of the rear-view mirror control switch on the car is not suitable. If used for a long time it can get oxidised, which will result in the rear-view mirror on the car door getting automatically folded when the vehicle is running, parking, or not working when the switch is on. When this happens, the driver’s vision will be affected and may even cause accidents.

    Honda vehicles, which are affected by this problem will be checked and repaired free of charge at an estimated time of 12 minutes per car.

    The repairing programme will take place from December 25, 2017, to December 24, 2018.

    Japan, Viet Nam co-operate on RD     

    Daiwa Institute of Research (DIR) and FPT Corporation have signed a memorandum of understanding regarding joint co-operation for research and development into frontier technology.

    The memorandum, which was signed on Tuesday, will create a mutual link between the technological strengths of DIR and FPT to be applied to frontier technology research and development fields aimed at providing services with increased added value.

    It targets four fields of Japanese-language related artificial intelligence (AI) services, robotic process automation (RPA), technologies in relation to self-driving and blockchains.

    DIR is a member of Daiwa Securities Group, the second largest securities company in Japan. DIR provides services in research, consulting, and system solutions.

    Yoriyuki Kusaki, DIR president, said that DIR was providing Daiwa Securities Group with solutions that utilised cutting-edge technologies.

    “Through our co-operation with Daiwa Securities Group, we aim to further improve our knowhow in frontier technologies, and will work towards creating new value to enable an even greater expansion of information technology in Japan,” he added.

    Truong Gia Binh, FPT Chairman said that this was the first time FPT had sealed its co-operation with an international research institute to develop and research on the latest technologies – the platforms of Industry Revolution 4.0.

    “This handshake will cultivate a new pathway to leverage technologies of both companies,” he said. “When speed is among the key factors to success in this Industry Revolution 4.0, this strategic co-operation is our motivation to accelerate speed of technology development and to quickly apply solutions and applications based on the latest technologies from the two parties’ researches into the empirical operation of enterprises across the globe.”

    Previously, FPT and Daiwa Institute of Research BI (DIR BI) announced they were collaborating in providing a wide range of cloud services for enterprises with Internet of Things-related business in December last year.

    Accordingly, FPT and DIR BI will be in co-operation of consulting, transitioning to public cloud as well as providing managed services on cloud after transformation for Japanese customers.

    VN to gain $3.6b from vegetable, fruit exports     

    Viet Nam is estimated to gain US$3.6 billion in vegetable and fruit exports for this entire year, according to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.

    The ministry said the export value of vegetable and fruit products has increased sharply recently. The value was $2.4 billion in 2016 while it reached $3.1 billion in the first 11 months of 2017, a year-on-year growth of 43.2 per cent, including $292 million in November 2017, Cong An Nhan Dan e-newspaper reported.

    In the first 11 months of 2017, China, Japan, the United States and South Korea were the four largest export markets for Vietnamese vegetable and fruit products, accounting for 84.7 per cent of the total national export value of vegetable and fruit products.

    Viet Nam’s export value of vegetable and fruit products increased strongly by 67.6 per cent to Japan, 56.9 per cent to the United Arab Emirates and 52.7 per cent to China.

    Exports of vegetable and fruit products have exceeded the exports of other key export products such as rice, rubber, tea and cashew nut.

    The Viet Nam Vegetable and Fruit Association said local vegetable and fruit products have been exported to 40 countries and territories and these products achieved a breakthrough in exports over the past two years.

    Vegetable and fruit exports are expected to gain higher growth in the future. 

    Retail petrol prices kept stable     

    The retail prices of RON 92 petrol and E5 bio-fuel remained unchanged at VND18,580 (81 US cents) and VND18,243 per litre, respectively, at 3pm on Tuesday after continuous increases in recent months.

    In addition, the price for oil was also kept stable at VND13,617 per litre and mazut at VND12,382 per kilo.

    The price of diesel was slightly increased by VND150 to VND15,169 per litre.

    The ministries of industry and trade and finance said the decision came following a small decrease in the world petrol price.

    The finance ministry also said average petrol price in the world market over the past 15 days had slightly decreased slightly from $73.3 to $73.2 per barrel.

