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  • 03/13/18--02:00: Article 1
  • Social News 12/3

    Suspected murderer in Bình Dương turns himself in

    Suspected murderer in Bình Dương turns himself in, Fire destroys 40ha of forest in Gia Lai, Vietnamese Buddhist Association hold requiem in RoK, Ha My massacre commemorated in Quang Nam 

    Police put up the parameters around FPT Telecom Company in Chánh Nghĩa Ward, ThủDầuMộtCity, following a murder on March 9. The suspect has surrendered himself to the police on March 11.

    Bình Dương Police on Sunday announced they had arrested a man alleged to have murdered his colleague at FPT Telecom Company in Chánh Nghĩa Ward, ThủDầuMộtCity.

    The victim is Nguyễn Văn Đông, 21, from the southern province of Đồng Tháp.

    The captured suspect is Đỗ Long, 23, from the Central Highlands province of Gia Lai.

    Long and Đông were guards of the Bảo Thiên Long Company, and were assigned to work at the FPT Telecom Company in BìnhDươngProvince. During their time working at the tech company, they reportedly did not get along well and were involved in multiple rows and fights.

    On March 9, they had an argument at work, and Long is alleged to have stabbed Đông dozens of times with a knife, killing him at the scene. Long then fled to hometown.

    Đông’s body was discovered the next morning by the cleaning lady, who then reported the case to the police.

    Long surrendered to police on Saturday night in Lale Commune in Chư Pưh District, GiaLaiProvince.

    The Bình Dương Province Police took Long to BìnhDươngProvince for further investigation.

    Fire destroys 40ha of forest in Gia Lai

    A fire that broke out in the Ia Grai protection forest in the Central Highlands province of Gia Lai was brought under control on Sunday morning.

    However, more than 40ha of forest, comprising pine trees planted in 2015, was destroyed.

    Lê Tiến Hiệp, head of the forest’s management board, said that the fire occurred on Friday afternoon.

    More than 200 people from the management board, provincial Border Guards and local residents from Ia Chía and Ia O communes were called to extinguish the fire.

    The team managed to temporarily halt the fire on Friday night. However, due to dry conditions and strong winds, the flames reappeared. Ia Grai District authorities called for more firemen from Đức Cơ District to stamp out it.

    Ia Grai District authorities kept a close watch on the scene to prevent the fire from re-occurring.

    The cause of the fire is under investigation.

    Vietnamese Buddhist Association hold requiem in RoK

    The Vietnamese Buddhist Association in the Republic of Korea (RoK) held a requiem at Phung An pagoda in Seoul on March 11 to pray for national peace and prosperity.

    Hundreds of Vietnamese Buddhist followers including migrant workers, students and members of Vietnam-RoK multicultural families across the RoK were present at the event.

    Buddhist nun Thich Nu Gioi Tanh, Chairwoman of the Vietnamese Buddhist Association in the RoK, said the requiem aims to pay tribute to ancestors and soldiers who sacrificed their lives for Vietnam’s national independence and freedom.

    She highlighted significant contributions of Vietnamese Buddhist community in the RoK to charitable activities in the host society and the homeland.

    At the ceremony, a representative from the Vietnam Buddhist Sangha (VBS) Central Committee announced a decision to recognise the Vietnamese Buddhist Association in the RoK as a member of the VBS.

    The association’s chairwoman pledged to accompany other Vietnamese associations in the RoK to build a strong community of overseas Vietnamese and contribute significantly to the development of the two countries’ relations.

    At the end of the requiem, participants offered incense and released flower garlands to commemorate the deceased and prayed for a New Year of peace and prosperity.

    Ha My massacre commemorated in Quang Nam

    A ceremony commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Ha My massacre took place at the Ha My Monument, in Dien Duong ward, Dien Ban township, the central province of Quang Nam on March 11.

    The event saw the presence of a 40-member delegation of the Republic of Korea-Vietnam Peace Fund, representatives from the Quang Nam province chapter of the Vietnam Union of Friendship Organisation, local authorities, and crowds of people, witnesses and relatives of victims.

    The RoK delegation, including professors, physicians, teachers, farmers, artists, students and social activists, offered incense and floral wreaths to commemorate the innocent victims of the massacre, and expressed their apology to Vietnamese people for the involvement of RoK soldiers in the killing.

    Fifty years ago, on the morning of February 25, 1968, the 24th day of the first lunar month of the year Mau Than (Year of Monkey), 135 Ha My villagers, most of them being elderly, women and children, were killed by troops of the RoK "Green Dragon" brigade.

    Speaking at the ceremony, President of the RoK-Vietnam Peace Fund, Kang U-il expressed his pain and deep regret for the massacre, saying that the truth must be brought to light in order to draw lessons from history and to ensure that such tragedy will not happen again. 

    Previously, the fund visited families and relatives of the massacre victims, and presented 35 bicycles to students of the PhanBoiPrimary school in Dien An ward, Dien Ban township.

    The RoK-Vietnam Peace Fund, a non-governmental organisation, was launched in 2016 by the National Human Rights Commission of Korea, with the purpose to promote the "Sincere apologies to Vietnam" movement launched in 1999.

    More Japanese cherry trees planted in Hanoi

    The Japanese retail group AEON planted 500 more cherry blossom trees at the HoaBinhPark in Hanoi on March 10 as part of the activities to celebrate the 45th anniversary of Vietnam-Japan diplomatic ties.

    The event, which was attended by Japanese Ambassador to Vietnam Kunio Umeda and Chairman of the municipal People’s Committee Nguyen Duc Chung, was held by the AEON Environmental Foundation in response to a project planting one million green trees in the capital city.

    Ambassador Kunio Umeda said the planting of cherry blossom trees in Hanoi is also meant to contribute to environmental protection.

    He hoped the trees will grow well, making HoaBinhPark an ideal place for Hanoians to relax and enjoy cherry blossoms.

    Chairman of the AEON Environmental Foundation Takuya Okada said since 2014, the foundation has grown nearly 100,000 trees in Hanoi and the central province of Thua Thien-Hue

    He added that the foundation has planted 200 cherry blossom trees at HoaBinhPark last year.

    The trees were selected from the variety from Japan’s Fukuoka prefecture, which has similar climate to Hanoi, he said, noting his hope that they are growing well and expected to blossom in the future.

    Chairman Nguyen Duc Chung said the cherry blossom trees that he planted at HoaBinhPark one year ago are developing well, symbolising the continuous development of the friendship and comprehensive strategic partnership between Vietnam and Japan as well as between Hanoi and AEON Group.

    He hoped the event will help raise public awareness of environmental protection.

    More than 200 Vietnamese and Japanese volunteers joined hands to plant the cherry trees.

    Vietnam’s maps on show at Berlin international tourism fair

    Maps of Vietnam are on show along with tourism products at Vietnam’s booths at the 2018 International Tourism Exchange Berlin (ITB) in Germany from March 7-11.

    Through the map exhibition, the country wants to provide visitors with more information about Vietnam’s tourism as well as highlight its sovereignty over Hoang Sa (Paracel) and Truong Sa (Spratly) archipelagoes.

    More than 40 leading travel companies from Vietnam are participating in this year’s ITB, one of the biggest tourism festivals in the world, aiming to promote their tourism products and services.

    The Vietnamese booths are set up on an area of 500 square metres, drawing a large crowd of foreign visitors thanks to the provision of a diverse number of products and services.

    Deputy Director General of Vietnam National Administration of Tourism (VNAT) Ha Van Sieu said there are good of opportunities for Vietnam to develop tourism in the future, as many travel agencies consider Vietnam a ‘rising star’ and a safe and friendly new destination.

    However, the biggest challenge for the tourism industry at present is how to improve its competitiveness in the region and beyond since most of Vietnamese tourism businesses are small- and medium-sized ones.

    Therefore, it is necessary to invest in human resource development and seek the most efficient way to promote tourism, he suggested.

    According to the General Statistics Office of Vietnam, more than 2.86 million foreigners visited Vietnam in January and February 2018, up 29.7 percent from the same period last year.

    Vietnam aims to serve between 15 and 17 million foreign and 78 million domestic travellers this year, with total revenue expected to hit 620 trillion VND (27.28 billion USD), up 21.35 percent on year.

    With a growth of 30 percent in tourism in 2017, Vietnam for the first time came on the list of countries with fastest tourism growth speed in the world, ranking at the 6th place.

    Ben Tre hosts Mekong Delta Francophone Day

    The 21st Francophone Day of the Mekong Delta opened in Ben Tre on March 11 in celebration of the International Francophonie Day (March 20) and to mark the 45th anniversary of the Vietnam – France diplomatic ties (April 12).

    The event was jointly organised by the Ben Tre province chapter of the Vietnam Union of Friendship Organisations, Francophone international organisations, and Can Tho University.

    Many activities were held during the event, including a French speaking contest on the theme of Vietnamese and French cuisine, a cooking contest focusing on French dishes, and bilingual art exchanges. 

    Jean Philippe Rousse, attaché of cooperation and cultural activities at the Consulate General of France in Ho Chi Minh City, said French is the fifth most widely used, the second mostly learnt language in the world and the second official language at international organisations.

    Ben Tre has the largest numbers of French language learners and teachers in the Mekong Delta region, with 4,000 students and 30 teachers at secondary and high school levels.

    Vice Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee Nguyen Huu Phuoc said more than 100 graduates from the Ben Tre senior high school for gifted students have received tertiary education in France.

    Over the past time, numerous local students have received scholarships of France-based universities and institutes, which will encourage more students to learn French and lay the foundation for the cooperation between Ben Tre and France in the future, he said.

    The Francophone Day of the Mekong Delta is the biggest annual get-together of the Francophone community in the Mekong Delta.

    It is rotationally organised by four regional localities. This is the fourth time Ben Tre province has ever hosted the event.

    Firefighters stamp out tanker blaze in Hai Phong port city

    Firefighters successfully stamped out the blaze of a tanker at Port K99 in in Hai An district, the northern port city of Hai Phong on early March 11 after eight hours of battling.

    According to the municipal People’s Committee, the fire broke out at 4:30 pm on March 10 on Hai Ha 18 oil tanker which was carrying 900 cubic metres of A92 petrol.

    When the incident happened, the tanker was pumping petrol ashore. However, a fuel pump was malfunctioned, so the process was stopped for the ship to be pulled out of the wharf for repair. An explosion occurred immediately after that, leading to fire.

    Right after the incident, Minister of Public Security To Lam, Secretary of the municipal Party Committee and Chairman of the municipal People’s Council Le Van Thanh, Chairman of the municipal People’s Committee Nguyen Van Tung, and Vice Chairmen of the municipal People’s Committee Pham Van Ha and Nguyen Van Thanh, came to the scene to direct firefighting efforts.

    More than 400 firefighters and 15 fire trucks were sent to put the fire under control.

    According to the initial information, no human losses have been reported so far and the tanker has been removed to a safe area.

    Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc also sent a dispatch to the National Committee on Incident, Disaster Response and Search and Rescue, the Ministries of Public Security, National Defence, and Transport, and the People’s Committee of Hai Phong, requesting them to work out all measures to prevent the blaze from spreading to other areas and ensure absolute safety for nearby residents.

    Danang requested to rescue Dien Hai Citadel

    DanangCity’s Department of Culture and Sports director Huynh Van Hung has proposed the municipal government quickly come up with a plan to rescue the special national historical relics of Dien Hai Citadel, which is seriously being trespassed.

    Hung told the Daily on March 8 that several existing structures have encroached on the citadel. The DanangMuseum is located right in the relic’s core zone while the city’s AdministrativeCenter and Thach Thang Cultural House encroach on the relic’s buffer zone, he said.

    Moreover, Hung proposed closing down the boat station along the BachDangRiver as it is located opposite to the relic’s entrance, thus spoiling the landscape and architecture.

    “Although the boat station does not encroach on Dien Hai Citadel according to the law of heritage, it is blocking the entrance to the relic site,” said Hung.

    Chairman of Danang City Huynh Duc Tho has assigned the Department of Culture and Sports to work with the Department of Construction to rework the zoning plan for Dien Hai Citadel, including the possibility of relocating the boat station.

    DanangCity authorities will organize a ceremony on March 29 to receive the Certificate of Special National Historical Relics for Dien Hai Citadel and to commence work on stage one of rehabilitating and restoring the citadel. Dien Hai Citadel, previously Dien Hai military post, was constructed in 1813 near Danang estuary.

    Proceeds from auction of U23 team’s ball, jersey presented to poor districts

    The 20 billion VND (878,000 USD) collected from the auction of the ball and the jersey with autographs of all members of U23 Vietnam team, the runners-up of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) U23 Championship last January, was presented to 20 deprived districts of 12 provinces nationwide in Hanoi on March 11.

    Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc attended the presentation ceremony, which also saw the presence of head coach Park Hang-seo and players of the U23 Vietnam team along with representatives of the 20 localities.

    The beneficiary districts are Dong Van and Meo Vac of Ha Giang province, Muong Khuong and Si Ma Cai of Lao Cai, Ha Quang and Bao Lac of Cao Bang, Van Ho and Sop Cop of Son La, Muong Te and Sin Ho of Lai Chau, Muong Lat of Thanh Hoa, Ky Son and Tuong Duong of Nghe An, A Luoi of Thua Thien-Hue, Tu Mo Rong and Kon Plong of Kon Tum, Bac Tra My and Tay Giang of Quang Nam, Tan Phu Dong of Tien Giang, and Tra Cu of Tra Vinh.

    Addressing the event, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc appreciated the warm response that organisations and people nationwide gave to the auction. He also congratulated FLC Group on winning the auction.

    He asked authorities of the 20 districts to use the presented money to build 500 houses worth 40 million VND (over 1,750 USD) each for revolution contributors, policy beneficiary families and low-income earners.

    He also encouraged Vietnam’s football to take more firm, confident and drastic steps forwards after the excellent performance at the AFC U23 Championship so as to deserve the trust of fans across the country. 

    The Government leader also took this chance to call on all-level authorities and sectors to follow the spirit of U23 Vietnam to make strong reforms and be united and determined to develop the country.

    The ball and the jersey were initially gifts from the U23 team to PM Phuc. 

    On February 1, the PM handed over the gifts to Minister of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs Dao Ngoc Dung and Minister of Information and Communications Truong Minh Tuan for auction.

    The auction from February 6 to February 11 attracted people from all social strata. FLC Group initially bid 12 billion VND (526,800 USD) for both items and then raised the sum to 20 billion VND to win the auction.

    Vu A Dinh scholarship fund mobilises support in RoK

    The Vu A Dinh scholarship fund, established in 1999, aims to support ethnic minority students from poor families who achieve outstanding academic performances, said former State Vice President and Chairwoman of the fund Truong My Hoa.

    At a meeting with representatives from the Vietnamese community in the Republic of Korea (RoK) on March 10 to mobilise support for the fund, Hoa noted that academic investment for children is crucial, particularly those from ethnic minority groups.

    Some 5,000 scholarships are presented to the needy every year, helping them overcome difficulties and contribute to society, she added.

    At the event, Vietnamese Ambassador to the RoK Nguyen Vu Tu underlined the sound relations between Vietnam and the RoK in the past 25 years, particularly cooperation in education and people-to-people exchange. 

    He said that there are 50,000 Vietnamese students studying in the East Asian nation and the figure is expected to rise.

    Meanwhile, representatives from the Vietnamese organisations in the RoK introduced their activities to support the needy in the homeland and vowed to support the impoverished students.

    India tourism promotion event held in HCM City

    Inviting all Vietnamese citizens to experience the different flavours of Indian culture, cuisine and nature was the theme of a tourism-promotion event that was held by the Consulate General of India in HCMCity.

    The event, named ‘Visit India in 2018’, was organised in the city last Friday, attended by representatives of the city’s Department of Tourism, Vietnamese and Indian tourism enterprises, and other relevant agencies.   

    It called on the travel industries from both sides to boost the bilateral people-to-people exchange in line with the guidance given by the leaders of the two countries. 

    Speaking at the event, Indian Consul General K. Srikar Reddy in Việt Nam highlighted the historical and civilisational links between two countries. He said:“Việt Nam is a strong pillar of India’s Act-East Policy.”

    The longstanding India-ViệtNam ties are based on strong mutual trust, understanding and a convergence of views on various regional and international issues.

    Over the years, there has been regular exchanges of high level visits between the two countries. 

    The leaders of both countries have agreed to intensify cooperation in the fields of culture, tourism and people-to-people exchange while widening and deepening cultural and historical ties.

    Tourism has been identified as a priority area for cooperation. 

    Last year, foreign tourist arrivals in India were 10.17 million, an increase of 15.6 per cent compared to 2016.

    Meanwhile, the number of Vietnamese visiting India has increased 60 per cent during the last five years.

    Nguyễn Thị Ánh Hoa, deputy director of the HCMCity’s Department of Tourism, said the city welcomed about 57,000 Indian visitors last year, an increase of 10.4 per cent over 2016.

    India is renowned for its cultural, historical, religious and natural heritage, and offers unique experiences unparalleled by any other country in the world. 

    The country attracts tourists thanks to its diverse traditions, life styles, colorful fairs and festivals, geographical diversity, attractive beaches, 36 World Heritage sites and 25-bio-geographic zones.

    According to World Travel and Tourism Council’s research, the world’s 10 fastest growing destinations for leisure-travel spending in the period of 2016-26 will be India, followed by Việt Nam, China, Thailand and other countries.

    Feasibility study for southern railway project done

    The Southern Institute of Science and Technology has finished the feasibility study for a high-speed railway project linking HCMC and Can Tho City, said the institute’s head Tran Cong Hoang Quoc Trang.

    The five southern localities which the 139-kilometer railway would pass through have agreed on the recommended route.

    In particular, the HCMC-Can Tho railway would run in parallel with HCMC-Trung Luong-My Thuan expressway. It would begin at Tan Kien station in HCMC and run to stations in Long An, Tien Giang and Vinh Long provinces before ending at CaiCuiPort in Can Tho City.

    The railway would a track width of 1,435 mm. There would be 10 stations in 10 cities along the line.

    According to a statement issued by the institute, it has worked with some 15 interested investors and decided to pick Canada’s MorFund as its partner. Both sides have agreed on the public-private partnership (PPP) investment model and many times reported to the HCMC government on the model.

    The HCMC-Can Tho railway project has received much attention from the Canadian government and the Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs has written to the HCMC chairman showing support for the Canadian investor’s cooperation. The consul general of Canada in HCMC on January 17 also wrote to the institute’s head expressing hopes that both sides can reach agreement on the PPP format and saying that Canada will assist in technology and project management.

    The institute on February 2 signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with MorFund on an investment scale of 6.3 billion Canadian dollars, or some US$5 billion. The MOU is considered a legal basis to proceed to the next steps of the project’s financing.

    The institute plans to report the project to the Ministry of Transport, the Prime Minister and the National Assembly this year so that it can get off the ground soon.

    In November 2013, the institute and the U.S.-based EDES also signed a MOU on cooperation in the HCMC-Can Tho railway project. However, no official contract between the two sides has been inked since then.

    According to the institute, the HCMC-Can Tho railway would be first used for cargo transport and would not consider transporting passengers until 2025.

    Red Spring blood donation festival takes place in Hanoi 

    The National Institute of Hematology and Blood Transfusion (NIHBT) has collected nearly 10,300 units of blood from donors at the Lễ hội Xuân hồng 2018 (Red Spring 2018) blood donation festival in Hà Nội.

    Organised by the NIHBT and the Hà Nội Steering Committee for Voluntarily Blood Donation Mobilisation, the year’s largest blood donation festival aims to collect at least 8,000 units of blood from 15,000 participants, mainly youth and students, from March 3 to 11.

    “The annual festival has basically aimed to assist during the blood shortage for emergency aid and treatment at hospitals, as well as provide safe and sufficient blood for development of high medical techniques, such as organ transplants and cancer treatment, saving lives of patients with fatal diseases,” said Deputy Minister of Health Nguyễn Viết Tiến on Saturday.

    Tiến also expressed his hope that humanitarian blood donations would be further expanded among each family, as well as the entire society in the coming years.

    “The country experiences a blood supply shortage after the Tết (Lunar New Year) holiday due to the demand for blood being higher than our preserved amount,” said NIHBT director Bạch Quốc Khánh .

    “Red Spring festival remains the best way to handle the situation. We organised this year’s event in many places in the city over nine days to offer more opportunities for donors to donate blood and to increase the quality of healthcare for donors,” said Khánh.

    Trần Minh Đức, a teacher, travelled more than 100 kilometres from TháiNguyênProvince to Hà Nội to donate blood at the festival.

    “I’m very excited to share my blood to help needy patients, and I’m very happy when I can do something useful,” said Đức.

    Đức said that this is the 15th time he has donated blood since he was a student more than 10 years ago.

    Đức said that he learned about the festival through his Facebook social network. He added that he will explain the benefits of voluntary blood donations with his students and friends to increase the community’s awareness about such humanitarian activities.  

    The festival organisation board said more than 60,300 units of blood were collected from 190,000 participants during ten Xuân Hồng blood donation festivals, since the first festival was held in 2008.  Last year, the festival received more than 9,300 units of blood, compared to 9,000 units during the previous year. 

    Construction begins for two railway roundabouts in Quảng Nam Province

    The central province of Quảng Nam, in co-operation with local car firm Trường Hải, commenced construction of a railway flyover roundabout at one of the busiest crossroads on National Highway No 1A, in Núi Thành District, and a road linking Chu Lai Port to Đà Nẵng-Quảng Ngãi Expressway.

    The flyover, invested in by Trường Hải to the tune of VNĐ600 billion (US$26.5 million), will be a key project to reduce traffic at the crossroad of the national highway and north-south railway system as well as on the route from the Chu Lai Port and Chu Lai-Trường Hải Industrial Complex to the expressway.

    It is scheduled to open to traffic this August.

    The flyover will allow non-stop travel on the national highway and hasten transportation of cargo from the seaport to the road system and ChuLaiAirport.

    A pedestrian bridge will be built to create a safe way to cross the railway system.

    Minister of Transport Nguyễn Văn Thể said the project will play a crucial role in providing safe transport for all vehicles at the busy road-railway crossing.

    He said the flyover will be a symbol of QuảngNamProvince, and it will help speed up travel to roads, railways, seaports and airports from Chu Lai Open Economic Zone.

    The ministry also approved eight flyover bridges in flood-affected areas in QuảngNamProvince, Thể added.

    Chairman of Trường Hải company Trần Bá Dương said the project will be a challenge for construction companies and workers with its strict construction schedule.

    He said the company will work to complete the project on schedule to mark the 15th anniversary of the foundation of the Chu Lai Open Economic Zone.  

    The crossroad section is used by more than 9,000 workers and vehicles from the Chu Lai-Trường Hải Industrial Complex as well as numerous vehicles that traverse the national highway and railway systems.

    Mekong Delta enjoys tourism growth

    Tourism in the Cửu Long (Mekong) Delta region has enjoyed a boost in tourist arrivals and revenue in the first two months of the year.

    During the period, Cần Thơ City received 1.8 million tourists, up 19 per cent year-on-year, according to the city’s Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism.

    The city’s tourism revenue rose by 28 per cent to reach VNĐ515 billion (US$22.6 million).

    Trần Việt Phường, director of the department, attributed the surge in tourist arrivals to rising demand for travelling during the Tết (Lunar New Year) holiday and various festive activities held in the city during the holiday.

    Famous tourist attractions, such as Cái Răng floating market, Mỹ Khánh tourism village, Trúc Lâm Phương Nam Zen Monastery, Bình Thủy ancient house, and cồn Sơn (Sơn islet), were crowded with domestic and foreign tourists during Tết, Phường said.

    To lure more tourists, the city has fostered tourism promotion and links with other major cities, such as HCMCity, Đà Nẵng and Hà Nội, he said.

    Last year, the city welcomed 7.5 million tourists, up 40 per cent year-on-year, and tourism revenue surged by 61 per cent to VNĐ2.9 trillion ($127.6 million).

    KiênGiangProvince’s tourism income topped the region last year, totaling VNĐ4.58 trillion ($201.4 million), said Phạm Vũ Hồng, chairman of the provincial People’s Committee.

    The province is encouraging enterprises to invest in infrastructure and tourism facilities, as well as upgrade historical, cultural and scenic sites to serve tourists, Hồng said.

    It has enhanced tourism marketing and promotion in local markets and abroad, he said.

    The province has mapped out four key tourism zones, including PhúQuốcIsland, Hà Tiên- Kiên Lương, Rạch Giá- Kiên Hải and U Minh Thượng National Park, he said.

    The number of tourists visiting the province totaled more than 1 million in the first two months of the year, up 2.5 per cent year-on-year.

    Đồng Tháp, Long An and Tiền Giang provinces have collaborated with HCMCity to develop the “One journey, three destinations” route tour to promote the sustainable tourism development in the Mekong Delta region.

    Jutatip Maneephan wins fourth stage of Biwase Cup

    Asian Games gold medalist Jutatip Maneephan won the fourth stage of the Bình Dương international women’s cycling tournament, the Biwase Cup, yesterday.

    The Thai cyclist won the 50km race around XuânHươngLake in Đà LạtCity in a time of 1:14.41.

    Lee Euheen of South Korea’s Samyang and Yoshikawa Miho of Japan were the runners-up.

    Lee Joohee of South Korea holds the green jersey award as the best sprinter with 28 points.

    Despite finishing in 12th in this stage, Nguyễn Thị Thu Mai of Gạo Hạt Ngọc Trời An Giang retains the yellow jersey for the best overall time of 9:31.49 after four stages.

    In the team rankings, Biwase Bình Dương lead, followed by Gạo Hạt Ngọc Trời An Giang and the Netherlands.

    Today, cyclists will compete in the fifth stage from Nha Trang to PhanRangCity, lasting 120km.

    The event features nearly 140 cyclists from nine foreign teams and nine domestic.

    Quảng Ninh beat Đà Nẵng at league’s first game

    Quảng Ninh Coal defeated SHB Đà Nẵng 1-0 in the first round of the Nuti Café V.League 1 at Cẩm Phả Stadium yesterday.

    Taking full advantage of playing at home, Quảng Ninh scored the opener in the 18th minute through Brazilian striker Teofilo Eydison.

    Eydison’s goal drove the home side on but they couldn’t best goalkeeper Nguyễn Thanh Bình again.

    In the second half, the visitors flooded forward to attempt to level the score.

    However, they nearly fell behind further in the 54th minute when Bình fouled Marcus Vinicius of Quảng Ninh in the penalty area. Fortunately for the visitors striker Mạc Hồng Quân failed to score from the spot.

    In the 79th minute, Đà Nẵng were presented a glorious opportunity to equalise when goalkeeper Huỳnh Tuấn Linh of the hosts fouled national U23 striker Hà Đức Chinh in the box.

    Brazilian Đỗ Merlo stepped up to take the spot kick for Đà Nẵng but failed to level the scores.

    The hosts controlled the remainder of the game, taking away all three points.

    In other matches yesterday, Hà Nội FC beat Hải Phòng 1-0, while NamĐịnh tied with Cần Thơ 0-0.

    On Saturday, defending champions Quảng Nam FC drew with Sài Gòn FC 1-1 at Tam Kỳ Stadium.

    Although Quảng Nam controlled the first half, they didn’t create many dangerous attacks on Sài Gòn’s box.

    After the break, the two sides pushed forward to seek goals. In the 47th minute, Hà Minh Tuấn headed the ball into the Sài Gòn net to open the scoring.

    In the 62nd minute, following a defensive mix-up, Lê Hoàng Thiên levelled the score for the visitors.

    At Pleiku Stadium, Hoàng Anh Gia Lai (HAGL) played out a goalless draw with former champions Becamex Bình Dương.

    The event drew much attention of fans and media in the country, with HAGL heavily tipped for the title this season.

    The stadium was full of fans who wanted to see HAGL’s midfielder and captain Lương Xuân Trường after two years of playing in South Korea on loan and other stars such as Nguyễn Công Phượng, Nguyễn Văn Toàn, Vũ Văn Thanh and Nguyễn Phong Hồng Duy who played for the national U23 team during their run to the final of the AFC U23 Championship in China in January.

    However, Bình Dương, who are in the process of bringing new blood into their team, gave the hosts plenty of trouble but failed to score. 

    5,000 people walk in Hanoi on Good Deeds Day

    Around 5,000 people joined a voluntary walk around HoanKiemLake in Hanoi on March 11 to mark Good Deeds Day.

    The event was jointly held by the Vietnam Youth Federation's Central Committee, Vietnam Volunteers Centre and FPT Corporation. It was also aimed to mark FPT Community Day on every March 13.

    The walk participants include FPT staff the most along with local residents and many singers and musicians. Each participant contributed VND100,000 (USD4.54) to raise funds for social security projects, including the construction of playgrounds for children.

    Nguyen Thi Thu Van, vice chairwoman of the Vietnam Youth Federation's Central Committee, said that voluntary campaigns would be the focus of the federation in the next five year, aiming to call for young people to contribute more to community projects.

    Bui Quang Ngoc, general director of FPT, said that since 2010, the corporation has selected March 13 as FPT Community Day so that their staff can contribute to helping disadvantaged people in the country.

    On the sidelines of the walk, the Vietnam Voluntary Centre and FPT Corporation signed an agreement for social security programmes in 2018, including repairing houses for the poor and supporting schools in remote areas.

    ​Two Vietnamese-American girls saved after being kidnapped for ransom

    Police in Ho Chi Minh City have rescued two young Vietnamese- American girls and arrested their suspected kidnappers, who previously demanded a ransom of US$50,000.

    Officers under the police department in District 11 saved six-year-old T.H.B.N. and eight-year-old T.H.M.A. on March 10.

    Their father, 45-year-old Tran Hoang, reported their abduction to police officers on March 7.

    The two girls are studying at an international school in the city, according to the family.

    Footage from the school’s security cameras showed that Lam Thi Phuong Dung, 15, who is the housekeeper, picked up the two children at their school on March 7.

    Phuong then walked them towards a strange man, who later carried the girls on his motorcycle to an unknown location.

    About an hour later, T.T.C., Hoang’s mother, received a text message from a strange number via Viber, which said that they were holding her two granddaughters.

    The abductors told the family to prepare their money and not to call the police, or the two girl’s lives would be harmed.

    At 2:00 pm on March 9, they kidnappers sent a second message, asserting that the ransom worth US$50,000 must be delivered at an area near the Dau Tieng Rubber Company in southern province of Binh Duong.

    Based on the initial information, officers started probing Dung’s relationship with multiple people, and dispatched units to various locations in Ho Chi Minh City, as well as in Binh Duong and the southern province of Tra Vinh for verification.

    Following relentless efforts, investigators were able to determine where the girls were held.

    They carried out a raid on a tenanted house in Binh Tan District on March 9, where the two children were staying with Dung.

    The victims were still in good health conditions but did not seem to be as active as they normally are.

    Thanks to Dung’s statements, officers apprehended Truong Huong, a 58-year-old Vietnamese- American woman who is also one of Hoang’s best friends.

    Huong refused to answer any of the officers’ questions and demanded the presence of a consular representative.

    Police have also arrested a relative of the young girls for allegedly being involved in the kidnap.

    Further investigation is ongoing.

    Festival to bolster VietnamJapan cultural exchanges

    Hanoi youths will have an opportunity to explore Japanese culture during the Taiyou Matsuri (Sun Festival), which will take place at the Vietnam National University of Agriculture in Hanoi, on March 13.

    The event, the second of its kind, aims to create a free venue for students to boost exchanges with the Japanese-speaking community in Hanoi, as well as foreigners who share a passion for the Japanese culture and language.

    The festival will introduce visitors to cultural practices, signature dishes and folk games of the two countries.

    Visitors are invited to learn Japanese calligraphy and Origami (Japanese paper folding art), try on Kimono and Yukata (casual summer kimono), as well as a sumo wrestler costume, and make Japanese traditional masks and dolls.

    They can also take part in a performance of cosplay costumes and a lucky draw with many interesting prizes.

    Lam Dong province acts to preserve gong culture

    The Central Highlands province of Lam Dong has approved a plan to preserve and promote the gong cultural space, which has been recognised by UNESCO as an intangible heritage of humanity.

    The scheme aims to gradually restore the values of the gong culture space as well as the traditional lifestyles of ethnic minorities in the province, as a way to safeguard their cultural identity and provide a boost for tourism.

    Lam Dong province’s programme also seeks to train a new crop of young instrumentalists who can protect and keep the gong culture alive.

    The plan is part of Vietnam’s commitment to UNESCO for safeguarding the tradition, which was originally proclaimed as a masterpiece of the intangible heritage of humanity in 2005.

    The cultural space of gongs is practised by 17 ethnic groups in five provinces across the Central Highlands, namely Kon Tum, Gia Lai, Dak Lak, Dak Nong, and Lam Dong.

    Dong Nai advances extra payment for Texwell Vina workers premium

    The People’s Committee of Dong Nai province yesterday approved an extra advance of nearly VND1.4 billion (US$61,000) on the provincial budget to pay social premium for workers of Korean Texwell Vina Compay, which owner has run away, so that they can enjoy unemployment insurance and maternity regime after ending labor contracts with the company.

    In an announcement sent yesterday, the provincial Labor Union said that so far 1,700 social insurance books have been returned to workers and the remaining of 300 books have not been received.

    Ms. Nguyen Hoa Hiep, deputy chairman of Dong Nai People’s Committee, said that the province has worked to ensure rights for workers of the company and mobilized businesses in the province to receive workers of over age 40.

    Previously, Dong Nai had advanced on its budget to pay half of January wage for the workers to celebrate the Tet holiday. The Vietnam General Confederation of Labor also gave them Tet presents worth VND600,000 each.

    Inorganic fertilizers badly harm Vietnam’s environment

    Vietnamese farmers use 11 million tons of fertilizers annually, of which, only one million tons is the organic fertilizer while the remaining is inorganic, according to the Department of Plant Protection’s statistic released at a meeting on developing organic fertilizer for the country’s agriculture sector in Hanoi yesterday.

    As of December, 2017, the number of registered organic fertilizer products for agricultural production is 713, accounting for 5 percent compared to total products registered with 14,318.

    According to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural development (MARD), manufacturing and using fertilizers in moderation will help increase productivity and produce quality.

    However, for a long time, Vietnamese farmers have used synthetic or inorganic fertilizers which depleted the quality of soil and badly impacted on fruit and vegetable meanwhile organic kinds - an essential element for the growth of microorganisms in the soil can help improving humus in the soil , the growth of microorganisms in addition to providing nutrients to the soil.

    Developing production of organic fertilizers both boosts organic agricultural production and takes advantage of waste products in planting, breeding and revamp soil environment.

    However, at present, the country has 180 licensed manufacturers to make organic fertilizers, accounting for 24. 5 percent over 735 units. These 180 manufacturers make 2.5 million tons annually, just accounting for 0.1 percent compared to their chemical fertilizer plants with 26.7 million tons a year.

    Therefore, at the meeting, experts warned that this is good opportunity for investors to pour capital into producing organic fertilizers in next 5 - 7 years.

    Speaking at the meeting, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Nguyen Xuan Cuong proposed enterprises adopting hi-tech in manufacturing organic fertilizer to protect environment. Moreover, he promised to have preferential policies to support firms.

    Additionally, the Ministry will increase supervision on the quality of fertilizers to set order in production and business of fertilizers. The Ministry petitioned the government to have preferential policies in production capital, special treatment in soil hiring as well as tax exemption for individual and organizations to make organic fertilizers.

    Moreover, the government should have mechanism to support firms to build their brand names and growth of production.

    The Minister suggested local administrations encouraging farmers to increase utilization of environmentally friend fertilizers as well as enhance supervision to discover fake fertilizers or low quality kinds.

    HCMC needs to build 80,000 houses annually

    The Department of Construction in Ho Chi Minh City forecast that the city needs to build 80,000 houses annually to meet rising demand of accommodation of residents.

