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  • 01/23/18--01:03: Article 0
  • Social News 22/1


    Front leader gives Tet gifts to poor households

    President of the Vietnam Fatherland Front (VFF) Central Committee Tran Thanh Man visited and presented gifts to poor households and welfare policy beneficiaries in the Mekong Delta province of Hau Giang and city of Can Tho on January 20, ahead of the Lunar New Year (Tet) festival.

    The beneficiaries include 100 poor households and welfare policy beneficiaries in Thanh Xuan commune, Chau Thanh A district, Hau Giang province; and 200 other families in Co Do district, Can Tho city. Each gift package includes 1 million VND in cash and five kg of rice.

    Speaking with local residents, Man detailed the nation’s socio-economic development in 2017, saying that despite natural disasters, floods causing huge damages and losses, under the sound leadership of the Party and the Government, the country fulfilled all socio-economic targets, with economic growth reaching 6.81 percent.

    He urged local authorities to take good care of their residents, particularly poor households and welfare policy beneficiaries, particularly in terms of housing, health care, education and production.

    Man expressed his hope that the households will follow the policies and laws of the Party and State, contributing to the development of their localities.

    On the occasion, the VFF leader and Can Tho officials visited and presented gifts to the wife of a martyr, Do Thi Phuong, in Thoi Hiep village, Dong Thang commune; and pensioner Le Tan Phuong, 91, in Co Do township, Co Do district of Can Tho city.

    Việt Nam, Singapore launch haemodialysis care project

    More than 5,000 kidney patients in the north of Việt Nam will benefit from a healthcare training project launched on Monday by the Hà Nội Medical University (HMU).

    The project has been launched in collaboration with Singapore International Foundation (SIF) and Tan Tock Seng Hospital (TTSH).

    The haemodialysis care project aims to improve the overall quality of haemodialysis care and help meet the increasing demands of haemodialysis care in the north of Việt Nam.

    “We are pleased to partner with SIF and TTSH in our continuous efforts to improve the standards of healthcare, especially haemodialysis care in Việt Nam,” Professor Nguyễn Đức Hinh, rector of the Hà Nội Medical University, said.

    Singapore is among one of the leading nations in advanced healthcare training and services. By working together with the Singaporean team, our medical staff will benefit from new perspectives in this field. We look forward to building stronger professional and personal ties with our Singaporean counterparts in the coming years,” said Hinh.

    “Through this project, we will bring together our Singapore International Volunteers (SIV) and their Vietnamese counterparts to share insights and impart ideas, skills and resources with each other. We hope to collectively enhance haemodialysis care in the region for long-term sustainability,” SIF Chairman Ong Keng Yong said.

    The 30-month project will focus on activities to enhance the training of Vietnamese caregivers to ensure the delivery of safe healthcare practices to kidney patients and update caregivers on the current standards of care in this speciality.

    The project will have five components, including clinical training workshops and lectures; leadership engagement sessions; a study visit to Singapore; a symposium; and the development and distribution of professional guidelines on haemodialysis care.

    The collaborative project will see a specialist team of SIV, including TTSH doctors and nurses from the department of renal medicine, working together with healthcare professionals from HMU, BạchMaiHospital, ViệtĐứcHospital and other dialysis centres in Hà Nội. The SIVs will share their experience, knowledge and skills with their Vietnamese counterparts to train a core group of 60 master trainers.

    Since 1994, the SIF has collaborated in projects with various institutional and individual partners in Hà Nội and HCMCity in the fields of healthcare, education, arts and culture, and social entrepreneurship.

    Ha Nam: Over 1 million USD raised for poor people

    More than 24 billion VND (1.05 million USD) was raised to help the poor celebrate the upcoming Lunar New Year (Tet) festival during a programme held in the northern province of Ha Nam on January 21.

    The event was organised by the provincial Fatherland Front and the provincial Business Association.

    Nearly 9,000 poor households in Ha Nam will receive Tet gifts worth 500,000 VND (22 USD) each. Meanwhile, 10 billion VND (440,000 USD) of the amount will be used to build schools.

    Speaking at the event, Secretary of the provincial Party Committee Nguyen Dinh Khang highlighted the significance of the programme, and praised local enterprises and individuals for their generosity.

    The programme called for donations from businesses, organisations and individuals to the locality’s social security programmes, he said.

    The same day, more than 200 poor people and those from ethnic minority communities in the southern province of Binh Phuoc were provided with free health check-ups and medicines during a programme initiated by the provincial People’s Committee.

    On the occasion, Tet gift packages worth 30 million VND (1,320 USD) were also delivered to these poor residents.

    Work begins on Truc Lam Zen monastery in Dong Thap


     Work begins on Truc Lam Zen monastery in Dong Thap, Dong A College, Japanese company sign training deal, Red Cross sets up Foodbank VN to feed indigents, 28 Vietnamese scholars heading to New Zealand to study in 2018 

    Construction of a Truc Lam Zen Monastery and a tower began in the Mekong Delta province of Dong Thap on January 21.

    Locating in Go Thap national relic site in Tan Trieu Commune, Thap Muoi district, the 21-storey tower is set to be 99 metres high.

    Ven. Thich Dat Ma Pho Hoa, head of the Thap Muoi Truc Lam Zen monastery said the Go Thap relic site is an important spiritual and cultural site, with a renowned 10-storey tower of Oc Eo culture.

    The historical site also draws scientists, archaeologists, Buddhist followers and tourists.

    Meanwhile, Doan Tan Buu, Vice Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee underlined the religious, historical and architectural value of the work.

    The new monastery and tower will help preserve traditional and cultural values while developing local tourism, he said.

    Dong A College, Japanese company sign training deal

    Japan's LEOC company and the Da Nang-based Dong A College have inked a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on cooperation in Japanese language training, vocational skills and manpower enrollment.

    Chairman and CEO of Dong A College Nguyen Thi Anh Dao said the MoU, which was signed last week, would enroll 1,000 graduated students at the college to work in Japan in 2022.

    Dao said the partner would boost cooperation in Japanese language training, culture, nursing, information technology, electronics and hospitality management.

    LEOC, a contract food services company, will offer internships and part-time jobs at companies in Japan.

    Last year, Route Inn Group from Japan began an enrollment programme of students from Dong A college to work at its resort in Okinawa following a training agreement signed in 2015.

    Japan’s Linux Professional Institute (JPI) and the Evolable Asia company have also established an information technology human resource training programme with the Da Nang-based college, while the Japan of Asia organisation agreed cooperation for nursing that serve the Japanese market.

    In 2016, the college and 20 automobile businesses agreed on the establishment of practical courses at automobile factories for students.

    Can Tho city welcomes 7.5 million tourists in 2017

    The Mekong Delta city of Can Tho enjoyed strong growth in tourism last year due to a series of international political and cultural events and traditional festivals, according to the municipal Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism.

    The number of tourist arrivals surged 40 percent to 7.5 million, while tourism revenues rose 61 percent to 2.9 trillion VND (127.6 million USD).

    The political, cultural and tourism events the city hosted included the APEC Food Security Week, Vietnam-Japan Culture and Trade Exchange, and the Southern Traditional Cake Festival.

    The tourism sector is focusing on developing river-based tourism, especially upscale products such as three- to five-star cruise ships, Le Minh Son, deputy director of the department, said.

    It is encouraging investors to develop inter-provincial and international river-based tours, he said.

    The tours are designed to take in historical and cultural relics, traditional craft villages, and ecological and spiritual destinations.

    Last year the neighbouring province of An Giang attracted 7.3 million visitors, up 12 percent, earning revenues of 3.7 trillion VND (162.8 million USD).

    The province is the centre of spiritual tourism in the south, with people flocking especially to Ba Chua Xu Temple in Chau Doc town.

    Kiên Giang province, with its beautiful landscapes, islands such as Phu Quoc, archipelagoes such as Nam Du and Ba Lua and the U Minh Thuong National Park, attracted more than six million visitors last year.

    The province’s tourism revenues were worth more than 4.58 trillion VND (201.52 million USD), the highest in the delta.

    Red Cross sets up Foodbank Việt Nam to feed indigents

    A charity organisation called Foodbank Việt Nam was launched on Saturday to distribute food to deprived people and reduce food wastage.

    Foodbank is a programme by the Việt Nam Council of the Red Cross in collaboration with the Youth Social Welfare Centre, C.P. Việt Nam Livestock Corporation, and DSF Việt Nam Co.Ltd.

    It operates along the lines of food banks around the world, soliciting donation of food from companies and organisations and handing over whatever it gets to needy people.

    To start with, Foodbank Việt Nam is providing free food to 10 social welfare centres and shelters in HCMCity. It will soon expand throughout the country.

    It also plans to set up a chain of standard food stalls which will sell to poor and disadvantaged people at low prices.

    There will be activities to educate people about not wasting food.

    According to the Food and Agriculture Organisation, hunger is still one of the most urgent development challenges though the world is producing more than enough food.

    One third of food produced for human consumption, amounting to around 1.3 billion tonnes, is lost or wasted every year, FAO had said in 2011.

    Food losses represent a waste of resources used for production such as land, water, energy, and farm inputs and a needess increase in green gas emissions, it had said.

    Việt Nam ranked second in the food waste index in the Asia-Pacific region, according to a survey conducted by Electrolux.

    Chinoros Benjachavakul, deputy general director of C.P. Việt Nam Livestock Corporation, said the food bank would help prevent wastage of food in Việt Nam.

    HCMCity authorities ensure a warm Tết

    The HCM City People’s Committee has asked district people’s committees, departments and other agencies to ensure everyone has a “warm and sufficient Lunar Tết”, which falls on February 16.

    The city’s Department of Labour, Invalids, and Social Affairs has plans to allocate nearly VNĐ1.3 trillion (US$57.2 million) from the city budget for these programmes.

    Trần Công Khanh, head of the labour affairs division at HCM City Export Processing Zones and Industrial Parks Authority (HEPZA), said that 400 enterprises in HCM City’s 15 industrial parks and export processing zones will spend more than VNĐ73 billion (US$3.2 million) for free tickets, gifts and year-end parties for poor workers, ethnic minorities, and workers at companies that have been closed because of bankruptcy or a slowdown in production.

    Workers who cannot return to their hometown for Tết holiday will benefit from HEPZA and their company’s social welfare programme.

    HEPZA has called for nearly 6,000 free bus tickets for workers who are trade union members and have financial difficulties, and want to return to their hometown for Tết but cannot afford to buy tickets.

    Workers affected by floods and storms last year will be given priority to receive tickets on January 27.

    Trade unions at the city’s industrial parks and export processing zones will present 3,000 gifts to workers who have lost jobs due to their company reducing or stopping production.

    Enterprises and other agencies in the city’s industrial parks and export processing zones will organize a Spring Fair to help workers buy standard goods for Tết at proper prices.

    The 400 enterprises unveiled bonuses for their employees, with the highest of VNĐ950 million awarded by a domestic company and VNĐ359 million by a foreign-invested company.

    Most employees of all companies in the city’s industrial parks and export processing zones will receive one month salary as a bonus from VNĐ6.2 million each at domestic companies and VNĐ 7.8 million at foreign invested firms.

    The city’s Women Union has plans to spend more than VNĐ2 billion for gifts for its poor members and ethnic minorities, poor residents on the country’s islands and those from other provinces who are not returning to their hometown for Tết holidays.

    The Trade Union for the city’s Department of Education and Training this year has unveiled its welfare plan for teachers. Teachers whose wives or husbands have had a labour accident or have an incurable disease will be presented VNĐ500,000 each.

    Nearly 3,500 Vietnamese take Apple to court over slowing iPhone

    Thousands of Vietnamese consumers have joined in a class-action lawsuit against Apple Inc., accusing the US tech company of intentionally slowing their iPhones without consent.

    Lawyers Tran Manh Tung and Nguyen Ngoc Hung filed the case against Apple Vietnam Co. Ltd. with the Ho Chi Minh City People’s Court on January 12 on behalf of some 3,500 local iPhone owners.

    “We are waiting to see if the court will require us to submit any additional documents in order to officially launch the lawsuit,” Tran Manh Hung, has confirmed to Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper.

    Both Tung and Hung work for the Ket Noi law office under the Hanoi Bar Association.

    The 600-page case file accuses Apple of using a software update to deliberately slow the iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 6s, iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus, and iPhone SE without notifying users beforehand.

    The lawyers demand that Apple provide a fix for the issue, compensate the affected users, and prevent software updates and upgrades from causing damage to iPhone products distributed in Vietnam.

    Both attorneys say they hope the lawsuit can serve as a mechanism to raise awareness that the rights and interests of Vietnamese consumers are under attack.

    “This is why we demand that Apple take responsibility for Vietnamese consumers [of its products] rather than only those who have joined our class-action lawsuit,” Tung explained.

    Apple confirmed in mid-December that it purposely slowed down some older iPhone models through a software update which it claims was meant to “smooth out the instantaneous peaks only when needed to prevent the [devices] from unexpectedly shutting down.”

    The smartphone maker cited lithium-ion batteries, the power source in iPhones, as the reason for the persistent issues.

    “[Lithium-ion batteries] become less capable of supplying peak current demands when in cold conditions, have a low battery charge, or as they age over time, which can result in the [devices] unexpectedly shutting down to protect [their] electronic components,” Apple said, claiming that the software update was meant to prevent the issue.

    As iPhone users in some countries began to file lawsuits against Apple after the confession, the company issued an official apology later that month and offered to correct the mistake with a battery-replacement program.

    From January 2018 until the end of the year, anyone who owns an iPhone 6 or newer model can purchase a phone-battery replacement for just US$29, instead of the normal price of $79.

    Apple made up only 9.2% of the Vietnamese smartphone market in 2017 in terms of sales, but its revenue accounted for approximately 24.1%, considering that the iPhone is considered a high-end product.

    The company’s latest smartphones, the iPhone 8 and iPhone X, now start at VND21 million (US$925) and a whopping VND30 million (US$1,320), respectively, in Vietnam.

    Despite the price tag, Tung says users in Vietnam receive little after-sales technical support from Apple.

    “Apple is to blame for this and should have offered to replace battery for affected users free-of-charge, instead of only doing so at a discounted price,” he added.

    PwC Vietnam and UEL form strategic partnership in career orientation and training

    PwC will support University of Economics and Law (UEL) by assessing and monitoring the performance of students on their internship programmes as well as supporting lecturers and students with learning resources.

    PwC Vietnam and UEL have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to launch their strategic partnership in career orientation and training with the aim of improving the skills and abilities of UEL students.

    According to the MoU, PwC will support UEL by assessing and monitoring the performance of students on their internship programmes. PwC will also provide UEL with learning resources for lecturers and students. The parties will collaborate on developing curricula focused on information technology (IT), IT risks, IT controls, IT auditing, information security, and data analytics.The aim is to support graduates in their transition from university to a professional working environment and to help them adapt to the challenges of the fast-changing digital age.

    Speaking at the MoU signing ceremony, PwC Vietnam partner Nguyen Hoang Nam said “As the leading service provider of IT auditing and controls, and as part of a global network of experts, we are confident that our partnership with UEL will bring positive changes to workforce development in new industries. We anticipate that the partnership will help the future workforce to prepare for the upcoming waves of digital transformation in the sectors that are most affected.”

    Dr Nguyen Tien Dung, rector of University of Economics and Law, commented “We believe that the partnership with PwC Vietnam will benefit UEL’s operations in line with our mission to enrich students’ practical know-how and help them secure the best job offers by expanding our corporate relations with top firms.”

    “The two parties will co-ordinate to organise conferences, seminars, and study session in common areas of expertise. By keeping themselves up-to-date with new knowledge, students will be able to access a greater range of career opportunities in financial institutions, credit institutions, and foreign companies in Vietnam, especially in the ‘Big 4’ firms,” added Nguyen My Hanh, PwC Vietnam’s IT Risk Assurance director.

    Following the MoU signing, PwC Vietnam and UEL organised a conference on “Business information systems and modern human resource demands,” which attracted more than 500 students and experts in IT auditing.

    PwC Vietnam provided students with essential information about IT auditing careers, recruitment demands, and the Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA) qualification—the most well-known certification recognised by all of the top IT auditing firms. This was a chance for students to determine the right direction for their studies and personal development in order to pursue a career in IT auditing.

    Milestone strategic co-operation in Vietnamese healthcare

    On January 11, 2018, Sanford World Clinic (SWC) and Victoria Healthcare (VHC) signed a comprehensive strategic co-operation agreement to deliver healthcare in Vietnam. This is the first agreement in Southeast Asia for SWC.

    This represents the beginning of co-operation and professional support to VHC from one of the leading healthcare systems in the United States.

    SWC is announcing several strategic partnerships this month, including Costa Rica, Ireland, New Zealand, and South Africa. An international ceremony will be held at Sanford Health World Headquarters in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, the US.

    After more than 12 years in operation, Victoria Healthcare has developed four branches in Ho Chi Minh City, serving more than 1.5 million patients with international standards of quality and becoming a trusted and beloved healthcare brand in Vietnam.

    Signing a comprehensive strategic co-operation with SWC is a new step for the Vietnamese healthcare industry. This strategic partnership represents a hands-on approach to a healthcare system with American input.

    Sanford Healthcare is considered a leading US healthcare organisation. It has 45 hospitals and 300 clinics in nine states in the US. Its international branch, SWC, has branches in Ghana, Germany, and China. Overall, the organisation has more than 1,500 doctors and 29,000 employees.

    SWC and VHC will team up to improve the knowledge, skills, and qualifications of medical professionals and managerial staff in Vietnam. Practical training through SWC and the sharing of knowledge and best practices will help provide higher quality services and guide development.

    “We believe in the quality of services, procedures, systems, and business strategies of VHC in Vietnam,” said Dr. Daniel Blue, executive vice president of SWC. “This partnership will bring more value to Vietnamese people through our combined efforts in the healthcare industry.”

    Art programme collects VND96 billion for disadvantaged children

    The National Fund for Vietnamese Children (NFVC) has received nearly VND96 billion (US$4.2 million) from 40 organisations, individuals, businesses and philanthropists to support disadvantaged children nationwide.

    The information was given after the eleventh art exchange programme named ‘Spring for Kids’, which was organised by the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs (MoLISA) on January 21.

    The programme saw the presence of Politburo member, Secretary of Party Central Committee (PCC) and Head of the PCC's Commission for Mass Mobilisation Truong Thi Mai; Vice President Dang Thi Ngoc Thinh, President of the NFVC and leaders from ministries and sectors, and donors who have made numerous contributions to the cause of protecting, caring for and educating children.

    The programme aims to help disadvantaged children with meaningful gifts as the lunar New Year approaches. It is also an annual event for the community to work together for children’s rights.

    On the occasion, the MoLISA also honoured outstanding individuals and organisations who have supported disadvantaged children and exchanges for disadvantaged children which have brought about outstanding achievements in studying and daily life, in 2017.

    Earlier, VP Thinh met with outstanding donors to honour their support towards disadvantaged children.

    In 2017, the NFVC mobilised over VND79 billion (US$3.4 million) to help disadvantaged children nationwide.

    TV programme recounts great significance of Spring 1968 Uprising

    A live television programme was held in Ho Chi Minh City on January 21 to highlight the historical significance of the General Offensive and Uprising in Spring 1968.

    The event, bringing together nearly 650 artists and actors, was attended by Politburo member and Secretary of the Ho Chi Minh City Party Committee Nguyen Thien Nhan, revolutionary veterans, Vietnamese heroic mothers, and war veterans.

    Songs and dances at the programme recounted the undaunted fighting spirit and bravery of the city’s soldiers and people during the struggle for national independence and freedom, particularly during the 1968 General Offensive and Uprising, which contributed to the victory of the Ho Chi Minh campaign in 1975, thus liberating the South and reunifying the nation.

    Participants also listened to talks shared by historical witnesses, who directly involved in the General Offensive and Uprising. Their stories recalled parts of occurrences of the historic event and exemplary soldiers during the fighting.

    High-ranking delegation of HCMC visits Laos& Cambodia

    Politburo member, Secretary of the Ho Chi Minh City Party Committee Nguyen Thien Nhan led a high- ranking delegation to visit and work in the neighboring countries of Laos and Cambodia this morning.

    Accordingly, this is the first visit of the city Party chief under a role of the Politburo member, Secretary of the Ho Chi Minh City Party Committee.

    Its target contributes to promote and tighten further the solidarity, traditional friendship and comprehensive cooperation between Vietnam and Laos, and good neighboring relations, sustainable traditional friendship between Vietnam and Cambodia.

    Additionally, the visit is also to strengthen and consolidate the friendship cooperation relationship with the localities of Laos and Cambodia including Vientiane capital, Champasak, Savannakhet provinces and Phnom Penh capital.

    The delegation included Director of Vietnam National University in Ho Chi Minh City Huynh Thanh Dat, Deputy Standing Chairman of the Ho Chi Minh City People’s Committee Le Thanh Liem, Deputy Chairman of the Ho Chi Minh City People’s Council and senior leaders.

    HCMC establishes InternationalIntegrationSupportCenter

    Chairman of HCMC People’s Committee Nguyen Thanh Phong has signed a decision to establish Ho Chi Minh City International Integration Support Center (CIIS).
    The center has been established on the basis of former HCMCWTOAffairsConsultationCenter.
    The new center headquartered at 148 Pasteur, Ward 6, District 3 is directly under HCMC Institute for Development Studies, responsible for offering professional advises and giving assistances to implement international integration activities in HCMC.
    The center’s director and deputy director will be appointed by the head of the Institute for Development Studies according to regulations.

    Gov’t chief asks for tough measures to fulfill socio-economic norms

    PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc tasked ministers, ministerial-level leaders, chairmen of provincial and municipal People’s Committees, SOEs General Directors to fulfill socio-economic development plans in 2018.

    In 2018, the five-year socio-economic development plan from the 2016-2020 period will be realized. Resolution 01/NQ-CP was introduced on January 1, 2018 on major tasks and solutions guiding the implementation of socio-economic development and State budget estimate for 2018 and a ten-word motto of the Government as follow “Discipline, integrity, action, creativity, and efficiency.” Thus, the Government tasked ministers, sectors, and localities to take drastic, synchronous, and effective measures and solutions as follow:

    Firstly, promptly and drastically issuing and implementing specific programs and action plans to implement the Government’s Resolution 01/NQ-CP especially to promote production and business before and after the Lunar New Year Festival;

    Secondly, taking synchronous and effective action plans to realize Resolution 4,5,6 of the 12th CPV Central Committee and National Assembly’s Resolutions especially conducting strategic breakthroughs; restructuring the economy in combination with transformation of the growth model; raising labor productivity, quality, efficiency, and competitiveness;

    Thirdly, upholding the achievements in 2017; taking drastic and innovative steps to accomplish the assigned tasks; focusing on economic development in combination with social and cultural development, better living standards, environmental protection, natural prevention, natural disasters, climate change response, national defense, national security;

    Fourthly, strengthening discipline and law enforcement; improve administrative reform; and combat corruption;

    Fifthly, keeping a close watch on and regularly inspecting and making reports on the implementation of the action plan  monthly  and quarterly;

    Sixthly, assigning the Working Group of the PM, the Ministry of Planning and Investment, the Ministry of Home Affairs to work with relevant ministries and agencies to investigate and assess the implementation of the assigned tasks and timely report to the PM.

    28 Vietnamese scholars heading to New Zealand to study in 2018

    The latest recipients of the prestigious ASEAN New Zealand Scholarships provided by the New Zealand government—the 28 finest Vietnamese students—are heading to New Zealand to start their postgraduate studies in February.

    New Zealand Ambassador to Vietnam, H.E Wendy Matthews, on January17 hosted a pre-departure briefing and reception for the scholars, the ten new awardees of  New Zealand’s longstanding English Language Training for Officials (ELTO) programme, and 24 students visiting from New Zealand under the Centres for Asia-Pacific Excellence (CAPEs) initiative.

    “I congratulate each of the 28 successful Vietnamese scholars. The ASEAN New Zealand Scholarship is designed to support the next generation of leaders in Vietnam and the region,” she said.

    “Over the last 24 years, many New Zealand ASEAN scholars have gone on to become respected leaders in Vietnam. New Zealand ASEAN scholars grow academically, professionally, and personally during their time in New Zealand. They also carry a strong sense of pride and responsibility as part of the New Zealand ASEAN Scholars and Alumni network. I am thrilled to see how this opportunity transforms lives,” added the ambassador.

    The education co-operation between Vietnam and New Zealand is reportedly on the rise every year. In 2017, first-time student visa applicants from Vietnam to New Zealand increased by nearly 60 per cent. Institution-to-institution links are also strengthening and growing.

    More than 270 Vietnamese students have received these awards since the scheme started in 1994. The scholarship represents a significant investment from the New Zealand government towards the development of Vietnam’s future leaders.

    Every year, successful scholars are selected from hundreds of applicants to receive full tuition fees, airfares, living allowances, insurance, and assistance with research and thesis costs for their time in New Zealand, while gaining access to a wide range of exclusive academic, professional, and cultural experiences.

    Applications for 2019 scholarships will open on February 1 and close on March 14, 2018.

    Applicants are encouraged to apply for the areas where New Zealand holds particular expertise and those prioritised by  the Government of Vietnam: agriculture, disaster risk management, renewable energy, public sector management, and private sector development.

    For more information, please visit: https://www.mfat.govt.nz/en/aid-and-development/scholarships/who-can-apply-for-a-scholarship-3/viet-nam-scholarships-2/ or email to nzembassy.hanoi@mft.net.nz. More updates and useful experiences shared by previous scholarship winners can be found on the Embassy’s Facebook page www.facebook.com/nzembassyvietnam.

    The New Zealand-ASEAN Scholarships are a regional initiative providing postgraduate awards for courses that align with sectors of relevance for New Zealand and the ASEAN. Up to 30 scholarships are available to Vietnamese students each year. Since 1994, 274 Vietnamese students have been awarded this prestigious scholarship.

    The 10 awardees of the English Language Training for Officials (ELTO) programme will go to New Zealand for 22 weeks to study English, with each intake having a special theme. To date, more than 485 Vietnamese officials have participated in the highly successful ELTO programme in New Zealand.

    Established in July 2017, the three government-funded Centres for Asia-Pacific Excellence (CAPEs) aim to enhance New Zealand’s cultural understanding of and business engagement with Southeast Asia, North Asia, and Latin America. The CAPEs harness academic expertise, evidence-based research, and stakeholder experience and industry acumen to help ensure best practice engagement with these regions. 

    VNN


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  • 01/24/18--01:51: Article 2
  • Vietnam’s cosmetics imports double to US$6 billion


    Vietnam’s cosmetics imports hit nearly US$6 billion in 2017, twice as much as in 2016, heard a conference on natural and organic cosmetics held by the Vietnam Cosmetic Distributor and Retailer Club in HCMC on January 19.


     

    Vietnam’s cosmetics imports double to US$6 billion, 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
    Customers try cosmetics at a local shop. Many foreign cosmetic manufacturers and retailers are increasing their presence in Vietnam 

    Nguyen Van Minh, deputy chairman of the Vietnam Essential Oils, Aromatherapy and Cosmetics Association, said Vietnam has become an emerging market for cosmetics with average growth of 30% in recent years.

    However, most cosmetics on the local market are imported. Domestic cosmetics production is still underdeveloped and Vietnamese cosmetics are mainly of low and medium grade. Last year, the country imported US$6 billion worth of cosmetics but exported only US$500 million, leading to a trade deficit of more than US$5 billion. 

    Many foreign cosmetic brands, especially from South Korea, Japan and Europe, have been present in Vietnam. The country has cut tariffs on cosmetics after signing a number of free trade agreements, making it even more appealing to foreign cosmetics manufacturers and retailers.

    Minh said Vietnam’s cosmetics spending is much lower than in other Asian countries like Thailand and South Korea. However, along with strong economic growth, Vietnamese consumers are paying more attention to skincare and spending more on cosmetics, especially natural and organic products.

    Informa Beauty division international director Claudia Bonfiglioli said Vietnam has great natural resources for organic cosmetics production and many foreign and domestic manufacturers have begun investing in this sector. However, the country has not had specific standards and ingredient requirements for, and definition of natural and organic cosmetics.

    According to Minh, Vietnam has a variety of plants that can be used for cosmetics production such as aloe vera, turmeric and seaweed. Domestic businesses should use local ingredients to manufacture high-quality and safe products to increase their market share.

    Bonfiglioli said using natural and organic cosmetics will become trendy in 2018. Therefore, the Mekong Beauty Show 2018 jointly held by Informa Beauty and Vietnam National Trade Fair and Advertising Company (Vinexad) in HCMC from June 14 to 16, 2018 will focus on these products.

    Organizers expect to attract more than 200 cosmetic manufacturers from South Korea, Japan, Europe, Taiwan, Thailand and Singapore, among others.

    SGT


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  • 01/24/18--01:58: Article 1
  • Thủ tướng lệnh khẩn các bộ báo cáo giá xăng dầu

    Cập nhậtlúc 16:58


    Bộ Tài chính, Bộ Công thương được giao chủ trì rà soát, tổng hợp và báo cáo về tình hình giá xăng dầu theo yêu cầu của Thủ tướng Nguyễn Xuân Phúc.

     

    Thủ tướng lệnh khẩn các bộ báo cáo giá xăng dầu - Ảnh 1.
    Thủ tướng yêu cầu báo cáo về tình hình giá xăng dầu ngay trong tháng 1-2018 - Ảnh: CHÍ TUỆ

    Thủ tướng Chính phủ vừa có văn bản hỏa tốc chỉ đạo hai cơ quan chịu trách nhiệm chính trong điều hành kinh doanh xăng dầu là Bộ Tài chính - Công thương phải báo cáo về tình hình biến động giá xăng dầu trong thời gian gần đây, sự chênh lệch giá giữa các mặt hàng xăng dầu và nguyên nhân.

    Liên bộ cũng phải báo cáo về chính sách thuế, phí liên quan đến xăng dầu, hoạt động của Quỹ bình ổn giá xăng dầu.

    Đặc biệt, Thủ tướng yêu cầu liên Bộ báo cáo về những tác động, ảnh hưởng của giá xăng dầu đến sản xuất và đời sống của người dân, doanh nghiệp, trên cơ sở đó kiến nghị, đề xuất định hướng, giải pháp phù hợp. 

    Bộ Tài chính sẽ là đầu mối tổng hợp và báo cáo Thủ tướng trong tháng 1-2018.

