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  • 01/30/18--01:56: Article 0
  • Unrealistic business conditions for tourism food services criticized


    The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism have proposed tighter business conditions for restaurants to serve tourists, which has faced the public opposition.

    The ministry is seeking different agencies, ministries and the public for the proposal before adding it to the Law on Tourism.

    According to the ministry, restaurants must have at least 50 seats and allow card payment to be eligible to serve tourists. 


     

    Illustrative photo. Foreign tourists at a restaurant in Vietnam

    When fulfilling the standards along with other already-regulated criteria, they will be granted with signboards for being recognised.

    Lots of tourism companies and experts expressed their disagreement with the regulation. According to the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the number of seats does not reflect quality and service standards.

    The regulation would cause problems for many restaurants. For instance, in cases where restaurants want to arrange fewer seats to have had more space for customers, but if they do so, they fail to meet the requirement of seat number.

    The chamber of commerce added that requirements for restaurants should be based on quality not scale, and relate to issues such as menu written in foreign languages, ensuring food safety and good hygiene.

    Regarding the requirement related to permitting customers to pay by credit cards, the chamber said that many tourists, particularly Vietnamese people, often do not use credit cards for services with small value such as food and drink.

    At present, many restaurants in HCMCity centre for travellers have less 50 seats. The same situation can be seen in Hanoi’s Old Quarter. It is not easy to find restaurants or café shops with more than 50 seats.

    Many restaurants on
    Bui Vien Street
    , HCMCity, attract many customers who mainly care about the food quality, food safety and the nice space, but not the number of seats.

    Tran Thi Bao Thu, communications and marketing director of Fiditour said that the regulation on seat number should be applied to different areas. It is more important for restaurants to pay attention to food safety and say no to overcharge customers.

    Meanwhile, Phan Xuan Anh, chairman of Viet Excursions Company, said that it is more necessary for restaurants to have more rest-rooms so that customers do not have to queue up.

    He noted that credit card payment was only sued by a small number of customers.
     dtinews.vn/NLD


    0 0
  • 01/31/18--00:53: Article 3
  • BUSINESS IN BRIEF 31/1


    Vinachem to accelerate apatite projects   


    Vinachem to accelerate apatite projects, SBV asks banks to prioritize loans for production and business, Japan firm plans solar power plant in Binh Phuoc, Debt-laden Mai Linh’s effort to seek help seen faltering

    The Viet Nam Chemical National Group (Vinachem) will focus on investment of apatite exploitation projects this year, said the group’s deputy general director Bui The Chuyen.
    Chuyen said the group would accelerate completing procedures to get licences for apatite projects such as mines 18, 19, Ngoi Dum Dong Ho, Cam Duong 2 and mine 26 of Apatite Viet Nam One Member Limited Company.

    Vinachem will resolve material issues to implement the expansion project of Bac Nhac Son Apatite Ore Plant in the northern mountainous LaoCaiProvince, he said.

    In addition, Vinachem will quickly complete investment preparation for improving the quality of NPK Fertiliser Plant of Binh Dien Fertiliser Company in southern Long An Province, with a total capacity of 200,000 tonnes a year, Chuyen said.

    According to Vinachem’s report, production and trading of the Apatite Viet Nam One Member Limited Company is faced with difficulties as the licence for apatite exploitation at its mines has not been granted for a long time.

    On the other hand, its rivals have lowered prices to gain market shares, a pressure tactic. This is one of the reasons why the company’s business results have not met its expectation.

    Last year, its output reached 2.8 million tonnes, posting a 2.8 per cent year-on-year increase and an increase of 6 per cent over the set target.

    Its apatite consumption reached 2.9 million tonnes, increasing 19 per cent from the set target and 3.4 per cent from the previous year. The company’s revenue was VND3.64 trillion (US$160 million), increasing by 2 per cent over the set target and reducing by 7.3 per cent compared to 2016.

    Nguyen Tien Cuong, general director of the Apatite Viet Nam One Member Limited Company, said its financial results last year did not meet the set targets due to low prices, although its output and consumption surpassed targets.

    The company contributed VND566.6 billion to the State budget and posted a pre-tax profit of VND150 billion.

    Cuong said the company has been seeking new export markets as well as continuing its restructuring to improve financial supervision. 

    Digiworld looks to foray into FMCG sector

    Digiworld Corporation has said it will make a foray into the fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) and healthcare products markets this year.

    Digiworld plans to offer new products in the healthcare sector later this year. The FMCG and healthcare sectors are expected to create new streams of revenue for the company.

    In quarter three, Digiworld Venture Co Ltd, an arm of Digiworld Corporation, acquired a 50.3% stake in CL Co Ltd, a local FMCG supplier which has a goods distribution system across the country. The deal is expected to help Digiworld venture into the FMCG market.

    The corporation made VND3.82 trillion (US$168.2 million) in revenue, and over VND78 billion (US$3.4 million) in after-tax profit last year, beating its full-year targets. In quarter four alone, its revenue amounted to VND1.12 trillion, a year-on-year rise of 11.3%.

    Digiworld general director Doan Hong Viet told reporters in HCMC on January 24 that the corporation expects stronger growth in revenue from cell phones this year, at roughly 60%. Notably, sales of cell phones like Xiaomi and Sharp have become major revenue sources for the firm.

    SBV asks banks to prioritize loans for production and business

    The State Bank of Vietnam (SBV) has told local banks and foreign bank branches to increase lending to production and business activities, according to a Thoi Bao Ngan Hang newspaper report.

    SBV governor Le Minh Hung asked banking institutions to strictly control their credit growth in line with their assigned targets and the central bank’s monetary policy.

    Credit growth and quality should go hand in hand, he said. Loan assessment and supervision should be properly done to minimize non-performing loans, and guarantee safety for the banking system.

    Loans for the real estate and construction sectors should be put under control. Lender banks should monitor the progress of the property projects to which they have lent, and check their clients’ financial capability, creditworthiness and assets used as collateral.

    They should also control the quality of consumer loans, and improve the efficiency of the loan approval process to reduce risks.

    They should strictly control lending to stock investors to minimize risks in line with the SBV’s Circular 19/2017/TT-NHNN amending and supplementing a number of articles of Circular 36/2014/TT-NHNN which provides safety limits in the banking sector.

    Loans should be prioritized for production and business activities, especially in agriculture, export and supporting industries, and small and medium, and hi-tech enterprises.

    Japan firm plans solar power plant in Binh Phuoc

    Asia Infonet Inc., a subsidiary of AIN Group of Japan, intends to build a solar power plant in the Becamex-Binh Phuoc Industrial and Urban Complex in BinhPhuocProvince, according to news site bnews.vn.

    BinhPhuocProvince’s Party chief Nguyen Van Loi and chairman Nguyen Van Tram on January 25 worked with Asia Infonet Inc. over the project which will cover 54 hectares and have a capacity of 50MW.

    Tsuyoshi Sai, chairman and general director of Asia Infonet Inc., was quoted by the news site as saying that the company is capable of developing solar power plants and has invested in multiple projects with a combined capacity of 400MW.

    According to the company, Binh Phuoc holds high potential for solar power development.

    The Japanese firm wants to know administrative procedures to implement the project, especially those for connecting the plant to the national grid and for selling electricity to enterprises in the complex.

    Loi threw his support behind the project, saying this will be the first solar power plant in the complex.

    The Binh Phuoc government pledged to create favorable conditions and help the company get an investment license and propose the Ministry of Industry and Trade approve the project.

    The provincial government also asked relevant agencies to help the investor complete procedures this quarter.

    Binh Phuoc has 2,700 sunlight hours a year, so it is calling for investment in solar power generation.

    Debt-laden Mai Linh’s effort to seek help seen faltering

    Faced with huge debt, Mai Linh Group, which is known for Mai Linh Taxi brand nationwide, is seeking emergency help but the possibility of it getting such help is low as it is feared that it might set a bad precedent.

    The company has proposed its debts be frozen and its unpaid tax and insurance premiums be further extended. A news report on news website Vietnamnet said if Mai Linh’s proposal is approved, it would do more harm than good.

    Vietnam Social Security was quoted by the news site as saying that it has no authority to freeze or cut insurance debts. Analysts said Mai Linh’s proposal might not be approved.

    The company earlier wrote to the National Assembly Committee for Social Affairs, the Ministry of Finance and Vietnam Social Security cataloging its difficulties. The economic downturn triggered by the 2007-2008 financial crisis and high interest rates left the company sitting on a mountain of unpaid taxes, social/health/unemployment insurance premiums and bank loans.

    The news report quoted Mai Linh chairman Ho Huy as saying that like other traditional transport service firms, Mai Linh is struggling with an unfair competition with ride-hailing firms Uber and Grab. With revenue considerably declining, Mai Linh is on the verge of becoming insolvent.

    As of late last October, Mai Linh’s unpaid tax and insurance amounts amounted to VND150 billion and its late payment penalties some VND80 billion. The company proposed it be exempted from loan interest.

    The debts belong to Mai Linh’s subsidiaries which have suspended operations and have piled up since 2012.

    Under the prevailing regulations, tax payments can be rescheduled in some cases such as natural disasters, fires and accidents.

    Huy previously told the media that for loan interest and late payment penalties, the company would need a hundred years to pay them off.

    Authorities and experts said difficulties faced by firms should be handled in accordance with regulations and that there should be no exception.

    Mai Linh has recently made certain changes in its competition with Uber and Grab, such as launching a mobile app, and planning mergers of its units to increase competitiveness.

    Ho Chi Minh City: January’s CPI increases 0.19 percent

    Ho Chi Minh City’s consumer price index (CPI) in January rose by 0.19 percent against that of December 2017 and 2.57 percent year-on-year, announced the municipal Statistics Office on November 29.

    In the month, prices of seven out of 11 commodity baskets recorded slight growth, with the highest rate seen in transport at 1.39 percent which was attributed to the impact of gasoline price adjustments.

    Other goods with higher prices were other goods and services (0.65 percent); housing, electricity, fuel and construction materials (0.46 percent); beverage and tobacco (0.33 percent); medicine and healthcare services (0.16 percent); culture, entertainment, and tourism (0.04 percent); and equipment and home appliances (0.02 percent). 

    Meanwhile, decreases were seen in food and catering services (0.21 percent); telecommunications (0.08 percent); and garment, hat and footwear (0.01 percent).

    In January, the price of education remained stable.

    The price of gold increased by 0.44 percent, while the price of US dollar declined 0.02 percent from that of January 2017.

    VND1 trillion mall comes into operation

    Lead investor Tran Le Nguyen on January 25 inaugurated the VND1-trillion (US$44 million) Van Hanh Mall, the largest commercial center in District 10, HCMC.

    The eight-story Van Hanh Mall at
    11 Su Van Hanh Street
    has a total construction area of 90,000 square meters and a commercial floor area of 55,000 square meters.

    The mall has a wide range of products such as fashion, cosmetics, furniture, household appliances, and food, which can be found at more than 200 stores of domestic and international brands like Co.opXtra, CGV, Power Bowl, Nike, Levi’s, Adidas, and Starbucks.

    Tran Le Nguyen, who is also general director of food processor KIDO Corporation, said he will inject more money into developing infrastructure for the mall.

    In 2008, he put HungVuongPlaza in District 5 into operation, which is now full.

    He stressed the quality of services and goods, and convenient locations for customers could guarantee success for shopping centers. “We choose prestigious partners and good services to meet customer demand whenever they come to Van Hanh Mall for shopping and entertainment,” he said.

    He added shopping space at Van Hanh costs US$30-60 per square meter and that it is now over 90% full thanks to the presence of major and reputable brands.

    France pours over 2 billion euros into Vietnam in 10 years

    France has funded many projects in Vietnam through official development assistance (ODA), with total disbursed capital amounting to more than two billion euros in the past 10 years, heard a Vietnam-France economic dialogue.

    The Vietnam-France high-level economic dialogue was co-chaired by Vietnamese Deputy Minister of Planning and Investment Nguyen The Phuong and French Minister of State attached to the Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne in Hanoi on Wednesday to review the economic relationship between the two countries, news website Dan Tri reports.

    The event was held as part of activities to mark the fifth anniversary of the establishment of the strategic partnership and the 45th anniversary of diplomatic ties between Vietnam and France.

    In 2017, two-way trade between Vietnam and France increased 11.6% year-on-year to US$4.6 billion, with Vietnam running a large trade surplus. Opportunities to be brought about when the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement is signed and comes into force are expected to help the two countries’ businesses penetrate their respective markets.

    France has invested in many projects in Vietnam, especially ODA projects costing more than two billion euros, over the past 10 years. Most of the projects are significant to key sectors like transport, energy, environmental protection, food and banking.

    At the meeting, the co-chairs underlined growing food trade between Vietnam and France. Despite a number of trade barriers, the sector has achieved encouraging results recently and is expected to gain stronger growth in the future. The European country has exported many of its key products to Vietnam like apple, beef, lamb and goat.

    The event was attended by Government agencies and businesses from the two countries and focused on two major topics of the bilateral strategic partnership, namely climate change and infrastructure development.

    The topics have been reflected through the French Development Agency’s Water Action Plan and numerous projects and initiatives that would be funded by French agencies like CLS’s remote sensing service for climate change responses, EDF’s solutions for a sustainable city and Air Liquide’s cooperation project for petrochemical development.

    Stainless steel traders complain about time-consuming tests

    Stainless steel traders now have to wait at least six months to receive results of tests on their shipments even though the maximum period under the current regulations is five working days.

    At a dialogue between the HCMC Customs Department and the American Chamber of Commerce in Vietnam (AmCham Vietnam) on January 24, a representative of Kim Vi Inox Import Export Production JSC proposed the customs shorten the time to three months to facilitate production activities.

    According to Decision 2999/QD-TCHQ dated September 6, 2017 of the General Department of Vietnam Customs, customs offices must complete inspections and analyses of imports and exports in five to eight days, a customs officer told the Daily on the sidelines of the dialogue.

    Nguyen Quoc Toan, deputy director of the import-export tax division at the HCMC Customs Department, admitted a large volume of stainless steel samples is being stored at the customs office as tests are done by only one agency, leading to a huge backlog.

    Tests are conducted in accordance with a decision on anti-dumping duty on stainless steel of the Ministry of Industry and Trade. Although the decision is applicable to steel imports from certain markets, the Ministry of Finance has asked the customs to inspect all shipments.

    Nguyen Huu Nghiep, deputy head of the HCMC Customs Department, said the Prime Minister would issue a new decree providing new customs regulations in March. Particularly, the customs will classify commodities after relevant agencies provide enough information.

    In addition, the Ministry of Finance has sent the Government a draft decree which contains measures for removing obstacles to the national one-door customs mechanism.

    Accordingly, ministries and agencies will implement inspections based on product classifications by customs agencies, and export and import procedures must be completed on the national one-door portal.

    The draft decree is expected to be approved this quarter.

    Agriculture ministry advises farmers not to expand pepper planting area

    The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development has advised farmers not to cultivate new pepper plants, transfer into other crops if the plants die of diseases and gradually reduce pepper area to 100,000 hectares.

    At a conference on sustainable pepper production yesterday, minister Nguyen Xuan Cuong said that pepper growing area has tripled to 152,000 hectares, output had also tripled during seven years in 2010-2017.

    The too fast development has showed many problems including out of control area and quality and others in farming process and density. Purchase, processing and export organization has not been appropriate to the pepper industry’s value.

    While pepper demand increases only 3 percent in the world a year, global area hikes 8 percent to 600,000 hectares from 420,000 hectares in 2013. That has caused price fall to about VND60,000 a kilogram, accounting for half of last year price. It is forecast to remain low in the upcoming time.

    Minister Cuong said that the pepper industry would lag behind without restructuring.

    Vietnam cashew association building material zone in Cambodia

    Vietnam’s raw cashew nut import increases year by year while domestic supply meets 20-30 percent of processing plants’ demand so Vietnam Cashew Association (Vinacas) has worked with Cambodia to develop a material zone of 500,000 hectares.

    The import volume exceeded 1.1 million tons in 2016 and neared 1.5 million tons in 2017 from only tens of thousands of tons in previous years. Businesess have mainly imported the nut from African nations especially Côte d'Ivoire.

    Vinacas hoped that cooperation with Cambodia will create a material zone providing one million tons a year in the future.

    According to Mr. Nguyen Duc Thanh, chairman of Vinacas, besides building domestic material zones to prevent area reduction and increase productivity, the association has surveyed some Cambodian places adjacent to Vietnam and realized that local soil conditions are similar to southeast region, the capital of Vietnam’s cashew industry, and suitable with cashew growth.

    In fact, Cambodia is one of cashew production nations with stable quality thanks to good sapling. Especially Cambodia’s Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries has paid attention to re-planting cashew trees to improve crop yield and income for farmers.

    Head of the Agricultural Department under the ministry Hean Vann Horn said that Cambodia cashew area has strongly reduced so if production organization and consumption is good, the material zone development would be feasible.

    For the last two years, raw cashew export from Cambodia to Vietnam has topped 90 percent from only 30 percent in 2014 and before.

    Mr. Hean Vann Horn said that Cambodian side hoped Vinacas to assist them from sapling selecting, farming process, harvest technique and preservation to improve productivity and cashew quality to ensure profit for Cambodian farmers.

    According to the Vietnamese Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, the country exported 350,000 tons of cashew nuts last year with the turnover of $3.5 billion, up 1.9 percent in volume and 23.8 percent in value over 2016.

    Cashew ranks first in the group of major export commodities including vegetable, coffee, rice and pepper.

    The nut consumption increases about 10 percent a year in the world while area increase possibility is only five percent. This is a condition for the cashew industry to develop in the upcoming time.

    International Nut and Dried Fruit Council (INC) said that dried nut transaction value approximates $30 billion a year in the global market. With this trend, cashew will account for nearly 29 percent of the world market share by 2021, followed by walnut.

    Vietnamese businesses anticipate interest rate cuts in 2018

    Several local banks have decided to cut their lending rates in early 2018, especially for loans in priority sectors, which is welcome news for business as it is anticipated to facilitate them in accessing bank loans.

    In response to the central bank governor’s request to cut costs in order to lower lending rates, a number of commercial lenders, including Agribank, Vietcombank, Vietinbank, VPBank and BIDV, have recently trimmed their rates by 0.5 to 1 percentage point.

    Specifically, Agribank has cut the rate on short-term loans from 6.5% to 6% and medium and long-term loans from 8% to 7.5%.

    Vietinbank has cut its rates on short and medium-term loans for priority sectors by 0.5 percentage point while Vietcombank has lowered its rates to 6% on loans for priority sectors.

    BIDV has also chopped its rates on short-term loans by 0.5 percentage point to a maximum of 6%.

    Such rate cuts are considered by analysts as a significant effort by credit institutions ahead of the Lunar New Year. But because of the timing, the rate cuts have been chiefly made by large banks while smaller lenders remain relatively quiet.

    Many analysts have said that it will be difficult for banks to lower their lending rates in the future because they are still competing for deposits and a market share, making it impossible for them to lower the deposit rates and consequently the lending rates.

    As such, whether the recent rate cuts would become a clear trend and spread through the entire banking system in the future remains uncertain.

    Banking expert Nguyen Tri Hieu said that commercial banks are trying to bring down interest rates but it cannot be done immediately because many are struggling with low liquidity as funds are withdrawn for shopping and paying bonuses ahead of the Lunar New Year.

    In addition, under a recent circular issued by the central bank, the maximum proportion of short-term funds allocated to medium and long-term lending has been reduced from 50% to 45% from 2018 and will fall to 40% from 2019. Such a tightening measure means a likely rise in the medium and long-term rates in the future.

    Economist Can Van Luc said that there isn’t much room for rate cuts in the near future since it is very difficult to reduce the deposit rates, adding that bad debt has not been resolved radically, although the pace has been accelerated.

    The National Financial Supervisory Commission (NFSC) stated that interest rates have not been lowered as expected because of a lack of connection between the deposit market and the interbank market.

    Specifically, interbank rates are relatively low while deposit rates have not been reduced considerably because good liquidity is seen mainly in large banks.

    In the meantime, a number of small banks or those in the process of restructuring are still struggling to gain access to low-interest funds on the interbank market and are forced to maintain or raise their deposit rates.

    Furthermore, bad debt remains a significant hurdle to rate cuts while the net interest margin of local banks is rather modest compared with their regional peers, which also discourages them from reducing lending rates, the NFSC said.

    Therefore, many experts have called for stronger action from both the government and the banking system in order to bring down interest rates. The government needs to maintain inflation at 4% and take bolder measures to tackle non-performing loans in a more effective manner. At the same time, it is also an opportunity to reduce lending rates if bank credit-related public investment is well managed.

    Revised policies required to develop private sector

    Vietnam's policies towards the private sector have revealed numerous inadequacies, resulting in enterprises becoming greedy to invest in land, securities and real estate rather than in industries to participate in the global value chain.

    Despite the implementation of a number of policies in support of the private sector over the past few years, the private sector remains insignificant.

    According to Nguyen Duc Thanh, Director of the Vietnam Institute for Economic and Policy Research under the VietnamNationalUniversity, Hanoi, the private sector's contribution to the national economy has never surpassed 10% of the GDP during the past 10 years, while the rate is at least 80% of the GDP in developed countries. In addition, the State sector and State-owned enterprises (SOEs) are overwhelming the private sector.

    Professor Tran Van Tho from Japan's WasedaUniversity said that the private sector shows an inefficient structure, low productivity, a lack of capacity for exports and has yet to connect with the global value chain of multinational corporations.

    SOEs hold high positions and are provided with preferential treatment in terms of capital and land while these factors of production are disadvantages to small private enterprises, requiring institutional reform in the factors of production to enhance resource efficiency and productivity.

    Although the foreign direct investment (FDI) sector occupies a large proportion of the economy, it creates a negligible impact on economic structure transfer. In addition, the link between FDI and domestic enterprises remains weak, creating limited influence on technology and knowledge transfers. A strategy for increasing the connectivity between the FDI and domestic sectors would help to improve the productivity of domestic enterprises.

    Thanh said that raising the private sector is crucial for national development, but it is difficult to make the private sector grow in a robust fashion. The biggest obstacle to the economy is the dominant role of the State in all areas, including State management and SOEs. Thus, it is necessary to devise a transparent law system which is committed to protecting the ownership rights and achievements of businesses through streamlined procedures when solving any disputes.

    When the people and enterprises continue making complaints about policies, it means that the management apparatus has yet to pay off. Professor Tho said that it is necessary to encourage start-ups in addition to devising policies to nurture enterprises and help them to increase their size.

    He noted that light industries also need to increase their size in order to renew their technology, enhance productivity and improve competitiveness. Furthermore, Vietnam should promote the advantages of a country conducive to the progress of developed countries, through encouraging enterprises to adopt advanced technology and prioritising foreign currencies for importing technology, among others.

    Sharing the same view as Tho, Dr. Vu Thanh Tu Anh from FulbrightVietnamUniversity said that Vietnam should facilitate and accompany existing enterprises to develop the private sector.

    Enterprises operating in Vietnam face prolonged unsolved difficulties, including gaining access to capital and land, high costs, and unfair treatment in attempting to gain access to business opportunities concerning State projects and projects requiring business conditions.

    It would appear that Vietnam lacks motivation and determination to bring the policies into life, resulting in complaints from the people and enterprises.

    Economist Pham Chi Lan stated that Vietnam needs to rely on private enterprises to boost the economy, but private Vietnamese enterprises are too feeble. Lan noted that the current policies are making enterprises greedy to invest in land, securities and real estate instead of industries and supporting industries in order to participate in the global value chain.

    The expert recommended policy adjustments in order to encourage enterprises to take part in industries.

    In addition, Deputy Minister of Finance Do Hoang Anh Tuan stated that there have been a lot of inadequacies with regards to tax incentives over the past 20 years. For instance, the taxation statistics released by the Finance Ministry showed that the FDI sector received over VND35 trillion (US$1.54 billion) worth of tax exemption out of VND37 trillion (US$1.63 billion) tax payments, which was a result of the price escalation in tax incentives charges.

    The reality also poses a risk to transfer pricing and incentives following tax periods, requiring the promulgation of a simple tax law system and accounting policy. Meanwhile, it is advisable to revise tax policies on the basis of expanding the tax base but not increasing the tax and tax payment rates.

    CBRE to manage Van Tri Avenue Villas

    CBRE Vietnam has been officially appointed by Noble Vietnam as property management agents for its Van Tri Avenue Villas, starting from January 24.

    Van Tri Avenue
    Villas is located in Hanoi’s Dong Anh district, with 35 high-end villas designed by renowned South Korean architect Bae Dae Yong.

    Villas come in four or five bedrooms on areas of 1,100 to 1,300 sq m and are expected to be handed over in December 2019.

    CBRE will sell seven type A villas and five type B villas. Type A villas cover area of 1,150 sq m and overlook the lake and nearby Van Tri Golf Club, with a housing area of 384 sq m and 814 sq m of total floor area on three floors. Each boasts a swimming pool and are priced from $2,100 to $2,300 per sq m.

    This is the only golf villa project located in the ASEAN City @ Hanoi complex, which is being planned and developed along the 11-km road from Noi Bai International Airport to Nhat Tan Bridge and covers an area of 1,900 ha, including Van Tri Golf Club, Concordia Hanoi International School, and the Van Tri Urban Area, which will have 1,214 high-end apartments.

    Outstanding facilities such as the golf course are managed under international ISO:14001 standards with practice holes and greens, while the complex also has an international school, a luxury restaurant, a spa, a wedding center, a clinic, and a supermarket and retail stores.

    FE CREDIT signs $50mn loan facility with Lion Asia

    The VPBank Finance Company (FE CREDIT) recently announced it has received a $50 million loan facility from Lion Asia I (RB) Limited as additional capital to continue to grow its business as the market leader in Vietnam’s consumer finance industry and to broaden its ability to meet the financial demands of millions of Vietnamese people.

    Lion Asia, an entity established in the British Virgin Islands and 100 per cent owned by the Lending Ark Asia Secured Private Debt Fund, acted as facility agent for the $50 million loan. The Fund was 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 only a few pioneers in Vietnam’s consumer finance industry, FE CREDIT has established a solid foundation in its seven years and become the market leader, with business practices that compare favorably with the best in the world. It currently holds nearly a market share of 50 per cent in Vietnam’s consumer finance industry.

    “This cooperation continues to re-affirm our brand value and the operational excellence of our business in meeting the highest level of international standards,” said Mr. Kalidas Ghose, Vice Chairman and CEO of FE CREDIT. “This loan facilitates the growth of our business in the 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 our sustainable vision and the commitment of our shareholders as well as management going forward.”

    “It is a great honor to announce the successful completion of our $50 million loan facility for FE CREDIT,” said Mr. Gregory Park, Managing Director - Fund Head and representative of Lion Asia. “With tremendous support from the State Bank of Vietnam and the hard work of FE CREDIT, the entire working team were 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.”

    FE CREDIT also acquired a $100-million senior secured loan from Deutsche Bank two months ago for its expansion plans.

    US's Sanford Health shakes hands with Victoria Healthcare

    The US’s Sanford Health is expanding its presence in international healthcare by extending services to seven countries, including Vietnam.

    Its international healthcare arm, Sanford World Clinic (SWC), is cooperating with Victoria Healthcare (VHC) in Vietnam to support enhanced clinical and healthcare management education programs for Victoria’s physicians, nurses, and administrative staff.

    This is the first agreement in Southeast Asia for SWC and represents the beginning of cooperation and professional support to VHC from one of the leading healthcare systems in the US.

    “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.” 

    After more than 12 years of operations, VHC has opened four branches in Ho Chi Minh City serving more than 1.5 million patients under international quality standards and become a trusted healthcare brand in Vietnam.

    It signing a comprehensive strategic cooperation agreement with SWC is a new step forward for Vietnam’s healthcare sector and represents a hands-on approach to healthcare with American input.

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

    Sanford Health will also enter New Zealand, Ireland, Costa Rica, and South Africa this year and increase its presence in China and Ghana. The expansion follows last year’s acquisition of a minority stake in ISAR Klinikum, a hospital leader in stem cell therapies in Munich, Germany.

    “With these partnerships, we are creating unique opportunities for shared learning,” said Mr. Kelby Krabbenhoft, President and CEO of Sanford Health. “This is not something we are pursuing for financial gain, as we believe this type of collaboration will help further our mission of health and healing.”

    $185mn raised from PV Oil IPO

    The government raised VND4.18 trillion ($185 million) from selling 20 per cent of the country’s sole crude oil exporter, the PetroVietnam Oil Corp. (PV Oil), at an initial public offering (IPO), the company announced on January 25.

    The proceeds exceeded the government’s target of $122 million from the sale, which is part of plans to equitize hundreds of State-owned enterprises (SOEs) to boost their performance, ease a tight State budget situation, and reform an economy that is highly reliant on foreign investment.

    Demand at the January 25 IPO of PV Oil, Vietnam’s second-largest oil products retailer with a 22 per cent market share in the domestic oil products market, was 2.3-times higher than availability, the company said.

    A total of 3,195 investors took part, including 54 foreign institutional investors. Overseas investors purchased 6.6 per cent.

    Post-IPO, PetroVietnam Board Member Mr. Dinh Van Son said PV Oil would file for a listing on the Unlisted Public Company Market (UPCoM) within the next three months and would work to complete the company’s strategic stake sale. 

    A further 44.72 per cent stake will be sold to strategic investors, both domestic and foreign. The government’s ownership is to be reduced to 35.1 per cent after the equitization process is completed.

    Eight investors, including a founding shareholder in Vietnam’s private low-cost airline Vietjet Air, have registered to become strategic shareholders of PV Oil, CEO Cao Hoai Duong confirmed on the sidelines of a roadshow on January 12.

    The six foreign bidders are Shell, Idemitsu, Puma, Kuwait Petroleum International (KPI), PTT, and SK, while the two Vietnamese contenders are the Sacom Investment Fund and Sovico Holding, he said.

    “We have received an application from a foreign investor who expressed a wish to buy 49 per cent of PV Oil shares, the cap set for foreign investors,” he added.

    As other foreign investors want to buy between 25 and 35 per cent, the total shares investors have registered to buy exceeds the number to be sold.

    Foreign ownership of PV Oil is capped at 49 per cent of charter capital, while foreign investors are also required to deposit an amount equivalent to 20 per cent of the stake they have registered for prior to entering the auction.

    Investors seeking to become strategic investors must commit to long-term investment by retaining their holding for at least ten years. They must also commit to prioritizing buying petroleum products from the Dung Quat Oil Refinery and the Nghi Son Refinery and realize commitments in terms of market, technology, and management development.

    Mid-year IPO for Vinalines

    Vietnam’s largest State-owned shipping firm and port operator is planning to conduct its initial public offering (IPO) in the middle of the year, according to acting CEO of Vietnam National Shipping Lines (Vinalines) Mr. Nguyen Canh Tinh.

    The government has asked for the company to be equitized but plans to retain a 65 per cent stake, he said, with the remainder being sold to local and foreign investors.

    According to a plan submitted by the Ministry of Transport to the government for approval, Vinalines’ charter capital stands at nearly VND13.92 trillion ($630 million).

    Mr. Tinh said 2017 revenue was estimated at VND16 trillion ($702.4 million), exceeding the annual target by 15 per cent. More than VND4.4 trillion ($193.16 million) came from port services while VND7.1 trillion ($311.7 million) was made from transport services.

    Profit was VND515 billion ($22.6 million) and total assets stood at over VND18 trillion ($790 million). It targets consolidated profit of $75.8 million on revenue of $757.7 million by 2020.

    The company held a regional maritime exhibition in Singapore last April to present the IPO plan to potential investors, with the original date for the sale being set for December.

    Vinalines has worked with the Auditing Company Limited & Vietnam Appraisal and the ATC Auditing and Valuation Firm Company to complete its valuation, which under current regulations must then be appraised by State Audit of Vietnam.

    The shipping company once symbolized the post-war promise of Vietnam when it began jockeying for global trade after the US lifted sanctions on Vietnam in 1994. But in 2012 it battled through a major $2.1 billion debt crisis and the arrest of many of its senior executives.

    The government has taken cautious measures to hasten the overall equitization process, including forcing public companies to list shares on the local stock exchange.

    Vinalines’ IPO was first due to be held in the first quarter of 2015. It proposed removing five ships - Vinalines Global, VinalinesOcean, Vinalines Sky, Vinalines Trader, and Vinalines Ruby - from the list of assets subject to corporate valuation, which was rejected.

    MEF II divests from MobileWorld

    Mekong Capital has announced that its Mekong Enterprise Fund II (MEF II) has completed its full divestment from the MobileWorld Investment Joint Stock Company (MobileWorld), the largest mobile device and home appliance retailer in Vietnam.

    This was the culmination of an exit process that began with a pre-listing private placement shortly before the 2014 public listing of MobileWorld on the Ho Chi Minh Stock Exchange and involved gradually selling blocks of shares to institutional investors approximately once a quarter after the listing. The final block of 5 million shares were sold at a price of VND165,000 ($7.39) per share and was completed on January 29.

    “MEF II was launched in 2006 and ultimately had a 12-year term, hence we needed to complete the divestment of our remaining investments, including MobileWorld, in the first few months of 2018,” said Mr. Chris Freund, Partner at Mekong Capital. “If it wasn’t for MEF II’s limited timeframe, we would have wanted to continue as a shareholder of MobileWorld for the foreseeable future, especially as they ramp up Bach hoa xanh into Vietnam’s leading supermarket chain.”

    MEF II originally invested $3.5 million in MobileWorld for a 35 per cent stake in 2007. The cumulative net proceeds from the sale of MobileWorld shares and dividends received was $199.4 million. When MEF II originally invested in MobileWorld in 2007, they had seven stores and a $10 million valuation. “Our original goal was to increase to 50 stores and a $50 million valuation,” said Mr. Freund. “The success of this investment has exceeded our wildest expectations.”

    Many factors contributed to the success, he added, but at the core was MobileWorld’s five co-founders and their open-mindedness, proactiveness, willingness to improve, and complementary points of view. “Together they had a big vision, built an extraordinarily strong team and a strong corporate culture, put the interests of customers first, and created an unstoppable machine that consistently sets the standard for retailing best practices in Vietnam,” Mr. Freund said.

    He added there is currently no company in Vietnam’s retail sector, either foreign-owned or locally-owned, that can execute on the large scale and high standards that MobileWorld can. “We look forward to finding other ways to partner with MobileWorld in the future,” he said.

    Mekong Capital’s investment framework, called Vision Driven Investing, has consistently enabled its funds to realize high rates of return. The framework enables investee companies to create a big breakthrough vision and achieve their vision while creating significant value creation for shareholders. MobileWorld was both an inspiration for, and model of, the Vision Driven Investing framework.

    During MEF II’s ten and a half year holding, MobileWorld has grown from seven stores to over 2,000 today under four different retail brands: thegioididong.com, Dien may xanh, Bach hoa xanh, and vuivui.com. The company has also recently announced the acquisition of Tran Anh Digital World and the Phuc An Khang pharmacy chain.

    Launched in 2006, MEF II is the second private equity fund managed by Mekong Capital. It made ten investments, of which nine have already been fully exited. The Fund’s only remaining investee company is Asia Chemical Corporation (ACC). Its other notable investments included Golden Gate, VietnamAustraliaInternationalSchool, and ICP.

    As at December 31 it operates 1,070 thegioididong.com outlets in all 63 cities and provinces nationwide, making it the Number 1 mobile retailer in Vietnam with a 40 per cent market share.

    VNN


    0 0
  • 01/31/18--01:08: Article 2
  • US teacher repents for ill-considered joke in official meeting



    American teacher Daniel Hauer admitted his deep repentance over a comment that referenced Vietnam’s late hero General Vo Nguyen Giap on Facebook. He wants to visit his house to burn incense.


     US teacher repents for ill-considered joke in official meeting, social news, vietnamnet bridge, english news, Vietnam news, news Vietnam, vietnamnet news, Vietnam net news, Vietnam latest news, vn news, Vietnam breaking news
    Daniel Hauer and his comment related to General Vo Nguyen Giap on Facebook


    Daniel Hauer was summoned by the Authority of Broadcasting and Electronic Information to a meeting on January 30 to discuss his comments.
    At the meeting, Hauer said that his comment was intended to be just a joke which had not aimed to insult General Giap, but he later recognised how serious his comment had been taken. He said he was really sorry for his remark and wanted to convey his apology to General Giap’s family and the public.