    Buildings will be built in new urbans and in districts which have complete infrastructure. New buildings to replace old ones inner-city areas such as districts 1, 3, 4, 5 will set up to exploit land efficiency.

    Meantime, four new urbans including Thu Thiem, Hi-tech area, South including the South area and HiepPhuocHarbor, northwest including Cu Chi and the national highway 1A and Southwest area including Binh Chanh district.

    HCMC strives to raise residents’ satisfaction to administrative procedures

    HCMC has been striving to increase residents and businesses’ satisfaction level to administrative procedures to over 80 percent and individuals’ satisfaction in education and health fields to over 80 percent by 2020.

    Currently, it is implementing solutions to efficiently materialize Politburo Conclusion 21 and National Assembly Resolution 54 on piloting specific mechanisms for HCMC development.

    Specifically, the city focuses on building specific mechanisms according to the resolution to untie knots in finance, land, apparatus and human resource in public administrative field to develop fast and sustainably, according to the draft statement on administrative reform results in the phase of 2011-2017 and directions and missions in 2018-2020 which the city People's Committee has recently sent to the city People’s Council.

    The People’s Committee said that administrative reform leadership and instruction has been conducted drastically, closely and thoroughly in a timely manner from city to ward levels.

    Administrative reform has been sped up and procedures have been simplified and streamlined in construction and land field.

    The city has set up a working group headed by the chairman of the People's Committee to solve investment procedures. One door mechanism and one stop shop mechanism have been carried out to gradually improve resident serving quality. Agencies have received and returned documents through post and telecom service.

    The city has also paid attention to building and improving the staff of cadres and officials to contribute in bettering state management efficiency. However surveys show that residents and organizations’ satisfaction to public administrative service and public services has increased insignificantly.

    Obtained results have failed to meet the target in the action program of the city Party Committee to implement the resolution on administrative reform program in the phase of 2016-2020.

    Administrative procedures in some fields such as invesment, land and construction are still complicated. Annoucement and publicization of administrative formalities have been slow while the number of procedures conducted under one door and one stop shop mechanisms and electronic public services of level 3 and 4 has been few.

    Public workforce cut has neither been stepped up nor paid attention to appropriately. Decentralization has not been implemented thoroughly and stably.

    Therefore, the city People’s Committee has set out specific missions to continue taking the initiative in conducting and intensifying surveys of residents and businesses’ satisfaction to the service by government agencies to rectify limitations in a timely manner.

    Besides increasing residents and businesses’ satisfaction to administrative procedures to over 80 percent, the city will study breakthrough innovations in institutions in combination with strong administrative reform, change from pre to post inspection in administrative procedure implementation, intensify application of information technology to contribute in developing e-government.

    Especially the city would focus on carrying out the plan of the city People’s Committee to materialize NA Resolution 54 on schedule and ensure quality.

    The committee has suggested promoting supervision and feedback role of the city People’s Council and Vietnam Fatherland Front committee in administrative reform.

    HCMC records three cases of measles

    Three people were taken to hospital with diagnosis of measles during two past weeks, repported the Preventive Medicine Department in Ho Chi Minh City.

    According to the Department, in three first months of the year, the city recorded 2,187 cases of dengue inpatients, a year-on-year decrease of 30 percent; 255 hand-foot-mouth cases and one case of disease caused by Zika virus, a drop of 42 percent and 93 percent compared to 2017.

    Three cases of meales are most noticeable.

    Following the hospitalization of three measles inpatients, experts warned of the possibility of reoccurrence of the ailment as the year in the measles period is 3-5 years. This year is the peak year for the disease as per the period.

    The youngest patient is a 18-month-old infant in district 2. According to the baby’s relative, the baby lived in the North where measles is plaguing and he has moved to the city lately.

    The second patient is a toddler in district 6 and the third is a 23 year old person in District Phu Nhuan.

    Through epidemiology investigation to isolate the district, no link between cases of measles which adults and children both suffer.

    Medical workers warned weather transaction make children’s resistance weaker; accordingly, parents should look after their kids well.

    To actively prevent the disease, parents need to take their children to infirmaries for vaccination as per the National Expanded Immunization Program.

    When a person experiences symptoms like fever, rash, red eye, and running nose, they should go to the nearby clinic. Infected people should be kept isolation especially children and unvaccinated people to prevent transmission.

    Four Vietnamese women artists exhibit artworks in China

    Four Vietnamese female painters traveled to China for the Spring Song Art Exhibition in Nanjing, capital of China’s Jiangsu Province, March 8- 16.

    Artists, including Nguyen Thi Tam, Tran Thi Thuy Linh, Huynh Phuong Thi dai Trang and Viet Thi Kim Quyen who are members of the HCMCity and Vietnam Fine Arts Associations, will exhibit their paintings describing Vietnamese natural landscapes and people.

    The exhibition will feature nearly 50 paintings using various materials by 22 women artists from Myanmar, Malaysia, Thailand, and Vietnam. It aims to give a regional fine art exchange for insiders.

    ILO: Women have fewer chances than men in labor market

    Women have fewer opportunities to participate in the labor market and hold senior positions than men, especially in developing countries, according to a survey by the International Labor Organization (ILO).

    The survey released in Hanoi on March 8 showed that most of female workers have to do temporary jobs in the informal sector.

    Only 48.5% of females participate in the labor market this year, 26.5 percentage points lower than men. In addition, the jobless rate among women is 6%, 0.8 percentage point higher than men.

    Deborah Greenfield, ILO deputy general director for policy, said it is difficult to achieve gender equality in the labor market despite many achievements and commitments on the issue.

    The unemployment rates among women and men in developed countries are not so different. There are even fewer unemployed women in Eastern Europe and North America.

    Meanwhile, in Arab and North African countries, the number of jobless women doubles that of men due to social prejudices hindering females from doing paid jobs. The report also said that the number of males holding managerial posts is four times higher than women.

    The gender discrimination in Vietnam is not as great as in many other parts of the world. However, there is inequality in opportunities to get jobs and the quality of jobs between female and male workers.

    According to the latest employment survey, 71% of females are employed while the rate is 80.6% for males.

    In 2016, the number of unpaid female workers was 12.4% higher than men. Among wage earners, male workers are monthly paid VND5.3 million, 10.7% higher than females.

    Ben Thanh market to apply safe-food model next month

    Ben Thanh Market in HCMC’s District 1 will pilot the model of safe-food market, with the first step being to upgrade sanitation facilities next month, said Le Quang Thien, head of the management unit of the market.

    According to Thien, the management unit is working on necessary procedures for the market renovations so that the safe-food market model can be piloted there, particularly with pork trading.

    Renovations at the market include the replacement of tiles of kiosks and shelves, lighting systems, water supply and drainage, and food storage among others.

    There will also be a separate functional area and spacious aisles in addition to hygiene and fire safety facilities.

    Thien said all pork sold at Ben Thanh Market has clear origin. In particular, 41 pork kiosks of 36 traders at the market sell pork sourced from Vissan, the country’s biggest food processor.

    The implementation of the safe-food market model at Ben Thanh market is part of the 2016-2020 pilot food safety program. In the first phase of the program, the safe-food market model is applied for pork trading at Ben Thanh Market in District 1 and Hoc Mon Wholesale Market in Hoc Mon District.

    The aim of the program is to develop a market model which meets food safety standards, with a focus on the origin and quality of products.

    Safe-food markets must satisfy different criteria concerning products, traders, market facilities and inspections.

    Every main criterion has detailed requirements. For instance, food products for sale must have documents showing their origins, food safety certificates or testing documents. The origin of food products must be traceable and comply with technical requirements like residues of veterinary medicine and heavy metals.

    Besides, food traders at markets must have trading registration certificates, and be certified or pledge to meet food safety standards specific to the food categories they trade in.

    The program will be expanded to 12 traditional wet markets after the first phase and all traditional markets in HCMC after 2020. After pork, such a model will be introduced to other farm produce, essential goods and catering services.


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    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, 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 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.”


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  • 03/14/18--02:28: Article 3
  • Vietnam central bank seeks to lower commercial rates

    The central bank will pursue a flexible monetary policy that aims at maintaining economic stability


    ​Vietnam central bank seeks to lower commercial rates
    A woman rides a bicycle past the building of the State Bank of Vietnam in Hanoi May 17, 2016. Photo: Reuters

    The State Bank of Vietnam will seek to lower commercial interest rates this year to support business activity, while keeping the exchange rate stable, the central bank said in a statement.

    The central bank will pursue a flexible monetary policy that aims at maintaining economic stability, according to the statement posted on the central bank’s website late on Tuesday.

    It said it will continue its efforts to clean up non-performing loans in the local banking system and build up foreign exchange reserves. Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc said earlier this month that Vietnam’s Foreign Reserves hit $60 billion, an all time high.

    Vietnam is targeting economic growth of 6.7 percent this year. Last year’s pace was 6.81 percent, the fastest in a decade. Phuc said first-quarter GDP is likely to grow 7.41 percent.

    The central bank’s benchmark annual refinancing rate is currently 6.25 percent, and was last lowered in July, with the discount rate at 4.25.


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  • 03/14/18--02:32: Article 2

    Binh Duong grants 19 investment certificates


    Binh Duong grants 19 investment certificates, Saigon Petro proposes to bring A92 back, Viet Nam-Japan forum strengthens ties, Steel exports increase 38%, VN firms see positive impact from CPTPP


    Binh Duong provincial People’s Committee granted investment certificates to 19 projects yesterday for the first investment stage in 2018, including 15 foreign direct investment (FDI) projects.

    The major projects included two investments on logistics services and industrial real estate, jointly invested by Warburg Pincus Financial Group and Becamex IDC Corp in Bau Bang and My Phuong industrial parks with total registered capital of US$135.2 million; and a $20-million apparel manufacturing factory of Far Eastern Apparel Co Ltd at VSIP II-A.

    Tran Thanh Liem, chairman of Binh Duong People’s Committee, said the improvement and transparency in the province’s investment climate helped increase investors’ trust and strengthen their long-term investment commitment.

    BinhDuongProvince is Viet Nam’s second biggest magnet for foreign investment after HCMCity. The province has attracted $435 million worth of foreign capital in the first two months, including 31 newly-granted investment certificates with total registered capital of $233 million, an additional capital of $141.5 million for 13 existing projects, and nearly $60 million capital contributed by foreign investors.

    Saigon Petro proposes to bring A92 back
    Saigon Petro has proposed to bring petrol A92 back to the market when the consumption of E5 bio-fuel is low and it is not meeting the target of environmental protection.

    The proposal is part of a recommendation on environmental protection tax and policies to develop bio-fuel in the future, which was recently sent to the ministries of Trade and Industry and Finance, and after two and a half months, fuel A92 or RON 92 was replaced with E5 bio-fuel.

    According to the prime minister’s decision, E5 fuel, which is a mix of A92 petrol (95 per cent) and bio-fuel ethanol (5 per cent), has been officially sold nationwide to replace A92 since January 1, this year.

    Currently, there is A95 gasoline, which is suitable for vehicles with high-engine displacement, and E5, which is suitable for low-engine displacement.

    Although the price of A95 is about VND1,600 per litre, higher than E5, many consumers prefer A95.

    Nguyen Thanh Huong, a Ha Noi resident who owns a scooter, told Việt Nam News that she still used A95 for her vehicle because it was said that it was much better than E5, which may cause problems to the vehicle’s engine.

    “Its price is higher than E5 but I do not care much about it. I always spend about VND100,000 for a full tank of petrol; it is just about VND6,000-7,000 higher than E5,” said Huong.

    Saigon Petro said through references of its big fuel wholesale agents, the volume of E5 bio-fuel sold was 30 per cent of the market share, while the remaining 70 per cent was gasoline A95. Previously, A92 occupied 65 per cent of the market share.

    A firm leader told that the sale of E5 petrol is expected to account for 70 per cent and A95 30 per cent of total volume of petrol sold in the market.

    According to the calculation of Saigon Petro, in the first two months of this year, the consumption of non-essential A95 petrol was up to VND400 billion per month, due to the consumers’ psychology. Many types of motorcycles can use A92 or E5. There is no need to use the high-priced A95 gasoline.

    Saigon Petro said if there was no way to raise the consumption volume of E5, the Government and relevant ministries should allow bringing A92 back to the market to curb usage of A95. The price of A95 is currently 8 per cent higher than E5, while the different rate should be 20 per cent to encourage consumers using E5.

    “Our opinion is that people who use A95, which affects the environment, will be charged a higher price in order to support people who use E5, which is to protect the environment,” said the Saigon Petro leader.

    “The environment protection tax of A95 should be raised from current VND3,000 to VND4,000 per litre and the tax on E5 should be decreased from VND2,850 to VND2,500 per litre in order to lure the consumer,” he added.

    The Deputy Director of Cu Chi Commercial and Industrial Development Investment JSC, Nguyen Van Tam, said that if the use of A92 petrol is allowed, it will be a step backward.

    “We need to use E10 and E20 like many other countries in the world. The main issue is to raise people’s awareness so that people understand the use and efficiency of bio-fuel,” said Tam.

    Can Tho enhances collective economy
    Can Tho Co-operative Alliance aims to further enhance the development of co-operatives as well as the city’s collective economy in both scale and quality this year.

    Specifically, it plans to establish at least 100 new co-operative groups and 35 co-operatives, unions of co-operatives and form at least 15 co-operative models that have sustainable value chains.

    It also aims to raise the number of co-operative members by at least 10 per cent compared to last year, the ratio of co-operatives that have high operation efficiency by 50 per cent and increase the charter capital of the Co-operative Assistance Fund to reach at least VND20 billion (US$879,000).

    To achieve the above objectives, the Can Tho Co-operative Alliance will coordinate with the People’s Committee of the city’s districts and the relevant agencies to reform propaganda of the Government’s policies on promoting the development of co-operatives and intensify communication about developing new-style co-operatives that link with value chain.

    In addition, the alliance will coordinate with the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development to review difficulties faced by co-operatives to help them solve difficulties.

    Organising training courses to improve management capacity for co-operative leaders, training for local officials on collective economic knowledge, strengthening solutions to mobilise capital for agricultural cooperative production and trading, and expanding the linkage in production and consumption of farm produce through promoting linkage among co-operatives, co-operative groups and businesses, are among its other focuses for this year.

    It also advocates the development of diversified forms of co-operative groups, and creating conditions to boost the development of unions of co-operatives in localities and inter-regions, with a focus in agricultural and rural areas.

    At the same time, it will concentrate on raising its capacity in support, consultancy and supply services to meet co-operative demand as well as improve services providing capacity in terms of technology, governance and trade promotion for co-operatives

    It proposed that the Co-operative Assistance Fund renew its operations to increase the capacity to mobilise more resources so as to offer more loans to co-operatives.

    The alliance will co-operate with the city’s Department of Planning and Investment and other relevant agencies to promote external activities in the direction of actively expanding international co-operation; seeking and calling for international investment in serving the development of co-operatives and the cooperative economy.

    In addition, it will build and implement a scheme to improve professional skills and foreign languages for staff members in charge of external affair jobs.

    Nguyen Duc Phuong, chairman of the Can Tho Co-operative Alliance, said the city now has 223 co-operatives and 1,349 co-operative groups operating in the fields of agriculture, handicrafts, transportation and construction, commercial services and credit funds.

    Many co-operatives specialising in rice seed production and pangasius farming for export have achieved high revenue and profits, contributing to an increase of income for members. Last year, the city had 35 new co-operatives, up 46.5 per cent over 2016, with agricultural cooperatives accounting for 51 per cent.

    Many co-operatives have enhanced linkage between production and consumption, resulting in higher economic efficiency, he said.

    Viet Nam-Japan forum strengthens ties
    The Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) hosted a Vietnam - Japan Economic Dialogue on Monday, with the Japan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (JCCI) and a Japanese business delegate in attendance.

    Speaking at the opening ceremony, Hoang Quang Phong, VCCI’s Executive Vice President, acknowledged Japan’s leadership and Viet Nam’s willingness to cooperate as driving factors in the recently concluded Comprehensive Partnership and Transparency Partnership (CPTPP) agreement between the 11 member countries.

    Cooperation between Vietnamese and Japanese firms, as well as bilateral trade, have been growing steadily over the years, with Japan remaining one of Viet Nam’s most important partners, he said.

    In 2017, Japan was the biggest foreign investor in Vietnam with US$9.11 billion worth of capital, accounting for 25.4 per cent of Viet Nam‘s total foreign direct investment capital, while the value of total two-way trade reached over $33.4 billion.

    Viet Nam is also the recipient of the majority of Official Development Assistance from Japan, he added.

    Kobayashi Yoichi, Chairman of JCCI’s Mekong-Japan Business Cooperation Committee, and Co-chairman Nekoshima Akio expressed their appreciation towards the VCCI for hosting the dialogue, saying the event was a good opportunity for both sides to understand the current economic situation and bilateral trade and investment cooperation potential.

    Kobayashi noted that not only will the CPTPP promote export and investment between the two countries, it will also help increase export value in sectors such as textile, garments or seafood for Vietnamese firms.

    In addition, Kobayashi hoped that Japan would continue playing an important role in diversifying the structure of Viet Nam’s exports, replacing raw materials with manufactured products.

    Nekoshima said that in the upcoming time, there will be even more potential for cooperation in new fields such as agriculture, tourism, training and development of human resources and transportation, with a focus on Vietnamese small and medium enterprises.

    With a market of 95 million people, of which nearly 35 per cent live in urban areas, Viet Nam is considered an attractive destination for Japanese businesses in the service sector, he said.

    Nekoshima also noted that travel and transportation have immense potential for growth, with the number of Vietnamese tourists coming to Japan growing in recent years to reach more than 300,000 visitors in 2017.

    Japanese companies have previously focused on investing in Viet Nam’s manufacturing sector, with recent investment trends shifting to other areas like services.

    The dialogue consisted of two sessions discussing business opportunities, advantages and disadvantages for services, tourism and transportation.

    The Japanese business delegation, consisting of 50 senior executives working in general trade, manufacturing, machinery, aviation and services, was eager to exchange information and seek cooperation with potential Vietnamese partners, among Vietnamese companies such as distributor Phu Thai Group Jsc and travel company Vietravel.

    Business representatives from both countries also expected the newly signed CPTPP to further promote bilateral and multilateral economic and trade cooperation.

    VN firms see positive impact from CPTPP
    Sixty three per cent of businesses in Viet Nam believe the newly-signed Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) trade agreement will have a positive impact on their operations, according to an HSBC Group survey.

    The survey, conducted between December 2017 and January 2018 by market research group Kantar TNS on behalf of HSBC of key decision makers at 6,033 eligible companies, sampled 26 markets around the globe, including six member countries of the CPTPP - Australia, Canada, Malaysia, Mexico, Singapore and Viet Nam.

    Of around 1,000 firms based in these six markets, including 200 firms in Viet Nam, 46 per cent anticipate positive benefits from the trade agreement.

    Winfield Wong, country head of Wholesale Banking, HSBC Viet Nam, said CPTPP is a big, ambitious deal for Viet Nam and it will greatly impact future growth, jobs and living standards.

    “Now is the time for both firms and the Government to focus on implementing the agreement to achieve its full potential. It’s encouraging that many businesses are already expecting to see benefits.”

    The revised version of the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement was signed on March 8 in Chile without the US after President Donald Trump withdrew from the deal in November 2017.

    The pact now includes Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Viet Nam.

    Across the 11 economies involved, recent estimates from the Peterson Institute for International Economics (PIIE) suggest trade flows will be boosted by 6 per cent to 2030, with members enjoying total real income gains of US$157 billion every year, HSBC noted.

    LienVietPostBank’s profit to rise by 27% in 2018
    Lien Viet Post Joint Stock Commercial Bank (LienVietPostBank)’s profit is predicted to increase by 27.4 per cent to reach VND2.2 trillion in 2018.

    This was announced by VNDIRECT Securities Corporation in its newly issued report about the bank.

    According to VNDIRECT’s analysts, in 2017, the credit growth of LienVietPostBank, listed as LPB, was lower than predicted. But the bank’s deposit growth was higher than expected, so its loan-to-deposit ratio was only 67.4 per cent, much lower than projected.

    LPB, therefore, still has plenty of room for credit growth. Experts have raised the credit growth of LPB to 20 per cent in 2018 from 18 per cent in 2017, and the figure for the 2019-20 period is predicted to be at 18 per cent, also higher than the previous forecast of 16 per cent.

    Experts also raised their forecast for the bank’s NIM (net interest income), thanks to LPB’s expansion in the retail segment. LPB will continue to promote retail lending, especially key products such as retirement credit and loans to cadres and workers as well as the armed forces.

    “These credit products were implemented in 2015, so they are still in the early stages of the product life cycle. However, we think these products are in a high-growth stage,” the analysts said in the report.

    LPB has great networks in remote areas so the bank can approach a large number of customers who have never used banking services.

    The bank has already been allowed by State Bank of Viet Nam to convert 185 post offices into banking transaction offices. According to LPB, 80 post offices were converted in 2017, and the remaining will be converted this year.

    SSI targets 15% growth in profit this year
    Saigon Securities Inc (SSI) targets a total revenue of VND3.41 trillion (US$150 million) and pre-tax profit of VND1.615 trillion this year.

    This marks a year-on-year increase of 12 per cent and 15 per cent, respectively.

    The information was revealed in the company’s business plan for 2018.

    The annual shareholders’ meeting of SSI will be held on April 20 in HCMCity.

    At this meeting, the Board of Directors will submit reports on business results, financial statements and profit distribution plan in 2017, approve the chairman of the board of directors and general director in 2018, elect an additional member of the supervisory board and change the company’s name.

    In 2017, SSI recorded a revenue of over VND3.04 trillion, up 19.8 per cent compared to 2016 and surpassing 44.35 per cent of the plan. The pre-tax profit reached more than VND1.4 trillion, up 23 per cent and exceeding 32.8 per cent of the plan.

    41 investors eye stakes at Vinafood 2
    HCM Stock Exchange has announced the results of registration for the shares auction of Viet Nam Southern Food Corporation (Vinafood 2).

    Up to 114,831,000 shares will be put up for sale for the first time in the run-up to the initial public offering (IPO), at a starting price of VND10,100 (44 US cents) per share. The IPO is scheduled to take place at 9am on March 14.

    Forty one investors registered to take part in the auction, including 31 domestic investors and 10 foreign investors.

    The total registered volume was 115,603,300 shares, of which 115,096,500 shares were from domestic investors.

    According to the equitisation plan of Vinafood 2, the charter capital after equitisation will be VND5 trillion, of which the State will hold 255 million shares, representing 51 per cent of the charter capital.

    The number of shares offered in the IPO is over 114.8 million, representing 22.97 per cent of the charter capital. Nearly five million shares will be sold to employees, equivalent to 0.99 per cent of the charter capital. The stake sold to the trade union organisation at the enterprise is 200,000 shares, representing 0.04 per cent of the charter capital.

    Over 4,400 Suzuki FU150 FI Raider units recalled
    Suzuki Viet Nam is recalling more than 4,400 Suzuki FU150 FI Raider units to replace the contacts in the electric locks.

    The motorbikes were manufactured from November 10, 2016, to August 1, 2017. The recall time will last until December 31, 2019, with an estimated replacement time of one hour for each vehicle.

    The replacement will be free of charge.

    According to Suzuki Viet Nam, in the process of producing the contact in the electric locks by its supplier in Indonesia, the welding catalyst was left on the contact surface. This can lead to flickering in the main electric locks when temperature is generated during use.

    Moreover, when the ignition switch is turned on, the vehicle’s power system might occasionally lose power. This will either not start the vehicle or stop it abruptly while the engine is running, which can prove to be dangerous.

    Vietnam is Laos’ third largest trade partner in 2017

    Vietnam remained the third largest trading partner of Laos in 2017, trailing Thailand and China, according to the Vientiane Times.

    Vietnam exported US$552 million worth of goods to Laos in 2017.

    The newspaper quoted the Lao Ministry of Industry and Commerce as saying that two-way trade between Vietnam and Laos reached more than US$1.27 billion last year, with Laos’ imports of goods from Vietnam worth US$552 million.

    Last year, the landlocked country’s exports rose by 13.4% to more than US$4.8 billion while its imports climbed by 7.6% to more than US$4.5 billion.

    Laos’ major export markets were also Thailand, China, and Vietnam, followed by India, Japan, Germany, and the United States.

    The Southeast Asian country’s main exports were electricity, goal, camera accessories, garments, sugar, cassava, coffee, rubber, and corn.

    Two-way trade values between Laos and its two largest trading partners, Thailand and China, were US$5.3 billion and US$2 billion respectively.

    VinEco acquires Hung Vuong’s feed arm

    VinEco holds 24 per cent stake of Viet Thang Feed JSC (VTF) and expects to raise it to 60 per cent without a public offering.

    The shareholders of Viet Thang Feed JSC have just approved VinEco Agricultural Investment, Development and Productions LLC. to increase its holdings without a public offering. VinEco currently holds 25 million shares, equivalent to 24 per cent of VTF’s charter capital. They will purchase an additional 37.6 million shares to raise ownership in VTF to the maximum of 60 per cent.

    Earlier, VTF was a subsidiary of Hung Vuong Corporation (code: HVG), which held 90.38 per cent. On January 8, HVG. announced selling over 50 per cent of VTF to overcome financial difficulties. VinEco, a member of Vingroup, bought 24 per cent on March 1.

    The total output of HVG’s fishery feed processing factories is more than 1.5 million tonnes per year, which is the highest in the sector and surpasses foreign producers like Cargill, CP, and Proconco. Three of VTF’s factories in Dong Thap received an investment of around VND1 trillion ($44 million) to produce 1 million tonnes per year. However, consumption reduced from 410,000 tonnes in 2014 to 331,000 tonnes in 2017.

    VTF has invested heavily into pig husbandry in An Giang and Binh Dinh and a feed processing factory for poultry and livestock in Long An. However, they had to set aside a provision of VND375 billion ($16.5 million) in 2017. According to the firm’s financial report, VTF owes over VND2.1 trillion ($92.5 million) to BIDV, 65 per cent of its total capital, while half of the company’s assets—nearly VND1.6 trillion ($70.5 million)—are in receivables.

    With VinEco as a new shareholder, the company has set a target of VND6.303 trillion ($277.7 million) of revenue and VND383 billion ($17million) of after-tax profit this year.

    In addition to VTF, HVG has also sold numerous real estates at golden land plots recently, as well as 54 per cent of its capital in Sao Ta Foods JSC (FIMEX VN).

    CP TPP – a progressive trade direction in 21st century

    One year after the US’s withdrawal from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), the remaining 11 Asia-Pacific countries, including Vietnam, have signed a new Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) to remove tariff barriers in the region.

    This is considered a move towards progressive, open and equal trade, without the threat of trade wars.

    The signing of the CPTPP has delivered a strong message against protectionism, which is emerging across the world as a barrier to global trade growth.

    The new deal also marks the endless efforts of the remaining 11 member countries to revive the TPP.

    Japanese Minister of State for Economic and Fiscal Policy Toshimitsu Motegi described the CPTPP as a historic achievement that creates free and fair rules in Asia-Pacific.

    The deal not only benefits member countries but also creates new momentum for regional economic-trade cooperation and connection.

    Many leaders from the 11 CPTPP nations have welcomed the pact as a clear message of support for free trade and multilateralism.

    Chilean President Michelle Bachelet declared that the signing of the CPTPP is a commitment to global integration and a strong signal against protectionism. It is also an ambitious and strategic multilateral cooperation deal in the context of globalisation.

    Covering 500 million people on both sides of the Pacific Ocean, the pact represents a new vision for global trade as the US imposes steel and aluminum tariffs on even some of its closest allies.

    The New York Times quoted Wendy Cutler, a former United States trade negotiator who worked on the Trans-Pacific Partnership as saying it’s hard for the US to ignore rules that other countries have agreed and must look carefully at these rules.

    Meanwhile, the Wall Street Journal posted a story titled “In America’s Absence, the TPP Goes On”, highlighting the survival of the TPP, now CPTPP or TPP – 11, which will be a boon to traders in Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam.

    The CPTPP is also the latest illustration that other countries are accelerating efforts to conclude trade deals.

    The CPTPP was inked at a ceremony chaired by Chilean President Micelle Bachelet in Chile on March 8, 2018.

    Trade ministers of 11 countries participating in the trade pact, namely Australia, Brunei, Canada, Malaysia, Mexico, Japan, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam, attended the event.

    The ambitious deal came after the US pulled out of the TPP agreement last year. It sets high criteria in numerous fields, including labour, the environment, intellectual property, digital economy and cyber security.

    The pact will create one of the world’s largest free trade blocs with a combined market of 499 million people and GDP of about 10.1 trillion USD, accounting for 13.5 percent of global GDP.

    Vietnam Airlines launches summer promotional programme

    The national flag carrier Vietnam Airlines is set to launch a summer promotional programme from March 15 to 28.

    Under the promotional programme, one-way tickets to domestic destinations will start at 299,000 VND (13 USD) while roundtrip tickets for international flights will be from 899,000 VND (39 USD).

    The prices exclude taxes and fees, and come with certain conditions. The programme is applied for flights departing from April 1 to October 31.

    A representative of Vietnam Airlines said that last year’s summer promotional programme, which was launched for 14 days, attracted dozens of thousands passengers on domestic and international flights.

    The carrier has recently extended time for self-check-in by one hour, helping passengers save time in the upcoming peak season. Wide-body aircraft will be increased on its key routes.

    In addition, a new air route connecting Nha Trang city in the central coastal province of Khanh Hoa with Seoul capital city of the Republic of Korea (RoK) will open on March 25.

    More information could be found at website, the carrier’s Facebook page and hotline 1900 1100.

    Hai Duong lures 185 million USD in FDI in first two months

    The northern province of Hai Duong attracted more than 185 million USD in foreign direct investment (FDI) in the first two months of this year, up 39.8 percent year on year. 

    According to the provincial Department of Planning and Investment, the locality licensed eight new projects with a total registered capital of 32.1 million USD, including five projects worth 24 million USD located outside industrial parks. 

    During the period, nine projects increased their investment capital by 153.45 million USD, including two projects outside industrial parks with 23 million USD added.

    In order to attract more foreign investors, Hai Duong will focus on improving its investment environment and pushing administrative reform, while maintaining dialogues with businesses. 

    Nguyen Manh Hien, Secretary of the provincial Party Committee, said in 2018, the province will continue to invest in infrastructure development to lure more investments in industrial areas and clusters, priotising the production of high-tech and competitive products, and support industry.  

    Hai Duong has 370 FDI projects valued at more than 7.4 billion USD, directly generating jobs for over 170,000 labourers.

    Vietnam encourages Japanese investment in manufacturing, hi-tech agriculture

    Vietnam always encourages and creates all possible conditions for Japanese firms to invest in the country, especially in manufacturing industry and high-tech agriculture, Vice President Dang Thi Ngoc Thinh has said.

    While receiving Yoichi Kobayashi, Chairman of the Japan-Mekong Business Cooperation Committee under the Japan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (JCCI) in Hanoi on March 12, the Vice President highlighted that the bilateral cooperation is developing comprehensively and intensively.

    Regarding economic relations, Vietnam always considers Japan its leading and long-term partner, she said, adding that Japan is a leading provider of official development assistance (ODA) for Vietnam and among top investors in the country.

    Acknowledging contributions made by Japanese businesses and JCCI to achievements in economic cooperation between the two nations, she expressed her wish that more Japanese enterprises will invest in developing services in Vietnam in order to improve locals’ living conditions and serve consumption demand of the rapidly growing middle class in the country.

    Vietnamese and Japanese businesses should step up cooperation in education and tourism development by taking advantage of cultural similarities and beautiful landscapes of both countries, she said.

    She added that Vietnam hopes for more opportunities to learn from Japan’s experience in clean agricultural production.  

    For his part, Yoichi Kobayashi expected the economic-trade collaboration between the two nations to develop more fruitfully, especially in the context that the bilateral ties are becoming closer and their businesses are provided with the most favourable conditions.

    Hailing Vietnam for its abundant, high-skilled labour force, he said the country has attained high economic growth in recent years on the foundation of political stability, adding that Vietnam, with a population of nearly 100 million, is a promising consumption market.

    He also highlighted the developing people-to-people exchanges between Vietnam and Japan, noting that the number of Vietnamese students in his country is continuously increasing, making Vietnam one of the countries with the most overseas students in Japan.

    He said he wishes that bilateral trade and investment ties will be further enhanced via periodical dialogues with the Vietnamese Ministry of Planning and Investment and the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

    Vinh Long to host investment promotion conference

    The Mekong Delta province of Vinh Long will host an investment promotion conference later this month, aiming to present its economic development achievements and potential, and policies on investment attraction.

    Truong Dang Vinh Phuc, Director of the Vinh Long Department of Planning and Investment, said the conference will take place on March 27, drawing 750 delegates from ministries, agencies, foreign embassies, international organisations, provinces and cities nationwide as well as domestic and foreign investors.

    At the event, the local authority will present certificates of investment registration and memorandums of understanding to 25 projects with a combined capital of 12.43 trillion VND (546.92 million USD), Phuc said at a press conference on the upcoming event held in Vinh Long on March 12.

    The province will sign cooperation documents to carry out a project on coastal sub-regional connectivity between Vinh Long, Ben Tre, Tien Giang and Tra Vinh provinces, thus boosting investment, trade and tourism cooperation in the Mekong Delta.

    The local authority will also honour contributions by domestic and foreign organisations, individuals and enterprises to social welfare activities in combination with poverty reduction, contributing to change local face-lift.

    There are activities held on the sidelines of the conference such as a trade fair, an exhibition on local agriculture, industry and trade, the inauguration of Vinh Long general hospital and an art performance.

    Apart from a stable, transparent business environment, investors will take local advantages and be offered incentives, Vice Chairman of the Vinh Long province Le Quang Trung said, adding that the province hopes to become a liable, attractive destination of businesses and investors.

    In the 2017-2020, Vinh Long is calling non-state budget capital in 67 projects capitalised at 27.568 trillion VND, focusing on industry, industrial complex infrastructure, rural agriculture, culture-tourism, transport infrastructure, urban-housing development, and trade-services.

    CP TPP to bring both opportunities, challenges to breeding sector

    The newly-signed Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CP TPP), is expected to create many opportunities and challenges for Vietnam’s agricultural sector, including the breeding industry, stated Hoang Thanh Van, head of the Department of Livestock Production under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.

    Van said that as CP TPP will cut import taxes, breeding products of countries strong in the industry such as Canada, Japan and Australia will enter Vietnam, harming the breeding sector.

    He stressed the need to focus on improving quality of strong products, as the production cost of Vietnam’s breeding sector is higher than in developed countries.

    He said that the CP TPP will allow national branded products to be exported to all member countries without limited quota as long as they meet the countries’ requirements. This will pressure domestic production, but also benefit the country as Vietnam’s products will access more markets, he added.

    Van asserted that domestic farms should change their management method for integration. Import tax for breeding equipment will also be reduced, cutting production costs.

    Vietnamese agriculture is attractive as the economy is growing and consumption trends are changing, bringing opportunities to lure foreign investment, Van said, noting that many firms are looking to pour capital into building a genetic research centre in Hoa Lac hi-tech park.

    Institutional reform is another urgent need for Vietnam when CP TPP becomes effective, he said, underlining the significance of reviewing technical standards.

    After thoroughly studying the deal, Van affirmed that CP TPP will bring more benefits than negative impacts to Vietnam.

    Van revealed that the Department of Livestock Production will hold several national conferences on developing production chains for pork and chicken meat, while reviewing cow breeding methods to restructure the breeding industry.

    The CPTPP was signed in Chile on March 8 (local time) by representatives of 11 countries - Australia, Brunei, Canada, Malaysia, Mexico, Japan, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam.

    Reference exchange rate drops on March 13

    The State Bank of Vietnam set the daily reference exchange rate at 22,450 VND/USD on March 13, down 11 VND from the previous day. 

    With the current trading band of +/- 3 percent, the ceiling rate applied to commercial banks during the day is 23,123 VND/USD and the floor rate 21,779 VND/USD.

