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  • 03/06/18--01:37: Article 1
  • HCMCity anticipates increasing foreign capital inflows



    In 2018, the Ho Chi Minh City real estate sector is expected to attract significant foreign capital inflows thanks to a vibrant market, new legal framework, new high-quality supply, and easier access to bank loans.


     

    HCM City anticipates increasing foreign capital inflows, 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
    Foreigners buy properties in Ho Chi Minh City both for investment and living


    2017 recap

    Nguyen Thanh Phong, Chairman of the Ho Chi Minh City People’s Committee, revealed that the city currently has 7,372 active foreign invested projects, with total registered capital reaching $45 billion. In 2017 alone, the city authorities licensed 803 new projects worth $2.34 billion and 194 projects with $962.63 million of additional capital. At the same time, the value of merger and acquisition (M&A) transactions reached $3.68 billion.

    Among sectors that attracted foreign direct investment (FDI) capital last year, real estate topped the list with $1.01 billion, or 43.4 per cent of the total. Among these are major projects such as the $886-million Eco-SmartCity in Thu Thiem New Urban Area, the $215-million KNT Asia project or the $80-million project by Tech Mastery Vietnam. In July 2017, the market also recorded the $350-million MizukiPark project, developed by Nam Long Group in collaboration with Nishi Nippon Railroad and Hankyu Realty from Japan. The project spans over 26 hectares in Binh Chanh District, Ho Chi Minh City.

    At the same time, SonKimLand raised $100 million from Japanese investors to develop its real estate projects in Ho Chi Minh City. Singapore-based KeppelLand also poured new capital into its projects in districts 2 and 7.

    Most recently, Japan’s Mitsubishi has entered a collaboration with Phuc Khang Construction and Investment Corporation to set up a joint venture called Phuc Khang Mitsubishi Corporation Holding (PKMC) for green projects in the city. Mitsubishi and Phuc Khang contributed 49 and 51 per cent of the stakes, respectively. The joint venture will develop Diamond Lotus Riverside, Vietnam’s first project to be built and managed following the LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) standards, which are common in 150 countries around the world.

    In January, PKMC disbursed the first investment of $30 million in the Diamond Lotus Riverside project in District 8. In the coming time, PKMC will research the development of Phuc Khang’s current 20-ha land bank, with total investment capital of $500 million. The land plots owned by Phuc Khang are scattered across districts 1, 2, 8, 10, Tan Binh, and Tan Phu, ideal for apartment complexes and shopping malls. The developer also has another 1,000ha of land in neighbouring cities and provinces.

    What to look for in 2018

    According to Su Ngoc Anh, director of the Ho Chi Minh City Department of Planning and Investment, FDI inflows into real estate will increase in 2018. There are several factors for this boom, said the official.

    The city authorities have continued to launch progressive laws to attract foreign investors, especially in terms of reducing red tape and facilitating investment. For example, the city authorities have just introduced online registration services for M&A transactions conducted by foreign investors. They also launched the second phase of their online registration system for new businesses.

    The real estate market is also showing signs of improved transparency. Nowadays, interested investors can easily access information on market movements, legal updates, and any necessary procedures for investment.

    Experts believe that these new rules, together with the growing market demand, will encourage foreign capital to find its way to the property sector in Ho Chi Minh City. The city currently has about 500 projects waiting for new capital.

    Moreover, Ho Chi Minh City also has various landmark projects such as Thu Thiem New Urban Area, which is now in the project development phase, and the third phase of the Phu My Hung township. There are other smart city projects which can lure foreign capital.

    Troy Griffiths, deputy managing director at Savills Vietnam, believes that overseas investors will be enticed by Vietnam’s rapid urbanisation, young population, and steady economic growth. Ho Chi Minh City’s economy, as an important part of Vietnam, also welcomes a growing urban middle-class and the city itself is at the forefront of globalisation, making real estate a very attractive sector.

    VIR

    0 0
  • 03/06/18--01:55: Article 0
  • Student condos abandoned with no solutions for alternative use


    While a student condominium project has been halted due to a capital shortage, plans to give it a second life as a social housing complex have run aground due to the failure of Hanoi authorities and the Ministry of Construction to compromise.


     

    Phap Van – Tu Hiep student complex, social housing fund, Vietnam economy, Vietnamnet bridge, English news about Vietnam, Vietnam news, news about Vietnam, English news, Vietnamnet news, latest news on Vietnam, Vietnam
    A view of the Phap Van - Tu Hiep student complex in Hoang Mai District. - Photo baodauthau.vn


    The Phap Van – Tu Hiep student complex in Hoang Mai District comprises six 19-floor condos named A1 to A6. Construction began in 2009. The project was first invested at VND1.5 trillion (US$65.8 million) allocated from the Government Bond, then increased to VND1.9 trillion ($83.4 million) due to price fluctuations. In January, 2015, three buildings of the complex (A1, A5 and A6) were opened, expecting to host up to 10,800 students. However, because the investors could not allocate enough capital, A2 and A3 blocks have been abandoned, even though construction was partly finished.

    To avoid waste, Ha Noi Department of Construction proposed to turn the two blocks into affordable homes. According to the department’s data, the demand for social housing in Hanoi remains high. As of 2015, the city’s social housing development plan only reached 44 per cent of people in need

    Despite the shortage of living space for low-income people, Nguyen Chi Dung, the department’s deputy director, told the Tien Phong (Vanguard) that the proposal to turn Phap Van – Tu Hiep student condos to affordable housing had not yet been approved by the capital authorities.

    Experts also warned that the plan may not work because the demands of families and students are different.

    Pham Sy Liem, deputy head of Viet Nam Construction Association, blamed investors for the condos’ failure to attract students.

    “I wonder whether they conducted proper research before implementing the project. The financial burden caused by the inefficient project falls on the Government. Therefore, it is essential to also emphasise ethics to strengthen project management,” he said.

    Meanwhile, in 2017, Le Cong Hung, deputy construction minister, said that the social housing fund had not fulfilled people’s demand for accommodation while some condo projects could not attract students. Therefore, the ministry agreed to turn projects into affordable homes but also asked investors to recover the State capital and improve social infrastructure including schools and medical facilities in the neighborhood.

    In 2009, when the Phap Van – Tu Hiep student condo project was announced, some 15,000 university students applied for accommodation. However, in 2017, 70 per cent of completed apartments are vacant. The residency is located in an isolated area; the nearest university is 4km away.  

    Nguyen Van Hoa, a student at Ha Noi University of Construction, is one of the students still living in the complex—but he’s moving out. Besides the unfavorable location, he said, the area is secluded, making him and other residents feel insecure. 

    VNS

    0 0
  • 03/07/18--01:39: Article 2
  • Government News 7/3


    Vietnam, Laos NA ethnic councils seek stronger cooperation


     

    Vietnam, Laos NA ethnic councils seek stronger cooperation, Committee urged to focus proposals on macro economy, financial market, Vietnam learns from Japan’s experience in public sector ethics promotion
    Chairman of the Vietnamese National Assembly’s Council for Ethnic Affairs Ha Ngoc Chien


    Chairman of the Vietnamese National Assembly’s Council for Ethnic Affairs Ha Ngoc Chien held talks with Chairman of the Lao National Assembly’s Committee for Ethnic Affairs Buaphoune Likhaida in Hanoi on March 6 to discuss measures to boost stronger cooperation between the two sides.

    Chien lauded the Lao delegation’s visit after the success of the Vietnam-Laos Friendship and Solidarity Year 2017 with many important activities, including celebrations of the 55th anniversary of diplomatic ties and the 40th anniversary of the signing of the Vietnam-Laos Treaty on Amity and Cooperation.

    Briefing the Lao officials on the achievements that the Vietnamese NA Ethnic Council has gained in implementing ethnic policies, Chien highlighted the experience and coordination mechanism between the council and the Vietnam Fatherland Front.

    The council’s major tasks include verifying bills and draft ordinances related to ethnic affairs, proposing draft documents and projects on ethnic issues, and supervising the implementation of laws, ordinances and resolutions of the NA and the NA Standing Committee on ethnic matters and socio-economic development plans in areas inhabited by ethnic minority groups.

    For his part, Buaphoune Likhaida, who is leading the Lao delegation to Vietnam from March 5-11, thanked the Vietnamese side for the warm welcome. He said that Laos has paid great attention to ethnic affairs, thus ethnic groups of the country have showed strong solidarity in national construction.

    Having pointing out similarities between the Vietnamese NA’s Council for Ethnic Affairs and the Lao NA’s Committee for Ethnic Affairs, he expressed his hope to continue learning from the Vietnamese side’s experience on fostering coordination between the council and other organisations, including the Vietnam Fatherland Front and public organisations.

    He also expected that the two agencies will work together to strengthen the cooperation and friendship between Laos and Vietnam.

    Committee urged to focus proposals on macro economy, financial market


     

    Vietnam, Laos NA ethnic councils seek stronger cooperation, Committee urged to focus proposals on macro economy, financial market, Vietnam learns from Japan’s experience in public sector ethics promotion
     Prime Minister Phuc presents the third-class Labour Order to the National Financial Supervisory Committee. 

    Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has asked the National Financial Supervisory Committee to coordinate with competent ministries and agencies to give proposals to the Government and the PM on major economic issues, especially those regarding the macro economy and financial market supervision. 

    Addressing a ceremony marking the 10th anniversary of the committee in Hanoi on March 6, PM Phuc said the committee should focus on analysing the situation, particularly potential risks to the financial market, and activities of the banking, stock, insurance and real estate markets. 

    He urged the committee to propose suitable policies and solutions, including risk identification tools and criteria assessing the safety of the financial system, given the fact that many countries in the world have effectively applied the early warning system of risks to the financial market. 

    The committee was also asked to join hands with relevant ministries and agencies to complete the legal foundation for financial and banking groups, as well as mechanisms monitoring the groups. 

    Apart from enhancing international cooperation, the committee needs to organise a number of conferences and seminars with the participation of both domestic and foreign experts to discuss important and urgent matters of the nation, the leader said. 

    At the ceremony, PM Phuc presented the third-class Labour Order to the committee and certificates of merits to a number of leaders and officials of the committee. 

    Truong Van Phuc, Chairman of the committee, said that over the past ten years, the committee has developed a synchronous database on the financial market, covering the banking, stock and insurance sectors, and a data system on the macro economy. 

    The committee has also researched and applied international principles, standards and practices on risk identification, assessment and prevention, he said.

    Vietnam learns from Japan’s experience in public sector ethics promotion


     

    Vietnam, Laos NA ethnic councils seek stronger cooperation, Committee urged to focus proposals on macro economy, financial market, Vietnam learns from Japan’s experience in public sector ethics promotion
    The workshop on March 6 shares Japan’s experience in promoting ethics in the public sector (Photo: thanhtravietnam.vn) 

    Japan’s experience in promoting ethics in the public sector was shared at a workshop in Hanoi on March 6.

    The event was held by the Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV) Central Committee’s Organisation Commission, the Vietnam Academy of Social Sciences, and the Japanese Embassy in Vietnam.

    Vice Chairman of the Organisation Commission Mai Van Chinh said the CPV and the Government of Vietnam are very interested in public sector ethics so as to improve the effectiveness of administrative reform.

    The workshop introduced the philosophy on the management of an organisation according to Kazuo Inamori, founder of the Inamori Foundation, Chairman Emeritus of Kyocera Corp. and KDDI Corp., and honorary adviser of Japan Airlines. 

    It highlighted living and working according to moral standards and based on the love for people for common interests, which is meant to improve organisations’ operation effectiveness, organisation members’ awareness; promote people’s ethics, dignity, wisdom and capacity; and build a healthy work environment.

    The philosophy is hoped to help improve transparency in administrative procedures and prevent corruption and cronyism in the administrative apparatus and State-owned enterprises.

    The event introduced participants to the characteristics and philosophies that a leader needs to have, along with other relevant issues.

    In 2010, Kazuo Inamori agreed to become chairman of Japan Airlines without pay, and within three years, he pulled the airline out of bankruptcy.

    He advocates a business philosophy based on doing the right thing as a human being, which he believes will help the business develop and each employee be happy.

    Legislative leader receives Lao NA ethnic committee’s delegation 

     

    Vietnam, Laos NA ethnic councils seek stronger cooperation, Committee urged to focus proposals on macro economy, financial market, Vietnam learns from Japan’s experience in public sector ethics promotion
    National Assembly (NA) Vice Chairwoman Tong Thi Phong (R) and Chairwoman of the Lao National Assembly’s Committee for Ethnic Affairs Buaphoune Likhaida


    National Assembly (NA) Vice Chairwoman Tong Thi Phong received Chairwoman of the Lao National Assembly’s Committee for Ethnic Affairs Buaphoune Likhaida in Hanoi on March 6.

    While expressing her delight at the outcomes of the Vietnam-Laos Solidarity and Friendship Year 2017, Phong stressed the Vietnamese and Lao NAs have co-organised various practical events, thus contributing to the traditional friendship, special solidarity and comprehensive cooperation between the two nations.

    She took this occasion to laud the Lao delegation’s contributions to the 26th Asia-Pacific Parliamentary Forum (APPF-26), which was held in Hanoi from January 17-20. 

    Speaking highly of the outcomes of the earlier talks between the Lao NA’s Committee for Ethnic Affairs and Vietnamese NA’s Council for Ethnic Affairs, Phong urged the two sides to continue their close collaboration and experience exchanges.

    For her part, Buaphoune Likhaida noted with pleasure the strong development of the Vietnam-Laos special solidarity and comprehensive cooperation in all fields.

    She expressed her wish to strengthen the friendship and cooperation between the two countries’ parliaments and ethnic councils.

    Vietnam, Laos NA ethnic councils seek stronger cooperation


    Chairman of the Vietnamese National Assembly’s Council for Ethnic Affairs Ha Ngoc Chien held talks with Chairwoman of the Lao National Assembly’s Committee for Ethnic Affairs Buaphoune Likhaida in Hanoi on March 6 to discuss measures to boost stronger cooperation between the two sides.

    Chien lauded the Lao delegation’s visit after the success of the Vietnam-Laos Friendship and Solidarity Year 2017 with many important activities, including celebrations of the 55th anniversary of diplomatic ties and the 40th anniversary of the signing of the Vietnam-Laos Treaty on Amity and Cooperation.

    Briefing the Lao officials on the achievements that the Vietnamese NA Ethnic Council has gained in implementing ethnic policies, Chien highlighted the experience and coordination mechanism between the council and the Vietnam Fatherland Front.

    The council’s major tasks include verifying bills and draft ordinances related to ethnic affairs, proposing draft documents and projects on ethnic issues, and supervising the implementation of laws, ordinances and resolutions of the NA and the NA Standing Committee on ethnic matters and socio-economic development plans in areas inhabited by ethnic minority groups.

    For her part, Buaphoune Likhaida, who is leading the Lao delegation to Vietnam from March 5-11, thanked the Vietnamese side for the warm welcome. He said that Laos has paid great attention to ethnic affairs, thus ethnic groups of the country have showed strong solidarity in national construction.

    Having pointing out similarities between the Vietnamese NA’s Council for Ethnic Affairs and the Lao NA’s Committee for Ethnic Affairs, she expressed her hope to continue learning from the Vietnamese side’s experience on fostering coordination between the council and other organisations, including the Vietnam Fatherland Front and public organisations.

    She also expected that the two agencies will work together to strengthen the cooperation and friendship between Laos and Vietnam.

    Committee urged to focus proposals on macro economy, financial market
     

     

    Vietnam, Laos NA ethnic councils seek stronger cooperation, Committee urged to focus proposals on macro economy, financial market, Vietnam learns from Japan’s experience in public sector ethics promotion
    Prime Minister Phuc presents the third-class Labour Order to the National Financial Supervisory Committee.


    Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has asked the National Financial Supervisory Committee to coordinate with competent ministries and agencies to give proposals to the Government and the PM on major economic issues, especially those regarding the macro economy and financial market supervision.

    Addressing a ceremony marking the 10th anniversary of the committee in Hanoi on March 6, PM Phuc said the committee should focus on analysing the situation, particularly potential risks to the financial market, and activities of the banking, stock, insurance and real estate markets.

    He urged the committee to propose suitable policies and solutions, including risk identification tools and criteria assessing the safety of the financial system, given the fact that many countries in the world have effectively applied the early warning system of risks to the financial market.

    The committee was also asked to join hands with relevant ministries and agencies to complete the legal foundation for financial and banking groups, as well as mechanisms monitoring the groups.

    Apart from enhancing international cooperation, the committee needs to organise a number of conferences and seminars with the participation of both domestic and foreign experts to discuss important and urgent matters of the nation, the leader said.

    At the ceremony, PM Phuc presented the third-class Labour Order to the committee and certificates of merits to a number of leaders and officials of the committee.

    Truong Van Phuc, Chairman of the committee, said that over the past ten years, the committee has developed a synchronous database on the financial market, covering the banking, stock and insurance sectors, and a data system on the macro economy.

    The committee has also researched and applied international principles, standards and practices on risk identification, assessment and prevention, he said.

    VNN

    0 0
  • 03/07/18--01:42: Article 1
  • BUSINESS IN BRIEF 7/3


    China remains biggest buyer of Vietnam tra fish


     

    China remains biggest buyer of Vietnam tra fish, Hanoi to host Vietnam Expo 2018 in April, Ministry requests strengthening post-Tet price management, Ministry works towards housing sector’s sustainable development

    After successfully tapping the Chinese market last year, the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP) has forecast China will remain the biggest importer of Vietnamese tra fish this year.

    According to a report by VASEP, Vietnam exported more than US$410 million worth of tra fish to China and Hong Kong last year, up 34.8% over 2016 and accounting for 23% of the country’s total tra fish export.

    Meanwhile, last year saw outbound sales of tra fish to the U.S. and the European Union (EU) falling around 11% and 22.3% respectively due to Farm Bill, an anti-dumping duty imposed by the US and media bias against Vietnam’s tra fish in the EU.

    Despite falls in the US and the EU, the growth of the Chinese market helped the export turnover from tra fish hit US$1.78 billion last year, increasing 4.3% against the previous year.

    VASEP general secretary Truong Dinh Hoe said the northern neighbor’s demand for tra fish would increase as the product is becoming more popular among Chinese consumers.

    China may import an equivalent of 400,000 tons of live tra fish from the Mekong Delta region valued at US$400-US$500 million this year. However, the region has annual output of 1-1.2 million tons of live tra fish for export, so it is necessary to seek buyers for the remaining 600,000-800,000 tons.

    In addition to ASEAN, Brazil and some other markets, the consumption of the remaining 600,000-800,000 tons of tra fish will depend on the EU and the U.S.

    Meanwhile, the tra fish price has risen to an all-time high. Two-kilogram tra fish is sold at VND30,000-VND32,000 per kilogram while one-kilo fish sell for VND29,000-VND30,000 per kilogram, said Nguyen Huu Nguyen, manager of a fish farming cooperative in Chau Phu District, An Giang Province.

    Vietnam is facing the scarcity of material tra fish while tra fish exporters have high demand for the product, resulting in higher tra fish price, Nguyen explained.

    “Meet The USA 2018” conference- good opportunity for development links

    The Vietnam Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Da Nang People’s Committee, the US Embassy and the American Chamber of Commerce in Vietnam (AmCham) jointly held "Meet The USA 2018” conference in the central city of Da Nang on March 5.

    In his opening remarks, Vietnamese Permanent Deputy Foreign Minister Bui Thanh Son hailed fruitful cooperation between Vietnamese and US localities and businesses across multiple fields, saying the US has expressed desire to further step up cooperation with Vietnam and other nations in the Asia-Pacific. 

    Vietnam has also assured its determination to adopt open-door policy and international integration, seeing the US as a leading important partner, he said, adding that the country greatly values initiatives and great efforts of the US and other countries to maintain peace, stability, cooperation and development in the region.

    He also praised both sides for joint efforts to boost their trade ties, with stable investments and higher two-way trade revenue. 

    Son affirmed Vietnam's recognition of high importance on the relationship with the US and its readiness to cooperate with the country to go ahead with its reform and renovation process, and create a favourable business environment.

    He highlighted cooperation between Vietnamese localities and US businesses, partners and localities as a pillar of the Vietnam-US comprehensive partnership which was established in 2013. 

    Local level collaboration has been a helpful channel for cooperation mechanisms at the Government level, especially in speeding up the implementation of joint projects, Son said.

    US Ambassador to Vietnam Daniel Kritenbrink, in turn congratulated Vietnam and Da Nang on the successful hosting of the APEC 2017 Economic Leaders’ Week. 

    US firms will stand side by side with their Vietnamese partners in development, the US diplomat said while suggesting Vietnam should boost international integration and facilitate the operation of US enterprises in Vietnam

    The “Meet The USA” conference covers four sessions, focusing on Vietnam-US trade and investment prospects 2018 – 2020, smart cities – high technology,  start-up,  education and workforce. 

    Chairman of the Da Nang People’s Committee Huynh Duc Tho updated 50 US business representatives on potential and advantages of Da Nang in economics, trade, and international investment, especially its ties with US localities and businesses. 

    Tho said he hopes that US partners will continue to stand side by side with the municipal authority and offer more cooperative opportunities in investment, trade, smart city building, start-up and education-training with the city. 

    On this occasion, the External Affairs Department under the Foreign Ministry and Coca-Cola Vietnam signed a memorandum of understanding on cooperation.

    At the conference, the participants also discussed Vietnam-US relations especially the trade balance between the two nations.

    Vietjet announces direct route from Vietnam to India

    Budget carrier Vietjet has announced a plan to open a direct route connecting Vietnam and India in order to serve the travel demands of the two peoples and contribute to integration and trade throughout the region.

    The announcement was made at the India-Vietnam Business Forum in New Delhi on March 2 with the presence of Vietnamese President Tran Dai Quang and senior leaders from the host nation.

    The event aimed to mark the 45th anniversary of the Vietnam-India diplomatic relationship and the 10th anniversary of a strategic partnership between the two countries.

    The first route is planned to connect Ho Chi Minh City with New Delhi with an initial four flights per week.

    As a new-age airline, Vietjet is following a plan to open new routes, add more aircraft, invest in modern technology, and offer more add-on products and services to serve customers.

    Currently, it boasts a fleet of 55 aircraft, including A320s and A321s, and operates 385 flights every day. The airline has carried more than 55 million passengers on a network of 82 routes in Vietnam and to international destinations across the region.

    Vietnam Airline adds flights from HCM City to Singapore, Taipei

    National flag carrier Vietnam Airlines on March 5 announced that it will increase flights from Ho Chi Minh City to Singapore and Taipei (Taiwan) to meet the rising demand of passengers to these attractive destinations.

    As scheduled, from March 27, the airline will launch an additional four round-trip flights on each air route. The new flights to Singapore will departure at 19:25 on Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Sundays, while the reverse flights will begin at 23:25 on the same days. 

    Meanwhile, the flights to Taipei will leave at 2:05 on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays; and those returning to HCMCity will take off at 22:10 on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays.

    The plan will help increase the airline’s total flights from HCMCity to Taipei and Singapore to 11 and 25, respectively. Four-star Airbus A321 will be used for all these flights. 

    Vietnam Airlines was recognised as a 4-star airline for two consecutive years in 2016 and 2017 by the international air transport rating organisation Skytrax.

    It targets a 13 percent increase in revenue and an 8.3 percent rise in the number of passengers in 2018. 

    Apart from Asia, the airline is also seeking to expand their markets in Europe.

    Ben Tre's pomelo earns geographical indication

    Green-skin pomelo, a speciality of the Mekong Delta province of Ben Tre, has been granted a geographical indication (GI) certificate by the National Office of Intellectual Property (NOIP).  

    According to Lam Van Tan, Director of the provincial Department of Science and Technology, the GI is applied to pomelo grown in islets in the districts of Chau Thanh, Binh Dai, Mo Cay Bac, Mo Cay Nam, Cho Lach and Ben Tre city. 

    The pomelo, which earned the name as its skin remains green even when it is ripe, is much sought after on the market due to its great taste. The fruit has thin skin, few seeds, and pinky flesh.  

    Statistics of the provincial Department of Agriculture and Rural Development show Ben Tre currently has around 6,500 hectares of green skin pomelo, producing almost 100,000 tonnes a year. 

    The GI recognition is expected to help Ben Tre expand the market for the pomelo and raise income for local farmers.

    Hanoi to host Vietnam Expo 2018 in April

    The 28th Vietnam International Trade Fair (Vietnam Expo 2018) is set to take place at the Hanoi International Exhibition Centre from April 11 to 14.

    Themed “Enhancing Regional and Global Economic Links”, the event has to date attracted registrations from more than 450 businesses located across 16 local provinces and cities and 23 countries and territories, such as Russia, the Republic of Korea, Thailand and Japan.

    Russia is an honorable guest at the Vietnam Expo 2018, where Russian firms will display their key and outstanding products such as mechanical manufacturing, automated equipment, industrial biotechnology, high technology electronics on an area of 520 sq.m. The participation is expected to boost trade between the two countries. 

    The year 2017 marked upbeat growth in VietnamRussia ties, with both sides agreeing to push the implementation of the Eurasian Economic Union – Vietnam free trade agreement and increase bilateral trade to 20 billion USD by 2020. 

    A representative of the Ministry of Industry and Trade said the expo offers tremendous opportunities to participants, as its previous editions witnessed hundreds of contracts and cooperative pacts sealed.

    This year, the fair focuses on the display of machines, construction materials, as well as information technology, food, and healthcare products.

    Ministry requests strengthening post-Tet price management

    The Finance Ministry recently issued a Notice requiring the People’s Committees of cities and provinces to strengthen price management following the traditional Lunar New Year (Tet), so as to achieve the goal of controlling consumer price index below 4 percent this year. 

    Accordingly, prices of services under the management of the People’s Councils and People’s Committees of cities and provinces will remain the same, including health check-ups and treatment, education, environment hygiene, vehicle parking, travelling, lodging and rentals in exhibitions and shopping malls. 

    They were required to closely follow the movement of supply, demand and prices to stabilise the market, particularly daily necessities such as food. 

    The ministry requested strengthening inspection over compliance with regulations on traffic safety and service prices while raising public awareness of the effort to prevent false information causing public concern. 

    In the first two months of this year, the CPI increased by 2.9 percent.-

    An Giang earns 110.8 million USD from exports in two months

    Export turnover of the Mekong Delta province of An Giang in February was estimated at 55.25 million USD, up 2.12 percent year-on-year. 

    According to Vo Nguyen Nam, Director of the provincial Department of Industry and Trade, with the figure, the locality’s export revenue in the first two months of this year reached 110.8 million USD, a rise of 5.62 percent against the same period last year. 

    The province’s main export items like rice, seafood and garments-textiles saw higher export revenue as compared with the corresponding time last year. 

    During the period, An Giang shipped abroad 61,390 tonnes of rice, pocketing 30.76 million USD, up 53.2 percent in volume and 72.8 percent in value. Meanwhile, 22,120 tonnes of seafood worth 50.73 million USD were delivered overseas, increases of 20.09 percent in volume and 52 percent in value. 

    Other exports like garments-textiles, footwear, fertilizers and pesticides recorded revenue equivalent to that of the same period last year. 

    The department has partnered with relevant units to remove difficulties in production and export facing frozen vegetables whose export turnover slightly decreased against the corresponding time last year. 

    The sector has also frequently got updated information about export-import markets, especially China.

    Ministry works towards housing sector’s sustainable development

    The Ministry of Construction will work towards the housing market’s sustainable development for the sector to achieve the targeted growth of 8.46 – 9.21 percent in 2018.

    The ministry will closely monitor the country’s real estate market and provide regular updates on the market. It will improve the market’s information system and the database on the property market to ensure the sector’s transparency.

    It will continue coordinating closely with the Ministry of Finance to refine real estate-related financial and tax policies; and partner with the State Bank of Vietnam to set tighter control on credit services for the field and amend credit policies in a flexible and timely fashion.

    At the same time, the ministry plans to work together with relevant ministries and agencies to tackle challenges in allocating State budget for the key housing programmes.

    In 2018, the Ministry of Construction will continue to study and adopt proper measures to fuel the development of the affordable housing in urban areas and low-cost housing for workers at industrial parks and to encourage to-let house and affordable house projects.

    It will also take steps to stabilize prices of building materials and support the development and production of cutting-edge building materials that help reduce cost of construction.

    Pouchen VN gets custom priority card     

    The General Department of Viet Nam Customs has granted a preferential treatment card to shoemaker Pouchen Viet Nam Enterprise Company Limited.

    The company will receive some preferential customs treatment in export-import operations, such as priorities at the stage of customs and post-customs clearance stage; single customs declaration and priorities in tax procedures in line with Circular No. 86/2013/TT-BTC issued by the Ministry of Finance issued in 2013 dated June 27, 2013.

    According to a representative of the Post-Customs Clearance Examination Department, operating under the Viet Nam General Administration of Customs, in recent years, this company has had an average import-export turnover of US$600 million per year.

    The duration of priority recognition for Pouchen Viet Nam is three years, counting from the date of signing the decision. After this period, if the enterprise continues to meet the prescribed conditions, the duration will be extended for the priority enterprise regime.

    Pouchen Viet Nam is the 65th enterprise in the country owning the preferential business regime in the field of customs.

    Under the provisions of Circular 722015/TT-BTC on priority enterprises, one of the important conditions to get a priority card is the import-export turnover of enterprises. Specific conditions for enterprises are as follows:

    Ordinary import-export enterprises must achieve an import-export turnover of $100 million per year or more;

    Enterprises (exports of goods made in Viet Nam) must achieve an import-export turnover of at least $40 million per year;

    Exporters of agricultural and aquatic products that are produced or raised in Viet Nam must earn $30 million or more each year;

    Enterprises, which are customs procedure agents, must have reached 20,000 customs declarations or more each year;

    In cases that enterprises are granted the high-tech enterprise certificates by the Ministry of Science and Technology, according to the provisions of the Law on High Technologies, they shall not consider the turnover conditions.

    Pouchen Viet Nam is a Taiwanese foreign direct invested enterprise, specialised in producing and exporting footwear, especially sports shoes, with its main markets in Europe and America continents. 

    Project to promote exports to Middle East     

    Vietnamese export companies will have opportunities to set up distribution channels in the Middle East thanks to a market research programme launched by the Investment and Trade Promotion Centre in HCM City and the Vietnamese Embassy’s Commercial Affair Office in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

    The research will be carried out from March 4-9 this year. It aims to help rice, food and fruit exporters seek opportunities in Middle Eastern nations.

    According to the Ministry of Industry and Trade, trade between Viet Nam and the Middle East reached US$12.8 billion in 2017, up 17.4 per cent from 2016.

    Viet Nam’s main exports were mobile phones, computers and accessories, seafood, footwear, garment and textiles, fibre, rice, pepper, wood products, cashew nuts, natural rubber, vegetables and fruit and coffee beans.

    The country mostly imported materials for domestic production, such as plastic, liquefied gas, electronic spare parts, machines and animal feed, from the Middle East

    HCM City set to host international livestock, aquaculture expo     

    The latest machinery, technologies and business solutions for the livestock breeding, dairy and aquaculture industries will be on show at the ILDEX Vietnam expo in HCMCity from March 14 to 16.

    The 7th International Livestock, Dairy, Meat Processing and Aquaculture Exposition has attracted nearly 250 exhibitors from 30 countries and territories, and there will also be six national pavilions set up by France, the US, South Korea, the Netherlands, China, and the Czech Republic.

    Speaking at a press briefing in HCMCity on March 5, Nguyen Ba Vinh, director of the Minh Vi Exhibition and Advertisement Services Co., Ltd (VEAS), one of the expo’s organisers, said this year’s event would be the largest ever and 50 per cent bigger than the last one held in 2016.

    The increasing participation by foreign exhibitors shows their interest in the country’s livestock industry, he said.

    Many seminars and conferences will also be held during the expo, including one on sustainable solutions for cow farmers for developing dairy and meat processing and another on alternative antibiotic solutions in livestock.

    Hoang Thanh Van, head of the Animal Breeding Department, said despite difficulties last year the livestock sector grew by over 2.9 per cent.

    The livestock industry is shifting away from traditional, small and scattered breeding to industrial-scale production with centralised slaughtering systems, he said.

    It is expected to face more challenges this year, requiring stake holders in the industry to make more efforts to develop linkages in production and consumption and adopt measures to cut production costs, he added.

    The exhibition would offer industry professionals the chance to learn about new technologies, network and explore business opportunities, he said.

    Organised by VEAS and VNU Exhibitions Asia Pacific Co., Ltd, ILDEX Vietnam will be held at the Saigon Exhibition and Convention Centre in District 7 and is expected to attract 10,000 visitors. 

    Russian firms to showcase goods at Viet Nam Expo     

    Russian companies will exhibit their major products during the 28th Viet Nam International Trade Fair (Viet Nam Expo 2018), slated to be held at the International Exhibition Centre in Ha Noi from April 11 to April 14.

    On display will be mechanical processing, precision mechanics and automation equipment, as well as industrial biotechnology and high-tech electronic goods, on a total area of 520sq.m.

    The bilateral economic cooperation between Viet Nam and Russia was in the spotlight in 2017, and the two sides have agreed to accelerate the implementation of the free trade agreement between Viet Nam and Europe-Asian Economic Union through bilateral trade, which is expected to reach US$20 billion by 2020.

    The upcoming expo is seen as a significant event to further trade promotion in an efficient way by the two sides, the event’s organiser, the Viet Nam National Trade Fair and Advertising Company (Vinexad), said in its statement.

    Besides exhibitors from Russia, the upcoming event will also attract those from other countries and territories, including South Korea, mainland China, Nepal, Thailand, Japan, Singapore, Cuba, Laos, Cambodia, Taiwan and Hong Kong.

    They will showcase machinery and equipment, construction and building materials, electricity, electronics and information technology products, raw materials and auxiliary materials, food items and agricultural products, as well as household appliances, health care products and services.

    Viet Nam stocks lose on last-minute selling     

    Vietnamese shares tumbled on Monday as investors dumped a huge amount of stocks during the at-the-close (ATC) session for intraday profits.

    The benchmark VN-Index on the HCM Stock Exchange dropped 2.47 per cent, or nearly 28 points, to end at 1,093.48 points. It gained 1.6 per cent last week.

    This marked the worst decline for the benchmark index since it suffered two drops of 5.10 per cent and 3.54 per cent a month ago.

    The minor HNX Index on the Ha Noi Stock Exchange lost 2.14 per cent to close at 125.51 points, reversing from a 0.9 per cent gain made on Friday.

    On the contrary, the UPCOM Index on the Unlisted Public Company Market (UPCoM) was up 0.45 per cent to 60.44 points, extending its growth for a second day and increasing 1 per cent in total.

    More than 364 million shares were traded across the three local exchanges, worth VND11.48 trillion (US$510.4 million).

    The market breadth was negative with 352 declining stocks against 285 gainers.

    According to the Ha Noi-based Bao Viet Securities Company (BVSC), the benchmark VN-Index plunged in the last minutes dragged by strong selling pressure despite staying on its uptrend during most of the trading session.

    “Investors feared that the market could form a two-peak pattern in the short term,” BVSC said in its daily report.

    Liquidity surged and surpassed the average level with negative market breadth, signaling that “investors were cautious and anxious about the possibility of a plunge in the next session,” the company said.

    In the 20 industries on the stock market, financial stocks with banks and securities firms were two of those that were worst hit by investors’ strong selling pressure, data on vietstock.vn showed.

    The banking and brokerage industry indices plummeted 5.6 per cent and 5.7 per cent, respectively.

    The banking industry was sunk by Bank for Investment and Development of Viet Nam (BID), Vietinbank (CTG), VPBank (VPB), Asia Commercial Bank (ACB), Vietcombank (VCB) and MBBank (MBB).

    Those leading bank stocks tumbled at least 5 per cent.

    Among securities firms, the four big ones – VNDirect Securities (VND), Saigon Securities Inc (SSI), HCM City Securities Corp (HCM) and BIDV Securities (BSI) – were brought down to their daily declining band of 6.7-7 per cent.

    In addition, energy stocks also traded in the negative territory as oil remained pessimistic during the Asian trading session.

    The worst-performers among energy stocks included PetroVietnam Gas (GAS), Binh Son Refining and Petrochemical Company (BSR) and PetroVietnam Coating JSC (PVB).

    Viet Dragon Securities Co (VDS) wrote in its report that the correction had finally taken place in an unexpected scenario and there was a high chance the benchmark index would drop deeper on Tuesday. 

    Hà Nội People’s Committee to offload entire stake in Vinawind

    The Hà Nội Municipal People’s Committee will put up 6.7 million shares of Thống Nhất Electromechanical Joint Stock Company (Vinawind) for public auction on Hà Nội Stock Exchange on March 30.

    The move is part of its divestment plan for the 2016-20 period.

    The share offer accounts for 46.9 per cent of the company’s charter capital. Foreign investors are allowed to buy the entire share amount.

    At a starting price of VNĐ42,400 (US$1.86) per share, the State is expected to collect more than VNĐ284 billion from the auction. This is almost equal to its IPO (initial public offering) price of VNĐ42,383 on March 17, 2015.

    Founded in 1965, Thống Nhất is a popular and long-standing brand name among the citizens of Hà Nội, along with Thủy Tạ ice cream, Thượng Đình shoes and Sao Vàng (Golden Star) balm. Thống Nhất produces fans and household electrical equipment.

    Unlike many traditional businesses struggling in the face of stiff market competition, Vinawind has had stable business in the last two years, with a revenue of more than VNĐ900 billion and an annual net profit of over VNĐ60 billion.

    The company is also a good dividend payer, with a high ratio of 25 per cent expected in 2017 and 2018.

    Hà Nội Municipal People’s Committee is Vinawind’s largest stakeholder with 46.9 per cent. The two other main shareholders are Sài Gòn-Hà Nội Insurance JSC (20.98 per cent) and Việt Nam National Aviation Insurance Corp (19.24 per cent).

    Vinawind had a charter capital of VNĐ143 billion and total assets worth VNĐ520 billion by the end of 2017, up 23 per cent over the previous year.

