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  • 02/07/18--01:17: Article 1
  • Vietnam’s taxi giant Vinasun takes Grab to court

     

    Vinasun accused Grab of being responsible for its multimillion-dollar losses

     A court in Ho Chi Minh City to hear a lawsuit filed by Vinasun against Grab, February 6, 2018. Photo: Tuoi Tre
    An economic court in Ho Chi Minh City assembled on Tuesday to hear a lawsuit filed by local taxi giant Vinasun Corp against GrabTaxi Vietnam in an evidence of continued clash between traditional taxi services and ride-hailing apps in the country.

    Vinasun has accused Grab of multiple violations in providing taxi services, causing the taxi company profound losses, whilst Grab maintained that it had conducted its business pursuant to Vietnamese laws and was not responsible for the losses suffered by Vinasun.

    Vinasun’s claims

    Truong Dinh Quy, deputy general director of Vinasun, submitted to the court documents, photos and videos which he claimed to be evidence of Grab’s illegal practices in Vietnam.

    Quy asserted that while Grab had constantly promoted itself as a technology solution provider, in reality it was operating as a transport company offering taxi services, and therefore should be answerable to the same laws and regulations as Vinasun or any other taxi company in Vietnam.

    Vinasun had reported growing every year up until 2015, when Grab and Uber started to enter the Vietnamese market, Quy said, citing two independent studies conducted between January 2016 and June 2017.

    In 2015, the Ho Chi Minh City-based taxi company reported over VND318 billion (US$14.01 million) in after-tax profit, which dropped to VND295 billion ($13 million) in 2016.

    The company went into a tailspin in the first half of 2017, raking in just over VND53 billion ($2.33 million), a 50-percent drop from the same period of 2016.

    Over 8,000 employees departed from Vinasun in the same period, causing hundreds of its cabs to gather dust in the company’s garages, the Vinasun executive said at Tuesday’s court.

    Vinasun had to comply with 13 different business conditions required of taxi companies, while Grab was subject to only three, he pointed out.

    ​Vietnam’s taxi giant Vinasun takes Grab to court
    Two Vinasun taxis bear bumper stickers denouncing Grab and Uber in this photo taken on October 8, 2017. Photo: Tuoi Tre


    Grab’s response

    In response to Vinasun’s accusations, a representative of Grab present at the court in Ho Chi Minh City on Tuesday said it was operating in conformity with Decision 14 issued by the Vietnamese Ministry of Transport in January 2016.

    The decision allowed Grab to pilot its business model in Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Da Nang, Khanh Hoa and Quang Ninh for two years between January 2016 and January 2018.

    Therefore, if Vinasun had suffered from any damages following the issuance of Decision 24, it should have filed a complaint to the transport ministry rather than seek legal actions against Grab, the representative said.

    “Grab is well-equipped with the experience and expertise needed to operate the ride-hailing application, and will continue to offer its service in Vietnam as long as the laws allow it to,” he stressed.

    The Grab representative added that the company had adhered strictly to Vietnamese law by entering into contracts with its transport partners and collecting personal income tax on their behalf.

    He refused a request to submit the contracts as evidence before the court, citing them being “business secrets.”

    “If you fail to submit the contracts, on what grounds are you maintaining that Grab has been conforming to Vietnamese laws?” a Vinasun lawyer pressed, to which there was no response from the defendants.

    Further questions from lawyers of the plaintiffs regarding Grab’s business operations were also left unanswered.

    ​Vietnam’s taxi giant Vinasun takes Grab to court
    A Grab representative speaks at a court in Ho Chi Minh City on February 6, 2018. Photo:Tuoi Tre


    ‘Disruptive’ pricing

    According to Vinasun, Grab now has around 17,000 cars in its fleet, an increase from 13,000 as of June 2017.

    The large number of cars coupled with “disruptive” pricing and promotions has caused profound losses to Vinasun and other taxi companies in Vietnam.

    “Grab has a charter capital of around VND40 billion [$1.76 million], while cumulative losses from its business operations have amounted to over VND930 billion [$40.97 million]. Such promotions and pricing strategies are disruptive against other competitors,” a Vinasun representative complained.


    Tuoi Tre News


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  • 02/07/18--01:30: Article 0
  • Ministry seeks to pave ways for new airlines


    The Ministry of Transport has completed a draft plan to expand the aviation sector for the 2018-2020 period, with view to 2030.

      

    Vietnam's flagship carrier Vietnam Airlines

    They are gathering opinions from related agencies before submitting the draft to the prime minister.

    According to the ministry, the annual aviation market growth rate will be 16% from now to 2020 and 8% from 2020 to 2030. Local airlines are expected to serve 64 million passengers by 2020 and 131 million passengers by 2030. The Ministry of Transport wants to expand the airlines' fleet to 220 planes by 2020 and 400 planes by 2030.

    Vietnam currently has seven aviation companies but only four are commercial airlines with 180 planes. The rate of customers travelling by air in Vietnam’s total population increased from 0.5% in 2012 to 0.8% in the first half of 2016. This shows that more people are using airlines.

    Leaders of local airlines assessed that Vietnam needs about 10 airlines to meet demand and make it a healthy competitive market. However, aviation investments have many difficulties in both planning and administrative procedures. It takes from three to four years to establish a new aviation company.

    The aviation plan must be compatible with the state's master planning and it must be reviewed by the Ministry of Transport and Ministry of Planning and Investment at the same time.

    That's why many companies such as Vietstar Airlines still haven't started commercial flights. The local authorities postponed issuing permits to Vietstar Airlines because of overloading at TanSonNhatAirport. Tan Cang and Vietbamboo Airlines still need to submit their documents to the Ministry of Planning and Investment.

    According to the experts, the aviation sector planning adjustment this year will help boost the investment process.

    On February 2, Vietnam Air Traffic Management (VATM) Corporation signed a contract with MITRE Corporation to develop the country's Air Traffic Flow Management (ATFM) Master Plan.

    The ATFM Master Plan project will provide VATM with an integrated vision and systematic roadmap to implement ATFM in Vietnam. This contract will be jointly funded by the US Trade Development Agency and the VATM.

    nguoilaodong


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  • 02/08/18--01:17: Article 3
  • Vietnam’s pharmacy industry sees rapid growth



    Vietnam is now an attractive drug market with new policies designed to create a healthy, competitive market for manufacturers.


     

    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, drug, import turnover, MOH
    Vietnamese spend more money on drugs


    BMI Research predicted that the growth rate in spending on drugs in Vietnam in the 2017-2021 period would be around 11.5 percent per annum. 

    The figure is lower than the average growth rate of 15.6 percent in 2012-2016, but still higher than the 6-9 percent growth rates seen in pharma-emerging countries, and the 4-7 percent average growth rate in the world, according to IMS Market Prognosis.

    The level of spending on prescribed drugs is expected to grow by 11.9 percent per annum, or higher than the growth rate of the whole market.

    Vietnam is an attractive market with high population, increased life expectancy and heightened awareness about health protection. 

    Meanwhile, spending in Vietnam remains low, less than $40 per head per annum, or just equal to half of that in pharma-emerging countries.

    Prescribed drugs now account for 74 percent of total spending on drugs, according to BMI with the growth rate of 15.9 percent in 2012-2016, and the expected growth rate of 11.9 percent per annum. 

    Of these, generic drugs, which account for more than 70 percent of total value, is expected to see the 12.9 percent growth rate per annum. 

    Spending in Vietnam remains low, less than $40 per head per annum, or just equal to half of that in pharma-emerging countries.

    The prediction coincides with the government’s policy on prioritizing the production of generic drugs domestically at reasonable prices.

    Domestically made drugs are mostly generic, with low value, which account for less than 50 percent of the total expenditures on drugs.

    Under the national strategy on pharmacy industry development by 2020, Vietnam strives to raise the percentage of domestically produced drugs over total drug value to 80 percent by 2020. 

    This could be seen as a great opportunity for domestic pharmacy firms, though big challenges are anticipated.

    A report found that health insurance coverage has increased from 65 percent in 2012 to 85.3 percent by the end of October 2017. It is expected that 90 percent of people will take health insurance policies by 2020. 

    The medication costs from the Health Insurance Fund are estimated to account for more than 40 percent of the nation’s total spending on drugs.

    In 2017, the cost of medical treatment paid by the Health Insurance Fund was estimated at VND90 trillion, of which 50-60 percent was spent on medicine. Vietnam prioritizes the use of domestically produced generic drugs.

    According to Kim Eng Retail Research, the domestic pharmacy firms which have products meeting GMP-EU or PIC/s-GMP standards will have opportunities to expand their market share in hospitals. 

    Domestically made products have more competitive prices, which will help them win bids.


    Kim Chi, VNN


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  • 02/08/18--01:18: Article 2
  • BUSINESS IN BRIEF 8/2


    Exports a major driver of Vietnam’s growth


     

    Exports a major driver of Vietnam’s growth, Commercial banks report record high profit in 2017, Ministries require not to increase petrol prices, Locally-assembled auto prices lowered, Coal inventory estimated at over 10 million tons

    Vietnam’s export sector brought in estimated revenues of US$19 billion in the first month of 2018, up 33.1% from a year earlier, remaining an important driver of economic growth.

    Robust growth continued to be witnessed in a number of key exports such as phones and phone parts, garment products, electronics and computers, footwear, coffee, machinery and equipment, and fruit and vegetables.

    Such positive signs offer hope of another flourishing year for the Vietnamese export sector.

    A look back at 2017 shows that, among the country’s economic achievements, exports emerged as a bright spot, continuing to affirm its role as one of the most important drivers of growth in the country.

    Last year, total exports far exceeded expectations and hit US$213.8 billion, up 21.1% from a year earlier and three times higher than the set target. Exports in 2018 are expected to maintain strong growth thanks to an improving global economy and growing shipments of high-tech products.

    In 2017, the fastest growth was seen in mobile phones, electronics and computers, garment products and machinery and equipment, which have become the new major exports of Vietnam, accounting for a combined 39.2% of the total revenues. The shift in the export structure is expected to remain on-going in 2018.

    A shift in export markets was also witnessed with shipments to China surging by 60.6%, making China the third largest export market of Vietnam. The United States retained its position as the largest importer of Vietnamese goods, with a share of 19.4%, followed by the European Union with 17.9%. Notably, in 2017, exports to the Republic of Korea jumped by 31.1%, accounting for 7% of the total Vietnamese exports, immediately behind Japan and ASEAN.

    Such figures indicate a high degree of concentration in Vietnam’s export markets as exports to the six leading markets account for nearly four fifths of the total exports.

    With deeper international integration and the implementation of free trade agreements, the role of these six export markets will continue to be strengthened in 2018, but the difference between them may be narrowed and their positions could be swapped in 2018.

    Vietnam’s export sector in 2017 recorded not only growth in value but also a noteworthy shift in the structure of goods towards sustainable development, which has laid the foundation for even greater success in 2018 and the subsequent years.

    Tan Thuan EPZ inaugurates its multi-storeyed workshop

    Tan Thuan Export Processing Zone (EPZ) this morning inaugurated its multi-storeyed workshop in HCMC with total investment capital up to US$ 7million.

    Tan Thuan EPZ inaugurates its multi-storeyed workshop

    The workshop was completed after three years of construction (2015-2018), under part of the multi-storeyed workshop model in the export processing zones and industrial parks, high tech areas.

    The workshop is designed with 8 floors and one basement covering an area of 22.9 sq. meters.

    The multi-storeyed workshop model has popularized widely in the world such as Singapore, Korea, Japan…., aiming to save land resources and maximize land use efficiency.

    Commercial banks report record high profit in 2017

    Commercial banks announced their performance results last year in the last two weeks of January 2018, reporting huge pre-tax profit far exceeding the year plan.

    Joint Stock Commercial Bank for Foreign Trade of Vietnam (Vietcombank) posted the pre-tax profit of VND11 trillion, up nearly 33 percent over 2016. It was followed by Joint Stock Commercial Bank for Industry and Trade of Vietnam (Vietinbank) with VND9.2 trillion, the highest level in the history of 30 years of the bank’s operation.

    Similarly Joint Stock Commercial Bank for Investment and Development of Vietnam (BIDV) reported the record high pre-tax profit of VND8.8 trillion. Vietnam Prosperity Joint Stock Commercial Bank (VPBank) recorded before and after tax profit of VND8,126 billion and VND6,438 billion respectively.

    Small banks also reported high pre-tax profit, for instance Kien Long Bank saw an increase of 71 percent over 2016 to VND259.5 billion, ABBank posted the growth of 115 percent to get VND619 billion.

    VietBank said that it had cleared the loss from previous year and achieved VND263 billion in profit. Under restructuring Sacombank also enjoyed strong profit increase.

    According to experts, the economy has recovered, credit operations of banks have been improved and bad debt has gradually been handled. These all have positively impacted banks’ profit.

    Last year Gross Domestic Product (GDP) grew 6.81 percent and credit growth hit 18.78 percent.

    Financial reports of banks show their credit growth rate hit the ceiling level of 19-20 percent so revenue from credit activities continued accounting for a large ratio in the total revenue of banks. In addition, retail, non-credit products and services have significantly contributed to banks’ revenue.

    Difficulties after implementing the banking restructuring project in the phase of 2011-2015 have been overcome, creating momentum for banks to develop.

    In previous years, bank profit was eroded because high bad debts forced them to extract profit for risk provision fund establishment.

    Pre-tax profit of Eximbank topped VND1 trillion after many years majorly because of a strong reduction in risk provision cost. It was only VND604 billion last year, much lower than VND1,089 billion in 2016.

    Explaining the big change, the bank’s leaders said that bad debt handling had been stepped up and the bank no longer spent a large amount on risk provision fund.

    Mr. Nguyen Dinh Tung, director general of Orient Commercial Joint Stock Bank (OCB), said that one of reasons for the bank’s strong profit increase topping VND1 trillion was that loan quality and deep debt had been limited and risk provision cost had been lowered.Supermarkets increase opening time in days near Tet

    Businesses under the price subsidization programs including supermarkets such as Co.opmart, BigC, Aeon, Citimart, Vinmart and Lotte mart will increase their opening time by 2-4 hours everyday in days near the Tet holiday, according to the HCMC Department of Industry and Trade.

    Specifically, they will open from 7a.m.-11 p.m. on February 5-12 and from 6a.m. to midnight on February 12-14, 6a.m. till noon on February 15.

    They will shut down from the afternoon on February 15 until February 16, the first day of the lunar year and reopen at 8a.m. on the following day.

    Opening time will be from 8a.m. until noon on February 17-20, the second to fifth day of the year of the Dog.

    Operation will be back to normal on February 21. Some supermarkets such as Lotte Mart will not shut down in Tet days.

    Supermarkets will supplement 30 percent of staff to reduce pressure in days near the Tet.

    Management boards of traditional markets said that they would ask for district people’s committees to permit traders to prolong sale time until 6-7 p.m. instead of 5p.m. as normal.

    Some boards permit traders to sell until 9 p.m. every day after February 8. All markets will close down before noon on February 15, the last day of the year of Rooster, to clean markets to celebrate the lunar new year.

    72 percent overseas remittances run into production, trading

    Seventy two percent of US$5.2 billion remitted to HCMC last year ran into production and trading, 22 percent to real estate and the remaining funds to consumption and relative assistance, reported chairman of Committee for Overseas Vietnamese in HCMC Phung Cong Dung yesterday.

    Last year overseas remittance to HCMC posted a year on year increase of 4.5 percent over 2016.

    According to Mr. Dung, many overseas Vietnamese returned to visit their fatherland, helped relatives and positively attended social and charitable activities.

    Overseas Vietnamese experts and intellectuals contributed in improving city human resource quality, offered suggestions to Vietnam’s electronic circuit field to attend Industry 4.0 and assisted the city to develop hi-tech agriculture.

    However, building database on overseas Vietnamese to study, analyze and give professional advises for long term programs has met with lot of difficulties and shortage of coordination and assistance from authorized agencies.

    The Committee for Overseas Vietnamese in HCMC proposed the city People’s Committee to supplement policies and regulations to suit the situation of Vietnamese abroad, especially the policy of luring overseas Vietnamese businessmen and intellectuals.

    This year, the committee will work with relevant sides to organize dialogues between agencies and overseas Vietnamese businesses to solve difficulties for them.

    In addition, they will host connectivity activities between overseas Vietnamese intellectuals and universities or businesses to create highly applicable and practical science study and research environment.

    Ministries require not to increase petrol prices

    The Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Industry and Trade required businesses to keep petrol price unchanged and increase spending of price subsidization fund in the price adjustment period on February 3.

    That aims to control inflation, limit consumer price index increase, assist businesses and production and stabilize residents’ psychology ahead of the Lunar New Year Festival.

    A liter of ethanol blend E5 RON 92 is now priced VND18,672, kerosene VND14,560, diesel VND15,959 and a kilogram of mazut is priced VND12,765 at the maximum.

    The two ministries permit businesses to strongly increase the spending level from the price subsidization fund.

    Specifically, it hikes from VND857 in the previous price adjustment period to VND1,141 a liter of E5 Ron 92, moves up by VND400 to VND400 a liter of RON95 and VND678 a liter of diesel, raises from VND460 to VND710 a liter of kerosene and from VND150 to VND320 a kilogram of mazut.

    HCMC to develop more multi-storey workshop buildings

    The HCMC government has plans to develop more multi-storey workshop buildings in several industrial and export processing zones after the success of such structures in Tan Thuan Export Processing Zone in the city’s District 7.

    Tan Thuan Co Ltd on February 3 put an eight-storey workshop building into operation in Tan Thuan Export Processing Zone, bringing the total number of multi-storey workshop buildings in the zone to four. Each building can offer business or production space for several companies, especially small- and medium-sized ones.

    The workshop building, developed at a cost of nearly US$7 million, offers full amenities for tenants like elevators, parking lot, power stations, backup electricity generators, fire prevention system and standard lighting system. Having a total floor area of 22,852 square meters and ceiling heights of 4-5 meters, it is the largest workshop building in the country at present.

    The workshop building was built of reinforced concrete with the strong floor able to support heavy machinery at between 600 kilos and one ton per square meter, thus suitable for manufacturing businesses. Managed by Savills Vietnam, the modern building also provides office spaces.

    According the investor, four enterprises had signed rental agreements before the workshop building is complete while three other multi-storey workshop buildings in Tan Thuan Export Processing Zone are full.

    Tsao Chung Hung, general director of Tan Thuan Co Ltd, said the multi-storey workshop building is suitable for small and medium enterprises as they can rent 500 to thousands of square meters, and enterprises active in supporting industries that need their facilities to be close to multinational corporations in industrial parks or export processing zones.

    Beside Tan Thuan Export Processing Zone, HCMC will also pilot multi-storey workshop buildings in HiepPhuocIndustrial Park, Linh Trung Export Processing Zone, Saigon Hi-Tech Park (SHTP) and others. The building would have 3-8 floors, with areas designed for tenants ranging from 100 to 3,000 square meters.

    Nguyen Hoang Nang, director of the HCMC Export Processing and Industrial Zones Authority (HEPZA), said the multi-storey workshop building model has just appeared in Vietnam recently but it holds high potential and will boom in the coming time.

    According to the HCMC government, the multi-storey workshop building helps the city optimize land use, develop supporting industries and lure more investors.

    HCMC woos investors for canal-side home relocation project

    The HCMC government has said it needs VND23.24 trillion (US$1.02 billion) for a large-scale project to relocate more than 20,000 makeshift homes along the city’s canals.

    At a conference held in the city on February 1 to call for investors to get involved in the project as part of a program to revitalize the urban landscape, Tran Trong Tuan, director of the HCMC Department of Construction, said the city has relocated some 36,000 households along canals over the past 20 years. There remain 21,850 slums and makeshift houses that need to be cleared to deal with environmental pollution and flooding which affect local people’s health.

    Of the total shanty canal-side homes, 11,400 homes are located in District 8, more than 2,500 in Binh Thanh District, 2,060 in District 7 and nearly 1,800 in District 4.

    The program to revitalize the city’s landscape as one of seven key projects in the city will use VND2.5 trillion from the city budget, said Su Ngoc Anh, director of the HCMC Department of Planning and Investment. Due to the city’s tight budget, local and foreign investments will help promote sustainable development for the city’s economy, he added.

    Under prevailing regulations, there are three ways to mobilize private capital including putting up for auction land which has been already cleared, inviting tenders for projects whose land clearance procedures have not been implemented, and implementing projects under public-private partnership (PPP) format.

    Nguyen Dang Truong, head of the Bidding Management Department under the Ministry of Planning and Investment, told the conference that it is a big challenge to relocate 20,000-plus homes along canals in three years as the city has managed to remove 36,000 similar houses over the past two decades. However, investment conditions are becoming more favorable for investors, especially with the PPP model.

    It is not difficult to seek investors for the project but the support of municipal agencies is of crucial importance, Truong noted.

    HCMC vice chairman Tran Vinh Tuyen said the city has to cope with traffic congestion, flooding, environmental pollution and climate change despite its status as an economic hub of the country. He expected the program to rehabilitate the urban landscape in the 2016-2020 period would help stabilize the lives of residents along canals.

    To obtain the foresaid targets, the city will have to take appropriate measures in a timely manner to serve local residents’ demand and city development, Tuyen said, adding the policy to call for private investment is meant to ease the burden on the city’s budget.

    The city government has assigned relevant departments and agencies to issue preferential mechanisms and policies to lure investors to carry out the project under the PPP format.

    At the conference, the city also sought comments from leaders of departments and agencies, experts and scientists on the project.

    Nguyen Thien Nhan, secretary of the city’s Party Committee, reiterated the city’s efforts to implement the canal-side home relocation project and put floods and traffic congestion under control. He advised relevant agencies to learn from experiences of Japan and South Korea to successfully conduct the project.

    An objective of the program to revitalize HCMC between 2016 and 2020 is to make the most of rivers and canals in the city to develop waterway tourism. The program will be implemented under multiple investment models such as PPP, build-transfer (BT) and investment in exchange for land, among others.

    WeChat Pay offered for Chinese tourists to Danang’s Lotte

    E-wallet service provider Vimo Technology ISC has clinched a cooperation agreement with Lotte Duty Free to accept payments by Chinese tourists via WeChat Pay e-wallet at Lotte duty-free stores at DanangInternationalAirport.

    Chinese tourists can able pay for goods and services by using WeChat Pay app on their smartphones to scan QR codes instead of using bank cards or cash.

    Vimo and Lotte Duty Free have offered the service at five stores under Lotte Duty Free at DanangInternationalAirport. The partnership will contribute to boosting sales at Lotte duty-free shops which sell a variety of high-quality products such as cosmetics, watches, wines, medicine, clothes and jewelry products of more than 100 popular brands.

    Vimo is the first intermediary payment service provider in Vietnam to allow Chinese tourists to use WeChat Pay e-wallet service in the country. Vimo has accepted payments via WeChat Pay at 500 agents including more than 100 stores of seven corporations at five international airports with direct air services from China.

    Vietnam is one of the destinations most visited by the Chinese in the region. Last year saw some 3.5 million Chinese visitors come to Vietnam.

    By enabling WeChat payments at thousands of stores locally, Vimo targets to boost spending by Chinese tourists in Vietnam by 10% this year from an average of US$638 in 2017.

    Locally-assembled auto prices lowered

    The scarcity of imported autos opens up a huge opportunity for locally-assembled vehicles to fill the gap, and assemblers have managed to seize the opportunity by lowering prices sharply in the run to the upcoming Lunar New Year holiday, Tuoi Tre newspaper reports.

    Early this month, Truong Hai Auto Corporation (THACO) has reduced prices of its locally-assembled autos such as Kia Morning, Kia Cerato, Optima and Rondo by VND5-50 million.

    Particularly, the Kia Rondo price has been lowered sharply from VND799 million to VND749 million, while Kia Cerato has also seen its price tag down by VND10-14 million, and Kia Optima plunging by VND30 million to VND789 million in the new year.

    Meanwhile, Toyota  Vietnam has offered a reduction of 3-10%, equivalent to VND25-28 million, for its Vios, Innova and Altis autos since November last year.

    Mitsubishi Motors Vietnam has also announced its selling prices for crossover Mitsubishi Outlander autos assembled in Vietnam which is VND200 million cheaper than those made in Japan.

    Isuzu mu-X model assembled in 2016 is now sold at a discount of up to VND114 million. Buyers of Mazda 2, Mazda 3 and Mazda 6 autos will be also offered discounts of VND10-40 million.

    Local auto firms reduce selling prices to stimulate consumption and compete with autos imported from Thailand and Indonesia, which will enjoy a zero import tariff once all regulatory barriers are cleared, said some auto traders.

    Auto importers such as Ford and Honda said they are facing difficulties in importing autos into Vietnam due to the Government’s Decree 116 which requires them to submit vehicle type approval (VTA) certificates issued by authorities in exporting countries. They are not sure when they can receive batches of imported autos.

    China remains Vietnam’s biggest apparel material supplier

    China remained the largest material supplier of Vietnam’s apparel industry last year with nearly US$9 billion, growing over 12% versus 2016 and accounting for 42.7% of total apparel material imports, according to the General Department of Vietnam Customs.

    Data from the department shows Vietnam spent US$21 billion importing such material in 2017, making up 10% of the nation’s total import spending and increasing more than 11% against the previous year. Major buyers were foreign-invested firms, news website Dan Tri reports.

    It is noteworthy that the import value of textile-garment materials from China was four and five times higher than those of South Korea and Taiwan respectively, the two markets that Vietnam has bought large volumes of apparel materials recently.

    In reality, foreign direct investment (FDI) enterprises accounted for a majority of textile-garment material imports. They spent US$6.9 billion on fabrics and US$1.2 billion on cotton.

    Meanwhile, the country exported US$26 billion worth of textiles and garments last year and nearly US$4 billion worth of cotton and fabrics.

    Thus, the sector enjoyed a trade surplus of only US$5 billion which is also considered the added value. This is low as textiles and garments are among Vietnam’s biggest export earners.

    FDI firms shipped abroad more than US$15 billion worth of textile and garment products, accounting for nearly 60% of the export revenue from the products.

    Pham Chi Lan, an economic expert, said the increase in textile-garment materials imported from China is due to a shortage of local materials. In addition, enterprises of Taiwan, Hong Kong and China have built their production plants in Vietnam to enjoy a preferential tax rate of 0% when shipping such products to the U.S. and the EU, and most of these firms buy materials from China.

    Taxable income threshold should be raised: experts

    The Finance Ministry should have raised the monthly taxable threshold, and deductions for taxpayers’ dependents in its recent draft amendments to the Personal Income Tax (PIT) Law, according to experts cited by Thanh Nien newspaper.

    The PTI threshold for taxpayers is VND9 million, plus a deduction of VND3.6 million a month for each of their dependents. The regulation has been effective since 2013, saidNguyen Ngoc Tuan, vice chairman of DongNaiProvince’s Import and Export Association.

    He stressed the cost of living has significantly increased so far, but the Finance Ministry makes no mention of raising the taxable threshold and deductions for dependents in its draftlaw.

    Although the inflation rose by 16.75% in the 2013-2017 period, the taxable threshold and the deductions for dependents have stay put. As such, they have become outdated given strong price hikes over the past recent years.

    According to the current PIT law, the Government has the right to seek the National Assembly Standing Committee for approval to revise deductions for dependents if there is a 20% rise in consumer prices compared with the level at the time the law takes effect.

    Besides, the region-based minimum wages have seen sharp rises in recent years, so the upcoming tax reform should include a new taxable threshold and new deductions for dependents.

    In particular, the Government has increased minimum monthly wages by VND1.11-1.63 million to VND2.76-3.98 million depending on regions from early this year compared with 2013.

    Employees working for enterprises in region one comprising major cities and provinces enjoy a new minimum salary of VND3.98 million while the new levels for those in regions two, three and four are VND3.53 million, VND3.09 million and VND2.76 million respectively. The real monthly wages are calculated by multiplying these levels with a coefficient depending on employee’s seniority.

    Coal inventory estimated at over 10 million tons

    Business performance of Vietnam National Coal and Mineral Industries Group (Vinacomin) in 2017 improved significantly compared to previous years, but its core business of coal mining performed poorly, as inventory rose to more than 10 million tons, according Lao Dong newspaper.

    Although the group met most of its targets last year, it had difficulty selling coal due to storms and a longer-than-expected rainy season that caused coal demand to drop.

    Vinacomin’s high inventory resulted from its bulky structure, tough mining conditions and high production cost that made domestic coal US$10-15 per ton more expensive than imported coal.

    Storms and rainfalls surged to record levels last year, forcing Vietnam Electricity Group (EVN) to purchase more electricity from hydropower plants and less from thermal power plants, thus making thermal power plants’ coal consumption decrease by 7 million tons compared to the plan.

    Many subsidiaries of Vinacomin reported high inventory such as Vinacomin Dabac Lacoghicity with 5 million tons, Hon Gai Coal Company with more than 450,000 tons and Vang Danh Coal Company with more than 400,000 tons.

    According to Vinacomin, most of the inventory was coal used for electricity generation. Its subsidiaries had failed to forecast the market demand and diversify their products.

    This year, Vinacomin expects to sell 36 million tons of coal and reduce coal inventory to 8 million tons. To meet the targets, the group will have to reduce production cost and boost mechanization.

    Over 2,800 businesses set up in HCMC in January

    Last month saw 2,817 new enterprises coming into being in HCMC with total registered capital of VND19.58 trillion, data of the HCMC government shows.

    Besides the new enterprises, as many as 3,640 existing enterprises adjusted their business registration content last month with an additional VND40.567 trillion.

    In all, total fresh and additional capital of HCMC-based enterprises in January was VND60.15 trillion, up nearly 40% against the same period a year earlier.

    Meanwhile, foreign direct investment (FDI) attraction of HCMC recorded a year-on-year rise of nearly 27% last month with some US$224 million. In particular, there were 41 new projects, 13 projects with adjusted investment capital, and 147 cases in which foreign investors contribute capital, acquire shares and buy stakes in domestic enterprises.

    The HCMC investment environment continued to improve last year as manifested by increasing overall investment in the economy, FDI capital, domestic investments, budget revenue, exports and imports. The city’s gross regional domestic product (GRDP) grew by 8.25% last year.

    As for this year, the city government looks to achieve GRDP growth of 8.3-8.5%, raise total investment to 35% of GRDP, and realize the budget collection target of VND376.78 trillion. The city also aims to have 46,000 new enterprises, generate jobs for 130,000 people, raise the percentage of workers with vocational training to 80%, and bring down unemployment to below 3.8%, among others.

    In addition, HCMC targets a place in the top 16 of the Vietnam Provincial Governance and Public Administration Performance Index (PAPI), the top five of the Provincial Competitiveness Index (PCI) and the top 10 in the Public Administration Reform Index (PAR Index).

    British firms seek to invest in Vietnam’s airport projects

    British companies have shown interest in airport projects in Vietnam, according to the Ministry of Transport.

    Deputy Minister of Transport Le Dinh Tho on Wednesday met with British Ambassador to Vietnam Giles Lever to promote cooperation between the two countries in the aviation sector. The meeting was attended by some British firms like Arup, Atkins and Benoy.

    Ambassador Lever said at the meeting that UK companies are interested in the LongThanhInternationalAirport project in DongNaiProvince and the TanSonNhatInternationalAirport expansion project in HCMC.

    They want to join hands in conducting the feasibility study for Long Thanh airport. Besides, they would cooperate with Vietnamese partners to expand NoiBaiInternationalAirport and develop urban railway projects.

    Transport Deputy Minister Tho said the Transport Ministry will assist British investors in surveying airport projects. For LongThanhInternationalAirport, the ministry has assigned Airports Corporation of Vietnam (ACV) to select appropriate partners to conduct a feasibility study. Bidding shall begin on February 23.

    The government of DongNaiProvince is preparing site clearance, which is scheduled for completion in 2021.

    The feasibility study would take 16 months. Once the study is approved by the National Assembly, work will start on the first phase which comprises a runway and a terminal capable of handling 25 million passengers and 1.2 million tons of cargo a year. The first phase would be finished by 2025.

    The LongThanhInternationalAirport project was approved by the NA in June 2015. Its total cost is estimated at VND336.6 trillion (US$16.03 billion), with the first phase requiring VND114.45 trillion.

    Power tariffs seen stable in first half

    Power prices in the first half of the year are expected to be stable but will fluctuate in the second half based on price auditing results.

    News site Vietnamnet cited a price report of the Price Management Department as saying that the power price hike of 6.08% on December 1, 2017 will drive up the consumer price index (CPI) by 0.1% this year and indirectly affect prices of commodities whose production has power as an input expense.

    According to the department, commodity prices inched up slightly in the early months of last year, went down in quarter two and picked up in the final months. The average CPI last year rose by 3.53% against 2016 and 2.6% against December 2016.

    The global crude oil price is forecast to be US$50-55 per barrel on average this year, whereas the price of finished petrol products will stay at US$66-70 per barrel, up 5-10% against last year’s average.

    The domestic fuel price’s projected rise of 5-15% will cause an increase of 0.28-0.64% to CPI.

    The price of RON92 petrol was hiked ten times last year with a combined VND3,916, and revised down nine times by VND2,920. Meanwhile, diesel had its price adjusted up 15 times by VND4,101 and marked down seven times by VND2,370.

    Prices of educational services could pick up 8-10% this year. Besides, price adjustments of healthcare services and base salaries are forecast to give rise to a CPI increase.

    Vietnam dong weakens against most foreign currencies

    While Vietnam’s dong currency has got firmer against the U.S. dollar, it has depreciated against most other hard foreign currencies like Euro, British pound, Canadian and Australian dollars, Tuoi Tre newspaper reports.

    The euro has made a strong rise of 17.45% over the past month, increasing from VND24,107 early this year to the current VND28,315. The British pound has come second, rising from VND28,297 to VND32,382, or a 14.44% hike.

    The Australian, Singapore, and Canadian dollars have grown by 10.9%, 10.35%, and 8.53% respectively against the dong to VND18,349, VND17,395 and VND18,569. The Chinese yuan has also risen by 10.38% to VND3,649 from the previous VND3,306.

    Experts say the appreciation of foreign currencies against the dong has major effects on prices of imports, and costs of study and healthcare in countries using them. However, a weaker Vietnam dong will spur Vietnam’s exports.

    Holders of the foreign currencies made handsome profits last year, compared with those owing the U.S. dollar. However, local residents seem less keen on these currencies due to high exchange risk.

    A majority of local banks merely accept savings in U.S dollar and euro. Notably, Vietnam Export Import Bank (Eximbank) accepts other currencies, namely British pound, Japanese yen, Canadian dollar, and Australian dollar at an interest rate of 0.1% per annum.

    BOT road investor in north may lose contract

    The investor of Hoa Lac-Hoa Binh road in northern Vietnam has been given ten more days to mobilize enough capital; otherwise, the build-operate-transfer (BOT) contract will be canceled, heard a meeting of the Ministry of Transport on Wednesday.

    News website Dan Tri quoted a Ministry of Transport official as saying that the investor has infringed the BOT contract signed with the ministry with regard to equity. If the contract is terminated, the investor can only get back 80% of the amount it has spent.