    The opening hour rates at major commercial banks saw only slight changes. 

    Vietcombank maintained both rates unchanged from March 12, listing the buying rate at 22,720 VND/USD and selling rate 22,790 VND/USD. 

    Meanwhile, BIDV raised both rates by 5 VND, buying the greenback at 22,725 VND and selling at 22,795 VND per USD.

    The rates at Vietinbank were adjusted up 4 VND to 22,728 VND/USD (buying) and 22,798 VND/USD (selling).

    Vietnam’s steel exports increase over 38 percent

    Vietnam’s total steel exports in the first two months of the year rose 38.6 percent from the same period last year to more than 728,000 tonnes, according to the Vietnam Steel Association (VSA).

    Other statistics from the General Department of Customs showed that Vietnam’s steel exports to the US in particular had surged. The country shipped 124,600 tonnes of steel worth 104.2 million US to the US in the two-month period, double that of same period last year.

    The US has been the second largest importer for Vietnam’s steel after the ASEAN market. Vietnam also took the 12th position among the 20 largest steel exporters to the US.

    US President Donald Trump signed proclamations to impose a 25-per-cent tariff on imported steel and a 10-per-cent tariff on imported aluminum on March 8. With the decision, Vietnam would be one of the 12 most affected countries. Local steel producers have faced competition from others in the ASEAN market as well as higher tariffs.

    Last year, Vietnam exported 567,000 tonnes of steel to the US, a reduction of 43 percent from the 2016 and accounting for 12 percent of the total steel exports.

    Experts said coated steel producers would be most affected as the US accounted for 35 to 40 percent of Vietnam total exports of the product.

    Outstanding businesses in made-in-Vietnam products campaign to be named

    Ninety-six outstanding enterprises in the “Vietnamese people prioritise using made-in-Vietnam goods” campaign will be announced at an awards ceremony to be broadcast live on VTV1 on March 17.

    Specifically, 10 business will be awarded with the “Top 10 Vietnamese product brands” title, while 10 others will be named in the “Top 10 businesses holding excellent Vietnamese brand services” category.

    The remaining will receive the “outstanding Vietnamese brand enterprises” award.

    The competition, the second of its kind, was launched in October 2017, with nearly 300 enterprises from across Vietnam nominated.

    The event, held for the first time in 2014, aims to honour outstanding Vietnamese products and services, and encourage domestic enterprises to invest in production and business and take advantage of science and technology advances to increase product quality.

    Speaking at a press conference in Hanoi on March 12, Le Viet Nga, deputy head of the Ministry of Industry and Trade’s Domestic Market Department, said the awards ceremony is in preparation for the 10th anniversary of the “Vietnamese people prioritise using made-in-Vietnam goods”  campaign to be held in 2019. 

    CP TPP opens ups opportunities for Vietnam-Canada trade: expert

    The signing of the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement (CP TPP) in Chile on March 8 will open up many opportunities for trade between Canada and Vietnam, said President and CEO of Asia-Pacific Foundation of Canada (APF) Stewart Beck. 

    According to Beck, CP TPP is really important to Canada, as it gives the country unlimited access to the Japanese market and other potential markets such as Vietnam and Singapore, with which Canada is yet to have a bilateral free trade agreement.

    He said the deal will bring Canada certain advantages in the Vietnamese market, and through Vietnam, helps it to enter the ASEAN.  

    According to Beck, Canadian people and businesses have come to realise that Vietnam is a potential market thanks to publicity campaigns about the CP TPP. He expressed his belief that after two or three years of enforcement, the CP TPP will help further bilateral cooperation in fields of importance to both countries. 

    Having visited Vietnam several times to push the implementation of the Women’s Initiative for Startups and Entrepreneurship (WISE) sponsored by the Canadian Consulate General in Vietnam and APF, the expert has his opinion on fields with great potential for bilateral cooperation after the CP TPP officially takes effect. 

    He said Vietnam will be able to increase the export of seafood and other goods to Canada, and technology and service are also promising fields.

    The Canadian side hopes that with the official signing of CP TPP, and considering the large Vietnamese community and increasing numbers of Vietnamese students in Canada, more opportunities for bilateral affiliation will be opened up based on the cultural and education bridges, Beck said.

    The Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CP TPP) was officially inked at a ceremony chaired by Chilean President Micelle Bachelet in Chile on March 8.

    Trade ministers of 11 countries participating in the trade pact, namely Australia, Brunei, Canada, Malaysia, Mexico, Japan, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam, attended the event. 

    The ambitious deal came after the US pulled out the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement last year. It sets high criteria in numerous fields, including labour, the environment, intellectual property, digital economy and cyber security.

    The pact will create one of the world’s largest free trade blocs with a combined market of 499 million people and GDP of around 10,100 billion USD, accounting for 13.5 percent of the global GDP.

    Steel exports increase 38%
    Viet Nam’s total steel exports in the first two months of the year rose 38.6 per cent from the same period last year to reach more than 728,000 tonnes, according to the Viet Nam Steel Association (VSA).

    Other statistics from the General Department of Customs showed that Viet Nam’s steel exports to the US in particular had surged. The country shipped 124,600 tonnes of steel worth US$104.2 million to the US in the two-month period, double that of same period last year.

    The US has been the second largest importer for Viet Nam’s steel after the ASEAN market. Viet Nam also took the 12th position among the 20 largest steel exporters to the US.

    US President Donald Trump signed proclamations to impose a 25-per-cent tariff on imported steel and a 10-per-cent tariff on imported aluminum on March 8. With the decision, Viet Nam’s would be one of the 12 most affected countries. Local steel producers have faced competition from others in the ASEAN market as well as higher tariffs.

    Last year, Viet Nam exported 567,000 tonnes of steel to the US, a reduction of 43 per cent from the 2016 and accounting for 12 per cent of the total steel exports.

    Experts said coated steel producers would be most affected as the US accounted for 35 to 40 per cent of Viet Nam’s total exports of the product.

    The prices of domestic construction steel have been continuously increasing due to an increase in imported material prices and affects from China, the world’s biggest steel producer, according to the Kinh te Do thi (Economic & Urban Affairs) newspaper.

    A steel shop in
    De La Thanh Street
    told the newspaper that the steel price rose VND100,000 per tonne in January and VND500,000 per tonne in February.

    The current selling price of construction steel is at VND15.3 million per tonne. This has been the highest level in the past few years.

    Steel shops said the number of orders has been on the rise amid the steel shortage. Some people bought a large amount of construction steel, contributing to the price rise.

    They added that the price would continue to rise in the upcoming time.

    VSA’s vice chairman Nguyen Van Sua said the price increase in the first two months of the year was due to a price rise of steel billet of 3 per cent and ore of 7-8 per cent.

    Sua added that the rise was not due to the US decision.

    He said the price of input material for steel production would increase, making the construction steel price rise by VND300,000-500,000 per tonne by the end of May.

    “Constructors and investors should calculate demand to ensure steel supply, thus reducing construction fees,” he noted.

    Japonica rice to become one of main rice varieties for export

    Japonica rice is likely to become one of the main rice varieties for export of Vietnam in the coming time, according to the Vietnam Food Association (VFA).

    This variety currently accounts for a small share of the rice export structure, but the export volume of it has grown rapidly over the past year, reaching 4.4 percent of the country's total rice export in 2017, said the VFA.

    The association said variety and quality of Vietnam’s export rice has changed remarkably in recent years, with a dramatic growth of fragrant rice from 6.6 percent in 2011 to 23.5 percent in 2017. Shipments of sticky rice also saw the same growth during the same period.

    According to VFA, this is a positive trend as export of low-grade rice will gradually reduce, replaced by high-quality rice, thus improving the efficiency of rice production and export business.

    Last year, Vietnam earned 2.6 billion USD from the export of 5.8 million tonnes of rice.

    In 2018, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development expects the country to export 6.5 million tonnes of rice.

    Vietnam needs to step up reforms to make full use of CP TPP

    Vietnam needs to step up reforms to benefit more from the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CP TPP) signed by 11 nations in Chile on March 8, said Hoe Ee Khor, Chief Economist of the ASEAN+3 Macroeconomic Research Office (AMRO) in Singapore.

    The economist said that, without the US, the new version of the TPP is still very important to the 11 remaining nations as it will span a market of nearly 500 million people and the member states together amount to more than 13 percent of global GDP and 15 percent of global trade.

    Among five Asian members of the CP TPP, which are Brunei, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore and Vietnam, some have greatly benefited from surges in foreign direct investment (FDI), he noted, citing Vietnam having received large FDI inflows into the garment and textile industry and other manufacturing sectors since many investors want to get access to the CP TPP market.

    More foreign investment will be drawn into the country after the agreement enters into force. It was forecast that Vietnam’s FDI growth will exceed 2 percent in 2025 and 6 percent in 2030, he added.

    Though some 20 provisions of the original TPP have been suspended, the CP TPP remains a high-quality free trade agreement, including many provisions in non-tariff barriers, rules of origin, competition, labour protection, intellectual property rights and dispute settlement. 

    To make the full use of the deal, member nations must accelerate restructuring. This is why some countries see the CP TPP as a driving factor for their internal reforms.

    He suggested Vietnam step up reforms in several areas, including State-owned enterprises, labour standards, small- and medium-sized enterprises and business facilitation, in a bid to aid economic growth and improve competitiveness.


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  • 03/14/18--02:50: Article 1
  • Consumer credit market sees more M&A deals

    The increased presence of foreign investors in M&A deals of finance companies shows the attractiveness of the consumer credit market.


    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, consumer credit, Techcombank, finance companies


    Vietnam is among the countries with the highest ratios of consumption to GDP in Asia, as young people are borrowing more money to buy consumer goods.

    The growing tendency has caught attention from foreign institutions and stimulated the birth of new lenders and more M&As.

    In late January, Prudential announced the sale of PVFC, its consumer finance company, for $151 million, becoming the first foreign company to sell 100 percent of its shares.

    Meanwhile, Techcombank is the first commercial bank selling a finance company. The buyer of TechcomFinance is Lotte, a South Korean investor. The value of the deal has not been announced in Vietnam, but South Korean media reported the deal is worth VND1.7 trillion.

    Three investors from South Korea have joined the Vietnamese consumer finance market, including the veteran company of Mirae Asset.

    Local newspapers have reported that Japanese Shinsei Group has acquired 49 percent of shares of the Military Bank’s finance company – Mcredit.

    Prior to that, Saison jumped into HDBank’s consumer finance company.

    Techcombank is the first commercial bank selling a finance company. The buyer of TechcomFinance is Lotte, a South Korean investor. The value of the deal has not been announced in Vietnam, but South Korean media reported the deal is worth VND1.7 trillion.

    The other Japanese investors in the field include Toyota Finance, JACCS Vietnam and ACS Vietnam, which belongs to AEON Finance.

    An analyst said that foreign-run companies have advantages in capital and experience developing products.

    2017 was the first operation year of Mcredit after Military Bank joined hands with Shinsei.

    Speaking about the role of the foreign shareholder, Hoang Minh Tuan, CEO of Mcredit, said Shinsei Bank has contributed to improvements in risk management related to customer management, loan management, and optimization of business processes, and has proposed technological solutions for the development of new channels.

    Finance companies are gearing up to expand their business and cement their positions in the market.

    Home Credit has announced changes in brand identity and committed to make bigger investments with the presence of a new CEO, who was an important figure in the Russian market.

    Meanwhile, FE Credit has been steadily increasing its charter capital every year from VND2.790 trillion in 2016 to VND4.474 trillion in 2017.

    Finance companies have been exploiting the Vietnamese consumer finance market in the last six years.

    Consumer credit accounted for 9.8 percent of GDP in 2016, while the figure was 5.2 percent in 2013.

    Nam Hai, VNN

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  • 03/14/18--03:09: Article 0
  • Cooperation in EastSea fisheries management, environmental protection

    A Blueprint for Fisheries Management and Environmental Cooperation in the East Sea, a tool to improve management and maintain stability in the East Sea, was introduced by the US’s Center for Strategic and International Studies last year.

    Cooperation in East Sea fisheries management, environmental protection, Government news, Vietnam breaking news, politic news, vietnamnet bridge, english news, Vietnam news, news Vietnam, vietnamnet news, Vietnam net news, Vietnam latest news, vn news


    This is the first product of the CSIS Expert Working Group on the EastSea, which seeks to create a feasible model for claimants to manage maritime disputes.

    The Blueprint, developed by the Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative, aims to set up a group of experts from around the region who are familiar with environmental laws and policies to develop models of conduct for fisheries management and environmental protection in the EastSea.

    States responsible for cooperation in marine environmental protection

    According to CSIS, the EastSea is one of the world’s five most productive fishing zones, accounting for about 12 percent of all fish caught in 2015. More than half of the world’s fishing vessels operate in these waters. All claimants bordering the EastSea should be involved in the creation and management of EastSea fisheries zones, regardless of the location of their territorial and maritime claims.

    Gregory Poling, Director of the Maritime Transparency Initiative of the CSIS, said that unlike hydrocarbons, for which exploitation rights are based only upon a state’s entitlement to the continental shelf, the obligation to jointly steward living marine resources makes fisheries management and environmental protection “low hanging fruit” for cooperation in the East Sea. 

    With political will, it is entirely possible for nations bordering the EastSea to cooperatively protect these ecosystems and manage fish stocks without prejudice to their overlapping territorial and maritime claims. 

    Mr. Poling said, "In fact we are clear that for this work all claimants will have to agree that nothing in the framework will amount to a compromise on the eventual sovereignty claim but the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea is filled with requirements for states to cooperate in fisheries management and environmental protection."

    Article 123 of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) mandates that states bordering semi-enclosed seas like the EastSea are obligated to cooperate in areas that include the protection of the marine environment and management of fish stocks. 

    This is reflective of the deeply interconnected ecologies of semi-enclosed seas, in which currents cycle marine life (and pollution) through the region without regard for national jurisdiction. Moreover, Article 192 of UNCLOS provides a general obligation for states to “protect and preserve the marine environment.”

    Protect marine environment through multilateral cooperation

    The international legal obligation to cooperate on fisheries management and the environment is matched by practical necessity. Communities all around the EastSea are highly dependent on fish stocks for both food security and local livelihoods. Yet the region has seen catch rates plummet in recent years thanks to a combination of overfishing and willful environmental destruction. The entire EastSea is teetering on the edge of a fisheries collapse, and the only way to avoid it is through multilateral cooperation in disputed waters. 

    Mr Poling said, "In the case of outstanding maritime disputes, states have responsibilities to find pragmatic solutions, mechanisms to work through disputes. We have two options. We can either think of creative ways to manage the resources of the ocean or we can spend the next 20 years arguing about sovereignty disputes but the fish is all gonna die in the next 10 years. So it will be lot easier to resole the disputes when there’s no fish left to worry about. But I don’t think that what’s anybody want."

    To that end, the Blueprint for Fisheries Management and Environmental Cooperation in the East Sea suggests claimants should agree to establish a Fishery and Environmental Management Area in the East Sea; split enforcement responsibilities between occupiers and flag states; agree not to use subsidies to encourage fishing within the already overfished East Sea; coordinate efforts to reintroduce giant clams and other threatened species such as sea turtles to depopulated reefs in the East Sea; avoid activities that damage the marine environment or alter the seabed; cooperate on marine research, which is necessary to assess the health of the maritime environment and effectively implement conservation efforts.


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  • 03/15/18--01:34: Article 3
  •  Social News 14/3

    Russian citizens in Nha Trang city vote in Presidential election


    Russian citizens in Nha Trang city vote in Presidential election, Community to raise ideas for ‘smart city’, Nearly 8,000 people ready to run for peace, 13 projects win 1st prize in national science and technology contest
    A Russian man casts his ballot at a voting station in Nha Trang city 

    Russian nationals that are staying in Nha Trang city, in the central coastal province of Khanh Hoa, cast their ballots to elect a new President of Russia in an early election vote on March 14.

    Second Secretary of the Embassy of Russia in Vietnam Lunev Konstantin said that the voting station in the city’s Vinh Truong ward served nearly 100 Russian citizens that wished to fulfil their rights and obligations. The voting is expected to end at 17pm on March 14.

    Khanh Hoa is home to numerous Russian specialists and businesses people, plus a growing numbers of tourists. There are many Russian scientists working at the Vietnam-Russia Tropical Centre in Nha Trang city, which was established 30 years ago. In 2017, the province welcomed over 440,000 Russian tourists.

    In addition to Nha Trang, the Russian Embassy will also open voting stations in Mui Ne (Binh Thuan province), Phu Quoc island district (Kien Giang province), Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Da Nang city and Vung Tau city (Ba Ria-Vung Tau province) on the three days of March 14, 16 and 18.

    In Russia, voting will be held on March 18.

    Metropole to host French food festival

    The Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi will celebrate French cuisine at the global gastronomic event Goût de France from March 21 to 30, attended by more than 2,000 chefs from five continents.

    Organized by France’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Chef Alain Ducasse, the Goût de France food festival is an annual event that aims to commemorate French cuisine being named as a feature of UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural Heritage in 2010.

    The Metropole’s Executive Chef Paul Smart has cooked up a wide array of traditional French fare for Goût de France, including seared foie gras with smoked pumpkin and hazelnuts, red mullet with artichoke mousseline, and Normandy rabbit with dried apricot and garlic cream. The six-course set dinner is priced at VND1.7 million net ($75) and will be available at the hotel’s premier French fine-dining restaurant, Le Beaulieu.

    Cheese lovers can rejoice, as French affineur of great repute, Patrice Marchand, of the cheese-making family Les Freres Marchand, returns to the historic hotel for an evening of cheese and live jazz at Le Beaulieu on March 15, priced at VND1.5 million net ($66).

    On March 22, Spanish Chef Sergi Millet, who worked at elBulli, one of the world’s best restaurants, is set to delight palates at Le Beaulieu with a meal priced at VND1.9 million net ($83).

    The Metropole’s Spring Culinary Festival concludes on March 30 with a special wine dinner, featuring a number of one-of-a-kind “Made in Bordeaux” Grand Crus, supplied by French wine trading house Mestrezat, priced at VND1.9 million net ($83).

    The Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi is an award-winning colonial and neo-classical luxury hotel located in the heart of Hanoi and the ideal choice for business and leisure travelers as well as for weddings, conferences and social events.

    The hotel offers 364 rooms and suites together with French, Vietnamese and Italian restaurants, three bars, seven function rooms, a heated swimming pool, the luxurious Le Spa du Metropole, complimentary wi-fi, and a unique Path of History tour.

    Community to raise ideas for ‘smart city’

    The central city of Đà Nẵng has invited local residents, tourists and foreigners living in the city to offer ideas and suggestions for developing Đà Nẵng as a ‘smart city’.

    Vice director of the city’s information and communication department Trần Thạch said local residents can visit the page or switchboard 20361022 to submit their plans or solutions for a smart city design from March 10 to April 10.

    Thạch said the department will collect and select possible ideas and plans to host a dialogue on the feasibility of projects in late April

    Many ideas from local people and tourists posted on the page had been either turned into reality or planned for the coming years, including a double-decker bus route for tourists, a flower road in the Sơn Trà Mountain, international kite competition on beach, digitalisation of items at public museums, adventurous entertainment services and the decoration of manhole covers with colourful paintings.

    The was launched in 2016 in order to get feedback on city services from the local community in urban, environmental, administrative and tourism-related services.

    The page had already received 600 opinions and complaints from local residents and tourists, of which 98 per cent were resolved within seven days.

    Đà Nẵng plans to make it a “smart city” by 2020 and a “green city” in 2025.

    Nearly 8,000 people ready to run for peace

    About 8,000 people will take part in the 45th Hanoi Moi Newspaper Run for Peace, which will be held at the capital’s My Dinh National Stadium in Nam Tu Liem district on March 25.

    The annual race is set to begin at 7:30am, with the run spanning 1.5 km.

    The event will be broadcast live on the Hanoi Radio & Television channel.

    At a meeting held by the municipal Department of Culture and Sports on March 13 to review preparations for the peace run, authorities in Nam Tu Liem said 5,000 locals are ready for the race.

    Last year, more than 1,500 athletes joined the run around HoanKiemLake.

    13 projects win 1st prize in national science and technology contest

    More than 400 students will take part in a national science and technology contest for secondary schools and high schools in the southern region from March 17 to 20 in the Central Highlands city of Đà Lạt.

    They will present a total of 239 projects, 22 more than last year.

    In the north, the contest saw 249 projects by 475 students, 30 more than last year, as it wrapped up on Tuesday in Nghệ An Province.

    Thirteen projects won first prizes worth VNĐ 1.3 million (US$57) each.

    Teams from Hà Nội won three first prizes, followed by teams from Nghệ An Province and HảiPhòngCity with two each.

    Second prizes were handed out to 26 projects and third prizes to 38 projects.

    Participating students presented their projects and were interviewed by the jury.

    The annual contest is organised by the Ministry of Education and Training to encourage science and technology research, innovation and application at the high school level.

    Da Nang investigates assault on reporter

    The central city’s People’s Committee has asked the local public security department to investigate an assault on a reporter at a bar in the city’s downtown on Sunday. The investigation agency must report on the case before Wednesday.

    According to a report from Thạch Thang Ward’s investigation team, Hứa Vĩnh Nhân, a reporter working for the Giao Thông (Transport) newspaper was recording the Lost&Found Bar at 28 Bạch Đằng Street from a position on the other side of the street. A group of six men from the bar suddenly attacked him and abducted him for two hours from midnight on Sunday till 2am on Monday.

    Nhân declared at Thạch Thang Ward’s public security office on Monday that he was beaten by the group of men from the bar and was illegally arrested by the group – which he said was comprised of the bar’s staffers – for hours.

    A medical examination at the city’s hospital showed that Nhân suffered an inner skull wound and maxillofacial trauma.  

    He said his camera, ID and mobile phone were kept by attackers, and he was released about 2am on Monday.

    Nhân said he was recording illegal nighttime activities of the bar following complaints from local residents living near the bar.

    They said the bar had for a long time been playing music too loudly late at night.

    The case is the worst assault on reporter in the city in recent years.

    Đà Nẵng has more than 100 representative offices of newspapers with nearly 1,000 journalists, reporters and staff members.

    Hepatitis A outbreak controlled in Đắk Lắk

    A Hepatitis A outbreak in Drung village, Yang Tao Commune, Lắk District of Central Highlands province of Đắk Lắk has been so far controlled, the local medical agency said.

    Nearly two months since the disease outbreak began in the village, no new cases have been reported since February 23.

    Between January 22 and February 23, 22 people were diagnosed with the disease.

    Locals consume unsafe food, lack clean water and live in unhygienic conditions. Most locals walk with bare feet.

    Doctor Trần Minh Hùng, head of the Disease Control Department of Lắk District’s Health Centre, said that the centre has distributed Chloramin B and instructed locals on how to use the antibacterial agent to sterilize wells, toilets.

    The centre and local authorities have instructed locals to cook food, not to eat raw pig blood, uncooked vegetables and treat the waste of human and animals.

    Local people must go to medical centres for health examinations and to receive vaccines, he said.

    Baby infected with rare disease saved

    A 14 day-old baby infected with a rare intestinal disease is now in stable condition after the surgery, doctors of the PaediatricsHospital of southern Đồng NaiProvince said on Monday.

    The baby from the Central Highlands province of LâmĐồng was born with intestines outside her abdomen. She was hospitalised with the symptoms of cerebral haemorrhage after premature birth.

    Her mother was diagnosed with a similar disease.

    Doctor Vũ Công Tầm, head of department of surgery, anesthesiology and recovery of Đồng NaiProvince’s PaediatricsHospital said that if the operation had not been conducted to move intestines inside the abdomen, the baby’s life would have been threatened.

    Tầm said that the illness occurs in one of every 15,000 to 30,000 babies.

    He advised pregnant women to receive regular genetic tests and health check-ups to identify the disease.

    Japanese cherry trees presented to Bac Ninh province

    A ceremony was held at Nguyen Van Cu Park in the northern province of Bac Ninh on March 13 to receive and plant cherry trees presented by as gifts by the Japan-Vietnam Friendship Association of Chukyo region. 

    Present at the ceremony were Japanese MP Kaneko; Asaduma Sinnichi, Minister at the Japanese Embassy in Vietnam, and representatives of the Japan-Vietnam Friendship Association of Chukyo region and Bac Ninh province.

    A representative of the association handed over and introduced techniques to plant 200 cherry trees. 

    Asaduma Sinnichi, Minister at the Japanese Embassy in Vietnam, said the cherry project began in 2012 and since then the trees have been grown in many Vietnamese provinces and cities. 

    He expressed his belief that the cherry trees will become a bridge connecting the Japanese and Vietnamese people. 

    The plantation of cherry trees will contributed to popularising Japan’s images, culture and people to Bac Ninh residents and enhancing mutual understanding between the people of the two nations, he added.-

    Dien Bien police uncover cross-border drugs trafficking ring

    The narcotics forces of the border guard in the northern mountainous province of Dien Bien and security forces of the Lao province of Phongsaly busted a drugs trafficking ring in Muang Khua town, Phongsaly on March 13.

    The three traffickers are Giang A Tu (born in 1985, residing in Xieng Khouang province, Laos), Bun Hoong (born in 1965, residing in Vientiane, Laos) and So Vieng Say (born in 1969, residing in Vientiane, Laos).

    A drugs haul of 60 bricks of heroin and 40,000 pills of synthetic drugs was seized.

    Other seized exhibits were one gun, seven bullets, two cars, one tape recorder and eight mobile phones.

    Earlier, the drug squad police and other forces detected a ring transporting drugs from Bokeo to Muang Khua (Laos) then to Vietnam. On March 12, they found that Tu and Bun Hoong transported a large volume of drugs to Muang Khua and decided to smash the ring.

    VFF leader conveys condolences over death of Archbishop Bui Van Doc

    President of the Vietnam Fatherland Front (VFF) Central Committee Tran Thanh Man on March 13 sent a letter of condolences to Archbishop of Hue Archdiocese Joseph Nguyen Chi Linh, who is also President of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Vietnam and Bishop of Thanh Hoa Diocese over the recent passing of Archbishop Paul Bui Van Doc. 

    The letter was also conveyed to the Archdiocese of Ho Chi Minh City. 

    In his letter, Man wrote that Bui Van Doc, who was Archbishop of Ho Chi Minh City Archdiocese, former President of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Vietnam, and Chairman of the conference’s Committee on the Doctrine of the Faith passed away at 22:15 on March 6 (Rome time), or at 4:15 on March 7 (Vietnam time). 

    He expressed his most profound condolences to the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Vietnam, bishops, priests, members of the Vietnam Catholic Church, the Archdiocese of Ho Chi Minh City, Saint Joseph Seminary, and relatives of Paul Bui Van Doc. 

    Man lauded the deceased Archbishop for his dedication to the Vietnam Catholic Church, the Archdiocese of Ho Chi Minh City and Catholic followers. 

    He said Paul Bui Van Doc actively fostered the great national unity and the patriotic emulation campaigns of Catholic followers in general and the Archdiocese of Ho Chi Minh City in particular in the spirit of the Pastoral Letter of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Vietnam, the message of the 2010 Congress of the Vietnam Catholic Church and teachings of Pope Benedict XVI and Pope Francis. 

    The VFF Central Committee wished that the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Vietnam, dignitaries, priests and Catholic followers would continue upholding Paul Nguyen Van Doc’s good example and caring for the poor in service of the nation. 

    Deputy Patriarch of Vietnam Buddhist Sangha dies aged 90

    Deputy Patriarch of the Vietnam Buddhist Sangha's Executive Council Most Venerable Thich Thanh Sam passed away at 6:30 on March 13 in Bac Ninh province, aged 90, according to the Government’s Committee for Religious Affairs.

    On its announcement the same day, the Committee said Most Venerable Thich Thanh Sam had high prestige and influences among monks and nuns and followers in and outside the country.  

    He made numerous contributions to Buddhism and the nation and had been conferred with the first and third class Independence Order, the second class War Resistance Order, among others.

    The dignity died of old age and his funeral will be held on March 16 in Kinh Bac ward, Bac Ninh city in Bac Ninh province.

    Japan helps Vietnam tighten intellectual property management

    The Japan Patent Office (JPO) will assist the Intellectual Property Department (IPD) under the Vietnamese Ministry of Science and Technology in implementing a project to comprehensively improve its ability in processing applications for industrial property (IP). 

    IPD Director Dinh Huu Phi said, with its role as an intellectual property management agency, the department has devised many specific measures to promote intellectual property-related innovation activities, and deal with the backlog of industrial property applications. 

    The IPD suggested the JPO continue to help it with processing industrial property registrations through the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), and retrieve intellectual property data through the Japan Funds-In-Trust under the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO).

    Accordingly, Vietnam and Japan will establish a joint working group to discuss cooperation programmes on rapid appraisal of patent applications, human resources development, and quality management of patents. 

    The JPO’s experts will work with the IPD on specific contents before submitting to the Japanese Government for approval. It will also cooperate with WIPO and relevant partners to assist the department in issues related to retrieving intellectual property data.

    Recently, the Japan Funds-In-Trust helped the IPD upgrade its ability and IT infrastructure. A large number of Vietnamese staff working in the field has been trained under the support of the Fund.  

    Phi said the JPO will aid the department in fine-tuning policies to improve the efficiency of intellectual property protection and exploitation; better its ability to appraise industrial property applications; accelerate the automation of industrial property registration management system; and promote cooperation in the work. 

    At present, the number of industrial property applications submitted to the IPD is on the rise, while the processing ability remains limited, leading to the backlog of registrations. 

    In 2017, the IPD received over 102,000 applications, including 58,800 applications for intellectual property rights. The department processed more than 80,000 applications, including 39,000 registrations for industrial property rights, up 1 percent against 2016.-

    Hanoi to celebrate Ireland’s National Day

    The PenMonument in HoanKiemLake in Hanoi is set to go green to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day – Ireland’s National Day on March 17, as the capital joins the Global Greening Initiative for the second time.

    The ‘greening’ ceremony will be held at 6pm and will be followed by the Ireland Day event, a fun-filled free public event of Irish cultural activities organised by the Centre for Sustainable Development Studies (CSDS), a partner of the Embassy.

    Minister of State for Food, Forestry and Horticulture, Andrew Doyle, will represent the Government of Ireland at the St. Patrick’s Day Celebrations in Vietnam, and the Traditional Irish Music Society of University College Dublin (UCD Tradsoc) will present some of the best Irish music and dance.

    Every year on March 17, Ireland and its people celebrate St Patrick’s Day. With up to 70 million people around the world claiming Irish ancestry and many more friends of Ireland, St. Patrick’s Day is a worldwide celebration.

    Since 2010 a very special project called Ireland’s Global Greening Initiative has grown to become a significant worldwide campaign in which landmark sites around the world ‘turn green’ to mark St. Patrick’s Day.

    This year on St Patrick’s Day, over 300 of the world’s most famous landmarks (stadiums, statues, museums and towers) in over 32 countries around the world, such as the EmpireState building in New York, City Hall in London, and the Great Wall of China, will turn green for the day.

    Over 10,000 Irish visitors travel to Vietnam each year, and we have a resident Irish community of about 1,000 who are particularly active in education and business. About 200 Vietnamese students are studying in Ireland.

    Toll to be reduced on
    National Highway

    Toll on a stretch of National Highway 18 in the northern province of Quảng Ninh will be reduced for residents living in CẩmPhảCity and Vân Đồn District from Wednesday midnight, said the province’s People’s Committee.

    Residents of the 16 wards in CẩmPhảCity and those of the Cái Rồng, Đông Xá and Đoàn Kết communes in Vân Đồn District will enjoy a toll reduction of 30-100 per cent. The toll road leads from Hạ Long City to CẩmPhảCity’s Mông Dương Ward.

    The toll fee will be reduced by 60 per cent to VNĐ20,000 (US$0.9) per vehicle for vehicles with 12-30 seats and trucks weighing two to four tonnes, and by 57 per cent to VNĐ15,000 per vehicle for vehicles with less than 12 seats and trucks weighing less than two tonnes.

    Vehicles with 31 or more seats and trucks weighing four to 10 tonnes will enjoy a 53 per cent toll reduction, at VNĐ35,000 per vehicle.

    Toll for trucks weighing 10-18 tonnes and for 20ft container trucks will be reduced by 36 per cent to VNĐ90,000 per vehicle. Toll for trucks weighing more than 18 tonnes and measuring up to 40ft will be reduced by 30 per cent to VNĐ140,000 per vehicle.

    The project of upgrading the Hạ Long-Mông Dương section of National Highway 18 was implemented in September 2015 under the form of BOT (build-operate-transfer). The project had a total investment capital of some VNĐ2 trillion ($88 million) by BOT Biên Cương JSC.

    The company began collecting toll from February 13 this year. It paused toll collection during the Tết (Vietnamese Lunar New Year) holidays and resumed it on February 20 but was met with public opposition, with drivers blocking traffic and causing disorder at the toll station.

    Photo contest on rural women launched

    A photo contest on Rural Women and Sustainable Development has kicked off with the aim of recognising rural women’s contributions to the growth and prosperity of Việt Nam in commemoration of International Women’s Day 2018.

    UN Women joined hands with the Embassies of Australia and Canada in Việt Nam to organise the event.

    Photographers can send their entries to the organising board before June 8.

    Participants are encouraged to submit photos under six specific topics including rural women and technology; rural women and sustainable agriculture; rural women and disaster/climate change; rural women in business and/or co-operatives; rural women in leadership and decision making; and gender equality between rural women and men.

    Photography is detail-oriented and highlights specific individuals and scenes. It can be a powerful tool to raise awareness and to trigger positive development in society. This contest gives a platform to Vietnamese society to picture the positive changes they want to see regarding empowering rural women.

    The winning images, in colour or black-and-white, will be selected based on the strength of their potential impact on society’s perceptions of rural women and sustainable development.

    The awarding ceremony and exhibition of excellent works will take place on October 20.

    Can Tho looks to complete new-style rural area plan in 2019

    The Mekong Delta city of Can Tho expects to recognise four additional communes as new-style rural areas in 2018 and three more in 2019, fulfilling its plan to turn 36 communes into the new-style rural areas a year earlier than scheduled.

    The target was made during the working session on March 13 between the city’s National Assembly delegation led by deputy head of the delegation Nguyen Thanh Xuan and Vice Chairman of the municipal People’s Committee Dao Anh Dung, head of the Steering Committee for the national target programme on new-style rural area building of the city.

    Xuan, also head of the city’s supervision team for the implementation of the programme, noted that by the end of 2017, 27 of 36 communes fulfilled all criteria of the programme, completing 75 percent of the city’s plan.

    Dung said the most difficult criteria for the remaining communes include those in health insurance, poor household ratio, income and environment.

    He pointed to a lack of resources for development, especially infrastructure building, as hampering progress.

    Dung proposed that the Government give more incentives for enterprises to encourage them to invest more in production facilities in rural areas, thus creating jobs and improving incomes for locals.

    The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development should provide more investment to pilot models of concentrated agricultural production, he said, adding that the city needs resources for maintaining education, health care and cultural works in recognised communes.

    Xuan pledged that he will propose the National Assembly, Government, ministries and sectors tackle issues related to mechanisms and policies, as well as adjusting some new-style rural area criteria to suit the conditions of each locality.

    The national target programme on building new-style rural areas, initiated by the Vietnamese Government in 2010, sets 19 criteria on socio-economic development, politics, and defence, aiming to boost rural regions of Vietnam.     

    The list of criteria includes the development of infrastructure, the improvement of production capacity, environmental protection, and the promotion of cultural values.      

    Under a decision issued by the Prime Minister in April 2016, a district must have all communes meeting all of the criteria to be designated as a new-style rural district. Earlier, those with at least 75 percent of the communes satisfying the 19 criteria were eligible.

    According to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, as of February 21, 2018, there were 3,160 communes recognised as new-style rural areas, 35.4 percent of total communes.