    In October 2017, the Municipal People’s Committee announced its divestment plan at 96 enterprises during 2016-20, with a total charter capital of nearly VNĐ10.35 trillion, including popular brands such as Hà Nội May 19 Textile Group, Thượng Đình Footwear Co, Thăng Long Mechanical JSC and Hanel Ltd Co.

    Vietnam resolves to make EU lift ‘yellow card’ on seafood

    The Vietnamese agency assigned to the oversight of the food industry has been implementing various stringent measures in an effort to have the ‘yellow card’ by the European Commission (EC) rescinded.

    The ‘yellow card’ corresponds with a warning issued by the EC to any country refusing to cooperate in the international fight against illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing.

    Vietnam received card in October 2017, which stipulates that after a six-month period, if the country can enable considerable progress in grappling with illegal fishing, the sanction will be lifted, and a ‘green card’ – an eligible status for export – will take its place; otherwise, a ‘red card,’ a total ban, will be enforced.

    Vietnam’s Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and provincial authorities have been striving for the removal scheduled for April 2018, Ha Cong Tuan, the body’s deputy minister, said on March 2.

    A number of coastal areas have equipped themselves with offshore fishing boats and preemptively taken actions against illegal fishing in the waters of neighboring countries.

    In QuangNgaiProvince, located in central Vietnam, those boats found with a repeat of forbidden fishing are indefinitely prohibited from operations, according to Tran Ngoc Cang, chairman of the local People’s Committee.

    The owners of two boats coded QNg 90518 and QNg 90945, for instance, have forfeited the right to be granted loans for their profession and to carry out fish-catching activities for good.

    In addition, before fishing boats depart from docks, coastal police require their owners and captains to sign a commitment document against illegal fishing.

    In Ba Ria-Vung Tau Province, in southern Vietnam, the local Department of Agriculture and Rural Development has formulated an action plan to stop fishers from continuing catching fish in foreign waters, according to Tran Van Cuong, director of the body.

    “The program was designed in accordance with the [said] ministry’s guidelines and will be presented to the provincial People’s Committee for approval over the next few days,” Cuong said on March 2.

    He added that since October 2017 the spirit of this effort has also been seen in an official order from the committee, thwarting any attempts by Vietnamese boats to fish outside the nation’s maritime areas.

    Punitive measures accordingly include rendering invalid from six to twelve months the fishing licenses of boats transgressing the national sea borders for the first time, and revoking the fish-catching right permanently for ships with a recurrence of illegal fishing.

    The Vung Tau administration has also required fishing boats with large power machines to be retrofitted with cameras and stay connected around the clock with relevant authorities on land.

    Boats which belong to that type but fail to feature the devices are not granted or ineligible to renew operation licenses, Cuong, the director, said.

    Housing sector targets this year's growth of beyond 8%

    The Ministry of Construction will improve the housing market’s information system and the database on the property market to ensure sustainable development toward achieving this year's growth rate of 8.46 – 9.21%.

    The ministry will closely monitor the country’s real estate market and provide regular updates on the market and work hand in hand with the Ministry of Finance to fine-tune real estate-related financial and tax policies. It will also partner with the State Bank of Vietnam to tighten stricter controls on credit services.

    It plans to join hands with relevant ministries and agencies to deal with challenges in State budget allocation for the key housing programmes.

    The Ministry will work more on stabilizing prices of construction materials and  fuel the development and production cutting-edge building materials that help reduce costs of construction.

    This year, a score of proper measures will be taken to spur the development of the affordable housing in urban areas and low-cost housing for workers at industrial parks and undertake affordable housing projects.

    Two ROK retail groups seek trade opportunity in Vietnam

    Two retail and distribution groups from the Republic of Korea (ROK), K-holdings and Coupang, will meet Vietnamese partners to discuss investment opportunities on March 22.

    This is part of activities within the framework of the Vietnam-ROK business exchange program organized by the Export Support Centre under the Vietnam Trade Promotion Agency and the Vietnamese Trade Office in the ROK with the aim of boosting exports to the market.

    The two groups are in need of importing spices/sauce, noodle/vermicelli/rice noodle and products, canned food/frozen seafood, frozen and dried fruit, coffee, chocolate, cashew nut, pepper, cinnamon, anise, dried food such as dried beef, chicken and cuttlefish, fresh fruits like coconut, pineapple, banana, mango and dragon fruit and some other processed food, which offer opportunities for Vietnamese agricultural businesses to ship their products to the market.

    Twenty-five years after establishing the diplomatic ties, Vietnam and the ROK have become strategic and important economic partners. Vietnam’s exports to the market rose 31% to US$15 billion last year. Bilateral trade is expected to reach US$100 billion by 2020.

    According to the Korea International Trade Association (KITA), the ROK’s exports to Vietnam reached nearly US$48 billion last year, accounting for 8% of the country’s total export value. This is an impressive figure as it was just nearly 4% in 2014.

    Vietnam became one of the ROK’s top ten export markets in 2009 for the first time with an export value of more than US$7 billion and surpassed Japan to be the third largest export market of the country in 2015.

    PV Power awaits listing on UpCOM and strategic investor

    Print EmailAfter a successful initial public offering (IPO), PetroVietnam Power Corporation (PV Power)—the second-largest electricity producer in Vietnam—is ready to list its shares on the Unlisted Public Company Market (UpCOM) tomorrow and is looking for a strategic investor.   

    After that, it will conduct the sale of 676 million shares or 28.88 per cent of its charter capital to a strategic investor. Interested investors are required to have reported profit in the last two years, hold no accumulated losses, and keep the acquired PV Power shares for at least five years.

    To date, 30 investors expressed interest in becoming the strategic investor of PV Power. However, no official applications have been submitted to PV Power yet.

    Previously, on January 31, PV Power reported a successful IPO by selling all the 468.37 million shares on offer at the average selling price of VND14,938 ($0.66) per share, with the highest and lowest selling prices being VND28,000 ($1.23) and VND14,500 ($0.64). After the sale, PV Power’s total capitalisation reached $1.48 billion.

    PV Power is considered the first power producer to report a complete take-up at its IPO via public auction.

    Earlier in 2015, Vinacomin-Power Holding Corporation sold only 0.005 per cent of the offered shares for VND12.053 billion ($529,469), failing its IPO.

    Besides, in early February, Power Generation Corporation 3 (EVN Genco 3) also reported a failed auction with only 2.8 per cent of the offered shares sold, leaving 97.2 per cent unmarketable.

    PV Power was established in 2007 andis fully-owned by PetroVietnam. As the second-largest electricity producer in Vietnam, the company operates one coal-fired thermal power plant, three gas-fired power plants, and three hydropower plants.

    The firm plans to develop nine gas-to-power projects located in Dong Nai, Kien Giang, Binh Thuan, and Quang Nam.

    In 2017, PV Power produced 20.581 million kWh of electricity, acquiring VND30.98 trillion ($1.36 billion) in revenue and VND2.503 trillion ($109.95 million) in pre-tax profit. This year, the firm expects to generate 21.570 million kWh with VND30.95 trillion ($1.35 billion) in revenue and VND1.91 trillion ($83.9 million) in pre-tax profit.

    South Korean food firm Jooan Holdings sets foot in Vietnam

    Targeting the potential food manufacturing and distribution sector in Vietnam, Jooan Holdings Corporation from South Korea has decided to established a branch in Hanoi before establishing a $1.2 million food manufacturing and processing plant in Vietnam.

    The launching ceremony was organised this morning and the branch is named Jooan Foods Corporation.

    “Before deciding to open the branch in Vietnam, Jooan Holdings Corporation spent a long time studying the food market, the eating habits as well as the taste of customers in Vietnam. We see great opportunities to develop in Vietnam,” said Yi Sanghoon, CEO of the head office of Jooan Foods Corporation.

    Foreign investors find the food sector attractive, especially South Korean firms like CJ and Daesang that acquired domestic food firms to consolidate their presence in Vietnam.

    In order to compete with the existing competitors, including South Korean firms in the market, the company will focus on the quality of the products instead of their prices.

    Besides, the company will study and pioneer supplying new products. Thus, customers will find numerous products that are totally new to the Vietnamese market among the company’s products.

    In the framework of the launching ceremony, Jooan Foods Corporation and HT Food Co., Ltd. signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to co-operate in the food distribution sector in Vietnam.

    “After two years of studying the distribution of South Korean foodstuff in Vietnam, we met Jooan Holdings Corporation whose products we found to match the taste of Vietnamese consumers. After seeing the modern technology lines at Jooan’s plants in South Korea with our own eyes, we decided to co-operate with the firm,” said Nguyen Thi Thu Ha, deputy general director of HT Food Co., Ltd.

    Within six months after establishing the branch in Vietnam, the company plans to enter into a co-operation with T&T 159 Food JSC to build a food manufacturing and processing plant in Vietnam.

    The plant will manufacture products according to the orders of the company’s partners. The plant’s products will be exported to South Korea and other countries. The initial investment capital of the plant is expected to reach $1.2 million.

    Indian firms strengthen renewable energy investment in Vietnam

    Renewable energy has attracted many foreign investors to Vietnam, including several Indian firms.

    The two-day state-level visit of President Tran Dai Quang and his wife to India on March 3-4 will bring a new Indian investment wave, this time focusing on renewable energy, infrastructure, education, and information technology.

    Indian giants, including TATA Group, Adani Green Energy Ltd., and Suzlon Energy Ltd. set foot in Vietnam very early after the country opened its doors for foreign investment. TATA Group's solar power project in Binh Phuoc province is the latest Indian investment project. Its total capacity is 49 megawatts and is located on 55 hectares in Loc Ninh district of the southern province.

    Shenbagam Manthiram, chief representative of TATA Group, said that Binh Phuoc has ample sun irradiation. Besides, Loc Tan commune is well connected to transport infrastructure and the national grid as well. This project is expected to be completed in June 2019 to take advantage of the preferential feed-in-tariff from the government (9.35 cent/kWh for 20 years).

    Earlier, in 2013, the Indian company also poured $1.8 billion into the 1,200MW Long Phu 2 thermal power plant in the Mekong Delta province of Soc Trang. This is one of three power plants at LongPhuPowerCenter. Putting Long Phu 2 into operation is a significant milestone in promoting investment between Vietnam and India.

    In 2017, TATA deployed solar power projects in four Vietnamese provinces with the total estimated capacity of 250MW. Besides renewable energy and beverages, this company intends to expand to other sectors in Vietnam.

    Following TATA, Adani Green Energy Limited researched Vietnamese localities to develop several renewable energy projects. Jayant Parimal, CEO of Adani Green Ltd., revealed that these plants will generate at least 1,000MW of renewable energy in Vietnam.

    In addition to these two giants, Suzlon Energy Ltd. also intends to develop renewable energy projects in Vietnam that would use the most modern technology in the world. The company is one of the world leaders in renewable energy solutions.

    Himanshoo Raj Khare, director of emerging markets at Suzlon, said that the company has visited Vietnam to research five localities as well as meet and discuss with ministries and related agencies certificates for solar power projects.

    Hi-tech Indian projects not only meet environmental protection requirements but also promise opportunities of technology transfer and improving quality of Vietnam's human resources.

    To date, India has 176 projects in Vietnam with the total investment of $814 million, ranking 28th among the nations and territories investing in the country.

    Quy Nhon and Quang Nam take the baton

    While the major urban areas of Danang and Nha Trang are running out of land sites for development, the emerging Quy Nhon in Binh Dinh and the hot spot of Quang Nam offer golden opportunities to woo investors in the hospitality segment.

    A 2017 survey of the overall real estate market in the central region shows that there are no strong fluctuations in Quang Tri, Quang Binh, and Phu Yen. In particular, the market in Quang Tri and Quang Binh has not seen any major projects apart from land transactions between individuals. The only highlight of Phu Yen is a shophouse project by Vingroup, but land plot projects’ liquidity remains at a low level, similar to the northern residential area in South Tuy Hoa Urban Area.

    The Thua Thien-Hue real estate market has experienced more robust performance. According to Nguyen Van Tu, director of the Thua Thien- Hue Land Development Centre, there is a dramatic shift in the land plot segment. The market is quiet in the north and northwest but is bustling in the south and southeast. The strong growth of the land plot segment in the areas has given a boost to neighbouring towns and communes like Phu Vang and Huong Thuy, forming a chain of new property products.

    Quy Nhon is deemed as an emerging place that has more advantages than Nha Trang and Danang in terms of infrastructure system, with roads connecting to the rest of Vietnam. Quy Nhon also serves as a gateway to the CentralHighlands, southern Lao localities, and northeastern Cambodian provinces. Vietnam Airlines has opened routes linking Quy Nhon with Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City with steady flights at PhuCatAirport, which contributed to attracting an increasing number of tourist arrivals to Binh Dinh.

    “As Binh Dinh unlocks its tourism potential, investors have ramped up investment in the province,” said Huynh Cao Nhat, deputy director of the Binh Dinh Tourism Department.

    On the same note, Nguyen Thuc Dinh, director of the Binh Dinh Department of Planning and Investment, said that as a wave of investment arrived to the tourism and services sector, several real estate projects have contributed to improving infrastructure and local tourism. Some notable developments include FLC Sea Tower Quy Nhon, the Kim Cuc hotel and tourism complex, the BMC Quy Nhon complex, TMS Luxury Hotel and Residences Quy Nhon, and the HoaSenTower luxury complex with hotels, apartments, and shopping malls.

    According to Nguyen Thi Kim Cuc, chairwoman of Kim Cuc Investment and Construction Co., Ltd., Quy Nhon is an emerging market where infrastructure and tourism have yet to be fully developed. Quy Nhon seems to attract mainly local tourists in the coming years, but hotel rooms and accommodations fail to keep up with the rising demand.

    She added that the province has offered more favourable incentives to lure in investors. Many luxury resorts and five-star hotels are underway in Quy Nhon’s downtown and PhuongMaiPeninsula.

    Evaluating Binh Dinh’s tourism growth and its tourism development strategy until 2020, Dr. Tran Du Lich, head of the consultancy group for Central Coastal Region Development and Co-operation, said that Binh Dinh is on the right track to develop tourism to become the province’s key economic sector.

    Bordering Danang, Quang Nam is a bustling gateway with almost complete infrastructure. The year 2017 was marked by a strong momentum in the northern Quang Nam real estate market covering the ancient town of Hoi An and Dien Nam-Dien Ngoc New Urban Area.

    According to the Quang Nam Department of Construction, roughly 80 investors have injected capital into high- and mid-end projects in the land plot, townhouse, and villa segments in the province. However, the total stock is inadequate to meet the demand, while the projects are quickly snapped up after launch.

    New Hoi An City and Hoi An Royal Residence in suburban Hoi An have made a splash with their villa and condotel models. Meanwhile, several land plot and townhouse projects like Sun RiverCity by Bright Land JSC, My Gia 1 and 2 by Phu Gia Thinh Corporation, and GAIA by Gaia Group are warming up the market. These projects are located in the route linking Danang with Hoi An through Dien Nam-Dien Ngoc New Urban Area, which borders the CoCoRiver on one side and the sea on the other.

    According to the Quang Nam Department of Construction, the northern Quang Nam real estate market has become more bustling due to the successful urban development planning in recent years. Dien Ban has reached the standard of urban type IV, while some communes in the eastern region have been upgraded to wards. However, the main reason for strong economic growth and urban development is its proximity to Danang.

    Meanwhile, the southern Quang Nam real estate market along the coastal road from CuaDaiBridge to Tam Ky City has undergone a dramatic transformation in the liquidity of the landed property segment, especially in the coastal Tam Thanh area.

    After the Tam Ky-Tam Thanh route was expanded and upgraded, Tam Thanh has developed new tourist attractions like Vietnam’s first mural village as well as Tam Thanh beach square for big events. The growth of the tourism and services sectors in the commune resulted in a property price hike. A 300-square metre land plot next to the beach square in the main route to Sheraton Hotel fetches VND2.5 billion ($110,000). Meanwhile, a 100sq.m land plot near the beach square goes for a minimum VND1.55 billion ($68,200).

    “In the southern Tam Thanh residential project, the cost of land use rights increased by 20-30 per cent compared to the floor price in 2017. Land prices also rose by 50 per cent compared to the two previous years,” said Nguyen Quang Tuan, director of the Management Board of Tam Ky Investment and Construction Projects.

    According to the Quang Nam Department of Construction, Quang Nam’s coastal area is bustling with large investment projects. Some real estate brokers noted that the attractiveness of the Quang Nam real estate market is unlocked by newly developed urban areas with new and unique designs meeting the standards of modern urban development and a full suite of social utilities. The department added that that the provincial real estate market has increased by 10-20 per cent on average in 2017, as the market is in the beginning of a boom cycle and has yet to reach a peak.

    Opportunities are ample for investors in 2018, especially when infrastructure is fully developed and connected with other cities and provinces in the central region and nationwide.

    Danang land plot segment takes divisive flight

    Developers have shifted their focus from the south to the northwest of Danang due to news about infrastructure and planning. Opportunities are huge in the the central real estate market in 2018, but the outlook is not that bright.

    Following the real estate fever in 2016, Danang’s land plot segment continued to experience robust performance in 2017 with two spotlight segments.

    The first was the land plot segment in the south of Danang and the north of Quang Nam, like the planned Dien Nam-Dien Ngoc New Urban Area. In the beginning of 2017, the segment warmed up thanks to good news from the city. Danang successfully hosted the APEC Economic Leaders’ Week, as well as implemented several large-scale infrastructure projects.

    In the first quarter of 2017, the market saw land prices nearly double from VND2-3 million ($88-132) to VND4-5 million ($176-220) per square metre, even reaching VND8 million ($352) along the Hoang Sa extended street. Prices hiked in the area primarily because the Quang Nam People’s Committee has green-lighted a slew of resort projects at an investment promotion conference in the province. Meanwhile, the UniversityVillage project has been resumed with a total investment capital of VND20 trillion ($880 million).

    To the east from a planned tunnel through the Han River in Van Don-Thuan Phuoc area of Son Tra District, land prices have escalated to a record high of VND20 million ($880) per sq.m. Prices normalised at VND10-12 million ($440-528) when the prime minister decided to suspend the project and reassess its feasibility.

    The second spotlight was the northeastern area which used to be quiet before the latest news of Danang Railway Station, LienChieuPort, and Vingroup’s project in South Hai Van drew investors’ attention. This, coupled with infrastructure development, made the area more appealing to investors. Take Golden Hills for example—after a long delay, it completed the first phase in the second quarter of 2017 with a complete take-up.

    Several projects have been hunted by investors like PandoraCity, LakesidePalace, ChamRiverPark, Phuoc Ly, Hoa Khanh Residence, Nam Tran Central Park, Northwest Urban Area, Phuong Trang Urban Area, and most recently, New City, which is located on the previous site of Tan Cuong Thanh Urban Area in Lien Chieu District.

    Land prices have also been on a steady increase to VND7-10 million ($308-440) per sq.m in the areas next to Golden Hills, up to VND15-17 million ($660-748) in the centre of Lien Chieu District, which is almost the match of Hoa Xuan in Cam Le District.

    This area is forecasted to become the hotspot of Danang’s real estate market, especially after Sun Group’s grand designs have been outlined for Hoa Ninh-Hoa Son Urban Area in Hoa Vang District. Accordingly, in a proposal submitted to the Danang People’s Committee, the group said it aims at inviting the world’s leading consulting firms like WATG, CallisonRTKL, Hyder, and WSP to conduct research and planning to ensure the success of the project.

    In spite of the tremendous potential of the Danang real estate market, analysts have issued warnings to investors.

    Southern Danang has seen a boom in the land plot segment in the past two years, but its infrastructure has yet to be fully developed. The construction progress is slow at most of the projects in the area, apart from some urban areas including FPT City, Hoa Xuan, Phu My An, Golden Hills and Sea View.

    Most projects have been delayed for several months, although the developers have announced good sales performance and committed to completing infrastructure facilities on time. At the planned Dien Nam-Dien Ngoc New Urban Area, thousands of land plots remain undeveloped while buyers are waiting in vain for their ownership certificates.

    Vu Trong Phung from real estate services firm 68 Land said that the land plot fever in Danang in the past two years helped change the façade of several areas in the central city and the north of Quang Nam. However, this will not be enough to solve deep-rooted problems, such as the locals being unable to settle down due to high property prices. In fact, many projects remain sparsely populated despite being sold out.

    According to Tran Ngoc Thanh, general director of Dat Xanh Central Vietnam, developers have failed to create a vibrant community due to a lack of customer support and the incomplete infrastructure.

    “When customers purchase a property either for living or investment, they need to carefully study the project and the developer, especially their capability and track record of project development. After choosing the project, investors and homebuyers should visit the site to observe the construction progress before spending money,” Thanh added.

    Meanwhile, Phung noted that Danang features continuously strong economic growth and ever-increasing living standards. The city keeps luring in a large number of workers from other localities and the city’s population is projected to reach two million people in the next few years. As a result, according to real estate developers and brokers, the housing demand in the central city will rise in the coming time, and it will also push up prices.

    Le Thanh Sang, director of Kim Thinh Real Estate, said that speculators are distorting the landed property segment in the city. There are several land plots left idle in Danang and the Dien Nam-Dien Ngoc in Quang Nam, with a majority in the hands of investors from Hanoi. At the same time, local people cannot afford land as the prices are exorbitant.

    On the same note, Dang Thanh Thien, manager of the Alo Dat Danang news website, said that there is huge demand for affordable housing, but land gets pricey in the city. Also, many projects have been left undeveloped, serving as a deterrent for homebuyers to spend money.

    Sandy beaches a solid foundation

    The central region has enjoyed a robust growth in tourism in 2017 with the highlight of the APEC Economic Leaders’ Week in Danang, which gave a boost to the region to lure in hospitality investors.

    According to statistics from the central cities and provinces, the region has attracted an increasing number of tourist arrivals in 2017. Danang recorded six million tourist arrivals in the first ten months of 2017, while Quang Binh welcomed roughly three million. Nha Trang and Hue saw 4.5 and three million tourist arrivals, respectively, during the period. It is evident that the central region’s scenic coastline has contributed significantly to the development of the local tourism industry.

    “The central region is home to long stretches of sandy beaches. This, coupled with urban development along the coast, gives the region an edge over other tourism destinations in Asia,” said Nguyen Duc Quynh, deputy director of Furama Resort Danang.

    Quang Binh, known for its long coastline and rolling white sand dunes, has become a new destination for hospitality investors. FLC Group has poured VND13.8 trillion ($607.2 million) into a resort complex with a golf course, villas, and entertainment facilities in the central province.

    In Thua Thien-Hue, Lang Co is planned to become a new urban area with modern hospitality services. Singapore’s Banyan Tree Group and Laguna Vietnam Co., Ltd. have recently requested permission to raise investment capital to $2 billion to expand the world-class integrated resort Laguna Lang Co in the province. Another notable project is Mediterraneo Resort by Vincoland, which has already finished the bare-shell construction of villas and hotels.

    Not far from Lang Co, at Vinh Thanh and Vinh An communes of Phu Vang District, BRG Group is building a high-end resort complex with an investment capital of VND2 trillion ($88 million). PSH Group from Spain is also conducting research as well as completing investment procedures for Hue Amusement & Beach Park worth VND1.06 trillion ($46.64 million) in the coastal communes.

    Quang Nam and Danang are the most popular areas buzzing with activity on the regional tourism map. The areas have a coastline connecting Son Tra in Danang and Dien Ngoc in Quang Nam running through the ancient town of Hoi An. The place has been a hotspot for hospitality investors in recent years. Several luxury resorts have appeared over the past two years, including Ariyana Beach Resort & Suite Danang, CocoBay Danang, Naman Retreat, The Nam Hai, Palm Garden Beach Resort & Spa, and Vinpearl Resort & Villas Hoi An.

    In Binh Dinh, FLC has developed FLC Quy Nhon Beach & Golf Resort with the total investment of VND7 trillion ($308 million). This is the first large-scale project on an international level that has been completed and is fully operational at Phuong Mai-Nui Ba, a national tourist attraction. The pioneer project is expected to impact the province as well as woo an incredible number of tourists to Quy Nhon-Binh Dinh.

    Along with Danang and Phu Quoc, Nha Trang in Khanh Hoa is one of the three hottest spots in the Vietnamese hospitality market. Numerous property giants have flocked to the city with large-scale projects worth millions of dollars. Nha Trang is now home to the largest number of hospitality projects in Vietnam. Some notable projects include Vinpearl Empire Condotel, Vinpearl Beachfront Condotel, Panorama Condotel, Ariyana Smart Condotel, HavanaNhaTrangPlaza, Starcity Nha Trang, and Novotel Hotel.

    Danang and Nha Trang have been in the spotlight of the regional hospitality market. According to real estate services firm Savills Vietnam, Danang saw large hotel supply in the first half of 2017. The total stock from the 86 three- to five-star hotels was approximately 9,400 rooms. As local tourism saw strong growth, five-star hotels continue to be the highest performers in the market. Over 1,300 four- to five-star rooms came online in the second half of 2017.

    According to reports by CBRE Vietnam, there were 7,697 condotels, three golf courses, and 771 villas on sale in Danang in the third quarter of 2017.

    Meanwhile, Nha Trang had 10,138 four- to five-star hotel rooms, 1,190 villas, and 10,913 condotels. CBRE Vietnam forecasts that this figure will increase to 36,715 rooms by 2020.

    As the wave of capital inflows to the central hospitality market shows no signs of slowing down, concerns arise about a future oversupply, especially as many condotel projects are underway. However, industry insiders said that the hospitality segment is an attractive investment channel bolstered by strong local tourism and high average occupancy rates.

    “The development of hospitality projects and large-scale entertainment complexes along the central coastline will bring several benefits,” Erik Billgren, general manager of Savills Vietnam in Danang, said, noting that the most noticeable projects are Hoiana and CocoBay situated between Danang and Hoi An.

    According to Billgren, the resorts and relevant services that centre on the coastline of the region will help improve occupancy rates, catering, and other relevant services. “These projects will create employment and tax revenue, which is a good thing for socioeconomic development,” he said.

    Duong Thuy Dung, senior director at CBRE Vietnam, said that the wave of investment in resort property was to meet visitors’ demands before and after the APEC Economic Leaders’ Week took place in Danang in 2017. With the expectation that property prices will increase after the major event, developers have ramped up development in the city, especially condotel projects, in anticipation of the trend.

    Can Southeast Asia’s largest mixed-use development revitalise Vietnam?

    Thu Thiem, Ho Chi Minh City’s proposed financial district and mixed-use urban area, is set to become the largest inner city development in Southeast Asia in the coming years.

    Over the past 30 years, Ho Chi Minh City has witnessed a meteoric rise. However, rapid growth comes with growing pains. Infrastructure within the existing central business district (CBD) is starting to buckle under the pressure of rapid expansion, vacant land is difficult to find, land value has reached a level that makes returns on office development and investment less attractive, and office rents have reached levels not seen in 2008. The master plan for Thu Thiem will alleviate these pressures, with the possibility of saving some of the historic urban centre of the “Pearl of Asia” from demolition and redevelopment.

    The 657-hectare site of Thu Thiem is located on the SaigonRiver’s opposite site, facing the existing CBD. Comprising of 176 land parcels with approximately 3.2 million square metres (GFA) of residential space and 3.4 million sq.m (GFA) of commercial space, the total site will eventually accommodate a residential population of 145,000 and a workforce of 217,000. The new financial district will be home to a number of major head offices and will become a vibrant destination combining residences, offices, shopping centres, hotels, and serviced apartments.

    Thu Thiem is a strategic getaway from Ho Chi Minh City to future development areas to the east, including the newly-proposed LongThanhInternationalAirport. With Thu Thiem Bridge 1 and Thu Thiem Tunnel under operation and once the four other bridges that are either under construction or planning are completed, residents in the CBD and neighbouring districts will have direct connection to Thu Thiem.

    Thu Thiem will benefit from the future Metro Line No. 2, which stretches from Thu Thiem (District 2) and ends in An Suong (District 12) with the total length of approximately 19 kilometres. It is forecasted that once complete, the metro line will handle approximately 480,000 passengers per day.

    The most common way to obtain land in Thu Thiem is through the build-transfer (BT) agreement where a land plot is granted for developers in exchange for investing in infrastructure in the new urban area. 45 per cent of the total development site area have been officially approved through a BT agreement in which Dai Quang Minh Real Estate Investment Corporation, the developer of Sala City, has been granted the largest land bank in return for constructing four main internal roads (Crescent Boulevard, Central Lakeside Road, Saigon Riverside Road, and the road through the ecological forest located in the Southern Delta), Thu Thiem Bridge 2, and a pedestrian bridge. In addition, other parts of Thu Thiem are dedicated to this developer to build a 20-hectare Central Plaza and a 9-ha River Park, the 1:500 master plan of which are in progress.

    Similarly, Ho Chi Minh City Infrastructure Investment JSC (CII) was granted approximately 90,000sq.m of freehold land and 6,000sq.m of 50-year leasehold land for residential and commercial purposes in exchange for the construction of technical infrastructure for the northern residential area, which consists of neighbourhoods 3 and 4 and the main North-South arterial road.

    Phat Dat Real Estate Development Corporation has also been approved by the Ho Chi Minh City People’s Committee to conduct a study on the construction of Thu Thiem Bridge 4, which will link the peninsula to District 7.

    Alternatively, land can be obtained through the bidding process. In 2011, the city authorities started the first tender for land parcels in Thu Thiem. Prior to 2016, 10 per cent of the total development site area was granted through the bidding process to different consortiums of large investors.

    According to the announcement of the Thu Thiem Management Authority, in the second quarter of 2017, the remaining 16 per cent of the total development site will be tendered with a focus on five parcels in neighbourhood 2a.

    With the majority of the total land bank in Thu Thiem confirmed, the remaining available land bank is scarce, while the demand for investment remains strong.

    Land values within Thu Thiem have increased by 30 to 40 per cent in the past three years. While this is a considerable uplift, we believe it can be sustained for the following reasons: (1) the initial land value is coming off a relatively low base, (2) the speed of infrastructure construction has increased dramatically during this period, (3) the most recent residential projects launched in Thu Thiem have witnessed strong demand, and finally, (4) Thu Thiem is the largest undeveloped clean and clear master-planned land within the city centre.

    On average, land prices in Thu Thiem are approximately one-third of District 1 and relatively low compared to neighbouring districts such as districts 3 and 4. In addition to land values appreciating in Thu Thiem, the neighbouring areas in District 2, such as Dong Van Cong, An Phu, and Thao Dien, have also witnessed increasing land prices. With rapid urbanisation, the establishment of Thu Thiem projects and some improvement in the legal and planning framework, it is reasonable to say that land prices will continue to increase over the coming years. The largest beneficiaries from this price movement will be the early pioneer investors in Thu Thiem as the higher risks that they had to bear in the early stage of development are compensated.

    With a booming high-end residential market and the abundant opportunities for commercial development, District 2 has become the focal point for large-scale developments in the last three years. Because of the quality of the master plan and the proximity to District 1, Thu Thiem is possibly the most attractive part of District 2.

    The EmpireCity project—developed by a consortium of Keppel Land, Gaw Capital Partners, Tran Thai Real Estate Co., Ltd., and Tien Phuoc Real Estate JSC—commenced a soft launch in December 2016 and a subsequent launch in July 2017, with the projects named as Linden Residence and Tilia Residence. These two launches demonstrate the latest ‘craze’ in demand for Thu Thiem. Both residential projects, totalling up to approximately 1,000 units, were almost sold out within the first few weeks of the launch. The average selling price of Tilia increased by approximately 20 to 25 per cent in comparison to Linden during the first six months. This increment is not only due to Tilia’s closer proximity to the SaigonRiver and better quality in terms of design and construction, but is also a reflection of high demand for the project.

    Similarly, Dai Quang Minh’s SalaCity has sold 95 to 100 per cent and recorded a 30 to 35 per cent increase in sale prices compared to the first launch in 2015. Both the projects of EmpireCity and SalaCity have indicated strong appetite to invest in the high-end residential market in Thu Thiem.

    Despite the recent increase in transaction volumes and prices, JLL believes that the current cycle has yet to reach its peak. It is forecasted that the supply of apartments in Thu Thiem will rise in the coming years as a new wave of luxury branded apartments from major investors is expected to hit the market. This new wave of supply might establish a new price level in Thu Thiem as the urban area becomes more developed with value-added services such as offices, commercial areas, shopping centres, entertainment venues, schools, and hospitals, among others.

    The apartment selling price is predicted to keep on rising and we expect that this uptick will be an offset helping investors achieve the expected returns as land prices increase. Given a growing economy with strong demand from the buyers who either have cash on-hand or the ability to leverage, it is likely to see that buyers are taking a long-term view in their purchasing decision which is a positive sign for Thu Thiem. There are still plenty of investors hunting for good investment opportunities in Thu Thiem at a reasonable land price through acquisition or joint venture with good local partners. Hence, we expect this trend to support strong sustainable growth in this focal development of the city.

    Although officially planned since 2005, it took two years to complete the first bridge and another four years to complete the tunnel, the second connection between Thu Thiem and the city’s downtown area. The paucity of support for infrastructure development and lack of incentives are the biggest impediments to Thu Thiem’s development.

    Nonetheless, it is also observed that in these cases, it took time for the initial steps to be accomplished. As soon as the infrastructure development takes shape, the market will respond. Developers will be more confident and occupiers and buyers will be attracted to this rising opportunity.

    As a late starter, Thu Thiem has the advantage of having an advanced master plan and learn from the experiences of other townships. Local authorities are able to introduce “smart city” concept and Thu Thiem will become Ho Chi Minh City’s premier destination for residential and commercial development.

    With pressure mounting on the existing CBD and the renewed impetus to complete major infrastructure, JLL believes that now more than ever since its inception 12 years ago, Thu Thiem has reached a “tipping point.” It is time for investors to set their sights on Thu Thiem for the investment opportunities it offers.

    CapitaLand to develop first integrated development in Hanoi

    Stepping up growth momentum in one of its key markets, Singapore’s CapitaLand Limited has acquired a prime site for its first integrated development in Hanoi and has successfully set up its second commercial fund in the country, the $130-million CapitaLand Vietnam Commercial Value-Added Fund (CVCVF).

    With a fund life span of eight years, CapitaLand will hold a 50 per cent stake in CVCVF with the balance interest held by MEA Commercial Holdings Pte. Ltd.

    CVCVF will focus on Grade A commercial properties in Vietnam. Located in Hanoi’s exclusive Tay Ho district with unblocked views of the scenic West Lake, the upcoming 25-storey integrated development worth about $217 million will comprise of a 380-unit residence including SoHo apartments, around 230,000 square feet of office space, and over 208,000 square feet of retail space.

    According to Lim Ming Yan, president and group CEO of CapitaLand Limited, this mixed-use development allows the company to strategically diversify and optimise its portfolio in Vietnam with both good trading returns and a strong recurring income stream.

    “With this latest project, we expand our presence in the capital and reaffirm CapitaLand’s commitment as a long-term partner in Vietnam’s urbanisation journey,”Yan said.

    “Together with our $300-million CapitaLand Vietnam Commercial Fund, which was set up last year, we are now closer to our five-year target of leveraging private equity funds to grow our assets under management by S$10 billion ($7.54 billion) before 2020. We are pleased to be able to work with reputable capital partners who want to invest through CapitaLand, given our deep local insights and execution know-how. This allows us to scale up fast and be nimble in seizing opportunities in fast-growing markets like Vietnam,” he added.

    Chen Lian Pang, CEO of CapitaLand Vietnam, added that the country was a key growth market for CapitaLand and the company sees strong demand for vibrant, quality live-work-play spaces with rapid urbanisation and the evolving lifestyles of young and mobile Vietnamese people.

    “Harnessing our vast experience across different real estate types, this upcoming integrated development will offer the best-in-class in homes, offices, and malls which will attract young Vietnamese urbanites, multinational companies, and local startups,” Pang said.

    2017 was a year of stellar growth for CapitaLand in Vietnam with the highest home sales ever achieved (1,409 residential units) and sale value surpassing the previous year by 63 per cent.

    The integrated development will stand on an approximately 0.9ha site in Tay Ho District, well connected to both the new and old business districts, and less than a 20-minute drive away from Hanoi’s Noi Bai International Airport.

    Vietnam is the third largest market for CapitaLand in Southeast Asia, after Singapore and Malaysia.

    As of the end of December 2017, it had S$948 million ($715 million) worth of gross assets under management in Vietnam. The latest acquisition will expand CapitaLand’s portfolio to 12 residential developments, one integrated development, and 21 serviced residences with around 4,700 units across six cities in Vietnam.

    Apartment launches break year-long silence

    In 2017, the Ho Chi Minh City real estate market was poised to grow thanks to vibrant transactions, but in reality, many projects were delayed by red tape. The market is expecting a different scenario in 2018.

    apartment launches break year long silence

    According to research by CBRE Vietnam, the supply of new apartments in Ho Chi Minh City in 2017 went down by 20 per cent from 2016. The demand, on the other hand, remained robust with a slight decline of 5 per cent year-on-year. 2017 was also the first year since 2012 when the sold apartments outnumbered those put on sale during the year.

    Even Hung Thinh Corporation, known as “the king of apartment distribution” in Vietnam, only launched three projects called
    Moonlight Boulevard
    (Binh Tan District), RichmondCity (Binh Thanh District), and Lavita Charm (Thu Duc District) during the entire year. The total number of apartments from these three projects was 2,000—and all of them have been sold within a short time.

    On the contrary, Novaland Group, which manages 40 major projects, did not introduce any new projects to the market in 2017. The developer previously planned to launch at least four new apartment buildings last year.

    Similarly, Him Lam Land Corporation, one of the leading developers in the south, only unveiled one project named Him Lam Phu An in District 9, with more than 1,000 units.

    Other high-profile developers, such as Dat Xanh Real Estate Service & Construction Corporation, Phuc Khang Construction and Investment Corporation or An Gia Investment stayed silent during the entire year.

    According to Tran Khanh Quang, CEO of Viet An Hoa Real Estate Investment JSC, the bureaucracy related to new projects was quite cumbersome. In 2017, regulations were tightened, which means many developers got stuck in complex legal procedures. This caused delays in launching new projects.