    The project to build Hoa Lac-Hoa Binh road and upgrade Xuan Mai-Hoa Binh section of National Highway 6 has an investment of over VND2.99 trillion and a length of 43.4 kilometers.

    The investor is a consortium consisting of Corporation 36, Hanoi Investment and Trading Co. and Truong Loc Construction and Trading Co. The project was originally set for completion on August 31, 2016.

    While the highway upgrade component was done in April 2015, the building of Hoa Lac-Hoa Binh road has fallen behind schedule over a year as the investor is out of money when SHB as the project’s creditor has stopped disbursing funds.

    Though the project’s timeline has been extended three times, the investor has yet to work out efficient solutions.
    Minister of Transport Nguyen Van The said that if the investor fails to come up with a solution, the ministry will cancel the contract. Responsibility of the parties concerned will be clarified according to the contract.

    After 10 days, starting from January 31, if capital mobilization by the investor fails, the project management unit will have to report to the minister on ways to terminate the contract.

    SBV requires safe banking for Tet

    The State Bank of Vietnam (SBV) has issued Official Dispatch No.726 asking SBV branches, commercial banks, foreign bank branches and National Payment Corporation of Vietnam (Napas) to ensure safe and secure banking for the upcoming Lunar New Year (Tet), Tien Phong newspaper reports.

    SBV Deputy Governor Dao Minh Tu in the official dispatch asked SBV agencies like the Issue and Vault Department to ensure sufficient cash supply for Tet.

    SBV’s Information Technology Department, Payment Department and TransactionCenter were assigned to ensure smooth operations of the interbank electronic payment system, cooperate with other agencies and banks to provide convenient transaction services for individuals and organizations, detect and timely repair technical errors and ensure network security.

    SBV asked Napas to ensure sufficient staff for the bank card switching, clearing and settlement system during the nation’s biggest holiday and cooperate with other SBV agencies and credit institutions to timely solve any problems that arise and customers’ complaints.

    Inspection agencies are responsible for inspecting credit institutions and foreign bank branches to ensure stable currency and remittance market, and handling violations in the trade of gold and foreign currencies.

    The directors of SBV’s provincial branches are responsible for ensuring sufficient cash supply for credit institutions in their provinces and smooth operations of ATM systems, and timely solving problems that may occur when cash withdrawals surge ahead of Tet. Businesses are encouraged to make payments for laborers in cash to avoid ATM overload.

    Foreign currency exchange services must be maintained during the holiday to serve international tourists.

    Wínk Hotels announces first 2 projects in VN
       
    Wink Hotels, a visionary brand run by the Indochina Vanguard Hotels group, has confirmed its first two projects in the country - one in HCMCity and the other in the central city of Da Nang.

    The hotel site in HCMCity is located at
    75 Nguyen Binh Khiem Street
    , a rapidly growing area within District 1, the city’s central business district. Scheduled to open in the fourth quarter of next year, the hotel will consist of 226 rooms. Demolition of the existing structure at the site is currently underway, and the development and hotel management teams are in the process of refining the design and completing other critical pre-development procedures.

    The Da Nang hotel site is located at
    178 Tran Phu Street
    , in the heart of the city’s business and entertainment district. The 243-room hotel will feature a sky lobby and offer spectacular views of Han River, Hai Van Pass and SonTraPeninsula. It is scheduled to open in the first quarter of 2020.

    The two sites have been formally handed over to owner-developers ICC-Kajima, the real estate development arm of Indochina Capital, the United States’ leading Viet Nam-based property developer. Formed in joint venture with Kajima Corporation, Japan’s most prolific overseas real estate developer, the group’s core mandate is to develop innovative and high-quality projects throughout Viet Nam. Wink typifies the ICC-Kajima approach.

    “Indochina Capital has always been bullish in the hospitality market in Viet Nam, as evident from The Nam Hai, Six Senses Con Dao and Hyatt Regency Da Nang,” Indochina Capital CEO Peter R. Ryder said. “The roll-out of Wink Hotels will add to the group’s portfolio of past and present hospitality projects, introducing a novel hotel concept ---Viet Nam’s first international hotel brand --- that will redefine traditional hospitality norms,” he added.

    The affordable luxury hotels in HCMCity and Da Nang will be the first two of a targeted 20-plus Wink Hotels to be developed, opened and operated throughout Viet Nam and neighbouring Indo-China countries by the end of 2023.

    PVOil launches cashless payment app for drivers
       
    PetroVietnam Oil Corporation (PVOil) on Tuesday launched PV Oil Easy, an application for smartphones and tablets that allows users to buy petrol and manage their purchases via a QR code.

    Cao Hoai Duong, general director of PVOil, said the app was a solution for its member corporate customers to manage petrol purchases of drivers and for drivers to buy petrol without paying in cash or with credit cards.

    All transactions will be recorded via the QR code.

    Duong said many firms were facing difficulties in managing the petrol purchases of their drivers due to a huge volume of bills, and the app would make it easier to manage.

    On Tuesday, Vietel Post signed up for PVOil, becoming one of the first customers to use the app.

    Criteria relaxed for Vinafood 2’s strategic investor selection
       
    The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development has approved a new set of criteria to select strategic investors for the Viet Nam Southern Food Corporation (Vinafood 2).

    These requirements are more relaxed than those proposed by the corporation earlier.

    Specifically, strategic investors must have a minimum charter capital of VND2.5 trillion (US$110 million) in 2016 and record positive after-tax profits in three consecutive years from 2014-16, with no accumulated losses until December 31, 2016.

    The earlier proposal by Vinafood 2 stipulated strategic investors to have total assets worth at least VND10 trillion by December 31, 2015, as stated in their audited financial report, a minimum charter capital of VND3.5 trillion and positive after-tax profits in three consecutive years, with no accumulated losses by the end of 2015. Besides this, the corporation also set some specific criteria on profits that strategic investors must meet.

    Nguyen Ngoc Nam, Vinafood 2 acting general director, said the reduction in the charter capital as well as the removal of minimum total assets and profit ratios in the criteria list would help invite potential investors.

    He said food and seafood processing and production would continue to be the core businesses of Vinafood 2 after equitisation.

    Vinafood 2’s initial public offering (IPO) is scheduled to take place on March 14.

    The corporation’s equitisation plan was approved on December 29, 2017, by Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc. After the equitisation, Vinafood 2’s charter capital is estimated at VND5 trillion ($220 million), of which the State will hold 255 million shares, representing 51 per cent, and strategic investors will hold 125 million shares or 25 per cent.

    The number of shares that will be offered in the IPO is over 114.8 million, representing 22.97 per cent of the corporation’s charter capital. The starting price of the IPO is VND10,100 for each share.

    PG Bank allowed to raise charter capital
       
    State Bank of Viet Nam (SBV) has allowed Petrolimex Group Commercial Joint Stock Bank (PG Bank) to raise its charter capital from VND3 trillion (US$132 million) to VND3.165 trillion.

    The capital can be increased by issuing shares to distribute dividends among shareholders from unallocated after-tax profits.

    The plan to increase the charter capital was approved at the Annual General Meeting through Resolution 02/2017/NQ-DHDCD-PGB, dated October 17, 2017.

    The issuance volume is 16.5 million shares corresponding to the exercise ratio of 5.5 per cent. Shareholders will not be allowed to transfer this right; the shares will be freely transferable after being issued.

    According to PGBank, the increasing charter capital will be used to invest in infrastructure and modernising banking technology (VND65 billion) and expanding the scale of lending (VND100 billion).

    SBV requires PG Bank to implement the raising of charter capital in line with the law, including compliance with shareholding limits of shareholders as stipulated in the Law on Credit Institutions and guiding documents of SBV after increasing charter capital.

    After completion of procedures for issuing shares to increase the charter capital, PGBank will be responsible for submitting the application for amendment of charter capital in the licence to SBV (through the Banking Inspection and Supervision Agency). 

    VNN


    0 0
  • 02/08/18--01:31: Article 1
  • Inspectors concentrate on food additives



    Producers and businesses are only allowed to use food additives permitted by the Ministry of Health to ensure products have no negative impacts on users’ health.


     

    Food Safety Law, inspectors, food additives, Vietnam economy, Vietnamnet bridge, English news about Vietnam, Vietnam news, news about Vietnam, English news, Vietnamnet news, latest news on Vietnam, Vietnam
    An MoH inspection team checks food safety and hygiene at Phuc An Food Company in the Mekong Delta province of Tay Ninh. - VNA/VNS Photo Le Duc Hoanh


    The rule is stipulated by a freshly-released Government Decree which details regulations on the implementation of some articles of the Food Safety Law.

    The use of allowed additives must meet food safety and hygiene regulations, meaning that they cannot exceed the permitted level, have clear origins and meet other related technical and management requirements.

    The decree also regulates the granting of certificates on food safety and hygiene, state inspections of imported and exported products, food labelling and food advertising.

    According to experts, food with excessive amounts of additives can be especially toxic to children, whose growing bodies are sensitive to chemicals.

    For example, if children eat food that contains lead it will build up in their system and potentially cause bone cancer. Food that contains borax affects the nervous system and can negatively impact brain development.

    Negative impacts associated with exposure to toxic food additives can include acute food-poisoning and cancer, according to experts.

    Recently, there have been concerns about the risks of allergic reactions and asthma from certain additives.

    The Ministry of Health has set up six inspection teams to check food safety and hygiene in 12 provinces and cities - Hue, Da Nang, Hanoi, Quang Ninh and Son La, as well as Hoa Binh, HCMCity, Binh Duong and Ca Mau, in addition to Kien Giang, Lang Son and Cao Bang.

    The inspections will focus on food being prepared for Tet. The inspection will last until April 2.

    Nguyen Thanh Phong, director of the Viet Nam Food Administration, said the inspectors would pay great attention to food origin, additives and preservation substances. Food samples would be tested and the results announced widely.

    Last year, inter-disciplinary inspectors visited more than 625,000 places nationwide, finding violations at nearly 124,000, according to the National Steering Committee on Food Safety.

    Of the violators, more than 35,700 had to pay fines exceeding a total of VND61 billion (US$2.7 million).

    The numbers of those poisoned by food in 2017 declined, but the number of fatality doubled that of 2016. The country recorded 139 cases of food poisoning last year with 3,869 people affected, down 27 cases.

    A total of 24 people died from food poisoning in 2017.

    VNS


    0 0
  • 02/08/18--01:59: Article 0
  • Government News 8/2


    Vietnam, China Party leaders exchange New Year greetings 

     

    Vietnam, China Party leaders exchange New Year greetings, HCM City leader thanks US veterans for boosting ties with Vietnam, Cambodia’s friendship order to Vietnamese individuals, organisations
    Tet atmosphere in Vietnam (Illustrative image. Source VNA)


    General Secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam Nguyen Phu Trong and General Secretary of the Communist Party of China and President Xi Jinping on February 8 extended greetings to each other as the two countries’ people are preparing to celebrate the Lunar New Year.

    The two leaders lauded the development of Vietnam-China relations in recent times and affirmed their determination to deepen the friendship and comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership between the two Parties for the benefits of people.

    The Vietnamese Party chief wished Chinese leaders and people a happy Lunar New Year, while Xi Jinping hoped Vietnam will gain more remarkable achievements in the new year.

    HCM City leader thanks US veterans for boosting ties with Vietnam
     

     

    Vietnam, China Party leaders exchange New Year greetings, HCM City leader thanks US veterans for boosting ties with Vietnam, Cambodia’s friendship order to Vietnamese individuals, organisations
    Vice Chairman of the Ho Chi Minh City People’s Committee Huynh Cach Mang (right) and US POW/MIA Chair Grant T Coates. 


    Vice Chairman of the Ho Chi Minh City People’s Committee Huynh Cach Mang thanked US veterans for developing friendship between the two countries when meeting the Vietnam Veterans of America (VVA) delegation on February 7.

    The VVA delegation, led by POW/MIA (Prisoner of War/Missing in Action) Chair Grant T Coates, is on a visit to Vietnam to provide information on Vietnamese soldiers killed or reported missing in action during the war as part of the Veterans Initiative Programme.

    Speaking at the meeting, Mang lauded the VVA’s goodwill and efforts to heal the aftermath of the war, notably the Veterans Initiative Programme. He thanked the VVA for helping deepen mutual understanding between the governments and people of Vietnam and America and promoting reconciliation, normalisation and cooperation between the two nations.

    He mentioned HCMCity’s good relations with the US and its active role in fostering the Vietnam-US Comprehensive Partnership. The city has cooperated with partners from America in multiple projects, including FulbrightUniversity, he noted.

    The VVA’s visit aims to provide Vietnam information and documents about Vietnamese soldiers who died or went missing during the war, discuss with Vietnam’s agencies on MIA issues of both sides and exchange views on Vietnam-US relations, said Coates.

    The 25-year-old Veterans Initiative Programme will continue working with concerned parties to address post-war issues, such as aftermath of Agent Orange/Dioxin and unexploded ordnance disposal, he added.

    Cambodia’s friendship order to Vietnamese individuals, organisations
     

     

    Vietnam, China Party leaders exchange New Year greetings, HCM City leader thanks US veterans for boosting ties with Vietnam, Cambodia’s friendship order to Vietnamese individuals, organisations
    Twelve Vietnamese organisations and individuals were conferred with Cambodia’s friendship order.


    Twelve Vietnamese organisations and individuals were conferred with Cambodia’s friendship order at a ceremony held in Ho Chi Minh on February 7 by Vietnam’s Defence Ministry and a working group of the Cambodian Government.

    The decoration was made in recognition of their contributions to Vietnam-Cambodia Friendship Year 2017.

    Keo Ba Phnom, advisor to Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen presented the Order of Thephaden to five organisations and Order of Moha Sena to seven individuals.

    At the event, Keo Ba Phnom lauded the support from the Vietnamese Ministry of Defence, organisations and individuals in making a documentary about Cambodia’s history and culture.

    He also thanked the Vietnamese Party, Government, army and people for helping Cambodians escape the genocidal Khmer Rouge regime.

    Deputy Director of the General Department of Politics under the Vietnam People’s Army Senior-Lieutenant General Nguyen Trong Nghia thanked Cambodia for honouring Vietnamese organisations and individuals.

    He affirmed that the two countries’ armies will continue to carry out cooperative agreements between Vietnam and Cambodia, making contributions to the “traditional friendship, comprehensive cooperation and long-term sustainability” between Vietnam and Cambodia.-

    HCM City
    , Netherlands
    boost cooperation in flood prevention
     

     

    Vietnam, China Party leaders exchange New Year greetings, HCM City leader thanks US veterans for boosting ties with Vietnam, Cambodia’s friendship order to Vietnamese individuals, organisations
    Secretary of the municipal Party Committee Nguyen Thien Nhan (R) and Dutch Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation Sigrid Kaag


    The Netherlands is ready to boost cooperation with Ho Chi Minh City in the fields of its strength like water resources management, agriculture and aviation, said Dutch Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation Sigrid Kaag.

    During a meeting in Ho Chi Minh City on February 7 with Secretary of the municipal Party Committee Nguyen Thien Nhan, Kaag said as a country with most areas lying below sea water level, the Netherlands is willing to share experience with Ho Chi Minh City in water resources management and urban flood prevention.

    The minister told her host that the two countries will hold many activities to celebrate the 45th founding anniversary of bilateral diplomatic ties this year.

    Nhan, for his part, said the Netherlands is a strategic partner of Vietnam in climate change adaptation, water management, sustainable agriculture and food security.

    He lauded the efficiency of the cooperation projects between the Netherlands and Ho Chi Minh City such as climate change adaptation and the construction of the largest flower and ornamental plant centre in Vietnam.

    Nhan asked the European country to assist the city in monitoring and refining flood prevention projects and designing components to build a smart city.

    The Netherlands is the largest trade partner of Vietnam in Europe and a leading European investor in the country.

    Tay Ninh strengthens friendship with Cambodian localities
     

     

    Vietnam, China Party leaders exchange New Year greetings, HCM City leader thanks US veterans for boosting ties with Vietnam, Cambodia’s friendship order to Vietnamese individuals, organisations
    Leaders and army commanders of Cambodian localities present gifts to Chairman of the People’s Committee of southern Tay Ninh province Pham Van Tan (R) 


    Chairman of the People’s Committee of southern Tay Ninh province Pham Van Tan has asked Cambodian localities bordering Vietnam to continue implementing cooperative programmes for the interests of the two peoples.

    Tan hosted a reception on February 7 for leaders and army commanders of Cambodia’s Prey Veng, Tboung Khmum, Svay Rieng and Kampong Cham provinces which border Tay Ninh, ahead of the Lunar New Year (Tet) festival.

    He informed the guests of his locality’s development achievements, affirming that cooperative progarmmes in trade, education, health, transport, border marker planting and crime prevention have contributed to stabilising border security and building a border of peace and friendship.

    Governor of Svay Rieng province Men Vibol, on behalf of the Cambodian delegation, extended New Year wishes to Tay Ninh’s leaders, officers, soldiers and people.

    He reported that Tay Ninh and Svay Rieng provinces have coordinated in protecting security and order in border areas and planting border markers.

    He took this occasion to thank Tay Ninh authorities for helping build and repair roads in border areas, and organising free medical check-ups and treatment for poor people in Cambodia.

    Art show welcomes overseas Vietnamese returning for Tet


     

    Vietnam, China Party leaders exchange New Year greetings, HCM City leader thanks US veterans for boosting ties with Vietnam, Cambodia’s friendship order to Vietnamese individuals, organisations 

    President Tran Dai Quang beat the drum to kick off the Xuan Que Huong (Homeland Spring) 2018 festival in the evening of February 7, welcoming a delegation of overseas Vietnamese (OVs) who returned home to enjoy the Lunar New Year (Tet).

    The delegation included 90 delegates from 25 countries and territories worldwide, representing 4.5 million overseas Vietnamese living in 109 foreign nations and territories.

    Addressing the programme, President Quang highlighted Vietnam’s major achievements in various fields and extended warmest Tet greetings to OVs and applauded their contributions to building and developing the country as well as strengthening solidarity among Vietnamese expats and promoting their integration into host nations.

    “2017 was the first time in many years we completed and exceeded all 13 socio-economic development targets set by the National Assembly,” he said, noting that macroeconomic stability, inflation under control, budget revenues and large balances of the economy were guaranteed. GDP growth reached 6.81 per cent while export-import turnover reached 425 billion USD, the highest figure ever.

    The President also briefed the OVs about the success of the APEC Vietnam Year 2017 and the 25th APEC Economic Leaders Meeting.

    “We have successfully completed the role of host, making history in the process of economic integration of the Asia-Pacific region, demonstrating the stature and wisdom of Vietnam and contributing to strengthening cooperation with other countries in the region, major partner countries and traditional friends,” he said.

    He stressed that the overseas Vietnamese community was consistently considered an integral part of the nation, adding that the Party and Government would continue supporting and creating favourable conditions for OVs to integrate into host countries and make further contributions to national development.

    Earlier the same day, President Quang and the delegation of OVs offered incense to commemorate late President Ho Chi Minh at House 67 in the presidential historical relic site in Hanoi.

    The activity took place to celebrate the 88th founding anniversary of the Communist Party of Vietnam (February 3) and the upcoming Tet (Lunar New Year) holiday which falls on February 16.

    President Quang, his spouse and the delegates then released carp into Uncle Ho’s fish pond to observe the traditional Kitchen God Day ahead of the Lunar New Year.

    The same day, the State leader and his spouse also offered incense to ancestors who died to defend the country at the KinhThienPalace in the imperial citadel of Thang Long.

    Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong and Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc also had separate receptions to the delegation of overseas Vietnamese on February 7.

    Government, NA leaders pay Tet visit to former Party General Secretary


     

    Vietnam, China Party leaders exchange New Year greetings, HCM City leader thanks US veterans for boosting ties with Vietnam, Cambodia’s friendship order to Vietnamese individuals, organisations

    Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc (L) and National Assembly Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan (R) visit former General Secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam Do Muoi


    Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc and National Assembly Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan visited former General Secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam Do Muoi on the occasion of the upcoming Lunar New Year (Tet).

    They wished him good health and informed him about the country’s socio-economic development situation in 2017.

    They said the economic growth reached the highest level over the past few years while the local lives in remote, disadvantaged and natural disaster areas were taken care of.

    Particularly, the historical achievement of the U-23 national football team as the runners-up of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) U-23 Championship won the heart of millions of Vietnamese people.

    The former Party leader hoped PM Phuc and NA Chairwoman Ngan will fulfil their missions assigned by the Party, State and people to boost the country’s sustainable development in politics, economics, culture and society.

    Born on February 2, 1917, former Party General Secretary Do Muoi assumed the position as the Party leader from June 1991 to December 1997.

    Defence minister receives Chinese ambassador
     

     

    Vietnam, China Party leaders exchange New Year greetings, HCM City leader thanks US veterans for boosting ties with Vietnam, Cambodia’s friendship order to Vietnamese individuals, organisations
    Chinese Ambassador to Vietnam Hong Xiaoyong


    Defence Minister Gen. Ngo Xuan Lich spoke highly of contributions of outgoing Chinese Ambassador to Vietnam Hong Xiaoyong during a reception in Hanoi on February 7.

    Lich said the ambassador has served as a bridge connecting the two Parties, States, governments and peoples during his tenure, including bilateral defence ties which have become a pillar in VietnamChina diplomatic relations.

    Minister Lich believed that the ambassador would continue making important contributions to boosting ties between the two nations and bilateral defence link in particular.

    Hong, for his part, thanked the minister for creating favourable conditions for the Chinese embassy and himself to accomplish assigned tasks.

    He vowed to take specific actions to contribute to the development of friendship and comprehensive partnership between the two nations.

    Party chief welcomes overseas Vietnamese home for Tet
     

     

    Vietnam, China Party leaders exchange New Year greetings, HCM City leader thanks US veterans for boosting ties with Vietnam, Cambodia’s friendship order to Vietnamese individuals, organisations
    Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong meets overseas Vietnamese on February 7.


    Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong on February 7 held a reception for a delegation of overseas Vietnamese (OV) who returned home to join the “Xuan Que huong 2018” (Homeland Spring 2018) programme.

    The delegation included 90 delegates from 25 countries and territories worldwide, representing 4.5 million overseas Vietnamese living in 109 foreign nations and territories.

    At the meeting, General Secretary Trong extended his warm Tet (Lunar New Year) greetings to OVs and applauded their contributions to building and developing the country as well as strengthening solidarity among Vietnamese expats and promoting their integration into host nations.

    The Vietnamese Party and Government consistently consider the overseas Vietnamese community as an integral part of the nation, he affirmed, informing them about significant events in the country in 2017 with the delegates.

    He added that the Party and Government will continue supporting and creating favourable conditions for OVs to integrate into host countries and make further contributions to the national development.

    The OV community expressed their delight at the country’s achievements in various fields and pledged to make concerted efforts to strengthen solidarity and promoting traditional cultural identity, towards the homelands.

    NA Chairwoman receives outgoing Chinese Ambassador
     

     

    Vietnam, China Party leaders exchange New Year greetings, HCM City leader thanks US veterans for boosting ties with Vietnam, Cambodia’s friendship order to Vietnamese individuals, organisations
    National Assembly Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan (R) and Chinese Ambassador to Vietnam Hong Xiaoyong


    Chairwoman of the National Assembly (NA) Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan congratulated outgoing Chinese Ambassador to Vietnam Hong Xiaoyong on fulfilling his assigned tasks in Vietnam during a reception in Hanoi on February 7.

    Ngan spoke highly of his important contributions to promoting Vietnam - China friendly neighborliness and comprehensive cooperation as well as ties between the two legislatures in particular over the past three years, saying that leaders of the two law-making bodies and the Vietnam – China Friendship Parliamentarians’ Group have maintained regular visits and exchanges.

    The Vietnamese NA is ready to work with the Chinese legislature to effectively implement the cooperation agreement signed in 2015, increase the sharing of experience in the operation of the parliament and its committees, particularly those regarding legislation, legal supervision and deciding on major socio-economic development issues, and providing mutual support in regional and global inter-parliamentary forums as well, she said.

    Hong, for his part, thanked the Vietnamese NA and its Chairwoman for helping him accomplish assigned tasks during the tenure.

    He vowed to continue supporting the development of the VietnamChina comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership in the future.

    State leader offers incense to President Ho Chi Minh
     

     

    Vietnam, China Party leaders exchange New Year greetings, HCM City leader thanks US veterans for boosting ties with Vietnam, Cambodia’s friendship order to Vietnamese individuals, organisations
    President Tran Dai Quang and ​overseas Vietnamese representatives offer incense to commemorate late President Ho Chi Minh at House 67 in the presidential historical relic site in Hanoi.


    President Tran Dai Quang and ​overseas Vietnamese representatives offered incense to commemorate late President Ho Chi Minh at House 67 in the presidential historical relic site in Hanoi on February 7.

    The activity took place on the occasion of the 88th founding anniversary of the Communist Party of Vietnam (February 3) and the upcoming Tet (Lunar New Year) holiday which falls on February 16.

    Leaders from ministries, departments and Hanoi capital attended the event.

    President Quang and the Vietnamese expatriates who returned home to participate in the annual “Xuan Que Huong” (Homeland Spring) 2018 then released carps into the Uncle Ho’s fish pond in observing the traditional Kitchen God Day ahead of the Lunar New Year.

    The same day, President Quang and ​the overseas Vietnamese delegates also offered incense to the ancestors who shed their blood to defend the country at the KinhThienPalace in the imperial citadel of Thang Long.

    Party leader hails intelligentsia’s contribution to policy making process
     

     

    Vietnam, China Party leaders exchange New Year greetings, HCM City leader thanks US veterans for boosting ties with Vietnam, Cambodia’s friendship order to Vietnamese individuals, organisations
    Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong meets intelligentsia 


    Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong said the intelligentsia play a crucial role in research, feedback and application activities, thus serving the making and implementation of the Party and State’s guidelines and policies as well as socio-economic development.

    The Party leader made the comment during a meeting in Hanoi on February 7 with 150 outstanding scholars, writers and artists along with members of the Party Central Committee Secretariat.

    Prof. Dang Vu Minh, Chairman of the Vietnam Union of Science and Technology Association (VUSTA), said amid numerous challenges, the entire Party, people and army made efforts to achieve all 13 socio-economic targets last year. Party building work and the corruption fight were enhanced, thus reinforcing people’s trust.

    The patriotism and national pride of each Vietnamese people can be seen in their support for the country’s U23 team at the recent AFC U23 Championship, he added, expressing his belief that the target of turning Vietnam into an economic ‘tiger’ will come true sooner or later.

    Poet Huu Thinh, Chairman of the Vietnam Union of Literature and Arts Associations, attributed last year’s achievements to the Party and State’s strong and right policies and the Government’s drastic actions. The successful hosting of APEC Year 2017 also helped promote the country’s stature in the world.

    Appreciating the participants’ opinions, Party General Secretary Trong applauded the accomplishments obtained by scholars and artists last year, stressing that the entire Party, people and army will push ahead with reforms in 2018 as there remains much to be done in the path full of difficulties ahead.

    Grasping opportunities, overcoming challenges, and developing the country in a sustainable manner are the common responsibility of the whole political system and the whole society, and scholars and artists should take the lead in this work, he noted.

    The leader voiced his belief that with their sense of responsibility, enthusiasm, capacity, wisdom and experience, scholars and artists will continue to join the Party, State and people nationwide in successfully realising the targets for 2018 and the Resolution of the 12th National Party Congress.

    VUFO leader receives Argentine cultural official


     

    Vietnam, China Party leaders exchange New Year greetings, HCM City leader thanks US veterans for boosting ties with Vietnam, Cambodia’s friendship order to Vietnamese individuals, organisations 

    Vice President and General Secretary of the Vietnam Union of Friendship Organisations (VUFO) Don Tuan Phong hosted a reception in Hanoi on February 7 for President of the Argentina– Vietnam Culture Institute (ICAV) Poldi Sosa Schmidt.

    Phong hailed the guest’s efforts in introducing Vietnam’s history, culture and people to Argentine people over the past years, and suggested that both sides should promote exchange and raise mutual understanding between the two peoples.

    The ICAV president, for her part, wished that friendly ties between ICAV and VUFO would be further tightened, contributing to people-to-people diplomacy between the two peoples.

    She informed her host that the ICAV delegation held a working session with the Vietnamese National Assembly’s Committee for External Relations to learn about the function, task and apparatus of the legislature and visited craft villages.

    Since its establishment in 1997, the ICAV and Poldi Sosa Schmidt herself have actively contributed to bilateral ties via holding photo and painting exhibitions, publishing a bulletin on Vietnam, organising celebrations of the birth anniversary of President Ho Chi Minh and National Day of Vietnam, as well as coordinating with the Vietnamese Embassy in Argentina to hold talks about Vietnam.

    Apart from introducing Argentine culture in Vietnam and Vietnamese culture in Argentina, the ICAV also offers support to Vietnamese embassy staff and Vietnam News Agency reporters working in the South American country.

    PM meets Overseas Vietnamese joining Homeland Spring programme
     

     

    Vietnam, China Party leaders exchange New Year greetings, HCM City leader thanks US veterans for boosting ties with Vietnam, Cambodia’s friendship order to Vietnamese individuals, organisations
    Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc and Overseas Vietnamese joining the“Homeland Spring 2018” programme


    Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc hosted a reception for a delegation of nearly 100 Overseas Vietnamese returning home for the traditional Lunar New Year (Tet) festival as part of the “Homeland Spring 2018” programme.

    The expats showed their delight at the achievements of the country in 2017 as well as their impression of the PM and Cabinet’s great efforts and determination for national development.

    They expressed their hope to connect with young intellectuals at home for cooperation in producing high value products, while asking for the Government’s support in investing in startups of Vietnam and strengthen links with domestic firms.

    Vo Quang Hue, a Vietnamese in Germany who is working for Vingroup’s automobile-making project called Vinfast, said that he hopes to make more contributions to the country by working with Vinfast team to introduce first products in September 2018 and calling for other Vietnamese intellectuals abroad to join hands in building the homeland wealthily.

    Extending New Year wishes to the expats, PM Phuc briefed them on the socio-economic, defence, security and cultural achievements of the country in 2017 as well as contributions of the Vietnamese community abroad.

    The Government leader also lauded efforts of the community in investing in domestic projects and sharing experience and knowledge in various fields.

    He underlined that the country needs the expats’ experience in developing startups, knowledge in science, technology as well as resources for the national development.

    The PM pledged that the Government will continue completing institutions, the legal system and policies to create more favourable conditions for Overseas Vietnamese abroad to invest in the country and develop their businesses.

    He affirmed that realizing the country’s target of becoming a “new tiger in economy,” it is necessary to strengthen the determination of the whole country to promote national potential and strengths as well as the solidarity of the Vietnamese community both at home and abroad.

    Homeland Spring is an annual event held by the State Committee for Overseas Vietnamese Affairs. This year, thousands of overseas Vietnamese have registered to participate in the programme which includes various traditional Tet practices.

    A special art performance is also scheduled to be held as part of the programme on February 7 with the attendance of President Tran Dai Quang.

    There are approximately 4.5 million Vietnamese living and working in 103 countries and territories worldwide. They form an indispensable part of the nation and play an important role in intensifying friendship and cooperation between Vietnam and the rest of the world. 

    VNN


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  • 02/09/18--00:08: Article 2
  • Social News 9/2


    Nghệ An, Quảng Ninh host spring press festivals

    The Spring Press Festival opened on Wednesday in Con Cuông District of Nghệ An Province.

    Year-round publications, as well as spring and Lunar New Year editions, were on display in 12 booths to provide visitors an overarching view of the history of Việt Nam’s revolutionary press and the province’s press achievements over the years.

    The 15-day annual festival was timed to coincide with the 88th anniversary of the founding of the Communist Party of Việt Nam (February 3).

    Some 100 newspapers and magazines of Nghệ An and other provinces participated in the event, which was hosted by Nghệ An’s Journalists’ Association.

    The organisation board presented 200 gifts to poor households in the communes of Châu Khê, Cam Lâm, Lạng Khê and Môn Sơn.

    The northern QuảngNinhProvince’s Journalists’ Association also organised the spring press festival in Cô Tô District, starting on Tuesday.

    Some 200 newspapers, magazines and other press products from various localities participated in the festival.

    The yearly event was first held in 2001, attracting thousands of visitors.

    Netherlands to help Vietnam in water management

    The Netherlands wishes to cooperate with and support Vietnam in many fields, especially in water management, flood prevention and climate change adaptation, a Dutch official has said.

    Dutch Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation Sigrid Kaag made the statement at a press conference on her on-going working visit to Vietnam which held in Ho Chi Minh City on February 7 by the Dutch Embassy in Vietnam.

    According to Minister Kaa, the Netherlands is well-known for its technologies and experience in water management. Its technology institutes and universities always study and introduce solutions to sustainable water management.

    Besides, the Netherlands has solutions to effective flood control, she said, adding that the country committed to facilitating cooperation between Dutch and Vietnamese businesses in flood prevention in Vietnam.

    The same day, Minister Kaag made a field trip to Ben Nghe and Te canals in the HCMCity.

    Tet comes early to Truong Sa islanders

    The traditional Lunar New Year (Tet) has arrived early for soldiers and islanders on Truong Sa (Spratly) archipelago as ships are crossing rough seas to carry Tet gifts and supplies from all parts of the country to the islands.

    Packs of glutinous rice, Dong leaves to wrap Banh chung (square glutinous rice cake), kumquat trees and apricot blossom trees are being transported by the Naval Region 4 High Command to locals on Truong Sa archipelago.

    Colonel Nguyen Cong Son, Deputy Commissar of the Naval Region 4 High Command said: “Naval Region 4’s brigade 146 has set up plans to ensure essential goods for soldiers and residents on the islands. The supplies bring traditional Tet atmosphere and are of great encouragement for them to overcome difficulties to safeguard the national territory”.

    Celebrating Tet holiday on Truong Sa Island for the first time, soldier Dinh Van Chuc from Phu Xuyen distict, Hanoi, was full of emotions. He said “This is my first Tet far away from home and family. However, Tet atmosphere is all around the island with flower, Banh chung and traditional dishes”.

    He added that he and his comrades will try their best to accomplish duty entrusted by the country.

    Samsung Electronics builds standard toilets for Bac Giang schools

    Samsung Electronics Vietnam has funded the construction of standard toilets completed with water purification systems for 26 elementary and secondary schools in the northern province of Bac Giang, benefiting more than 13,100 students.

    The facilities were handed over to the beneficiary schools in a ceremony at Le Hong Phong primary school in Bac Giang city on February 7.

    The project was implemented from October 2017 in 8 local districts at a total cost of over 6 billion VND (264,600 USD).

    Speaking at the ceremony, General Director of Samsung Electronics Vietnam Shin Won-hwan said the project aims to create a clean and safe environment for students, ensuring the best conditions for them to grow.

    Vice Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee Lai Thanh Son said the project helps raise awareness of students, parents and teachers about good hygienic habits.

    He wished that the Republic of Korea Embassy in Vietnam, the Samsung Electronics Vietnam and the non-governmental organisation Korea Food for the Hungry International (KFHI) would continue supporting and investing in the province in the future.