    The ministries decided to use the petrol price stabilisation fund to stabilise retail prices.

    Accordingly, RON 92 petrol was subsidised by VND585 per litre and E5 bio-fuel by VND604 per litre. The fund also used VND388 for diesel, VND485 for oil and VND239 for mazut.

    In the latest adjustment, the domestic retail price of RON 92 petroleum increased by VND434 to trade at a maximum of VND18,580 per litre

    Petrol prices have seen less than 23 adjustments, so far, this year, with nine increases, nine decreases and four instances of staying unchanged. 

    Long An Border Gate a key economic hub     

    Long An Border Gate Economic Zone in the Cuu Long (Mekong) Delta province of Long An is identified as an economic, cultural-social centre in the province, an official said.

    During a recent interview with the Vietnam News Agency, Nguyen Van Duoc, vice chairman of Long An People’s Committee, said Long An Border Gate Economic Zone serves as a bridge between HCM City and 12 provinces in the southern delta region, as well as a trade hub linking the Greater Mekong Sub-regions.

    It also shares a western border with Cambodia.

    Approved by the then Prime Minister in 2015 with orientation to 2030, Long An Border Gate Economic Zone has an area of over 13,080ha, including Binh Hiep International Border Gate Economic Zone and Long Khot Sub-Border Gate, both in Binh Hiep Commune in Kien Tuong Town.

    Nguyen Van Vu, chairman of Kien Tuong Town People’s Committee, said in the past two years, Kien Tuong has created favourable conditions for the development of trade and services, focusing on mobilising investment resources for the development of Binh Hiep Border Gate.

    Kien Tuong Town’s authorities have cooperated closely with the authorities of Long An Province to upgrade infrastructure systems and create a land fund of more than 100ha to be ready to welcome investment flow from domestic and foreign investors for Binh Hiep economic zone.

    The Management Board of Long An’s Economic Zones has granted the investment registration certificate for a project of Tainan Enterprises Co Ltd, with an area of some 17ha. The company has been in operation since the end of 2016, with total investment of more than US$65 million, creating employment for some 2,000 local workers.

    According to Truong Van Trieu, head of the Management Board of Long An’s Economic Zones, in recent years, there have been many domestic and foreign investors expressing keenness to invest in Binh Hiep Border Gate Economic Zone.

    Trieu said all investment projects in Binh Hiep Border Gate Economic Zone enjoy incentives in corporate income tax and personal income tax.

    “The management board will create favourable conditions for enterprises when investing in Binh Hiep Border Gate Economic Zone and to access medium-term loans with preferential interest rate,” Trieu said.

    Tran Van Can, chairman of Long An People’s Committee, said the province is looking forward to the Government’s investment capital allocation in the external transport system linking Binh Hiep Border Gate Economic Zone with the southern key economic region and HCM City, building socio-economic technical infrastructure in the area.

    Can said in the future, Long An Province will continue to create a healthy business environment to attract investment in Long An Border Gate Economic Zone.

    “The province will prioritise hi-tech and environmentally friendly projects, developing Binh Hiep Border Gate Economic Zone in a sustainable and friendly manner, ensuring border security,” he said. 

    Firms warned on int’l payment risks

    Vietnamese firms should study their trade partners carefully, choose suitable payment methods and buy exchange rate insurance to avoid risks when making international payment, a seminar heard in HCM City on December 5.

    Bui Thi Thanh An, deputy director of the Vietnam Trade Promotion Agency (Vietrade), said Vietnam trades with more than 180 countries and territories, with its main partners including the EU, the US, Japan, ASEAN members, and China.

    Together with economic growth, Vietnam’s exports have also been increasing year after year, she said.

    Its total trade rose 6.6 percent last year to 349.2 billion USD, she said.

    “International payments are an inseparable part of import-export activities.

    “But there are risks involved in international payments. Risks can arise at any stage during the transaction process and to any party – exporter, importer or bank.”

    The seminar on “International payment in import-export activities” sought to help domestic firms understand the potential risks in international payments, she added.