    Another reason for the lack of new supply on the real estate market is the on-going inspections at some projects. This is especially true for 60 projects located on land previously managed by state-owned enterprises (SOEs). During the equitisation process of these SOEs, local authorities were strict in investigating the intended usage of the land, some even requested a temporary halt to construction works during the inspection.

    It is true that the market did not see much action in 2017. However, industry insiders expect the market to spring back to life this year, as new apartments finally find their way to the market.

    Right at the start of 2018, the Ho Chi Minh City real estate sector has already witnessed a slew of new projects. For example, after the success of DragonCity in Saigon South, Phu Long Real Estate Co., Ltd. has expanded its grip to the east of Ho Chi Minh City by launching DragonVillage on
    Nguyen Duy Trinh Street
    , District 9. DragonVillage, which spans an area of 21.6 hectares, is intended to become a compound area with 24/7 security, apartments, and villas.

    Similarly, right at the start of 2018, Novaland has launched VictoriaVillage in
    Dong Van Cong Street
    , which is near the main road Mai Chi Tho in District 2. VictoriaVillage consists of four towers, each 25 storeys high and having one basement. Apart from 900 apartment units, the project also has 92 villas built in the Victorian architectural style. The developer has confirmed a number of other new projects scheduled for 2018.

    Dat Xanh also recently announced that it would launch 10,000 apartment units in 2018. Specifically, the new supply will come from four major projects, including Gem Riverside in District 2 with 3,100 apartments in 12 towers; OpalCity in District 9 with 3,500 apartments in eight towers; Opal Premium in Thu Duc District, with 4,247 apartments across 10 towers; and Lux Riverview in Saigon South.

    Hung Thinh is also gearing up for new product launches. Nguyen Nam Hien, CEO of Hung Thinh Land, revealed that the developer will launch approximately 10,000 apartments in 2018, 4,000 of which will be introduced in the first quarter via a project in District 7. Another project in the east of the city, with 3,000 apartments, will also be put on sale soon. Hien said that all of these projects are ready to go on the market.

    Smaller developers are also launching apartment complexes this year. For example, Dream House Investment Corporation (DRH Holdings) is ready to sell 500 apartments in Aurora Residences at
    277 Ben Binh Dong Street
    , District 8. The developer will introduce Dream Home Riverside in District 8 as well.

    Meanwhile, Hung Loc Phat Real Estate Service JSC will launch Green Star in the Phu My Hung township in District 7, consisting of 100 villas and 1,000 apartment units.

    In the east of Ho Chi Minh City, Daewon-Thu Duc Housing Development Corporation will put on sale 544 apartment units at Centum Wealth. This project, which spans an area of 11,585sq.m, features three 20-storey high-rise buildings.

    At the same time, Vingroup’s mega project called Vincity in District 9 is also ready to launch 30,000 apartment units on the market this year.

    According to research done by most market consultants, the Ho Chi Minh City real estate sector has witnessed a hike in liquidity and prices. In the coming future, prices will not increase too much but the market should not expect any drastic declines either. It is a positive sign that most new projects are competing in terms of quality, promising a new era of high-quality products for homebuyers. If this is the case, then homebuyers will reap the greatest benefit.

    Techcombank adjusts FOL to 8.54 per cent to approach foreign investors

    Techcombank on March 3 announced at its annual general meeting (AGM) that it has lifted its foreign ownership limit (FOL) to 8.54 per cent in a quest to offload its treasury shares bought back last year from HSBC to foreign investors potentially from the US or the EU.

    The Hanoi-based lender currently holds more than 172.35 million treasury shares, accounting for 9.39 per cent of the total outstanding shares.154.87 million of these will be available to foreign investors.

    In the first batch of treasury share sales, 93.24 million units will be offered at the minimum price of VND23,445 ($1.06). The sale is expected to take place in the first or second quarter of this year, after securing the approval of the State Securities Commission.

    Last September, following the buyback from HSBC Holdings, Techcombank (OTC:TCB) asked shareholders to lock the foreign ownership limit to nil until further notice. The recent lifting of its FOL, according to the lender, is to prepare to resell its treasury shares in line with the AGM resolution approved on March 3.

    The share buyback from HSBC Holdings last year could have hurt Techcombank’s capital raising plan, prompting the lender to subsequently issue 500 million shares to existing shareholders and possibly other institutional investors to make up for the capital shortage in the last months of 2017.

    In its report on Techcombank last year, Hanoi-based VPBank Securities (VPBS) said, “The treasury buyback [from HSBC] totaled up to VND4.041 trillion ($183.68 million) and could be the reason behind the virtually non-existent credit growth at the bank in the first six months of the year, as it had to prepare large amounts of money for the buyback.”

    Ho Chi Minh City Securities Corporation (HSC) commented in one of its reports in 2017 that investor interest in acquiring Techcombank’s stakes is there, even as global banks like HSBC Holdings or Standard Chartered Public retreat.

    “Even as established global banks, such as HSBC and perhaps also Standard Chartered, are looking to sell their stakes in local banks as they step up to meet Basel 3 requirements, other types of investors are jockeying to replace them,” the Ho Chi Minh City-based securities firm wrote.

    “We understand that these range from regional banks from Japan, Korea or the ASEAN to some large private-equity-type investors from the region. There may also be interest from local investors, including some of the existing shareholders. Hence, we believe that TCB will not find it too hard to find a buyer for the treasury shares, although executing a deal may take several months.”

    AIA delivers another year of excellent growth

    The Board of Directors of AIA Group Limited (stock code: 1299) announced that AIA has delivered strong results for the year ending on November 30, 2017 with double-digit growth across main financial metrics.

    Ng Keng Hooi, AIA’s group chief executive and president, said: “AIA has delivered another strong performance with double-digit growth across our main financial metrics. The value of new business increased by 28 per cent to reach a new high of $3.512 billion and we also achieved strong growth in IFRS operating profit and free surplus. Today’s results are the direct outcome of the scale, quality, and breadth of AIA’s exceptional businesses across the region and the significant progress we are making in delivering our strategic objectives.”

    The board has recommended an increase of 17 per cent in the 2017 final dividend, reflecting the strength of AIA's financial results as well as their confidence in the outlook for the group.

    AIA has been in Asia for almost a century, operating in some of the most dynamic and attractive life insurance markets in the world. With the corporation’s deep roots and long history in Asia, they have aligned their growth strategy with the opportunities created by the unprecedented structural economic, demographic, and social changes taking place across their markets.

    AIA’s extensive distribution reach, product innovation, trusted brand, and outstanding people capabilities place them in a unique position to help safeguard the financial security of consumers across the Asia-Pacific.

    “Our focus continues to be on the execution of our strategic priorities that will build on our competitive advantages and make a material difference to AIA’s future. I am confident that our teams will continue to deliver profitable growth and long term value for our shareholders as we help our customers live healthier, longer, better lives and plan for a brighter future,” Hooi said.

    Eximbank offers $650,000 compensation in advance to swindled customer

    After a meeting with Eximbank, Chu Thi Binh, who lost VND245 billion ($10.8 million), will check the arrangement carefully before receiving VND14.8 billion ($0.65 million) of advance compensation from Eximbank.

    Chu Thi Binh, who lost VND245 billion ($10.8 million) at Eximbank, has met the bank’s Board of Management to find a solution. Eximbank agreed to pay VND14.8 billion ($0.65 million). The remaining amount will be paid after the court trial.

    At first, Binh did not agree to Eximbank’s proposal, as she wanted all of her money returned, including the original amount and interest. Finally, she agreed to check the arrangement carefully before making her decision.

    Eximbank said that the advance payment expresses the bank's responsibility for the client, while waiting for the court.

    Earlier in 2013, Binh opened three savings accounts with the total original amount of VND301 billion ($13.26 million), including VND247 billion ($10.9 million) in the first account, VND49 billion ($2.16 million) in the second account, and VND5.4 billion ($0.24 million) in the third account.

    In February 2017, upon the maturity date of the VND49 billion savings account, she contacted the bank to withdraw the money, but Eximbank said that her money has disappeared from the system. She checked all the saving accounts and Eximbank informed her that VND245 billion ($10.8 million) has disappeared.

    Subsequent investigation revealed that Le Nguyen Hung, former deputy director of an Eximbank branch in Ho Chi Minh City forged documents to withdraw money from her saving accounts and left the country.

    Growth boosts demand for industrial land

    Demand for industrial land around the country is expected to increase thanks to significant growth in terms of both industrial production and FDI.

    Last year the city’s index of industrial production grew by 7.9 per cent while Hà Nội’s expanded by 7.1 per cent.

    FDI flows into HCMCity topped $6.3 billion while for Hà Nội they were worth $2.4 billion, a national year-on-year increase of 22.5 per cent, and most foreign and domestic investors are seeking to expand production.

    At HCM City IPs, according to real estate service consultant Colliers International, at the end of 2017 the average annual rent was $142.2 per square metre, an increase of 0.9 per cent from the previous year.

    HCMCity now has 20 operating IPs with a total area of 3,025 hectares. Củ Chi District has the largest number of industrial parks totally measuring 863 hectares, but the price is lowest there at $80 -90 per square metre.

    By 2025 it is expected that more 2,300ha in eight new industrial parks will come into the market with a promise of better infrastructure and services.

    From now through 2025 rents are expected to increase sharply.

    Authorities around the country continue to offer incentives to promote supporting industries.

    The HCMCity science and technology department has set up a database for all enterprises in supporting industries, including foreign companies, for easy connection and technology transfer.

    Around 200 hectares in the Hiệp Phước and Lê Minh Xuân 3 Industrial Parks will be earmarked for supporting industries.

    Hà Nội has 11 industrial parks with 2,700 hectares, mostly in outlying districts.

    Rents in Hà Nội’s IPs increased more than in HCMCity in 2017 with an occupation rate of 82.6 per cent, 5.3 percentage points higher than the year before.

    By 2020 Hà Nội will have 14 more IPs with 6,100 hectares in operation.

    “With a business-friendly environment and high demand from customers, we hope the trend will continue through 2018,” David Jackson, general director of Colliers International Việt Nam, told the Thời báo Kinh tế Việt Nam (Việt Nam Economic Times) newspaper.

    “Hà Nội is a good location close to northern industrial centres like Hải Phòng, Hưng Yên and Bắc Ninh, and this helps the city be the best location for IPs.”

    In other cities too, demand for industrial land has increased as many enterprises have expanded their production since the beginning of this year.

    For instance, HTMP Ltd signed a contract with TNI Holdings Việt Nam to expand its production at the QuangMinhIndustrial Park, Japanese automobile parts maker Toyoda Gosei started construction of a new plant in TiềnHảiViglaceraIndustrial Park in the northern province of Thái Bình.

    Industrial production has recovered and is expected to expand, and the occupancy ratio at industrial parks has significantly increased, especially this year.

    Mekong Innovative Startups in Tourism extends application deadline     

    Mekong Innovative Startups in Tourism (MIST) Startup Accelerator will extend its application deadline for Vietnamese startups until March 24.

    The original deadline was March 10. Startups hoping to take advantage of the deadline extension still must email mist@mekongbiz.org by March 10 to announce their intention to apply.

    The Startup Accelerator provides support to early-stage companies with innovative and scalable business models.

    The 15 to 20 startups selected to 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 US$10,000, and customized business matching with potential investors and partners.

    The Greater Mekong Sub-region’s government, tourism, and hospitality leaders have embraced MIST as a force for innovation, sustainability, and growth in the region,” said 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.”

    Jason Lusk, director of the MIST programme, explained that the decision to extend the deadline was made after the Tet (Lunar New Year) holiday. “We have seen a blossoming of interest from tourism startups in Viet Nam post-Tet, and incubators in Vietnamese cities have requested additional information sessions to answer startups’ questions about the programme.”

    “It made sense to extend the deadline in light of this heightened interest in our programme from quality startups,” Jason said.

    Destination Mekong and the Mekong Business Initiative – with the backing of the Government of Australia, 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.

    Interested companies can find application details online at mist.asia. 

    Project to promote exports to Middle East     

    Vietnamese export companies will have opportunities to set up distribution channels in the Middle East thanks to a market research programme launched by the Investment and Trade Promotion Centre in HCM City and the Vietnamese Embassy’s Commercial Affair Office in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

    The research will be carried out from March 4-9 this year. It aims to help rice, food and fruit exporters seek opportunities in Middle Eastern nations.

    According to the Ministry of Industry and Trade, trade between Viet Nam and the Middle East reached US$12.8 billion in 2017, up 17.4 per cent from 2016.

    Viet Nam’s main exports were mobile phones, computers and accessories, seafood, footwear, garment and textiles, fibre, rice, pepper, wood products, cashew nuts, natural rubber, vegetables and fruit and coffee beans.

    The country mostly imported materials for domestic production, such as plastic, liquefied gas, electronic spare parts, machines and animal feed, from the Middle East

    Thanh Hoa hands over expanded site for Nghi Son refinery plant

    The People’s Committee of the north central province of Thanh Hoa has handed over an expanded site in the Nghi Son Economic Zone and local industrial parks for the implementation of the Nghi Son Oil Refinery and Petrochemical (NSRP) complex.

    The committee also presented a land use right certificate to the project on March 3.

    This is a significant move to ensure safety and security for residents living near the construction site of the complex.

    The expanded site has a total area of 110.4 hectares spanning Trung Yen, Nam Yen, Trung Hau and Dong Yen hamlets in Hai Yen commune, Tinh Gia district.

    Land clearance has been carried out since 2013 with the resettlement of more than 1,000 households and the disarmament of bombs, mines, explosive materials and toxic substances. Local authorities have given resettlement land for 985 households.

    Director General of the NSRP complex Turki Alajmi thanked local people in Hai Yen commune for ceding land for the refinery. 

    This also creates extra land funds for the expansion of the project in the future, he added.

    Earlier on February 28, Nghi Son Refinery & Petrochemical Limited Liability Company received the Ready For Start Up (RFSU) certificate for its NSRP project.

    Turki Alajmi said: “We are proud to achieve this critical milestone for the NSRP project today. The project is strategically important to meet the growing domestic demand for refined and petrochemical products driven by rapid industrialisation and modernisation of the country.”

    He thanked all the stakeholders in the NSRP project, including the Government and Thanh Hoa authorities, who have provided a favourable investment environment for the project.

    The NSRP project is a joint venture sponsored by four internationally reputed corporations including Vietnam Oil and Gas Group, Kuwait Petroleum Europe B.V. from Kuwait, Idemitsu Kosan Co. Ltd and Mitsui Chemical, Inc. from Japan.

    The refinery will have capacity to process 200,000 barrels of crude oil per day imported from Kuwait, equivalent to 10 million tonnes per year.

    The total estimated cost of the project is 9 billion USD, making it the largest foreign direct investment project in Vietnam to date.

    The refinery is scheduled to produce its first commercial oil products in May this year. 

    Once operational, the project will help ensure national energy security. It is expected to contribute 10 trillion VND (436 million USD) to the local budget in 2018.

    Investment from state budget exceeds 29 trillion VND in two months

    Total investment capital from the State budget was estimated at more than 29 trillion VND (1.27 billion USD) in the first two months of 2018, equivalent to 8.6 percent of the yearly plan.

    Of the figure, which was 6 percent higher than the same time last year, 5.6 trillion VND (247.8 million USD) came from the central budget, up 0.5 percent year-on year, and the remaining was managed by localities.

    In February, total investment from the State budget was calculated at 12.58 trillion VND (553.52 million USD).

    The Ministry of Planning and Investment (MPI) said most of the capital has been spent on construction works that began in 2017 and brand new projects.

    According to the MPI, the total investment capital from the State budget, excluding Government bonds, planned for 2017 was 307.15 trillion VND (13.5 billion USD).

    By the end of June 2017, more than 303.07 trillion VND (13.3 billion USD) or 98.7 percent of the sum was allocated. The remaining 4.074 trillion VND was capital intended for the national target programme on climate change response and green growth, two new projects of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and the northern mountainous province of Ha Giang, and capital allocated by ministries, agencies and local administrations in violation of rules.

    Fruit, vegetable exports continue growth trend in two months

    Vietnam exported 293,960 tonnes of fruits and vegetables worth 620 million USD in the first two months of 2018, a year-on-year rise of 47 percent and 47.6 percent, respectively.

    Fruits made up 87 percent of the total value, according to General Department of Customs.

    China topped the list of importers with 79.54 percent of Vietnam’s fruit-vegetable market share, followed by the US (3 percent), Japan (2.9 percent), Thailand (1.4 percent) and Malaysia (1.2 percent).

    Most exported fruits and vegetables were crude products, accounting for more than 93 percent of the total export value. Meanwhile processed products comprised only 6.6 percent.

    According to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Vietnam earned a record 3.45 billion USD from fruit and vegetable exports in 2017, up 40.5 percent from the previous year.

    China, Japan, the US and the Republic of Korea were the biggest importers of Vietnamese fruits and vegetables last year. Markets saw high growth were Japan (70.6 percent), the United Arab Emirates (57.4 percent) and China (54.9 percent).

    The ministry said 2017 was a “bumper” year for Vietnamese fruits, with surging export turnover and entrance into many demanding markets.

    There is still potential for Vietnamese fruits and vegetables in the global market, which requires the country to focus on to processing and exploring new markets instead of traditional ones.

    VNN

    0 0
  • 03/07/18--01:55: Article 0
  • Social News 7/3


    Dak Nong to grant rice to disadvantaged students


     

    Dak Nong to grant rice to disadvantaged students, Phu Yen takes urgent measures against illegal fishing, Lang Son culture-tourism festival features local culture, Vietnamese workers abandoned by Korean employer promised new jobs

     

     
    The Central Highlands province of Dak Nong will grant nearly 470 tonnes of rice to students and high schools of villages and communes struggling against extreme difficulties for the 2017-2018 academic year. 

    The decision was signed by a leader of the provincial People’s Committee on March 5. 

    Accordingly, nearly 7,700 students will receive rice aid of 15kg per month for four months, mostly in Dak G’Long and Tuy Duc districts. 

    Hoang Dinh Truong, Rector of Nguyen Du secondary school in Tuy Duc district, said 29 students in the school will benefit from the activity which will encourage them to overcome difficulties. 

    The provincial Department of Education and Training is partnering with the Department of State Reserves for the south Central Highlands, authorities of 8 districts and communes and schools in the effort.

    In 2017, Dak Nong spent nearly 52 billion VND (2.33 million USD) on poverty reduction, helping bring the poverty rate among local households down by 2.63 percent from 2016 to 16.57 percent. 

    In particular, the poverty rate among ethnic minorities dropped by 9.34 percent.

    As of the end of 2017, the province counted 25,114 households with 112,150 persons living under the poverty line.

    Vice Chairwoman of the provincial People’s Committee Ton Thi Ngoc Hanh said, besides effectively implementing the Government’s policies, the province launched numerous policies and programmes to support needy students, households, particularly those of ethnic minority groups.

    Special attention was paid to vocational training, housing, health insurance, clean water supply and education for minority ethnic groups, thus raising the living condition of local residents, while facilitating their access to State and community resources for economic development.

    In 2018, the province aims to reduce the poor household rate by at least 2 percent, and by 3 percent among ethnic minority groups, in line with the multidimensional poverty standards.

    Phu Yen takes urgent measures against illegal fishing

    The south central province of Phu Yen is taking urgent measures to curb illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing activities, as part of the national effort to tackle the European Commission’s IUU yellow card.

    Vice Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee Tran Huu The said educational campaigns are an important measure to enhance local fishermen’s awareness about IUU.

    The province will intensify inspections of fishing activities at sea and in ports, take strict punishment against violations of regulations on fishing and ship registrations and management.

    According to Nguyen Tri Phuong, deputy head of the provincial Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, fishery inspectors have coordinated with the border guard force to keep watch on fishing boats, inspect ships’ records on fishing, and issue certifications for origins of seafood. 

    Phu Yen is working on a fishing database which will integrate information on local fishing boats, the registration and licensing of fishing vessels, fishing sector’s labour and activities of local fishing ports.

    The provincial border guard force has undertaken measures to curb illegal fishing in foreign waters, such as monitoring vessels’ activities, keeping close contact with fishing boats at sea and encouraging vessels’ owners and captains to sign commitments not to violating other countries’ waters.

    Vietnam received a “yellow-card” from the European Commission (EC) because of its failure to meet standards over IUU fishing last year, and the country has been offered the opportunity to take measures to rectify the situation within six months. 

    The EU will assess Vietnam’s efforts to fight IUU fishing in April.

    The "yellow card" is followed by a "green card" if issues are resolved or a "red card" if they are not. A “red card” can lead to a trade ban on fishery products.

    On December 13, 2017, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc issued Directive 45/CT-TTg on some urgent tasks and solutions following the EC’s warning.

    Many coastal localities of Vietnam have also taken actions to end IUU fishing.

    Lang Son culture-tourism festival features local culture

    More than 30 activities featuring local culture will take place during the second Culture – Sports – Tourism festival in the northern province of Lang Son, heard a press briefing on March 5.

    They include a festival featuring “Then” singing and Dan Tinh (gourd lute, a stringed musical instrument played by Tay people), a tourism skill competition, a photo exhibition, boat racing and sport exchange between Lang Son city and Nanning, China’s Guangxi province.

    According to Nguyen Phuc Ha, Director of the provincial Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism, the festival’s organising board will strengthen supervision during the week to ensure a safe atmosphere for visitors.

    The festival will take place across 10 districts in Lang Son province from March 8-14.

    FIFA to support Việt Nam to develop women’s football in central region

    FIFA will help Việt Nam develop women’s football in the central region, according to FIFA football expert Belinda Wilson.

    The Australian said she met with the Việt Nam Football Federation (VFF) managers and heads of concerned departments to develop a suitable strategy for Việt Nam in Hà Nội.

    According to Wilson, Việt Nam’s women’s football now only focuses on the northern and southern region. While there are no teams in the central region taking part in the National Women’s Football Tournament.

    Wilson said it is necessary to create resources to develop Vietnamese women football.

    Việt Nam was recently chosen to be part of a project of the world football governing body. The country will join an 18-month programme to develop youth football.

    According to deputy chairman of the VFF, Trần Quốc Tuấn, the federation wants to stablise the development of women’s football.

    There are many solutions to be completed including linking with programmes on junior football development of the Asian Football Confederation and taking full use of facilities and coaches of the Việt Nam Youth Football Training Centre.

    Vietnamese workers abandoned by Korean employer promised new jobs

    15 companies have agreed to take in the unfortunate workers after their employer disappeared without paying them salaries.

    Authorities in the southern province of Dong Nai have made arrangements to protect the rights and interests of nearly 2,000 workers at a local garment factory.

    Workers at Texwell Vina Company have been in limbo since their Korean employers reportedly left Vietnam right before the Lunar New Year holiday without paying their January salaries.

    At a meeting with the provincial People's Committee on March 5, Dong Nai Labor Union said it would help the workers terminate their contracts with Texwell Vina and apply to other firms in accordance with the regulations.

    "15 companies have agreed to take in the workers. Tomorrow morning, their HR people would come to Texwell Vina to receive their applications," the leader of the union said.

    The workers' crisis first grabbed headlines early last month after hundreds of workers gathered outside the Texwell Vina factory at the Bau Xeo Industrial Zone in Trang Bom District for days to demand their pay. The protest prompted provincial authorities to fork out VND7 billion (US$308,000) to cover half of the workers' overdue salaries so they could come home and celebrate the Lunar New Year (Tet).

    After the holiday, the factory's leaders still did not return to Vietnam and the Korean Consulate in Ho Chi Minh City told authorities the factory's parent company in the Republic of Korea has also been shut down.

    This is the latest in a series of cases where employers have absconded from Vietnam’s southern industrial zone ahead of Tet to avoid paying holiday bonuses to their workers. Earlier this year, more than 600 workers at a garment firm in Saigon staged a strike for more than a week to demand their wages after their Korean employer disappeared.

    According to the Ho Chi Minh City Labor Federation, as of January 2018, at least five businesses still owed wages and social insurance contributions from 2017 to around 900 workers, who were unlikely to be able to celebrate the upcoming Lunar New Year (Tet), which started on February 16, due to empty pockets.

    Another 200 businesses claimed they had a difficult year and would have problems paying holiday bonuses, it said.

    Vietnam’s economy grew by 6.8% in 2017, the highest rate in a decade, but that hasn't benefited everyone.

    Vietnam raised its minimum wage by around 7.3% last year to VND3.75 million per month, the lowest nominal jump on record. The government has approved another increase of 6.5% from mid-2018.

    Last year, a third of the 2,600 workers surveyed by Vietnam’s Institute of Workers and Trade Unions said their income was barely enough to live on, while 12% said their wages simply did not cover basic expenses, forcing them to work extra hours.

    Long Xuyên quadrilateral provinces mull linking up

    The implementation of a project called Co-operation to Develop Long Xuyên Quadrilateral Sustainably involving several provinces in the Mekong Delta will help exploit the region’s advantages, according to experts.

    Lâm Quang Thi, vice chairman of the An Giang Province People’s Committee and deputy head of the project’s standing board, told Người Lao Động (The Labourer) newspaper that the project has been submitted to the Government for approval.

    After getting approval, the board would make detailed plans for the project, he said.

    The quadrilateral comprises the provinces of An Giang, Kiên Giang, and Hậu Giang and Cần Thơ city covers an area of nearly 498,141 hectares.

    The region is relatively low and flat. During the annual flood season from July to December it is flooded to a depth of 0.5-2.5 metres. In the dry season it is affected by drought.

    The project seeks to link the three provinces and Cần Thơ with each other through the development of infrastructure and to use, protect and manage their water resources.

    They will jointly make plans for production, investment, tourism, and commercial promotion.

    They also will work with each other to build brands for their agricultural products.

    Their authorities will recommend general policies for agricultural restructure to complement existing plans to improve livelihoods through adapting to climate change in the delta.  

    According to Thi, rice products and technologies for rice production will continue to be the region’s mainstay.

    Seafood also has potential for development, he said.

    Nguyễn Hữu Thiện, an independent expert on Mekong Delta ecology and a consultant to the project, said unlike previous projects, which focused on just the economy, this one would also focus on the community and environment.

    It would provide an orientation for economic development for the next 20 years that would ensure the environment is not polluted, rivers are clean and there is social equality, he said.

    People living in the region would no longer leave for other provinces or HCMCity to work, he said.

    The co-operation would help solve problems that each locality could not deal with individually, and build a common brand in the domestic and global markets, he said.

    Dr Nguyễn Trọng Uyên, head of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development’s agricultural design and planning division, said farmers continue to grow three rice crops a year without heeding scientists and experts’warnings, and the consequence is to change the flow of rivers and canals, affecting irrigation.

    The quadrilateral does not yet have a main rice variety appropriate for the local ecology, he said.

    Its production, processing and consumption of farm produce face difficulties because of the low number of co-operatives, farms and enterprises, Uyên said.

    Solutions need to be found for these problems soon, he said.

    But any plans made for the quadrilateral’s main agricultural products should dovetail with the overall plans for the delta, he warned.

    Scientists should continue to assist farmers in the use of quality rice varieties, he said. 

    The irrigation, traffic and electricity systems should be developed together with the large-scale crop-growing areas, he said.

    Ways to store more water in canals and other water bodies need to be found, Uyên added.

    Impressions of Vietnamese press in 2017

    Minister of Information and Communications Truong Minh Tuan, in an article in the Nhan Dan (People) daily newspaper, highlighted the remarkable achievements of the Vietnamese press in 2017.

    Here are some excerpts from his article:

    Vietnam’s GDP growth in 2017 was 6.81%, surpassing the target set by the National Assembly and forecasts by international organizations. Vietnam’s economy saw a record number of newly registered enterprises. The Vietnamese Party, State, and people worked together to boost social development and ensure social security.

    Press monitors national development

    The press actively covered Vietnam’s socio-economic achievements. In print and online newspapers, radio and TV, Vietnam’s achievements, role models, and startup sprit were widely and clearly covered. The press criticized bureaucracy, stagnancy in management, ineffective policies, inequality, and excessive actions by special interest groups, and highlighted Party guidelines and government management. Various aspects of people’s lives were truly reflected.

    Press helps fight corruption

    The Party Central Committee and the Politburo headed by Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong showed a strong determination to fight corruption and special interests, aided in this fight. A number of corrupt officials were prosecuted showing that anybody, officials or ordinary people, who violate the law, will be punished according to the law and that there are no barriers for the press in reporting the fight against corruption and negative behavior. 

    By providing a wide coverage of anti-corruption efforts, the press strengthened public trust in the Party and the government, and made society healthier.

    The development of the press has helped to regulate and push back against fake news on social networks and promote the more positive aspects of the internet.

    With the trust of the public, the press suppressed distortions by hostile forces and political opportunists. Through its efforts, the Vietnamese press is proving its freedom and that it is a press for the people and by the people.

    Cambodia starts issuing residency cards to ethnic Vietnamese

    The Cambodian government is set to open a path to citizenship for roughly 70,000 ethnic Vietnamese people living in Cambodia.

    The plan was announced during the year-end meeting of the Immigration Department under Cambodia’s Interior Ministry on February 28, the Phnom Penh Post reported.

    At the gathering, immigration chief Sok Phal said the system would be similar to the green cards afforded to immigrants in countries like the United States or Canada.

    ​“Not everybody will be recognized,” Nouv Leakhena, deputy head of the immigration department, said. “When they apply, we have to check them. But most of them, I think they can.”

    Nguyen Viet Dat, vice-president of the Vietnamese-Cambodian association in PursatProvince, told Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper he was in charge of guiding ethnic Vietnamese to register for their residency cards.

    “Some of the people here have already been issued with the documentation,” Dat continued.

    This green card will be replaced with a yellow one after two years, he stated, adding that a pink card will be issued after another two years.

    In accordance with Cambodian laws, ethnic Vietnamese who get residency cards may apply for citizenship after seven years, Dat elaborated.

    Lo Min, a Vietnamese man who lives near the Tonlé Sap in SiemReapProvince, was showing his residency card with joy.

    “My family and many other Vietnamese people have lived here for a very long time. Our only wish is to settle with a stable life in order live, work, and contribute to Cambodia’s development,” Min said.

    According to a Phnom Penh-based diplomat, the plan is a positive move by the Cambodian government.

    He hoped that more favorable conditions will be provided for the ethnic Vietnamese in Cambodia to build their lives.

    In early October 2017, Cambodian authorities moved forward with a plan to revoke official documents, which were said to be “improperly” issued, from tens of thousands of ethnic Vietnamese.

    Those who have lived in Cambodia for a long time were required to file an application with authorities to check whether they can get the status as an immigrant.

    Thailand supports storm victims in Quang Tri province

    The Thai Embassy in Vietnam handed over a US$10,000 donation from the Thai Government to central Quang Tri province on February 28 to help the locality in its recovery efforts following the consequences of the 11th and 12th storms of 2017.

    At the presentation ceremony, Thai Ambassador Manopchai Vongphakdi shared his sympathies with Quang Tri province over the losses caused by these storms, saying that the donation will help local people to get their lives back on track.

    He spoke of his appreciation for Quang Tri’s efforts to develop cooperation in the East West Economic Corridor (EWEC) and expressed his hope that it will facilitate Thai investors and businesses to further explore opportunities in the province.

    Hoang Nam, director of the provincial Department of Foreign Affairs, conveyed his sincere thanks to the Thai Government and people, before committing to deliver the funding to the storm victims.

    He said he hopes that the Thai embassy will continue to introduce Thai investors to the province and serve as a bridge linking Quang Tri with Thai provinces in the EWEC as part of efforts to exploit the full potential of the important corridor.

    Vietnam learns from Japan’s experience in public sector ethics promotion

    Japan’s experience in promoting ethics in the public sector was shared at a workshop in Hanoi on March 6.

    The event was held by the Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV) Central Committee’s Organisation Commission, the Vietnam Academy of Social Sciences, and the Japanese Embassy in Vietnam.

    Vice Chairman of the Organisation Commission Mai Van Chinh said the CPV and the Government of Vietnam are very interested in public sector ethics so as to improve the effectiveness of administrative reform.

    The workshop introduced the philosophy on the management of an organisation according to Kazuo Inamori, founder of the Inamori Foundation, Chairman Emeritus of Kyocera Corp. and KDDI Corp., and honorary adviser of Japan Airlines. 

    It highlighted living and working according to moral standards and based on the love for people for common interests, which is meant to improve organisations’ operation effectiveness, organisation members’ awareness; promote people’s ethics, dignity, wisdom and capacity; and build a healthy work environment.

    The philosophy is hoped to help improve transparency in administrative procedures and prevent corruption and cronyism in the administrative apparatus and State-owned enterprises.

    The event introduced participants to the characteristics and philosophies that a leader needs to have, along with other relevant issues.

    In 2010, Kazuo Inamori agreed to become chairman of Japan Airlines without pay, and within three years, he pulled the airline out of bankruptcy.

    He advocates a business philosophy based on doing the right thing as a human being, which he believes will help the business develop and each employee be happy.

    Book on Internet of Things makes debut in Hanoi

    A book entitled “Internet of Things (IoT) from Hype to Reality” made its debut at a workshop held by the World Bank in Vietnam and the Ministry of Science and Technology in Hanoi on March 6. 

    In his opening remarks, Deputy Director of the Ministry’s Enterprises and Market Development Department Tran Xuan Dich stressed that IoT is the foundation of the fourth industrial revolution (Revolution 4.0) and have become closer to the reality. 

    In many countries, enterprises have used IoT as a tool to promote socio-economic development, while State-owned enterprises have yet to pay due attention to the trend, he said.

    Under the pressure of innovation, policy makers are forced to be more open about this, thus raising public awareness of the efficiency and great interest of IoT, Dich said.

    Delivering a report on IoT at the event, Prasanna Lal Das, a representative from the WB, said governments of many countries have used IoT to better serve their people but they also meet several certain difficulties such as business models are not capable of maintaining IoT infrastructure. 

    He stressed that the report is an initial step to evaluate the progress made by governments of countries in applying IoT to reality. 

    The report pointed out some examples of IoT application in some countries such as Germany, Canada, the UK, Estonia, Kazakhstan, India, Japan, the US and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

    The book “Internet of Things from Hype to Reality” provides a comprehensive IoT network and management overview with emphasis on gaps, opportunities, and open research problems. 

    This five-part book comprehensively describes an end-to-end IoT architecture that is comprised of devices, network, compute, storage, platform, applications along with management and security components.

    US Navy officers visit Da Nang’s centre for mentally ill patients

    Members of US Navy ships and aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson visited the Da Nang Nursing Centre for the Mentally Ill on March 6, as part of their first-ever trip to the central city.

    During the visit, they presented gifts to the centre and took part in different games, such as tug of war, breaking earthen pots, and pouring water into bottles. These games are regular activities of the centre to help patients enhance physical strength and memory.

    The US naval vessels, including missile cruiser USS Lake Champlain and missile destroyer USS Wayne E.Meyer, began their visit to Da Nang on March 5.

    In the evening of their first day in the city, an US navy band took stage to the east of the local DragonBridge, attracting a crowd of audiences.

    During the visit, commanders of the US Navy ships are scheduled to pay courtesy calls to leaders of Da Nang city, the Commander of the Vietnam Navy, and the High Command of the Naval Zone 3. 

    US officers and sailors will join community activities in Da Nang, such as music performances, sport exchange and visits to SOS children’s village, the Social Sponsorship Centre, and the Centre for Orphan Children. 

    They will also share their technical expertise in water and electricity supply, response to disasters, firefighting, health care and personnel training on aircraft in several local venues. 

    The visit will contribute to continuing bolstering relations between Vietnam and the US to match their comprehensive partnership and at the same time to maintaining peace, stability, security, cooperation and development in the region.

    The visit is expected to improve Vietnam’s role and stature in the region and the world, contributing to popularising the country and people.

    The ships will leave Tien Sa port on March 9.

    HCMCity launches contest on youth innovative ideas

    Ho Chi Minh City’s Contest on Youth Innovative Ideas 2018 has been launched and opened to entries from March 6 to September 10.

    The contest, the 10th edition of its kind, is co-organised by the Centre for Youth Science and Technology Development under the municipal Ho Chi Minh Communist Youth Union, and the HCMCity chapter of the Vietnam Youth Union.

    It is open to young Vietnamese people, aged between 6-30, who are living and studying both in and outside the country.

    According to the organisers, the innovation ideas submitted to the contest must ensure creativeness and applicableness.

    The contest is designed to encourage the spirit of creativeness among young people with the hope of improving the quality of human resources, accelerating administrative reform, enhancing the quality of growth and competitiveness of the city’s economy, reducing traffic congestions and accidents; mitigating flooding, sea level rise and responding to climate change, reducing environmental pollution and promoting urban development.

    Ideas aimed at building HCMCity into a smart city and startups and initiatives in labour and production are also encouraged.

    Contestants may take part in the competition individually or in groups of no more than five people. Each individual is enabled to submit different ideas through website ytuong.khoahoctre.com.vn.

    The final round and awarding ceremony will be held in October 2018.

    Workshop shares experiences in ensuring sustainable social insurance

    Experiences in maintaining sustainable social insurance amidst the aging population were shared by experts and managers at a workshop hosted by the Vietnam Social Security (VSS) in Hanoi on March 6.

    According to VSS General Director Nguyen Thi Minh, the ratio of people from 60 years old upwards accounted for 10.2 percent of total population in 2014, pushing the country into the period of old population three years earlier than prediction.

    Acknowledging the issue, Vietnam has issued the Law on the Elderly, a national action programme on the elderly and many other policies, along with adjustments in social welfare to meet the demand of the elderly, she said.

    Minh stressed the need to learn experiences from other countries to build a sustainable retirement policy and a brighter future for the elderly in Vietnam, a country with low income and the highest population aging speed in the world.

    Nguyen Khang, Deputy Director of the VSS’s Department of International Cooperation, noted that Vietnam has faced many challenges in employment and labour, along with poor social welfare system. The income gap between those with the lowest and highest income remains high, at 500 times, while only a modest number of 13.9 million people have joined social insurance, he said.

    Khang also warned that the social insurance fund is facing a risk of imbalance in 2035.

    Julian Adams from the insurance firm Prudential underlined the need for stronger cooperation between the Government, enterprises and the public.