    He added that he felt ashamed for what he had done and this was a big lesson for him. He hoped he could make up for the mistake. He wanted to continue sharing his English knowledge with Vietnamese people and this is a way for him to correct his mistake.

    Hauer hoped he could visit General Giap’s house to light incense for him.

    According to Hauer’s wife Le Thi Hau, she was really shocked to see her husband’s comment on General Giap. She also claimed she was upset by this. She said she explained to her husband about the problems over his comments.

    Deputy head of the Radio, Television and Electronic Information Department Le Quang Tu said under Decree 174/2013/ND-CP, any person who distorts Vietnamese history, denies the nation’s revolutionary achievements or disrespects national heroes can be fined VND35-50 million (USD1,263-2,272). However, authorities decided to postpone a fine on Hauer based on how repentant he is.

    English centres in Hanoi where Hauer worked have said they have severed contracts with him over his ill-considered joke.

    Dtinews


    0 0
  • 01/31/18--01:26: Article 1
  • Vietnam's exports to US face tough time ahead


    Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has asked the Ministry of Industry and Trade to double check goods exported to the US to ensure the credibility and reputation for Vietnamese products as well as exporters’ interests in the Southeast Asian nation's largest export market.


    Vietnam's exports to US face tough time ahead, 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 PM emphasized that special attention should be paid to products using materials and components imported from China in order to give timely warnings to businesses when the US imposes anti-dumping duties.

    According to the General Department of Vietnam Customs, in 2017 Vietnam’s exports to the US increased by 8.2% to US$41.61 billion compared to the previous year, including US$3.58 billion in December.

    Last year, Vietnam exported a wide range of products to the US. Garment ranked first with an export value of US$12.28 billion (accounting for 29.5%), trailed by footwear with US$5.11 billion (making up 12.3% and up 14.1%), telephones and components with US$3.7 billion (down 14%), computers and electronics with US$3.44 billion (up 18.7%) and wood and timber products with US$3.17 billion (up 15.7%).

    Besides, products which earned an export value of more than US$1 billion each included machines, equipment and tools (US$2.43 billion), seafood (US$1.41 billion), bags, wallets, suitcases, hats and umbrellas (US$1.34 billion), cashew nuts (US$1.22 billion) and means of transport and spare parts (US$1.18 billion).

    It’s noteworthy that the growth rate seems to slowdown in recent years, evidenced by the growth rate dropping from 15% in 2016 to 8.2% in 2017 due to anti-dumping and anti-subsidy measures as well as new policies hindering Vietnamese exporters from entering the market.

    Typically, the US has constantly imposed anti-dumping and anti-subsidy duties on Vietnam seafood. In September 2017, the US Department of Commerce announced the preliminary decision of anti-dumping duty in the 13th administrative review (POR13) on Vietnam’s frozen pangasius fillets with the tax rate of US$2.39 per kg, which was three times higher than the individual tax rate in the 12th administrative review period. 

    Seafood exports to the market are forecast to face more difficulties as the origin of exported products have been strictly monitored due to the implementation of the Seafood Import Monitoring Program (SIMP) to prevent illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU)-caught and/or misrepresented seafood from entering US commerce since early this year.

    VOV


    0 0
  • 01/31/18--01:40: Article 0
  • State-owned bank also hires foreign CEOs



    Though foreign CEOs are commonly seen in privately run commercial banks, few banks where the state holds the controlling stake employ foreigners.


    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, foreign bank, HSBC, CEO 
    Vietcombank appointed the first foreign employee in its history


    In October 2017, Vietcombank appointed the first foreign employee in the bank’s history. Thomas William Tobin from Visa International is director of the bank’s Retail Banking division.

    Tobin is not a stranger to the Vietnamese finance market. He once held the post of CEO of HSBC Vietnam in 2006 and under his management, HSBC became the first foreign bank to set up a subsidiary in Vietnam.

    In 2011, he left for Visa International and his seat was taken over by Sumit Dutta, who was director of Personal Finance Service division at Techcombank, a private bank.

    Commenting about Vietcombank’s appointment, analysts said state-owned banks, which are more ‘conservative’ than private banks, are now more open but Vietcombank remains the only state-owned bank to hire foreign staff. 

    Commenting about Vietcombank’s appointment, analysts said state-owned banks, which are more ‘conservative’ than private banks, are now more open but Vietcombank remains the only state-owned bank tohire foreign staff. 

    Among state-owned banks, BIDV (the Bank for Investment & development of Vietnam) still hasn’t sold a stake to foreign investors. The post of chair of the board of directors is still vacant.

    Pham Quang Tung, chair of the Vietnam Development Bank (VDB), which specializes in providing loans to serve the government’s development projects, works at BIDV. But it is still unclear what his position is.

    The business performance indexes of BIDV and VietinBank are not as good as Vietcombank’s.

    In the first nine months of 2017, BIDV’s net interest margin increased significantly by 37.7 percent, higher than Vietcombank’s 18.4 percent and VietinBank’s 15.8 percent, but its post-tax profit growth rate was in the minus figures.

    This was attributed to the high provisions against bad debts BIDV had to make. The bad debts of third, fourth and fifth groups increased by 19.5 percent compared with the same period last year.

    The three banks have been trying to develop retail banking services while they have focused on wholesale in the past.

    Developing retail banking is in fashion now, which, according to PwC, will be one of the five hottest growing sectors in the time to come.

    Vietcombank’s chair Nghiem Xuan Thanh said qualified high personnel will play an important role in the bank’s path of retail banking.

    He said the appointment of a foreign worker with experience and deep knowledge about the Vietnamese market to the post of director of retail banking shows the bank’s determination to become No 1 in retail banking in Vietnam by 2020.


     Kim Chi, VNN


    0 0
  • 02/01/18--00:37: Article 2
  • BUSINESS IN BRIEF 1/2


    PNJ targets opening at least 40 stores this year

    Phu Nhuan Jewelry (PNJ) plans to open at least 40 new stores this year and have 300 by the end of April. The 40 new stores include gold stores or stores combining gold and silver retail.

    It has also set a net revenue target of VND14.1 trillion ($619.6 million) for the parent company this year, up 30 per cent, with after-tax profit increasing 22 per cent to VND882 billion ($38.7 million).

    PNJ is in the process of preparing for upgrading and modernizing its ERP system, through which it can study customer behavior at outlets and better understand customer choice.

    The company also plans to use big data to develop new products aimed at more specific customer groups and at the same time use digital marketing strategies to expand market share.

    As noted by HSC, PNJ’s sales in FY2017 increased 28 per cent year-on-year to VND10.97 trillion ($482.1 million) thanks to most segments growing strongly. Gold bar revenue increased 20 per cent, to VND2.04 trillion ($89.6 million).

    Revenue from gold jewelry grew 31 per cent year-on-year to VND8.7 trillion ($382.4 million), with jewelry sales growing 39 per cent to VND5.567 trillion ($244.5 million). Turnover from gold jewelry sales increased 19 per cent, to VND3.01 trillion ($132.2 million), while revenue from silver products grew 28 per cent to VND221 billion ($9.6 million).

    Gross profit increased 35.5 per cent year-on-year to VND1.9 trillion ($83.12 million), with a gross profit margin of 17.4 per cent, up 16.5 per cent.

    Gross profit from gold bars increased 14 per cent year-on-year to VND38.4 billion ($1.68 million), with a gross profit margin of 1.9 per cent.

    Gross profit from jewelry retail grew 43 per cent to VND1.55 trillion ($68.01 million), with a gross profit margin of 27.9 per cent.

    After-tax profit in 2017 reached over VND725 billion ($31.8 million), up 61 per cent and exceeding the target by 21 per cent.

    FLC postpones dividend payment due to HSX shutdown

    On January 25, FLC Group JSC (HSX: FLC) announced postponing the final dividend payment for the year 2016 which would have been issued as cash payments or as stocks due to the recent technical halt on the Ho Chi Minh City Stock Exchange.

    A technical fault in the January 22 ATC order matching session put the entire HSX trading platform into a coma for 48 hours. This was the first time that the Vietnamese stock market was deactivated.

    As a result, FLC postponed the shareholder register for the dividend payment until February 8. The group also announced the ex-rights date of February 1 as well as paying dividends worth 3 per cent of each share to the group’s shareholders on January 13.

    On January 10, the group set up a subsidiary called FLC Industrial Park Development and Management Company Limited with a charter capital of VND100 billion ($4.4 million). The main business of the subsidiary is investment, industrial zones, and real estate.

    Likewise, the board of directors of FLC Industrial Park Development Investment and Management Limited established a subsidiary called FLC Jewellery Company Limited with a charter capital of VND100 billion ($4.4 million), 100 per cent contributed by FLC. The subsidiary’s main business was reported to be gold trading and jewellery manufacturing.

    After two skipped trading sessions due to the HSX shutdown, FLC closed at VND6,830 ($0.3) per share, with 10.95 million shares successfully transferred.

    Addressing the technical halt, the chairman of HSX previously apologised over the unwanted incident, stating the exchange would present its maintenance plan for the trading platform in order to prevent similar technical failures from occuring in the long run.

    Phu Yen province receives wind power mega project

    A wind power project has just officially received the investment certificate at the Phu Yen Investment Promotion Conference on January 19.

    This 300-megawatt project called HBRE-Phu Yen Wind Power Plant will be invested by HBRE Phu Yen Company.

    HBRE-Phu Yen Wind Power Plant will be constructed in Tuy An district with the total investment of over VND9 trillion ($396.5 million).

    According to Ho Ta Tin, chairman of HBRE Group, to successfully receive the certificate, the investor has conducted research and constructed several wind stations to measure technical statistics related to the feasibility of the project for over a year.

    “With the average wind speed of 7-8 metre per second, the site has huge potential for generating electricity,” Tin added.

    Following the design, the project is going to construct 100 wind turbines. These turbines are expected to use equipment and technology exported from the US and Europe, costing around 60-70 per cent of the total investment.

    Tin said that the documents for investment implementation are in progress so that construction works can start in late 2018.

    HBRE-Phu Yen Wind Power Plant is co-funded by world-leading groups in the renewable energy sector. “After considering a number of prestigious investors around the world, we gave the best marks to those from Singapore. They have rich experience, cutting-edge technology, high credit, and firm financial strength as well as strong determination to carry out the project, so we decided to collaborate with them,” Tin shared.

    According to Lim Tian Michael, head of Business Development & Commercial Asset Management (Renewables)–Sembcorp Utilities at Sembcorp Industries, after 20 years of investing in Vietnam-Singapore Industrial Parks (VSIPs), the future investment strategy of Sembcorp will be expanding investments into renewable energy in Vietnam, including wind power.

    “Based on Semcorp’s stringent examination and assessment, we consider that the project is a great investment in Vietnam, so the two parties have discussed collaborating and further details related to the project in Phu Yen. This is also the very first wind power project as well as the first one in Vietnam that Sembcorp implements with HBRE Group,” Michael noted.

    Speaking of the renewable energy sector, Michael added that even though Sembcorp has not directly invested in or collaborated to carry out any projects yet, the group has conducted a number of projects of this kind with the total capacity of over 2,000MW around the world.

    “Before making the decision to co-operate with HBRE, Semcorp has thoroughly examined the project as well as HBRE Group. HBRE Group is our ultimate partner for this project. Thus, we believe we will achieve great success.”

    HBRE Group is a professional investor in wind power in Vietnam. The group has invested in phase 1 of the construction and operation of the wind farm in Ea H’Leo district in the Central Highlands province of Daklak. This project has a total capacity of 28MW, total investment of VND1.4 trillion ($62 million), and is expected to come into operation in the middle of 2018.

    In addition, the group has received approval from the Gia Lai People’s Committee to conduct research on feasible investment into a wind farm project with the total capacity of 80MW in Gia Lai. In the central province of Ha Tinh, HBRE Group is analysing investment opportunities for a 120MW wind farm project.

    According to the Global Wind Atlas produced by TrueWind Solutions in 2001, Vietnam had the biggest potential for wind power among the four countries of Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, and Thailand. The CentralHighlands and the Central Coast of Vietnam were found to have considerably good wind speed for such projects.

    SBV: Banks should avoid lending to sectors with risk

    The State Bank of Vietnam (SBV) has ordered lenders to tighten control of investment loans intended for the stock and real estate markets.

    A recent statement from the SBV said lenders should avoid focusing on stock and real estate customers and maintain credit growth in these sectors within safe limits. They must also keep track of their debtors’ finances and the progress of their projects.

    “Credit expansion should go hand-in-hand with strict supervision to ensure loans are used for their intended purpose and do not add to bad debts,” the statement said.

    The warning comes in the wake of a property development crisis in Ho Chi Minh City, where the main contractor, American General Construction Inc., halted all its operations in the city earlier this month, claiming it had only received 60 per cent of its payment for a high-end apartment project. The parties involved are still trying to deal with the crisis.

    The central bank said lenders should divert their focus from “risky areas” to the manufacturing sector and give priority to agriculture, exports, support industries, and high-tech investments.

    Mr. Nguyen Quoc Hung, a senior official at the SBV’s Credit Department, told a press briefing on January 25 that credit growth in risky areas was successfully controlled last year. The real estate sector reported 8.56 per cent credit growth last year, compared to 12.86 per cent in 2016, he said.

    SBV Deputy Governor Ms. Nguyen Thi Hong said it will maintain strict control this year as Vietnam’s economy has become more open and vulnerable to fluctuations on the global market.

    Bad debts in Vietnam’s banking sector, mostly incurred due to a slowdown in the country’s real estate market in the early 2010s, had been cut to 2.3 per cent by the end of 2017, down from 2.46 per cent at the end of 2016, according to the SBV.

    The central bank set up an institution to deal with toxic loans, the Vietnam Asset Management Corp. (VAMC), in late 2013. Credit ratings agency Moody’s upgraded its outlook for Vietnam’s banking system in October from stable to positive for the next 12 to 18 months, reflecting the country’s strong economic prospects and positive outlook for most rated banks.

    Women supported to open businesses amid industrial revolution 4.0

    As Vietnam integrates into the global economy and embraces the 4th industrial revolution, women are more likely to lag behind. A recent forum organized by the VCCI explored ways to help women in Vietnam expand start-up activities and participate more actively in the economy.

    The forum called “Womenwill – Women in industrial revolution 4.0” organised by the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) took place in Hanoi on January 17. 

    Womenwill is a Google initiative to create economic opportunities for women. It promotes gender equality and helps women acquire technology skills, get inspired, and connect with each other through trainings, events, and advocacy.

    Female entrepreneurs helped to share information, get inspired

    At the forum, Google experts invited female entrepreneurs to share their stories about women’s role in the 4th industrial revolution. 

    Pham Duc Nghiem, deputy head of the National Agency for Technology Entrepreneurship and Commercialization Development, said although businesses owned by women account for only 21% of all small and medium-sized enterprises, they make an important contribution to Vietnam’s economic growth. 

    Nghiem called for more incentives for women’s start-ups: “The Ministry of Science and Technology prioritizes a start-up ecosystem for 3 groups of targets. The first is support for creating products which make female work less labor-intensive and promotes gender equality. The second is support for innovative projects owned by women. The third is support for innovative projects or businesses which involve a large number of women.”

    Experts at the forum said that the 4th Industrial Revolution is creating opportunities and challenges for micro and small businesses, many of which are owned and managed by women. 

    Female entrepreneurs were asked to take the initiative in accessing technology and building long-term development strategies in order to catch up with the trend. 

    Labor-intensive work in industries like garments and textiles, leather footwear, and seafood processing can be replaced by automation. The forum outlined solutions to help female entrepreneurs meet challenges and avoid being left behind. 

    Dong Nai: selected FDI proves efficient

    Dong Nai has begun attracting investment in a more selective way over recent years. In 2017 the province got more than 1.2 billion USD in FDI capital.

    Dong Nai is now home to 30 industrial parks, the most in Vietnam. Many of them have no vacancies. Last year, the province aimed to attract US$1 billion worth of FDI but it had exceeded its target by 25%. Disbursement reached a record high of US$1.1 billion, 88% of the registered capital.

    Woosung Vietnam, a Korean animal feeds processor, chose BauXeoIndustrial Park in Trang Bom District for investment. Recently it invested an additional US$2 million, raising its total investment in Dong Nai to US$18.6 million. The company’s leaders praised the province’s favorable conditions like land lease terms, local incentives, and the potential market.

    Woosung Director General Kim Seung Hee, said “When we began operating, the government has helped us very much, for example, in the exemption of corporate tax for some years. The land lease price is very cheap. We think it’s very good investment environment.”

    In recent years, Dong Nai has prioritized FDI projects that use hi-tech and skilled workers, and are environment-friendly.

    Despite stricter conditions for investment projects, FDI capital has increased, proving that Dong Nai continues to be attractive to foreign investors. Kadowaki Keiichi, President of the Japanese Business Association in HCMC, said that 200 investment projects by Japanese enterprises reflects the potential of Dong Nai’s investment environment. He says regular dialogues between provincial authorities and businesses should be promoted.

    The selection of FDI projects has, in fact, for years followed the global trend towards safe, environment-friendly production.

    Mai Van Nhon, deputy head of the Dong Nai Industrial Zone Management Board, said “The Prime Minister made an impressive statement at a recent Business Forum: each coin invested by investors is a vote for Vietnam’s facilitating government. It’s the case in Dong Nai. We think when investors pour their money into the province, they must have a strong belief in our working method and support for enterprises.”

    Commercial arbitration improves dispute resolution

    Vietnam’s encouragement of commercial arbitration has been hailed by the international community. The country's socialist-oriented market economy and its strong international integration have offered numerous opportunities for trade promotion.

    The Vietnam International Arbitration Centre (VIAC) reported a 20% to 30% increase in the number of trade disputes in recent years. Most disputes went to the court. A very modest number of cases were settled through commercial arbitration.

    In Vietnam, commercial arbitration methods are acknowledged in legal and sub-law documents, as well as in international treaties that Vietnam has signed. The Politburo’s Resolution on Judicial Reform Strategy to 2020 underscores Vietnam’s encouragement of settling disputes via negotiations, reconciliation, and arbitration, adding that the court will assist this process by acknowledging arbitration results. 

    This has laid a basic foundation for setting up legal regulations on alternative dispute resolution methods, including commercial arbitration.

    The Vietnamese government has promulgated a Decree on Commercial Mediation, the first legislation specifically governing commercial mediation in Vietnam. It has played a very important role in encouraging dispute resolution via reconciliation, and enhancing mediation methods.

    Vu Anh Duong, Vice Chairman of VIAC, said 2017 saw 19 trade disputes settled by arbitration, which were hailed by the Arbitration Council. All parties have pledged to follow the arbitration results.

    Vietnam is determined to improve its legal system, including regulations on commercial arbitration, and to enhance Vietnamese arbitrators’ expertise in the near future.   

    Dozen agreements signed at Vietship 2018

    Vietship 2018 saw 12 contracts and memoranda of understanding worth millions of dollars, marked increased co-operation between domestic and foreign partners.

    At the signing ceremony, six co-operation contracts were signed, including three contracts for building cruise ships between Halong Shipbuilding Company and three other partners.

    Additionally, Bach Dang Shipbuilding Company signed a contract with  H.P.C Maritime JSC on the purchase of  a 22,500-DWT oil tanker, and Vietnam Shipbuilding Engineering JSC and H.P.C Maritime JSC signed agreements to convert their 22,500-DWT and 17,500-DWT vessels into tankers of similar capacity. Finally, there was one shipbuilding contract between 189 Co., Ltd. and GreenlinesDP Technology Co., Ltd.

    Besides, other memoranda of understanding (MoUs) include building three fishing trawlers and four barges, building a 6,500DWT tanker, and building a new ship named Jetcat, among others.

    “These are opportunities for Vietnamese and international enterprises to exchange technology, attract investment, and promote trade, as well as boost the development of Vietnamese shipbuilding,” said Deputy Minister of Transport Nguyen Van Cong.

    The signed ceremony took place within the framework of Vietship 2018 in the presence of representatives from over 100 domestic and foreign enterprises attending Vietship 2018-the ninth international exhibition on shipbuilding, shipping, and offshore equipments, held by Shipbuilding Industry Corporation (SBIC) in Hanoi.

    Since the first event in 2002, Vietship has become a convergence point for Vietnam and other countries to demonstrate advanced technologies in shipbuilding, marine equipment, shipping services, and marine and offshore engineering.

    Vietnamese garment companies increase competitiveness


     Vietnamese garment companies increase competitiveness, Forestry, wood exports to top $9b, Steel sector set for 20% growth, Blockchain technology may open new era, Jewellers seek better loans for 2018

    Vietnam earns billions of dollars from garment and textile exports every year. But in the domestic market, local enterprises are facing fierce competition from foreign rivals.

    In late 2017 many foreign clothing companies made inroads into the Vietnamese market heating up the competition with local fashion brands and garment manufacturers. After Zara, H&M opened stores in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City last September. With Mango and Topshop, they are the favorite brands in Vietnam

    Nguyen Thi Tuyet who lives in Binh Thanh district, Ho Chi Minh city says “I like foreign brands with affordable prices. They aren’t more expensive than local ones but have good materials and good designs and are fashionable.”

    Vietnam’s famous clothing brands like An Phuoc, Viet Tien, and Garment 10 focus on trousers, T-shirts, and vests. Other product lines like dresses, sweaters, and pullovers are facing tough competition from foreign brands. Some Vietnamese companies have begun investing in this market segment.

    Than Duc Viet, Deputy General Director of Garment 10 Corporation said, "We focus 80% of our investment in main product line and 20% in fast fashion to increase our competitiveness and maintain our market share amidst young people’s preference for foreign clothing brands.”

    Vietnamese enterprises are urged to improve their capacity, focus on long-term investment, recruit competent fashion designers, and promote their products. 

    Pham Xuan Hong, Chairman of the Ho Chi Minh City Association of Garment Textile Embroidery Knitting (AGTEK) says, "The Association plans to establish a FashionDesignCenter in the hope of creating a breakthrough in fashion design in Vietnam.”

    Vietnam is becoming a promising market for foreign clothing makers. Vietnamese enterprises are advised to change their business strategies and adopt new trends in order not to be left behind in the fierce competition.

    Netherlands – Vietnam’s fruitful export market in EU

    Over the past three years, the Netherlands has grown to become the largest importer of Vietnamese products in the EU with the value of imports seeing a year-on-year increase of between 18%- 25% to reach US$7.1 billion in 2017, according to the Vietnam Trade Office in the Netherlands.

    Vietnam’s  imported products that has a competitive edge like electronics and components, telephones, footwear, garments and textiles, seafood, cashew nuts, machinery, equipment and tools, plastic products, bags, suitcases, umbrellas, means of transport, fruit and vegetables, and various toys, also posted a relatively high growth rate of 10-40% per year.

    The Netherlands was also the EU’s largest consumer of Vietnamese cashew nuts and seafood with import values of US$303.6 million and US$541.8 million, up 48.8% and 41.8%, respectively. 

    Contrary to the high export growth in the aforementioned products, last year, the exports of other products such as coffee, pepper, and rice dropped by more than 20%.

    New Honda dealership launched     

    Honda Vietnam Company Limited (Honda Vietnam) and Hoa Binh Minh Corporation officially opened a dealership in Khai Quang Ward, Vinh Yen City, northern Vinh Phuc Province, on January 25, 2018.

    Construction for the new establishment, the Vinh Phuc Honda Automobile Dealership, began in April 2017, over a total area of ​​7,000 square metres of sleek design with modern equipment for all repair, maintenance and inspection purposes of imported Honda vehicles from Japan and Europe, according to Honda global standard.

    The building includes three floors, with a fully furnished automobile showroom, customer lounge, repair area, car wash and a spare parts store.

    The new Honda dealership offers after-sales service adhering to international professional standards, by a team of qualified customer consultants and technicians from Honda Vietnam. Vinh Phuc is considered one the country’s largest automobile and motorcycle production centres.

    Assembly lines from Honda, Toyota, Piaggio and a number of factories components and accessories manufacturing plants are situated in VinhYenCity and surrounding areas.

    In recent years, the province’s automobile industry has contributed to its impressive development by millions of dollars per year.

    Thanks to Vinh Phuc Province‘s preferential policies and favourable business conditions, its urban areas are now home to many automobile and motorbike dealership and garages from many world- famous brands.

    Japanese group eyes solar plant in Binh Phuoc     

    Asia Infonet INC Company, a member of Japan’s AIN Group, has proposed to build a solar power plant at Becamex-Binh Phuoc Industrial and Urban Complex.

    The proposal was made at a meeting between Asia Infonet INC’s representatives and officials of the southern province of Binh Phuoc on Thursday.

    The project is expected to be built on an area of 54ha, with a capacity of 50MK.

    Tsuyoshi Sai, general director of Asia Infonet INC, said the company had experience in solar energy development in Japan and had invested in many projects with a total capacity of up to 400MK.

    He hoped to know about the procedures required to carry out the project as soon as possible, particularly legal procedures to connect the plant to the national grid and sell electricity at the industrial park.

    Secretary of provincial Party Committee Nguyen Van Loi said he appreciated and fully supported the Japanese group’s investment in the pioneer project, which would be of great significance to the province. The province will ensure optimal conditions for granting investment license so that the project can come to fruition, he said.

    He also asked relevant agencies to help the Japanese investor complete procedures in the first quarter of 2018.

    BinhPhuocProvince has huge advantage to foster solar energy projects, with an average of 2,700 sunlit hours a year and the highest solar radiation in the country’s Southeast region. The province prioritises solar energy development and is inviting investment in this sector. 

    HSC’s revenue increases five times in Q4/2017     

    HCM City Securities Corporation (HSC) gained strong business growth in the fourth quarter of 2017 (Q4/2017).

    Market boom at the end of the year helped brokerage revenue and securities investment of the company to surge.

    HSC announced that in Q4/2017, it achieved a year-on-year increase of five times in total revenue to reach VND234 billion (US$10.3 million) and a year-on-year increase of 2.5 times in after-tax profit.

    As a result, the corporation earned a total revenue of VND1,537.5 billion last year and after-tax profit of VND544 billion, up 86.7 per cent and 82 per cent respectively against 2016, reported vnexpress.net.

    The brokerage revenue reached VND602 ​​billion, up 73 per cent, while securities investment had a year-on-year increase of 87.5 per cent. Income from other activities increased 15 times. Thanks to the sudden surge in profit, the basic earnings for each share in 2017 was VND4,289, an increase of 79 per cent compared to 2016.

    Last year was also successful for the stock market in Viet Nam as indicators were at the highest level since the crisis in 2007. The VN-Index increased 48 per cent from the beginning of 2017 to more than 1,000 points, while HNX-Index increased more than 46 per cent.

    According to the State Securities Commission, profit of securities companies in 2017 more than doubled the 2016 level to reach some VND7 trillion. Of these, there were 63 profitable and 21 loss-making securities companies. 

    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. 

    Forestry, wood exports to top $9b     

    The country’s exports of forestry product are expected to top US$9 billion this year, with wood and wooden products accounting for $8.5-8.7 billion, according to the Handicraft and Wood Industry Association of HCM City (Hawa).

    Nguyen Quoc Khanh, Hawa chairman, said exports of wooden and other forestry products rose by 10.2 per cent last year to a record $8 billion, a figure targeted only in 2020.

    Exports of wood and wooden products increased by 12.3 per cent a year for the past seven years, and are forecast to rise even faster in the next three years, he told a celebration in HCMCity yesterday, on the occasion of the forestry products exported value reaching the $8 billion mark in 2017.

    He listed the opportunities for the sector until 2020, saying the future is bright.

    China, the world’s largest supplier of wooden products, has imposed export taxes on wooden products. It faces a lawsuit in the US for dumping furniture, reducing the competiveness of its products.

    Other main furniture producers like Germany and Italy have cut production due to higher costs, while Malaysia and some other ASEAN members have development strategies but lack the workforce required.

    Global demand for furniture remains high, and though Viet Nam is strong in that area its exports are insignificant, which means there is considerable scope for Vietnamese firms to increase their market share.

    Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Nguyen Xuan Cuong hailed the sector’s achievements, saying: “Reaching $8 billion in exports is a very important landmark for the forestry sector.”

    It would have opportunities to expand its market share in the global market since “there is an increase in demand,” he said.

    "But consumers have increasingly higher demands and furniture producers need to improve quality, designs and features to add value to their products," he said.

    Viet Nam’s 100 million population makes it a promising market too.”

    To achieve the export target this year, firms need to invest more in technology and business management to raise productivity and sustain quality, he said.

    They should “diversify timber sources” to avoid the risk of high prices while saying no to illegal sources, he said.

    The US has cut corporate income tax to support local furniture producers, and Vietnamese firms should avoid export of products that US firms are producing, he said.

    Nguyen Lien, general director of Lam Viet Joint Stock Company, said the market for wooden products is good now with many international buyers shifting from China to Viet Nam.

    “I think the export target of $9-10 billion is easy to achieve.”

    His company had earned $21 million from furniture exports last year, and it is expected to increase by 20-25 per cent to $25-27 million this year, he said.

    “Businesses have prepared well to capitalise on market opportunities,” he added.

    Wood and wooden products rank sixth in the list of the country’s largest export items.

    Viet Nam is the largest exporter of those products among ASEAN member nations, second largest in Asia and fifth in the world.

    Fourteen outstanding wood processing and forestry products export firms were honoured for their business achievements at the celebration. 

    Steel sector set for 20% growth     

    The Viet Nam Steel Association has predicted a year-on-year increase of 20-22 per cent in steel production this year.

    Nguyen Van Sua, the association’s deputy chairman, said at a meeting on Thursday a number of steel projects would become operational this year, including a plant of Hoa Phat Group in central Quang Ngai Province, with an annual capacity of two million tonnes, a three-million tonne capacity plant of Formosa in Ha Tinh Province, a 350,000 tonne-capacity production line of Hoa Sen in Binh Dinh and three plants of Pomina, Viet-Y and Tung Ho, with a total capacity of 1.8 million tonnes per year.

    The new plants would boost steel output significantly, the association said.

    Specifically, cast iron is predicted to increase by 75 per cent to reach 7,500 tonnes, steel ingot by 14 per cent to 14,000 tonnes and finished steel products by 19 per cent to 26,230 tonnes.

    Sua said the association would proactively participate in developing national standards for steel products and technical barriers as well as promote the application of trade defense instruments to protect domestic industry amidst rapid international integration.

    In addition to these, the association would keep a close watch on the import of products that local producers can manufacture and propose measures to promote domestic production.

    According to Nghiem Xuan Da, chairman of Viet Nam Steel Corporation, the steel industry has seen rapid increases in capacity, output and demand during the past five years. In 2018, Viet Nam would continue to be a fast-growing market for steel, he said.

    He also said the government should increase policies to promote investment and international co-operation and stimulate steel consumption demand by developing industries such as construction, ship building and mechanics.

    The association’s statistics revealed that steel output reached more than 22 million tonnes in 2017, a year-on-year increase of 23.5 per cent, with a sale volume of nearly 19 million tonnes, up by 20.7 per cent.

    The industry recorded an export revenue of more than US$3.64 billion, up by 45.4 per cent over 2016.

    Viet Nam imported nearly 20 million tonnes of steel in 2017, worth $10.5 billion, a drop by 14.2 per cent in volume but a rise of 13.2 per cent in value.

    HCM City, Laos seek measures to boost trade     

    The products of HCMCity and Laos are more complementary than competing in nature, meeting consumption and production demand of both sides. But their bilateral trade relation has not met the expectations of either side, according to the Investment and Trade Promotion Centre of HCM City (ITPC).

    Trade between HCMCity and Laos reached nearly US$8.01 million in 2017 compared to $12.7 million in 2016, with HCMCity enjoying a trade surplus.

    Speaking at a seminar on measures to enhance trade relations between HCMCity and Laos held on the sidelines of the Laos Goods Week in HCMCity, Pham Thiet Hoa, ITPC director, said: “There remain difficulties in border trade between Viet Nam and Laos, so this undermines two-way trade.”

    Import-export support services and transport connections between the two countries are still underdeveloped, he said, adding that economic zones on the shared border were short of capital.

    Vanxay Keovilay, Lao Vice Consul, said Lao enterprises see HCMCity and Viet Nam in general as potential markets as Laos has an advantage in supplying traditionally farmed products with no use of chemical fertilisers and pesticides and handicrafts made from natural materials.

    Vietnamese consumers are very fond of organic agricultural products and handicrafts, which is good for Lao exporters, he said.

    At the seminar, many producers and traders from different Lao localities introduced themselves and sought Vietnamese distributors for many kinds of regional specialty products.

    Through the workshop, Keovilay said he hopes that businesses from both sides can understand more about each other’s markets, establish partnerships and propose solutions to further facilitate bilateral trade.

    His consulate, in collaboration with Laos’ ministries and localities, are willing to answer questions related to trade promotion and the import-export business between the two countries, he said.

    Phoukham Ouanouansa, director of the Xieng Khouang Business Centre, said that he is looking for trading partners in HCMCity to distribute rice and sticky rice.

    Currently, his partner in Nghe An Province imports 60 tonnes of rice and he will send to this partner another 1,000 tonnes in March.

    Phoukham Ouanouansa also said he wants to sell Viet Nam’s high-quality products in Laos as well as provide consultancy to Vietnamese firms who want to invest in XiengKhouangProvince.

    At the meeting, Vietnamese distributors advised the Lao businesses to develop standards for food products exported to Viet Nam in terms of food hygiene and safety.

    Pham Thi Thanh Tuyen from Saigon Co.op suggested that Lao enterprises pay more attention to improving their product packaging and labels, as well as provide clear information about the products so that Vietnamese consumers can understand them.

    In addition, although some Lao products are produced following natural or organic methods, their prices should not be too high, she said.

    Organised by the consulate, ITPC and the HCM City Department of Industry and Trade, the seminar attracted around 80 Lao and Vietnamese enterprises in the fields of fruits, vegetables, food processing, confectionery, beverage, plastic, cosmetics, handicrafts, garments and textiles, footwear, construction, design and environmental protection. 

    Trade fair displays local goods     

    A trade fair with more than 150 booths is being held in southern An Giang Province’s LongXuyenCity with the participation of 100 local businesses.

     Jointly-hosted by the An Giang Province People’s Committee, the provincial Trade Promotion Centre and Sai Gon IP Corp, the fair displays consumer goods, foodstuff, furniture, footwear, apparel, fine arts and handicrafts.

    The event has been described as a good opportunity for firms to advertise their trademarks and introduce goods to local customers to boost provincial trade turnover, organisers said.

    It will run until February 2.

    Blockchain technology may open new era

    Blockchain, a new technology to help explore the various forms of crypto-currencies, could open up new attractive environment for all businesses and investors, said Nguyen Duc Cuong, head of consultancy division at Vietstock – a local financial-business media.

    Cuong made the statement at the first summit in Vietnam on blockchain technology and digital money, called Vietstock Blockchain Summit. The event was held in HCMCity on January 28 by Vietstock and FundYourselfNow – a Singaporean organisation that helps startup businesses to raise funds for their initial coin offering (ICO).

    Vietnamese investors have caught up with the world trend and turned blockchain and crytocurrencies into a “hot” investment trend. For example, bitcoin and other cryptocurrency-related key words were among the top search targets on Google in Vietnam last year.

    This means that local businesses and investors have a great demand to learn and access the new technology and cryptocurrencies.

    The digital ledger, in which transactions made in various types of cryptocurrency are recorded chronologically and publicly, can open up new trends in the different fields of finance, banking, retail and telecommunications, Cuong said.

    He added that being considered as the foundation of the industrial revolution 4.0, which was spreading around the world, this was the time for blockchain technology and digital money to provide additional cryptocurrency products.

    The prospects of blockchain technology and technology-based digital money had become brighter as the technology could help firms replace traditional legal documents, which were handwritten and compiled on computers, with encryption.

    Therefore, blockchain technology could minimise the chance of identity theft and strengthen personal data security. Recently, government agencies in Singapore, Canada, Switzerland and Estonia had started developing national identification systems using blockchain technology.