    FLC Thanh Hóa failed to get the points needed at Mỹ Đình Stadium

    The coach of FLC Thanh Hóa let U-23 goalkeeping star Bùi Tiến Dũng play in the match against Bali United yesterday at Mỹ Đình stadium. The national hero managed to keep a clean sheet, but his team failed to score the goals they needed to raise their chances of getting through to the next round. The game ended 0-0.

    FLC Thanh Hóa dominated most of the game, but failed to capitalize on chances and break past the effective defense of Bali United.

    FLC Thanh Hóa gained only one point, giving them 4 points in total and placing them third in the group.

    The chances for FLC Thanh Hóa to go further in the tournament are slim.

    Feeling pressure to win the match, FLC Thanh Hóa mounted a strong attack against Bali United, pushing the opponents to stick together and defend their goal.

    FLC Thanh Hóa managed 20 shots, 7 of which were on target, while Bali United made only 4 shots.

    Thief gets a healthy dose of karma after nabbing a motorbike

    Nguyễn Mạnh Hùng successfully stole a motorbike and earned VNĐ7 million (US$300) by selling it on to another person.

    The next time, he stole a motorbike parked in front of a rented house in Nha Trang, central KhánhHòaProvince, and rode it away. Like previously, he decided to sell the stolen motorbike.

    Hùng offered a price of VNĐ2.5million ($110) to the owner of a motel. However, the man refused to buy it because it looked too old.

    Hùng left the bike in the yard waiting for another ‘customer’ to come along.

    The next day when he came back, the motorbike had been stolen.

    The ill-fated thief not only received no profit from his ill-gotten gains but was also sentenced to several years in prison after being caught by the police.

    Lesson learned: keep a close eye on your stolen property, karma is sure to come back and bite you.

    Women’s special day gets even more special after big win

    Women working at a sub-commission on publicity and education in the Central Highlands province of Kon Tum last week received a big surprise as a gift for International Women’s Day.

    Their boss, Lê Thị Kim Đơn, head of the sub-commission, bought 40 lottery tickets issued by BìnhĐịnhProvince’s Lottery Company for 14 female officers.

    Women’s day was complete when the results were announced at the end of the day.

    18 out of the 40 tickets won prizes, worth a total of VNĐ4.8 billion (US$208,700).

    Đơn received a gift for herself by nabbing four winning tickets, worth VNĐ200 million ($8,700).

    From now on, we may see lottery tickets running quickly ‘out of stock’ on special occasions.

    Restaurant moonlights as museum to preserve president’s dining spot

    Bún chả Hương Liên, a family-run restaurant serving rice noodles with grilled pork, on Lê Văn Hưu Street in Hà Nội, is well-known for its other name – ‘Bún chả Obama’. The former US President and Anthony Bourdain, an American chef, author, and television personality enjoyed simple Vietnamese food at the spot in May 2016.

    Since then, the restaurant has been crowded with diners from all over Việt Nam as well as foreigners.

    Its owner, a woman named Liên, carefully washed the dishes, plates, spoons and chopsticks that the two men used and stored them in a safe place right after the meal. The owner has recently set up a corner of the restaurant’s second floor as a ‘museum’, honouring her distinguished guests.

    A set of plates, spoons, chopsticks, two bottles of beer and other items are organised exactly as they were on the table where Obama and Bourdain ate together. Of course, the iconic low plastic stools are included. To preserve the moment forever, the setup is surrounded by protective glass.

    Now diners visit the restaurant not only to eat but also to see the display.

    Liên said that diners suggested she display the dishes. Many people called her to ask if she wants to sell the table, stools or empty beer bottles.

    Some people think that this is a promotion strategy. Others doubt whether the dishes, spoons and chopsticks are really the ones that the former president used.

    No matter how the public has responded, Liên told media that it is not to promote her eatery but to save the memorable image.

    “For us, he (the President) is a close and lovable person that we appreciate a lot,” she said.

    Vietnam, Laos to search for remains of martyrs

    A memorial service will be held in May to repatriate 65 sets of remains of Vietnamese fallen soldiers from Laos to Vietnam.

    It was said at the March 13 meeting between representatives of Xiangkhuang province, the National Steering Committee for the Search and Gathering Martyrs' Remains, National Steering Committee 1237, Military Zone 4 and Nghe An Military Command to review the search, gathering and repatriation of remains of Vietnamese fallen combatants.

    At the meeting, the participants discussed and reviewed cooperative efforts in Xiangkhuang province in 2018. Both sides agreed on the plan to repatriate 65 sets of remains back to Vietnam in May.

    Mr Khamesen Manivonge, deputy mayor of Xiangkhuang province committed to further assisting these activities.

    He also extended gratitude to Vietnamese specialists and soldiers who laid down their lives for peace, independence, freedom and happiness of Lao people.

    Vietnam offers free eye check-ups, surgeries to Lao people

    A team of eye specialists from Quang Nam province has been in Sekong province, Laos to provide free eye check-ups and surgeries to local people.

    The Vietnamese eye doctors performed 449 medical check-ups and 31 eye surgeries at Sekong provincial hospital. They also presented medicines and gifts to the patients.

    The medical team is led by Hoang Chau Sinh, former vice secretary of Quang Nam Party Committee and current vice president of the Vietnam-Laos Friendship Association in Quang Nam province.

    An Suong Tunnel in HCMCity opens to traffic

    Tunnel N1 at An Suong 3-level intersection in Ho Chi Minh city’s north-western gateway opened to traffic on March 14.

    The VND514 billion project aiming to ease traffic congestion in HCM city includes two tunnels separating vehicles travelling in opposite directions. 

    Tunnel N1 at An Suong intersection in Hoc Mon district is 445metres long and 9 metres wide with two lanes. The tunnel is designed with a lifespan of 100 years and would be able to survive 7 magnitude earthquakes.

    Deputy director of the Urban Traffic Management Zone No. 3,Trinh Linh Phuong, said the project would help reduce traffic congestion and accident hotspots at An Suong crossroads.

    Mr Phuong also asked Hoc Mon district People’s Committee to speed up the land acquisition progress to enable Tunnel N2 be completed this year.

    Wheel pops off bus in Vietnam, frightening passengers on board

    An old bus had its wheel comes off while traveling in Ho Chi Minh City on March 12, frightening passengers aboard yet leaving nobody injured.

    The incident took place when the rear left wheel of the bus en route to CatLaiPort in District 2 fell off and rolled onto
    Do Xuan Hop Street
    in District 9.

    The old bus tilted diagonally, leaving its rear axle screeching the asphalt, according to one witness.

    Tran Chi Trung, director of the Public Transportation Management and OperationCenter, confirmed the incident to Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper and reported no casualties or injury.

    The cause was attributed to the broken rear axle, according to Trung.

    The Thanh Son Cooperative, which operates the bus, was then required by the center to review all of its old buses, put them under maintenance, and register for a quality evaluation.

    The center has also promised to perform regular checks on all public transport vehicles in use so as to ensure the safety of passengers.

    The bus, one of the No. 29 series, commuting from Thu Duc Produce Market in Thu Duc District to CatLaiPort in District 2, is amongst the many vehicles yet to be renovated and upgraded into a new model.

    The old model has been in use for nearly 10 years, notorious for an unaesthetic exterior and interior, an inadequate cooling system, grumbling engine noises, and often criticized for exhausting plumes of black smoke from its rear.

    Tech bosses of multi-million-dollar gambling ring arrested

    Two technology officers from VTC Online and CNC were arrested for running a multi-million-dollar gambling line under the wings of former C50 director general.

    The investigation agency has arrested two technology officers for running a multi-million-dollar gambling ring that involved Nguyen Thanh Hoa, former director general of the Ministry of Public Security's High-Technology Department (C50), who has just been arrested a few days ago.

    The arrested duo include Phan Sao Nam, founder and former chairman of VTC Online, and Nguyen Van Duong, chairman of high-tech security development company CNC, the masterminds behind a huge gambling ring.

    This operation was based in Phu Tho province and nearly 70 people have been arrested for involvement since August 2017. 

    The local police said that Nam and Duong had been operating tech businesses and importing technical devices before they switched to online gambling. They set up a system where players can bet money via an online game using cards issued by CNC.

    The investigation found that there are around eight million frequent users on this trans-national gambling site. The police has seized more than VND1 trillion ($44 million) so far and suspect that a further $3.6 million has been transferred overseas.

    Nguyen Thanh Hoa, former chief of the cyber-crime unit, had failed to shut down the syndicate after discovering it, and instead offered his protection. Hoa was director general of the C50 from 2009, after long years of working in the economic crime unit. He was suspended in late 2017 for his involvement in the crime ring.

    According to Article 249 of the Penal Code, organising gambling or running gambling dens is punishable with up to 10 years of imprisonment.

    Singer Cat Tuong to embark on Japan tour

    Singer Vu Cat Tuong is set to perform in the Japanese city of Osaka on March 24.

    According to the organising board, the singer was invited to take part in a range of cultural exchange activities in Osaka on March 25 to mark the 45th anniversary of Vietnam-Japan diplomatic ties.

    In addition, she will hold a fan meeting and a mini-show titled “Hello Osaka I am Vu Cat Tuong” at 19:00 on March 24, at TB-SQUARE, 2-13-22 Shimanouchi, Chuo-ku. The show will be live streamed on the Vlive channel.

    U.S. Embassy to Organize Higher Education Fair in Hanoi

    The U.S. Embassy Hanoi’s EducationUSAAdvisingCenter will organize the EducationUSA Higher Education Spring Fair on Tuesday, March 20th, 2018, from 13:30 - 18:00 at Hanoi Daewoo Hotel,
    360 Kim Ma Street, Hanoi
    .  Entrance is free to the public. 

    60 U.S. universities and colleges will meet with interested students and parents to provide information including application procedures, financial aid, and scholarship opportunities for international students. At the fair, the U.S. Embassy’s Consular Section will provide an information session on U.S. student visas for the public. 

    The Embassy’s EducationUSAAdvisingCenter will provide an information session on the higher education system in the U.S. The U.S. Embassy Hanoi will also have information booths about the AmericanCenter, and U.S. Government scholarship programs for Vietnamese students, scholars and professionals. 

    EducationUSA is a U.S. Department of State-supported network of over 425 advising centers in more than 175 countries. EducationUSA Advisors provide Vietnamese students and parents with accurate, comprehensive, and current information about how to apply to accredited U.S. colleges and universities. All services are free. 


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  • 03/15/18--01:44: Article 2
  • MobiFone and AVG acquisition case to go to court

    The Government Inspectorate has proposed to investigate and prosecute those who involved in the Mobifone's acquisition of multimedia company Audio Visual Global.


    MobiFone and AVG cancel acquisition agreement

    The inspectorate announced the initial investigation results on March 14 and concluded that Mobifone, the Ministry of Information and Communication, and related agencies had committed many violations in assessing AVG's financial situation and choosing consultants, allegedly leading to state budget losses of VND7trn (USD308m).

    Office of the Party Central Committee said this was a complex and serious case and related agencies must be transparent, strictly deal with violators to recover the embezzled money.

    In early 2016, Mobifone announced the acquisition of AVG to expand its television network, one of the company’s four main business areas. The details of the deal were not disclosed. In August 2016, the Government Inspectorate was asked to investigate the acquisition and announced that had found many violations. Mobifone and AVG agreed to cancel the transfer of 344 million shares and refund each other the amount received in the VND8.89trn (USD395m) failed acquisition.

    According to the AVG representative, there are many reasons for them to cancel the contract. Since its acquisition, Mobifone has not run and developed the AVG brand as planned and missed out on many opportunities. The deadline was over but Mobifone had only paid 95% of the acquisition.

    On March 13, the Ministry of Information and Communication said Mobifone had yet to pay the remaining 5% so that AVG could unilaterally end the deal. Mobifone may face a fine of over VND711bn (USD31m).

    AVG has faced continued difficulties since it was established. In 2015, it accumulated a loss of more than VND1.6trn (USD70m), 45% of its charter capital. When proposing to buy 95% of AVG's shares, Mobifone omitted the financial difficulties. It also didn't follow the bidding procedures in choosing consultants for the case. The results and numbers, therefore, are inaccurate.

    The acquisition hasn't been approved by the prime minister but the Ministry of Information and Communication already gave Mobifone the green light to proceed. The ministry also gave the exploitation rights over four channels to AVG and Mobifone without holding an auction.

    In addition, it had asked the Ministry of Public Security to give opinions on various issues that are not under the Ministry of Public Security's authority. The Ministry of Planning and Investment and the Government Office must also take responsibility for their inconsistent opinions on this case.

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  • 03/15/18--01:57: Article 1
  • Amazon, Alibaba entry into Vietnam shakes up market

    The news that Amazon, the world’s biggest online retailer, is arriving in March has stirred up the retail community.


    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, Amazon, Alibaba, Tiki
    Tiki has received hefty invetsment 

    Amazon, the world’s leading e-commerce player, is planning to enter the Vietnamese market. The Vietnam E-commerce Association (VECOM) has confirmed the information.

    VECOM’s chair Nguyen Thanh Hung said Amazon will also support Vietnamese enterprises in exporting online through the platform.

    In July 2017, Amazon officially launched Prime Now, the within-a-day delivery service in Singapore.

    A report from the Vietnam E-commerce Association (VECOM) shows that Vietnam’s e-commerce growth rate in 2017 was 25 percent. The B2C model is expected to witness a 20 percent per annum growth rate by 2020.

    Meanwhile, Euromonitor predicted that the growth rate in home appliance e-commerce  would be 40 percent in the 2015-2020 period, with turnover reaching VND20.99 trillion by 2020.

    The retail industry in the US is facing a crisis because of the strong development of Amazon and online services. Many shops have had to shut down or change business strategies.

    The offline retail industry was stunned when Amazon acquired Whole Foods at the record high price of $13.7 billion. Amazon has never spent such a big amount of money on a takeover deal.

    Analysts believe the competition will be stiff when Amazon begins operating in Vietnam. Amazon’s rivals came to Vietnam earlier, which allowed them to prepare for the competition.

    Tiki has received a hefty investment, Shopee is marching forward in midst of victory, Lazada has resources from Alibaba, and Cho Tot has new ambitions.

    Alibaba’s network has a strong position in South East Asia, having increased its ownership ratio from 51 percent to 83 percent in Lazada. It plans to set up an international logistics center in Malaysia by 2019.

    Alibaba’s network has a strong position in South East Asia, having increased its ownership ratio from 51 percent to 83 percent in Lazada. It plans to set up an international logistics center in Malaysia by 2019., the biggest rival of Alibaba, is entering the region through Indonesia and Thailand. It is conducting negotiations for investment in Tokopedia, one of the largest online shopping websites in Indonesia, and has announced expansion in Thailand.

    Central Group took over Zalora Vietnam from German Rocket Internet after it bought Nguyen Kim, a home appliance distribution chain. The group also bought Zalora Thailand which is leading fashion product online sales in South East Asia.

    A report from iPrice said that eight out of 10 top e-commerce firms in Vietnam are Vietnamese owned. These include familiar names such as The Gioi Di Dong, Sendo, Tiki, Vat Gia, FPT Shop, Dien May Xanh, Adayroi and Nguyen Kim.

    Kim Chi , VNN

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  • 03/15/18--02:01: Article 0

    Lotte Card wholly acquires Techcom Finance


    Lotte Card wholly acquires Techcom Finance, 70 Hong Kong businesses seeking trade ties in Vietnam, Japan bank mulls PetroVietnam plan, Cement consumption on the rise, Vietnam's cold supply chain in poor shape

    After receiving the approval from the Vietnamese government, Lotte Card has recently signed a purchase contract to acquire 100 per cent of Techcom Finance from Techcombank to become the first South Korean credit card company to enter the Vietnamese finance market, according to newswire Vneconomy.

    The deal’s value has yet to be disclosed, however, previously, the Republic of Korea's newswire 

    The Investor estimated that the deal could be valued at VND1.7 trillion ($74.67 million).

    Lotte Card’s purchase is considered a move to break into the $26.55-billion consumer finance market, which has been showing signs of rapid development.

    Previously, in September 2017, the two parties signed a stock purchase agreement for the deal.

    Techcom Finance, formerly known as Vietnam Chemical Finance Joint Stock Company before the 2015 acquisition by Techcombank, carries a charter capital of VND600 billion ($26.5 million).

    According to the bank's report, in 2017, Techcom Finance earned VND28.7 billion ($1.26 million) in revenue and VND22.5 billion ($998,538) in pre-tax profit.

    Lotte Card was established in 2002 and offers credit cards, facility leasing, and financial services. The company, through its subsidiaries, also opens travel agency, insurance agency, and telemarketing services.

    Entering Vietnam, Lotte Card will join a vibrant consumer finance market with an annual growth of 30-40 per cent, while the credit card rate is still very low.

    StoxPlus reports that the Vietnamese consumer finance market is the most attractive in the region, with high growth potential and profit margins.

    At present, the sector is dominated by FE Credit (VPBank), Home Credit, and HDSaison.

    In 2016, Home Credit earned VND1.23 trillion ($54.03 million) in profit, FE Credit VND2 trillion ($87.8 million), and the two remaining companies (Home Credit and HDSaigon) earned hundreds of billions of dongs in profit.

    Along with Lotte Card, numerous domestic and foreign investors are actively seeking to enter the consumer finance market through M&A deals.

    According to the latest movement, in January this year, Shinhan Financial Group announced that subsidiary Shinhan Card completed the acquisition of Prudential Vietnam Finance Company Ltd.

    In addition, two other Japanese investors are also negotiating to purchase 49 per cent of the stakes in two different Vietnamese financial institutions.

    Military Bank has launched its consumer lending brand Mcredit with the support of its Japanese counterpart Shinsei Bank. At the end of last year, Shinsei Bank purchased a 49-per-cent stake in Mcredit, the consumer finance arm of Military Bank. Afterwards, MCredit was renamed MB Shinsei Consumer Finance Limited Liability Company.

    Korean groups planning Thua Thien-Hue tourism complex

    The business groups of KMH, Glostar, and OCC Company of the Republic of Korea are planning to invest in tourism projects in central Thua Thien-Hue province, according to Park Mo Won, a representative of KMH group.

    At a working session with Thua Thien-Hue provincial leaders on March 12, on behalf of the Korean business delegation, Mr Park said that Korean businesses want to build a culture, sports, and hotel complex at Chan May-Lang Co EZ, and a cultural house and a system of tour boats using renewable energy on a river in Hue City.

    The Korean investors’ initial hopes are that the province will create favourable conditions for the construction of a resort at Chan May-Lang Co EZ, including a film studio for the biopic of Vietnamese marksman Hoang Xuan Vinh, winner of the historic gold medal at the 2016 Rio Olympics, said MrPark.

    Nguyen Van Cao, chairman of Thua Thien-Hue provincial People’s Committee, spoke highly of the Korean investors’ ideas for developing tourism and commercial activities in the province, saying that the People’s Committee will authorize local agencies to work with the Korean investors to research and implement the necessary investment procedures so that these projects will come to fruition in the near future.

    Vietnam spends big on abattoir training to secure Aussie cow imports

    Two commercial companies in Vietnam have invested millions of dollars to develop two training facilities for abbatoir workers so that the Vietnamese beef industry can continue to secure imports of live cattle from Australia.

    The training facilities in southern Vietnam, which are set to open within this month, will offer three-month programs for workers to learn how to process cattle properly, Radio Australia said on March 13.

    Growing demand for Australian cattle has prompted Vietnam's processing sector to invest in abattoir training facilities to improve animal welfare.

    In 2016, Australia’s Department of Agriculture suspended trade after video footage showed Australian cattle being bludgeoned to death in Vietnamese abattoirs.

    The department banned two unnamed Australian exporters and an unapproved facility under Australia's Exporter Supply Chain Assurance System (ESCAS) rules from supplying cattle to Vietnam.

    ESCAS is designed to ensure that exported Australian livestock are handled in accordance with international animal welfare standards and to provide a mechanism to deal with animal welfare issues when they occur.

    The Australian Embassy told VnExpress International back then that Australia had suspended livestock supplies to 18 abattoirs and feedlots in Vietnam pending an investigation into alleged animal cruelty.

    Since then Australia has been working with Vietnam, which is the second-largest importer of live Australian cattle, to improve its animal welfare standards to ensure the country complies with ESCAS.

    Vietnam’s cattle industry is failing to meet the country's increasing demand for beef, forcing local consumers to turn to imported products.

    Last year, the country imported more than 262,300 live cattle, and nearly 42,000 tons of beef and buffalo meat, valued at more than US$410 million, official government data shows.

    Explaining the reason for the imports, Tong Xuan Chinh, an official from the agriculture ministry, said Vietnamese people’s diets have changed drastically in recent years, and they're now eating more beef and buffalo meat.

    Average consumption per capita has doubled to 5-6 kilograms of beef and buffalo meat per year in the past decade, but the cattle industry has been unable to keep up with the pace. Local supplies of beef and buffalo meat only meet 80% of the current demand.

    Imported beef, mainly from Australia and the US, is available in air conditioned supermarkets, modern food stores and local markets, and some restaurants are also using imported beef in their dishes.

    Many local consumers favor imported products thanks to their reasonable prices and food safety concerns that have plagued the Vietnamese food market in recent years. Beef imported from Australia and the US costs from VND100,000-VND500,000 (US$4.4-US$22.02) per kilogram, around the same price as local products.

    70 Hong Kong businesses seeking trade ties in Vietnam

    A group of 70 Hong Kong businesses operating in the fields of finance, education, architecture, law, garments, electronic components, and footwear will visit Vietnam for an exchange with Vietnamese partners on March 21 in Ho Chi Minh City.

    The event will be held to coincide with a working visit of the Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development of Hong Kong to Vietnam.

    The exchange is seen as a gateway for HCMCity businesses to set up investment cooperation ties with Hong Kong investors.

    Trade between Vietnam and Hong Kong has increased steadily in recent years. Up to early September 2017, Vietnam was the third largest trade partner of Hong Kong in ASEAN, with bilateral trade of US$13 billion, a year-on-year rise of 12%. Over the same period, Hong Kong’s exports to Vietnam reached US$7.4 billion and imports from Vietnam were US$5.7 billion.

    In terms of investment, up to March 20, 2017, Hong Kong was the sixth biggest foreign investor in Vietnam with more than 1,200 projects and a total registered capital of over US$17.57 billion.

    Japan - Potential market for Vietnam’s IT firms

    Japan– one of countries leading the way in implementing the advances of the 4th Industrial Revolution, is witnessing strong investment from Vietnam’s information technology (IT) firms.

    FPT - one of Vietnam's leading technology groups, on March 13 launched its sixth representative office in Hamamatsu city, Shizuoka prefecture. Previously, in 2017, CMC group opened an office in Yokohama city, Kanagawa prefecture. 

    Smaller-scale Vietnamese IT firms also plan to invest in other regions of Japan after opening branches in Tokyo and Nagoya

    According to FPT Chairman Truong Gia Binh, Japan is a potential market  for IT companies, with about  20 Vietnamese IT enterprises having opened offices in the market so far. 

    For FPT, the Japanese market accounts for more than half of its global revenue. The firm has over 400 Japanese customers, including 50 of the world’s biggest businesses. FPT has maintained annual growth of 30 percent in the market. 

    The Vietnam Software and IT Services Association is encouraging the trend, which is hoped to lay a foundation for turning Vietnam into a software-export country, he noted. 

    Talking about advantages for Vietnamese IT companies when investing in Japanese market, Binh said similarities in culture and strong diplomatic and socio-economic ties between the two countries help Vietnamese operate in the market. 

    Vietnam can also help rejuvenate the workforce in Japan with its young population and low labour costs. Vietnam is a supply source of new technologies, artificial intelligence, robotics and data analysis that many Japanese companies want, he added. 

    Vietnam is estimated to earn 1 billion USD from exporting software by 2020. 

    Vietnamese, Lao provinces seek to boost cross-border trade

    Optimal measures to facilitate cross-border trading of agricultural products and materials through Lao Bao-Densavan international border gate between Vietnam’s central Quang Tri province and Savannakhet province of Laos were discussed at a workshop held in Dong Ha city of Quang Tri on March 13.

    Building common standards to ensure transparence of procedures and costs at the border gates along the East-West Economic Corridor and guide books on taxation in agricultural production and cross-border investment and business were on the table at the event, which was jointly held by Quang Tri and Savannakhet provinces, and the Mekong Institute.

    Also, the participants pointed out factors that affect the circulation of agricultural products through the border gate, including the volume of goods, non-tax measures, cross-border cooperation, customs clearance procedures and transport infrastructure.

    Nguyen Quan Chinh, Vice Chairman of the People’s Committee of Quang Tri province, spoke highly of the Mekong Institute’s study to promote cross-border trade and recommendations made by the participants at the workshop.

    He said the study and recommendations will help the two governments build proper mechanisms and policies to boost economic activities along the East-West Economic Corridor.

    Vietnam’s automobile support industry remains underdeveloped

    The supporting industry for Vietnam’s automobile manufacturing sector is still underdeveloped, heard a seminar on the industry’s development in the fourth industrial revolution in Ho Chi Minh City on March 13.

    According to the Institute of Industrial Policies and Strategies (IIPS), Vietnam is one of the five ASEAN nations manufacturing vehicles, besides Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines.

    Among the five, Vietnam ranks third in population after Indonesia and the Philippines, but its automobile production output ranks fifth, with a yearly output of 300,000 vehicles.

    The country has 20 automobile assembling firms, with 84 Tier-1 part suppliers and 145 suppliers of Tier -2 and 3. Meanwhile, Thailand has only 16 assembling companies, but the number of Tier-1 suppliers amounts to 690, and that of Tier-2 and 3 suppliers is 1,700.

    Nguyen Thi Xuan Thuy, IIPS representative, said that due to the small scale of Vietnam’s automobile market, the costs for producing auto parts or components are high. Therefore, demand for domestically made parts is relatively low, constraining the development of the local supporting industry.

    As a result, automobile assembly firms choose to use imported parts, creating a vicious cycle that remains unsolved, she stressed.

    To untie the vicious cycle, Thuy proposed creating a larger market scale through importing completely built-up units (CBUs) in the first years and forcing manufacturers to find domestic spare parts with cheaper prices, thus stimulating the local supporting industry.

    Businesses should also choose advantageous spare parts and products so as to gain assess to the ASEAN production chain, she added.

    Nguyen Duong Hieu, Chairman and General Manager of LIDOVIT Trading and Industrial JSC, suggested local producers invest in upgrading their technology, and integrate management systems to better manage their production and approach the market.

    He said that management agencies should provide local part suppliers with specific requirements of foreign firms so they can prepare to meet their standards.

    Delegates also suggested that the Government set up a website for businesses in the parts industry so they can update their information, which would make it easier for downstream producers, including foreign ones, to find parts suppliers.  

    The seminar was held by the HCM City Department of Industry and Trade, the Board of Management of Saigon Hi-Tech Park and HCM City Export Processing and Industrial Zones Authority.

    Vietnam attends Moscow international tourism fair

    Vietnam tourism body and travel agencies have been taking part in the 25th Moscow International Travel & Tourism Exhibition (MIIT), which opened on March 13 in the Russian capital.

    The MIIT is among the biggest tourism expos in the world, consisting of hundreds of seminars and press conferences.

    The Vietnamese space at the three-day event features stalls operated by the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism (VNAT), Vietnam Airlines and locally-well-known travel companies, such as Viettravel and Saigon Tourists.

    Vietnam Airlines is displaying its Dreamliner Boeing 787 – 9, which will be used for the carrier’s VietnamMoscow route from March 27.

    Speaking at the event, Vietnamese Ambassador to Russia Ngo Duc Manh said cooperation between the VNAT and other Vietnamese representatives at the event plays an important role in introducing Vietnamese tourism to foreigners.

    The VNAT sees Russia as a key tourism market. Vietnam is viewed as a safe and friendly destination with sandy beaches, sunny weather and high-end resorts, and rich culture and gastronomy that can attract Russian visitors.

    According to the VNAT, the number of Russian tourists to Vietnam grows an average of 30 percent annually, with total arrivals expected to reach 1 million by 2020.

    Over 2.86 million foreigners were estimated to visit Vietnam in January and February, up 29.7 percent from the same period in 2017, according to the General Statistics Office of Vietnam.

    The Vietnam National Administration of Tourism said it aims to serve between 15 and 17 million foreigners and 78 million domestic travellers this year, with total revenue expected to hit 620 trillion VND (27.28 billion USD), up 21.35 percent on year.

    Electronics industry needs development: seminar     

    The consumer electronics industry has developed strongly in recent years but a lot more needs to be done to ensure further development.

    “Electronics is one of the key industries with the deepest level of international integration, but the industry is still only focused on assembling, processing and after-sales service,” Nguyen Phuong Dong, deputy director of HCM City’s Department of Industry and Trade, said.

    Delivering a speech at a seminar in HCMCity on Tuesday titled “Enhancing linkage opportunities in the electronic supply chain”, he said in the last 10 years the number of enterprises in the industry had grown four-fold to 1,021, and the number of workers by nearly eight times to 327,000.

    “Relevant authorities would like to connect electronics enterprises by offering more incentives to encourage linkages.”

    Bui Thi Ninh of the Viet Nam Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Union of Electronics Enterprises in Viet Nam said the electronics industry had a very high growth rate and short life cycle for products, requires large investments, yields high profits but comes with intense competition and high risks.

    “The industry has the largest number of workers and earns a large amount of foreign currency.

    Dr Truong Thi Chi Binh, deputy chairwoman and general secretary of the Viet Nam Association of Supporting Industries (VASI), said: “To participate in the global supply chain, Vietnamese electronics enterprises must first meet safety demands and technical requirements and limit hazardous content in their products.

    “Quality, environment and energy-efficiency are the general requirements. Corporate social responsibility and sustainable development are appreciated.”

    VASI could actively support enterprises by providing consultancy, training, information, and databases and connecting them with international markets, she said. 

    Japan bank mulls PetroVietnam plan     

    The Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) is considering funding the Block B&52/97 project of the Viet Nam Oil and Gas Group (PetrolVietnam) with loans without a government guarantee.

    General Director of PetroVietnam Nguyen Vu Truong Son recently worked with JBIC representatives on the financial arrangements for the project.

    According to PetroVietnam, the project, worth nearly US$10 billion, is one of the two largest gas projects in Viet Nam. The capital arrangement for the project is one of the main concerns of foreign partners involved in the project.

    The Block B&52/97 project’s oilfield development report was approved by contractors and the State appraisal council, while its environmental impact assessment report was ratified by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment. The quantitative risk assessment report was also submitted to the Ministry of Industry and Trade.

    As scheduled, the contract will be awarded in June 2018, and the signing of Engineering Procurement Construction and Installation (EPCI) contracts for the project will be done in July.

    The Block B&52/97 project includes two sub-projects. The first aims to develop the Block B oilfield, with PetroVietnam owning maximum capital in the project (42.896 per cent). Other investors are PetroVietnam Exploration and Production Corporation (26.788 per cent), Mitsui Oil Exploration Company (MOECO) of Japan (22.575 per cent), and Thailand’s PTT Exploration and Production Public Company Limited (PTTEP) (7.741 per cent).

    The second is to build the Block B-O Mon gas pipeline having a total length of 430km. PetroVietnam, PetroVietnam Gas Corporation (PV Gas), MOECO and PTTEP have invested in this project.

    The Block B&52/97 project is expected to bring ashore 5.06 billion cu.m of gas per year within 20 years, meeting the gas demand of power plants in the south.

    It is expected to contribute some $18 billion to the State budget.

    Cement consumption on the rise     

    The country’s cement consumption in the first two months of the year posted a year-on-year increase of 85 per cent to reach 18.55 million tonnes.

    According to statistics of the Department of Building Materials under the Ministry of Construction, cement consumption in the period had surged both in local and export markets. The department attributed this to a halt in cement production in China.

    In February alone, cement consumption reached 7.62 million tonnes, increasing by 38 per cent compared to the same period last year and meeting 23 per cent of the annual target.

    Cement sold in the domestic market rose by 11 per cent over the corresponding period last year to 5.02 million tonnes. The country exported 2.6 million tonnes of cement in February, increasing 30 per cent from last year.

    Cement exports in the first two months of the year reached 5.5 million tonnes, representing a year-on-year increase of 121 per cent.

    Cement prices were stable last month. 

    Hai Duong attracts FDI worth $185mn     

    The northern province of Hai Duong attracted US$185 million in foreign direct investment (FDI) in the first two months of 2018, a year-on-year increase of 39.8 per cent.

    This was revealed by the provincial Department of Planning and Investment.

    In the reviewed period, eight FDI projects worth over $32.1 million were granted new licences, and nine existing projects were allowed to add a combined capital of $153.45 million.

    To become an attractive destination for foreign investment in future, the province will focus on improving the business climate, accelerating administrative reforms, publicising and bringing about transparency in all administrative procedures, such as investment, enterprises, natural resources, environment, construction, transport, electricity, tax and customs.

    Nguyen Manh Hien, secretary of the provincial Party Committee, said in 2018 the province would continue to improve infrastructure to attract investment in industrial zones and clusters, prioritise the development of industries producing hi-tech, clean and industrial products that have competitive advantages, as well as support industries.

    In addition to this, Hai Duong has also invested in building new infrastructure for some industrial parks to speed up the implementation of many projects, such as the North-South road and other essential transportation routes and the Hai Duong Thermal Power Plant, Hien said.

    Hai Duong currently has 370 projects with total FDI investment of nearly $7.43 billion. 

    UK’s group encouraged to participate in SOEs’ restructuring     

    The United Kingdom’s Jardines Matheson Group can enlarge its investment to take part in the restructuring of State-owned enterprises (SOEs) and credit institutions in Viet Nam.

    This was announced by Deputy Prime Minister Vuong Dinh Hue during a reception in Ha Noi on Monday that he had hosted for Henry Keswich, chairman of the Jardines Matheson Group.

    Jardines Matheson is a multi-sectoral and multi-national group that has been present in Viet Nam for more than 20 years. The group holds 10 per cent of charter capital at Vinamilk, 25 per cent of capital at Truong Hai Auto Corporation and 23 per cent at the Refrigeration Electrical Engineering Corporation.

    At the reception, Keswich expressed his interest in the equitisation and divestment of Vietnamese SOEs, hoping to participate in the field.

    He also pledged to help Viet Nam develop its capital market with high-level services in the time to come.

    According to Hue, the restructuring of SOEs and credit institutions are two among five key tasks in the country’s economic restructuring plan.

    The State will own full stakes only in fields related to national security, defence and special public-utility services, he said, adding that the Government has issued a list of SOEs that must be divested and equitised until 2020. The Government is also focusing on dealing with weak banks and balancing credit and non-credit services of banks, he said.

    He also said the Government would work to ensure macro-economic stability and create a favourable business environment in conformity with international standards and practices.

    He asked the group to pay attention to developing existing fields such as milk products, automobiles, machinery, construction, real estate and finance and insurance.

    According to Hue, the expansion of investment in Viet Nam will benefit Jardines Matheson as the country is a member of more than 10 free trade agreements.

    State earned VNĐ49.2 billion from IPO of VTRI     

    The State earned VND49.2 billion (US$2.16 million) through the initial public offering of the Viet Nam Textile Research Institute (VTRI) on Monday at an average auction price of VND21,749 per share.

    At the auction, 20 eligible investors participated in the IPO to buy more than 14 million shares. The highest bid volume was for the entire lot, while the lowest volume was 1,000 shares. The lowest auction price was equal to the offered price, and the highest was up to VND30,000 per share.

    As a result, there were eight winners, including two organisations and six individuals. The average auction price was VND21,749 per share, 73 per cent higher than the offered price, with the total value of the shares sold being VND49.2 billion.

    The payment to buy the shares has to be made between March 13 and March 22. The refund period is from March 14 to March 19.

    Besides 2,263,000 shares (equivalent to 45.26 per cent of the charter capital) sold during the IPO on March 12, the VTRI will offer 2,263,000 shares to strategic investors, while the remaining will be sold to employees. The State will not hold shares in the VTRI.