    Meanwhile, Josef Pilger from Ernst & Young Group recommended that Vietnam should study the social situation carefully in designing pension policy reform measures as well as retirement policies and social welfares.

    Participants at the event also pointed to the need to expand the subjects of social insurance, including labourers in informal sector and women employers, along with the adjustment of policy to ensure social insurance fund’s balance and the strengthening of efficiency of the investment of the fund.

    HCMCity, Japanese firm cooperate in water treatment

    Ho Chi Minh City highly values the role played by advanced technologies of foreign countries, including Japan, in the city’s development, said Le Thanh Liem, Vice Chairman of the municipal People’s Committee. 

    At a reception for Umezu Yasuhisa, General Director of Japan’s Nagaoka Company in HCMCity on March 6, Liem lauded the company’s technologies in water treatment. 

    He noted the Japanese firm’s chemical-free groundwater treatment technologies and assigned the Saigon Water Corporation (SAWACO) to study the project in terms of economy, social interests and environmental protection. 

    Ensuring clean water supply is one of the basic development criteria set by HCMCity, he said, adding that the southern metropolis is carrying out a roadmap to reduce the exploitation of ground water resources in the future, thus easing adverse impacts of climate change and geological depression. 

    For his part, Yasuhisa said Nagaoka wishes to continue its cooperation with HCMCity and successfully implement cooperation projects in clean water treatment with SAWACO. 

    Nagaoka always attaches importance to cooperative ties with HCMCity and stands ready to transfer technical solutions for water treatment to the city, he said.

    Vietnam, US veterans get together in Hanoi

    Vietnamese and US veterans exchanged their views on war losses and the building of a better future at a conference held by the Vietnam– USA Society (VUS) in Hanoi on March 6.

    The conference was participated by a delegation from the US Veterans for Peace (VFP), led by its Vice President Chuck Searcy.

    Sharing a common expectation of stronger VietnamUS relations, participants said they will continue their joint work in humanitarian aid, war aftermath alleviation, and other cooperative programmes.

    Speaking at the conference, VUS President Nguyen Tam Chien welcomed the VFP delegation’s visit to Vietnam, hoping it will help them gain better understanding on the country’s current growth.

    He said the conference aims at boosting mutual understanding and exchanges between Vietnamese and US veterans in contribution to the two nations’ ties in the coming time.

    Praising strong development Vietnam has achieved, Chuck Searcy said US veterans have taken part in a several programmes to foster Vietnam – US friendship and urged the US Government, people and non-governmental organisations to join Vietnam’s efforts to alleviate was consequences, particularly tackling the AO/dioxin issues.

    Traffic accidents reduce in
    National Highway
    1A during new year

    The number of traffic accidents, deaths and injuries on
    National Highway
    1A from December 28, 2017 to February 28, 2018 declined in comparison to the same period last year, said the Traffic Police Department under the Ministry of Public Security.

    The information was revealed during a conference reviewing a two-month campaign to ensure traffic safety and social order on the road during the 2018 New Year and spring festivals, held in the central Nghe An province on March 5.

    Some 215 accidents occurred on the road in the reviewed period, resulting in 155 deaths while 124 people were injured, down 27.12 percent, 18 percent and 35.42 percent against the same period last year, respectively.

    Traffic police also cracked down on traffic law offences. Five working groups were formed and 900 staff members were mobilised to monitor and handle violations along
    National Highway
    1A section running from northern Lang Son to southern Dong Nai provinces.

    Traffic police dealt with more than 57,730 traffic rule violation cases, revoked nearly 4,590 licences and detained about 2,000 vehicles. They also uncovered 203 cases of criminal law offences, detaining 94 suspects and seizing six heroin bricks, 571 synthetic drug tablets, 6kg of methamphetamine, more than 1,370 tonnes of firecrackers and many other types of smuggled goods.

    At the conference, head of the department, Major General Tran Son Ha instructed traffic police in localities along
    National Highway
    1A to continue to monitor and deal with violation cases, and make plans to prevent crime.

    The national highway is the trans-Vietnam route running from northern Lang Son to the southernmost province of Ca Mau.

    Nutifood becomes main sponsor of V.League 2018

    The Vietnam Nutrition Food JSC (Nutifood) has become the main sponsor of V.League 2018, announced the Vietnam Professional Football company (VPF) in Ho Chi Minh City on March 6.

    The tournament will be named the Nuti Café V.League 2018 under the new deal. It is scheduled to take place from March 10 to October 6 with 14 football clubs competing in 182 matches through 26 rounds.

    Chairman of Nutifood Tran Thanh Hai voiced his hope that the sponsorship will contribute to the development of Vietnam’s football and pushing it to a higher level.

    The champion will walk home with a prize worth three billion VND (131,730 USD), while the runner-up receives half of that amount and third-place team earns 750 million VND (about 33,000 USD).

    VNN

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  • 03/08/18--01:37: Article 2
  • Women are the foundation for a strong family

    The balancing act between pursuing dreams and raising a family is a testament to the natural strength of women

     

    ​Women are the foundation for a strong family
    John Lim and his wife and son pose for a picture taken in the central city of Da Nang during the Lunar New Year festival.Photo by courtesy of John Lim

    A number of men, including some married to Vietnamese women, shared their thoughts on women and their role in the family with Tuoi Tre News on the occasion of International Women’s Day, March 8.

    Women are to be cherished and loved

    My Vietnamese wife and I have been married for 3 years. In my opinion, the wife plays an equally important role in the family as her husband. She provides a soft loving touch while the husband generally handles the more physically demanding work and major issues such as property and finance. My eleven-month-old baby cries for my wife when he's hungry or not feeling well. He comes to me when he wants to play. This shows me that babies also know the roles of their parents.

    I believe that women should be treated equally to men. They should be free to pursue their interest and goals. Why should a very capable woman be confined to her house? With better education, job opportunities, and greater financial freedom, the role of Asian women is beginning to change. They're no longer the "maid" of the family.

    House chores are the responsibility of both the husband and wife. My wife and I share the housework. She does most of the cooking and dishwashing while I keep the floor clean and wash the clothes. Sometimes, when she's really tired, I help her with the dishes. She feeds the baby while I bathe the baby and change his diaper. I respect her as an equal partner in building our loving and healthy family. I believe that this is the best education for our children – showing them that we have to treat both sexes equally. 

    Women should enjoy their life. They are humans, too. They have dreams and aspirations and they should be free to pursue them. The old concept of the male controlling the female has to go. We are all equal. Men can help change the current narrative by treating women as their equals. We need to cherish them and spend time with them to understand their needs. Then we can actually act on that understanding in order to make sure their needs are met.

    A woman pursuing her dreams doesn’t mean that she doesn’t care for her family. On the contrary, the ability to juggle a job and a family proves otherwise. The love and care of a wife for her husband and her children is an amazing thing. I don't know how they get the strength to do so much for their family. Every woman gives according to what she's capable of giving. I'm always in awe of a mother's love for her baby. The other day, my wife used her mouth to suck out the phlegm from our son's nose when he was too weak to expel it. It looked terrible to me but she was fine with it.

    Women are here to be cherished and loved. They are not here for us to look down on and abuse. I wish all women a wonderful "Women's Day "!

    John Lim, Singaporean

    Love, truth, faith

    I’ve been married to my wife, Hang, for 5 years. She is my fulltime partner in every respect - we run my consultancy together and we share in most tasks, but there are some things that I do and others that she handles. My wife is great at staying organized, so she manages our business strips, cares for our finances, and gets things done around the house.

    I am not so young anymore. I’ll be 68 this year and I cannot share in the more physically straining jobs, so we have to hire maids to clean and do our laundry. Easier housework tasks are shared by both of us. I believe it is wrong to make a wife do the ‘dirty jobs’ while the husband just wipes his mouth after a good meal – that attitude can make partners angry and lead to feelings of degradation. It also leads to bad vibes in the relationship. Good faith and fair sharing need to be accepted by men and women alike.

     

    ​Women are the foundation for a strong family
    Herby Neubacher and his wife, Hang, in a photo he provided Tuoi Tre News


    Some women are too much tangled in organizing the family every day and do lose their personal insight and also often the contact with the world outside the home. This is not good.

    When I was growing up in the 1950s in Germany, housewives were viewed similarly to how housewives are viewed in Vietnam today. Now, however, women are treated equally in most aspects of German life and the image of a typical German housewife is (nearly) gone. The same will eventually happen in Vietnam. Women will become more self-supporting and begin to take on more elevated positions within society, politics, and business. They will soon share equal respect with men.

    I also think it is essential for the intellectual and mental well-being of women to have lives outside of their married or family lives. Also, there is no good argument for jealousy within a relationship. If you have to be jealous of your wife – which many Vietnamese men are – you have the wrong relation and the fault is with you, not your partner.

    To give women an easier life, I think the first thing men can do is love, the second thing is trust, and the third is faith. If you do not have this in a relation with your wife, you have made a mistake or you married the wrong woman. This has to be kept above all other principles at all times.

    Herby Neubacher, German

    Wife as a partner

    In most cultures in my country, India, women are considered as the caretakers of their home. However, there are some cultures where women lead the household (although these cultures are a minority).

    I think the tradition, or stereotype, that women have to be the sole caretakers of the housework to the point that it is considered their “duty” and “responsibility” was created to bring many advantages for males. However in modern societies, where actual physical strength does not matter as much, there are less and less reasons to follow such traditions.

    In the society we are living today, I think it is ideal when men and women should share all the household chores equally. A very practical reason is that if the household chores are shared, the couple will have more free time for leisure.

    I see the wife as a partner, not just in our family life, but also as an intellectual partner who can teach and inspire.

    It is important that every individual find some solitude and some time with their own friends or for their personal hobbies. This helps them develop as a person and in turn they can inspire their spouse and children. I can understand the need to save money and dedicate all time to the kids (especially in the case of single mothers) but I will still urge the women to keep some time for themselves for travel or for learning new things. These activities will help the women gain confidence, discover newer opportunities, and make them become more creative in their work and in the way they teach and inspire children.

    To create an environment for women to enjoy equal rights and treatment in family life in a country where it is not vastly applicable, I think the easiest thing we can do is have open communication. Often we end up with increased responsibilities as we fail to talk to each other and prioritize tasks. I would also encourage kids to be independent from an early age - if they can take care of their own household tasks, the mother will have more time.

    Preem Ray, Indian

    Who says women are happy to do housework?

    Recently, the role of men and women is beginning to change in my country. We practice less tradition. Women neither do all the homework nor stay home taking care of the children. They still do those things to some degree, but not under pressure. Instead, they share these responsibilities with other family members.

    In my family, we are equal. We help each other to ensure everyone is happy and not in a troubled situation. Nobody is happy if they don’t have the choice to do what they want to do. Who says women are happy to do housework? It’s important that each and every person help with small or big things, which will strengthen the family connection. Support from other family members is the simplest way to show appreciation for women. It would be wonderful if men could help without being asked to do so.

    However, in Thailand, we still expect women to be the key person to look after the baby. She still needs to take on some traditional roles, but there is no need to be as strict as before.

    We all need to recharge when losing power. If a woman is not happy with her family life, she should speak out or walk away from the situation. Meaningful conversation with a spouse enhances understanding and helps ease bad moods.

    Women should not be forced to do housework and be unhappy. They should not do everyone else’s duties. And they should always feel comfortable to ask for help.

    Saengsawang Saehang, Thai

    Hong Van - Dong Nguyen/ Tuoi Tre News 

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  • 03/08/18--01:40: Article 1
  • BUSINESS IN BRIEF 8/3


    Environmental tax on petroleum products may rise


     

    Environmental tax on petroleum products may rise, 2M car imports down sharply, 68% of Vietnamese freelancers not paid at times, Food association drafts action plans, Vietnam joins Foodex 2018 in Japan

    Vietnam is looking to increase the environmental protection duty imposed on fuel products from the current VND3,000 ($0.13) to VND4,000 ($0.18) per liter, according to a proposed amendment to the Environment Protection Law drafted by the Ministry of Finance (MoF).

    Explaining the hike, which if approved would be applied from July 1, the ministry said it will add VND15.7 trillion ($690 million) to the State budget, offsetting a shortfall caused by a fuel import tax cut.

    The hike is necessary because import taxes on oil and petroleum products are declining sharply, the ministry said, noting that the current import tax on petroleum products is 20 per cent and on oil products 7 per cent, and the rates will be slashed to 10 per cent and zero per cent in line with Vietnam’s tariff commitments.

    According to the ministry, retail prices of oil and petroleum products are now lower in Vietnam than in neighboring countries and many other Southeast Asian countries.

    Under a free trade agreement between ASEAN and South Korea, which came into effect in early 2016, the import tariff on gasoline imported from South Korea to Vietnam has fallen from 20 per cent to 10 per cent.

    As a result, most Vietnamese traders who had imported gasoline from ASEAN countries switched to South Korean imports, because the import tariff on gasoline from the former remains at 20 per cent.

    The MoF has also proposed an increase to the environmental protection duty imposed on oil products, by VND500-VND1,000 ($0.02-$0.04) per liter.

    Fuel is a major source of revenue for Vietnam. Import tariffs from fuel, which are paid by local businesses, now account for around 7 per cent of State income.

    With import tariffs set to be abolished as part of free trade deals, a higher tax would help sustain that income, experts said. But some industry insiders are concerned that the hike will not be welcomed. Mr. Nguyen Tien Thoa, former director of the MoF’s Price Management Department, said the hikes will draw a “reaction” from consumers and may affect consumption.

    Vietnam imported 900,000 tons of various kinds of oil and petroleum products in January, totaling $552 million, for respective rises of 3.5 per cent and 10.8 per cent, according to the General Statistics Office.

    It took in VND42.4 trillion ($1.86 billion) in revenue from environmental protection taxes in 2016, up nearly 57 per cent against 2015. Spending on environmental protection was just VND12.3 trillion ($534 million) in 2016, accounting for 29 per cent of tax revenue.

    2M car imports down sharply

    According to estimates from the General Statistics Office (GSO, the number of imported motor cars in February was just 200, worth nearly $14 million, against 340 and $22 million, respectively, in January.

    The two-month figure is down substantially compared to December, when 14,000 vehicles were imported worth $360 million.

    The main factor in the decline was Decree No. 116, under which car imports face a range of difficulties.

    Along with problems in import conditions, regulations on the registration of each type of car is also an issue.

    The Tet holiday in February also disrupted import activities and customs clearance for vehicles arriving on Vietnam’s shores.

    The Office of the Government held a dialogue recently with enterprises to identify ways to cope with difficulties facing importers from Decree No. 116. Many at the meeting believe imports will continue to remain low, at least in the first half of the year.

    68% of Vietnamese freelancers not paid at times

    Digital platforms are having a positive impact on the freelancer community in four Southeast Asian markets: Singapore, Indonesia, the Philippines, and Vietnam, according to the latest PayPal Global Freelancer Survey.

    Vietnam scored highest among the four markets in terms of optimism, with 91 per cent of those surveyed saying they expect to do more or a lot more freelance work in the future.

    The survey also found that at more than half (58 per cent) of the freelancers surveyed in the four Southeast Asian markets have had experiences of not being paid for their work and services.

    The number in Vietnam is the highest among the four markets, at 68 per cent. On average, nearly half of freelancers (48.5 per cent) surveyed in these markets attributed payment issues to a prevailing attitude of not taking freelancers seriously.

    Southeast Asia is a key market given the region’s growing population and increasingly vibrant entrepreneurial economy,” said Mr. Rahul Shinghal, Managing Director of PayPal SEA and Head of Merchant Support for PayPal APAC.

    “We are seeing more young people choosing to freelance, as being your own boss offers more autonomy and flexibility than a 9-to-5 job. As they become integral to the global economy, it is critical for them to be accorded the same respect that other professionals receive. We should do more to elevate the standing of freelancers as a community and empower them in their autonomy.”

    Following an online survey of 11,324 freelancers and freelance considerers across 22 markets worldwide in October 2017, of which 1,602 freelancers or freelance considerers were from Singapore, Indonesia, Vietnam and the Philippines, PayPal’s “Global Freelancer Survey” revealed the extent to which digital platforms provide ease and convenience for freelancers to receive payments as well as to access new assignments and work opportunities.

    PayPal and bank transfers were found to be popular payment methods for freelancers in these markets, with 85 per cent accepting PayPal payments and 79 per cent accepting bank transfers. PayPal was cited as the most widely accepted payment method in Singapore (76 per cent), Indonesia (88 per cent) and the Philippines (92 per cent), with the exception being Vietnam, where more freelancers accepted a bank transfer (87 per cent).

    More significantly, digital payment platforms are also enabling a more seamless payment process, transcending fragmentations of the Southeast Asian market due to divisions in geography as well as within the financial services landscape of the region.

    The study revealed a disparity in preferred payment methods among freelancers’ client base, as international clients opt for PayPal as the preferred payment method, with an average of 76 per cent of payments from international clients being made via PayPal. This compares to an average of 30 per cent of payments from international clients made via bank transfer, which are found to be the preferred payment method among domestic clients.

    “At PayPal, we are committed to empowering communities and businesses to participate in the global economy through innovative financial payments solutions,” said Mr. Shinghal. “We recognize the importance of equipping freelancers with confidence and the right tools to help sustain their business across Southeast Asia and more.”

    Food association drafts action plans     

    Enhancing trade promotion and market research and providing information to businesses are among the tasks the Viet Nam Food Association will focus on in the next five years.

    Speaking at the association’s eighth congress in HCMCity on Tuesday, Bui Thi Minh Tam, its deputy chairwoman for 2011-17, said despite a very difficult situation in the last few years, the association had managed to help exporters both buy rice from farmers and export.

    “The global rice market has witnessed a great change in the last seven years, with production surpassing demand, leading to high inventories,” she said.

    Viet Nam’s exports peaked in 2012 and then decreased, and global prices have also declined because of abundant supply and high inventories, she said.

    The rice export structure has changed significantly, with shipments of low-value white rice going down from 83.72 per cent in 2011 to 40.74 per cent last year.

    Exports of fragrant rice increased from 6.63 per cent to 29.2 per cent while sticky and Japonica rice shipments also increased strongly in the period, she said.

    Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Tran Thanh Nam said Viet Nam was among the three largest rice exporters in 2011-17, exporting 5-7 million tonnes a year worth US$2.5-3.5 billion.

    Last year exports jumped by 23.2 per cent to $2.66 billion, he said.

    Besides producers and exporters, the association has also made great contributions to the sector’s achievements by providing information and co-operating with authorities and businesses in building the Vietnamese rice brand, he said.

    The food sector, including rice, is expected to face challenges in the coming years, including climate change, importing countries becoming self-sufficient, changes in rice import policies in Viet Nam’s key markets, and increase in trade barriers and quality requirements, he said.

    “To sustain growth, the rice sector needs to restructure.”

    He said the association should co-operate with his ministry and localities to review zoning plans and match areas and popular rice varieties, create linkages in rice production, and persuade members to ensure quality and food safety.

    The association should work with localities and members to continue the shift towards high-quality rice and ensure the use of advanced production and processing technologies to maximise value, he said.

    It should continue to provide up-to-date production and trading information, strengthen market research and forecast to make timely recommendations to farmers and businesses, help enhance trade promotion, develop Vietnamese rice brands and organise trade fairs in the domestic and overseas markets, he said.

    Quality, competitive prices and good brands are the key factors that would enable Vietnamese rice to penetrate more markets, he added.

    The congress voted for 27 executive board members, with Nguyen Ngoc Nam, acting general director of the Viet Nam Southern Food Co-operation, becoming the association’s chairman for the 2018-23 term.

    VN important part of Japanese bank’s ‘Asia-centric’ strategy     

    Viet Nam is an important part of a new "Asia-centric" strategy which Japan’s Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation (SMBC) is pursuing to strengthen its business in Asia, said Shosuke Mori, SMBC’s Asia Pacific Division.

    As the Government of Viet Nam has been restructuring the local banking system, SMBC wants to contribute to the process by sustainably developing Eximbank and supporting other local banks’ reforms in the coming time, Mori said.

    SMBC, one of the largest and oldest banks in Japan, expects its clients worldwide to invest in Viet Nam and hopes to contribute to the development of the country’s banking sector with its new banking management system, he said.

    Receiving Mori in Ha Noi on Monday, Deputy Prime Minister Vuong Dinh Hue described the bank as an effective credit channel and gateway for foreign investors, including those from Japan, to enter Viet Nam.

    Hue welcomed the presence of SMBC in Viet Nam and the role it was playing to restructure Eximbank.

    He said a new scheme for restructuring credit institutions was adopted to improve the capacity of commercial banks and accelerate the resolution of non-performing loans (NLPs).

    He, however, noted that even though the restructuring process had harvested some positive outcomes, many challenges remained. The Government was committed to continue improving the local business climate and providing favourable conditions for both domestic and foreign investors, adding it would do its best to support SMBC in Viet Nam.

    SMBC has been present in the country since 1994 with a branch each in Ha Noi and HCMCity. Last year, both the branches posted zero NLPs and a total net profit of VND291.6 billion (over US$12.8 million). SMBC is also Eximbank’s strategic investor and currently holds 15 per cent of the Viet Nam-based bank’s charter capital. 

    HCM City leader receives Singaporean, Australian investors

    Ho Chi Minh City has numerous projects open for foreign investment, Secretary of the municipal Party Committee Nguyen Thien Nhan said at a reception for investors from Singapore and Australia who came to explore investment opportunities in the city on March 6.

    They include six resettlement projects, upgrades to 50 old apartment buildings and construction in Thu Thiem urban area.

    The city plans to build an innovative urban area covering Districts 2, 9 and Thu Duc, including Thu Thiem urban area. 

    Nhan urged sectors and localities to continue creating favourable condition for investors to explore cooperation.

    On behalf of the delegation, Neil Wilson, Chairman of the Australian Sakkara Group, said they have invested in numerous projects in the city.

    They are interested in the city’s infrastructure projects, such as upgrades to canals, old buildings, Thu Thiem urban area and the equitisation of State-owed enterprises, with a total investment likely to reach 1.5 billion USD.

    The southern economic hub witnessed significant socio-economic-cultural accomplishments in 2017. The city recorded an 8.25 percent increase in gross regional domestic product, higher than the 8.05 percent growth the previous year.

    Domestic investment exceeded 899 trillion VND (39.5 billion USD), three fold higher than 2017, while foreign investment hit 6.38 billion USD, double the figure of the previous year.

    The city provide more than 347.9 trillion VND (15.3 billion USD) for the State budget, representing a year-on-year rise of 12.94 percent.

    Vietnam joins Foodex 2018 in Japan

    Vietnam launched a stall at the 43rd International Food and Beverage Exhibition (Foodex 2018) that opened in the Japanese prefecture of Chiba on March 6. 

    Foodex is Asia’s the largest exhibition dedicated to food and drinks across Japan and the whole world. 

    As part of the national trade promotion programme 2018 launched by the Ministry of Industry and Trade, the Vietnam Trade Promotion Centre for Agriculture sent a delegation of businesses to the event to maintain ties with Japanese and Asian importers, sign valuable export deals, popularise Vietnamese cuisine and farm produce. 

    Up to 20 participating businesses come from cities and provinces with strength in agro-fisheries such as Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi, Nghe An, Bac Giang, Ninh Binh, Dong Thap, Ben Tre, Can Tho, Kien Giang, Lam Dong and Ca Mau. 

    On display are Vietnamese specialty fruits, vegetables, processed aquatic products and fish oil, organic pepper, seedless lemon, rice-derived food, cakes and fruit drinks. 

    Ta Duc Minh, Commercial Counsellor of the Vietnamese Embassy in Japan, said Vietnam’s fruit and vegetable export to Japan hit 130 million USD in 2017, up nearly 70 percent. 

    The four-day exhibition attracts 3,350 firms from 80 countries and territories worldwide, and 85,000 visitors.

    Vietjet announces to operate Vietnam-India direct route

    Vietjet has announced its plan to operate a direct route connecting Vietnam and India in order to serve travel demands of the two peoples and to contribute to region’s integration and trade exchange.

    The announcement, made at the Vietnam - India Business Forum held in India on March 3 with the witness of President Tran Dai Quang and senior leaders of Vietnam and India, marked breakthroughs on the 45th anniversary of VietnamIndia diplomatic relationship and 10th anniversary of strategic partnership between Vietnam and India.  

    The first route is planned to connect Ho Chi Minh City with New Delhi on a basis of four flight per week.

    India– the second largest population country in the world, located in southern Asia, is famous for its diversified culture, religions, cuisine and tourism.

    Also, the country is well-known for its marvelous nature and grand architectures that are certified as the world heritages. Among them are Valley of Flowers National Park (Uttarakhand), LotusTemple (New Delhi), Taj Mahal (Uttar Pradesh), and Red Fort (New Delhi).

    Vietnam, a country with civilised culture is a tourist destination among international travelers. Among must-see places are a typically culture capital of Hanoi, a romantic citadel of Hue, magnificent Quang Binh and Da Nang, and the economic hub of Ho Chi Minh City. Robust integration while preserving typical cultural traits have become a unique feature of the most dynamic city in Vietnam.

    Aiming to “Consumer Airline”, Vietjet is continually opening new routes, adding more aircraft, investing in modern technology and offering more added-on products and services to serve all demands of customers.

    Vietjet is a pioneering airline that is loved by many for its exciting promotional and entertainment programs, especially during the festive season.

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

    US major project marks good start in 2018 for footwear industry

    Skechers USA, a major footwear maker based in California, is studying a plan to invest in Vietnam in a project that probably needs 20,000 workers. The project marks a good start for the local footwear industry after a slowdown in 2017.

    Skechers, a heavyweight rival to two global footwear brands – Nike and Adidas, sold more than 200 million products last year and now seeks to shift investment from China to Vietnam.

    The firm was advised by the Vietnam Leather, Footwear and Handbag Association (LEFASO) to set up the first facility in northern Hai Duong province with an investment slated for between 700 million and 1 billion USD.

    The project offers hope to Vietnam’s footwear industry as the sector saw falls in not only foreign but also domestic investment last year.

    Benefits of free trade agreements between Vietnam and other nations have added heat to the footwear industry, leading to a record growth rate of 28 percent in the flow of investment into the sector in 2015, said Phan Thi Thanh Xuan, LEFASO general secretary. 

    However, after the UnitedState withdrew from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the United Kingdom chose to leave the EU, the investment declined in 2017. It was clearly reflected by the contraction in imports of shoe-making machinery, equipment and materials, she explained.

    Imports of footwear machinery and equipment in 2017 decreased to 146 million USD, compared to 170 million USD a year during the 2015 – 2016 period. Leather imports also fell to 1.5 billion USD last year from 1.6 billion USD in 2016, she added. 

    Xuan noted that the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement is expected to be signed this year, adding that once the trade deal enters into force, it will eliminate import duties on Vietnam’s trainers and handbags.

    The tariff elimination will not only direct more flows of foreign orders to Vietnam but also draw greater investment from international footwear manufacturers, such as Skechers, into the country, she said.

    Vietnam is now in the world’s Top 5 shoemakers with 70 percent of the total export revenue contributed by foreign-invested enterprises.

    Binh Dinh works on hi-tech shrimp farming to raise export value

    The central province of Binh Dinh is carrying out a project on hi-tech shrimp farming to raise export value. 

    Accordingly, the provincial People’s Committee has zoned off two areas for shrimp farming in brackish water covering 612ha, including one stretching 206ha in Cat Hai and Cat Thanh communes, Phu Cat district and the other in My Thanh commune, Phu My district. 

    Besides, a project on hi-tech shrimp farming in glasshouse is being implemented by the Viet Uc – Phu My Ltd company on a total area of more than 116ha in My Thanh high-tech agricultural zone. The company plans to start raising shrimp in March with a total output of 8,400 tonnes per year. 

    Meanwhile, five businesses applied for shrimp farming in Phu Cat district. 

    Director of the provincial Department of Agriculture and Rural Development Phan Trong Ho said hi-tech shrimp farming areas are zoned off in coastal and eco-friendly venues. 

    Vice Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee Tran Chau said the provincial authorities pledge to provide all possible support for investors to do business, especially land rental; after granting them with investment certificates. 

    Binh Dinh is one of the top localities nationwide in terms of shrimp quality. The annual output of shrimp breeding in brackish water nears 7,100 tonnes, 94 percent of which is white-legged shrimp and the remaining is tiger prawn. 

    The province has 1,833ha of shrimp farming which is planned to reach 1,923ha by 2020.

    MARD speeds up Vinacafe's equitisation

    After a long period of hesitation, the Vietnam National Coffee Corporation (Vinacafe) is being pushed towards equitisation once more by the Ministry of Agricultural and Rural Development (MARD).

    During a March 5 meeting at Vinacafe’s headquarter, Deputy Minister Ha Cong Tuan said he was not completely confident about the company’s latest restructuring plan.

    According to Vinacafe, the company has formulated and submitted to the MARD a reorganisation and modernisation scheme for the period 2017-2020, while waiting for the Prime Minister’s consideration and approval.

    It proposes equitisation at the parent company (Vinacafe), including seven agricultural companies and three other auxiliary units, plus the equitisation of 18 other subsidiaries, dissolution of four and the possible splitting-up of one.

    The said plan will be Vinacafe’s third approved scheme since 2012. But Tu?n was doubtful it would sit well with the Government this time.

    He also expressed the Government’s firm decision on getting Vinacafe listed on the stock exchange, regardless of any difficulties that may arise.

    In 2017, the corporation managed to equitise five subsidiaries. Nonetheless, there remain unresolved issues for each one, ranging from unapproved land usage to financial troubles, significantly prolonging the evaluation period and delaying the ultimate listing deadline.

    Deputy Minister Tuan said Vinacafe has made very slow progress in implementing the plan’s content, compared to other State-owned enterprises.

    He questioned the reason why two previous installments of Vinacafe’s restructuring plan failed, whether for reasons of feasibility or capability, while asking the company to better define its production and business orientation.

    The MARD has requested Vinacafe lessen their dependence on the existing 16,500 hectares of coffee plantation, and develop a vertically integrated chain of purchasing, processing, and export. But it seems like they have failed to grasp a larger market share.

    Vinacafe set a 2018 revenue target of over 3.8 trillion VND (169 million USD), with a revenue goal of 96 billion VND (4.27 million USD).

    At the end of 2017, the corporation reported revenue of 3.7 trillion VND (164.8 million USD). However, net profit came to just over 77 billion VND (3.4 million USD), just 73 percent of the yearly goal.

    The reason for the decrease in profit is a significant drop in coffee prices during the first quarter of 2017, coupled with reduction in farming area, leading to decreased productivity and general profit.

    Vinacafe has made promises to focus on intensive investment, increasing productivity, lowering prices while stabilising output, in the hope of increasing quantity, export turnover and achieving a better growth and efficiency targets than 2017’s.

    According to figures released by the General Statistics Office, coffee exports in the first two months of 2018 are estimated at 336,000 tonnes, up by 17.6 percent year-on-year.

    The export value of coffee reached 652 million USD in the first two months of 2018, a slight increase of 0.8 percent over the same period in 2017.-

    Mechanisms needed for stable property market

    A line-up of tools and solutions to promote stable and sustainable development of the real estate market are being studied by the Ministry of Construction as part of efforts to ensure the market’s transparency.

    The ministry said that it will closely work with the Ministry of Finance to complete tax and finance mechanisms while joining hands with the State Bank of Vietnam to control the credit flow to the property sector. 

    Removing bottlenecks on capital to carry out key housing projects will be given due attention.

    The ministry will work to chalk out measures to develop social housing projects in urban areas and for workers in industrial zones as well as supervise the planning and use of land allotted for social housing in ?the areas.

    Regular update on the building material market will help the ministry to carry out timely measures stabilising prices of major building materials. Effective implementing the building material planning and development schemes is crucial to ensure a balance of supply and demand. 

    The ministry will support the production of materials that help cut construction costs.

    The construction sector target a growth of up to 9.21 percent in 2018.

    VFA urged to increase high-quality rice production

    The Vietnam Food Association (VFA) was urged to work with other units to continue shifting rice production towards higher output of high-quality rice and applying technological advances in production and processing to maximize the value of rice.

    The call was made at the association’s eighth congress in Ho Chi Minh City on March 6 during which participants elected Nguyen Ngoc Nam, Acting Director General of Vinafood 2, as VFA President in the 2018-2023 tenure, to replace Huynh The Nang, who retired. 

    In the new tenure, the association has set to increase its membership in order to coordinate actions to counter price squeeze and dumping and unhealthy competition.

    VFA will work closely with other State agencies and authorities of localities to accelerate productive production and business.

    Tran Thanh Nam, Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development asked the association to work with the ministry’s units and localities in screening the planning of rice growing areas to adjust production scale and output to fit the demand for local consumption and export.

    The association should boost production connectivity and develop cooperatives so as to proactively prepare supplies of quality rice for export to specific markets, he said.

    Duong Phuong Thao, deputy head of the Import-Export Department of the Ministry of Industry and Trade reminded VFA members to take into account changes in import-export policies being implemented by major markets. 

    Vietnam may export 6.5 million tonnes of rice in 2018, with high-quality rice accounting for a large proportion of total rice export volume and normal rice making up less than 20 percent.

    The country sold 861,000 tonnes of rice abroad in the first two months of this year, earning 419 million USD, up 17 percent in volume and 34 percent in value compared with the same period last year.

    The Philippines was the biggest importer of Vietnamese rice, accounting for 26.9 percent of the market share. It was followed by China, with 23.5 percent.

    In 2017, Vietnam earned 2.6 billion USD from the shipment of 5.8 million tonnes of rice abroad.

    Fair showcases high-quality Vietnamese products in An Giang

    A trade fair displaying high-quality Vietnamese products opened in the Mekong Delta province of An Giang on March 6.

    The six-day event has attracted the participation of 150 businesses, which are showcasing household appliances, food, medicine, apparel, and handicrafts, among others at 350 booths. 

    Visitors to the fair will have a chance to enjoy discounts, gifts, game shows, and musical performances. 

    The fair also features a seminar and training course on technological application for startups, as well as exchanges between producers and consumers.

    The event is the first of a series of similar fairs to be held nationwide in the coming time.

    The fair is co-organised by the High Quality Vietnamese Product Business Association and the Centre for Trade and Investment Promotion of An Giang province.

    Ba Ria-Vung Tau seeks to tackle investment hindrances

    Officials from the Department of Planning and Investment and other relevant agencies and sectors in the southern province of Ba Ria-Vung Tau met on March 6 to seek measures to draw in more investment.

    Nguyen Hong Linh, Secretary of the provincial Party Committee, who chaired the meeting, said the province boasts a lot of untapped potential but has yet to do enough to reel in big investors.

    He suggested departments and other sectors to join hands in making existing investors satisfy and treating businesses, old and new, local and foreign alike, on an equal footing. 

    He pointed to the need to shorten the licence-granting duration while speeding up a support programme for businesses.

    The Industrial Park Management Board should pay heed to the quality of infrastructure at industrial parks in an effort to raise their competitiveness, he noted. 

    According to Le Hoang Hai, Director of the Department of Planning and Investment, in 2017, the province licensed 86 locally-invested and foreign-invested projects with a total investment of 1.5 billion USD and 41.9 trillion VND.

    Newly-licensed projects are engaging mainly in warehouses, logistics, ports, industry, tourism, housing, environment, healthcare, mining, trade and agriculture.

    Also in 2017, local and foreign businesses disbursed over 36.1 trillion VND of their investment capital, accounting for around 80 percent of the total investment poured into the locality.

    On February 23, the province presented investment licenses to eight projects worth over 8.3 trillion VND (366 million USD) at a meeting with businesses.

    The projects comprise two solar power factories, two housing projects, one hospital project, one ceramic factory, one tourism project, and one steel project.

    The locality is focusing its investment attraction efforts on the five sectors that it has potential, namely industry, sea ports, port logistics services, tourism, and hi-tech agriculture.-

    Can Tho kicks off Women Startup Day

    The Women’s Union of the Mekong Delta city of Can Tho launched the Women Startup Day on March 6 to celebrate the International Women’s Day (March 8) and encourage the women to start businesses.

    The Women Startup Day will have a series of programs to support the women’s startups between 2018 and 2025 as they are facing a number of barriers in skills, resources and ability to use advanced technology.

    The support will be provided for all women living in the city with a business idea, those wanting to start a business, new cooperatives and startups owned by women, and female entrepreneurs clubs. Priority will be given to women living in difficult circumstances, or from ethnic minority groups, or with disabilities.

    From March 2018, the city will select innovative and feasible startup ideas to provide support in branding, funding and training.

    The city’s Women Union will introduce women with startup ideas to participate in vocational training courses that offer knowledge in startups. It will also give them legal assistance in registering trademarks to original inventions, patents or local specialties.

    It will work with banks and credit institutions to give women entrepreneurs better access to funding and organize regional and international trade promotion events to help them improve their businesses’ competitiveness.

    Can Tho sets to raise awareness of career and startup issues among 70 percent of its women, support the establishment of at least 20 cooperatives managed by women, and advise and aid the development of 1,500 newly-found enterprises owned by women.

    Expert: Businesses need better awareness of sustainable development

    It is necessary to raise enterprises’ awareness of the importance of as well as advantages and benefits from sustainable development, an expert has said.  

    Nguyen Quang Vinh, Secretary General of the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Vice Chairman of the Vietnam Business Council for Sustainable Development, said Vietnam’s business community have had clearer awareness of cooperation opportunities and risks that they may encounter. 

    However, contributions made by enterprises, especially those operating in the financial sector, to the nation’s sustainable development progress remain limited, he noted.  

    Vietnamese businesses are still meeting difficulties in integrating sustainable development goals (SDGs) into their sustainable development reports, he added. 

    Vinh stressed the need to outline policies to encourage businesses to make sustainable development reports, especially loosing legal procedures to facilitate the process. 

    Responding to the UN Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development, 193 member nations approved 17 SDGs of enterprises regarding poverty reduction; education quality; gender equality; clean water and sanitation; clean and sustainable energy; job and economic growth; innovation industry and infrastructure; inequality reduction; urbanization and sustainable community; responsible consumption and production; climate change adaption; water and land resources. 