    According to Kennett Tan, chief technology officer of FundYourselfNow, blockchain can remove the need for a centralised server to verify ownership and deals. He said the technology could help financial and banking businesses process their transactions faster without asking for assistance from any intermediary units. This would save time and costs.

    In addition, blockchain technology could help businesses retain intellectual property rights and registrations, Tan said.

    Liu Yusho, CEO of Vinaex.com, a bitcoin wallet service that assists customers to buy, sell and secure bitcoin, said that the total capitalisation of the cryptocurrency market was only 2 billion USD a few years ago with bitcoin accounting for 90 percent of the market value.

    The numbers had increased to 550-600 billion USD with nearly 1,500 types of crytocurrency. Bitcoin now only dominated 35 percent of the market value, he said.

    Liu said that there were risks for investors when they purchased digital money or assets and they should take careful look at potential risks.

    Investors needed to know that as the crytpocurrency market was booming, there would be projects, websites and companies trying to defraud them, he said.

    The event was carried out to help investors, businesses and the public understand the nature of blockchain technology, its applications, how cryptocurrencies are managed and the nature of the world’s quickly rising cryptocurrency market.

    Thaco opens smart truck, bus showroom

    The Truong Hai Automobile Joint Stock Company (Thaco) has officially inaugurated its first smart truck and bus showroom and service centre in the central city of Da Nang, offering convenient facilities for customers in the central region.

    Thaco Chairman Tran Ba Duong stressed at the opening ceremony on January 28 that the centre will serve as an example for its mass development of smart showrooms in 40 provinces and cities nationwide by 2020.

    The Da Nang showroom and service centre, which was built in Hoa Vang district on a 2.6ha area with total investment of 142 billion VND (6.3 million USD), provides maintenance services using advanced technology for 200 buses and trucks each day.

    “The centre – Thaco’s first of its kind in Vietnam– aims to offer a comprehensive service for bus and truck models that Thaco has sold to customers in Vietnam. We also build trust and guarantee top service among our agents and car users in nationwide,” Duong said.

    “We offer services to locally made brands Foton, Fuso and Thaco bus in central Vietnam, and Thaco plans to invest 6 trillion VND (265 million USD) in the development of service centres through out Vietnam in 2020,” he said.

    He added that Thaco has developed 100 showrooms and 60 authorised agents in 63 provinces and cites.

    According to the latest report, the local car maker sold nearly 90,000 cars in 2017, claiming 40 percent market share of automobiles in Vietnam.

    Last year, Thaco launched the first made-in-Vietnam bus factory at Quang Nam province’s Chu Lai-Truong Hai Industrial Complex with a capacity of 20,000 buses and minibuses a year, mostly for export.

    The Quang Nam-based auto maker has also developed a supporting industry zone with 24 plants producing spare parts and accessories for local use and export.

    Thaco, in co-operation with Japan’s Mazda Motor Corporation, has developed a new Mazda factory – the second such Mazda facility in Quang Nam province, with a total investment of 380 million USD.

    Thaco currently assembles and distributes the Republic of Korea’s Kia, Japan’s Mazda, France’s Peugeot and BMW models.

    Slight rise in January’s consumer price index in Hanoi

    Hanoi’s consumer price index (CPI) for January rose 0.86 percent over December 2017 and 2.06 percent compared to the same month last year, according to the Hanoi Statistics Office.

    Compared with the previous month, slight increases were seen in housing and construction materials (1.77 percent), food and catering (1.22 percent), transportation (0.6 percent), culture, entertainment and tourism (0.26 percent), home appliances (0.21 percent), education (0.21 percent) and other commodities (0.35 percent).

    Two goods and service groups showed a decrease. Garment and textiles, footwear and headwear went down 0.12 percent while post and telecommunications fell 0.07 percent.

    The domestic gold price rose 1.86 percent against December and 8.4 percent from the same month last year. 

    In the month, the market saw a price reduction of 0.03 percent in USD from December and a year-on-year increase of 0.22 percent.

    Jewellers seek better loans for 2018

    The Saigon Jewellery Association (SJA) will continue to call on the State Bank of Vietnam to make it easier for jewellery businesses, who seek to invest in upgrading their production and trading technology, in accessing bank loans, its chairman said.

    Nguyen Van Dung, SJA chairman, said this at a recent meeting held in HCMCity to review SJA’s performance last year and set tasks for this year.

    Last year, the association successfully suggested banks allow credit institutions provide loans to jewellery trading enterprises, which has greatly helped them in expanding their development, he said.

    Dung said the association also organised overseas trips to help its members find new exports markets as well as update production technologies.

    It organised competitions to honour talented jewellery designers and carried out social activities such as giving gifts for elderly people, building bridges in rural areas, providing scholarships to poor students and others.

    For this year, SJA will focus on three main missions – actively giving opinions on the Government’s policies, especially policies related to the jewellery industry; suggesting SBV ease conditions for businesses in the field in order to access bank loans; and guiding its members to strictly implement the Government’s policies and help their members manage their gold trading effectively, he said.

    VNN


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  • 02/01/18--00:59: Article 1
  • PV Power sells over 468 million shares in IPO


    The PetroVietnam Power Corporation (PV Power) sold all 468.37 million shares it offered at the initial public offering (IPO) at the Hanoi Stock Exchange on January 31, raising nearly 7 trillion VND (308 million USD).


     PV Power sells over 468 million shares in IPO, 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 shares, or about 20 percent of the firm’s chartered capital, with the initial price of 14,400 VND (0.633 USD), were sold to 1,981 investors at the average price of 14,938 VND per share, with the highest bidding price at 28,000 VND and the lowest at 14,500 VND.

    PV Power, the country’s second largest state-run electricity producer, was found in 2007 and fully-owned by the Vietnam National Oil and Gas Group (PetroVietnam).

    It operates eight power companies and electricity plants with a total installed capacity of 4,208.2 MW, capable of supplying about 21 billion kWh per year, or 12 percent of the country’s total power output.

    The corporation earned approximately 31 trillion VND (1.36 billion USD) in revenue in 2017. Its pre-tax profit hit over 2.5 trillion VND (110 million USD), 83 percent higher than the yearly target.

    It is taking all necessary steps to hold the first shareholders’ meeting and register to be listed in the UPCOM within 3 months after the IPO day.

    It will also sell more than 676 million shares, equivalent to 28.88 percent of its capital, to strategic investors.

    VNA


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  • 02/01/18--01:03: Article 0
  • Government News 1/2


    State leader presents Tet gifts in Ho Chi Minh City


    State leader presents Tet gifts in Ho Chi Minh City, Ambassador presents credentials to Portuguese President, VFF leader receives Cambodian army official, Italy to host special event to mark Vietnam-Italy diplomatic ties 

    President Tran Dai Quang and a delegation lay a wreath at BenDuocMonument  

    President Tran Dai Quang laid a wreath and offered incense at the BenDuocMonument in Cu Chi district of Ho Chi Minh City on January 31 on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the Mau Than General Offensive and Uprising in spring 1968.

    The fallen soldier monument, the largest of its kind in Ho Chi Minh City, is built in the so-called Iron Triangle famous for the historic Cu Chi tunnels to commemorate people and soldiers who laid down their lives during the resistance wars against French and US aggressors.

    Also on the occasion of the upcoming lunar New Year (Tet) festival, the State leader attended a programme titled “Tet for the poor and dioxin victims”, and presented gifts to 100 beneficiaries of State preferential policies and underprivileged households in Cu Chi district.

    He extended his Tet wishes to locals, and appreciated efforts made by authorities of Ho Chi Minh City and Cu Chi district to care for policy beneficiaries, poor people and Agent Orange/dioxin victims.

    The President expressed his gratitude for the sacrifice of people who rendered service to the nation, encouraging them to become role models in abiding by the Party’s policies and the State’s laws so others people, especially young generations, can follow.

    The leader also paid Tet visits to several intellectuals in the city.

    Ambassador presents credentials to Portuguese President


     

    State leader presents Tet gifts in Ho Chi Minh City, Ambassador presents credentials to Portuguese President, VFF leader receives Cambodian army official, Italy to host special event to mark Vietnam-Italy diplomatic ties
    New Vietnamese Ambassador to Portugal Nguyen Thiep (L) presents credentials to Portuguese President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa (R)  

    New Vietnamese Ambassador to Portugal residing in France Nguyen Thiep presented credentials to Portuguese President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa in the capital city of Lisbon on January 24, assuring the 

    host that Vietnam wants to develop long-standing friendship and cooperation with the European country.

    Thiep said as marine-based economies, Vietnam and Portugal held the first exchange more than 500 years ago and bilateral ties have grown since Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung’s visit in June 2015, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh’s visit in May 2017 and Vietnam’s visit by Portuguese Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs and Cooperation Teresa Ribeiro in November 2017. 

    He wished to witness new developments of the two countries’ friendship within bilateral and multilateral framework, particularly facilitating high-level visits and promoting exchange between the two countries’ business community. 

    The Portuguese President said he will visit Vietnam soon and expressed his belief that the visit will open up a new development period for bilateral ties. 

    He wished that Ambassador Thiep would fulfil his assigned tasks and regularly visit and work in Portugal.

    Italy to host special event to mark Vietnam-Italy diplomatic ties


     

    State leader presents Tet gifts in Ho Chi Minh City, Ambassador presents credentials to Portuguese President, VFF leader receives Cambodian army official, Italy to host special event to mark Vietnam-Italy diplomatic ties
    Chairman of Hanoi People’s Committee Nguyen Duc Chung (R) hosts Italian Ambassador to Vietnam Cecilia Piccioni (Source: http://kinhtedothi.vn)  

    The Italian Embassy in Vietnam is planning a special event in Hanoi to mark the 45th anniversary of Vietnam-Italy diplomatic ties this year, according to Italian Ambassador to Vietnam Cecilia Piccioni. 

    During a working session with Chairman of Hanoi People’s Committee Nguyen Duc Chung on January 31, the Ambassador said the 45th anniversary is an important milestone in bilateral relations, and asked for support from Hanoi’s administration so that the celebration will be a success. 

    She said the special event, to be held at the Dien Hong flower garden (also known as the Con Coc garden) in Hanoi’s centre, will be a fashion show featuring works by Italian designers and Vietnamese silk-making artisans. 

    The Ambassador expressed her hope that the show will create an impression on local people in the way the Italian cultural week in Hanoi did last November, adding that the celebration will be the last event she organizes in Hanoi before ending her term in Vietnam in June this year. 

    Ambassador Cecilia Piccioni asked for permission from the Hanoi People’s Committee’s Chairman to restore the original look of the Dien Hong garden, which is near the Italian Embassy and is dubbed the Italian corner in Vietnam by embassy staff. 

    She thanked Hanoi authorities for their support of Italy’s WorldCity project, noting that a delegation from the project will visit Hanoi soon with the wish to have a working session with the Hanoi People’s Committee’s Chairman on February 6. 

    Chairman Nguyen Duc Chung pledged coordination with the Italian Embassy for the successful organisation of the special event. 

    He affirmed that he will meet with the WorldCity project delegation to learn from experience in building a smart city. 

    The official also talked about his intention to invite an Italian ship building company to Hanoi to help the city seek a suitable way to develop tourism on the WestLake

    VFF leader receives Cambodian army official


    State leader presents Tet gifts in Ho Chi Minh City, Ambassador presents credentials to Portuguese President, VFF leader receives Cambodian army official, Italy to host special event to mark Vietnam-Italy diplomatic ties 

    At the reception 


    President of the Vietnam Fatherland Front (VFF) Central Committee Tran Thanh Man received deputy chief of the High Command of the Cambodian Royal Army Guards Dieng Sarun in Hanoi on January 31. 

    Man expressed his belief that under the leadership of the Cambodian parliament and government with the Cambodian People’s Party at their core, Cambodia will continue prospering with improved stature on the regional and international arena. 

    He thanked the Cambodian army and guard force for their good ties with the Vietnamese ministries of national defence and public security to serve the cause of national defence and security in the two countries. 

    The VFF leader also expressed gratitude to the Cambodian people and authorities for providing support for Cambodian people of Vietnamese descent living in the country. He asked the Cambodian Party, government and people to continue assisting Vietnam in the search and repatriation of remains of Vietnamese fallen soldiers and the maintenance of monuments dedicated to bilateral friendship in Cambodia

    Dieng Sarun, for his part, said visiting each other on the occasion of Vietnam’s traditional Lunar New Year is a good tradition of both countries, and noted his hope that the tradition will continue to be fostered by later generations of the two nations.

    Thailand thanks Vietnam for facilitating Thai investors


    State leader presents Tet gifts in Ho Chi Minh City, Ambassador presents credentials to Portuguese President, VFF leader receives Cambodian army official, Italy to host special event to mark Vietnam-Italy diplomatic ties 

    Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha (right) meets Vietnamese Ambassador to Thailand Nguyen Hai Bang on January 31.


    Thailand thanks the Vietnamese government for facilitating Thai investors doing business in Vietnam, Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha told Vietnamese Ambassador Nguyen Hai Bang who paid him a courtesy visit in Bangkok on January 31.

    At the meeting, the Thai leader congratulated Vietnam’s U23 football team on their second place at the AFC U23 Championship, making history for Vietnam and Southeast Asia.

    This is the best point ever for the Vietnam– Thailand Strategic Partnership which is enjoying development in all fields, the PM said. He expressed his delight that the ministries of two nations will co-chair meetings of the joint trade committee and the joint committee on bilateral cooperation to prepare for the fourth Vietnam-Thailand Joint Cabinet Retreat in Vietnam this year.

    The PM wants the two countries to continue working closely to tackle illegal fishing and step up cooperation in exporting farm products like rice and rubber to stablise prices and avoid fierce competition. He lauded Vietnam’s efforts to tackle illegal fishing in foreign waters and urged stronger actions from both sides to prevent their boats from illegally fishing in each other’s waters.

    He also said looks forward to the two sides together with Laos and Cambodia strengthening maritime and overland connectivity.

    He affirmed that Thailand will create good conditions for made-in-Vietnam goods to enter its market and welcomes Vietnamese living in the country. 

    Ambassador Bang, for his part, thanked the government of Thailand and the PM for their effort to bolster the two countries’ relations in all fields, including economics, defence and security and labour affairs.

    He reiterated Vietnam will do its utmost to put illegal fishing to an end and hoped Thailand will treat Vietnamese fishermen with humanity.

    Bang also hoped PM Prayut to participate in the Greater Mekong Subregion Summit in Hanoi in March.

    VNN


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  • 02/04/18--05:42: Article 2
  • Social News 4/2


    Stakeholders share int’l experiences on bear bile farming

    Enhancing rescue centres’ capacity is one of the most critical aspects of efforts to put an end to the bear bile farming industry in Việt Nam, experts emphasised at a forum yesterday.

    Initiated by World Animal Protection (WAP), the third “Asiatic Black Bear Forum: Sharing experiences of bear bile farming management and keeping bears in the wild” held in Hà Nội follows two previous efforts in China to become a platform for wildlife experts, non-government organisations, state agencies and related forces to discuss bear protection policies and solutions.

    Việt Nam was a hotspot of bear bile farming in the 2000s. However, over the past 13 years, thanks to cooperation between the Government and wildlife protection organisations, the number of farmed bears has decreased from more than 2000 in the period of 2006 to 2012 to about 1000 in 2017.

    Despite positive signs, according to Nguyễn Mạnh Hiệp from the Việt Nam Administration of Forestry, there are several challenges, including improving living conditions at rescue centres, especially in the southern region, and encouraging bear farm owners to hand over bears to the Government.

    Representatives of South Korea’s National Assembly and Green Korea United Organisation (GKU) presented policies for combating the bear bile farming industry in their country. Their sterilisation programmes to ensure no new bear was born at bear farms were completed in early 2017. As of May 2017, there were only 660 sterilised bears captive at 36 farms. The progress has been made thanks to the advocacy by WAP and GKU towards the South Korea government and bear farm owners in the past 14 years.

    Jung-mi Lee, South Korea’s National Assembly member, stressed the importance of the cooperation of public and private sectors in addressing bear bile farming.

    “I think in South Korea and other countries including Việt Nam, people’s awareness of protecting animals is rising. Therefore, it is important for us to make bear farmers understand the significance of wildlife preservation beyond profits made from the bear bile trade,” she said.

    Lê Việt Dũng, deputy head of Đồng Nai Province Forest Rangers, raised the idea of a safari which is large enough to receive, take care of and create a semi-wild environment for rescued bears.

    “Because even sterilisation may be considered a violation against bears,” he said.

    Đồng Nai Province is one of the localities, including Hà Nội, Hải Phòng City and Bình Phước Province, implementing microchipping programmes developed by WAP in farmed bear management. The number of farmed bears here dropped from 163 to 91.

    Karanvir Kukreja from WAP said that innovations in the new microchipping programmes allowed experts to evaluate conditions of bears without using anesthesia. Moreover, WAP in collaboration with Education for Nature Vietnam (ENV) and Four Paws developed a detailed blueprint to put an end to bear bile farming.

    Education, health, gender equality top SDG priorities: survey


     Education, health, gender equality top SDG priorities: survey, social news, vietnamnet bridge, english news, Vietnam news, news Vietnam, vietnamnet news, Vietnam net news, Vietnam latest news, vn news, Vietnam breaking news 

    Quality education, good health and well-being, gender equality, zero hunger and poverty, peace, justice and strong institutions are the top goals that Vietnamese youth are ready to strive for.

    This was revealed in the first-ever Youth Survey on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) released in Hà Nội on Friday.

    At the launch of the survey, Caitlin Wiesen, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Country Director in Việt Nam, said UNDP had teamed up with the Sustainable Development Office of the Ministry of Planning and Investment (MPI) and the Centre for Sustainable Development Studies to conduct this survey.

    According to Wiesen, the aim of the survey was to better understand the concerns, perceptions and interests of the youth and which SDG goals they saw as vital for their future.

    “It is time to shift the notion of partnering with young people from engaging the youth as beneficiaries to partnering with the youth as agents of change, driving the SDGs and the future they want,” she said.

    More than 7,000 young people from all 63 provinces in the country responded to the survey, with nearly three-fourths of the respondents being female. More than 65 per cent of them lived in urban areas. Notably, three out of four respondents said they had not heard about the SDGs.

    Coordination and support mechanisms by actors, gender-sensitive approaches, awareness campaigns and public engagement activities are among the key recommendations of the survey to empower the youth to take action in achieving the SDGs.

    Đào Đình Tân, director of the Sustainable Development Office under MPI, said Việt Nam had registered to present the voluntary national report on SDGs implementation at the high-level political forum at the United Nations in New York in July this year.

    “The results and findings of this survey will be useful inputs for the report that Việt Nam is to present at the forum,” Tân said.

    Hà Tĩnh produces bumper orange crop for Tết

    Farmers in central Hà Tĩnh Province have enjoyed a bumper crop of oranges and believed the Tết (Lunar New Year) price will bring them a high income.

    Meanwhile, the local agriculture sector aims to apply sustainable cultivation practices to the development of large orange tree farms, with the goal of adapting to climate change.

    According to a report by the Division of Agriculture and Rural Development of the province’s Hương Sơn District, there are 844ha of oranges ready for harvesting to supply the Tết market.

    Lê Quang Hồ, the division’s head, said advanced cultivation techniques applied by local farmers have resulted in a bumper crop, estimating that each hectare yields 15 tonnes of orange fruits.

    A report by local Hà Tĩnh newspaper said some trees bear so many fruits that they appear orange instead of green.

    Ngô Xuân Linh, a farmer who owns an orange farm of 38ha in Sơn Mai Commune said he expected a total income of VNĐ15 billion (US$660,000) from the orange fruits as this type of fruit is favoured by consumers nationwide thanks to its flavour.

    “Almost all fruits will ripen in the days ahead of Tết [which falls on February 15] and I believe I will make a high income thanks to the fruit quality,” Linh said, adding that he planned to expand the total area to 50ha next year.

    Local authorities supported the expansion by Linh and other orange farmers. Nguyễn Kiều Hưng, the district’s deputy chairman said orange farms have lifted up the local economy and orange has been chosen as the key tree to flourish in the hard soil in this mountainous district.

    Phạm Quang Hùng, a farmer in Hương Khê District’s Hương Thủy Commune, said he had 3,500 orange trees in his farm, expecting a yield of 20 tonnes of fruits and total income of VNĐ1 billion (US$44,000) this crop, with market price of about VNĐ80,000 each kilogramme.

    Hùng said the bumper crop was the result of organic cultivation. “I used waste from husbandry and fermented soya bean to fertilise the trees. At the same time, I have a system that help water the trees with gradual drops,” he said.

    The province’s Department of Agriculture and Rural Development said its agriculture was hit hard by climate change, thus the department has encouraged local farmers to practice sustainable cultivation for adaptation.

    The department’s deputy director Lê Đức Nhân said the sector has facilitated the development of large farms using cultivation methods that are safe for environment, including the farms growing orange trees in the mountainous districts of Hương Khê and Hương Sơn.

    The department also targeted the application of VietGAP (Vietnamese Good Agricultural Practice) criteria into the farms, expecting to export local orange fruits.

    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.

    HCM City’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.

    Vietnam-China friendship association established in Soc Trang

    The Vietnam - China Friendship Association in the Mekong Delta province of Soc Trang was set up at its first congress held in January 26.

    To Ai Vang, vice head of the province’s delegation of National Assembly deputies, was elected as President of the association for the 2018-2023 tenure.

    The association has set the task to deepen the cordial relationship between Soc Trang and Chinese localities, contributing to the Vietnam-China friendship.

    Soc Trang province is home to more than 65,000 people of Hoa ethnic group, accounting for 5.2 percent of the province’s population.

    The same day, a ceremony marking the 68th year of Vietnam-China diplomatic ties (January 18, 1950 - 2018) was organised in Ho Chi Minh City by the HCM City Union of Friendship Organisations (HUFO) and the Vietnam-China Friendship Association in the city.

    Speaking at the event, President of the Vietnam-China Friendship Association in HCM City Duong Quan Ha stressed that the traditional friendship between the two countries has been consolidated by their leaders and people over the years.

    The Consul General of China in HCM City Chen Dehai lauded the local friendship organisations’ contributions to people-to-people exchanges of the two countries. Vietnam and China are important trade partners of each other and cooperation in other fields has also seen strong growth, the diplomat said.-

    Workshop discusses biomass energy planning in Soc Trang

    A consultation workshop on biomass energy planning in the Mekong Delta province of Soc Trang by 2020, with a vision to 2030, was held in the province on January 25.

    The event was co-organised by the provincial Department of Industry and Trade and the Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI).

    Deputy Director of the department Le Thach Thanh said Soc Trang boasts huge advantages in agro-forestry development, which provides sources of biomass energy.

    Biomass energy planning plays a significant role in promoting the province’s efficient use of biomass sources for electricity production in combination with agricultural development and improvement of local people’s livelihoods.

    A biomass power plant of 12 MW using bagasse has been put into operation in the province while three new thermo power plants and wind turbines will be built in the coming time.

    At the workshop, consulting agencies introduced legal framework for biomass planning, along with methodology, procedures and results of drafting provincial-level biomass energy plans and lists of proposed projects.

    Participants also discussed regional biomass energy planning, cooperation between Soc Trang and other localities in tapping biomass energy potential, as well as environmental impacts and solutions to financial issues.

    1968 uprising lessons remain significant to Vietnam today

    The Mau Than General Offensive and Uprising in spring 1968 has left valuable historical lessons, especially those on how to promote the strength of the national great unity in the nation building and safeguarding cause today.

    The statement was made by Nguyen Van Hung, deputy head of the Party Central Committee’s Commission for Mass Mobilisation, at a symposium on the general offensive and uprising held by the Ho Chi Minh National Academy of Politics in Hanoi on January 26.

    The lessons stressed the need to gather high consensus of the entire Party, army and people under the sound leadership of the Party Central Committee and the strategic directions of the Central Military Commission; to specify clearly defence and security tasks in the national protection; to involve the entire people in defense and security; and to take advantage of support and help from international friends, according to Hung.

    At the symposium, delegates focused on clarifying the sound guidelines and leadership of the Party Central Committee, the Political Bureau, and the Central Executive Committee of the People's Revolutionary Party of South Vietnam in the Mau Than General Offensive and Uprising.

    They analysed the reasons behind the victory and historical lessons of the general offensive and uprising for the resistance war against US forces and the nation’s revolutionary cause.

    Associate Professor, Doctor Nguyen Manh Ha from the Institute of Party History said that the general offensive and uprising was a turning point of the resistance war. It had been the biggest military effort and showed the highest determination to win of the entire Party, army and people since the beginning of the war.

    It also created the most strong wave of protests against the US’s war in the US itself and all over the world, Ha added.

    The general offensive and uprising began in the early morning of January 31 in 1968 when liberation forces at the same time launched attacks on the enemy’s bases in cities such as Hue, Da Nang, Quy Nhon and Sai Gon, and hundreds of towns from Quang Tri to Ca Mau.

    The offensive helped the liberation forces destroy huge amounts of facilities and logistics used by the US and the Southern regime’s armies.

    People in rural areas also took this opportunity to rise up against the US-backed government’s administration at commune and district levels.

    Sai Gon-Gia Dinh (now HCM City), the headquarters of the US-backed Southern regime, was a focus of the Mau Than offensive.

    Tet gifts presented to people with disadvantages nationwide

    One thousand gift packages worth a total 700 million VND (30,800 USD) have been presented to people with disadvantages nationwide to help them enjoy a happy Lunar New Year (Tet) as the traditional festival approaches.

    On January 25, a delegation of the Vietnam Buddhist Sangha’s Ho Chi Minh City chapter presented gifts to low-income families, the elderly and ethnic minority people in Phu Rieng and Dong Phu districts of southern Binh Phuoc province.

    Meanwhile, the Vinh Phuc provincial Confederation of Labour held a Tet celebration for local workers. At this event, it handed more than 400 million VND (17,600 USD) to 40 workers to help them build houses while offering 635 million VND (28,000 USD) in aid for 324 others.

    About 1,150 gift packages were also presented to workers in the northern province ahead of Tet.

    The same day, the Vietnam Association for Victims of Agent Orange (AO)/Dioxin visited and sent Tet gifts to war veterans who are AO/dioxin victims in Vinh Phuc province.

    On January 22 and 23, the association also presented Tet gifts to AO/dioxin victims in the central provinces of Nghe An, Quang Tri and Thua Thien-Hue. From now to February 10, about a week ahead of the Lunar New Year, it plans to continue the tour offering Tet support in many other provinces, including Ha Giang, Tuyen Quang, Bac Giang, Tay Ninh and Binh Phuoc.

    Vietnam to raise forest coverage, exports

    Vietnam aims to raise its forest coverage to 41.6 percent and to earn 8.5–9 billion USD from exporting wood and forestry products while providing jobs to 25 million people in 2018.

    This was announced at a meeting of the State Steering Committee on Forest Sustainable Development Target Programme for 2016-20.

    Addressing a meeting in Hanoi on January 25, Deputy Prime Minister Trinh Dinh Dung, Head of the State Steering Committee on Forestry Sustainable Development Target Programme, said “Forest protection and development must go hand in hand with socio-economic development, environmental protection and improving the people’s living conditions.”

    “To achieve these targets, the first thing we have to do is to complete our national institution and policies on forestry production and development,” Dung said. “Forestry restructuring should start from good planning – an effective tool in the state management towards forest protection and development”.

    The Deputy PM also asked the Ministry of Planning and Development to work closely with the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development to review all ODA projects on forestry development, particularly in the Central Highlands, northwestern region and coastal areas.

    Dung set a target for the Steering Committee to complete a proposal on forest restoration, protection and sustainable development in the Central Highlands from 2016-25 by the end of the first quarter of 2018.

    A report presented at the meeting said that by late 2017 the forestry coverage was 41.45 percent, an increase of 0.26 percent compared to that of 2016.

    In 2017, more than 235,000 ha of concentrated forestry were planted – achieving 102.4 percent of the target. Meanwhile, the volume of wood products extracted from concentrated forest plantation was 18 million cubic metres, 6 percent over the targeted plan.  Meanwhile the value of wood and forestry product exports was nearly 8 billion USD, an increase of 9.2 percent over the previous year.

    The programme for Sustainable Forest Development for 2016-20 and Decision 419-TTg, issued on April 5, 2017, established the national programme to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through the mitigation of deforestation and forest degradation, conservation and enhancement of forest carbon stocks and sustainable management of forest resources through 2030.

    French audience enjoy a night of Vietnamese music and culture

    A concert titled Chạm (Touch), hosted by the young musician Hoàng Thu Trang, brought French audiences a glimpse of Vietnamese music and culture. The event was held in the cultural centre Espace Cosmopolis in the city of Nantes on February 3.

    This is one of a series of art activities organised in the framework of AuxCoeurx du Việt Nam (To the Hearts of Việt Nam) to celebrate Việt Nam Month in Nantes. The event is organised by 80 non-professional artists who are Vietnamese students, Vietnamese residents of France and French people living in Nantes, Paris, Lorient and neighbouring provinces and cities.

    Aux Coeurs du Việt Nam is organised by Việt Nam Loire Atlantique Friendship Association and the Association of Vietnamese Students in Nantes. The event features more than 20 activities introducing Việt Nam, its history, people and culture. It takes place from January 31 to February 18 in Nantes.

    An exhibition featuring the costumes of the 54 different ethnic groups in Việt Nam was held at the opening event on Wednesday.

    The concert Chạm (Touch) brought the audience to Việt Nam – the S-shaped country in the southeast Asia with spectacular landscapes, rich culture and diverse food. Each song in the concert included French subtitles and be accompanied by fine images, which helped to give the audience the opportunity to ‘touch’ and feel the quintessence of Vietnamese culture.

    “I combine traditional Vietnamese music with modern melodies, accompanied by images and light in order to bring the best experience to audience. There have been many difficulties as most participants are non-professionals and many in the team do not speak Vietnamese fluently but must perform in Vietnamese. We have been practising for three months to mount an hour on stage. Music will make us overcome all the geographic and language barriers and bring us close together,” Trang said before the event.

    In this concert, Trang launched her latest song – Hà Nội Của Em, Hà Nội Của Anh (Your Hà Nội, My Hà Nội).

    Mái Đình Làng Biển (Communal House of a Coastal Village) song is a sweet, peaceful melody about Vietnamese heritage and the đình làng (communal house), a place of community and worship that has been preserved for years.

    Cheerful, festive melodies depicting the traditional Tết of Vietnamese people with the signature items of peach blossom flower and bánh chưng (square sticky rice cake) will also be featured.

    The beautiful and poetic images of the capital of Hà Nội with Hoàn Kiếm lake, the flower season, the street covered with golden leaves and small alleys are illustrated in the two songs Hà Nội 12 Mùa Hoa (Hà Nội, 12 Flower Seasons) and Hà Nội Của Em, Hà Nội Của Anh (Your Hà Nội, My Hà Nội).

    The concert also introduced the audience to the unique features of Vietnamese music such as the flute or ca trù (ceremonial singing).

    Nearly 80 non-professional artists prepared for the concert. They include Musique Rendez-Vous music band, comprised of Vietnamese students in France, and NEST VIỆT orchestra, whose 40 members are Vietnamese mothers and their children growing up in France.

    Vũ Tuyết Chinh in Nantes said, “As a mother of two Vietnamese French children, I find it important to teach them Vietnamese and develop the love for Việt Nam. I have spent three months with the team and my children to prepare for the event. I practise with my children, learn Vietnamese songs and will have the opportunity to perform on such a big stage to introduce Vietnamese music and culture. It is such a memorable and precious experience for me and participants.”

    Hoàng Thu Trang, who started composing at the age of 12 and graduated from Hà Nội Conservatory of Music, is currently living in Nantes. She is the founder of the music band Music Rendez-Vous in France. Over the last few years, Trang has organised more than ten concerts with the band across France to introduce and promote Vietnamese music and culture.

    Work starts on memorial house for VGCL founder Nguyen Duc Canh

    The Vietnam General Confederation of Labour (VGCL) and the northern port city of Hai Phong on February 3 started construction of a memorial house dedicated to Nguyen Duc Canh, founder of the Tong Cong Hoi Do Bac Ky, the predecessor of the VGCL, on the occasion of his 110th birthday.

    Addressing the ceremony, VGCL President Bui Van Cuong recalled the revolutionary life of the late communist, who was once Hai Phong Party Committee Secretary. He said that the memorial house is expected to serve as a venue to remember the late leader.

    Located in An Dong commune, An Duong district, the project covers 3.04 hectares and is scheduled to complete in 2019 on the occasion of the 90th founding anniversary of the Vietnam Trade Union.

    In 2007, locals of Hai Phong built a memorial house for Canh and martyr Ho Ngoc Lan in Thong Nhat shoe company in An Duong district.

    Canh was born on February 2, 1908 in Diem Dien village, in today Thai Thuy district of Thai Binh.

    Being enlightened by the revolutionary ideology, he joined various patriotic movements in 1925-26 when he was studying in Thanh Chung Nam Dinh High School. Then he joined the Vietnam Youth Revolution Association, which was a turning point in his revolutionary life.

    In 1928, he was assigned to work as Hai Phong Party Secretary. In 1929, the working class movement had developed well and Canh had made lots of contributions to Tong Cong Hoi Do Bac Ky (the predecessor of the Vietnam General Confederation of Labour).

    In March 1929, at House No 5D, Ham Long street of Hanoi, the first Communist unit in Vietnam was established with eight members including Canh.

    In June 1929, he was elected to be a provisional member of the Central Committee of the Indochina Communist Party.

    In April 1931, he was captured by the French. Though he was tortured by the invaders, he did not reveal any secrets of the Party. He was sentenced to death by the French and was killed in 1932.

    Earlier on February 2, a scientific seminar was held in Hai Phong to discuss the contributions of Canh to the working class and trade union development of Vietnam.

    Vietnam-Cambodia Association helps tighten bilateral ties

    The Vietnam-Cambodia Friendship Association has held a lot of activities in 2017 to contribute to tightening the friendship and solidarity between the two nations.

    In the year, the association organised free health check-ups and treatment for people in Cambodia’s Svay Rieng province, and granted 1,000 gifts including medicine and medical equipment to locals, heard the association’s conference to review its operation in 2017 and put forward 2018 tasks.

    The association’s local chapters also held numerous activities such as helping build houses, presenting scholarships to students, and providing medicine for people in Cambodia’s border provinces.

    Speaking at the event, Cambodian Ambassador to Vietnam Prak Nguon Hong affirmed that the Vietnam-Cambodia Friendship Association’s activities have helped nurture the friendship and solidarity between the two countries’ people.

    On this occasion, the ambassador granted Orders of the Royal Cambodia and the Cambodian Prime Minister to the association and its outstanding members.

    Workshop on CPV’s founding, 1968 General Offensive held in Algeria

    The Vietnamese Embassy in Algeria held a seminar on February 2 on the occasion of the 88th founding anniversary of the Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV) (February 3) and the 50th anniversary of the 1968 Spring General Offensive and Uprising  (January 31).

    Speaking at the event, Ambassador Pham Quoc Tru highlighted the significance of the foundation of the CPV on February 3, 1930 as well as the role of the Party in the country’s revolutionary cause and main achievements Vietnam has gained over the past nearly nine decades.

    He also recalled major developments of the 1968 Spring General Offensive and Uprising, which marked a strategic turning point for the resistance war against the US and its lackeys.

    Other delegates also focused discussions on the two topics of the seminar. They clarified the role of late President Ho Chi Minh and other Vietnamese leaders in the Party building and development process as well as the struggle for national liberation, building and safeguarding.

    The event helped consolidate the trust in the Party among Party members and overseas Vietnamese in Algeria, helping them understand more about the foundation of the CPV and the role of the late President.-

    Government provides rice for Nghe An’s farmers

    Deputy Prime Minister Vuong Dinh Hue on February 2 instructed the Ministry of Finance to allocate rice from the national reserves to support people in the central province of Nghe An, who had suffered from a poor crop.

    Accordingly, more than 794,710 tonnes of rice will be sent to the province.

    The provincial People’s Committee is responsible for promptly distributing the rice to people in need.