    According to the approved plan, after the equitisation, the VTRI will be named the Viet Nam Textile Research Institute JSC, with a charter capital of VND50 billion. Its head office will be located at
    478 Minh Khai Street
    , Ha Noi, with a branch in HCMCity.

    As for its business result, the VTRI posted a revenue of VND57 billion last year, down 25 per cent compared with the average revenue of the previous three years. Its profit was VND761 million, down by half of that of 2016. The total assets of the institute at the end of 2017 was worth VND41 billion.

    In terms of land, the VTRI is managing and using plots of land at
    478 Minh Khai Street
    , Ha Noi, with an area of nearly 2,851sq.m; at
    454/24 Minh Khai Street
    with an area of 5,311sq.m; and at 354/128A
    Tran Hung Dao Street
    , District 1, HCMCity, with an area of nearly 2,220sq.m. — 

    Meliá Hotels International signs three new properties

    Meliá Hotels International, the leading Spanish hotel group, announced the signing of three new properties in Ho Chi Minh City, including Meliá Saigon Central, INNSIDE Saigon Central, and INNSIDE Saigon Mariamman, bringing the group’s number of current and future properties in Vietnam to ten.

    All three properties will be managed by Meliá Hotels International. With the region’s rising affluence, improved infrastructure, and increased flight connectivity, there is an enormous potential in the growing “bleisure” market in Vietnam, which is a booming tourism hotspot and a priority market for the group.

    According to Bernardo Cabot Estarellas, senior vice president, Asia-Pacific of Meliá Hotels International, Vietnam is quickly emerging as a top travel and business destination and is a big part of the firm’s strategic focus for the Asia-Pacific.

    In addition to our three properties in Hanoi, Danang, and Phu Quoc, we are thrilled to bring the Meliá and INNSIDE brands to Ho Chi Minh City and grow our offering to our customers in the region.

    As the financial and business hub of the country, Ho Chi Minh City is awash with bustling energy and is the main entry and exit point to the country.

    All three hotels enjoy convenient access, just six kilometres from TanSonNhatInternationalAirport, easily connecting the new urban hotels with the groups’ existing domestic resort properties, Meliá Danang and Sol Beach House Phu Quoc.

    With these three new properties extending the group’s presence in the Vietnam, Meliá Hotels International will continue to set the benchmark for service quality, with unique Spanish touches, catering to the growing mass of discerning travellers.

    In 2018, Meliá Hotels International maintains its robust momentum in Asia, with 20 hotels currently in operation and 27 hotels in the pipeline, and looks to double its portfolio in the region by 2020.

    Spotify launches music streaming service in Vietnam

    Spotify, the world’s leading music streaming subscription service, was launched today in Vietnam, offering a revolutionary and unrivalled music experience tuned to Vietnamese people’s taste.

    With a worldwide community of over 159 million music fans, Spotify offers both a free ad-supported service and an upgraded ad-free subscription service. Users can listen to music for free or alternatively upgrade to Spotify Premium for only VND59,000 ($2.6) per month.

    With a catalogue of over 35 million songs all available to both free users and subscribers, Spotify comes to Vietnam offering the very best in both local and international music.

    “We are incredibly excited to launch Spotify in Vietnam with a revolutionary new music experience,” said Sunita Kaur, managing director of Spotify Asia.

    “Thanks to our huge music catalogue of over 35 million songs, truly personalised recommendations, and the best playlists curated by music experts and fans, Spotify makes discovering the music you love easier than ever,” she added.

    With the launch of Spotify Vietnam, Vietnamese users have instant access to a wide range of local playlists expertly curated and regularly updated by Spotify’s team of Vietnamese music experts, alongside millions of Spotify and fan-built international playlists.

    In addition, Spotify has personalised discovery features including Daily Mix, Release Radar, and Discover Weekly, so Vietnamese users can explore different songs from their favourite genre.

    Vietnamese users can download the app via the Android or iOS app store. Following the launch in Vietnam, Spotify will be available in 65 markets around the world.

    Minh Phu to pay dividend by stock to boost charter capital

    Minh Phu Seafood Corporation (MPC) has decided to pay dividend by stock despite shareholders' request for cash to boost charter capital.

    At the shareholders' meeting took place on March 9, shareholders proposed to pay dividends in cash instead of stocks. However, Le Van Quang, MPC’s chairman and general director, said that the company’s charter capital has been at VND700 billion ($31 million) since 2016.

    Minh Phu intends to pay dividends by stock and bonus stock for key people in order to raise capital to VND1.4 trillion ($62 million). Thereby, MPC./'; expects to issue 68.4 million shares to pay dividend at the rate of 1:1 and an additional 1.5 million shares as bonus for key people.

    Quang also said that MPC’s shares will be listed on the Ho Chi Minh Stock Exchange (HOSE) from June 2018. The company has just been listed on the UPCoM on October 16, 2017.

    In order to raise capital, Minh Phu intends to issue 60 million shares for strategic investors. Quang said that several foreign investors are interested in MPC’s public offering, some of whom want to purchase up to 35-65 per cent. The total charter capital is expected to be VND2 trillion ($88.1 million) after the outlined issuances and offerings.

    This year, MPC will target to reach $800 million in export-import turnover, 63,000 tonnes of shrimp in gross export volume, VND18.2 trillion ($0.8 billion) in gross revenue, and VND1.1 trillion ($48.5 million) in pre-tax profit.

    However, Quang said that Minh Phu will do their utmost to exceed these targets and reach an export turnover of $1 billion. In the first month of this year, MPC recorded a profit of VND40 billion ($1.8 million), which is a positive signal because this company has always been in the red in January.

    MPC expects to expand Minh Phu Ca Mau factory by 30,000 tonnes per year in the third quarter of this year. The total investment is VND1 trillion ($44 million), including 30 per cent from MPC and the rest from loans.

    CapitaLand Vietnam holds third Feng Shui seminar

    On March 11, CapitaLand Vietnam hosted the “Feng Shui and Astrology 2018” seminar with the presence of the world’s leading expert on Feng Shui and Chinese metaphysics, Dato’ Joey Yap.

    capitaland vietnam holds third feng shui seminar

    Previously, the Vietnam-based arm of CapitaLand successfully hosted the seminar for two consecutive years, 2016 and 2017, which later received lots of positive feedback from homebuyers.

    Chen Lian Pang, CEO of CapitaLand Vietnam, asserted that, "We (CapitaLand Vietnam) acknowledge the role of Feng Shui in the decisions of a customer when purchasing a residential project, as Feng Shui represents the close connection between people and their living space. Hence, the ancient Chinese art is closely intertwined with the architecture of residential projects.”

    CapitaLand Vietnam acknowledges the role of Feng Shui in the decisions of a customer when purchasing a residential project, as Feng Shui represents the close connection between people and their living space.

    Chen further added that, "By inviting the internationally acclaimed Feng Shui pundit, Dato’ Joey Yap to co-host the seminar, we (CapitaLand Vietnam) expect to spread knowledge about the ancient art and science of Feng Shui on the Vietnamese market, bringing the practical perks Feng Shui has to offer to residential projects."

    In the Feng Shui seminar, the world-renowned consultant addressed key points, such as the energy generated by the Year of the Dog, the recent "hearsay" that this lunar year would bring a time of doom and gloom when markets would crash, leading to an inevitable recession, and speculations that sectors such as IT, oil and gas, telecommunications, and agriculture, as well as education would produce great business opportunities in the year ahead.

    Vietnam reclaims crown of 'Asia's best performing stock market'

    Over the first two months of 2018, the Vietnamese stock market ranked first among the fastest growing markets in the world, followed by the stock markets of Brazil, Russia, and Argentine, as well as tripling the growth rate of the US Nasdaq.

    By the last stock transaction in February, the VN-Index hit a new record of 1,120 points, equivalent to 14 per cent growth over only two months, setting the stage to be one of the most impressive performing markets in the world this year.

    Likewise, over the twelve months of 2017 and the first two months of 2018, the VN-Index saw 70 per cent growth, nearly surpassing the record set in March 2007.

    Previously in the second half of 2017, the Vietnamese stock market was deemed to be one of the most investment-worthy markets due to surging profitability and capital attraction.

    According to newswire Bloomberg, by the end of 2018, the VNIndex was forecast to reach 1,210 points in a recent survey of 10 strategists by the New York-based news station.

    Thang Uong, manager of a $1-billion portfolio at Manulife's fund in Vietnam, noted that "The market growth rate was forecast to swell by 20-25 per cent among listed and newly-listed firms."

    As concluded in a recent market analysis by RongViet Securities (VDSC), running a moderate trading volume, the VNIndex would likely rise by 17-19 per cent, while in case the VnIndex improves its ranking among Asia's stock markets, it could potential expand by 45-67 per cent.

    By the end of 2017, Vietnam's benchmark index mounted up to 984 points, which was equivalent to a 48 per cent rise against the same category in 2016.

    Previously, the VNIndex was ranked the world's third and Asia’s best-performing market due to its smooth economic growth, the "green" business performance of various firms, including giants like Petrolimex, Vietnam Airlines, and Vincom Retail, as well as the inundating volume of traded shares worth roughly $1.1 million by foreign funds.

    Vietnam's cold supply chain in poor shape

    Cold chain supply is an important base for the agriculture sector, contributing to ensuring the quality of food and agricultural products from farm to table. However, local agriculture experts as well as local enterprises believe the cold supply chain for Vietnam’s agriculture sector remains weak, the World Cold Chain Summit 2018, held recently by Carrier in Ho Chi Minh City, heard.

    The workshop focused on wasting less food and reducing greenhouse gas emissions from food loss through a strengthened cold chain. Carrier is a part of UTC Climate, Controls & Security, a unit of United Technologies Corp.

    This was the fourth World Cold Chain Summit organized by Carrier since its inception in 2014 but the first to focus on cold chain development efforts in one specific region. Vietnam, a fast-growing, emerging country, shares many challenges with other developing economies in tackling food waste issues and managing cold chain logistics.

    “With new technologies and practices for a more efficient cold chain, significant progress can be made to reduce carbon dioxide emissions, improve cross-border economic activity, and help reduce hunger,” said Mr. David Appel, President of Carrier Transicold & Refrigeration Systems. “We are proud to convene and engage with experts across private and public sectors to collaborate on developing actionable strategies to help reduce food losses in Vietnam and Southeast Asia.”

    The summit asked food supply chain stakeholders, academics, and policymakers to collectively identify significant opportunities in the Vietnamese food supply chain, diagnose root causes leading to losses, and evaluate different cold chain solutions for Vietnam and potentially other developing countries in the fast-growing Southeast Asia region.

    “Of all the perishable food produced in the world today, only 10 per cent is refrigerated,” Mr. Appel went on. “There is a huge opportunity to cut food waste and improve food distribution by implementing cold chain technology. But to do so effectively, we have to understand local needs, and that’s why we’re focusing this year’s Summit on Vietnam and the Southeast Asia region.”

    Vietnam’s food supply chain loses an estimated 5.75 million tons of food per year, accounting for 60 per cent of the country’s entire municipal solid waste, according to a 2011 report by Vietnam’s National State of Environment.

    “We believe that it’s not only possible to green the cold chain, but that by better managing food supply with cold chain technology, we can reduce food loss and waste, feed more people, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions associated with the supply of food,” Mr. Appel said. “The goal for the 2018 World Cold Chain Summit is to develop a roadmap to reduce food loss and waste in Vietnam that can also be applied in the APEC region and extended globally.”

    F88 to open pawn shops in HCMC in Q3

    F88 will open its first pawn shops in Ho Chi Minh City during the third quarter of this year, marking its expansion in Vietnam’s pawn shop market, according to CEO Phung Anh Tuan.

    The company had nearly 40 pawn shops in Vietnam's north as at February, in Hanoi, Hai Phong, Vinh Yen, Thanh Hoa, Bac Ninh and Bac Giang, serving hundreds of customers each day. Lending totaled nearly VND600 billion ($26.3 million) last year, in 50,000 contracts.

    With a goal of having 300 stores by 2020, F88 has now achieved 13 per cent of its plan. It recently launched its first artificial intelligence (AI) equipment for product valuation in its collateralized loan service.

    Customers can accurately estimate the value of their assets with the AI equipment to avoid being put at a disadvantage when borrowing money from banks or financial institutions. This also differentiates F88 from other pawn shops in the market.

    Mr. Tuan said that valuations are the greatest risk in the pawn shop model. “If you don’t meet standards and make a loan higher than the value of the collateral, you will lose money if customers don’t return to reclaim their assets,” he explained.

    According to Mr. Tuan, the company has nearly 300 employees. Most of its mid- to high-level personnel have been recruited from large banks and financial institutions in Vietnam.

    After receiving investment from Mekong Capital in January 2017, F88 became the first pawn shop chain in Vietnam.


    0 0
  • 03/19/18--02:33: Article 0
  • Government News 18/3

    Prime Minister sends congratulation to Chinese Premier

    Prime Minister sends congratulation to Chinese Premier, President: press greatly contributes to national achievements, HCM City wants to boost Francophone cooperation, Vietnamese Embassy in Germany conducts citizen protection 

    Chinese Premier Li Keqiang 

    Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc on March 18 sent a congratulatory message to Li Keqiang on his re-election as Chinese Premier.

    Li was endorsed as Chinese Premier at the first session of the 13th National People's Congress (NPC) on March 18. 

    President: press greatly contributes to national achievements

    Prime Minister sends congratulation to Chinese Premier, President: press greatly contributes to national achievements, HCM City wants to boost Francophone cooperation, Vietnamese Embassy in Germany conducts citizen protection 

    President Tran Dai Quang visits Vietnam News Agency's booth at 2018 National Press Festival.  

    President Tran Dai Quang lauded great contributions of the press to the country’s achievements in 2017 and the first months of 2018 while addressing the closing session of the National Press Festival in Hanoi on March 18. 

    In the context of the fourth industrial revolution, domestic press agencies have made all-out efforts to improve both quality and quantity, the President said. 

    Apart from covering major events and the implementation of tasks for economic, cultural and social development, national defence and security, and external affairs in a timely manner, the press circle has constructively participated in the combat against corruption, wastefulness and signs of ideological, ethical and lifestyle degradation, and sabotaged wrongful and distorted allegations by hostile forces, he noted. 

    The leader expressed his hope that the Vietnamese revolutionary press will carry forward its leading role in the ideological and cultural front, better orient public opinions, and connect the Party and State with people. 

    Themed  “Vietnamese press accompanies the nation in renewal,”  this year’s three-day event attracted 59 units from the Vietnam Journalists’ Association (VJA) and its branches, journalism training institutes, and companies specialising in press equipment, with a total of 73 booths. 

    A highlight at the festival was the four thematic displays - “The press with Party building,” “The press with National Assembly and voters,” “The press with the building of an integrated, development-facilitating and action-oriented Government,” and “Ethics of journalists.”

    The festival also featured a forum on the press’s role in Government building, along with numerous exchanges, seminars, photo and painting exhibitions, and art performances. 

    On this occasion, the organisation board granted awards to outstanding press research works for the first time, besides traditional prizes. The Vietnam News Agency won the first prize for its attractive and special booth. 

    The festival was jointly held by the VJA, the Hanoi People’s Committee, the Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV) Central Committee’s Information and Education Commission, the Ministry of Information and Communications, and Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism.

    HCMCity wants to boost Francophone cooperation


    Prime Minister sends congratulation to Chinese Premier, President: press greatly contributes to national achievements, HCM City wants to boost Francophone cooperation, Vietnamese Embassy in Germany conducts citizen protection
    Vice Chairman of the Ho Chi Minh City People’s Committee Le Van Khoa (R) and Adama Ouane, Director of the International Francophone Organisation.  

    Vice Chairman of the Ho Chi Minh City People’s Committee Le Van Khoa on March 17 welcomed Adama Ouane, Director of the International Francophone Organisation (OIF), who is on a working visit to Vietnam and attends Francophone Day activities in the southern city.

    Vice Chairman Khoa highly spoke of the OIF’s role in international and regional issues, thereby showing the the organisation’s development, especially in promoting educational cooperation and expanding the Francophone community in the world.

    He thanked the organisation for its cooperation with and support to the city in recent times, saying that southern hub is maintaining French-language teaching in schools and universities. About 4,000 school students and 5,000 university students in the city are studying French, he added.

    Khoa proposed the OIF continue its help in training and improving skills of teachers in French at local education establishments. 

    The organisation was also asked to help restore French architecture works in order to protect and preserve typical culture of the Francophone community in HCM city.

    OIF Director Ouane, for his part, said Vietnam and Ho Chi Minh City in particular have played an important role in the relations between the OIF and the Asia-Pacific region, as well as a central role in developing the OIF’s Francophone community in the region.

    His current visit to Vietnam is to learn about the demand of Vietnam as well as HCMCity in promoting the development of the French-speaking community, he added.

    On the occasion of the 48th anniversary of Francophone Day (March 20), a Francophone festive day 2018 was held by the HCMCity’s Department of Education and Training and Union of Friendship Organisation, and the French Consulate General in the city on March 18.

    The event drew the participation of about 5,000 students and learners of French-language programmes and teachers in French, and representatives from consulate generals in the city of the Francophone community.

    The event included cultural and art activities, games, booths introducing learning programmes of schools using French language from primary to tertiary levels, along with others featuring cuisine, culture and arts of the Francophone community.

    Vietnamese Embassy in Germany conducts citizen protection


    Prime Minister sends congratulation to Chinese Premier, President: press greatly contributes to national achievements, HCM City wants to boost Francophone cooperation, Vietnamese Embassy in Germany conducts citizen protection 
    The Vietnamese Embassy in Germany said it is working with the Vietnamese Consulate General in Frankfurt and local authorities to solve the recent death of a Vietnamese student in Germany (Illustrative photo: VNA)

    The Vietnamese Embassy in Germany said it is working with the Vietnamese Consulate General in Frankfurt and local authorities to solve the recent death of a Vietnamese student in Germany.

    A female Vietnamese student, born in 1997 in Hai Phong city, was found dead in Mitte, Dortmund city of Germany’s Nordrhein-Westfalen state, on March 11.

    According to Dortmund police, the student committed suicide. Local police are investigating the case and will announce the official report on the case early next week.

    The student had just arrived in Dortmund several days before from Helsinki, Finland, under a student exchange programme. She was a student of the TranPhuHigh School for the Gifted in Hai Phong and went to Finland for study three years ago.


    0 0
  • 03/19/18--02:46: Article 4
  • Socail News 18/3

    15 years of community football program in Thua Thien-Hue


    15 years of community football program in Thua Thien-Hue, Building Da Nang’s trademark as a gateway to heritages, Victims of Son My massacre remembered in US, Floating school built for overseas Vietnamese pupils in Cambodia

    The recent success of Vietnam’s squad at the Asian Football Confederation U23 Championship is expected to attract strong investment to the development of youth football in Vietnam.

    Funded by the Football Association of Norway, the “Football for All in Vietnam” (FFAV) program has been active for 15 years in Hue.  

    As its name suggests, the “Football for All in Vietnam” community program promises that anyone who wants to play football will be given an opportunity, regardless gender, ability, or social circumstances.

    The program has received an investment of US$2 million from the Football Association of Norway. Over the past 15 years, the FFAV has built a network of 200 grassroots football clubs involving 17,000 children between 6 and 15 years old. The program won in the NGO and Individual category at the Dream Asia Awards in 2017.

    This June, for the second time, the FFAV and 48 other delegations from around the world will come to Moscow to participate in the “Football for Hope” Festival, an official event on the sidelines of World Cup 2018. The FFAV’s first time was at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

    Nguyen Hoang Phuong, FFAV director, said “As the Norwegian government’s funding will stop at the end of this year, it will be a great challenge for us to maintain and expand the program across Vietnam. Though we focus just on developing an interest in football, many children in Hue have qualified for the Vietnam women’s national football team.”

    Tran Quoc Tuan, Vice Chairman of the Vietnam Football Federation, has encouraged the expansion of Hue’s school football model nationwide.

    “From this model, we have sent a number of teams to conduct surveys of school football in other provinces like Lang Son, Cao Bang, and Quang Tri,” Tuan added.

    Vietnam’s football strategy until 2020 with a vision to 2030 defines school football as a key solution to developing football nationally.

    In 2015 the Ministry of Education and Training signed a joint agreement with the Ministry of Culture, Sports, and Tourism to realize the plan.

    Director of the General Department of Sports and Physical Training Vuong Bich Thang said a comprehensive review of school and community football models will be conducted this year towards formulating the best way to expand the Hue model nationwide.

    Building Da Nang’s trademark as a gateway to heritages

    Da Nang city has become a popular tourist destination for having one of the 6 most beautiful beaches in the world.

    The city is the gateway to world heritages in Vietnam’s central region and received the prestigious title “Asia's Leading Festival & Event Destination” at the World Travel Awards 2016. At a recent conference on tourism development, provincial leaders and businesses agreed that the city should diversify nighttime entertainment.

    Da Nang’s tourism sector has seen amazing progress over the past decade. The number of hotels has increased 10 folds and tourism has become a spearhead economic sector. Tourists love Da Nang’s long sandy beaches, beautiful Han river, and diverse cuisine. Dang Minh Truong, General Director of SunGroup, says tourists want to know about places to visit, to play, and to eat.

    He suggested that Da Nang should have more activities at night. “We need to map out a strategy to promote Da Nang’s tourism trademark. As the Prime Minister said, “Da Nang should be a place you must see in your lifetime.” We are ready to finance a fund to hire foreign experts to open communication campaigns on the city’s tourism trademark.”

    Nguyen Canh Son, General Director of the Ariyana Da Nang Company, said after the APEC Economic Leaders’ Week, that MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Events) may bring revenue for Da Nang and does not depend on the tourist higher season. 

    “Can Da Nang host international trade fairs and exhibitions which will require tens of thousands of hotel rooms like the APEC Economic Leaders’ Week? The city should offer new types of tourism, such as medical tourism and tours for the elderly. The streets should always be as crowded as festivals, not just for a few days”, said Mr Son. 

    Victims of Son My massacre remembered in US

    The Vietnam Peace Commemoration Committee (VPCC) organised an array of activities in the US from March 15-17 to commemorate 504 victims of the Son My bloody massacre by US troops 50 years ago.

    About 70 people gathered at the
    Lafayette Square
    on March 16 to read out names of the victims, sang songs for peace and chanted the slogan of “My Lai: Never Again”. 

    The same day, Professor Howard Jones, a VPCC member from AlabamaUniversity, hosted a programme to introduce his book titled “My Lai: Vietnam, 1968, and the Descent into Darkness” at George Washington University, WashingtonD.C.  

    At the same time, the 475-page English book was also introduced by the VPCC at ColumbiaUniversity in New York

    On March 17 afternoon, the VPCC screed a 95-minute film at George Washington University, featuring acceptance of more than 125 US soldiers of the cruelty they committed or witnessed at the massacre. 

    The killings that occurred on March 16, 1968 in My Lai hamlet (now Son My, Tinh Khe commune), the central province of Quang Ngai, prompted widespread outrage around the world. The massacre is also credited with advancing the end of the American War because it significantly undermined public support in the United States for the war effort.           

    Some 504 unarmed civilians in Tinh Khe commune were slaughtered, mostly elderly villagers, women and children. Hundreds of houses, along with thousands of heads of cattle and poultry, and all food, were burned and destroyed that day. 

    Founded in September 2014, the VPCC seeks to tell the truth and learn the lessons of the US war in Indochina, and of the broad, diverse protest movement that ended the war.

    Vietnamese students surpass Chinese peers to top regional education ranking

    A new report shows Vietnamese students perform best academically in East Asia and the Pacific and surpass even some from developed countries outside the region.

    Vietnam beats its Southeast Asian peers, the Republic of Korea (RoK), Japan, Taiwan, Hong Kong and China in terms of scores on PISA and TIMSS tests, the World Bank revealed in its latest report.

    The “Growing Smarter: Learning and Equitable Development in East Asia and the Pacific” report by the World Bank ranks students according to a weighted average of scores from tests that students have taken since 2000 for Program for International Student Assessment (PISA), and since 2003 for Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS).

    The average performance in Vietnam and China surpassed member countries of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, or OECD, that includes the US, the UK, France, Germany, Canada and Spain.

    Vietnam scored above the OECD average on all three sub scores in 2012. These scores indicate mastery of a full range of superior math abilities for complex problems, according to the report.

    To strengthen its findings, the World Bank cited 2013 data from the Young Lives initiative, which closely follows cohorts from birth through secondary school.

    It show that when they start primary school, Vietnamese children have cognitive skills and abilities that are similar to peers in three comparator countries. By third grade, however, Vietnamese students are way ahead of their low- and middle-income peers in math. At ages 10 and 12, the average Vietnamese student performs better than all but the top students in Ethiopia, India, and Peru.

    PISA asseses students in science, mathematics, reading, collaborative problem solving and financial literacy, with science the major domain. TIMSS is a series of international assessments of the mathematics and science knowledge of students around the world.

    Last year, PISA ranked Vietnamese 15-year-olds eighth out of 72 economies in science performance. Vietnamese students also came 22nd in mathematics and 32nd in reading.

    The scores puzzled foreign experts as PISA rankings usually correspond with the country’s GDP and prosperity, but Vietnam has been an exceptional case.

    Floating school built for overseas Vietnamese pupils in Cambodia

    The Consulate General of Vietnam in Battambang, Cambodia inaugurated a floating school built for children of overseas Vietnamese living on Tonlé SapLake in Pursat province on March 16.

    Funded by the State Committee for Overseas Vietnamese Affairs under Vietnam’s Foreign Ministry, the wooden facility consists of two classrooms which can accommodate about 100 pupils. 

    Chairman of the Association of Vietnamese-Cambodians in Pursat Le Hoang said there was no school in the area in the past.

    He said with delight that now the Vietnamese expats here can send their children to school and use the facility to hold community activities.

    On the occasion, a Vietnamese company presented four tonnes of rice to disadvantaged overseas Vietnamese and Cambodian families in the locality, while staff at the Consulate General of Vietnam in Battambang supported health check-ups at Long Hai Pagoda, a pagoda of the Vietnamese expats in Tonlé Sap.

    Victims of Son My massacre remembered in US

    The Vietnam Peace Commemoration Committee (VPCC) organised an array of activities in the US from March 15-17 to commemorate 504 victims of the Son My bloody massacre by US troops 50 years ago. 

    About 70 people gathered at the
    Lafayette Square
    on March 16 to read out names of the victims, sang songs for peace and chanted the slogan of “My Lai: Never Again”. 

    The same day, Professor Howard Jones, a VPCC member from AlabamaUniversity, hosted a programme to introduce his book titled “My Lai: Vietnam, 1968, and the Descent into Darkness” at George Washington University, WashingtonD.C.  

    At the same time, the 475-page English book was also introduced by the VPCC at ColumbiaUniversity in New York

    On March 17 afternoon, the VPCC screed a 95-minute film at George Washington University, featuring acceptance of more than 125 US soldiers of the cruelty they committed or witnessed at the massacre. 

    The killings that occurred on March 16, 1968 in My Lai hamlet (now Son My, Tinh Khe commune), the central province of Quang Ngai, prompted widespread outrage around the world. The massacre is also credited with advancing the end of the American War because it significantly undermined public support in the United States for the war effort.           

    Some 504 unarmed civilians in Tinh Khe commune were slaughtered, mostly elderly villagers, women and children. Hundreds of houses, along with thousands of heads of cattle and poultry, and all food, were burned and destroyed that day. 

    Founded in September 2014, the VPCC seeks to tell the truth and learn the lessons of the US war in Indochina, and of the broad, diverse protest movement that ended the war.

    Foreign lands, people through Vietnamese photographers’ eyes

    An exhibition showcasing the lands and people in foreign countries through the lens of Vietnamese photographers opened in Hanoi, on March 17 by the Vietnam Association of Photographic Artists (VAPA).

    Works on display include 140 photos taken by 80 Vietnamese photographers in 35 different countries and territories throughout the world.

    The photos, selected from nearly 1,770 entries sent to the VAPA, capture the natural beauty, architectural sites, daily lives, cultural practices and portraits of people in foreign countries.

    The event is among the VAPA’s efforts to create a photo database of countries around the world, while tightening the solidarity among Vietnamese people and their international friends.

    At the ceremony, the VAPA presented certificates of merit to its outstanding members in acknowledgement of their excellent work performance in 2017, as well as their significant contributions to the development of Vietnamese photography.

    Ban Flower Festival 2018 honours traditional cultural values

    The Ban Flower Festival 2018 kicked off in the northern mountainous province of Dien Bien on March 17, attracting thousands of people in the province and surrounding localities.

    Speaking at the opening ceremony, Nguyen Van Binh Chairman of the Communist Party Central Committee’s Economic Commission and head of the Steering Committee for Northwestern Region, said the annual festival bolsters the cultural development in the region, thus helping the province become a key destination on the northwestern tourism route. 

    The festival aims to honour and preserve traditional cultural values of ethnic groups and strengthen national unity, as well as promote local landscapes and people to international friends, he added.

    Aside from the opening ceremony held in the May 7 Square, the festival will feature a number of activities including art performances and exhibitions on local tourism products, among others.

    The highlight of this year will be a fashion show on traditional costumes of Dien Bien’s ethnic groups, which is expected to draw the participation of many local artisans, in a bid to introduce traditional culture of ethnic groups in Vietnam and Dien Bien in particular.

    There will also be a pack-bike competition where participants push pack-bikes carrying food from the Dien Bien PhuVictoryMonument to the Hill D relic site. This activity aims to re-enact Dien Bien Phu Operation of the Vietnamese people and army in 1954.

    The annual Ban Flower Festival helps affirm the tourism trademark of Dien Bien and promote ban flower (scientifically known as Bauhinia Variegata), which has become a symbol of the land and people of Dien Bien and the northwest region in general. The flower often blossoms in March-April.

    President Ho Chi Minh’s stay in Russia’s Petrograd recalled

    A seminar was held in Russia’s St. Petersburg city on March 16 to mark 95 years since Nguyen Ai Quoc, an alias of President Ho Chi Minh, set foot in Petrograd, the former name of St. Petersburg

    The seminar attracted nearly 200 delegates who are Vietnamese and Russian scientists, scholars, activists, representatives of social organisations and students. 

    Speeches delivered at the event recalled the life and career of President Ho Chi Minh, especially the period when he lived in Russia, while looking into the present Vietnam-Russia cooperation in such areas as youth policy, education, culture and humanitarian, along with Ho Chi Minh’s thoughts and security issues in Southeast Asia

    Vietnamese Ambassador to Russia Ngo Duc Manh stressed that President Ho Chi Minh selected Petrograd to begin his path for national salvation, creating a foundation for the fruitful relations between Vietnam and the former Soviet Union and present-day Russia.  

    St. Petersburg’s Vice Governor Oleg Markov held that the Russia-Vietnam cooperation has been consolidated and expanded in various realms, from humanitarian and culture to economy, science and education. 

    The seminar helps bring young people of the two countries closer and educate them about the friendship, he said. 

    The seminar also featured an exhibition displaying objects on President Ho Chi Minh and other Vietnamese leaders.

    Requiem for Vietnamese fallen soldiers held in Thailand

    A requiem to commemorate Vietnamese soldiers who laid down their lives to defend national sovereignty was held at Khanh An pagoda in Thailand’s northeastern province of Udon Thani on March 18.

    At the ceremony, overseas Vietnamese (OVs) recalled the nation’s glorious history and paid tribute to those who sacrificed their lives to safeguard the country, especially 64 naval soldiers who were killed while protecting Gac Ma (Johnson South) Reef in Vietnam’s Truong Sa (Spratly) archipelago on March 14, 1988. 

    The requiem for Vietnamese martyrs in Udon Thani province is held annually by OVs in Thailand. This is part of activities to help OVs gain more understanding of the country’s history, sea and island sovereignty and national protection.

    This is the third time the OVs in Thailand has held the activity to commemorate fallen soldiers.

    Việt Nam female team lose to US embassy

    Việt Nam’s national female football team lost to the male team from the US Embassy in Hà Nội 1-2 in a friendly match on Saturday.

    The game was held at the Việt Nam Youth Football Training Centre in Hà Nội.

    This was the last test of coach Mai Đức Chung before leaving for Germany on March 22. The team will undertake intensive training to prepare for the final of the 2018 AFC Women’s Asian Cup to be held in Jordan in April. In Germany, the team will play three friendly matches with leading female clubs of Europe.

    Earlier, Chung and his players honed their skills in a four-side international tournament in China.

    Int’l Francophone Day marked in Hanoi

    Deputy Foreign Minister Ha Kim Ngoc highlighted Vietnam’s efforts and practical contributions to the development of the French-speaking community and promoting the French language in the region at a function to mark the International Francophone Day in Hanoi on March 16.

    The Vietnamese official praised the community’s achievements in various cooperation fields, contributing to addressing global challenges in terms of security and development.

    He underlined the closed-knit relationship between Vietnam and the French-speaking community, saying that Vietnam will continue actively participating in and contributing to the solidarity and cooperation within the community for peace, stability and sustainable development in the world.

    The country is willing to serve as a bridge for the strong development of the French language in Asia– Pacific region, Ngoc said.

    Adama Ouane, Director of the International Organisation of the Francophonie (OIF), expressed his delight at the continuously growing relationship between the OIF and Vietnam and spoke highly of Vietnam’s role as a driving force, a pillar and a bridge between the French-speaking community and Asia– Pacific region.

    The OIF treasures and continues fostering cooperation with Vietnam, particularly in French teaching, promoting cultural diversity, and implementing the Francophonie Economic Strategy via triangular cooperation, digital technology application, participation in the UN’s peacekeeping force, and climate change adaptation.

    During the event, Belgian Ambassador to Vietnam Jehanne Roccas, Chairman of the Group of Francophone Embassies, Delegations and Institutions (GADIF), presented awards to Associate Professor Dr. Trinh Van Minh from the Vietnam National University – Hanoi; and Dr. Tran Thi Nguyen Ny from the Ho Chi Minh City Medicine and Pharmacy University for their outstanding contributions to the development of the French language in Vietnam as well as the cooperation between Vietnam and the OIF.

    VNA, VFF join hands in producing TV programme

    The Vietnam News Agency (VNA) and the Vietnam Fatherland Front (VFF) Central Committee on March 16 signed a cooperation agreement to produce and air a television programme entitled “Strength of Great Solidarity” on the VNA’s TV Channel Vnews in the 2018-2021 period.

    Addressing the signing ceremony, VFF President Tran Thanh Man noted with pleasure the close coordination between the VNA and VFF over the past years, contributing to popularising the Party and State’s policies and laws among the community, thus strengthening the national solidarity bloc.

    The launching of the “Strength of Great Solidarity” programme is expected to help enhance communications on fostering the national solidarity bloc and give more information about the Party and State’s policies and laws as well as VFF plans to the public.

    Man proposed that the VNA, especially the Vnews channel, to focus on issues such as the voice of people from all walks of life, outstanding figures in various fields, new-style rural area building and smart city, and activities to support the poor.

    For his part, VNA General Director Nguyen Duc Loi said that the VNA is the official organ of the Party and State, providing source news to the domestic press and 40 news agencies around the world, and supplying reference reports and information to Party and State leaders.

    With 60 different press products, the VNA’s coverage and capacity meet information demands in all fields, including activities of the VFF, he said.

    The general director also suggested that the VFF provide timely and full information for the VNA, especially Vnews channel, to help it produce high quality press products.

    According to its 2018 plan, the VNA will produce 2-4 editions for the programme each month with a duration of 15 minutes each.

    The VNA currently boasts a network of 63 representative offices nationwide and 30 representative bureaus worldwide.

    With more than 60 media products by more than 1,000 reporters and editors out of its 2,400-strong staff, the VNA is now the media office having the largest number of products and forms in the country: bulletins, photos, TV programmes, dailies, weeklies, monthlies, magazines, pictorials, books, e-newspapers and information programmes on mobile platforms.