    Vinh said 1,500 CEOs worldwide joined the dialogue in New York to discuss the role played by the enterprises in the world’s sustainable development through their business to promote economic growth, create jobs, stablise society and protect the environment. 

    Thousands of innovation business ideas have been introduced and applied, towards expanding enterprises’ business activities through establishing partnership and business, Vinh noted. 

    Statistics show the number of enterprises that built sustainable development reports have doubled in the past five years. 

    However, almost small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) – the dominant force in the Vietnamese business community, have not yet known well about sustainable development reports.

    Dong Nai works to sharpen competitive edge for businesses

    The authorities of southern Dong Nai province said they will continue assisting local businesses to research export markets and promote trade for achieving an export turnover of 18.3-18.5 billion USD in 2018.

    They said they will help with connecting local producers and FDI enterprises located in the province in a bid to reduce the import of products that local businesses can produce and sharpen the competitive edge of domestic enterprises.

    Dialogues and meetings with businesses will be held regularly to promptly tackle difficulties and hindrances so businesses could have smooth production and export activities.

    In the first two months of this year, the province posted a 25 percent surge in export and ran a trade surplus of nearly 610 million USD, of which 267 million USD was made in January and 340 million USD was recorded in February.

    The locality’s major export items included apparels, footwear, wooden products, machinery and spare parts, and electronic products and components.

    It main markets are China, the Republic of Korea, Japan, and China’s Taiwan.

    As one of southern localities having huge investment attraction, Dong Nai is currently home to 35 industrial parks with more than 1,510 investment projects, including some 1,100 foreign-invested ones, with about 900,000 workers.

    About 70 percent of workers in Dong Nai come from other provinces, mostly in the central and northern regions.

    SAP to instal customer relationship software for Sacombank     

    Saigon Thuong Tin Commercial Bank (Sacombank) has hired SAP, a global leader in enterprise application software, for its customer relationship management (CRM) project, which consists of functions like sales, service, marketing, and integrated database analysis.

    BJ Burlingame, head of digital business services for SAP Southeast Asia, said “Banking is essentially about data to gain insights into customers’ behaviours and preferences, and essentially improving customer conversion rates, wallet share and customer loyalty.”

    SAP’s CRM application would enable organisations to “uncover insights that can simplify their sales processes with better customer engagement, accurate forecasting, and real-time pipeline management,” she said, adding that “This will allow them to deliver contextual and personalized experience for their customers.”

    With an increase in internet use in Viet Nam, it is essential for businesses to invest in digital technology if they want to succeed, she said.

    Nguyen Minh Tam, deputy CEO of Sacombank, said: “The specific goal we have from this project is to take advantage of 360-degree customer views from CRM analytics to have better understanding of the needs and behaviours of existing and potential customers.

    “We consider the completion of CRM an essential factor in making Sacombank stand out from its competitors in the market.”

    The bank, without divulging the cost of the project, said merely it cost a “large amount of money.”

    It is expected to be ready in March next year. 

    Japanese Group launches five-star resort     

    Route Inn Group from Japan has launched its first five-star beach resort project – the Grandvrio Ocean Resort Da Nang – in Dien Ban Town of central Quang Nam Province, adding 96 hotel rooms and 54 villas to the provincial hospitality industry.

    The group said it’s the second project in Viet Nam since it debuted a four-star hotel project – the GrandvrioDa NangCity– in the central city and the start of a plan to develop a chain of 50 hotels in the country until 2025.

    Grandvrio Ocean Resort Da Nang, located on the coast between Da Nang and Hoi An, offers private pool villas and rooms with ocean views and contemporary interior design, luxurious fittings and high-end amenities, creating more options for tourists visiting Da Nang and Hoi An.

    It also offers the biggest Japanese style restaurant, Bikura, an Onsen (a Japanese hot spring and bathing facilities), Zen Spa and Kids’ zone.

    The Japanese Group also began an enrollment programme for students from Da Nang-based Dong A College to serve a chain of 320 hotels in Japan and Viet Nam following a training agreement signed in 2015.

    Japan plans to open a Consulate office in Da Nang as a way of boosting tourism and exchange between Japan and Da Nang as well as other central provinces in the future.

    Route Inn was considered the first Japanese company to invest in the hospitality sector in central Viet Nam when it poured US$18 million into Da Nang last year. 

    TTC Energy signs up Japanese contractor for solar plant     

    Gia Lai Electricity Joint Stock Company has hired Japanese-owned JGC Vietnam Co., Ltd as the contractor for the construction of a solar power plant in the Central Highland province of Gia Lai’s Krong Pa District.

    The lump sum turnkey contract covers engineering, procurement, construction and commissioning (EPCC) for the 49MW plant.

    When it starts generating power next autumn it would be among the largest such facilities in the country.

    TTC Energy, whose biggest subsidiary is Gia Lai Electricity JSC, has invested heavily in clean energy and trialled wind and solar power models besides investing in hydropower projects.

    It plans to achieve a solar capacity of 1,000MW and wind capacity of 40MW so that they account for 73 per cent of its total capacity by 2020.

    JGC Vietnam is an engineering company specialising in EPC (Engineering – Procurement – Construction) services and technical solutions for various industries.

    It is a 100 per cent affiliate of JGC Group of Japan

    Vietnam Airlines to increase flights from HCMC to Singapore, Taiwan

    National flag carrier Vietnam Airlines will add four more flights a week on its routes from Ho Chi Minh City to Singapore and Taipei from March 27.

    The additional flights to Singapore will depart Ho Chi Minh City at 7.25pm on Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday and return at 11.25pm on the same day. Flights to Taipei will depart at 2.15 am on Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday and return at 10.10pm on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday.

    With the advantage of arriving early in the morning, the new flights to Taipei will give travelers more time to explore the city while those on business can begin work as soon as they arrive. Meanwhile, the return flights departing late in the evening allow passengers to have more time on the day of departure to sightsee or work before returning to Vietnam.

    Vietnam Airlines now conducts eleven flights a week between Ho Chi Minh City and Taipei and 25 a week between Ho Chi Minh City and Singapore. Flights are operated on Airbus A321 aircraft with four-star international-quality services.

    From now until June 30, Vietnam Airlines is offering special prices for tickets on these flights. A return ticket from Ho Chi Minh City to Singapore starts from VND2.79 million ($123) while Ho Chi Minh City to Taipei tickets start from VND4.56 million ($200) (including taxes and fees).

    Golden Lotus members flying from Ho Chi Minh City to Singapore or Taipei from March 25 to April 25 will also be offered 500-1,500 bonus miles.

    The number of Vietnamese visiting Taiwan has increased sharply after Taiwan relaxed its visa policy towards Vietnamese citizens, in September 2016, which allows those who hold permanent residence certificates issued by Australia, Canada, Japan, South Korea, New Zealand, Schengen signatories, the UK, and the US, or hold a visa or a residence card from one of these countries either valid or expired within ten years from the date of their expected arrival in Taiwan to use an online application to obtain an online visa. In 2017, around 400,000 Vietnamese visited Taiwan, up 100.5 per cent against 2016, according to figures from Taiwan.

    Meanwhile, Singapore, one of most popular destinations for Vietnamese, also welcomed an increasing number of Vietnamese tourists. The island nation welcomed more than 530,000 in 2017, for growth of 13.2 per cent over 2016, according to the Singapore Tourism Board.

    VNN

    0 0
  • 03/08/18--01:53: Article 0
  • Vietnamese USD billionaires buy aircraft, take over American companies


    Vietnam’s dollar billionaires have become well known worldwide.



     

    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, vinfast, Vingroup, Vietjet
    Pham Nhat Vuong, the first USD billionaire of Vietnam.

     

     
    Vietnamese businesspeople are getting rich quickly and have jumped into higher positions on the lists of the wealthiest people in the world.

    Bloomberg has confirmed that Nguyen Dang Quang, chair of Masan Group, is the latest Vietnamese dollar billionaire. The increase in MSN’s share price helped Quang’s stock assets double to $1.2 billion.

    Other billionaires are Pham Nhat Vuong, chair of Vingroup, and Nguyen Thi Phuong Thao, CEO of Vietjet.

    Just within one month, Vuong’s stock assets, as calculated by Forbes, increased by $1.3 billion to $5.5 billion, ranking him 366th in the world.

    Vuong’s stock assets are twice as much as the assets of US President Donald Trump, a real estate tycoon, with total assets of $3 billion, ranked 770th in the world.

    With such huge assets, Vuong’s position on the list of the world’s billionaire is above many famous billionaires, including Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha, the owner of Leicester City Club,  Lewis, the owners of Tottenham Club, Richard Branson, a famous businessman, and Travis Kalanick, the founder of Uber.

    Just within one month, Vuong’s stock assets, as calculated by Forbes, increased by $1.3 billion to $5.5 billion, ranking him 366th in the world.

    Vuong’s assets have far exceeded Hoang Kieu, a Vietnam-born billionaire living in the US, who has $2.8 billion. Vuong ousted Kieu to become the richest Vietnamese in the world.

    Pham Nhat Vuong has kicked off an automobile manufacturing project Vinfast, rekindling the Vietnamese long-cherished dream of a local car industry.

    Meanwhile, Nguyen Thi Phuong Thao, the owner of Vietjet, according to Forbes, has assets valued at $3.3 billion, ranking 728th in the world.

    Thao is the first female Vietnamese billionaire, the second Vietnamese billionaire listed among the world’s top 1,000 billionaires, and the only female billionaire in South East Asia.

    Thao is the only Vietnamese woman on the list of the 100 most powerful women in the world. Hilary Clinton is also one of the women.

    Trinh Van Quyet, chair of FLC, and Tran Dinh Long, chair of Hoa Phat Group, have stock assets worth billions of dollars and are considered the third and fourth billionaires in the Vietnamese stock market.

    Projects developed by Vingroup, Muong Thanh and SunGroup have a large capital scale of hundreds of millions or billions of dollars.

    Becoming richer, Vietnamese billionaires are nurturing bigger dreams. Vuong of Vingroup has announced a plan to build a Vietnamese automobile brand after experts declared the failure of the auto industry’s development strategy. 


    M. Ha, VNN

    0 0
  • 03/09/18--00:25: Article 4
  • Da Lat eatery faces suspension for beating tourist over fear of negative Facebook review

    Local authorities hope the penalty will set an example for other service providers at the Da Lat Night Market


    An eatery in the Central Highlands city of Da Lat which used violence to stop its guests from leaving a negative review on social media will be temporarily suspended from business, local police said Thursday.

    ​Da Lat eatery faces suspension for beating tourist over fear of negative Facebook review
    People walk past the Bich Thuy eatery in Da Lat Night Market in LamDongProvince, located in Vietnam's Central Highlands, on March 8, 2018. Photo: Tuoi Tre


    Police in Da Lat’s Ward 1 announced the conclusion of an investigation into an incident at Bich Thuy, a diner located in the city’s must-visit night market, on Tuesday night after working with eyewitnesses and examining footage from the market’s CCTV cameras.

    Ward 1 police will consider slapping administrative fines on those involved in the case while the night market’s managers have resolved to either revoke or temporarily suspend the eatery’s business license, according to law enforcement officials.

    “The establishment should be suspended from business to set example for other facilities at the Da Lat Night Market, which is part of the city’s public image,” Do Ngoc Hoa, head of the Ward 1 police unit, told Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper on Thursday.

    Hoa also provided details on the events which led to the confrontation between the Bich Thuy’s staff and a group of tourists, including Nguyen Thi Cam Van and her Vietnamese-American cousin Do Saphia Thuy.

    The two women entered the restaurant with four other family members and were served six plates of rice with pork and chicken.

    Saphia Thuy notified the staff that the rice was cold and her chicken was undercooked, asking them to change the dish. 

    The group also asked the staff for the complimentary soup meant to accompany their order, but were instead given a big bowl of soup which the waitress said would cost VND100,000 (US$4.4).

    Even though the tourists insisted they would not eat the soup, the attendants left the bowl on their table.

    Before leaving the eatery, Van used her smartphone to take a photo of the facility, prompting one attendant to shout, “That girl hasn’t paid yet and she’s taking photos to post on Facebook! Stop her!”

    According to CCTV footage, following the ‘alert,’ a woman rushed out from behind the chef’s counter to stop Van while an angry mob attacked the rest of the tourist group.

    While one restaurant worker demanded that Van delete the photos she took of the eatery, waitress Lo Thieu Mai Trang jumped in and grabbed Saphia Thuy’s hair, knocked her to the ground, and repeatedly hit and kicked her in the face and abdomen.

    Saphia Thuy fainted shortly after the assault and Van left with a bloody face.

    ​Da Lat eatery faces suspension for beating tourist over fear of negative Facebook review
    The tourist is seen after the attack in this photo posted on Facebook on March 6, 2018.

    Trang later confessed the assault on Saphia Thuy to police.

    Dang Mau Nhi, deputy head of the Da Lat Night Market management board, admitted to Tuoi Tre that misbehavior is not uncommon amongst the venue’s service providers.

    “This has really scared tourists visiting Da Lat,” he said.

    By Son Luong / Tuoi Tre News


    0 0
  • 03/09/18--00:36: Article 3
  • VASEP rejects DoC’s preliminary results on Vietnamese shrimp


    The US Department of Commerce (DoC) announced its preliminary results of the 12th administrative review (POR 12) of the anti-dumping order on frozen warm water shrimps from Viet Nam.


     

    VASEP rejects DoC’s preliminary results on Vietnamese shrimp, 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
    Viet Nam’s shrimp exports increased sharply with higher export prices than in previous years, but exports to the US market decreased 7 per cent to US$659 million. - Photo doanhnhansaigon.vn


    DoC has put the preliminary rate at 25.39 per cent.

    The rate, which was calculated for Viet Nam’s sole exporter Sao Ta Seafoods Joint Stock Company (FIMEX), is much higher than the previously estimated rate of below 2 per cent.

    Since FIMEX was the only mandatory respondent in the proceedings, its rate was deemed appropriate for all other shrimp companies in Viet Nam.

    According to the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP) and the community of shrimp exporters in Viet Nam, there was considerable confusion in the calculation of this amplitude.

    VASEP said during the earlier administrative review of anti-dumping lawsuits in the United States, no Vietnamese enterprise had received the margin of dumping at a percentage higher than a single-digit percentage rate. In fact, FIMEX was examined in POR 9 and received a rate of zero per cent.

    “We are shocked by this result,” said FIMEX General Director Ho Quoc Luc. “Clearly, DoC has made a mistake. Fortunately, this is only a preliminary decision, and we have a chance to prove why this rate is wrong.”

    FIMEX said DoC’s analysis of dumping margin programme showed that it applied an incorrect conversion factor from headless to head-on shrimp. If the conversion had been applied correctly, the margin would only be 1.19 per cent instead of 25.39 per cent.

    FIMEX was scheduled to have a verification with DoC officials in January, but the verification was postponed due to the shutdown of the US government. “We were ready for that verification, and I am sure we would have shown DoC officials why our rate was much lower,” Luc said.

    The verification has been rescheduled to July this year, and there will also be an opportunity to argue in briefs why the decision is wrong.

    According to VASEP, although the preliminary results have not yet been applied and may change in the final round, they may have a significant impact on importers’ psychology in the US as well as on shrimp export activities of Vietnamese enterprises, affecting trading transactions between the two parties, especially while waiting for DoC’s final results.

    Based on the above factors, VASEP has requested DoC to quickly review the preliminary results and to make reasonable, timely and fair adjustments to FIMEX and shrimp exporters of Viet Nam.

    A VASEP report shows that Viet Nam’s shrimp exports increased sharply with higher export prices than in previous years, but exports to the US market decreased seven per cent to US$659 million. The primary reason for this decline is the impact of the anti-dumping tax. The US currently ranks fourth in the shrimp import market of Viet Nam, instead of the leading position as in previous years.

     VNS

    0 0
  • 03/09/18--00:41: Article 2
  • Government News 9/3


    Female ambassadors pay working trip to Hoa Binh


     

    Female ambassadors pay working trip to Hoa Binh, Prime Minister hails Lotte’s operation in Vietnam, Prime Minister bids farewell to outgoing Chilean Ambassador, Chile wants to learn Vietnam’s experience in hosting APEC Year

     

     
    Permanent National Assembly Vice Chairwoman Tong Thi Phong together with female ambassadors and chiefs of diplomatic representative missions and international organisations in Vietnam took on a working trip to the northern mountainous province of Hoa Binh on March 8. 

    During a working session with the provincial authorities, Phong congratulated the provincial Party committee and authorities on their achievements in diverse areas, particularly in the preservation and upholding of culture of the Muong ethnic group. 

    She said the Vietnamese legislature recently held the 26th Annual Meeting of the Asia-Pacific Parliamentary Forum, opening a series of diplomatic activities in Vietnam this year. 

    Secretary of the provincial Party Committee Bui Van Tinh congratulated the Permanent NA Vice Chairwoman Phong, female NA deputies and chiefs of diplomatic representative missions and international organisations on the occasion of International Women’s Day (March 8). 

    He expressed his hope that via female ambassadors and diplomats, the images and potentials of Hoa Binh province will be introduced to foreign investors to attract more investment. 

    The host said the local economy grew by 9.46 percent in 2017 with an average income per capita of 40.5 million VND (1,800 USD). Hoa Binh has 51 communes meeting criteria for new-style rural areas, and 495 projects, including 35 foreign-invested ones with a total registered capital of upwards 500 million USD. 

    During the stay, the delegation visited and presented gifts to the provincial Centre for Social Work in Ky Son district – home to nearly 200 orphan children, the elderly, the disabled and mentally-ill, planted trees at the monument dedicated to President Ho Chi Minh in Hoa Binh hydro power plant, and offered gifts to the Museum of Muong Culture Space in Hoa Binh city.

    Prime Minister hails Lotte’s operation in Vietnam


     

    Female ambassadors pay working trip to Hoa Binh, Prime Minister hails Lotte’s operation in Vietnam, Prime Minister bids farewell to outgoing Chilean Ambassador, Chile wants to learn Vietnam’s experience in hosting APEC Year
    Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc (R) and Lotte Group's Vice Chairman  Hwang Kag-gyu.  

    Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc applauded production and business activities as well as social welfare programmes of the Republic of Korea (RoK)’s Lotte Group in Vietnam while receiving its Vice Chairman Hwang Kag-gyu in Hanoi on March 8.   

    The leader expressed his impressions of Lotte’s operation in Vietnam with 16 subsidiaries, four factories and 280 stores, covering such areas as commercial centre, supermarket, hotel, cinema and confectionery. 

    Lotte plays an important role in the RoK’s investment in Vietnam, the PM emphasised. 

    He called on the group to help Vietnam market its agricultural products in the RoK and produce plastics, chocolate and other industrial products in service of exports, while assisting the country in churning out new technological products amidst the fourth industrial revolution. 

    For his part, Hwang affirmed that Lotte has regarded Vietnam as a key market and wants to become the country’s trustworthy partner, contributing to national economic development.

    Lotte’s subsidiaries always consider themselves Vietnamese companies, he said, noting his belief that Lotte will make more contributions to improving living standards of local people. 

    Hwang took the occasion to brief the Vietnamese leader on Lotte’s upcoming projects in Vietnam, including a project on cacao cultivation, an EP factory in the Central Highlands province of Lam Dong, the Thu Thiem eco smart city in Ho Chi Minh City and the Lotte Mall Hanoi project. 

    Lotte also plans to purchase difficulty-ridden Vietnamese financial companies and invest in information-technology and goods transportation in the country, according to the Vice Chairman.  

    Besides, Lotte has constructively participated in training young Vietnamese footballers, set up a scholarship fund for Vietnamese students, opened Korean language classes for young people in the central province of Thua Thien-Hue and helped build schools in Hanoi and HCMCity, he added. 

    Hwang called for the support of PM Phuc as well as competent Vietnamese agencies for his group’s production and business activities in the time ahead, stressing that Lotte will use cutting-edge, environmentally friendly technologies and continue to assist Vietnamese start-ups. 

    PM Phuc said Lotte’s successes will significantly contribute to deepening the relationship between Vietnam and the RoK, and pledged to create the best possible conditions for the group to operate in Vietnam in the long term.

    Prime Minister bids farewell to outgoing Chilean Ambassador


     

    Female ambassadors pay working trip to Hoa Binh, Prime Minister hails Lotte’s operation in Vietnam, Prime Minister bids farewell to outgoing Chilean Ambassador, Chile wants to learn Vietnam’s experience in hosting APEC Year
    Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc presents a gift to Chilean Ambassador to Vietnam Claudio Andres De Negri Quintana.  

    Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc hailed outgoing Chilean Ambassador to Vietnam Claudio Andres De Negri Quintana for his contributions to the Vietnam-Chile comprehensive partnership at his farewell reception for the diplomat in Hanoi on March 8.

    He said the ambassador made efforts to the organization of high-level visits between the two countries, especially the State visit to Vietnam by President Michelle Bachelet Jeria in November 2017.

    The leader hailed the signing of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) in Chile on March 8, describing it as an important outcome of drastic negotiations and discussions of the pact members, which included the proactive role played by Vietnam and Chile.

    The signing of the CPTPP and the sound traditional ties will open up opportunities for broader cooperation in economics, trade and investment and promote partnership in culture, education and other fields between Vietnam and Chile, he said.

    He wished the diplomat to gain success in his new post and continue contributing to the growing ties between the two countries.

    Ambassador Claudio Andres De Negri Quintana thanked the PM and Vietnamese agencies for helping him accomplish his tasks and boosting the bilateral relations.

    He pledged that in any future positions, he will spare no effort for the two countries’ relations and expressed his belief that the bilateral ties and collaboration at multilateral forums will be developed.

    He expected that the two countries will work harder to increase their two-way trade value, which stood at over 1 billion USD, and step up their ties in other fields.

    He agreed with the PM’s view on the importance of the signing of CPTPP, saying the event will help accelerate cooperation between the two countries.

    He said he wants Vietnam to cooperate and share with Chile its experience in the successful organization of the APEC 2017 as his country will host the APEC Year 2019.

    Earlier on the day, the ambassador was received by President Tran Dai Quang.

    Chile wants to learn Vietnam’s experience in hosting APEC Year


     

    Female ambassadors pay working trip to Hoa Binh, Prime Minister hails Lotte’s operation in Vietnam, Prime Minister bids farewell to outgoing Chilean Ambassador, Chile wants to learn Vietnam’s experience in hosting APEC Year
    President Tran Dai Quang and Chilean Ambassador to Vietnam Claudio Andres De Negri Quintana 

    As the host of the APEC Year 2019, Chile wants Vietnam to share its experience in organising the APEC Year after the Southeast Asian country had successfully held the similar event in 2017, said outgoing Chilean Ambassador to Vietnam Claudio Andres De Negri Quintana.

    Negri Quintana expressed the wish during a meeting with President Tran Dai Quang in Hanoi on March 8.

    President Quang congratulated the ambassador’s successful term of office in Vietnam and spoke highly of his significant contributions to promoting the traditional friendship between the two nations.

    The diplomat coordinated with Vietnamese relevant agencies to arrange many high-level visits between the two countries, notably Chilean President Michelle Bachelet Jeria’s State-level visit to Vietnam and attendance at the 25th APEC Economic Leaders’ Week in Da Nang city in November 2017.

    The Vietnamese President also hailed the ambassador’s efforts to develop bilateral economic, trade and investment relations.

    The signing of the free trade agreement between Vietnam and Chile has helped increase two-way trade rapidly, while the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), which is scheduled to be signed in Chile on March 8 (local time), demonstrated the contributions of Vietnam, Chile and member countries in boosting global trade, he said.

    President Quang hoped that the ambassador, in his new position, will continue making more contributions to the reinforcement and enhancement of friendship and collaboration between Vietnam and Chile.

    Negri Quintana said within the CPTPP’s new cooperation framework, the future will belong to Asia with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) playing the core role and Vietnam being one of the most important links in the bloc. 

    This will open up new potential for bilateral cooperation, he said, adding that Chile wants to push cooperative ties with Vietnam in all realms.

    Leaders highlight strengthened Vietnam-Myanmar parliamentary ties


     

    Female ambassadors pay working trip to Hoa Binh, Prime Minister hails Lotte’s operation in Vietnam, Prime Minister bids farewell to outgoing Chilean Ambassador, Chile wants to learn Vietnam’s experience in hosting APEC Year
    NA Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan receives Deputy Speaker of the Assembly of the Union of Myanmar Aye Thar Aung


    National Assembly (NA) Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan highlighted the reinforced relationship between the legislatures of Vietnam and Myanmar at her reception for Deputy Speaker of the Assembly of the Union of Myanmar Aye Thar Aung in Hanoi on March 8.

    Chairwoman Ngan congratulated Myanmar on its recent socio-economic achievements, voicing her belief that the country will succeed in promoting national reconciliation and harmony and improving its stature in the region and the world.

    She expressed her delight at the increasingly strengthened friendship and cooperation between the Vietnamese NA and the Myanmar parliament, as seen in an official visit to Vietnam by Speaker of the Assembly of the Union Mahn Win Khaing Than in May 2017 and another trip to Myanmar by a high-ranking delegation of the Vietnamese NA in September 2016.

    Deputy Speaker Aye Thar Aung highly valued Vietnamese people’s heroic struggle in the resistance wars to liberate the country in the past, as well as its achievements in social affairs, economy, political stability and external work at present.

    He said Vietnam is increasingly affirming its stature, and Myanmar wants to learn from Vietnam’s precious experience to develop the country.

    Vietnam and Myanmar boast traditional friendship and close cooperation, which were built by late President Ho Chi Minh and leader Aung San, and have been nurtured by generations of the countries’ leaders and people, he added.

    At the meeting, the two sides noted the wish to enhance cooperation in all aspects, between their Parties, parliaments, Governments, and peoples. In particular, they will increase delegation exchanges at all levels, between their parliamentarians as well as between parliamentary committees.

    The Vietnamese and Myanmar legislatures will implement the cooperation agreement signed in 2013 soundly and step up sharing legislative and supervisory experience between their specialised agencies and parliamentary friendship groups to boost mutual understanding. They will also augment coordination in monitoring the implementation of the cooperation agreements and programmes inked by their Governments.

    Stressing the countries’ comprehensive cooperative partnership, set up in 2017, and many similarities, Chairwoman Ngan said Vietnam is ready to share development experience with Myanmar

    She asked both sides to soon establish a defence policy dialogue mechanism at the deputy ministerial level, and continue to negotiate and accelerate the signing of cooperation deals in the agro-forestry-fishery, transport, and justice sectors. She also called on Myanmar to continue providing optimal conditions for Vietnamese firms in the banking, telecommunications and business sectors.

    For his part, Deputy Speaker Aye Thar Aung said Myanmar wants to attract more foreign investment. Its parliament has exerted efforts to make investment attraction policies and is working to remove obstacles to foreign investors, including Vietnamese businesses.

    Lauding bilateral cooperation at regional and international forums, especially in ASEAN and the United Nations, the host leader asked both sides to keep intensifying cooperation within the ASEAN framework and other international and regional forums while working together to use the Mekong River water in a sustainable and effective manner. She also expressed her hope that Myanmar will soon become a member of the Mekong River Commission (MRC).

    VNN

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  • 03/09/18--00:57: Article 1
  • USD-3.2bn oil refinery project license revoked


    A foreign-owned USD3.2-billion oil refinery project in the central coastal province of Phu Yen has had its investment license revoked due to slow implementation.


     

    Vung Ro oil refinery project has remained an empty land plot after 11 years


    The news was reported by Le Van Thanh, head of the provincial management board for economic zones on March 8. 

    The Vung Ro oil refinery project was jointly invested by UK-based Technostar Management Ltd and Russia's Telloil Group.

    According to Thanh, being licensed 11 years ago, but until now, the project has remained an empty land plot.

    Phu Yen authorities previously raised issues about the project’s problems to the prime minister for consideration.

    At a meeting with authorities of PhuYenProvince last year, the investor committed that by July 7, it would send an official report to local authorities about the project’s specific implementation plan. But, since then, the authorities have not yet received any feedback.

    Vung Ro oil refinery project located in Hoa Tam Commune, Dong Hoa District was licensed in 2007 with the total investment of USD3.2 billion. It was started in September 2014 and slated for becoming operation early 2019.

    The investor has only finished some preliminary steps, including cadastral and hydrometric surveys but nothing more.

    Dantrinews

    0 0
  • 03/09/18--01:04: Article 0
  • Social News 9/3


    5 poisoned by pufferfish, 3 critically ill


     

    5 poisoned by pufferfish, 3 critically ill, Thousands of people join Bulgarian rose festival in Hanoi, Photo contest on rural women, sustainable development launched, Portal on martyrs, graves, cemeteries to be announced in July
    Patients are treated for poisoning from pufferfish at the Cần Thơ General Hospital, Cần Thơ Province. - Photo zing.vn


    Five men were poisoned after eating deadly pufferfish, the Cần Thơ City General Hospital said on Thursday morning. Three of them are critical.

    The victims, aged between 32 and 44, were transferred from their hometown to the HậuGiangProvinceHospital at 6pm on the previous day.

    According to the families of the patients, the five men caught the poisonous pufferfish in the field and cooked fish soup for lunch, which they ate together. Some six hours later, all of them started experiencing stomach ache and nausea, following which they were rushed to the hospital.

    While two persons had mild symptoms, such as numb limbs and stiffened jaw, three went into a coma after heart and respiratory failure. According to doctors at the Cần Thơ hospital, the three patients have little chances of survival.

    Poisoning from pufferfish is not rare in Việt Nam. Last October, one fisherman was killed, and five others were poisoned after eating the fish. 

    Seminar seeks enhancing empowerment for rural women

    Vietnam is taking active and drastic actions to enforce laws and policies on gender equality and achieve sustainable development goals, with a focus on rural areas, Deputy Minister of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs Doan Mau Diep affirmed. 

    At a Hanoi seminar on March 8 seeking ways to enhance empowerment for rural women for the sake of sustainable development, he said the legal corridor has increasingly improved to enhance empowerment for rural women in every social aspect, notably the National Target Programme on Sustainable Poverty Reduction and New Rural Construction that focuses on vocational training for rural workers, as well as prevention of violence and abuse. 

    Co-organised by the United Nations in Vietnam; the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs and the National Committee for the Advancement of Women in Vietnam, the event attracted leaders of ministries, agencies from 20 cities and provinces, and socio-political organisations in the country. 

    Pham Thuy Trang from the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development’s Department of Legal Affairs said the ministry issued the action plan on gender equality for 2016-2020 and incorporated the issue into legal regulations. 

    Participants discussed the lives, labour, job and social welfare for rural women at a time when Vietnam strives to deliver on sustainable development goals and international commitments to promote gender equality and empowerment for women. 

    They suggested creating favourable conditions for women and children in rural areas to actively engage in deciding on policies that impact their lives, increase the capacity of adapting to climate change and environment degradation via facilitating women’s access to finance, sustainable energy, information technology and social welfare. 

    Statistics from the General Statistics Office showed that though agriculture contributed 16.3 percent of the gross domestic product in 2016, up to 41.9 percent of workforce joining agricultural production. Among 26.2 million women workers, nearly 44 percent were working in farming. 

    In rural areas, women working in agriculture accounted for 63.4 percent compared to 57.5 percent in men.

    Thousands of people join Bulgarian rose festival in Hanoi

    Thousands of people on March 8 attended the opening of the second “Bulgarian Rose Festival with Friends 2018” at Hanoi’s WestLakeWaterPark.

    The event, which runs until March 11, is organised by the Embassy of Bulgaria in Vietnam and the Agricultural Genetics Institute (AGI) under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development to celebrate the National Day of Bulgaria (March 3), and the 68th founding anniversary of diplomatic relations between the two countries.

    On display are different varieties of rose, including thousands of rose trees from Bulgaria and many Vietnamese varieties which have been grown for dozens of years, especially a 200-year-old rose tree, along with some other kinds of flowers.

    Additionally, the festival attracted the participation of Vietnamese rose garden owners and rose trading companies to exhibit their products such as those from Xuan Quan garden in the northern province of Hung Yen, Rose Park Company, Grin House, Ho Tay (West Lake) flower valley and Thang Long bonsai group.

    Speaking at the opening ceremony, Vice Chairman of the Hanoi People’s Committee Ngo Van Quy affirmed that the “Bulgarian Rose Festival with Friends 2018” contributes to the enhancement of friendship between Vietnam and Bulgaria

    The event drew the participation of various Bulgarian artists such as famous singer Rado Petrov and Khoro Pudin folk dance group. 

    A number of cultural and art performances will be held during the festival, including traditional street festivals and customary performances of both Vietnam and Bulgaria, a parade of roses, music and food events.

    There will also be Queen of Rose beauty contest, a contest for the most beautiful rose, rose dancing, an atmosphere of nostalgia for Bulgaria for those who have worked, studied and lived in the country, street music and magic performances. Products from roses such as essential oil, perfume and tea will also be introduced at the event. 

    Bulgaria has been famous for rose festivals in the RoseValley for centuries. Since 1903, this traditional festival has been held on the first Sunday of June and attracted millions of tourists from all over the world. In 1971, it became a national festival.

    Photo contest on rural women, sustainable development launched

    The UN Women, with the support of the Australian and Canadian embassies in Vietnam, on March 8 launched a photo contest on Vietnamese rural women and sustainable development.

    The competition, which forms part of activities marking International Women’s Day, aims to recognise Vietnamese rural women’s contributions to national socio-economic development, and improve public awareness of their contributions. 

    Vietnamese citizens of all ages are encouraged to participate in the contest, with photo focusing on the themes: rural women and technology, rural women and sustainable agriculture, rural woman with natural disasters and climate change, rural women in business and cooperatives, rural women in leadership and decision making, and gender equality between rural men and women. 

    There will be one first prize worth 10 million VND (440 USD), a second prize worth 7 million VND (308 USD), a third prize worth 5 million VND (220 USD) and a prize worth 5 million VND selected by the public.

    Outstanding works are scheduled to be displayed on Vietnamese Women’s Day which falls on October 20.

    Entries should be submitted before June 8, 2018 via the email unwomen2010@gmail.com with the subject of “Photo contest on rural women and sustainable development.” Contestants can also send CDs/DVDs to the UN Women Vietnam at
    304 Kim Ma Street
    , Ba Dinh district, Hanoi

    A report of the General Statistics Office in 2016 showed that women constitute the main workforce in agricultural production, especially in rural areas where 63.4 percent of women working in the framing sector as compared to 57.5 percent of men.  

    However, rural women and girls are among those who are most likely to suffer from poverty and lack access to production resources such as land, technology and financial, educational, healthcare and other social welfare services. They are also hardest affected by climate change.

    Quang Tri: FSC forest management certification for 22,000 hectares of forest

    Over 22,000 hectares of forest in the central province of Quang Tri received the FSC forest management certification, which means the forest land has been managed in a way that preserves natural ecosystem while benefiting local livelihood and ensuring economic sustainability, as of March, 2018.

    Accounting for 40 percent of the nation’s total FSC forest area, Quang Tri province is taking the lead in FSC forest development. Over 20,200 hectares of FSC wood have been planted by Ben Hai, Duong 9 and Trieu Hai forest firms while nearly 1,900 hectares have been developed by 570 households in Vinh Linh and Hai Lang districts.

    The local agricultural sector is striving to have more than 42,000 hectares of forest certified as FSC wood.

    According to head of Vinh Linh district’s agriculture and rural development office Le Tien Dung, each hectare of FSC forest generates an income from 18-21 million VND, three times higher than normal economic forest.

    The local wood production industry has been thriving thanks to the high-quality wood from the FSC forests. The province’s wood-based products like Medium-density fibreboard (MDF), butt-joint board and wood pellet have gained foothold in fastidious markets like the US, the EU, Japan and the Republic of Korea.

    There are ten principles that any forest operation must adhere to before it can receive FSC forest management certification. Those cover a broad range of issues, from environmental impacts to community relations and workers’ rights.

    Quang Tri province is currently housing over 334,000 hectares of forest land, 171,000 hectares of which are zoned off for forest plantation.

    Vietnam an important partner in Japan’s Asia medical cooperation strategy

    Japan’s Asia Health and Human Well-Being Initiative regards Vietnam as a country with great potential for cooperation with Japan in terms of health care, said Chairman of the Vietnamese Association in Japan Tran Ngoc Phuc.

    “This is a basis for setting up a Vietnam committee on the initiative, Phuc said at a seminar on the initative in Tokyo on March 7.

    He also highlighted the role played by Vietnamese expats in Japan in implementing the Initiative, expressing his belief that the association will play an active role in giving consultations related to health care collaboration between Vietnam and Japan.

    Hosted by the Japanese Government, the seminar discussed ways to boost bilateral and regional cooperation in projects and business activities to deal with challenges related aging-population in Asia

    It also focused on how to achieve sustainable development goals set by the United Health Care (UHC) programme. 

    According to the Headquarters of Health care Policy under the Japanese Government, the initiative aims to build a healthy and dynamic society where people have effective life and good health, thus contributing to promoting economic growth. 

    Koji Fujimoto from the Headquarters of Healthcare Policy said the initiative targets future collaboration between Japan and other Asian countries, including Vietnam, in issues related to health care for the elderly. 

    Participants to the meeting shared experience in health care for the elderly in Asian countries such as Vietnam, China, the Philippines and Malaysia

    Originally started in May 2016 under the Headquarters for Health Policy, the initiative aims to support Asian aging societies by providing Japanese knowledge and expertise on nursing care and social welfare systems.

    It also creates links between governments, enterprises, and associations to develop new business opportunities. 

    Japan’s health care services providers for the elderly are interested in expanding their activities in Vietnam to meet the increasing demand in the market which is at the forefront of super-aging society.

    Activities mark International Women’s Day in Cambodia

    Many activities were held in Cambodia to mark the International Women’s Day on March 8, including celebrations hosted by the Vietnamese Embassy and the General Association of Vietnamese Cambodians (GAVC). 

    Addressing the ceremony at the Embassy, Vietnamese Ambassador to Cambodia Vu Quang Minh highlighted the significant outcomes of gender equality movements at home, and praised great contributions of Vietnamese women to their families and the nation. 

    At a meeting held by the GAVC, the association’s President Chau Van Chi applauded practical activities of the Vietnamese Women’s Association in Cambodia and overseas Vietnamese women in general who have joined hands with the association and relevant agencies to help those in difficult circumstances and organise exchanges with women’s associations in the homeland. 