    The basic payment methods include cash-in-advance, letters of credit (LCs), collections, open account, and consignment, with LCs being one of the most secure.

    Delegates said since 2013, businesses have reduced LC payments and switched to direct payments via wire transfer to reduce costs.

    Nguyen Thi Thu Hang, deputy director of An Binh Commercial Joint Stock Bank’s international payment centre, warned that this method poses the risk of being attacked by cyber criminals.

    People could attack the emails of sellers, buyers or suppliers and send fake wire transfer requests, she said.

    Thus, when companies receive email requests for urgent payments, they must always verify the request via telephone, she said.

    Talking about risks involved in payment, Bui Quang Tin, lecturer at the Banking University of HCM City and CEO of Biz Light, said they include credit risk, ethic risk, national risk, and exchange-rate risk.

    To reduce the risks, firms need to carefully study their business partners in terms of transaction history, prestige, products, services, payment capacity, bank issuing LCs and others, he said.

    They should buy exchange rate insurance and chose appropriate payment methods, and consult legal and international payment experts, he added.

    Vietnam holds talk with Argentine importers to boost trade

    The Embassy of Vietnam in Argentina hosted a talk with local importers to promote trade between the two countries in Buenos Aires on December 5.

    Opening the event, Ambassador Dang Xuan Dung gave the Argentine businesses an overview of Vietnam’s socio-economic development after three decades of “Doi moi” period, highlighting that the country has remained as one of the fastest-growing economies in Southeast Asia for years.

    Vietnam’s foreign trade increased four-fold after becoming a member of the World Trade Organisation a decade ago, exceeding 400 billion USD this year, he said.

    The country has so far signed 12 free trade agreements and been negotiating four new others, Dung noted, adding that he looks forward to Argentina backing Vietnam to ink a trade deal with MERCOSUR (the Southern Common Market that gathers Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay).

    He noted that the bilateral trade between Vietnam and Argentina rose by 20 percent annually from 2012-2016, after the two nations established comprehensive partnership in 2010; and they still have great potential to expand the lists of export items to each other.

    Echoing Dung’s view, President of the chamber of importers of Argentina (CIRA) Ruben Oscar Garcia affirmed determination of the Argentine government to open the local market and provide opportunities for domestic firms to expand trade with foreign partners.

    The two-way trade reached 2.3 billion USD and 2.9 billion USD in 2015 and 2016, respectively. It is expected to gain 3.5 billion USD this year, he said.

    Vietnam is now Argentina’s sixth largest trade partner with key currency earners being footwear, electronics, textile and garment and agricultural machines while the South American country is Vietnam’s second biggest supplier of foods and farm produces.

    Forum celebrates strong VN-RoK ties

    The first-ever Maekyung Korea-Vietnam Forum is scheduled to open in Hanoi on December 6 as part of activities to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Vietnam-Republic of Korea (RoK) relations.

    Organised by Seoul-based Maekyung Media Group, the Korea Cultural Industry Forum and the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI), the forum focuses on building new partnerships, gathering some 350 participants, of whom 70-80 people are CEOs.

    “Since the beginning of diplomatic relations between the RoK and Vietnam in 1992, the two countries have developed a strong bond. Now the two states are living under a “one-day living zone”, said Chang Dae-whan, Chairman and Publisher of Maekyung Media Group.

    “This year’s Korea-Vietnam Forum will be an opportunity to gather the brilliant minds of the world to find ways to reinvigorate the Korean economy through strengthening its ties with Vietnam,” Chang said.

    Vietnam and the RoK’s fourth largest trading partner and investment destination while the RoK is Vietnam’s third largest trading partner and largest foreign investor.

    Trade between the two nations has increased 91-fold, from 500 million USD in 1992 to 45.1 billion USD in 2016. The ASEAN-Korea FTA (2005), Vietnam’s joining of the World Trade Organisation in 2007, and the Vietnam-Korea FTA (2015) have contributed to expanding bilateral trade.

    “The investment of RoK companies in Vietnam has gradually advanced from labour-intensive industries such as sewing and textiles to high value-added ones. In particular, business possibilities related to the fourth Industrial Revolution are increasing,” said Chang.