    Từ đầu năm 2018, thị trường xăng có sự thay đổi mạnh khi chỉ còn hai loại sản phẩm là xăng RON95 và E5, sau khi chính thức khai tử xăng RON92. 

    Việc thay đổi là nhằm thực hiện chủ trương đưa nhiên liệu sinh học ra thị trường rộng rãi hơn, góp phần bảo vệ môi trường, thúc đẩy ngành nông nghiệp và sản xuất ethanol…

    Tuy nhiên, việc bán xăng E5 là không bắt buộc và doanh nghiệp được quyền tự quyết, tự lựa chọn mặt hàng xăng dầu phù hợp với định hướng kinh doanh và nhu cầu của người tiêu dùng. Theo Bộ Công Thương, hiện có khoảng 60-65% lượng tiêu thụ xăng trên thị trường là E5 và dự kiến, tỉ lệ này còn tăng lên trong thời gian tới.

    Để tạo sự khuyến khích cho người tiêu dùng trong việc sử dụng xăng E5, cơ quan điều hành là Liên Bộ Tài chính - Công thương trong hai kỳ điều chỉnh giá xăng dầu của tháng 1 vừa qua, đã liên tục sử dụng công cụ Quỹ bình ổn. 

    Theo đó, xăng E5 không trích lập vào Quỹ bình ổn nhưng lại chi sử dụng lên tới trên 800 đồng/lít, tạo sự chênh lệch với xăng RON95 khoảng gần 2.000 đồng/lít.

    (Theo Tuổi trẻ)  NGỌC AN


    0 0
  • 01/24/18--02:13: Article 0
  • Social News 23/1


    Vietnam Veterans of America members honoured


    Vietnam Veterans of America members honoured, Cambodia hopes to send more students to Thai Nguyen, National fund gets 4.2 million USD to support poor children, Viet Nam, Singapore launch haemodialysis care project 

    The Vietnam Union of Friendship Organisations (VUFO) has presented certificates of merit and “For peace, friendship among nations” insignia to the Vietnam Veterans of America (VVA) and some of its members in recognition of their contributions to the normalisation and development of the Vietnam-US relations.

    Among the honoured individuals were VVA President John Rowan, VVA Vice President Marsha Four, Chair of the POW/MIA Committee Grant Towsend Coats, and VVA Public Relations Director Margaret Pratt Porter.

    Addressing the ceremony in Hanoi on January 22, VUFO Vice President and General Secretary Don Tuan Phong hailed efforts of the VVA and its members in normalising, building and developing the Vietnam-US relations, especially through the veterans’ initiative programme (VIP).

    Phong noted that since 1994, through the programme, the VVA has handed over to the Defence Ministry of Vietnam 300 dossiers and information of about 12,000 Vietnamese soldiers who died and went missing during the war, while helping search and gather remains of about 1,500 Vietnamese martyrs.

    At the same time, the VVA has worked with some US TV channels to screen documentary films of the results of search for missing in action soldiers of both Vietnam and the US, as well as the war aftermath and the situation of Vietnam at present.

    The honoured individuals have also supported victims of Agent Orange/dioxin in Vietnam, he said.

    On behalf of the VVA, Grant Townsend Coasts thanked the VUFO for the recognition. He pledged that in the coming time, the VVA and its members will continue exerting efforts for the growth of the relationship between Vietnam and the US.

    USAID helps with dioxin remediation at Bien Hoa Airport

    The US Agency for International Development (USAID) will cooperate with the Vietnamese Ministry of National Defence to design and implement a project on dioxin remediation at BienHoaAirport in the southern province of Dong Nai

    A document of intent to this effect was signed by the USAID and the Department of Military Science under the Vietnamese Ministry of National Defence on January 23. 

    The US side committed to handling post-war consequences while further promoting economic, cultural and security ties between the two countries. 

    Addressing the signing ceremony, Vietnamese Deputy Minister of National Defence Sen. Lieut. Gen. Nguyen Chi Vinh, who is also head of the National Steering Committee on the Settlement of Post-war Unexploded Ordnance (UXO) and Toxic Chemical Consequences, said the signing of the document is one of the concrete activities to realize the Vietnam-US joint statement issued during the official visit to Vietnam by President Donald Trump in November 2017. 

    This is an important, humanitarian activity that will contribute to strengthening the comprehensive cooperative relations between the two countries, he said. 

    US Ambassador to Vietnam Kritenbrink said the US is looking toward cooperation with the Vietnamese Ministry of National Defence in the project, thus helping to deepen the partnership between the two countries and build a more prosperous future for both sides. 

    The US has joined hands with Vietnam in addressing humanitarian issues and post-war consequences since 2000 through various activities. 

    The two sides will soon complete a five-year project on dioxin decontamination valued at 110 million USD at Da NangInternationalAirport

    The BienHoaAirport is considered as one of the dioxin hot spots in the country due to its high level of the chemical. According to assessments from Vietnam and the US, some 500,000 cubic metres of dioxin contaminated land in the airport need to be treated, requiring a large amount of capital and technology.

    Vietnamese expats in Hong Kong gather for Tet celebrations

    Overseas Vietnamese (OVs) in China’s Hong Kong Special Administrative Region gathered to welcome the Lunar New Year (Tet) at a celebration held by the Vietnamese Consulate General in Hong Kong and Macau on January 22.

    At the event, Vietnamese Consul General Tran Thanh Huan highlighted Vietnam’s socio-economic and diplomatic achievements in 2017, saying that they were significantly contributed by the Vietnamese expatriates worldwide, including those in Hong Kong.

    The Vietnamese Party and Government always attach much importance to the OVs’ role in national construction and protection, Huan noted.

    Together, the Vietnamese people delivered Tet greetings as well as enjoyed traditional dishes and art performances.

    There are some 8,000 Vietnamese people living and working in Hong Kong. The Vietnamese Consulate General in Hong Kong and Macau holds Tet celebrations for the OVs annually.

    Cambodia hopes to send more students to Thai Nguyen

    Cambodian Ambassador to Vietnam Prak Nguon Hong has proposed that Vietnam’s northern province of Thai Nguyen continue receiving more Cambodian students and expanding fields of training for them.

    At a meeting with provincial leaders on January 22, the Cambodian diplomat lauded socio-economic development achievements as well as education and training development policies of Thai Nguyen.

    Meanwhile, Vice Chairman of the Thai Nguyen People’s Committee Trinh Viet Hung said that Thai Nguyen always creates optimal conditions for Cambodian students.

    Currently, nearly 60 Cambodian students are studying in a number of training facilities of Thai Nguyen, including the ThaiNguyenUniversity for Industrial Technology, Thai Nguyen College of Economy and Finance, and Thai Nguyen University of Pedagogy, noted Hung.

    At the meeting, the provincial leader also asked the Cambodian Embassy to help connect businesses of Cambodia with their peers in Vietnam and Thai Nguyen in particular, thus boosting bilateral cooperation in economy, education, tourism and culture.

    Quang Ninh, Vietnam Airlines Corporation ink strategic cooperation

    A cooperation deal was inked between the northern province of Quang Ninh and the Vietnam Airlines Corporation on January 22 to boost tourism promotion, expand flight network from and to Van DonInternationalAirport and popularise local tourism and Vietnam Airlines’ services.

    Quang Ninh will prepare facilities and support mechanisms for new air routes to lure more tourists while introducing local destinations in key markets like the EU, Australia and Northeast Asia.

    Meanwhile, Vietnam Airlines will study and increase flights to and from Van Don airport in 2018 and beyond. It will work with Quang Ninh to carry out tourism and investment programmes and sponsor cultural and tourism activities during 2018-2021.

    At the signing ceremony, Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee Nguyen Duc Long stressed that various key transport works will be put into use in June, including Ha Long-Hai Phong and Ha Long-Van Don expressways and Van DonInternationalAirport. They have a crucial role in local socio-economic development, especially the establishment of the Van Don special administrative-economic zone, he added.

    The cooperation deal with Vietnam Airlines will open opportunities for the development of air transport in the province, Long noted.

    General Director of Vietnam Airlines Corporation Duong Tri Thanh committed to coordinating with Quang Ninh province to promote local cultural and tourism potential. 

    He expressed his hope that the cooperation will help develop tourism in the northern region. 

    The corporation has enjoyed long-standing collaboration with Quang Ninh province via tourism, trade and investment promotion activities. The province’s images have been introduced at Vietnam Airlines’s offices inside and outside the country and its Heritage magazine.

    Productivity key to economic growth

    Renovating the growth model and raising productivity are the key tasks to develop Vietnam’s economy, said Vu Tien Loc, chairman of the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI), at a conference held in Hanoi on January 22.

    The issue of competitiveness is increasingly receiving the attention of governments in many nations. Raising Vietnam’s competitiveness is also a major concern of the Vietnamese Party and the State.

    A country’s overall competitiveness is affected by many factors, such as the brands, market share, productivity, living standards and institutional quality.

    However, according to VCCI’s research results, productivity is the core driving force that accounts for the difference in competitiveness among nations, Loc said.

    Despite the increase in its competitiveness ranking, Vietnam’s labour productivity is only equal to 87 percent of that in Laos. In addition, exports of Vietnamese rice are lower than in Cambodia, although Lao and Cambodia are two of the least developed countries in the region. Loc said this situation is a big problem for Vietnam.

    Because many criteria affect the economy’s competitiveness, VCCI proposes to formulate an analytical framework for Vietnam’s national competitiveness, including economic factors and the strengths of the country. This framework will aim not to create a new ranking but to provide solutions to promote the productivity and competitiveness of Vietnam, Loc added.

    VCCI’s chairman also proposed to conduct research on six issues to improve productivity for the national economy.

    The first issue is policy. Currently, the Government has taken drastic action on legal reform and reform of administrative procedures.

    The second area is industrial policy and the development of markets, which are ineffective and unable to lead the economy at the moment.

    The third topic is the transfer of public services. Fourthly, the equitisation and restructuring of State-owned enterprises (SOEs) is an important issue because SOEs are currently not operating effectively.

    Fifth, shifting agricultural activities to industry and service is a key factor because 40 percent of GDP and 60 percent of labour is in agriculture. If the shift is to be successful, it is important to promote productivity.

    The sixth issue is the transformation of individual business households into enterprises, as this could help improve labour productivity in the country.

    Loc also suggested training programmes to enhance the management capacity of the leaders of small and micro businesses, as such enterprises will be the drivers of the world economy, especially with the development of the Industrial Revolution 4.0.

    The event was organised by VCCI in cooperation with the Central Theoretical Council.

    National fund gets 4.2 million USD to support poor children

    The National Fund for Vietnamese Children (NFVC) received nearly 96 billion VND (4.2 million USD) raised from 40 organisations, individuals, businesses and sponsors at home and abroad to support underprivileged children during the 11th Spring for Children programme in Hanoi on January 21.

    Vice President Dang Thi Ngoc Thinh, also Chairwoman of the NFVC, said the fund has raised 5.5 trillion VND (247.5 million USD) over the past 25 years to support more than 33 million children with free health check-ups, medicines and heart, eye and cleft palate surgery.

    In 2017, domestic and foreign organisations, individuals, enterprises and benefactors contributed more than 210 billion VND (9.2 million USD) to the fund to help some 200,000 children, she added.

    At the programme, the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs presented certificates of merit to collectives and individuals that made significant contributions to child care and protection in 2017.

    A special art programme was held as part of the event.

    Since it began in 2008, the “Spring for children” programme has raised hundreds of billions of VND to assist poor children nationwide.

    The same day, Vice President Dang Thi Ngoc Thinh met with sponsors for the NFCV in 2017 to call for more assistance to create better lives for children from disadvantaged backgrounds.

    Director of the fund Hoang Van Tien reported the NFCV spent over 79 billion VND (3.5 million USD) supporting 106,400 children via health care, nutrition and education programmes.

    In 2018, the fund aims to mobilise about 10.5 billion VND (463,000 USD) to support nearly 120,000 children.

    Tiền Giang to invest $4.84m in rural traffic development

    Tiền Giang Province plans to invest VNĐ110 billion (US$4.84 million) in 270 traffic projects to further the National Target Programme for New Rural Areas and improve traffic conditions in the Đồng Tháp Mười area.

    Trần Văn Bon, director of the provincial Department of Transport, said the department would work closely with local authorities to raise funds from various sources and oversee the traffic projects, which will cover a total of 200km.

    Local residents will also be encouraged to contribute their land to traffic projects and irrigation infrastructure.

    The department is prioritising certain traffic projects to help 22 communes reach the standards set by the National Target Programme for New Rural Areas by the end of the year.

    The National Target Programme for New Rural Areas is developing rural areas, focusing on areas such as infrastructure, education and health care, and reducing poverty and crime.

    A number of standards are being used to determine whether a commune, district or city can be classified as new rural areas.

    In 2017, Tiền Giang invested VNĐ120 billion for rural traffic development, which helped 17 communes reach the standards of the programme.

    Việt Nam, Singapore launch haemodialysis care project

    More than 5,000 kidney patients in the north of Việt Nam will benefit from a healthcare training project launched on Monday by the Hà Nội Medical University (HMU).

    The project has been launched in collaboration with Singapore International Foundation (SIF) and Tan Tock Seng Hospital (TTSH).

    The haemodialysis care project aims to improve the overall quality of haemodialysis care and help meet the increasing demands of haemodialysis care in the north of Việt Nam.

    “We are pleased to partner with SIF and TTSH in our continuous efforts to improve the standards of healthcare, especially haemodialysis care in Việt Nam,” Professor Nguyễn Đức Hinh, rector of the Hà Nội Medical University, said.

    Singapore is among one of the leading nations in advanced healthcare training and services. By working together with the Singaporean team, our medical staff will benefit from new perspectives in this field. We look forward to building stronger professional and personal ties with our Singaporean counterparts in the coming years,” said Hinh.

    “Through this project, we will bring together our Singapore International Volunteers (SIV) and their Vietnamese counterparts to share insights and impart ideas, skills and resources with each other. We hope to collectively enhance haemodialysis care in the region for long-term sustainability,” SIF Chairman Ong Keng Yong said.

    The 30-month project will focus on activities to enhance the training of Vietnamese caregivers to ensure the delivery of safe healthcare practices to kidney patients and update caregivers on the current standards of care in this speciality.

    The project will have five components, including clinical training workshops and lectures; leadership engagement sessions; a study visit to Singapore; a symposium; and the development and distribution of professional guidelines on haemodialysis care.

    The collaborative project will see a specialist team of SIV, including TTSH doctors and nurses from the department of renal medicine, working together with healthcare professionals from HMU, BạchMaiHospital, ViệtĐứcHospital and other dialysis centres in Hà Nội. The SIVs will share their experience, knowledge and skills with their Vietnamese counterparts to train a core group of 60 master trainers.

    Since 1994, the SIF has collaborated in projects with various institutional and individual partners in Hà Nội and HCMCity in the fields of healthcare, education, arts and culture, and social entrepreneurship.

    Live broadcast marks 50th anniversary of 1968 General Offensive and Uprising

    The HCM City Television (HTV) on Sunday organised a live broadcast to celebrate the 88th founding anniversary of the Communist Party of Việt Nam (Feb 3, 1930) and the 50th anniversary of the Mậu Thân General Offensive and Uprising in Spring 1968.

    The broadcast, titled Bản hùng ca mùa xuân: Chân Trần – Chí Thép (The Spring Saga: Bare Feet – Iron Will), was held at three locations significant to the historic event, including Thống Nhất (Reunification) Conference Hall in HCM City’s District 1, Tân Nhựt Ward in Bình Chánh District, and Bình Mỹ Ward in Củ Chi District.

    Politburo member and Secretary of the HCMCity’s Party Committee Nguyễn Thiện Nhân, together with former leaders, seniors, and officials from the HCM City People’s Council, People’s Committee and Việt Nam Fatherland Front Committee, among other agencies, attended the event.

    Other participants included Vietnamese Heroic Mothers, veterans and representatives of forces that took part in the offensive, as well as locals.

    The event comprised three sections, including “Chân Trần” (Bare Feet), “Chí Thép” (Iron Will), and “Khát vọng hoà bình” (The Desire for Peace).

    Speakers during the broadcast praised the significant contributions, strong will and commitment to peace of the soldiers who took part in the historical offensive in Spring 1968, one of the largest military campaigns launched by the northern People’s Army of Việt Nam and the southern National Liberation Front during the Vietnam war.

    Among other people interviewed during the live broadcast were: Đỗ Thị Kim Liên, Đỗ Mạnh Hùng, Đỗ Anh Chiến, Đỗ Thị Thơm and Đỗ Thành Công, who are the children of Đỗ Văn Căn, builder of an armoury in 183/4 Trần Quốc Toản Street in District 3 (now 3/2 Street, District 10); Trần Kiến Xương, a son of Trần Văn Lai, builder of an armoury in 287/70 Nguyễn Đình Chiểu Street in District 3; and Phan Văn Hôn, former member of Unit 5 under the Sài Gòn – Gia Định Liberation Army Commandos.

    Though 50 years have passed, the General Offensive and Uprising in Spring 1968 remains a significant milestone that emphasised revolutionary heroism, providing valuable historical lessons for today’s society.

    HCMCity’s environment department sets 2018 targets

    The HCM City Department of Natural Resources and Environment plans to improve waste and water management as well as land-use management this year.

    Nguyễn Toàn Thắng, director of the department, revealed the four main targets for 2018 at a meeting on January 22 in the city.

    They include reducing groundwater exploitation, from 716,000cu.m to 487,000cu.m per day, a decrease of 31 per cent, and having 100 per cent of solid waste treated in accordance with environmental standards.

    Figures from the department show that between December 31, 2016 and December 31, 2017 the city treated around 3.2 million tonnes of domestic waste.

    Other targets would ensure that 95 per cent of industrial waste water and 100 per cent of medical waste water will be treated this year.

    The city has also been assigned 17 tasks in total this year.

    Among them are better monitoring of the conversion of land-use purposes and relocation compensation; submitting lists for the climate-change adaptation programmes; enhancing garbage sorting at source and encouraging international cooperation in sharing information on climate and environmental issues; and calling for investment in waste treatment projects.

    Some of the tasks are built on last year’s targets, according to Thắng.

    Trần Vĩnh Tuyến, vice chairman of the city’s People’s Committee, praised the department for achieving last year’s targets, saying it was a “tough job”.

    “This year, we achieved a very high GRDP growth rate of 8.25 per cent. This is very exciting as it helped us reach our budget target in 2017,” he said.

    According to the city’s State treasury, the total State budget revenue in HCMCity reached VNĐ347.98 trillion (US$15.32 billion) in 2017, slightly more than the year’s target, and up 13.5 per cent compared to 2016.

    “The good results that we achieved last year were because of the joint efforts of the entire political system, including the natural resources and environment department,” he said.

    He spoke highly of Thắng for clearly dividing the tasks, which made it easier to monitor and evaluate the results.

    He instructed the department to send its draft proposals on fees for industrial waste water treatment and restrictions on groundwater exploitation to the HCM City Fatherland Front Committee and related enterprises and business associations for feedback before submitting it to the city’s People’s Council.

    Regarding the conversion of land-use purposes, Tuyến said: “As the city does not play a role in ensuring food security for the country, it should allow switching some agricultural land for commercial use to increase the State budget revenue.”

    He asked the department to ensure appropriate land-use fees for enterprises and promptly issue land-use certificates, saying that lending land to businesses would help generate revenue for the city budget.

    Regarding environmental management, Tuyến asked the department to adopt more new air and water pollution monitoring technologies.

    He said the department should voluntarily provide information on pollution issues, including, for example, Ba Bò Canal pollution, at meetings of the city People’s Council, rather than wait until the city administration requests for a report.

    Though the department has always been a pioneer in raising public awareness about environmental protection, some of its activities last year did not bring good results, he added.

    Next month, the city will hold a workshop calling investment for projects that will relocate residents in 20,000 houses in slums along canals and rivers.

    Tuyến asked the department to take part in the workshop and to share its thoughts and comments.

    “Settling this issue not only means these people will have a new place to live, but it will also help improve their environmental hygiene and health,” he said.

    Once the slums are removed, river tourism will have more potential to develop, he added.

    BOT project on
    National Highway
    No.53 stopped

    The Ministry of Transport (MoT) and people’s committees of Mekong Delta provinces of Vĩnh Long and Trà Vinh agreed Monday to cancel the Build-Operate-Transfer (BOT) project on National Highway No.53.

    The investors said they were struggling with capital arrangement and project implementation.

    The construction project of upgrading and renovating a 45.797km stretch of National Highway No.53, connecting Long Hồ City, Vĩnh Long Province and Ba Si Bridge in Trà Vinh Province has an investment of more than VNĐ1.2 trillion (US$52.8 million). The tentative toll collection is 21 years and eight months. The project was started in May 2015.

    Deputy Minister of Transport Nguyễn Nhật said after the National Assembly Standing Committee’s decree on BOT projects’ management, MoT decided to stop implementing the Long Hồ -- Ba Si project in the form of BOT and turn it into a public-invested project instead.

    He also asked the leaders of VĩnhLongProvince to give their opinion on the BOT project cancellation besides describing the obstacles they were facing. 

    Trần Hoàng Tựu, deputy head of Vĩnh Long Province People’s Committee, said the local authorities had agreed to stop the BOT project on the highway and switch to public investment.

    “We request MoT to repair the road for smooth traffic as it is severely damaged,” he said.

    The investors’ representative told e-newspaper zing.vn that they found it difficult to accelerate capital since banks had tightened credit grants to the project.

    Nhật directed the Cửu Long Project Management Board to cooperate with the investors in checking and evaluating costs shouldered by them due to the project’s cancellation.

    The Việt Nam Directorate for Roads is responsible for repairing National Highway No.53 in preparation for Tết (Lunar New Year) holiday. Previously, MoT had worked with Trà Vinh Province People’s Commitee on the Long Hồ -- Ba Si BOT project cancellation.

    Quảng Trị gets $2mn to resume wartime bomb defusal

    The central QuảngTrịProvince will receive US$12 million to resume the search for and defusal of unexploded explosive devices left by the United States Army after the war in the province.

    The fund comes from the US Department of State and other international sources, according to the province People’s Committee. The Mines Advisory Group (MAG) will conduct a programme from 2018 to 2020 to further the investigation on wartime mines and bombs.

    The project investigation will cover 50 million square metres of land in a locality that was not searched previously for explosive devices.

    The project targets the defusal of at least 42,000 devices and holds 350 courses to train some 4,000 people in the areas that are likely to still contain unexploded bombs .

    It is expected to benefit an estimated 85,000 residents in the province and help build a digital database of areas prone to wartime explosive devices.

    The project will include 21 search teams; three teams for community work; and six teams for assistance, training and logistics work.

    This is the sixth project for MAG in the province since 1999. During the previous five projects, MAG searched some 45 million square metres of land, locating and defusing some 176,179 explosive devices.

    Quảng Trị was on the border between North and South Việt Nam during wartime. It, thus, received tonnes of bombs released by the US Air Force, making the province the top locality for unexploded devices both on land and underground. Wartime explosive devices occupied 83 per cent of its total land area.

    The province also has the highest percentage of disabled people caused by post-war explosive devices in the country, that is more than 80 per cent.

    VNN


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  • 01/25/18--00:46: Article 0
  • Green growth for cities of the future


    In the face of the growing momentum of urbanisation, Vietnam is looking for ways to pursue urban green growth.


     Green growth for cities of the future, 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 
      
    Architects Tran Quoc Thai and Tran Ngoc Linh from the Ministry of Construction’s Urban Development Agency write about urban green growth trends and the emerging novel opportunities appearing on the radars of firms and investors.

    Urban development facilitating green growth is a continuous process with many difficulties and challenges. Realising the urban growth objective while mitigating immediate and long-term adverse effects on the environment requires a radical shift in mind-set and growth models. This is no longer just one of many options, but a mandatory and indispensable requirement for all. At the same time, achieving green growth goals also opens the door to integrating global trends with various potentialities.

    Urban green growth trend

    Urbanisation and servicisation are major global development trends. Since 2008, half of the world’s population lives in urban areas, and by 2050, this ratio will hit 75 per cent of the global population. 

    Rapid urbanisation occurs at a higher rate in developing countries, especially in Asia. On one hand, urbanisation creates diversified markets with opportunities and higher economic productivity, contributing to improving the quality of life for residents with better services and better average incomes. 

    On the other hand, urbanization is also often associated with problems such as a lack of security, inequality, and especially environmental pollution. Cities and towns gather half of the world’s population, but account for two-thirds of total energy consumption and emit almost three-quarters of greenhouse gases.

    Following the global financial crisis in 2008, green growth was highlighted by public opinion and policy analysts alike, because it promised to simultaneously tackle both climate change issues and faltering economic growth. 

    Many international organisations, including the United Nations Environment Programme, World Bank, United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific, EU, and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), have been compiling a working definition of the concept. According to this definition, green growth is the process of identifying economic and environmental challenges to find new opportunities and resources for economic growth, which at the same time benefit society.

    Thus, green growth is not another name for sustainable development. Green growth underscores the intimate relationship between economic and environmental concerns. At the same time, green growth does not ignore social equity issues. Green growth initiatives can result in tangible benefits to society and equity, as well as ensure that labourers will not be excluded during the transition to a green economy. The urban setting operates as a non-stop living entity. 

    The Green Growth Programme of the OECD has implemented six in-depth studies in OECD member countries since 2010, focusing on four cities (Paris, Chicago, Stockholm, Kitakyushu) and two countries (China and South Korea). Accordingly, urban green growth is defined by the OECD as “fostering economic growth and development through urban activities that reduce negative environmental externalities, the impact on natural resources, and the pressure on ecosystem services.”

    In line with the above definition, the OECD has identified four key concerns for countries and cities in developing their own indicators corresponding to health, natural conditions, environment, and people’s intellectual level. In addition, during the stages of development, each green growth indicator has a different impact on national policy in the short and long term. The four key concerns consist of 25 to 30 specific criteria monitoring urban green growth, including:

    Natural resources and the environmental performance of the economy: These criteria monitor the efficiency of the use of natural resources in economic activities, such as CO2 efficiency (the correlation between GDP and CO2 emissions), energy efficiency (how much energy is used to create a unit of GDP), and material efficiency (how much material is used to create a unit of GDP).

    Natural Resources: These criteria assess the extent to which natural resources are kept intact and preserved sustainably in terms of quantity, quality, and value, thereby identifying the risk of degradation by future economic growth.

    Quality of life from the environmental aspect: These criteria assess the accessibility of environmental services such as wastewater treatment, waste disposal, etc.

    Economic opportunities and policy feedback: Environmental protection can be considered a source of growth, competitiveness, trade, and employment. Thus, in order to monitor policies that are effective in bringing about green growth, criteria should be provided for such dimensions as research and development, environmental initiatives, development assistance for green growth, taxes and related fees, and others.

    Initial efforts for green growth in Vietnam

    In 2012, the National Green Growth Strategy for 2011-2020 with a vision to 2050 was enacted, identifying three strategic missions and 17 measures to achieve the country’s green growth goals. The National Urban Development Programme 2012-2020 also primes urban development toward a green economy. 

    In the National Green Growth Action Plan 2014-2020, the implementation of a green urbanisation policy framework is a high priority. Thus, building up urban green growth is not simply an option in urban development, but a key task to be realised. In addition, the government of Vietnam pledged to the United Nations to mobilize all necessary resources, gather all ministries, sectors, localities, organisations, communities, and citizens to successfully accomplish the 2030 Agenda for sustainable global development. 

    For the construction and urban development sector, there are nine out of 17 sustainable development goals and 31 out of 169 specific objectives in the agenda.

    In recent years, a number of cities across the country have begun to incorporate green growth in urban growth. According to preliminary reports from 59 urban centres of grade IV and above in the country in April 2015, 24 urban centres had issued documents to direct the implementation of urban green growth measures. 

    Several urban centres have issued green growth and climate change adaptation strategies, for example Haiphong and Can Tho. Other cities, like Danang, Bac Ninh, and TamKy, are conducting research. Compared to the total of 802 existing urban centres, this result is still modest, probably due to the fact that the concept of urban green growth is relatively new and no specific criteria or practical examples are readily forthcoming.

    Green market and new investment opportunities

    While changing the urban growth model toward green growth was initially difficult to implement, the investment opportunities in this area are gradually becoming apparent.

    Economic development carries the preconception of improved life quality. It is reflected in the demand to live and work in a green, clean, and aesthetic space which is becoming a higher preference than ever, especially in large cities with high population density and pollution. Thus, there are emerging opportunities to invest in the supply of green agricultural products, environmentally friendly products, energy-saving appliances and equipment, as well as the provision of green and ecological urban real estate and green buildings.

    With policies and macro-incentive mechanisms from the government, small- and medium-sized enterprises can access many different funds to support energy-saving and environmentally-friendly investment projects, including Green Credit Trust Fund, Green Investment Fund, Vietnam Climate Innovation Centre, Global Climate Partnership Fund, and Vietnam Energy Efficiency for Industrial Enterprises Project, among many others.

    At the city management level, green growth provides diverse investment opportunities for environmental goods and services, such as efficient waste management and waste disposal, processing waste to energy, development of green transportation, energy efficiency products, trading in new energy and renewable energy, water resources management, and others.

    In an effort to develop urban green growth in a sustainable and competitive manner, municipalities are also in need of management and operation packages with synchronous and comprehensive solutions to mobilize, control, and utilise different resources for urban planning, programming, constructing, operating, and maintaining the community and environmental services. This in turn will be the market of policy advisory and capacity building services for research organisations, scientists, and policymaker advisors.

    Conclusion

    Over the past 20 years, Vietnam has achieved remarkable socio-economic successes and has risen to be a lower middle-income country. However, Vietnam is one of the countries worst hit by climate change. Therefore, in order to achieve sustainable global development, it is necessary to put in a lot more effort and support from governmental macro-urban policies as well as promote active participation from stakeholders.

    This new approach to urban green growth brings about a lot of new growth opportunities for economic sectors, especially the investment and energy sectors. Urban green growth gives us an opportunity to raise the living standards of the urban population. Although the identification of urban green growth targets is difficult and challenging, it is certainly the shortest path towards sustainable development.

    VIR


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  • 01/25/18--05:50: Article 1
  • Vietnam pays US$28.8 million debt per year for railway project


    The Government has to pay debt totaling at least US$28.8 million a year to the Chinese side for the Cat Linh-Ha Dong urban railway in Hanoi City, news website VnEconomy.vn reports.