    The association has helped its members develop household economy and contributed to preserving Vietnamese traditional culture in Cambodia and enhancing the solidarity and friendship between the two countries, he said. 

    On this occasion, the Cambodian Government also held a grand meeting on Koh Pich island with the participation of thousands of women. 

    Addressing the event, Prime Minister Hun Sen laid emphasis on enhancing women’s role in economic activities, which he said will help bring political power for women.

    He called on people to join hands in the fight against gender inequality.

    Portal on martyrs, graves, cemeteries to be announced in July

    Minister of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs Dao Ngoc Dung and Minister of Information and Communications Truong Minh Tuan co-chaired a meeting in Hanoi on March 8 to discuss a plan on building a portal on martyrs, their graves and cemeteries. 

    Speaking at the event, a representative from the Vietnam Post Corporation (VNPost) said the portal needs a software to collect and search data, supplement and verify data at the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs (MoLISA)’ Department of National Devotees.

    It will also provide and handle information from the public, give support in offering incenses and renewing graves during festivals and holidays. 

    As scheduled, units concerned will collect data and develop the software in March – April, refine the software in May-June, and launch the portal in July. In late 2018 – 2019, more data will be updated. 

    Several opinions suggested that the portal should use the same domain thongtinlietsi.gov.vn built by the MoLISA, the Ministry of National Defence and the Ministry of Information and Communications. 

    Minister Tuan asked the VNPost to study how to search data in the simplest and fastest way.

    Minister Dung requested the Department of National Devotees send notices to the Secretaries of the Party Committees and Chairmen of the People’s Committees of cities and provinces nationwide directing the Departments of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs to work closely with the VNPost on data collection.

    The portal should be announced before Day of Invalids and Martyrs (July 27), he said, noting the work as a tribute to those who rendered services to the nation.

    According to the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs (MoLISA), Vietnam has more than 9 million revolution contributors, including 1.2 million fallen soldiers, 127,000 Heroic Mothers, and 800,000 war invalids. 

    Over the past 5 years, over 75,000 sets of remains of fallen soldiers have been found and reburied. Of the total, 16,600 sets of remains were repatriated from Laos and 15,100 sets brought back from Cambodia.

    The Party and State’s preferential policies have benefited 95.75 percent of the revolution contributors. Caring for revolution contributors is an important and frequent political task of the Party and State.

    Blood donation festival opens in Binh Phuoc

    The Red Spring Festival 2018 took place in the southern province of Binh Phuoc on March 7, attracting over 800 young people and volunteers to donate blood. 

    Opening the festival, the organising board presented certificates of merit and gifts to five families, five collectives and 66 individuals in honour of their achievements in voluntary blood donation. 

    Nguyen Thi Thuan, Vice Chairwoman of the provincial Red Cross Society, said volunteers donate nearly 12,000 blood units each year, 70 percent of them are frequent donors. 

    At the event, Vice Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee Nguyen Tien Dung launched the blood donation campaign calling on walks of life to raise humanitarian sense and donate blood to save people. 

    On the morning the same day, the organising board collected 450 units of blood.

    Vietnamese students vie for Russian scholarships

    As many as 117 students at high schools across the country joined a physics Olympiad held in Hue city, the central province of Thua Thien-Hue to vie for chances to study in universities in Russia.

    Fifteen most outstanding contestants will receive scholarships to study in leading technology universities of Russia.

    The exam questions are made by Russian experts and translated into Vietnamese.

    This is the second time the competition has been held in Thua Thien-Hue. 

    In 2017, 170 students won full scholarships to study at Russia’s leading universities through Olympiads.

    Can Tho studies Israel’s post-harvest technology

    The Mekong Delta city of Can Tho wants Israel, with modern technologies in various fields, to transfer its agricultural technology to help the city reduce post-harvest losses, heard a seminar held in the city on March 7. 

    At the seminar, entitled “Post-harvest technology of Israel - Key to success”, Nguyen Phuong Lam, Vice President of the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI)’s branch in Can Tho, said that the Mekong Delta region harvests some 20 million tonnes of rice every year, which 20 million tonnes worth 3-3.5 trillion VND (132-154 million USD) is lost after harvest.

    Local agricultural products have decreased in both volume and value due to environmental pollution, exhaustion of underground water and infertile soil after a long time of cultivation, he said.

    Yaniv Tessel, head of the Economic and Trade Office of the Israeli Embassy in Vietnam, underlined that technology innovation has been defined as a key orientation of Israel, especially in agriculture as deserts cover two thirds of its land, resulting in water scarcity for farming.

    Drip irrigation, net houses as well as smart management of husbandry have been effectively applied in the country, he said.

    Dr. Ron Porat from Israel’s Volcani Centre said genetic modification technology and UV disinfection have been deployed in Israel’s agriculture to extend the shelf life of agricultural products.  

    Measures to ensure environmental hygiene to control the decomposition of farm produce, he said, adding that these technologies will be gradually transferred to Vietnam via bilateral cooperation agreements.

    Programme supports women in border, island areas

    The Vietnam Women’s Union and the Border Guard High Command launched a programme to improve the life of women in border and island areas in the northern mountainous province of Lang Son on March 7 in response to International Women’s Day (March 8).

    Addressing the event, Vice President Dang Thi Ngoc Thinh said the programme has significant meaning, which aims to bring the better life for women in the areas, contributing to the implementation of the sustainable development goals with no one being left behind.

    She called on departments and localities to continuously join hands to carry out the programme to improve the quality of life for poor women, especially those living in border areas.

    President of the Vietnam Women’s Union Nguyen Thi Thu Ha stressed the crucial strategic position of said border areas, and said there are 435 land border communes nationwide, including 267 disadvantages ones.

    The Party, National Assembly and Government have put forth specific policies for border areas; however, the proportion of poor households in the region remains high, she noted.

    Therefore, the programme in 2018-2020 period is considered an important activity to support underprivileged women across 90 border and island communes to escape from poverty, develop production, and build new rural areas, she added.

    On the occasion, Vice President Dang Thi Ngoc Thinh planted a commemorative tree at Dinh Lap town and presented 220 scholarships worth 286 million VND (12,584 USD) of Vietnam Children’s Fund to needy students in northern border communes.

    The Vietnam Women’s Union and the Vietnam Red Cross Society coordinated with the national humanitarian information portal to launch an SMS campaign from March 7 to May 6, 2018 to support livelihoods of poor women in border areas by texting “BC” to 1409. Each message is worth 20,000 VND. 

    The Border Guard High Command granted 684 million VND (30,096 USD) to assist women living under the poverty line in four communes in Lang Son province. Meanwhile, the Vietnam Women’s Union presented gifts worth nearly 800 million VND (32,000 USD) to poor women in Bac Xa commune.

    Da Nang promotes image via fireworks festival

    The central city of Da Nang aims to promote the Da Nang International Fireworks Festival (DIFF) to foreign friends and the city’s image as a leading destination of festivals and events in Asia, a municipal official said at a press conference on March 7.

    According to Director of the Da Nang Department of Culture and Sports Huynh Van Hung, the festival, themed “The Legend of Bridges”, will kick off on April 30 and end on June 30 with the participation of Vietnam and seven foreign teams. It is hoped to attract additional thousands of visitors to the city.

    Fireworks shows of the host and Poland will take place on the Han River on April 30, while those of France and the US are scheduled for May 26, Italy and China’s Hong Kong on June 2, and Sweden and Portugal on June 9.

    The two most excellent teams will display their fireworks to entertain the audience on June 30. All firework performances will be broadcast live.

    A string of activities are expected to be organised on the sidelines of the fireworks competition, including a food festival, a flash mob dance performance for students, and a street carnival show.

    Held for the first time in 2008, the event, formerly known as the Da Nang International Fireworks Competition, has emerged as an important cultural and tourism event, contributing to cultural exchanges and wooing many foreign tourists to Da Nang and Vietnam.

    From 2017, the annual event has become a two-month festival in order to lure more visitors to the city.

    Da Nang welcomed 6.6 million visitors last year, an increase of 19 percent against the previous year.

    Programme supports women in border, island areas

    The Vietnam Women’s Union and the Border Guard High Command launched a programme to improve the life of women in border and island areas in the northern mountainous province of Lang Son on March 7 in response to International Women’s Day (March 8).

    Addressing the event, Vice President Dang Thi Ngoc Thinh said the programme has significant meaning, which aims to bring the better life for women in the areas, contributing to the implementation of the sustainable development goals with no one being left behind.

    She called on departments and localities to continuously join hands to carry out the programme to improve the quality of life for poor women, especially those living in border areas.

    President of the Vietnam Women’s Union Nguyen Thi Thu Ha stressed the crucial strategic position of said border areas, and said there are 435 land border communes nationwide, including 267 disadvantages ones.

    The Party, National Assembly and Government have put forth specific policies for border areas; however, the proportion of poor households in the region remains high, she noted.

    Therefore, the programme in 2018-2020 period is considered an important activity to support underprivileged women across 90 border and island communes to escape from poverty, develop production, and build new rural areas, she added.

    On the occasion, Vice President Dang Thi Ngoc Thinh planted a commemorative tree at Dinh Lap town and presented 220 scholarships worth 286 million VND (12,584 USD) of Vietnam Children’s Fund to needy students in northern border communes.

    The Vietnam Women’s Union and the Vietnam Red Cross Society coordinated with the national humanitarian information portal to launch an SMS campaign from March 7 to May 6, 2018 to support livelihoods of poor women in border areas by texting “BC” to 1409. Each message is worth 20,000 VND. 

    The Border Guard High Command granted 684 million VND (30,096 USD) to assist women living under the poverty line in four communes in Lang Son province. Meanwhile, the Vietnam Women’s Union presented gifts worth nearly 800 million VND (32,000 USD) to poor women in Bac Xa commune.

    Japan – Vietnam table tennis friendly exchange in Ho Chi Minh City

    The JapanVietnam table tennis friendly exchange took place in Ho Chi Minh City on March 7 on the occasion of the 45th anniversary of bilateral diplomatic ties. 

    Speaking at the event, Deputy Director of the municipal Department of Culture and Sports Mai Ba Hung said the event contributes to fostering the friendship between the two nations and table tennis exchange between Ho Chi Minh City and Japan

    Japanese Deputy Consul General to Ho Chi Minh City Kazunori Hosoya said via exchanges and short-term training courses, Vietnamese and Japanese table tennis players and coaches will have chances to improve skills. 

    Japanese table tennis players also plan to exchange with audiences in the city.

    Tra Vinh: AMD project helps farmers adapt to climate change

    The “Adaptation in the Mekong Delta” (AMD) project will splash out 35 billion VND (1.54 million USD) from the climate change adaptation co-sponsoring fund (CCA) to support 1,400 households and 168 cooperative groups in Tra Vinh province in climate change adaptation in 2018.

    According to Huynh Nghia Tho, Director of the AMD Tra Vinh’s coordinating board, the CCA has operated between 2015 and 2019 with total non-refundable aid of 47 billion VND (2.07 million USD). The fund aims to encourage local farmers to apply rational production models to create sustainable income.

    Poor and near poor households as well as cooperative groups in the 30 targeted communes will be given non-refundable aid equivalent to 50 percent of total planned production and business costs. Accordingly, maximum financial support for each household is 30 million VND (1,320 USD) while that for each cooperative group is 750 million VND (33,000 USD).

    Priority has been given to clean and water-saving vegetable cultivation, rice farming under the system of rice intensification (SRI) and extensive aquaculture farming.

    The AMD project in Tra Vinh has been implemented in 30 communes of seven districts during 2014-2020, benefiting around 15,000 poor and near-poor households.

    Its total budget is 521 billion VND (22.92 million USD), including 233.5 billion VND from the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD)’s loans, 126.5 billion VND (5.57 million USD) from the IFAD’s non-refundable aid, 79.5 billion VND (3.49 million USD) from the Vietnamese Government and the remaining from the beneficiaries.

    The overall goal of the project is to develop sustainable livelihoods for rural residents in a changing climate and enhance the public’s capacity to adapt to climate change.

    Photo exhibition on Truong Sa to tour Hanoi, Hung Yen, Lam Dong

    A photo exhibition themed “Truong Sa Vitality – the Colour of Youth” will be held in Hanoi, Hung Yen and Lam Dong from March 9 to April 22.

    The exhibition is part of the “Truong Sa xanh” (Blue Truong Sa) held by the Ho Chi Minh Communist Youth Union and the Naval High Command.

    It aims to raise the awareness and responsibility of the community, especially youngsters, in protecting the national sea and island sovereignty as well as managing and using maritime resources in an effective and sustainable manner.

    This is also a chance to mobilise resources for the programme and raise funds for the application of science and technology in Truong Sa to ease difficulties for soldiers in DK1 platform, including producing water filter machines to turn seawater into drinkable water.

    More than 150 photos will be introduced during the exhibition, showing the daily life of islanders and soldiers in Truong Sa, especially DK1 platform, as well as voluntary activities of the youth in the areas.

    A number of maps affirming the national sovereignty over Truong Sa archipelago, along with numerous documents showing the country’s sovereignty over Hoang Sa archipelago will be also on display.

    Vietnam, Good Neighbors International work to improve cooperatives

    The Department of Cooperatives and Rural Development and non-governmental Good Neighbors International (GNI) signed a pact on March 7 to develop new cooperative models and farm produce value chains in Vietnam.

    The agreement will support the establishment and operation of agricultural cooperatives and development of farm produce value chains in areas where the GNI is running its income-generation projects.

    Between 2018 and 2020, the two sides are set to build a suitable action plan, carry out research and surveys on demand and consumption of agricultural products, promote the products, and help producers build trademarks for their goods.

    Ma Quang Trung, Director of the Department of Cooperatives and Rural Development, said only 38 percent of Vietnam’s 12,000 cooperatives are working effectively. Vietnamese cooperatives often have small scale, and their members earn low incomes and face various difficulties in selling their products.

    According to An Yong Sic, chief of GNI representative office in Vietnam, the organization has collaborated with more than 1,000 farmers in Thanh Hoa, Hoa Binh, and Tuyen Quang provinces, and with a numbers of shopping malls and convenience stores in Hanoi. Currently, many of the farmers’ goods are on shelves of Kmart, Lotte mart, and Vinmart stores in the capital city.

    Established in 1991, GNI implements community development projects globally to improve quality of life and access to education, as well as to provide aid in areas of civil unrest or natural disasters. Opened in 2005, GNI Vietnam has initiated many programs in underprivileged areas of the country, including sponsorship, case management, education and protection, health care, water-sanitation, income generation, raising awareness of local residents, and emergency relief.

    Work starts on new building of Hanoi University of Science

    Construction of the first building serving teaching and research activities of the Hanoi University of Science (HUS) under the VietnamNationalUniversity, Hanoi (VNU) started on March 7 in Hoa Lac urban area.

    The building, named HT1, is located in Zone 4 of the HUS construction project, is part of another project on building new VNU headquarters in Hoa Lac.

    The HT1 construction is the first activity that the VNU has deployed since the university took over the VNU building project in Hoa Lac from the Ministry of Construction in January 2018.

    The five-storey building, dedicated to the Faculty of Mathematics, Mechanics and Informatics, has a total ground area of 14,330 sq.m. It is built at a total cost of 113.9 billion VND (5 million USD) and scheduled to be finished in 2019.

    The HUS construction project, approved by the Construction Ministry in December 2014, is set to serve the training of 12,800 university students and 2,000 high school students. It covers 65.1ha of land and has total investment capital of 3.1 trillion VND (136.5 million USD). It consists of nine zones, from Zone 1 to Zone 9, divided according to their functions.

    VNU Rector Nguyen Kim Son said the VNU is also making preparations to start the building of other facilities this year such as those of the University of Engineering and Technology, the InternationalSchool, and the Tran Nhan Tong Institute.

    Covering more than 1,000ha of land, the VNU project in Hoa Lac comprises 21 sub-projects and is designed as a high-quality university city. Some facilities of the project have been put into use.

    Rural women feed the country, lack support

    Việt Nam has achieved remarkable economic growth thanks in part to the significant contribution of the agriculture sector over the past 30 years. Despite the drastic changes, however, rural women still face numerous difficulties and challenges.

    Experts agreed on that point at a policy event on “Empowering Rural Women for Việt Nam’s Sustainable Development” held in Hà Nội on Thursday.

    The event was organised in commemoration of International Women’s Day by the United Nations in Việt Nam together with Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs (MOLISA) and the Việt Nam National Committee for the Advancement of Women.

    According to the General Statistics Office’s 2016 report, although agriculture accounted for only 16.3 per cent of Việt Nam’s GDP, 41.9 per cent of the labour force engaged in the agricultural production. There are 26.2 million female labourers in the country, of which 44 per cent are engaged in agriculture. 

    But, the report said, rural women often work at low-quality, unstable jobs with little access to social protection services. Although vocational training for rural women has been prioritised, such trainings are usually short-term. As such, women still face difficulties finding a decent job after the trainings. Moreover, their access to resources such as land, technology and financial services is also very restricted.

    Besides, rural women are severely affected by climate change. However, their contributions to and experience in responding to climate change and natural disasters have not been adequately appreciated.

    Doãn Mậu Diệp, deputy minister of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs, said, "Today’s discussion is a good opportunity to promote the role and contribution of women and girls in rural areas, to review the successes as well as the challenges in achieving gender equality towards the advancement of women, and to find solutions to enhancing the empowerment of rural women and girls in the coming time”.

    Kamal Malhotra, United Nations Resident Coordinator to Việt Nam said, “The agenda for sustainable development aims to build a future that leaves no one behind.”

    “Only if we eliminate structural barriers and discriminations in law and practices to ensure equal opportunities and results for women, can we change the lives of rural women and girls,” he said.

    Participants gave recommendations and suggestions on empowering rural women in Việt Nam, including requiring both targeted action and mainstreaming gender perspectives into all efforts in national planning, decision making, policy formulation and implementation; promoting an enabling environment for rural women and girls and their organisations to fully and actively participate in the decisions, policies and institutions that affect their livelihoods; building the resilience of rural women and girls to climate change and environmental degradation; and strengthening the capacity of national statistical offices and other relevant institutions to collect, analyse and disseminate sex- and age-disaggregated data and produce gender statistics to support policies and action for rural women and girls. 

    Elected officials learn about IECD

    An introductory session for elected officials on Integrated Early Childhood Development (IECD) was held on Tuesday by the National Assembly’s Committee for Culture, Education, Youth and Children, in partnership with the Ministry of Labour Invalids and Social Affairs (MOLISA) and UNICEF.

    The session aimed to increase awareness among National Assembly (NA) members on the importance of IECD and obtain their commitment to promote IECD in the work of elected bodies.

    “Having the IECD programme in place is important. Equally important is to ensure it is put into operation on the ground. Effective implementation of IECD will require the strong attention and engagement of elected officials in reinforcing their oversight and ensuring the programme is fully financed, well-coordinated and scaled up at a national level,” said Ngô Thị Minh, Deputy Chairwoman of the NA’s Committee for Culture, Education, Youth and Children.

    IECD refers to a comprehensive care and development approach for children from birth to eight years of age. It enables families to access multiple services for their young children and themselves in a cohesive way.

    The integration of the services seeks to maximise the impact of different early childhood disciplines with a clear focus on the child, within the context of their family and community.

    In Việt Nam, major gaps remain in supporting the cognitive and emotional development of girls and boys, especially for those under eight years of age. Close to 25 per cent of children under five years of age suffer from stunted emotional and educational growth.

    Approximately 72 per cent of preschool age children (aged from three to five) and 9.4 per cent of kindergarten age children (aged under three) do not attend any formal pre-learning programme.

    Every year, about 2,000 children experience violence and abuse; 170,000 children are without parental care; and many are injured, including drowning, one of the leading cause of death in children.

    The importance of investing in early childhood development has been increasingly recognised by Việt Nam, with the passage of Party Resolutions regarding the care, protection, education and health and nutrition of children, the approval of the Law on Children in 2016, which is the primary piece of legislation for the protection, care and education for children including infants, and the passage of the Law on Health Insurance offering free healthcare for children under six years of age.

    “The National Assembly of Việt Nam has a vital role in promoting the nationwide implementation of Integrated Early Childhood Development, bringing together different agencies that play a critical role in the life of a child. Failing to have a strong commitment to invest in and implement IECD would come at a great cost with poor learning, slow physical growth, lower wages, higher unemployment, and increased dependence on public assistance that weigh down economic and social progress for everyone”, said Yoshimi Nishino, Acting Deputy Representative of UNICEF Việt Nam.

    Đà Nẵng launches energy planning project

    The central city Đà Nẵng launched the Calculator Việt Nam 2050 project in energy management with technical and financial assistance by the United Kingdom in a ceremony yesterday.

    The project will help support the city as it build up strategic policy and plans for sustainable energy management that aims to reduce Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions to reach a green growth target.

    The project will help local engineers calculate energy consumption with a data system and calculation formula including Excel and Webtool versions.

    Đà Nẵng was selected as the first city in Việt Nam to implement the pilot project in energy management.

    The city plans to inaugurate its ‘green city’ status by 2025.

    Businesses in Đà Nẵng have been called on to develop environmentally friendly technologies to help reduce GHG emissions by five per cent by 2020.

    According to a survey of 20 businesses in Liên Chiểu Industrial Zone in Đà Nẵng, energy-based production activities including that of cement, rubber and steel, emitted 27,800 tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2) in 2013, accounting for 78 per cent of GHG emissions at the IZ.

    The city aims to reduce emissions to 25,300 tonnes by 2020, and power consumption at IZs will be limited to 45.2 million KW/h by 2020.

    In 2012, Đà Nẵng was one of 20 Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation (APEC) cities chosen to carry out a Low-Carbon Model Town Project involving smart grids and renewable power generation.

    The city had already cut 12,000 tonnes of carbon emissions through a pilot project in the 2008-11 period.

    HCMCityPaediatricsHospital gets nuclear medicine unit

    The PaediatricsHospital in HCMCity’s Bình Chánh District has set up the first nuclear medicine unit for treating children in the south.

    On March 6 and 7 doctors at the hospital performed nuclear medicine imaging on 15 child patients with renal diseases like hydronephrosis, which is the swelling of a kidney due to a build-up of urine and happens when the urine cannot move from the kidney to the bladder because of a blockage or obstruction, and diseases related to bones.

    They performed it with assistance from ChợRẫyHospital doctors and Taiwanese experts.

    The technique uses radiopharmaceuticals known as radioactive tracers to examine the function and structure of organs and tissue more accurately than traditional imaging methods like CT Scan, MRI, and X-ray.

    According to RadiologyInfo.org of the Radiological Society of North America, radioactive tracers are typically injected into the bloodstream, inhaled or swallowed. They travel to the area being examined and give off energy in the form of gamma rays, which are detected by a special camera and a computer to create images of the inside of the body.

    According to the hospital’s Facebook page, nuclear medicine is used mostly for diagnosis of thyroid cancer and evaluation of kidney functions.

    The hospital will use it for diagnosis of cardiovascular, digestive, and nervous ailments and others.

    Dr Nguyễn Xuân Cảnh, the consultant at the hospital’s nuclear medicine unit, said paediatrics hospitals in the city take an average of 10 patients daily to ChợRẫyHospital for nuclear medicine.

    But since March 6 its patients are no longer taken to Chợ Rẫy, he said.

    In the past there were worries about using radioactive medicine on children, but research showed its radioactive dose is lower than that of X-rays.

    In Việt Nam, many central-level hospitals such as Chợ Rẫy, Bạch Mai in Hà Nội and others have developed nuclear medicine units with modern equipment.

    Deputy PM calls for tightening control of unauthorised vehicles

    Deputy Prime Minister Trương Hòa Bình has asked agencies to tighten regulations on traffic order and safety to keep unauthorised vehicles off the roads.

    He made the request following a serious incident which left one person dead and 19 others were injured.

    The accident occurred on March 1 after a 45-seater coach, travelling to Kon Tum from the central coastal province of QuảngNam, overturned and plunged into an abyss alongside the Lò Xo Pass in the Central Highlands province of Kom Tum’s Đắk Glei District.

    The dead victim was identified as the coach driver, Vũ Văn Huy, 34, from Hà Nam Province.

    Initial investigations revealed that a problem with the vehicle’s gears may have caused the accident.

    According to Nguyễn Hữu Hùng, director of KonTumProvince’s Transport Department, the vehicle was not authorised to operate on the route as the vehicle’s global positioning systems were not working. 

    The Deputy PM, who is also chairman of the National Traffic Safety Committe, praised the Traffic Safety Committee of Kon Tum Province, Dak Glei District, locals and relevant forces who participated in the rescue efforts to reduce damage to people and property.

    He ordered the People’s Committee of Kon Tum and Hà Nam provinces to direct its police force to promptly investigate the accident.

    The responsibility of the vehicle owners should be clarified and due punishment should be imposed, Bình said.

    The Deputy PM asked the Ministry of Transport to study the supplementary design standards and a more sustainable structure for installation at the curves with steep drops to prevent serious accidents.

    The ministry was also assigned to review the contents of the draft decree on business and conditions of automobile transportation of businesses to ensure traffic safety and order. It should be submitted to the Prime Minister this month. 

    Flames engulf power plant in Trà Vinh

    Fire broke out at a thermal power plant in the southern province of Trà Vinh on Wednesday morning. There was no immediate report of casualties or injuries in the blaze.

    The fire reportedly started at around 10.30am when workers were welding at the under-construction flue-gas desulfurisation (FGD) area of the Duyên Hải 3 coal-fired power plant in DuyênHảiTownship.

    The panic-stricken workers tried to escape the scene as firefighters tried to contain the blaze. They also ensured no persons were trapped inside.

    The flames were put out around noon.

    The power plant management board on Wednesday afternoon released an official notice on the fire, confirming there was no immediate report of casualties or injuries in the incident.

    It also said that all equipment at the construction site was insured.

    Police arrest drug dealer after 6-year chase

    A drug dealer of a cocaine ring, who underwent plastic surgery for six years to escape the police, has been arrested.

    Đỗ Thành Nam, 30, is believed to be the main suspect in a huge drug smuggling case, which has been investigated by Quảng Ninh police since 2012, online newspaper zing.vn reported.

    This is the largest ring in the history of drug crimes, led by a woman named Nguyễn Bích Ngọc.

    So far, the investigation agency has prosecuted 147 defendants and seized 112 cakes of heroin, 115,000 synthetic drugs and more than VNĐ20 billion (US$888,900).

    Upon investigation, police identified Ngọc and her ring members transporting more than 32,000 cakes of heroin, 500,000 tablets of synthetic drugs and 40kg of crystal methaphetamine.

    Ngọc and other members of the ring were arrested, but Nam managed to flee. Police in Quảng Ninh province has been on his trail since the end of 2012.

    During his hiding, Nam headed an organisation to transport drugs from the northern province of Sơn La to Hà Nội and then to CaoBằngProvince.

    In September 2017, Hà Nội police busted this organisation. They arrested three members and seized 15 cakes of heroin, a gun and a grenade.

    Nam, however, managed to escape again, so there was a second special arrest warrant for drug trafficking issued against him.

    To avoid being apprehended by the police, Nam changed his name. He took on different names and forged personal identification documents. He even underwent numerous plastic surgeries to avoid arrest.

    According to police, Nam was arrested while hiding in a hostel in HCMCity.

    In the past six years, he had cut off all contact with the outside world. Food, or any other information, was exchanged through his girlfriend’s driver, a police official said.

    Police are further investigating the case.

    2 policemen injured in car chase

    Police in the southern BìnhDươngProvince arrested two persons on Wednesday during a car chase, which left two policemen seriously injured.

    The incident occurred on Wednesday morning when a traffic patrol team from the provincial traffic police office was patrolling on Mỹ Phước -
    Tân Vạn Street
    . They noticed suspicious signs in an Innova car and ordered the driver to stop.

    As the driver ignored the request and drove away, the patrol officers used two special motorbikes to chase the car.

    However, a Ford suddenly crashed into the motorbikes from behind, seriously injuring the two officers who were then transported to the hospital for treatment.

    Later, more than 30 policemen and special vehicles were dispatched to pursue the drivers.

    The chase lasted for nearly 20km before the driver of the Innova was stopped.

    The Ford’s driver tried to escape towards Đồng NaiProvince. But the car hit a street lamp post when it arrived at an area near Tân Bình Ward, adjacent to Đồng NaiProvince.

    The two drivers have been taken into custody.

    Thousands of packets of smuggled cigarettes were found inside the cars.

    Bình Dương Police said they were investigating the case.

    Xone radio offers content on new mobile app

    Việt Nam’s number one national radio channel, Xone, has launched its first ever mobile app.

    The app features high-end, live-streamed, native radio content, exclusive Xone video content and the latest information on what’s happening in the music and entertainment scene in Việt Nam.

    Xone users can listen to their favourite music and also watch and engage with their favourite Xone Radio MCs and guests.

    “The way we’re listening to music in Việt Nam is changing, and Xone Radio is changing with it,” Andrew Homan, CEO of Xone Radio, said.

    “We’re excited about our new app as it makes it even easier to access your favourite content wherever you are. We’ve seen significant growth in listeners to the station for several years, and with a dedicated mobile app, we expect that to increase even faster.”

    Xone FM can now be heard on the new frequencies of 96 FM in Hà Nội and 87.7 in HCMCity, as well as on its website, xonefm.com.

    Since beginning in 2006 as the country’s first commercial station, Xone Radio has become one of Việt Nam’s leading content creators.

    Jutatip Manneephan wins first stage of Biwase Cup

    Jutatip Manneephan won the first stage of the Bình Dương international women’s cycling tournament Biwase Cup yesterday.

    Manneephan, who won the gold medal in the Asian Games in 2014 in the road race category, finished first in the 66km stage around ThủDầuMộtCity.

    The Thai player temporarily took the yellow jersey and green jersey award.

    The event drew 138 cyclists from nine foreign clubs and nine local crews. They will cover 841km, passing through Đồng Nai, Lâm Đồng, Khánh Hòa, Bà Rịa-Vũng Tàu, Bình Dương and other cities and provinces. Today, cyclists will compete in the second stage from Đồng Nai to Lâm Đồng, a trip of 93km.

    HCMCity open futsal tournament for women starts

    The HCM City Open Women’s Futsal tournament, LS Cup 2018, has started at Thái Sơn Nam Gymnasium in HCMCity.

    The tournament, which is the leading event for Vietnamese female players, on Wednesday drew the participation of six teams including Hà Nội, Phong Phú Hà Nam, TNG Thái Nguyên and
    Sơn La.

    Teams are competing in a round robin format. The top two will enter the final match.

    The winner will walk away with the bonus of VNĐ20 million (US$870).

    The event’s best players will be selected to take part in the upcoming Asian Women’s Futsal Championship.

    On the opening day, defending champions District 8 easily beat District 1 3-1. Phong Phú Hà Nam also crushed Sơn La with the same score of 3-1. Thái Nguyên tied with Hà Nội 3-3.

    HAGL beat Đồng Nai at U19 national event

    Hoàng Anh Gia Lai (HAGL) defeated Đồng Nai 2-1 in the Group B of final round of the National U19 Football Tournament at Tự Do Stadium in HuếCity on Wednesday.

    With good physical strength and skills, Đồng Nai blocked nearly all attacks of HAGL, who are considered the candidate for the event’s trophy.

    Although HAGL controlled the, they were powerless to find the way to the box of Đồng Nai.

    After the break, coach Guillaume Graechen of HAGL had several substitutes in his line up. This improved HAGL’s play.

    In the 50th minute, from a corner kick, midfielder Hồ Minh Quyền put his header past the goal keeper of Đồng Nai and opened the score for HAGL.

    Quyền’s goal inspired HAGL to play more aggressively. In the 57th minute, Đồng Nai’s goalkeeper made an error with a player of HAGL in the penalty area. In the 11m spot, Bảo Toàn succeeded in raising the score to 2-0 for HAGL.

    Đồng Nai made every effort to seek goals and in the 86th minute, Lý Hùng Thành narrowed the gap to 1-2.

    In another match, Sông Lam Nghệ An lost to Viettel 2-3.

    The event, which has the participation of eight teams, will conclude on March 15.

    Hà Nội beat HCMCity at U19 event

    Defending champions Hà Nội defeated HCMCity 8-1 in the opening match of Group A in the final round of the National U19 Football Tournament.

    The match was held at Tự Do Stadium in HuếCity on Tuesday.

    Hà Nội proved their power with a goal by Nguyễn Hữu Tuấn in the third minute.

    Five minutes later, the capital team doubled their score, thanks to Lê Văn Xuân. Xuân scored his goal following a confused situation ahead of the box of HCMCity.

    Before the end of the first half, Xuân completed his hat-trick with two more goals in the 21st and 40th minute to help his team take a 4-0 lead.

    After the break, Hà Nội continued to dominate the game and there was no improvement in the performance of HCMCity.

    In the 53rd minute, Nguyễn Văn Minh scored the fifth goal for Hà Nội. A little more than 10 minutes later, Xuân scored his fourth goal in the match.

    In the 87th minute, the score was 8-0 in favour of Hà Nội. HCMCity’s efforts to narrow the gap were repaid by a goal from Nguyễn Hữu Thường in the extra time of the second half.

    In another match, hosts Thừa Thiên Huế lost to Đồng Tháp 0-2.

    Hà Nội will face Đồng Tháp on Thursday, while HCMCity will play against Thừa Thiên Huế.

    Seven teams are competing in the final round alongside Thừa Thiên Huế. The tournament will conclude on March 15.

    After this tournament, the best players will be selected for the Việt Nam U19 team to compete in the International U19 Football Tournament, which will be held in PleikuCity in the Central Highlands province of Gia Lai from March 21-31.

    VNN

    0 0
  • 03/10/18--18:00: Article 1
  • The ‘Chinese quarters’ in central coastal provinces


    More and more Chinese have been flocking to coastal provinces and cities in the central region, from Da Nang City to Khanh Hoa province, where they buy land, build hotels, and run restaurants. 


    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, Da Nang, FDI, Chinese businessmen 

    Da Nang City 

    Travelers to the sea city of Nha Trang in Khanh Hoa can see shop signboards with Chinese words in many areas.

    Khanh Hoa provincial authorities have been alerted about the massive arrival of Chinese who buy land, build houses, reside and set up businesses.

    The director of the provincial planning and investment department, Tran Hoa Nam, said his department is checking 173 Vietnamese businesses which have had changes in shareholders’ structure as the owners have transferred shares to foreigners. 

    In Ngu Hanh Son district in Da Nang City, a Chinese quarter has been taking shape in the area of Nuoc Man airport. Many restaurants and hotels run by Chinese have arisen with signboards in Chinese. 

    The department has requested the business registration division to find out how many businesses have sold shares to Chinese.

    In Ngu Hanh Son district in Da Nang City, a Chinese quarter has been taking shape in the area of Nuoc Man airport. Many restaurants and hotels run by Chinese have arisen with signboards in Chinese.

    Nguyen Hong, a resident in Ngu Hanh Son district, confirmed that more Chinese have arrived and settled down there. They open restaurants and hotels under the names of Vietnamese and receive only Chinese travelers.

    A local official in Khe My ward in Ngu Hanh Son district, who asked to be anonymous, said there are tens of households in the locality leasing houses to Chinese and many Chinese have married Vietnamese women.

    State agencies have discovered that many land plots in coastal areas have been bought recently. A report from Ngu Hanh Son district authorities showed that institutions and individuals have received land-use rights for 246 land plots in the Nuoc Man Airport area.

    Dien Dan Doanh Nghiep found that though the registered buyers were Vietnamese, the real owners of the land plots were Chinese.

    The massive collection of land plots in coastal areas by the Chinese has raised concerns.

    Former deputy director of Da Nang’s Department of Natural Resources and the Environment, Nguyen Dieu, said that one Chinese bought a land plot worth VND5 billion in a Vietnamese person’s name.

    After that, the Chinese teamed up with the Vietnamese person to set up a joint stock company with charter capital of VND50 billion, in which the Chinese contributed VND40 billion.

    Holding the controlling stake, the Chinese have the right to make decisions about the company’s business, including the use of the land plot. This is a legal loophole that needs to be fixed, experts have said. 


     Thanh Mai, VNN

    0 0
  • 03/10/18--18:18: Article 0
  • BUSINESS IN BRIEF 10/3


    Strong growth in Vietnam-Australia trade


     

    Rural areas boast rapid growth in FMCG, Central bank issued bills valued at over $4 billion, MARD helps small farmers find vendors, SHB increases charter capital to over $528.6 million 

    Australia ranked 14th among more than 200 Vietnam’s trade partners with the total value of imports and exports being around US$6.45 billion for 2017, a year-on-year rise of 22.7%, according to the General Department of Vietnam Customs.

    Last year, Vietnam’s exports to Australia rose 16.1% to US$3.28 billion (1.5% of the country’s total export value) while imports grew to US$3.17 billion (up 30.5% and 1.5% of the country’s total imports).

    Based on the latest statistics provided by Vietnam Customs,  strong growth was also seen in bilateral trade  climbing  to US$595 million in the first month of this year, 58.9% higher than last January with the Southeast Asian nation’s exports to Australia standing at US$305 million (up 42.8%) and imports at US$290 million (up 80.2%).

    Australia has been among the top 20 of 200 countries having the highest trade value with Vietnam over recent years.  Vietnam has always run a trade surplus with the Oceanic country, however, a downward trend is appearing. The trade surplus dropped from US$1.84 billion in 2014 to US$816 million in 2015, falling to US$403 million in 2016 and further, to just US$116 million in 2017, the lowest level for the past five years.

    Vietnam’s major exports to the largest market in Oceania have been primarily electronics and equipment, footwear, garments, and seafood over recent years. Exports of telephones, electronics, and components made up nearly 31% of the country’s total exports to Australia at US$1.02 billion last year. Other major exports to Australia included crude oil (US$262 million), footwear (US$225 million), seafood (US$185 million), machines, equipment and tools (US$175 million), and garments (US$173 million).

    In terms of imports, Vietnam mainly bought metals (US$628 million), coal (US$470 million), wheat (US$424 million), and cotton (US$296 million) last year.