    VNN


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  • 02/04/18--05:48: Article 1
  • Government News 4/2


    Leaders pay tribute to President Ho Chi Minh on CPV founding anniversary



    Leaders pay tribute to President Ho Chi Minh on CPV founding anniversary, Leaders pay Tet visits to former Party chief Do Muoi, NA Chairwoman presents Tet gifts to poor families in Long An 

    Leaders pay tribute to President Ho Chi Minh on CPV founding anniversary


    A delegation of national leaders on February 3 paid tribute to President Ho Chi Minh at his mausoleum and laid wreaths at the Heroic Martyrs’ Monument in Hanoi on the occasion of the 88th founding anniversary of the Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV).

    The delegation included Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong, former Party General Secretaries Le Kha Phieu and Nong Duc Manh, President Tran Dai Quang, former President Tran Duc Luong, former National Assembly Chairman Nguyen Van An, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc, and President of the Vietnam Fatherland Front Central Committee Tran Thanh Man, among others.

    The leaders showed respect and gratitude towards President Ho Chi Minh, the founder and leader of the CPV, a vanguard organisation of the working class and the nation, and a decisive factor for all victories of Vietnam’s revolution.

    Currently, the whole Party, people and army are implementing the Politburo’s directive on strengthening the studying and following of the thought, morality and style of President Ho Chi Minh in combination with the Party Central Committee’s resolution on Party building.

    At the Heroic Martyrs’ Monument, the delegation recalled the devotion of martyrs who sacrificed their lives for the national independence and reunification.

    The same day, representatives from the Central Military Commission, Defence Ministry, Public Security Ministry, the Party Committee and People’s Committee of Hanoi, and the Party Central Committee’s Commission for Organisation also paid tribute to the martyrs at the Heroic Martyrs’ Monument.

    Leaders pay Tet visits to former Party chief Do Muoi


     Leaders pay tribute to President Ho Chi Minh on CPV founding anniversary, Leaders pay Tet visits to former Party chief Do Muoi, NA Chairwoman presents Tet gifts to poor families in Long An 
     General Secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV) Nguyen Phu Trong visited former Party General Secretary Do Muoi at his home on February 2 on the occasion of the upcoming Lunar New Year (Tet) and the 88th founding anniversary of the CPV (February 3).

    Meeting the former Party chief, who turns 101 on the day, Trong wished him good health and longevity, and informed him of the country’s situation as well as the works the Party and State are doing to develop the country.

    Former Party General Secretary Do Muoi expressed his hope that the Vietnamese Party, State and people will continue upholding the spirit of solidarity and work to build a stronger and more transparent Party, for the interests of the nation and people.

    Also on the day, President Tran Dai Quang paid a Tet visit to the former Party leader.

    He said he hopes that former Party General Secretary Do Muoi would give more valuable suggestions to build a strong and transparent Party and foster the nation’s rapid and sustainable development.

    Do Muoi, born on February 2, 1917, in Dong My commune in Hanoi’s Thanh Tri district. He assumed the position as the Party leader from June 1991 to December 1997.

    NA Chairwoman presents Tet gifts to poor families in Long An
     

    Leaders pay tribute to President Ho Chi Minh on CPV founding anniversary, Leaders pay Tet visits to former Party chief Do Muoi, NA Chairwoman presents Tet gifts to poor families in Long An 
    Chairwoman of the National Assembly (NA) Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan (second from right) visited and presented gifts to policy beneficiaries, disadvantaged children and poor people in the Mekong Delta province of Long An on February 3 


    Chairwoman of the National Assembly (NA) Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan on February 3 visited and presented gifts to policy beneficiaries, disadvantaged children and poor people in the Mekong Delta province of Long An ahead of the 2018 Lunar New Year (Tet).

    Ngan affirmed that the Party and State always remember the great sacrifice of war invalids, martyrs’ families and those who rendered service to the nation as well as pay attention to the material and spiritual lives of people.

    The NA Chairwoman praised Long An for its comprehensive achievements in the previous year, saying they reflected the solidarity and efforts of local authorities and people.

    She also called on local authorities at all levels and people to continue taking care of policy beneficiaries, poor households and people who made contributions to the nation.

    Congratulations to re-elected Finnish President
     

    Leaders pay tribute to President Ho Chi Minh on CPV founding anniversary, Leaders pay Tet visits to former Party chief Do Muoi, NA Chairwoman presents Tet gifts to poor families in Long An 
    Re-elected Finnish President Sauli Niinisto


    President Tran Dai Quang on February 2 cabled a message of congratulations to Sauli Niinisto on his re-election as President of Finland for the second consecutive term.

    Vietnam and Finland set up diplomatic relations on January 25, 1973.

    Vietnam is among Finland’s major partners in Asia and a bridge connecting Finland with other ASEAN members. The two countries have launched various exchange programmes and training cooperation, and about 2,500 Vietnamese students are currently studying in Finland, said Finnish Ambassador to Vietnam Kari Kahiluoto.

    Finnish firms are paying heed to Vietnam’s market, especially in clean energy, environment, waste treatment, smart urban areas, information management and health care.

    In addition, he stressed that Finland will promote the implementation of the Framework Agreement on Comprehensive Partnership and Cooperation between Vietnam and the European Union (EU) and accelerate the signing and ratification of the Vietnam-EU Free Trade Agreement, aiming to open new prospects in bilateral trade-investment cooperation.

    VNN


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  • 02/04/18--05:52: Article 0
  • BUSINESS IN BRIEF 4/2


    ADB helps urban infrastructure development in HCM City


    Phu Yen calling for more FDI projects 

    Vice Chairman of Ho Chi Minh City People’s Committee Tran Vinh Tuyen on February 1 received Eric Sidgwick, Asian Development Bank (ADB)’s Country Director for Vietnam.

    At the meeting, the municipal official affirmed that HCM City is committed to implementing cooperation deals with its partners, especially ADB. He added that the Vietnamese Government is revising projects using official development assistance (ODA) to ensure their effective implementation.

    Regarding the four major projects between HCM City and ADB, Tuyen noted that the city has asked the Ministry of Planning and Investment to allocate funding for the metro line No.2.

    It also approved the compensation plan for land clearance which the HCM City’s Management Authority for Urban Railway and ADB have agreed on. In addition, HCM City has worked on ADB’s recommendations on the first phase of the metro line No.5.

    For his part, Sidgwick affirmed to support HCM City in urban infrastructure, contributing to the city’s development.

    He added that the ADB wants to be regularly updated on the pace of the two sides’ joint projects, as well as to hold regular discussions on issues related to ODA management and public debt ceiling to ensure joint projects are carried out as schedule and meeting targets.

    ADB, based in Manila, is dedicated to reducing poverty in Asia and the Pacific through inclusive economic growth, environmentally sustainable growth, and regional integration. Established in 1966, ADB is owned by 67 members - 48 from the region.

    Nghe An aims to license 12 projects in Q1

    The central province of Nghe An is finalising procedures to approve and sign investment agreements for 12 projects in the first quarter of 2018.

    In January, the province licensed three projects worth 20.37 billion VND (902,391 USD). So far, the Vietnam-Singapore Industrial Park in the province has attracted 420 billion VND (18.6 million USD) from 11 investors who occupy 7.6 hectares of industrial area and 2,500 square metres of ready-built factories. Of which, eight projects have been licensed.

    This year, the province will prioritise investment in its key projects, while coordinating with investment promotion agencies to lure big projects.

    Along with effectively operating the provincial Centre for Investment Promotion and Support, Nghe An has launched one-door system serving investors and assisting them during their investment process.

    At the same time, the province has applied information technology in processing investors’ requests, thus enhancing transparency and responsibility of local agencies. Meanwhile, it has also worked to remove obstacles facing underway projects.

    Currently, the province is supporting investors to speed up administrative procedures for a number of projects, including FLC eco-tourism and resort, Quynh Lap 2 thermal power plant invested by Posco Group of the Republic of Korea, and Hoang Mai 2 industrial park of Kovinet, another RoK investor.

    HCM City’s official hails Pou Yuen company for taking good care of workers

    Politburo member and Secretary of the Ho Chi Minh City’s Party Committee Nguyen Thien Nhan hailed Pou Yuen Vietnam Co., Ltd., a footwear business in Binh Tan district for the good implementation of social welfare policies for its workers while visiting the company on February 1.

    He noted that since entering HCM City in 1994, the company has expanded its scale of production thanks to the application of technology while paying attention to facilities serving workers’ life such as kindergartens, toilets and hospitals.

    Nhan reminded the firm to anticipate the impacts of the fourth industrial revolution on the footwear sector, and build specific plans to develop a skilled workforce and support workers made redundant in line with Vietnamese law.

    HCM City authorities will accompany and support the company for its long-term development, he promised.

    Leaders of Pou Yuen Vietnam Co., Ltd. hoped the city will create conditions for the company to apply state-of-the-art technologies and recruit high-quality human resources.

    They reported that the company has already paid Tet bonus for workers, adding that it will cover 30 percent of the travel fares for workers who go home for Tet in the central and northern regions.

    Pou Yuen Vietnam has six branches across Vietnam with nearly 160,000 workers.

    In 2017, the company produced over 72 million pairs of sports shoes, earning revenues of over 1.2 billion USD.

    Rice export surges 74.2 percent in January

    An estimated 524,000 tonnes of rice was exported in January, bringing home 249 million USD, reported the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.

    The figures represented rises of 56.5 percent in volume and 74.2 percent in value as compared with the same month in 2017.

    A sudden rise in rice export price from 390-395 USD per tonne to 420-430 USD per tonne was attributed to the growing export value of rice in the month.

    Rice exporters said the price hike is due to prospects of deals with the Philippines and Indonesia as the two Southeast Asian countries, which are Vietnam’s traditional rice importers, have plans to import a large volume of rice.

    The Ministry of Trade of Indonesia has recently approved the import of 500,000 tonnes of rice from Thailand and Vietnam to fix the insufficient rice supply and price hike in the domestic market. The Indonesia Logistics Bureau (BULOG) said that the country only had 950,000 tonnes in stockpile.

    Earlier, the National Food Authority of the Philippines also agreed to import 250,000 tonnes of rice and planned to open rice purchase bidding right in January. The country’s rice stock is enough for use in only three days while the minimum amount must satisfy demand for 15 days.

    The country shipped abroad about 5.89 million tonnes of rice worth 2.66 billion USD in 2017, a year-on-year increases of 22.4 percent in quality and 23.2 percent in value, the ministry said.

    Vietnamese rice is now exported to over 130 markets. However, experts are still calling for quality to be improved, to enhance competitiveness.

    In October, the Ministry of Industry and Trade announced its rice export strategy for the 2017 to 2020 period, which aims to decrease export volume but increase value.

    Accordingly, the country’s average rice export volume was set at 4.5 to 5 million tonnes per year to 2020, at an average value of 2.2 to 2.3 billion USD.

    Between 2021 and 2030, Vietnam plans to export 4 million tonnes per year on average, worth around 2.3 USD to 2.5 billion USD.

    Gov’t defines eight key tasks for Mekong Delta sustainable development

    The Government has defined eight key tasks to help the Mekong Delta achieve sustainable development, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc stressed in a document responding to queries from National Assembly Tran Thi Hoa Ry regarding development in the country’s largest granary. 

    The document said the tasks had been outlined in the Government Resolution 120/NQ-CP dated November 17, 2017 following a conference on sustainable development in the Mekong Delta in adaptation to climate change in September the same year.  

    First and foremost, the government will build a master plan for agricultural development in the region in the context of climate change in combination with restructuring the agricultural sector, building new style rural areas.  

    Second, the government will adjust the strategy and plans for agricultural development for the entire region to make them suit the region’s sub-ecological regions in connection with the three key groups of commodities which are aquatic products, fruit and rice, and in the direction of reducing the area of rice and other crops that require large volume of water but have low commercial value. 

    The government will review and fine-tune mechanisms and policies to encourage the application of science-technology, especially hi-tech and bio-technology in agricultural production along with restructuring the sector and promoting the new rural area building campaign. 

    At the same time, new mechanisms and policies will be designed to the goal of developing large-scale commodity production in the region and attract investment in agriculture and rural development. There will be policies to develop agricultural value chains, promote industrialisation of agriculture and modernize post-harvest technology with a view to increasing quality and value of agro-forestry and aquatic production. 

    The fisheries sector will be developed into one of the spearhead industry of the Mekong Delta, while the existing natural forests will be preserved alsong with restoring and expanding mangrove forest and protection forest. 

    The Mekong Delta’s planning on irrigation and natural disaster control to 2030 with a vision to 2050 will be revised to ensure readiness for the worst scenario. 

    A scheme on protecting the coastline, strengthening the sea dyke system and preventing coastal erosion will be built, along with plans on river control and use of land along rivers. 

    The government will work with the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs to develop projects on vocational training and job generation for agricultural workers and rural labourers, with a view to reducing the workforce in agriculture.  

    The PM said Resolution 120/NQ-CP will serve as the basis for the Government to implement many programmes and activities in the region 

    He added that the government will strive to complete the master plan for agricultural development in the region in the context of climate change as early as possible, as it will be the foundation for regional localities to design their own master plans and ministries and agencies to implement related programmes. 

    According to the PM, the government will continue to study specific mechanisms and policies for the Mekong Delta and invest in large-scale transport projects with widespread impacts such as the Trung Luong-Can Tho highway and the Quan Chanh Bo canal for big ships to enter the Hau river.  

    The government will soon finalise the project on establishing the Phu Quoc special administrative-economic unit and the draft law on special administrative-economic units to submit to the fifth session of the 14th National Assembly for approval, thus laying the legal foundation for the development of Phu Quoc Island as a new driver of the Mekong Delta.

    Thua Thien-Hue’s tourism enjoys auspicious start

    The Hue Monuments Conservation Centre in the central province of Thua Thien-Hue welcomed 320,000 visitors, including 262,000 foreigners, in January, a year-on-year surge of 30 percent.

    During the Calendar New Year holiday alone, the former imperial capital city of Hue received over 35,000 visitors, 80 percent of whom came from foreign countries.

    This year, the locality will continue to develop “Hue-One Destination, Five World Heritages” tour (including the Complex of Hue Monuments, royal court music, woodblocks and imperial records of the Nguyen Dynasty and Chinese-script poetry on Hue royal architecture.

    Local tourism sector set a target of welcoming 4-4.2 million visitors in 2018, 10 percent higher than last year. Revenue from tourism services is expected to surge 15 percent to 4-4.2 trillion VND (176.4-185.2 million USD).

    Preservation will be made to a line-up of architectural works like Kien Trung palace, the Purple Forbidden City (Tu Cam Thanh) and Duc Duc tomb. The preservation centre has applied high technology to preserve landscapes at the relic sites.

    Last year, more than 3 million people, including 1.8 million foreigners, visited the UNESCO world heritage site. Total revenue from tourism last year was 155 million USD.

    Ten startups attracts investments in Demo Day 2018

    Ten excellent startups introduced their business model to call for capital from 100 investors at the Demo Day 2018 organised in Hanoi on February 1.

    The annual event, jointly held by the Lotte Accelerator and the Vietnam Silicon Valley (VSV) Accelerator, drew the attendance of leaders from the Ministry of Science and Technology and many policy makers.

    It offered opportunities for startups to receive investors and experts’ response to complete their business models, said Deputy Minister of Science and Technology Tran Van Tung.

    The ten startups include Canets, Fresh Deli, Hue Packaging, True Juice, 689Cloud, Turiple by Cores, Roborzoid, Handfree, Winme and Peko Peko. They defeat 100 competitors to join the Demo Day 2018. Earlier, they joined the VSV Accelerator’s four-month special training course to fine-tune their business models and identify markets.

    “Demo Day 2018” received supports from the project 844 on Supporting National Innovative Start-up Eco-system towards 2025. 

    Ho Chi Minh City posts positive economic figures in January

    Ho Chi Minh City’s exports-imports and industry kept thriving in January, contributing to its economic growth, as heard a meeting of the municipal People’s Committee on February 1. 

    During the month, the total export value hit 3.4 billion USD, up 3.8 percent year-on-year while import value rose by 62.9 percent annually to 4.42 billion USD. 

    About the State budget collection, Director of the municipal Department of Finance Phan Thi Thang said the total revenue to the State budget reached 36,541 billion VND (1.62 billion USD), up 10.29 percent annually. Meanwhile, revenue to the local budget reached 7,318 billion VND, marking a 1.12 percent increase. 

    The industrial development index expanded 15.04 percent in the reviewed month. 

    Pham Thanh Kien, Director of the municipal Department of Industry and Trade said four key industries of mechanical engineering, electronics, rubber, plastics and food processing grew by 19.6 percent year-on-year. In particular, the garment sector struck a number of export deals, 70 percent of them were signed with US partners. 

    According to the municipal Department of Industry and Trade, the city recorded 2,817 newly-established firms with a total registered capital of 19,580 billion VND, up 23 percent in volume. As many as 3,640 enterprises adjusted business registration, with additional capital tripling to 40,567 billion VND. 

    There were 41 foreign-invested projects worth 81.12 million USD while 13 others adjusted capital worth 24.36 million USD. 

    Chairman of the municipal People’s Committee Nguyen Thanh Phong said January economic figures have signaled positive signs to realise the city’s 2018 plan. 

    As the traditional Lunar New Year festival is days away, he asked the municipal Department of Industry and Trade to strengthen market inspection to prevent the shortage of goods and necessities and the availability of counterfeit goods.

    Phu Yen calling for more FDI projects

    The authorities of Phu Yen province are calling for more foreign investors to come to seek investment opportunities in tourism and high-tech agriculture at a pre-Tet meeting with foreign businesses, experts and volunteers in on February 1.

    Phan Dinh Phung, Vice Chairman of the Phu Yen People’s Committee pledged that the locality will provide optimal conditions for investors to carry out their projects effectively.

    In 2017, Phu Yen received 14.5 million USD in foreign direct investment (FDI) and FDI projects created jobs for thousands of local people. 

    In early 2018, the province granted investment certificates to 35 foreign-invested projects.

    Foreign investors present at the meeting spoke highly of potentials and advantages owned by Phu Yen, especially those in tourism, high-tech agriculture, and aquaculture.

    They agreed that infrastructure and quality human resources are advantages offered by the locality.

    On January 19, Phu Yen held an investment promotion conference in which Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc asked the locality to strongly reform its mindset and be creative to have more synchronous and effective solutions to draw investors.

    The province was advised to improve its mechanisms and policies and ensure their openness, stability, and transparency in addition to promoting start-ups, especially of young people in rural areas, while paying attention to developing local businesses and attracting more foreign investments.

    With a strategic geographical location, Phu Yen has a road system that is part of the national North-South route as well as railway, aviation, and sea routes. It also boasts diverse natural resources to develop the sea-based economy, tourism, hi-tech agriculture, mining, and renewable energy.

    From 2011 to 2017, the province attracted 284 investment projects, including 19 FDI projects, with a total registered capital of over 4.74 billion USD and 28.67 trillion VND (1.26 billion USD).

    Canada continues support for SMEs’ development in Tra Vinh

    The Mekong Delta province of Tra Vinh will splash out over 46.5 billion VND (2.04 million USD) on developing local small and medium enterprises (SMEs), with 40.6 billion VND (1.78 million USD) coming from the non-refundable aid of the Canadian Government.

    The information was released at a meeting held on February 1 to carry out the 2018 plan of the SME Tra Vinh project.

    This year, the project will spend 15 billion VND (660,000USD) on building and implementing plans to back local SMEs, 10 billion VND (440,000 USD) on building small-scale infrastructure for SMEs’ development and over 6 billion VND (263,400 USD) on building capacity to carry out support programmes.

    The remaining will be used for other activities related to environment, communications, supervision and evaluation.

    During 2016-2017, the project disbursed more than 55 billion VND (2.4 million USD) to support SMEs, 6.5 billion VND, (285,000 USD) of which was from the province’s corresponding funds and the rest was given by the Canadian Government.

    The SME Tra Vinh project, carried out during 2014-2020, is sponsored by the Canadian Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade with a total investment of 12.1 million CAD (9.8 million USD),  with 11 million CAD being non-refundable aid.

    As many as 200 enterprises and more than 194,000 residents in 22 rural communes of Tra Vinh have benefited from the project.

    Vietjet’s IPO wins prestigious award for “Best Vietnam Deal” in 2017

    The Vietjet Aviation Joint Stock Company (HOSE: VJC) has received the “Best Vietnam Deal” award from Asia’s leading publication, Finance Asia, for its IPO held in early 2017. 

    The criteria for the award not only factored Vietjet’s highly successful IPO but also the airline’s subsequent performance for the rest of the year, which boosted the position of Vietjet in particular but also Vietnam-based companies on the global capital market in general.

    Accordingly, the ceremony for the Finance Asia Awards, one of the world’s leading awards for the regional finance industry, took place at Grand Hyatt Hong Kong on January 31, 2018. Chu Viet Cuong from Vietjet's Board of Directors represented the airline to receive the award. 

    Leaving “a series of successful deals” in 2017 behind, Vietjet’s 164 million USD IPO was professionally conducted, involving the consultation of world-renowned law firms and financial institutions for a period of nearly 800 days (due on the listing date, February 28, 2017), and following all the international IPO standards Regulation S.

    Earlier, Vietjet was also awarded for “The IPO Deal of the Year 2017” and named “The Company with Best M&A Information Disclosure” at the M&A Awards 2016-2017 Vietnam as part of Vietnam M&A Forum 2017 in Vietnam.

    The airline’s 2016 annual report also received a Platinum Award in early 2017 at the Vision Awards 2016 organized by the League of American Communications Professionals (LACP) which ranked Vietjet fourth out of all awardees from the Asia Pacific region and 11th out of 100 worldwide participating businesses. Themed as “the flight to the future”, the 150-paged annual report received top scores for sub-categories, including First Impression, Letter to Shareholders, Report Financials and sustainable development programmes.

    Nearly 850 million USD raised from G-bond in January

    The Hanoi Stock Exchange (HNX) raised nearly 19.36 trillion VND (849 million USD) through 12 Government bonds auctions in January, up 63.3 percent over the previous month.

    All the bonds were issued by the State Treasury with a yielding rate of 97.3 percent.

    The coupon rates of five-year term bonds were 4.30 percent per year; seven-year term bonds, 4.35 percent per annum; and 10-year term bonds from 4.38 to 5.15 percent per annum. The rates for 15-year term bonds were 4.5-5.2 percent per annum, 20-year term bonds at 5.2 percent per year and 30-year term bonds at 5.4 percent per annum.

    Compared to late 2017, the rates were lower for all terms ranging from 0.22-0.82 percent.

    On the secondary market, the total volume of Government bonds sold by the outright method reached more than 1.06 billion, worth 118 trillion VND, up 4.3 percent in value over December 2017.

    Trading volume through repurchase agreements (repos) was 1.15 billion bonds, worth over 118 trillion VND, a decrease of 2.6 percent in value compared with the previous month.

    Foreign investors also made outright purchases of more than 8.9 trillion VND and outright sale transactions of 8.1 trillion VND. They made repo buys of over 220 billion VND and repo sales of over 247 billion VND in the month. 

    HCM City’s industrial production index rises 15.04 pct in January

    Ho Chi Minh City’s industrial production index (IIP) in January 2018 rose 15.04 percent compared to the same period last year.

    The outcome was attributed to the city’s implementation of policies and programmes to support businesses to invest in the field of industry and supporting industry, according to the municipal People’s Committee.

    As this year’s traditional Lunar New Year falls in February, enterprises have proactively mapped out plans for goods production and storage since December 2017 to ensure sufficient supply during the holiday. 

    Four key industries, namely mechanical manufacturing, electronics, chemicals-rubber-plastic, and food processing, continued to expand markets and increase investments in new equipment to produce high-quality and competitive products. The move helped the industries to record an annual growth of 19.6 percent, higher than the average level of the whole industrial sector.

    Particularly, the food processing industry recorded year-on-year growth of 29 percent while the electronics-information technology sector rose by 22.85 percent.

    Director of the municipal Department of Planning and Investment Su Ngoc Anh said the rapid technological development helped the electronics industry create more products at competitive prices.

    Some enterprises in the city are providing spare parts for the RoK’s Samsung Company, he said.

    In February, the municipal Department of Industry and Trade will continue coordinating with relevant agencies to prevent counterfeit and low-quality products.

    Vietnam Airlines targets 11.5 billion USD profit in European market

    The national flag carrier Vietnam Airlines hopes to earn 11.5 billion USD in the European market, 1.7 billion USD higher than that of 2017. 

    Director of Vietnam Airlines’ branch in France and Europe Cao Anh Son revealed the target at a meeting with more than 100 partners in Paris on January 31.

    He said the carrier also targets a 13 percent increase in revenue and an 8.3 percent rise in the number of passengers in 2018.

    According to Son, the firm operated 180,000 safe flights in 2017, serving nearly 26.5 million passengers, up 6.7 percent against the previous year. 

    The on-time performance (OTP) rate of departing flights reached over 90 percent, turning Vietnam Airlines into one of the world's leading airlines with the highest OTP. 

    Vietnam Airlines also continued to affirm its position as the four-star international airlines in line with  Skytrax’s standards in the second consecutive year, with the fleet of 10 Airbus A350-900 XWB  and 11 Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner. 

    Representatives from Vietnam Airlines partners in Europe said the carrier has improved its services under the four-star standards, thus bringing convenient services and interesting experience to passengers. 

    They hoped the Vietnamese Government will add more countries to the list of those entitled to visa exemption apart from France, the UK, Germany, Italy and Spain, adding that this will help increase competitiveness of the national flag carrier in attracting more customers. 

    Airfare agents and travel agencies took the occasion to share information and seek partners, thus promoting sales of tickets and tours to Vietnam.

    Vietnam, RoK partner in power, renewable energy development

    Vietnam and the Republic of Korea (RoK) hold potential of long-term cooperation in energy industry, renewable energy and smart grid, said Korean Minister of Trade, Industry and Energy Paik Un-gyu. 

    He made the statement during the Vietnam – RoK Electricity and Renewable Energy Forum co-organised by the Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency and the Ho Chi Minh City chapter of the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) on February 2. 

    Paik said Vietnam and the RoK are looking towards sustainable development goals via reducing green house gas emission, adaptation to climate change and environment protection. 

    The RoK will actively invest in power production and renewable energy development in Vietnam, he said, adding that the country will also assist Vietnam in personnel training and technological transfer in the field. 

    A representative from the Korea Electric Power Corporation (KEPCO) said the RoK is strong in smart grid which could integrate with solar and wind power or power generators to ensure stable supply and minimise power wastage. 

    The Korean side expressed wish to learn about Vietnam’s power and renewable energy development strategy and master plan to form effective partnership in the near future. 

    VCCI Vice Chairman Vo Tan Thanh said under the power development master plan till 2020 with a vision to 2030, Vietnam will develop power generation from renewable sources and scale down hydropower. 

    The country will also build and upgrade power transmission and distribution systems to deal with overload as well as use smart transmission system, he said. 

    To achieve the above targets, the Vietnamese government has offered preferential loans, reduced export-import and corporate income tax, waived land use fees, and funded scientific research on energy. Vietnam will also extend international collaboration to develop domestic electrical equipment manufacturing. 

    Vice Chairman of the Vietnam Energy Association Nguyen Van Vy said the RoK has invested in a number of power projects in Vietnam such as wind power plants in the southern provinces of Ben Tre and Tra Vinh, and solar power plants in Binh Thuan and Quang Binh. 

    As home to nearly 59 wind power plants, more than 100 solar power and other biomass energy projects, Vietnam targets raising renewable energy to 32 percent by 2030 and 43 percent by 2050.

    Hoa Phat partners with Italian group to produce stainless steel

    Hoa Phat Dung Quat Steel JSC of Hoa Phat Group is coordinating with Italy’s Danieli – one of the world’s largest suppliers of metallurgical equipment to consider a project on stainless steel (inox) production.

    According to Deputy Director of the Hoa Phat Dung Quat Steel JSC Vuong Ngoc Linh, the project is designed with a capacity of 600,000 tonnes per year, which could be increased to one million tonnes per annum, and will be the first modern stainless steel manufacturing plant in Vietnam.

    The plant will be located at the Hoa Phat Dung Quat iron and steel production complex area in Dung Quat Economic Zone in central Quang Ngai province to make use of the available infrastructure. 

    The project, which will be completed by 2020, aims to increase the value chain of steel products, and reduce imports and dependence on foreign markets.

    Preliminary statistics showed that Vietnam imported about 560,000 tonnes of stainless steel products in 2017, up 10 percent against the previous year, in service of industrial production, mechanics, and consumer products.

    WB supports emission reduction programme in central region

    The World Bank (WB)’s Carbon Finance Unit approved a resolution on supporting the Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD ) programme in the Northern central coast Vietnam in line with the results-based payments at a meeting in Paris on February 1.

    Speaking at the event, Deputy Minister of the Ministry of Agricultural and Rural Development (MARD) Ha Cong Tuan highlighted Vietnam’s efforts and successes in escaping from poverty and promoting sustainable development over the last 30 years, saying that the country completed almost all Millennium Development Goals ahead of schedule, especially those regarding poverty reduction. 

    Vietnam is responsibly realising its commitments to coping with climate change, reducing greenhouse emission by 8 percent, even up to 25 percent by 2030 if the country get international support and cooperation, he said, adding that the country regards the REDD as a vital measure to promote the ambitious goal.

    Tuan took this occasion to thank donors and international organisations for assisting Vietnam in preparing for the implementation of the REDD in recent years.

    Vietnam hopes to continue receiving assistance from international friends, and the country is willing to join hands with the international community in implementing the REDD , he said.  

    While joining the meeting, the official worked with the Director of the WB’s Carbon Finance Unit, and had a bilateral discussion with Deputy Minister of Land, Environment and Rural Development of Mozambique Celmira da Silva on issues of common concern. He also met with representatives Green Climate Fund (GCF) to put Vietnam’s proposal for the REDD in the Central Highlands.

    According to the MARD, Vietnam is the first country in Asia and the seventh in the world that is joining the Forest Carbon Partnership Facility (FCPF) managed by the WB. 

    Vietnam’s forest area has ceaselessly increased from 28 percent in 1990 to 41.45 percent in 2017. 

    Thua Thien-Hue targets 400 million USD in FDI in 2018

    The central province of Thua Thien-Hue aims to attract about 10-15 foreign direct investment (FDI) projects with total registered capital of nearly 400 million USD in 2018.

    Disbursement of foreign capital is expected to reach around 95.5 million USD. Meanwhile, FDI firms based in the province are hoped to gross 900 million USD in revenues and contribute roughly 90 million USD to the local budget this year.

    The provincial authorities will take measures to enable investors to speed up the implementation of projects while resolutely withdrawing licences of delayed ones.

    The province will continue to consider more mechanisms and policies to attract investment from major economic groups and strategic investors such as Bitexco, Vingroup, and Banyan Tree, while reforming investment promotion methods and quickly issuing a list of key projects inviting investment in all fields from now to 2020.

    Thua Thien – Hue will invest in infrastructure in areas with major projects with competitive products such as the garment-textile industrial park, Chan May – Lang Co economic zone, and Bach Ma National Park.

    The province will apply the one-stop- shop model in dealing with investment and land procedures.

    Nearly 800 million USD was injected into Thua Thien-Hue in 2017, showing a year-on-year increase of 9 percent.

    So far, the province has attracted 97 FDI projects worth 2.6 billion USD with over 949 million USD disbursed, making up nearly 30 percent of the total registered capital.

    Major foreign investors with effective operation in the province include Singapore’s Banyan Tree, US HBI Company and Thailand’s CP Company. Notably, the Laguna Lang Co international-standard resort complex project, which was invested by Banyan Tree with 850 million USD, has been put into operation.

    The Royal Caribbean Cruises has also poured 5 million USD in upgrading the Chan May seaport to serve the world’s biggest cruise ships Quantum of the Seas and Oasis of the Seas.

    SHB awarded Best Domestic Bank in Vietnam by The Asset

    The Saigon-Hanoi Commercial Joint Stock Bank (SHB) has recently been honoured as “Best Domestic Bank” of Vietnam in 2017 in The Asset Asian Awards (Triple A).

    The annual Triple A recognition of The Asset – financial magazine for Asia’s decision makers - represents the industry's most prestigious awards for banking, finance, treasury and the capital markets.

    The title once again affirms the position and prestige of one of the five largest private banks in Vietnam.

    It also reflects the bank’s strong and sustainable development in numerous fields.

    Over the past years, SHB has won a lot of prestigious international awards, including Best Information Security Bank by the IDG, and a slot in The Asian Bankers’ AB500 ranking and survey of Asia Pacific’s strongest banks.

    As of September 30, 2017, SHB’s total assets reached more than 265.3 trillion VND (11.67 billion USD), while its pre-tax profit was over 1.33 trillion VND (59.1 million USD).

    The bank’s chartered capital was nearly 11.2 trillion VND. The State Bank of Vietnam allowed SHB to increase its chartered capital to over 12 trillion VND.

    The bank currently has 7,000 employees and 500 transaction points in Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia and Myanmar to serve some four million customers.

    2018 spring trade fair to introduce Vietnamese specialties

    The 2018 Xuan (Spring) Giang Vo trade fair is scheduled to be held at the Culture Friendship Palace in Hanoi from February 6 to 12. 

    This year’s trade fair, co-organised by the Vietnam Exhibition Fair Centre and the Vietnam Beverage Association, will feature 600 booths of more than 350 businesses nationwide, covering a total area of nearly 6,000 square metres.

    On display will be specialties of various localities across the country, such as fish sauce, tea and fresh farm produce, along with such products as garment-textile, footwear, household appliances, confectionery and beverages.

    In addition, the event also introduces products from other countries including Russia, the Republic of Korea, the UK, France and Belgium, among others.

    An outdoor area displaying beverages will also be set up at the fair with the participation of leading businesses of the sector like the Saigon Beer, Alcohol and Beverage Corporation (Sabeco), the Hanoi Beer, Alcohol and Beverage Corporation (Habeco) and the Coca-Cola Vietnam.

    The organising board said it has worked with authorised agencies to supervise products’ origin and quality to ensure food safety at the event.

    Many Korean goods to receive Viet Nam tax exemption
       
    Many goods imported from the Republic of Korea (RoK) into Viet Nam will be exempted from import taxes in 2018, due to the Viet Nam-Korea Free Trade Agreement (VKFTA).

    The Government recently issued Decree No149/2017/ND-CP, which regulates a new special preferential import tariff, as agreed upon in the VKFTA, and to be put in place between 2018 and 2022.

    Under the decree, import taxes imposed on 704 types of products imported from the RoK to Viet Nam, will be eliminated in 2018. The groups of commodities that will enjoy tax exemptions this year are mainly in seafood, wheat flour, confectionery, diesel fuel, jet fuel, paint, laundry detergent, plastic, iron and steel products, power machinery and equipment, and electronic products.

    In 2018, an additional 653 products imported from the RoK will also have their tax rates lowered from last year.

    The preferential tax rates will be applied to commodities directly transported from the RoK to Viet Nam. The goods must also meet origin regulations, as stated in the agreement, and exporters must provide certificates of origin in a form stipulated by the Vietnamese Ministry of Industry and Trade.

    This year, Viet Nam has set several new preferential import tariffs to implement bilateral and multilateral FTAs with partner countries and territories, such as mainland China, Hong Kong, Japan and RoK.

    Under the Viet Nam-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement (VJEPA) and the ASEAN-Japan Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (AJCEP) for 2016-19, nearly 4,000 import tariff lines for many groups of commodities imported from Japan will be also eliminated this year.

    Canada puts duties on VN pipe fittings
       
    The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) on January 25 conducted preliminary determinations on dumping and subsidising with respect to certain copper pipe fittings, originating in or exported from Viet Nam.

    The dumping and subsidy duties are 159 per cent and 4.7 per cent, respectively, for Hailiang (Vietnam) Metal Products Co Ltd while for all other exporters in Viet Nam the rates are 159 per cent and 42.4 per cent, the agency announced on its website.

    By March 19, 2018, the CBSA will receive case arguments due from all parties.

    A copy of the Statement of Reasons, which provides more details about these investigations, will be available on the CBSA’s website, www.cbsa.gc.ca/sima-lmsi, within 15 days.