    More rice allocated for needy people ahead of Tet

    Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has decided to provide rice as food aid for the northern border province of Cao Bang ahead of the Lunar New Year (Tet), which falls on February 16 this year.

    The PM asked the Ministry of Finance to allocate 1,702 tonnes of rice from the national reserves for poor households and those in border hamlets to enjoy Tet.

    The provincial People’s Committee will be responsible for distributing the rice to the targeted residents.

    Earlier, PM Phuc had also assigned the Finance Ministry to provide over 5,504 tonnes of rice from the national reserve as food aid to seven localities on the occasion of the Lunar New Year (Tet) holiday.

    The rice aid will be distributed among the central provinces of Quang Ngai (over 2,041 tonnes), Quang Binh (over 1,334 tonnes), and Binh Dinh (over 910 tonnes), and the Central Highlands provinces of Dak Nong (over 409 tonnes), Dak Lak (455.7 tonnes), Soc Trang (54.96 tonnes) and Kon Tum (over 298.4 tonnes).

    Another package of more than 4,432 tonnes of rice aid has also been offered to eight provinces, including Lai Chau, Lang Son, Quang Ngai and Binh Dinh, to ease hunger during the between-crop period,.

    About 74 tonnes of rice aid will be given to the northern mountainous province of Bac Kan to help it alleviate crop damage caused by diseases on rice, while the Central Highlands province of Gia Lai will receive over 1,173 tonnes to cope with hunger during Tet and the between-crop period.

    Training course on micro-electro-mechanical technology ends

    A training course on the manufacturing, packaging, certification and commercialisation of micro-electro-mechanical systems (MEMS) ended on February 7 in the Saigon Hi-tech Park (SHTP) in Ho Chi Minh City.

    The course, lasting from October 2017 – January 2018, aims to help trainees master MEMS technology used in environment alert and construction of smart urban areas.

    As part of a cooperation programme between Ho Chi Minh City and the Dutch government, the course was conducted by the SHTP Research and Development Centre, the Delft University of Technology and the Netherlands’ Fabmax company. The Dutch government funded 300,000 EUR to the project.

    Fifteen trainees who are micro-electro-mechanical experts from universities and start-ups based in SHTP have so far mastered packaging technology using 3D printing and experimentally made flow sensors in the centre.

    Ngo Vo Ke Thanh, Director of the SHTP Research and Development Centre, said the course will increase human resources for the project on micro-electro industry development in Ho Chi Minh City for the 2017-2020 period with vision to 2030.

    Dutch experts also shared their experience in market analysis and MEMS commercialisation during the course.

    On the occasion, the centre and the Delft University of Technology signed a cooperation agreement (the second stage) on pilot MEMS production, training of highly-skilled scientists and engineers, and organisation of international seminars on MEMS.

    Overseas Vietnamese honoured for contributions to homeland

    Deputy Foreign Minister Vu Hong Nam has praised overseas Vietnamese (OVs) for their great contributions to the homeland’s socio-economic development and diplomacy work, and to promoting Vietnam’s reputation in 2017.

    During a meeting in Hanoi on February 7 with a delegation of 90 Vietnamese expats who returned home to participate in the annual “Xuan Que Huong” (Homeland Spring) 2018, Nam stressed that each Vietnamese expat is an ambassador, who helps promote Vietnamese culture abroad. 

    The OVs expressed their joy at the greater attention and support that the Party, State and the Vietnam Fatherland Front (VFF) have given to Vietnamese communities abroad, affirming that they will do more to make greater contributions to the homeland’s development.

    Addressing the meeting, Vice President and Secretary General of the VFF Central Committee Hau A Lenh said the VFF will continue coordinating with international organisations and its partners in foreign countries to call for more attention and facilitation for Vietnamese communities.

    The VFF will also enhance supervision and inspection of the implementation of the Party’s policies and the State’s laws related to OVs, he stated, adding that it will also work with relevant agencies and organisations to support the teaching and learning of the Vietnamese language for OVs.

    The front will recommend the Party and State to draft more drastic policies to attract and facilitate start-up activities of young OVs in the homeland, he noted.

    Poor to get over 5,500 tonnes of rice


     

    Poor to get over 5,500 tonnes of rice, Kon Tum authority takes measures to curb illegal gold mining, UNICEF addresses common mental health problems in Vietnam, Winners of Music Awards 2017 honoured


    Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc has asked the Ministry of Finance (MoF) to allocate 5,504 tonnes of rice from the national reserve to people in seven central and Central Highlands provinces.

    This is a gift from the Government to needy people ahead of Tết (Lunar New Year).

    QuảngNgãiProvince will receive 2,041 tonnes of rice; Quảng Bình, 1,334 tonnes; Bình Định, 910 tonnes; Đắk Nông, 409 tonnes; Đắk Lắk, 455 tonnes; Sóc Trăng, 55 tonnes and Kon Tum, 300 tonnes.

    The Government has offered another 4,432 tonnes of rice to eight provinces to ease hunger during the between-crop period. Beneficiaries include Cao Bằng, Lai Châu, Lạng Sơn, Quảng Ngãi and Bình Định provinces.

    Some 74 tonnes of rice will be given to the northern mountainous province of Bắc Kạn to support farmers who have been affected by a disease in rice crop, while the Central Highlands province of Gia Lai will receive over 1,173 tonnes to cope with hunger during Tết and between-crop period.

    In late January, the Prime Minister had assigned MoF to allocate 5,181 tonnes of rice from the national reserve to nine provinces - Nghệ An, Yên Bái, Lào Cai, Tuyên Quang, Ninh Thuận, Thanh Hóa, Hà Giang, Bắc Kạn and Phú Yên ­­- during the New Year holidays.

    Kon Tum authority takes measures to curb illegal gold mining

    A hundred metre-long tunnel is dug at Nguyễn Văn Lý’s farm in Ngọc Hồi District’s Đăk Kan Commune to facilitate illegal gold exploitation.

    The problem of illegal gold mining has aggravated in Ngọc Hồi District in Central Highlands province of Kon Tum.

    This is especially in areas adjacent to Sa Thầy District and in areas of forest plantation, which provides material for the southern Paper Material Ltd. Co., reported Vietnam News Agency.

    Illegal gold exploiters have taken advantage of local resident’s farms and disguised in various forms, creating difficulties for competent authorities to inspect and handle illegal gold mining.

    In late January, a working group from the provincial Department of Natural Resources and Environment, and the provincial environment police discovered an illegal gold mine tunnel at Nguyễn Văn Lý family’s passion fruit farm in the district’s Đăk Kan Commune. The tunnel is 1.5m in width and 1.1m in height and was carefully covered up.

    Upon inspection, law enforcement forces arrested five miners from Đắk Tô and Đắk Glei districts. All the miners have been hired to work in the gold mine tunnel for 25 days.

    Several machines, tools and nearly 10 tonnes of gold ores were also seized by the forces.

    Obstacles that hindered the control of illegal mining were lack of regular coordination between the agencies concerned and the timely exchange of information, according to a representative from the law enforcement forces.

    In addition to this, areas having mineral sources, which need to be protected, often have difficult terrain and are far from residential areas, thus limiting the patrolling capacity and inspection work.

    To put an end to illegal gold mining, Trần Văn Chí, chairman of Ngọc Hồi District’s People’s Committee, said the district has been actively deploying measures such as setting up an inter-inspection from involved districts and the company’s forest management board to inspect illegal exploitation on adjacent areas and signing coordination regulations for the protection of natural resources in the areas.

    The chairmen of communes and forest management board have been asked to bear the responsibility if illegal gold exploitation occurred, he said.

    Vietnamese community in Algeria celebrates Lunar New Year

    The Embassy of Vietnam in Algeria on February 7 hosted a get-together in Algiers for Vietnamese people who are residing, working and studying in the country to celebrate the Lunar New Year.

    The event was attended by staff members of the embassy and Vietnamese agencies in the country, along with representatives from Algerian agencies and embassies of ASEAN members, China, Cuba, Japan, the Republic of Korea and India, among others.

    Vietnamese Ambassador to Algeria Pham Quoc Tru briefed the participants on Vietnam’s outstanding achievements in all fields in 2017. He highlighted progress in Vietnam-Algeria relations and the embassy’s activities last year, especially the activities related to the Vietnamese community in Algeria.

    The diplomat affirmed that the State has always considered overseas Vietnamese as an inseparable part of the Vietnamese nation and highly evaluated their contributions to the home country.

    The Vietnamese government has created favourable conditions for overseas Vietnamese to return and do business in Vietnam, he added.

    On this occasion, a liaison board for overseas Vietnamese in Algeria was set up, which is expected to serve as a bridge to connect the Vietnamese community in Algeria and strengthen their solidarity.

    UNICEF addresses common mental health problems in Vietnam

    8-29% of children and youth in Vietnam have mental health problems, according to a joint study by the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs and UNICEF.

    The results of the study were announced at a meeting held by the ministry on February 7.

    Minister Dao Hong Lan told the meeting that about 10% of the population had psychological problems, 200,000 of which are serious cases. More people are falling into depression or feeling like being abandoned due to the impact of socio-economic changes. She said if such cases were detected quickly, they could prevent suicide, especially among children and youth.

    UNICEF carried out qualitative research with people age from 11 to 24 in Hanoi, Dien Bien, Ha Giang Province and HCMCity. They also used existing research to study the mental health and well-being of Vietnamese youth.

    Fiona Samuels, head of the research group, said 8-29% of children and youth in Vietnam have mental health problems. The suicide rate is 2.3%, lower than the world average 9% but is on the rise. 102 people did try to find a way to kill themselves out of 409 people who had thought of committing suicide. Females are also more likely to self-injure.

    The main causes of suicide are mostly failed relationships, marriage disputes and school and family problems. Most asked people said they were reluctant to share their feelings with others.

    According to the research, mental health problems are spreading and worsening among children and young people. They are suffering from feelings of isolation caused by internet overuse, high family expectations, or failures in bad relationships.

    Attending the meeting, 19-year-old Trinh Quoc Trung from Hanoi said technology seemed to prevent people from getting close to each other. Trung hoped schools will have counsellors to help pupils.

    "Parents focus only on their work and give their children a mobile phone or iPad to play with," he said.

    However, several experts thought that the research had cast a too wide net. Use of the internet and the negative impacts of socio-economic development is unavoidable. The problem is how to deal with them.

    Free flight brings families together for Tet

     As many as 150 young workers and students who are burdened with financial difficulties will have a chance to reunite with their families on traditional Lunar New Year (Tet) celebration as they have been offered free air tickets to fly from HCM City to Hanoi on February 14.

    They are working and studying in HCM City, Dong Nai, and Binh Phuoc  and will return to their homes in the northern provinces for Tet on the 29th day of the last lunar month.

    This meaningful gift provided by Vietnam Youth Federation's Central Committee (VYFCC) in coordination with budget airline Vietjet is seen as a better way to assist people who otherwise could not afford to spend Tet with their families. In Hanoi, the organizing board will arrange buses to carry them to their home localities.

    Earlier, in HCMCity, the VYFCC and Vietjet signed a cooperation program for 2018-2023 to launch a wide range of community-based activities, with a special focus on social welfare and youth and student support activities.

    Winners of Music Awards 2017 honoured

    The Vietnam Musicians’ Association held a ceremony in Hanoi on February 7 to honour the 2017 Music Awards.

    Three songs won Prize A awards, namely “Hue do” (Red Tuberose) by Truong Hoa Binh and Nguyen Hong Son, “Chi co minh em thoi” (Only you) by musician Tuan Phuong and “Thang gieng” (The first month of Lunar New Year) by Nguyen Van Hoan and Ngoc Thinh

    In the song category, the organising board also presented 12 B prizes, 14 C prizes and 10 consolation prizes.

    In the kids song category, one A prize went to “Khong biet” (Unknown) by Nguyen Thi Minh Chau, and seven B prizes, two C prizes and two consolation prizes were also awarded.

    Prize A in the art song field went to “Giac mo” (Dream) by Dau Thi Hoai Thanh and Cat Van, while four B prizes were also honoured.

    In the opera and chorus category, the work “Dat nuoc anh hung” (heroic country) by La Thang bagged an A prize.

    In the chamber music category, two consolation prizes were granted.

    In the performance programme category, there were two A prizes, while there was just one A prize in the Book Review of Music Theory category and textbook category.

    Traffic safety communication campaign launched

    A communication campaign on traffic safety was launched in Hanoi on February 7.

    The campaign, jointly executed by the National Traffic Safety Committee and Toyota Motor Vietnam, featuresposters with the message “Safe Driving, Happy Life”which will be posted on vehicles such as taxis from February 7.

    In addition, taxi drivers also had the opportunity to raise their awareness of safe driving skills under the guidance of instructors at the launch.

    The main training contents include reflective material experience, alcohol prevention while driving, and standard driving positions, among others.

    The 2018 Traffic Safety Year Campaign aims to reduce the number of traffic incidents, deaths and injuries across the country.

    This year’s campaign themed “Traffic Safety for Children” targets reducing the number of traffic jams that last for more than half an hour and controlling the serious congestion on roads and intersections with high traffic flow.

    Coach fare triple near Tet holidays in HCMC

    Most of high quality passenger transport companies in Mien Dong (East) Coach Station have run out of Tet tickets, meantime tickets are still available in companies outside the station but prices have tripled over normal.

    Wellknown companies such as Phuong Trang, Thuan Thao, Thanh Buoi, Tran Tram have almost run out of tickets. Although stations in HCMC have affirmed no shortage of coaches for Tet travel but the number of high quality vehicles is not many. Passengers have been afraid of using normal quality vehicles in Mien Dong station because of low vehicle quality and services.

    Taking advantage of the situation, companies outside the station have tripled their fares. For instance, Hung Mai Company in Tan Phu district plying in HCMC-QuangNam route has increased the price from VND250,000-400,000 to VND750,000-1,200,000 from February 9-13.

    Similarly, other firms such as Xuan Tung, A Ty, Ba Nga and Tran Dinh operating in HCMC-Quang Ngai-Quang Nam-Da Nang-Hue route in Districts 12, Tan Binh and Tan Phu have also tripled their fares.
    Many companies operating in the routes of HCMC-central and CentralHighlands provinces, in District 10 and 1 have also doubled or tripled fares.

    Businesses in Mien Dong Coach Station said that authorized agencies have permitted them to collect an additional fee of 20-60 percent of normal fare in ten days before Tet.

    The station’s leaders said that companies will be penalized if collecting more than 60 percent. However those outside the station can highly hike their fares.

    Inspectors from the HCMC Department of Finance said that the agency could not handle firms outside the station because they register transport services trading under contracts not fix routes as those in the station. Therefore they can negotiate fares with passengers instead of registering prices with authorized agencies.

    Meantime, inspectors from the Department of Transport are not eligible for handling ticket price hike but illegally parking and picking passengers at unauthorized stops outside bus stations.

    Many businesses in the station say that they comply with relevant regulations and pay station fees sufficiently but their fares are controlled. In the meantime outside companies do not have to pay the fees and can freely increase their fares. This has caused unhealthy competitive environment between businesses in and outside the station.

    Number of air passengers surges in January

    The number of air passengers amounted to more than 7.8 million last month, up 4.3% over the same period last year, according to the Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam (CAAV).

    Of the total, local airlines transported 3.7 million passengers in the first month of the year, an increase of 5.2% against January last year. In the run up to the upcoming Lunar New Year holiday, or Tet, airlines are operating more flights to meet the rising travel demand.

    Carriers have offered 5.1 million seats during the peak period of the holiday lasting from January 30 to March 4, growing 9.8% versus the year-ago period, including 3.7 million seats on domestic flights and 1.4 million seats on international flights, up 7.5% and 16.4% respectively.

    Up to date, 44% of seats have not been booked including 49% of seats on domestic flights and 29% on international flights.

    In January, Vietnam Air Traffic Management Corporation (VATM) operated 34,400 flights from and to airports of Vietnam and 34,600 transit flights.

    The number of aircraft handed over to local airlines last month was also higher than in the same month last year. As of January 15, the number of planes increased by six units compared to the previous month and 21 over the same month last year.

    Of the total, national flag carrier Vietnam Airlines has 92 aircraft including 10 Airbus A350s and 11 Boeing B787s. Meanwhile, Vietjet has 51 planes and Jetstar Pacific 19. The remaining planes belong to Vietnam Air Services Company, Hai Au Aviation JSC, Vietstar Airlines Multirole Corporation, Aerospace Engineering Services Corporation and Green Planet Technology Co Ltd.

    The art of hat boi goes on show

    Dozens of paintings and sculptures depicting traditional plays of hat boi (traditional Vietnamese opera) are on display at the Garden Mall complex in District 5, HCMC, allowing visitors to take a closer look at the age-old art genre which was born in Vietnam in the 12th century.

    The exhibition was originally a simple idea by a group of young people but has developed into a large project and lured more than 100 artists from different fields to reproduce hat boi with a contemporary touch through creative paintings.

    The project has received support from People’s Artist Dinh Bang Phi who has devoted all of his life to hat boi, and some famous artists such as Meritorious Artist Le Huu Danh, artist Huynh Kim Lien and fashion designer Le Si Hoang.

    Phi told the Daily at the opening ceremony of the exhibition that the project is a great effort by many young dedicated artists who wish to revive the traditional art from which has fallen into oblivion over the past years and bring it closer to the public, especially the younger Vietnamese generation.

    “I’m surprised and filled with joy as some young people still embrace a passion for hat boi. I believe the exhibition will bring a breath of fresh air to the traditional art genre,” he added.

    Furthermore, some renowned traditional plays such as Ho Nguyet Co hoa cao (Ho Nguyet Co turns into fox) and San Hau (The reign) will be staged.

    Inspired by the art form of hat boi, a collection of ao dai (traditional Vietnamese long dress) by designer Le Si Hoang will be showcased at the exhibition.

    The exhibition is open from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. at
    190 Hong Bang Street
    in District 5 and close on February 10.

    Hanoi needs VND250 trillion for urban development

    Hanoi needs nearly VND250 trillion (US$11 billion) for its urban infrastructure projects between 2016 and 2020, including VND150 trillion for key projects such as urban railways, ring roads and environmental protection projects.

    At a seminar held by the Dutch Embassy in Vietnam yesterday, Nguyen Hong Son from the Hanoi Institute for Socio-Economic Development Studies said the demand for capital to develop the city is huge while the city’s budget can meet around 36.4% of that figure, or VND93 trillion.

    The fast population growth, 21% between 2008 and 2016, has put tremendous pressure on the city’s infrastructure such as roads and fresh water supply and waste treatment systems. The city has to ensure rapid growth to improve living standards of local residents, protect the environment, provide enough accommodation, create jobs for workers and narrow the gap between rich and poor.

    In addition, the city now has more than five million motorcycles and 500,000 cars while land for roads makes up only 10% of the total in the city, leading to constant traffic congestion. Hanoi also faces severe environmental pollution as the volume of solid waste annually increases 15% and over 80% of garbage from households in the city is buried.

    Other large cities are also facing the same problems as Hanoi’s and it is hard to come up with solutions to such problems.

    Tran Quoc Thai, deputy director of the Urban Development Agency under the Ministry of Construction, said Vietnam is seeing rapid urbanization, causing difficulties in managing cities.

    Moreover, climate change is becoming increasingly serious with significant impacts on cities and the country’s economy as a whole.

    According to the Urban Development Agency, the Ministry of Construction issued criteria for urban green growth last month to help cities identify their shortcomings and work out solutions.

    At the seminar, Hans de Boer, president of the Confederation of Netherlands Industry and Employers, said 54% of people in the world are living in urban areas. There will be more than 40 megacities by 2023.

    The Netherlands, which has no megacities, is one of the countries with the highest population density while most of the country’s areas lie below sea level. However, its universities and research institutes have found adaptation solutions to develop urban areas.

    He also expected experts of the two countries to share experience and knowledge about urban development.

    Agriculture ministry warns of bird flu risk

    The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development on February 5 issued a warning against a possible bird flu occurrence during the Lunar New Year (Tet) holiday and urged preventive actions.

    According to the ministry, bird flu outbreaks have been reported in the neighboring countries of China and Cambodia and would spread to Vietnam through transport, trading and smuggling of poultry in the lead up to the Lunar New Year.

    The ministry cited data of the World Health Organization as showing that an additional person infected with avian influenza A/H7N9 was detected on January 12 in Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, bringing the total number of human cases in China to 1,624, with 621 reported dead.

    According to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, there were 36 new avian influenza A/H7N9 findings in birds and environment in China in January.

    Besides, the Organization for Animal Health said outbreaks of avian influenza A/H5N2, A/H5N6 and A/H5N8 viruses have been reported in many countries, including A/H5N1 in Cambodia and A/H5N6 in China.

    In Vietnam, A/H5N1 and A/H5N6 viruses have been found on fowls and the environment. In 2017, some 1.75% of the tested samples were positive to A/H5N1 and 0.91% positive to A/H5N6.

    According to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, the increasing transport, trading and smuggling of poultry together with cold and wet weather during Tet would lead to bird flu outbreaks in Vietnam, especially in northern provinces that share borders with China and localities having high poultry demand.

    To prevent the possible outbreak and spread of avian influenza A/H7N9 virus and other new strains like A/H5N2 and A/H5N8, the ministry asked localities to ban the transport, trading, processing and consumption of smuggled and unclear-origin poultry products.

    People are advised to use poultry products of clear origin and eat fully cooked poultry only.

    Long-term vision crucial for HCM City’s urban development, says expert

    Urban infrastructure development projects in HCMC should not be carried out based on the availability of capital, but should be aligned to a long-term vision, said Tran Du Lich, an economic expert, adding the city may pay through the nose in the future if it implements such projects without long-term plans.

    At a television show named Listening and Interaction on HTV on February 4, Lich said urban infrastructure planners should have a long-term and comprehensive vision that should not be confined by financial resources currently available.

    He recalled a lesson related to a project to build
    East-West Avenue
    . At the time, city authorities had sought to remove some 5,000 makeshift homes along the canal in districts 1 and 5, while those in districts 4 and 8 on the other side of the canal should have been left intact due to its tight budget.

    However, late Prime Minister Vo Van Kiet urged the city government to remove all the 5,000 remaining slums. The bold move resulted in a clean and airy TauHu-BenNgheCanal now.

    As for traffic and urban infrastructure development projects, the city should draw up comprehensive action plans before considering resources, Lich said.

    The Metro Line No.1 project, for example, has required more than US$2.2 billion, much higher than estimates, but if planners had anticipated the future demand to connect HCMC with its neighboring provinces such as Dong Nai and Binh Duong, the project might have attracted more investment.

    Lich proposed city officials and consultants prepare long-term plans for projects so that the execution of the current projects will not turn out to be a hindrance to future development schemes.

    According to experts, HCMC has now been provided with a special mechanism which facilitates the implementation of large-scale projects, including five to six metro lines, ring roads 2 and 3 and HCMC-Can Tho Expressway.

    Therefore, the city should consider the synchronism of projects. It means capital should be mobilized for projects that can be inter-connected for now and the future so that their efficiency can be enhanced, thereby developing the city, the region and the country as a whole.

    Food loss reduction conference opens next month in HCMC

    Sustainable cold chain solutions for reducing food losses will be discussed at the 2018 World Cold Chain Summit scheduled for March 7-8 in HCMC, organizer Carrier announced last week.

    The coming summit, the fourth of the kind, will focus on cold chain development efforts in a specific region, i.e. Southeast Asia. It aims to work out a roadmap to reduce food losses and waste in Vietnam, which can be applied in the APEC region and extended globally.

    According to Carrier, a unit of United Technologies Corp., as a fast-growing, emerging country, Vietnam faces similar challenges to other developing economies in the region when it comes to dealing with food waste and managing cold chain logistics.

    Participants of the two-day conference, including supply chain stakeholders, academics and policymakers, are expected to pinpoint opportunities in the Vietnamese food supply chain, diagnose root causes leading to losses, and evaluate different cold chain solutions for Vietnam and other Southeast Asian countries.

    The summit has its goals consistent with the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation’s (APEC) 2020 aim of reducing food losses and waste by 10%, and contributes to the United Nations Sustainable Development goal to halve food losses and waste by 2030.

    A 2011 report of the environment body of Vietnam showed that the country’s food supply chain loses around 5.75 million tons of food a year.

    Besides huge food losses, Vietnam has had a fragmented cold chain logistics sector in which small and medium service providers do not cover the end-to-end food supply chain.

    According to cold chain experts, Vietnam’s cold chain capacity has quadrupled in the past ten years.

    David Appel, president of Carrier Transicold & Refrigeration Systems, said in a statement that new technologies and practices for a more efficient cold chain enables significant progress in cutting greenhouse gas emissions, improving cross-border economic activity and reducing hunger.

    “We are proud to convene and engage with experts across private and public sectors to collaborate on developing actionable strategies to help reduce food losses in Vietnam and Southeast Asia,” he said.

    Appel said that only 10% of the perishable food produced in the world today is refrigerated. The implementation of cold chain technology can help cut food waste and improve food distribution, he added.

    As estimated by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), one-third of all food produced for human use is lost or wasted each year. If only a quarter of the current global food losses was saved, it would be enough to feed 870 million hungry people.

    Polish tourists explore traditional Tet

    As many as 80 Polish tourists on February 5 learned about the Vietnamese Lunar New Year holiday, or Tet, through a special tour arranged by HCMC-based Fiditour JSC.

    They came to a riverside restaurant in HCMC’s outlying district of Cu Chi, where they watched scholars writing calligraphy, and learned how to make banh tet (a cylindrical glutinous rice cake filled with ground green beans and fatty pork), and decorate altars. The visitors also received li xi (lucky money) in red envelopes in line with the Vietnamese traditional customs.

    Le Phong Tran, director in charge of the International Tourism Division at Fiditour, said the company has organized similar programs for international tourists on the occasion of Tet for five years, and has received positive reviews from them.

    Therefore, the company has promoted this tourism product to lure more overseas tourists who want to discover Vietnamese culture, he added.

    “The number of foreign tourists taking part in the programs has been increasing. They not only show interest in programs about Tet customs but also are inclined to go on tours just around Tet to feel the atmosphere,” he said.

    This Tet, the company is expected to serve two tourist groups from Europe who will visit all over the country, and will participate in Tet activities in the north.

    VNN

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  • 02/09/18--00:14: Article 1
  • BUSINESS IN BRIEF 9/2


    Survey says 70% of Japanese enterprises wish to expand business in Vietnam


    Survey says 70% of Japanese enterprises wish to expand business in Vietnam, Overseas remittances heating up for Tet holiday, UK investors eye aviation projects in Vietnam, HCMC farm production shoots up

     

    Approximately 70% of Japanese enterprises operating in Vietnam intend to expand their operations in future, an increase of 3% compared to 2016, according to a JETRO survey.
    The survey covers the operations of Japanese enterprises in Asia and Oceania and its findings were announced by the Japan External Trade Organisation (JETRO) in Ho Chi Minh City on February 6.

    Chief Representative of JETRO Office in Ho Chi Minh City Koji Takimoto said that the survey received valid responses from 4,630 Japanese enterprises in 20 countries and territories around the world, including 652 Japanese enterprises in Vietnam.

    The survey showed that 65.1% of Japanese enterprises operating in Vietnam recorded a profit in 2017, up 2.3 percentage points from the previous year.

    In addition, about 70% of Japanese enterprises expressed their intentions to expand their business in Vietnam, a slight increase compared to 2016. The rate is relatively high compared to other countries, indicating the attractiveness of the Vietnamese market.

    Japanese enterprises mentioned key factors for their developments in Vietnam including the advantages of the investment environment, political and social stability, and the affordable cost of labour, among others.

    However, the language barriers, incomplete legal system, complicated tax procedures, and limited sources of materials and components remain key obstacles for Japanese enterprises operating in Vietnam, the survey says.

    Japanese enterprises invested a record high of more than US$9.11 billion in Vietnam in 2017, in areas mostly similar to 2016.

    Infortrend assigns Nhat Tien Chung as Vietnam distributor

    The Nhat Tien Chung Telecom Informatics Co. Ltd. signed a strategic partnership agreement on February 6 with Infortrend, one of the world’s leading storage system manufacturers and specializing in producing Storage Area Network (SAN) and NAS (Network Area Network) appliances for storage systems.

    Vietnamese businesses will have an additional choice when building storage systems, especially during the fourth industrial revolution (Industry 4.0) and the ongoing digital revolution.

    Nhat Tien Chung will be an authorized distributor of Infortrend’s products in Vietnam, including high-performance storage products as EonStor GS, EonStor GSe, EonStor GSe Pro, EonStor DS, and EonServ. With these devices, businesses can confidently build their storage systems at affordable costs.

    Infortrend is well-known in the field of providing high performance storage solutions. Founded in 1993, it has kept its focus on storage solutions. All Infortrend equipment is researched, manufactured, and controlled for complete quality. Its products range from a variety of devices for different storage needs, from SMEs to big corporations, and from file sharing to the computing infrastructure for virtualization.

    “Infortrend has a clear direction and only focuses on storage devices and related storage solutions,” said Mr. Nguyen Chi Ha Hai, Deputy Director of Nhat Tien Chung. “Solutions from Infortrned are extremely important to Nhat Tien Chung, especially during the Industry 4.0 era, when Vietnamese businesses are increasingly aware of the need for serious data storage and protection. They are more willing to invest in protecting, exploiting, and managing data efficiently, improving availability, and accelerating business operations. We strongly believe in their product quality and their global prestige.”

    Nhat Tien Chung has been a Vietnamese server provider for more than ten years to business partners, hosting providers, software developers, and datacenters in Vietnam. It has received senior certifications from Intel, AMD, IBM, HP, and DELL.

    Novaland's 2017 net profit at $91mn, up 22.5%

    The Nova Real Estate Corporation (Novaland) has released its Q4/2017 accumulated financial statement, in which total revenue in the quarter reached nearly $259 million, 32-times higher than in the fourth quarter of 2016, while net profit after tax (NPAT) was $31.5 million, up an impressive 629 per cent.

    Total revenue in 2017 was $512 million, an increase of 58 per cent against 2016 but only nearly 70 per cent the target set.

    The positive growth results from it delivering seven projects in the last quarter of the year with 3,596 apartments, a touch higher than the 3,325 in 2016.

    Novaland said it would continue to focus on residential while expanding into the new product types of hospitality and commercial under the second stage of its strategic roadmap.

    There were six key projects in Ho Chi Minh City contributing to revenue, of which 36 per cent came from Lakeview City in District 2, 16 per cent from Rivergate Residence in District 4, 15 per cent from The Tresor Residence in District 4, 9 per cent from Gardengate Residence in Phu Nhuan district), 8 per cent from Lucky Palace in District 6, and 6 per cent from Orchard Garden in Phu Nhuan district.

    Most projects have seen high absorption, from 94-100 per cent, except for Rivergate Residence (83 per cent). The average unit price was around $145,000, an increase of 18 per cent compared to 2016. Novaland last year saw 5,802 successful transactions, accounting for about 18 per cent of the total apartments sold in Ho Chi Minh City in 2017, according to CBRE Vietnam.

    The company has about 25 projects under development that will be delivered in the near future. Handover is expected this year in eleven projects, contributing significantly to both revenue and inventory reduction.

    Novaland completed the acquisition of two projects in Ho Chi Minh City in the fourth quarter: Newton Residence in Phu Nhuan district and Sunrise Cityview in District 7, acquiring 99.89 per cent and 99.81 per cent of ownership, respectively, under its ongoing M&A strategy. The average absorption rate at the two projects was 91 per cent. Long-term investments, including those in associated entities, joint ventures, and other entities, rose 178 per cent year-on-year.

    2017 revenue and NPAT increased 58 per cent and 24 per cent year-on-year, respectively, with both representing nearly 70 per cent of their target.

    Owners’ equity and charter capital increased 32 per cent and 9 per cent, respectively, via the successful private placement of ordinary shares for Credit Suisse AG Bank, Singapore Branch’s loan conversion of $60 million in the second quarter of 2017, and 20 million shares in an employee stock ownership plan (ESOP) issued in the fourth quarter. Credit Suisse also approved raising the credit limit to $125 million, which has been fully disbursed for Novaland to finance its projects.

    Bach hoa Xanh to have 1,000 HCMC stores this year

    The top priority of the Mobile World Investment JSC (MWG) this year is to develop the Bach hoa Xanh chain to about 1,000 stores in Ho Chi Minh City and expand in the Mekong Delta’s Tien Giang province to test the delivery process outside of its distribution center, according to MWG’s CEO Tran Kinh Doanh.

    The company wants to turn the chain into a large, efficient business and see electronics revenue double that of electrical appliance revenue. “If this is successful, we will outstrip our revenue target for 2018,” Mr. Doanh said.

    MWG posted total revenue of VND66.3 trillion ($2.92 billion) in 2017, representing year-on-year growth of 49 per cent and 105 per cent of the annual target of VND63.3 trillion ($2.78 billion).

    After-tax profit was VND2.2 trillion ($96.8 billion), representing year-on-year growth of 40 per cent and 100 per cent of the annual target.

    It opened 742 new stores during the year, including 121 thegioididong.com, 396 Dien may Xanh, and 235 Bach hoa Xanh stores.

    It had 1,997 stores in total by the end of the year, including 1,072 thegioididong.com, 642 Dien may Xanh, and 283 Bach hoa Xanh stores.

    Online revenue in 2017 reached VND5.7 trillion ($250.9 million), a year-on-year increase of 69 per cent and 86 per cent of the annual target.

    Regarding Big Phone - its mobile retail chain in Cambodia - MWG opened eight out of ten expected stores during the year and became the largest mobile retailer in the country, with each store recording revenue of $100,000 a month.

    MWG is also is in the process of completing the acquisition of the Phuc An Khang pharmaceutical chain and expects to open 100 stores in Ho Chi Minh City this year.

    MWG also bought shares in electronics retailer Tran Anh, taking over its IT and accounting systems and sending key personnel to operate the retailer.

    Overseas remittances heating up for Tet holiday

    Over the course of January, the total overseas remittances wired from compatriots to families and relatives living in Vietnam saw a notable increase, especially with Tet Holiday just around the corner, offering domestic banks opportunities to foster overseas remittance wiring services, expand revenue, enhance the stability of the VND, and relieve the pressure on the USD/VND exchange rate.

    Over the last five years, “More than four million Vietnamese compatriots currently staying and working in 187 foreign countries were reported to frequently conduct overseas remittance transactions, especially around the last days of the lunar year as this period usually records a noteworthy leap in holiday shopping among Vietnamese people,” Nguyen Hoang Minh, deputy director of the Ho Chi Minh City branch of the State Bank of Vietnam (SBV) asserted.

    Minh noted that, “The majority of overseas remittances transferred to Vietnam in 2017 originated from the US (over 60 per cent) and Europe (19 per cent).”

    He also added that, “Overseas remittances sent to Ho Chi Minh City alone was recorded at $5.2 billion, 4.5 per cent higher than the same category in 2016 and accounting for 58 per cent of the total overseas remittance inflows to the country.”

    Specifically, according to the latest statistics provided by the World Bank, the total estimated remittances sent from foreign countries in 2017 climbed to roughly $13.8 billion, up 16 per cent against 2016, signifying the most rapid growth in the foreign remittance market over the past five years.