    According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), Australia’s service exports to Vietnam hit AUD1.1167 billion in 2014, with education service exports accounting for 87%. In the opposite direction, Australia imported AUD843 million worth of services from Vietnam with tourism services constituting 68%.

    Tourism boosts jobs in Danang

    The tourism sector has generated over 140.000 jobs in the central city of Danang according to local officials.

    Truong Quang Nghia, the party secretary of Danang City, held a review meeting with the Department of Tourism about the sector's operation in 2017 and new goals for 2018 on March 7.

    Chairman of Danang Tourism Associations Huynh Tan Vinh said that the city had experienced extraordinary development since 2008 when the city received 1.2 million visitors. In 2017, it received 6.6 million visitors and earned nearly VND20trn (USD878.75m). Over 2.3 million international and 4.3 million domestic tourists visited Danang last year, an increase of 39% and 11.2% compared to 2016.    

    Tourism generated over 140,000 jobs last year, accounting for 25% of the total jobs. Danang has set goals to welcome 2.7 million international and 4.77 million tourists in 2018, earning VND22.50trn (USD988.59m) from tourism.

    However, Vinh also raised concerns about the changing cityscape. About 10 years ago, Han River could be seen by casual travellers on the nearby roads but many constructions have marred the scenery. Despite the increasing number of visitors, many of them didn't want to return the second time.

    "Why do people want to visit Danang? I think it's for the beauty of Han River and Son Tra Peninsula. Big cities like New York and Paris have much more extravagant buildings," he said.

    There are opinions that Danang lacks capable personnel and funding for tourism and it should take a different promotion path such as inviting Roger Federer or Rafael Nadal to play a match in Danang. Huynh Tan Vinh said that they needed to attract more tourists from different markets such as Australia and India instead of depending on South Korea and China.

    However, Nghia said the surge of visitors from South Korea and China was an opportunity that Danang must take. "They're very easy going and willing to spend," he said. "Danang needs to attract tourists from different markets for stable business."

    Nghia proposed limiting the use of motorbikes and wanted to encourage the citizens to walk more. He said that it was not too difficult to increase public transport but it was not easy to start an exercise movement.

    Rural areas boast rapid growth in FMCG

    Despite facing wide fluctuations, the fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) market in rural areas achieved a growth rate of 6.1% last year compared to the 4% level recorded in urban areas.

    According to Nielsen Vietnam, the FMCG market grew by 5.4% last year, higher than the previous year’s 4.9% growth in spite of a decline in the last quarter. The final quarter also saw a 0.5% fall in growth rate when compared to the third quarter of 2017. 

    The consumption of essential goods in the market, including drinking water, food, milk, family and personal care products experienced a drop off to the end of the year, with only the beverage sector rising by 3.2%, Nielsen Vietnam reports.

    Nguyen Anh Dung, director of Nielsen Retail Measurement Services, says the circulation of goods via traditional commercial channels and retail shops in both rural and urban areas showed a sharp plummet toward the end of last year due to the impact of several devastating storms on the country, which caused huge property and human losses.

    Mr Dung has identified another cause for the decline, as the traditional Lunar New Year (Tet) came later than the previous year, falling in mid-February, instead of early January.

    Nielsen highlights FMCG growth in rural areas as a new source of development for producers. However, expansion to such areas also presents challenges for businesses who have to bear the cost of delivering products to these areas. This is a difficulty not only for Vietnam but all Asian countries.

    Some rural areas have greater prospects than others, therefore, businesses need to carefully define potential areas to best utilize investment sources. To achieve success in more rural areas, producers must understand the customer base, notes Nielsen Vietnam.

    Mr Dung says rural customers are demanding more   premier quality services and products as they seek products associated with an urban lifestyle thanks to the burgeoning development of advanced technology and infrastructure.

    Foreign car makers try to navigate new law in Vietnam after two-month hiatus

    Foreign car makers are looking at ways to obtain the documentation required by a new law in Vietnam to reopen automotive exports to the country.

    Two months after Vietnam put in place a rule requiring stringent inspections of imported vehicles, around 2,000 Honda Motor passenger cars are slated to arrive in Vietnam from Thailand early this week, likely the first batch of foreign-made autos to undergo the new checks, according to Nikkei Asian Review.

    Honda has obtained quality certification from Thai authorities, and the Vietnamese government has apparently accepted the documents.

    The Indonesian government is also planning to change the vehicle type approval (VTA) certificates it issues in an effort to reopen automotive exports to Vietnam.

    "With the VTA adjustment, Indonesian automotive exports are expected to return to the country," the Jakarta Post quoted Indonesian Trade Ministry international trade director general, Oke Nuwan, as saying.

    “The government will convey the change in the VTA certificate to the Vietnamese government to get an immediate response. Hopefully, there will soon be automotive exports to Vietnam,” said Oke.

    A new decree issued by Vietnam designed to protect its own developing automotive industry forced Indonesia to stop exports of completely built-up (CBU) vehicles to the country this month, according to the Jakarta Post.

    The decree stipulates that traders are only permitted to import automobiles if they can provide valid vehicle registration certificates issued by authorities from the countries of origin.

    Original quality control certificates for each vehicle and letters of authorization regarding recalls of defective vehicles from the manufacturers are also required, along with copies of quality assurance certificates provided by the countries of origin.

    Toru Kinoshita, chairman of the Vietnam Automobile Manufacturers Association (VAMA) and CEO of Toyota Vietnam, said the decree does not comply with international rules, putting the brakes on car imports in Vietnam.

    The Ministry of Industry and Trade claims the regulation will protect consumers and create fair competition between local auto assemblers and CBU importers.

    Vietnam imported just 30 cars with less than 9 seats in the first two months of 2018, falling from 5,430 units during the same period last year.

    In total, the country imported 536 completely built units (CBUs) between January and February, according to the General Department of Vietnam Customs.

    Central bank issued bills valued at over $4 billion     

    The State Bank of Viet Nam (SBV) has issued record high bills worth some VND92.1 trillion (US$4.05 billion) until Monday to withdraw money from the banking system.

    Reports from VP Bank Securities Company showed that last week alone, the SBV made a net withdrawal of VND50.5 trillion through the open market operation with the issue of bills with terms of 14 and 28 days, at interest rates of 0.6 and 0.9 per cent per year, respectively.

    Despite the withdrawal, the interest rate of Vietnamese dong loans in the inter-bank market still declined sharply. The rate on Monday dropped by 0.02–0.05 percentage points for most terms against the previous week.

    Specifically, the overnight rate on Monday fell sharply to 1.16 per cent against more than 4 per cent before Tet (Lunar New Year). The rates for one-week, two-week and one-month loans also reduced to 1.34, 1.66 and 2.40 per cent, respectively. 

    MARD helps small farmers find vendors     

    The Department of Cooperatives and Rural Development (DCRD) under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) and non-government organisation Good Neighbors International (GNI) signed a cooperation agreement on Wednesay, hoping to introduce new farming methods and the agricultural products value chain to remote areas.

    A development assistance programme is underway to support the establishment, organisation and operation of new agricultural cooperatives and agro-food value chains in areas supported by the GNI.

    Key beneficiaries include poor people in mountainous and ethnic minority areas.

    The assistance programme’s first phase during the 2018-2020 period includes jointly developed new cooperatives, aiming at efficient production and income generation.

    The ultimate goal is forming an appropriate link between agricultural production, distribution and marketing towards sustainable agri-food chains.

    An Yong Sic, Chief Representative of GNI in Viet Nam, said that within their supporting programme, GNI has cooperated with over 1,000 farmers in three provinces of Thanh Hoa, Hoa Binh and Tuyen Quang.

    GNI cooperates with a number of supermarkets and convenience stores in Ha Noi to assist these farmers in finding a distributor. So far, a number of their products have been sold at Kmart, Lotte Mart and Vinmart.

    GNI and the DCRD will conduct surveys and research on current agricultural products consumption demand, so they can interpret suitable market linkages between new cooperative groups and implement communication activities to support product sustainability.

    Ma Quang Trung, DCRD’s Director General, said at the signing that though Viet Nam had about 12,000 cooperatives as of 2017, only about 38 per cent of them have reported any positive result.

    Generally, cooperative members’ income is still low, since they are mostly small and very small groups struggling to get their products to the market.

    In the coming years, GNI will continue their support programmes and connect farmers with agricultural products distributors, as well as maintain up to 12 existing revolving funds for cooperatives, worth VND12.4 billion (US$550,000) in total. 

    VIB receives 2 international digital banking awards     

    Vietnam International Bank (VIB) won two international digital banking awards at a ceremony in Hong Kong on Thursday.

    VIB was named “Digital bank of the year 2017”, while its mobile banking app, MyVIB, won the “Best retail mobile banking experience 2017” award.

    Organised by The Asset magazine, the awards recognised VIB’s efforts and performance in pioneering the development of digital banking in Viet Nam, the bank said in its statement.

    VIB is the first local bank that has enabled customers to open bank accounts online. It is also among the pioneers to boost investment in digital marketing, which is considered key to connect with customers in the digital era.

    VIB is well-known as one of the financial institutions that recognise the importance of fintechs in expanding capacity to provide customers with innovative and effective services. The mobile banking app, MyVIB, is an example of VIB’s co-operation with fintechs, providing unique and outstanding features, such as transferring money in real-time via social networks or buying air tickets easily and quickly.

    Tran Nhat Minh, Deputy Chief Executive Officer cum Head of VIB’s Business Technology Service, said the bank attracted a large number of customers last year, thanks to the launch of a new service which enabled them to open bank accounts online.

    These customers accounted for 20 per cent of the bank’s new customers in 2017, Minh said.

    During the year, the number of customers who registered for VIB’s digital services also increased by 50 per cent year-on-year, while the number of customers who downloaded MyVIB was up by 104 per cent. The number of customers who regularly used the app increased by 87 per cent year-on-year.

    “With the right and serious investment in digital banking in particular and banking services and products in general, we believe VIB will maintain its position as one of the most innovative and customer-centric banks in Viet Nam,” Minh said.

    The two awards won by VIB are important in “The Asset Triple A Digital Awards 2017” of The Asset. The awards were assessed by a panel of experts in the region and were aimed at honouring financial institutions and technology firms with excellence in development and application of digital technologies in the Asia Pacific region, including Japan and Australia.

    The Asset’s awards are prestigious qualifications with a strict and transparent assessment process and are granted to banks and relevant institutions with outstanding achievements and contributions to the finance and banking sector throughout the year.

    VIB is the first local bank to be awarded by The Asset in two consecutive years. 

    SHB increases charter capital to over $528.6 million     

    The Saigon-Hanoi Bank (SHB) successfully increased charter capital to over VND12 trillion (US$528.6 million).

    According to the State Securities Commission, it received SHB’s announcement about the bank’s successful issue of more than 83.92 million shares to pay dividends, raising the charter capital from VND11.2 trillion to over VND12.03 trillion.

    This increase was allowed as part of a plan approved at last year’s SHB shareholder meeting.

    According to SHB, the capital hike will help the bank increase its capital utilisation, expand lending and develop its network to better meet the needs of customers.

    SHB CEO Nguyen Van Le said that the issue of shares to increase the charter capital of SHB is necessary and important to help the bank modernise its facilities, improve governance and develop new products and services, thereby raising its competitiveness.

    By the end of last year, SHB’s total assets reached VND277.99 trillion, placing it among the top 5 private commercial banks in Viet Nam. The bank last year posted a pre-tax profit of VND1.93 trillion, up 66 per cent against the previous year and 11 per cent higher than the yearly plan. 

    Vietnamese fruit becoming popular in Japan     

    Vietnamese fruit is making its presence felt in the Japanese market, with the country registering a turnover of US$170 million in 2017 through the export of fruits and vegetables, a year-on-year increase of 70 per cent.

    This was revealed by Ta Duc Minh, Vietnamese trade counsellor to Japan, during Japan’s largest international food and beverage exhibition, Foodex Japan 2018, which opened on Tuesday in Chiba City. Up to 20 Vietnamese enterprises from various cities and provinces, such as HCM City, Ha Noi, Nghe An, Bac Giang, Ninh Binh, Dong Thap, Ben Tre, Can Tho, Kien Giang, Lam Dong and Ca Mau, which are active in the field of agro-fisheries and food export, took part in the event.

    At the expo, Vietnamese firms displayed products such as fruits and vegetables, seafood, cod-liver oil, organic pepper, seedless lemons, rice products, Phu Quoc sauce, various biscuits and juices.

    The four-day exhibition attracts 3,350 firms from 80 countries and territories worldwide, and is expected to welcome some 85,000 visitors. 

    FAST500 firms face challenge of increasing input price     

    Increasing input prices, rise of competitors and administrative procedures will be the three biggest barriers affecting the growth of businesses this year.

    This was revealed in the FAST 500 Ranking Lists 2018, drawn up annually since 2011, which was announced by the Viet Nam Report and online newspaper VietnamNet on March 8.

    The surveyed firms in the ranking paid special attention to the input price (60.5 per cent) and fierce competition (52.6 per cent).

    Experts said, this year, companies would face fierce competition due to the expansion of preferential policies for foreign companies.

    Companies in the FAST500 said their two biggest rivals in 2018 would be leading local firms and multinational groups that are active in joining the market.

    To overcome the challenges, the surveyed companies said they would improve productivity and expand to new markets.

    They believed that clean agriculture, information and technology, clean technologies, retail, and tourism and hotels would be the five sectors with the potential for higher growth in the next three years.

    FAST500 companies said improvement of the legal environment should be given priority in 2018 to support production and businesses for sustainable development.

    The compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of FAST500 firms in 2013-2017 saw stability, as the index rose by 46.4 per cent.

    The average CAGR of the three business sectors was high and stable. Especially, the CAGR of State-owned companies reached 38.7 per cent, increasing 5 per cent from the 2012-2016 period, showing improvement in their businesses and positive signs of the privatisation process.

    The list is based on independent research and assessment of Viet Nam Report JSC. It complies with international standards and was drawn up in consultation with domestic and foreign experts.

    The FAST 500 rankings are also based on international standards, including the models of the Inc 500, Fortune 500 and Deloitte 500.

    This is the eighth consecutive year of the FAST 500 list in Viet Nam. The performance of the companies was calculated by the CAGR on revenue in the 2009-12 period and also based on criteria such as total assets, the number of workers, after-tax profits and prestige in the media.

    The award ceremony will be organised on April 18 at Viet Nam National Convention Centre in Ha Noi. 

    Top 10 of FAST500:

    1. Masan Resource Corporation

    2. Khang Dien House Trading and Investment JSC

    3. FIT Group

    4. Transport and Industry Development Investment JSC

    5. Vietjet Aviation JSC

    6. T&T Group

    7. Golden Gate Trade Services JSC

    8. Hai Dang JSC

    9. National Payment Corporation of Viet Nam

    10. The PAN Group Corporation

    Asian factory expo underway in Ha Noi     

    The second Factory Network Business Expo (FBC Ha Noi 2018) kicked off at the National Exhibition Construction Centre in the capital on Thursday, bringing together 180 domestic and international businesses, including firms from Japan, Thailand and China.

    They are showcasing metal products, hardware, tools, electric and electronics, machinery and equipment as well as manufacturing technology.

    The two-day expo is described as a good opportunity for participating enterprises to update advanced machinery and equipment to improve their production capacities and join the global part supply chains while expanding their markets and seeking new business opportunities, the event’s organisers said.

    The previous event witnessed the participation of more than 100 exhibitors while attracting nearly 2,900 visitors. 

    Vinacapital, Maybank Kim Eng host VN Corporate Day in London     

    VinaCapital and Maybank Kim Eng Securities hosted the Viet Nam Corporate Day in London on Wednesday and Thursday to showcase investment opportunities in Viet Nam’s stock markets.

    The event, featuring large cap companies like Coteccons, FPT Retail, HDBank, Phu Nhuan Jewelry, Eximbank, and Vietjet Air, was attended by around 100 institutional investors with combined assets in excess of US$7 trillion.

    “Viet Nam’s stock market has become one of the most attractive destinations for international investors thanks to solid progress in the SOE privatisation programme and the Government’s focus on foreign investments,” Kim Thien Quang, CEO of Maybank Kim Eng Viet Nam, said.

    Don Lam, CEO of VinaCapital, said the event was in line with his fund’s efforts over the last 14 years to promote Viet Nam’s impressive growth story to the world and facilitate direct discussions between international investors and Vietnamese businesses.

    “From the success of Viet Nam Corporate Day, I believe more investors will take notice that Viet Nam is open for business, and participate in more opportunities to help take Vietnamese companies to the next stages of growth and improve their competiveness in ASEAN and the world.”

    VP Bank stock permitted for margin trading     

    The HCM City Stock Exchange (HoSE) has removed the shares of Viet Nam Prosperity Joint Stock Commercial Bank (VPB) from the list of securities not eligible for margin trading.

    Six months have expired since the first trading date on August 7, 2017.

    On the stock market, the price of VPB was VND65,100 (US$2.9) per share on Thursday, and the average liquidity was nearly 4.3 million shares per session.

    In 2017, VPB posted a pre-tax profit of more than VND8.1 trillion, registering a 65 per cent year-on-year increase.

    The bank’s total assets reached nearly VND278 trillion last year, increasing 21 per cent from the previous year.

    Customer lending rose by 24 per cent to VND196 trillion in 2017, and the deposit was VND200 trillion, up 16 per cent from the previous year.

    Its turnover growth rate in 2017 was VND25 trillion, posting a 48 per cent year-on-year rise. The net profit rose by 36 per cent and net services by 70 per cent. It used more than VND8 trillion for its risk prevention fund.

    The bank’s growth quality was also seen through the return on equity (ROE) of 27.47 per cent and the return on assets (ROA) of 2.54 per cent. 

    Rong Viet Securities profit doubles     

    Rong Viet Securities Company has reported that its profits more than doubled year-on-year in the first two months.

    Its pre-tax profit in the period was VND30 billion (US$1.3 million), on revenues of VND75 billion ($3.3 million).

    Revenues from margin trading rose by over 48 per cent while income from brokerage saw a whopping 179 per cent jump.

    The company said 2018 is the first year since its restructuring.

    This year it targets after-tax profit of VND144 billion ($6.3 million).

    It plans to increase its registered capital to VND1 trillion ($43 million) by issuing shares and invest in human resources and IT.

    VN wood firms eye int’l market     

    Viet Nam’s woodworking industry can expand exports but to expand market share and increase value, it needs to keep pace with market trends and capitalise on opportunities, experts have said.

    Helmut Max Merkel, editor-in-chief of Mobelmarkt (International Interior Business Magazine) and general manger of CRP Consulting Nuremberg, Germany, said the German furniture market is “big but difficult.”

    “Germans love to buy furniture.”

    German consumers were not directly affected by the European crisis, and the country’s low jobless rate makes its climate conducive for private consumption, he told the Global Wood Products Market Development seminar in HCM City on Wednesday.

    “German love to live in a cosy environment. So the per capita consumption of furniture is higher than in other countries.”

    There was an increase demand for furniture products made from natural materials, multifunctional furniture at reasonable prices, he said.

    In the past, Germans preferred harder seats compared to consumers in its neighbouring countries, but now the seat comfort has become important and modular sofa sets are becoming popular, he said.

    Germany’s furniture imports were worth 9.4 billion euros (US$11.67 billion) in January-September last year, with Poland, China, the Czech Republic and Italy being the biggest exporters and Viet Nam ranking 13th.

    But not many Germans have information or know about Vietnamese furniture, Merkel said.

    Juliane Lemcke, technical wood expert for the Swiss Import Promotion Programme, said demand for wooden furniture in the EU is rising slowly, with consumption steady in the larger markets like Germany, the UK, Italy and France and increasing in Spain, Poland, Sweden and the Netherlands.

    There is an increase in the use of engineered wood products (EWP) for home construction, commercial buildings, industrial products and furniture, especially flat pack furniture, in the EU, she said.

    The EWP market in Europe is still at an early stage of development but its use is growing rapidly, especially in home construction, commercial buildings, industrial products and furniture, due to its cost competitiveness.

    And demand for environment-friendly packaging products to replace non-recyclable materials is on the rise.

    Talking about the European home furnishing market in 2016-20, she said demand for multi-functional furniture is expected to increase, with living room and bedroom furniture generating the majority of sales followed by the kitchen segment.

    The major trend in bedroom furniture is the use of country or rustic style, involving use of pale, pastel colours and traditional styling, she said.

    She also spoke about the US trends and effects on furniture.

    With the number of single-person households increasing, and thus also smaller homes and apartments, demand for modular, space-saving and multifunctional furniture and furniture for storage is high, she said.

    Bjorn Henseler of Schuler Consulting GmbH said Viet Nam is good at making furniture from solid wood, but the future of the market lies in customisation.

    So businesses should also grasp market trends to adopt suitable development strategies, delegates said.

    They agreed that consumers’ shopping habits in the US and EU are changing with the growth in e-commerce, especially to young customers.

    Huynh Van Hanh, permanent vice chairman of the Handicraft and Wood Industry Association of HCM City (Hawa), said Viet Nam’s exports of wood and wooden products have increased by 12.3 per cent a year on average for the past seven years, reaching $7.66 billion last year.

    They are expected to reach $8.5 billion this year, he said.

    Co-organised by Hawa and the Swiss Import Promotion Programme, the seminar was held on the sidelines of the Viet Nam International Furniture and Home Accessories Fair being held at the Saigon Exhibition and Convention Centre from March 7 to 10. 

    MoF opposes goods, services price hike     

    The Ministry of Finance has asked people’s committees of provinces and cities under central administration to not increase the prices of goods and public services in the first quarter of 2018.

    Under the ministry’s Official Letter 2323/BTC-QLG issued on March 1, the prices of goods and public services include that of healthcare, education and environmental hygiene services, car parking, sightseeing, accommodation and rent in markets and trading centres.

    The official letter also requested the people’s committees to strengthen price management after Tet (Vietnamese Lunar New Year).

    In the first two months of 2018, the consumer price index (CPI) increased by 2.9 per cent, according to the official letter.

    To achieve the target of curbing inflation, with CPI growth rate set at 4 per cent for the entire year, the ministry asked the people’s committees to continue implementing solutions proposed in the official letter 240/CD-TTg, issued on February 21 by the Prime Minister.

    The people’s committees are also required to direct the finance departments and relevant State offices to closely monitor the supply and demand of goods and services, the market as well as prices for stabilising the market, especially essential goods such as food.

    The watch over the market will help authorities avoid unreasonable price hikes and misinformation about the market.

    The finance ministry has also requested the people’s committees to improve the management and inspection of implementing current regulations on prices, especially prices of goods and services that have a high demand during post-Tet festivals, such as transport, food and drinks, sightseeing, tourism and parking service. 

    PM directs boosting support for enterprise development

    Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has issued a directive, requesting strong enforcement of Resolution No. 35/NQ-CP dated May 16, 2016 on enterprise development policy to 2020 in the spirit of the Government accompanying enterprises.

    The PM requested ministries, sectors, and localities to devise comprehensive and drastic measures to implement their tasks.

    He ordered the Ministry of Planning and Investment to continue organising training courses to help small- and medium-sized enterprises enhance the management capability and financial transparency, thus gaining better access to credit.

    The PM also urged revision of Decree 78/2015/ND-CP dated September 14, 2015 on enterprise registration to reduce business starting cost, and submit to the Government for approval in 2018.

    The Finance Ministry was tasked with drafting revisions to the laws on taxation, quickly removing tax-related problems and proposing simplified tax and accounting procedures for small-sized businesses.

    The ministry was also told to build a decree on the use of e-invoice, publish the list of 1,000 biggest corporate tax payers of Vietnam, and research revisions to the Securities Law to facilitate indirect foreign investment.

    The directive requested the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment to review all regulations on land revocation, ground clearance, land renting, land-use change, land pricing, and land access for small- and medium-sized enterprises.

    The Ministry of Justice was instructed to enhance its appraisal of legal documents in line with the Law on Promulgation of Legal Documents 2015 to ensure that the promulgation of regulations on business investment conditions and administrative procedures is in line with authority, and the regulations are truly necessary, rational, transparent and feasible.

    The Ministry of Transport was asked to issue instruction on reviewing investment costs of Build-operation-transfer (BOT) projects and monitor the collection of tolls to determine the period of time and amount of fee collection; addressing shortcomings in operation, location and toll collection of BOT transport projects; and installing automatic toll collection technology at all toll stations across the country.

    The Ministry of Science and Technology needs to accelerate measures to help enterprises modernise their technology and enhance their science-technology application via the national programme on science and technology. The ministry was also required to intensify the intellectual property development programme period 2016-2020, thus accelerating intellectual property registration, and announcing norms and standards for local innovative products.

    The Ministry of Education and Training was tasked with trimming administrative procedures in granting investment licences in the sector to encourage investment in universities. It was also instructed to early submit to the Government a decree on autonomy of public universities.

    The PM also urged Ho Chi Minh City, Binh Duong, Binh Dinh, Binh Thuan, Cao Bang, Hai Phong, Dak Lak, Long An, Nam Dinh, and Tra Vinh provinces to quickly set up hotlines to assist local enterprises.

    The directive required ministries, sectors and localities to increase their dialogues with enterprises, while the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry was asked to further boost the campaign “Vietnamese products conquer Vietnamese.”

    Chinese firms keen on VN’s environmental protection market     

    Viet Nam has become an important market for Chinese businesses operating in environmental protection.

    This is because of the increasing negative impact on the environment in the process of Viet Nam’s economic development, industrialisation, urbanisation and exploitation of natural resources.

    Gang Jiang, director of the China Environment Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai, said this at a press conference in Ha Noi on Tuesday to introduce the Asia trade fair for environmental technology solutions, or IE Expo China 2018.

    The expo will be held at the Shanghai New International Expo Centre from May 3-5. Covering more than 120,000sq.m, the expo is expected to attract 1,800 businesses from 30 countries to showcase their latest products and services.

    “Joining the expo will help Vietnamese businesses approach and seek the latest environmental protection technology solutions,” Jiang said.

    The annual expo has been one of the largest expos in the environment sector in Asia. The 19th edition of the expo will have 11 exhibition indoor areas and an outdoor area. Some 1,800 businesses from 30 countries and territories, such as the US, Italy, Germany, Japan, Viet Nam and South Korea, will showcase their latest products and services. Some of the world’s largest firms, including Suez, Veolia, Pentair, Xylem, Honeywell and Philips, will participate in the expo.

    The three-day event will also organise 30 conferences and forums.

    China is the world’s second-largest market in the trading of environmental protection products. 

    Workshop on trade mediation in HCM City     

    The Viet Nam International Arbitration Centre (VIAC) and the International Finance Corporation organised a workshop on trade mediation in HCM City on Wednesday.

    International integration and the frequent economic and trade disputes require mechanisms that can resolve the disputes.

    A failure to resolve them will affect the legitimate rights and interests of enterprises that enter into contracts.

    To provide enterprises with an alternative to going to court, the authorities issued a commercial mediation policy.

    The Government’s Decree No 22 on commercial mediation took effect last April.

    The country is aiming to put in place a legislative and regulatory framework to ensure consistency between its laws and international regulations on commercial dispute resolution.

    The decree has made conciliation activities more concise and flexible, creating a legal basis for trade conciliation and other professional activities.

    Experts are encouraged to resolve some disputes through negotiation and arbitration. The role of the courts is to enforce the decisions the disputants arrive at.

    Reviewing the mechanism of commercial conciliation in Viet Nam, Nina Mocheva, a senior finance specialist at the World Bank, said Viet Nam has taken the important step of having a legal framework for the settlement of commercial disputes through conciliation and arbitration.

    However, international experience shows that when commercial conciliation begins, the legal community may be reluctant to pursue more litigation, meaning it takes time to overcome the constraints, she said.

    Therefore, it is necessary to help authorities and enterprises develop a favourable trade environment, she said.

    The VIAC has also found that since many business entities in Viet Nam are small or medium-sized, they tend to approach civilian instead of arbitration courts, and this has hindered the growth of this commercial mediation method. 

    All Ericsson Radio System products ready for 5G     

    Ericsson announced on Tuesday that the installed base of all radio products from the Ericsson Radio System portfolio can now run 5G New Radio (NR) through a remote software installation.

    “The combination of our new products and 5G support for radios already deployed in the field will give operators access to a very broad and flexible 5G portfolio. They will be able to move quickly to enhanced mobile broadband and address the new opportunities with industrial applications,” said Denis Brunetti, president of Ericsson Viet Nam, Myanmar, Laos and Cambodia.

    “Investments in Ericsson Radio System since 2015 will continue to bring value to operators when the time is right for transition to 5G,” Brunetti said.

    The advanced service will contribute to bring more ICT (information and communications technology) users, he said, adding that the company was committed to investing in ICT jobs in Viet Nam in the coming years.

    According to the latest Ericsson Mobility Report, the global mobile data traffic is expected to grow eight times, while 5G subscriptions are predicted to reach one billion by the end of 2023. This puts increasing demand on operators to continue to expand capacity cost efficiently while addressing their 5G evolution. 

    Road to success of three Vietnamese women with essential oil

    The project of oil essence by a team of three Vietnamese women has brought them the grand award in a national competition for young people with promising startup plans, and is about to make greater success in the domestic market.

    Vu Thi Ly Ly, Tran Thi Hue and Nguyen Thu Thao, all 24, received VND100 million (US$4,400) for their project on oil essence and products from nature in the Luong Van Can Talent Awards, held in October 2017.

    The competition is named after an eponymous Vietnamese businessman and aimed at selecting potential entrepreneurs with auspicious plans.

    The women come from different educational backgrounds and regions in Vietnam: Ly is a law graduate born in Binh Duong Province, southern Vietnam; Hue is a computer engineer from Nam Dinh, a coastal province of northern Vietnam; and Thao is a chemistry graduate from Tuyen Quang Province, northeast of the country.

    Hue represented the group to join the competition.

    Lai Minh Duy, a judge in the contest, highly praised their project since they created designs living up to the competition’s expectations and their oil essence products were tried-and-trusted, sold successfully online previously.

    Another judge, Dinh Ha Duy Trinh, was impressed by the project’s commercial effectiveness.

    “In comparison with other teams, who only proposed ideas, you’ve even carried out the project and attracted customers,” Trinh told the group.

    The women have used the prize money to open in Hanoi a showroom where visitors can witness the process of distilling oil essence, savor perfume and drink tea.

    They have rolled out around 20 types of essential oil, with a strong focus on lemon grass, cinnamon, broadleaved paperbark, and pomelo peel.

    During the last Vietnamese Lunar New Year festival, they designed sets of wooden old-looking boxes and essential oil bottles, which ran out rapidly due to multiple orders.

    Their project will still specialize in essential oil while devoting the greatest attention to core products, not all.

    In terms of the long-term strategy, they plan to divide the business’s operations into trading and service, in order to build a more professional ‘experience service’ and clearer management system, Hue said.

    “The difference that we’re trying to make is offering experience. We sell products indirectly and form a space of values for customers. It’s their choice to buy or not,” Thao said.  

    She added that the distinctive feature of their business is the ‘experience service.’

    With Ly’s assistance, Hue had established a technology company in her student time to realize her ambition of doing business, before meeting Thao, who worked in essential oil.

    They traveled to the mountains to have the hands-on experience of extracting the substance.

    VNN

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  • 03/12/18--02:25: Article 4
  • USD appreciation feared to rouse inflation



    The silence of the forex market in 2017 has been broken as the dollar appreciated right after the Tet holiday.


     

    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, exchange rate, SBV, dollar price

    Both the official exchange rate announced by the State Bank of Vietnam and the exchange rates quoted by commercial banks increased in the last trading sessions.

    The official price announced on February 28 was VND22,463 per dollar, or VND15 per dollar higher than the day before. Meanwhile, commercial banks quoted the sell price at VND22,795 per dollar.

    As such, the official exchange rate increased by VND20 per dollar, or 0.18 percent, compared with February 21, or the first working day after the long Tet holiday.

    Meanwhile, Vietcombank’s exchange rate increased from VND22,665-22,735 to VND22,715-22,785 per dollar, or 0.1 percent after five working days.

    In the global market, the dollar escalated after the first hearing before the US Congress of FED chair Jerome Powell.

    The global monetary, stock and debt markets saw changes because of fear of inflation in the US, which may prompt FED to raise the prime interest rate three times this year. This would put pressure on the dong.

    The global monetary, stock and debt markets saw changes because of fear of inflation in the US, which may prompt FED to raise the prime interest rate three times this year. This would put pressure on the dong.

    Nguyen Tri Hieu, a banking expert, said the dong/dollar exchange rate has been influenced by changes in the world market and internal factors of the Vietnam economy.

    The external factors include the FED’s plan to raise the prime interest rate this year and the uncertainties in the world political arena. Regarding internal factors, Hieu believes the zero percent deposit interest rate policy puts pressure on the dong/dollar exchange rate.

    “The zero percent interest rate policy can serve the anti-dollarization process, but it causes difficulties for commercial banks in mobilizing capital in dollars,” he said.

    Meanwhile, Vietnam needs dollars to pay for imports – consumer goods and input materials for domestic production - and for foreign debt payments.

    The high demand for foreign currencies and limited supply will put pressure on the exchange rate.

    Some finance experts have urged the State Bank to terminate the zero percent interest rate policy, saying it has accomplished its mission and is now the right time to raise the dollar interest rate so as to mobilize more capital from the public instead of foreign loans at high interest rates.

    In principle, any exchange rate adjustments would affect the inflation rate because the two indicators are closely related.

    Hieu said the higher dollar price would make imports more expensive, which would affect the average price level of goods and increase the CPI.

    Many imports are input materials for domestic production, so the prices of finished products are expected to increase proportionally.

    The government has vowed to control the inflation rate at around 4 percent this year.


    M. Ha, VNN

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  • 03/12/18--02:35: Article 3
  • Vietnamese police official stripped of title for implication in online gambling ring

    Nguyen Thanh Hoa is involved in organizing gambling, online gambling, and money-laundering in multiple localities

     

    Nguyen Thanh Hoa (L), former head of the hi-tech division under the Ministry of Public Security, and Phan Sao Nam, former chairman of VTC Online. File photo: Cong An Nhan Dan newspaper

    The state president of Vietnam has stripped a senior policeman of his title due to his involvement in a large-scale online gambling ring.

    Major General Nguyen Thanh Hoa, former head of the hi-tech crime prevention division under the Ministry of Public Security, had his ‘People’s Police’ rank removed by the head of state on Sunday, following his arrest on the same day.

    Hoa is expected to be held in custody for four months to assist the investigation into his participation in an online gambling ring that is worth trillions of dong (VND1 trillion = US$44 million).

    The Department of Police in the northern province of Phu Tho was previously tasked with dealing with the case.

    The arrest warrant has been approved by the provincial People’s Procuracy.

    Police official

    Hoa was born in 1958 in the south-central province of Binh Dinh.

    Before becoming the head of the hi-tech crime prevention division, the policeman worked in the Ministry of Public Security’s economic police department.

    In late 2017, Hoa was suspended from work to have his alleged violations reviewed. He then requested to be admitted to the hospital for treatment of his illness.

    The police official was staying at the 198 Hospital in Hanoi prior to his apprehension.

    According to the Ministry of Public Security, Hoa was arrested for being involved in the case of organizing gambling, online gambling, illegal sale of invoices, and money-laundering in Phu Tho and some other provinces and cities.

    Following over six months of investigation, officers determined that Hoa and many other suspects had organized their gambling activities via two websites with hundreds of regular ‘customers.’

    Over 70 suspects

    In September 2017, police in Phu Tho Province broke up the online gambling ring and have initiated legal procedures against more than 70 suspects involved in the case.

    Investigators considered that the case is highly serious as several police officials also participated in the ring.

    Officers were able to capture Nguyen Van Duong, a Hanoi resident, who was determined as one of the ring leaders.

    Phan Sao Nam, former chairman of the management board of VTC Online, a subsidiary of the Vietnam Television Corporation (VTC), was another mastermind behind the illegal operations.

    Nam attempted to flee but was eventually nabbed by competent authorities.

    Both Nam and Duong are facing charges of organizing gambling, which can carry a jail sentence of between three and ten years.

    The investigation revealed that the two suspects had opened a firm specializing in the importation of technology equipment, which was used as a cover for their online gambling operations.

    In order for the ring to ‘survive,’ Nam and Duong approached Hoa and asked for his cooperation.

    The police official agreed to abet the illicit activities.

    A source close to Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper said that the ring had been organizing online gambling across nations.

    Competent authorities have so far confiscated more than VND1.3 trillion ($57.2 million), while the amount of foreign currency which was sent overseas via the gambling activities was estimated at $3.6 million.

         By Duy Khang / Tuoi Tre News


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  • 03/12/18--02:37: Article 2
  • BUSINESS IN BRIEF


    CP TPP expected to boost Vietnam-Chile economic ties

    The newly-signed Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CP TPP), of which Vietnam and Chile are members, is expected to be a new push for the economic, trade and investment cooperation between the two nations, held Vietnamese Ambassador to Chile Nguyen Ngoc Son.

    In an interview granted to the Vietnam News Agency, the diplomat noted that since Vietnam and Chile set up their diplomatic relations in 1971, the two countries have enjoyed sound partnership in all fields.

    They have signed many deals facilitating their affiliation, including a free trade agreement in 2012. Two-way trade grew impressively to 1.3 billion USD in 2017 from only under 200 million USD in 2005.

    They have set up dialogue mechanisms in politics and economy, along with annual meetings to review cooperation outcomes and map out collaboration plans for following years. 

    Son stressed that the two sides are open economies, holding that the CP TPP will help further expand and develop bilateral economic, trade and investment partnerships. 

    The ambassador said that almost all Presidents of Chile have visited Vietnam, reflecting the country's appreciation of Vietnam's role in the Southeast Asian region. In multilateral organisations, Chile has always supported Vietnam, especially in the United Nations, the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) and other inter-regional organisations. 

    Chile assisted Vietnam in its bids to join the UN Human Rights Council in the 2014-2016 tenure, and the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) in the 2016-2018 period, while supporting Vietnam in running for a seat as a permanent member of the UN Security Council for the 2020-2021 tenure.