    In October 2017, CBSA announced that it was launching an investigation into certain copper pipe fittings originating in or exported from Viet Nam.

    The agency investigated whether these are being sold at unfair prices in Canada and whether subsidies are being applied to certain copper pipe fittings originating in or exported from Viet Nam.

    The CBSA said that the investigations are the result of a complaint filed by Cello Products Inc (Cello) of Cambridge, Ontario. The complainant alleges that as a result of price undercutting from Viet Nam, Cello faced losses in sales and market share, resulting in negative financial results, reduced production and employment.

    Viet Nam’s copper pipe fittings under investigation were coded 7412.10.00.11, 7412.10.00.19,7412.10.00.90 and 7412.20.00.11, as well as 7412.20.00.12,7412.20.00.19 and 7412.20.00.90. The investigation period was from January 1, 2016, to August 31, 2017.

    January industrial production up 21%
       
    The nation’s index of industrial production (IIP) in January rose significantly by 21 per cent against the same month last year, according to the General Statistics Office (GSO).

    GSO attributed the impressive IIP growth to the fact that domestic firms have concentrated on producing goods to meet increasing demands of local people for the Lunar New Year (Tet) holidays, which will be in this month, unlike last year when it was in January.

    In the first month, the manufacturing and processing sector saw the strongest IIP growth at 24 per cent, followed by electricity production and distribution at 15.4 per cent, and the mining industry at 10.5 per cent.

    Among the industrial products that posted high IIP increases in the month included television sets (63 per cent), powdered milk (51 per cent), cement (30 per cent) and raw steel and iron (28 per cent), as well as coal (27 per cent), paint (25 per cent) and natural gas (22 per cent).

    Several other goods that recorded modest industrial production increases were seasoning powder (4.3 per cent), footwear (4 per cent) and animal feed (equal to growth of same month last year). IIP reductions, however, were recorded in some other areas, such as urea fertiliser (9 per cent) and crude oil (11 per cent).

    The central city of Da Nang took the lead among localities enjoying high IIP in January with 49 per cent. Two northern localities of Bac Ninh and Hai Phong ranked second and third with 47 per cent and 31 per cent, respectively, while the southern province of Binh Duong came fourth with 24 per cent. Meanwhile, HCM City and Ha Noi witnessed IIP increases of 15 per cent and 14.7 per cent, respectively.

    The number of labourers working in industrial enterprises as of January 1 was 4.2 per cent higher than a year ago, according to GSO. 

    VNN


    0 0
  • 02/05/18--00:43: Article 1
  • Government News 5/2


    Vietnamese, Lao government offices boost ties


    , Vietnamese, Lao government offices boost ties, PM’s gifts granted to needy Vietnamese, Cambodian families, Vietnam active at conference of Asian Political Parties in Iran, Lao officials honoured for contributions to bilateral ties 
    Chairman of the Government Office Mai Tien Dung and Lao Minister and Chairman of the Prime Minister's Office Phet Phomphiphak  at the working session (Source:http://baochinhphu.vn) 

    Minister, Chairman of the Government Office Mai Tien Dung has proposed closer cooperation between the government offices of Vietnam and Laos in the coming time.

    Dung made the suggestion during a working session with his Lao counterpart Phet Phomphiphak on February 4 which was held during Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc’s visit to attend the 40th meeting of the Vietnam-Laos Inter-governmental Committee in Laos.

    The Vietnamese official briefed his host on Vietnam’s socio-economic development and expressed his joy at Laos’s development achievements in 2017, attributing the results to drastic directions of the two countries’ Prime Ministers and contributions of the two government offices. 

    The two Government Offices have continued upholding their close relations, contributing to promoting cooperation between the two countries, he said. 

    He urged the two offices to accelerate the implementation of signed memorandum of understanding on cooperation, focusing on sharing experience and organising workshops, thus increasing the role of the offices in pushing the bilateral relations. 

    Sharing Dung’s opinions, Lao Minister and Chairman of the Prime Minister's Office Phet Phomphiphak hoped the two sides will bolster their cooperation in the future, contributing to fulfilling assigned tasks.

    PM’s gifts granted to needy Vietnamese, Cambodian families


     , Vietnamese, Lao government offices boost ties, PM’s gifts granted to needy Vietnamese, Cambodian families, Vietnam active at conference of Asian Political Parties in Iran, Lao officials honoured for contributions to bilateral ties 

     Vietnamese Ambassador to Cambodia Vu Quang Minh, as entrusted by Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc, presented more than 700 gifts to Vietnamese and Cambodian families in difficult circumstances in Kampong Chhnang and Kampong Thom provinces, Cambodia, on February 4, ahead of the Lunar New Year (Tet) festival. 
    Speaking at the event, Ambassador Minh conveyed PM Phuc’s greetings to the Vietnamese community in the two provinces. 

    The PM hopes that the Vietnamese in Cambodia will continue to stabilise their life, help each other overcome difficulties, abide by local law, and integrate into the host society, the diplomat said. 

    A representative of the local authority highly valued the attention and care the Communist Party of Vietnam, State and people of Vietnam have given to the needy Vietnamese and Cambodian people, saying it demonstrated solidarity and close-knit relations between the two nations. 

    On this occasion, Ambassador Minh visited a number of Vietnamese families in Kampong Chhnang province. He also had a working session with the local authority during which he asked them to create conditions for the Vietnamese in the locality to lead a stable life, contributing to local economic development. 

    Located next to Tonle Sap Lake of Cambodia, Kampong Chhnang and Kompong Thom are home to many Vietnamese, who are mainly fishermen, retailers and manual labourers. 

    Vietnam active at conference of Asian Political Parties in Iran


     , Vietnamese, Lao government offices boost ties, PM’s gifts granted to needy Vietnamese, Cambodian families, Vietnam active at conference of Asian Political Parties in Iran, Lao officials honoured for contributions to bilateral ties
    Vice Chairman of the CPV Central Committee’s Commission for External Relations Nguyen Manh Cuong  

    The Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV) sent a delegation led by Vice Chairman of the CPV Central Committee’s Commission for External Relations Nguyen Manh Cuong to the 29th Standing Committee Meeting of the International Conference of Asian Political Parties (ICAPP) in Tehran, Iran from February 1-4.

    The Vietnamese delegation attended and presented several papers at various sessions of the meeting, which reviewed activities of ICAPP in 2017 and discussed orientations for 2018.

    Participants at the meeting underscored the important role of political parties in social development and progress in their countries, in preventing the spread of extremism and terrorism via maintaining equality, and in erasing social gaps and connecting generations.

    On the occasion, the ICAPP in collaboration with the Islamic Coalition Party (Montalefeh) of Iran organised a workshop on the Silk Road, drawing participation of nearly 200 delegates representing 38 political parties of 24 nations.

    The delegates lauded economic connecting initiatives, including resuming the ancient Silk Road, thus boosting trade in Asia and between Asia and Europe.

    On the sidelines of the meeting, the Vietnamese delegation held many discussions with participating parties on how to strengthening ties and realising agreements reached between the CPV and those parties.

    Lao officials honoured for contributions to bilateral ties

    President Tran Dai Quang has decided to present the third-class Independence Order and the Friendship Order to 17 officials of the External Affairs Commission of the Lao People’s Revolutionary Party (LPRP) Central Committee to honour their contributions to the traditional friendship, special solidarity and comprehensive cooperation between Vietnam and Laos

    The decision was made on the occasion of the 55th anniversary of diplomatic ties between the two countries and 40 years of signing of the Vietnam-Laos Treaty of Friendship and Cooperation. 

    Also on this occasion, the External Affairs Commission of the Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV) Central Committee decided to present the “For the cause of the Party's foreign affairs” insignia to six officials of the Lao commission. 

    Hoang Binh Quan, head of Vietnam’s External Affairs Commission, presented the third-class Independence Order, the Friendship Order and Medal, and the insignia to the Lao officials at a ceremony in Vientiane on February 4. 

    On behalf of the officials, Somdy Bounkhouom, deputy head of the Lao commission who has received the third-class Independence Order, pledged to do his utmost to preserve and make the friendship, special solidarity and comprehensive cooperation ever green and stable.

    NA Chairwoman presents Tet gifts to needy people


     , Vietnamese, Lao government offices boost ties, PM’s gifts granted to needy Vietnamese, Cambodian families, Vietnam active at conference of Asian Political Parties in Iran, Lao officials honoured for contributions to bilateral ties

     Chairwoman of the Vietnam National Assembly Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan presented 100 gifts to families of social welfare policies, poor households and victims of Agent Orange (AO)/dioxin in the Mekong Delta province of Tien Giang during her pre-Tet visit to the locality on February 4. 
    She also granted another 200 gifts to children with disabilities and their peers in extreme difficulties in the province. 

    On this occasion, the top legislator attended a programme in support of the poor, needy children and AO victims jointly held by the Vietnam Red Cross Society, the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs and the National Fund for Vietnamese Children. 

    At a working session with local leaders, NA Chairwoman Ngan asked them to pay attention to social policy beneficiaries, the poor, children in special difficulties and AO victims, along with socio-economic development, and national defence and security. 

    She also lauded achievements the province recorded in 2017, with gross regional domestic product (GRDP) expanding by 9 percent, budget collection at over 7.3 trillion VND (321.2 million USD), up 4.9 percent against the set yearly target and 10.7 percent year-on-year, and export turnover at 2.5 billion USD. 

    In 2018, the province’s GRDP is expected to grow by 9-9.5 percent while its per capita income is projected at up to 48.2 million VND (2,121 USD) annually and export revenue at 2.65 billion USD. The number of poor households is hoped to reduce by 3.69 percent. 

    NA Chairwoman Ngan on February 3 paid a pre-Tet visit to the Mekong Delta province of Ben Tre, where she presented more than 3,500 gifts worth some 2.5 billion VND (110,000 USD) to families of social welfare policies, needy children, poor households and AO victims. 

    She also attended a ceremony to hand over 140 houses, six education facilities and medical equipment funded by Vietnam Joint Stock Commercial Bank for Industry and Trade (Vietinbank) to Ben Tre. 

    Earlier, the top legislator and her entourage visited families of martyrs and war invalids in Chau Thanh district, Ben Tre province. 

    On February 4, Deputy Prime Minister Truong Hoa Binh visited workers in the Mekong Delta province of Long An ahead of the Lunar New Year, praising their contributions to national socio-economic development. 

    The same day, head of the Communist Party of Vietnam Central Committee's Commission for Mass Mobilisation Truong Thi Mai and representatives of the Vietnam General Confederation of Labour presented Tet gifts to workers of the metro route No. 1 in Ho Chi Minh City

    Yen Bai asked to improve investment environment


     , Vietnamese, Lao government offices boost ties, PM’s gifts granted to needy Vietnamese, Cambodian families, Vietnam active at conference of Asian Political Parties in Iran, Lao officials honoured for contributions to bilateral ties
    Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc speaks at the working session with Yen Bai leaders.


    The northern mountainous province of Yen Bai should continue improving its investment environment and promoting potential of Mu Cang Chai terraced fields globally, striving to surpass its set targets. 
    The requests were made by Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc at a working session with the provincial leaders on February 3, before he left for Laos for the 40th meeting of the Vietnam-Laos Inter-governmental Committee.

    He lauded Yen Bai’s efforts to overcome difficulties to achieve noted results in all sectors.

    However, the growth has yet to match the province’s potential, he said, pointing out limitations remaining in the locality such as ethnic minorities and mountainous residents still facing difficulties, inadequate infrastructure and a small number of businesses. 

    In the context that Yen Bai suffered severe impacts of natural disasters in 2017, the leader requested ministries and agencies to balance resources and roll out master plans to help locals stablise their life and production. 

    In 2017, Yen Bai’s gross regional domestic product (GRDP) grew by 6.22 percent and its per capita income stood at 29.5 million VND (1,298 USD). 

    Apart from agricultural restructuring in tandem with new-style rural area building, the province has focused on industrial restructuring, and trade and service development in parallel with environmental protection. 

    Over the past two years, Yen Bai attracted 79 projects worth over 28.5 trillion VND (1.25 billion USD), from major groups and enterprises like Vingroup, Ton Hoa Sen and Edge Glass.

    The province now houses 426 projects valued at more than 70 trillion VND (3.08 billion USD). 

    To deal with devastating consequences caused by natural disasters, the province has relocated more than 1,200 households, with a fund of nearly 100 billion VND (4.4 million USD). 

    The same day, PM Phuc attended the ground-breaking ceremony of a subsidiary of Edge Glass JSC of the Republic of Korea (RoK) in Bao Hung commune, Tran Yen district. 

    Speaking at the event, the leader asked the local authorities to create the best possible conditions for the investor to operate. He also urged the investor to turn the area into a modern industrial zone, benefiting both Vietnam and the RoK. 

    On this occasion, the PM visited and presented Tet gifts to a Heroic Vietnamese Mother and a war invalid in Yen Thinh ward.

    VNN


    0 0
  • 02/05/18--01:16: Article 0
  • Vietnam continues to develop coal-fired power despite environmental risks


    Vietnam had a bumper year in attracting FDI (foreign direct investment) in 2017. The three coal-fired thermal power projects registered by Japanese investors had total capital of $7 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, GreenID, coal-fired power plants, EVN 

    The government is calling for investments in power projects 

    The projects - Van Phong I, Nghi Son II and Nam Dinh I – accounted for 40 percent of total FDI capital registered in the year. 

    The government is calling for private and foreign investments in power projects to help ease the burden on the state budget. 

    Under the power development plan, Vietnam hoped to see seven coal-fired projects registered in 2017 which would become operational in 2021-2022. FDI capital in thermopower projects would be expected to be double the real figure.

    According to GreenID, China tops the list of financiers who are pouring money into coal-fired projects, followed by Japan and South Korea. However, since 2017, the investments from Japan are higher than China.

    The main motive for Japan to boost investments in coal-fired projects in Vietnam is the expansion of markets for its companies. In general, three subjects are involved in every project, including investors, bankers and EPC contractors.

    “As such, the final purpose of investments is exporting technologies and equipment from investment countries, thus bringing jobs and profits to companies,” said Nguyen Thi Hang, coordinator from GreenID.

    The Keidanren Japan Business Association lists Vietnam among the target countries to promote the use of coal in Asia. Vietnam is the second largest recipient of Japanese capital for coal-fired projects, after Bangladesh, on the regional map of "hot spots" for coal power development.

    The government is calling for private and foreign investments in power projects to help ease the burden on the state budget. 

    In an effort to minimize risks to the environment, investors are asked to use supercritical and ultra supercritical technology.

    According to NRDC (Natural Resources Defense Council), Japan has been advertising  its advanced technology to boost its coal-fired power technology. 

    However, experts believe that the technology is just a little better than the technology used in Vietnam. The Japanese technology reduces the consumption of fuel and operation cost, while the CO2 emission volume reduced is insignificant, just 7-9 percent.

    In addition, the improvements of the boiler technology do not have much relation to the control of the emissions of dust and toxic gases such as NOx and SOx. 

    Since the technology used to control the emissions is very costly, it will only be installed as per the request by host countries.

    Meanwhile, in Vietnam, the emission limit is still high, while the supervision and sanctions are too weak.

    Under the seventh plan, the coal-fired power capacity would increase by five times by 2030, which also means high economic and environmental risks, according to Hang.


    Kim Chi, VNN


    0 0
  • 02/06/18--01:33: Article 3
  • BUSINESS IN BRIEF 6/2


    US$249 million of further investment poured into Danang hi-tech park


    US$249 million of further investment poured into Danang hi-tech park, 2018 rice export to hit 6m tonnes, RoK encourages partnerships with Vietnamese businesses, Fuel price hike strains businesses 

    Da Nang’s Hi-tech Park has attracted 10 projects with a total investment of US$249 million, including three Japanese-invested projects and seven by local businesses.
    At present, two wholly Japanese invested businesses in the field of precise mechanics have been put into operation with their annual turnover and export values reaching more than US$65 billion.

    For 2018, the management board of Da Nang Hi-tech Park is set to lure more than four projects totally capitalized at over US$100 million with a focus on strategic investment in hi-tech, energy saving, and clean technology development.

    The more than 1,500 ha park has so far received in excess of VND8,841 billion in total investment.

    PAN Farm raises its Sao Ta stake     

    The PAN Group’s agriculture business, PAN Farm JSC, has completed its public bid for nearly 11.5 million shares, an equivalent to 29.47 per cent in Sao Ta Foods JSC, lifting its ownership here to 34.17 per cent from 4.7 per cent.

    At the bidding price of VND23,000 (US$1) per share, PAN Farm has spent more than VND264 billion ($11.6 million) for the purchase. The transaction was finished on January 31 after two months of making the public bid offer.

    The shares of Sao Ta Foods (FMC) has rallied nearly 7 per cent for the last four days, trading around VND27,000 per share on the HCM Stock Exchange.

    In the filing to the State Securities Commission and HCM Stock Exchange on February 1, PAN Farm said the company currently holds more than 13.3 million shares of Sao Ta Foods, or 34.17 per cent of its capital, and becomes its major shareholder.

    In addition to securing a long-term investment, through the takeover, PAN Farm aims to expand production this year, the company said.

    PAN Farm, with a charter capital of VND1.22 trillion, focuses on farming solutions and plantation. Meanwhile, Sao Ta Foods is one of the three biggest shrimp exporters in Viet Nam.

    Prior to this purchase, another subsidiary of PAN Group, Aquatex Ben Tre JSC, acquired a 20.1 per cent stake in Sao Ta Foods in November last year. Therefore, PAN Group currently holds 54.3 per cent interest in the shrimp producer, and its business results will be consolidated into PAN Group’s financial statements from this year.

    Through a number of merger and acquisition (M&A) deals in agriculture and foodstuff sectors, PAN Group is taking over many leading companies in these industries, including confectionery Bibica, Long An Food Processing Export (Lafooco), Vinaseed, Southern Seed, Aquatex Ben Tre and now Sao Ta Foods.

    In 2017, Sao Ta Foods reported a total revenue of VND3.3 trillion and a net profit of VND122 billion.

    Forex rates surge against VND     

    Except for the US dollar, foreign currencies have surged against the Vietnamese dong during the last month as demand for foreign goods increases ahead of the Tet (Lunar New Year) holiday.

    At Eximbank, foreign exchange rates of multiple currencies are now up from 1.9 to 5.1 per cent over the previous month.

    On February 2, the British pound increased sharply by VND1,600 per pound against Vietnamese dong, a rise by 5.1 per cent. One pound is now selling for VND32,532.

    The Swiss franc increased by VND1,140 per franc, a rise of 4.8 per cent. One franc is buying and selling for VND24,298 - 24,615, respectively.

    Meanwhile, the euro rose by VND1,015, or 3.7 per cent (VND28,138 - 28,505 per euro). The New Zealand dollar increased by VND555, or 3.4 per cent (VND16,567 - 16,834 per New Zealand dollar)

    Other currencies rates have also increased, including the Australian dollar (VND370, or 2 per cent) and the Canadian dollar (VND350, or 1.9 per cent).

    Some foreign currencies in Asia also climbed. The Japanese yen increased by VND5, or 2.5 per cent, (VND205.4 - 208.12), the Singapore dollar increased by VND240, or 1.4 per cent (VND17,176 - 17,400) while the Thai baht surged by 3.5 per cent or 25 dong a baht (VND702 - 733).

    The increase in foreign exchange rates could make the prices of goods imported from these countries increase.

    Nguyen Van Hung of District 3 now has to pay an additional VND1.2 million to buy NZD2,000 of cash for his children to study in New Zealand.

    Duong Anh Vu, head of the Analysis Desk in Viet Nam Gold Investment and Trading Joint Stock Company (VGB), said there was nothing particular about recent economic data in Europe and Japan that would lead to the increase in the exchange rate.

    The US dollar has continued to decrease. The USD Index decreased to 88.71 points, the lowest during the last four years.

    The Fed raised the interest rates for three times in 2017 and more hikes are expected this year, according to Vu. 

    2018 rice export to hit 6m tonnes     

    Viet Nam’s rice export volume in 2018 is expected to increase by 400,000 tonnes from 2017 to reach 6 million tonnes, due to increased demand from Southeast Asia, especially from the Philippines, with China expected to be the country’s largest rice market.

    The Vietnam Food Association (VFA), in a report earlier in January, said countries in Southeast Asia will import a large amount of rice from Viet Nam, helping boost the country’s turnover this year.

    The VFA said Indonesia will import rice from Viet Nam and Thailand again in 2018 to increase reserves, as Indonesia’s rice price has been rising, almost double the floor price.

    Similarly, the National Food Board of the Philippines approved of up to 250,000 tonnes of imported rice to offset declining inventories, due to unfavourable weather in 2017.

    These developments are encouraging for Viet Nam’s rice export market, said the VFA’s report, with export price of 5 per cent broken rice rising to US$400 per tonne from $390.

    Domestic rice price also increased, with the average price between to $267 to $293 per tonne as of January’s end, having increased by $13 to $15 per tonne from December 2017’s price.

    According to the VFA’s data, throughout 2017, the country exported 5.7 million tonnes of rice worth $2.54 billion.

    As mentioned by the US Department of Agriculture (USDA)’s 2018 world rice production forecast, issued late 2017, the main factor behind this year’s rice trade expansion is increased output from Viet Nam, Pakistan and Myanmar, three of the world’s top six rice exporting countries.

    The USDA’s report stated that though 2017 global rice output fell by 20 per cent from 2016’s number, as a result of weak outlook for grain products, long, heavy rainfall and spring floods and other unfavourable weather, meaning there should be positive signals from traditional rice importing markets in Southeast Asia in early 2018.

    In Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, whose rice crops were heavily influenced by harsh weather, demand for rice imports will also increase in 2018. Rising import demand is supported by increased purchasing power in Africa and the Middle East, while China continues to be a leading importer of rice from neighbouring regions.

    As such, Viet Nam will witness an increase in revenue from rice exports to several large consumer markets.

    According to the Department of Crop Production under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, in early January 2018, the Mekong Delta’s rice producers harvested 860,000 hectares of rice, with an average yield of 5.3 tonnes per hectare.

    Nonetheless, problems remain for national rice production, the majority of which stem from farmers’ ignorance.

    Talking to Vietnam News Agency during a late 2017 agricultural conference in the Mekong Delta, Vo Tong Xuan, former vice rector of Can Tho University and rice expert, emphasised growing competition in global rice markets.

    Xuan warned that Viet Nam needs to find ways to make its rice exports stand out if it wants to achieve export targets.

    Regarding export rice quality, he was convinced that since rice merchants often mix different batches from different farmers into one large batch, there is virtually no way to completely track the origin of any batch.

    Without clear origin, there are no certain product quality controls, and no major national rice brand for Viet Nam, Xuan added.

    He suggested issuing contracts between rice farmers and processing plants for sustainable production, via agricultural co-operatives instead of relying on middlemen.

    Xuan also said that there remain regulations acting as barriers to small and medium enterprises from entering the rice market. Exporting low quality rice and fragrant rice without a brand name is becoming increasingly difficult for Viet Nam, especially in finding niche markets to sell several thousand tonnes. 

    RoK encourages partnerships with Vietnamese businesses

    Minister of Trade, Industry and Energy of the Republic of Korea Paik Un Gyn has affirmed that his country encourages its businesses to ratchet up investment and cooperation with Vietnamese partners helping to increase the local contents in locally-made hi-tech products and reduce Vietnam’s trade deficit.

    The Minister made the affirmation on February 3 during his visit to Minh Nguyen Supporting Industries JSC – one of the first domestic firms to be chosen by Samsung Group to take part in the direct supply chain of components for the Samsung Electronics HCMC CE project worth nearly 2 billion USD at the Saigon Hi-tech Park, Ho Chi Minh City.

    He spoke highly of the pro-activeness of the company and other Vietnamese businesses in studying and applying new technologies in production and business.

    He suggested Vietnamese businesses contact Korean functional agencies when they meet with difficulties to receive the assistance they needed.

    According to the Minister, since the two countries set up their diplomatic ties in 1992, their two-way trade hit 58.5 billion USD as of November 2017.

    Vietnam is an important economic partner of the RoK in Southeast Asia and the two countries are working to bring their trade value to 100 billion USD by 2020.

    The RoK is the second largest foreign investor, after Japan, in Vietnam in 2017 with total registered capital of 8.49 billion USD. 

    Fuel price hike strains businesses

    Businesses are trying to keep the prices of consumer goods down despite recent fuel price hikes.

    The price of E5 RON 92 petrol was increased on January 19 by 429 VND to 18,672 VND (82.3 US cent) per litre, and experts said this hike just before Tet would have a knock-on impact on the prices of many goods.

    Since the prices of electricity and fuel make up around 5 percent of the production cost of a number of essential goods, the fuel price rise would cause the prices of other goods to increase by 3-4 percent.

    According to the Ministry of Industry and Trade’s Department of Domestic Market, the prices of essential goods for Tet such as pork, fruits and vegetables can rise by 15-20 percent, while the prices of confectionery, wine and beer and other beverage are expected to see smaller increases.

    Since global fuel prices have shown no signs of falling, relevant agencies should consider measures like lowering tax and discount rates for oil distributors to keep fuel prices steady in the domestic market, a ministry spokesman said.

    Trade expert Vu Dinh Phu said the best solution is to not hike fuel prices, with authorities using price stabilisation funds to keep fuel prices steady.

    Many businesses said the recent fuel price hike has not yet affected the prices of essential goods since they had stocked large volumes for Tet.

    But the prices of some other essential goods like fruits, vegetable, fish and meat could now rise by 10-15 percent in wholesale markets, they said.

    Some businesses said they would settle for lower profits since they had promised customers they would not raise prices for Tet.

    A spokesman from Big C said the supermarket is committed to keeping the prices of some 11,300 kinds of goods unchanged until the last day of this lunar year. Thus, the prices of these goods would not be hiked even if fuel prices affect their prices in the market, he said.

    While saying the cost of raw materials, electricity and others affect the prices of its products, the Sai Gon Food JSC also promised it would not hike prices during Tet.

    Most retailers stockpiled goods a month ahead of the festival, and as a result many shopping centres and malls will continue with their promotion campaigns until Tet.

    Prices of frozen goods including pork, beef, fish, chicken have remained unchanged and experts said a week before Tet their prices at supermarkets could be 10,000-20,000 VND per kilogramme cheaper than in traditional markets.

    But the prices of these goods could rise after Tet due to the higher transport costs.

    At a recent seminar, Nguyen Tien Thoa, General Secretary of the Vietnam Association for Prices Assessment, said the prices of goods are expected to remain steady in 2018, but a number of public services such as electricity, water and education and healthcare could become dearer.

    Therefore, oil firms should only raise fuel prices at “appropriate” points of time, he said.

    “Firms should not announce a fuel price hike before Tet when power demand is on the rise.”

    In the long term, measures should be taken to reduce costs for businesses, including by reducing taxes and fees, he said.

    Relevant agencies should consider initiatives to lower interest rates on bank loans, he added.

    Tien Giang earns 220 million USD in January’s exports

    The Mekong Delta province of Tien Giang earned 220 million USD in exports in January, a rise of 9.2 percent year on year, according to Director of the provincial Department of Industry and Trade Ngo Van Tuan.

    Tuan noted that in the month, Tien Giang shipped abroad 30,000 tonnes of rice for 14 million USD, five times higher than that in the same period last year in both volume and value.

    Meanwhile, growth was seen in many major products of the province, including garments with 6.4 percent to reach 45 million USD and footwear with 19 percent to hit 40 million USD. Its export of copper pipes also fetched 33.6 million USD, an increase of 40 percent.

    Exports of domestically-invested enterprises accounted for 36 percent of total figure, while that of the foreign-invested sector was 64 percent.

    Tuan held that strong rise in the first month of this year showed the effectiveness of the locality’s policy in export and investment attraction as well as the efforts of local firms.

    He revealed that this year, the province aims for export revenues of 2.65 billion USD, up 6 percent compared to 2017.

    Masan starts meat processing complex in Ha Nam

    Masan Group on February 4 held a groundbreaking ceremony for its meat processing complex in the Dong Van 4 Industrial Park, Kim Bang district, the northern province of Ha Nam.

    Addressing the ceremony, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Nguyen Xuan Cuong welcomed the large agricultural project of the group, affirming that it will contribute actively to livestock development.

    He requested the locality to facilitate the group’s project implementation while developing a safe material zone for the project and addressing pollution caused by the livestock sector.

    The Minister also urged the Masan Group to focus its resources so as the project will be on schedule, as well as ensure material supply, processing methods and expand consumption markets.

    According to Nguyen Dang Quang, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Masan Group, the complex will cost over one trillion VND (44 million USD) and sit on 10 hectares in the IP. It will have an annual capacity of 140,000 tonnes of pork.

    The plant will use Danish technology and operate in line with the standards of the US Food and Drugs Administration, Quang said.

    Nguyen Xuan Dong, Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee said the project is expected to boost the livestock sector of Ha Nam and the surrounding localities, thus contributing to ending small-scale slaughters and ensuring food safety.

    Ha Nam currently has 720,000 pigs. A planning has been made on pig farming in 30 communes, hoping to supply 500,000 pigs per year for the processing plant by 2025.

    Startups expect to attract more investors

    Vietnamese startups expect to attract more investors this year, Demo Day 2018, held by Vietnam Silicon Valley Accelerator (VSV Accelerator) in Hanoi on February 1, heard.

    Ms. Tran Thanh Huyen, Co-founder of the startup True Juice, told VET she wants to attract potential investors interested in her business model. True Juice supplies fresh vegetable juice and fruit juice to customers with new recipes and new methods that ensure maximum nutrition. Target customers are office workers, postpartum women, and vegetarians.

    There were ten outstanding startups making presentations at Demo Day 2018 to explain their idea and persuade investors. Deputy Minister of Science and Technology Tran Van Tung highly appreciated the entrepreneurial spirit on display and said the ministry would support VSV Accelerator in startup projects.

    Attending the Demo Day 2018 were leaders from the Ministry of Science and Technology, representatives from VSV Accelerator, ten startups, and about 100 investors, including professional investors. Startups included Canets, Fresh Deli, Hue Packaging, True Juice, 689Cloud, Turline by Cores, Roborzoid, Handfree, Winme, and Peko Peko.

    The startups overcame more than 100 other applicants to appear at Demo Day 2018. They have been accredited by VSV Accelerator and have graduated from its four-month training program.

    2018 is the fourth annual Demo Day and is a continuous improvement program. The goal is to provide an opportunity for startups to present their business results and growth potential to investors, thereby establishing a relationship with potential investors and beginning to raise funds. It is also an opportunity for startups to receive feedback from investors and experts to improve their business models.

    2017 marked an important transition for VSV Accelerator, with it signing a strategic cooperation agreement with Microsoft Vietnam and Lotte Accelerator to support incubation and startup investments. VSV Accelerator selected ten potential startups for investment and incubation under the agreement. During the last four months of last year, the startups undertook a special training session with VSV Accelerator to perfect business models. Lotte Accelerator was one of the units working with VSV Accelerator to host the Demo Day.

    VSV Accelerator is a network of more than 40 local and international mentors and investors supporting more than 30 startups, including potential companies like Lozi.vn, TechElite, SchoolBus.

    Posco E&C to build wharf facility at petrochemical complex

    South Korea’s Posco E&C has announced it has signed a contract with the Long Son Petrochemicals Company (LSP), the investor of a $5.4-billion petrochemical complex project in southern Ba Ria Vung Tau province, for the construction of a wharf facility costing $680 million, according to foreign newswire Business Korea.

    The signing indicates that construction of the complex will restart shortly after several delays. LSP, in which Thai conglomerate Siam Cement Group (SCG) holds a 71 per cent stake, is building Vietnam’s first petrochemical complex.

    The complex has a capacity of producing 1 million tons of ethylene and 1.2 million tons of petrochemical products and is located about 150 km southeast of Ho Chi Minh City.

    Posco E&C will build 28 petrochemical storage tanks with a total storage capacity of 300,000 tons, raw material transfer pipelines, a wharf for raw material products, and marine facilities. Completion is expected in 2022.

    In a bid to hasten the long-delayed mega project, SCG recently sought the government’s permission to acquire the remaining 29 per cent stake held by State-owned PetroVietnam to bring its holding to 100 per cent.

    It also pledged to provide guarantees for a $3.2 billion loan package for the project to move on. But it asked PetroVietnam to issue a commitment to Long Son Petrochemicals to guarantee 29 per cent of the $3.2 billion it will borrow on its behalf.

    However, PetroVietnam cannot provide such guarantees as a State-owned enterprise, which under Vietnamese legislation are prohibited from providing loan guarantees for a subsidiary in which it holds less than 51 per cent.

    According to a PetroVietnam report, the project was halted due it the oil giant’s failure to take out loans for the joint venture and conduct procedures for the approval of contract packages.

    The project was licensed in 2008 with total investment of $3.7 billion and the participation of three companies: SCG, PetroVietnam, and the Vietnam Chemical Group (Vinachem). Vinachem withdrew its capital due to financial difficulties and was replaced by Qatar Petroleum International (QPI). In April 2017, QPI dropped out and sold its stake to SCG.

    Long Son will be the first petrochemical complex in Vietnam. The operator of the country’s first operational oil refinery, Dung Quat in the central province of Quang Ngai, raised a higher-than-expected $245 million from an initial public offering (IPO) last month. Meanwhile, the Nghi Son Oil Refinery in northern Thanh Hoa province has seen its commercial start delayed due to technical errors.

    Mr. Roongrote Rangsiyopash, SCG’s President and CEO, told a press conference last July that construction of the petrochemical complex would begin in 2018 and see commercial operations start in 2022.

    A PetroVietnam executive was quoted as saying last July that site clearance had been completed and investors had selected an engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contractor.

    VIMO & Lotte Duty Free come to payment agreement

    One of the leading mobile payment platforms in Vietnam, VIMO, signed a partnership in Hanoi on February 1 with Lotte Duty Free over the use of a mobile payment platform accepting WeChat Pay (Weixin Pay) from Chinese tourists at its duty free stores at Da NangInternationalAirport.

    Chinese tourists are now able to use the WeChat mobile app to scan QR codes generated by the cashier upon checkout at Lotte’s duty free shops at the airport.

    Payments can be made via QR codes at 41 checkouts in the five store network at Da NangAirport. Lotte Duty Free shops have many high-quality products, such as cosmetics, watches, wines, medicines, clothes, and jewelry, and the partnership provides a convenient payment method for Chinese tourists and boosts Lotte Duty Free’s revenue.

    From February 1 to February 28, to welcome in the lunar new year, VIMO and WeChat also launched New Year Lucky Money for Chinese users with formal WeChat accounts. After making a payment at Lotte Duty Free, customers will be randomly refunded up to CNY 888 ($140). Lotte Duty Free will also launch a host of promotional programs from many brands and present valuable gifts during February.

    VIMO is the largest mobile wallet and the first and only mobile payment platform in Vietnam to allow Chinese customers to pay with WeChat while traveling in Vietnam. It currently has nearly 500 higher-end stores accepting WeChat payments at popular tourist destinations around the country, including more than 50 stores at five international airports with direct flights to and from China.

    General Director of VIMO, Mr. Do Cong Dien, said it will expand its acceptance network to 2,000 more shops this year to provide convenient payments for Chinese tourists.

    Vietnam is one of the most attractive destinations in the region for Chinese tourists, with an estimated 3.5 million arrivals and turnover of nearly $3 billion last year. By enabling WeChat payments at thousands of stores locally, VIMO targets to boost spending by Chinese tourists in Vietnam by 10 per cent this year, from an average of $638 in 2017.

    RISIS releases Zodiac Collection 2018

    Greeting its 42nd year of crafting Feng Shui gifts, RISIS is proud to announce its Zodiac Collection 2018 to welcome in the Year of the Dog.

    The impeccable collection includes six dog figurines, all bearing great wishes to their owners.

    First to come is Champ, in the shape of a Golden Striver. Exuding poise and strength, it is a majestic golden retriever embodying all things triumphant.

    Second, Faith is a trusted companion that brings great happiness and is the epitome of “man’s best friend”. Carrying precious treasure for its lucky owner, it symbolizes the arrival of great fortune.