    Huynh Trung Minh, a Vietnamese financial specialist, previously highlighted that the foreseeable FED hikes would pose a negligible impact on overseas remittances inflows to Vietnam due to the favourable conditions of current remittance wiring services and the inundating number of overseas workers in foreign countries.

    Particularly, the upsurge in overseas remittances could assure a sufficient supply of USD, which in turn could meet individuals and businesses’ demand for foreign currencies.

    UK investors eye aviation projects in Vietnam

    A number of investors from the UK, including ty Arup as well as Atkins and Benoy, have expressed strong interest in aviation projects in Vietnam.

    At last week's meeting with Deputy Minister of Transport Le Dinh Tho, British Ambassador to Vietnam Giles Lever said that the LongThanhInternationalAirport project and the projects to expand TanSonNhatInternationalAirport and NoiBaiInternationalAirport are among the targets of UK companies, including consultancy service providers.

    "UK businesses are seeking opportunities to join the building of the feasibility study of the LongThanhInternationalAirport project,” said Lever.

    In addition, they are also keen on urban railway projects.

    Tho, in response, said that the Ministry of Transport welcomed UK firms to join the LongThanhInternationalAirport project. As planned, Airports Corporation of Vietnam (ACV), the investor of this project, will begin to receive bidding documents from February 23, 2018.

    In addition to UK businesses, the $16-billion LongThanhInternationalAirport project and the project to expansion of TanSonNhatInternationalAirport are on the radars of many international groups. Earlier, a number of investors from the US, Japan, and South Korea expressed interest in these projects.

    At present, MoT is selecting consultants for the feasibility study, which is expected to be carried out in 2018-2019 to be then submitted to the National Assembly for approval.

    When the feasibility study is approved, investment models, including state investment and PPP, for sub-projects will be decided. Investors will be then selected based on certain criteria through international bidding.

    MoT aims to kick-off the project construction in 2019 and complete it in 2022 so that the project can be put into operation in early 2023. The 5,000-hectare project will be developed in three phases, with the first costing $5.45 billion and finished in 2025 at the latest. This phase will have a capacity of 25 million passengers and 1.32 million tonnes of cargo a year.

    The airport will be able to handle 100 million passengers and five million tonnes of cargo annually after the third phase is completed.

    SeaBank acquires Post and Telecommunication Finance Co., Ltd.

    Despite being in the red, Post and Telecommunication Finance Co., Ltd. (PTF) has just been successfully auctioned at the initial price of VND500 billion ($220 million).

    Vietnam Posts and Telecommunications Group (VNPT) is preparing to submit a statement to the State Bank of Vietnam and the Ministry of Information and Communications (MIC) that it has officially signed the contract to sell PTF to Southeast Asia Commercial Joint Stock Bank (SeaBank).

    This was revealed by Tran Manh Hung, chairman of VNPT, at the meeting of MIC on February 5. “VNPT has just held a successful auction of PTF with the participation of two banks,” he said. The successful selling price was higher than the initial price set by VNPT.

    Earlier, according to the announcement of VNPT, the auction of PTF was to take place on February 1, 2018 at the initial price of VND500 billion ($220 million), which is the charter capital of the company stated in the business certificate granted in 1998.

    In additional to losing almost all of its owners' capital, by the middle of 2017 PTF has accumulated debts of VND347 billion ($15.3 million), including VNPT's debts.

    The regulations of the auction noted that the investor winning the auction must inherit all the assets, debts, and liabilities of the company at the time of handover. Furthermore, investors must have a valid payment guarantee from a domestic bank to commit payment to VNPT.

    Related to VNPT’s divestment of other companies, the chairman said the group has organised auctions in batches of six companies. Four of these were not successful.

    Recently, VNPT's divestment of its stake in Maritime Bank has not been successful as no investors registered to buy. The group holds over 71 million shares (equaling 6.09 per cent of the charter capital), which were offered at VND851 billion ($37.5 million).

    Besides, VNPT continues to divest other companies, including:

    Cadico

    Central Telecommunication Development JSC

    Dalat Telecommunication Construction and Trading Services Company

    Dong Thap Telecommunication Construction Investment Company

    Bac Lieu Telecommunication Construction Investment Company

    Hue Post and Telecommunication Construction and Installation JSC

    Tet shopping goes online in Vietnam

    With only a few days off before Tet to make preparations for the country’s biggest holiday of the year, busy office workers in Vietnam have opted for online shopping to avoid the crowds while still being able to choose from a wide range of options.

    Tet, or Lunar New Year, falls on February 16 this year, but preparations for the public holiday typically start at least a week earlier.

    Similar to Christmas in some Western countries, Tet is a peak selling season for retailers in countries that observe the Lunar New Year, including Vietnam.

    Among the most popular items during this shopping season are flowers, clothes, and most importantly food to get one through the week-long public holiday, during which most stores and markets in the country are closed.

    This year, online stores have taken the initiative to offer homemade, ready-to-eat food that can be delivered to customers’ doorsteps, sparing them the need to busy themselves preparing food for the long break.

    Traditional dishes that are popular on Vietnamese tables during Tet such as boiled chicken, sticky rice cakes and pickled vegetables are best-sellers on online kitchens advertising themselves to be selling only homemade, toxin-free food.

    Thuong, owner of an online store offering specialties from northern Vietnam, said she had only set out to sell cooking ingredients when she first opened her store.

    “But then some of my customers began to ask me for cooking recipes and whether I could help process the food, so I decided that I would begin to sell cooked food this year as well,” Thuong said.

    Nguyen, a ‘clean’ fruits and vegetables online vendor in Ho Chi Minh City, said her customers were mostly migrant workers who wanted to ship items to their hometown early, as they still had to go to work until two days before Tet.

    Meanwhile, online store owners said they had started to avoid selling their products via supermarkets in recent years due to the cumbersome paperwork involved and the risk of producing more than the demand.

    On customers’ part, buying ‘homemade’ food gives them the confidence of consuming healthy and clean products, amidst growing public fear of dirty food in Vietnam.

    “Customers prefer buying from us even at a slightly higher price because they believe that what we sell are homegrown, chemical-free and more nutritious,” Nguyen said.

    Ford launches new dealership in southern Vietnam

    Ford Vietnam, part of global automotive giant Ford Motor, continues expanding its authorised dealer system in Vietnam through launching Tay Ninh Ford unit on February 5.

    Reaching Ford’s global standards, the new dealer in Hiep Tan commune, Hoa Thanh district in Tay Ninh province brings the number of Ford’s authorised dealers across Vietnam to a total of 36.

    Oriented towards the ‘One Stop Shopping’ model, the Tay Ninh Ford unit is ready to provide customers with a full range of services for Ford cars, including selling brand new car units, exchanging used cars, and supplying parts with swift and flexible payment policies.

    In addition, customers will be able to access financial consultancy as well as repair and maintenance services, among others.

    Covering 3,200 square metres, Tay Ninh Ford sits on the trans-Asia route connecting Ho Chi Minh City and localities in the Mekong Delta, a pivotal economic region that features diverse fields of economy and accommodates a fast-growing auto market.

    Valued at US$2 million in total investment capital, the new dealer is adjacent to Binh Duong, Binh Phuoc, and Long An province, Ho Chi Minh City, and two provinces of the neighbouring Cambodia as well as Tay Ninh province’s Moc Bai international border crossing, so it expects to serve a crowded customer base.

    The 800sq.m showroom at Tay Ninh Ford will lineup Ford Vietnam’s entire portfolio.

    The 2,000sq.m-plus workshop space ensures receiving up to 60 cars for repair and maintenance per day.

    “Ford Vietnam is overjoyed to welcome the Tay Ninh Ford unit as our 36th dealership in the country. Ford dealers' commitment to improve quantity and quality, and especially the launch of Tay Ninh Ford today is a testament to Ford’s long-term commitment to investment and sustainable development in the Vietnamese market,” said Ford Vietnam CEO Pham Van Dung.

    After 20 years of presence in Vietnam, Ford has grown into one of the leading car brands. Last year, Ford Vietnam reported sales of 28,588 car units, making up 10.5% of the domestic market share.

    Its Ranger, Transit, and EcoSport lines continued to lead the pickup, commercial, and small SUV segments for three consecutive years.

    Ford’s upscale SUV line, the Explorer reported record sales in its segment only one year after debuting in Vietnam.

    Earlier this month, the new Ford EcoSport was launched, promising to bring customers a compact, flexible, and smart SUV that matches perfectly to an urban lifestyle.

    US opens APHIS representative office in Vietnam

    A representative office of the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) under the US Department of Agriculture has opened at the US Embassy in Hanoi.

    The launch of the office took place on February 5 and was attended by Vietnam’s Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Tran Thanh Nam, APHIS Deputy Administrator Cheryle Blakely, and the US ambassador to Vietnam.

    Ambassador Daniel Kritenbrink said that the opening of the office is the latest example of the US’ continued efforts to strengthen the trade relationship between the two countries.

    As agricultural trade between the US and Vietnam is growing, the APHIS office in Hanoi will have the role of ensuring that new trade opportunities are realised and existing trade between the two economies flows smoothly.

    The office will maintain technical working relationships with its Vietnamese counterparts to resolve sanitary and phytosanitary issues whenever they arise.

    In addition, the APHIS office’s regulatory mission allows for a flow of agricultural trade that meets international animal and plant health standards, which has helped Vietnam export several varieties of fruit to the US.

    Viet Nam Rubber Group eyes profit rise     

    Viet Nam Rubber Group targets an 8 per cent rise in revenues and 33 per cent rise in pre-tax profits this year, Nguyen Tien Duc, its deputy general director, said on Tuesday.

    At a meeting held to review last year’s performance and discuss this year’s targets, VRG settled for a revenue and profit targets of VND23 trillion (US$1 billion) and VND5.5 trillion ($242 million).

    Last year it had achieved 120 per cent and 136 per cent of the corresponding targets.

    It expects its core business, natural rubber, to be the main source of revenue, accounting for VND15.5 trillion.

    VRG also generates income from its industrial zones, wood business and manufacture of rubber products.

    VRG plans to list on UPCoM as early as April and on the HCM Stock Exchange in June or July.

    It is also hoping to sell another 11.88 per cent of its equity to strategic investors, some 50 million shares to its employees and 830,000 shares to its trade union. 

    PG Bank allowed to raise charter capital     

    State Bank of Viet Nam (SBV) has allowed Petrolimex Group Commercial Joint Stock Bank (PG Bank) to raise its charter capital from VND3 trillion (US$132 million) to VND3.165 trillion.

    The capital can be increased by issuing shares to distribute dividends among shareholders from unallocated after-tax profits.

    The plan to increase the charter capital was approved at the Annual General Meeting through Resolution 02/2017/NQ-DHDCD-PGB, dated October 17, 2017.

    The issuance volume is 16.5 million shares corresponding to the exercise ratio of 5.5 per cent. Shareholders will not be allowed to transfer this right; the shares will be freely transferable after being issued.

    According to PGBank, the increasing charter capital will be used to invest in infrastructure and modernising banking technology (VND65 billion) and expanding the scale of lending (VND100 billion).

    SBV requires PG Bank to implement the raising of charter capital in line with the law, including compliance with shareholding limits of shareholders as stipulated in the Law on Credit Institutions and guiding documents of SBV after increasing charter capital.

    After completion of procedures for issuing shares to increase the charter capital, PGBank will be responsible for submitting the application for amendment of charter capital in the licence to SBV (through the Banking Inspection and Supervision Agency).

    PVOil launches cashless payment app for drivers     

    PetroVietnam Oil Corporation (PVOil) on Tuesday launched PV Oil Easy, an application for smartphones and tablets that allows users to buy petrol and manage their purchases via a QR code.

    Cao Hoai Duong, general director of PVOil, said the app was a solution for its member corporate customers to manage petrol purchases of drivers and for drivers to buy petrol without paying in cash or with credit cards.

    All transactions will be recorded via the QR code.

    Duong said many firms were facing difficulties in managing the petrol purchases of their drivers due to a huge volume of bills, and the app would make it easier to manage.

    On Tuesday, Vietel Post signed up for PVOil, becoming one of the first customers to use the app. 

    HCMC farm production shoots up     

    The average production value per hectare of agricultural land in HCMCity has increased year after year even as the area shrank, according to the city Department of Agriculture and Rural Development.

    Last year the value increased by 10.9 per cent to VND450 million (US$19,806) per hectare, among the highest in the country.

    This was a result of shifting the farming structure towards an urban-oriented model and increasing the use of sophisticated technologies.

    Thus, in some places, unproductive rice and sugarcane growing areas became farms growing bonsai, flowers and vegetables, bringing farmers higher profits.

    More than 389ha of lands were converted last year, up 385.5 per cent, and farmers grow vegetables and fruits in them.

    Vegetables bring revenues of VND1-1.4 billion per hectare annually; orchids, around VND2 billion; dairy cows (at a scale of 20 head per household), VND800 million; shrimp, VND2.7-3 billion per hectare; and ornamental fish, VND10-12 billion per hectare.

    These farmers earn 30-40 per cent profits.

    According to the department, vegetables were grown on a total of 17,270ha, 12.4 per cent up from 2016, with the output rising 14.3 per cent to more than 419,410 tonnes.

    The city also had around 2,300ha of land under flowers and ornamental trees, up 7 per cent.

    There were 142,653 cows, a year-on-year decrease of 6.6 per cent, and 343,300 pigs, a decrease of 4.6 per cent, it said.

    Aquaculture and seafood output rose by 5.5 per cent.

    The city exported 18.2 million ornamental fishes for $20 million, a year-on-year increase of 21.2 per cent, it said.

    Agriculture accounted for only 0.8 per cent of the city’s economy, but it was worth VND19.6 trillion, comparable to one of the country’s larger agricultural provinces.

    Its agro-forestry and fisheries sectors expanded at 6.3 per cent, 2.2 times the national average.

    This year, the farm sector would strive to raise average production per hectare to VND500 million and grow agro-forestry and fisheries by 6 per cent, the department said.

    To achieve its targets, it said the city would continue its agricultural restructuring, especially enhancing the use of high-tech methods including bio-technology to provide safe and quality products.

    Ha Noi’s export value up 24% in January     

    Capital city Ha Noi gained a year-on-year growth of 24 per cent in export value to reach US$1.05 billion in January.

    The export value from the state-owned sector was $139 million, up 9.8 per cent; it was $352 million from the private sector, up 16.6 per cent; and $556 million from foreign direct investment, up 33.6 per cent.

    In January, all key export items achieved strong growth in export value, including agricultural products (up 3.6 per cent against the same period last year); computer, components and peripherals (up 68.1 per cent); transport means and components (up 12.7 per cent); machinery and components (up 21.8 per cent); and glass and glass products (up 25 per cent).

    Ha Noi’s export value has increased sharply in recent years because businesses in the city have taken advantage of the recovery of major economies of the world, such as the United States, Japan, the European Union and China, reported kinhtedothi.com.vn.

    Meanwhile, municipal authorities have also come up with solutions to support enterprises in promoting exports, including programmes connecting banks with enterprises, land and tax policies and policies encouraging enterprises to apply advanced technology for production, processing and consumption.

    Nguyen Gia Phuong, director of Ha Noi Investment, Trade and Tourism Promotion Centre, said to support enterprises in expanding export markets and promoting brand products, the centre had continuously organised delegations of enterprises to join large international fairs and paid special attention to markets that signed free trade agreements with Viet Nam.

    The capital city has welcomed foreign enterprise delegations to Ha Noi to facilitate trade cooperation with local businesses to support trade villages, agricultural production enterprises and textiles and garment companies in seeking customers.

    However, it will not be easy for Ha Noi to reach the growth target of 7.5-8 per cent in export turnover set by the People’s Committee of Ha Noi for this year against last year because importing countries have trade barriers and quality standards for imported goods from foreign countries, including Viet Nam. Moreover, local enterprises have not signed long-term contracts.

    Nguyen Thanh Hai, deputy director of Ha Noi Department of Industry and Trade, said the department and the People’s Committee would continue supporting enterprises in taking loans and entering export markets. Specifically, they would strengthen trade promotion activities in Japan, mainland China, Hong Kong and Germany, he said.

    "Ha Noi welcomes delegations of foreign import enterprises to help local businesses diversify the export markets," he said.

    The department would also continue administrative reforms, reduce business and investment conditions and improve the quality of online public services.

    In the process of restructuring the export sector, the department would focus on improving the competitiveness of products, efficiency of investment and enterprises’ ability to join the global value chain.

    Experts said to increase the export value, enterprises should renew models of products according to the demand on markets and increase competitiveness by cutting production costs. They also need to improve product quality and develop the brand as well as promote cooperation with local businesses. In addition to this, they should take advantages in export opportunities from free trade agreements that Viet Nam has signed with foreign partners. 

    Quang Tri calls for investment in renewable energy

    The central province of Quang Tri is giving top priority to luring investment in renewable energy to fully tap its potential for wind and solar power.

    The provincial People’s Committee has approved four wind power projects with a combined capacity of 120 MW.

    By 2030, the province hopes to have five more wind power projects with a combined capacity of 150 MW.

    Quang Tri has been calling for investment in 17 solar power projects with a combined capacity of over 930 MW on 1,400 hectares.

    Besides, the province priorities other fields such as thermal power, wood product processing and export, eco and sea-based tourism, and hi-tech agriculture.

    In 2018, focus will also be put on restructuring enterprises. It has over 3,000 registered firms. However, only over 2,600 are operational, third fourths of which are micro- and small-sized construction companies. They have faced financial difficulties due to tightened public investment.

    According to Nguyen Van Hung, Secretary of the provincial Party Committee, the province will issue policies to support local firms, particularly micro- and small-sized enterprises in 2018.

    It will focus on accelerating administrative reform, improving investment climate, developing socio-political organisations in enterprises, promoting local culture and private sector.

    According to the provincial Department of Planning and Investment, 330 domestic and foreign investment projects had been granted as of early February 2018, worth over 69.5 trillion VND (3 billion USD).

    They include 14 foreign direct investment projects, worth over one trillion VND (44 million USD).

    Local firms contribute 47.6 percent of Gross Regional Domestic Product (GRDP) and create jobs for 35,500 local labourers.

    EVN’s power generation rises 12 percent in January

    The Electricity of Vietnam (EVN) group said it generated an estimated 14.6 billion kWh of electricity in January, a year-on-year increase of 12.06 percent. 

    Produced and imported electricity in the period reached 17.1 billion kWh. 

    Transmission on the North-Central and Central-South 500kV lines was 1,900MW and 3,500MW, respectively, bringing about 50.5 million kWh to the South per day, meeting 19.3 percent of the demand in the region. 

    EVN coordinated with the General Department of Irrigation under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development to discharge water through generating electricity from Hoa Binh, Thac Ba and Tuyen Quang hydropower plants to serve agriculture production in the winter-spring crop 2017-2018 in the northern midland and delta areas.

    The group said the average power consumption in February is estimated at 477million kWh/day, and the maximum load capacity will be close to 28,110MW. 

    EVN plans to run hydropower and thermal power plants to their full capacity to ensure water supply for agricultural production in the winter-spring crop 2017-2018 in the North. 

    It will work to ensure safe operation of the transmission system, especially the North-South 500kV transmission line.

    Favourable conditions required to increase new firms

    Favourable conditions are needed to increase the number of new businesses and startups, thereby realising the target of 1 million enterprises by 2020, an official has said.

    The State should continue speeding up administrative reform, improving business climate and legal framework, Nguyen Bich Lam, General Director of the General Statistics Office (GSO) said at a press conference in Hanoi on February 6.

    Due attention must be paid to restructuring the economy, equitising state-owned enterprises, luring more foreign direct investment, and facilitating the development of tge private sector, while enforcing the Law on Support for Small- and Medium-sized Enterprises, Lam said.

    Inspection should be strengthened to ensure firms will make reports and provide timely and accurate information for competent agencies for better management, he added.

    Pham Dinh Thuy, Director of the GSO’s Industrial Statistics Department, underlined the need to increase inspections and supervision to ensure businesses operate effectively and legally.

    Dialogues between State management agencies at all levels and enterprises should be conducted regularly, thus bettering the legal framework and policies to support enterprises, Thuy said.

    According to the department, by December 31, 2017, Vietnam has 561,064 operating enterprises, up 11 percent year on year. The highest increases in the number of operating businesses were seen in Bac Giang, Thanh Hoa, Hung Yen, Ben Tre, Bac Ninh, Vinh Phuc, Binh Duong, and Da Nang.

    In 2017, the number of new firms set a record high of 126,859, with a combined registered capital of nearly 1,295 trillion VND (57 billion USD), year on year rises of 15 percent and 45 percent.

    Binh Duong: industrial production index surges by 24.1 percent

    The southern province of Binh Duong’s index of industrial production (IIP) rose 24.1 percent year-on-year in January, said Nguyen Van Danh, Director of the provincial Department of Industry and Trade. 

    Danh attributed the surge to a favourable investment climate and improved competitiveness and administrative reform, which have helped lure investors.

    According to the agency, the highest increases were seen in the mining industry at 39.4 percent; processing, 24.3 percent; clothing, 22.3 percent; medicine, pharmaceutical chemistry and herbal materials, 22.2 percent; rubber and plastic products, 41.4 percent; metal production, 27.2 percent; and electronic products, computers and optical devices, 13.1 percent. 

    Nguyen Thanh Lam, Director of the Nha Thy Company in Thu Dau Mot district said the company’s employees worked extra shifts to make time up for the upcoming Lunar New Year (Tet) holiday, ensuring its production schedule in the first quarter, while increasing their incomes.

    The employment index in the province also grew by 6.8 percent in January, according to the department.-

    Vietnam, Indonesia step up cooperation in coffee sector

    The Embassy of Indonesia in Hanoi and the Vietnam Coffee and Cocoa Association on February 6 hosted a workshop to boost Indonesia - Vietnam cooperation in the coffee sector.

    The event was attended by representatives from Indonesian diplomatic agencies in Vietnam, ministries, sectors and 25 Indonesian and Vietnamese firms, including Kapal Api Group, Sabani International, Me Trang Coffee, Minh Tien Coffee, Thai Hoa Coffee and Hapro Distribution.

    Addressing the opening ceremony, Indonesian Ambassador to Vietnam Ibnu Hadi said the event aims to enhance ties between Indonesia and Vietnam in the coffee sector, contributing to realising the two-way trade target of 10 billion USD by 2020.

    According to the Ambassador, Vietnam and Indonesia recorded an increase of 16.36 percent in trade value to 6.5 billion USD in 2017, of which Vietnam imported 3.63 billion USD worth of products from the country, up 22.52 percent year on year.

    Vietnam and Indonesia are the world’s second and fourth biggest coffee exporters, respectively.

    The two ASEAN members produce 80 percent of the world’s coffee output, Hadi said.

    Indonesia has 1.25 million hectares of coffee growing area, while Vietnam’s figure is 662,000 hectares.

    Hanoi’s export value up 24 percent in January

    The capital city of Hanoi gained a year-on-year growth of 24 percent in export value to reach 1.05 billion USD in January.

    The export value from the state-owned sector was 139 million USD, up 9.8 percent; it was 352 million USD from the private sector, up 16.6 percent; and 556 million USD from foreign direct investment, up 33.6 percent.

    In January, all key export items achieved strong growth in export value, including agricultural products (up 3.6 percent against the same period last year); computer, components and peripherals (up 68.1 percent); transport means and components (up 12.7 percent); machinery and components (up 21.8 percent); and glass and glass products (up 25 percent).

    Hanoi’s export value has increased sharply in recent years because businesses in the city have taken advantage of the recovery of major economies of the world, such as the United States, Japan, the European Union and China.

    Meanwhile, municipal authorities have also come up with solutions to support enterprises in promoting exports, including programmes connecting banks with enterprises, land and tax policies and policies encouraging enterprises to apply advanced technology for production, processing and consumption.

    Nguyen Gia Phuong, Director of the Hanoi Investment, Trade and Tourism Promotion Centre, said to support enterprises in expanding export markets and promoting brand products, the centre had continuously organised delegations of enterprises to join large international fairs and paid special attention to markets that signed free trade agreements with Vietnam.

    The capital city has welcomed foreign enterprise delegations to Hanoi to facilitate trade cooperation with local businesses to support trade villages, agricultural production enterprises and textiles and garment companies in seeking customers.

    However, it will not be easy for Hanoi to reach the growth target of 7.5-8 percent in export turnover set by the People’s Committee of Hanoi for this year against last year because importing countries have trade barriers and quality standards for imported goods from foreign countries, including Vietnam. Moreover, local enterprises have not signed long-term contracts.

    Nguyen Thanh Hai, Deputy Director of the Hanoi Department of Industry and Trade, said the department and the People’s Committee would continue supporting enterprises in taking loans and entering export markets. Specifically, they would strengthen trade promotion activities in Japan, mainland China, Hong Kong and Germany, he said.

    "Hanoi welcomes delegations of foreign import enterprises to help local businesses diversify the export markets," he said.

    The department would also continue administrative reforms, reduce business and investment conditions and improve the quality of online public services.

    In the process of restructuring the export sector, the department would focus on improving the competitiveness of products, efficiency of investment and enterprises’ ability to join the global value chain.

    Experts said to increase the export value, enterprises should renew models of products according to the demand on markets and increase competitiveness by cutting production costs. They also need to improve product quality and develop the brand as well as promote cooperation with local businesses. In addition to this, they should take advantages in export opportunities from free trade agreements that Vietnam has signed with foreign partners.

    VNN

    0 0
  • 02/09/18--00:32: Article 0
  • Government News 9/2


    Vice NA Chairwoman meets OV teachers from Thailand


    , Vice NA Chairwoman meets OV teachers from Thailand, Vietnam, Lao diplomats meet in Washington ahead of Tet, PM presents Tet gifts to poor ethnic households in Dak Nong, HCM City officials commemorate war martyrs 

    Overview of the meeting


    National Assembly Vice Chairwoman Tong Thi Phong on February 8 hosted a reception for a delegation of former Vietnamese teachers who live  in Thailand.

    Underscoring that the Party and State highly values the contributions of the Vietnamese community abroad, including those in Thailand, to national growth, Phong stated that the Party and State consider the community an indispensable part of the nation and an important driving force for development.

    She said the Party and State pay great attention to creating optimal conditions for Vietnamese abroad to settle down, integrate into local society, promote national culture and join hands to develop the country.

    Phong expressed her hope that Vietnamese teachers and the Vietnamese community in Thailand will continue maintaining the use of Vietnamese language and promote the image of Vietnamese nation and people to the world.

    Representatives of the delegation showed their delight at Vietnam’s progress.

    They affirmed that the Vietnamese community in Thailand will continue fostering solidarity and maintaining the use of Vietnamese language. They will also work hard to contribute to the nation.

    Vietnam, Lao diplomats meet in Washington ahead of Tet


     

    , Vice NA Chairwoman meets OV teachers from Thailand, Vietnam, Lao diplomats meet in Washington ahead of Tet, PM presents Tet gifts to poor ethnic households in Dak Nong, HCM City officials commemorate war martyrs
    Staff of the two embassies at the meeting


    The increasingly strong development of the Vietnam-Laos friendship was highlighted at a recent meeting between the two countries’ diplomats in WashingtonDC, the US

    The event is an annual activity between the Vietnamese and Lao embassies in the US on the occasion of Vietnam’s traditional Lunar New Year (Tet) festival, reflecting their close relationship. 

    Vietnamese Ambassador to the US Pham Quang Vinh and his Lao counterpart Mai Sayavongs updated each other on the development of their countries, and expressed their joy at the success of the Vietnam-Laos Friendship Year 2017 and flourishing bilateral relations. 

    They lauded cooperation between the two diplomatic agencies last year, affirming that they will further promote relations through mutual support and joint organisation of activities. 

    Ambassador Mai Sayavongs wished all staff of the Vietnamese Embassy a successful and happy New Year.

    PM presents Tet gifts to poor ethnic households in Dak Nong


     

    , Vice NA Chairwoman meets OV teachers from Thailand, Vietnam, Lao diplomats meet in Washington ahead of Tet, PM presents Tet gifts to poor ethnic households in Dak Nong, HCM City officials commemorate war martyrs
    Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc in Dak Nong 


    Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc visited and presented 200 gifts to the poor and policy beneficiaries in Dak Song district, the Central Highlands province of Dak Nong on February 9 ahead of the upcoming traditional Lunar New Year (Tet) festival. 

    On the occasion, the Central Committee of the Red Cross Society granted 100 gifts to the poor and Agent Orange victims in the district. 

    Speaking at the event, PM Phuc underlined the Party and State’s policy of caring for ethnic minority groups, policy beneficiaries and households in need. 

    He asked authorities of Dak Song district and Dak Nong province to ensure a warm Tet for local residents and pay attention to poverty reduction. 

    Earlier, the PM visited and presented Tet gifts to heroic Vietnamese mother Chau Thi Nghe, 94, in Duc An town, Dak Song district.

    Dak Song is now home to more than 79,000 people with 12 ethnic groups, mostly relying on agriculture. It has seven national-standard schools and 485 policy beneficiaries. The rate of poor households exceeds 10 percent while the rate of poor ethnic minority households accounts for more than 30 percent.

    HCMCity officials commemorate war martyrs


     

    , Vice NA Chairwoman meets OV teachers from Thailand, Vietnam, Lao diplomats meet in Washington ahead of Tet, PM presents Tet gifts to poor ethnic households in Dak Nong, HCM City officials commemorate war martyrs
    HCMCity officials commemorate war martyrs (Source: http://plo.vn)


    A delegation of representatives from the Party Committee, People’s Council, People’s Committee, Vietnam Fatherland Front and armed forces of Ho Chi Minh City paid tribute to war heroes and fallen soldiers at the city’s war martyr cemetery on February 9.

    This is an annual activity of the city’s administration on the occasion of the traditional Lunar New Year festival to express gratitude to those who sacrificed their lives for national independence and freedom, and made contributions to national development.

    The delegation, led by Politburo member and Secretary of the municipal Party Committee Nguyen Thien Nhan, also offered incense and flowers at the city cemetery.

    Similar commemoration ceremonies are taking place across the country as Tet is approaching, in line with the time-honoured tradition of worshipping ancestors and honouring those who made contributions to the nation.

    HCMCity: Authorities appreciate contributions of int’l agencies


     

    , Vice NA Chairwoman meets OV teachers from Thailand, Vietnam, Lao diplomats meet in Washington ahead of Tet, PM presents Tet gifts to poor ethnic households in Dak Nong, HCM City officials commemorate war martyrs
    Scene at the meeting (Source: qdnd)


    The Ho Chi Minh City People’s Committee on February 8 held a meeting with foreign countries’ representative agencies in the city to foster friendship and cooperation.

    On behalf of municipal authorities, People’s Committee Chairman Nguyen Thanh Phong thanked consulates, non-governmental organisations, foreign businesses and international friends for their contributions to the city’s development.

    The leader said he believes the support will continue, helping HCMCity grow and expand international cooperation.

    Phong informed participants of local diplomatic highlights in 2017 in terms of relations establishment with foreign localities, international integration, self-promotion and resources attraction.

    Singaporean Consul General to HCM City Leow Siu Lin congratulated the southern economic hub on its achievements last year, which reflected its leading role in the Vietnamese economy, stable business climate, effective policies and hard-working residents.

    Lauding the relationship between the city and foreign diplomatic missions, she affirmed her commitment to working with other consuls to assist local authorities in enhancing prosperity and international engagement.

    Vice NA Chairwoman meets OV teachers from Thailand


    , Vice NA Chairwoman meets OV teachers from Thailand, Vietnam, Lao diplomats meet in Washington ahead of Tet, PM presents Tet gifts to poor ethnic households in Dak Nong, HCM City officials commemorate war martyrs

     

    Overview of the meeting 


    National Assembly Vice Chairwoman Tong Thi Phong on February 8 hosted a reception for a delegation of former Vietnamese teachers who live  in Thailand.

    Underscoring that the Party and State highly values the contributions of the Vietnamese community abroad, including those in Thailand, to national growth, Phong stated that the Party and State consider the community an indispensable part of the nation and an important driving force for development.

    She said the Party and State pay great attention to creating optimal conditions for Vietnamese abroad to settle down, integrate into local society, promote national culture and join hands to develop the country.

    Phong expressed her hope that Vietnamese teachers and the Vietnamese community in Thailand will continue maintaining the use of Vietnamese language and promote the image of Vietnamese nation and people to the world.

    Representatives of the delegation showed their delight at Vietnam’s progress.

    They affirmed that the Vietnamese community in Thailand will continue fostering solidarity and maintaining the use of Vietnamese language. They will also work hard to contribute to the nation.

    VNN

    0 0
  • 02/09/18--01:18: Article 0
  • $200 billion worth of exports in 2017 gives push to economy


     Seafood, vegetables and fruit exports have had the highest growth rates of exports for many years, while Vietnam’s industrial exports by foreign invested enterprises (FIEs) have earned the most revenue. 


     

    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, export turnover, FDI, FIEs, MOIT
    Vietnam exported $200 billion worth of products in 2017


    Farm exports on the rise

    According to the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP), Vietnam exported seafood to 167 markets in 2017, earning $8.3 billion in 2017.

    Europe, the US, Japan and China were the four biggest export markets, each of which brought turnover of over $1 billon.

    The export turnover from South Korea is expected to reach $1 billion soon as the Vietnam-South Korea FTA has taken effect, paving the way for seafood exports to the market to surge by 27 percent to $784 million in 2017 against 2016.

    Thuan Phuoc Seafood & Trading JSC’s chair Tran Van Linh, said that Vietnam puts high hopes on the Vietnam-EU FTA, expected to take effect in mid-2018, which will bring advantages to Vietnam’s exports.

    Chair of Vinh Hoan JSC Truong Le Khanh also is optimistic about catfish exports in 2018, saying that the filet export price of $3 per kilo may increase further in 2018 which would help bring export turnover of $1.8 billion.

    Vegetable and fruit exports have been increasing sharply in recent years from $800 million to $3.5 billion in 2017, representing a 30 percent annual growth rate.

    Vegetable and fruit exports have been increasing sharply in recent years from $800 million to $3.5 billion in 2017, representing a 30 percent annual growth rate.

    In late 2017, after 10 years of negotiations, Vietnam exported the first consignments of 2 tons of star apples to the US.

    Businesses feared the star apple export program would fail as litchis did. However, by the end of January 2018, exports to the US had soared to 200 tons.

    Deputy director of Chanh Thu Fruit Import/Export Ngo Tuong Vy said Vietnam’s star apples have no rival in the US, so the products sell at good prices though they need to be shipped by air at a high cost.

    Vietnam exports smartphones, electronics for FIEs


    Though export turnover in 2017 was high, at $200 billion, this was not good news in economists’ eyes.

    Bui Trinh, a renowned analyst, said Vietnam now exports products for other countries, because a large proportion of exports are made by foreign invested enterprises (FIEs).

    A report found that FIEs’ trade surplus reached $31.8 billion, while Vietnamese enterprises import turnover was $26.1 billion higher than export turnover.