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  • 03/19/18--03:06: Article 3

    Banks offer preferential credit packages to businesses   


    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

    Banks have launched credit packages with preferential interest rates, aiming to assist capital sources for businesses and further boost domestic production.

    The Bank for Investment and Development of Viet Nam (BIDV) has introduced a new credit package worth VND20 trillion (US$892.8 million), with a preferential interest rate from now until mid-2018.

    Accordingly, borrowers can enjoy an annual interest rate of 6.5 per cent for short-term loans and from 7.2 per cent for long-term loans. Besides, customers who seek to do business would join many preferential programmes from other services, such as internet banking and insurance.

    Since the beginning of this year, BIDV successfully implemented two preferential packages worth VND25 trillion to support manufacturing businesses.

    Meanwhile, Southeast Asia Joint Stock Commercial Bank (SeABank) has also launched a new programme, which provides preferential loans to corporate customers.

    Borrowers could receive up to VND1.5 trillion at an annual rate of 7.5 per cent for loans in Vietnamese dong and 3 per cent for loans in US dollar. Based on financial needs, the bank will provide the best consultancy services to help enterprises improve the efficiency of capital.

    In fact, many Vietnamese enterprises, especially small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are still facing long-standing difficulties in accessing loans.

    According to banking and financial expert Can Van Luc, most SMEs have a low management capacity and outdated technology, they lack transparency in information and feasible business plans, and do not have adequate assets for mortgages, making them ineligible for banking loans

    Credit institutions are hesitant to lend SMEs money for the same reasons. Luc noted that these problems were compounded by complex banking procedures and a shortage of appropriate loan packages for SMEs.

    Hoang Thi Hong, director of Small and Medium-sized Enterprises Development Fund under the Ministry of Planning and Investment, said it was necessary to develop a database about SMEs for credit institutions to use while evaluating.

    In addition, capital-raising channels should be diversified, rather than largely dependent on banks, for instance, while raising capital from the securities market, Hong said. 

    State Treasury mobilises nearly US$1.5bn from G-bonds     

    The State Treasury of Viet Nam has so far successfully mobilised VND34 trillion (US$1.49 billion) via Government bond (G-bond) auctions.

    This accounts for more than 75 per cent of the total bonds planned to issue in the first quarter of this year.

    According to the latest report of Bao Viet Securities Company (BVSC), in the auction last week alone, the State Treasury offered for sale a large volume of 20-year and 30-year G-bonds worth VND4 trillion.

    At the auction, 99 per cent and 96 per cent of the 20-year and 30-year bonds, respectively, were bought at the interest rates of 5.1 per cent and 5.39 per cent, down 0.1 and 0.01 percentage points against the previous auction, respectively.

    According to BVSC, the success of these auctions comes from the abundant liquidity in the banking system after Tet (Vietnamese Lunar New Year) holidays.

    Thanks to the good liquidity, the interest rate of dong loans in the inter-bank market last week decline sharply by 0.29 to 0.49 percentage points for most terms against the previous week.

    Specifically, the overnight rate dropped to 0.91 per cent against more than 3 per cent before Tet. The rates for one-week and two-week loans also reduced to 1.17 and 1.44 per cent, respectively.

    The National Financial Supervisory Commission has predicted that the G-bond market in 2018 will see modest changes against last year, thanks to the economic growth of more than 6.7 per cent and inflation of below 4 per cent.

    The value of G-bonds issued in 2018 is estimated at some VND180 trillion, with the focus being on long-term maturity and keeping the interest rate at low levels.

    G-bonds worth VND159.9 trillion and having an average maturity of 13.52 years, up 4.81 years against 2016, were issued last year. The bonds had an average annual interest rate of some 6.07 per cent, down 0.2 percentage points against 2016, the Ministry of Finance said.

    VN, Netherlands to boost agricultural co-operation     

    Dutch businesses have shown interest in Viet Nam’s agriculture sector in general and the vegetable processing industry in particular as the industry has grown well in recent years.

    This was said by Dutch Agricultural Counsellor in Viet Nam Arie Veldhuizen at a conference in Ha Noi on Wednesday to connect Vietnamese and Dutch agricultural businesses. The conference was organised by the Netherlands Embassy in Viet Nam and saw the participation of some 150 enterprises from the two countries.

    Veldhuizen said Dutch companies, such as De Heus, Friesland Campina and PejaViet Nam, were interested in investing in Vietnamese agriculture.

    According to an assessment of the Netherlands Embassy in Viet Nam, the bilateral relationship between Viet Nam and the Netherlands is a win-win situation in which Vietnamese enterprises and farmers can learn about and utilise advanced technology to improve their competitiveness.

    The growth in agriculture is not only attributed to the efforts of Vietnamese enterprises but also Viet Nam’s Government, which is showing increasing concern about the development of chain goods and has been investing in modern machinery and technology to increase the value and quality of products, Veldhuizen said.

    However, many opinions suggest that the agricultural sector of Viet Nam is still limited in the application of advanced cultivation techniques, and logistics services for harvesting and preserving have gained little interest of local investors. Developing the value chain, on the other hand, needs large investment by enterprises and policy support from the Government.

    The Netherlands, for example, is a small country, with a low area of cultivated land and a small population (some 17 million people), but with policies and appropriate steps, it has successfully built a system of sustainable agriculture, the most competitive and effective in the world.

    According to Veldhuizen, to develop the agricultural sector towards the value chain, it is important to link businesses together. As businesses of many countries meet, they can explore and exchange new opportunities for co-operation in future.

    Vietnamese firms urged to work to win WB, ADB bids     

    Vietnamese businesses should actively seek information and grasp the development and investment strategies of banks to win bids for projects financed by the World Bank (WB) and Asian Development Bank (ADB), said representatives of the two banks on Thursday.

    The information was released in Ha Noi at the workshop entitled “Winning Contracts in the Asian Development Bank and the World Bank Financed Projects” co-hosted by the two banks and the Viet Nam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI).

    Achim Fock, Portfolio & Operations Manager in the World Bank office in Viet Nam, said the workshop aimed to share information for Vietnamese enterprises to gain access to WB and ADB financed projects. It also updated regulations on bidding and methods to prepare the tender, in order to help enterprises gain the capacity to win the bids.

    There are currently 47 projects in various sectors, with the largest investment being related to infrastructure such as construction, water supply and drainage and transport.

    It is expected that in the 2018-20 period, the WB will lend Viet Nam about US$4 billion, according to Achim.

    Head of Project Administration Unit of ADB in Viet Nam Steven Schipani said the ADB would focus more on transport, energy and water supply this year. Capital would focus on the transport sector, he said, but would not be small for other sectors.

    The total capital of all ADB projects in Viet Nam as of March 2018 was 59 projects with a total capital of US$7.5 billion, of which $3.5 billion had not yet been disbursed, so Vietnamese companies would have many opportunities to join ADB-financed projects, Steven said.

    At the workshop, World Bank’s representative introduced new features in the bidding framework that is applied by both the WB and the ADB.

    The new policy framework will minimise risk by providing more options and tools, increasing efficiency by offering tailored procurement mechanisms that are applicable to all types of tender. The banks’ core procurement principles include fairness, transparency, efficiency, fit for purpose, value of money and integrity.

    "For the first time, the two Banks will allow any contract award decisions to be based on criteria other than lowest price, including quality and sustainability and has significantly improved the approach to resolving procurement-related complaints," Achim said.

    According to Luu Hong Giang, deputy general director of Bach Dang Construction Corporation, which has participated in many projects funded by the WB and ADB, in comparison with foreign companies, Vietnamese enterprises have an advantage because they are active in soliciting the labour force.

    However, it is common for domestic bidders to be unable to participate in large scale projects administered by the two banks. "We still have limited financial capacity, construction and administration," said Giang.

    In addition, the evaluation criteria of the previous technical dossier are not clear and detailed, so many businesses struggle to compile bidding dossiers.

    "However, at the present, with the new procurement policy framework, these problems are basically handled. Domestic contractors can fully compete with foreign contractors when taking part in international biddings," said Giang.

    Steven said that enterprises seeking bids must understand the requirements of bidding documents and ensure they meet such requirements. With large WB and ADB contracts, businesses can set up joint ventures or use subcontractors, considering individual consultancy services to gain experience and build capacity profiles.

    He said it was important to ask the investor for feedback after being rejected for a bid, in order to learn from mistakes and draw experiences to succeed in the future.

    "Vietnamese enterprises need to be more active," Steven stressed.

    Chairwoman of VCCI’s Science and Technology Council Pham Thi Hang said the improvements in the bidding mechanism were completed with significant contribution from the Viet Nam Party and State, allowing private enterprises to access ODA capital resources and learn more about financial institutions and the processes of WB and ADB procurement.

    Ben Tre pomelo, coconut GI certified     

    Green-skin pomelo and green Xiem coconut, specialties of the Mekong Delta province of Ben Tre, have been granted geographical indication (GI) certificate by the National Office of Intellectual Property (NOIP).

    This was announced by the provincial authorities at a ceremony held in Ben Tre on March 15.

    The People’s Committee of Cuu Long (Mekong) Delta province holds the GI rights.

    For green Xiem coconut, the geographical area for GI certification includes Chau Thanh, Cho Lach, Giong Trom, Mo Cay Nam, Mo Cay Bac, Thanh Phu, Ba Tri, as well as Binh Dai districts and BenTreCity.

    GI is also applicable to pomelo grown in BenTreCity and islets in the districts of Chau Thanh, Binh Dai, Mo Cay Nam, Mo Cay Bac and Cho Lach.

    At the ceremony, NOIP director Dinh Huu Phi said the GI for green-skin pomelo and green Xiem coconut would be the basis for enterprises and farmers to develop their market and protect the quality and origin of the products.

    He said the GI certification was just the beginning and that in the process of production and business, Ben Tre would face many challenges, especially small-scale production, limitation in production co-operation, unstable quality of product and weak level of joining in the value chain.

    Vo Thanh Hao, secretary of Ben Tre Province’s Party Committee, said after receiving the GI certificate, the province would focus on choosing seeds to preserve and improve the quality of the two products.

    The province will promote propaganda and publicity for the people, producers and traders. They will become aware that the GI is the common property of the province and of the nation. Therefore, individuals and organisations must be responsible in preserving the GI tag and in developing the two products.

    At the same time, the province will build model gardens and organic gardens, connect production and businesses and boost trade promotion through a system of management tools for GI to develop the value chain, strictly manage trademarks, build codes for tracing the origin and create trust for consumers.

    The province has also scheduled the registration of GI abroad, especially in key export markets, to develop trade promotion activities and increase exports of the two products.

    Green-skin pomelo and green Xiem coconut are considered the major plants in BenTreProvince with high economic value. Currently, Ben Tre has over 7,200ha of green-skin pomelo and nearly 8,000ha of green Xiem coconut cultivation.

    According to the provincial Department of Industry and Trade, the GI registration is expected to boost the value of the green Xiem coconut in the domestic market and help expand exports to foreign markets such as the United States, Japan and the European Union.

    Small in size with a green skin, each coconut has an average of 258ml of water. Its water is sweeter and different from others in terms of nutrition and health benefits.

    The pomelo, which got its name as its skin remains green even when it is ripe, is much sought after in the market for its great taste. The fruit has thin skin, few seeds and pink flesh.

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

    Work starts on five RoK-invested projects in Binh Phuoc

    A groundbreaking ceremony for five projects invested by businesses from the Republic of Korea was held on March 16 at Becamex – Binh Phuoc industrial and urban complex in Chon Thanh district, the southern province of Binh Phuoc

    At the event, the provincial People’s Committee handed over investment licenses to the RoK companies - Hankuk Carbon, River Runs, Misung Industrial, Young Sung, Hankuk Advanced Materials. These firms rent 111ha in the complex and have registered to invest a total of 80 million USD in the projects which will produce carbon and glass fiber, and fishing tools. 

    Hankuk Carbon CEO Moon-Soo Cho vowed to ensure construction progress of the project on schedule and in line with the country’s law.

    Vice Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee Huynh Anh Minh welcomed the Korean investors’ selection of Binh Phuoc to build plants producing high-tech materials such as carbon fiber. 

    He committed to creating favourable conditions for the investors and requested them complete the projects on schedule. 

    The Becamex – Binh Phuoc industrial and urban complex sits on a site of 4,633ha, nearly 2,448ha of which is used for industrial areas and the remaining for residential areas. 

    Spanning Chon Thanh town and Nha Bich, Thanh Tam and Minh Thanh communes, the complex is invested by the Investment and Industrial Development Corporation (Becamex IDC) at a total cost of 21 trillion VND (933 million USD), expecting to attract upwards 5 billion USD.

    The RoK was the second largest foreign investor in Vietnam last year, just behind Japan, with total registered capital of 8.49 billion USD.

    In terms of accumulative investment, the country ranked first among 125 countries and territories investing in Vietnam, with total investment capital of 57.7 billion USD by the end of December 2017.

    Kon Tum seeks investment     

    The central highland province of Kon Tum will call for investments during the forthcoming investment promotion conference to be held here on April 22.

    Deputy director of Kon Tum Department of Planning and Investment Nguyen Dinh Bac told that his province would advertise its potential to domestic and foreign investors while encouraging them to pump investments in a wide range of sectors, including hi-tech farming, urban infrastructure, and the pharmaceutical and tourism sectors.

    Earlier, the provincial People’s Committee published a list of 108 projects, calling for investments until 2020 at a total investment capital of VND84.73 trillion (US$3.71 billion).

    Some 27 projects are involved in the agro-forestry sector, 26 in the industry sector and 34 to specialise in trade, services and tourism sectors, besides the 21 in urban infrastructure development.

    Among the projects is a 1,000-ha Ngoc Linh ginseng growing project, expected to cost VND2trillion, in Tu Mo Rong District; a 200-ha hi-tech farm, worth VND400 billion, in Kon Tum City, and the Tan Canh solar plant, valued at VND2.3 trillion, in Dak To District.

    Others include the infrastructure development of Bo Y Industrial Zone, capitalised at VND7.9 trillion, and a VND-1 trillion urban and tourism complex, covering 380ha in Kon Tum City, and the Dong Bac urban area, expected to cost VND3 trillion.

    As of February 2018, the province has lured only eight foreign-invested projects, worth $82.3 million, ranking 55th among 64 localities nation-wide, the latest report from the Ministry of Planning and Investment’s Foreign Investment Agency revealed.

    Local authorities have vowed to take measures to remove barriers against investors, in line with the government guidelines. 

    Vietnamese businesses unite in Russian market

    Vietnamese businesses in Russia have agreed to enhance solidarity and mutual support amidst challenges facing the Russian economy. 

    Nearly 30 Vietnamese businesspeople gathered a meeting held by the Vietnamese Businesses’ Association in Russia (VBA) on March 17. 

    VBA President Le Truong Son suggested Vietnamese enterprises in Russia increase specialisation and professionalisation in order to adapt to the new situation. 

    With their determination and efforts, Vietnamese businesses have gained a foothold in the Russian market, he noted. 

    Duong Hai An, General Director of Volga-Viet Company, a pioneer investor in agricultural production in Russia, said Russia’s farming sector holds a lot of potential.

    Other VBA members said services, retails and cuisine are promising sectors for Vietnamese businesses. 

    Vietnam Footwear Summit to discuss new growth models

    New trend and growth models in the footwear industry will be the main topic of discussions at the Vietnam Footwear Summit 2018 in Ho Chi Minh City from March 21-22.

    According to the Vietnam Leather, Footwear and Handbag Association (Lefaso), the event is expected to help local businesses grasp international footwear development trend, apply new materials and information and technology (IT) to slash costs and meet environmental requirements.

    Provided with sufficient information from foreign experts, Vietnamese footwear producers will be able to pen vision and development strategies.

    The event will also give local firms a chance to meet with customers from 20 countries worldwide.

    Vietnam’s footwear industry has enjoyed a giant stride thanks to the bilateral and multilateral trade agreements as well as the fourth industrial revolution. However, enterprises need to renew to keep pace with latest trend and join the global supply chain.

    Vietnam, Australia forge cooperation in economy, trade, investment

    Minister for Trade and Industry of New South Wales Niall Blair said the Australian state wants to step up cooperation with Vietnam in energy, minerals (coal), gas, food and agriculture during his meeting with Vietnamese Minister of Industry and Trade Tran Tuan Anh. 

    Their meeting took place in Sydney on March 16 (local time) within Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc’s trip to Australia to attend the ASEAN-Australia Special Summit. 

    For his part, Minister Anh highly values potential of the Australian market, especially New South Wales, as well as prospects and opportunities for stronger collaboration in economy, trade and investment between Vietnam and the state. 

    The two ministers introduced a number of leading businesses which want to seek business opportunities in their respective countries such as the Vietnam National Oil and Gas Group (PetroVietnam), the Electricity of Vietnam (EVN), the Vietnam National Coal-Mineral Industries Holding Corporation Limited (Vinacomin), the Vietnam National Shipping Lines, Sovico Holdings and VietJet Aviation JSC to the Vietnamese side, and Sunrise Group to the New South Wales side. 

    Stressing the state’s cooperation potential in the field of coal, Anh suggested the Australian side introduce Vinacomin to coal suppliers in New South Wales, and urged Minister Blair to lead a delegation of New South Wales businesses to visit Vietnam

    He proposed Australia use services of Vinalines to transport coal from Australia to Vietnam

    The minister called on Australia to soon approve the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) to make the deal come into force at an early date, bringing many new opportunities for cooperation in economy and trade between the two countries. 

    Minister Blair agreed with his Vietnamese counterpart’s proposals, and pledged to inform them to relevant Australian agencies in order to intensify cooperation activities between the two sides.

    At the working session, the ministers also discussed cooperation opportunities in the sphere of aviation, including collaboration between VietJet Air and airports and airlines in New Castle and Brisbane cities.

    Singaporean businesses interested in food industry, agriculture in Vietnam

    Many Singaporean firms are interested in investing in the food industry, agriculture, and dining services in Vietnam as they forecast that these sectors will thrive in the near future amidst broader ASEAN integration.

    It was according to Andy Yun, Secretary General of Singapore Manufacturing Federation representing more than 3,000 members operating in automation, biology, construction, heavy industry and more, during the second VietnamSingapore business exchange held in the island state on March 17.

    Yun described Vietnam as a major market in the region with potential of agriculture and food industry. Meanwhile, Singaporean enterprises are strong in technology, supply chain and logistics – a supplementary factor to bilateral partnership.

    Nguyen Van Than, Chairman of the Vietnam Association of Small and Medium-sized Enterprises, led a delegation of over 100 Vietnamese firms, many of them are start-ups, to the event. 

    He said many Singaporean enterprises actively connected with Vietnamese ones at the event, proving that bilateral cooperation potential is huge. 

    Accounting for over 97 percent of the total, Vietnamese SMEs contribute nearly 40 percent of the gross domestic product, 33 percent of industrial production value, 30 percent of export value and attract more than half of the workforce, he said. 

    Minister at the Vietnamese Embassy in Singapore Dinh Hoang Linh said the exchange is part of celebrations of the 45th anniversary of bilateral diplomatic ties and the fifth anniversary of strategic partnership. 

    Statistics showed that Singapore is now the sixth largest trade partner of Vietnam in the world and the second largest in ASEAN. Vietnam is also the 12th largest trade partner of Singapore

    Two-way trade has grown 12-15 percent annually over the past years. 

    In 2017 alone, two-way trade between Vietnam and Singapore neared 16 billion USD. Singapore ranks third among 126 countries and territories investing in Vietnam with a total capital of roughly USD43 billion.

    Prospects for Vietnam’s agro-forestry-fishery exports

    Vietnam’s agro-forestry-fishery exports continue last year’s growth. In the first 2 months of this year the sector earned US$6.1 billion, up more than 30% from last year.

    According to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Vietnam earned US$419 million from rice export in the first 2 months of this year, 34% higher than last year. Other farm produce saw increases in both export volume and value, including coffee, tea, cashew nuts, vegetables, cassava, and cassava products.

    Vietnam earned US$555 million from cashew nut exports and more than US$670 million from vegetables and fruits.

    According to the IMF’s Global Economic Outlook 2018, the global economy is likely to maintain a growth rate of 3% this year.  

    The Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) will benefit Vietnam’s exports of garments, textiles, leather footwear, and aquatic and agricultural products.

    But to increase exports, Vietnam needs to meet import standards set by CPTPP member countries and other demanding markets like the US, South Korea, and the EU.

    Nguyen Hoang Thuy, Trade Counselor in Australia, said “We want to be regularly updated on the integration process of the domestic market and participate in meetings between the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and foreign partners on agro-forestry-fishery exports.”

    In the sector’s restructure plan until 2020, the Ministry will focus on improving productivity, quality, efficiency, and competitiveness of farm produce to achieve sustainable growth.

    Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Nguyen Xuan Cuong said, “We call for close coordination between Vietnam’s ministries, agencies, and sectors and trade offices abroad to boost farm produce exports to wider markets.”

    Vietnam’s farm produce has been exported to 180 countries and territories around the world. Vietnam is among the world’s 15 biggest agricultural exporters.

    In 2018, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development hopes to earn US$41 billion in export turnover, of which the farming sector will contribute more than US$21 billion, seafood about  US$9 billion, forestry products US$8.5 billion, and other sectors US$1.5 billion.

    Honor aims to break into Vietnam’s top 3 smartphone brands

    Vietnam’s crowded smartphone market has just became even more cut-throat with the arrival of Huawei Group’s Honor, which debuted last week. The brand also announced strategic collaborations with Vietnamese partners.

    The new phone series, which are named Honor 9 Lite and Honor 7X are priced between VND5 million and VND7 million ($219 and $306) and mark Honor’s first venture into the booming Vietnamese market. The Huawei-owned smartphone brand did not hide its ambition to become Vietnam’s top 3 smartphone brand in 2020, following Apple and Samsung.

    The brand calls itself a “young, fun and innovative partner of young Vietnamese consumers,” targeting the price-conscious and trendy millennials in the ASEAN’s fast-growing economy.

    Following the trend, Honor makes sure to emphasise the prowess of its smartphone cameras: competitive dual-lens 13MP + 2MP cameras on both the front and back of the phone.

    Vietnam is one of our key target markets in Southeast Asia, a strategic ground for Honor to continue offering the best state-of-the-art products and innovations," said Akin Li, president of Honor in Southeast Asia.

    To boost its growth in Vietnam, Honor has announced strategic a partnership with Vietnam’s top gaming firm VNG, the distributor of the popular battle royale game Rules of Survival. Other partners include Singapore’s IGG, distributor of real-time strategy game Lords Mobile and the action-packed game inspired by manga series Honkai Impact 3, as well as Bigo Live, an app for live-streaming services.

    Honor phones are also available for sale on top e-commerce websites such as Lazada, Shopee or Tiki, with flash sales to attract the first customers.

    Upon entering Vietnam, Honor and Huawei will have to compete with fellow Chinese rivals such as Oppo, Xiaomi or Vivo. While Oppo goes down the celebrity endorsement route, Xiaomi chose to partner with Digiworld, a domestic distributor, to conquer the Vietnamese market.

    According to market research firm GfK, 13.6 million smartphones were sold in Vietnam in the first 11 months of 2017, an increase of 3.1 per cent compared with the same period of 2016. The top selling brands are Apple’s iPhone, Samsung’s Galaxy series, and Oppo.

    Cuu Long Pharmaceutical swimming upstream

    While Vietnamese enterprises in general and pharmaceutical firms in particular tend to increase the foreign ownership limit (FOL), Cuu Long Pharmaceutical JSC (Pharimexco), a member of F.I.T Group, goes against the stream by decreasing the FOL to 32.57 per cent.

    Vietnam Securities Depository (VSD) issued the announcement permitting Pharimexco to decrease the FOL from 49 to 32.57 per cent. This shows Pharimexco’s commitment to be faithful to Rhinos Asset Management (RAM).

    Earlier in February this year, Pharimexco completed the $20-million sale of convertible bonds in a private placement to an investment fund managed by Rhinos Asset Management (RAM) from South Korea. The convertible bonds have an interest rate of 1 per cent per year with a five year maturity and conversion price of VND25,000 ($1.10) per share. Besides, the bond volume will be converted into shares after one year.

    As per the agreement, after one year, if all convertible bonds were converted into ordinary shares, which would mean RAM will hold approximately 18 million shares worth VND25,000 ($1.10) each, around 24 per cent, to become a large shareholder of the company.

    Along with the convertible bond sale, early this year Pharimexco permitted a representative of RAM to join its board of directors. Furthermore, the pharmaceutical has offered RAM to purchase over 25 per cent of voting shares. The deal would take place without a public tender.

    According to Nguyen Van Sang, chairman of the Board of Directors of Pharimexco, since the firm became a member of F.I.T Group, the company has been working to become the leading pharmaceutical firm in Vietnam. In order to realise this target, Pharimexco is currently focusing on developing large-scale projects, including the third hollow capsule manufacturing factory, which will be the largest such facility in Vietnam with the capacity to cover 40 per cent of domestic market demand.

    Another large project is a cancer treatment medicine factory, which is a co-operation with State Capital Investment Corporation (SCIC). The factory will pioneer producing cancer treatment medicine in Vietnam. The construction of the factory was started in 2017 with the total investment capital of VND1 trillion ($44.1 million).

    Pharimexco’s long-term development plan shows its determination to become the leading pharmaceutical firm in Vietnam. Also, the firm seems to have stable finances to pursue this plan.

    Since Pharimexco became a member of F.I.T Group, the company has been working to become the leading pharmaceutical firm in Vietnam.

    In 2017, Pharimexco reported VND775.8 billion ($30.08 million) in revenue and VND74.9 billion ($3.29 million) in after-tax profit, signifying a slight on-year increase in revenue and decrease in after-tax profit.

    The acquisition of Euvipharm, a pharmaceutical company owning one of the most modern factories in Vietnam, is the reason of the decrease in after-tax profit.

    Notably, the deal was completed in early 2017, however, until June the same year, Euvipharm maintained operations, meaning Pharimexco could not write down any profit from the firm in the first six months of the year. Furthermore, in 2017, Pharimexco went into great expenses to rebuild Euvipharm’s sales channel.

    Last year, the firm’s assets soared from VND845 billion ($37.1 million) to VND1.22 trillion ($53.59 million), up 44.5 per cent on-year, while equity increased by 20.6 per cent to VND791.8 billion ($34.78 million) from VND656.6 billion ($28.84 million).

    However, the firm had been carrying a debt of VND429 billion ($18.84 million) as of December 31, 2017.

    At present, F.I.T Group owns 71.72 per cent of Pharimexco, after completing the purchase of an additional 1 million shares in late March 2017.

    PhamNgocThachUniversity of Medicine elevates radiology curriculum with GE’s enterprise imaging solutions

    Pham Ngoc Thach University of Medicine is working with GE Healthcare and T.D Medical Company to foster a new generation of digitally-attuned radiologists, radiographers and clinicians in Vietnam.

    The university, which opens its new Advanced Imaging Training Centre today will offer technical and hands-on training with GE’s Enterprise Imaging Software such as Centricity TM Universal Viewer and Advanced Visualisation.

    Centricity TM Solutions for Enterprise Imaging delivers comprehensive reading across hospitals, reporting and collaboration across care pathways to help improve clinical efficiency and drive enhanced patient outcomes.

    The opening of the centre is a milestone for the university and signifies a step up in the future of healthcare in Vietnam.

    PhamNgocThachUniversity will be a first-mover in the country, offering education around enterprise imaging solutions in Vietnam, and elevating the current traditional textbook model of teaching to include hands-on digital experience.

    In addition, training will be open to qualified clinicians from across the country who are looking to upskill themselves through specialist and master programmes, and Continuing Medical Education (CME) courses.

    “In the last few decades, the landscape of radiology has changed dramatically. Advances in imaging technology have made medical images increasingly detailed and informative. The traditional concept of practicing radiology with film is gradually becoming outdated," said Professor Ngo Minh Xuan, MD., PhD, rector of Pham Ngoc Thach University of Medicine. "Qualified radiologists and advanced diagnostic imaging training courses are particularly needed in Vietnam where imaging equipment and facilities are distributed all over the country, from communes to districts, provincial and central locations. Learning how to use technology will ensure better clinical outcomes starting from administering the scan to the diagnosis”

    GE Healthcare’s Centricity TM Universal Viewer features a single image repository across 2D and 3D studies generated by X-Ray Systems, Computed Tomography, Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Ultrasound and more, across all providers in the healthcare system.

    Workload management tools and access to images from multiple care areas from a single desktop increases clinical collaboration and productivity. It allows clinicians to fuse MRI images with other scans and improve diagnostic accuracy.

    Another powerful benefit is the processing of dynamic or functional scans to show changes caused by a disease over time, providing a complete view of the patient’s medical history. Radiologists, clinicians and radiographers will be able to learn and practice the processing and interpreting of complex cases.

    Enterprise imaging is a prime example of how information technology can improve patient outcomes. We are confident that our investment and collaboration with Pham Ngoc Thach University of Medicine will further promote knowledge sharing in the field of radiology and bring about better utilisation of information technology in medical imaging, thereby benefiting patients across Vietnam,” said Marc Foo, senior commercial director for Healthcare Digital, GE Healthcare ASEAN.

    Pham Ngoc Thach University of Medicine is a public medical school in Ho Chi Minh City. It offers graduate and postgraduate education in medicine and healthcare staff training for the southern region of Vietnam. Its new Advanced Imaging Training Centre will be used as part of the curriculum effective immediately.

    ProPak Vietnam 2018 returns next week

    ProPak Vietnam makes a timely return for its 13th edition on March 20-22, 2018 at Saigon Exhibition and Convention Centre (SECC), Ho Chi Minh City.

    Propak Vietnam 2018 is the ideal business platform for Vietnamese food, drink, and pharmaceutical manufacturers and suppliers to upgrade technological capabilities, enhance competitiveness in the market, and stay abreast of industry trends.

    This is also a prominent gateway for industry leaders to learn from and network with peers from around the world, exchange professional knowledge and know-how, as well as discuss potential business partnerships.

    Consistently attracting robust international participation, ProPak Vietnam 2018 will feature more than 420 exhibitors from 29 different countries and regions, and this figure is likely to continue to increase by the show date.

    Notable among participating countries are the major manufacturing and exporting hubs, such as Australia, Spain, USA, Germany, France, Italy, China, Korea, and Japan.

    A vast array of top-of-the-range equipment, innovative technologies, and solutions will be on full display across the 10,000 square metres of the exhibition space. The four main areas of focus include processing and packaging equipment and machinery, packaging materials and accessories, processing and packaging services, as well as quality control and training.

    The exhibition has grown through the years and is a positive reflection of Vietnam’s strong industry growth which serves both domestic consumption and export markets.

    “ProPak Vietnam 2018 is the largest edition since its launch in 2005. The exhibition has grown through the years and is a positive reflection of Vietnam’s strong industry growth which serves both domestic consumption and export markets,” said BT Tee, general manager of UBM VES, the organiser of the expo.

    He added that, “As Vietnam’s economic performance continues to strengthen, we expect to see a similar growth for ProPak Vietnam in the coming years, further solidifying its position as the event of choice for food, drink, and pharmaceutical processing and packaging technologies.”

    ProPak Vietnam 2018 will take place alongside Plastics & Rubber Vietnam 2018 in Ho Chi Minh City, the 7th trade event for plastics and rubber manufacturing technologies and materials.

    Bosch showcases latest automation technology at Propak Vietnam 2018

    Bosch Rexroth, the Drive and Control division of Bosch Vietnam, will showcase its latest technology for connected automation at Propak Vietnam 2018 on March 20-22.

    At Booth F30 at Saigon Exhibition and Convention Centre (SECC) in Ho Chi Minh City’s District 7, visitors will experience a selection of Rexroth’s innovative exhibits that demonstrate the benefits of connectivity in a variety of manufacturing and assembly operations—from manual to fully automated.

    Bosch Rexroth’s latest advancements, from Open Core Engineering to new IoT Gateway, a technology which makes it easy for manufacturers to add connectivity to existing machines and equipment, serve as a highlight of the show.

    Further “connected” exhibits and demonstrations feature the new high-speed, high-precision VarioFlow plus plastic chain conveyor systems, Nexo tightening systems, new Active Cockpit production floor data visualisation system and more.

    The following are some exhibited products and demo highlights.

    Smart factory technology will be presented with an appearance by Rexroth‘s ActiveCockpit, interactive communication platform for the manufacturing industry.

    As an interactive communication platform, ActiveCockpit processes and visualises production data in real time. ActiveCockpit networks IT applications such as production planning, quality data management, and e-mailing with the software functionality of machines and plants.

    The information is the basis for decisions and process improvements.

    The IoT Gateway makes it easy to connect to Industry 4.0 environments without intervening in the automation logic.

    The precisely coordinated combination of control hardware and software for implementing IT applications collects sensor and process data, transmits it to MES (Manufacturing Execution System), cloud applications or local machine state monitoring systems, for example, and enables process data analysis.

    OpenCore Engineering combines PLC-based engineering and IT automation. This integrated approach is made possible by the Open Core Interface, the significant expansion of our solutions for machine automation.

    With the Open Core Interface, Bosch Rexroth is providing a software interface that is unique as it permits enhanced access to the control core, offering numerous programming languages and allowing the integration of smart devices into automation systems.

    In addition, individual real-time control functions can be independently created.

    Cabinet-free automation technology—Decentralised Servo drives IndraDrive Mi: IndraDrive Mi enables machine manufacturers to integrate all electrical drive components directly into the machine. This saves space and reduces wiring effort by up to 90 per cent.

    The latest in high-precision tightening technology—Bosch Rexroth’s Nexo cordless nutrunner. Nexo offers a direct measuring system for accurate torque and angle detection.

    Combining economical operation and safety critical tightening capability, Bosch Rexroth’s Nexo nutrunner can handle the most demanding applications and is suitable for both large and small scale production.

    Its decentralised intelligence is located directly onboard the tool which enables operation without cable connections or the need for an external controller. By integrating the control of the tightening process, the highest level of reliability is possible—even in wireless dead zones.

    With a wide range of load and speed capabilities,Rexroth's linear motion system is scalable from small laboratories to large warehousing or aircraft assembly operations.

    Bosch Rexroth’s linear motion technology: EasyHandling—Linear Module System—a complete platform for the easy design, construction, and commissioning of Cartesian motion robots (also known as linear robots).

    It combines open, user-friendly programming environments with precise and reliable linear componentry to create the most accessible, easy-to-use Cartesian motion robot.

    Modular plastic chain conveyor VarioFlow plus is a flexible, modular plastic chain conveyor system used for moving high volume packaged goods and other consumer goods, such as packaged foods, pharmaceuticals, and healthcare products.

    VarioFlow plus chain conveyor system is optimised for quick assembly and convinces by particularly low-noise, economical operation with which multi-axis control has never been easier.

    Rexroth’s Open Mechatronics Demo demonstrates this by utilising Open Core Engineering to control a multi-axis Cartesian system.

    Schneider Electric’s Easy UPS 3S coming to Vietnam soon

    Early this year, Schneider Electric, the global specialist in the digital transformation of energy management, automation, and power protection, rolled out a compatible UPS set, Easy UPS 3S, offering robust electrical specifications.

    The 10-to-40kVA uninterruptable power supply (UPS) is easy to install, easy to use, and easy to service – making business continuity easy for small and medium-size enterprises (SMEs).

    The Easy UPS 3S is an exceptional combination of an optimised footprint design and advanced product features, protecting critical equipment in many environments from damage due to power outages, surges and spikes.

    The 10-40kVA uninterruptable power supply (UPS) is easy to install, easy to use, and easy to service—making business continuity easy for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

    The Easy UPS 3S is an exceptional combination of an optimised footprint design and advanced product features, protecting critical equipment in many environments from damage due to power outages, surges, and spikes.

    This unit delivers up to 96 per cent efficiency in double conversion mode and up to 99 per cent efficiency in energy-saving ECO Mode, taking the industry standards for the 10-40kVA UPS to a new level.