    Third, Lucky, which joyfully guards a gold coin beneath its paws. Lucky heralds the promise of prosperity arriving from all directions and also symbolizes the successful achievement of one’s goals in the brand-new year, making it an auspicious gift for someone who lives life to the fullest.

    Fourth is Joy. Grand and elegant, Joy instinctively bounds toward the promise of happiness and ushers in the greatness of spring. Dignified and charismatic, it speaks an assured fulfillment and bountiful blessings.

    Fifth is Miracle. Playful and carefree, Miracle takes a fearless step into a Hulu-shaped water puddle and turns it into gold. Brimming with optimism, this icon of sheer confidence bears a message of transforming the everyday into opportunities for success.

    And lastly, Blessings. The Tibetan Terrier is a storied symbol of immense fortune. Adorned with a Ruyi symbol on its paws, it is set to pave the road of success, making wishes come true with every stride.

    The RISIS Zodiac collection features magnificent 24K gold-plated sculptures lovingly handcrafted by highly skilled artisans, all to bring the great blessings RISIS holds. Each piece is an ideal gift of appreciation, a bearer of good fortune and the perfect companion for anyone.

    IFC assisting microfinance institutions improve corporate governance

    The International Finance Corporation (IFC) is helping microfinance institutions in Vietnam improve their corporate governance practices.

    Dozens of board members and senior executives of Vietnamese microfinance institutions are gathering together in the Mekong Delta’s Can Tho city for a two-day workshop on February 1 and 2 to address common governance challenges they face. Globally, regulators and investors have been supporting company efforts to demonstrate better governance, such as having a robust board, accountable senior management, and effective internal control and risk management practices.

    “The IFC believes supporting Vietnamese microfinance institutions in strengthening their corporate governance practices will boost their capacity to provide better financial services and expand lending,” said Mr. Kyle Kelhofer, IFC Country Manager for Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos. “This will ensure sustainable growth for the institutions and benefit their key clients - millions of micro-entrepreneurs, primarily women, and low-income households, contributing to poverty reduction in the country.”

    Studies have shown that stronger governance enhances performance and risk management, which is expected to strengthen microfinance institutions’ ability to cater to the financial needs of microenterprises and low-income earners.

    Only one in five adults in Vietnam have access to formal financial services and only 8 per cent of them have savings in formal institutions. Microfinance lenders play a critical role in providing financial services to the low-income population, serving an estimated 10 million people, many of whom are women and the poor, according to IFC studies.

    The workshop will help participants examine their institutions’ key governance functions such as the board, compliance, and internal audit, and develop an action plan for improvements.

    The workshop is being conducted by the IFC in partnership with the Citi Foundation and the Vietnam Microfinance Working Group, a leading industry forum for microfinance practitioners sharing knowledge and strengthening the sector’s voice in policymaking. More than 30 of its members are microfinance institutions offering financial services.

    Vietnam’s microfinance sector is evolving, with many small, non-profit operators hoping to transition into bigger, commercial-oriented entities,” said Ms. Nguyen Thi Tuyet Mai, Managing Director of the Vietnam Microfinance Working Group. “Implementing corporate governance reforms to enhance efficiency, transparency, and risk management will be paramount to their successful transitions.”

    This initiative is part of the IFC’s Vietnam Microfinance Program, supported by Switzerland’s State Secretariat for Economic Affairs, with the aim of strengthening industry capacity and transparency as well as boosting microfinance institutions’ ability to increase sustainable and responsible financial access.

    The IFC is a sister organization of the World Bank and member of the World Bank Group and is the largest global development institution focused on the private sector in emerging markets. It works with more than 2,000 businesses worldwide, using its capital, expertise, and influence to create markets and opportunities in the toughest areas of the world. In FY201717, it delivered a record $19.3 billion in long-term financing for developing countries, leveraging the power of the private sector to help end poverty and boost shared prosperity.

    Xiaomi partners with Shopee in mobile phone sales

    Chinese mobile phone maker Xiaomi signed an official partnership with Shopee, an e-commerce platform in Southeast Asia, on January 31 for the launch of a Xiaomi Official Store on Shopee Mall, as part of its strategy to expand product distribution in Vietnam.

    To kick-off the partnership, Xiaomi will launch the Redmi 5 through an exclusive flash sale via Shopee on February 7. The price will be the best on the market and available for a limited time only. Customers purchasing a Redmi 5 with their MasterCard receive an additional discount of 10 per cent.

    “We have been seeing a tremendous increase in confidence in online shopping over the last few years,” said Mr. Pine Kyaw, Managing Director of Shopee Vietnam. “Consumers are buying more and more high value items such as smartphones and other electronic items online. We are therefore delighted to partner with Xiaomi, a global technology leader, to provide greater choice to consumers and strengthen our position in the electronics category. Shopee aims to become a one-stop online shopping destination that caters to the needs and preferences of all Vietnamese.”

    “We are really excited to partner with Shopee, one of the leading e-commerce platforms in the region with steady growth and potential,” said Mr. Wang Xiang, Xiaomi’s Senior Vice President. “We are confident that this cooperation will help us extend our reach and highlights our commitment to continue to bring more innovative products into the market and provide greater access to technology for more Vietnamese.”

    Shopee’s users can now stroll through Xiaomi’s official products in Vietnam and all transactions are secure.

    Through a cooperative arrangement with the Digiworld Corporation (DGW), Xiaomi’s first Mi Store opened last month at Crescent Mall in Ho Chi Minh City’s District 7, as part of its strategy to promote customer care and the customer experience. The opening marks the great progress made by Xiaomi and Digiworld in plans to expand the Xiaomi brand’s presence in Vietnam.

    Criteo marketing technology boosts Sendo's sales

    Commerce marketing technology provider Criteo recently announced that its proprietary technology has helped Sendo.vn, a Vietnamese e-commerce marketplace, better support merchants on its platform and engage shoppers with relevant and personalized experiences.

    Sendo.vn has been working with Criteo since May 2017 and their ongoing collaboration has resulted in a 578 per cent increase in web and app commerce revenue and a 440 per cent increase in total conversion for web and app.

    Launched in September 2012, Sendo.vn is a subsidiary of major Vietnamese software conglomerate the FPT Group. The company’s business growth was dependent upon its ability to help merchants on its platform better engage shoppers in urban and rural cities and increase sales on the web, mobile web, and its mobile app. While Sendo.vn recognized that using data to build an understanding of shopper behavior would play a crucial role in achieving its goal, its use of different digital marketing systems and tools meant it ended up with disparate datasets. Data integration was therefore inefficient and labor intensive.

    To address these issues, Sendo.vn turned to Criteo’s dynamic retargeting solutions. Powered by machine learning technology, Criteo’s solutions analyze a shopper’s online browsing patterns and compute their preferences and propensity to purchase. All of these are critical in delivering the optimal number of relevant and personalized ads to encourage each shopper to complete a transaction. This allowed Sendo.vn to deliver the right ad at the right moment in the shopper journey, which is vital in driving conversion rates and meeting KPIs.

    Mobile is deeply entrenched in the local shopper journey, especially in cities where PC ownership is relatively low,” said Mr. Alban Villani, General Manager, Southeast Asia, Hong Kong and Taiwan, at Criteo. “It is imperative that commerce providers here avoid siloed campaigns. To drive sales and business growth, they must integrate advanced open data collaboration and mobile capabilities.”

    “Criteo’s technology allows Sendo.vn to transcend geographical limitations and more effectively engage shoppers in real-time and at scale, across devices and channels. We look forward to continuing to work with Sendo.vn and other players to create the highest performing commerce marketing ecosystem - one that adds value to all local commerce providers who participate, regardless of size.”

    Vietnam is one of the most mobile-savvy countries in the Asia-Pacific region, with smartphone use among mobile phone users growing to 84 per cent in 2017, according to Nielsen Vietnam’s Smartphone Insights Report 2017. This trend is also visible in secondary cities and rural areas in the country. Mobile use is set to fuel Vietnam’s e-commerce growth, which is expected to increase by 150 per cent by 2022 and amount to $10 billion.

    “Criteo’s technology delivers intelligence, automation, scale, and most importantly, direct sales,” said Mr. Duc Pham, Deputy Director, Marketing, at Sendo.vn. “By adopting a unified system for our marketing campaigns, we are now able to allocate our resources more efficiently. We have also observed that many customers who live on a city’s outskirts or in rural areas have a desire to purchase items from merchants based in other parts of Vietnam. Working with Criteo has allowed us and our merchants to connect local shoppers with their preferred products, delivering relevant, seamless, and geographically-agnostic shopping experiences.”

    BSR's 2017 profit up 93%

    The Binh Son Refining and Petrochemical Co. (BSR), the operator of Vietnam’s first oil refinery, Dung Quat in central Quang Ngai province, has reported a net profit of VND8.66 trillion ($381.5 million) in 2017, an increase of an impressive 92.8 per cent against 2016.

    It produced 6.1 million tons of petroleum products during the year and posted revenue of VND82.03 trillion ($3.6 billion), up 11.4 per cent from a year earlier, according to a filing on its website after PetroVietnam’s newly-appointed Chairman Mr. Tran Sy Thanh visited the refinery.

    Other financial indicators also improved considerably. Return-on-equity (ROE) reached 25.57 per cent compared to 14.06 per cent in 2016, while return-on-assets (ROA) rose to 14.08 per cent from 7.49 per cent.

    The government raised VND5.6 trillion ($245.2 million) from selling a 7.79 per cent stake in BSR at an initial public offering (IPO) on January 17.

    Winning investors totaled 623, of which 62 were organizations and 561 were individuals. Foreign investors secured more than 147 million shares, or 4.77 per cent of the company.

    Registrations were made for nearly 652 million shares - 2.7 times higher than the offering - of which domestic investors sought 248 million and foreign investors more than 338 million.

    Some 4,079 investors registered to purchase shares during the three weeks registrations were open, 3,957 of which were local individual investors, seven foreign individuals, 48 local organizations, and 67 foreign organizations.

    A further 49 per cent stake will be sold to strategic investors, including both domestic and foreign investors, and the government will retain a 43 per cent stake in the operator of the $3-billion refinery. 

    BSR is working on a plan to expand its processing capacity to 8.5 million tons of crude oil per year from the current 6.5 million tons. It now meets some 30 per cent of domestic demand.

    Vietnam needs more refineries, as Dung Quat is capable of meeting just 30 per cent of domestic demand. The Nghi Son Oil Refinery in northern Thanh Hoa province, which is due to begin commercial operations this year, will bring total supply to 80 per cent of demand.

    Digiworld exceeds 2017 after-tax profit target by 42%

    Electronics and healthcare distributor the Digiworld Corporation (DGW) recently released its consolidated financial statement for the fourth quarter of 2017.

    Revenue reached VND3.82 trillion ($168.5 million) and after-tax profit VND78.34 billion ($3.5 million), exceeding the annual plan by 42 per cent. It actually matched the annual after-tax profit plan in the third quarter, reaching VND55 billion ($2.4 million).

    Sales increased 11.13 per cent year-on-year in the fourth quarter and profit a sharp 106 per cent, due to its gross profit margin improving from 6.9 per cent to 7.97 per cent after it offered full market development services (MES) packages to firms and new product lines that proved more profitable than traditional lines.

    In computers and tablets, though overall market growth was not high, Digiworld maintained its growth by exploiting niche markets, such as distributing Fujistu computers targeting businesspeople and LG fashion computers for young people or South Korean businesses.

    The mobile phone business recorded lower growth as the company restructured its product categories and abandoned the distribution of products not contributing much in the way of value.

    In office equipment, growth was good and stable as more brands had different product categories.

    The new business of consumer goods was implemented later than planned but made a contribution from the third quarter onwards, so needs more time to complete distribution channels and product diversity.

    “2018 is a milestone for Digiworld in starting a new itinerary after 20 years of operations and development,” said Mr. Mr. Doan Hong Viet, CEO of Digiworld. The company has set a target for revenue and profit of VND4.7 trillion ($20.7 million) and VND101 billion ($4.5 million), respectively, this year, up 23.03 per cent and 28.92 per cent.

    “With positive business results in 2017, Digiworld can successfully achieve its ambitions through its experience in providing market analysis and development services and the ability to respond quickly to potential growth in product categories,” he went on. “Higher sales of consumer goods will begin to be seen in all quarters of 2018 and contribute VND200 billion ($8.82 million).”

    In recent news, the company has partnered with China’s Xiaomi to open the first Mi Store in Ho Chi Minh City’s District 7.

    The Digiworld Venture Company, a subsidiary of the Digiworld Corporation, announced in late October it had completed a purchase of 50.3 per cent in the CL Company, a fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) concern in Vietnam.

    VNN


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  • 02/06/18--01:44: Article 2
  • PetroVietnam ex-official sentenced to life imprisonment for second time

     

    Trinh Xuan Thanh has been given two life sentences for his violations in two different cases

    Trinh Xuan Thanh is seen in this file photo.

    Trinh Xuan Thanh, a former official of state-run oil and gas group PetroVietnam (PVN), has been sentenced to life in prison for the second time for embezzlement.

    The Hanoi People’s Court on Monday announced their final decision regarding the sentencing of Thanh, ex-chairman of PetroVietnam Construction Corporation (PVC), a subsidiary of PVN, and his seven accomplices. 

    Thanh was sentenced to life imprisonment for embezzling VND14 billion (US$616,502) at the PetroVietnam Power Land Joint-Stock Company (PVPLand).

    The other seven suspects were slapped with jail terms between six and 16 years.

    According to the case file, the violation was committed during the transfer of shares at PVPLand in 2010.

    In late March that year, Le Hoa Binh, former chairman of 1/5 Construction and Services JSC, as well as five shareholders of the Trans-Pacific Services JSC signed a contract to buy 24 million shares in Nam Dan Plaza, a project in which PVP Land held a 50.5 percent capital investment.

    In order to buy the remaining NamDanPlaza shares, Thai Kieu Huong, the former deputy general director of Vietsan Investment JSC, which was one of five shareholders in Trans-Pacific Services JSC, approached Thanh and asked him to divest his interest in the real estate project.

    Thanh agreed and directed his subordinate, Dao Duy Phong, to handle the procedure.

    Phong then established a plan to sell over 12 million shares of Nam Dan Plaza at VND13.578 ($0.6) each, or equivalent to VND34 million ($1,497) per square meter, while the original value was VND52 million ($2,289) per square meter.

    The scheme was later approved by Thanh.

    As PVP Land sold its shares at Nam Dan Plaza at a much cheaper price than the original rate, the firm suffered losses worth about VND87 billion ($3.8 million).

    After the share transfer was completed, Huong and Binh gave VND14 billion to Thanh and VND10 billion ($440,359) to Phong to return the favor.

    During a previous trial in January, Thanh had already been sentenced to life in prison for deliberately violating state regulations on economic management and property embezzlement, leading to losses of VND119 billion ($5.24 million).

    Tuoi Tre News


    0 0
  • 02/06/18--01:55: Article 1
  •   Natural cosmetics are vitalized


    The growing appetite of consumers for natural cosmetics has fuelled the billion-dollar domestic cosmetics market, which has recently seen increasing presence by local players.


     Natural cosmetics are vitalised, 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 

    Regaining market share

    Because she suffers from alopecia, Pham Linh Dan, a 30-year-old copywriter living in Hanoi, has decided to only use shampoos made of natural ingredients for her hair. Her favourite shampoo is Italian Nashi, an organic mix made with Argan and linseed oil.

    Dan prefers not only shampoos, but many other daily products made with natural ingredients such as face lotions, sun screen, foundation, eye shadow, or perfume. Dan has also bought natural items like talcum powder, shampoo, and body lotion for her two-year-old daughter.

    “Natural ingredients ensure that there are no side effects such as skin allergies for users. Therefore, their prices are often 20-30% higher than those of conventional products that might carry harmful substances,” said Dan, adding that she has now gotten into the habit of finding out information about the components of products.

    According to Huynh Bich Tram, deputy director of market research firm Nielsen Vietnam, a recent survey by the company on the natural cosmetics market in six countries in the Asia Pacific region-including Vietnam-showed that 88% of Vietnamese consumers would buy new and improved products for personal use, including high-grade product lines using natural ingredients. This is the highest score in the region.

    Figures show that Vietnamese spend an average US$4 per capita per year on cosmetics. However, Vietnamese women alone spend an average VND140,000 (US$6.3) on cosmetics a month, mainly chosen through two advisory channels, namely from friends (70%) and from websites (58%).

    The total value of cosmetics imported into Vietnam was US$500 million in 2011 and jumped to US$2 billion in 2016, according to International Trade Centre figures. It is expected to touch US$3-4 billion this year in the wake of soaring demand for natural cosmetics from foreign countries.

    Not only for foreign players

    With an annual growth rate of 30%, the domestic cosmetics market has attracted many global cosmetic brands such as L’Oreal, Kanebo, Ohui, The Body Shop, The Face Shop, Shiseido, Yves Rocher, and others. These brands have all launched natural cosmetics, shampoos, and nourishing items containing vitamins C and E.

    To match the trend, multi-nationals with factories in Vietnam such as Unilever, Kao, and P&G have also marked products as using local natural ingredients such as soapberry, green tea, cucumber, saffron, aloe, rice bran, or husked rice.

    However, the domestic cosmetics market is no longer reserved for foreign players, as local firms have recently scaled up efforts to regain shares in the segment.

    Familiar local brands on the market are Miss Saigon and Fresh by Saigon Cosmetics JSC (SCC), Thorakao by Lan Hao Cosmetics Production Ltd., Thai Duong by Sao Thai Duong JSC, as well as Lana and E 100 by Dai Viet Huong Ltd., (VIETCOS).

    According to SCC business director Nguyen Phuoc Hung, natural shampoo and perfume products currently make up more than 30% of the company’s total revenue.

    For traditional shampoo lines such as soapberry shampoos, the company has teamed up with foreign partners to re-design product packaging.

    For new product lines such as shampoos using extracts from neem leaves or pomelo leaves, the company has been cooperating with foreign partners to study products ear-marked for above-average target customers.

    “Despite keeping up with domestic and foreign rivals, we currently only account for a market share of about 2% due to a slow pace in new product development. We aim to raise our market share to 3% this year,” Hung said.

    Lan Hoa Cosmetics Production Ltd., with its Thorakao brand focuses on producing items made of herbs and plants such as aloe, citronella, saffron, pomelo leaves, and soapberry.

    With their competitive pricing, the company’s products are favoured in rural markets. Thorakao aims to widen its global footprint in Saudi Arabia, Australia, the US, France, and Africa.

    Distributors also join the game

    Having entered the Vietnamese market more than a year ago, Korean-inspired fashion and lifestyle store chain Ilahui has boosted its presence with 37 outlets in 26 provinces and municipalities throughout Vietnam.

    The Vietnamese franchiser VIC Retail brought the shop chain to Vietnam after the chain had already dropped anchor in Dubai in the UAE, the Philippines, China, and Thailand. This year, Ilahui is set to increase its number of outlets to about 50, with a surge to 63 locations planned for next year.

    According to Bui Ngoc Quynh Giao, Ilahui Vietnam’s brand director, aside from expanding its shop distribution, Ilahui will also bring several natural organic product lines by well-known global brands to Vietnam to catch the trend.

    In April 2018, the brand will bring a wide assortment of cosmetic products ranging from makeup to skin and hair care items catered to men, women and children to Vietnam, with prices ranging from VND200,000 (US$9) to VND1 million (US$45) for each item.

    “This year, Ilahui focuses on distributing products in the food and beverage and organic cosmetics segments,” said Giao.

    As a competitor, LaBambi, presumably Vietnam’s first natural cosmetics distribution system, came into being several months ago. Until now, six major local natural cosmetics brands-TheHerbalCup, Skinna, SheaGhana, Myin, Karose, and Bambi Green-have all become available at LaBambi.

    Giao from Ilahui Vietnam said that aside from products by renowned foreign brands, local eminent cosmetic brands can also join Ilahui outlets.

    Often, local brands do not have good packaging and are weak in marketing, leading to high marketing costs. In addition, there is a ‘bottleneck’ related to input material sources, which explains why local cosmetics firms must think carefully before entering the natural cosmetics market. 

    Currently, herbal materials report unstable quality. Therefore, to increase market share and compete equally with global brands, local brands-apart from having to improve design, packaging, and distribution systems-must secure material sources of stable quality.

    VIR


    0 0
  • 02/06/18--02:30: Article 0
  • Government News 6/2


    Deputy PM lauds southwest steering committee’s contributions


     Deputy PM lauds southwest steering committee’s contributions, HCM City willinGovernment news, Vietnam breaking news, politic news, vietnamnet bridge, english news, Vietnam news, news Vietnam, vietnamnet news, Vietnam net news, Vietnam latest news, vn news
    Deputy Prime Minister Vuong Dinh Hue speaks at the event 

    Deputy Prime Minister Vuong Dinh Hue has praised the Steering Committee for the Southwest Region for its achievements in socio-economic development, security-defence, ethnic and religious affairs, poverty alleviation and new style rural areas building throughout 15 years of operation.

    He made the remarks while attending a conference held in the Mekong Delta city of Can Tho on February 5 to review the steering committee’s activities in 2017 and the past 15 years.

    The steering committee has made significant contributions to the region’s economic restructuring, particularly agriculture shake-up in response to the climate change, Hue noted.

    Terminating operations of the Steering Committees for Northwest, Central Highlands and Southwest Regions approved by the Communist Party of Vietnam Central Committee, Politburo and Secretariat does not mean putting an end to their functions and missions. Relevant ministries, sectors and local authorities will coordinate to carry out the tasks, he said.

    He asked deputy head of the southwest steering committee Son Minh Thang to tackle remaining work before receiving new mission assigned by the Politburo.

    In the past 15 years, the committee helped the Politburo and the Secretariat and the Prime Minister define breakthroughs to develop the Mekong Delta region in the fields of transport, irrigation, education, agriculture development and support for local ethnic people.

    It also worked to remove bottlenecks for key construction projects like Can Tho bridge, Can Tho airport, Ho Chi Minh City-Trung Luong expressway and investment projects in Phu Quoc island.

    The committee’s efforts have cast a new look for the whole region. Economic growth during 2001-2010 was at 11.7 percent per year while the figure for 2011-2015 was 8.55 percent per year. Improvements have been seen in the livelihoods of ethnic people and those living in remote areas.

    Particularly, the Mekong Delta gained impressive achievements in 2017 with stable economic growth, agricultural production exceeding set targets and sound development of service sector, education and healthcare.

    HCMCity willing to maintain collaboration with Cambodian localities


     Deputy PM lauds southwest steering committee’s contributions, HCM City willinGovernment news, Vietnam breaking news, politic news, vietnamnet bridge, english news, Vietnam news, news Vietnam, vietnamnet news, Vietnam net news, Vietnam latest news, vn news
    Tran The Luu, member of the Ho Chi Minh City Party Committee’s Standing Board, (R) receives Lieutenant General Mon Sopheap  

    Ho Chi Minh City is willing to continue taking measures to enhance its friendship and connection with Cambodian localities in order to further develop the Vietnam-Cambodia traditional friendship and comprehensive cooperation.

    The statement was made by Tran The Luu, member of the municipal Party Committee’s Standing Board and head of the committee’s Commission for Internal Affairs, at his reception on February 5 for Lieutenant General Mon Sopheap, Deputy Commander of the Special Military Region under the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces (RCAF), who is leading a delegation to visit the city ahead of the Lunar New Year (Tet) festival.

    Luu affirmed that the local leaders always support the effective development of relations between the municipal High Command and the Special Military Region.

    Mon Sopheap, in reply, confirmed that the Special Military Region and the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces at large are willing to collaborate with the Vietnam People’s Army, including Ho Chi Minh City’s High Command.

    He thanked Ho Chi Minh City and the municipal High Command for supporting Cambodia’s people and RCAF, which has helped nurture and develop the friendship and solidarity between the two countries’ armies and people.

    NA, VFF leaders present Tet gifts to needy people


     Deputy PM lauds southwest steering committee’s contributions, HCM City willinGovernment news, Vietnam breaking news, politic news, vietnamnet bridge, english news, Vietnam news, news Vietnam, vietnamnet news, Vietnam net news, Vietnam latest news, vn news
    NA Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Kim Nhan presents gifts to chidren with cancer 

    National Assembly Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan presented gifts to children with cancer under treatment at the National Institute of Hematology and Blood Transfusion in Hanoi on February 5 as Tet (traditional Vietnamese New Year) holiday is approaching.

    Ngan gave 100 gift packages to cancer children living in difficult circumstances in the hospital during a charity event, namely “Xuan yeu thuong, Tet cho benh nhan ung thu” (Spring of love, Tet for cancer patients), in the hope of bringing them a warmer Tet.

    Speaking at the event, she praised the effectiveness of the Supportive Fund for Cancer Patients – Bright Future which has acted as a bridge for love and sharing between donors and impoverished patients for the last six years.

    The NA leader also spent time at the bedside of children in critical condition, embracing them and telling them to keep faith and fight cancer.

    The Supportive Fund for Cancer Patients, found by the Ministry of Health, has teamed up with Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper to hold the charity event since 2013. Since then, the fund has provided over 18 billion VND in financial support for more than 19,200 poor cancer patients and given free cancer screenings for about 70,000 people.

    On the same day, President of the Vietnam Fatherland Front Central Committee Tran Thanh Man presented gifts and extended Tet greetings to officers and soldiers at Nhon Hung Border Guard Station in the Mekong Delta province of An Giang.

    He also visited and gave Tet gifts to 100 state policy beneficiary families and poor households in the districts of Tri Ton and Tinh Bien that share border with Cambodia and are home to a large community of ethnic minority people.

    About 70 percent of the districts’ population are from the Khmer ethnic group.

    Hanoi hopes to further ties with Mozambique


     Deputy PM lauds southwest steering committee’s contributions, HCM City willinGovernment news, Vietnam breaking news, politic news, vietnamnet bridge, english news, Vietnam news, news Vietnam, vietnamnet news, Vietnam net news, Vietnam latest news, vn news
    Chairman of the People’s Committee of Hanoi Nguyen Duc Chung (R) hosts Mozambican Ambassador Gamaliel Munguambe  

    Chairman of the People’s Committee of Hanoi Nguyen Duc Chung had a meeting with outgoing Mozambican Ambassador Gamaliel Munguambe in the city on February 5.

    The ambassador said that during his term of office in Vietnam, he had chances to work with many municipal leaders and found out abundant cooperation potential between Vietnam and Mozambique as well as Hanoi and Maputo.

    Chung congratulated the diplomat on fulfilling all tasks assigned by the Mozambican Government. He expressed his hoped that in any position, the ambassador will continue working for strengthening friendship between the two countries as well as two capital cities, thus lifting up bilateral ties to a new height.

    He voiced his support to the initiative of setting up twinning relations between Hanoi and Maputo in the future.

    Vietnam attends ASEAN SOM in Singapore


     Deputy PM lauds southwest steering committee’s contributions, HCM City willinGovernment news, Vietnam breaking news, politic news, vietnamnet bridge, english news, Vietnam news, news Vietnam, vietnamnet news, Vietnam net news, Vietnam latest news, vn news
    A view of the ASEAN Senior Officials’ Meeting (ASEAN SOM) which opened in Singapore on February 5 

    A Vietnamese delegation led by Deputy Foreign Minister Nguyen Quoc Dung, head of Vietnam ASEAN SOM, attended the ASEAN Senior Officials’ Meeting (ASEAN SOM) which opened on February 5 in Singapore to prepare contents for the ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Retreat (AMM Retreat).

    The delegates agreed on the agenda and working programme of the AMM Retreat that will take place in Singapore on February 5-6, including implementing the outcomes of the 31st ASEAN Summits (in the Philippines in November 2017), and the main priorities of ASEAN in 2018 and the world and regional situation.

    Besides, ASEAN SOM heads reviewed the implementation of the Master plan on ASEAN Political – Security Community, cooperation themes of ASEAN in 2018 and the bloc’s external relations, including the methods to build the Code of Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (COC). ASEAN and China are scheduled to start COC negotiations in Vietnam in March.

    The meeting also looked into draft documents to be submitted to the Foreign Ministers.

    VNN


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  • 02/07/18--00:36: Article 4
  • Government News 7/2


    PM lauds Chinese Ambassador’s contributions to bilateral ties


    PM lauds Chinese Ambassador’s contributions to bilateral ties, PM urges stronger multifaceted cooperation with Netherlands, Vietnamese ambassador works to promote ties with Russia 
    Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc (R) welcomes Chinese Ambassador to Vietnam Hong Xiaoyong 

    Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc hailed contributions made by Chinese Ambassador to Vietnam Hong Xiaoyong to the bilateral relations while bidding farewell to the outgoing diplomat on February 6.

    Phuc expressed his delight at developments in the ties, with economic and trade cooperation remaining a bright spot.

    China continues to be Vietnam’s biggest trade partner, while Vietnam has become China’s largest trader in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). Two-way trade rose from 58.78 billion USD in 2014 to 93.69 billion USD in 2017.

    China ranks eighth among 125 countries and territories investing in Vietnam. It also tops the list of foreign tourists visiting Vietnam, while Vietnam also ranks first in ASEAN in terms of the number of tourists to China.

    The leader affirmed that the Vietnamese Party and Government always attach importance to its comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership with China.

    He suggested both sides continue implementing common perceptions of their senior leaders; strengthen political trust through high-level meetings; carry out three working groups on infrastructure, finance and monetary, and discuss win-win cooperation at sea; and well control disagreements and maintain peace and stability at sea in order to develop the Vietnam-China relations in a stable, healthy and sustainable manner.

    Ambassador Hong said he was impressed by Vietnam’s strong socio-economic development as well as important progress in the two countries’ partnership.

    He affirmed that in any positions, he will always pay attention to boosting the bilateral comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership to bring it to the next level.

    PM urges stronger multifaceted cooperation with Netherlands


    PM lauds Chinese Ambassador’s contributions to bilateral ties, PM urges stronger multifaceted cooperation with Netherlands, Vietnamese ambassador works to promote ties with Russia 
    Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc (R) ​and Dutch Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation Sigrid Kaag.  

    Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has called on the Netherlands to continue support and cooperate with Vietnam in the fields of husbandry, cultivation, food safety, post-harvest network and market development. 

    While receiving Dutch Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation Sigrid Kaag in Hanoi on February 6, PM Phuc said Vietnam is impressed with achievements the Netherlands has recorded in building irrigation works, seaports, high-tech agriculture and especially in adaptation with climate change. 

    Thanks to experience shared by the Netherlands, Vietnam successfully organised a major conference on climate change response in the Mekong Delta region, with the attendance of the Deputy Delta Commissioner of the Netherlands and other experts in this field, he said. 

    The PM praised the Netherlands as one of Asia’s leading trade partners, noting that Dutch businesses have invested nearly 8 billion USD in Vietnam

    He urged the Government of the Netherlands to encourage Dutch firms to increase investments in Vietnam in various realms, particularly in climate change response and renewable energy. 

    Vietnam is reforming itself strongly and improving its business environment which has been recognised by the international community, he said, adding that the country is integrating deeply into the global economy as reflected through its successful hosting of large-scale international events with the most noteworthy being the APEC Economic Leaders’ Week in 2017. 

    In that spirit, PM Phuc called on the two nations to further implement the strategic partnership through specific activities such as updating the Mekong Delta Action Plan by building a concrete planning scheme for the region; rolling out orientations for regional livelihood restructuring and building regional connectivity; stepping up cooperation between Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi of Vietnam and Rotterdam of the Netherlands, as well as collaboration in personnel training in the environmental sector. 

    For her part, Kaag expressed her delight when seeing the two countries actively preparing for activities to mark the 45th founding anniversary of diplomatic ties. 

    The minister believed that the Governments and people of the Netherlands and Vietnam will tighten cooperation and accompany with each other in development, looking towards another period of 45 years for their peace and prosperity. 

    Kaag said she was being accompanied by representatives of major Dutch businesses who want to study the Vietnamese market and seek investment and cooperation opportunities in Vietnam in not only traditional spheres like climate change and high-tech agriculture but also in seaport management, technological development and start-up. 

    With its strengths, the Netherlands is willing to join hands with Vietnam in agriculture, seaport development and logistics, thus helping generate jobs, spur the country’s economic growth and improve living conditions of local people, she said. 

    The Netherlands always stands ready to partner with Vietnam in developing the Mekong Delta in the face of climate change, she said, stressing that through such cooperative activities, the two sides will target higher efficiency of the implementation of the millennium development goals (MDGs). 

    The Netherlands is also willing to share its knowledge and experience with Vietnam and work together with the country during its development process, she emphasized. 

    In reply, PM Phuc said he will instruct relevant agencies to study, propose and carry out these cooperative activities, covering water resources management. 

    He expressed his hope that Kaag’s visit will create a landmark in promoting comprehensive cooperation between the two countries more effectively, on par with the strategic partnership on climate change and water resources management, and the strategic partnership on sustainable agriculture and food security.-

    Vietnamese ambassador works to promote ties with Russia


    PM lauds Chinese Ambassador’s contributions to bilateral ties, PM urges stronger multifaceted cooperation with Netherlands, Vietnamese ambassador works to promote ties with Russia 
    At the meeting  

    Vietnamese Ambassador to Russia Ngo Duc Manh had a meeting with representatives of social organisations and friendship associations at the Vietnamese Embassy on February 6 to seek to bolster the friendship between the two countries. 

    The meeting brought together Russian war invalids, military experts and technicians who accompanied Vietnamese people and army during wartime, contributing to national reunification. 

    Although they are retired, the Russian friends still have kept a close watch on Vietnam’s development, and contributed, in their own capacity, to consolidating the bilateral friendship. 

    Addressing the function, Ambassador Manh thanked the Russian friends’ support for Vietnam, considering their sentiments a valuable asset of the two counties. 

    Vietnam and Russia boast a lot of opportunities to step up their cooperation, especially in economy, Manh said, expressing his hope that during his term, he could have opportunities to advance the relationship across fields, helping to fulfill the bilateral trade goal of 10 billion USD in 2020. 

    The diplomat is scheduled to have working sessions with representatives from scientific, economic, political and press circles of Russia in the next few days.

    Vietnam learns about latest technologies at Asia's biggest airshow


     PM lauds Chinese Ambassador’s contributions to bilateral ties, PM urges stronger multifaceted cooperation with Netherlands, Vietnamese ambassador works to promote ties with Russia 

    Deputy Chief of the General Staff of the Vietnam People’s Army Pham Ngoc Minh and a Vietnamese delegation are present at the Singapore Airshow 2018 – Asia's largest aerospace and defence event, to learn about the latest technologies in the field, especially patrol aircraft.

    Opening on February 6, the 6-day biennial event is showcasing advanced aviation technologies, many of which meet Vietnam’s demand, particularly for medium cargo aircraft such as the CASA C-212 Aviocar and DHC-6 Twin Otter models.

    As part of their attendance in the show, the Vietnamese delegation met representatives from the aerospace products seller Hawker Pacific. 

    Senior Lieutenant General Minh told the company about Vietnam’s interest in aircraft components, pilots’ training, and sea patrol aircraft. 

    Hawker Pacific said it will help Vietnam improve local pilots’ capacity and set up a centre for aircraft maintenance services in Vietnam with a view to transferring the technology to the country.

    The Airshow’s first four days is expected to welcome over 1,060 companies from 50 countries and territories, who are seeking partnerships in civilian and military aviation. It will open to public attendance on the last two days, with the management board expecting at least 130,000 visits. 

    Experts said in the next two decades, demand for airplanes in Asia– Pacific will be higher than in anywhere else in the world. During the period, the region is estimated to need over 14,000 airplanes, whose total value exceeds 2 trillion USD.

    PM meets Vietnamese contributors to Cambodian revolution


     PM lauds Chinese Ambassador’s contributions to bilateral ties, PM urges stronger multifaceted cooperation with Netherlands, Vietnamese ambassador works to promote ties with Russia
    Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc (C) and Vietnamese experts who helped Cambodia fight against the Pol Pot genocide regime 

    Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc on February 6 received the former liaison team of Vietnamese experts, who helped Cambodia fight against the Pol Pot genocide regime.