    The other industries, including textiles and garments, footwear and wooden furniture, reported high export turnover, but the real value earned by Vietnamese enterprises was modest because most of it was outsourcing for foreign partners.


     Mai Thanh, VNN

    0 0
  • 02/12/18--00:28: Article 3
  • BUSINESS IN BRIEF 11/2


    Transport ministry to restructure five large corporations

    The Ministry of Transport will submit plans to restructure five large corporations under its management to the Prime Minister for approval to ensure the effective operations of these concerns.

    The five are Vietnam Railway Corporation (VRC), Vietnam National Shipping Lines (Vinalines), Shipbuilding Industry Corporation (SBIC), Vietnam Expressway Corporation (VEC), and Cuu Long Corporation for Investment Development and Project Management of Infrastructure (Cuu Long CIPM).

    As for VRC, the ministry has plans to merge Saigon Railway Transport JSC and Hanoi Railway Transport JSC into a single concern.

    However, certain divisions will be separated from the consolidated firm, including employees, capital and assets, to set up a joint stock company trading in rail freight transport. When the company operates smoothly, all the State capital at this company will be divested while State ownership at VRC will be reduced to 51%.

    Regarding Vinalines, the Ministry of Transport has submitted the PM an equitization plan for the corporation. To cut losses, Vinalines is told to combine with other large groups such as Vietnam National Coal and Mineral Industries Group (Vinacomin), Vietnam Oil and Gas Group (PVN), Hoa Phat Steel JSC and Vissai Ninh Binh to secure enough goods for transport.

    Vinalines will also have to liquidate old vessels that no longer operate effectively. The corporation last year managed to sell six 125,000-ton aging vessels, and its current fleet still comprises 91 ships with a combined tonnage of over 1.8 million tons.

    It will hold 65% of chartered capital in three key ports, namely Haiphong, Danang and Saigon, and will maintain its ownership of 49% at Khuyen Luong Port JSC and 51% at Nghe Tinh and Can Tho Port JSCs.

    As of 2017, Vinalines has divested State capital from 39 enterprises, including complete divestment from 31 enterprises, fetching VND2.4 trillion (US$105.6 million), and earning profit of VND360 billion.

    The corporation also settled nearly VND6.6 trillion in debts including over VND1 trillion of principal at the Vietnam Development Bank (VDB) and paid debts totaling VND5.6 trillion. As of 2017, Vinalines still owes VND14.7 trillion.

    Vinalines was initially scheduled to go public at the end of June this year but its specific equitization plan has not been approved. Although the corporation has negotiated with Rent A Port and Deep C as potential strategic investors, but none have registered to buy Vinalines shares as the cap of 30% of chartered capital is not attractive enough.

    SBIC will restructure its workforce, finance and production and business administration this year, focusing on the last one to reduce products’ prices to improve its competitiveness.

    Meanwhile, VEC will continue recovering capital invested in five expressway projects which have been put into operation. The firm will also mobilize capital for the medium-term public investment plan.

    Cuu Long CIPM has divested the entire State capital from Can Tho Bridge JSC and reduced the State ownership at 715 Joint Stock Company to 65%.

    Delta region’economic growth slows down

    Economic growth in the Mekong Delta region has been slowing, despite achievements in some fields like transport infrastructure construction, heard a review meeting of the Steering Committee for the Southwest Region held on February 5.

    A report of the committee showed that the region obtained annual growth of 11.7% in 2001-2010 before the tempo slowed to 8.55% in 2011-2015. Last year, however, the region’s growth rate was 7.39%, compared to 2016 growth of 6.9%.

    The report did not tell why economic growth of the region has slowed down. However, at a conference organized in Can Tho City last July, slowing economic growth was attributed to the declining agricultural sector of the region.

    In particular, at this conference, Vo Hung Dung, the then director of the Can Tho branch of the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI), said agriculture of the region grew by around 6% before 2014, but only 3% in 2014-2015 and 0.6% in 2016. Such figures are proportional to the economic growth rates as aforementioned.

    While the region’s agricultural growth was recorded at 2.77% last year and 0.6% in 2016, its economic growth was 7.39% and 6.9% respectively. It can be seen that fluctuations of the agricultural sector have impacted on the region’s economy.

    With the decline in agricultural production, localities relying on agriculture have posted low growth rates, Dung noted. Dung’s remarks accord with data of the committee.

    For instance, with agriculture contributing VND10.02 trillion, industries VND3.65 trillion, and trade-services VND9.93 trillion, BacLieuProvince recorded economic growth of only 6.5% last year.

    Meanwhile, Long An Province’s economy grew by 9.53% last year, when its agriculture generated VND12.77 trillion, the lowest among the three sectors compared to the manufacturing sector’s VND29.275 trillion and trade-services revenue of VND19.902 trillion.

    It then seems fair to say that local economic development, if depending too much on agriculture, would find it hard to make breakthroughs. Therefore, it is necessary to research into economic development strategies for the region in the coming time.

    Addressing the meeting on February 5 reviewing the committee’s activities of last year and the past 15 years, standing deputy head of the committee Son Minh Thang said that the region has made breakthroughs in logistics and transport infrastructure besides proposing many policies concerning regional connectivity.

    The Politburo earlier decided to terminate the operations of the steering committees for the northwest, CentralHighlands and southwest regions.

    Thang of the Steering Committee for Southwest Regions said activities of his committee will end this quarter.

    Local giants offer to fund Hanoi metro line studies

    Leading Vietnamese real estate conglomerates Vingroup and T&T Group will conduct pre-feasibility studies for three urban railway projects in HanoiCity if a proposal of the capital city receives approval from the central Government, news website VnEconomy reports.

    The Government Office has asked the Vietnam Railways Corporation, and relevant ministries and agencies for feedback on the proposal for Vingroup and T&T to finance pre-feasibility and feasibility studies for new metro lines under the build-transfer investment format.

    Many investors have expressed interest in developing the projects after a master plan for urban railways in Hanoi was made public lately. However, only Vingroup and T&T Group registered to take part, according to the municipal government.

    In particular, Vingroup wants to build two metro routes – the 38.4-kilometer line No.5 linking Van Cao with Hoa Lac and the 5.9-kilometer line No.2 between Tran Hung Dao and Thuong Dinh.

    Meanwhile, T&T Group is keen on metro line No.4 connecting Me Linh, Sai Dong and Lien Ha, and stretching 54 kilometers in length.

    Both investors pledged they would use their own finances to study the feasibility of the projects, and hand over pre-feasibility and feasibility studies to the city government and other investors free of charge, in case they are not chosen as main investors.

    If selected as investors, they would add expenses incurred for the studies into the total costs of the projects.

    The municipal government stressed in case of approval, the investors would be urged to hire experienced and capable foreign consultants to make the studies as scheduled.

    As the railway projects are of great national importance, they are expected to be submitted to Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc for consideration and the National Assembly for approval later this year.

    According to the master plan for transport infrastructure in HanoiCity until 2030 with a vision to 2050, the city will have 10 urban railways of 417.8 kilometers in length which costs an estimated US$40.05 billion.

    The 10 lines are Line No.1 (Ngoc Hoi-Yen Vien-Nhu Quynh), No.2 (Noi Bai-Thuong Dinh-Buoi), No.2A (Cat Linh-Ha Dong-Xuan Mai), No.3 (Troi-Nhon-Yen So), No.4 (Me Linh-Sai Dong-Lien Ha), No.5 (Van Cao-Hoa Lac), No.6 (Noi Bai-Ngoc Hoi), No.7 (Me Linh-Ha Dong), No.8 (Son Dong-Mai Dich-Duong Xa), and No.9 (Son Tay-Hoa Lac-Xuan Mai).

    Cushman & Wakefield forecasts Grade-A office rent to rise 20% in 2018

    Office rents in HCMC could rise 20% in some Grade A properties this year, according to the 2018 Asia Pacific Forecast report by global real estate services firm Cushman & Wakefield.

    The office sector in HCMC will see its vacancy rate fall to ultra-low levels, pushing rents to highs not seen since 2009, news website VnExpress reports, citing the real estate services provider.

    Therefore, Cushman & Wakefield estimates that this could lead to an increase of up to 20% for some Grade A properties this year. As a result, this will have a dampening effect on leasing transactions as limited space is available.

    The real estate services provider stresses that this vacancy pressure will continue into late 2019 so tenants will need forthright strategies and creative solutions in order to avert serious increases in rent.

    Similarly, the Central Business District (CBD) market in HanoiCity which is now frozen in terms of new development, will see faster rent growth and low vacancy, and thus likely push some occupiers to explore the west and midtown areas of Hanoi, where more affordable, brand-new options are abundant, according to the report.

    Meanwhile, other property services providers like CBRE, Savills and Jones Lang LaSalle project office rents in HCMC will rise by 5-7% on an annual basis.

    Moody’s positive about bad debt settlement in local banks


     

    Transport ministry to restructure five large corporations, Delta region’economic growth slows down, Local giants offer to fund Hanoi metro line studies, Moody’s positive about bad debt settlement in local banks 

    Some Vietnamese banks have made meaningful progress in the settlement of legacy problem assets, which has helped improve banks’ asset quality and removes a drag on their profitability, according to Moody’s Investors Service.

    Moody’s says in its latest Credit Outlook released on Monday that the Asia Commercial Bank (ACB) has recently published its full-year 2017 results including a full write-down of bonds issued by the Vietnam Asset Management Company (VAMC).

    Earlier, the Bank for Foreign Trade of Vietnam (Vietcombank), the Vietnam Technological and Commercial Joint Stock Bank (Techcombank), and the Military Commercial Joint Stock Commercial Bank successfully wrote down their VAMC bond exposures from their balance sheets in the fourth quarter of 2017. As a result, these banks no longer have to set aside a 20% annual provision cost.

    Moody’s notes that asset quality at many local banks stabilized last year, helped by healthy macroeconomic conditions. Banks’ profitability also improved as higher-yielding retail loans increased, enabling them to allocate higher provisioning expenses to write off their VAMC bonds ahead of schedule.

    Notably, since the National Assembly’s Resolution 42/2017/QH14 on settlement of non-performing loans (NPLs) at credit institutions came into force in August 2017, VAMC and local banks have rapidly repossessed collateral in the event of a borrower default.

    In other words, the resolution has allowed banks to be more active in managing bad debt. As a result, the total stock of VAMC bonds at rated banks decreased in 2017, the first decline since the establishment of VAMC.

    Although asset risks remain elevated for some banks owing to their large legacy problematic exposures, Moody’s predicts that local banks are on a positive track toward resolving their bad debt.

    Given a favorable macroeconomic environment and the help of new laws like Resolution 42, other rated banks are also likely to make progress in resolving legacy problem assets over the next 12 to 18 months, Moody’s forecasts.

    Generally, with improved profitability, banks are now capable of increasing credit provisions and building up buffers against problem assets. At this pace, more banks are likely to fully write down their VAMC bond holdings by the end of this year, according to the agency.

    Set up in July 2013, VAMC has a policy mandate to take over bad debts that had plagued Vietnamese banks in prior years and to manage recovery work.

    The company takes NPLs off banks’ balance sheets in exchange for special bonds it issues. The VAMC bonds do not carry interest, and banks have to recognize losses related to the NPLs effectively, as they provision for the VAMC bonds over either five or 10 years, so these assets add to credit costs and hurt profitability.

    Alternatively, if VAMC succeeds in recovering a bank’s transferred NPLs, any recovered value can be transferred back to the bank. However, the cumulative NPL recovery rate by VAMC has been low at approximately 20%.

    Through this mechanism, banks have been able to lower their reported NPL ratios, but they can only truly resolve bad debts through a full write-down or cash recovery of the VAMC bonds.

    Ministries to set RON95 petrol base price

    The Ministries of Industry-Trade and Finance have proposed monitoring the supply and consumption of RON95 gasoline in the first quarter of 2018 to set its base price, according to a report on fuel price adjustment sent to the Government by the Finance Ministry.

    Since early February 2017, domestic fuel prices have been adjusted four times. All the adjustments ensured flexibility and struck a balance between traders and consumers’ interests, according to news website Dan Tri.

    Since Vietnam replaced RON92 gasoline with E5 bio-fuel early this year, RON95 gasoline consumption has increased significantly. However, the ministries have not set the base price for A95 gasoline, prompting public speculation that fuel price management is not transparent.

    Therefore, the ministries are collecting data and information about the emissions standards, supply and consumption, import, costs, tax, and others to set the appropriate base price for RON95 gasoline.

    The two ministries have also asked for the Government’s permission to use the fuel price stabilization fund flexibly to keep retail fuel prices stable before, during and after the Lunar New Year.

    MWG to open six more BigPhone stores in Cambodia this year

    Mobile World Investment Corporation (MWG), or The Gioi Di Dong, said it would open six more BigPhone stores in Cambodia’s capital of Phnom Penh this year, taking the total to 10.

    On the occasion of a visit to a BigPhone store in Phnom Penh last weekend, MWG general director Ho Viet Dong said MWG has had four BigPhone stores in the city. The group will launch four more stores this month and two others by the end of this year.

    Cambodian consumers favor genuine high-end smartphones with good warranty policies though prices of these products including import duties are higher.

    BigPhone retail shops mainly sell mobile phones, tablets, accessories, SIM cards and pre-paid phone cards, and will diversify products in the coming time.

    Cambodia has not had a mobile phone retail chain like BigPhone, so MWG will have more development opportunities there. In addition, BigPhone stores offer products of more diverse brands than mobile service providers in the neighboring country.

    MWG opened its first BigPhone store in Cambodia in June last year. The 400-square-meter store, the first store of MWG in a foreign market, is expected to have monthly revenue of US$100,000.

    US dollar devalued against đồng despite global rise

    Domestic commercial banks on Thursday continued devaluing the US dollar against the Vietnamese đồng for the second consecutive session, despite a rise of the greenback in the global market. 

    The decline was seen in the context of the country’s abundant dollar supply source, while having no demand pressure. Việt Nam’s foreign reserves hit record high of more than US$57 billion till February 6, according to the State Bank of Việt Nam (SBV)’s Governor Lê Minh Hưng.

    State-owned Vietcombank on Thursday listed the dollar at VNĐ22,650 and VNĐ22,720 for buying and selling, respectively, down VNĐ10 against the previous day and VNĐ25 from Monday.

    BIDV also cut the buying and selling rate by VNĐ25 and VNĐ15 to quote the dollar at VNĐ22,650 and VNĐ22,730, respectively, while the decreasing rate at Vietinbank is VNĐ9 to VNĐ22,652 for buying and VNĐ22,722 for selling.

    The same move was also seen at joint stock commercial banks, with a decrease of VNĐ15-25 per dollar.

    ACB devalued the dollar by VNĐ20 against the previous day to VNĐ22,650 for buying and VNĐ22,720 for selling, while Techcombank listed it at VNĐ22,650 and VNĐ22,740 for buying and selling, respectively.

    The SBV on Thursday also set the daily reference exchange rate at VNĐ22,435 per dollar, down by VNĐ10 from the previous day.

    With the current trade band of +/- 3 per cent, the ceiling rate applied to commercial banks during the day is VNĐ23,108 and the floor rate is VNĐ21,762.

    In the global market, the dollar was supported after a budget deal in Washington, rising against a broad range of currencies. US congressional leaders reached a two-year budget deal on Wednesday to raise government spending by some US$300 billion. The dollar index rose to a two-week high of 90.403 on Wednesday and last stood at 90.251.

    HAG and its agribusiness unit face probable delisting

    The HCM Stock Exchange has warned Hoàng Anh Gia Lai JSC (HAG) and its agribusiness arm, Hoàng Anh Gia Lai Agricultural JSC (HNG), of probable delisting if they fail to submit the financial statements for 2017.

    In the warning issued on February 7, the southern exchange said HAG and HNG had not submitted their audited financial statements for FY2015 and FY2016 (consolidated and of parent companies).

    Decree 58/2012/NĐ-CP stipulates that securities of a company will be removed from listing if the company delays the submission of financial statements for three consecutive years.

    On February 6, HAG and HNG sent documents to the HCM  Stock Exchange requesting an extension in the date to submit their financial statements.

    The two bodies are required to submit the quarterly financial statements within 30 days from the last day of the quarter, reviewed semi-annual financial statements within 60 days from the last day of the first six months of the fiscal year and audited annual financial statements within 100 days from the last day of the fiscal year.

    Their requests, however, will be reviewed by the State Securities Commission.

    Shares of both HAG and HNG dropped by the maximum 7 per cent capped on the HCM Stock Exchange for a single trade on February 8 at some VNĐ6,200-VNĐ6,700 each.

    Central bank injects nearly $573mn to support liquidity

    State Bank of Việt Nam (SBV) made a net cash injection of VNĐ13 trillion (US$572.9 million) into the economy in the past week to support the liquidity of commercial banks.

    According to Saigon Securities Incorporate (SSI), the cash was pumped through the bill issue channel to meet the rising capital demands as Tết (Vietnamese Lunar New Year) approaches.

    The past week also saw the inter-bank rates inch up by 0.1 - 0.22 percentage points, pushing the overnight rate to 1.57 per cent and the one-week rate to 1.65 per cent. However, the one-month rate inched down by 0.05 percentage points to 3.4 per cent.

    Despite the hike, inter-bank rates were still low compared to the same period in previous years. For example, ahead of Tết last year, the inter-bank rates surpassed 2 per cent for overnight and one-week loans.

    Rule on standard conformity relaxed for food

    Yogurt imported into Vietnam is no longer subject to hygiene and quarantine checks by the ministries of health and agriculture, according to Decree 15/2018/ND-CP guiding the implementation of some articles of the law on food safety and hygiene.

    The decree, coming into force on February 2, 2018 and replacing Decree 38/2012/ND-CP, has made life easier for food traders with the removal of overlapping inspection requirements.

    Under Decree 15, food traders and producers must provide information about processed products, food additives, substances for use in food processing, and packaging materials directly contacting food. With additives, nutritious products for children aged under 36 months and food supplements, registration for the announcement of regulation conformity with the competent management body is still required before the product is circulated on the market.

    The new decree also allows processed food for export and domestic consumption to be free from the announcement of conformity to regulations.

    Dau Anh Tuan, head of the Legal Department at the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said that the decree has lessened the burden on food traders, keeping them from spending months asking for regulation conformity announcements and huge inspection costs.

    Previous overlapping inspections were said to be a waste of money and resources, whereas a shift from pre-inspections to post-inspections of products is necessary.

    According to data of the working team on administrative reforms last August, enterprises needed to spend a total of 28.6 million days and VND14.3 trillion for specialized inspections of exported and imported products at the time of customs clearance, but few violations were detected.

    The rate of products relating to food safety and hygiene subject to inspections is 19.1%, whereas specialized inspections account for 41.2%. For instance, chocolate needs 13 certificates, with 12 for materials and one for conformity announcement.

    With such requirements lifted, the rate of specialized inspections is expected to be brought down to 15% from 30-35%.

    FPT launches construction project of Research and DevelopmentCenter

    FPT Software HCM (a member of FPT Software) has just begun its construction project of FPTCenter for Research & Development and Software Solutions (F-Town 3) with an area of more than 52,000 m2.

    This is considered the largest campus for software solutions in Saigon Hi-tech Park.

    With seven floors and one basement, F-Town 3 has a total investment capital of VND800 billion (around $35.2 million), providing working space for 7,500 software creators.

    Besides the main office area, the research and development center for solution services, the training zone, and the meeting room, F-Town 3 also includes space for utilities such as a recreational and relaxation area, a cafeteria, a kindergarten, and a health room.

    Along with F-Town 1 set up in 2011 and F-Town 2 in 2014, the project is expected to make FPT Software HCM the highest investment company in Saigon Hi-tech Park, having a total of VND1.2 trillion (approximately $52.83 million)

    On this occasion, FPT Software also signed a $100-million-worth contract, the largest in its history of nearly 20 years, with Innogy SE, one of the leading corporations on energy in Europe.

    Accordingly, FPT Software will provide Innogy SE with solutions based on the platforms of SAP and IoT as well as digital conversion in the period from 2018 to 2024. Both partners have experienced successful cooperation for the last 4 years.

    Tourism, hospitality, and travel tech programs taking applications

    Destination Mekong and the Mekong Business Initiative have announced that applications are now open for their 2018 Mekong Innovative Startups in Tourism (MIST) business support programs.

    For the first time, the MIST Startup Accelerator is welcoming applications from tourism, hospitality, and travel tech startups headquartered in Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam.

    The Startup Accelerator provides support to early-stage companies with innovative and scalable business models. Applications will close on March 10.

    The 15 to 20 startups selected will attend an all-expenses paid intensive boot camp where they will compete for six months of advanced mentorship, in-kind acceleration support valued at $20,000, prize money up to $10,000, and customized business matching with potential investors and partners.

    The MIST Market Access Program, now in its second year, is taking applications from successful, small to mid-sized international tourism, hospitality, and travel tech companies that want assistance expanding into Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, and Vietnam. Applications to the Market Access Program will close on March 31. Past participants have hailed from Australia, Canada, South Korea, Malaysia, Thailand, and the US.

    As many as five companies accepted into the Market Access Program will receive consulting to support their market access plans and be introduced to key stakeholders in the region, including government and industry leaders. The applicant with the highest-potential plan for the region will receive a complimentary market access tour valued at $15,000.

    “Greater Mekong Sub-region government, tourism, and hospitality leaders have embraced MIST as a force for innovation, sustainability, and growth in the region,” said Mr. Jens Thraenhart, Executive Director of the Mekong Tourism Coordinating Office. “Through this program, we have created the ideal mechanism for tourism innovators and travel startups to get paired with investors and industry mentors who can equip them to scale and thrive.”

    Destination Mekong and the Mekong Business Initiative - with the backing of the Australian Government, the Asian Development Bank, and the Mekong Tourism Coordinating Office - launched MIST in 2016 to propel innovation in the rapidly growing tourism markets of the Greater Mekong Sub-region. MIST aims to expedite tourism industry growth, create an ecosystem that inspires innovation, and promote sustainability in tourism.

    VietJet Air to jumpstart operations in Changi Airport Terminal 4

    On March 6, Changi Airport Group scheduled the Vietjet Air’s shift of operations to Terminal 4 (T4) from Terminal 3 (T3) of Changi Airport, which would help reduce passengers’ time spent on transfer buses from the remote gate to the terminal as well as expand the Vietnam-based airline’s operations at Changi Airport.

    Specifically, the relocation of the Vietnam-based airline to T4 was scheduled to follow the terminal’s recent addition of a new airline, JC (Cambodia) International Airlines, which would carry out daily aviation services from Singapore to Phnom Penh from January 25. Additionally, both Vietjet Air and JC would operate a total of 28 weekly flights in T4, serving more than 8.3 million passengers each year.

    Previously, since October 31, 2017, Vietjet Air was reported to welcome over 1.6 million passengers and more than 9,400 flights thanks to its presence in Terminal 3.

    Currently, T4 is home to 11 airlines, including Vietnam Airlines, Cathay Pacific, and AirAsia, which connect flights among 21 destinations in the region. Opening the first flight to Ho Chi Minh City in 2014, VietJet Air was reported to have added the second daily flight to Ho Chi Minh and the first daily flight to Hanoi.

    To date, ChangiAirport provides seven connection flight routes from Singapore to three large cities of Vietnam (Danang, Hanoi, and Ho Chi Minh City) via 148 weekly flights. In 2017, Ho Chi Minh City was Changi’s eighth busiest route, welcoming more than 1.7 million passengers, which was 4.5 per cent up against 2016.

    Since October 2017, with a floor area of 225,000 square metres, T4 offers new aviation experience with an innovative design and the latest technology.

    In addition, passengers could enjoy a variety of international travel experiences, such as ChangiAirport’s fast and seamless travel (FAST) option for departing passengers as well as exhibitions of art, local culture, and architecture at T4.

    In 2016 alone, ChangiAirport, the world's sixth busiest airport for international traffic, was reported to serve 58.7 million passengers from around the globe, offering 400 retail and service stores as well as 140 food and beverage (F&B) outlets. With over 100 airlines connecting destinations in 400 cities around the world, the airport could operate about 7,200 flights every week, equivalent to about one flight every 80 seconds.

    Founded in June 2009, Singapore’s Changi Airport Group Pte., Ltd. (CAG) was established as ChangiAirport’s managing firm, focusing on the airport’s operation and management, air hub development, commercial activities, and airport emergency services, as well as investing in and managing foreign airports.

    Ha Bac Nitrogenous Fertiliser report third annual consecutive loss

    Ha Bac Nitrogenous Fertiliser & Chemicals JSC (Hanichemco) reported a loss of VND612 billion ($26.98 million), marking a consecutive loss for the third year. 
    ha bac nitrogenous fertiliser report third annual consecutive loss

    Hanichemco has published its financial report in the fourth quarter of 2017. Accordingly, it acquired VND730 billion ($32.2 million) in revenue, up 20 per cent against the same period in 2016. The company’s revenue for the whole year was VND2.33 trillion ($101.39 million).

    According to the leaders of Hanichemco, increasing material costs boosted input expenditure, while the selling price saw a plunge, resulting in losses.

    This is the third consecutive year Hanichemco reports a loss. Notably, in 2015 alone, the company suffered losses of VND700 billion ($31.3 million), while the figure in 2016 was VND1.05 trillion ($46.2 million).

    The company started making losses after expanding its production facility, upgrading its capacity to 500,000 from the initial 180,000 tonnes per year, in June 2015.

    Due to the bleak financial results, it was ignored by investors when it listed on the UpCoM trading platform in late July 2017.

    Notably, on July 26, Hanichemco (ticker DHB) made 272.2 million shares, representing a registered capital of VND2.71 trillion ($119.2 million), officially available for trading at the initial reference unit price of VND6,800. At present, the share is valued at VND4,800.

    A subsidiary of state-run Vietnam National Chemical Group (Vinachem), Hanichemco specialises in manufacturing urea nitrogenous fertiliser, which makes up 80 per cent of its revenue.

    However, in recent years, the domestic demand for urea fertiliser fell far short of supply, leading to extreme imbalance. Besides, the domestic fertiliser manufacturing sector also needs to compete with imported products, especially cheaper Chinese ones.

    Aquatic export surges in January

    Fishery export value amounted to 560 million USD in the first month of 2018, up 15.6 percent from the same period last year.

    Also in January, Vietnam imported US$151 million worth of aquatic products, an annual increase of 55.8%.

    According to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, fishing activities are in its high time of the year, with Phu Yen, Binh Dinh, and Khanh Hoa harvesting approximately 690 tonnes of tuna fish during the month.

    In the domestic market, prices of Tra fish materials in the Mekong Delta region remained at high levels, ranging between VND27,000 and VND29,000 per kg due to supply shortage. The situation is unlikely to change soon, as export is brisk while supply sources expand only marginally.

    The prices of shrimp are projected to follow an upward trend compare to the last month of 2017 thanks to increases in consumer and factory’s materials demand.

    The US, Japan, China, and the Republic of Korea were top four importers of Vietnamese aquatic products last year, together accounting for 55% of the country’s total fishery exports.

    Ministries, trade counsellors seek to boost agricultural export

    The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) coordinated with the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT) to organise a trade counsellors’ meeting in Hanoi on February 8, discussing ways to enhance the export of agricultural products.

    The agricultural sector targets a growth rate of about 3 percent and export revenue of 40 billion USD in 2018.

    Tran Van Cong, Deputy Director of the MARD’s Agro Processing and Market Development Authority, said agricultural trade promotion is facing numerous difficulties as many countries like the US, China, Japan and the EU have increased protecting domestic agriculture. Their quality and food safety standards have become stricter.

    As a result, it takes more time, five to seven years in average, for Vietnam to negotiate with other countries to open markets for its farm produce.

    He said in 2018, the agricultural sector will work to enhance the market analysis and forecast capacity, ensure smooth consumption of farm produce, and increase marketing key Vietnamese products in big and potential markets. It will also tighten links with domestic and foreign agricultural businesses, remove technical barriers, and solve payment difficulties in export to Africa and the Middle East.

    MARD Minister Nguyen Xuan Cuong emphasised that as Vietnam’s agricultural production has surpassed demand, an important task is maximising global markets and producing farm produce with the best quality.

    Trade Counsellor in Japan Ta Duc Minh said Japan highly values many agricultural products of Vietnam, particularly mangoes and bananas. The shipment of the first chicken meat batches to Japan also proved that the country’s agricultural products have satisfied this demanding market.

    However, he noted, export prices are still high, especially fruit since they are rotten easily and shipment cost is not low. He asked for solutions to reduce shipment cost in order to boost Vietnamese products’ competitiveness.

    Meanwhile, Trade Counsellor in Australia Nguyen Hoang Thuy said the opening of the Australian market is long and full of difficulties. For example, it takes up to 12 years for lychees to enter this market. Therefore, it is necessary to shorten negotiation duration.

    She stressed the need for better coordination between the MARD and the trade office to promote negotiations.

    At the meeting, Minister Cuong also asked trade counsellors to not only promote trade but also provide more information on technology, culture and market trends which are crucial for the agricultural sector to expand markets.

    VN may export longans to Australia in 2019
       
    Vietnamese longans may be exported to Australia in 2019, according to a delegation of the Australian Department of Agriculture and Water Resources.

    The delegation recently worked with the Department of Crop Production under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development to examine the longan farming, processing and packaging process in northern HungYenProvince and southern BenTreProvince.

    The Australian department will discuss plant guarantee measures with the Vietnamese officials in the near future.

    The agriculture ministry said this is good news for Viet Nam’s fruit sector as Australia is a potential fruit export market. Earlier, the country also permitted the import of fresh lychees, mangoes and dragon fruits from the Southeast Asian nation.

    Last year, fruit and vegetable exports set a record of US$3.5 billion, rising by 40 per cent from the previous year. Vietnamese fruits and vegetables are sold in 40 countries and territories around the world.

    Ford VN gains double-digit market share
       
    Ford Vietnam reported on Monday that it has for the first time achieved double-digit market share in this country after increasing by one percentage point in 2017.

    At 10.5 per cent it is the second largest in the market after selling over 28,580 vehicles, it said.

    In related news, the US company got an authorised agent in the southern province of Tay Ninh, its 36th agents in the country.

    With a total investment of US$2 million, Tay Ninh Ford is built to Ford’s international standards.

    It sells new as well as used cars and spare parts, and offers warranty services.

    Applications open for MIST programmes
       
    Destination Mekong and Mekong Business Initiative on Wednesday announced their 2018 Mekong Innovative Startups in Tourism (MIST) business support programmes.

    For the first time, the MIST Startup Accelerator is welcoming applications from tourism, hospitality and travel tech start-ups headquartered in Thailand, Cambodia, Laos and Viet Nam. The Startup Accelerator provides support to early-stage companies with innovative and scalable business models. Applications for its 2018 cohort will close on March 10.

    Some 15-20 start-ups selected by the Accelerator will attend an all-expenses-paid intensive boot camp, where they will compete for six months of advanced mentorship, in-kind acceleration support valued at US$20,000, prize money up to $10,000 and customised business matching with potential investors and partners.

    The MIST Market Access Programme, now in its second year, is soliciting applications from successful, small- to medium-sized international tourism, hospitality and travel tech companies that want assistance in expanding in Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Viet Nam. Applications for the Market Access Programme will close on March 31. Past participants have included Australia, Canada, South Korea, Malaysia, Thailand and the US.

    As many as five companies accepted into the Market Access Programme will receive consultation to support their market access plans and will be introduced to key stakeholders in the region, including government and industry leaders. The applicant with the highest-potential plan for the region will receive a complimentary market access tour valued at $15,000.

    “The Greater Mekong sub-region’s government, tourism and hospitality leaders have embraced MIST as a force of innovation, sustainability and growth in the region,” said Jens Thraenhart, executive director of the Mekong Tourism Coordinating Office. “Through this programme, we have created the ideal mechanism for tourism innovators and travel start-ups to get paired with investors and industry mentors who can equip them to scale and thrive.”

    Destination Mekong and Mekong Business Initiative - with the backing of the Government of Australia, Asian Development Bank and Mekong Tourism Co-ordinating Office - launched MIST in 2016 to propel innovation in the rapidly growing tourism markets of the Greater Mekong sub-region. MIST aims to expedite tourism industry growth, create an ecosystem that inspires innovation and promote sustainability in tourism.

    Interested companies can find application details online at mist.asia.

    Intellectual property key for start-ups
       
    Start-ups must focus on intellectual property that can enhance their competitiveness, experts said.

    Tran Le Hong, chief of the secretariat of the Intellectual Property Department under the Ministry of Science and Technology, said at a conference on Tuesday that intellectual property was an important asset to start-ups.

    But many start-ups seem unaware of intellectual property and have not invested adequate amount of time, effort and money in it to develop their brands from the beginning.

    The inadequate investment in intellectual property may result in disputes and lawsuits, which can hinder the development of start-ups, Hong said.

    He said enhancing awareness and knowledge about innovation and intellectual property must start from universities and colleges.

    According to Bui Anh Tuan, principal of the ForeignTradeUniversity, many universities now pay special attention to enhancing students’ knowledge about intellectual property, together with the foundation of start-up clubs, to promote a spirit of innovation and entrepreneurship as well as contribute to the development of the national start-up ecosystem.

    Tran Thi Tam, CEO of IPCom, said there was a huge demand for basic knowledge about innovation and intellectual property of start-ups.

    Experts at the conference said it was necessary to enhance the cooperation of universities, communication agencies and businesses to raise awareness on the matter.

    At the conference, a project on enhancing students’ and start-ups’ awareness of innovation and intellectual property was officially kicked off, which will be jointly implemented by IPCom, VietnamPlus online newspaper under the Viet Nam News Agency, and Foreign Trade University. Tam said that in the 2018-19 period, the project would evaluate the innovation and intellectual property management capacity of start-ups and provide support tocommercialise intellectual property products to contribute to socio-economic development.

    Phan Ngan Son, deputy director of the Intellectual Property Department, said the project was critical to raising awareness on intellectual property, which was important in rapid economic integration. 

    VNN


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  • 02/12/18--00:59: Article 2
  • Government News 11/10


    Vietnamese embassies celebrate Lunar New Year


     

    Vietnamese embassies celebrate Lunar New Year, HCM City, Cambodian officials deliver New Year greetings to Long An, PM asks for breakthrough measures to boost Dak Nong’s growth, Vietnamese Ambassador to Nigeria presents credentials
    Art performance in Myanmar to welcome Tet. 

    More than 500 Vietnamese expatriates in Myanmar have joined in a celebration for Tet (Lunar New Year) festival recently held by the Vietnamese Embassy, enterprises and Vietnamese people community.

    Delivering warm Tet greetings to the Vietnamese expats, Ambassador Luan Thuy Duong informed the participants of Vietnam’s achievements in 2017 like economic growth, corruption fighting and APEC Year 2017 as well as the sound bilateral relations with Myanmar.

    She called on Vietnamese businesses and people in Myanmar to strengthen solidarity, obey rules and respect culture of the host nation. They should join hands to popularise Vietnam’s images to Myanmar friends, making contributions to nurturing the comprehensive cooperative partnership between the two countries, she said.

    The Vietnamese diplomat noted that the embassy stands ready to support Vietnamese companies and people in Myanmar.