     Vietnam pays US$28.8 million debt per year for railway project, 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 Finance Ministry has sent a notice to the Transport Ministry and the Bank for Investment and Development of Vietnam (BIDV) on the debt payment on January 21, and a commitment fee for a US$250-million loan of the Export-Import Bank of China (China Eximbank) for the big-ticket project.

    Regarding the US$250-million loan, it takes nine years for the Government to settle it. The period lasts from January 2016 to November 2025. The loan is to be paid back in two annual installments of US$14.4 million each on January 21 and July 21.

    As such, the Government must pay debt worth at least US$28.8 million to China Eximbank a year.

    Besides, the Government has to pay China’s official development assistance (ODA) loan worth US$419 million for the urban railway project.

    According to the notice, the Finance Ministry pledges to make timely payments for the US$250-million loan whose remaining debt is US$38.56 million.

    The payments for January 21 include principal amounting to US$2.4 million, and loan interest worth over US$580,000.

    The ministry said the Government completed capital withdrawal for the project in line with an agreement last month. The total amount of loans under the on-lending mechanism amounted to over US$43.3 million, with its commitment fee being US$657,700.

    The ministry asked BIDV to review  principal, interest and commitment fee for on-lending loans, and transfer it to the Accumulation Fund for Debt Payment.

    The 13.05-kilometer Cat Linh-Ha Dong urban railway is plagued by cost overruns, with its capital adjusted up to US$891.9 million from the original US$522 million.

    Due to slow capital disbursements, the project is faced with frequent delays. The Transport Ministry is expected to send a report on the project’s schedule to the Government later this month.

    The Chinese contractor of the project plans to operate 13 four-car trains on a trial basis in September this year. Upon a period of between three and six months, the railway will officially be in service.

    SGT


    0 0
  • 01/25/18--06:48: Article 0
  • Government News 25/1


    HCM City, Miyagi prefecture seek multi-faceted cooperation


     Party delegation pays working visit to China, Vietnam, France hold high-level economic dialogue, Logo designed to celebrate Vietnam-France diplomatic ties, Friendship year contributes to Vietnam’s diplomatic successes in 2017
    Vice Chairman of the Ho Chi Minh City People’s Committee Tran Vinh Tuyen (L) and Kawabata Akiyoshi, Vice Governor of Miyagi prefecture. 

    Vice Chairman of the Ho Chi Minh City People’s Committee Tran Vinh Tuyen has suggested HCM City and Japan’s Miyagi prefecture step up cooperation in tourism development.

    At a reception for Kawabata Akiyoshi, Vice Governor of Miyagi, in HCM City on January 25, Tuyen said the two localities share many similarities and have favourable conditions for tourism collaboration.

    The official expressed his hope that the two sides will soon implement an intensive cooperation plan, especially in tourism.

    Tuyen also lauded Miyagi’s cooperation efforts in trade and education, calling for stronger affiliation in higher and tertiary education.

    HCM City will facilitate the operation of Japanese investors, including those from Miyagi, he said.

    For his part, Kawabata Akiyoshi thanked people of Vietnam and Ho Chi Minh City for their interest in commercial activities of Miyagi businesses, which, he said, has been reflected through increasing turnovers of Miyagi seafood firms in Aeon Mall chains in Vietnam.

    The launch of the direct air route from Vietnam to Miyagi has helped promote exchange and cooperation between HCM City and the Japanese prefecture, he said.

    Kawabata Akiyoshi said many Miyagi firms have planned to access the Vietnamese market in general and the HCM City market in particular and many others have partnered with Vietnam to train Vietnamese students in preparation for their business in HCM City.

    President urges business renovation for sustainable development
     

     Party delegation pays working visit to China, Vietnam, France hold high-level economic dialogue, Logo designed to celebrate Vietnam-France diplomatic ties, Friendship year contributes to Vietnam’s diplomatic successes in 2017
    President Tran Dai Quang urges business renovation for sustainable development.  

    Vietnamese enterprises, especially those in private sector, must unceasingly renovate themselves and take advantage of the fourth industrial revolution for their sustainable development while contributing to national growth, said President Tran Dai Quang.

    He made the call at the launch of the “entrepreneurship innovation programme for national sustainable development” held by the Vietnam Private Business Association in Hanoi on January 25.

    The programme is an important move in implementing the Party and State’s resolution and instructions on developing the private economic sector and promoting the role of local businesspeople in national construction and protection, the President highlighted.

    He went on to say that domestic enterprises should study and apply advanced technology to enhance labour productivity and competitive and business management capacity, and take the initiative in joining global value chains and building Vietnamese brands.

    The President ordered ministries, agencies and local administrations to enhance communication work to raise public awareness of the Party and State’s consistent policies to develop the private economic sector.

    On the occasion, the State leader lauded the Vietnam Private Business Association’s giant stride in the past time. It has joined hands with relevant organisations to carry out the Party and State’s socio-cultural-economic development policies and made significant contributions to alleviating poverty and ensuring social security in the country.

    Since the launch of the “Doi moi” (reform), the Vietnamese economy has been operating under the socialist-oriented market mechanism and the Party and State have encouraged the roles of private sector in the nation’s development.

    Most recently, the 12th Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV) Central Committee adopted a resolution on “developing the private economy into an important driving force of the socialist-oriented market economy” at its fifth plenary meeting on May 10, 2017.

    Foreign diplomats, representatives learn about Vietnam
     

    Party delegation pays working visit to China, Vietnam, France hold high-level economic dialogue, Logo designed to celebrate Vietnam-France diplomatic ties, Friendship year contributes to Vietnam’s diplomatic successes in 2017 
    Some foreigners, including diplomats, learned about Vietnam in an event in Hanoi on January 25. 


    Some 90 foreign diplomats and representatives from international organisations, non-governmental organisations and cultural centres, learned about Vietnam in a session hosted by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Hanoi on January 25.

    They got to know more about the country’s culture, history and economic achievements together with its priorities and policies for 2018, towards 2020.

    The session “Learn about Vietnam” was held when Tet, the Lunar New Year festival of Vietnamese, is approaching, with a view to giving the foreigners a better understanding of Vietnam’s traditions, said Pham Sanh Chau, Assistant Minister for Foreign Affairs and Special Representative of the Prime Minister on UNESCO Affairs.

    The event is expected to boost friendship and cooperation between Vietnam and other countries, he added.

    About 200 foreign diplomats take up new missions in Vietnam every year. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs hosted the “Learn about Vietnam” event annually since 2015 to provide them deeper insights into life in Vietnam.

    India’s Republic Day observed in HCM City
     

     Party delegation pays working visit to China, Vietnam, France hold high-level economic dialogue, Logo designed to celebrate Vietnam-France diplomatic ties, Friendship year contributes to Vietnam’s diplomatic successes in 2017
    At the ceremony to mark the 69th anniversary of India's Republic Day  

    The Vietnam Union of Friendship Organisations (VUFO) and the Vietnam-India Friendship Association in Ho Chi Minh City held a ceremony on January 25 to celebrate the 69th anniversary of India’s Republic Day (January 26, 1950).

    Chairman of the Vietnam-India Friendship Association in HCM City Huynh Thanh Lap highlighted the increasingly important role and position of India in Asia and the world.

    The close friendship between Vietnam and India originated in not only cultural interaction and religious similarity but also solidarity in their fight against colonialism for independence, he said.

    Since the establishment of diplomatic ties in 1972, the bilateral relations have been thriving through high-level delegation exchanges, the signing and effective implementation of cooperation agreements, and sound coordination at regional and international forums, he added.

    Indian Consul General in HCM City K Srikar Reddy highlighted the deep mutual trust and assistance between Vietnam and India during the wartime.

    The bilateral comprehensive strategic partnership, established in 2007, has been tightened and developed across the board, particularly in culture, science-technology, aerospace research, defence-security, trade-investment, garment-textile, pharmaceutical products, electricity, petroleum and natural gas.

    The Indian Consulate General in HCM City will continue coordinating with the VUFO and the Vietnam-India Friendship Association in the city to increase bilateral art, culture and people-to-people exchanges in addition to linking businesses of the two countries to cement their friendly relations.


    Party delegation pays working visit to China


     Party delegation pays working visit to China, Vietnam, France hold high-level economic dialogue, Logo designed to celebrate Vietnam-France diplomatic ties, Friendship year contributes to Vietnam’s diplomatic successes in 2017
    Mr. Pham Minh Chinh (left) and his Chinese counterpart Chen Xi  

    Head of the Party Central Committee’s Organisation Commission Pham Minh Chinh hold talks with his Chinese counterpart Chen Xi in Beijing on January 24, as part of Chinh’s working visit to China starting January 23.

    At the function, the sides informed each other on recent affairs related to their parties. They expressed delight at outcomes of cooperation in party building and personnel training between the Communist Parties of Vietnam and China and measures to push forward engagements in the future.

    Chen stated that the Chinese Party, Government, and people are committed to working with their Vietnamese counterparts to deepen bilateral ties.

    Stressing that the Vietnamese Party and Government always value the comprehensive strategic partnership with China, Chinh suggested both sides focus on increasing political trust, high-level delegation exchanges, and collaboration between their ministries, sectors, and localities. He also called for joint work to improve the effectiveness of economic-trade-investment affiliations and handle well sea-related issues.

    Earlier the same day, the Vietnamese party delegation had separated meetings with officials of the Communist Party of China’s Central Commission for Discipline Inspection and Organization Department, with discussion revolving around party building, human resources training, and anti-corruption. 

    On January 23, the delegation visited the Vietnam Embassy in China.

    Vietnam, France hold high-level economic dialogue 

     Party delegation pays working visit to China, Vietnam, France hold high-level economic dialogue, Logo designed to celebrate Vietnam-France diplomatic ties, Friendship year contributes to Vietnam’s diplomatic successes in 2017

    A Vietnam – France high-level economic dialogue took place in Hanoi on January 24 under the chair of Deputy Minister of Planning and Investment Nguyen The Phuong and French Minister of State Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne.

    At the event, Phuong said France is Vietnam’s top partner in EU, with Vietnamese and French businesses gaining footholds in each other’s markets, particularly concerning agricultural products.

    Vietnam is willing to facilitate the import of French goods and work with the EU country in handling trade barriers, Phuong stated.

    Highlighting the importance of bilateral cooperation to date, Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne pointed to new investment and business opportunities to be brought about when the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement comes into force.

    He said France wants to share experience with Vietnamese partners in the sectors of transport, environment food, and banking.

    The dialogue reviewed a number of French projects in Vietnam, including the Hanoi urban railway No. 3, and put forth cooperative orientations for the future.

    The sides encouraged their business community to study the feasibility of investment in areas that see high demand in Vietnam, such as climate change adaptation, agricultural-rural development, and sustainable use of natural resources, smart city building, and oil refinery.

    In 2017, bilateral trade between Vietnam and France reached 5.6 billion USD, up 11.6 percent from 2016, with Vietnam recording a trade surplus. In the past 10 years, France has sponsored many ODA projects, with total disbursed capital amounting to about 2 billion EUR.

    More Japanese firms explore HCM City’s investment climate


     Party delegation pays working visit to China, Vietnam, France hold high-level economic dialogue, Logo designed to celebrate Vietnam-France diplomatic ties, Friendship year contributes to Vietnam’s diplomatic successes in 2017 

    Chairman of the Ho Chi Minh City People’s Committee Nguyen Thanh Phong on January 24 met with a delegation of the Japan External Trade Organisation (JETRO) and Japanese businesses who came to learn about local investment climate.
    Phong told his guests that HCM City is one of the Vietnamese localities that attract Japanese investors’ interest. It is aware that foreign investors’ success will contribute to local socio-economic development, and that the success of both domestic and foreign firms are also the success of the city.

    He affirmed that HCM City wants Japanese investors to continue doing business here, capitalise on its potential and advantages, and combine them with Japanese companies’ advanced technology and proper business strategies to benefit both sides.

    The official also appreciated JETRO’s HCM City office’s role in supporting cooperation between HCM City and Japanese businesses. He expressed his hope that through JETRO, companies from Japan will take part in projects in smart city building and other fields in his city.

    Vice Executive President of JETRO Yasukazu Irino highly valued HCM City’s attractiveness to foreign investors, including those from Japan. The rapidly increasing number of members of the Japan Business Association in HCM City demonstrates the city’s success in improving the investment climate.

    He thanked the municipal authorities for creating favourable conditions for Japanese enterprises to seek market, promote trade, and get investment licences. He asked the city’s leaders for more optimal conditions for Japanese firms, especially small- and medium-sized companies working in support industries.

    Japan now has 1,116 investment projects worth nearly 4 billion USD in HCM City, ranking sixth among 93 countries and territories investing here.

    Logo designed to celebrate Vietnam-France diplomatic ties


     Party delegation pays working visit to China, Vietnam, France hold high-level economic dialogue, Logo designed to celebrate Vietnam-France diplomatic ties, Friendship year contributes to Vietnam’s diplomatic successes in 2017
    The official logo of the 45th anniversary of the Vietnam-France diplomatic ties


     The official logo of the 45th anniversary of the Vietnam-France diplomatic ties was unveiled at an event in Hanoi on January 24.

    Head of the Communist Party of Vietnam Central Committee’s Commission for External Relations Hoang Binh Quan and Minister of State attached to the Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne co-chaired the event to begin activities to celebrate the 45-year diplomatic relations and five-year strategic partnership in 2018.

    The logo features the image of a Vietnamese woman wearing a “non la” (palm-leaf conical hat) and a red “ao dai” (traditional dress) holding hands with a French woman wearing a beret and a white blue plaid dress.

    It will be used at all events celebrating the 45th anniversary of the two countries’ diplomatic ties.

    Quan said relations between Vietnam and France have developed well over the past 45 years, creating opportunities for the two sides to promote exchanges in all fields for the benefits of their citizens and for peace, cooperation, and development.

    Lemoyne said 2018 will mark a milestone in the development of Vietnam-France ties.

    He called on the two countries to step up activities in external affairs, economics, trade, education and investment, particularly completing French assistance projects in Vietnam soon such as the pilot urban railway in Hanoi and the French Institute in Ho Chi Minh City.

    Friendship year contributes to Vietnam’s diplomatic successes in 2017


     Party delegation pays working visit to China, Vietnam, France hold high-level economic dialogue, Logo designed to celebrate Vietnam-France diplomatic ties, Friendship year contributes to Vietnam’s diplomatic successes in 2017
    The national steering committee for the Vietnam-Laos Solidarity and Friendship Year and the Vietnam-Cambodia Friendship Year holds a meeting on January 24 to review its activities  

    The Vietnam-Laos Solidarity and Friendship Year and the Vietnam-Cambodia Friendship Year were successful, contributing to Vietnam’s diplomatic achievements in 2017, said Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh.

    He made the remark at a meeting on January 24 reviewing activities of the national steering committee for the Year.

    He said Vietnam’s relations with neighbouring Laos and Cambodia were continually reinforced in all aspects last year.

    During the Year, Vietnam and Laos coordinated in organising more than 170 celebratory activities and exchanging nearly 300 delegations from central to local levels. Meanwhile, Vietnam and Cambodia held nearly 70 celebratory activities and almost 100 mutual visits at all levels.

    Cooperation between Vietnamese ministries, sectors and localities with their Lao and Cambodian counterparts was implemented effectively in politics-security-defence, transport, training, culture, health care, and telecommunications, Minh said, noting that bilateral cooperation mechanisms have been maintained and proved effective.

    He added diverse people-to-people diplomatic activities were organised. Many agencies, sectors, and organisations in Vietnam opened contests on Vietnam-Laos and Vietnam-Cambodia ties, sports and arts programmes, and photo exhibitions on their solidarity, friendship, and all-round connections. Media outlets of the three countries also posted a number of articles on Vietnam-Laos and Vietnam-Cambodia relations.

    The Deputy PM affirmed that with diverse activities, the Year helped improve the awareness of the countries’ traditional ties among Vietnamese, Lao and Cambodian people, especially young generations.

    He also applauded efforts and contributions by ministries, sectors, localities, and organisations to the Year.

    As Laos and Cambodia are especially important to Vietnam’s security, stability and development and Vietnam’s sound relations with the two neighbours have been nurtured for generations, Vietnam must pay even greater attention to enhancing the solidarity, friendship, and sustainable cooperation with them, he stressed.

    Minh asked local ministries, sectors, localities, organisations, and businesses to bring into play the outcomes of the Year to promote comprehensive cooperation with Laos and Cambodia for the sake of each country’s people.

    Vietnamese-funded headquarters of Cambodian army inaugurated


    Party delegation pays working visit to China, Vietnam, France hold high-level economic dialogue, Logo designed to celebrate Vietnam-France diplomatic ties, Friendship year contributes to Vietnam’s diplomatic successes in 2017 
    Chief Vietnamese Defence Attaché to Cambodia Nguyen Anh Dung 

    The new headquarters of the High Command of the Royal Cambodian Army, funded by the Vietnamese Defence Ministry, was inaugurated in Phnom Penh on January 24. 

    The inauguration ceremony took place on the occasion of the 19th founding anniversary of the high command. 

    Speaking at the event, Deputy Commander-in-Chief of the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces and Commander of the Royal Cambodian Army Meas Sophea said the headquarters and other buildings funded by the Vietnamese Defence Ministry have contributed to upgrading Cambodia’s army infrastructure, thus safeguarding national sovereignty and maintaining political stability and social order. 

    Recounting the Vietnamese volunteer soldiers’ dedication to saving Cambodians from the Khmer Rouge genocidal regime in the past, he affirmed that the Cambodian army and people always highly value the long-standing friendly neighborliness with Vietnam and will do their best to foster bilateral ties. 

    The event was also attended by chief Vietnamese Defence Attaché to Cambodia Nguyen Anh Dung.

    Vietnam, Japan deepen defence cooperative ties

     Party delegation pays working visit to China, Vietnam, France hold high-level economic dialogue, Logo designed to celebrate Vietnam-France diplomatic ties, Friendship year contributes to Vietnam’s diplomatic successes in 2017
    Minister of Defence Ngo Xuan Lich (R) and his Japanese guest (Photo: qdnd.vn)


     Vietnamese and Japanese armies need to enhance cooperation in delegation exchanges, policy dialogues, training, experience sharing and UN peacekeeping activities.

    Minister of Defence Ngo Xuan Lich made the suggestion while receiving Japanese Ambassador to Vietnam Umeda Kunio in Hanoi on January 24.

    Vietnam and Japan have fostered their ties in a comprehensive manner with increasing political trust for benefits of the two peoples as well as regional and global peace and sustainability, he noted. 

    Vietnam wants to work with Japan in the settlement of post-war chemical toxin consequences through projects, Lich said.

    Ambassdor Umeda Kunio, for his part, underlined that bilateral ties have been fostered in all fields and the two governments have consistently agreed to support each other at regional and international forums.

    Both sides need to expand cooperation in the fields of their strengths and promote dialogue mechanisms, he recommended.

    VNA/VNN


    0 0
  • 01/29/18--00:27: Article 3
  • Vietjet Air apologises over bikini welcome for U23 football team



    Vietjet Air CEO, Nguyen Thi Phuong Thao, has apologised for the use of models wearing bikinis on the plane welcoming the local U23 football team home yesterday.


    Vietjet Air apologises over bikini welcome for U23 football team, social news, vietnamnet bridge, english news, Vietnam news, news Vietnam, vietnamnet news, Vietnam net news, Vietnam latest news, vn news, Vietnam breaking news 

    Model Lai Thanh Huong is photographed hugging and sitting beside several players during their flight from Changzhou to Hanoi on January 28.


    In an apology posted on Vietjet Air's Fanpage on Sunday evening, Thao said she wanted to say sorry to the Vietnam Football Federation, the national U23 football team and the public over the incident.

    The low-cost carrier's CEO claimed the performance by dancers wearing bikinis on the flight taking the U23 football team from China to Hanoi on January 28, was not in their plan but added by the flight's reception team.

    "A dancer had come to the players asking for their signatures and photo poses, which was not in the programme," Thao said, "And her photos were criticized by the public."

    The CEO said that they had organised a meeting on the incident and had strictly punished staff.

    Model Lai Thanh Huong was photographed hugging and sitting beside several players during their flight from Changzhou to Hanoi on January 28. The images were posted on Facebook. The post soon received thousands of negative comments from the public who criticised both the model and Vietjet Air for bad taste.

    The model completely refuted Vietjiet Air's explanation.

    "We were invited to perform a bikini show as models, not dancers," Huong's representative told the Phunuonline Newspaper. "We were asked to wear bikinis, not our choice."

    The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism have asked their inspection team to report on the incident by January 31.

    Speaking with Dtinews on January 29, head of the ministry's Department of Performing Arts, Nguyen Quang Vinh, stressed that these kinds of performances should be banned.

    In 2012, VietJet Air was fined VND20 million (USD960) by Vietnam aviation authorities for organising a bikini show on the Ho Chi Minh City-Nha Trang City route.

    Dtinews


    0 0
  • 01/29/18--00:30: Article 2
  • BUSINESS IN BRIEF 28/1


    One more project in the red for Vinachem


    One more project in the red for Vinachem, Shinhan Card spends $150 million on Prudential Finance acquisition, BIM Group kicks off $35-million solar power project in Ninh Thuan, VCCI kicks off recycling plan 

    A Laos-based potassium salt mining and processing project is the fifth million-dollar loss-making project of Vietnam National Chemical Group (Vinachem) and the thirteenth of the Trade and Industry sector.

    The total investment of this Vinachem project is $522 million, including $105 million from Vinachem, $113 million from Vietnam Development Bank (VDB), $161 million from Bank for Investment and Development of Vietnam JSC (BIDV), and $143 million from VietinBank.

    The project’s scope of exploration is 10 square metres. It is expected to be built within five years and start exploration from 2020, producing 320,000 tonnes annually. However, after two years of construction, the project has stalled in 2017.

    In 2017, the 20 subsidiaries of Vinachem recorded a total profit of nearly VND2.2 trillion ($100 million), but four projects had a negative revenue of VND2.115 trillion ($93.2 million). 

    Earlier, in the first days of 2018, Deputy Prime Minister Vuong Dinh Hue approved the restructuring scheme of Vinachem, stipulating that this group would divest from almost all of its subsidiaries by 2020.

    The four loss-making fertiliser companies are Ha Bac Nitrogenous Fertilizer and Chemical Company, DAP-Vinachem Co., Ltd., DAP2-Vinachem JSC, and Ninh Binh Nitrogenous Fertilizer Ltd. Company. Vinachem has to divest of these units after they turn their business around.

    The mother company plans its equitisation for 2018-2019, leaving only 50-65 per cent of its charter capital (some VND20 trillion–$890 million) under state control.

    As for its member companies, Vinachem plans to retain more than 65 per cent of the charter capital of Vietnam Apatite One Member Limited Company in 2018.

    It will also maintain 50-65 per cent stakes in seven member companies, less than 50 per cent stake in nine others, and divest completely from 15 companies.

    According to Vinachem’s financial report for the second half of 2017, the combined profit from its subsidiaries was VND50 billion ($2.2 million), with a loss of VND192 billion ($8.5 million) by the parent company.

    Shinhan Card spends $150 million on Prudential Finance acquisition

    Shinhan Financial Group has just announced that subsidiary Shinhan Card has completed the acquisition of Prudential Vietnam Finance Company Ltd.

    Shinhan’s announcement on the stock exchange noted that the company will acquire 100 per cent of Prudential Finance’s shares, that are valued at 161.4 billion won ($150.8 million). 

    It aims to expand the Vietnamese consumer finance sector, which has been reporting double-digit growth in recent years and is expected to sharply develop in the next years.

    Prudential Finance is a 100% foreign capital consumer finance company established in 2007. The company’s revenue hit around $72 million with a profit of $13 million in 2016.

    Prudential started selling insurance policies in Vietnam in 1999, then opened up Eastspring Investments Fund Management Company in 2005 and Prudential Vietnam Finance Company Ltd. in 2007.

    The scale of Prudential’s insurance business in Vietnam is much smaller than in Hong Kong, Singapore, China, and Indonesia. It is expected to be developed after selling off the company’s consumer finance arm.

    This movement mirrors other global insurance companies’ selling off their non-core business sectors in Asia to focus on the insurance market.

    Prudential Finance, FE Credit, HomeCredit, and HDSaigon are four companies covering the Vietnamese consumer finance market. According to StoxPlus, the total outstanding loans of consumer finance companies was over VND56 trillion ($2.47 billion) at the end of 2016.

    In 2017, Military Bank (MB) announced selling 49 per cent of the shares at VND500-billion MB One Member Co., Ltd. for Shinsei Bank of Japan and gaining VND615 billion ($27.1 million). In September 2017, this company was officially renamed to MB Shinsei Finance Limited Liability Company (MS Finance). MB Group still owns 50 per cent of MS Finance’s shares, while the remaining 1 per cent is owned by Xuan Thanh Development and Construction Investment Limited Company.

    Earlier, Techcombank announced that its Board of Management approved all documents related to transferring the entire capital of TechcomFinance to Lotte Card. This deal enabled Lotte Card to break into the vibrant Vietnamese consumer finance market.

    Next week, on February 1, 2018, Vietnam Posts and Telecommunications Group (VNPT) will also auction off Post and Telecommunication Finance Company Limited at the initial price of VND500 billion ($22 million), which is also the charter capital of this company since 1998. 

    BIM Group kicks off $35-million solar power project in Ninh Thuan

    One of Vietnamese leading private groups BIM and the Philippines-based AC Energy have started developing BIM 1 solar power plant in Phuoc Minh commune in the central province of Ninh Thuan.

    The project aims to satisfy the increasing energy demand and to replace fossil energy with more sustainable and renewable alternatives, contributing to the country’s economic development and improving living standards.

    The Vietnamese government also stimulates renewable energy investment, especially solar power due to its stability and environmentally-friendly feature, via issuing Decision No.11/2017/QD-TTg on an incentive mechanism to develop solar power projects.

    Ninh Thuan and Binh Thuan are the two central provinces having the greatest potential for developing renewable energy. These provinces are the areas where BIM Group has implemented its investment and business activities during the past ten years, with Quan The, Tri Hai, and Ca Na Economic Zone project.

    According to the plan, the solar farm project, which has a total capital of 30MWp, will cover an area of 35 hectares with a total investment capital of VND800 billion ($35.2 million). By installing 90,000 solar panels and other modern equipment, the plant is expected to generate 50 million kWh per annum once it comes into operation.

    According to plan, the solar farm will be connected to the national grid in the third quarter of this year, which is the premise for accelerating other large-scale solar projects with a total capacity of 300MW to generate electricity in the first quarter of 2019.

    Doan Quoc Viet, chairman of BIM Group, stated, “As one of Vietnam’s leading diversified groups, BIM Group’s business and investment activities always revolve around sustainability."

    BIM Group’s long-term target is to generate 1,000MW of clean energy by 2025. To achieve this, BIM Group has entered into a co-operation with AC Energy, one of the largest groups of the Philippines, to develop the project in Ninh Thuan.

    “AC Energy is very concerned about the renewable energy sector in Vietnam and wants to become a pioneer in this sector. The company is pleased to co-operate with BIM Group, and is keen to utilise their massive experience in operating in Ninh Thuan,” said Eric Francia, management director of AC Energy.

    BIM Group decided to select Conergy Asia & ME Pte. Ltd. as the contractor, trusting in the company’s more than 20 years of experience and track record of over 300 solar power plants in Europe, the Middle-East, Asia, and the Americas.

    “We were pleased to have been selected once again to develop a solar power project in Southeast Asia, especially as this will be our first project in Vietnam,” said Marc Lohoff, general director of Conergy.

    Recognised as one of the leading business groups in the country, BIM’s operations are focused on four main business sectors, including tourism development and real estate investment, agriculture-food,commercial services, and renewable energy. The group is one of the few having the capacity to meet the strict quality requirements of international partners.

    AC Energy Holdings, Inc., a subsidiary of Ayala Corp., develops and operates solar, wind, and hydro power generation facilities. It has been recognized as the fastest developing firm in the Philippines. AC Energy plans to expand its operation to Indonesia and other markets in Southeast Asia.

    SCB recognised as outstanding member by VSD     

    Standard Chartered Bank Viet Nam (SCB) was recognised by Viet Nam Securities Depository (VSD) as one of its top 10 outstanding members by assets under custody in 2017.

    The award honours outstanding members who have contributed positively to custody, clearing and settlement of securities transactions in the market.

    This is the first time VSD presented awards to members for their participation and contribution to the Viet Nam stock market. SCB is one of only two foreign custodian banks to receive the accolade.

    Standard Chartered’s custody offering gives customers a single entry point to access services in multiple markets. The key benefits include a single point of contact, multiple services across multiple markets, direct access to operational support and centralised client services, unique coverage through on-shore presence and carefully selected third party agents.

    The bank’s custody product adopts the best international practices and comes with its multi-functional Straight2Bank platform, which gives clients on-demand access to comprehensive transactional and reporting capabilities.

    Recently, SCB launched an enhanced custody business model, which leverages the expertise of all relevant stakeholders, including relationship management, product management, securities service sales and implementation management, as well as client service management, market development and operations to ensure clients get the right solutions to address their needs.

    SCB was named the “Best Foreign Bank in Viet Nam” for three consecutive years, including by the Global Banking and Finance Review in 2014 and 2015, and by Global Business Outlook in 2016. 

    Government data critical for businesses     

    Though Viet Nam has made great strides in streamlining administrative procedures and developing e-governance, more needs to be done to enable businesses and the public to access information from the Government, a roundtable heard in HCMCity on Tuesday.

    Tran Ngoc Liem, deputy director of the Viet Nam Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s HCMCity office, said businesses need many kinds of information such as domestic and global markets and the output of certain sectors, but they find it hard to get it.

    This is valuable information that helps businesses analyse their investment and trading opportunities, Liem said.

    He said the World Bank had an open data for business tool and hoped its working group would suggest recommendations and support Viet Nam’s efforts to successfully establish a digital government and open data.

    Open data is freely available online for anyone to use and reproduce. While social media, companies and non-government organisations (NGOs) can all be sources of open data, the most widely used data comes from governments and government-supported institutions.

    Using open data would offer benefits like more efficient public administration, economic growth in the private sector and social welfare.

    Alla Morrison, innovation data programme coordinator at the World Bank, said businesses can use open data “as a source of information for research and decision making, and as new material to create new data-driven products, services and application platforms”.