    Speaking at the meeting with 22 team members, Phuc said Vietnam’s assistance to the Cambodians at that time was a milestone in the country’s history and was highly appreciated by the Cambodian Party, Government and army. 

    Vietnam’s assistance to Cambodia is impartial, pure, and responsible,” he affirmed. 

    Vietnam helped Cambodian people escape from the genocide regime and sent thousands of experts to help the neighbor revive their country, he stated.

    On behalf of the Vietnamese Party and State, Phuc praised contributions of the former experts to VietnamCambodia ties in the past and the current time, expecting them to further their good work in the future. 

    He said despite their old ages, the former experts have continued to get involved in various practical activities in the community.

    The PM tasked the Government Office and the Ministry of Home Affairs with proposing ways to honour the former Vietnamese experts who served in Cambodia.

    He informed his guests on robust growth of relations between the two countries, with regular exchanges of high-ranking officials taking place. The sides have worked closely in planting border markers and are planning to raise bilateral trade to 5 billion USD ahead of 2020, the leader said.

    For their part, the experts expressed their expectation that the Party and Government will continue working with their Cambodian counterparts in reinforcing bilateral ties and educating the younger generation on mutual support shared between the two countries. 

    Friendship get-together celebrates Lunar New Year


     PM lauds Chinese Ambassador’s contributions to bilateral ties, PM urges stronger multifaceted cooperation with Netherlands, Vietnamese ambassador works to promote ties with Russia
    Vice President Dang Thi Ngoc Thinh and delegates to the get-togther 

    The Vietnam Union of Friendship Organisations (VUFO) and the Committee for Foreign Non-governmental Organisation Affairs (COMINGO) co-hosted a get-together in Hanoi on February 6 to celebrate the Lunar New Year (Tet).

    Vice President Dang Thi Ngoc Thinh stressed that in 2017, Vietnam recorded proud achievements in all fields from socio-economic development, security, defence to external affairs, especially the successful hosting of the APEC Year 2017 and the APEC Economic Leaders’ Week in Da Nang, which was highly evaluated by the international community.

    These achievements were made partly thanks to the support and assistance from diplomatic corps and foreign non-governmental organisations, she said.

    Thinh congratulated VUFO and COMINGO on their performances in 2017, saying that these successes would strengthen and develop friendship, cooperation and mutual understanding between the people of Vietnam and other countries around the world.

    VUFO Vice President and Secretary General Don Tuan Phong told participants that last year, the Vietnamese people received support, assistance and effective cooperation from the international community, nations, international and regional organisations and foreign non-governmental organisations.

    The amount of foreign non-governmental aid reached 280 million USD, contributing to the country’s poverty reduction and socio-economic development, especially in the fields of health, education, settlement of social issues, environmental protection, emergency relief, response to climate change and overcoming war consequences, he noted.

    Hanoi leader extends New Year wishes to Buddhists


     PM lauds Chinese Ambassador’s contributions to bilateral ties, PM urges stronger multifaceted cooperation with Netherlands, Vietnamese ambassador works to promote ties with Russia
    Secretary of the Hanoi Party Committee Hoang Trung Hai presents Tet gifts to the Vietnam Buddhist Sangha (Source: hanoimoi.com.vn) 

    Secretary of the Hanoi Party Committee Hoang Trung Hai extended his New Year wishes to Buddhist dignitaries and followers nationwide when paying a Tet visit to the Vietnam Buddhist Sangha (VBS) at Quan Su pagoda on February 6.

    He hailed the success of the VBS’s eighth congress in late 2017 and activities conducted by the VBS and its chapters, particularly those to reduce poverty.

    He reported that the capital city gained numerous achievements last year with all 20 set target fulfilled, saying these results were partly contributed by Buddhist dignitaries and followers in the locality.

    Most Venerable Thich Thanh Nhieu, standing Vice Chairman of the VBS’s Executive Council, said that Buddhist dignitaries and followers always exert efforts to further develop the city.

    Over the past five years, the VBS has collected and used over 6 trillion VND (264 million USD) for charitable activities and supported disadvantaged people nationwide.

    Lao media highlight Vietnam-Laos intergovernmental meeting’s outcomes


     PM lauds Chinese Ambassador’s contributions to bilateral ties, PM urges stronger multifaceted cooperation with Netherlands, Vietnamese ambassador works to promote ties with Russia
    An overview of  the 40th meeting of the Vietnam-Laos Inter-Governmental Committee


    The media in Laos on February 6 ran a series of articles highlighting the success of the 40th meeting of the Vietnam-Laos Inter-Governmental Committee, underlining that the results will make significant contributions to the promotion of the bilateral special friendship and comprehensive partnership.

    Major newspapers of Laos, including “Pathet Lao” (the nation of Laos), “Pasaxon” (People), “Laophatthana” (Laos development), Setthakit Kankha (economy-trade), and Vientiane Times, noted that at the meeting, co-chaired by Vietnamese PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc and his Lao counterpart Thongloun Sisoulith, the two sides lauded the cooperation outcomes between the two countries in 2017.

    The papers mentioned the success of the Vietnam-Laos, Laos-Vietnam Friendship and Solidarity Year 2017, and the 13.6 percent growth of two-way trade, higher than the target of 10 percent.

    In 2017, the two countries realized bilateral agreements efficiently, the leaders noted in the meeting, adding that affiliation in politics, external relations, defence, security, economy, culture, society, and people-to-people exchange was also expanded. Currently, Vietnam is hosting over 14,000 Lao students.

    Vietnam is currently the third largest foreign investor in Laos with 411 projects worth about 3.7 billion USD in Laos, 43 percent of which, or 1.6 billion USD, have been disbursed. 

    Along with detailing the discussion content of the meeting, the articles specified 12 cooperation deals signed during the event.

    Pathet Lao, run by the Laos news agency, underscored that the deal between the Vietnamese and Lao governments on investment cooperation to develop Vung Ang port is the most important agreement as it allows Laos, a landlocked country, to access sea trade routes. It commented that the deals will help strengthen and expand partnership between the two countries.

    The newspaper also quoted the Lao PM as saying that at the joint press conference with PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc following the meeting he highly values the outcomes of Vietnamese projects in Laos and pledged to create optimal conditions for the Vietnamese investors.

    Along with the printed newspapers, many other media agencies such as the national television and radio also gave much space reporting the results of the 40th meeting of the Vietnam-Laos Inter-Governmental Committee.

    President awards Fatherland Defence Order to guard force


     PM lauds Chinese Ambassador’s contributions to bilateral ties, PM urges stronger multifaceted cooperation with Netherlands, Vietnamese ambassador works to promote ties with Russia
    President Tran Dai Quang presents a Fatherland Defence Order, Third Class, to the People’s Public Security Guard High Command on February 6.  

    President Tran Dai Quang presented a Fatherland Defence Order, Third Class, to the People’s Public Security Guard High Command during a ceremony on February 6 to celebrate the 65th anniversary of the force’s establishment (February 16, 1953).

    In his remarks at the event, President Tran Dai Quang lauded efforts and achievements of the guard force over the past 65 years. The country’s new era comes with not only many opportunities but also challenges, putting the public security forces, including the guard force, under greater pressure to ensure social order and security, the president said.

    He urged the guard force, together with other forces under the Ministry of Public Security, to continue effectively enforcing the Party and the State’s policies in protecting national security, improving fighting capacity and ensuring the safety of senior officials, international events and foreign guests.

    He also asked them to enhance the efficiency of their operations and take steps to prevent any acts of sabotage, terrorism, crimes and anti-State movements.

    The guard force, previously known as the Guard Bureau, was founded on February 16, 1953 to protect President Ho Chi Minh and high-ranking officials during the anti-French resistance war.

    Get-together marks 45 years of Vietnam-Australia ties


     PM lauds Chinese Ambassador’s contributions to bilateral ties, PM urges stronger multifaceted cooperation with Netherlands, Vietnamese ambassador works to promote ties with Russia
    Vice Chairman of the Ho Chi Minh City Union of Friendship Organisations Nguyen Van Manh at the get-together to mark 45 years of Vietnam-Australia diplomatic relations.  

    A get-together was held by the Ho Chi Minh City Union of Friendship Organisations and the municipal chapter of the Vietnam-Australia Friendship Association on February 6 to celebrate Australia Day (January 26) and 45 years of Vietnam-Australia diplomatic relations (February 26).

    Congratulating Australia on its national day, Nguyen Van Manh, Vice Chairman of the Ho Chi Minh City Union of Friendship Organisations, said that the country has confirmed its position in the international arena thanks to its impressive development illustrated through high income per capita, modern infrastructure and advanced education system.

    He noted that since Vietnam and Australia established their diplomatic ties 45 years ago and especially the comprehensive partnership relations in 2009, both sides have spared no efforts to strengthen relations in various fields.

    They are cooperating in the fields of Australia’s strengths and Vietnam’s interests like development aid, education-training, infrastructure, agriculture and rural development, he said, highlighting that the Australian people in Vietnam have made significant contributions to developing multifaceted cooperation with Vietnam.

    Currently, the two nations are enjoying sound bilateral trade with average annual growth standing at 12.5 percent and trade value hitting over 9 billion USD in 2017. Australia has landed 378 projects valued at 1.7 billion USD in Vietnam, focusing on industry and construction, services, education, processing industry and agro-forestry-fisheries sector, Manh said.

    Karen Lanyon, Australian Consul General to Ho Chi Minh City affirmed that Vietnam is one of the most important partners of Australia in Asia-Pacific. Their long-standing history of the successful trade and cooperation will help both sides create more trade opportunities in the coming time, she added.

    The bilateral ties have been consolidated thanks to increasing number of tourists travelling between the two countries, she said, citing over 320,000 Australian arrivals to Vietnam in 2017.

    Praising the Vietnamese community in Australia, she said they play an important role in fostering bilateral relations.

    Vietnam National Assembly presents gift to Cambodian Senate


     PM lauds Chinese Ambassador’s contributions to bilateral ties, PM urges stronger multifaceted cooperation with Netherlands, Vietnamese ambassador works to promote ties with Russia
    President of the Senate of Cambodia Samdech Say Chhum (R) receives Vietnamese Ambassador to Cambodia Vu Quang Minh 

    The National Assembly of Vietnam has presented the Cambodian Senate with computers, printers, and photocopiers worth over 140,000 USD.

    Vietnamese Ambassador to Cambodia Vu Quang Minh handed over the gift to President of the Senate of Cambodia Samdech Say Chhum in Phnom Penh on February 6.

    On the occasion, the Cambodian Senate President spoke highly of the cooperation achievements between the two countries’ Parties and States over the past time and expressed his pleasure over the sound traditional friendship that brings enormous benefits for the two people.

    He took this occasion to thank the Vietnamese Party, State and people for helping Cambodian people escape from the Pol Pot genocide regime and revive the country.

    The close ties and active cooperation between the two governments and peoples not only contribute to the maintenance of peace and stability in the respective nations but also in the region and around the world, he said.

    Earlier on February 5, President of the National Assembly of Cambodia Samdech Heng Samrin recieved the Vietnamese Ambassador, during which he called on the two countries’ people to promote the bilateral traditional friendship and cooperation in various fields.

    Speaking at the meetings, Ambassador Minh extended the greetings of Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong, President Tran Dai Quang, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc, and National Assembly Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan to the Cambodian top legislators.

    He pledged to do his utmost in his working tenure to nurture the traditional friendship and comprehensive cooperation between Vietnam and Cambodia.

    The equipment presented by the Vietnamese NA will be used for senators elected for the new term of the Cambodian Senate during this month’s election.

    VNN


    0 0
  • 02/07/18--00:58: Article 3
  • BUSINESS IN BRIEF 7/2


    Property market attracts $77.6 million in FDI in January


     Property market attracts $77.6 million in FDI in January, Vietnamese economy shows positive signals in January, Auto imports in record drop in January: GSO, Vietnam ranks third in natural rubber production, export

    Foreign investors poured a total of 77.6 million USD into the real estate market in January, according to the Foreign Investment Agency under the Ministry of Planning and Investment.

    Real estate ranked third among 19 sectors with foreign direct investment (FDI) in January, attracting 6.2 percent of the total registered FDI.

    Su Ngoc Khuong, investment director at property services firm Savills Vietnam, said foreign capital would promote the development of the property market in the country.

    In 2017, the real estate sector lured 3.05 billion USD in FDI, accounting for 8.5 percent of the country’s total registered foreign investment, ranking third in terms of FDI attraction after the manufacturing and processing industry and power distribution sector.

    According to the General Statistics Office, 1,400 new construction firms were founded in January, up by 21 percent, together with more than 460 new firms in real estate business, up by 47 percent over the same period last year.

    New construction firms had the highest registered capital worth 20.6 trillion VND (903.5 million USD), accounting for 21 percent of the total registered capital of new firms in January. This was followed by real estate business with 17.5 trillion VND, accounting for nearly 19 percent.

    Last year, the total registered capital of new firms operating in the real estate sector was 388 trillion VND, accounting for 30 percent.

    The average capital of new real estate firms last year was also highest, with 76.7 billion VND for each firm.-

    Sherwood Residence among Top 10 hotels for families

    Sherwood Residence has been recognized as a 2018 Travelers’ Choice Award winner in the “Top 10 Hotels for Families - Vietnam” category at the 2018 TripAdvisor Travelers’ Choice® awards for hotels, ranking fourth out of ten.

    Sherwood Residence General Manager Janet Fitzner said the hotel has always strived to deliver an outstanding guest experience by providing excellent service in exceptional surroundings. “The entire team here at Sherwood Residence can take pride in receiving this honor, but we will not rest on our laurels and will continue trying to improve what we can do for our valued guests,” she said.

    The Travelers’ Choice award winners were based on millions of reviews and opinions collected in a single year from TripAdvisor travelers worldwide. In the 16th year of the awards, TripAdvisor highlighted the world’s top 8,095 properties in 94 countries and eight regions worldwide.

    This year, the awards celebrate hotel winners in ten categories: Top Hotels Overall, Luxury, Bargain, Small, Best Service, B&Bs and Inns, Romance, Family, All-Inclusive, and Value for Money. The hallmarks of Travelers’ Choice hotels winners are remarkable service, value, and quality.

    “This year’s Travelers’ Choice awards for hotels recognize thousands of exceptional accommodations that received the highest marks for overall experience, including service, amenities, and value, from travelers worldwide,” said Brooke Ferencsik, Senior Director of Communications. “The global TripAdvisor community informed this list of winners that will inspire and help travelers find the hotel that’s right for them, as they plan and book their next amazing trip.”

    Sherwood Residence is a luxury serviced apartment hotel conveniently located on the edge of District 1 in Ho Chi Minh City. Its 228 apartments and 12 penthouses are available for short or long-term stays and its extensive range of services and facilities make it an exceptional city living experience.

    TripAdvisor, the world’s largest travel site, enables travelers to unleash the full potential of every trip. With over 570 million reviews and opinions covering the world’s largest selection of travel listings worldwide - 7.3 million accommodations, airlines, attractions, and restaurants - TripAdvisor provides travelers with the wisdom of the crowd to help them decide where to stay, how to fly, what to do, and where to eat.

    Cuba promoted as potential market for Vietnamese firms

    A seminar was held in Ho Chi Minh City on February 5, introducing Cuba as a potential market, in terms of both trade and investment, for Vietnamese businesses.

    Pham Thiet Hoa, Director of the Ho Chi Minh City Investment and Trade Promotion Centre, said Vietnam and Cuba boast sound traditional relations along with expanding economic and trade ties. Vietnam is now one of the 10 biggest trade partners of Cuba and also the second largest Asian trade partner of the Latin American nation.

    However, bilateral trade remains modest compared to the two countries’ demand and potential, he noted, elaborating that Vietnam’s exports to Cuba are estimated at 240 million USD per year, accounting for only 3.5 percent of Cuba’s total annual trade – nearly 7 billion USD. Hence, there remains much room for Vietnamese firms to invest in and trade with Cuba.

    Hoa noted Cuba has big demand for food, consumer goods, footwear, textile-garment, and computer devices, which are also the strengths of Vietnam. Meanwhile, it is strong at pharmaceuticals, training, health care, and construction, which the Southeast Asian nation is interested in.

    Promoting investment in and trade with Cuba will also help Vietnamese enterprises to access the vast market of the Latin American and Caribbean region.

    Indira Lopez Arguelles, Cuban Consul General to HCMCity, said her country’s economy has improved in recent years with annual growth rate maintained at 4 – 5 percent. A stronger economy has also encouraged consumption in Cuba while the country still has to import most of consumer goods. This is a good opportunity for Vietnamese businesses to enhance exports to the country, especially rice, apparel, footwear, and computers.

    The sound bilateral friendship is an advantage for Vietnamese firms, she said, adding that the two countries are preparing to sign a bilateral free trade agreement to remove tariff barriers and bolster trade.

    However, there remain certain obstacles to bilateral trade.

    Tran Ngoc Thuan, Deputy General Director of the Thai Binh Investment – Trade Company, which has had investment and trade ties with Cuba for 20 years, said the biggest barrier is the geographical distance, which will augment transportation costs. Due to financial difficulties, Cuba importers’ payment also usually lasts for more than one year.

    He said Cuba needs to shorten the payment period. Meanwhile, Vietnamese companies should learn about their partners’ transaction habits thoroughly while preparing appropriate capital and long-term strategies for investment in Cuba.

    Indira Lopez Arguelles said Cuba promotes import activities, but in the long term, it will prioritise attracting investment to develop domestic production. She suggested Vietnamese firms develop production and distribution in her country so as to ensure long-term development in this market.

    Vietnamese economy shows positive signals in January

    The Vietnamese economy showed positive signals in January with hikes in export-import as well as domestic and foreign investment.

    According to the General Statistics Office (GSO), there were nearly 11,000 newly-established firms nationwide with a total registered capital of 98.3 trillion VND (4.36 billion USD) in the month, up 20.6 percent in volume and 8.9 percent in value. The additional capital hit 316.4 trillion VND, proving that business confidence is improving.

    During the first month of 2018, the State investment hit 16,175 billion VND, or 4.9 percent of the yearly plan and up 13.9 percent annually.

    Notably, the industrial production index surged by 20.9 percent year-on-year as firms focus on manufacturing to meet demand during the upcoming traditional Lunar New Year. Among industries, manufacturing and processing sector expanded by 23.8 percent while other sectors posted year-on-year growth such as mining, electronics, computers and optical products, coal mining and apparel.

    The consumer price index rose by 0.51 percent monthly and 2.65 percent annually due to higher electricity and fuel prices, said acting Director of the GSO’s Price Statistics Department Do Thi Ngoc.

    As the Lunar New Year is days away, costs of housing repair services, railway tickets and health care moved higher, thus driving CPI up, she said.

    Also in January, the total export-import value surpassed 38 billion USD, 19 billion USD of which was export, up approximately 33.9 percent. Top five currency earners include mobile phones and spare parts (4.2 billion USD), apparel (2.3 billion USD), electronics and accessories (2.2 billion USD), footwear (1.3 billion USD), machinery and equipment (1.05 billion USD).

    However, only roughly 1.25 billion USD in foreign direct investment (FDI) was recorded, equivalent to 75.9 percent in the same period last year. The FDI disbursement went up 10.5 percent to 1.05 billion USD. The top investors remained the Republic of Korea and Singapore.

    The Overseas Investment Agency said the newly-registered capital fell strongly as only projects worth 100-300 million USD were licensed, accounting for nearly 71 percent of the total.

    The Ministry of Planning and Investment asked ministries, agencies and localities to complete assigning socio-economic targets, State budget estimate and devising public investment plan for 2018, as well as accelerate disbursement from early this year.

    It also requested preventing epidemics on plants and animals, closely controlling cross-border fowl and cattle transportation and ensuring food safety and hygiene.

    Auto imports in record drop in January: GSO

    Some 1,000 cars worth 94 million USD were imported to the Vietnamese market in January, reports the General Statistics Office.

    This marks a record drop of 86.2 percent in volume and 38 percent in value compared to the previous month.

    The drop comes after auto businesses, including Toyota Motors Vietnam and Honda, stopped importing autos due to the government’s Decree 116, which tightens control over quality, technical safety and environment protection of imported autos.

    Speaking at the government’s recent monthly press conference, Minister and Chairman of the Government Office Mai Tien Dung, said a number of embassies and organisations had sent letters to the Prime Minister proposing him to direct relevant ministries and sectors to reconsider the decree.

    Dung said the Vietnam Automobile Manufacturers’ Association had submitted four letters of recommendation to the government to remove difficulties, saying that the provisions in the decree were inappropriate.

    Meanwhile, several associations, such as Japan Business Association in Vietnam, and foreign direct investment joint ventures have repeatedly proposed the government to delay the implementation of Decree 116 by at least six months.

    Dung said there were three major issues arising out of the decree troubling auto businesses and organisations.

    The first is that the importers must obtain a Vehicle Type Approval (VTA) certificate issued by authorities in the exporting country. Dung explained that VTA was not a certificate of the State body but of authorised agencies or associations of the exporting countries, which aimed to ensure the origin, quality and value of the vehicle.

    Such authorised agencies and associations will also be responsible for recalling the vehicles if they have faults during the production process. This is to ensure the rights and interests of automakers and consumers alike, Dung said.

    As for the second issue, Dung said the decree states that the inspection agency will randomly select one unit of each batch to check. The check will be conducted on every batch of imported autos. This regulation will prove to be more costly and time-consuming in testing vehicles. And it is the customer who will have to incur the cost as businesses will ensure their profit.

    Dung said the government was considering the issue.

    The third problem posed by Decree 116 is that it requires automakers to have a testing route of 800m, with minimum 400m straight, before rolling out the vehicles in the market. According to automakers, this condition will require them to pay more, including registration fee, cost of land and cost of building testing routes.

    Dung said Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc had assigned the Government Office and relevant ministries and sectors to consider the above-mentioned problems. The recommendations would not only ensure the government’s demand on domestic auto production but also the country’s implementation of international standards that Vietnam was committed to, Dung said.

    Decree 116’s regulations are being evaluated as a technical barrier for auto importers to overcome. Dung, however, said all countries were applying necessary measures to ensure the quality of imported products as well as the rights and interests of consumers.

    Further explaining the issue, Dung said a batch of BMW autos previously imported to Vietnam was found with a lot of problems related to procedure and origin of the vehicles, in addition to the fact that they were used cars. “If we do not check them carefully, the consumers will be the most vulnerable,” he said.

    Vietnam ranks third in natural rubber production, export

    Vietnam currently ranks third globally in natural rubber production and export, according to the Vietnam Rubber Association.

    The association revealed that in 2017, the country earned 2.3 billion USD from export of 1.4 million tonnes of natural rubber, up 36 percent in value and 11.4 percent in volume year on year.

    The Vietnam Rubber Group alone produced over 250,000 tonnes of rubber latex and earned revenue of 21.38 trillion VND (936 million USD), exceeding the plan by 20 percent. Its pre-tax profit reached over 4.1 trillion VND (179.58 million USD), surpassing the yearly plan by 36 percent. The firm contributed 1.7 trillion VND (74.46 million USD) to the State budget in the year, while paying its employees about 7.1 million VND (310 USD) each per month averagely.

    Spring trade fair introduces Vietnamese specialties
       
    The Spring Fair 2018 began on Monday at the Ha Noi International Exhibition Centre in the capital city, introducing many specialties from different areas across the country to local customers.

    Co-organised by the Viet Nam Exhibition Fair Centre JSC and the Viet Nam Beverage Association, the fair features over 400 booths of more than 350 businesses nationwide, covering a total area of nearly 5,000 square metres.

    The annual fair will be a good opportunity for participating businesses to introduce their products in order to better serve purchasing demands prior to the Lunar New Year (Tet) holiday, organisers said.

    The products on display include fish sauce, tea and fresh farm produce, along with garment textile, footwear, fine arts and handicrafts, household appliances, confectionery and beverages.

    In addition, the event also introduces products from other countries including Russia, South Korea, the United Kingdom, France and Belgium, among others. It will run until December 12.

    A previous event, it saw the participation of more than 300 domestic firms, displaying a variety of goods across 500 pavilions.

    Israelis eye opportunities in VN
       
    A delegation of Israeli business executives visiting the Mekong Delta province of Ben Tre to explore co-operation opportunities in many sectors has said Israeli technologies can be applied anywhere in the world.

    The application does not depend on workers’ skill, they said.

    Boaz Zadik, CEO of Arrow Technologies, said his company is looking for investment opportunities in Viet Nam.

    In his country, a large quantity of water is treated and reused, he said.

    His company has been undertaking projects in India and Africa for 30 years and is ready to tie up with Vietnamese companies, he said.

    Other executives also hoped to tie up with Vietnamese companies and transfer technology to the latter.

    Bar Sharon, marketing director of Argos Company, said: “We will transfer technology and show Vietnamese companies how to use it … so that they can develop steadily for long.”

    Dr Ngo Ke Xuong, an agricultural expert, said he is intrigued by Israel.

    “A country with sand and desert can export tomato, cucumber and mango. It is amazing!”

    Viet Nam should get technologies from Israel. Adoption of technology in agriculture is inevitable because we are under pressure from an increasing population and limited land.”

    Huynh Ky Tran, director of Thorakao Cosmetic, said Israeli companies are good.

    “In future we will co-operate with them to make more new products.”

    Nguyen Kim Lan, chairman of Incomex Sai Gon, said: “By meeting with Israeli companies, I have obtained new knowledge about clean agriculture. There is a lot of knowledge about technology and skill to ensure high yields and keep the environment clean.”

    Israel is the only country in the world that has been able to roll back the desert. It is the leader in recycling water, recycling a total of 70 per cent.

    Electronic components factory being built in Yen Bai
       
    Construction of a fully-owned South Korean factory producing electronic components was kicked off on February 3 in the northern province of Yen Bai’s Tran Yen District.

    Covering an area of 6.49ha in Bao Hung Commune, the Edge Glass factory has the capacity to produce 54 million products every year. It will produce 18 million products in the first year of operation, 48 million products in the second year and 54 million products in the third year.

    Manufactured products will include 2D and 3D cover glass for phones and 2D cover glass for tablets. The factory also plans to produce glass for autos in future.

    South Korea’s Edge Glass Joint Stock Company has invested nearly VND5 trillion (US$220 million) in the factory.

    It is expected to create 1,500 jobs for local people when it becomes operational by April 2019.

    Speaking at the foundation-laying ceremony, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc said the project investment was a proof that South Korean investors highly appreciated the province’s investment climate.

    The Prime Minister asked the local authorities to create favourable conditions for the investors to implement the project. He also expressed the hope that the investors would realise their commitment to protect the environment and contribute to sustainable development of the locality.

    According to statistics of the Ministry of Planning and Investment, South Korea was Viet Nam’s biggest foreign direct investor in January, with a total capital of $355.6 million. This was followed by Singapore with a much lower capital of $199 million.

    Viet Nam, Cambodia’s bilateral trade surged 30% in 2017
       
    Bilateral trade between Viet Nam and Cambodia last year surged 29.7 per cent against the previous year to nearly US$3.8 billion, the General Department of Customs reported.

    Of the total, Viet Nam’s export turnover to this market was $2.77 billion, rising 26.1 per cent against the previous year. Vietnamese key export goods to Cambodia last year included steel and iron products ($521 million, up 69.7 per cent year-on-year) and oil and petrol ($375 million, up 30 per cent year-on-year).

    Meanwhile, Viet Nam’s imports from Cambodia reached $1 billion, a year-on-year increase of 40.6 per cent, mainly with timber and wood products ($214 million, up 16.9 per cent), cashews ($168 million, up 46 per cent) and rubber ($138 million, up 64 per cent).

    The leaders of Viet Nam and Cambodia have agreed to enhance the comprehensive co-operation between the two nations and raise the bilateral trade value to $5 billion. Viet Nam is currently the third largest trade partner and the fifth largest foreign investor in Cambodia.

    According to the Asia-Pacific Market Department, under the Ministry of Industry and Trade, trade across the border of the two nations has become easier, contributing to making Cambodia the 16th largest export market of Viet Nam.

    In recent years, the economic co-operation between the two nations has seen strong development. Statistics showed that the two-way trade between Viet Nam and Cambodia jumped from only $184 million in 2001 to $3 billion in 2016.

    Major export products of Viet Nam to Cambodia included steel, fertilisers, garments, machinery and plastic products.

    The two countries also expect to soon sign agreements on avoidance of double taxation, border trade and labour co-operation along with a memorandum of understanding on transport cooperation strategy for 2017-25 with a vision to 2030, which will help advance the trade relationship between the two sides to higher levels.

    PM agrees to PhuQuocIsland’s planning adjustment
       
    Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has agreed in principle to adjustments to the planning of Bai Thom Commune in KienGiangProvince’s PhuQuocIsland.

    The adjustments were proposed by the provincial People’s Committee.

    Local authorities were asked to update the adjustments on the island’s master plan by 2030 and to enhance management activity to ensure the implementation of the plan is compliant with land regulations, urban planning and construction planning.

    PhuQuocIsland’s master plan was approved in May 2010 and was adjusted once, in June 2016.

    The plan targeted promoting sustainable development, culture, environment protection and security and harmonising economic growth with the preservation of historical monuments.

    Phu Quoc will be developed into a hub for high-quality services and a centre for science and technology in Southeast Asia, with an international airport and seaport system connecting it with other destinations in the region.

    Phu Quoc was among three localities, besides Bac Van Phong in central KhanhHoaProvince and Van Don in northern QuangNinhProvince, planned for development into a special administrative-economic unit. 

    Petrolimex’s profit down despite revenue increase     

    Viet Nam National Petroleum Group (Petrolimex) reported total sales of more than VND155.65 trillion (US$6.83 billion) last year, a year-on-year increase of 26 per cent.

    But despite a growth in revenue, Petrolimex posted a consolidated pre-tax profit of nearly VND4.88 trillion, down 23 per cent compared to the previous year.

    The increase in revenue was attributed to the increasing average price of WTI (West Texas Intermediate) crude oil in 2017, with $50.85 a barrel, up 17.4 per cent over the same period in 2016, Petrolimex explained.

    According to its report, the most profitable sector was the petroleum business of the group, with over VND2.49 trillion, equivalent to 51 per cent of total consolidated sales. Non-petroleum business activities contributed nearly VND2.4 trillion or 49 per cent of total consolidated profit.

    Of this, profits from petrochemicals, asphalt and chemicals were the highest at VND651 billion. This was followed by profits from aviation fuel at VND384 billion; ocean transportation, inland waterways transport and road transportation reached VND339 billion; gas sales reached VND202 billion, and the lowest profit of two companies abroad reached only VND47 billion.

    As of December 31, 2017, Petrolimex’s total assets increased by VND12.306 trillion compared to the beginning of the year to VND66.55 trillion. Its inventories increased by more than VND4 trillion to nearly VND12.69 trillion and accounted for nearly 20 per cent of total assets. 

    FPT records 41% increase in pre-tax profit     

    FPT Corporation reported a consolidated revenue of VND43.8 trillion (US1.93 billion), a year-on-year increase of eight per cent, by the end of last year.

    Pre-tax profit of the corporation increased by 41 per cent year-on-year to VND4.25 trillion, while after-tax profit reached VND3.52 trillion, up 37 per cent.

    The impressive growth of FPT’s earnings last year came mainly from positive business results and earnings from divestments in two companies: FPT Retail and FPT Trading.

    The year-to-date profit-after-tax attributable to the parent company’s shareholders was VND2.92 trillion, up 47 per cent year-on-year.

    The earnings on each share was VND5.12, up 50 per cent over the previous year.

    FPT’s earnings growth last year continued to be driven by two core business sectors --- technology and telecom.

    The technology sector recorded a revenue and pre-tax profit of VND11.1 trillion and VND1.13 trillion, up 11 per cent and three per cent, respectively, compared to 2016.

    The telecom sector’s revenue increased by 15 per cent year-on-year to VND7.65 trillion, while pre-tax profit was VND1.2 trillion, slightly increasing by two per cent.

    FPT’s overseas markets recorded a revenue of VND7.2 trillion, up 18 per cent over the same period in 2016, and pre-tax profit was VND1.21 trillion, up 29 per cent, accounting for nearly one-third of the consolidated pre-tax profit.

    FPT’s overseas revenue comes mainly from software exports to key markets in Japan, the United States and Europe

    HCMCity real estate market remains on growth path

    The HCMCity property market is expected to remain strong this year thanks to the country’s robust economic growth last year.

    According to American real estate services firm John Lang LaSalle, mergers and acquisitions in the sector will continue to attract great interest among international investors, especially Japanese, Singaporean, Chinese and South Korean companies, and could reach record levels of almost US$2 billion, up from $1.5 billion last year.

    New housing launches will continue at a similar pace as last year and the focus will be on the affordable and mid-priced sectors.

    In the office space segment, two grade A buildings were launched at the end of 2017, but there will be no more until 2020. With the occupancy rate being 92 per cent prices are expected to increase.

    In other news, Nhịp Cầu Đầu Tư (InvestmentBridge) magazine will give away the 2017 Outstanding Real Estate awards at a ceremony later this month.

    The awards are based on business achievements and management in the real estate sector.

    They will be given in the following categories: outstanding designer; outstanding developer; outstanding distributor; construction materials provider and construction enterprises; real estate business people of the year; best feng shui project; and best public infrastructure project. 

    Cashew sector gets modest profits in global value chain

    Vietnam has been the world largest exporter of cashew nuts for 13 consecutive years and also the world leading cashew processing hub and exporter over the last three years. Despite impressive results, growers and businesses have got less than 40% profits in the global value chains.

    Chairman of Vietnam Cashew Association (Vinacas) Nguyen Duc Thanh says last year, Vietnam still maintained its market share and gained more than 50% of the global export value with US$5.5 billion to keep its leading position in cashew nut processing and export.

    Cashew exports are estimated at 25,000 tons valued at US$256 million in January, up nearly 40% in volume and 56.5% in value against the same period last year.

    Mr Thanh attributed the achievement to great efforts of businesses and diversified markets, and the consistent government policies to encourage and facilitate the sector’s operation.

    Last year, Vietnam shipped cashew products to 92 markets and secured good market shares in the US, Netherlands and China. New high-growth markets among ASEAN countries have been set up, particularly Thailand with a growth of more than 40% and Singapore, over 20%.

    The government’s consistent policies have facilitated cashew exports, creating favourable conditions for exporters of processed cashew nuts and importers of raw nuts. As a result, 95% of the processed cashew nuts are exported and only 5-6% are sold in the domestic market.

    However, Mr Thanh says, only a small number of Vietnamese businesses are benefited from the global value chain. Cashew growers just enjoy 18% of profits in the value chain while processors and exporters get approximately 10% and the rest go to foreign retailers and supermarkets.

    In sum, the total profits that Vietnamese cashew growers, processors and exporters get from the value chain are about 40% although they have poured much investment, sources and capital into the business. Meanwhile the remaining 60% of profits go to foreign processors and supermarket owners.

    To improve the situation, Vinacas has launched a program to stimulate domestic consumption while encouraging businesses to process instant products. Over the last two years, a large amount of salty roasted, honey roasted and wasabi cashew nuts have been exported to China. They are also much sought after by Australian and Japanese customers.

    FMCG forecasted to grow fast during Lunar New Year festivities

    The increasing demand for consumer goods and evolving distribution systems enable the fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) to become the fastest-growing segment in Vietnam.

    With increasing income and a newfound hunger for better living quality, Vietnamese consumers are shopping more and more. They are no longer considered as the highest savers anymore, as they are ready to spend much on consumption, tourism, and household appliance goods.

    According to a survey produced by Nielsen, after essential living expenses, Vietnamese consumers are ready to spend on tourism, shopping, new hi-tech gadgets, and other entertainment services. The high growth potential of the economy and increasing consumption demand are expected to boost FMCG at the end of 2017 and in the first month of 2018.

    The results of Nielsen’s Market Pulse research showed that FMCG grew by 5% in the second quarter of 2017 in Vietnam, and 5.8% in the third quarter. This figure was forecasted at 6-7% in the fourth quarter. Additionally, an increasing number of super markets and grocery stores are spurring the growth of the FMCG segment in the country.