    People-to-people ties between the two countries have strengthened. Vietnam is an attractive destination for Korean tourists. Some 1.5 million Korean visitors visited Vietnam in 2016. Vietnamese people, especially youngsters, are now quite familiar with Korean culture.

    The forum will feature presentations by both governments’ representatives, namely Deputy Prime Minister Of Vietnam Trinh Dinh Dung, VCCI Chairman Vu Tien Loc, Korean Ambassador to Vietnam Lee Hyuk, and Lee In-ho, RoK Vice Minister for Trade, Industry and Energy.

    It is also gathering speakers and decision makers across various industries, sharing visions and insights on a wide range of issues, including ‘New Business Partnership in the 4th Industrial Revolution Era’, ‘Enhancing Korea-Vietnam Cooperation’,  ‘The current state of Hallyu (Korean Wave) in Vietnam’ and ‘The Future of Vietnam’s cultural industry through Korea-Vietnam cooperation’.

    Notably, the event will highlight the two countries’ efforts in strengthening Vietnam’s competitiveness in the 4th Industrial Revolution through public-private cooperation, with key tasks including improving internet and energy supply infrastructure, fostering professionals for the 21st century, and enhancing technological competitiveness.

    Vietnam, UK seek to boost trade ties

    The UK always considers Vietnam as its important and potential trade partner and wants to expand multifaceted cooperation with the Southeast Asian nation, said British Secretary of State for International Trade Liam Fox.

    At a meeting with Vietnamese Minister of Industry and Trade Tran Tuan Anh, who paid a working visit to the UK from December 4-5, Fox reasserted the British Government’s commitment to further boosting trade ties with Vietnam. 

    The two countries should take new measures and initiatives to foster bilateral trade cooperation, he said.

    For his part, Anh affirmed that Vietnam has attached great importance to the multifaceted strategic partnership with the UK, and has been making every effort to promote bilateral cooperation. 

    Solutions and initiatives should focus on sharing information about import policies, trade barriers and management of fake goods management as well as increasing trade promotion and market studying activities, thus facilitating two-way trade, he stressed. 

    The minister proposed the UK create favourable conditions for prestigious Vietnamese exporters to join distribution networks in the UK, especially for ago-aquatic products, textiles-garments and footwear. 

    Vietnam highly evaluates the dialogue mechanism of the Vietnam-UK Joint Economic and Trade Commission (JETCO), considering this as a useful channel to regularly exchange measures and solutions to remove difficulties facing enterprises. 

    The upcoming 10th session of JETCO is scheduled to take place in the UK in the first quarter of 2018, focusing on ways to encourage the participation of businesses in JETCO and to enhance cooperation among localities of the two countries.

    Economic and trade relations between Vietnam and the UK have been developing fruitfully in recent years, with two-way trade hitting 5.62 billion USD in 2016, up 4.3 percent year-on-year. The UK is now the third largest trade partner of Vietnam in Europe after Germany and the Netherlands.

    Vietnam Expo 2017 kicks off in HCM City

    The 15th Vietnam International Trade Fair (Vietnam Expo 2017) opened at the Saigon Exhibition and Convention Centre (SECC) in Ho Chi Minh City on December 6.

    Speaking at the opening ceremony, Nguyen Van Nga, head of the South Agency of the Ministry of Industry and Trade said that Vietnam Expo is among the largest trade fairs held in HCM City, featuring 750 businesses from 16 countries and territories, including India, the Republic of Korea (RoK), Indonesia, Malaysia, the US, Germany and China.

    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 the latest waves of market and producers can popularise their trademarks as well as expand consumption network.

    Director of the Vietnam National Trade Fair & Advertising Company (Vinexad) Saigon Pham Van Khanh said participating companies want to introduce their new items for 2018 with the aim of seeking customers’ feedback for evaluating the market’s demand.

    On showcase at 800 booths of the event will be various products such as electronic devices and products, hardware products and hand tools, construction materials and household products-consumer goods.