    Customers also benefit from the start-up service option to ensure the Easy UPS 3S is properly and safely configured for optimal performance, reliability, safety, and peace of mind.

    “Easy UPS 3S addresses a market need we see for a solution that offers best-in-class power availability, reliability, manageability, quality, and convenience for small and medium-sized businesses, data centres, and manufacturing facilities,” said Pedro Robredo, vice president, Secure Power, Schneider Electric.

    “With this new 3-phase offer, Schneider Electric is now able to meet customer needs and partner requirements in a wide range of industries and applications. With this 10-40kVA UPS, our customers will benefit from easy installation, configuration, management, and maintenance, as well as enhanced efficiency.”

    The Easy UPS 3S is properly and safely configured for optimal performance, reliability, safety, and peace of mind.

    This new offer is rugged, with a wide input voltage window and strong overload protection all in a compact and lightweight footprint, and it has been designed and tested following rigorous Schneider Electric procedures—making it an excellent fit in both the data centre space and in light industrial environments.

    It rolls into position quickly and installation is straightforward. It features an intuitive display interface for easy configuration and monitoring, and customers can monitor and manage the UPS status remotely through Schneider Electric’s EcoStruxure™ IT cloud-based and on-premise software suites.

    The flexibility, versatility, and competitiveness of Easy UPS 3S, including its short delivery time and wide variety of applications, make it easily adaptable for any small and medium-sized enterprise.


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  • Social News 19/3

    Berlin requiem commemorates fallen soldiers in Gac Ma battle

    A requiem was held at Tu An pagoda in Germany’s Berlin capital on March 18 to commemorate 64 soldiers who laid down their lives to defend Gac Ma (Johnson South) Reef in Vietnam’s Truong Sa (Spratly) archipelago 30 years ago.

    The event was chaired by Venerable Thich Tu Nhon – head of Tu An pagoda, attracting the attention of Buddhist dignitaries and followers, representatives from the Vietnamese war veterans’ association in Berlin-Brandenburg, and nearly 100 Vietnamese people living in Berlin and its surrounding areas.

    Participants offered incense and prayed for the fallen soldiers.

    Venerable Thich Tu Nhon said that the requiem is organised annually to show the Vietnamese community’s deep gratitude to the fallen combatants.

    The Gac Ma battle took place on March 14, 1988.

    Last year, a memorial site dedicated to the 64 martyrs was inaugurated in Cam Hai Dong commune, Cam Lam district of the central province of Khanh Hoa.

    The highlight of the site is a monument featuring the naval soldiers holding hands in an “eternal circle” to safeguard the national flag symbolising the national sovereignty on Gac Ma reef. 

    The work was built with money contributed by workers and public servants nationwide through trade union organisations under a programme launched by the Vietnam General Confederation of Labour.-

    VietnamFriendshipVillage– symbol of solidarity

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    AO victim children are provided with vocational training  

    The VietnamFriendshipVillage, set up 20 years ago, has contributed to ease the pain for Agent Orange (AO)/dioxin victims by giving nursing services and vocational training to AO-infected veterans and children.

    The VietnamFriendshipVillage, which is run by the Vietnam Veterans’ Association, was formed on March 18, 1998. It covers over 3 hectares in Van Canh commune, Hoai Duc district of Hanoi.

    It is a symbol of international solidarity for peace and friendship. The village was built with cooperation of six countries – the US, Germany, France, Japan, Canada and the UK following the initiative of George George Mizo, a US war veteran who joined the war in the south of Vietnam

    The construction was funded with over 2 million USD from the Friendship Village International Committee and the Vietnamese Government.

    After 20 years of operation, the village welcomed over 6,500 war veterans, former youth volunteers who are AO/dioxin victims and 700 children of the second and third AO victim generations.

    The veterans and former youth volunteers receive treatment and nursing services and have chances to join cultural and sport activities as well as visits to different places and convalescences. 

    Meanwhile, almost children adopted by the village are living with disabilities, especially intellectual disability due to the toxic chemical. Along with rehabilitation, they are provided with education and vocational training such as IT, embroidery, tailoring and making fabric flowers. Many of them have managed to find jobs and earn money. The most important thing is that they can integrate into society without a complex about their disabilities.

    Each year, the Friendship Village International Committee provides financial assistance for the village. The village has become a venue for international friends who wish to meet and assist the victims.

    With its efforts and achievements over the past 20 years, the village was honoured with the first class of Labour Order and certificates of merit from the Government and the Party Central Committee’s Commission on Information and Education.

    In the coming time, the village aims to become a model in humanitarian and charitable activities, a destination of friends at home and abroad as well as a symbol of solidarity, peace, friendship, cooperation and reconciliation.

    Exhibition features anti-war-in-Vietnam campaigns of US veterans

    A special exhibition titled “Waging Peace – American Soldiers and Veterans opposing the War in Viet Nam” opened at the WarRemnantsMuseum in Ho Chi Minh City on March 19.

    Jointly held by the Ho Chi Minh City Union of Friendship Organisations (HUFO), Peace and Development Foundation, and the US-based organisation Veterans for Peace (VFP), the event is displaying 80 posters, photos, and newspaper articles on past campaigns to end the war in Vietnam by US soldiers and veterans.

    At the exhibition, Nguyen Van Manh, HUFO Vice Chairman and General Secretary, said VietnamUS relations have grown stronger in the past 20 years via friendly exchange programmes of politicians, scholars, veterans, and students of the two countries.

    A large number of US veterans have returned to Vietnam to take part in local charity programmes and helped promote understanding about Vietnamese people and culture in their home country, he added.

    The exhibition lasts until April 15.

    Vietnam helps regional countries prevent natural disasters

    The National Hydro-Meteorological Service (HMS) under the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment has played a central role in supporting Cambodia, Laos, Thailand and the Philippines in applying early risk warning systems, heard a workshop in Hanoi on March 19. 

    According to HMS Deputy Director Tran Hong Thai, his agency has provided quality instructions for possible extreme weather events for these countries, helping them produce more accurate and timely weather forecasts and give early warnings of natural disasters. 

    With its active contributions to the disaster prevention in the region, Vietnam has made remarkable achievements in improving capacity and sharing experience and knowledge with regional nations. 

    The country has also helped promote connectivity among member countries of the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) for sustainable economic development in the region, Thai said. 

    He emphasised the need for the service to promote international cooperation in preventing and mitigating natural disasters. 

    Participants to the workshop focused their discussion on how to improve the ability of hydro-meteorological agencies in forecasting and warning; forecasting process, scenarios that are likely to occur and the worst scenarios; analysis of forecasts; among others. 

    After the workshop, which ends on March 23, the HMS will coordinate with the WMO in holding a training workshop weather forecast between March 26-30.

    Bac Giang steps up investment promotion

    The northern province of Bac Giang will take drastic measures from now until the end of this year to lure more investments.

    Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee Nguyen Van Linh recently asked local departments and sectors to hasten administrative procedures to attract both domestic and foreign investors to the locality.

    The Department of Planning and Investment was asked to study new policies on investment attraction, and propose measures to increase the quality of projects.

    The management board of industrial zones was directed to strengthen responsibility and urge investors to speed up construction on industrial zone infrastructure, and work with districts in ground clearance to create favourable conditions for investors.

    Linh also asked the Department of Construction to work with Bac Giang city and districts to inspect and supervise the granting of construction licenses, enhance its responsibility of managing construction order and solve violations.

    In the first two months of 2018, Bac Giang attracted 40 domestic-invested projects with total registered capital of 498 billion VND (21.8 million USD) and 15 foreign-invested ones worth 30 million USD. More 121.3 million USD was also poured into eight existing projects in the period.

    Currently, there are 1,400 projects in the locality, of which 1,062 projects worth more than 78.7 trillion VND are invested by domestic businesses and 338 are foreign direct investment projects worth more than 3.9 trillion USD.

    Fireman dies in accident, another injured

    A fireman of Hà Nội’s Fire Prevention and Fighting Police Department died after suffering multiple injuries in an accident, the department said on Monday.

    Colonel Trần Ngọc Dương, deputy director of the department, said another fireman who was seriously injured was being treated at BạchMaiHospital for a broken collarbone.

    On Sunday afternoon, a rescue truck of the fire department with seven firemen was pressed to service to rescue the victims of a crash between a coach and a truck near Vạn Điểm-Đỗ Xá toll booth on Pháp Vân-Cầu Giẽ Expressway.

    On the way, the rescue truck, which was going from Hà Nội to Ninh Bình, collided with a 45-seater coach, with the registration number 29B-078.43, coming from the opposite direction. The accident took place near Thường Tín toll booth in Thường Tín District’s Văn Bình Commune.

    The victims, including five persons from the coach, two firemen with minor injuries and four firemen with serious injuries, were rushed to BạchMaiHospital, according to Dương.

    Besides the officer with a broken collarbone, all others have been discharged from the hospital.

    The victims stranded in the accident on Pháp Vân-Cầu Giẽ Expressway were rescued.

    University of East Asia win VUG’s futsal

    University of East Asia triumphed in the futsal category of Việt Nam University Games (VUG) in Đà Nẵng on March 19.

    The University of East Asia beat ArchitecturalUniversity 3-2 in the penalty shootout to clinch the title. DuyTânUniversity came third.

    The winner will represent Đà Nẵng in the national final, which is scheduled to be held in May in the PolytechnicCollege’s Gymnasium in Hà Nội.

    The VUG event saw the participation of eight universities around Đà NẵngCity, with more than 1,000 students watching in gymnasiums.

    VUG will officially kick off in the northern city of Hải Phòng on March 24.

    Launched in 2013, VUG is one of the largest sporting events for students in futsal and freestyle dance.

    This year, the event is expected to attract 80 universities and colleges in six cities and provinces across the country.

    Russians vote across Viet Nam


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    A family enter the polling booth at the Russian embassy in Hà Nội, on March 18, 2018. 

    Hundreds of Russians living in Việt Nam on Sunday voted for the next president across Hà Nội, HCMCity and Đà Nẵng.

    Many Russians began showing up at the Russian embassy in Hà Nội in the morning to cast their ballots for one out of eight presidential candidates, one of whom is the current President Vladimir Putin, who is running for a fourth term.

    Two tourists from Moscow, Alexandr and Denis, visited the polling place just minutes before departing for the airport. They were en route to Kuala Lumpur and transited in Hà Nội on election day.

    “It’s good that we were able to vote,” they said.

    An officer of the Russian Trade Representation in Việt Nam, Nadezhda Ilixeeva, said that she voted for President Putin as “he is the best option for the highest position.”

    “I chose the one who can guard the country,” she said.

    “I hope that Russia’s living standard can get better in the coming years.”

    The three polling stations at the Russian embassy in Hà Nội and the consulates in HCM City and Đà Nẵng City would open from 8am throughout to 8pm Sunday, said the Russian Ambassador in Việt Nam, Konstantin Vnukov.

    Early voting before election day had been also carried out at another four locations in Vũng Tàu, Nha Trang, Mũi Né and Phú Quốc, which are home to a large number majority of Russian expats and tourists.

    “So far the number of Russian citizens casting their votes is tenfold compared to previous elections,” Vnukov said.

    “It demonstrated that the Russians care a lot for the future of their country.”

    There is not an official record of the number of Russians living in Việt Nam, but the ambassador estimated it could range between 5,000 and 6,000 people. 

    High-tech shrimp breeding brings higher profits

    More than two years ago, Đặng Thanh Tân, a farmer in BìnhMinhTown, northern NinhBìnhProvince decided to switch from breeding shrimp in traditional ponds to high-tech farming. Over the course of the same breeding period, the new technique brings about higher shrimp productivity and quality than the traditional method.

    By the end of 2015, after studying shrimp breeding models nationwide, Tan decided to renovate his farm by building a green house and spreading out a layer of canvas at the bottom of the pond.

    Tân said that the high-tech shrimp farming model requires breeders to build a pond with an appropriate area (2ha), as well as additional ponds assisting the main one.

    Several years ago, the shrimp he raised in the traditional pond yielded low productivity as the shrimps were affected by unfavourable weather conditions and attacked by diseases. Now he uses probiotics instead of antibiotics so that shrimps have better resistance against diseases and are of a better quality.

    “The biggest advantage of high-tech shrimp farming is a closed breeding process. Breeders can control the breeding environment so that they can prevent disease risks since shrimps are released to the pond until they are grown up,” he said.

    “I can release only 50-70 shrimp per sq.m to a traditional pond but up to 150-200 shrimp per sq.m to a high-tech pond. The risk of death stays very low. Each kg has 40-50 shrimps,” he said.

    Thanks to new technology, Tan is able to cut down on production spending. He built a separate water treatment area covering the same area as the breeding pond (2ha).

    On the same area, his model helps save money compared to other models, including saving water thanks to the water treatment system which helps improve biological safety and reduces energy costs thanks to a special air pumping system.

    With the traditional method, breeders have to feed shrimps. Tan uses an automatic shrimp feeding machine which helps prevent food being wasted in the water and reduces labour. Shrimps fed by this method also grow faster.

    Last year, after three seasons, he harvested 50 tonnes of shrimp products worth over VNĐ8 billion (US$348,000). The total profit gained was estimated at more than VNĐ3 billion ($130,500).

    Tân said that he would multiply the high-tech shrimp farming model and apply additional technologies to his farm.

    The high-tech shrimp breeding model requires big investment but brings about high profits, controls diseases and addresses environmental problems. Its production is really sustainable, said Nguyễn Tiến Thành, standing deputy secretary of Party Committee of Ninh Bình Province.

    He encouraged local shrimp breeders to switch to high-tech farming for higher profits.

    Typhoon Damrey affected houses to rebuild in central region

    The central Quảng Nam province, with support from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the Việt Nam Disaster Management Authority (VNDMA), Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, the Republic of Korea, in partnership with the Việt Nam Red Cross Society, has launched the Damrey housing recovery and rehabilitation project.

    As planned, the first five of 80 resilient houses will be built for households which suffered damage from the typhoon in the province this year.

    The project aims to support the building of 300 resilient houses in three central provinces of Khánh Hòa, Phú Yên and Quảng Nam.

    The major beneficiaries of the project are the poor and near-poor families whose houses were heavily damaged by the recent Typhoon Damrey. They also will be provided with the necessary knowledge and resources to repair and rebuild their houses to ensure that new houses can withstand future typhoons and floods.

    Typhoon Damrey, which was the twelfth to hit Việt Nam last year, was the strongest one in 2017. It battered some of the poorest communities of the south-central coastal region. More than 130,000 homes were damaged, of which over 3,500 were destroyed. Dozens of displaced families have had to live in temporary and unsafe shelters.

    “This project will help the typhoon-hit families to have safer houses after Typhoon Damrey”, said Đoàn Thị Tuyết Nga, Director of the Department of International Cooperation under the VNDMA.

    Home is not only where the heart is, but also the biggest asset of local people. Building resilient houses is very important to save lives and mitigate the property losses.

    “Helping vulnerable people to recover is one of the mandates of UNDP,” said UNDP Deputy Country Director, Akiko Fujii.

    She explained that the housing recovery and rehabilitation project will ensure the safety of communities and help them enhance their resilience against future disasters.

    "The Korean government is happy to join this effort to support Vietnamese people affected by Damrey in the central region by contributing US$1 million to the house repair project. As a friend and close development partner of Việt Nam, Korea will continue to support Việt Nam’s government in its efforts to overcome challenges posed by climate change. We hope that this project will bring hope and resilience back to the affected people", ambassador of the Republic of Korea to Việt Nam, Lee Hyuk said.

    Director of the Disaster Management Department, Việt Nam Red Cross, Nguyễn Thu Hà said: “The support of UNDP and the Republic of Korea is very useful for the local affected communities. It can prevent them from falling back into poverty and enhance their resilience.”

    Ha Tinh border guard busts drug smuggler from Laos

    The border guard force in the central province of Ha Tinh arrested a man carrying 15kg of methamphetamine from Laos to Vietnam on March 18.

    The arrest was part of an operation in which the local border guard has worked with the General Department of Vietnam Customs’ anti-smuggling inspection department and Vietnam Coast Guard High Command’s drug crime prevention office.

    The arrested man was Thao Cu Mua, 31, from the Mong ethnic minority group in Laos’ Bolikhamsai province. He was caught allegedly smuggling 15kg of methamphetamine contained in 15 yellow plastic bags.

    Mua admitted that he transported the drug into Vietnam for a Vietnamese person for 120,000 USD.

    The case is under investigation.

    AkzoNobel and artists complete Fresco for the Future

    AkzoNobel has collaborated with professional artists and amateur art enthusiasts to paint a brilliant range of 30 dynamic 3D frescoes under the project “Fresco for the Future” in Canh Duong fishing village in the central province of Quang Binh.

    AkzoNobel is a global paint and coatings company and the manufacturer of signature paint brands Dulux and Maxilite.

    Starting on January 31, 2018, the project features diverse themes of history, culture, natural protection, human life, entertainment, and more.

    Following the devastation caused by the Doksuri storm that ravaged the fishing village in October 2017, the frescoes help bring colour to the streets and to people’s lives as well as contributing to boost the development of the local economy. In the coming years, these frescoes will bring a new look helping to make Canh Duong an attractive tourist destination in Quang Binh.

    The frescoes help bring colour to the streets and to people’s lives as well as contribute to the development of the local economy.

    “The idea of this project was formed when our team saw the first fresco village in Tam Thanh, Vietnam over a year ago. We felt that the Vietnamese landscape is extremely idyllic, but poor. If we do more fresco projects like Tam Thanh in other villages, we can create a change in residents’ lives.

    Therefore, we decided to go ahead with this project,” said Nguyen Viet Dung, director of GIUN9 Art Centre.

    “However, we ran into some difficulties because a lot of storms hit Central Vietnam, especially Quang Binh province, while we were preparing for the project. Luckily, with the paint sponsorship of AkzoNobel Vietnam and the Quang Binh Tourism Department’s decision to turn Canh Duong into a key tourist spot of the province, we could successfully complete the project.”

    The artists painted these frescoes with the premium external paint brand Dulux Weathershield—an innovative decorative paint product with a wide range of colour, which not only helps beautify the wall but also provides optimal protection from the harsh effects of extreme weather and climate change.

    In order to complete this project in a very short span of time, the group of 15 artists from many provinces of Vietnam had worked hard day and night. All participating artists share the same passion for painting and dream of honouring the beauty of the Vietnamese island.

    AkzoNobel Vietnam general manager Pamela Phua said: “One of the strongest commitments of AkzoNobel is to create more ‘human’ living environments across the world. And we are very proud of contributing to the success of the project.”

    “AkzoNobel utilises its own key strength—protection and colours—to energise the communities and make their lives more livable and inspiring. The programme of renovating civil construction under storm-resistant standards shows our efforts to contribute to the sustainable development of Quang Binh province,” she noted.

    Sakura blossoms on display at VN-Japan cultural festival this weekend

    Some 50 sakura trees of different species, above 2.5m high each, and 10,000 branches of sakura blossoms will be displayed during the 2018 Vietnam-Japan Cultural Exchange Festival in downtown Hanoi, starting this weekend.

    The event, which will take place at Ly Thai To Park by HoanKiemLake from March 23-26, aims to celebrate the 45th anniversary of Vietnam-Japan diplomatic ties this year.

    Experienced artisans from Japan are helping arrange the exhibition, the organisers said in a press briefing on March 19, adding that the Japanese sakura will be exhibited alongside local flowers.

    The event will include various cultural activities, such as the introduction of the Japanese tea culture, chess, Kendama folk games and Japanese cuisine near Hanoi Children’s Palace, besides a Yosakoi dance performance by 17 teams on
    Dinh Tien Hoang street

    The event will also host various Vietnamese traditional arts such as ca tru (ceremonial singing), hat xam (blind busker’s singing) and folk dances.

    Further, the Hanoi authorities and Japanese partners will hold a meeting to discuss tourism, health, education and economic investment.

    Japanese cooks will demonstrate the preparation of traditional food, including ramen noodles, soba noodles, takoyaki cake and sushi.

    Binh Duong leader congratulates Phu Cuong Diocese on Saint Joseph’s Day

    Vice Chairman of the Binh Duong province People’s Committee Dang Minh Hung on March 19 visited the Diocese of Phu Cuong in Thu Dau Mot city and congratulated its Bishop Joseph Nguyen Tan Tuoc on the Saint Joseph’s Day.

    Hung praised positive contributions made by Bishop Joseph Nguyen Tan Tuoc, priests and Catholic followers in building and developing the province in the past years.

    He hoped that the dignitary will continue his efforts to keep the work up and further the patriotic emulation movements, making contributions to the nation’s development and solidarity.

    For his part, the Bishop thanked the local authorities for creating favourable conditions for local Catholic followers to practice their religion.

    Phu Tho ready for Hung Kings Temple Festival 2018

    The northern province of Phu Tho has finished preparation for the Hung Kings Temple Festival, one of the biggest festival of the year, which will take place from April 21-25, or the 6th-10th day of the third lunar month, said a provincial official.

    According to Vice Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee Ha Ke San, who is also leader of the organising committee, the festival will be hosted by Phu Tho at the Hung Temple Complex in Viet Tri city and surrounding communes while four other provinces including Thai Nguyen, Quang Nam, Binh Duong and Kien Giang will support its organisation.

    This year, the province will continue making efforts to popolarise Xoan singing and Hung Kings worshipping rituals, which were recognised by UNESCO as intangible cultural heritage of humanity, he noted.

    To prepare for the event, the organising committee has been set up with sub-committees and inter-sector inspection teams responsible for monitoring and examining the preparation and businesses in the festival’s areas, he said.

    Holy places and stairs leading to the Hung Temple Complex have been repaired and renovated while tour guides will be arranged to instruct tourists how to practice rituals, according to the complex’s director Nguyen Duy Anh. The complex’s management board will work to ensure visitors’ safety, he added.

    A series of exciting festive activities will be held during the five-day festival, including a book fair, “chung” (square cake) making contest, exhibition, cultural camp, art performances and particularly Xoan singing. 

    The annual festival takes place on the death anniversary of the Hung Kings, founders of the nation, to pay tribute to the Vietnamese ancestors.

    Vietnamese legend has it that Lac Long Quan, son of Kinh Duong Vuong, married Au Co, daughter of King De Lai. Au Co gave birth to a sack containing 100 eggs from which 100 children were born. 

    The couple then decided to separate to populate the land, so half of the children followed their mother to the highlands and the rest went with their father to the sea.

    The first child went with mother Au Co to Phong Chau, now Phu Tho province. He then became King Hung and founded the first nation in the history of Vietnam, Van Lang.         

    Ruling the country for 18 generations, the Hung Kings taught the people how to grow wet rice. They chose NghiaLinhMountain, the highest in the region, to perform rituals devoted to rice and sun deities to pray for lush crops.

    To honour the Hung Kings, a complex of temples dedicated to them was built on NghiaLinhMountain, and the tenth day of the third lunar month serves as their anniversary.

    The worshipping rituals of the Hung Kings are closely related to the ancestral worship traditions of most Vietnamese families, an important part of people’s spiritual lives.

    The worshipping ritual of the Hung Kings was recognised as UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity in 2012.


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  • 03/20/18--02:47: Article 1
  • Former NA official urges support of wealthy people who can help VN’s development

    “Let’s support the rich who are talented and whole-hearted, who can help the country’s development,” said Dr. Nguyen Sy Dung, former vice chairman of the National Assembly Office, about Vingroup, the largest private economic group in Vietnam.


    Former NA official urges support of wealthy people who can help VN’s development
    Dr. Nguyen Sy Dung

    - 2017 saw the rise of the private sector. Which private firms impressed you the most?

    The strength of the national economy will depend more and more on private enterprises. TH True Milk has good quality and reliable agricultural products. Sungroup is known for its entertainment and tourism works. Hoa Phat operates well in various fields. VietJet Air is dynamic, but I do not have enough information about this business. Masan chose the market segment in a very practical way and it has also been very successful. In the fields of technology, FPT and CMC are good names, and even MISA – a small firm - has created a number of artificial intelligence products ... But I’m impressed the most with Vingroup.

    - You said you are most interested in Vingroup. In your opinion, what has this group contributed to our society?

    First of all, I must say that Vingroup is part of Vietnam's economic strength. Business capacity and the ability to create high quality products are indispensable if we want to have a powerful and competitive economy. I think this is Vingroup's most remarkable contribution to the country.

    We can also talk about infrastructure works developed by Vingroup like RoyalCity, TimesCity, Vinhomes Riverside, etc. These are high-quality urban areas with synchronous facilities. Visiting these urban areas, we feel like we are on modern streets in Europe... Who benefits from these urban areas? I think the first beneficiary is the growing middle class in Vietnam. However, beneficiaries can also be others thanks to the diffusion effect of these projects. For example, I can watch free music in TimesCity even though I own no apartment there.

    Thirdly, Vingroup has been able to make the most of talented people, the country's most valuable resources. The talented people here include overseas Vietnamese and foreigners who work for Vingroup. For example, former Vice President of GM is now General Director of Vinfast. This is not really noticeable, but in my opinion it is particularly important. Vingroup not only attracts talented people but it creates an environment for the talent to develop. Phi Anh is a very talented young man. At the age of 26 only, he was assigned as the director of the animation project named VinTaTa, which is invested in heavily by Vingroup. Utilizing talent is the great task of Vingroup.

    - With nearly 5,000 employees, on average, each Vingroup staff member is generating VND1.6 billion (nearly $80,000) of revenue per year, which is not a small number at all. What do you think about this?

    Former NA official urges support of wealthy people who can help VN’s development 

    Vingroup's VinMec offers free medical services for the poor worth VND1.5 trillion.

    Yes, Vingroup has contributed to increasing labor productivity, creating jobs and paying high salaries for nearly 50,000 workers. This has great social effect. With its large ecosystem and value chain, this group is likely to indirectly create jobs for tens of thousands of others.

    The fifth contribution of Vingroup is creating a competitive driving force among big enterprises and corporations. Vingroup has been actively creating new standards in its operating fields, benefiting its customers, and through this, improving the effectiveness of the national economy.

    - If you are the chief of a provincial Party Committee, then which firm will you offer the red carpet treatment for its investment?

    It seems that every locality is trying to attract Vingroup’s investment. Let’s see, if Vinfast operates at 100% capacity, then Hai Phong will have more than VND20 trillion of tax revenue from this project.

    - There is also the opinion that Mr. Pham Nhat Vuong mainly invests in the business to serve the rich, and the poor do not benefit from his wealth. What do you think about it?

    For businesses, choosing the right market segment is a matter of life and death. I think Vingroup has the right strategy because the middle class is developing very fast in Vietnam. Moreover, housing prices can only be cheap if the needs of the middle class do not fall into the cheap segment.

    Vingroup is the largest private taxpayer in Vietnam. They pay taxes to the state, and the state takes care of the poor and social security.

    In addition, I know that Vingroup has extracted thousands of billions of VND from its fund to do social and charity work. It’s a matter of whether they want to talk about it or not.

    - Are you afraid that your appreciation of Vingroup may cause someone to think about you in the wrong way?

    I have no relationship with Mr. Vuong or Vingroup. Except for a free water music show in the TimesCity, I do not owe them any debt of gratitude. I'm the descendant of scholars of Nghe An so I have to speak out the truth. 

    For more than half a century, the boycott against the rich has led our society to a dead end. Today, the time is ripe for us to change our behavior. Please support the rich who are talented and whole-hearted for the purpose of developing our country. Only then will our country soon become rich and prosperous!

    - Thank you!

    Minh Tuan
    , VNN

    0 0
  • 03/20/18--02:59: Article 0
  • Government News 19/3

    NA Standing Committee wraps up 22nd session

    OVs in Japan urged to further contributions to homeland, HCM City vows to support private sector, Government news, Vietnam breaking news, politic news, vietnamnet bridge, english news, Vietnam news, news Vietnam, vietnamnet news, Vietnam net news, Vietna 

    Minister of Justice Le Thanh Long

    The 22nd session of the National Assembly Standing Committee closed in Hanoi on March 19 after seven days of sitting. 

    Minister of Justice Le Thanh Long and Minister of Science and Technology Chu Ngoc Anh took the floor and answered questions. 

    Minister Chu Ngoc Anh answered questions regarding the efficiency of adopting scientific research results in real life, control of technology export-import in production and services, and technological adoption in service of socio-economic development. 

    He said the Party and State have paid due attention to the application of high technologies in agricultural production.

    He said eight chain factories will be inaugurated this year to facilitate technological transfer in agriculture. 

    Joining the question-and-answer session, Minister of Industry and Trade Tran Tuan Anh said the ministries of Industry and Trade, Agriculture and Rural Development, and Science and Technology will work closely together to launch chain models and rearrange market planning and production. 

    About concern over the import of outdated technologies, Minister Anh said the ministry will issue decrees and directives guiding the enforcement of the amended Law on Technological Transfer. 

    For his part, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Nguyen Xuan Cuong pointed to policy, work performance, and scientific and technological application as the three main causes affecting the development of agriculture, of which scientific and technological application is decisive and crucial to the competitiveness of the country’s farm products.

    Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam said Vietnam currently ranks 47th globally in innovation index and 38th in technological expertise. 

    He called on the State to issue practical mechanisms to make firms really become a centre of creativity and innovation. 

    Concluding the meeting, NA Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan said the Standing Committee piloted some changes in this question-and-answer session, which enabled more interactions between legislators and ministers in dealing with the issues raised.

    She asked the government, the Council of Ethnic Affairs, the NA committees and agencies to promptly prepare quality bills to submit to the NA Standing Committee for consideration during the 23th and 24th session scheduled for April and May.

    OVs in Japan urged to further contributions to homeland

    OVs in Japan urged to further contributions to homeland, HCM City vows to support private sector, Government news, Vietnam breaking news, politic news, vietnamnet bridge, english news, Vietnam news, news Vietnam, vietnamnet news, Vietnam net news, Vietna 

    Secretary of the Ho Chi Minh City Party Committee Nguyen Thien Nhan (L) speaks at the meeting  

    Secretary of the Ho Chi Minh City Party Committee Nguyen Thien Nhan has urged Vietnamese expats in Japan to continue uphold their role as bridges, contributing to helping Vietnamese enterprises promote exports. 

    During a meeting with the Vietnamese community in Japan as part of his working visit to Japan from March 18-25, Nhan updated participants on recent achievements of Ho Chi Minh City, and highlighted its dynamic development. 

    Japan is one of the two biggest investors in Vietnam, he said, adding that Ho Chi Minh City is currently the most attractive destination for Japanese investors in all fields. 

    The southern hub is calling for investments in 127 key projects, including those in building smart hospitals, developing high technologies and infrastructure, and flood prevention, he said.  

    He affirmed his current visit to Japan aims to learn from Japan’s experience as well as collect opinions from Japanese experts and economists, and those from Vietnamese businesses in Japan, towards mapping out development strategies and orientations for Ho Chi Minh City in the coming time. 

    Speaking in the event, Vietnamese Ambassador to Japan Nguyen Quoc Cuong reported the development of the Vietnamese community in Japan, saying that the number of overseas Vietnamese (OVs) in Japan increased to nearly 250,000, 2.5 times higher than three years ago. 

    Many Vietnamese people achieved prominent achievements in the field of invention and innovation, thus contributing to the homeland’s development as well as the relations between the two countries, he noted. 

    At the meeting, OVs shared experience in simplifying investment procedures, thus facilitating Japanese firms’ operation in Vietnam

    Representatives from young Vietnamese entrepreneurs in Japan said if Vietnamese firms want to succeed in the Japanese market, they need to consult, learn and apply Japan’s professional working style. 

    Nhan is scheduled to meet with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and other officials of the Japanese Government; have working sessions with representatives from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), Tokyo and Tsukuba universities, and organisations and enterprises working in the high-tech field.

    HCMCity vows to support private sector


    OVs in Japan urged to further contributions to homeland, HCM City vows to support private sector, Government news, Vietnam breaking news, politic news, vietnamnet bridge, english news, Vietnam news, news Vietnam, vietnamnet news, Vietnam net news, Vietna
    The meeting between city leaders and the enterprise community was organised on Saturday. 

    HCMCity pledges to protect the legal rights and benefits of the business community, a city leader said.

    Speaking at a meeting between city leaders and the enterprise community on Saturday, Nguyễn Thành Phong, chairman of the municipal People’s Committee said, “Enterprises will be checked only once a year and leaders will reduce 30 per cent of their meetings to be able to go into the field and help enterprises handle difficulties,”

    “The city will try to cut half of the current time for investment procedures and this year, the administrative reform index of the city will rank in the top ten of the country,” he added.

    To create more favourable conditions for the enterprise community, Phong also revealed that a task force to handle land and ground compensation will be set up to assist enterprises.

    “Programmes of connecting banking and enterprises, investment stimulation; the establishment of a project development fund and a financial support fund for public-private-partnership will be promoted.”

    The chairman also pledged that policies to implement special mechanisms for the city will make enterprises stronger and will “not hinder nor become a burden for the business community,” he added.

    At the meeting, Lê Thị Thanh Lâm, deputy general director of Sài Gòn Food Company and representative of the Food Association, asked the relevant authorities to instruct the education sector to receive safe products from the association.

    “Our association will provide technical supervision for parents to check the quality of food for children at the school, which can not be done now,” she said.

    Lê Hoàng Châu, chairman of the city Real Estate Association, commented that HCM City should consider that the average area for each person to rent in the city be 15 sq.m as in Hà Nội, not 20 sq.m as the Construction Department has just suggested.

    Trần Việt Anh, chairman of Nam Thái Sơn Corporation, said HCMCity is now losing its competitive advantage in logistics because the city is facing terrible traffic jams and there is no huge storage for logistics.

    “Neighbouring provinces such as Bình Dương, Đồng Nai, Bà Rịa – Vũng Tàu and Long An are trying to improve their infrastructure and services in logistics by strongly investing in road systems, seaports and storage,” he said.

    Trần Anh Tuấn, deputy chairman of the HCM City Computers Association mentioned how to promote startup enterprises.

    “Big companies and professional associations should have more of a role and contribution by guiding and assisting startup enterprises,” he said.

    At present, HCMCity is facing many great challenges. Right now, only 1.49 per cent of the city’s enterprises are big, 5.68 per cent are medium, 4.58 per cent are small and 88.25 per cent are tiny.

    The private sector is still the major driver of the development of the city with GDP growth at 8.15 per cent. Each year, the city contributes 27-28 per cent to the national State budget and the city improved the business environment to attract US$10 billion through FDI during 2016 – 2017.

    This year, the city will deploy the project “Smart city 2017 – 2020 with vision to 2025” with four solutions: building a sharing database and developing an open data ecosystem; setting up the city’s socio-economic development prediction and stimulation centre; establishing a smart city operation centre; constructing an information safety and security centre.

    The city plans to co-operate with the HCM City Business Association to organize the “HCM City Economic Forum” in October.

    HCMCity welcomes Japan’s high-quality infrastructure investment

    OVs in Japan urged to further contributions to homeland, HCM City vows to support private sector, Government news, Vietnam breaking news, politic news, vietnamnet bridge, english news, Vietnam news, news Vietnam, vietnamnet news, Vietnam net news, Vietna 

    Secretary of the Ho Chi Minh City Party Committee Nguyen Thien Nhan  hopes for more Japanese investmentin high-quality infrastructure in the city.

    Secretary of the Ho Chi Minh City Party Committee Nguyen Thien Nhan hoped that the Japanese Government and businesses will continue support and investment in the city, especially in high-quality infrastructure.

    He expressed his wish at his meetings on March 19 with Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono, Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Hiroshige Seko, Minister of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism Keiichi Ishii and President of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) Shinichi Kitaoka, as part of his trip to the East Asian nation.

    Speaking highly of the Vietnam-Japan relations as well as the ties between HCMCity and Japanese localities, which are in the most flourishing period ever, Nhan thanked Japan for backing Vietnam and its southern hub in the past years.