    Meanwhile, the Vietnamese Embassy in Laos organised a reception on February 9 to welcome Tet holiday. 

    The event was attended by Lao Minister of Defence Chansamone Chanyalath, head of the Lao People’s Revolutionary Party Central Committee’s Commission for Propaganda and Training Kikeo Khaykhamphithoune, representatives from Lao ministries and authorities, Vietnamese expats and businesses in Laos.

    Vietnamese Ambassador to Laos Nguyen Ba Hung noted that cooperative relations between the two countries have been deepened in the fields of politics-diplomacy, security-defence, culture-education. Particularly, 12 cooperative deals inked at the Vietnam-Laos Inter-Governmental Committee last month will create impetus for bilateral collaboration in the coming years.

    He hailed the Vietnamese community’s contributions to the socio-economic development in both countries and thanked the Lao Government for creating favourable conditions for Vietnamese nationals living and doing business in Laos.

    For his part, Lao Defence Minister Chansamone Chanyalath congratulated Vietnam on its achievements in national construction and socio-economic development. 

    He expressed his deep gratitude for Vietnamese Party, Government and people’s support for Laos during the national liberation, protection and development.

    He affirmed that Laos will accompany with Vietnam to nurture and preserve the special traditional solidarity founded by President Ho Chi Minh and President Kaysone Phomvihane.

    The function featured Vietnamese traditional dishes and art performances extolling Vietnam-Laos solidarity.

    Earlier on February 6, Lao Ambassador to the US Mai Sayavongs delivered New Year greetings to Vietnamese Ambassador Pham Quang Vinh and all staff of the embassy in WashingtonD.C. 

    Cambodian officials deliver New Year greetings to Long An


    Vietnamese embassies celebrate Lunar New Year, HCM City, Cambodian officials deliver New Year greetings to Long An, PM asks for breakthrough measures to boost Dak Nong’s growth, Vietnamese Ambassador to Nigeria presents credentials

     

    Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee Tran Van Can (R) and Governor of Svay Rieng province Men Vibol. 

    A delegation from Cambodia’s Svay Rieng and Pray Veng provinces visited the southern province of Long An on February 9 to extend greetings to local Party Committee, authorities and people on the occasion of Lunar New Year.

    The delegation includes Governor of Svay Rieng province Men Vibol and Deputy Governor of Pray Veng province Chanh Tha.

    Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee Tran Van Can expressed his delight to welcome the delegation, saying that their visit is a vivid manifestation for the good neighbourliness and traditional friendship between the two countries.

    Last year, Long An province and Cambodia’s border localities like Svay Rieng and Pray Veng carried out cooperation in various fields, especially they joined hands to organise activities to mark 50 years of Vietnam-Cambodia diplomatic relations and the Vietnam-Cambodia Friendship Year, he said.

    Can believed that the three localities will boost collaboration in demarcating borderline and planting border markers, making contributions to building and protecting the shared borderline of peace, friendship and cooperation for mutual development.

    The Cambodian officials expressed their hope for the further development of the two countries’ solidarity and friendship.

    PM asks for breakthrough measures to boost Dak Nong’s growth


     

    Vietnamese embassies celebrate Lunar New Year, HCM City, Cambodian officials deliver New Year greetings to Long An, PM asks for breakthrough measures to boost Dak Nong’s growth, Vietnamese Ambassador to Nigeria presents credentials
    Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc looks at a product of Nhan Co Aluminium Plant


    Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc had a meeting with key leaders of the Central Highlands province of Dak Nong, during which he asked for drastic and breakthrough measures to boost the locality’s growth.

    The PM suggested that Dak Nong continue speeding up its economic restructuring, focusing on renewable industry and service, while reforming administrative procedures in a comprehensive manner to attract investment and fostering the growth of industry, tourism, and startups.

    He reminded the province to pay greater attention to forestation and natural forest protection, as well as improving its provincial competitiveness index.

    Particularly, the PM stressed the need to take measures to enhance the living conditions of ethnic minority community in the province, as well as maintain good relations with Cambodian localities bordering Dak Nong.

    He held that a conference should be held to discuss how to deal with unplanned migration.

    Last year, Dak Nong recorded a growth of 9.47 percent, with State budget collection of over 2 trillion VND, surpassing the plan by 24 percent. The province currently has over 2,600 enterprises.

    Dak Nong is facing high burden from a large number of immigrants. So far, 675,500 people have moved to the locality, doubling the population of the province in 2004.

    Earlier the same day, the PM visited two major projects in the province, including Nhan Co Aluminium Plant and Dak Nong Aluminium Electrolysis project.

    The Nhan Co Aluminium Plant has become operational since July 2017 with a design capacity of over 500,000 tonnes, mainly products exported to foreign markets, including Japan, the Republic of Korea, China and Singapore.

    Meanwhile, the 690 million USD Dak Nong Aluminium Electrolysis project with a capacity of 450,000 tonnes per year is scheduled to produce first products in the fourth quarter of 2019.

    Also on February 9, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc made a pre-Tet visit to the provincial border guards and police forces.

    He applauded their plans to ensure security in border areas during Lunar New year holiday. Dak Nong, sharing 130km of border with Cambodia, should pay special attention to ensure security and safety along the border, while helping poor households enjoy a warm Tet festival, he asked.

    The PM asked them to improve combat readiness to protect national sovereignty and increase the involvement in socio-economic development activities.

    He urged Dak Nong border guards to build a stronger and more competent force, who is closer to the people and determined to safeguard the fatherland.

    Acknowledging the provincial police force’s effort in fulfilling the task of safeguarding security, he urged them to continue fighting cross-border crimes and poachers, and create a favorable environment for investment.

    Congratulations to Cyprus President

    President Tran Dai Quang, on February 9, sent congratulatory messages to Nicos Anastasiades on his re-election as Cypriot President for a second five-year term.

    The 71-year-old conservative won the Republic of Cyprus’ presidential election on February 4 with 56 percent of the vote.

    Cyprus and Vietnam officially established diplomatic ties in December 1975. 

    Cyprus officially opened its consulate general in Ho Chi Minh City on April 6, 2016. 

    Vietnamese, Chinese parties work to boost liaison


     

    Vietnamese embassies celebrate Lunar New Year, HCM City, Cambodian officials deliver New Year greetings to Long An, PM asks for breakthrough measures to boost Dak Nong’s growth, Vietnamese Ambassador to Nigeria presents credentials
    Vietnamese Ambassador to China Dang Minh Khoi


    Vietnamese Ambassador to China Dang Minh Khoi, on February 8, visited the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee’s International Liaison Department, which is in charge of promoting, coordinating and carrying out the CPC’s cooperative activities with foreign parities.

    As part of the visit to extend his Lunar New Year greetings, the diplomat had a discussion with Assistant Minister of the department Wang Yajun.

    Taking about achievements in bilateral friendship exchanges via the Party channel in 2017 and cooperation orientations for 2018, they expressed their delight at milestones in VietnamChina relations last year.

    In 2017, it was the first time Party chiefs and State Presidents of the two nations had paid visits to the other side within a year, which helped them secure common conceptions for development of bilateral ties. Two-way trade surpassed the set goal of 100 billion USD, while exchanges of tourist arrivals between the two nations were close to 10 million.  

    Regarding such outcomes, the sides discussed more creative measures to boost bilateral exchanges via the Party channel.

    On the occasion, Ambassador Khoi thanked for assistance from the CPP Central Committee’s International Liaison Department toward the success of high-ranking visits in past time, asking the agency to further their effective coordination of VietnamChina joint activities in the future.

    Authorities greet Catholics, overseas Vietnamese on Lunar New Year


     

    Vietnamese embassies celebrate Lunar New Year, HCM City, Cambodian officials deliver New Year greetings to Long An, PM asks for breakthrough measures to boost Dak Nong’s growth, Vietnamese Ambassador to Nigeria presents credentials
    Chairman of the People’s Committee Nguyen Duc Chung (L) presents a Tet gift to a representative of Thai Ha Parish 

    On February 9, authorities in Hanoi, Binh Duong, and Da Nang extended Lunar New Year greetings to the Catholic and overseas Vietnamese who returned home for Tet.

    In Hanoi, Chairman of the People’s Committee Nguyen Duc Chung visited the Hang Bot and Thai Ha parishes in Dong Da district and presented 100 gifts to disadvantaged Catholic followers there. 

    Parish priests Trinh Ngoc Hien of the Hang Bot Parish and Nguyen Van Kieu of the Thai Ha Parish both expressed their appreciation toward assistance from the capital’s authority in many years.

    In the southern province of Binh Duong, the provincial Fatherland Front (VFF) Central Committee held a gathering for close to 200 overseas Vietnamese, who came back to their hometown for the occasion of Lunar New Year holiday (Tet).

    At the event, Vice Chairman of the Binh Duong People’s Committee Dang Minh Hung acknowledged valuable contributions of the expatriate community to the country, asking them to continue supporting each other and working to promote the image of Binh Duong and Vietnam to international friends.

    Binh Duong has over 10,000 residents living abroad. The expats have so far invested more than 4 trillion VND (44.1 million USD) in approximately 135 projects in the province. In 2017, Binh Duong recorded 130 million USD worth of remittance, up 8 percent from 2016.

    A similar get-together held for over 160 overseas Vietnamese took place in the central city of Da Nang.

    Vice Chairman of the municipal People’s Committee Ho Ky Minh greeted the community and pledged to facilitate their travel to and business investment in the city.

    He stated the 110 million USD worth of remittance Da Nang received last year reflected the community’s dedication to their homeland.

    On the occasion, the Da Nang VFF Central Committee presented certificates of merit to three overseas Vietnamese with significant contributions to the local development.

    Vietnamese Ambassador to Nigeria presents credentials


     

    Vietnamese embassies celebrate Lunar New Year, HCM City, Cambodian officials deliver New Year greetings to Long An, PM asks for breakthrough measures to boost Dak Nong’s growth, Vietnamese Ambassador to Nigeria presents credentials
    Vietnam always treasures and wants to further friendship and multi-faceted cooperation with ​Nigeria. (Photo: crossed-flag-pins.com)  


    Vietnamese Ambassador to Nigeria Pham Anh Tuan has presented his letter of credentials to Nigerian President Muhammad Buhari in the capital city of Abuja, saying that Vietnam always treasures and wants to further friendship and multi-faceted cooperation with the African nation.

    The Vietnamese diplomat conveyed compliments and greetings from President Tran Dai Quang to President Muhammadu Buhari and Nigerian people. 

    He informed his host of Vietnam’s socio-economic development and the sound relations between the two countries.

    He said that he will do his utmost to contribute to the development of the bilateral ties, particularly in the fields of economy, trade and agriculture.

    The Nigerian President spoke highly of Vietnam’s achievements in the country’s doi moi (renewal) process and development and recommended that both sides need to bolster cooperation in the fields of Vietnam’s strength like agriculture and aquaculture.

    Earlier, Ambassador Tuan had a meeting with Nigerian Minister of Foreign Affairs Geoffrey Onyeama on February 6, during which Tuan conveyed a diplomatic note to the Minister, asking Nigeria to continue its support for Vietnam’s candidacy for non-permanent membership of the UN Security Council during 2020-2021.

    On the occasion, he conveyed Deputy Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Pham Binh Minh’s invitation to Geoffrey Onyeama to visit Vietnam.

    VNN


    0 0
  • 02/12/18--01:32: Article 1
  • Social News 11/2


    BOT
    National Road
    6 case: Warning over contractors’ weak capacity


     

    BOT National Road 6 case: Warning over contractors’ weak capacity, Project helps provinces improve adaptation to climate change, High supply, low demand affects watermelon farmers 

    The investors’ failure to acquire enough capital for construction works on a critical highway connecting Hà Nội and northern localities has threatened to derail the project, once again calling into question the viability of the Build-Operate-Transfer (BOT) model.

    With increasing demands for socio-economic infrastructure investment, the Government’s constrained budget requires partnerships with private investors.

    However, in the face of the investor’s violations, on January 31, transport minister Nguyễn Văn Thể issued an ultimatum that the investor must fulfill the contract signed with the ministry, or the contract would be terminated within 10 days.

    The ministry’s hard-line move is considered too little too late as the project is already a year behind schedule.

    The Hoà Lạc – Hoà Bình BOT project (National Road 6) has total investment of nearly VNĐ 3 trillion (US$131.2 million) via a joint-venture between the defence ministry’s Corporation 36 and two private companies, Thành Lộc Construction JSC and Hà Nội Investment and Trade JSC.

    The project comprises two components, building the 25.7km of Hòa Lạc – Hoà Bình highway and upgrading the 30.6km Xuân Mai – Hoà Bình section of National Road 6. The latter component was completed in 2015 April and toll collection started in October that year. Meanwhile, progress on the Hoà Lạc – Hoà Bình highway has been stagnant.

    According to reports, the transport ministry allowed the investor to collect fees from drivers even though the two components are not completed.

    The contract between the transport ministry and the joint-venture states that once the Xuân Mai – Hoà Bình section is completed, the investor can construct a toll station at Km42+730 (Lương Sơn District, Hoà Bình Province) on National Road 6 and begin collecting fees worth VNĐ100 billion from 2015 August 1 to 2016 July 31.

    The figure would be used to invest in the Hoà Lạc – Hoà Bình section and the toll collection for the section could commence when the construction works are finished.

    The transport ministry contended this term is meant to “shorten the capital payback period.” However, toll fees collected at the BOT station Lương Sơn have surpassed the contract’s figure by VNĐ70 billion, reported Kinh tế & Đô thị (Economic and Urban affairs) newspaper.

    Another problem found was that between the three companies in the joint-venture, Corp 36 is supposed to be the ‘main player’ contributing VNĐ150 billion, while Hà Nội Investment and Trade JSC and Trường Lộc JSC contribute VNĐ130.9 billion and VNĐ93.5 billion, respectively.

    However, currently, only Corp 36 has fulfilled their duty while there is still another VNĐ89 billion required.

    The joint-venture’s insufficient equity forced the Saigon Hà Nội Bank commercial bank to halt disbursement of the remaining half of the loans, despite their earlier commitment.

    The bank was originally to supply capital worth nearly VNĐ2 trillion, or 78 per cent of the project’s total investment, based on the investors’ financial plan.

    Lưu Việt Khoa, deputy director of the transport ministry’s Project Management Unit 2 (PMU2), said that the bank would resume the disbursement when the investors mobilise all of the required equity.

    Even more troubling is the fact that the joint-venture obtained an investment certificate without equity requirements being met.

    After three extension windows granted for the investors to implement the project, the transport ministry said that if the contract is concluded prematurely, the investor can no longer operate toll collection at the Lương Sơn BOT station and only 80 per cent of what they have spent on the project will be paid back, while the ministry would retain the remaining 20 per cent.

    Professor Từ Sỹ Sùa, senior lecturer at the transport university in Hà Nội, said what happened at BOT National Road 6, similar to other BOT traffic projects else in the country, is due to “borrowed capacity” on the part of the investor.

    Sùa contended that in other countries, the investor must be fully self-reliant – in terms of finance, or traffic construction expertise and experience.

    Meanwhile, in Việt Nam, investors’ funds come mostly from loans, or specifically, short-term loans, while BOT projects are long-term, leading to weak financial feasibility.

    Experts have also pointed out problems in the transport ministry’s bidder appointment mechanism, or selecting a general contractor/investor without going through proper public bidding.

    Nguyễn Văn Thanh, Chairman of Việt Nam Automobile Transport Association, said in the case of BOT Hoà Lạc – Hoà Bình project, the onus is on the transport ministry.

    Thanh urged the ministry to address the issue as soon as possible, as prolonging the project would mean higher accrued interest.

    Project helps provinces improve adaptation to climate change

    Lessons learned from the strategic mainstreaming of ecosystem-based adaptation (EbA) was a good foundation for Vietnam to prepare for climate change, according to Dr. Nguyen The Chinh from the Natural Resources and Environment Strategic Institute. 

    Chinh was speaking at a workshop on February 6 reviewing a project on the subject. It was held by the Institute for Strategy and Policy on Natural Resources and Environment in collaboration with the German Development Cooperation Agency. The event marked more than three years of productive collaboration.

    The 4-million Euro (4.9 million USD) project funded by the German Society for International Cooperation (GIZ) worked with the Vietnamese Government to mainstream ecosystem-based measures into pilot models in Ha Tinh and Quang Binh provinces.

    "After three years of implementation, the project evaluated the vulnerable ecological situation in Ha Tinh and Quang Binh provinces," Chinh said.

    “The project also helped to set up a national plan of land use for 2016-2020, and an updated action plan for climate change preparedness until 2020 in the provinces,” he added. 

    The EbA project aims to support efforts in the strategic mainstreaming of ecosystem-based approaches into national policies on climate change adaptation, land-use and development planning.

    EbA has been identified as an effective adaptation measure given that Vietnam is heavily affected by the adverse effects of climate change.

    Climate change vulnerability assessments have been conducted at both provincial and commune levels to introduce appropriate EbA solutions for implementation in the selected provinces.

    From 2016, the project began pilot EbA activities in coastal areas suffering erosion and sand movement in Quang Binh province by planting and rehabilitating coastal forests in combination with livelihood activities, such as cattle-raising, fresh- water fish farming, and vegetable cultivation.

    In Ha Tinh, the project piloted EbA approaches in a mountain ecosystem under drought conditions, enriching natural forest by using indigenous plants, oranges and pineapples grown in contour lines - plus bee-raising.

    The two areas selected for the pilot EbA approaches shared common characteristics. Firstly, the communities in both areas showed real enthusiasm to participate; and secondly, they lived in areas suffering from difficult economic conditions, with limited access to the technologies required for agricultural production.

    Strengthening the capacity of stakeholders at central and local levels was a key aspect of the project.

    To improve knowledge and the sharing of information on EbA measures and activities, the project organised a series of training workshops on mainstreaming them into the development planning process.

    The project also focused on mainstreaming EbA into the climate-change-adaptation legal framework by supporting Government agencies. For example, the Department of Land Management will implement strategic environmental assessments to collect inputs for revising national land-use planning for 2016-2020; the Department for Planning Management will mainstream EbA and climate-change issues into developing the Planning Law; and the departments of Natural Resources and Environment of Ha Tinh and Quang Binh will mainstream EbA into the updated Provincial Climate Change Action Plans to 2020.

    Ivo Litzenberg, GIZ expert, said after three years of implementation, the two provinces had cleaner water resources and a healthier ecological system which was less vulnerable to climate-change impacts.

    Land erosion was also reduced, which helped local people produce rice crops on slopes, said Litzenberg.

    The project had also helped local people understand the importance of production that was less harmful to ecological systems, he said.

    Meanwhile, according to Phan Lam Son, deputy head of Ha Tinh province’s Natural Resources and Environment Department, the project helped people become aware of main reasons for climate change, such as improper use of natural resources, waste discharge and polluting the environment.

    Vietnam was assessed as one of nations worst affected by climate change.

    If the sea water level rise by one metre, 40 percent of land area in the Mekong Delta, 11 percent of land in the Red River Delta, and 3 percent of land areas along other coastal regions would be submerged.

    About 10-12 percent of population would be affected and losses would account for 10 per cent of the country’s GDP, said experts.

    Understanding the consequences, the Government has issued several legal documents to deal with the situation, including a National Programme on Climate Change Preparedness, National Strategy on Climate Changes, National Strategy on Natural Calamity Reduction by 2020. 

    High supply, low demand affects watermelon farmers

    Farmers in the south-central coastal province of Bình Thuận are facing a crisis with watermelon. The recent fall in prices has led to oversupply but low demand.

    The Voice of Việt Nam (VOV) reports that thousands of tonnes of watermelons harvested in Đức Linh District, which grows the largest number of watermelons for Tết (Lunar New Year), have been piled up along the highway.

    The farmers sit next to the huge piles waiting for traders, but they are only able to sell just a few or tens of kilogrammes to passersby, reports VOV.

    Phan Long Hạnh, a watermelon farmer, said he had grown 30 tonnes of watermelon, but no one bought them. He has suffered huge losses this year due to the decrease in prices - only VNĐ3,500 (US$0.15) for a kilo.

    A trader, Nguyễn Văn An, said the watermelon could not be exported to other countries. He explained that a low demand in the north due to cold weather had resulted in the falling prices this year.

    Head of Đức Linh District’s Agriculture and Rural Development Office, Trương Quang Đến, said local farmers this year had grown watermelons in 180ha of land for the Tết season, increasing cultivation by 20ha compared to last year.

    With a production of 30 tonnes for every hectare, farmers were unhappy with the slowdown in price, Đến said.

    Hazards of bootleg mixed with methanol in North Vietnam

    According to the Food Administration of Vietnam, the rising number of patients hospitalized due to alcohol poisoning have seen before and after Tet holidays (the Lunar New Year).

    Amongst of them, the number of bootleg mingled with methanol accounts for 50 percent. Worse, wine not only causes poison but also risk to people’s health.

    In the days near Tet, the PoisonControlCenter at BachMaiHospital in Hanoi has admitted more emergency cases.

    Medical workers receive three or four drunkards a day; many of whom had liquor mixed with industrial methanol whose concentration is hundred times higher than permitted resulting in patients losing their consciousness.

    Dr. Nguyen Trung Nguyen who is responsible for poisoning center said that lately, poisoning cases due to drinking liquor mixed with methanol are on upward trend.

    Most drunk patients were taken to hospitals late with serious poisoning symptoms. Through treatment procedure, medical workers said that most of patients have bootleg without clear indication of origin or liquor mingled with industrial spirit.

    As per the Food Administration of Vietnam’s statistic showed in five years, the country recorded 28 poisoning cases infecting 193 people and driving 179 people to hospitals.

    Worse, 34 people were killed in poisoning cases. In 2017 alone, 10 poisoning cases was reported with 119 infections and 115 hospitalization cases.

    Deputy head of the administration Nguyen Hung Long said that as per a study, the rising cases of hospitalizations are seen just days before and after Tet holiday. In five years, the number of poisoning cases in these days has increased by 40-50 percent compared to previous months.

    Health Minister Nguyen Thi Kim Tien expressed her concern because the proportion of death due to drinking alcohol is 70 percent. The country has seen deaths because of alcohol mixed with methanol in the first days of the lunar year.

    Head of the administration Nguyen Thanh Phong said that poisoning cases will rise because the market still has unsafe liquor, bootleg and unoriginal products. Additionally, to earn profit, producers are willing to violate the regulation and buyers have low aware of fake liquor and local government also neglect control.

    Health Minister Tien said that the Ministry is amending the law of wine and be submitted it to the government in June.

    Moreover, the Ministry will propose alcohol tax meanwhile Mr. Phong said the Ministry and relevant agencies would strengthen supervision and issue harsh punishment on violators in wine production.

    At present, 328 registered big liquor manufacturers make 360 million liters of wine annually while 320 legal small manufacturers make below one million a year excluding wine made by families across the country. It is estimated by 2025, the country will have 440 million liters of wine.

    Flu patients increase due to cold weather

    Following increasing flu hospitalizations, the Ministry of Health yesterday sent its urgent dispatch to departments of health nationwide asked to adopt preventive measures against flu.

    The Ministry pointed out that last months of 2017 and early 2018, development of flu in the world has been complicated ; for instance, China recorded cases of flu with A/H7N9 virus while seasonal flu outbreaks has occurred in the US and flu due to virus A/H1N1 has seen in South Korea.

    Hospitalizations of flu cases in many localities are on upward trend;  the spring-winter weather is conducive to respiratory ailments.

    Accordingly, the Ministry ordered its sub-departments in cities and provinces to increase information of preventative measures against flu, early detection, and isolation in houses. People should go to medical clinics when they experience bad flu.

    People are advised to keep away from crowded and wear facemask when contacting ill people. Moreover, they should increase personal hygiene, cover their mouth when sneezing and have vaccination against flu.

    Hospitals are required to isolate patients, provide emergency and strictly control cross-infection. Medical workers must early detect cases of flu to provide treatment to serious cases and conduct tests to discover flu pathogen, closely control and prescribe medications carefully to deter drug-resistance.

    Departments of health in the country need to liaise with health animal department and relevant agencies to supervise flu outbreaks in poultry. These units must thoroughly handle the outbreak to curb spreading to people.

    Furthermore, they have to tighten control on sale and transportation of smuggled poultry through border crossings.

    Meantime, the north has recorded skyrocketing cases of flu mostly kids because cold waves hit the region from end of January in Hanoi. At present, the National Tropical Disease hospital admits over 100 patients including adults and kids; half of them are hospitalized.

    The situation is same in other hospitals namely the National Children, Bach Mai, Duc Giang, Dong Da, Saint Paul. Worse, some kids are suffering complications like pneumonia, even some of them must use ventilators.

    According to medical workers, seasonal flu is acute ailment with symptoms of headache, fever, fatigue, running nose and coughing. Viruses A (H3N2), A(H1N1), B and C are culprits to cause seasonal flu.

    When having seasonal flu, adults can recover within two to seven days. However, kids and senior people with chronic heart, lung, kidney diseases or anemia will easily suffer from severe complications even death.

    Da Nang implements online appointment scheduling with doctors

    People’s Committee in the Central City of Da Nang assigned the departments of Health, Home Affairs and Information and Communications to implement online appointment booking with doctors in hospitals and medical clinics in districts, communes.

    To book online appointment with doctors, residents in Da NangCity can access to online service via the website http://www.danang.gov.vn, then store all information of name, date of birth of patients, cellphone number, email, health insurance. The system will give feedbacks and send SMS message to patient’s mobile phone.

    The system automatically is pre-installed the number of patients a day to ensure not many people make online appointment booking with doctors in a day causing anger for those directly visit the medical facility at the same time. For instance, the maximum of people who book online appointment in a day is 20.

    People can call phone number 0236.1022 to book an appointment. 

    When visiting medical facilities, people should show the appointment confirmation sent via email or handphone. 

    According to People’s Committee, the procedure was submitted for the departments of Health and Home Affairs’ opinion in early February, 2018. The Department of Home Affairs will appraise the project in 15 days, and then the system will be operated.

    Before, Da NangCity applied appointment booking service for vaccination from November 1, 2017 assisting people to save time.

    With synchronous application in medical sector, the city will go near to smart health model contributing to push up it into smart city soon.

    Road maintenance fund collects over VND7 trillion in 2017

    Workers asphalt a section of Mai Chi Tho Avenue in HCMC’s District 2. The road maintenance fund has helped upgrade many deteriorating roads nationwide 

    The road maintenance fund collected VND7,143 billion (US$314.5 million) from road users nationwide last year while spending on road maintenance totaled VND8,142 billion.

    According to a report by the Central Road Maintenance Fund, road maintenance fee collections as of December 31, 2017 rose 11.8% against 2016 to VND7,143 billion, also 16.65% higher than the 2017 plan. On average, the fund received VND27 billion a day.

    Meanwhile, the Government spent VND8,142 billion last year repairing and upgrading more than 20,500 kilometers of national highway managed by five Road Management and Maintenance Departments and 51 Transport Departments, and repairing 243 bridges.

    Many storms and floods triggered heavy rains and landslides that damaged roads in mountainous provinces last year, making road maintenance costs surge.

    Le Hoang Minh, chief of office of the Central Road Maintenance Fund, said the fund has basically met the nation’s road maintenance demand.

    To ensure the efficiency of the fund, the Ministry of Transport has asked the Directorate for Roads of Vietnam to have detailed information about deteriorating and narrow bridges and roads to have as accurate calculations as possible for road maintenance demand and cost.

    Vietnam urged to improve job quality

    Vietnam should quickly take measures to create better jobs in the technology-driven economic development process, heard a seminar on “Outlook for Vietnam Employment” held on February 7 by the Ministry of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs.

    Kinh Te Do Thi newspaper cited a report by the World Bank (WB) presented to the seminar as saying that Vietnam’s unemployment rate is quite low. However, most jobs in the country are in production and service sectors with low added value, as up to 75% of jobs are generated by agricultural households and household businesses.

    Nearly half of agricultural laborers are farming low-yield rice. Especially, most businesses in the informal sector provide low added-value goods and services and 75% of manufacturing jobs are in the assembly sector which has the lowest added value in the production chain.

    The World Bank in its report suggested that Vietnam make proper investments to ensure that the economy and enterprises will brace for new development trends in the region and the world. Such preparations will help create better jobs.

    To do so, the Government should have policies to encourage local enterprises to participate in businesses that create high added value. The State should support enterprises to shift their business to knowledge-based stages in the regional and global value chains, according to the report, which also stresses that laborers must also prepare themselves for such jobs by acquiring new skills.

    In the long term, the number of jobless people may reach 10-70% due to impacts of automation. However, the trend will help create new jobs in the design, research-application, marketing, after-sales services, logistics and agriculture sectors.

    According to the WB report, the consumer market is growing rapidly in Asia, with more than 80% of households in developing countries in Asia having disposable incomes by 2030. Meanwhile, the rate is two thirds in Vietnam.

    Increasing income and fast urbanization will diversify jobs in Vietnam. Besides, the increasing demand for processed products and services of Vietnamese consumers will raise the number of workers in these sectors.

    Moreover, the country will need many employees to take care of elderly people due to the falling birth rate and longer life expectancy.

    Cocktail Party coming this weekend

    The Bartender street 2018 will be organized at Thu Thiem New City in Ho Chi Minh City’s District 2 from February 9-11.

    The event will offer special cocktail menus with yummy, fruity drinks that are made from tropical fresh fruits of coconut and pineapple.

    Cocktail lovers will have also a chance to enjoy delicious finger foods, take part in a game to create their own cocktail and take a picture with German-engineered Volkswagen vehicles, new Beetle and Passat models in Volkswagen Studio.

    There will be a wide variety of activities, such as a calligraphy street where calligraphers gather to write nice words written in calligraphy to customers on the occasion of Tet (Lunar New year) holiday, Pool Bar, fashion show, music performances

    The event is organized by the Vietnam Tourism Education Association under the Viet Nam Tourism Association.

    Health sector ensures enough Tamiflu for patients

    Because flu patients increase dramatically resulting in shortage of Tamiflu, Deputy Head of Drug Administration of Vietnam Do Van Dong yesterday ensured enough drug for treatment demand.

    The administration took initiatives to direct pharmaceutical enterprises to closely coordinate with relevant agencies to forecast demand. On the basis of demand, enterprises will make its plan to provide the drug.

    Through initial survey of importing quantity, supply of the medication will meet the demand of treatment; however, Mr. Dong also pointed out that hospitals should have more in its stock for preparation of large outbreaks of the ailment.

    He added that Tamiflu drug with Oseltamivir have been approved to circulate in the country.

    According to the present regulation, the drug is imported as per the market demand. The medication is mostly provided to specialized medical clinics when flu outbreak occurs. Patients can take the drug under doctors’ prescription.

    Moreover, the drug with Oseltamivir can not replace vaccination; therefore, he advised people to take vaccination against seasonal flu.

    On the day, the Ministry of Health continued warning of the complicated flu development in the world and in the country with increasing hospitalizations in some localities.

    To curb the spreading of the ailment and reduce patient overload and cross –infection in hospitals, the Ministry ordered its departments of health to step up information of flu to people.

    Moreover, cases of flu should be early detected, isolated in houses. People are advised to go to nearby medical facilities soon when they experience serious symptoms of flu.

    Hospitals are assigned to classify serious patients and slight ones to isolate and provide timely treatment as well as organize special section to curb cross-infection.

    HCMC-Can Gio- Vung Tau high-speed boat put into operation

    The Ho Chi Minh City Transport Department said that a high- speed boat route connecting the Bach Dang Wharf of Ho Chi Minh City, Can Gio District and VungTauCity will be put into exploitation.  

    According to Greenlines DP Technology Co Ltd, a main investor of the project, the boat service is strictly examined in term of technology and departure procedures before putting into the operation on February 10. 

    Total seven boats having capacity of 50- 132 passengers per boat will operate on the route. 

    The 85 km route travelling through Bach Dang wharf- Sai Gon River, Nha Be, Long Tau, Nga Bay, Tac Suat wharf  (Can Gio district), Ganh Rai and Ho May Eco-Tourism Park (Vung Tau city).  

    After putting into exploitation, the ticket price for the Bach Dang– Can Gio trip will cost VND 200,000 for adult.

    Especially, staffs, officials, residents of Can Gio district, children with age of 6-11, elderly will be discounted 50 percent of ticket price (around VND 100,000). 

    Vietnamese heroic mothers, war invalids, disabled ones, children under six years old will be free of charge.

    Ticket price from Can Gio district to Ho May Eco-Tourism Park (Vung Tau city) will be VND 100,000. 

    According to the Ho Chi Minh City Transport Department, it is the first high- speed boat running on route of Ho Chi Minh City- Can Gio – Vung Tau.

    In the coming time, the city will continue opening other high- speed boats to meet the demand of travelling and developing the city's maritime tourism. 

    Vietnamese man gets death for murdering children, sexually assaulting woman

    A Vietnamese man in Hanoi has been condemned to death for killing two young girls and raping a woman, with his parents serving suspended sentences for failing to report his crimes.

    Dao Van Hung, a 32-year-old resident of Phu Xuyen District, Hanoi, was tried for murdering Thu T., 10, and Thi T., 9, who were his next-door neighbors, and sexually assaulting Nguyen T., 27, a local woman, according to the indictment by the Hanoi People’s Court on February 7.

    The first crime came to light only after he was arrested for the second.

    According to investigation results, Hung graduated from a major university in Hanoi, had employment for a certain time in the city before living with his mentally deranged elder brother in a house next to his parents’ on the outskirts of the capital.

    On an evening of May 2016, he killed the two girls and buried their bodies in his back garden.

    Hung said that he murdered them in order to find out why no local women had ever been interested in him.

    His parents were all aware of his wrongdoing, for at the time they were crying over the children’s bodies lying on his bed, reproaching him for causing them to suffer, according to the crime record.

    He begged his parents to shroud the killing in secrecy, over which they agreed.

    In the other case, on the afternoon of November 19, 2016, Hung carried two bags containing three knives and ten pointed iron bars to a rice paddy of his village, and waited to rape any passing woman.

    Ten minutes later, he blocked Nguyen T.’s way, and then dragged her to a nearby ditch for forced sex.

    Seeing the victim’s family coming to her rescue, Hung threateningly brandished a knife and ran back to his house, on whose top he stood holding more knives and some of the metal bars until the end of the same day, when he was captured by police.

    Hung admitted his child murder under police questioning, but was denying all the crime and rejecting multiple questions about the killing in court, while his parents declared their son was the culprit.

    He also refused to apologize to the two girls’ families, saying that he was not involved whatsoever in the kids’ death.

    Standing trial with Hung were his parents, who were convicted of harboring and failure to denounce him to police.

    The parents admitted their guilt and asked to be granted a suspended sentence, with the court ruling that the father would receive 15 months’ probation and the mother 12 moths’ probation.

    The father said that his two sons suffer from mental illness, for he was exposed to Agent Orange when he was a soldier during wartime.

    Rail link planned between HCMCity and Cambodia's casino kingdom

    Transport officials from Vietnam and Cambodia have agreed to push forward with a plan to build a railway between Ho Chi Minh City and Bavet, home to a special economic zone and a casino kingdom.