    A highlight of the event is the area displaying products of the RoK, with the participation of 140 businesses from the country. The firms also voiced their hope to bolster cooperation with their counterparts from Vietnam and other countries in the region through the Vietnam Expo 2017.

    The same time, the Vietnam Hardware and Hand Tools Expo 2017 also kicked off at the SECC with 250 booths of 200 firms. The event introduces various types of new products and technologies, such as gardening tools, compressors, metal materials, automatic devices and chemicals.

    Aside from the world major brands such as Bosch, Sealey, Onishi, Yanase, Brunox, Nikawa, Knipex, Makita and Abus joining the event, it is viewed as a significant chance for Vietnamese businesses to update new technologies and expand cooperation, promoting domestic manufacturing and supporting industries.

    In addition, many specialised seminars will be held during the exhibition time, with the participation of Vietnamese and international experts.

    The two events both run until December 9.

    Japanese Sojitz Planet forms $32-million venture with Rang Dong Plastics

    Japan’s Sojitz Planet Corporation formed a strategic partnership with Rang Dong Plastics JSC on December 5 to set up a new venture called Rang Dong Long An.

    With a total investment capital of $32 million, Rang Dong Long An is a 80:20 venture between Rang Dong Plastics and Sojitz Planet. The project will house three factories on an 8.7-hectare area in the southern province of Long An. The factories will apply the latest technology from Germany, Italy, Japan, Taiwan, and Korea.

    Ho Duc Lam, chairman of Rang Dong Plastics JSC, said that Rang Dong Long An is slated to put into operation in March 2018. With new investment and co-operation, Rang Dong Plastics aims to become a leading plastic supplier in Vietnam and one of the top 10 manufacturers in the Asia-Pacific by 2020.

    Meanwhile, Sojitz will contribute to the business development of Rang Dong Group’s high functional materials. Sojitz has the distribution right of plant-delivered poly ethylene called Green PE in the Asia and Oceania region. Green PE is produced from sugarcane by Braskem in Brazil. The firm will supply Green PE to Rang Dong to produce environmental-friendly products for customers.

    In the domestic market, Sojitz Planet has been collaborating with over 20 Sojitz Group companies. Taking advantage of this network, the firm will supply Rang Dong products to Ministop Vietnam operated by Sojitz Retail Sections. In its overseas markets, Sojitz Planet has already started supplying Rang Dong products in Cambodia, Myanmar, and the Philippines.

    In addition, Sojitz Planet will support research and development, factory environment improvement, as well as human resources training by the professional supervisors from Sojitz and Japanese partners.

    Sojitz Planet Corporation is the plastic division of Sojitz Corporation—a Japanese general trading company. With 27 branches all over the world, Sojitz Planet has a turnover of US$1.8 billion and is currently trading over one million tonnes of plastic resins annually.

    Rang Dong manufactures and trades in industrial, household, and engineering plastic products in Vietnam. Besides domestic channels, Rang Dong constantly increases exports to major markets, such as the US, Japan, Korea, Holland, Taiwan, the Middle East, Nigeria, Thailand, Myanmar, and the EU.

    VNN


    0 0
  • 12/09/17--05:21: Article 0
  • Former PetroVietnam official Dinh La Thang arrested

    Thang is being investigated for his role in the losses of US$35.24 million in PetroVietnam’s investment in OceanBank

    ​Former PetroVietnam official Dinh La Thang arrested
    File photo of Dinh La Thang. Photo: Tuoi Tre
     Vietnamese police on Friday arrested and launched legal proceedings against Dinh La Thang, former chairman of the board of members of state-run oil and gas giant PetroVietnam (PVN).
    Thang has been taken into custody to serve the investigation of two serious economic cases, according to the investigation police department under the Ministry of Public Security.

    The 57-year-old is currently a member of the Party Central Committee and deputy head of the Party Central Committee’s Economic Commission.

    Thang is suspected of involvement in the case of deliberately violating the state’s regulations on economic management, causing serious consequences, and abusing position and authority to arrogate property, causing losses of VND800 billion (US$35.24 million) in PVN’s investment in OceanBank, according to the Vietnam News Agency.