    In 2017, the market saw heated competition between supermarket and mini mart chains, with the 1,000 stores of Vinmart and Vinmart+ (VinGroup), 259 stores of Circle K, 11 stores of 7-Eleven in Ho Chi Minh city were duking it out for supremacy.

    According to the General Statistics Office, in 2017, the total retail market hit US$130 billion, up 10.9% on-year, including the large contribution of the FMCG sector.

    A survey by Kantar Worldpanel Vietnam shows that non-food items maintained their growth momentum, especially personal care products. Beverage items are back in the first place in growth, while milk and milk products increased lightly in rural areas.

    On the occasion of the Lunar New Year, Vietnam’s FMCG segment expects a sharp boost. In addition to food items such as confectioneries and household products (washing liquid, washing-up liquid, soap, shampoo, shower gel), Kantar Worldpanel Vietnam forecasts beverage items to see remarkable demand. In 2017, Vietnam consumed around 4 billion litres of beer, 40% of which came from Sabeco.

    The Lunar New Year is usually the peak demand for beer during the year, and this year is forecasted to follow traditions.

    Plastics exports forecast on upward trend

    The Vietnamese plastic industry gained a total export value of over US$3 billion last year, a year-on-year increase of 17.3%, according to the Vietnam Plastic Association (VPA).

    With the growth momentum, plastic exports are expected to grow between 12%-15% this year with Japan and the US as major markets.

    China, Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar are also promising emerging markets in the coming time. 

    Vietnam’s plastic industry needs around 4 million tonnes of raw materials a year. However, domestic petrochemical businesses can meet only 20% of its demand.

    VN Textile Research Institute to launch IPO next month

    Việt Nam Textile Research Institute (VTRI) will sell over 2.26 million shares, accounting for 45.25 per cent of its charter capital, in its initial public offering (IPO) on March 12.

    VTRI will offer 2.26 million shares, corresponding to 45.26 per cent of chartered capital for strategic investors on its IPO next month.

    The shares will be listed on the Hà Nội Stock Exchange (HNX), with the initial price of VNĐ12, 583 (55 US cents) for each share. VTRI expects to receive more than VNĐ28 billion from the IPO.

    Domestic and foreign organisations and individuals, who meet the conditions prescribed in Article 6 of the Government’s Decree No. 59/2011/NĐ-CP dated July 18, 2011, on transformation of enterprises with 100 per cent State capital into joint stock companies, can participate in the auction.

    The registration and fee deposit timing is from 8.30am February 3 to 3.30pm March 5. The deadline for submission of auction tickets is 4pm on March 8.

    As for its business result, VTRI posted a revenue of VNĐ57 billion last year, down 25 per cent compared to the average revenue of the previous three years. Its profit was VNĐ761 million, down nearly double that of 2016. Total assets of the institute at the end of 2017 was worth VNĐ41 billion.

    In terms of land, VTRI is managing and using plots of land at
    478 Minh Khai Street
    , Hà Nội with an area of nearly 2,851sq.m; at
    454/24 Minh Khai Street
    with an area of 5,311sq.m; and at 354/128A Trần Hưng Đạo Street, District 1, HCMCity with an area of nearly 2,220sq.m.

    According to the results of the enterprise’s appraisal, the actual value of VTRI for equitisation is VNĐ72.8 billion, of which State’s capital is VNĐ51 billion.

    Under the equitisation plan, VTRI will offer 2.26 million shares, corresponding to 45.26 per cent of charter capital for strategic investors. The remaining 474,000 shares will be offered to employees.

    Committee for State Capital Management at Enterprises set up

    The government announced on February 5 that it has set up a committee to oversee around VND5,000 trillion ($220 billion) worth of government assets in enterprises, as part of an effort to boost equitization.

    Vietnam has stepped up its planned divestment from hundreds of State-owned enterprises (SOEs) to boost their performance and ease a tight State budget. Progress has been slow but has picked up since 2016, when the current administration took office.

    The Committee for State Capital Management at Enterprises will be more comprehensive than the State Capital Investment Corporation (SCIC), Vietnam’s main State investment arm that holds shares in firms like Vinamilk, the country’s largest listed firm.

    The committee will have its own legal status, a seal bearing the national emblem, and a bank account at the State Treasury. It will not manage SOE performance, only State capital and assets.

    Many State shares, especially in SOEs, are under the management of different ministries, causing complications and delays in selling stakes in some instances. For example, the Saigon Beer Alcohol Beverage Corp. (Sabeco) and the Hanoi Beer Alcohol Beverage Corp. (Habeco), Vietnam’s largest beer brewers, are under the Ministry of Industry and Trade, while telecoms firm MobiFone, which is also earmarked for equitization, is under the Ministry of Information and Communications.

    A working group on the formation of the committee was established in mid-January with eleven members, headed by Deputy Prime Minister Vuong Dinh Hue and four deputy heads - the Head of the Office of the Government and Minister Mai Tien Dung, Minister of Planning and Investment Nguyen Chi Dung, and Minister of Finance Dinh Tien Dung. Former Secretary of the Cao Bang Provincial Party Committee Nguyen Hoang Anh, the would-be Chairman of the super committee, was assigned as standing deputy head of the working group.

    Detailed guidelines on the committee’s function and mission are expected to be released in the second quarter, Deputy Minister of Planning and Investment Nguyen The Phuong said.

    Nine corporations and 21 enterprises will be managed by the new committee, including the Vietnam Oil and Gas Group (PetroVietnam), the Vietnam National Coal-Mineral Industries Holding Corporation Limited (Vinacomin), the Vietnam Posts and Telecommunications Group (VNPT), the Vietnam National Petroleum Group (Petrolimex), the Bao Viet Holdings Insurance Company (BaoViet), Sabeco, and Airports Corporation of Vietnam (ACV), among others.

    Insurers have role to play in infrastructure investment

    At the recent World Economic Forum in Davos, the ASEAN Insurance Council (AIC) called on industry stakeholders throughout ASEAN to take an active role in driving local and regional economic growth by funding critical infrastructure developments through public-private partnerships (PPPs).

    The projection is that ASEAN’s infrastructure development will require as much as $3.1 trillion in investment by 2030, and Ms. Evelina Pietruschka, Secretary General of the AIC, firmly believes that ASEAN’s insurance industry can play a key role in meeting that need.

    “The Asian Development Bank (ADB) estimates that ASEAN requires up to $60 billion in additional investment annually to bridge the current infrastructure investment gap,” she said “That’s a huge figure for governments to fund alone. ASEAN’s insurance industry is perfectly positioned to help meet this need through innovative PPPs in infrastructure investment. The AIC believes we can shape the future of our nations and region by funding investments in key infrastructure developments that contribute to the realization of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG).”

    With a population of over 630 million, increasing urbanization and an affluent middle class, ASEAN governments will need to partner with businesses to deliver on critical infrastructure projects in the transport, healthcare, energy, food, and education sectors.

    Despite substantial progress in recent decades, the ADB estimates the region is still home to over 400 million people with no or limited access to electricity, while 300 million lack safe drinking water and almost 1 billion are without basic sanitation facilities.

    Globally, insurance companies are estimated to hold just 2 per cent of assets under management in infrastructure investments. But with insurance premiums in ASEAN growing at an average annual rate of 13 per cent between 2004-2014 - three times the global average - the potential to channel investments to viable infrastructure projects offers a rewarding opportunity.

    A study by global consulting firm PwC, Understanding Infrastructure Opportunities in ASEAN, concluded there was a direct and positive correlation between infrastructure investment and GDP growth. According to Ms. Pietruschka, that springboard for inclusive and sustainable economic growth represents a mutually-beneficial prospect for both insurance companies and ASEAN member states.

    “PPPs to fund infrastructure development offer an innovative alternative approach to realize the substantial benefits for insurance companies in ASEAN,” she said. “Not only do long-term infrastructure investment horizons provide the ideal complement to the industry’s own investment timeframes, these projects also help stimulate positive growth for national and regional economies. The use of local currency by local insurance players to fund these investments is also a huge benefit to currency fluctuations and national debt levels.”

    The AIC, she went on, firmly believes that building mutually beneficial PPPs to fund infrastructure development begins with a shared objective to improve the lives of the people. To highlight the benefits of this blended financing approach, the AIC plans to be a bridge in driving conversations between ASEAN member states and local insurance companies to catalyst vital investments into infrastructure projects throughout ASEAN.

    The AIC was founded in 2003 following unanimous consent at a Meeting of the Council of the ten ASEAN member states in Hanoi and aims to support the development of insurance and reinsurance in ASEAN, promote regional cooperation, and champion ASEAN’s insurance industry. Today, that mission provides the framework through which the AIC seeks to highlight the opportunities for insurance companies to drive impact investments that will provide a positive multiplier to wider regional growth, including providing blended funding options to national infrastructure projects.

    It also pays due respect to the aspirations, laws, and regulations of member countries. As an organization, the AIC is keen to inform, support and champion the ASEAN insurance industry and its constituent members, promoting a positive landscape that encourages and enables success in all areas of insurance and reinsurance.

    VNN


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  • 02/07/18--01:10: Article 2
  • Social News 7/2


    Facebook comes to the rescue

    A Literature teacher in a mountain district in central Nghệ An province late last month wrote a poem about not being paid as usual in the middle of January, making preparations for Tết difficult. He posted it on Facebook as an open message to the chairman of the province’s People’s Committee.

    First lines of the poem by teacher Phan Thúc Định from mountainous Quỳ Hợp 2 High School simply states. 

     I don’t know for which reasons

     I have not received my salary while it’s January 31.

    You, a former teacher, might understand that

    Late payment makes us so much confused.

    Định’s poem quickly received thousands of “Like” and “Share”, especially from teachers, but, unexpectedly, it reached its target and brought a positive response from chairman of Nghệ An Province People’s Committee, Nguyễn Xuân Đường.

    Đường called relevant officials to verify the problem and then told them to address the problem. They responded without delay.

    Principle of Quỳ Hợp 2 High school, Nguyễn Đức Ngộ, told Pháp luật thành phố HCM (HCM City Law) newspaper that on February 1, January’s salaries were transferred to teachers’ bank accounts.

    He said that salaries were usually paid in the middle of every month, but last month, they were late because the financial and education departments were still busy completing documents for the last fiscal year as well as spending estimates for new year.

    Teacher Định now has another problem - and may have to send another Facebook message to the world to try and solve it.

    Even when his pay does arrive through his bank, he has to travel many kilometres over rough roads to another town to get it from an ATM. This often means queuing up for hours behind other salary earners just as desperate for Tết cash.

    Court move could clear all footpaths

    The People’s Court in District 10 in HCMCity has asked a restaurant owner to pay VNĐ140 million (US$6,100) in compensation to a man who had his motorbike stolen from outside his restaurant.

    This in itself was an eye-opener, because it must be the first time in Vietnamese history that a business has been forced to cough up for a motorbike stolen from one of its customers.

    The ramifications are national, throwing open the responsibilities of every shop-keeper and restaurant in Việt Nam. Does this now mean that the millions of illegally parked motorbikes on the streets of Việt Nam are now the responsibility of the restaurant, shop or bia hơi their riders are visiting?  

    Tongues will not stop wagging for months if this is the case... and shops and restaurants will think twice about encouraging customers to park out front.  

    But let’s get back to the courtroom. On top of being told to repay $6,100 for the stolen bike, the restaurant owner, known simply as N.H.C., was also asked to pay court costs of VNĐ7 billion (US$307,000). Yes, you heard right, more than $300,000 greenbacks - enough to buy a house and three or four motorbikes.

    The District 10 People’s Procuracy, which carried out the judgement, protested at the sky-high costs. It said the court fees were obviously a miscounting mistake, insisting the restaurant owner should pay only VNĐ7 million. The court is rethinking its claim. 

    According to the indictment, on March, 2, 2013, a man named Đ.V. Hoàng drove his motorbike to the restaurant on Đồng Nai Street, but he paid for his meal he found his motorbike was gone. It was not his machine, but owned by his sister and was bought in 2010 for $8,530. 

    Hoàng asked the restaurant owner for compensation of VNĐ140 million, but the restaurant owner refused.

    Hoàng sued the restaurant and last month, District 10 People’s Court agreed with his claim,telling the restaurant owners to not only pay Hoàng VNĐ140 million for the loss of the bike, but another VNĐ7 billion in and court fees in the last five years.

    The fun starts now.

    Wide range of specialties on offer at 2018 Spring Fair


     Facebook comes to the rescue, Wide range of specialties on offer at 2018 Spring Fair, Winners of the 2017 WeChoice Awards announced, Trial on Da River broken pipes starts on March 5


    More than 350 enterprises, producers, and business establishments from around the country are taking part in the 2018 Spring Fair which officially opened at the
    Hanoi Cultural Friendship Place
    on February 5.

    Covering an area of nearly 6,000 square metres, the fair offers 600 pavilions featuring a range of different commodities; textiles and garments – leather footwear, appliances, food, confectionary, flowers, bonsai, and local specialties.

    The highlight of the event is the display of products and specialties from numerous provinces and cities around the country, such as southern fruits, Tan Cuong tea (Thai Nguyen), Phu Quoc, Nha Trang, and Phan Thiet fish sauce, Cao Phong and Vinh oranges, and Ly Son onions and garlic.

    A range of imported products are being showcased at the fair such as sweets and fruits, healthcare products and home appliances from Russia, the Republic of Korea, the UK, France, Germany, Italy, and Belgium.

    Outdoor spaces are reserved for various kinds of beverage, with the participation of leading enterprises in the drinks industry, helping visitors have a greater selection to choose from as they make preparations for the Lunar New Year festival.

    Sophisticated handicrafts as well as items to be used as offerings and feng shui products at the fair have attracted a large number of visitors.

    The annual Spring Fair has become a meaningful and attractive event for people to enjoy the atmosphere of Tet festival.

    The event will run until February 12.

    Traffic safety program launched in primary students, teachers

    The Ministry of Education and Training along with the National Committee of Traffic Safety and Toyota Company Vietnam have launched “Toyota Traffic Safety Education Program” (TSEP) for primary pupils and teachers.

    The annual program aims to raise students’ awareness of traffic regulations and safety and driving skills contributing to build traffic culture amongst young people.

    The program includes two major activities comprising of training driving skills for teachers and primary students in provincial and national level.

    For instance, driving skill training will be organized in the northern provinces of Yen Bai, Thai Nguyen, Hai Phong; the central provinces of Quang Tri, Quang Ngai; the highlands province of Kon Tum and the southern provinces of Ba Ria- Vung Tau, Binh Duong in February and March.

    Students will learn basic knowledge and safe driving skills from paint pictures or topics of traffic, musical performance about traffic safety.

    Teachers deliver lesson on traffic safety and call for students to take part in seminar on teaching renovation of traffic safety in primary schools.

    Ten cities and provinces will participate in the national level program which will be selected from provincial-level program. It is scheduled the national –level program will be organized in March.

    English Champion contest 2018 kicks off

    Many students from 1,926 primary and junior high schools nationwide yesterday entered the English Champion Contest 2018.

    Around 30,728 students registered to participate in the English competition. This is a biggest number of students taking part in the competition since its debut five years ago.

    Annual English Champion Contest 2018 is organized in the country by IvyPrep Education and iSMART Education.

    The first round was held yesterday with the participation of 30,000, 60 percent of them are fourth and fifth graders and the remaining are sixth, seventh and eighth students.

    Statistically, 70 percent are students from big cities such as Hanoi, Da Nang, Ho Chi Minh City while 30 percent are from many provinces including mountainous and island districts namely Vi Xuyen in the northern province of Ha Giang, Con Dao island district of the southern province of Ba Ria- Vung Tau and Don village of the highlands province of Dak Lak.

    This year, the number of participants in HCMC skyrocket with 18,047 registered students accounting for 60 percent of total candidates.

    Winners of the 2017 WeChoice Awards announced

    Winners of the 2017 WeChoice Awards were honored at a ceremony at the Saigon Exhibition and Convention Center in Ho Chi Minh City’s District 7 on February 4.

    This year's list of the top 10 Most Influential People on the Internet in 2017 conists of Ms. Nguyen Thi Xuan, 94, who spent 50 years to wait for her husband; actress and film producer Ngo Thanh Van; singers Son Tung-MTP, Min, Chi Phu, Only C; beauty blogger Changmakeup; the eSport Young Generation, a professional League of Legends team based in Vietnam; Tran Dang Khoa who travelled around the world by motorbike; and a group of male teachers of Tri Le Primary School in the northern province of Nghe An.

    The list of the top 6 Most Influential People voted by the Appraisal Committee includes Ms. Nguyen Thi Xuan; actor Quoc Tuan who has a child with Apert Syndrome and spent 15 years struggling his son's symptoms; symptoms; "Vietnam's start-up Queen" Truong Thanh Thuy (also called Thuy Muoi); actress Ngo Thanh Van; the Vietnam women's national football team; and the Vietnam national under-23 football team.

    The organization board also presented the titles to celebrities in the field of entertainment, including “Outstanding Activity of the Year” to singer Duc Phuc; “Breakthrough Artist of the Year” to Son Tung-MTP; “Best MV” to Son Tung-MTP for his biggest hit, Lac Troi (Lost); “Best album” to pop star My Tam for her latest work, “Tam 9”; “Best underground musical product” to Xesi, Masew and Nhat Nguyen for their song “Tuy am”; “Best feature film” to the movie “I'm not 18 yet”; “Best TV film” to the TV serial Nguoi Phan Xu (The Arbitrator).

    Members of the Appraisal Committee include President of the Ho Chi Minh City Peace Committee, Ton Nu Thi Ninh; General Director of VCCorp, Duong Vu Thang; journalist Le Quang Minh, director of VTV24 channel; Meritorious Artist Thanh Loc, journalist Tran Mai Anh, founder of “Thien Nhan and Friends" program.

    Launched in 2015, the award aims to honor people with their inspirational stories and outstanding contribution towards the development of society.

    Vietnamese classical opera presented in HCM City

    A project on Hat Boi (Vietnamese classical opera) is being presented to visitors at the Garden Mall in Ho Chi Minh City’s District 5 from February 1-10.

    Vietnamese classical opera presented in HCMCity

    The event with the participation of 40 artists and around 100 volunteers working in different fields will organize a variety of activities including a contemporary exhibition, performances of Vietnamese classical opera.

    The project aims to keep the tradition of Hat Boi, Tuong alive in the community, reserve the classical art form and foster a love for this particular kind of music among the people.

    Mekong Delta region to hold fireworks shows at lunar New Year's Eve

    Fireworks and music performances will be organized on the lunar New Year’s Eve in many cities and provinces in the Mekong Delta region to mark Tet holidays.

    Kien Giang province plans four firework displays and music performances in RachGiaCity, Ha Tien Town, Phu Quoc and An Minh districts, announced the provincial Departemnt of Culture, Sport and Tourism.

    Meanwhile Can Tho City will hold a high-range firework shows in Ninh Kieu Dsitrict; and 5 low-range firework displays in Vinh Thanh, Co Do and Thot Not districts, Phong Dien and Thoi Lai towns.

    Long An province will see spectacular fireworks displays in 6 locations, including Tan An City, KienTuongTown, districts of Duc Hoa, Ben Luc, Can Duoc and Can Giuoc.

    All fireworks performances will be funded entirely from socialization source.

    Annual
    Book Street
    Festival for Tet to open on February 13

    One of the most expected events in Ho Chi Minh City during Tet holidays, the annual book stret festival, will take place from February 13-19, or the 28th day of the 12th lunar month to the fourth day of the lunar new year.

    This year’s event themed “Vuon mam tri thuc- Khat vong vuon cao” (Stimulating knowledge, rising aspiration) will be held along the main city streets including Mac Thi Buoi, Nguyen Hue and Ngo Duc Ke.

    The event will present to viewers Ho Chi Minh City’s achievements; rare ancient and valuable publications on the late President Ho Chi Minh; photos, documents and objects related to the Mau Than Offensive 1968; maps, photos, documents and artifacts which affirm Vietnam’s sovereignty over Hoang Sa and Truong Sa archipelagoes.

    The festival will also display thousands of copies of publications of various genres such as politics, culture, history, literature and economics, and universal knowledge by leading publishers in the country.

    The annual event that has been held for 12 consecutive years and attracting more than one million visitors each year, is aimed to promote reading and increase knowledge of the culture, traditions and tourism of the city, and highlight Vietnamese’s traditional Tet.

    Ministry requires smooth operation of TSN airport at Tet

    Deputy Minister of Transport Le Dinh Tho has urged the management of TanSonNhatInternationalAirport in HCMC to work with the local government on measures to address traffic congestion, as transport demand is poised to grow strongly in the upcoming Lunar New Year (Tet), news website Vietnamnet reports.

    At a working session with airport authorities over the weekend, Tho said the airport is a traffic hotspot during the holiday when travel and freight transport demand soars. Therefore, there need to be appropriate arrangement of takeoff and landing time, with more flights taking off and arriving at night to reduce congestion during the daytime.

    Besides, more attention should be paid to traffic connectivity. The HCMC Department of Transport is asked to add more buses to busy routes and cooperate with aviation agencies to enhance connection between public transport and the airport.

    The deputy minister asked airlines to reduce flight delays and provide passengers with detailed takeoff and landing time. The airport should ensure sufficient staff on busy days, improve service quality, and ensure that security and other procedures will be done in a prompt and proper manner.

    Commuters should be promptly informed of congested areas so that they can choose other routes.

    According to Tran Doan Mau, director of the Southern Airports Authority (SAA), TanSonNhatInternationalAirport is expected to handle nearly 26,300 aircraft movements during Tet, up 20% against the same season last year, and serve 4.1 million passengers, up 25% year-on-year.

    On average, the airport will have 953 aircraft movements a day, with 44 per hour in the daytime and 37 per hour at night.

    Flight frequency of domestic airlines would increase by 10-15% year-on-year, serving more than 134,200 passengers a day.

    A representative of the airport said that as congestion often occurs on
    Truong Son Street
    and in front of the domestic terminal, the airport management will allow vehicles to be temporarily parked in two areas, one inside the airport and another at
    58 Truong Son Street
    , during traffic jams. The two parking lots have a combined capacity of 500-700 cars at a time.

    A master plan for festivals – why not?

    It can be seen as a right move at a right time when the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism at a meeting last Friday clarified its viewpoint that festivals in the country will be reviewed, and solutions taken to correct or even root out those festivals deemed as unsuitable. A temporary solution, as stated by Deputy Minister Trinh Thi Thuy at the meeting, is that most bull-fighting festivals and those of similar nature nationwide - except for the Do Son Bull-Fighting Festival that has been recognized as national heritage– will not be allowed this year.

    The ministry’s argument is clear-cut: all public events that cannot be ascertained to be traditional festivals, and those whose contents incite violence, cruelty or superstition shall not be approved. The deputy minister explained that traditional festivals should be aimed at preserving traditional values, promoting heritage merits, and meeting the people’s spiritual demands.

    In fact, many festivals nationwide have over the years stirred up public grievances as they fail to meet aforesaid criteria. Graphic contenton bulls or pigs being slashed to death or decapitated, pictures of people bloodily fighting each other for lucky balls, and scenes of people cramming small banknotes into the hands of Buddhist statues at pagodas or temples to pray for good luck have alarmed serious degradation of cultural and moral values. Such so-called festivals – whose main goal to a large extent is to reap easy bucks – have eroded the nation’s cultural identity on one hand and cause economic losses on the other.

    Statistics by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism show that there are nearly 9,000 festivals organized countrywidea year, meaning there are some 22 festivals a day. Millions of people are engaged in such festivals, and tens of millions of working days are lost due to such events, which can hardly be beneficial for the economy.

    In fact, there have been numerous complaints about the traditional Tet holiday when many people, especially those in rural areas, tend to distant themselves from work for weeks or even over a month despite a much-shorter period off work regulated by the labor ministry, leaving many head-scratching employers with a severe shortage of laborers after Tet. At a time of rising international economic integration, for many employers local and foreign alike, such a long period off can hardly be accepted.

    Tet is also the peak of the festive season, and it often ushers in many spring festivals in the country.

    Therefore, the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism’s move to trim down the number of festivals is seen a positive approach.

    However, there needs to be a more daring approach to festivals. All must be reviewed, screened and evaluated, and only those that genuinely hold social, economic or spiritual merits should be allowed. To do so, great efforts must be taken to forge a strategy, or a master plan for festivals.

    Ministry disapproves of toll cuts in Khanh Hoa

    Following the Ministry of Transport’s instruction, Khanh Hoa Deo Ca BOT Investment Joint Stock Company will not offer toll reductions to vehicles registered by people living or working in 16 communes near the BOT Ninh An tollgate in KhanhHoaProvince as proposed by drivers and enterprises earlier.

    Lao Dong newspaper quoted Vu Hai Long, deputy director of the company, as saying that his company has to observe the guidance of the ministry and cannot arbitrarily reduce tolls. He added that the company can only propose toll cuts and has no power to decide.

    According to the Ministry of Transport in an urgent document with regard to the proposed toll cuts at the BOT Ninh An tollgate, the company’s suggestion to offer a 100% toll reduction for vehicles of group 1 with transport business is not in accordance with the ministry’s directive.

    The ministry only agrees on additional toll reductions for other vehicles, meaning those of groups 2, 3, 4 and 5, in nearby areas within a five-kilometer radius of the tollgate.

    Besides, the Directorate for Roads of Vietnam was asked to learn from the case at the BOT Ninh An tollgate and prevent similar incidents at other tollgates.

    As reported by local newspapers, the operator of the BOT Ninh An tollgate on January 4 agreed on a 100% fee reduction on vehicles of group 1 in 17 communes of the province’s NinhHoaTown and refunds monthly tolls to vehicle within a radius of ten kilometers.

    The toll fee reduction, applicable on January 5, came after an agreement between the tollgate operator and drivers. In addition, the operator planned to seek the ministry’s approval for 50% toll cuts for vehicles of groups 2, 3 and 4 and would give an official reply this month.

    Trial on Đà River broken pipes starts on March 5

    The trial of nine former officials who are allegedly responsible for the 18 successive times ruptures of the Đà River pipeline will begin on March 5, the Hà Nội People’s Court announced on Monday.

    The officials include three from the management board of the Đà River water supply construction and investment project: former director Hoàng Thế Trung, former deputy director Nguyễn Văn Khải and former supply division head Trương Trần Hiển.

    Also on trial are Trần Cao Bằng and Vũ Thanh Hải, respectively, former director and deputy director of the Vinaconex Glass Fiber Reinforced Polyester Pipe company, which manufactured the water pipes for the Đà River project.

    The last defendants are Đỗ Đình Trì, former head of the consultant and monitoring team of the Việt Nam Water, Sanitation and Environment Company (VIWASE), and its officers Nguyễn Biên Hùng, Hoàng Quốc Thống and Bùi Minh Quân.

    Construction on the Đà River water pipeline project started in 2004 and was finished five years later. The line, however, broke for the first time in February 2012 and after that ruptured another 17 times.

    Constant broken pipelines halted water supply to 177,000 households in Hà Nội for a total of 386 hours.

    The incidents also forced the Vinaconex Water Supply company – the operator of the pipeline – to pay more than VNĐ16.6 billion (US$737,700) to fix the broken lines.

    Inspections by the Ministry of Construction confirmed sub-par pipes caused all the ruptures.

    The nine defendants were reported to have signed 73 product quality checks to confirm the quality of over 5,000 pipes and other parts. Many were later proved to be of low quality.

    They were all charged with breaching construction regulations causing serious consequences.

    The trial is expected to last for 10 days.

    More households in Đắk Lắk to get electricity

    Some 250 villages in the Central Highlands province of Đắk Lắk will be linked to the national power grid by 2022, says the provincial Department of Industry and Trade.

    In the first phase of the project, at least 29 villages, with over 2,000 ethnic households, have been supplied electricity ahead of Tết (Lunar New Year).

    The six-year project was implemented in 2016, with a total investment of VNĐ887 billion (US$39.4 million).

    The project includes building and upgrading hundreds of kilometres of medium- and low-voltage lines and transformer stations to bring electricity to communes and hamlets, making their daily lives and economic activities easy.

    Lưu Văn Khang, deputy head of the power management office, said there were 221 villages that were still not connected to the national grid.

    Local authorities have directed construction units to accelerate power supply projects to help all households get access to electricity by 2020, Khang said.

    Đắk Lắk has the highest number of communes and households with electricity in the Central Highlands region. 

    PM calls for preventive measures against cold wave

    Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc has issued an official dispatch on urgently dealing with the cold wave that is affecting cattle and people alike.

    The dispatch asks the people’s committees of provinces and cities in the north and north central regions to adopt plans and preventive measures against the cold wave.

    According to statistics of the Department of Livestock Production under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD), the cold spell has so far killed more than 2,000 cattle.

    The mountainous province of Cao Bằng has been the worst hit, with 670 cattle reportedly dead, followed by LàoCaiProvince (440 cattle), Điện BiênProvince (400 cattle) and HòaBìnhProvince (250 cattle). 

    The Central Hydrology Meteorology Forecast Centre predicts that the cold wave will continue to prevail in the north and north-central regions for a couple of days. These provinces may witness a strong cold spell after Tết (Lunar New Year) holiday, the centre said.

    To cope with the situation, the Prime Minister has ordered the people’s committees to direct relevant agencies and local authorities to support local people in deploying measures to protect animals and plants.

    According to the dispatch, localities can use its reserved budget for preventive work and support poor households or policy beneficiary families to buy food for cattle and warm up cattle farms as well as purchase biochemical substances to enhance the resistance of plants.

    It is the responsibility of the local governments to report about the damage to the MARD so that timely assistance can be provided to affected farmers.

    The People’s Committee of provinces and cities are accountable for the loss if it is caused as a result of not following instructions to care for cattle and plants in this weather.

    The MARD has been assigned to frequently inspect, monitor the implementation of preventive measures against the cold wave and prepare plans for production recovery.

    The Ministry of Health has been ordered to give recommendations on warming-up measures and ensure that adequate medicine is stocked in case of emergency.

    The Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment has been requested to closely monitor the weather and give regular updates on mass media, while the Ministry of Information and Communications has been asked to direct press agencies to report more on the weather so as to keep the public informed.

    Meanwhile, mountainous provinces in the northern region have actively come up with solutions to fight the cold wave.

    The Department of Agriculture and Rural Development of Điện BiênProvince has adopted plans in response to the cold wave, which has caused damages to agricultural production and animal breeding.

    Phạm Thị Tuyên, head of the Division of Agriculture and Rural Development of Điện BiênProvince’s Tuần Giáo District, said the division had urged farmers to reinforce stables and store more feed for animals. The division is also working with local authorities to disinfect and clean up stables.

    Farmers from Quài Tở, Quài Cang and Tỏa Tình communes have moved thousands of buffaloes and cattle to warmer areas to avoid the bad weather, Tuyên said.

    In the northern mountainous province of Hà Giang, the People’s Committee of Quản Bạ District, in collaboration with functional agencies, has instructed farmers to protect 21,000 buffaloes and cows. No death from cold or starvation among the cattle has been reported from here.

    Similar actions have also been carried out by HòaBìnhProvince’s Department of Livestock and Veterinary to help people protect 6.6 million cattle.

    “We have requested farmers not to graze cattle if the temperature drops to below 12 degree Celsius and to maintain a larger feed storage than usual”, said Bùi Văn Phượng, head of Yên Thủy District’s livestock and veterinary station in the province.

    Bad weather cuts off Lý SơnIsland residents

    Thousands of households in the central province of Quảng Ngãi’s Lý Sơn island District have been cut off from the mainland due to the ongoing cold spell and strong waves.

    The residents have been isolated for more than a week now.

    Lê Tấn Hải, director of Sa Kỳ Port Management Board, told zing.vn on Monday that high-speed and transport ships travelling from Sa Kỳ Port to Lý Sơn Island and vice versa were forced to suspend operations over the week due to strong wind and waves.

    “Goods, essentials and dozens of Kumquat tree pots for Tết (Vietnamese Lunar New Year) festival are stuck at Sa Kỳ Port due to prolonged bad weather,” Hải said.

    Some people who want to return home early have rented fishing boats in QuảngNgãiCity’s TịnhHòaPort despite the dangerous weather, he said.

    The port management board has called on the provincial Department of Transport for timely measures to protect people’s lives and property.

    Nguyễn Viết Vy, secretary of Lý Sơn Island District’s Party Committee, said strong waves prevented thousands of local households from going to the mainland to buy food for Tết.

    Local authorities have asked Coast Guard Zone 2 to mobilise special ships to help fishermen return to their homes in Lý Sơn Island if the bad weather persists, Vy said.

    The provincial hydrometeorological station predicts that the cold spell will ease gradually from Wednesday.

    Naval force records positive performance in 2017

    The Vietnam People’s Navy carried out all solutions it has set to consolidate soldiers and officers’ political and ideological firmness and strengthen training to enable its force to fit a variety of tasks, especially combat readiness on ships, in islands, and off-shore platforms.

    The Vietnam People’s Navy reported its performance in 2017 at a press conference held in Hanoi on February 6.

    The navy has maintained its regular patrols at sea ports and on territorial seas to promptly notice and deal with any emerging problems and operations conducted by foreign countries, helping firmly maintain the peaceful environment, the relations with other countries, and political stability in the country.

    Attention was also given to logistics activities and the modernisation of weapon and other specialised equipment, heard the conference.

    Search and rescue missions were also a highlight of the force in 2017, with 160 campaigns launched and 7,000 personnel deployed. These helped save 85 people on islands and off-shore platforms, and 190 people in distress at sea, and support 200 ships to reach safe shelters during stormy seasons.

    The navy has made efforts in boosting bilateral and multilateral cooperation with their peers from the ASEAN member nations and Vietnam’s neighboring countries and defence partners. In 2017, it received 317 foreign delegations and 17 international naval ships, which came to Vietnam for visits and exchanges.

    At the conference, Major General Tran Hoai Trung, Political Commissar of the Vietnam People’s Navy, asked the media to continue promoting the force’s protection of national sovereignty at sea, particularly concerning the Hoang Sa (Paracel) and Truong Sa (Spratly) archipelagoes. 

    He suggested the coverage of the navy’s work in human resources training to build a regular, modern, and competent marine force.-

    Yokohama labour union – reliable friend of Vietnamese people

    Protesting the war in Vietnam and supporting Vietnamese people in the struggle for national reunification in the 1960s and 1970s were one of the core activities of the Labour Union of Yokohama city, Japan.

    Senior members of the union shared their memories about these activities with Vietnam News Agency’s reporters on the occasion of the 45th anniversary of Vietnam-Japan diplomatic ties (September 21, 1973).

    The union, founded in December 1947, organised many meetings opposing the US war in Vietnam, gathering large number of peace lovers in the city. News stories reporting the US air force’s bombing in the north of Vietnam as well as the worldwide movements protesting war in the Southeast Asian country were hung at public places in Yokohama, drawing public interest at that time.

    From early 1965, the movement against the US war in Vietnam developed strongly. In September 1966, the Labour Union of Yokohama coordinated with trade unions around the globe to protest the US war in Vietnam. Numerous demonstrations took place across the city. Added to this were activities to raise funds to send medicines and essential goods to support Vietnamese people.

    Morita Kenichi, former President of the Yokohama Labour Union in the 1985-1992 period, was a pioneer in anti-war activities. To prevent the US forces at the North Piece military base in Yokohama from sending military trucks to the south of Vietnam, on August 5-6, 1972, the union mobilised over 500 youths to stage a demonstration at the nearby Murasame bridge to stop the trucks. Morita led the demonstrators, who received warm support from city dwellers, hence successfully forcing the US army to cancel its plan to send military trucks to Vietnam. This event grabbed the headline on the front page of many Japanese newspapers at that time.

    During a visit to Vietnam in 1983, Morita had an opportunity to meet then Prime Minister Pham Van Dong who conveyed his gratefulness to Yokohama people for their valuable assistance for Vietnamese during the wartime.

    Two other senior members of the Yokohama Trade Union, Yoshizawa Teiko and Motoyoshi Ryokichi also actively participated in anti-war activities in Yokohama. They continued to work for the friendship between the two nations in peace time.  

    As chairman of the Japan-Vietnam Friendship Association, Motoyoshi regularly organises people-to-people exchanges and activities to support Vietnamese expatriates in Japan.

    VNN


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