    The plan was revealed this week at a meeting between Cambodian Transport Minister Sun Chanthol and Vietnam’s Deputy Minister of Transport Nguyen Nhat, the Khmer Times said on February 8.

    Sun said the two governments are currently working on a feasibility study and looking for private investment. The Bavet-Ho Chi Minh City line will be around 250km long, shorter than a previously planned line from Binh Phuoc Province that was scrapped due to high costs.

    The new link will be part of a region-wide railway to connect Singapore to China’s YunnanProvince via Malaysia, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam, Sun said, as cited in the report.

    Bavet is the largest city in SvayRiengProvince and one of Cambodia’s special economic zones. It is home to textile and bicycle factories, but its core business is casinos that are often frequented by Vietnamese gamblers who are not allowed to place their bets at home.

    Cambodia and Vietnam are also planning an expressway linking Phnom Penh with Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam's commercial hub.

    Calm seas let people return to Lý Sơn

    After rough seas halted all sea travel for more than a week, thousands of people are now flocking to buy tickets to return to QuảngNgãiProvince’s Lý Sơn Island District for Tết. 

    Vessels connecting the island and Sa Kỳ Port started running again on Wednesday. More than 1,200 travelled to the island on six vessels on the same day.

    Nguyễn Hồng Khanh, said he had bought a ticket to return to the island for the Tết holidays, but was stranded in QuảngNgãiCity because of the bad weather.

    Lê Tấn Hải, director of Sa Kỳ Port Management Board, said the port had worked with the provincial Maritime Administration to dispatch an additional 11 vessels to serve travelling demands.

    Nguyễn Tấn Lự, captain of Chín Nghĩa 02 Vessel said his firm would help ensure that no one was left behind due to lack of vessels.

    Nhâm Xuân Sỹ, director of the provincial centre for Hydro-meteorological Forecasting, said another cold spell bringing rough seas was expected to hit the province on Sunday.

    Various activities bring better Tet to the needy

    Various activities have been held in many localities to help the needy enjoy a warm traditional Lunar New Year (Tet), the most important festival in a year of Vietnamese people.

    In the southern province of Dong Nai, the Vietnam General Confederation of Labour and Mobifone company on February 8 presented 1,200 train tickets to poor workers in Dong Nai, Binh Duong and Long An to return to their homelands in the northern and central regions for the holiday.

    The programme was first launched in 2016. So far, 4,400 travel tickets have been delivered to the needy.

    The same day, in the Mekong Delta province of Vinh Long, the Vietnam Red Cross Society’s representative office in the southern region and the provincial Red Cross Society granted gifts worth 500,000 VND each to 100 local poor households and victims of Agent Orange/dioxin.

    According to President of the provincial Red Cross Society Le Dong Nhac, the organisation has mobilised 32,500 gifts for those in need.

    Meanwhile, the northern province of Phu Tho’s Labour Federation has implemented a number of activities to support labourers, including offering gifts to poor workers, assisting poor households in building houses. So far, trade unions in the locality have given nearly 2,000 Tet gifts to poor workers.

    At the same time, Le Minh Hung, Vice President of the Labour Federation of the Mekong Delta province of Tien Giang said that the federation has worked with some agencies to give nearly 1,200 travel tickets worth over 600 million VND to workers in the locality, while presenting nearly 14,000 poor labourers with nearly 5.4 billion VND in cash, along with Tet gifts worth over 2.5 billion VND to 12,000 needy people.

    The federation plans to hold a Tet celebration for workers in industrial parks as well as call on enterprises to present 5,000 gifts and at least 500 travel tickets to poor workers, he said. It will also give financial assistance to 21 households to build new houses, added Hung.

    Former chief judge Pham Hung of Supreme People’s Court passes away

    Pham Hung, former Chief Judge of the Supreme People’s Court and a National Assembly deputy for many terms, passed away on February 4 at the age of 91.

    Hung was born in 1927 in Cuong Chinh commune, Tien Lu district of the northern province of Hung Yen. He joined the revolution in August 1945 and became a member of the Communist Party of Vietnam in May 1946.

    He served as a member of the Party Central Committee in the fifth, sixth and seventh tenures, and Chief Judge of the Supreme People’s Court from July 1981 to June 1998. He was a National Assembly deputy of the seventh, eighth and ninth tenures.

    In recognition of Pham Hung's contributions to the nation and the revolutionary cause, a State-level funeral will be held for Hung on February 10. After cremation, he will be buried at the cemetery in his home village.

    VNN


    0 0
  • 02/12/18--01:40: Article 0
  • Vietnamobile - the little giant of Vietnam’s mobile telecom market

     

    The emerging company remains a force to be reckoned with against local telecom powerhouses

    Vietnamobile – the little giant of Vietnam’s mobile telecom market 

    Elizabete Fong, general director of Vietnamobile, speaks at the TVC launch of the company's 'Thanh SIM' product in Ho Chi Minh City, February 6, 2018.

    Vietnamobile, the country’s fourth-largest mobile operator, is making a stunning comeback after spending two years flying under the radar by launching a new product that offers free, unlimited data to subscribers.

    The company’s ultimate vision, its general director Elizabete Fong says, is to give customers “Unbelievable Freedom” in enjoying their mobile and digital lifestyle.

    “Groundbreaking,” “disruptive” and “unbelievable” was among the Hong Kong-born excutives favorite adjectives while discussing Vietnamobile’s new ‘Thanh SIM’ during an exclusive interview with Tuoi Tre News on Tuesday.

    A data-centric world

    “Since the start of 3G, the whole market has evolved to become more data-centric,” she said, stressing that data is becoming a game-changer for Vietnam’s “very young” telecom market.

    “Over 50% [of the population] is below 35 years old and we’ve found that around 53% of them are using the Internet.  Everybody would like data so they can use the data to enhance their life.”

    Understanding customer needs and delivering well-tailored products has always been core strength of Vietnamobile, a young and innovative company that has spent the last decade carving out a deep foothold in the local mobile telecom market.

    Their newest product, the ‘Thanh SIM’, offers totally free, unlimited data when customers top-up a minimum of VND20,000 (US$0.88) per month for use in other services, such as texting and calls.

    The SIM is already being sold for VND40,000 ($1.76) at both traditional SIM outlets and major chain outlets, such as FPT, VinPro, and VienthongA stores, across the country, with more outlets to come in the near future.

    “Distribution is very important for our SIM. Hopefully in the future customers will be able to go to every corner and buy a Thanh SIM, and everything will be transparent,” Fong said.

     

    Vietnamobile – the little giant of Vietnam’s mobile telecom market
    Elizabete Fong, general director of Vietnamobile. Photo: Tuoi Tre News

    The “transparency” Fong refers to is what she expects will serve as the company’s secret weapon against   other operators once mobile users in Vietnam are able to switch between networks without losing their phone numbers.

    "In many markets or many stores that you go to, you don’t know how much they charge. But when it comes to the Thanh SIM we’ve made it clear in our advertising that it will cost VND40,000 per SIM with no additional charges," she said.

    "I think we’re currently the only operator that has published, in advertising, the price of our SIM. This is what we mean by transparency."

    A Vietnamese company with foreign flavors

    As far as mobile number portability (MNP) is concerned, Fong said she is quite confident that Vietnamobile "should be able to attract a lot of subscribers who want to enjoy a new network.”

    "I think MNP is a challenge, but also a good opportunity for a small player like us," she said.

    As a joint venture between Hanoi Telecom Corporation and Hong Kong-based Hutchison Asia Telecommunications Limited, Vietnamobile is the only mobile telecom operator in Vietnam currently receiving foreign investment.

    "Thanks to Hutchison, we have experience operating in markets where there is number portability. That means we should be able to easily accommodate changes," Fong said.

     

    Vietnamobile – the little giant of Vietnam’s mobile telecom market
    Elizabete Fong (R), general director of Vietnamobile, poses for photos with a guest at the launch of the company's 'Thanh SIM' product in Ho Chi Minh City on February 6, 2018. Photo: Tuoi Tre News

    Vietnamobile has also used its status as the only foreign-invested mobile operator in Vietnam to target foreigners residing in the Southeast Asian country.

    "Our brand carries a lot of international flavors. Most of our products are available in English and Vietnamese. We also have English customer service hotlines for foreigners," she said.

    Being a young player on the market, it should come as no surprise that Vietnamobile is channeling its resources towards millennials, whom Fong described as having a special relationship with data and the Internet, things they simply "cannot do without".

    "Apart from free data we also offer very competitive prices for voice calls at only VND680 [$0.03] per minute, in or out of network.  With that in mind, the Thanh SIM also caters to other customer groups who want other services in addition to data," Fong said.

    The hiatus that pays

    Vietnamobile has stayed relatively dormant over the last two years since becoming a joint stock company in 2016, despite its competitors racing to roll out 4G services.

    The hiatus, however, has not been for nothing, Fong said, noting that the company has used the time to focus on developing a network capable of handling its major comeback.

    With nearly $500 million in investment capital from Hutchison over the past two years, Vietnamobile now offers a 3G network accessible from all 63 provinces in Vietnam.

    "Our equipment is the latest in technology. Because we waited to invest, our technology is very dynamic in that we can offer 2G, 3G or 4G via the same spectrum. That’s an area where I think being a bit late actually came as an advantage," Fong said.

     

    Vietnamobile – the little giant of Vietnam’s mobile telecom market
    Elizabete Fong, general director of Vietnamobile, speaks at the TVC launch of the company's 'Thanh SIM' product in Ho Chi Minh City on February 6, 2018.

    The company is also looking into the development of indoor coverage enhancement using their 900MHz band technology, which provides a wider footprint and better penetration through walls, allowing users to enjoy better signal indoors.

    With such thorough preparations, Fong said Vietnamobile is ready for the planned launch of its 4G service at the end of the first quarter of 2018, after having acquired a permit from Vietnamese authorities.

    "In that respect, I think we are quite well-positioned for the data game," she stressed.

    The Iron Lady

    Dubbed the "Iron Lady" of Vietnamobile by local media, Fong said the nickname would be more suited to describe the spirit of the entire company, which she warmly regards as her family.

    "I guess Vietnamobile has always had the culture of a family business. So to me, all our team members are actually members of a family.  In a way, I’m just a supermom that gives them guidance and support," Fong said.

    The nickname reflected the company's David and Goliath spirit in that Vietnamobile is a small player "fighting against very big giants" but has remained "resilient, committed ,and patient" all the way through, Fong explained.

    Looking into the future, Fong said she has a clear vision for Vietnamobile to become an important player in the market and continue to innovate and "offer the most competitive services" to customers.

    "Most importantly, we want people to be proud of us, and to see us as the champions of customer experience," she said.

     

    Vietnamobile – the little giant of Vietnam’s mobile telecom market
    Elizabete Fong, general director of Vietnamobile. Photo: Tuoi Tre News


    "Make the unbelievable believable"

    Thanh SIM was introduced to the market in January 2018, followed by a grand TVC launch in Ho Chi Minh City on Tuesday where Vietnamobile unveiled a television commercial for the "unbelievable" product.

    The retail price of Thanh SIM is VND40,000 per SIM with no additional charge.

    All that customers need to do to enjoy the free data that Thanh SIM offers is to top-up their account for a minimum amount of VND20,000 monthly. The top-up remains in their balance and can be spent on other services such as voice calls or text messages.

    In addition to free and unlimited data, Thanh SIM also has the lowest voice tariff in the market at only VND680 per minute, applicable to both on-net and off-net calls.

    For further information about Thanh SIM and other products from Vietnamobile, readers can visit the company's homepage at http://vietnamobile.com.vn.

     Tuoitrenews

    0 0
  • 02/13/18--22:38: Article 1
  • BUSINESS IN BRIEF 13/2


    Shops, supermarkets to remain open during Tet

         

     

    Shops, supermarkets to remain open during Tet, Hanoi targets 7.5-8 percent export growth in 2018, State capital manager urged to root out corruption, Hanoi encourages exporters’ expansion
    As many as 104 shops and supermarkets will remain open during Tet (Vietnamese Lunar New Year). 

    Big C supermarket chain has announced that it would increase its operating hours at stores nationwide from Monday to Wednesday this week to meet the increasing shopping demand for the holiday season. Its supermarkets will remain open from 6am to midnight instead of the current 7am to 11pm.

    According to Big C, the purchasing power of people has surged, with more demand for food, confectionery and fruits. In fact, the purchasing power has seen the highest rise so far, putting load on its chains, Big C said.

    The purchasing power is expected to increase in the last three days of the lunar year, which is why Big C decided to increase its operating hours.

    Co.opXtra supermarket in HCM City will also increase its operating time from 6am to midnight. It will remain shut only on the first day of the Lunar New Year, which falls on February 16.

    Lotte Mart supermarkets will operate from 7am to 11pm. Some of its supermarkets in HCM City will be open during Tet holiday.

    Satra and Satrafoods supermarkets will operate from 6am to midnight from February 12-14.

    AEON Mall will also remain open during Tet.

    Vincom commercial centres and Vinmart supermarkets will increase the number of staff to ensure smooth delivery of goods and payment.

    The municipal Department of Industry and Trade has announced that all supermarkets, shops and markets will reopen on February 19 after the holiday. 

    Phu Quoc island district targets 1,200 tonnes of pepper in 2018

    The island district of Phu Quoc in the Mekong Delta province of Kien Giang aims to produce at least 1,200 tonnes of pepper in 2018.

    According to Vice Chairman of the district’s People’s Committee Huynh Quang Hung, Phu Quoc has about 520 hectares of pepper plants, mainly in Cua Duong, Cua Can and Duong To communes.

    To develop pepper output, quality and economic efficiency, the district is providing farmers with cultivation techniques to prevent diseases, and investing in building an irrigation system for the dry season.

    Local authorities have also helped farmers upgrade pepper growing areas with poor productivity and low economic efficiency, expand new areas and develop pepper-based ecotourism.

    The district also studied building pepper production towards Global Good Agricultural Practice (GlobalGAP) and applied advanced cultivation techniques to create clean and profitable products.

    In 2017, Phu Quoc produced 1,245 tonnes of pepper, surpassing the yearly target by 3.7 percent, up 2 percent compared to the previous year.

    In Phu Quoc, farmers do not use chemical fertilizers but organic ones and dry peppers under the sunlight instead of by machine as in other regions. Thanks to this natural farming process along with favorable climate, rich soil and abundant sunshine, Phu Quoc pepper is famous for its heat, pungency and strong aroma, especially the red pepper.

    Phu Quoc pepper was recognised as a “collective trademark” by the National Office of Intellectual Property of Vietnam under the Ministry of Science and Technology in 2011.

    Hanoi targets 7.5-8 percent export growth in 2018

    Hanoi has set a target of 7.5-8 percent in export growth in 2018 as compared to last year, which requires stronger efforts from both the industry-trade sector and businesses.

    The capital city raked in 1.04 billion USD from exports in January, up 24 percent from the same period last year. 

    The revenue included 139 million USD contributed by the State sector (up 9.8 percent), 352 million USD from the non-State sector (up 16.6 percent), and 556 million USD from FDI firms (up 33.6 percent), according to the municipal Department of Industry and Trade.

    All key groups of commodities posted strong year-on-year export growth in January such as agricultural products (13.6 percent), computer components and peripheral devices (68.1 percent), transport vehicles and spare parts (12.7 percent), machinery and spare parts (21.8 percent), glass and glass products (25 percent).

    However, the sale of agricultural products to China is facing obstacles since this market is tightening plant quarantine. It has also encountered strict quality and food safety requirements from the US, the EU and Japan.

    Meanwhile, Hanoi’s export still depends on FDI companies which dominate the production of processed and manufactured products with high added value.

    Nguyen Gia Phuong, Director of the Hanoi Investment, Trade and Tourism Promotion Agency, said to help businesses expand the export market and advertise their products, the agency has continually organised overseas promotion campaigns, especially the countries that Vietnam has inked free trade agreements with. 

    It has also worked to receive foreign business delegations so as to help local craft villages and companies to seek partners, he added.

    Nguyen Thanh Hai, Deputy Director of the municipal Department of Industry and Trade, noted the department and the Hanoi People’s Committee will support enterprises in terms of access to loans and markets, increase trade promotion in such markets as Japan, China, Hong Kong (China), and Germany, help local companies to diversify export markets.

    The department also plans to push ahead with administrative reforms, abolish unnecessary business conditions, and improve online public services, Hai said, adding that Hanoi will pay attention to promoting products’ competitiveness, investment effectiveness, and businesses’ engagement in global value chains.

    State capital manager urged to root out corruption

    The committee for management of state capital at enterprises must join hands with relevant agencies to chalk out concrete measures to prevent corruption, losses and waste, said Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc.

    The Government leader made the call at a ceremony on February 12 to hand out a decision to appoint Nguyen Hoang Anh, former Secretary of Cao Bang province Party Committee, to the post of chairman of the special committee to manage State capital at enterprises.

    He laid stress on the committee’s two key long term tasks, which are bolstering equitisation and divestment of state capital and improving capacity and efficiency of state-owned enterprises, especially large corporations.

    The privatisation process must follow the principles of publicity and transparency as well as bringing the greatest benefit to the state, Prime Minister Phuc said, noting that due attention must be given to the fight against vested interests and corruption in every phase of the equitisation process.

    The Prime Minister also required the committee to exercise its power in monitoring and inspecting the operation of enterprises under its management.

    Anh, for his part, promised to do his utmost to fulfill the mission entrusted by the Party and Government. He also presented some specific measures which will be carried out in 2018 and the following years to tackle corruption, a headache issue in the country for years.

    Earlier, on February 8, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc signed a decision to appoint Anh as the head of the state capital management body.

    The Government issued Resolution 09/NQ-CP in early February to set up the special committee as an agency under the Government that acts as the ownership representative of State capital at wholly State-owned enterprises and at joint stock and liability companies with two or more members.

    The committee has a legal status, seal with the national emblem and an account opened at the State Treasury.

    Nguyen Hoang Anh holds a master’s degree in world economy and international economic relations and a bachelor’s degree in political theory. He held the post of Secretary of Cao Bang province Party Committee from March 2015 to December 2017 before assuming the new role in the State capital management committee.

    State budget revenue in January up 5.2 percent on year

    Total revenue of the State budget in January was estimated at 114.2 trillion VND (5 billion USD), equivalent to 8.7 percent of the year’s estimate and up 5.2 percent from the same period last year, according to the Finance Ministry.  

    Domestic revenue, estimated at 95.5 trillion VND, reduced from the same period last year. The figure was equal to 98.6 percent of the revenue in January 2017, but equivalent to 8.7 percent of estimate.  

    Meanwhile, revenue from crude oil surged 48.6 percent year on year, reaching around 4.1 trillion VND and accounting for 11.4 percent of estimate. The Finance Ministry attributed the increase to high world price, with Vietnam’s oil fetching an estimated 66 USD per barrel, 16 USD higher than expected price and 7.4 USD higher than the price in the same period last year. 

    Revenue from foreign trade was estimated at 22.5 trillion VND, up 9.6 percent on year. 

    In the same period, State budget spending was estimated at 91.5 trillion VND, equal to 6 percent of estimate. Debt payment accounted for 15.5 percent. 

    Government bonds worth more than 16.5 trillion VND were issued in January, ensuring money supply for spending and debt payment.

    Supermarkets in HCM City gear up for Lunar New Year     

     Many supermarkets are launching attractive promotion programmes in the days ahead of Tet (Lunar New Year) to attract customers. Tet falls on February 16 this year.

    In addition to cutting prices on more than 5,000 essential items from January 11 to February 14, Co.opmart and Co.opXtra have teamed up with suppliers for another programme under which they will cut prices of many kinds of fresh food by the maximum possible rates for seven days starting just before Tet.

    They have also applied “Super discounts” and “Buy more, get more discounts” on the weekend and incentive programmes for their loyal customers such as offering high reward points.

    Similarly, Korean retailer Lotte Mart also launched three consecutive promotion programmes: The “Tet comes to Lotte Mart” programme takes place from January 24 to February 15, with discounts between 5-49 per cent on more than 1,200 products; “For a full Tet” from February 7 to 15 with discounts on over 80 Tet-featured products; and “Starting a desired spring” programme from February 13 to 21 with hundreds of products discounted between 5-49 per cent.

    Supermarket chain Big C is offering a discount of up to 40 per cent on 13 types of fruit. Imported fruits like Egyptian oranges, Korean pears, French kiwis and South African grapes are priced at VND30,000-83,000 (US$1.32-3.64) for a kilo until February 15.

    Moreover, for the first time, French and US green and red apples will be sold at the same price of VND29,900 a kilo.

    In addition to this, Big C will launch two “unprecedented price shock” programmes applicable to its food and fresh goods until New Year’s Eve on February 15.

    According to insiders, the closer to Tet, retailers increasing apply promotion programmes to enhance competitiveness in attracting customers.

    Market movements in the peak shopping days for Tet usually change quickly. Therefore, retailers need to keep a close eye on up-to-date figures to identify changes for timely responses.

    Goods transported to the city’s two wholesales markets have increased strongly to meet peak shopping demand for the New Year from February 11 to 15.

    Nguyen Van Huay, director of Thu Duc Wholesale Market Management and Trade Company, said goods volume entering the market can reach up to 7,500 tonnes a day, an increase of 10 per cent over last year’s Tet.

    Vegetable volume at the market fluctuates between 2,700 tonnes to 3,000 tonnes a day, while fruits are between 4,300-4,500 tonnes a day.

    At Hoc Mon wholesale market, the amount of goods entering the market from February 12 (four days ahead of Tet) may go up to 5,500 tonnes per day, up 100 per cent compared to normal days.

    According to traders at the two wholesales markets, the supply of popular fruits for Tet such as grapefruits, mangos, tangerines and dragon fruits may be not much higher due to unfavourable weather last year.

    About 150-170 tonnes of grapefruits and 100-120 tonnes of mango are expected to enter Thu Duc Market a day on days near Tet, but their prices will rise sharply if there is a surge in demand.

    Thu Duc Wholesale Market’s management board forecasted that grapefruits can be priced at VND60,000-65,000 per kilo for green skin grapefruit and VND28,000-30,000 a kilo for Nam Roi grapefruit, while it is VND130,000-150,000 for a kilo of Hoa Loc mango, VND45,000-50,000 per kilo of sweet tangerine and VND80,000-100,000 per kilo of custard-apple.

    Nguyen Huynh Trang, deputy director of the HCM City Department of Industry and Trade, has asked the management boards of the two wholesale markets to keep track of markets and update supply-demand and pricing situations, in order to quickly report to the department and relevant agencies if there is a sudden fluctuation. 

    Flowers in Trà Vinh selling like hot cakes     

    Flower growers in the southern province of Tra Vinh are excited as this year’s flower season has been productive, with price increases from VND10,000 (50 US cents) to VND15,000 per pot compared to last year.

    Specifically, prices of daisy flowers and dahlia range from VND75,000 to VND100,000 per pair, while paper flowers cost from VND80,000 to VND 100,000 VND per pair.

    Hong Phan Dau, a flower planter in Long Duc Commune, Tra Vinh Province planted 4,000 flower pots of all kinds.

    “Prices of flowers this Lunar New Year are higher than other years from VND10,000-15,000 per pot,” he told Vietnam News Agency.

    More than 60 per cent of his flowers have been purchased by traders from Binh Chanh District, HCM City and Tra Vinh Province, he said.

    Tra Vinh Province has two ornamental flower villages, one in Vinh Yen Hamlet, Long Duc Commune and one in Long Binh Hamlet, Ward 4 with 158 households growing flowers on ​​nearly 30 hectares.

    Developed over more than 60 years, the two villages were recognised by the People’s Committee of Tra Vinh Province as traditional villages in 2011.

    Nguyen Thi Ngoc Nhi, head of economic division of the provincial people’s committee, said the province is building many programmes to develop the two villages.

    The locality will mobilise resources for investment in transport infrastructure, electricity and water supply for gardeners to approach new science and technology.

    In recent years, thanks to the flowers, people in the villages have a more stable income.

    Every year, these two villages supply Lunar New Year markets with about 300,000 pots of flowers.

    Apart from serving markets in the province, Tra Vinh flowers are also popular and traded in provinces such as Ba Ria - Vung Tau, Binh Duong, Ho Chi Minh, Dong Nai and Ben Tre. 

    Hanoi encourages exporters’ expansion     

    Ha Noi’s export management authorities have set out to invigorate local firms to achieve an ambitious goal of growing export turnover some 7.5 to 8 per cent in 2018.

    Nguyen Thanh Hai, deputy director of the Ha Noi Department of Industry and Trade, said that in the future, his department and the Ha Noi People’s Committee will continue their utmost support for local enterprises in the forms of businesses loans and easing market access.

    He emphasised trade promotion activities with partner countries such as Japan, China and Germany, saying that trade ties with these long-term exporting markets are most likely to bring benefits to the city’s business community.

    However, some markets have proven to be more difficult for local firms to crack. In recent times, China has tightened its plant quarantine on Vietnamese agricultural imports, while the US, EU and Japan market have also put up technical barriers to Vietnamese products with new standards for quality, food hygiene and safety, said Hai.

    Nguyen Gia Phuong, director of the Ha Noi Investment, Trade and Tourism Promotion Centre, told the Vietnam News Agency that for local enterprises to expand their export markets and promote Vietnamese brand names, participation in international and regional promotional programmes is crucial, such as the February 2018 consumer goods trade fair in Frankfurt, Germany.

    He also welcomed foreign business delegations to support Ha Noi’s craft villages, particularly agricultural products, traditional textiles and garments, in hopes of not only revitalising age-old trades, but also boosting overall trade turnover and diversifying export markets.

    The city is committed to improving its administrative procedures, reducing incessant business and investment conditions and enhancing online public services’ quality.

    According to the Viẹt Nam General Department of Customs’ report on Ha Noi’s January 2018 export and import values, the city reached a total turnover of US$1.04 billion, up by $139 million year-on-year.

    The private sector contributed $352 million to total turnover, while the foreign direct investment sector added $556 million, having increased by 16.6 per cent and 33.6 per cent from 2017’s numbers, respectively.

    All of Ha Noi’s major export commodities grew strongly in January 2018 from the same period last year, including agricultural products, computer components, automobile spare parts, machine parts and glass products, according to the GDVC’s report.

    The most important task for domestic exporters now, according to Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Nguyen Xuan Cuong, is to maximize its penetration of the global market for agricultural products.

    At a February 8 conference in Ha Noi, Minister Cuong said that in order to expand agriculture export markets in the context of increasing protectionism, firms should not expect the negotiation process to be anything but difficult and time-consuming.

    Cuong recommended a number of measures, on which the competent authorities and Vietnamese commercial counsellors in other countries should coordinate closely, in order to actively seek and introduce foreign agricultural associations, corporations and enterprises to Vietnamese products. 

    Bumper Tet for watermelon farmers     

    Farmers who grow watermelon in Ca Mau Province’s Ca Mau City are raking in high profits because of a bumper harvest and rising prices for the Tet (Lunar New Year) holiday when the fruit is used on virtually every family altar.

    Le Van Muoi, who grew 4,000 sq.m of watermelon under Vietnamese good agricultural practices (VietGAP) standards, harvested watermelon last week and sold them for VND8,000 (US 35 cent) a kilo.

    After deducting all production costs, he was able to earn a profit of VND30 million ($1,300) per 1,000 sq.m. “This is the first year I’ve used VietGAP standards. I’m very happy because I had a bumper crop and high prices,” he said.

    In previous years, Muoi grew watermelon using traditional methods and did not see high profits.

    In recent years, growing watermelon for Tet brought high profits for farmers who decided to expand cultivation for the Tet crop.

    In Ly Van Lam Commune’s specialised watermelon cultivation area, farmers have planted 73 ha for this Tet, up 13 ha against last Tet. Of the figure, 21 ha are planted under VietGAP standards.

    Farmers have planted red and yellow flesh watermelons and the seedless variety, all of which have had a high yield and good quality.

    The commune’s watermelon is famous for its sweetness.

    Many watermelon farmers have escaped poverty and become wealthy, according to the Ca Mau Province Farmers Association, which has organised courses on farming techniques to help them improve their profits.

    For this crop, farmers earned an average profit of more than VND15 million for each 1,000 sq.m, according to the association.

    Many farmers who grow vegetables in the commune have applied VietGAP standards for mustard leaves, water spinach, cucumber, bitter melon and tomato.

    Nguyen Chi Thanh, who owns a 1.3 ha garden in the commune’s Chanh Hamlet, said his family had grown five types of vegetables and fruits under VietGAP standards, including bitter melon.

    Last week, traders purchased his bitter melon for VND10,000 a kilo, which is expected to rise near Tet, he said.

    “My family will have a good Tet thanks to our use of VietGAP standards,” he said.

    Growing VietGAP vegetables normally offers a profit of 15-20 per cent higher than normal vegetables.

    Nguyen Van Nhan, chairman of the Ly Van Lam Commune Farmers Association, said the farmers should develop a brand for vegetables and expand their sales network.

    The Ly Van Lam Agricultural Service Co-operative, which has planted vegetables under VietGAP standards, plans to develop five sale points in Ca Mau City this year and expand its vegetables planted under VietGAP standards to 10ha.

    As of last December, the co-operative had planted five hectares of VietGAP vegetables.

    More co-operation expected between Hoa Lam Group, Operation Smile     

    Prof Dr William P. Magee, managing director of Operation Smile, recently paid a working visit to the City International Hospital in the Hoa Lam – Shangri-La Medical High Tech Area.

    It was aimed at connecting and creating bilateral co-operation opportunities for setting up professional clinics to serve the community.

    A developed Operation Smile

    Operation Smile was one of the first non-governmental organizations from the US to come to Viet Nam as part of the normalisation of Viet Nam - US ties and with the hope of changing the lives of unfortunate children with congenital malformations and other facial malformations through voluntary surgery programmes.

    “Operation Smile would like to go further by not only operating on 2,000 – 3,000 unfortunate children each year, but also developing professional clinics to improve the quality of community healthcare programmes,” Nguyen Viet Phuong, development deputy president of Operation Smile Asia Pacific and head representative in Viet Nam, said.

    “We have a huge human resource of 12,000 volunteers and medical experts in 60 nations around the world for 35 years, and we hope to take advantage of these strengths to increase professional training courses, improve safety and create favourable conditions for local people to access modern healthcare,” he added.

    Tran Thi Lam, chairwoman of the Hoa Lam Group, the developer of the Hoa Lam – Shangri-la Medical High-tech Area, said she is delighted and ready to co-operate with Operation Smile to bring benefits to local communities, especially unfortunate children with congenital malformations, and contribute to developing a modern and efficient medical industry.

    “This is my wish for the high-tech medical field,” she said.

    Dr Truong Vinh Long, medical managing director of the Hoa Lam Group and general director of the Hoa Lam International Hospital, said after the City International Hospital, Hoa Lam International Hospital is the second to be built using the public – private - partnership (PPP) model between Hoa Lam Group and People’s Hospital 115.

    It has 350 beds and VND1.5 trillion (US$68 million) to build.

    These are two out of a total of six hospitals which are planned to be built in the Hoa Lam – Shangri-la Medical Hightech Area.

    After visiting the newly-completed Hoa Lam International Hospital, Prof Dr Magee expressed his surprise at the reasonable investment, good design, quality of construction, modern equipment and the space available for patients. He expected the co-operation to be successful.

    Two days ago Vietnamese Vice President Dang Thi Ngoc Thinh, who is also the chairman of the Sponsoring Council of the Viet Nam Children Support Fund, met Prof Dr Magee and appreciated the contribution of Operation Smile in bringing smiles to and changing the lives of hundreds of thousands of Vietnamese children.

    She hoped that in future Operation Smile would continue to support Viet Nam in taking care of children's health in general and providing surgery and rehabilitation for children with facial deformities. The Vietnam Children Support Fund would actively co-ordinate with and create conditions for Operation Smile to bring smiles to more children with congenital malformations in the country, she promised.

    In the last 28 years in Viet Nam, Operation Smile has collaborated with many organisations and individuals to bring smiles and change the lives of ten of thousands of children, especially children with cleft lips and congenital malformations.

    Operation Smile has also undertaken many other humanitarian programmes such as dental examination and treatment; cranial surgery; treating burned scars; exchanging and training medical specialists ….

    Since coming to Vietnam in 1989 Operation Smile and its partners have examined and treated more than 40,000 children, giving them and their families new lives.

    Fruit, vegetable exports up 37% in January     

    Viet Nam earned some US$321 million from fruit and vegetable exports in January 2018, a year-on-year increase of 36.9 per cent, says the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD).

    China, Japan, the United States and the Republic of Korea remained the biggest importers of Vietnamese fruits and vegetables in the month. Other markets with strongly soaring fruit and vegetable imports from Viet Nam were Japan (69.3 per cent), the United Arab Emirates (56.3 per cent) and China (52.4 per cent).

    Viet Nam, meanwhile, imported $152 million worth of these commodities in January, of which fruits accounted for 76 per cent.

    MARD said the domestic fruit market saw great fluctuations, with a rise in the price of dragon fruit in the Mekong Delta region.

    The trend is expected to continue in the lead-up to the Tet (Lunar New Year) festival.

    Prices of star apple and jack fruit also climbed up, reaching VND15,000 (US 7 cents) and VND43,000 ($1.9) per kg, due to increasing demand for these two fruits in the United States and China, respectively.

    Meanwhile, the price of orange in the Mekong Delta region fell dramatically due to abundant supply and crop disease.

    Prices of several vegetables also dropped in the Central Highlands province of Lam Dong due to high supply fuelled by favourable weather.

    For instance, the price fell by VND500 per kilo to VND3,000 for cabbage; by VND2,000 per kilo to VND8,000 for tomatoes, and by VND2,000 per kilo to VND20,000 for broccoli against the prices in the beginning of January 2018.

    In 2017, Viet Nam achieved a year-on-year surge of 40.5 per cent in the export value of vegetables and fruits to $3.45 billion. 

    Becamex IDC to trade on UPCoMin February     

    The Investment and Industrial Development Corporation (Becamex IDC) will trade more than 23.4 million shares on the Unlisted Public Company Market (UPCoM) on February 21.

    The firm’s shares will start trading at VNĐ31,000 (US$1.37) per share.

    On December 1, 2017,Becamex IDC put 311.2 million shares, or 23.6 per cent of its chartered capital, for sale at its initial public offering (IPO) but sold only six per cent of the shares.

    The company raised only VNĐ587 billion from its IPO, with foreign investors purchasing 56 per cent of the shares sold.

    One month after the IPO, Becamex IDC attempted to sell 296.4 million shares left over at its previous IPO, but the second attempt was also unsuccessful as the company was able to offload only 5.1 million shares, earning VNĐ158 billion.

    Thus, Becamex IDC sold a total of 24 million shares, or 7.7 per cent of the total shares offered for sale after two attempts, earning VNĐ745 billion.

    Under the privatisation plan for Becamex IDC, the company has VNĐ13.17 trillion in chartered capital.

    The company will offer 311.2 million shares in its third IPO, while a quarter of its capital will be sold to strategic investors and 0.4 per cent stake will be transferred to its employees.

    The government will hold 51 per cent of the company’s chartered capital after it completes the equitisation process. 