    It is believed that Thang also has a role in the case of deliberately violating the state’s regulations on economic management, causing serious consequences and committing embezzlement in PetroVietnam Construction Corporation, a PVN subsidiary, related to the Thai Binh 2 thermal power project.

    Earlier the same day, Vietnam’s Politburo also suspended Thang’s Party-related activities, while the Standing Committee of the lawmaking National Assembly adopted a resolution suspending his status of a legislator, according to the Vietnam News Agency.

    Besides Thang, another ex-PVN official, Nguyen Quoc Khanh, was also arrested on Friday to serve the investigation into the same two serious economic cases.

    Khanh, former deputy general director of PetroVietnam, faces charges of deliberately violating state regulations on economic management causing serious consequences.

     ​Former PetroVietnam official Dinh La Thang arrested
    File photo of Dinh La Thang. Photo: Tuoi Tre

    Economic wrongdoings

    Thang’s wrongdoings were conducted during his time serving as chairman of the board of members of PVN in the 2009-2011 period.

    As of March 2014, PVN was one of the four biggest shareholders of OceanBank.

    According to investigation documents, in late 2008, Thang, as the then chairman of the PVN Board of directors, signed an agreement for the state-run oil and gas behemoth to become a shareholder and strategic partner of OceanBank with a 20 percent stake.

    PVN has channeled VND800 billion into the lender, an investment the company would never be able to retrieve.

    Following the investment, PVN recommended one of its officials, Nguyen Xuan Son, to be member of the board of directors and general director of OceanBank.

    Son was later prosecuted and taken to court on charges of deliberately violating the state’s regulations on economic management, causing serious consequences in a high-profile loss case at OceanBank. He was sentenced to death in September. 

    In May, Thang was warned and dismissed from the Politburo of the Party Central Committee for those financial wrongdoings.

    Tuoi Tre News


    0 0
  • 12/11/17--00:00: Article 4
  • Busting out newest tech to aid Vietnam’s turn towards the sun


    As Vietnam takes strong steps to develop its solar energy market, GE is bringing in advanced technology solutions to help the country unlock its solar potential.

    A market with stellar prospects


    Busting out newest tech to aid Vietnam’s turn towards the sun, vietnam economy, business news, vn news, vietnamnet bridge, english news, Vietnam news, news Vietnam, vietnamnet news, vn news, Vietnam net news, Vietnam latest news, Vietnam breaking news 

    The fast-growing Vietnamese economy is starting to feel an increasing pressure to secure the necessary energy supplies. 

    After over-reliance on conventional resources such as coal, hydropower, and gas to ensure energy security, Vietnam is aiming for a more balanced energy mix by expanding its renewable capacity in the long term. 

    Solar energy is gaining momentum due to the falling costs of solar technology and the global drive to switch to renewable energy.

    In fact, Vietnam has a high potential for solar energy production, with 1,600-2,700 sunlight hours per year and an average direct normal irradiance of 4-5 kilowatt-hours (kWh)  per square metre, per day. 

    Solar irradiation levels are comparable to most countries in the region, including developed solar markets like China, Thailand, and the Philippines, as well as to mature international solar markets such as Spain and Italy.

    According to the National Power Development Plan (PDP 7), solar power is expected to become the main form of renewable energy, with the installed capacity to be increased from around 6-7 megawatts (MW) by the end of 2017 to 850MW by 2020 and 12,000MW by 2030, equivalent to 1.6 and 3.3 per cent of the country’s total power generation capacity, respectively.

    To facilitate this goal, the Vietnamese government has issued a number of incentives to encourage investment in solar energy. 

    In April 2017, the government introduced the first Vietnamese legislation for solar power development (Decision No.11/2017/QD-TTg), which sets the price for solar electricity at 9.35 US cents/kWh.

    Following the issuance of Decision 11, in September 2017, the Ministry of Industry and Trade officially released Circular No.16/2017/TT-BCT on project development and a standardised power purchase agreement (PPA) for solar power projects. 

    The issuance of the new feed-in tariff and solar PPA have laid out a conducive legal framework to lure private investment into the Vietnamese solar energy market.