    Many countries have developed open data and reaped its benefits, she said.

    The most widely quoted is a study by McKinsey Global Institute, which estimated that open data (from government and non-government sources) could create US$3-5 trillion annually in economic value worldwide in the seven sectors of education, transportation, consumer products, electricity, oil and gas, healthcare and consumer services.

    Open data can give potential investors essential information they need about a country’s governance, infrastructure and resources.

    Investors may be interested in data about a country’s census statistics, workforce skills, tariffs, land or the national infrastructure.

    It can help launch new businesses, make existing businesses more efficient and profitable, increase employment and attract foreign investment, according to the World Bank.

    The bank’s international experts are working with local partners to collect information about the reality and Viet Nam’s readiness level with respect to open data and digital government.

    At the Roundtable on Open Data and Digital Government Readiness Assessment yesterday, delegates, including businesses leaders, representatives of business groups and others, were divided into groups to discuss how their organisations use data, the current or potential barriers to data access and use and other issues.

    In spring this year, the World Bank will offer Viet Nam a roadmap and recommendations on developing open data. 

    VCCI kicks off recycling plan     

    The Viet Nam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) on Tuesday kicked off a programme for advancing circular economy to protect the environment.

    The programme was marked with the signing of a memorandum of understanding for co-operation in implementing a “Zero Waste to Nature” initiative between VCCI’s Viet Nam Business Council for Sustainable Development and Unilever Viet Nam, Coca-Cola Viet Nam and Dow Chemical Viet Nam.

    According to VCCI, the global economy was seeing a shift from a traditional linear economy into a circular economy in which waste, instead of being disposed and causing pollution, would be recycled and “revived” in other forms of resources and involved in the production process.

    Advancing circular economy would help reduce risks of resource scarcity in the future, tackle environment problems and redefine economic growth.

    Nguyen Quang Vinh, VCCI’s general secretary, said the programme aimed to raise policy recommendations for developing a secondary raw material market, introduce good practices of circular economies of companies in the world to domestic enterprises, and provide support to implementing initiatives under public-private partnership practice.

    “Enhanced co-operation is necessary to build a non-emission economy, which will help create more jobs, enhance competitiveness of the private sector and grasp business opportunities worth billions of dollars the circular economy will generate,” Vinh said. “The programme will also contribute to promoting the green growth strategy of Viet Nam.”

    The initiative of “Zero Waste to Nature” was the first activity of the programme which had four goals, including solving problems arising from plastic waste, developing a roadmap for promoting sustainable business models, developing circular-economy oriented value chains and raising policy recommendations for advancing circular economy.

    Nguyen Thi Bich Van, chairwoman of Unilever Viet Nam, said that the company pledged to collect, recycle and reuse all plastic packages of its products by 2025.

    Sanket Ray, general director of Coca-Cola Viet Nam, said by 2030 the company targetted to collect and recycle all plastic bottles of its sold products.

    Deputy PM promotes regional prosperity     

    Deputy Prime Minister Vuong Dinh Hue has urged the World Economic Forum (WEF) to work with ASEAN member countries to promote regional prosperity as challenges and changes face the region and the world.

    Hue was delivering a speech at a meeting of the ASEAN Regional Strategic Group at the 48th annual meeting of the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland on Tuesday.

    He said the group should focus on strategic issues, such as maintaining dynamic development, competitiveness and self-improvement within the 10-member group, promote the equal development of the ASEAN Community, raise the central role played by ASEAN in co-operation mechanisms and regional security, and boost intra-bloc co-operation and connectivity.

    Viet Nam was always ready to hold dialogues and closely co-ordinate with other ASEAN nations, its partners and businesses, he said, noting that the country was closely working with the WEF in preparation for the WEF-ASEAN conference in September in Ha Noi

    Hue met Johann Schneider-Ammann, a member of the Switzerland Federal Council, sharing his view that the Viet Nam-Switzerland economic relationship was encouraging.

    They agreed to step up bilateral co-ordination at multilateral forums while pushing negotiations for a free-trade agreement between Viet Nam and the European Free Trade Association, of which Switzerland is a member.

    Hue said he highly valued the Swiss Government’s commitment to maintaining official development assistance (ODA) to Viet Nam during 2017-20 and called on it to help develop a high-quality education system, combining it with scientific and technological research.

    He also met the vicer-president of the telecommunications group Qualcomm, suggesting it co-operate with Viet Nam in innovative start-ups in information-technology, share its experience in innovation, and boost collaboration in human-resources development in the telecommunications sector.

    Within the framework of the WEF, the Deputy PM on Monday had a working session with ZurichAirport, the world’s leading group in investment and aviation management.

    The group is interested in partnering Viet Nam in airport projects, including LongThanhInternationalAirport, as well as in training and the transfer of managerial technologies.

    On the same day, the Vietnamese Ministry of Planning and Investment, the Vietnamese Embassy in Berne and Bell Capital co-organised a Viet Nam Investment Forum in Zurich.

    Themed “Creating a Shared Future in a Fractured World,” this year’s WEF Davos attracts more than 3,000 delegates, who are leaders of nations, international organisations and world leading groups and non-governmental organisations. 

    Funds crucial for supervision of raw milk quality     

    Monitoring of raw milk quality was still limited by lack of funds and human resources from specialised management agencies.

    This was observed by Tong Xuan Chinh, deputy director of Livestock Husbandry Department at the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, at the National Dialogue on RawMilk Quality and Supply in Ha Noi on Tuesday.

    He said supervision of rawmilk quality was an indispensable activity of the dairy industry at any scale to produce good-quality dairy products.

    To achieve that, milk enterprises were paying great attention to the quality of fresh raw milk in line with international standards, he said. These processes were based on the performance of basic quality tests at different stages: purchasing, transporting, processing, packing, preserving and distributing.

    According to La Van Thao, chief of the Livestock Husbandry Department’s cattle office, raw milk is currently collected in four forms. First, milk-processing enterprises sign raw material purchase contracts with farmer households according to the standards prescribed by enterprises. Milk purchase prices are based on raw milk quality. Second, milk-processing enterprises sign contracts for product purchase and support for raw material development, technical training and credit support. Third, enterprises invest in dairy production in closed chain (from feed to cattle breeding to processing and consumption). Fourth, dairy enterprises sign contract to sell raw milk to another company specialising in milk processing, such as the link model of Hoang Anh Gia Lai Company with NutiFood Company.

    Many areas such as Ha Noi, HCMCity, Thanh Hoa and SocTrang provinces with dairy farming were also involved in chain production.

    Domestic rawmilk production, however, was still low, meeting only 40 per cent of total domestic consumption. Moreover, the quality isn’t stable. There were many reasons for this: Up to now, 65 per cent of national dairycows have been bred on a smallscale (a household breeding of two to three cows) and at farmer households, so compliance with the requirements of the breeding process, housing conditions, food hygiene and safety is not guaranteed.

    The quality of dairy cattle, nutrition, food and disease epidemic safety hasn’t been properly invested in and has been strictly controlled, so the volume of raw milk produced in the country was still low.

    A large quantity of raw milk wasn’t being purchased by factories because it didn’t meet quality requirements.

    Representatives of some influential milk enterprises at the meeting said one of the challenges they faced was overlapping management responsibility of the relevant ministries, which was not in line with the actual production and food safety law.

    The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development manages raw milk production, the Ministry of Industry and Trade manages liquid milk product and the Ministry of Health looks after liquid milk supplement with micronutrients.

    A representative of the Dutch Embassy in Viet Nam shared the Netherlands’ experience that developing the dairy-processing industry in Viet Nam needed strong cooperation between farmers and through clubs to learn about breeding experiences and updated techniques.

    In 2017, Viet Nam’s dairy farming industry developed steadily. Dairy cattle continued to grow, with some enterprises increasing investment and expanding the scale of animal husbandry combined with favourable conditions in some localities.

    The National School Milk Programme has promoted the development of dairy herds. Meanwhile, dairy cattle was growing well and expanding in other localities, such as provinces of Phu Yen, Thanh Hoa, Lam Dong and Ha Giang.

    Quality of the dairy herd has been improved through the process of selection and improvement of feeding. Many enterprises have invested a lot in industrial dairy farming using high technology to link the processing and distribution of milk products. 

    DiamondIsland hands out Mercedes Benz worth VND2.8 billion to thank customers

    On January 16, Kusto HomeVietnam, the developer of DiamondIsland, hosted the “Appreciation party–Diamond Shine” in the presence of more than 800 customers and partners to welcome 2018 and show its high appreciation to customers.

    Exceptionally, Kusto Home gifted a Mercedes Benz E300 AMG worth VND2.8 billion ($122,920) to one of its loyal customers, Hoang Quoc Thinh, the buyer of a three-bedroom unit at Bora Bora tower.

    Thinh stated, “I think luck was with me when I purchased an apartment at DiamondIsland—it was one of the best decisions I have ever made. The green environment overlooking the gorgeous views of the CBD and SaigonRiver are only a few of the features that distinguish DiamondIsland from other high-end real estate projects. With 42 outstanding facilities, DiamondIsland is undoubtedly a great spot for relaxation after a hard day of work.”

    In 2017, Kusto Home introduced the Bahamas and Maldives towers to the real estate market of Ho Chi Minh City, 95 per cent of the units were sold in a short time. Perched at a prime location in downtown Ho Chi Minh City, DiamondIsland offers international-standard residential facilities to discerning homebuyers.

    Murat Utemisov, CEO of Kusto Home, highlighted the firm’s great appreciation of all of its buyers, partners, and agents who vastly contributed to the success of DiamondIsland.

    With the concept of Luxury in Nature, DiamondIsland is a pioneer of the Luxury & Green Living trend in the southern metropolis. Offering a high-class living experience for residents in Vietnam, the real estate project proved to be a golden spot for investment and living.

    In September 2017, Kusto Home hosted the topping-out event as part of the project’s second development phase. The residential apartment project is expected to be handed over in the third quarter of 2018.

    Especially, over the same time period, the DiamondIsland bridge project was initiated to span over the SaigonRiver between the residential area of Thanh My Loi to Mai Chi Tho Street. In particular, the bridge is implemented to lessen the commuting time from DiamondIsland to District 1 to only a few short minutes.

    C&W assists FM Logistic's entry into Vietnam

    Cushman & Wakefield (C&W) have recently advised on France's FM Logistic’s first facility in Vietnam, in northern Bac Ninh province, which will feature a 5,000 sq m tri-temperature logistics site for long-term customers.

    FM Logistic is following its “Ambition 2022” plan to expand geographical coverage to support customer growth. C&W have confirmed that a site has been identified in Hanoi for an additional facility of 50,000 sq m and that work is ongoing to secure another site in Ho Chi Minh City this year.

    “In line with the group’s strategy, our objective is to become one of the leading logistics providers in Vietnam by 2020 and to develop pooling so that we can create value for our customers,” said Mr. Stéphane Descarpentries, Director of Operations in Asia for FM Logistic.

    “Welcoming FM Logistic, a leading supply chain company, is a fantastic achievement for our business but also to the wider Vietnam market,” said Mr. Alex Crane, Managing Director of C&W Vietnam. “They are pioneers in many technologies and processes that will add value to retail and FMCG companies through effective supply chain management that will ultimately benefit consumers at the point of sale.”

    “The logistics segment in Vietnam is undergoing rapid change, with vast expansions of leased space by some of the most famous names in the world, many of whom are our clients,” he went on. “It’s a fantastic time to be in the industrial and logistics advisory business. 2017 was a record year in transaction numbers for our firm.”

    Founded in 1967, FM Logistic has become an international supply chain leader in warehousing, transport, and co-packaging. As an independent and family-run group, it is recognized as being an expert in the consumer goods, distribution, perfume/cosmetics, manufacturing, and health markets.

    FM Logistic is present on three continents and in five business zones (Western Europe, Central Europe, Eastern Europe, Asia, and Latin America) with over 23,300 staff and more than a billion dollars in revenue, 63 per cent of which is made internationally.

    It is a pioneer in effective solutions for the future of supply chains, spearheading concepts such as “pooling” (shared management of transport and logistics resources) and Collaborative Routing Centers (multi-client and multi-supplier flow pooling). In partnership with manufacturers, FM Logistic has also developed innovations for the warehouse of tomorrow (AGVs, drones, robots, and the utilization of big data, among others) and supports startup incubation projects inspired by the collaborative economy and applied to warehousing and transport.

    Ninja Van secures Series C funding

    Ninja Van, a pan-Southeast Asia technology-enabled logistics platform, announced on January 23 that it has successfully concluded the Series C funding round in 2017. Spurred by its exponential growth over the past three years in the region, the company intends to use the capital to further consolidate its presence across its operating markets in Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, the Philippines, and Vietnam.

    “With an established network in Southeast Asia covering six high-growth markets, the capital raised will be invested towards further improving technology and operational capabilities to help Ninja Van continue our drive in offering hassle-free delivery solutions to businesses of all sizes,” said CEO Mr. Lai Chang Wen. “We believe in providing a consistently superior and seamless experience for both our sellers and their customers across all our markets.”

    Since 2016, Ninja Van Vietnam has been addressing the logistics needs of customers by offering them options in tracking their parcels, receiving real-time updates, and gaining access to alternative pick-up points.

    With a focus on e-commerce, it provides businesses with innovative technology-based solutions to optimize their logistics and achieve their business needs. It is currently working with well-known e-commerce partners such as Lazada, Sendo, Fahasa and SCJ, to provide hassle-free delivery to consumers.

    Since its Series B fundraising in 2016, Ninja Van has achieved strong growth driven by the booming Southeast Asia e-commerce sector and currently manages millions of deliveries each month across its markets.

    Through a differentiated technology-enabled platform comprising user applications and complex algorithmic systems, the company delivers innovative and scalable logistics solutions to businesses of all sizes across its end-to-end express logistics network. In addition to its fleet of vehicles and delivery personnel, the business also includes hundreds of drop-off points strategically located across the region to provide sellers and customers with the added convenience of dropping off and collecting their parcels. To support its burgeoning business needs, Ninja Van has also increased its staff to over 1,000 professionals across its operating markets.

    The company is currently working with established, blue-chip investors such as The Abraaj Group (a global growth markets private equity investor), ACE Capital (a Taiwan-based venture capital firm focused on investing in Asia), the B Capital Group (a global venture capital firm that invests in pioneering B2B and B2B2C companies primed to scale across the global stage), the DPD Group (one of the largest international parcel delivery networks in Europe), Monk’s Hill Ventures (a venture capital firm investing in early-stage tech startups), and YJ Capital (a corporate venture capital fund in all stages of investment).

    With this vote of confidence from investors, the technology-enabled delivery company is well positioned to cement itself as the preferred parcel delivery network for domestic and global businesses in Southeast Asia. As one of Ninja Van’s latest investors, the DPD Group combines innovative technology and local knowledge to provide a flexible and user-friendly service for both shippers and shoppers.

    Launched in 2014, Ninja Van began operations in Singapore to address the logistics needs of customers by offering them options in tracking their parcels, receiving real-time updates, and gaining access to alternative pick-up points. “Recognizing that consumers across Southeast Asia want a consistent, hassle-free delivery experience regardless of where they buy from (domestic and/or international), and that clients want a singular access point into the region, we decided to expand our network to cover Southeast Asia,” said Mr. Wen. “Ninja Van’s vision is to have a Ninja within reach of any consumer in Southeast Asia.”

    Vietnam’s leading architecture awards receives AkzoNobel endorsement

    On January 19, AkzoNobel, a Dutch multinational company (MNC) specialised in producing paints and coatings as well as specialty chemicals, together with Vietnamese architecture and construction website Ashui.com, hosted the Ashui Awards in Ho Chi Minh City.

    Since 2012, the Ashui Awards—Vietnam’s first award system obtaining the sponsorship of Vietnam Urban Planning and Development Association (VUPDA)—has been held annually by Ashui.com to serve the long-term development of the domestic construction sector.

    Ashui Awards 2017 preserved the prize structure of the award system, which included five conventional categories: Architect of the Year, Building of the Year, Contractor of the Year, Developer of the Year, and Engineer of the Year.

    Exceptionally, the Future Project of the Year and GreenBuilding of the Year titles were added to this year’s list of awards in order to catch up with the latest trend of sustainable architecture. Additionally, the architecture-centric awards was designed to acknowledge reputable architects, contractors, and engineering firms, as well as investors and real estate developers who made significant contributions to the society.

    Nguyen Cong Hai, marketing director of AkzoNobel Paint Vietnam, spoke about the prominent achievements recorded in Vietnam’s architecture industry over the past several years: “AkzoNobel committed to motivating architects and designers to create more high-quality architectural products that could meet the accommodation demands of customers. Besides, thanks to Ashui Awards, AkzoNobel could also create an exciting playground for all architects to communicate, share knowledge, and gain experiences, thereby forming a community of potential young designers in the long run.”

    “Thanks to the Ashui Awards, the Netherlands-based MNC could provide sustainable solutions and introduce innovative paint products which were manufactured with improved features, such as easy application, high durability, eco-friendliness, and optimal wall protection in all weather conditions, to potential clients, such as architects, designers, and customers. Bridging the gap between AkzoNobel and other enterprises and customers, the award system played a vital role in enhancing the leading position of AkzoNobel in the Vietnamese specialty chemicals market,” Hai said.

    With the key objective of sustainable development, AkzoNobel made an unwavering commitment to optimise paint products to provide architectural benefits to customers. As a result, innovative paint products provided by the Dutch MNC would cater comprehensive and professional solutions to the majority of the market, offering practicality as well as inspiring customers in their daily routine.

    Headquartered in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, AkzoNobel, a major producer of specialty chemicals, has a staff of approximately 45,000 people in 80 countries, producing a diversified portfolio of well-known brands such as Dulux, Sikkens, International, Interpon, and Eka.

    FLC Group gives US$44,022 to U23 Viet Nam     

    Trinh Van Quyet, chairman of property developer FLC Group, decided to give VND1 billion (US$44,022) to Viet Nam’s U23 team.

    The team secured a berth in the finals of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) U23 Championship after beating Qatar, an Asian powerhouse, Qatar on Tuesday.

    Goalkeeper Bui Tien Dung, also a player of FLC Thanh Hoa football club, received VND500 million ($22,011). He saved two kicks from Qatar in the penalty shootout.

    Born in 1997 in the central province of Thanh Hoa, Dung join FLC Thanh Hoa Club, invested in by the group in 2016.

    Quyet said he was surprised and extremely happy with the efforts of U23 Viet Nam. “They are the pride of the country,” he said.

    He affirmed that this has been the greatest victory in Viet Nam’s football history. “I believe that U23 Viet Nam will win the final match. The whole country supports them,” he added. 

    VPBank increases interest rates following VN’s football win     

    Viet Nam Prosperity Joint Stock Commercial Bank (VPBank) on Tuesday announced an increase in interest rates on its customers’ savings accounts.

    This move was attributed to Viet Nam winning over Qatar in the semi-finals of the finals of the Asian Football Confederation U23 Championship on the same day .

    Accordingly, all customers whose names are Quang Hai and Tien Dung will get an additional 0.23 per cent on interest rates in their savings accounts at the bank today. All the remaining customers will get an additional 0.1 per cent. Goalkeeper Bui Tien Dung made history as his penalty save helped Viet Nam continue to the final of the championship. Vietnamese striker Nguyen Quang Hai, who scored four out of seven goals for his team, had two scores in the two-hour duration of the match.

    The decision to raise the interest rates was made right after the thrilling win of U23 Viet Nam, thanks to the huge contribution of goalkeeper Tien Dung and midfielder Quang Hai. 

    Agribank cooperates with RoK in remittances transfer     

    The Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development of Viet Nam (Agribank) and the Republic of Korea (RoK)’s NongHyup Bank (NHB) on Tuesday officially launched the service of transferring money without using bank account.

    According to the agreement, the two banks will cooperate in transferring remittances without using US dollar accounts from RoK for individuals in Viet Nam, through the NHB and Agribank network, in accordance with international laws and regulations of transferring money.

    Specifically, customers in RoK may reach 1,163 NHB branches or use the application on mobile phones to transfer money; customers in Viet Nam can receive money at any of the over 2,300 branches and transaction offices of Agribank nationwide.

    Through the launch of this service, Agribank and NHB target to serve nearly 150,000 Vietnamese people living and working in RoK.

    Agribank and NHB have established correspondent bank relations since 2000. After signing a comprehensive cooperation agreement in 2013, the relationship between the two banks has been growing, as reflected in the signing of the cooperative agreement on money transferring services for Vietnamese workers in RoK in 2014. After that, NHB opened a US dollar payment account at Agribank since 2016 and the transaction between the two banks has nearly doubled in only one year.

    In 2017, Agribank and NHB continued to sign the agreement on remittance services without using an account. In addition, the two sides have organised many training exchange programmes, surveys and experience sharing. Last year, Agribank sent 300 employees to study and conduct surveys at NHB and also trained approximately 60 NHB staff at Agribank. 

    Central bank asks lenders to prioritise production, business     

    The State Bank of Viet Nam has asked credit institutions and branches of foreign banks to give priority to production and business while lending.

    According to Document 563/NHNN-TTGSNH issued on Tuesday, the central bank asked for control over credit growth to be tightened to meet the target. The credit growth target for 2018 was set at 17 per cent, lower than the growth rate of 18.17 per cent in 2017.

    The credit expansion must be associated with controlling credit quality to prevent new loans from turning into bad debts.

    Credit must be limited to sectors with high risks, such as real estate and securities sectors, the central bank said, adding that a close watch must be maintained on the progress of the property projects, financial capacity of developers and mortgage assets.

    The management on quality of consumer credit must be enhanced to prevent the use of consumer loans in investing in real estate and securities.

    Credit should prioritise agriculture, rural, export and part-supplying industries, as well as small and medium-sized enterprises and enterprises applying high technologies in business and production, according to the document.

    The central bank’s statistics showed that credit in business and production accounted for 80 per cent of the total outstanding loans in 2017. 

    Japanese group eyes solar energy plant in Binh Phuoc

    Officials of the southern province of Binh Phuoc on January 25 discussed a solar energy plant project with representatives of the Asia Infonet INC of Japan’s AIN Group.

    The project is expected to be built on an area of 54ha at the Becamex - Binh Phuoc industrial and urban complex.

    At the meeting, Asia Infonet INC’s General Director Tsuyoshi Sai said the company has experience in solar energy development in Japan. He also noted the great potential for solar energy in Binh Phuoc.

    The general director hoped to know more about procedures to carry out the project as soon as possible, particularly legal procedures to connect the plant with the national grid and sell electricity at the IP.

    Secretary of the provincial Party Committee Nguyen Van Loi said Binh Phuoc backs the company’s intention and will create favourable conditions for the prompt implementation of the project. He also asked relevant agencies to help the Japanese investor complete procedures in the first quarter.

    Binh Phuoc holds huge advantage to foster solar energy projects, with an average of 2,700 sunshine hours per year. The province has given priority to solar energy development and is calling for investors in this sector.

    JETRO appreciates HCMC’s attraction to Japanese investors

    Deputy executive president of Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) Yasukazu Irino appreciated the attraction of HCMC to foreign investors including Japanese firms at the meeting with chairman of HCMC People’s Committee Nguyen Thanh Phong yesterday.

    Speaking at the meeting, he expressed impressions to the city’s positive changes and proposed local leaders to assist Japanese companies to operate in HCMC in long term.

    Introducing advantages of HCMC with the role of Vietnam’s economic motive power, chairman Nguyen Thanh Phong said that the city has been implementing many solutions on administrative reform and organized dialogues with foreign firms.

    He hoped that through JETRO Japanese firms would attend investment projects in the SmartCity project and other fields in HCMC.

    Loan interest rate for social housing set at 5%

    Deputy PM Vuong Dinh Hue has recently inked Decision 117/QD-TTg on preferential loan interest rate on social housing in line with Decree 100/2015/ND-CP, dated October 20, 2015 on development management of social housing. 

    Accordingly, the preferential lending interest rate for social housing projects in 2018 is 5%. 

    The new decision took effect from the day of signing and replaced Decision 48/QD-TTg, dated January 13, 2017. 

    The interest rates will be applied for house buyers who have already sought loans from the VND 30 trillion (US$1.32 billion) housing stimulus package launched in 2013 as the minimum repayment term is 15 years, and from the Việt Nam Bank for Social Policies (VBSP)./.

    VNN


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  • 01/29/18--00:38: Article 1
  • Vietnam U23 players’ courage, passion melt snow: OSEN

    Hanoi - The courage and passion of Vietnamese U23 players seemed to melt the snow, OSEN, a news website based in the Republic of Korea commented on the final between Vietnam and Uzbekistan in the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) U23 Championship.

    Vietnam U23 players’ courage, passion melt snow: OSEN. (Photo: weibo.cn)

    Despite the heavy snowfall, Vietnamese players and coach Park Hang-seo did not buckle, OSEN said. “The players threw themselves forward and did their best. Their physical limitations seemed to be overcame by mental strength.”

    According to Thailand-based Siam Sports, snow made it difficult for the two teams to control the ball, especially for Vietnam’s team who live in a tropical country.

    Though Vietnam’s U23 team did not win the title, they performed a miracle reaching the final and left Vietnam’s mark on the tournament, said the Thai version of Four Four Two.

    Vietnam representing Southeast Asia in the final of the AFC U23 Championship in Changzhou, China on January 27 was a major boost the region’s footballing fortunes, stated the Phnom Penh Post from Cambodia.

    Singapore-based The Independent ran a headline “Red-hot Vietnam is first in ASEAN to make AFC Under 23 final”, which quoted Qatar’s Brazilian coach Felix Sanchez as saying “Vietnam deserves the final. They have proven that they are a highly capable team. They did their best to win and I send them my congratulations.”

    “They truly played with balls of fire. Vietnam went absolutely wild and a little sub-continent of ASEAN celebrated as the red-hot country qualified for the AFC U23 final for the first time,” the newspaper lauded Vietnam’s victory over Qatar in the semi-finals.

    VNA


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  • 01/29/18--00:53: Article 0
  • Cryptocurrency transaction floors on the increase in Vietnam


    Just a short time after thaituancoin, a cryptocurrency trading floor, shut down, another appeared calling for people’s contributions. 


     

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    The introduction of BNC


    On January 4, 2018, at Businesscoin (BNC) office, located in an office building on Bach Dang street in Tan Binh district in HCMC, many investors were present to make transactions and learn about ways to trade the cryptocurrency (BNC) via the BNC trading floor, belonging to BNI, a business with its head office registered at another location on the same street.

    Investors had to pay VND50,000 each for documents to attend the meeting introducing the BNC trading floor and the plan to create BNC cryptocurrency in Vietnam

    Duong Hong Son from BNI said to more than 100 investors that Businesscoin, or BNC, was issued by BNI on October 20, 2017.

    At that time, one BNC had the value of VND1,000, or $0.0435. Meanwhile, the value of the cryptocurrency soared to $2.03 per BNC, or VND47,000, and is expected to rise to $200 per BNC.

    Son also said that BNI plans to issue 100 million BNC by 2025, and that there would be 1-5 million members (individuals and businesses) by 2022. The trading floor would collect $5-10 million per day to have enough profit to pay to BNC buyers. 

    For example, the investors who spend $50 to buy BNC would receive profit of $300 from the trading floor owner within 300 days, while those who invest $20,000 in BNC would get profit of $240,000 within 600 days.

    According to Son, the aims of BNC floor are to build a brand for members to make transactions on BNC floor, connect with consumers directly to help popularize and boost sales for enterprises. 

    Just a short time after thaituancoin, a cryptocurrency trading floor, shut down, another appeared calling for people’s contributions. 

    Son reassured the investors that BNI is the first company in Vietnam that guarantees  investors’ purchases and transactions on BNC floor. He said once BNI comes forward and takes legal responsibility, investors won’t have any reasons to be insecure to make transactions on the BNC floor.

    Answering questions about liquidity, Son revealed that 20,000 investors have joined the floor, so there is no need to worry about the lack of buyers and sellers.

    To attract investors, Son said BNC has software connecting other businesses, including real estate firms and investors who use BNC to buy/sell real estate.

    Pham Van Tuyen, general director of BNI, said Vietnamese laws prohibit cryptocurrency trading, but don’t prevent people from storing and investing in conventional cryptocurrency. This means investors can use BNC through conventions on converting BNC for dong and US dollar.

    Nguoi Lao Dong reporters discovered that Pham Van Tuyen appeared in the past on the internet as the consultant for thaituancoin.com which issues TTC cryptocurrency.


    Thanh Mai, VNN


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  • 01/29/18--01:42: Article 1
  • Vietnam man arrested for allegedly killing creditor, disposing of body


    He purportedly committed the murder in the heat of an argument, before dumping the body in a location 25 kilometers away

    ​Vietnam man arrested for allegedly killing creditor, disposing of body
    Tran Quoc Vu (second right) leads policemen to the location of his victim’s body at a coffee plantation in LamDongProvince, January 28, 2018. Photo: Lam Dong Police

    Police have arrested a Vietnamese man in the Central Highlands province of Lam Dong for the alleged murder of his creditor and discarding of the victim’s body at a coffee plantation.

    Tran Quoc Vu, 31, was arrested on Sunday afternoon after confessing to the crime earlier that morning.

    Police reports showed the victim, 27-year-old Vo Thanh Tuan, had visited Vu on January 23 to collect an overdue debt he owed to Tuan.

    The two men allegedly became involved in a violent scuffle, which only ended when Vu managed to get the upper hand and strangled Tuan to death.

    Vu then used Tuan’s motorbike to drive his body to a coffee plantation located 25 kilometers away for disposal.

    After having not heard from Tuan for days, his family reported him missing to police and began the search for their loved one.

    Investigators were able to narrow down the suspects from looking into Tuan’s list of debtors, before coming to the conclusion that Vu was the primary suspect in the victim’s murder.

    Vu confessed to the crime on Sunday morning during police interrogation.

    An exhumation of Tuan’s body, which was buried at the coffee plantation, was completed in the same afternoon.

     ​Vietnam man arrested for allegedly killing creditor, disposing of body
    Locals gather outside the resident of Tran Quoc Vu as authorities investigate the crime scene in LamDongProvince, January 28, 2018. Photo: Tuoi Tre

    Tuoi Tre News


    0 0
  • 01/29/18--02:28: Article 0
  • BUSINESS IN BRIEF 29/1


    PM demands data about informal sector 

     PM demands data about informal sector, Vietnam Airlines to launch new service to Van Don airport, Ministry clarifies fuel pricing, Zurich Airport AG weighs some projects in Vietnam, Goods suppliers try to stabilize pre-Tet prices

    Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has again asked the General Statistics Office (GSO) to forge ahead with the collection of data about the informal sector.