    Government issues Vinachem charter     

    The Government has issued the organisation and operation charter of the Viet Nam Chemical National Group (Vinachem).

    Its chartered capital is now more than VND13.7 trillion (US$602.2 million). It’s expected to be VND20 trillion by 2020.

    The Government will hold 100 per cent of its charter capital.

    Accordingly, Vinachem will be a one-member limited company and will operate under the Law on Enterprises and related laws besides the charter.

    Vinachem will have the primary functions of investment and trading of State capital in the chemical sector, fertiliser and plant protection trade and petrochemical and mineral exploitation and processing. It can invest in its subsidiaries or associated companies.

    Vinachem’s organisational structure will include a member council, general director, deputy general directors, surveyors, a chief accountant and an international auditing board.

    The chairman of the member council will be appointed the Prime Minister based on the proposal of the Minister of Industry and Trade.

    Vinachem’s general director will manage the daily activities of the group and take responsibility for any assigned tasks.

    The general director will be chosen by the member council after getting approval from the ministry. Each general director’s term will not exceed five years. 

    VNN


    0 0
  • 02/13/18--22:59: Article 0
  • Government News 13/2


    Leaders pay tribute to President Ho Chi Minh ahead of Tet


     

    Leaders pay tribute to President Ho Chi Minh ahead of Tet, PM lauds capital High Command, Party chief receives French Ambassador, PM pays tribute to late Party, gov’t leaders, President pays Tet visits to outstanding intellectuals in Hanoi
    Leaders pay floral tribute to President Ho Chi Minh at his mausoleum. 

    Vietnam’s top leaders paid tribute to President Ho Chi Minh at his mausoleum in Hanoi on the occasion of the Lunar New Year (Tet) festival on February 13. 

    The delegation included General Secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV) Central Committee Nguyen Phu Trong, former Party General Secretaries Le Kha Phieu and Nong Duc Manh, President Tran Dai Quang, former President Tran Duc Luong, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc, National Assembly Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan, former NA Chairmen Nguyen Van An and Nguyen Sinh Hung and President of the Vietnam Fatherland Front Central Committee Tran Thanh Man, among others. 

    The delegates expressed their gratitude to President Ho Chi Minh, the founder and leader of the CPV, and honoured his contributions to the revolutionary cause of the Party and nation. 

    The delegation also paid homage to war martyrs at the Monument for Heroic Martyrs at Bac Son street, and Mai Dich Cemetery in Hanoi, where they recalled martyrs’ sacrifices for national independence and reunification.

    The same day, representatives from the Central Military Commission, Ministry of National Defence, Ministry of Public Security and Hanoi Party Committee and People’s Committee also paid respect to President Ho Chi Minh and heroic martyrs.

    PM lauds capital High Command


    Leaders pay tribute to President Ho Chi Minh ahead of Tet, PM lauds capital High Command, Party chief receives French Ambassador, PM pays tribute to late Party, gov’t leaders, President pays Tet visits to outstanding intellectuals in Hanoi 

    Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc praise​s the High Command of Hanoi for its comprehensive performance of tasks over the past year. (Photo: nhandan.com) 

    Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc praised the High Command of Hanoi for its comprehensive performance of tasks over the past year while visiting the unit on February 12 on the occasion of the upcoming Tet (Lunar New Year) festival.

    He highlighted the unit’s proactive advising of local authorities on the implementation of defence-military missions in close connection with the socio-economic development of the capital city; maintaining combat readiness and effectively coordinating with other forces to ensure absolute safety during critical political events and major anniversaries.

    Regarding key national defence and security tasks in 2018, PM Phuc said apart from advantages, the regional and international situations remained complicated and the imperatives of national construction and national defence created new tasks and requirements. He urged the Ministry of National Defence and Hanoi authorities to pay special attention to building strong armed forces to effectively fulfil assigned tasks.

    They should proactively advise local authorities on the implementation of Party resolutions on national defence and security; continue innovation in defence activities focusing on improving the qualification, training and education of members of the armed units; incessantly improve their political firmness; and master the use of specialised and advanced equipment and techniques in defence activities, he said.  

    The unit should also effectively coordinate with other forces to ensure absolute safety during critical political events and major anniversaries, as well as national security, social order and safety for the capital city, the PM noted.

    It was necessary for the unit to speed up international integration and improve external defence relations; proactively participate in supporting needy people and in natural disaster prevention and mitigation, as well as in search and rescue activities.

    Regarding the upcoming traditional Tet festivities, PM Phuc asked the unit’s leaders to pay more attention to the spiritual and material life of its troops, particularly those who are on duty during Tet and those from disadvantaged families.

    As the Lunar New Year is drawing near, the PM wished the command, its troops and militia and self-defence force good health, happiness and success in task performance.

    Party chief receives French Ambassador


     

    Leaders pay tribute to President Ho Chi Minh ahead of Tet, PM lauds capital High Command, Party chief receives French Ambassador, PM pays tribute to late Party, gov’t leaders, President pays Tet visits to outstanding intellectuals in Hanoi
    Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong (R) receives French Ambassador Bertrand Lortholary.  

    General Secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam Nguyen Phu Trong hosted French Ambassador Bertrand Lortholary in Hanoi on February 12, affirming that Vietnam wants to further promote friendship and cooperation with France in the coming time.

    The Party chief stressed the two countries celebrate 45th anniversary of their diplomatic ties and five years of the Strategic Partnership in 2018, adding that the two sides need to enhance high-level exchanges, and promote cooperation between branches and levels.

    He congratulated Ambassador Lortholary on his mission fulfillment as an important bridge, contributing to enhancing the Vietnam-France Strategic Partnership in the time ahead.

    Ambassador Lortholary said France highly values Vietnam’s economic development and wants, to strengthen bilateral ties in the near future. 

    The diplomat suggested both sides promote cooperation in strategic issues, economics, aviation, space research, defence, culture and youth exchange, thus creating practical imprints in the year of celebrating 45th anniversary of the two countries’ diplomatic ties.

    PM pays tribute to late Party, gov’t leaders


     

    Leaders pay tribute to President Ho Chi Minh ahead of Tet, PM lauds capital High Command, Party chief receives French Ambassador, PM pays tribute to late Party, gov’t leaders, President pays Tet visits to outstanding intellectuals in Hanoi
    Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc offers incense to commemorate late General Secretary Nguyen Van Linh. 

    Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc and Deputy Prime Minister Truong Hoa Binh offered incense to commemorate late leaders of the Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV) and the government on February 12 on the occasion of the upcoming Lunar New Year (Tet).

    The PM paid tribute to late Party General Secretary Nguyen Van Linh, who was the first general secretary in the doi moi (renewal) process, 1986-1991.

    PM Phuc presented Tet gifts to Ngo Thi Hue, wife of late General Secretary Nguyen Van Linh.

    On this occasion, PM Phuc offered incense in tribute to late Prime Minister Pham Van Dong, who was a Politburo member in 35 years and served as Prime Minister in 32 years from 1955 to 1987.

    President pays Tet visits to outstanding intellectuals in Hanoi


     

    Leaders pay tribute to President Ho Chi Minh ahead of Tet, PM lauds capital High Command, Party chief receives French Ambassador, PM pays tribute to late Party, gov’t leaders, President pays Tet visits to outstanding intellectuals in Hanoi
    President Tran Dai Quang visits and extends Tet greetings to Prof. Dr. Nguyen Khoa Son.



    President Tran Dai Quang visited and extended Tet greetings to several senior intellectuals at their residence in Hanoi on February 12, or the 27th day of the last lunar month, wishing them a happy new year and good health.

    President Quang highly valued contributions of intellectuals and scientists to the nation’s development, while stressing the Party and State’s attention to scientific research and application.

    He briefed the intellectuals on achievements the entire Party, people and army have obtained in all fields, especially in external affairs, Party building, defence-security, and social and economic areas. He said the outcomes have contributed to asserting Vietnam’s position in international arena.

    Prof. Dr Nguyen Khoa Son affirmed the Party and State’s attention is an encouragement for intellectuals to continue making contributions to the country. He expressed his believe that Vietnam’s science-technology will reap more successes in the new year.

    Prof. People’s Teacher Phan Huy Le presented the President Quang a collection of books on history of Nam bo (the South) compiled by the professor and 12 other scientists.

    Architect Nguyen Truc Luyen expressed his thanks for the Party and State’s attention to intellectuals and scientists in architecture, stressing Vietnam’s architects wish to make contributions to national construction and safeguard.

    Prof. Labour Hero Vu Khieu, 102, was moved with the affection of Party and State leaders to intellectuals and scientists.

    NA leader offers incense to President Ho Chi Minh


     

    Leaders pay tribute to President Ho Chi Minh ahead of Tet, PM lauds capital High Command, Party chief receives French Ambassador, PM pays tribute to late Party, gov’t leaders, President pays Tet visits to outstanding intellectuals in Hanoi
    National Assembly Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan (in green) and other NA officials offer incense to President Ho Chi Minh 

    National Assembly Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan on February 12 offered incense in commemoration of President Ho Chi Minh at House No. 67, the Ho Chi Minh Relic Site in the Presidential Palace in Hanoi.

    The ceremony was also attended by Vice Chairman Do Ba Ty and other NA officials.

    House No. 67 was numbered after the year of its construction in 1967. It was built under a direction of the Politburo and served as the accommodation and working place of President Ho Chi Minh during the war against the US. In the house, the late leader hosted Politburo members from the central and southern regions.

    The house was also where President Ho Chi Minh passed away.

    NA Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan recognised and lauded efforts of officials and staff of the Ho Chi Minh Relic Site in preserving the items and documents related to the President.

    She asked them to continue the work, thus giving chances for younger generations as well as visitors in and outside the country to explore the life and career of the late leader.

    VNN


    0 0
  • 02/14/18--01:16: Article 1
  • Social News 13/2


    HCM City presents Tet offerings to Hung Kings


     

    HCM City presents Tet offerings to Hung Kings, Explosion at steel smelting furnace injures 2 workers, Major highway to be completed by April, Two die in Đà Nẵng bus crash, State budget provides fishing vessel insurance premium support
    A commemoration ceremony was held at the National Historical and Cultural Park in Ho Chi Minh City, on February 12 to offer the traditional Banh Tet to Hung Kings. 

    A commemoration ceremony was held at the National Historical and Cultural Park in Ho Chi Minh City, on February 12 to offer the traditional Banh Tet (round glutinous rice cake) to Hung Kings, the legendary founders of the nation, on the occasion of the Tet (Lunar New Year).

    The ceremony was attended by representatives from the municipal Party’s Committee, People’s Council, People’s Committee and Vietnam Fatherland Front Committee.

    The delegation also burnt incense in tribute to Nguyen Huu Canh, who founded the Saigon – Gia Dinh region (present HCM City) in 1698.

    This is one of traditional activities held in HCM City during the Tet festival, aiming to honour traditional cultural values as well as great contributions of Hung Kings to national construction. 

    The event also helps educate HCM City residents, especially young generations, about the tradition of patriotism and strengthen great national unity bloc. 

    A range of activities are expected to take place at the park during Tet, the biggest festival in the year of Vietnamese people, such as a calligraphy exhibition, a tea fest, folk games, martial art and arts performances.

    Banh Tet is a traditional cake enjoyed by Vietnamese people in the south on the occasion of the lunar New Year. It is considered a variant of Banh Chung (square glutinous rice cake), which is more popular in the northern region.  

    The cake is cylindrical, made with sticky rice and filled with pork fat and beans seasoned with black pepper and shallots. The cake is wrapped in banana leaves and as a result, the sticky rice takes on a pale green color and a slightly leafy taste. Even though the cake is now available all year round, it is still considered a New Year treat.  

    The Hung Kings ruled Vietnam from 2879 BC until 258 BC and are considered the founders of the nation. To honour the Kings, the tenth day of the third lunar month serves as the national commemorative anniversary for them. 

    The worshipping rituals of the Hung Kings was recognised as UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity in 2012.

    Explosion at steel smelting furnace injures 2 workers

    Two workers were injured yesterday morning in an explosion at a steel smelting furnace in Quất Động Industrial Zone in Hà Nội’s Thường Tín District.

    Chairman of Thường Tín District People’s Committee Kiều Xuân Huy confirmed the news to the media and said the explosion took place at a three-tonne steel smelting furnace of Việt Hàn Company in the industrial zone. The explosion damaged part of the company’s workshop.

    Five firefighting engines reached the spot to control the flames and rescue people.

    According to Hà Nội Fire Fighting and Control’s Team 12, this is the second explosion at the smelting furnace of the company. The previous explosion took place in March 2012, in which two persons were killed and six injured.

    Vietravel-funded project lights up Hue’s Flag Tower

    The Flag Tower (Ky dai Hue) in the Hue ancient Imperial city of the central province of Thua Thien – Hue is being illuminated by a lighting system under a project funded by the tour service provider Vietravel.

    Launched on February 12, the project is part of activities to preserve and promote the historical value of the tower. 

    The lighting system was installed surrounding the historical site in a modern style, aiming to lure more visitors to the city. 

    The Flag Tower, also called the King’s Knight, consists of a three-storey tower 17 metres high and a flagpole 37 metres in length. It was constructed under the Nguyen Dynasty (1802-1945). 

    The site witnessed many importantly historical events of the nation and is a popular destination for visitors. 

    Vietravel plans to implement similar lighting projects in the city in the future.

    Various activities mark Vietnamese New Year in Russia, Germany

    Celebrations for the Lunar New Year (Tet) have created a Tet atmosphere among Vietnamese communities in Russia and Germany, with the festival only a few days away.

    The Vietnamese Embassy in Russia hosted a banquet at the Hanoi-Moscow multifunctional complex in Moscow on February 12. The event was attended by representatives of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Defence and Ministry of Economic Development, the Russia-Vietnam Friendship Association, the embassies of ASEAN countries in Russia and a number of Vietnamese people.

    Addressing the banquet, Vietnamese Ambassador Ngo Duc Manh reviewed bilateral relations in 2017, affirming he would do his utmost to strengthen the links. He expressed his hope that Russian friends will continue contributing to the two countries’ partnership.

    He also offered condolences to Russian people and bereaved families of the victims of the An-148 aircraft accident on February 11.

    Appreciating the ambassador’s condolences, Director of the Russian Foreign Ministry’s Third Asian Department Ludmila Vorobyova lauded Vietnam, particularly its role in ASEAN, Asia and the world. She wished Vietnamese people happiness and more success in the New Year.

    Also on February 12, Vietnamese people in Germany held a concert in celebration of Tet in Leipzig city. The event featured 19 performances by 12 Vietnamese arts clubs from across Germany.

    Vietnamese Ambassador Doan Xuan Hung sent his best wishes to the expatriates as well as German people and foreign friends. He described 2017 as a successful year for Vietnam in terms of economy and diplomacy.

    The diplomat recognised the activities of Vietnamese in the European nation, adding that he hopes they will enhance solidarity to help promote the two countries’ friendship and cooperation and build a prosperous Vietnamese community in Germany.

    On February 11, an arts programme was also held by the Vietnamese Consulate General in Frankfurt am Main city. Consul General Nguyen Hong Linh said the event was a gift from artists from the homeland for expatriates.

    Meanwhile, Tet celebrations were also held by the Vietnamese people associations in Berlin and Halle cities on February 10 and 11.

    Two die in Đà Nẵng bus crash

    Two people died and another 11 were wounded after a bus travelling from HCM City to Quảng Trị Province suddenly lost control and rolled on the ring-road at Hải Vân Tunnel in Đà Nẵng at about 5am Monday morning.

    Colonel Lê Ngọc, head of the city’s traffic police office, said the bus, owned by a company from HCM City, was carrying 29 passengers homes for Tết (Lunar New Year) holiday, when it suddenly capsized in Hòa Liên Commune in Hòa Vang District, 20km west of the city centre.

    The injured passengers were taken to Đà Nẵng General Hospital. Another 4 passengers were taken home to Quảng Trị Province by another bus.

    The traffic safety agency and traffic police are investigating the accident.

    The city’s people’s committee donated VNĐ10 million (US$442) to support families of the dead, and provide medical service to the wounded.

    It was the worst traffic accident in the city since the start of 2018.

    Overseas Vietnamese in Israel, RoK celebrate Lunar New Year

    The Vietnamese Embassy in Israel on February 11 held a get-together in Tel Aviv for overseas Vietnamese in the country to celebrate the Lunar New Year (Tet) festival 2018.

    Addressing the event, Vietnamese Ambassador Cao Tran Quoc Hai updated participants on Vietnam’s achievements in 2017, noting that the country has continued to develop, ensured national security-defence and social order and promoted international integration.

    He also highlighted the development of the Vietnam-Israel relationship, which has been deepened in a practical manner. 

    Israel is one of Vietnam’s most important economic partners in the Middle East, with two-way trade exceeding 1 billion USD, he said, adding that the two countries have been conducting negotiations for a free trade deal which is hoped to help lift their trade to 3 billion USD. 

    During his speech, Ambassador Hai also praised the unity among the Vietnamese community in Israel, and their contributions to the homeland’s development. 

    The same day, a similar event was held in Seoul, the Republic of Korea (RoK), offering a chance for Vietnamese expats to gather and welcome Tet.

    Vietnamese Ambassador to the RoK Nguyen Vu Tu wished overseas Vietnamese and international friends a successful and happy New Year, hoping that they will make more contributions to Vietnam-RoK relations.

    He also lauded efforts made by the Vietnamese community in the RoK in promoting and preserving national cultural identities, as well as in raising funds to support disaster victims in the homeland. 

    Honourary Mayor of Seoul and Chairwoman of the Vietnamese Association in the RoK Nguyen Thi Ngoc Cam applauded the active involvement of the expats in the organisation’s activities, and thanked the local authorities for their support. 

    She called on Vietnamese expats to make more efforts to preserve national identity and join in charitable movements to support others in difficult circumstances.

    Major highway to be completed by April

    The widest highway in the coastal province of Quảng Ninh will be open to public in April, said Đỗ Văn Thẩm, construction site manager.

    The 10-lane highway, connecting Hạ Long City with Hải Phòng - Vân Đồn Highway, has been under construction since June 2017 and is now 90 per cent complete, Thẩm said.

    “We are mobilising maximum human resources and equipment to accelerate the construction process,” he told enternews.vn. “We are determined to complete the highway by April,” he said.

    The highway is 5km long and 54.5m wide, with eight lanes for motorised vehicles and two for non-motorised ones.

    Part of an expansion project of National Route 18 in Hạ Long City, it will reduce travel time from Hải Phòng port city to Hạ Long and improve the transport infrastructure of Quảng Ninh Province.

    It cost VNĐ380 billion (US$16.7 million), which was paid for by Hạ Long City.

    Support comes to market-fire victims in Czech Republic

    Vietnamese Ambassador to the Czech Republic Ho Minh Tuan and representatives of the embassy on February 11 visited and presented gifts to families affected by a market fire in Cheb city last year.

    The blaze broke out at the Asia Dragon Shopping Centre in Cheb city in November 2017, burning to the ground 40 stalls run by 12 Vietnamese families. Damage was calculated to reach 40 million CZK (1.76 million USD). The 20-year-old shopping centre hosts 300 stalls operated by 200 businesses, of whom 98 percent are Vietnamese expatriates. 

    Ambassador Tuan met with the 12 families and inquired their lives after the fire.

    He requested the Asia Dragon board of directors and head of the association of Vietnamese people in Cheb to support the victims, helping them to have a warm Lunar New Year (Tet) celebration and soon repair the burned section of the centre.

    Doan Thach Cuong, deputy head of the association of Vietnamese people in Cheb and deputy general director of Asia Dragon, said the centre will not hold a grand Tet celebration as usual this year but try its best to assist the victims.

    Talking to the Vietnam News Agency, Cuong said Asia Dragon is working with the local administration to quickly rebuild the 40 stalls with expectation that these families can resume their business by the end of April or in early May. 

    Donations for the victims have to date exceeded 5 million CKZ (220,000 USD), he said, adding that the sum will be distributed to the affected families.

    Jetstar Pacific offers free return-leg tickets on Tet holiday

    Budget airline Jetstar Pacific is set to launch a programme offering free return-leg tickets for 22 domestic and seven international air routes to celebrate the 2018 Lunar New Year.

    The promotional campaign will start at 23:00 on February 15 (the last day of the Year of the Rooster) to 23:59 on February 22 (the 7th day of the Year of the Dog).

    Accordingly, roundtrip tickets for domestic destinations will range from 99,000 VND (4.36 USD) to 1,010,000 VND (44 USD). 

    Tickets for the Hanoi/HCM City – Guangzhou (China) will start at 180,000 VND, while those for Da Nang – Hong Kong route starts at 390,000 VND and Dong Hoi – Chiang Mai from 690,000 VND.

    Free return-leg tickets for the Hanoi - Osaka (Japan) and Da Nang - Osaka routes will start from 2,060,000 VND (88 USD) and 2,460,000 million VND (110 USD), respectively.

    The prices exclude taxes and fees, and come with certain conditions. More information can be found on the website www.jetstar.com or the hotline 19001550, which operates 24/7.

    Jetstar Pacific now operates 29 domestic and nine international routes, connecting to Jetstar Group’s network to 82 destinations in 18 countries.

    The airline has installed check-in kiosks at Tan Son Nhat International Airport in Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi’s Noi Bai International Airport to meet passengers’ increasing travel demand during Tet. The automatic check-in kiosk system allows passengers to check-in within only 30 seconds.

    Monument honours 1968 Spring Offensive heros

    The public radio broadcaster Voice of Ho Chi Minh City People (VOH) on February 12 inaugurated a monument dedicated to soldiers who died in fighting at the Sai Gon radio station during the General Offensive and Uprising in the Spring of 1968.

    The event gathered representatives of the HCM City authorities, families of the war martyrs, war veterans, and local residents.

    Huynh Van Chum, Vice Chairman of the municipal Party Committee’s Commission for Information and Education, recalled the fierce battle when 11 liberation soldiers fought hard to take control of the then Sai Gon radio station in the early morning of the second day of the 1968 lunar year. Ten of them died during the fighting.

    The monument reflects the city’s deep gratitude toward the soldiers and the local armed forces, aiming to promote national patriotism among younger generations.

    The monument is located inside the VOH headquarters at No 3 Nguyen Dinh Chieu Street in District 1. Built on an area of 79 m2, its design depicts the shape of two soldiers, both made of bronze.

    The monument is one of nine structures crafted across the southern economic hub in commemoration of martyrs of the 1968 Genral Offensive and Uprising.

    The Offensive began in the early morning of January 31 in 1968 when liberation forces simultaneously launched attacks on bases of US troops and the US-backed southern government in cities such as Hue, Da Nang, Quy Nhon and Saigon, and hundreds of towns from Quang Tri to Ca Mau.

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

    The fight helped destroy huge amounts of facilities and logistics used by the US and the southern regime’s armies. The seven-month long campaign ended with tens of thousands of enemy troops dead, 600 strategic hamlets destroyed and 100 communes liberated with a population of 1.6 million people.

    The event marked a strategic turning point for the resistance war against the US and its allies. It caused the US a ‘sudden shock’, disrupting their strategic plan, shaking the White House, the Pentagon and all of the US and forced President Johnson to deescalate the war and agree to sign the historic Paris Peace Accord. The victory also helped lead to the liberation of southern Vietnam and national reunification in 1975.

    State budget provides fishing vessel insurance premium support

    The State budget will provide insurance premium support for offshore fishing ships and offshore fishery logistic vessels, said a new decree on fishery development policies.

    According to Decree No 17/2018-ND-CP on amending Decree 67/2014/ND-CP dated July 7, 2014, the boats are members of fishing teams or cooperatives and have a total main engine capacity of 90HP and above each.

    The State budget will cover all annual premiums for all crew members working on board, and half of the premiums for the boats’ body, excluding fishing tools and catches.

    The Decree will take effect from March 25, 2018.

    Decree 67/2014/ND-CP, which took effect from August 25 last year, provides policies to encourage fishermen to build high-capacity steel ships capable of fishing offshore, a practice that could earn fishermen higher incomes and contribute to protecting the country’s territorial waters. 

    Overseas Vietnamese celebrate traditional New Year

    Vietnamese people in Belgium, South Africa and Japan welcomed the Lunar New Year (Tet) with ceremonies on February 11, with Vietnam’s biggest traditional festival approaching.

    At a ceremony in Brussels, Vietnamese Ambassador to Belgium and head of the Vietnamese Permanent Mission to the EU Vuong Thua Phong highlighted the development in Vietnam’s relations with Belgium and the EU. Although the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement has yet to make progress as expected, he expressed his belief it will be ratified in 2018, when Vietnam and Belgium will mark 45 years of diplomatic ties.

    He wished Vietnamese people in Belgium health, prosperity and more contributions to the homeland and the two countries’ ties.

    Chairman of the Vietnamese People Association in Belgium Huynh Cong My briefed about the organisation’s outstanding activities last year. Meanwhile, President of the Belgium – Vietnam Alliance Gryffroy Andries said the alliance will work harder to help develop the Vietnamese community in the European nation.

    At a celebration in Pretoria, Vietnamese Ambassador to South Africa Vu Van Dung informed participants about Vietnam’s achievements in 2017. 

    He noted the two countries have made strides in various fields last year, from economy, politics to culture and tourism, adding that they will mark the 25th founding anniversary of diplomatic ties in 2018.

    He also asked Vietnamese people in South Africa to continue serving as a bridge to promote people-to-people exchange, friendship and cooperation between the two countries.

    In the Japanese prefecture of Ibaraki, Vietnamese people in Tsukuba city held on February 11 a Tet celebration where a liaison board also debuted. Representatives of the Vietnamese Embassy in Japan and more than 200 Vietnamese and foreign friends attended the event.

    Head of the liaison board Cao Sy Luan said the board will help promote the image of Vietnamese people among Japanese, contributing to the two countries’ friendship.-

    VNN


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  • 02/14/18--01:49: Article 0
  • Foreign tourists flock to Nha Trang to celebrate Tet


    The number of foreign tourists visiting the coastal city of Nha Trang for Tet (Lunar New Year) is expected to rise sharply this year, according to the Khanh Hoa Province’s Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism.


     

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    Foreign tourists visit the Nha Trang Flower Festival at Phi Yen Park. Photo baokhanhhoa.vn 

    In January, the city welcomed 200,000 foreign visitors, an increase of 160 per cent compared to the same period last year.

    Nguyen Thi Le Thanh, the department’s deputy director, said the city and tourism agencies began organising a total of 67 cultural activities for the holiday last Thursday.

    The city’s People’s Committee launched a Flower Festival at Phi Yen Park, where nearly 1,000 indigenous and foreign flowers, bonsai plants and trees, and ornamental fish and birds can be seen. It will be open until February 20 (or January 5 of lunar calendar).

    On February 15 (Lunar New Year’s Eve), the province’s Cultural Centre will hold music performances, featuring tài tử, folk and pop music.

    The centre will also organise bài chòi (folk singing combining music, poetry, acting, painting and literature) and street arts performances, as well as a human Chinese chess competition from February 16-March 2 (January 1-15 on the lunar calendar).

    From February 13 to 20, the Khanh Hoa Traditional Arts Theatre will host free music and dance shows at its venue, the April 2 Square, and Po Nagar Cham Tower to serve tourists and locals.

    Meanwhile, local tourism agencies will organise traditional Tet activities like lion dances, calligraphy delivery and bánh chưng (square sticky rice cake) making.

    New tours to handicraft villages will offer tourists opportunities to make Vietnamese traditional dishes and jams.

    Thai Hong Son, director of the Sputnik Tour Company which offers tours to Russian tourists, said: “We’ve received many orders for Tet, so we want to provide exciting and interesting tours and activities for tourists.”

    Trường Văn Thọ, director of the city-based Vietnamtourism Charter Joint Stock Company, which brings Chinese tourists to the city, said  the number of Chinese booking tours to Nha Trang for Tet has increased 20 per cent compared to normal days.

    “Chinese tourists like Nha Trang for its cuisine, beautiful beaches and warm weather,” said Tho, adding that they also want to discover Vietnamese culture.

    The Nha Trang’s Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism has asked tourism agencies to only use tour guides who have certificates and ensure safety for tourists taking part in adventure activities.

    The department has also asked local restaurants to monitor food safety, while stores have been told to sell products with clearly labelled sources of origin. 

    The Saigontourist Travel Service Company last Thursday welcomed and served 2,500 passengers from the Celebrity Constellation cruise ship, which anchored in Ba Ria – Vung Tau Province. The tourists from the UK, France and the US visited HCM City, My Tho City of Tien Giang Province, and Ba Ria – Vung Tau Province.

    According to Saigontourist, the company welcomed about 34,000 passengers of international cruise ships to Viet Nam before and during Tet holiday. The visitors  took part in Tet activities and traditional games. 


    VNS


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  • 02/18/18--05:54: Article 2
  • Numerous challenges facing Vietnam’s exports in 2018


    Despite several obstacles, Vietnam’s exports met and surpassed the targets set by the National Assembly and Government in 2017. This year, exports will continue to grapple with challenges such as the volatile world economy, rising global supply, and sterner competition.


     

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    Last year saw Vietnam’s exports rise by 21% to 213.7 billion, crossing the US$200 billion mark for the first time. Building on 2016’s figure of US$1.78 billion, the country continued to run a trade surplus of around US$2.67 billion.

    Export’s overreliance on strong FDI


    Observing favourable indicators in exports over 2017, Duong Duy Hung, head of the Planning Department under the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoI), said export markets continued their expansion to reach more than 200 trade partners covering 29 markets with an export value of over US$1 billion each, and four with a value of US$10 billion each.

    Robust patterns of growth were reported in exports to many markets. As a result of businesses capitalizing on the benefits presented by free trade agreements (FTAs), the most notable developments were made in markets. Vietnam has signed such agreements with, like ASEAN (up 24.3% to US$21.7 billion) and Japan (up 14.2% to US$16.8 billion).

    Last year, 764,052 certificates of origin were granted and the value of shipments enjoying C/O incentives  rose to US$37.8 billion, up 22% in quantity and 24% in value when compared to 2016.

    The composition of export goods saw constructive changes, with sizable growth in both agri-forestry and aquatic products and processed industrial products.

    A significant point in the development of Vietnam’s exports is that the trade surplus was mainly with developed countries, which impose strict requirements on imported goods like the US, EU, Australia, and New Zealand. While Vietnam improved its trade balance with other markets, another positive signal is that it reduced the trade deficit with China thanks to expanding exports to the market.

    However, MoIT Minister Tran Tuan Anh indicated a weakness in Vietnam’s exports due to an over dependence on the foreign direct investment (FDI) sector.

    Most processing and manufacturing products bearing a high added value are dominated by FDI businesses. In fact, the sector accounted for more than 70% of total export revenue, so any fluctuations in the sector will partly affect the value of exports.

    In the face of the pitfalls of FDI, agricultural and aquatic products have found it difficult to make inroads to demanding markets which place strict requirements on quality and food hygiene. Businesses have not yet built their own stable and trusted brands for most export products.

    On the other hand, Vietnam still has to import a huge volume of materials to process and manufacture goods for export. This dependence will result in any increase to world market prices, pushing the cost of domestic production up and reducing the competitiveness of domestic goods, putting at a distinct disadvantage.

    Complication break down

    This year, the export sector is forecast to continue facing challenges and hurdles due to instability in the global economy and the fast changing financial and trade policies of strong economies such as the EU and US. In addition, the consensus among economists is that global growth in 2018 will be slow.

    Meanwhile, global supply keeps rising as many countries establish themselves in the supply chain of agricultural products, and accelerate production programs in order to reduce their dependence on imports. Protectionism is escalating with an array of trade and technical barriers being imposed by countries. Exports of some agricultural and mineral products have hit their maximum level and it is difficult to see any further improvement.

    Mr Tuan Anh suggests identifying products with the potential to boost exports in the specific period, and boost market expansion, especially traditional markets with which Vietnam has signed FTAs.

    The MoIT will continue to publish information about FTA incentives, streamline issuance of C/O certificates via the Internet, and self-certification systems to raise the efficiency of FTA exploitation. It will also join the national one-door mechanisms and deploy the pilot project of a Regional Self-Certification system.

    The ministry will seek improvements to the quality of its market research, analysis, and forecasting while providing market information at home and abroad. It will also take measures to renovate trade promotion management, propose workable policies, mechanisms, and measures to orient markets, and restructure the production of goods in which Vietnam holds an advantage.

    Deputy Minister Tran Thanh Nam stresses the necessity of dealing with complications faced in key markets such as the EU and US, boosting brand building for agricultural products and market analysis, and outlining orientations for the development of material zones to better serve export activities.

    VOV


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  • 02/18/18--06:07: Article 1
  • Vietnam supports Singapore as ASEAN Chair in 2018


    Vietnam fully supports Singapore as chair of ASEAN in 2018 and will coordinate with the country as well as other ASEAN members to push forward priorities and initiatives of ASEAN this year for further progress in building the ASEAN Community, Deputy Foreign Minister Nguyen Quoc Dung said. 


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    Deputy Foreign Minister Nguyen Quoc Dung


    On the occasion of the Lunar New Year, the Deputy Foreign Minister talked to the press about Vietnam’s participation in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in 2018. 

    Deputy FM Dung said at its milestone of the 50th founding anniversary, ASEAN needs to renew itself on the basis of achievements over the past half a century. 

    “In 2018, there is great expectation for ASEAN under the chair of Singapore, one of the most developed countries in the region,” he said, adding that Singapore is believed to be capable of leading ASEAN on the right track and making new breakthroughs. 

    The diplomat stressed that Singapore has set the theme for the year as Resilient and Innovative, towards the goals of promoting and maintaining a rule-based regional order in order to better respond to emerging security challenges, promote economic integration and enhance regional connectivity, thus turning ASEAN into a dynamic place for people to live, work and entertain. 

    According to the deputy FM, ASEAN countries support those initiatives as they suit the development level and requirements of ASEAN. 

    Deputy FM Dung noted that Vietnam will take up the role as chair of ASEAN in 2020, following Thailand in 2019. One advantage for Vietnam is that the country can make use of the impetus created in the previous terms of Singapore and Thailand, he said, adding that at the same time, Vietnam will face pressure from great expectations. 

    Therefore, in order to fulfill the role of ASEAN Chair, Vietnam should make careful preparations well in advance. 

    In this spirit, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh recently chaired a conference on ASEAN pillar communities to clarify outstanding problems and directions to improve the effectiveness of Vietnam’s participation in ASEAN. 

    The first and foremost task is to enhance awareness about participation in ASEAN, so that all ministries and sectors consider it their own mission, thus taking up a more proactive attitude toward the regional bloc, Deputy FM Dung said. 

    At the same time, Vietnam should continue fine-tuning institutions and apparatus for ASEAN work, improve the coordination among ministries, sectors, local administrations and the business community, and invest more in resources for the work, in order to make greater contribution to the ASEAN Community while protecting the country’s own interests and priorities. 

    “We have had a firm foundation in the ASEAN, and we will do our utmost to succeed in our term as ASEAN Chair, thus helping ASEAN make further strides forward while enhancing our position,” Deputy FM Dung said.

    VNA

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