    On the back of supportive regulations, enthusiasm for solar energy has grown significantly in the past years. 

    The number of local and foreign companies looking to develop solar projects in Vietnam is growing at a rapid pace. 

    The next step is to choose suitable technology to turn this solar dreamscape into a reality.

    Leveraging the 1,500-volt system advantage

    The PV inverters that convert the sun’s energy (DC) into grid power (AC) have been the focus of some of the most radical innovations of all. 

    That’s because increasing the voltage will deliver greater energy output per square metre, in turn ensuring farms require less infrastructure and land to operate efficiently. 

    So, inverters that were once typically built to a 1-kilovolt (kV) specification a few years ago are being swiftly superseded by the 1.5kV standard first launched by GE in 2012.

    When coupled with a matching 330Wp PV module, 1.5kV (1,500v) inverters can help deliver up to 3 per cent and 15 per cent reductions in system and operational costs, respectively. 

    Their efficiency and cost advantages are now seeing GE’s 1,000v roll-out widely replacing “standard” 1kV kits across the world, and first deployments are live in many Asian countries including Japan and India

    As a result, many solar farm operators are adopting 1,500v to reduce costs and enhance returns on investment.

    But just as solar generation hardware advances, so do the possibilities opened up by the new world of IoT that will see US$50 billion worth of assets connected to the internet by 2020.

    Real-time, big data-informed intelligence and analytics are set to redefine solar performance and productivity expectations by automating and optimizing predictive maintenance and monitoring across every item of solar plant hardware. 

    The outcome is reduced costs and downtime – plus greater productivity – in an industry where replacing just one faulty part has previously meant days of disruption and lost output.

    The lack of data and smart use of data has historically translated into lost profit for solar projects – for example: contingency reserves around 5 per cent of capex, overspend on data-blind operation-and-maintenance contracts around 8 per cent of revenue, and/or kWh losses between 1-3 per cent of revenue. 

    The increased performance, and lower costs offered by digitalization is changing the game for the solar industry, and further strengthening its position in the global energy lineup.

    As the solar PV market expands exponentially – alongside the complexities of ever-larger farms and challenges around grid stability – plant developers, investors, owners, and operators are looking for ways to minimise risk and deliver the best return.

    That’s why the industry is evolving to embrace integrated systems, an approach central to the way GE interacts with the full width of the utility-scale solar PV ecosystem. 

    It means GE is working with customers to bring turn-key electrical solutions from the Solar Module to the HV substation including PV modules, inverter, balance of plant, SCADA plant control, grid compliance and HV substation connections along with working with local companies to deliver the complete Solar EPC offering in Vietnam. GE adds to that a fully flexible digitally enabled service offer to guarantee long-term performance.

    Opportunities on the horizon

    Similar to Vietnam, Dubai in the United Arab Emirates is one of the best places to generate solar power thanks to the city’s abundant and strong sunlight. 

    GE is helping Dubai Electricity and Water Authority to build a massive solar power plant in the desert surrounding Dubai.

    The plant, called Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park, is a three-stage project. Upon completion in 2030, it will be the largest such installation in the region, generating up to 5,000MW.

    The second stage of the project, which uses GE technology, is now generating up to 200MW of electricity. 

    This should be enough to power more than 30,000 homes and offset 250,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide every year.

    However, the ambient temperature in Dubai reaches 50 degrees Celsius, making it a significant challenge for engineers to create a construct that can withstand such harsh conditions. 

    One of GE’s major advantages in extreme environmental conditions is GE inverters, which can operate at high temperature with very high efficiency.

    As GE’s 1,500v inverters enable a simplified farm design and require less plant infrastructure compared to its 1,000v peers, it will be used in the third phase of the solar park and help produce energy at 2.99 US cent per kWh, which will be the cheapest form of energy in Dubai, overtaking traditional fuels.

    With reliable solar technology, GE is helping Dubai to unlock the sun’s power and change the fuel source equation. In a similar fashion, GE is committed to bringing in the latest technology and best practices to drive the Vietnamese solar power market forward.

    VIR


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