    The PM said at a General Statistics Office conference in HanoiCity on January 22 that socio-economic statistics had made it possible for the Government to map out strategies and master plans at national and regional levels to fuel economic growth, the Government news website reports.

    With statistics carefully weighed, the Government has been able to pinpoint issues and solve them in a scientific manner, he noted.

    He said 2017 was the first year that the Government envisaged quarterly gross domestic product (GDP) growth scenarios, helped by the statistics sector.

    GDP growth was a mere 5.15% in the first quarter of last year, he said, adding he asked GSO general director Nguyen Bich Lam and Minister of Planning and Investment Nguyen Chi Dung to work out scenarios in which key products and sectors should be developed in the following quarters. This explains why the Government adopted proper development directions.

    Phuc said the Government had no doubt about the accuracy of data collected and analyzed by statisticians.

    He said data about the underground economic sector should be collected and added to GDP this year.

    The Government needs clear growth scenarios for proper management, he said. Therefore, the sector should enhance the quality of statistics and provide better analyses to support policy making and forecasting.

    GSO should issue reports on the world economy so that the Government can adjust macro-economic policies in a timely way.

    Vietnam Airlines to launch new service to Van Don airport

    National flag carrier Vietnam Airlines (VNA) on Monday clinched a strategic cooperation agreement with the northern province of Quang Ninh to promote the province’s tourism and open new air service to Van Don airport which will be operational this year.

    Under the agreement, Quang Ninh will  support new flights to the airport in the initial stage to increase the number of passengers to Quang Ninh and introduce the province’s image to key markets like Europe, Australia and Northest Asia.

    Meanwhile, Vietnam Airlines will launch flights from and to Van Don airport in the coming time. The carrier will also coordinate with the provincial authorities to promote tourism and investment in the province and sponsor national and international culture and tourism activities in the 2018-2021 period in the province.

    At the signing ceremony, Quang Ninh chairman Nguyen Duc Long said air transport and aviation supporting sectors would develop significantly in the coming time when Van Don airport is put into operation.

    VNA general director  Duong Tri Thanh said the firm would join forces with member airlines of the global alliance SkyTeam and airlines in Europe to open new flights to Cat Bi and Van Don airports.

    The two sides also agreed that Vietnam Airlines services will be introduced on the website and TV and in newspapers in the province. Meanwhile, Quang Ninh’s image can be seen at fairs and in magazines of Vietnam Airlines.

    The airline has earlier cooperated with QuangNinhProvince in many tourism, trade and investmen promotion activities by introducing Quang Ninh’s tourism products and services on VNA publications, especially Heritage magazine.

    The two sides have also jointly organized community support programs. In April last year, VNA grew 50,000 trees at one of the largest coalfields in Quang Ninh.

    Ministry clarifies fuel pricing

    Fuel prices are set according to Government Decree 83 and guiding documents and based on the principle that they are decided by market forces under State management, according to the Ministry of Finance’s Price Management Department.

    Nguyen Anh Tuan, head of the department, was quoted by Dan Tri online newspaper as responding to public reactions to the ministries of industry-trade and finance not announcing the new price of RON95 despite the two fuel price adjustments this month.

    While the base price has not been announced by the ministries, RON95 has seen its price surging after those price adjustments.

    Tuan said the base price is to regulate the domestic price, taking into account the use of the petrol price stabilization fund.

    With RON92 replaced by E5 RON92 bio-fuel early this year, the ministries of industry-trade and finance have given the base price of E5 RON92 and are overseeing RON95 price adjustments of fuel trading firms, he said.

    After the first two price adjustments this year, the price gap between RON95 and E5 RON92 ranges between VND1,710 and VND1,850 per liter. The main reason for this is the price of E5 RON92 has been supported by the period price stabilization fund with VND857 per liter since early this year, whereas the RON95 price is regulated by the market and adjusted in accordance with world price movements.

    Fuel price fluctuations in this month’s first half showed that the RON95 price in regional countries like Thailand, India, Cambodia and the Philippines is VND3,000-5,000 per liter higher than in Vietnam.

    According to Tuan, the current E5 RON92 consumption accounts for an estimated 60% of total petrol consumption.

    The two ministries are still supervising consumption and supply-demand of RON95 and E5 RON92 on the market to set reasonable base prices, Tuan said.

    Zurich Airport AG weighs some projects in Vietnam

    Zurich Airport AG is considering getting involved in some projects in Vietnam, heard a meeting between Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister Vuong Dinh Hue and the company.

    As part of his visit to Switzerland to attend the World Economic Forum’s Annual Meeting 2018 in Davos, Hue on January 22 visited Zurich Airport, Switzerland’s largest international airport operated by Zurich Airport AG, said a Government news website report.

    The firm introduced its modern airport management systems and technologies that incorporate commercial, financial and conferencing functions into the airport.

    Lukas Brosi, chief financial officer of Zurich Airport AG, said direct flights between ZurichAirport and HCMC will be launched in the next few weeks, according to the news report.

    The company has also completed an initial survey of the LongThanhInternationalAirport project in the southern Vietnamese province of Dong Nai, Brosi said, adding the company is also interested in some public-private partnership (PPP) projects in Vietnam. It is considering cooperating with Vietnam in aviation training and airport management technology transfer.

    Hue expressed appreciation of the company’s interest in the Vietnamese market. Zurich Airport AG should mull acquiring shares of the Airports Corporation of Vietnam (ACV) and investing in some airport projects like Van Don, Chu Lai and Lao Cai, he noted.

    By 2020, the Government’s holding in ACV is planned to fall to 65%.

    Hue said the Vietnamese Government is improving the legal framework for PPP to protect the legitimate rights and interests of investors.

    Vietnam is forecast to rank fourth among the fastest-growing markets in terms of annual passenger growth in the 2015-2035 period, just behind China, India and Indonesia, he said.

    Such strong growth will put a strain on the country’s already-overstretched civil aviation infrastructure.

    “The Vietnamese Government is calling for domestic and foreign firms to invest in airports and other aviation facilities in Vietnam,” Hue said.

    FE CREDIT signs US$50 million loan contract with Lion Asia

    FE CREDIT announced that it has completed a loan procedure with Lion Asia I (RB) Limited, taking out US$50 million to continue growing its business as the market leader in Vietnam’s consumer finance industry and to better meet financial demands of millions of Vietnamese people.

    Lion Asia, an entity established in British Virgin Islands and 100% owned by the Lending Ark Asia Secured Private Debt Fund (The Fund, acted as facility agent for this US$50 million). The Fund has been established by Lending Ark Asia Secured Private Debt Holdings Limited, a market leader in complex, innovative secured private credit lending across the Asia Pacific region.

    As one of the few pioneers in the consumer finance industry in Vietnam, after seven years, FE CREDIT has established a solid foundation to become the market leader with business practices that compare favorably with the best in the world. Currently, FE CREDIT holds nearly 50% of the market share in the consumer finance industry in Vietnam.

    Kalidas Ghose, vice chairman and CEO of FE CREDIT, said: “This cooperation continues to re-affirm our brand value and the operational excellence of our business in meeting the highest level of international standards.”

    “This loan facilitates the growth of our business in future by providing solutions to the needs of millions of people across Vietnam, who are not currently served well by banks, with better financial products and services. Also, this cooperation demonstrates the trust that international partners have in the sustainable vision of FE CREDIT and the commitment of its shareholders as well as management going forward.”

    Gregory Park, a representative of Lion Asia, said it is a great honor to announce the successful completion of our US$50 million facility for FE CREDIT. With the tremendous support of State Bank of Vietnam and hard work of FE CREDIT, the entire working team was able to swiftly complete this cooperation.

    “We believe that with its strong management team serving the expanding consumer finance market of Vietnam’s 95 million citizens, FE CREDIT makes its business an example of a great success in the global financial markets,” he said.

    FE CREDIT currently provides consumer lending services such as personal loans, two-wheeler loans, consumer durable loans and credit cards. FE CREDIT has served almost seven million customers, co-operating with 7,000 partners across 10,000 Points of Sale nationwide.

    VIB busts out new year promotion programme

    From January 24 to April 3, Vietnam International Commercial Joint Stock Bank (UPCoM: VIB) will hold the discount programme called “New Year of Fortune with VIB” for the bank’s depositors.

    In particular, each customer that signed deposit agreements or certificates of deposit (CD) at VIB as well as place a Vietnamese dong-denominated term deposit of at least a month at any branch and transaction office of VIB across the country could enjoy appealing interest rates of 5.5-8.7 per cent per year.

    Likewise, the bank’s depositors could earn a rare chance to enter a draw with a total prize pool of VND7.3 billion ($322,660), including a Vespa Primavera, an iPhone X 64, and a 3.75-gramme bullion of PNJ 999.9 gold.

    Previously, VIB was the first domestic bank to earn the title “Best E-bank 2016” and “Best Retail Mobile Banking Experience 2016” by The Asset. Particularly, the mobile banking application enabled users to manage their account balance anywhere and anytime as well as manage their cash flows through VIB’s internet and mobile banking system.

    Recently, in November 2017, International Finance Corporation (IFC) and its partners announced offering the local bank $185 million assistance over a span of five years, which included $100 million from IFC’s account and $85 million from three international lenders, Cathay United Bank Co., Ltd. Industrial; Commercial Bank of China Ltd. (Hong Kong Branch); and Thailand’s Kiatnakin Bank Public Company Ltd.

    In early 2017, Moody’s Investors Service upgraded the credit rating outlook of VIB’s local currency deposits and issuer ratings to “positive,” signalling optimism regarding the bank’s business performance. According to Moody’s, VIB was rated among the banks recording the highest financial strength for three consecutive years in 2014-2016.

    Founded in 1996, VIB is one of the Vietnam-based banks displaying a sustainable business strategy, transparency in the administration system, and professionalism in the working environment.

    The bank is praised by both its domestic and foreign partners, such as The Banker under the management of Financial Times in London, members of the World Bank Group, Global Finance magazine, and Britain-based Banking Review.

    Goods suppliers try to stabilize pre-Tet prices

    Many businesses have hiked product prices in the run up to the Lunar New Year holiday (Tet) since electricity and fuel prices, and minimum wages were raised, but some suppliers have committed to stabilizing prices.

    Le Thi Thanh Lam, deputy general director of Saigon Food, said that apart from the higher energy prices and wages as from this year, material prices have picked up as well. However, Saigon Food is not going to increase prices during Tet as it may affect sales, she noted.

    Though there has been no precise data about how much production costs and goods prices have climbed, she said, Saigon Food has paid an additional VND300 million for electricity bills alone.

    For the forthcoming Tet, Saigon Food will supply 800 tons of products for the market, with prices to be kept unchanged, Lam said. “But after Tet, we may consider price hikes as we cannot afford to maintain such prices for so long.”

    Vissan has also pledged no price hikes while discounts and promotions will be made available. Deputy general director of Vissan Dinh Thi Phuong Ninh said the company will not raise product prices due to the price stabilization commitments it made earlier.

    Though the fuel price increase has impacted on production operations of Vinh Thanh Dat Food Co., the company will not adjust up prices ahead of Tet, said director Truong Chi Thien. In particular, the price will remain unchanged at VND24,000 per box of 10 chicken eggs and VND32,000 per box of 10 duck eggs.

    At Big C supermarkets, prices of as many as 11,300 fast-moving consumer goods will stay stable until February 15 regardless of price changes at other retail stores.

    According to a representative of the Big C supermarket chain, if prices at other supermarkets get lower, Big C will revise its prices down also.

    A source from Lotte Mart said product prices will not increase before and after Tet.

    However, certain suppliers have opted for upward price revisions given the pressure from the higher fuel prices and labor costs.

    As explained by Nguyen Lam Son, director of Thao Nguyen Agriculture and Foods Co., the company has suffered from the fuel price rise as fuel is needed to operate agricultural machines and transport goods. Besides, labor costs will double or treble when workers are in holiday mode. An upsurge in consumption of certain products could lead to an undersupply.

    At present, according to goods producers and suppliers as well as distribution centers, goods for Tet are now available on the store shelves.

    Ninh of Vissan said the company will supply more than 3,000 tons of pork and beef and 3,500 tons of processed products for the nation’s biggest holiday, up 30% and 15% against last Tet respectively. Vissan’s total goods volume for Tet amounts to VND650 billion, she added.

    Meanwhile, Vinh Thanh Dat Food’s supplies will be the same as the previous Tet, with 10 million eggs in the month before the Lunar New Year and 4-5 million eggs in the month after.

    “The company is also reserving eggs for bakeries. Therefore, if the market is in need of more, we can double or treble our supplies,” Thien noted.

    Regarding vegetables, Thao Nguyen Agriculture and Foods provides 20 tons of vegetables daily in the final month of the old lunar year (a period between the second half of January and the first half of February), rising by 5-10 tons against other days. After that, vegetables supplies will drop to four tons a day and prices may pick up 20%, according to Son.

    As for modern distribution systems, Do Quoc Huy, marketing manager of the Saigon Union of Trading Co-operatives (Saigon Coop), the owner of the Co.opmart store chain, said total goods supplies for the three-month period before and after Tet will pick up 15% year-on-year to over 130,000 tons. Of these, supplies of fresh products and products for Tet like cookies, dried fruits and beverages will grow strongly.

    According to Huy, in addition to products under the price stabilization program, Saigon Co.op will offer good prices for other essential products. It will also run many promotion programs until February 14.

    PwC Vietnam signed MoU with Smart Train

    PwC Vietnam and Smart Train have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to take their partnership to the next level.

    The collaboration aims to create an environment for business interactions, information sharing, professional training, and knowledge exchange with PwC’s and Smart Train’s wide networks of business leaders and experts in finance, accounting, governance and management.

    The signing ceremony was attended by Le Thi Tuyet Nhung, deputy head of the Accounting and Auditing Regulations Department of the Ministry of Finance (MoF), and representatives from the Ho Chi Minh City Stock Exchange (HOSE), the Ho Chi Minh City Accountants Association (HAA), the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA), the Vietnam Banks Association (VNBA), and CPA Australia.

    As Vietnamese companies gradually approach global norms and standards in professionalism and transparency, raising corporate governance capacity has become an essential requirement for all business leaders.

    Both the directors and senior management teams need to keep themselves updated with comprehensive knowledge as well as an understanding of the best practices in corporate governance, management accounting, financial accounting, and risk control.

    As the world’s leading provider of auditing and consulting services, PwC regularly contributes expert advice at major events and specialised seminars in corporate governance, finance, risk, and cyber security, among others.

    In addition, PwC has also collaborated with state management bodies in building legal frameworks, laws and decrees, contributing many crucial initiatives to enhance corporate governance and improve quality in accounting, financial management, risk management, auditing, and internal auditing.

    Hoang Duc Hung, partner and Vietnam Markets leader at PwC Vietnam, said: “The partnership between PwC Vietnam and Smart Train plays an important role in creating more opportunities and an environment for interactions among businesses, and between enterprises and leading experts in the PwC network.”

    Speaking at the MoU signing ceremony, Pham Ngoc Hoang Thanh, managing director of Smart Train, said: “By organising seminars and conferences with practical topics, we would like to create a hub for information sharing, professional traning, and the exchange of expertise between local and international professionals in governance, accounting, and auditing on one side, and the board of directors and management teams of companies on the other side.”

    "It is essential to raise awareness and compliance of businesses with the requirements and regulations of state management bodies in governance, finance, accounting, auditing, risk, and control," said Nhung from MoF. "The collaboration of professional firms such as PwC and Smart Train will contribute to promoting awareness in the business community and support regulatory agencies in managing and facilitating business.

    Vinalines aims to go international

    Vietnam’s state-owned shipping giant Vinalines is moving towards participating in international markets by co-operating with shipping lines and owners of mines worldwide to reach its ambitious growth targets in 2018.

    According to Le Quang Trung, newly-elected vice president of Vietnam National Shipping Lines (Vinalines), the company has plans to set up several international alliances, focusing on the two key business segments – shipping, and logistics.

    In shipping, Vinalines will restructure its fleet, focusing on long-term contracts and key large-volume commodities such as coal, ores, steel, cement, and clinker while creating more two-way shipping services.

    “We plan to set up consortiums with international shipping lines, owners of mines, and suppliers to provide shipping and logistics services to on-site works,” Trung told VIR.

    “For example, we are working on the possibility of setting up an alliance with owners of coal mines in East Kalimantan, a province of Indonesia, which is thought to have one of the world’s largest coal reserves. We will be responsible for coal transportation and logistics to the site, while coal supply is done by the partner,” he said. “Aside from Indonesia, we also worked with potential partners at the recent Eastern Economic Forum in Russia, discussing future co-operation in the field.”

    Vietnam now imports coal mostly from Indonesia, Australia, and Russia to feed coal-fired power projects and steel mills in the country. Therefore, Vinalines is playing leapfrog to cash in on this growing local demand.

    For container goods, Trung elaborated that Vinalines will develop inland domestic transportation networks, while co-operating with international main line operators to provide cargo consolidating and feedering services for them, as well as developing intra-Asian container routes and two-way shipping routes. Forecasting a 10 per cent growth in goods of volume shipped via its ports this year, Vinalines is working on market  and logistics solutions to increase competitiveness by establishing a chain of logistics centres domestically and abroad which target commodities imported and exported from Vietnam, thus joining to the global supply chain.

    “At present, we are working on the Vietnam House project in Belgium in co-operation with Belgian logistics corporation Herfurth. We have finished the business plan and have begun providing services on trial for some items such as textiles and garments and pharmaceuticals,” Trung said.

    Another emphasised plan is developing North-South Ro-Ro shipping services and offering one-stop package solutions  to clients by utilising the combination of shipping, port, and logistics infrastructure.

    In 2017, Vinalines’ logistics and port businesses showed signs of thriving amid stiffening competition, with increased profits reported. The company’s estimated profit was VND515 billion ($23.5 million), nearly double that of 2016.

    Despite difficulties in the global shipping market, Vinalines’ shipping business saw improvements in 2017 thanks to a growing cargo trade volume. However, the firm still experienced a loss.

    This year, Vinalines aims for growth in profit, revenue, and volume of goods no lower than the country’s GDP growth, or that of similar regional industries. With better business performance and bright potential ahead, Vinalines has become more attractive to domestic and foreign investors ahead of its initial public offering, which is scheduled to take place in the second quarter of 2018. Many investors from Japan, the US, Singapore and South Korea have expressed strong interest in becoming strategic investors of Vinalines.

    Vietnam to host Asia-Pacific Stevie Awards for first time

    This afternoon, the organisation board of Stevie Awards in collaboration with the Enterprise Development Agency under the Ministry of Planning and Investment organised the launching ceremony of Asia-Pacific Stevie Awards 2018 in Hanoi, marking the first launch in Vietnam.

    The launching ceremony is organised to find potential candidates for the judging panel as well as contestants for the awards.

    The award aims to honour individuals and enterprises with excellent performance and encourage companies to excel, innovate, and adapt to Industry 4.0. The award will also open opportunities for small- and medium-sized enterprises to find international partners as well as expand their operations to abroad.

    According to the organising board, the award will have 12 categories. Each enterprise can apply in one or various categories.

    In the framework of the event, on January 24, Michael Gallagher, president of Stevie Awards and representatives of the organising board, had a meeting with leaders of Vietnam Investment Review, which has been invited to be a media sponsor of the event. Additionally, VIR's editor-in-chief Le Trong Minh has been invited to join the judging panel.

    Asia-Pacific Stevie Awards, under the aegis of Stevie Awards, is an international business awards competition that is open to all organisations from the 22 nations of the Asia-Pacific region.

    Asia-Pacific Stevie Awards was organised for the first time in 2014. Numerous Vietnamese enterprises were granted the award, including Viettel, Dosan Vina, and DHL. This year, Vietnam is honoured to be selected to host the event.

    Vietnam supports enterprises to participate in circular economy

    The Vietnam Business Council for Sustainable Development (VBCSD) has signed an agreement with three foreign-invested enterprises to implement the “Zero Waste to Nature” initiative.

    It is part of a programme aimed at supporting enterprises to participate in the circular economy.

    The three companies involved in the initiative are Unilever, Coca-Cola and Down Chemical.

    Experts have stated that a circular economy will help reduce the risks from the scarcity of resources in the future, address environmental issues and add US$4.5 trillion to global GDP by 2030.

    In a circular economy, waste will be regenerated in various forms and reused in the production process instead of being discarded and causing environmental pollution.

    VBCSD Secretary General Nguyen Quang Vinh said the “Zero Waste to Nature” initiative aims to address the issues arising from plastic waste and promote sustainable business models.

    At the signing ceremony, Unilever Vietnam chairwoman Nguyen Thi Bich Van pledged that all of the company’s plastics packaging will be collected, recycled and reused by 2025.

    Meanwhile, Coca-Cola will support the collection and recycling of all plastic bottles of its products sold to the market by 2030, said Sanket Ray, chief executive of Coca-Cola Vietnam.

    The lifestyle startup that helps brands better understand their consumers in Vietnam

    A mobile app developed by startup firm Wisepass and launched early last year has been making it more convenient and economical for casual drinkers and frequent diners to enjoy food and wine around Ho Chi Minh City.

    The app developed by Wisepass, a company that was founded in 2014 in Ho Chi Minh City, allows users to get stuck into either 30 bottles of liquor or 30 meals per month at more than 100 different locations such as restaurants, bars and 5-star hotels in the city for VND6 million (US$260) per month. And WisePass recently secured a partnership with Starbucks which allows members to redeem any cup, any size per day.

    The statistics show that initially WisePass membership covered only drinking, but later it added new options for members such as food and events.

    Since the recent partnership with Starbucks, consumers have been very interested in dining there and luxury chains besides enjoying wine.The app currently has 400 members and has been used nearly 11,680 times.

    But the benefit that the app offers is not limited to its members. Beyond that, it offers a platform for brands to get closer to their consumers’ needs and analyze the ways in which their produce is consumed.

    This feedback allows brands using Wisepass to communicate better with its customers without being aggressive.

    Lam Tran, co-founder and CEO of Wisepass, told Dau Tu newspaper in April last year that the startup has secured a growth rate of 50% per month.

    “People usually think that starting a company in Vietnam is difficult, especially on the administrative side of things. It looks difficult if you don't know the procedures. But it’s like this anywhere in the world, the administrative procedures are always long and complicated!,” said Lam, adding that the real challenge lies in building a new type of business and executing it.

    “One needs to take time – weeks and months, to build the idea, talk about it, to then be able to sell the project. Of course, having the finances for it helps a lot too. But there's no shortcut. You have to work hard and be persistent to succeed,” he said.

    Lam shared that the internet is a challenging aspect he has faced, especially while working in the digital field where everything is handled online.

    In terms of what was easy for startups in the country, “I’d say that the whole ‘tech’ part is easier in Vietnam. The cost for developers is significantly lower here than in Singapore or San Francisco as the salary range is from US$400 to US$4,000," he said.

    HCMCity seeks congestion solutions for CatLaiPort

    HCMCity is seeking solutions to reduce traffic congestion for CatLaiPort which receives more than half of the country’s waterway and 89% of the southern region’s cargo.

    According to the HCM City Department of Transport, around 17,000 vehicles enter the port daily and the figure can even reach up to 19,000 - 22,000 sometimes, while the capacity of the main street leading to it, Nguyen Thi Dinh, is not sufficient 15,000.

    Last year, the port had to serve 53 million tonnes of cargo compared with a design capacity of just 36 million tonnes per year by 2020.

    The large amount of traffic and unfinished road infrastructure has contributed to the traffic jams in the port area.

    Bui Xuan Cuong, director of the HCM City Department of Transport, said that construction of My Thuy intersection which is scheduled for completion by April this year is expected to ease congestion.

    Cuong added that authorities should crack down on illegal parking lots and traffic violations around the port area.

    He, however, noted that it is more important to reduce the amount of traffic in streets near CatLaiPort by boosting waterway freight.

    But he mentioned waterway difficulties as the construction of several bridges in HCMCity have not yet been completed, while some others such as Rach Doi and Rach Tom in Nha Be District need to be upgraded. According to Cuong, the city has planned to upgrade and rebuild these bridges this year.

    Pham Cong Bang, head of the HCM City Department of Transport’s waterway management board, the cargo through seaports in HCMCity have increased by 5-10% annually since 2010. Among those, CatLaiPort accounts for the majority of the cargo. HCMCity authorities have proposed the establishment of inland container depots for serving the cargo transport by waterway, aiming to ease the pressure for road traffic.

    The construction of Long Binh inland container depot in District 9 is being carried out to receive cargo from Dong Nai and Binh Duong which would then be transported by water to Cat Lai, Hiep Phuoc and Cai Mep ports.

    CMC grew 30% after Q3
       
    CMC Corporation, a leading Vietnamese ICT group, reached a total revenue of more than VND4.17 trillion (US$183 million) in the first nine months of the fiscal year 2017.

    This was a year-on-year increase of 16 per cent and fulfilled 113 per cent of the cumulative projection.

    In particular, the total pre-tax profit of the group reached VND220 billion, up 30 per cent compared to the same period last year, and completed 126 per cent of the cumulative plan.

    The growth rate of CMC Group in the first nine months of the fiscal year was contributed mainly by two core areas, including technology and telecommunications.

    Particularly, the technology sector gained more than VND3.042 trillion of turnover, up 17 per cent over the same period, and reached VND83 billion pre-tax profit, up 14 per cent against the same period.

    Telecommunications reached over VND1.06 trillion of revenue and VND128 billion of pre-tax profit, up 13 per cent and 41 per cent over the same period, respectively.

    In addition, in the third quarter, the long-term strategic investment activities of CMC also showed positive signals.

    In the field of system integration, CMC promoted the development of Cloud and Security. The launch of the first Operations Centre Security (SOC) integrating artificial intelligence and automation technology in Viet Nam demonstrates a consistent investment and the group’s readiness to apply and develop the latest technology in the digital era.

    As regards to software and information technology services, CMC has implemented the "Go Global" strategy to expand into the international market (CMC Global, CMC Japan), meanwhile building a software development centre in HCM City.

    The telecommunications sector also showed strong growth by launching the Cross Viet Nam Cable System (CVCS), which is the only system in Viet Nam directly connecting the Southeast Asia grid. With a total length of more than 2,500km, the cable system passes through 19 provinces and cities in the country from the northern LangSonProvince to the southern TayNinhProvince. The system has a total investment of VND500 billion.

    Also in the third quarter, CMC opened the third data centre in Ha Noi applying Payment Card Industry DataSecurity Standard (PCI DSS) security standards. The fourth data centre in HCMCity is scheduled for February 2018.

    CMC Group is expected to reach a total revenue of VND5.4 trillion in the fiscal year 2017, up 13 per cent over the same period, and fulfilling 111 per cent of the year’s plan. The pre-tax profit is expected to hit VND280 billion, a year-on-year increase of 31 per cent, and fulfill 117 per cent of the plan.

    Digiworld unveils 2018 business plans
       
    Digiworld Corporation (DWG) has said that mobile phones and office supplies will be its main sources of revenues this year.

    Mobile phone sales would jump by nearly 60 per cent to VNĐ1.2 trillion (US$52.6 million), and office supplies sales by 33 per cent to VND1 trillion ($44 million), it said.

    Doan Hong Viet, the company’s CEO, said this year his company would continue to restructure its mobile phone business, ceasing distribution of products with low value addition.

    The main brands Digiworld would focus on are Sharp and Xiaomi, he said.

    It plans to open more Mi stores in big cities and provinces to sell all Xiaomi products, and while the Chinese company’s phones are not expensive they is very popular, he said.

    Office supplies sales are steady thanks to the Internet of Things as well as increasing investment in information technology by companies.

    For 2018 Digiworld’s overall sales target is VND4.7 trillion ($206 million), a 23 per cent increase. It expects profits to rise 29 per cent to VND101 billion ($4.4 million).

    Can Tho seeks industrial park investors
       
    The Mekong Delta City of Can Tho’s Trade and Investment Promotion Centre plans to promote investment in the Viet Nam – Japan Industrial Park this year, according to Nguyen Khanh Tung, director of the Can Tho’s Trade and Investment Promotion Centre.

    Agencies in Can Tho City will focus on four major projects: a logistics centre; Viet Nam– Japan Industrial Park; an information centre; and Can Tho Convention Centre, Tung said at an annual conference of the Can Tho’s Trade and Investment Promotion Centre on Tuesday.

    Construction of the Viet NamJapanIndustrial Park project is scheduled to begin in April, he said.

    A series of events to promote business and investments from Japanese companies will be held in Can Tho in 2018.

    Can Tho will also organise a meeting with Japanese investors in Ha Noi and cultural and commercial promotion events in Can Tho later this year, Trung said.

    This year, Can Tho will promote trade and investments from other countries including South Korea.

    The efforts will include a campaign to attract investments from Korean companies in Can Tho’s Korea– Viet Nam Incubator Park (KVIP), according to Can Tho’s Trade and Investment Promotion Centre.

    The city will also seek investors in the hi-tech agricultural industry.

    The city this year will also host other events at the national level, including the 12th traditional southern cake festival (with 200 kiosks); the high-quality Vietnamese goods fair (with 400 kiosks); a VietBuild Can Tho for construction – building materials, properties and inner decoration (with 450 booths); and the Viet Nam international agricultural expo (with 350 kiosks).

    Nguyen Kim Ngoc, head of the Trade Promotion Division at the promotion centre, said last year the centre collaborated with other agencies to promote trade and investment in major markets such as Japan and the Republic of Korea.

    The promotion campaigns helped Can Tho attain sales turnover of over US$1.76 billion, 5.9 per cent higher than targets set for 2017, and an increase of 13.9 per cent compared with 2016.

    In 2017, the promotion centre also hosted 10 events and fairs, with 3,000 kiosks displaying goods and products from international and local companies, attaining total sales turnover of VND700 billion.

    Around 2,000 agreements and contracts were signed during these events, according to figures released by the Can Tho’s Trade and Investment Promotion Centre.

    Quang Ninh announces department-level competitiveness index

    The People’s Committee of the north-eastern province of Quang Ninh announced the Department and District Competitiveness Index (DDCI) 2017 at a conference in Ha Long city on January 24.