    At the same time, Vietnam has lauded the role of Chile and supported the country’s candidacy for positions in the UN agencies ​and other international organisations, including the UN Human Rights Council and UN Security Council, said Ambassador Son.

    However, he said that bilateral investment remains modest, citing they are yet to have any project in each other' territory.

    The diplomat also pledged that the Vietnamese Embassy in Chile and its trade affairs office will exert more efforts to introduce investment​ and trade opportunities in Vietnam to Chilean businesses.

    Vietnam appreciates Japan’s leading role in CPTPP signing

    Deputy Foreign Minister Bui Thanh Son spoke highly of Japan’s leading role in negotiating and signing the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement of Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) while meeting Japan’s Parliamentary Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs Iwao Horii on March 9 in Tokyo.

    Son congratulated Japan on its successful organisation of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD)’s Ministerial Meeting on the Southeast Asia Regional Programme, affirming that the meeting will help boost cooperation between OECD and ASEAN nations in a practical and effective manner.

    He asked Japan to continue backing the stance of Vietnam and ASEAN in the EastSea issue, and maintain coordination with Vietnam at regional and international forums such as the United Nations, Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), G20, and within the framework of Japan-Mekong cooperation.

    He expressed his hope that Japan will remain the largest investor in Vietnam with more capital poured into supporting and manufacturing industries and hi-tech agriculture, maintain its ODA provision in infrastructure, and facilitate Vietnam’s exports, especially agricultural products.

    Iwao Horii spoke highly of Vietnam’s participation in and contributions to the OECD Ministerial Meeting on the Southeast Asia Regional Programme.

    He showed his delight at the signing of the CPTPP between Vietnam, Japan and nine other countries in the Pacific Rim.

    He expressed his hope that Vietnam will create more favourable conditions for bilateral economic cooperation projects, and said that Japan will maintain its assistance to develop infrastructure in Vietnam and the Mekong sub-region, including the East-West Economic Corridor.

    He affirmed that his country supports efforts to maintain peace, stability, and maritime and aviation freedom in the EastSea.

    Both host and guest agreed to coordinate closely to prepare for visits made by the two countries’ leaders this year when they are celebrating the 45th anniversary of bilateral diplomatic ties.

    Nghe An asked to double economic scale by 2025

    Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has asked the central province of Nghe An to work harder to double its economic scale by 2025, becoming a locality with high income in the region.

    The Government leader made the request while addressing the 10th annual meeting with investors conference in Nghe An on March 10, which drew a large number of domestic firms and foreign businesses from various countries such as Thailand, Japan, the Republic of Korea and Australia.

    Lauding​ the local government's efforts ​​and strong determination to attract investment, the PM sai​d that Nghe An's experience is helpful for other localities in investment promotion.

    He held that the joint determination of local government and investors has made Nghe An an attractive destination for businesses with large projects, showing the good combination between domestic and foreign-invested capital resources.

    The PM noted that Nghe An has various favourable conditions for development in all fields​, including its location​ as a transit point of northern and southern economic regions, as well as a population of nearly 4 million.

    The province ranked 25th out of 63 localities in the 2016 provincial competitiveness index, ​seven spaces higher than 2015, he noted, adding that many other indications, including those on market engagement and labour training, also increased.

    However, the province's performance in unofficial costs and land use remained modest, he said, asking the locality to continue improving its investment and business environment to lure more investors.

    The PM urged Nghe An to continue building a dynamic, action-oriented and dialogue-willing government with better services for investors, while fully implementing commitments with investors and staying ready to respond to their requests.

    Nghe An should join neighbouring Thanh Hoa and Ha Tinh provinces to form a growth ​with modern industry and smart agriculture and play the role as the driving force for the inclusive growth of the northern central region and the country as a whole in the near future.

    He underlined that the province needs to tap its advantages in location to draw more investment, technology and high quality human resources, while encouraging and creating favourable conditions for the growth of support industries and other related sectors.

    Although industry and services play a more important role in the economy, Nghe An province should develop agriculture comprehensively, with the focus on biological, organic and hi-tech agriculture, considering it a firm ​basis to ​for the locality to grow sustainably and strongly,​ PM Phuc said.

    The province should pay attention to early upgrading the Thanh Thuy border gate and Vinh airport to international ones, attract investment from the private sector, especially in infrastructure of industrial zones, seaports and airports, and work to hasten the progress of a highway project which will help reduce the travel time from Hanoi to Nghe An to 2.5 hours.

    The Government leader stressed the need for the locality to improve the quality of education and carry out policies to draw investment in high-quality universities and vocational schools in the fields of information technology, bio-technology, and manufacturing technology, as well as encourage the involvement of both domestic and foreign intellectuals in the local economic development.

    He requested ministries, sectors to soon study and submit to the Government appropriate policies and mechanisms to connect the north central and central economic regions and Nghe An in particular to mobilise maximum resources and improve the business and investment environment in order to help Nghe An and its neighbouring Ha Tinh grow stronger in the time to come.

    He also asked investors to ​realise their commitments, combine economic development with environmental protection, and ensure the interests of labourers.

    This year’s conference continued to attract numerous big investment projects in Nghe An. The province granted investment licences to nine projects, and signed 16 memoranda of understanding on investment cooperation with a total registered capital of 13.1 trillion VND (576.4 million USD).

    The Bank for Investment and Development of Vietnam (BIDV) and the Sai Gon-Hanoi Commercial Joint Stock Bank (SHB) handed over three agreements providing credits worth 800 billion VND (35.2 million USD).

    On the same day, the Government leader offered incense at the Dong Loc T-junction Relic Site to commemorate the 10 female youth volunteers who died on duty at the T-junction during wartime in Can Loc district, Ha Tinh province.

    He also paid tribute to late President Ho Chi Minh at Nghe An’s Kim Lien relic site.

    Growth boosts demand for industrial land


     

    CP TPP expected to boost Vietnam-Chile economic ties, Vietnam appreciates Japan’s leading role in CPTPP signing, Growth boosts demand for industrial land, Thailand investor buys more BMP stake 

    Demand for industrial land around the country is expected to increase thanks to significant growth in terms of both industrial production and FDI.

    Last year HCMCity’s index of industrial production grew by 7.9 percent while Hanoi’s expanded by 7.1 percent.

    FDI flows into HCMCity topped 6.3 billion USD while for Hanoi they were worth 2.4 billion USD, a national year-on-year increase of 22.5 percent, and most foreign and domestic investors are seeking to expand production.

    At HCM City IPs, according to real estate service consultant Colliers International, at the end of 2017 the average annual rent was 142.2 USD per square metre, an increase of 0.9 percent from the previous year.

    HCMCity now has 20 operating IPs with a total area of 3,025 hectares. Cu Chi district has the largest number of industrial parks totally measuring 863 hectares, but the price is lowest there at 80-90 USD per square metre.

    By 2025 it is expected that more 2,300ha in eight new industrial parks will come into the market with a promise of better infrastructure and services.

    From now through 2025 rents are expected to increase sharply.

    Authorities around the country continue to offer incentives to promote supporting industries.

    The HCMCity science and technology department has set up a database for all enterprises in supporting industries, including foreign companies, for easy connection and technology transfer.

    Around 200 hectares in the Hiep Phuoc and Le Minh Xuan 3 Industrial Parks will be earmarked for supporting industries.

    Hanoi has 11 industrial parks with 2,700 hectares, mostly in outlying districts.

    Rents in Hanoi’s IPs increased more than in HCMCity in 2017 with an occupation rate of 82.6 percent, 5.3 percentage points higher than the year before.

    By 2020, Hanoi will have 14 more IPs with 6,100 hectares in operation.

    “With a business-friendly environment and high demand from customers, we hope the trend will continue through 2018,” David Jackson, General Director of Colliers International Vietnam, told the Thoi bao Kinh te Vietnam (Vietnam Economic Times) newspaper.

    Hanoi is a good location close to northern industrial centres like Hai Phong, Hung Yen and Bac Ninh, and this helps the city be the best location for IPs.”

    In other cities too, demand for industrial land has increased as many enterprises have expanded their production since the beginning of this year.

    For instance, HTMP Ltd signed a contract with TNI Holdings Vietnam to expand its production at the QuangMinhIndustrial Park, Japanese automobile parts maker Toyoda Gosei started construction of a new plant in TienHaiViglaceraIndustrial Park in the northern province of Thai Binh.

    Industrial production has recovered and is expected to expand, and the occupancy ratio at industrial parks has significantly increased, especially this year.

    Lack of funds hinders MSMEs’ growth

    Micro-, small- and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) account for nearly 97 percent of the total number of businesses in Ho Chi Minh City, with more than 90 percent of newly-established ones every year belonging to this category.

    But despite being the backbone of the city and country’s economy, MSMEs facing many challenges in accessing funding to upgrade technology to boost productivity and competitiveness.

    According to a survey by the HCM City Business Association, of the number of original brand manufacturers (OBM) – enterprises that design their own products, buy components produced by others and sell products under their own brands – operating in city’s six key industries of mechanical engineering, food processing, chemical-plastics-rubber, electronics-information, textile-garment and footwear, only 48 percent are MSMEs.

    Moreover, MSMEs that operate as OBM in mechanical engineering, chemical-plastics-rubber and electronics-information use limited or out-of-date technologies.

    Do Phuoc Tong, chairman of the HCM City Association of Mechanical Electrical Enterprises, said that most mechanical enterprises are MSMEs or household businesses.

    Since they lack new technologies and research and development capacity, MSMEs, usually working as sub-contractors for big companies or second- and third-class suppliers, mainly handle raw materials and assemble products with very low value addition, he said.

    Besides, Vietnamese consumers’ preference for “foreign brands” is also a big challenge for MSMEs.

    Tong said there are Vietnamese products that match the quality of foreign-made items, but they are not accepted in local markets until they are exported to overseas markets like Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and Thailand and imported back to Vietnam.

    Export-import enterprises claimed it is because Vietnamese export products are “better” than local ones though local manufacturers said they are of the same quality.

    Whatever the reason is, the fact remains that enterprises have to bear the logistics costs of sending their products overseas to sell them at home.

    MSMEs are unlikely to grow rapidly in the near future due to shortcomings in Government policies, one of which is the tax regime, according to experts.

    To attract foreign investment, the Government waives tax on import of machinery, equipment and tools by foreign direct investment (FDI) companies for use in manufacture. But local enterprises have to pay 10 percent import tariff on the same stuff.

    The cumbersome procedures involved in getting loans also make it harder for MSMEs to operate. Most lenders demand mortgage of assets which is a big problem for MSMEs.

    Nguyen Dinh Tue, director of the Centre for Supporting Small and Medium sized Enterprises, said because of financial constraints, MSMEs cannot upgrade their technologies or improve productivity to compete on price.

    To support MSMEs, the Government needs to create a healthy business environment and reduce issues like red tape and harassment. Besides, to help them access credit, the Government should share their risks to reduce their mortgage burden, Tue said.

    Director of the city’s Department of Trade and Industry, Pham Thanh Kien, said his department is considering a lending rate cut in preferential loans for enterprises to below 7 percent.

    The municipal Department of Trade and Industry recently said it would continue to work with the State Bank of Vietnam’s Branch in HCMCity to implement the bank-enterprise link-up programme in the city with a focus on five sectors and industries.

    They are agriculture and rural development, exports, MSMEs, supporting industries, and enterprises that adopt new technology.

    Under the programme, credit institutions in the city can sign up to lend to enterprises at a preferential interest rate of 6.5 percent for short-term loans and 8–9 percent for medium- and long-term loans.

    Moreover this year, banks will consider further cut interest rates for enterprises that borrow a second or a third time through the programme.

    The link-up programme, initiated by the SBV, began in 2012. Last year, banks provided loans worth more than 300 trillion VND (13 billion USD) to 15,778 enterprises participating in the programme.

    Vietnam start-up investment rises 42 percent 

    Up to 291 million USD was poured into Vietnamese start-ups last year, a year-on-year increase of 42 percent, according to a recent report by Topica Founder Institute (TFI).

    Ninety-two start-ups received investment last year, almost a double from 2016.

    Domestic investors accounted for 64 deals, while foreign investors made 28.

    For the first time, local venture capitalists and angels bypassed foreigners in deal count. However, foreign investors still generated higher deal value.

    The amount domestic investors poured into Vietnamese start-ups in the past year was only 46 million USD, relatively modest compared with the 245 million USD from foreign investors.

    Among investors, 500 Startups led in successful investment deals, with 11 acquisitions, followed by ESP Capital, a new homegrown venture capital firm.

    With 20 million USD in establishing funds, ESP Capital is focused on technology start-up companies in their beginning stages (pre-seed and seed funding stages), with investment funds from 50,000 USD to 300,000 USD.

    Thanks to the rise of domestic investment funds, Vietnamese firms like VIISA, ESP, VSV, 500 Startups Vietnam and Shark Tank have completed 49 early-stage deals last year.

    Formerly known as a "unicorn" startup in Asia, Sea Group (formerly Garena) topped the list of investors pouring capital into Vietnamese start-ups last year.

    The report said that Sea paid 64 million USD to acquire an 82 percent of stake in Foody, a restaurant review start-up.

    Besides, Sea also acquired two top Fintech and logistic players. The details are undisclosed but the value is estimated at up to 50 million USD.

    CyberAgent Ventures, a venture capital fund from Japan, continues to be one of the most active funds in Vietnam.

    The fund successfully exited four deals this year with Foody, CleverAds, Tiki and Vexere.

    In addition, the Norwegian telecommunication company Telenor’s acquisition of 701Search, regional holding of Chotot.vn, a local classified site, for 109 million USD was one of the notable deals to watch within the Vietnamese start-up ecosystem.

    According to observers, with a growth rate of about 22 percent a year, the Vietnamese e-commerce market is a lucrative slice for businesses with investments from many domestic and foreign tech giants.

    Specifically, there are 21 e-commerce investment deals conducted with a total value of 83 million USD last year.

    In particular, Tiki has received a Series C investment up to 54 million USD from investors JD.com and STC Investment.

    Meanwhile, Sea, which is well-known for managing and operating popular games, is taking over two Vietnamese start-ups in this field.

    Sea CEO Forrest Li shared with the media that the company is moving toward e-commerce. The acquisition of the two start-ups in Vietnam was driven by the attractiveness of the e-commerce market here, reported Thoi bao kinh te Viet Nam (Vietnam Economic Times).

    Following e-commerce is foodtech with the presence of Foody, Cooky and an undisclosed platform and social community related to food and restaurants, at a total deal size of 65 million USD.

    Fintech ranked third, with eight investment deals, worth 57 million USD.

    Media is also one of the hot areas with nine deals and more than 18 million USD in deal value.

    Logistics and online travel are also included in the list with five deals in total, valued at 18 million USD and 10 million USD, respectively, with some big names including Vntrip and Inspitrip.

    Nghe An lures investments     

    Nghe An Province has emerged as a hot investment destination when many areas in the North and South have shown signs of saturation with increasing capital flowing in the province in recent years, attendees told a workshop on investment attraction and support in the province held on March 9.

    According to Do Nhat Hoang, director of the Foreign Investment Agency, the region should take the initiative to develop its infrastructure and quality of human resources in order to take advantage of the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) Agreement which Viet Nam and 10 other member countries signed on March 8 in Chile.

    Viet Nam, with low cost labour and competitive advantage, is among three ASEAN countries which are on the investment radar.

    Meanwhile, Nghe An Province has enjoyed significant growth in investment inflow in the past 10 years thanks to its enormous efforts in building infrastructure and improving the investment climate and business conditions.

    The north central coastal province has drawn 980 investment projects (927 domestic and 53 foreign direct investment projects) with total registered capital of VND276 trillion (US$12.1 billion) in the last 10 years, a record high compared to the previous periods, a provincial People’s Committee’s report showed.

    In 2017 alone, the province inaugurated 176 new projects with combined registered capital of over VND14.5 trillion.

    Dairy firm TH Group has invested a total of VND65 trillion in this region, including a $1.2-billion hi-tech concentrated dairy and fresh milk production project. Sabeco has two projects worth a combined VND2.4 trillion. PetroVietnam has four projects with total investment capital of VND7.5 trillion. Hoa Sen Group has two steel projects worth VND7.3 trillion. Vingroup invested in a resort complex worth VND900 billion.

    Many foreign companies have also opted to invest in Nghe An, such as WHA Group’s $1 billion industrial park construction, the $30 million Hitech BSE telecommunications electronic equipment factory and Mavin AustFeed’s VND325 billion cattle feed plant.

    Increasing investment has helped the province shift its economic structure towards modernity, contributing to the growth in local budget revenue, from VND4.44 trillion in 2009 to VND12.03 trillion in 2017, creating tens of thousands of jobs for local workers. The province’s per capita income has increased to VND29 million ($1,272) per year.

    Nghe An is one of the few provinces which have established an investment promotion and support centre under the provincial People’s Committee. This one-stop agency has helped reduce procedures for investors. The authority has also actively engaged in direct dialogue with the business community to listen to solve problems quickly.

    In 2009, the province initiated the first investment promotion conference with the participation of three parties (authority, investors and creditors) which aimed to resolve problems for businesses, enhancing the business environment and attracting more investment.

    The “Meeting Investors”, with the participation of the Prime Minister and representatives of leaders of central and local ministries and sectors, has become Nghe An’s iconic annual event with entrants increasing from 200 to about 1,000 visitors this year.

    Along with attracting investment by the red carpet and support policies, the provincial authority has been accelerating the planning for infrastructure development, especially transportation, to ensure the favorable movement of goods and services. – VNS

    PM attends the 10th investment conference in Nghe An

    Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc will attend the 10th investment promotion conference in Nghe An Province on March 10.

    The provincial authority will present its achievements in investment attraction in the province in the past 10 years, as well as introduce its socio-economic issues and investment environment and policy. The Government leader will deliver a speech, giving direction for the province’s investment and socio-economic development in the coming years.

    The conference opens investment opportunities for businesses in the region. It is expected to draw 1,000 delegates this year, including state management agencies, embassies, international financial organisations, big domestic and foreign corporations and potential investors. 

    Developers should lead planning: experts     

    The Government should acknowledge the significant role developers play in the real estate market and in city planning, experts have said.

    Dr Huynh The Du of Fulbright University Viet Nam, speaking at a workshop on March 9 on the role of developers in HCM City’s real estate market development programme, said the Government has a limited role to play in setting the scene and developers should be the ones to lead the market as they know what projects need to be built and where.

    One developer said: “The city’s urban planning is not done in an effective way at the moment. Even the person who approves [housing] projects does not really have a clear idea of what they are doing.”

    Yet to some extent developers have to rely on the master plan, she added.

    Du said the Government has the role of regulating the market.

    Prof Richard Peiser from the Graduate School of Design at HarvardUniversity in the US agreed that developers have a big role to play.

    “Often city leaders think they are the ones that lead the market and can set the context and the playing field, but developers are the ones who take the risk and someone has to take the risk.

    “Developers are the key because they are the ones who tidy up the land, bring the capital and have the responsibility of having the project built.

    “They are at the centre of making it happen.”

    But he also said one of the key ingredients for a vibrant and competitive real estate market is proper regulation by the Government.

    To promote the development of the real estate market, the Government should also try not to limit the participation of FDI investors since they bring capital, promote competition and improve design standards in the market, he said.

    Asked how local developers can compete with international players who are from more developed markets if the Government opens the doors wide to FDI investors, he said: “Real estate is a very local business and local developers always have better information and certain natural advantages.”

    Maybe in big projects local developers would be somewhat at a disadvantage, so it is appropriate that the Government requires a certain amount of legislation to better monitor the market, he said.

    Some protection is good but in general it should not keep out foreign investors, he added.

    Last year foreign investment in real estate amounted to 8.5 per cent of the city’s total FDI of $3.05 billion. 

    FLC to build resort complex in Quang Ngai     

    The People’s Committee of central QuangNgaiProvince on Thursday approved FLC Group to build a range of projects in the locality, including a 3,890ha resort complex.

    The FLC Binh Chau – Ly Son complex would cover four coastal communes including Binh Chau, Binh Phu, Binh Hoa and Binh Hai in the province’s Binh Son District and 20ha in Ly Son and An Binh islands.

    The complex would include a five or six star hotel, beach resort, villas, golf courses, a 1,500-seat international convention centre, entertainment area, trade centre and a boat cruise connecting Binh Chau and Ly Son Island.

    FLC Group asked the province to hand over clean land for them to start the project’s first phase in the second quarter of the year.

    The two sides also discussed building a 16ha twin tower in the province or hi-tech agriculture projects.

    FLC’s chairman Trinh Van Quyet expected that the province would support the investor in launching the project as soon as possible.

    The province said tourism and service development are considered a key task in its 2016-20 development plan. Quang Ngai has the potential of diversified landscapes and local distinctive culture. However, it has not seen big tourism projects which could improve the sector.

    It added that it would facilitate FLC in completing the necessary procedures for the project. 

    Thailand investor buys more BMP stake     

    The Nawaplastic Industries, an affiliate of Thailand’s SCG Group, on Friday successfully bought 29.51 per cent of stake of Binh Minh Plastics Company (BMP), or 24,159,906 shares worth more than VND2.33 trillion (US$102.35 million).

    The shares have a reference price of VND96,500 each.

    The trading has bought the Nawaplastic Industries’ total ownership at BMP to 49.91 per cent of the stake.

    The auction was held by the State Capital Investment Corporation (SCIC), which owns over 29.5 per cent of stake at BMP.

    At the auction, there were two participants including the Nawaplastic Industries and an individual.

    The Nawaplastic Industries has ordered the lot at the reference price, but gave away 20,000 BMP shares to an individual. 

    Vinachem announces equitisation plan for 2018     

    The Viet Nam National Chemical Group (Vinachem) has announced its equitisation and divestment plans for its member companies in 2018.

    Regarding the plan, Vinachem will seek the approval of the Prime Minister and Ministry of Industry and Trade to issue a decision on the corporation’s equitisation of its three member companies in the first and second quarter of 2018.

    The three companies are the Viet Nam Apatite One Member Limited Company, the Viet Nam Institute of Industrial Chemistry and the parent company of Vinachem.

    This is part of Decision No.16/QD-TTg dated January 5, 2018, signed by Deputy Prime Minister Vuong Dinh Hue, approving the restructuring plan for Vinachem.

    The decision, designated for 2018-2020, aims to improve Vinachem’s structure, capacity, production efficiency and business competitiveness.

    While signing the decision, the deputy prime minister stated the need for streamlined and compact business models after the equitisation and divestment process at Vinachem and its member companies.

    Regarding the divestment plan, the key focus of Vinachem is State divestment from a number of its subsidiaries.

    For seven companies that Vinachem is holding 50-plus per cent to less than 65 per cent stake, Vinachem will maintain a 51 per cent stake at Ninh Binh Phosphate Fertiliser Joint Stock Company and Viet Nam Pesticide Joint Stock Company.

    At the same time, it will sell a part of its stake in the other five companies, which are Industrial Gas and Welding Electrode Joint Stock Company, Viet Tri Chemical Joint Stock Company, South Basic Chemicals JSC, Lam Thao Fertilisers and Chemicals Join-Stock Company and VanDien Fused Magnesium Phosphate Fertiliser Joint Stock Company.

    For nine companies that Vinachem is holding less than 50 per cent stake, it will reduce the portion to 36 per cent. The nine companies are Southern Rubber Industry Joint Stock Company, Da Nang Rubber Joint Stock Company, Yellow Star Rubber Joint Stock Company, Binh Dien Fertiliser Joint Stock Company, Can Tho Fertiliser and Chemicals Joint Stock Company, Southern Fertiliser Joint Stock Company, Net Detergent Joint Stock Company, Lix Detergent Joint Stock Company and Dry Cell and Storage Battery Joint Stock Company.

    Vinachem will also divest completely in 15 other companies, including Hanoi Soap Joint Stock Company, Vinh Phu Storage Batteries & Dry Cells Joint Stock Company, Inoue Rubber Viet Nam Co Ltd, TPC VINA Plastic and Chemical Corporation Limited and Southern Chemical Import and Export Joint Stock Company.

    "Vinachem has clearly defined its restructure roadmap. However, in order to overcome challenges and difficulties, in addition to the efforts of leaders and staff, Vinachem hopes to receive support from the Government, related ministries and agencies,” Vinachem said.

    Vinachem’s main businesses are production and trading of basic chemicals, and mining and processing of raw material for fertilisers, pesticides and chemical production.

    VP Bank stock permitted for margin trading     

    The HCM City Stock Exchange (HoSE) has removed the shares of Viet Nam Prosperity Joint Stock Commercial Bank (VPB) from the list of securities not eligible for margin trading.

    Six months have expired since the first trading date on August 7, 2017.

    On the stock market, the price of VPB was VND65,100 (US$2.9) per share on Thursday, and the average liquidity was nearly 4.3 million shares per session.

    In 2017, VPB posted a pre-tax profit of more than VND8.1 trillion, registering a 65 per cent year-on-year increase.

    The bank’s total assets reached nearly VND278 trillion last year, increasing 21 per cent from the previous year.

    Customer lending rose by 24 per cent to VND196 trillion in 2017, and the deposit was VND200 trillion, up 16 per cent from the previous year.

    Its turnover growth rate in 2017 was VND25 trillion, posting a 48 per cent year-on-year rise. The net profit rose by 36 per cent and net services by 70 per cent. It used more than VND8 trillion for its risk prevention fund.

    The bank’s growth quality was also seen through the return on equity (ROE) of 27.47 per cent and the return on assets (ROA) of 2.54 per cent. 

    Rong Viet Securities profit doubles     

    Rang Viet Securities Company has reported that its profits more than doubled year-on-year in the first two months.

    Its pre-tax profit in the period was VND30 billion (US$1.3 million), on revenues of VND75 billion ($3.3 million).

    Revenues from margin trading rose by over 48 per cent while income from brokerage saw a whopping 179 per cent jump.

    The company said 2018 is the first year since its restructuring.

    This year it targets after-tax profit of VND144 billion ($6.3 million).

    It plans to increase its registered capital to VND1 trillion ($43 million) by issuing shares and invest in human resources and IT. 

    Vinacapital, Maybank Kim Eng host VN Corporate Day in London     

    VinaCapital and Maybank Kim Eng Securities hosted the Viet Nam Corporate Day in London on Wednesday and Thursday to showcase investment opportunities in Viet Nam’s stock markets.

    The event, featuring large cap companies like Coteccons, FPT Retail, HDBank, Phu Nhuan Jewelry, Eximbank, and Vietjet Air, was attended by around 100 institutional investors with combined assets in excess of US$7 trillion.

    “Viet Nam’s stock market has become one of the most attractive destinations for international investors thanks to solid progress in the SOE privatisation programme and the Government’s focus on foreign investments,” Kim Thien Quang, CEO of Maybank Kim Eng Viet Nam, said.

    Don Lam, CEO of VinaCapital, said the event was in line with his fund’s efforts over the last 14 years to promote Viet Nam’s impressive growth story to the world and facilitate direct discussions between international investors and Vietnamese businesses.

    “From the success of Viet Nam Corporate Day, I believe more investors will take notice that Viet Nam is open for business, and participate in more opportunities to help take Vietnamese companies to the next stages of growth and improve their competiveness in ASEAN and the world.”

    Vietnam’s agriculture targets 3.05% growth in 2018

    Vietnam’s agriculture reached an export value of US$36.5 billion last year. With positive signals in the first two months of 2018, the sector aims to grow 3.05% this year with an export value of US$40.5 billion, higher than previous plans.

    In the first two months of 2018, Vietnam earned more than US$6 billion from the export of agricultural produce. The exports of rice, coffee, tea, cashew nut, vegetables, fruits, and cassava grew both in quantity and quality. The results are attributable to effective restructuring of crop and livestock production. 

    Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Ha Cong Tuan said his Ministry will seek to raise growth targets. 

    “We have reviewed measures toward higher growth targets. Next week, we will meet and then submit to the government our revised solutions. This year, we aim to achieve a growth rate of 3.05% against the set target of 3% and earn US$40.5 billion from export instead of previous target of US$38 billion”, said Mr Tuan. 

    The Ministry is working to eliminate the “yellow card” imposed on Vietnam’s fisheries by the European Commission before the deadline April 23rd. Nguyen Thi Phuong Dung, Deputy Director of the International Cooperation Department of the Directorate of Fisheries said that the revised Law on Fisheries has integrated the EC’s recommendations on preventing and fighting illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing (IUU). 

    Ms Dung said, “The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development has sent dispatches to the Ministry of Public Security and Ministry of National Defense requesting close coordination in implementing the Prime Minister’s Decree 45 on urgent measures to deal with the EC’s warnings on fighting illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing. 

    The Ministry has asked the fisheries surveillance force to increase patrols and monitoring at sea. It updates list of illegal fishing vessels on a monthly basis, increases the local administrations’ responsibilities, and cooperates with other countries which claim violations of fishing vessels.”

    China, the US, the EU, ASEAN countries, Japan and the Republic of Korea continue to be Vietnam’s major agricultural export markets this year. 

    The Ministry is undertaking drastic solutions including promoting incentives to lure more investment in agriculture, and strengthening the value chain in production, processing and consumption of agricultural products to achieve set targets.

    New prospects for Ho Chi Minh City in 2018

    Ho Chi Minh City authorities expect 2018 to be a breakthrough year in development, especially now that the city has been tasked with piloting special development mechanisms and policies.

    HCMCity witnessed positive signals in the first two months of this year. In January, its exports reached US$3.4 billion, up nearly 32% from last year, contributing more than US$1.6 billion to the State budget, up 10%. The industrial development index rose more than 15% and the garment sector signed a number of export deals, 70% of them with US partners. In the first month of 2018, the city established more than 2,800 new firms with a total registered capital of more than US$860 million, up 23%.

    Tran Tuan Long, President of Thiet Thach Construction Investment JS Company, said, “I hope that Vietnam and HCM City will achieve even more outstanding economic achievements than last year, a stellar year for the Vietnamese economy. I hope the business community will thrive and help Vietnam's economy thrive this year.”

    Returning to HCMCity during the first days of this year, Le Ngoc Lam, a Vietnamese living in Japan, was surprised by how much the city had changed in a short period of time, in infrastructure, policies to facilitate businesses' operations, and especially the strong growth of the startup movement. He said he is extremely glad that the municipal administration is quickly using new mechanisms to develop HCMCity and attract talent.

    According to Lam, “in order to build a smart city and a qualified team of leaders, policies are needed to support human resource training. To attract talent we need a good salary mechanism. Cadres need to be professionally trained for the long term.”

    In response to the government motto “Disciplined, incorruptible, active, creative, and effective”, the city will implement 7 breakthrough programs to improve growth and economic competitiveness in combination with comprehensive economic restructuring.

    Nguyen Thien Nhan, a Politburo member and Secretary of the municipal Party Committee, said that this year HCMC has adopted 3 new breakthrough solutions to create motivation in addition to the 7 breakthrough programs to exploit the new mechanisms.

    He said, “The first solution is to fine-tune the management mechanism. Second is building a smart city. And the third solution is to mobilize domestic and foreign consultants to design an innovative urban center which comprises district 9, home to high-tech zones, district 2 with new urban areas and a financial center, and Thu Duc district with 12 universities with more than 1,500 doctorates and lecturers, and 70,000 students.”

    VNN

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  • 03/12/18--02:48: Article 1
  • Banks expect a bumper crop


    The season for the banking world’s annual general meetings is fast approaching as shareholders pay particular attention to issues of bank profit, bourse listings, the safety of bank deposits, and the reshuffling of senior personnel.


     

    Banks expect a bumper crop, 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
    Personnel restructuring at the top and tighter procedures are among the factors that might define the 2018 financial year 

    Aligning performance with targets

    For those large banks that completed the 2017 financial year on a high note, aiming for a higher performance in 2018 is justifiable, especially if they want to impress their shareholders at the annual general meeting (AGM) held in March and April.

    A number of banks have set a higher target for profit, revenue, and credit growth in 2018, based on their positive performance in 2017. State-owned giant Vietcombank, for instance, targets a credit growth at 16 per cent, deposit growth at 17 per cent, and total assets growth at 14 per cent. The bank’s pre-tax profit is also expected to advance from its 2017 figure of VND11 trillion ($500 million) to VND12 trillion ($545.45 million) this year.

    Top lenders in terms of assets, like VietinBank and BIDV, also target a boost in their assets, deposit, and credit growth. VietinBank anticipates a 15-17 per cent growth in total assets this year, together with its deposit growth of 18-20 per cent and credit growth at 16-17 per cent. BIDV, meanwhile, anticipates its credit and deposits to grow at around 17 per cent.

    However, for some smaller banks, setting a high profit target could be a double-edged sword, as they may struggle to reach the set goal. Leaders of those banks, as a result, may not always look forward to the AGM season.

    Take National Citizen Bank (NCB) for instance, who gained just over VND30 billion ($1.36 million) in pre-tax profit last year, or VietABank, whose pre-tax profit merely sat at VND150 billion ($6.81 million), much lower than its original set target of $253 billion ($11.5 million). VietABank’s deposit mobilisation and credit growth targets were not even close to being met, which put the bank in great difficulty when wanting to raise the charter capital to VND4.2 trillion ($190.9 million).

    Sector progress

    Despite the mixed performance results reported at large and small lenders, bank shareholders are counting on the recovery of the economy this year, which in turn can support further growth in the banking sector.

    Additionally, the health of local lenders is expected to continue improving over the year, with the issue of bad debts to be specifically addressed. With these, the price of bank stocks looks to be reinstated against previous years.

    Over the course of 2017, several listed banks experienced an ample boost in their stock. The newly listed VPBank and HDBank, in particular, witnessed a massive 40 per cent increase in their stock price.

    Other lenders, such as TPBank, are known to be preparing for their listing on the Ho Chi Minh City stock exchange in the second quarter of 2018, with TPBank’s shareholders already approving the plan to raise capital through the private placement of 87.6 million of stakes.

    Meanwhile, Fitch Ratings has upgraded the long-term issuer default rating (IDR) of Military Bank to ‘B+’ from ‘B’ with a stable outlook, and its viability rating up to ‘b+’ from ‘b’. At the same time, the agency also upgraded the viability ratings of Vietcombank and VietinBank to ‘b’ from ‘b-’.

    The long-term IDRs of Agribank, VietinBank, and Vietcombank have been affirmed at ‘B+’ with a positive outlook. The IDR of ACB has been affirmed at ‘B’ with a stable outlook.

    The positive rating action, according to Fitch, takes into account the Vietnamese banking system’s enhanced operating environment, with improved economic policy-making from authorities promoting macroeconomic stability and predictability.

    “This has enabled banks to significantly reduce their exposure to legacy problem loans that have long weighed on their balance sheets and offsets, in part due to the banking system's long-standing structural weaknesses – such as thin capital buffers and weak profitability – which we expect to be more adequately addressed over the longer term,” the agency said.

    Change in senior positions

    Numerous banks, meanwhile, will likely restructure their management board – as is the case with Kienlongbank and Sacombank who plan to reappoint their CEO, or at least select new members for the board for the tenure ending 2020. Eximbank, likewise, is expected to elect two additional members for its board during the AGM scheduled for April 27.

    Tightened procedures

    Another concern that may arise among shareholders at upcoming AGMs is the issue of the safety of deposit and savings transaction, due to the recent scandal of missing savings at Eximbank.

    As the issue is not exactly new – a few scandals of this kind have occurred in recent years – shareholders are likely to request their banks to review the safety procedures on savings and deposit transactions in a detailed and practical manner. Undertaking Basel II recommendations, in this case, can assist local banks in identifying material risks and adopt better risk management techniques.

    “Should it [Basel II] be implemented and applied in an appropriate manner, it can help banks to operate in a safe way,” said economist Le Xuan Nghia.

    Bank customers, according to economist Nguyen Tri Hieu, need the security given by banks for their savings. For shareholders, on the other hand, the lack of security on savings and deposits will mean a loss to the banks’ performance and capital, and subsequently damage shareholders too.

    “As things have happened to those banks whose customer’s savings have gone missing, it is a real red flag placed on the financial system, where tightened procedures ought to be carefully implemented in a bid to avoid any similar outrages happening again,” said Hieu.

    VIR

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  • 03/12/18--03:10: Article 0
  • More support given to abandoned workers by South Korean Company


    Dong Nai People’s Committee has continued to use their own funds to pay the insurance debts of nearly VND1.4 billion (USD61,701) owed by the KL Texwell Vina Co.Ltd so that their workers can get unemployment insurance and other benefits after the company’s management fled the country.


    DongNaiProvince used their own funds to pay salaries and Lunar New Year bonuses for nearly two thousand workers of KL Texwell Vina company on February 11


    The support was given after a meeting held by the committee with hundreds of the company's workers on March 7 to discuss unemployment insurance, the maternity period for pregnant women and the timeframe in which the workers of KL Texwell Vina would receive the remaining 50 percent of their salary for January.

    Issues related to the closing of social insurance books and solutions to help workers find new jobs were also discussed at the meeting.

    According to the provincial Department of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs, KL Texwell Vina Co.Ltd still owes nearly 13.7 billion (USD616,000) in salaries for January 2018 to 1,928 workers. They also owe over VND 17.5 billion (USD750,000) in insurance payments to the provincial Social Insurance Department.

    The Dong Nai Provincial Trade Union Federation confirmed that Texwell Vina's general director, Chang Jeen, and 11 other South Korean managers at the company had left Vietnam on February 8 and their plant has been closed since.

    Following a strike demanding the payment of salaries on February 8 and 9, authorities in DongNaiProvince on February 11 used their own funds to pay nearly two thousands workers of the company 50 percent salary for January and Lunar New Year bonuses.

    On February 23, the provincial authorities held a meeting with the South Korean Consulate-General in Ho Chi Minh City to ask for their help to contact with leaders of Texwell Vina Company in South Korea to discuss the problems.

    The Trade Union Legal Consultancy Centre under the DongNaiProvince’s Trade Union Confederation has initiated legal proceedings against KL Texwell Vina so that its machinery and other assets could be sold off to pay salaries and other benefits.

    South Korean-invested KL Texwell Vina, located in BauXeoIndustrial Park in Trang Bom District, registered for investment licence in garment and textiles in December 2015 and employs more than 1,900 workers.

    dtinews.vn

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