    The committee also revealed initial research outcomes of a programme on the pilot implementation of the social network analysis (SNA).

    The DCCI scores and rankings were conducted based on the survey of 1,500 businesses, including companies, cooperatives, and business households, focusing on such criteria as transparency and dynamism of the governance system, equal competitiveness, legal institutions, and heads’ responsibilities.

    Five top localities include Cam Pha city, Quang Yen town, Mong Cai, Uong Bi and Ha Long cities.

    Meanwhile, five leading departments in the DCCI rankings 2017 were the Department of Customs, the Department of Planning and Investment, and the Department of Taxation, the Department of Education and Training, and the management board of economic zones.

    Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee Nguyen Duc Long reiterated the local motto of serving businesses and people and considering the private economy an important momentum in economic development.

    He urged all departments and localities to push ahead with administrative reform to increase transparency and create a healthy investment environment.

    Quang Ninh leaped to the third position in 2015 and the second place in 2016 from the fifth place in 2014 in the rankings of provincial competitiveness index (PCI).

    Ho Chi Minh City Customs holds dialogue with US firms

    The Customs Department of Ho Chi Minh City and the American Chamber of Commerce in Vietnam (Amcham) held a dialogue with the US business community in Ho Chi Minh City on January 24, focusing on export-import procedures.

    Regarding post-clearance inspection, deputy chief of the department’s Management Inspection Office Nguyen Thanh Long said only firms with suspected activities and faulted goods declaration are subject to inspection, similarly to the situation in developed countries.

    In addition, other agencies than the customs office will also conduct inspections after customs clearance, such as checking on food safety and hygiene.

    Long suggested firms strictly abide by legal regulations on manufacturing and trade as well as export-import in order to face less inspection.

    A representative from Tan My group, which imports stainless steel to produce goods for export, said while the import of stainless steel is exempt from tax, the examination and analysis procedures take as long as 6 months, thus affecting the group’s production and prestige.

    Nguyen Quoc Toan from the department’s Export-Import Tax Office said stainless steel is subject to special examination due to its connection to anti-dumping tax, adding that the company’s suggestions will be submitted to the General Department of Vietnam Customs to make proper adjustments.

    Amcham Vice President Mark G.Gillin said the Ho Chi Minh City customs agency is the most active agency in the city in terms of administrative reform to improve business climate and promote trade with foreign countries, including the US.

    He wished that the department would update the US firms about customs regulations to facilitate bilateral trade.

    Deputy Director of the department Dinh Ngoc Thang, for his part, pledged to cut unnecessary administrative procedures as part of support for businesses, including those from the US.

    He suggested the US firms actively join connectivity events and dialogues hosted by customs agencies to fully and promptly grasp the latest regulations as well as propose measures to modernise Vietnam’s customs activities and boost Vietnam-US trade in the near future.

    VNN


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  • 01/30/18--00:24: Article 7
  • BUSINESS IN BRIEF 30/1


    Vietnam currency seen stable this year 

     Vietnam currency seen stable this year, HSBC strikes settlement deal with Payoo, Competitiveness of Hanoi SMEs poor, Zurich Airport keen on investing in Long Thanh

    Strong remittance inflows, rising foreign exchange reserves and anti-dollarization efforts will help stabilize the exchange rate between the U.S. dollar and the Vietnam dong this year, according to news website An Ninh Tien Te.

    In a report on the economic outlook in 2018, the National Financial Supervisory Commission (NFSC) said the weak U.S. dollar made the dollar-dong exchange rate relatively stable last year. In late 2017, the USD Index dropped by 9.1% compared to early 2017 although the U.S. Federal Reserve (Fed) had hiked interest rates several times.

    Besides, the interest rate differential between Vietnam dong and U.S. dollar was kept at a high level of 6-7% and foreign currency mobilization increased by only 4% compared to end-2016.

    According to NFSC, a large amount of foreign currency was sold or changed into Vietnam dong. Large trade surplus, rising foreign direct investment, consumer optimism and macroeconomic stability also helped the State Bank of Vietnam (SBV) boost foreign exchange reserves to a record high of 54.5 billion.

    Financial expert Huynh Trung Minh said despite the Fed’s rate hikes, the weak U.S. dollar has played an important role in stabilizing the foreign currency market in Vietnam.

    Bui Quang Tin, an expert in banking and finance, was quoted by the news website as saying that the Fed’s rate hikes last year were foreseen because the world’s largest economy expanded an impressive 2.2% the same year and unemployment dropped to 4.1%, the lowest in 10 years. Therefore, the Fed’s upcoming rate hikes, if any, would have little impact on the Vietnam dong.

    Data of the World Bank shows remittances to Vietnam increased about 16% in 2017 to an estimated US$13.8 billion, the highest in five years.

    SBV has restricted foreign currency loans and kept the foreign currency deposit interest rate at 0%. If the Fed raises interest rates this year, the U.S. dollar would strengthen. The dollar-dong exchange rate would increase slightly by 1.5-2%, giving Vietnamese companies an export advantage.

    According to Vietcombank Securities Company (VCBS), the nation’s higher foreign exchange reserves will enable SBV to stabilize the foreign exchange market and keep interest rates low. VCBS forecast the Vietnam dong value compared to the U.S. dollar will drop by no more than 2% this year.

    Standard Chartered has forecast the exchange rate between the dollar and the dong would be VND22,650 per dollar in the second quarter and VND22,600 at the end of 2018.

    HSBC strikes settlement deal with Payoo

    HSBC Vietnam has made settling credit card payments more convenient than ever, thanks to a new cooperative arrangement with the VietUnion Online Services Corporation.

    Customers can easily and quickly pay off their HSBC credit card balance using VietUnion’s payment solution, Payoo, which is available at certain convenience stores and retail outlets nationwide.

    From January 15, HSBC credit card holders need only follow a few simple steps at any retail outlet offering Payoo: swipe their card, check the payment details when printed out, then settle up by paying cash.

    The simple service is now available at Circle K, Ministop, Aeonmall, GS25, Household Pico, Household HC, Mediamart, and Hoang Ha Mobile outlets. The network is to grow to 5,000 by March, with more retail chains joining and providing greater choice.

    This represents another out-of-branch channel for HSBC’s customers to settle credit card payments, along with internet banking and ATMs, and is in line with the bank’s strategy of continually offering customers more simplicity, flexibility, and security when using HSBC credit cards.

    It’s also important as a cooperative arrangement between an international bank in Vietnam and one of the country’s most innovative financial technology (fintech) companies to meet the rapidly changing needs of customers for convenient and modern financial services.

    Mr. Sabbir Ahmed, Head of Retail Banking and Wealth Management at HBSC Vietnam, said that customers expect to have a modern banking experience and seek easy access to products and services with added value. “With the great benefits we offer with our HSBC credit cards and the swift payment settlement now available via Payoo, we have been able to optimize the customer experience to meet needs,” he said. “As always, the customer experience is at the heart of everything we do. This latest offering is another example of how we constantly seek to adapt and anticipate the needs of our customers in the quickly-evolving technology world.”

    The HSBC Group works closely with dozens of technology companies and research institutions around the world to advance its own digital capabilities.

    In line with the group’s approach, HSBC Vietnam has actively ramped up its digitalization by applying HSBC’s global solutions while exploring solutions developed by local fintech companies.

    Competitiveness of Hanoi SMEs poor

    Most small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Hanoi produce low value-added products with low competitiveness, so it is therefore necessary to develop production strategies to improve competitiveness and sustainable development, Mr. Mac Quoc Anh, Vice Chairman and General Secretary of the Hanoi SMEs Association, told a recent business forum entitled "Improving the Competitive Ability of Hanoi SMEs" held in the capital.

    Most enterprises are still of small scale, marked by low competitiveness and outdated equipment. They also frequently face shortages of capital, human resources, and suitable premises, and have difficulties accessing resources for development.

    Moreover, SMEs in Hanoi have not had specific business strategies and have not identified targeted customers. Increasing their competitiveness has become an urgent matter.

    The Hanoi SMEs Association offered support by organizing the business forum. “They were able to exchange information relating to investment, business, mechanisms, and policies and seek business development opportunities as well as suggestions on effective business models,” he said.

    The forum included activities such as exchanges and experience sharing on the process of investment, production, and business. SMEs could also share their difficulties and problems in the investment process and seek opportunities to access capital.

    SMEs at the forum presented new products as well as modern solutions to resolve their difficulties. The potential, advantages, and challenges of e-commerce during the fourth industrial revolution (Industry 4.0) were also discussed.

    Ms. Pham Thi Ly, Director of the Integration Development Enterprise Center (IDE), made a presentation entitled “Quality and Transparency are the Key to Creating Trust Among Customers”, Mr. Nguyen Dinh Hung, General Director of the EDX Corporation, made one entitled “E-commerce in the Industry 4.0 Era”, and Mr. Nguyen Quang Huy, General Director of the Khai Minh Investment Joint Stock Company, spoke about “ERP Solutions for SMEs”.

    The forum also included activities such as B2B business connections, introducing products and services, and consultations on training, remuneration, marketing and communications, and legislation.

    Ha Tinh to receive safe drinking water from EKOCENTER

    Coca-Cola Vietnam, in cooperation with the Phu Tai Duc Group, has opened an EKOCENTER in north-central Ha Tinh province’s Thach Ha district. The EKOCENTER will be operated by the Phu Tai Duc Social Enterprise to create shared values for the community on the journey to bringing sustainable values and improving the capacity of Vietnamese women.

    Similar to EKOCENTERs in other locations, EKOCENTER Ha Tinh will focus on three main objectives: safe drinking water, women’s economic empowerment, and community facilities, including daily necessities, soft skills and online training, internet services, health, and sports.

    Ha Tinh is among the provinces in Vietnam most affected by natural disasters every year, such as storms and flooding. Its clean water supply has also been affected by saline intrusion and environmental pollution, creating many challenges. The EKOCENTER is equipped with a water purification system with a capacity of 6,000 liters a day to provide safe drinking water to local households, contributing to resolving some of the challenges facing Ha Tinh in clean water access.

    “Witnessing the joy of Vinh An villagers as they receive safe drinking water from EKOCENTER, we feel motivated to continue the mission of supporting the community with sustainable values,” said Mr. Sanket Ray, Managing Director of Coca-Cola Vietnam. “With the cooperation and management of the Phu Tai Duc Group, led by its CEO Ms. Nguyen Anh Nga, a member of the Vietnam Business Council, we believe that EKOCENTER will bring more and more benefits to the people and the community, especially with activities that help improve the economic capacity of local women.”

    The EKOCENTER is powered by green energy from solar roof panels. Its computer lab will provide local children and women with access to information, allowing them to practice their computer skills and participate in online startup training.

    “We are proud to partner with Coca-Cola to run an EKOCENTER in Ha Tinh,” said Ms. Nguyen Anh Nga, General Director of Phu Tai Duc. “The goal and mission of the Phu Tai Duc Social Enterprise is to serve and bring benefits to the community, especially safe drinking water and periodic free community healthcare services, especially for the elderly people in Vinh An. Through our training activities, we hope to contribute to enhancing skills, especially among women, allowing them to improve their lives for a better future.”

    Business activities providing necessities, coffee, and computer labs will be managed and operated by Phu Duc Tai according to the criteria for re-investment. A portion of the proceeds from the businesses will continue to be invested in the center’s facilities, infrastructure, and social programs. Vocational training for baristas and local guides and in cooking, handicrafts, baking, and other fields will contribute to sustainable values in the local community.

    EKOCENTER is a Coca-Cola community initiative that promotes public-private partnerships around the globe. The first EKOCENTER in Vietnam was opened in 2015, and by the end of 2017 there were nine in the country, in Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi, Da Nang, Hue, Ha Long city, and Ben Tre, An Giang, Dong Thap, and Ha Tinh provinces. Four more are expected to be built this year.

    Malaysia's Samchem plans Vietnam listing for subsidiary

    Malaysian chemical distributor Samchem Holdings Bhd has announced it is exploring the possibility of listing its subsidiary, the Samchem Sphere JSC, in which it indirectly owns 63.25 per cent, on the Ho Chi Minh Stock Exchange (HoSE), Vietnam’s main bourse.

    “The proposed listing will enable Samchem to capitalize on the fast-growing Vietnamese economy and the potential growth of the industrial chemical sector in Vietnam,” Samchem Holdings wrote in a filing to BursaMalaysia.

    The listing would provide a platform for Samchem Sphere to obtain listing status and gain direct access to Vietnam’s capital market to raise funds for future expansion and continued growth without having to rely on existing resources, it added.

    The VN-Index increased 48 per cent last year, putting Vietnam among the three best-performing markets globally.

    Samchem said a corporate adviser licensed in Vietnam has been appointed to evaluate and advise on the proposed listing and noted that it is still in the exploratory and preliminary stage. “Any further material development on the proposed listing will be announced in due course,” it said in a statement.

    Incorporated in Vietnam in December 2006, Samchem Sphere is engaged in the distribution of industrial chemical products.

    It has registered capital of VND10 billion ($440,000), with Samchem holding 63.25 per cent through its wholly-owned unit Samchem Sphere Export Sdn Bhd. The remaining stake is held by its directors - Mr. Dennis Ho Chin Chye and Ms. Nguyen Thi Thu Thao - with 35.75 per cent and 1 per cent, respectively.

    In financial year ending December 31, 2016, Samchem Sphere earned pre-tax profit of $2.68 million on revenue of $56.55 million, accounting for 32 per cent of Samchem’s consolidated revenue for the year.

    Strengthening French-Vietnamese co-operation in infrastructure and satellite development

    As Vietnam needs large capital for investment and development, French firms expressed their desire to strengthen bilateral co-operation in aviation, urban railway and satellite development.

    At yesterday’s high-level dialogue between Vietnam and France, the representative of ADP Ingenierie (under Aeroports de Paris Group) informed that the company has just signed a contract with the Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam to review and provide possible master plans for TanSonNhatInternationalAirport, which receives 45-50 million arrivals annually.

    ADP hopes to further co-operate and support the Vietnamese aviation industry to improve capacity and meet the fast-evolving customer demand.

    Vietnam’s current private airplane fleet includes nine Airbus A350, three Airbus A330, and over 60 Airbus A321 and 10 Boeing 787s. “These figures confirm the belief of Vietnamese carriers in France’s Airbus planes and its maintenance services,” said Nguyen The Phuong, Deputy Minister of Planning and Investment (MPI).

    Earlier, Vietnamese carriers bought 40 airplanes worth $6.5 billion from France’s Airbus in September 2016. Of these, Vietjet bought 20, and Vietnam Airlines and JetStar Pacific ten each. Thus, Airbus  expressed its desire to further develop the partnership between Airbus and Vietnamese carriers in the coming time.

    Regarding the development co-operation, France is one of the leading European countries providing official development assistance (ODA) to Vietnam, with around EUR3 billion ($3.7 billion). This ODA focuses on agriculture, basic infrastructure, water supply, health, and finance.

    Particularly, France is co-donor (along with ADB and EIB) of the pilot 12.5-kilometreMetro Line 3 that goes from the central station to western Hanoi, with a 4km underground section. This is the most important project that France has ever funded in Vietnam and carries an ODA of EUR514 million ($634 million), including EUR335 million in preferential loans from the French Treasury and EUR179 million from French Development Agency.

    At the high-level bilateral dialogue, Martin Landais, head of the Asia Division of the French Treasury, said: “Constructing an elevated metro is faster than the underground option, so we should launch the first phase of the project to meet the transport demand of Hanoi soon. We are always ready to provide preferential loans for the project.”

    Related to ODA loans,MPI proposed France to provide EUR200 million ($247 million) of annual ODA loans to projects on infrastructure, agriculture, education, and coping with climate change in Vietnam.

    Based on the success of VNREDSat-1 (Vietnam Natural Resources, Environment and Disaster-monitoring Satellite-1) and its efficiency in socioeconomic development and coping with natural disasters and climate change, France’s Collecte Localisation Satellites Group (CLS) suggests Vietnam to develop VNREDSat-2. France will support Vietnam to prepare infrastructure, technical skills, and finance.

    Earlier, in May 2013, Vietnam's first remote sensing satellite (VNREDSat-1) was successfully launched into orbit. The French government provided the preferential ODA of EUR55.8 million ($68.8 million) to this project.

    As of the end of 2017, there were 506 French-invested valid projects with total registered investment capital of $2.78 billion. France ranks 16th among the 128 nations and territories investing in Vietnam with an average investment capital of $5.5 million per project. Meanwhile, Vietnam has nine investment projects in France with total registered capital of $3.46 million.

    As for co-operation in trade, two-way trade turnover was $4.6 billion in 2017, up 11.6 per cent on-year. Vietnam’s export turnover to France was $3.35 billion, while the import turnover was $1.27 billion.

    The EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement, which is expected to be signed this year, will further strengthen trade and investment co-operation between the two countries in the coming time.

    French drink-makers eye Vietnam

    Wishing to cash in on Vietnam’s skyrocketing demand for drinks, French beverage firms have asked local authorities to ease special consumption tax lines, which they find to be too high and contrary to the country’s commitments of reducing taxes for beverages under the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement.

    Jean Rodesch, vice president of Government Affairs and Corporate Social Responsibility at France’s Pernod Ricard—the world’s leading producer of high-grade spirits—recently came to Vietnam to seek opportunities to export products to the country. Vietnam consumes nearly four billion litres of beer and millions of litres of wine and spirits each year.

    “We are preparing to engage more in Vietnam, where the demand for spirits and wine is growing strongly. The EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) will enable us to do better business in Vietnam,” he said.

    Pernod Ricard currently operates more than 85 branches and 100 production workshops around the world. Its revenue in 2015 totaled at over €8.5 billion ($9.02 billion).

    However, at yesterday’s Vietnam-France high-level economic dialogue in Hanoi, French Minister of State Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne said that French beverage firms like Pernod Ricard will find it difficult to penetrate Vietnam, even though the country has committed to reducing import tariffs for EU drinks under the EVFTA.

    Under the EVFTA, which is expected to be ratified in 2018, Vietnamese tariffs for wines and spirits will be removed seven years after the deal’s entry into force. The tariff for European beer will follow after 10 years.

    “Since the conclusion of the EVFTA, Vietnam has reformed its special consumption tax (SCT) in a way that nullifies the EU’s legitimate expectations of improved market access opportunities for European wines and spirits,” Lemoyne said. “Drink exporters will not be able to boost their exports to Vietnam.”

    Nguyen Thuy Linh, a representative from the Ministry of Finance, told Lemoyne that under Vietnam’s law amending a number of articles of the Law on Special Consumption Tax No.70/2014/QH13, which took effect on January 1, 2016, all wine and spirits products in Vietnam are subject to high SCT levels because they are special items that can affect human health.

    Vietnam has increased SCT for alcoholic beverages by 5 per cent annually from 2016 to 2018. Taken together, the new regulations will make imported alcoholic beverages much more expensive.

    Specifically, SCT for alcoholic beverages containing 20 per cent alcohol by volume or more (mainly spirits) was raised to 55 per cent from January 1, 2016, to 60 per cent from January 1, 2017, and to 65 per cent from January 1, 2018.

    These tax increases have also been applied to beer. SCT for alcoholic beverages containing less than 20 per cent alcohol by volume has been raised to 30 per cent from January 1, 2016 and to 35 per cent from January 1, 2018.

    “We highly recommend that Vietnam create favourable conditions for French wine and spirits products in the Vietnamese market,” Lemoyne said.

    According to the Delegation of the European Union to Vietnam, Vietnam has committed itself to ensuring that the conditions for the distribution and sale of spirits will not become more restrictive than at present and that it will abide by certain principles while issuing licences for wines.

    Also under the EVFTA, many EU geographical indications will be protected in Vietnam automatically upon the deal enters into force.

    CSR brings success to investors

    Foreign investors in Vietnam are urged to pay more attention to corporate social responsibility (CSR) to achieve business success by reducing operational costs with improved employee engagement.

    Kenan Institute Asia, a non-profit organisation, today held a workshop in the northern province of Bac Ninh to introduce a project on raising businesses’ awareness of international labour standards. The project will be carried out between 2017-2019 in industrial zone (IPs) in Bac Ninh.

    The workshop attracted around 30 foreign investors from VSIP, Dai Dong, and Tien Son IPs. They included Cedo Vietnam, Canon Vietnam, and Suntory PepsiCo Vietnam.

    Addressing the event, Mau Quang Thang, deputy head of the Bac Ninh Industrial Park Management Board, said that the province attracts 285,000 labourers, with the majority being female employees. However, housing for labourers in local IPs and kindergartens for their children have yet to satisfy the demand.

    “Although we required investors to pay due attention to the issues, they remain a big problem. Moreover, the trade unions’ role in protecting labourers’ interests remain vague. In 2017, we saw five labour strikes over salary, social insurance, and extra hours,” Thang admitted.

    Highlighting the importance of CSR in business operations, John DaSilva, director of Kenan’s Corporate Engagement, said that understanding the role engaged employees can play a role in supporting business objectives and reducing costs.

    “If you want to have a successful and sustainable company, you need to have good CSR practices,” he noted.

    According to a 2014 Nielsen survey, 67 per cent of respondents think it is either essential or expressed a strong preference for working for socially-responsible companies.

    People who feel they work within a strong CSR culture rate their organisations far more favourably in a number of important areas than do people who feel they work in a relatively weak CSR culture.

    Kenan decided to pilot the project in Bac Ninh before multiplying it in other provinces because Bac Ninh has appeared on the radars of international investors. At present, Bac Ninh is home to 16 operating IPs.

    According to the Ministry of Planning and Investment, Bac Ninh ranked second among Vietnamese localities in terms of registered foreign direct investment (FDI) attraction in 2017, with $3.4 billion. The positive number was largely thanks to Samsung Display Vietnam expanding its investment in its local project by $2.5 billion.

    Although Bac Ninh is a small province, its economic value has increased significantly over time. The province ranks second among Vietnamese cities and provinces in terms of import-export turnover and FDI attraction.

    Launching Asia-Pacific Stevie Awards towards innovation and creation

    In the age of Industry 4.0, economic integration, and innovation, creativity is essential for all firms to improve the quality of products and services and promote their brands on the regional and international markets.

    Stevie Awards is the most prestigious annual accolade for innovation and creativity in the international business community. 

    Since its establishment in 2002, Stevie Awards has awarded the best performing enterprises and individuals from over 60 countries. To date, thousands of experts from various fields of business have been sitting on the judging panel of the award.

    Speaking at the launching ceremony of Asia-Pacific Stevie Awards, Michael Gallagher, founder and president of Stevie Awards, said "It is the first time that I have come to Vietnam as well as the first time that Stevie Awards has been launched in Vietnam. By honouring individuals and enterprises of excellence, the awards will encourage individuals and enterprises alike to continue innovating and creating, stepping up competition on the domestic and the regional Asia-Pacific scenes alike."

    Asia-Pacific Stevie Awards, which was first organised in 2014, is part of Stevie Awards. It is open to all organisations and individuals from the 22 countries of the Asia-Pacific region. Up till now, numerous Vietnamese enterprises were granted the award, including Viettel, Doosan Vina, and DHL. In 2017, over 600 candidates applied for the award. 

    Highly appreciating the first Stevie Awards in Vietnam, Former Deputy Minister of Planning and Investment Dang Huy Dong said "In Vietnam, there are numerous awards to honour Vietnamese enterprises. These awards are organised by Vietnamese authorities to evaluate Vietnamese enterprises based on Vietnamese standards, thus, the evaluation results are not absolutely objective. 

    However, Stevie Awards is the international scene, thus, Vietnamese enterprises will be evaluated according to a more objective, international-standard framework. This is a precious opportunity for Vietnamese enterprises to compete with the international business community."

    Asia-Pacific Stevie Awards is an opportunity for businesses to nominate their excellent officers and promote work ethics, innovation, and creation to approach Industry 4.0. This is not only an opportunity for small businesses to break open a foreign market, but also for large ones to promote their brands and prestige.

    "The award will push the winning individuals and enterprises to put even more effort into their work to not only stay worthy of the title, but perhaps take another title home next year. These awards also honour and promotes good personal values," emphasised Hoang Ngoc Bich, CEO of Global Leaders, the authorised representative of Crestcom International in Vietnam.

    The fifth Asia-Pacific Stevie Awards has been launched to find potential candidates for the judging panel and nominees for the awards. The organising board is expected to set up the awards ceremony in Vietnam in either June 2019 or 2020.

    Zurich Airport keen on investing in Long Thanh

    Switzerland’s ZurichAirport is interested in cooperating with Vietnam in carrying out airport projects, including the colossal LongThanhInternationalAirport adjacent to Ho Chi Minh City, a company executive has told Deputy Prime Minister Vuong Dinh Hue.

     ZurichAirport has made preliminary explorations of the Long Thanh project, CFO Mr. Lukas Brosi told Deputy Prime Minister Hue at the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos.

    The Swiss airport operator is also keen on the public-private partnership (PPP) legal framework being refined by the government as well as the transfer of expertise in airport management, Mr. Brosi added.

    The Deputy Prime Minister welcomed ZurichAirport’s interest and encouraged it to invest in proposed airports and acquire a stake in Airports Corporation of Vietnam (ACV), which operates 22 airports around the country. The government plans to cut its holding in ACV to as little as 65 per cent by end-2020, from 95.4 per cent currently.

    The government is preparing the site of LongThanhInternationalAirport, which will cost over $16 billion, for construction, with it replacing the overloaded TanSonNhatInternationalAirport as Ho Chi Minh City’s main aviation hub. A range of foreign investors from North America, Europe, and Asia have expressed interest in taking part in the project.

    Vietnam is building ambitious key national projects to pave the way for future growth and to alleviate growing bottlenecks. As rising incomes result in fewer international aid dollars and the clout of State-owned enterprises (SOEs) wanes, Vietnamese authorities are turning to the PPP model for infrastructure development.

    Though the legal framework for PPPs has been in place for eleven years, however, results have been limited. Inadequate support for the financial viability of projects, weak financing, and risk allocation between the government and the private sector have been problematic. 

    ACV has been assigned by the government to study investment proposals for the Long Thanh project, but if outsiders are involved, questions are being asked whether ACV will remain the operator of the airports or will simply receive a percentage of revenues, with the balance going to external investors.

    Petro Mien Trung listed on HOSE     

    The Petro Center Corporation (Petro Mien Trung), was listed for the first time on Thursday, on the HCM City Stock Exchange (HOSE).

    Under the stock code of PMG, the company put up 33 million shares on offer, at a reference price of VND14,000 (US$0.62) per share, and finished trading by the end of the first session at VND16,800 ($0.75) per share.

    The company currently set the level of foreign investor’s ownership at 49 per cent, operating margin of 16 per cent and a market capitalisation of $24.7 million.

    Petro Mien Trung hopes to achieve a payout ratio of 10 per cent in 2018, while keeping post tax income at $1.82 billion.

    As a member company of the Vietnam Oil and Gas Group, Petro Mien Trung started with an initial charter capital of VND10 billion ($446,000), which it has since increased to VND330 billion ($14.7 million) as of the end of 2017.

    According to its 2017’s financial report, the company’s post-tax profit was VND38.29 billion ($1.7 million) with total owner’s equity of $21.9 billion, having increased its assets by 32.66 per cent in the first three quarters of 2017.

    Tran Thi Quyen Linh, HOSE representative, said that via this listing, the company will gain better access to public investment and favourable conditions in attracting investment funds.

    Linh said that the HOSE expected Petro Mien Trung to comply with national law in the field of finance and securities, meeting strict regulations implementation of information disclosure and transparency in financial situation, investment and business activities to its investors, the authorities and the general public.

    Nguyen Tien Lang, Petro Mien Trung’s chairman, said that the company aims to gain more market share for its own brands of PM Gas, Picnic Gas, and Vgas across the country.

    The company’s main business is gas cylinder production, with 98 per cent of annual revenue concentrated on the sales of around 1.4 million gas-related industrial and household products.

    At the moment, the company focuses on its business activities that include liquid petroleum gas production and storage, in the central and southern Vietnamese markets.

    In recent times, increasing supply and demand has brought the company a larger share of the market and positive business results. 

    2017 Outstanding Property awards given away     

    Chairman of Vingroup, Pham Nhat Vuong, has won the Property Business Person of the Year award at the Outstanding Property Awards given away by Nhịp Cau Dau Tu (InvestmentBridge) magazine.

    Vingroup also won in the Outstanding Developer category for Office Building Retail along with AEON Viet Nam Ltd.

    Sun Group won in the Outstanding Developer category for Resort and Hotel along with Tanzanite International, and in the Best Feng Shui category with its Sun Grand City Ancora Residence.

    Trung Nam Construction and Investment JSC won for Best Public Infrastructure and DKRA Viet Nam for Outstanding Distributor.

    Siam City Cement Viet Nam, Coteccons Construction JSC and Hoà Bình Construction Group shared the award for Best Construction Materials Provider and Construction Enterprises.

    Thuan Viet, Phu Long, An Gia, Hung Thinh, and Khang Dien shared the award for Outstanding Developer in the Luxury and Mid-level Apartments category.

    Pho Dong, Tien Phuoc, Nam Long, and Phuc Khang shared the award for Outstanding Designer.

    The winners were chosen by a jury of experts.

    Last year the property market grew by over 4 per cent and contributed 0.21 per cent to GDP growth.

    It attracted over US$3 billion in FDI, or 8.5 per cent of the total amount.

    This year is again expected to be good, with apartments expected to see prices rise by an average of 3 per cent. 

    Laos seeks VN investment     

    Laos is seeking investment from Viet Nam in the Savan Seno Special Economic Zone (SEZ) in SavannakhetProvince, a representative of the SEZ said during a seminar in HCMCity on Thurday.

    The seminar on “Investment Promotion in Savan Seno SEZ” was organised by the Laos consulate and HCMCity’s Investment and Trade Promotion Centre (ITPC) in HCMCity.

    The event provided potential investors with essential information on the SEZ and preferential policies.

    The Savan Seno SEZ, covering 1,000ha of land, is the first SEZ in Laos.

    One of the key business sectors at the SEZ is Export Oriented Processing, which includes agricultural and food processing; copper and wood based production; auto, motorcycle assembling and maintenance; and textiles, garments, shoes and bag production.

    A representative of the SEZ said that Laos is politically and economically stable, has a strategic geographical location, and is rich natural resources.

    It also has generous tax incentives, a stable and low-cost electricity supply, and special privileges for exports.

    A One Stop Service Centre would be another highlight at the Savan Seno SEZ.

    Investors will be able to receive investment licenses, complete enterprise registration, and legally operate their companies within five working days.

    The SEZ will also help with labour recruitment.

    About 97 companies, mostly from Laos, Japan, France and Malaysia, have invested in Savan Seno SEZ.

    The seminar was part of Laos Goods Week, which is being held between January 24- 28 in HCM City. 

    TH Group begins construction of juice factory in Son La

    The TH Group began construction of its fruit and fruit juice processing factory in Van Ho district in the northern mountainous province of Son La on January 25. 

    Capitalised at 1.2 trillion VND (53 million USD), the factory will be developed in two phases. 

    The first, worth 300 billion VND, will process fruits such as orange, longan, mango and passion fruits with an annual capacity of 30,000 tonnes of products to be sold to other fruit juice producers. 

    Meanwhile, the second, valued at 900 billion VND, will provide several kinds of canned fruit juices. 

    In her speech at the groundbreaking ceremony, Vice Chairwoman of the National Assembly Tong Thi Phong suggested the TH Group accelerate the construction of the factory. 

    She also called on local authorities to create the most favourable conditions for the group to put its project into operation soon, helping create more jobs and boosting incomes for farmers in the locality. 

    Currently, Son La province has 42,600h of fruits and is striving to increase the figure to 100,000 ha by 2020.

    Pepper industry to focus on quality

    The pepper industry plans to reduce the area under the spice and focus instead on improving quality to ensure long-term growth, a seminar heard in HCMCity on Thursday.

    Le Van Duc, deputy head of the Crop Production Department, said the pepper cultivation area had increased sharply since 2010 to 152,668ha last year, exceeding the Government’s zoning plans by more than 100,000ha.

    High pepper prices in recent years have incentivised farmers into expanding -- even to unsuitable lands and without any planning -- while the overuse of fertilisers has caused plants to degenerate quickly and be more vulnerable to disease, he said.

    According to research by international organisations, global pepper supply has surpassed demand since supply went up by 5.5 per cent annually in 2012-17, while demand rose by only 2.4 per cent.

    The situation is forecast to continue until 2020, and so pepper prices are unlikely to increase any time soon, he said.

    Viet Nam is the world’s largest pepper producer and exporter.

    In the domestic market, prices have gone down to around VND60,000 per kilogramme, about a third of the price a year ago, causing difficulties for farmers, he said.

    The sector should gradually reduce the area under the crop to around 110,000ha in 2025 and 100,000ha in 2030, he said.

    Nguyen Nam Hai, chairman of the Viet Nam Pepper Association, agreed with Duc, saying relevant agencies should “advise farmers not to expand the area under pepper from this year.”

    Localities also need to persuade farmers growing pepper without proper planning to “switch to other crops,” he said.

    With import markets like the US and EU setting the bar higher for food safety, the VPA and delegates at the meeting called on farmers, processors and distributors to focus more on safety and hygiene.

    They also called for speeding up the process of sustainable production to improve quality and protect the environment.

    Delegates suggested that the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development should quickly review the list of pesticides and ban the use of chemicals that foreign markets have banned.

    Besides, exporters should develop close links with farmers to better control quality, they said.

    Viet Nam exported 215 tonnes of pepper last year worth US$1.19 billion, a 20 per cent increase in volume but a 22 per cent decline in value, Hai said.

    They went to more than 100 countries and territories, with Asia, Europe and the US being the biggest markets.

    According to international research organisations, global demand is expected to reach 570,000 -591,000 tonnes by 2025 compared to the current 510,000 tonnes.

    Viet Nam would still be the world’s largest exporter, so it is necessary to soon establish a trading floor for pepper to increase transparency and hedge price risks for farmers, Hai said.

    Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Nguyen Xuan Cuong said the rapid development of the pepper sector has exposed shortcomings and “[it] needs to be restructured.”

    He agreed not to increase the area under cultivation and urged localities to enhance communication with farmers so that they can switch to other crops where required and do not to expand cultivation of the spice. 

    Nghệ An industrial park attracts $38m     

    The Viet Nam - Singapore Industrial Park (VSIP) in Nghe An has attracted 12 investors with total committed investment of VND860 billion (US$38 million) since construction began in 2016.

    Seven investors have received land for their projects and work is expected to begin soon. Another two plants will start operations at the end of the first quarter.

    In the first stage, the park, 7km west of the provincial capital of VinhCity is being developed over 83ha. It will become an eco-site favourable for investors and include an integrated township, industrial park, shopping and food centre and shops and houses.

    Designers from Singapore and Malaysia plan to also build a 2.6ha entertainment park with an outdoor stage and gym centre.

    The park also offers investors a ready- built factory to start operations quickly and cheaply. It will have its own technical infrastructure and services.

    In 2015, VSIP Nghe An was granted exclusive rights by the provincial People’s Committee to develop 750ha and an investment licence for phase one of the project with $15.2 million in funding. The land includes 198ha of industrial land and 81ha of commercial and residential land.

    The park, the seventh VSIP project in Viẹt Nam, aims to attract garment manufacturers, agro businesses and fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG).

    Other parks are located in Binh Duong (two), Quang Ngai, Bac Ninh and Hai Phong, in addition to Hai Duong.

    To date, VSIP projects in Viet Nam have drawn 750 investors from 30 countries and territories with total investment of $10 billion, creating 200,000 jobs for local and foreign workers. 

    Laos calls for investments in Savan Seno special economic zone

    A workshop was held in Ho Chi Minh City on January 25 to call on Vietnamese businesses to invest in the Savan Seno Special Economic Zone in the Lao province of Savannakhet.

    Cao Thi Phi Van, Deputy Director of the Investment & Trade Promotion Centre (ITPC) of Ho Chi Minh City, said Vietnam is now one of the biggest foreign investors in Laos

    Enterprises from the southern economic hub of HCMCity have actively invested in the field of agriculture and forestry, she said, adding that in 2017 alone, 36 businesses from the city poured over 40 million USD into projects in Laos

    The workshop creates a chance for investors in Vietnam and HCMCity in particularly to explore investment opportunities in the Lao special economic zone, thus further promoting trade and investment cooperation between the two countries.

    Thongsay Sayavongkhamdy, Director of the management board of the Savan Seno Special Economic Zone, said Savan Seno is the first special economic zone of Laos. It was established in 2003 in Savannakhet province which is considered a centre of trade, investment and services in the central region of Laos.

    The economic zone is located on Highway 9 connecting Vietnam, Laos and Thailand on the East-West Economic Corridor, linking with China in the north and Cambodia in the south through Highway 13, he said.

    Thanks to favourable transport conditions, Savan Seno is one of the most attractive destinations for foreign investment in Laos, he added.

    Covering nearly 1,000 hectares, the economic zone is calling for investments in the fields of production, services and trade, food and farm produce processing, bronze and timber products, automobile and motorbike assembling, garment-textile, footwear and handbag.

    Regarding services, investors are encouraged to pour capital in banking, insurance and finance; logistics and distribution; international schools and hospitals; amusement parks, workshops and training; hotels, spa, restaurants and tourism centres.

    The management board also appeals for investment in tax-free areas, wholesale and re-export centres, as well as trade and exhibition centres.

    Businesses investing in the economic zone will enjoy tariff preferences such as incorporate tax exemption for 2-10 years and customs clearance for all imported materials for production to export.

    Investors could lease land with a maximum duration of 75 years and enjoy exemption of land rental in 12 years.

    Another advantage of the economic zone is the implementation of the one-stop-shop mechanism for all procedures related to operation licences, tax registration, import-export licences, certificates of origin, and construction licenses. 

    Additionally, the management board will support investors in labour recruitment and licenses, visa application, and registration of temporary residence, electricity and water usage.

    VNN


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  • 01/30/18--00:29: Article 6
  • Social News 29/1


    Exhibition praises victory of 1968 Tet Offensive

    Commando Ba Mu (whose real name is Do Van Can) disguised himself as a rubber latex collector to fool the enemy. He used a tricycle to transport weapons to serve the South Vietnam liberation forces during the 1968 Tet Offensive.

    The tricycle is on display at exhibition that has opened in Hanoi.

    Entitled The Epic of the 1968 Tet Offensive, the exhibition celebrates the 50th anniversary of the victory of the campaign.

    The exhibition displays more than 300 images, documents and objects. Ba Mu’s tricycle is one among many objects showcased to the public for the first time.

    The exhibition is divided into three parts: devotion for the battlefield, the historical turning point and echoes of the epic. They depict the determination of Vietnamese people and soldiers in fighting for peace and liberation.

    “The Military History Museum of Vietnam organised the exhibition with the aim of asserting the historical magnitude and significance of the general offensive and uprising in 1968,” said Nguyen Xuan Nang, director of the museum.

    “During nearly two months of attack and insurrection, the Tet Offensive 1968 marked a strategic turning point for the resistance war against the US and its allies. It caused the US a ‘sudden shock’, disrupting their strategic plan, shaking the White House, the Pentagon and all of the US and forced President Johnson to deescalate the war and agree to sign the historic Paris Peace Accord. The victory also helped lead to the liberation of southern Vietnam and the unity of the country in 1975.”

    “The 1968 Tet Offensive affirmed the outstanding, visionary leadership of the Party and President Ho Chi Minh,” said Nang.

    “It promoted patriotism, national pride and the will to overcome all difficulties to fulfill the task of building and protecting the country.”

    The exhibition will run until the end of February at the Military History Museum of Vietnam, 28A
    Dien Bien Phu Street, Hanoi
    .

    Vietnam’s U23 squad foster national camaraderie: Nikkei Asian Review

    Mass celebrations for U23 Vietnam's success. 

    The Vietnam national football team’s appearance in the finals of the Asian Football Confederation U23 championship triggered a sense of national camaraderie, according to Nikkei Asian Review.

    The Japanese media gave the comment right after the mass celebrations across the country to welcome the excellent home, despite a close defeat on January 27.

    The finals were held on a ground covered with snow in China’s Changzhou city. Vietnamese hearts were “broken” in the final minutes of overtime when Uzbekistan scored the game winner from a corner kick. Hundreds of fans watching a huge screen in front of Hanoi Opera House were seen grabbing their head in their hands and letting out painful groans, it wrote.

    Although the team lost 2-1 to the central Asian nation, football fans have taken great pride in the young football players.

    Vietnamese fans joined in the celebrations coloured in red until 3 a.m.

    Winning the runner-up title, Vietnamese football rose to 77th place from 112th in the FIFA rankings, Nikkei noted.

    Football is Vietnam’s biggest sport. The response was similarly riotous when the national team won the ASEAN Football Federation’s Suzuki Cup in 2008.

    Other prestigious newspaper, press agencies and social network forum in Japan like Mainichi, Yomiuri, Kyodo and Jiji also gave comments on Vietnam’s extraordinary achievements in the tournament.

    11 billion VND to help poor farmers enjoy Tet


     Exhibition praises victory of 1968 Tet Offensive, Police start investigation into death of taxi passenger, Four killed, injured in quarry explosion in Đắk Nông, VNĐ2 billion sugarcane area destroyed in Đắk Lắk

     The “Tet lam dieu hay” (Good things for Tet) programme in Ho Chi Minh City has raised more than 11 billion VND (482,900 USD) to support needy people ahead of the Lunar New Year holiday (Tet).
    The programme, coordinated by HCM City Television and the local Farmers’ Union, took place on January 28. It planned to offer 2,000 Tet gifts, 1,000 saving accounts and 1,500 Luong Dinh Cua scholarships, as well as support the purchase of 300 farming tools and the building of 50 charity houses.

    Speaking at the event, Standing Vice Chairman of the Ho Chi Minh City People’s Committee Le Thanh Liem said supporting disadvantaged residents is a consistent part of municipal policy, with initiatives to reduce development gaps between urban and rural areas and build new-style rural localities.

    In the past 10 years, the programme has mobilised 80 billion VND (3.51 million USD) in total, handed over more than 950 charity houses, and presented Tet gifts to more than 12,300 members of the municipal Farmers’ Union, and 5,300 Luong Dinh Cua scholarships.

    Association vows to foster Vietnam-Cambodia friendship

    The Association of Vietnamese Cambodians will continue promoting ties with Cambodian agencies to get more legal assistance to Vietnamese expatriates.

    Speaking at a ceremony on January 28 to review the association’s work in 2017 and map out plans for 2018, Chairman of the association Chau Van Chi said most Vietnamese Cambodians are living under the poverty line. 

    Over the years, the association has helped many Vietnamese organisations and associations provide free health check-ups and medicine and present gifts to poor Vietnamese and Cambodian people.

    In 2018, the association will promote the role of the Association of Doctors and Association of Women in community activities while rebuilding the Association of Vietnamese Entrepreneurs in Cambodia in order to better carry out its role as a bridge for Vietnam-Cambodia cooperation.

    It will also raise funds for charitable activities and the construction of community facilities, including Vietnamese and Khmer language schools for overseas Vietnamese.

    Vietnamese Ambassador to Cambodia Vu Quang Minh noted the sound ties between Vietnam and Cambodia and affirmed that the embassy will work with the association to protect the rights of Vietnamese expatriates, improve their knowledge about the host’s culture and history and raise their awareness of the preservation of the mother tongue.

    On the occasion, the executive board of the association presented certificates of merit to collectives and individuals in recognition of their contributions to community activities.

    HCMCity ensures clean water supply for residents

    Ho Chi Minh City’s authorities are taking measures to ensure residents’ access to clean water during the dry season and upcoming Tet (Lunar New Year) holiday.

    The State-owned Saigon Water Corporation (SAWACO), the city’s largest tap water supplier, said it would ensure a sufficient supply of clean water for the city’s residents during the period.

    The demand for water during the dry season is expected to be especially high in districts with fast-paced urbanisation, such as districts 9, 12, Binh Tan, Nha Be, Hoc Mon and Binh Chanh.      

    SAWACO has asked water companies in the city to work with the electricity sector to ensure smooth operations during the holiday and dry season.

    The companies and government agencies will ensure water quality, especially at the Hoa Phu pumping station (at Tan Hiep Water Company) and Hoa An pumping station (at Thu Duc Water Company).  

    The companies have been asked to monitor water contamination and saline intrusion, and control water volume at the sources to increase water pressure, especially in areas far from the sources.

    In addition, the supply of water from stored tanks and mobile tanks like tank trucks must be ready at any time to ensure sufficient supply.

    The companies have also been told to work with fire-fighting police to ensure there is sufficient supply of water in case of fire.

    Water supply staff will be available 24/7 during the holiday to resolve any problems of water supply and weak water pressure.       

    All water companies such as Thu Duc, Tan Hiep and Tan Phu must be ready to operate at a designated capacity requested by SAWACO.

    To comply with the policy to limit exploitation of underground water sources, SAWACO has shifted to other sources.

    Most water samples from drilled wells in the city are contaminated, affecting people’s health in the long run, said a city official.

    To cope with climate change, which affects the city’s water resources, SAWACO has adjusted the water supply master plan, incorporating provisions to build more pumping stations as well as lakes and tanks to store treated and untreated water.

    Last year, SAWACO asked the city authority to build five reservoirs in the next eight years to ensure clean water supply for residents.

    The quality of the water supply has worsened due to pollution and effects of climate change, according to SAWACO.

    The five reservoirs, which will be able to store up to 373,000 cu.m of water, will be located in Go Vap and Binh Chanh districts and in the central, southern and western parts of the city.

    By 2025, SAWACO expects the total capacity of the city’s reservoirs and water towers to be upgraded to 1.2 million cubic metres, or about 48 percent of the total water consumed on a daily basis.

    VFF ensures warm Tet for disadvantaged people

    President of the Vietnam Fatherland Front (VFF) Tran Thanh Man has visited and presented Tet gifts to disadvantaged people and policy beneficiaries in the northern mountainous province of Ha Giang.

    In a working session with the provincial leaders the same day, Man highlighted that the Party and Government always pay due attention to taking care of the poor and the policy beneficiaries.

    He asked local authorities to continue its efforts to take care of the ethnic people and poor households with special circumstances and support them to develop socio-economy, alleviate poverty and improve livelihoods.

    On the occasion, he presented 3 billion VND (132,000 USD) from the Central Emergency Response Fund to the provincial leaders. The money will be used to build houses for families affected by natural disasters.

    The following day, VFF Vice President Bui Thi Thanh visited and extended warm Tet greetings to households in the Ta Nen resettlement area in Dong Nghe commune, Da Bac district, Hoa Binh province.

    Sixty four Tet gifts, each worth 1 million VND (44 USD), were given to families in the zone. 

    The Ta Nen resettlement zone houses 64 families whose houses were collapsed in the historic flood in October, 2017.-

    Additional 1.8 billion VND to support mountainous children in Tuyen Quang

    The National Fund for Vietnamese Children (NFVC) recently received 1.8 billion VND (79,200 USD) raised from the Singapore-Vietnam friendship charity run to build facilities at Sinh Long primary school’s establishment in La village, Na Hang district, the northern mountainous province of Tuyen Quang.

    The information was announced by the NFVC on January 28.

    The friendship run is the first event organised by the Singaporean Embassy in Vietnam to kick off an array of activities in 2018 to mark 45th anniversary of the diplomatic ties between the two countries.

    In the past years, both sides have enjoyed sound cooperation in the fields of politics, economy and culture.

    HCMCity’s district achieves target of no poor households

    Ho Chi Minh City’s District 6 is the first in the city to no longer have households under the poverty line, achieving the target three years ahead of schedule.

    According to the city standard, a poor household has an average income below 21 million VND (925 USD) per year per person, and a near-poor household has an average income of 21 million-28 million VND (1,233 USD) per year per person.

    Early last year, District 6 had 660 poor households with 3,541 people, accounting for 1.13 percent of total households in the district, and 2,700 near-poor households.

    Nguyen Thi Thu, deputy chairwoman of the People’s Committee of HCM City, praised the district’s achievements in poverty reduction.

    The district’s fund for poverty reduction provided a loans totalling 35 billion VND (1,541 USD) to more than 1,200 poor and near-poor households last year.

    It awarded 5,200 scholarships worth over 5.1 billion VND (224,591 USD) to students, including more than 3,600 who live in difficult circumstances, and provided vocational training to 116 children living in poor and near-poor households.

    Thu urged the district to continue to support policies for people living under difficult circumstances and ensure that poverty reduction is sustainable.

    Scholarships, gifts given to people in need ahead of Tet

    Scholarships and gifts have been presented to impoverished and ethnic people across the country to bring them a warm Tet (Vietnamese Lunar New Year) holiday.

    The Vietnam Red Cross Society on January 26 allocated 6.57 billion VND (289,000 USD) for its chapters cross the country to aid poor families and Agent Orange/Dioxin victims ahead of Tet holiday.

    The Red Cross Society plans to present at least two millions gift packages to help the disadvantaged households enjoy Tet.

    The Ho Chi Minh Communist Youth Union Central Committee presented scholarships and gifts, including clothes and blankets, to impoverished ethnic students and families in the border districts of Trung Khanh and Ha Lang in northern Cao Bang province in a programme entitled “Spring at border 2018.”

    They also brought a warm spring to border guards at Thi Hoa Border Guard Station with gifts and art performances.

    “Spring at border 2018” continued to take place in Ha Quang district of northern Cao Bang province on January 27.

    Also, the Vietnam Youth Federation’s chapter in Hung Yen province provided free medical examinations for 200 policy beneficiaries in Da Loc commune, An Thi district.

    Twenty gifts, each worth 1 million VND (44 USD), were given to disadvantaged families in the locality.

    Top legislator pays Tet visit to border guards in Ha Giang

    Chairwoman of the National Assembly Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan presented gifts and extended warm Tet greetings to officers and soldiers at the Lung Cu Border Guard Station in the northern mountainous province of Ha Giang on January 27.

    Lauding efforts made by the soldiers, the top legislator said that they have overcome challenges to fulfil assigned political tasks as well as promote people-to-people diplomacy, contributing to building a borderline of peace, friendship and cooperation for mutual development.

    They also have participated in developing local socio-economy and maintaining political security and social order in the border area, she added. 

    Ngan asked the station to further its work to safeguard border security and national sovereignty, while taking care of ethnic minority people, policy beneficiaries and impoverished households to ensure that they will have a warm Tet holiday.

    The same day, she delivered Tet gifts to soldiers of the border guard station at the Thanh Thuy border gate and five border communes in Vi Xuyen district, including Thanh Thuy, Thanh Duc, Lao Chai, Xin Chai and Minh Tan.

    Managing over 32 kilometres of border lines with 50 border markers, soldiers and officers at Thanh Thuy border guard station have successfully fulfilled their missions, Ngan said, adding that as the border area houses many disadvantaged families, the soldiers should join hands with local authorities to give timely support to them.

    In 2017, the border guards forces spent 12.5 billion VND (550,000 USD) on presenting 10,000 gifts and building 35 houses valued at 2.5 billion VND (USD) as well as providing medical check-ups for the needy. This year, the guards plan to offer 20,000 gifts, 40 houses and 100 breeding cows to disadvantaged people.

    Later the same day, Chairwoman Ngan attended an art performance programme called “Xuan bien phong am long dan ban” (warm spring in border areas for ethnic people) at the Thanh Thuy Border Guard Station. 

    On the occasion, she wished Ha Giang people a new year of happiness, health and prosperity while expressing her delights that such art performances will bring joyfulness to people in 44 border provinces across the country. 

    Field widens in photo contest

    Amateur and professional photographers have been invited to submit photos for a heritage contest launched in Hanoi on January 26.

    With the title of Heritage Itinerary, the contest aims to feature the richness and diversity of Vietnam’s cultural heritage and people. Participants can send their entries from March 1 to August 31.

    Vietnam Heritage Magazine is hosting the contest for the sixth time. It is seeking photos featuring the beauty of Vietnam’s nature, culture and people, according to Le Truong Giang, editor-in-chief of the magazine.

    As entrants taking part in two categories, Photo Album and Cover Photo, the best photos will be published in the magazine.

    As the magazine is run by Vietnam Airlines, this year photographers can also submit photos taken in countries the airline visits.

    The jury board includes Vu Quoc Khanh, chairman of the Vietnam Association of Photographic Artists (VAPA); Vi Kien Thanh, head of the Department of Fine Arts, Photography and Exhibition; Nguyen Thai Thien, vice chairman of the Authority of Press (Ministry of Information and Communications); Dinh Thi Cam Ly, editor of the Vietnam Heritage Magazine; and Nguyen Viet Thanh, Viet Nam News photojournalist.

    “We encourage young photographers to discover new angles,” Thanh said. “We also welcome participants in the Photo Album category (10-15 photos) because we believe it requires much creativity, effort and intelligence.”  

    Photo tours will be organised to the north-eastern region, the southern border region bounded by Laos and the south-western region with support from Ford Vietnam and Leica Boutique.

    Leica Boutique will co-operate with the organising board to organise photo workshops during the contest.

    Hue targets 42 million foreign tourists in 2018

    Former imperial capital city of Hue received 1.5 million foreign tourists last year, increasing by 42.5 percent in 2016.

    Foreign tourists comprised half of the total visitors to Hue, a UNESCO world heritage site, famous for its imperial architecture and culture.

    The highest number of foreign tourists – 26 percent of the total – was from the Republic of Korea. Visitors from France, the United Kingdom, the United States, Germany and Thailand had the second to sixth highest percentages, respectively.

    Total revenue from tourism last year was 155 million USD.

    According to the local Tourism Department, the tourism sector made attempts to diversify its products by adding tour programmes to lagoons and rural areas and introducing destinations outside the UNESCO heritage system.

    The sector expects to receive 42 million visitors this year, half of them foreign tourists.

    To achieve this target, the department called for private investment to develop standard restaurants that could accommodate up to 2,000 customers at the same time. It also requested local authorities to introduce direct flights from Hue to countries with the highest proportion of tourists to the city, including Japan, the RoK and Thailand.

    It also suggested local authorities to improve the service quality and behaviour of both public agencies and civil facilities towards tourists.

    Hue is considered a top tourism hub in the country. But tourism in the city has not witnessed consistent development in the past few years, mainly due to the narrow mindset towards tourism management by local authorities. It was only last year that local authorities formed a separate tourism department with qualified personnel to aid growth in the sector.

    Tangerine farms in Dong Thap ready for visitors during Tet

    Visitors to the Mekong Delta province of Dong Thap should take a trip to the farms in the Lai Vung area where farmers earn a living growing pink tangerine.

    Throngs of holiday-makers from Ho Chi Minh City are flocking to the gardens in Lai Vung to witness the ripening season and take photos while spending a day picking fruit.

    Travellers are advised to drop by the orchards by the 20th of the 12th lunar month, which falls on February 5 this year, as local farmers will start picking fruit for sale during the peak Tet (Lunar New Year) season.

    From HCMCity, travellers can take a bus to Dong Thap province at tour operators’ offices on Pham Ngu Lao, De Tham and Bui Vien streets in district 1 or at a bus station on
    Le Hong Phong street
    in district 10.

    Vietnamese expats in Canada gather for Tet celebration

    Hundreds of Vietnamese expatriates, officials from the Vietnamese representative offices in Canada and international friends gathered to welcome Vietnam’s traditional Tet holiday at a celebration held in Toronto, the capital of Canada’s Ontario province, on January 27.

    Earlier, Vietnamese people in Ottawa and Montreal and cities also met on the threshold of Lunar New Year 2018.

    Delivering Tet greetings to the participants, Vietnamese Ambassador to Canada Nguyen Duc Hoa underlined significant events for the two countries in 2017.

    Both sides have enjoyed important breakthroughs in their relations, which were illustrated through the official visits to Vietnam made by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Premier of Ontario Kathleen Wynne and various visits of officials and local authorities from the two countries, Hoa said.

    The diplomat affirmed the overseas Vietnamese community is an inseparable part of the nation. The country will create favourable conditions for Vietnamese expatriates, including those in Cadana, to return home and invest, contributing to national development.

    This was the second time the Vietnamese people in Ottwa, Montreal and Toronto enjoyed art performances staged by artists from the Youth (Tuoi tre) Theatre.

    District 1 mulls expanding food stalls model

    The People’s Committee of HCM City’s District 1 on Thursday proposed expanding the current model for pavement food stalls at a meeting with the city’s People Committee on the district’s development for 2018.

    Trần Thế Thuận, chairman of the District 1 People’s Committee, said that a four-month trial run of food stalls for poor vendors on
    Nguyễn Văn Chiêm Street
    and in BáchTùngDiệpPark had received positive feedback from the vendors as well as locals and tourists.

    Thuận asked the city’s People’s Committee to allow District 1 to expand the food stall model on more streets in District 1 this year.

    He also asked the city to approve pedestrian use of
    Bùi Viện Street
    yesterday instead of only on the weekends.

    In another matter, District 1 is working on a plan to minimise pavement misuse, consulting different authorities.

    HCMCity has commended District 1’s effort of restoring order to its pavements in 2017, in which District 1 dealt with 17,000 cases of pavement misuse and restored order to 86 per cent of the pavements.

    However, the city noted that pavement misuse was still a big problem and more work needed to be done.

    Police start investigation into death of taxi passenger

    Police in northern NinhBìnhProvince said they had summoned the landlord and construction workers who were responsible for the death of a taxi passenger to record their statement.

    Colonel Tống Mạnh Hùng, head of the provincial Police Department, told zing.vn that police had started investigating the accident that took place in Hoa Lư District’s Trường Yên Commune.

    At 4.10pm on January 24, a taxi carrying a couple and their child was crossing a junction of Hải Thượng Lãn Ông and Trần Phú streets when a steel beam fell from a construction site.

    The husband, Nguyễn Văn Bắc, 39, was killed on the spot, while his wife, child and the taxi driver were safe.

    The couple was on their way to a hospital for the health checkup of their child.

    Hùng said the police had started collecting testimony in the case.

    Witnesses said the steel beam fell from the third floor of a construction site and went through the taxi’s roof straight into the man’s head, killing him instantly.

    Four killed, injured in quarry explosion in Đắk Nông

    Nguyễn Ngọc Minh, head of the People’s Committee of Tuy Đức District in Đắk NôngProvince said that an explosion at a local quarry led to four casualities.

    At about 6am, Vượng Phát Co Ltd conducted an explosion to exploit rocks at a quarry in sub-zone 1469 in Tuy Đức District’s Quảng Trực Commune.

    Phan Văn Hoán, 31, in Đắk Mil District, and another man, only known as Trung, were killed. Two other men were seriously injured and were admitted to Bù Gia Mập GeneralHospital in BìnhPhướcProvince for treatment.

    Dương Danh Quế, head of Tuy Đức District’s Police Department, said the police asked the provincial authority to examine the quarry to make sure there was no mine left.

    Vượng Phát Co Ltd was granted a licence for mine exploitation five months ago.

    The case is under investigation.

    VNĐ2 billion sugarcane area destroyed in Đắk Lắk

    More than 35ha of ready-to-harvest sugarcane was burnt in Ea Sup District, the Central Highlands (Tây Nguyên) province of Đắk Lắk, causing severe damage. 

    Talking with vov.vn online newspaper, Nguyễn Bảo Lộc, deputy general director of Đắk Lắk Sugarcane Joint-Stock Company, on Friday, said the burnt sugarcane area was the material source for his company, adding that the damage of the fire was estimated at some VNĐ2 billion (US$88,000).   

    Currently, sugarcane growers in the Central Highlands provinces of Gia Lai and Đắk Lắk are entering the peak of the 2017-2018 sugarcane harvesting crop season. 

    However, at this time, the weather in the Central Highlands region is very dry, so the agricultural department warned farmers to raise vigilance and be careful with fire. Farmers need to push through the crop and harvest time to reach high yields, and sell the crop at the best prices. 

    Among the sugarcane area burnt, 18ha belonged to a farmer household in Ea Bung Commune, and 17ha to four other households in Ya Tờ Mốt Commune. 

    The sugarcane area was jointly planted by Đắk Lắk Sugarcane Joint-Stock Company with households in the border communes of Ea Sup District. 

    During the 2017-18 period, the company co-operated with Ea Sup District’s people to grow 7,000ha of sugarcane. 

    On December 20, 2017, more than 100ha of sugarcane, also the material region of Đắk Lắk Sugarcane Joint-Stock Company in Ea Sup District, was burned completely, with total damage up to VNĐ10 billion.

    HCMC needs IT system for natural resources     

    With mega cities like HCMCity facing rapid urbanisation, economic constraints and sustainability issues, promoting the use of information technology and ensuring network security are key tasks, a seminar heard in HCMCity on Friday.

    Nguyen Toan Thang, director of the city Department of Natural Resources and Environment, told the seminar: “The ability to improve city infrastructure management through IT application and network security is crucial to defining and achieving social, environmental and economic success.”

    According to the department’s report on IT general architecture, “Information and data on natural resources and environment in HCMCity should be easily accessible and efficiently exploited. This would be the foundation for creating a development environment serving the city’s socio-economic growth.

    “The IT general architecture will meet the People’s Committee and natural resource and environment department’s strategic vision, plan and decisions and the SmartCity project’s vision and goals and be in line with international trends like Big Data, IoT, Cloud.”

    The information technology system to manage the natural resources and environmental database will be created based on the department’s digitised documents, and integrated with the information system for urban management comprising land, construction, master planning, environment, climate change, transport, and underground works.

    The database will be linked with the geographic information system and global positioning system to ensure smooth integration, connection, sharing and online information provision, it said. 

    Nuclear disaster drill conducted in Da Lat

    A nuclear disaster drill has been conducted on Friday in the Central Highlands city of Da Lat to improve local authorities’ ability to respond to future mishaps such as a radiation leak in Vietnam’s largest nuclear research hub.

    Thirteen units were involved in the large-scale drill headed by the administration of LamDongProvince where Da Lat is located.

    The hypothetical emergency was a traffic accident between a passenger bus and a specialized vehicle transporting two sealed radioactive sources of Iridium-192.

    Prolonged leakage of Iridum-192 could pose severe health risks to local residents, who could develop cancer or even die from overexposure to the radioactive material, according to the drill’s script.

    Lam Dong’s emergency nuclear response team, which is composed of experts from Da Lat Nuclear Research Institute, the local fire department, and the local traffic police force, took part in taking exposed victims to hospital and relocating the radioactive source to an isolated area.

    Emergency responders take part in a nuclear disaster drill in Da Lat City, LamDongProvince January 26, 2018.

    Decontamination works were carried out afterwards to make sure no residues of the harmful radioactive isotope remains exposed.

    Da Lat is home to Vietnam’s largest hub of scientific research in the fields of biotechnology and nuclear physics, with as many as 23 units dealing with equipments containing radioactive sources.

    A nuclear reactor with a capacity of 500 kW is located inside Da Lat Nuclear Research Institute, where up to 900 radioactive sources are in use.

    HCMCity traffic police praised for rejecting bribes

    A large number of traffic police officers in Ho Chi Minh City have received compliments for refraining from taking bribes in 2017.

    The officers were praised during a meeting on the review of traffic safety last year held by the municipal department of road and railway traffic (PC67) on January 25.

    The body commended 143 groups of traffic police and 3,649 fellow officers who exhibited exemplary performance and behavior. 

    Amongst the latter, 514 officers demonstrated integrity, refusing to receive bribes which otherwise amounted to nearly VND142 million (US$6,250), and 110 others bravely fought back crime, PC67 head Huynh Trung Phong said at the meeting.

    No information was given about the rest of the force regarding the misconduct.

    A multitude of traffic law violations was reported in 2017, with more than 500,000 offences recorded which corresponded to a total fine of VND260 billion (US$11.45 million), and in 80,000 cases where driving licenses were confiscated.

    As a progressive step, cameras have been installed over streets or used by police in major cities during the past few years to detect illegal traffic acts and provide retrospective proof in case the law-breaker claims the contrary.

    Nearly 44.000 offences were detected with the help of this technology, resulting in the payment of over VND17 billion (US$748,800).

    At the meeting, the police said they also plan to step up their activity to guarantee traffic safety in the coming Vietnamese Lunar New Year, or Tet, in mid-February.

    WB Country Director, Swiss Ambassador visit Can Tho

    World Bank Country Director to Vietnam, Ousmane Dione, and Swiss Ambassador to Vietnam, Beatrice Maser Mallor has stressed the importance of improving urban resilience as the city addresses the challenges of rapid urbanization and the impacts of climate change during their recent visit to Can Tho City.

    Vietnam has made strong progress in economic growth and poverty reduction, and continues to undergo transformation from a rural to urban economy. Like other cities, Can Tho is facing challenges of urbanization, and partnership between development partners and local authorities can help address those issues", said WB Country Director Ousmane Dione on January 26.

    The World Bank Country Director and the Swiss Ambassador visited project sites along the Can Tho river where embankment works will be improved as result of the collaboration between the World Bank and Switzerland’s State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO). 

    Support from SECO has been crucial in addressing the multiple aspects of flood management in the city.

    Switzerland is committed to enable sustainable and climate resilient urban development in Vietnam. It is important that the City leadership will allocate enough resources to operate and sustain this new urban planning and flood risk management system", the Swiss Ambassador Beatrice Maser Mallor said.

    During meetings with city leadership, the World Bank Country Director expressed appreciation of the partnership with both Can Tho city and SECO, in piloting innovative solutions to address Vietnam’s urban challenges, and discussed ongoing and potential areas of collaboration.

    The World Bank is committed to work with other partners to help develop urban centers’ resilience to address critical priorities, such as planning and managing population growth, land use, infrastructure development, environmental sustainability and disaster management, in an efficient and effective manner.

    The World Bank Director and the Swiss Ambassador stressed that a successful implementation of the Can Tho Urban Development and Resilience Project will require strong institutional coordination and technical capacities. 

    They expressed their interest in seeing replication of successful models from this project in the future. This will make the ongoing project beneficial to other cities in the Mekong Delta Region as well as other regions and countries.  

    Happy Tet Fair to kick off in HCM City

    Happy Tet Fair 2018, an event consisting of promotion, food and entertainment programs to usher in the Lunar New Year (Tet) season, will take place at the Saigon Exhibition and Convention Center (SECC) in District 7, HCM City from January 31 to February 4 (from the 15th to the 19th of the 12th lunar month).

    The five-day event features 300 booths of local and foreign producers and offers discounts of up to 50%, gifts and a lucky draw for customers.

    Moreover, scores of entertainment activities and food booths will be featured at the fair to serve revelers during the nation’s biggest holiday.

    Known as the traditional Vietnamese Tet fair, the upcoming event will have new features like the bazaars of neighboring countries and territories such as Thailand, Taiwan (China), Japan and the Republic of Korea, whose cultures have many similarities with Vietnam’s.

    Guests to the fair can find numerous products ranging from confectionery, jams, dried food, handmade products, Tet decorative items and local specialties by Vietnamese brands to cosmetics, perfume, household items, and home décor from foreign producers.

    The launch of the Tet fair is meant to create an entertainment and shopping venue for city dwellers and the expat community in the run up to Tet holiday when numerous traditional activities such as fashion shows, photo booths, food corners and Goc ong do (corner of calligraphers) are made available.    

    In addition, a range of Tet tour programs, designed by Saigontourist Travel Service Co., an arm of Saigontourist Holding Company, for domestic and foreign tourists can be found at the event.

    The fair is expected to lure more than 40,000 visitors and among the highlight events for Vietnamese families, foreigners and international tourists to gain hands-on experience in Vietnam’s Tet culture as there are around three weeks left until the week-long Tet holiday.

    Located in the heart of Phu My Hung new urban area and just a 10-minute drive from the downtown and 30 minutes from TanSonNhatInternationalAirport, SECC is known as one of the largest and most modern facilities in the southern region.

    SECC is a joint effort between Saigontourist Holding Company, the country’s leading tourism services provider, with a 60% stake, and Phu My Hung Development Corporation.

    Spring Festival 2018 to fascinate visitors with diverse activities

    The Spring Festival 2018 will take place from February 2-8, 2018 at the Vietnam Exhibition Centre for Culture and Arts in Hanoi prior to the traditional New Year (Tet) festival.

    The event will demonstrate traditional practices of Vietnamese people during Tet, including arranging fruits, making “Chung” cakes and writing parallel sentences. A flower fair will also be held.

    Artisans from various traditional trade villages will perform at the event.

    The event also includes an exhibit of more than 100 pictures themed “travelling through heritages”, introducing world heritage in Vietnam, beautiful landscapes across the nation, trade villages and traditional festivals.

    Notably, there will be a corner to showcase Tet before 1975. To celebrate the year of the dog, the organisation board will highlight famous celebrities in the country’s history who were born in years of the dog, along with major historical events in the years of the dog.

    Visitors to the festival can enjoy typical traditional foods in the northern region. 

    Various art performances, street art and circus shows will be held, drawing famous artists. 

    Additionally, safe goods and agricultural products will be introduced and sold throughout the event.

    Over 1,000 students donate blood in Hue city

    Nearly 1,100 volunteers from affiliated universities and faculties of the HueUniversity and colleges in Hue city yesterday donated 800 units of blood to save people during the Lunar New Year 2018.

    The HueUniversity currently has nine clubs with total of hundreds of students  to voluntarily donate blood, contributing to save patients' lives for many years.

    On the occasion, the university offered certificates for 19 students with their active contributions and achievements in mobilizing and joining blood donation campaigns for several times a year.

    Farmers in Da Lat busy preparing for Tet holiday

    As Tet holiday (the Lunar New Year) is approaching, vegetable and flower farmers in the central highlands town of Da Lat are lately seen to be busy taking care of their products in gardens.

    Meanwhile farmers in other provinces are in despair because terrible weather hit vegetable and flower harvest, their peers in Da Lat are busy growing and harvesting veggies and flower for Tet holiday market.

    This year, farmers in Da Lat and its neighboring areas are growing different kinds of flowers in 3,100 hectare, an increase of 150 hectare compared to 2017. Favorite flowers on Tet holiday like daisy, canartion, roses, gerbera are grown mostly.

    According to the Department of Crop Production and Plant Protection in the central highlands province of Lam Dong in 2017, importers bought seeds of lily flower from foreign countries to plant in 147 hectare in localities.

    Since the middle of September of the lunar calendar, farmers in Da Lat and neighboring areas such as Duc Trong, Lac Duong, Don Duong have started to sow lily flower for Tet holiday market.

    In addition to 150 hectare of growing Gladioli in neighboring areas, farmers in Hiep An commune in Duc Trong District reserve 350 hectare for planting Gladioli; this year, over 100 million Gladioli flower branches will be for sales in markets on the special holiday.

    Companies said that this year, consumption of potted flower is expected to go up. Deputy Head of Dalat Hasfarm Nguyen Van Bao said since the beginning of 2017, the company has cultivated potted flowers with 60 different colors for market in the special occasion.

    The Department of Crop Production and Plant Protection in LamDognProvince predicted terrible weather resulted in poor harvest and high price of flower and veggies.

    For years, Da Lat has supplied hundred tons of high quality vegetables. Director of GAP Dalat Company Le Van Cuong said per month, the company supplies around 100 tons of produces averagely with 32 verious kinds of vegetables for retailers; however, the company and farmers will increase 15 percent of all produces at fix price.

    Giant cooperatives in Da Lat namely Anh Dao, Tan Tien and Xuan Huong plans to surge 10-30 percent of produce supply in the country’s holiday. Head of the Crop Production and Plant Protection Department Nguyen Van Danh said farmers plant vegetables in 21,530 hectare this year, a year-on-year soar of 659 hectare expecting to harvest 715,000 tons of vegetables.

    At present, thanks to favorable weather, farmers and cooperative members take heeds to adopt high-technology in growing produce; therefore, good vegetables output is expected more than the same period to satisfy consumers’ demand.

    VNN


    0 0
  • 01/30/18--00:33: Article 5
  • Government News 30/1


    Cultural exchanges connect Vietnam, Japan: NA chief 

    Cultural exchanges connect Vietnam, Japan: NA chief, Congratulations to re-elected President of Czech Republic, Lao, VN minister vow cooperation to fight crime 

    NA Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan and Tsutomu Takebe, Special Advisor to the Japan-Vietnam Friendship Parliamentary Alliance


    After four editions, the annual Vietnam-Japan festival has left good impression on Vietnamese people and boosted their understanding about Japan, said National Assembly (NA) Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan.

    Ngan made the remark when receiving Tsutomu Takebe, Special Advisor to the Japan-Vietnam Friendship Parliamentary Alliance, in Hanoi on January 29.

    She praised the advisor’s contributions to bilateral ties via initiating cultural exchange activities, which have been successfully organised in recent years.

    Ngan said the Vietnam-Japan festival taking place in January this year served as a meaningful curtain-raiser for a host of events in celebration of 45-year relations between the two countries.

    The Vietnam NA highly values joint projects coordinated by Takebe, such as the VietnamJapan University, Vietnam-Japan festival, and other trade connection and human resources training programmes, stated the top legislator.

    For his part, Takebe lauded the Vietnam U23 football team’s efforts to secure the second place at the recent Asian Football Confederation U23 Championship despite unfavorable weather.

    He also congratulated Vietnam on successful hosting two major regional events – the APEC Economic Leaders’ Week 2017 and the 26th Annual Meeting of the Asia-Pacific Parliamentary Forum.

    Highlighting the friendship and cooperation between the two countries’ people as a basis of VietnamJapan relations, the advisor said 250,000 Vietnamese students in Japan are key to the future development of the ties.

    Agreeing with her guest, Ngan said in addition to State and parliamentary diplomacy, people-to-people exchange is also necessary, adding that the NA supports activities held by the Vietnam– Japan Friendship Parliamentarians' Group and the Japan-Vietnam Friendship Parliamentary Alliance. She said she believes with determination of both sides, these cultural exchange programmes will help bilateral ties move toward effectiveness.

    On the occasion, Takebe gifted his host a book titled “Kyojinka - national capacity enhancement in response to disasters in Japan, Asia and the world”.

    Congratulations to re-elected President of Czech Republic


    Cultural exchanges connect Vietnam, Japan: NA chief, Congratulations to re-elected President of Czech Republic, Lao, VN minister vow cooperation to fight crime 


    President Tran Dai Quang 

    President Tran Dai Quang on January 28 sent a message of congratulations to Milos Zeman on his re-election as President of the CzechRepublic for the 2018-2022 tenure.

    Vietnam and the CzechRepublic set up diplomatic ties on February 2, 1950.

    Vietnam was among 12 priority markets included in the Czech national export strategy during 2012-20, which was announced in 2012.

    More than 60,000 Vietnamese are living in the CzechRepublic. On July 3, 2013, the Czech Government appointed a Czech representative of Vietnamese origin to the Council of Ethnic Minorities, thus recognising the Czech Vietnamese community as an ethnic minority group in the country.

    Lao, VN minister vow cooperation to fight crime
     

     

    Cultural exchanges connect Vietnam, Japan: NA chief, Congratulations to re-elected President of Czech Republic, Lao, VN minister vow cooperation to fight crime
    Vietnamese Minister of Public Security Sen. Lieut. Gen. Tô Lâm (left) and his Lao counterpart Somkeo Silavong signed a co-operation plan for 2018.


    General Secretary of the Lao People’s Revolutionary Party and President Bounnhang Volachith has urged the Ministries of Public Security of Việt Nam and Laos to further their co-operation in fighting crime, especially organised, trans-national, drug and high-tech crimes.

    At a reception for Vietnamese Minister of Public Security Sen. Lieut. Gen. Tô Lâm in Vientiane on Saturday, the Lao leader praised the outcomes of co-operation between the two ministries in the recent past.

    Minister Lâm said Vietnamese people in general and the police force in particular are grateful for the valuable support of the Lao people in the past struggle for national liberation as well as for the present cause of national defence and the country’s efforts to ensure social order and safety.

    The Vietnamese Ministry of Public Security will do its utmost to promote comprehensive co-operation with its Lao counterpart, meeting requirements and tasks in the new situation, in order to consolidate the special friendship and comprehensive co-operation between the two countries, for the sake of peace, stability and development in the region and the world at large.

    Lâm called on the Lao leader to create favourable conditions for competent agencies of the two ministries to intensify their collaboration in fighting crime and protecting national security and safety in each nation.

    During their talks earlier the same day, Lâm and his Lao counterpart Somkeo Silavong reviewed the close and effective co-operation between the two sides in 2017, including the celebration of the Việt Nam-Laos Friendship and Solidarity Year.

    They signed a co-operation plan for 2018, under which the two sides will maintain high-level meetings between leaders of the two ministries, partner with each other to fight hostile forces, implement international agreements and treaties to which both are parties, and consult and support each other at regional and international forums on combating crime.

    PM urges Bac Lieu to focus on high-tech shrimp farming


     Cultural exchanges connect Vietnam, Japan: NA chief, Congratulations to re-elected President of Czech Republic, Lao, VN minister vow cooperation to fight crime
    Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc speaks at a working session with leaders of Bac Lieu.  

    Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has asked the Mekong Delta province of Bac Lieu to promote green development based on fishing, aquaculture and seafood processing, with a focus on high-tech shrimp farming. 

    The PM met with leaders of Bac Lieu province, the country’s second largest shrimp producer, on January 29 ahead of the investment promotion conference in Bac Lieu on January 30. 

    Bac Lieu should become the country’s industrial centre of shrimp in terms of both shrimp fry and processed shrimp, he said, suggesting the locality employ methodical planning for the sector.

    Despite limitations and challenges, with the biggest being the adverse impacts of climate change and sea level rises, Bac Lieu still has better conditions than mountainous localities to grow, PM Phuc said. 

    “As one of the largest shrimp producers nationwide, Bac Lieu should not be a “low-lying area” of the Mekong Delta,” he stressed, adding that with its advantages in shrimp breeding, renewable energy and agriculture, the province needs to swiftly balance its budget. 

    Apart from setting forth planning on shrimp farming, solar and wind power development, Bac Lieu should promote its tourism strength by organising package tours, completing the tourism ecosystem, diversifying products and connecting with major tourism projects, he said. 

    The leader also asked Bac Lieu to enhance its connectivity with the Mekong Delta and Ho Chi Minh City

    Applauding Bac Lieu’s achievements in 2017, PM Phuc urged the province to improve the ethics of public servants, prevent group interests, and strive to fulfill its socio-economic targets for 2018. 

    Bac Lieu has an aquaculture area of 1,290 sq.km. With a coastline of 56 km, three seaports and an economic exclusive zone of 20,742 sq.km, the province has favourable conditions to develop agriculture, fishing and fishery logistics. 

    Agriculture accounts for 43.14 percent of the province’s gross regional domestic product. Each year, the locality harvests about 210,000 tonnes of aquatic products, of which 115,000 tonnes are shrimp, with shrimp export turnover exceeding 527 million USD. 

    Last year, the province’s economy grew by 6.5 percent and per capita income reached 37.5 million VND (1,650 USD). The locality contributed more than 2.8 trillion VND (132.2 million USD) to the State budget. 

    However, climate change and sea level rises caused great losses to local agriculture in recent years.

    VNS/VNA


    0 0
  • 01/30/18--00:42: Article 4
  • Cravings for rare food specialties increase in lead-up to Lunar New Year  

    Increasing demand for exotic products is a highlight of the coming Tet celebrations

    A man browses a type of special local tea at a shop in Vietnam. Photo: Tuoi Tre

    Residents in Ho Chi Minh City have shown a greater desire for a variety of specialty food produced domestically and imported from other Asian countries as the Vietnamese Lunar New Year, otherwise known as Tet, approaches.  

    It is a customary practice to purchase food, especially meat, to process or store before the Tet holidays, due in three weeks.

    During the Lunar New Year period, markets and food shops do not typically open.

    During this festive period, people consume special products not enjoyed on ordinary days, explaining why the demand for specialty foods increases during this time period.

    The demand for local food specialties has also steadily risen.  

    Nguyen Minh Dien, manager of the Ba Mien restaurant in District 10, stated that “about sixty or seventy percent of goods recently purchased are diverse specialties from a number of regions in Vietnam."

    A three- or fourfold surge is expected in the lead-up to the Lunar New Year.

    He added that the products range widely, from dried shrimp, dried buffalo meat to dried meat of nhai – a type of long-legged frog, selling for no less than VND500,000 (US$22) per kilogram.

    Dien also projected that these specialty dishes are likely to be in short supply as many larger food companies have purchased them wholesale.

    A common present during the national holiday is the Tet gift basket, which is usually made of bamboo and includes items like wine, traditional fruit preserves and sausages.

    According to Luong Vu Trong Nghia, manager of the Be Bu restaurant in District 3, customers tend to order gift baskets worth VND500,000 to VND2 million ($88) each, containing five to ten food specialties.

    Each year, the restaurant purchases 40 varieties of local specialties from across Vietnam.

    One new feature of this year’s festivity is the strong presence of foreign foods, such as Siem Reap dried buffalo from Cambodia, desiccated dates from India, mini-sausages from Hungary, and smoked goose wings from Russia.

    The import of these items has increased fourfold, said Nguyen Truc Lam, representative of a specialty food restaurant in District 10, Ho Chi Minh City.

    Vietnam’s food market is infested with mutual mistrust and worries about the hygienic condition of food, including pork.

    Le Thi Huong, a woman trading pork, said she has received numerous orders for unadulterated ‘clean’ pork from customers, and will be making home deliveries upon request.  

    According to its owner, about 30 to 40 people have placed orders for the clean pork from the Vuon Que restaurant in Binh Thanh District, Ho Chi Minh City.

    This figure is expected to ascend until the end of the Lunar New Year festival.

    In addition to pork, seafood like squid and mackerel has also sold like hot cakes, with demand doubling, according to Ho Thi Vy, a Ho Chi Minh-based seafood trader. 

    Tuoi Tre News 


    0 0
  • 01/30/18--00:57: Article 3
  • Vietnam’s shadow economy sparks debate


    Despite concerns from economic experts about the undetermined scale and scope of Viet Nam’s undocumented market transactions, authorities are adamant that the illicit economy is under control and will soon be regulated heavily.


     Vietnam’s shadow economy sparks debate, 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
    Despite concerns from economic experts about the undetermined scale and scope of Viet Nam’s undocumented market transactions, authorities are adamant that the illicit economy is under control and will soon be regulated heavily. - Photo dantri.com.vn


    In its latest move, the Ministry of Planning and Investment (MPI) is expected to finalise and submit to the Prime Minister’s Office a scheme on underground economic sectors today. Under the direction of Deputy Prime Minister Vuong Dinh Hue, the report details the sectors’ structure and statistics, based on the General Statistics Office’s (GSO) findings.

    Vo Tri Thanh, former deputy director of the Central Institute for Economic Management (CIEM), said that since 1990, the GSO estimated the size of the underground economy to be more than 10 per cent of GDP.

    About 10 years ago, reports of evaluations conducted by other agencies and organisations measured the amount of cash outside official circulation. The results showed that the value of this area was about 30 to 35 per cent of GDP.

    However, economic experts raise questions on the authenticity of the data.

    Nguyen Duc Thanh, director of the Institute for Economic and Policy Research (VEPR), said that a re-calculation of the informal economy was necessary for the Government to grasp specific data and set out a suitable development strategy.

    However, he argued that the underground economy should not be included in GDP to increase the size of the economy. If the informal economy was calculated, the total GDP of Viet Nam would increase. When GDP increases, it changes many numbers, such as budget overspending, while the ratio of public debt to GDP naturally decreases.

    Luu Bich Ho, former Director of the Development Strategy Institute under the MPI, said that statistics of the unregulated sector or underground economy had been around for a long time. The problem was their accuracy and purpose.

    Ho said that if fully observed, there were reliable data that could sum up underground economic activities into the overall GDP, increasing the latter’s scale. Therefore, the public-debt ratio could fall from 64 per cent to 61 or 62 per cent.

    The economic expert added that additional statistics, as required by Deputy PM Hue, were needed. But policymakers needed long-term restructured measures for a more accurate national growth model.

    ‘Indeed, we can gain about five to 30 per cent more of the State budget’s tax from these economic transactions. The most important thing now is how the Government can statistically manage such underlying profit,” Ho said at a GSO meeting.

    Nguyen Bich Lam, GSO director deneral, said it was highly unlikely that the non-observed economy could be as large as 30 per cent of Viet Nam’s GDP, rejecting an earlier report by Fulbright UniversityVietnam, whom he believed to have taken into account household economic activities as well.

    Lam said that the underground economy, or black economy, were economic activities not measured by conventional methods and reflected in official data. This whole could be divided into several main sectors of illegal economy - unreported, unrecorded and informal.

    According to the GSO, these were purposely hidden activities to avoid tax or evade State management regulation - drug production and trading, prostitution, casinos and unreported data and statistical errors or inaccurate information provided by businesses and agencies.

    ‘There are difficult elements for the GSO in collecting information for calculations. Particularly underground and illicit economic activities cannot be gleaned in a formal way, and thus cannot be taken into the same categories as formal ones,’ he added.

    This meant they were difficult to quantify, and Lam demanded that calculation methodologies be reviewed.

    When data from the informal economy was officially accounted for in the country’s economic performance, the GDP scale would be adjusted, which would be followed by the tax rate, public-debt ceiling and government-spending adjustments, Lam said, adding that these changes would not affect the growth rate.

    According to the Government Office’s statistics, should the unofficial economy be incorporated, the country’s GDP would instead have so large a multiplier that public sector debt would be significantly greater to finance development needs.

    Ho named several factors that could influence Viet Nam’s underground economic growth. Loopholes in national laws were the main reason.

    For example, regulations stipulate that when the number of staff exceeds 10, business establishments and organizations must register as enterprises and pay the corresponding (i.e. higher) taxes. However, many businesses, though exceeding this number, have been hesitant to become anything larger than extra-small enterprises, thus keeping overall business growth rate stagnant.

    Another reason, according to Ho, is that businesses in local, remote wards and communes are protected by local governments, leading totax evasion by these households - and eventually state budget revenue loss.

    Dau Anh Tuan, head of the legal department of the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI), said that according to a study by the International Finance Corporation (IFC) in 2003, Viet Nam’s excessive control and concentration had promoted informal activities in the economy.

    Tuan said the underground economy would greatly restrict the opportunities and scale of other businesses, making them less competitive at the national level and less able to integrate into international trade.

    Economic expert Le Dang Doanh said that all countries had an informal economy, but the rates were different. The best way to manage underground business was to use public e-government.

    “The best solution is to create favorable conditions for the Government, but also to be transparent for businesses with good brand names,” Doanh said.

     VNS


    0 0
  • 01/30/18--01:21: Article 2
  • Vietnam welcomes $900 million in FDI capital in January

     In first month of 2018, Vietnam lured in $899.4 million in foreign direct investment (FDI) capital, down 36.8 per cent compared to the same period last year.

     
    There were 166 newly-registered projects and 61 projects received capital extension


    According to the statistics published by the General Statistics Office, this January foreign investors poured $442.6 million in 166 newly-registered projects, signifying a decrease of 5.1 per cent in the number of projects and 64.4 per cent in newly-registered capital.

    Besides, existing 61 projects were added a total additional capital of $456.8 million, up 155 per cent on-year.

    Besides, there were 415 M&A deals with a total capital of $356 million, up 54.7 per cent on-year.

    Almost all FDI capital ($330.6 million) was poured into the manufacturing and processing sector, making up 74.7 per cent of the total. The runner up is manufacturing and distributing power, gas, and air conditioning systems with the total capital of $60 million, making up 13.5 per cent.

    In the first month of this year, Vietnam’s cities and provinces saw decreasing FDI capital inflows as well changes in the ranking of provinces and cities receiving the largest FDI volume.

    Notably, foreign investors poured capital into 24 cities and provinces across the country. Ho Chi Minh City ranks first with $52 million, making up 11.8 per cent of the total FDI inflow, while the runners-up are Nam Dinh with $80.2 million, Ninh Thuan with $60 million, and Binh Duong with $36.7 million.

    Among 23 countries and territories investing in Vietnam, Singapore overcame Japan to become the largest foreign investor in Vietnam with total investment capital of $147.7 million, making up 33.4 per cent of the total newly-registered capital. The runners-up are South Korea with $79.4 million and Norway with $70.1 million.

    By Kim Oanh/VIR


    0 0
  • 01/30/18--01:36: Article 1
  • Self-harm behaviors increasing among students



    Research by a group of lecturers from the HCMCityUniversity of Education has found signs of self-destructive behavior in 84 percent of secondary school students in the city.


    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, MOET, self-destructive behavior, counselling division 

    Researchers found self-destructive behavior in 84% of secondary school students in HCMC 

    The repetitive acts include physical self-harm. There are three levels of self-destructive behaviors classified according to vulnerability. At the low level, students have negative thoughts, stress and feel pressure.

    At the moderate level, students tear their hair out, punch and strike themselves, while the highest level includes suicide, cutting limbs and injuring themselves. The actions of this kind are often associated with mental illness.

    At the moderate level, students tear their hair out, punch and strike themselves, while the highest level includes suicide, cutting limbs and injuring themselves. The actions of this kind are often associated with mental illness.

    Surveying 1,028 secondary school students in the inner city, Associate Prof Dr Huynh Van Son and his colleagues found signs of self-destructive behaviors in 838 students. Of these, 374 students felt tired and discouraged and don’t want to continue living, while 344 students have negative thoughts about life.

    The survey also found that 4.1 percent committed self-destructive behaviors at high level. Many of them had plans to commit suicide, or had tried to commit suicide.

    The majority of the students admitted they began self-destructive behaviors many years ago, while some of them started so long ago that they cannot remember the exact time.

    “For me, life is too harsh” is the feeling of the majority of students who have problems. When striking or punching themselves, the students want to show that ‘I bear great misery in silence’ and ‘this is the way I do to try to forget about bad things’.

    Poor learning results, poor relations with parents and family members and lovelornness are the major reasons behind sadness and self-destructive behaviors.

    Tien Phong quoted Duong Minh Tam, a physician from the Mental Health Institute, as saying that those people who maltreat themselves usually begin with scalding or cutting their hands with a razor blade. They usually do it in a secret way, in a dark room, bedroom or bathroom.

    According to Tam, research had found that the habit of hurting themselves can help produce natural anesthetics in the body, thus reducing mental pain.

    Dr Nguyen Doan Phuong, head of the Mental Health Institute, said the self-injury syndrome can destroys a patient’s body gradually. The problem is that the syndrome mostly occurs with young people.

    “Though they only cause pains and don’t lead to immediate death, self-inflicting behaviors are still considered suicidal behavior,” Phuong said.

    Psychological counseling divisions will be set up at all schools under a decision by the Ministry of Education and Training (MOET) followed experts’ warnings about the increasingly high number of students committing suicide because of depression.


    Tien Phong 


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