    He noted that Japanese support in infrastructure is crucial to HCM City, a city which is expected to be home to 15 million people by 2030 and contributing 22 percent of the national gross domestic product, as transport and water drainage facilities are hampering the city’s development.

    After the two countries become strategic partners, they have seen thriving cooperation in various fields, he said, adding that Can Tho and Nhat Tan bridges are vivid illustrations of the tight collaboration.

    Lauding HCMCity’s role in the national economy, the Japanese officials said that Japan stands ready to help the city build high-quality infrastructure.

    The same day, Nhan went to Ibaraki prefecture, where he visited TsukubaUniversity and Tsukuba science city.

    Congratulations to Wang Yi on promotion as State Counselor

    OVs in Japan urged to further contributions to homeland, HCM City vows to support private sector, Government news, Vietnam breaking news, politic news, vietnamnet bridge, english news, Vietnam news, news Vietnam, vietnamnet news, Vietnam net news, Vietna 

    Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi  

    Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh on March 19 cabled a message of congratulations to Wang Yi on his reappointment as Chinese Foreign Minister and promotion to State Counselor. 

    His promotion was approved by the National People's Congress of China the same day.

    Vietnam-US Society President receives US guest


    OVs in Japan urged to further contributions to homeland, HCM City vows to support private sector, Government news, Vietnam breaking news, politic news, vietnamnet bridge, english news, Vietnam news, news Vietnam, vietnamnet news, Vietnam net news, Vietna
    VFW Senior Vice Commander-in-Chief Vincent “B.J” Lawrence 

    President of the Vietnam– US Society (VUS) Nguyen Tam Chien hosted a reception in Hanoi on March 19 for Senior Vice Commander-in-Chief of the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) of the US Vincent “B.J” Lawrence

    Chien briefed the guests about people-to-people diplomacy activities of the Vietnam Union of Friendship Organisations and the VUS and the humanitarian support programme between the two countries, especially the recovery from the consequences of war-era landmines, issues regarding Agent Orange/dioxin victims, and the search for remains of missing US servicemen in Vietnam. 

    He reviewed important milestones in VietnamUS diplomatic ties in peacetime, the role of the VUS and mass organisations in promoting bilateral ties. 

    Lawrence, who is in Vietnam from March 18-22, said the visit affords him a chance to learn about Vietnam’s post-war recovery and development, the country and its people. 

    In 1991, the VFW sent representatives to the delegations of the US Congressmen and ex-veterans to Vietnam to discuss the search for the US servicemen missing in action. 

    It also sends delegations to Vietnam each year to learn about the country’s situation, the VietnamUS relations, and especially dealing with the search for missing Vietnamese and US soldiers during the war.

    Vietnamese, Cambodian customs bolster cooperation


    OVs in Japan urged to further contributions to homeland, HCM City vows to support private sector, Government news, Vietnam breaking news, politic news, vietnamnet bridge, english news, Vietnam news, news Vietnam, vietnamnet news, Vietnam net news, Vietna
    At the high-level talks between the General Department of Vietnam Customs and the General Department of Customs and Excise of Cambodia on March 19.  

    The General Department of Vietnam Customs and the General Department of Customs and Excise of Cambodia agreed to enhance cooperation at high-level talks between the two customs bodies in Ho Chi Minh City on March 19.

    They reached consensus on pushing the negotiations between the two finance ministries on mutual support in customs sector to create legal foundation for bilateral collaboration.

    Along with simplifying administrative procedures, they will work together to fight smuggling, trade fraud, drug trafficking and other illegal trade activities in border localities via improving information exchange mechanisms.

    At the event, they stated that the two customs bodies have carried out a line-up of bilateral cooperative activities to facilitate two-way trade. They regularly met to update customs procedures as well as exchange information about passengers and goods items through the border gates. Also, they joined hands to crack down smuggling and trade fraud for imports and exports.

    Statistics from the General Department of Vietnam Customs showed that Vietnam-Cambodia trade rose 29.7 percent year-on-year to over 3.79 billion USD in 2017. Vietnam enjoyed a trade surplus of more than 1.75 billion USD.

    Party chief congratulates re-elected President V. Putin

    OVs in Japan urged to further contributions to homeland, HCM City vows to support private sector, Government news, Vietnam breaking news, politic news, vietnamnet bridge, english news, Vietnam news, news Vietnam, vietnamnet news, Vietnam net news, Vietna 

    Vladimir Putin is re-elected as President of Russia. 

    General Secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam Central Committee Nguyen Phu Trong sent a congratulatory message to Vladimir Putin on his re-election as President of Russia.

    Vladimir Putin is set for another six years in power after winning a record election performance with 76.66 percent of the vote held on March 18.-

    President greets outgoing UAE Ambassador

    OVs in Japan urged to further contributions to homeland, HCM City vows to support private sector, Government news, Vietnam breaking news, politic news, vietnamnet bridge, english news, Vietnam news, news Vietnam, vietnamnet news, Vietnam net news, Vietna 

    President Tran Dai Quang (R) greets outgoing UAE Ambassador.  

    President Tran Dai Quang on March 19  received Ambassador of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to Vietnam Khalid Ibrahim Abdulaziz Shohail Al-Qahtani, who came to say goodbye before ending his tenure.

    Praising the diplomat’s contributions to enhancing the bilateral friendship and multifaceted cooperation during his four-year tenure, the President highlighted his efforts in linking the Vietnamese Ministry of Industry and Trade and the UAE Chamber of Commerce and Industry to organise several business forums between the two countries, particularly the Dubai – Vietnam trade forum in Hanoi in November last year.

    Quang said he believes the two sides will continue implementing their agreements as well as boosting the exchange of business delegations and trade promotion activities. 

    The Vietnamese leader expressed his delight at progresses made in Vietnam– UAE relations in recent years, stressing that the UAE is among top trade and investment partners of Vietnam in the Middle East.

    The UAE is the 7th biggest trade partner of Vietnam, with bilateral trade surpassing 6 billion USD annually in the past three years. 

    Quang noted his expectation that the outgoing diplomat will continue contributing to the Vietnam– UAE friendship and collaboration in his new post.

    For his part, Khalid Ibrahim Abdulaziz Shohail Al-Qahtani thanked Vietnam’s agencies and sectors for their cooperation with and support for him during his tenure in the country.

    The UAE highly values upbeat outcomes of its cooperation with Vietnam, the ambassador said, adding that these achievements have placed the UAE among the top ten trade partners of Vietnam.


    0 0
  • 03/21/18--06:12: Article 2
  • Social News 21/3

    Quang Tri seizes more than 50,600 ecstasy pills


    Quang Tri seizes more than 50,600 ecstasy pills, RoK donates 10,000 tons of rice to central and Central Highlands regions, Ministry to improve grassroots health facilities, Exhibition hounours Hungarian composer

    Quang Tri provincial Border Guards in coordination with Lao border defence forces have arrested five Lao citizens who trafficked more than 50,600 ecstasy bills into Vietnam.

    The five Lao people were caught red-handed at 2.30pm on March 19 at A Xing village, Sa Muoi district , Salavan Province in Laos, around 3km from La Lay border gate.

    The seized exhibits included 50,600 ecstasy bills, 1 kilo of methamphetamine, one K59 gun with 8 bullets and two cars.

    They initially confessed that they transported the drugs from Thailand to Laos and then into Vietnamese Kon Tum, Ha Tinh, Nghe An, Quang Binh and Quang Tri provinces for distribution.

    Quang Tri border guards handed the drug smugglers and exhibits over to Salavan police for further investigation.

    Educational cooperation helps promote Vietnam-India ties: workshop

    Cooperation in education-training is an important factor helping improve the quality of the Vietnam-India relationship in the long-term, heard a networking seminar and Indian education fair held by the Indian Embassy in Vietnam on March 19.

    India’s education system has made great strides over the past two decades and the country has become a leading education centre in Asia, participants at the event said. 

    The workshop brought together policy makers, educators and businesses from Vietnam and India. Many well-known universities of India also came to enroll Vietnamese students. 

    Vietnam now ranks fifth globally in the number of overseas students in the US and second in the Republic of Korea (RoK), Japan and Australia. 

    In India, there are about 500 Vietnamese students studying under different educational cooperation programmes between the two countries. 

    Vietnam and India agreed to step up education cooperation during the State visit to India from March 2-4, 2018 by President Tran Dai Quang. 

    President Quang thanked India for increasing scholarships to Vietnamese students, researchers, academic professionals and government officials, especially through the Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation (ITEC) programme, the Mekong - Ganga Cooperation (MGC) framework, as well as the projects under the fund of Quick Impact Projects (QIPs). 

    He appreciated Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s offering of 1,000 fellowships to students and researchers from the ASEAN member states for studying integrated PhD programmes in the Indian Institute of Technology.

    Prime Minister Modi offered to organise customised courses in areas of interest to Vietnam through the ITEC programme.

    RoK donates 10,000 tons of rice to central and Central Highlands regions

    The Republic of Korea (RoK) Government, through ASEAN Plus Three Emergency Rice Reserve (APTERR), has provided 10,000 tons of rice worth around VND393.4 billion to 10 central and Central Highlands provinces which were seriously affected by storm Damrey late last year.

    The rice was shipped from the RoK to Vietnam via Cam Ranh port in Khanh Hoa province and Da Nang port in Da Nang City.

    Vietnamese Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Hoang Van Thang said at the hand-over ceremony in the district of Dai Loc in Quang Nam province on March 21 that people in remote areas still face with numerous difficulties despite Government support to deal with storm consequences. He said the Ministry will direct localities to receive and allocate the rice to needy people.

    Last year, central and Central Highlands provinces suffered great losses caused by storms and floods. Storm Damrey left 123 dead and missing, 342 others injured, destroyed crops and damaged thousands of houses.

    Ministry to improve grassroots health facilities

    The Ministry of Health is conducting field trips to 29 health stations in 10 provinces and cities’ communes and wards to survey activities, facilities, personnel and finance in an aim to improve the quality of health care services for local residents.

    The survey is part of the implementation of the Government’s resolution on improving grassroots health facilities in the country.

    Health stations are in charge of medical treatment and prevention of epidemics as well as non-communicable diseases.

    On Monday (March 19), the ministry visited two health stations Thạnh An in Cần Giờ District and Bình Chiểu in Thủ Đức District in HCM City.

    Minister of Health Nguyễn Thị Kim Tiến said the results of the survey of health stations in remote and urban areas would be used to help improve healthcare services.  

    The ministry wants better health services for people with health insurance, Tiến said, adding that patients in the future will be able to use grassroots services instead of higher-level medical services that are often overcrowded with patients.

    This will also save patients time and money in transport costs.

    Each ward has dozens of patients that now go to district-level hospitals for treatment, she said, adding that patient overcrowding is unavoidable at these facilities.

    The current funds for all health stations in the country are limited, and, as a result, there is a shortage of medicine and lower-quality health care services, she said.

    Tiến said the health station in Bình Chiểu Ward has only basic medicine covered by  health insurance funds, which leads patients to choose other medical facilities.

    Dr Lê Bá Kông, head of the health station in Bình Chiểu Ward, said the station has basic medical equipment including an X-ray machine and testing machine.

    There is only one general practice doctor at the health station in Cần Giờ District’s Thạnh An island commune, home to 5,000 people. The station lacks medicine, especially for patients with chronic heart diseases.

    It does not have basic medical equipment such as X-ray machine and ultrasound machine.

    Tiến has instructed the city Department of Health first to require hospitals at city-level to provide assistance to the Thạnh An island commune’s health station.

    In the upcoming time, the ministry will use this station as a pilot case on how to manage health care for each resident under a model called family medical practice.

    The station will be among four in the city to carry out the model.  

    The Department of Health said it would give the Thạnh An health station an X-ray machine but that a facility to house the machine must be built.

    A sufficient number of oxygen containers for emergency aid will also be given.

    The department has worked with health centres and the People’s Committee in Cần Giờ District to review the needs of Thạnh An commune and meet the ministry’s requirements.

    More medicine will also be given to the health station, and a project on traditional medicine will be set up at the station.

    Thủ Đức District Hospital will offer voluntary training in IT application for the health station’s staff.

    Exhibition hounours Hungarian composer

    An exhibition entitled "Let the Whole World Rejoice" to introduce Hungarian musician Zoltan Kodaly opened at the National Library of Vietnam on March 20.

    The exhibition is co-held by the Hungarian Embassy in Hanoi and the National Library of Vietnam featuring posters introducing the musician Kodaly’s works and life. The exhibition is a rare chance for local people to learn more about one of the most outstanding Hungarian personalities of the 20th century.

    "Kodaly was a great son of Hungary who made his remarkable contribution to the great foundation of Hungarian music, and a teacher who is admired by music lovers and learners in Viet Nam and in the world for bringing the Kodaly method to music training and education," Nguyen Ngọc Anh, the library’s deputy director said at the exhibition opening ceremony. 

    Kodaly (1882-1967) was a composer, ethnomusicologist, music pedagogue and linguist. His internationally acknowledged concept of music education is the basis for general music teaching in Hungary and also plays an important role in the training of professional musicians.

    His ideas on music education are usually mentioned under the name Kodaly Method, a serious reform of existing music education methods and one rooted in the historical, social and cultural circumstances of Hungary of that time. The Kodaly Method is recognised by UNESCO as intangible cultural heritage. 

    "We aim to popularise our musicians to Vietnamese people,” said deputy head of mission Karolyi Marton. Visiting the exhibition will help you encounter and get insight on how the Kodály principles that have influenced pedagogy and musical education worldwide, namely: musical education from a young age, the pleasure in learning music and the teaching of musical material in the context of the mother-tongue folk song."

    Three books about musician Kodaly are also displayed at the library on this occasion. Rounding out the exhibit are pictures, music pieces, articles by and about him, as well as his own memoir, research and manifesto. 

    The exhibition will run until March 25 at 31 Trang Thi Street, Hanoi.

    Cuisine programme marks Vietnam-Japan diplomatic ties

    A “Vietnamese and Japanese cuisine introduction” programme will be held at the Children Palace, Hanoi from March 23-25, as part of activities to celebrate 45 years of bilateral ties this year.

    The event features 21 food stalls categorised in three zones: Vietnamese food, Japanese food and a common zone showcasing tea brewing.

    Visitors to the programme will be able to taste dishes from Vietnam and Japan like ramen, soba, yakisoba, sushi, pho (noodles served with beef or chicken in a hot bow of broth), bun thang (rice vermicelli served with shredded chicken, pork and fried egg), chung cake, nem ran (spring roll) and banh cuon (rice pancakes wrapped with meat), among others.

    Also, an exhibition of 30 sakura trees and 10,000 sakura branches at Ly Thai To Garden by Hoan Kiem Lake from March 23-26 will be held. 

    Other cultural events include chess, Kendama folk games and Yosakoi dance performance, and Vietnamese traditional arts like ca tru (ceremonial singing), hat xam (blind busker singing) and folk dances.

    Educational cooperation helps promote Vietnam-India ties: workshop

    Cooperation in education-training is an important factor helping improve the quality of the Vietnam-India relationship in the long-term, heard a networking seminar and Indian education fair held by the Indian Embassy in Vietnam on March 19. 

    India’s education system has made great strides over the past two decades and the country has become a leading education centre in Asia, participants at the event said. 

    The workshop brought together policy makers, educators and businesses from Vietnam and India. Many well-known universities of India also came to enroll Vietnamese students. 

    Vietnam now ranks fifth globally in the number of overseas students in the US and second in the Republic of Korea (RoK), Japan and Australia. 

    In India, there are about 500 Vietnamese students studying under different educational cooperation programmes between the two countries. 

    Vietnam and India agreed to step up education cooperation during the State visit to India from March 2-4, 2018 by President Tran Dai Quang. 

    President Quang thanked India for increasing scholarships to Vietnamese students, researchers, academic professionals and government officials, especially through the Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation (ITEC) programme, the Mekong - Ganga Cooperation (MGC) framework, as well as the projects under the fund of Quick Impact Projects (QIPs). 

    He appreciated Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s offering of 1,000 fellowships to students and researchers from the ASEAN member states for studying integrated PhD programmes in the Indian Institute of Technology.

    Prime Minister Modi offered to organise customised courses in areas of interest to Vietnam through the ITEC programme.

    Hanoi’s support centre important to regional weather forecast service

    Ata Hussian, an officer from the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) spoke highly of WMO’s support centre in Hanoi, saying it has played an important role in supporting supply of weather forecast services in the region.

    Vietnam has participated in the Severe Weather Forecasting Demonstration Project (SWFDP) since 2010 and was selected by the WMO to base one of its Regional Forecasting Support Centres (RFSCs) in Hanoi, he told the Vietnam News Agency on the sidelines of the “Regional training workshop on severe weather forecasting and delivery of warning services” which is underway in Hanoi from March 19-30.

    RFSC-Hanoi also provides satellite-based products daily delivering forecast services on heavy rain and extreme winds for Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Thailand, the Philippines and most recently, Myanmar for short range (1-2 days) and medium range (3-5 days), he noted.

    According to Hussian, the WMO organizes annual training courses on severe weather forecasting methods, from satellite or radar-based “nowcasting” to medium-range forecasting based on numerical prediction.

    The organization has provided training and technical support as well as acted as a contact point for data sharing between SWFDP members to improve the forecasting service quality in the region.

    He added that the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources’ general department of hydro-meteorological forecasting will aid this effort by improving the sector’s capacity in the coming years, increasing investment in infrastructure and reports from RFSC-Hanoi.-

    Literature, art works spotlight Vietnam-Laos solidarity

    A large number of literature and art works featuring the solidarity between Vietnam and Laos were honoured at a ceremony in Vientiane on March 20.

    In early 2017, the General Department of Politics of the Vietnam People’s Army launched a campaign encouraging the creation of literature and art works depicting Vietnam-Laos fighting solidarity. The event aimed to celebrate the Vietnam-Laos Friendship and Solidarity Year 2017.

    The organising board received 479 entries in literature work, songs, propaganda posters, and news photos from 185 Lao authors. And, the Lao authors earned four A prizes, 8 B prizes, 12 C prizes and 16 consolation prizes.

    Speaking at the ceremony, Senior Lieutenant General Nguyen Trong Nghia, Deputy Director of the General Department of Politics of the Vietnam People’s Army described the time-honoured relations between Vietnam Laos as a special, reliable relationship and a valuable asset of both nations.

    Under the leadership of the Communist Party of Vietnam and the Lao People’s Revolutionary Party, the two countries’ people always stood shoulder by shoulder and supported each other in the nation-building and development process, he stressed. 

    Nghia urged the General Departments of Politics of the two countries’ armies to coordinate in building a plan for publishing the award-winning works.  

    For his part, Major General Vantyhong Kongman, Deputy Director of Laos’s General Department of Politics highlighted the significance of the campaign, saying that it helped young people of the two countries to understand more about the Vietnam-Laos special relationship in general and the fighting solidarity between the two armies.

    Project helps farmers in Son La increase incomes

    The outcomes of a project to increase incomes for farmers via agricultural restructuring in mountainous areas (SFIRIA) was reviewed at Tay Bac University in the mountainous province of Son La on March 20.

    The project was part of the cooperation agreement between Japan’s Kasama city and Son La province, under the auspices of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).

    The project, carried out between March 2016 and March 2018, aims to improve living conditions and livelihoods of farmers in rural areas of the province.

    Under the project, 30 households in Tay Hung village (Muoi Noi commune, Thuan Chau district) and Tham village (Chieng Sinh ward, Son La city) were provided with local resources in order to increase added values and improve the quality of agricultural products.

    Le Xuan Thang, Secretary of the Party Cell of Tay Hung village, said the village has 12 households joining the project. They were trained on how to build agricultural production models and seek consumption markets by setting up stands at the village’s communal house. In the coming time, they will help other families do the same.

    In Tham village, vegetable growing areas developed under the project have been certified as safe vegetable production areas. The involving households have better incomes and living conditions thanks to stable consumption. 

    Leo Van Long, head of Tham village, said villagers now are familiar with using organic fertilizers and growing vegetables in net houses, therefore reducing the use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides. All households in the village have escaped from poverty, with annual average income reaching 120 million VND (5,300 USD).

    Symposium seeks ways to preserve Nguyen dynasty’s royal tombs

    Sustainable preservation of the Nguyen dynasty’s royal tombs in the complex of Hue imperial relic sites must be made in companion with the protection of natural landscapes in Huong River’s upstream area.

    The information was heard at an international symposium jointly held by the Hue Monument Conservation Centre and Japan’s Waseda University in Hue city, the central province of Thua Thien-Hue on March 20.

    Phan Thanh Hai, Director of the Hue Monuments Conservation Centre, noted that natural landscapes are significant to the UNESCO-recognised complex of Hue monuments, of which Huong River has become a special element to connect the complex. Thus, the landscapes around Huong River must be utilised in an appropriate way, he added.

    According to Assoc. Prof. Dr. Dang Van Bai, managers should prioritise natural landscape protection in the master plan on the complex management.

    Meanwhile, Prof. Dr. Satol Shigheru from Waseda University said that technical development will help the locality safeguard the historical environment.

    The complex of royal tombs and Huong River’s upstream area hold great tangible and intangible cultural values like agricultural products, perceptions, beliefs, religions and festivals, which are all grafted to Huong River.

    Participants at the event shared research results on the values, characteristics and potential of the cultural and eco-historical landscapes of the Nguyen Dynasty’s royal tombs and Huong River’s upstream area in order to find the best solutions to protecting landscapes at the complex of Hue monuments.

    Japanese cherry blossom exhibition to be held in Hai Phong

    A Japanese cherry blossom exhibition will take place in the northern city of Hai Phong from March 23-25, as part of activities to celebrate the 45th anniversary of the Vietnam-Japan diplomatic ties.

    Speaking at a press conference on March 20, Deputy Director of the municipal Department of Culture and Sports Tran Thi Hoang Mai said that about 7,000 sakura branches, transported from Japan by air, will be exhibited, together with several types of Vietnamese flowers.

    On March 24, a seminar discussing investment and tourism promotion cooperation between Hai Phong and Japanese enterprises will be held as well.

    The event aims to effectively implement the city’s cultural diplomacy, strengthen mutual understanding between the two countries’ people, and boost bilateral cooperation in investment and tourism.

    Deputy Director of the municipal Trade, Investment and Tourism Promotion Centre Pham Hung Hung said that these events are to promote Hai Phong’s potential and strengths to Japanese people, call for Japanese investments in hi-tech agriculture, health, education, environmental protection and tourism, and introduce the image of Japan’s land and people to locals.

    Cà Mau households to be resettled

    More than 5,600 households in erosion-prone areas in the southernmost province of Cà Mau need to be relocated by 2020 but local authorities are struggling to find capital and land, according to the provincial People’s Committee.

    U Minh, Trần Văn Thời, Đầm Dơi, Phú Tân, Năm Căn and Ngọc Hiển districts have a high number of households living in erosion-prone areas that need to be relocated.

    In addition, several resettlement areas funded with the province’s budget have not been operating effectively as the resettled households have not been able to have a stable livelihood.

    Many of these resettled households have returned to live in the erosion-prone areas.

    Dư Bé Ba, chairman of the U Minh District People’s Committee, said the province should have policies that would provide a stable livelihood for resettled people in zoned areas.

    U Minh District plans to call for investment in building a 5-7ha resettlement area in Khánh Tiến Commune’s Vàm Tiểu Dừa area that will be worth nearly VNĐ100 billion (US$4.4 million).

    If this resettlement area is built by 2020, the district can resettle hundreds of households in coastal areas.

    The district will create conditions for relocated households to stabilise their livelihoods by providing vocational training and jobs for them, Ba said.

    Lê Văn Sử, deputy chairman of the provincial People’s Committee, said the province had paid attention to relocating households in areas affected by natural disasters but the relocation process was still slow and ineffective.  

    The lack of investment capital and land are the major reasons for the slowness and ineffectiveness, according to Sử.

    In addition, many relocated households are poor and do not have a stable job so it is difficult for them to ensure their livelihood in resettlement areas.

    The provincial People’s Committee has ordered agencies and departments to resolve  difficulties in existing resettlement areas.

    It has told the district People’s Committees to review and classify poor households so that plans to support them can be drawn up.

    Activities held nationwide for Youth Month 2018

    A wide variety of practical activities have been held across the country in response to the 2018 Youth Month and in celebration of the 87th anniversary of the Ho Chi Minh Communist Youth Union (March 26).

    The youth union of Da Nang city Police Department held a ceremony to honour ten outstanding youth police officers. They made great achievements in their work and contributed to numerous scientific and technological research topics.

    Quang Tri provincial Youth Union has launched a volunteer campaign to support local people in administrative procedures on every Saturday during the month. It has received an enthusiastic response from youths.

    A youth festival was held in Thua Thien – Hue province, featuring over 1,000 local officials, youths, and students. In addition, 15 Secretaries of youth unions at the grassroots level in the province joined a competition, for seeking the most outstanding secretaries.

    Quang Nam provincial Youth Union collaborated with Vietnam Rubber Industry Group to hold a ceremony to inaugurate a clean water project at Thanh My start-up youth village in Nam Giang district.

    More than 500 youths and students in Tuy Hoa City, Phu Yen Province have actively participated in the ‘Green Sunday’ programme which was launched by the provincial Youth Union and contributes to environmental protection in the locality.

    Overloaded traffic infrastructure results in congestions in HCMC

    Many reasons are the cause of traffic jam in Ho Chi Minh City; yet basically, above all, the already weak infrastructure of the city has been overloaded.

    Overloading makes traffic controlling, construction works difficult and not get positive results as expected. Worse, traffic construction works become old-fashion compared with “hot” social development due to overloading.

    Lately, spending for traffic construction makes up a big sum in HCMC. Logically, spending for building a flyover or a tunnel to tackle gridlocks is up to some hundreds of billions of Vietnamese dong each.

    For instance, An Suong Tunnel in District 12 connecting Truong Chinh Street with National Highway 22 opened to the traffic in the middle of March with the cost of VND500 billion (US$22 million), in a bid to alleviate congestion and lower the number of accident.

    The construction of an interchange at My Thuy Roundabout to eliminate daily traffic snarls for bustling Cat Lai Port took up VND837 billion for the first stage.

    As per the municipal Department of Transport’s report, the city has 32 traffic construction works waiting for fund.

    These are constructions which have to be done by 2020 to tackle “hot traffic spots” include the roads in the height through districts Tan Binh, Phu Nhuan and Binh Thanh costing VND17,500 billion or in districts 12 and Thu Duc with estimated cost of VND15,405 billion; road in the height connecting Tan Son Nhat Airport and Hoang Van Thu Street in districts Tan Binh, Phu Nhuan and Binh Thanh worth VND3,288 billion.

    In addition, there are some roads in the belt road No.2 such as the road connecting the National highway No.1 to Nguyen Van Linh Street in District Binh Chanh; from Phu Huu Bridge to intersection Binh Thai – Hanoi Highway in district 9 and from Binh Thai intersection to Go Dua Intersection in Thu Duc District.

    Asides from that, maintenance and constructions of the smart traffic controlling center are worth VND6 trillion, bus rapid transit (BRT) No.4 along Pham Van Dong Street worth over VND1.6 trillion and buying new bus fleet are waiting for funding.

    City leaders beefed up efforts to attract more funding for construction of roads and maintenance work but it could not meet the demand. Speaking at the opening ceremony of the Party Committee meeting took place last year, Party Chief of Ho Chi Minh City Nguyen Thien Nhan said that the city was being in a lack of roads.

    As per the planning project approved by the Prime Minister in 2010, one square kilometer of urban land must have 10km road.

    However, at present, the city has 1. 98 kilometer road per one square meter land accounting for 20 percent. At this speed, it takes 167 years for HCMC to achieve urban traffic standard.

    Also as the project by 2025, the city’s population will be 10 million; yet, currently, it is 13 million. With the current development, more people will flock to the city to work and live in the future.

    In 2017, HCMC spent over thousands of billions of Vietnam dong building flyovers and road expansion; yet traffic condition has not improved basically. Moreover, HCMC chopped down 100 trees including old trees in Gia Dinh park for building flyovers and road expansion.

    Furthermore, HCMC has spent tens of thousands of billion Vietnam dong on road and flyover construction in Cat Lai Port to lessen traffic jam there.

    Nevertheless, the efforts to diminish traffic congestion have been unrewarded because the number of container vehicles increased by 15 percent annually with 15,000 vehicles travelling in and out the port of now.

    Not only the two above-mentioned sites but also all districts in the city have seen the hike of population along with rising travelling demand. Congestion in Nguyen Tat Thanh Street in districts 4, 7, and Nha Be into downtown areas or in Sai Gon River tunnel and Chanh Hung Bridge are examples.

    Losses due to traffic jam is a huge sum that city leaders should be taken into account, said economic experts.

    Ben Tre man fined $439 for posting fake news to Facebook

    Inspectors from the Department of Information and Communications in the Mekong delta province of Ben Tre decided to issue an administrative fine of VND10 million ($439) on a local man for publishing a false new to his fan page on social media, said Deputy Director of the department Trinh Van Thinh, yesterday.

    29-year-old Nguyen Minh Chanh in Phu Tan District who manages ‘Tin tuc Ben Tre” (Ben Tre News) fan page posted the news in which a four-year-old child had been cut off his head on March 14.

    According to his statement with policemen, on March 14, his friend named Minh told him about the incident and then he posted it to his fanpage and followed by 30,000 people. He violated the government’s edict No. 174/2013/ND-CP in the field of post and services, IT because he spread wrong news to the social media.

    A day after, Chanh continued to update the news confirming that the news was true by Nguyen Dinh Chieu hospital’s confirmation.

    At present, responsible agencies asked him to remove the fan page because it violated regulations.


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  • 03/21/18--06:38: Article 1
  •  VEAM to list 1.33 billion shares on HSX

    Vietnam Engine and Agricultural Machinery Corporation (VEAM), which currently holds a 30 per cent stake in Honda Vietnam, a 20 per cent stake in Toyota Vietnam, and a 25 per cent stake in Ford Vietnam, will list 1.328 billion shares on the Ho Chi Minh City Stock Exchange (HSX).   


    VEAM to list 1.33 billion shares on HSX, vietnam economy, business news, vn news, vietnamnet bridge, english news, Vietnam news, news Vietnam, vietnamnet news, vn news, Vietnam net news, Vietnam latest news, Vietnam breaking news 

    The firm's Board of Directors and will submit this proposal to the annual shareholders’ meeting, which is expected to be organised on April 29.

    Previously, in November 2017, the firm received the securities registration certificate from Vietnam Securities Depository (VSD) to list 1.328 billion shares.

    VEAM currently holds a 30 per cent stake in Honda Vietnam, a 20 per cent stake in Toyota Vietnam, and a 25 per cent stake in Ford Vietnam, which bring hundreds of millions of dollars in profit every year.

    In August 2016, it put 167 million shares, equalling 13 per cent of its charter capital, on sale at the initial public offering (IPO) with the initial price of VND14,290 ($0.64) per unit.

    Being considered the largest IPO of the year, it expected that after the sale VEAM’s charter capital will increase to VND13.28 trillion ($595.5 million), equalling 1.33 billion shares. Accordingly, the state will hold 51 per cent of the charter capital with 678 million shares, and strategic shareholders will hold 36 per cent, equalling 478 million shares.

    However, in reality, 89.5 per cent of the offered shares were sold for the average price of VND14,291 ($0.65) apiece. VEAM acquired VND2.14 trillion ($93.96 million) from the deal.

    Established in 1990, VEAM specialises in manufacturing agricultural machinery, components, and assembling automobiles and motorbikes. The company has 20 subsidiaries nationwide, including Song Cong Diesel Limited Company, Southern Vietnam Engine and Agricultural Machinery Company Ltd., and An Giang Mechanical JSC.

    In addition, the company currently holds a 30 per cent stake in Honda Vietnam, a 20 per cent stake in Toyota Vietnam, and a 25 per cent stake in Ford Vietnam, which bring massive profits. Notably, in 2016, it acquired VND7.96 trillion ($349.5 million) from Honda Vietnam, VND1.82 trillion ($79.9 million) from Toyota Vietnam, and VND272 billion ($11.9 million) from Ford Vietnam.

    Furthermore, it owns numerous sizeable land plots in Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Haiphong, Dong Nai, and Ba Ria-Vung Tau, among others. Besides, VEAM leads the domestic engine and agricultural machinery market with a market share of 15-25 per cent.

    According to its 2017 financial report, VEAM earned VND2.54 trillion ($111.5 million) in net revenue from the business and services sector alone, up 6 per cent on-year. However, its after-tax profit in 2017 was VND546 billion ($23.97 million) because profits from its joint venture companies were not yet to be included.


    0 0
  • 03/21/18--06:53: Article 0
  • Government News 21/3

    Cao Bang prepares for Vietnam-China border defence exchange


    Cao Bang prepares for Vietnam-China border defence exchange, Vietnam, Malaysia eye stronger audit cooperation, President Tran Dai Quang congratulates President Vladimir Putin, Hanoi seeks tourism cooperation with Slovak region
    Deputy Minister of National Defence Nguyen Chi Vinh at the working session with Cao Bang authorities

    Deputy Minister of National Defence Sen. Lieut. Gen. Nguyen Chi Vinh has requested military units in the northern border province of Cao Bang to well prepare for the fifth Vietnam-China border defence friendship exchange programme. 

    During a working session with the local authorities on March 20, Vinh also asked the military units to coordinate with Cao Bang province to complete infrastructure facilities serving the event.

    He emphasised the need for the province to further promote people-to-people diplomatic activities in the border areas between the two nations. 

    The border defence friendship exchange programme will take place in Cao Bang’s Phuc Hoa district and China’s Longzhou district.

    It will comprise numerous activities, including a welcome ceremony for the two countries’ defence delegates, seminars, cultural and sport exchanges; a ceremony to salute demarcation markers, joint patrol on the border river; and a ceremony to launch a centre for cultural exchange and tourism promotion at the Ta Lung international border gate.

    People living in the border localities of Vietnam and China will also receive free health check-ups and medicines, and take part in cultural activities before the programme.

    In the meantime, Cao Bang will continue instructing relevant units to promote the communication work to help local people understand more about the significance of the event, while stepping up the construction progress of facilities and maintaining political security and social order in the locality.

    Vietnam, Malaysia eye stronger audit cooperation


    Cao Bang prepares for Vietnam-China border defence exchange, Vietnam, Malaysia eye stronger audit cooperation, President Tran Dai Quang congratulates President Vladimir Putin, Hanoi seeks tourism cooperation with Slovak region
    State Auditor General of Vietnam Ho Duc Phoc (R) receives Deputy Auditor General of Malaysia Khalid Khan. (Source: 

    Vietnamese State Auditor General Ho Duc Phoc and Deputy Auditor General of Malaysia Khalid Khan have discussed ways to enhance cooperation and develop information technology in the audit sector. 

    At a working session in Hanoi on March 20, Phoc said the State Audit of Vietnam (SAV) conducted over 200 audits relating to the management and use of public financial resources and assets each year. 

    The SAV is focusing on IT development to serve the audit work, with an IT development strategy until 2030 being devised, he said, adding that the agency wants to learn from the NAD’s experience to build the IT development strategy. 

    Applauding Malaysia’s National Audit Department (NAD)’s support and sharing of experience, Phoc suggested the two agencies step up cooperation in training and exchange of professional experience, especially in operation and IT audits. 

    Mentioning the 14th Assembly of the Asian Organisation of Supreme Audit Institutions (ASOSAI 14) slated for September 2018 in Vietnam, Phoc informed his guest about Vietnam’s preparations for the event and called on the NAD in its capacity as ASOSAI 13 Chair to assist Vietnam in organising the meeting. 

    For his part, Khalid Khan noted with pleasure the partnership between the NAD and the SAV, expressing his hope that the bilateral cooperation will be enhanced in the time ahead. 

    The NAD will increase support to and cooperation with the SAV, he pledged, saying he believes that the collaboration will benefit both sides. 

    The NAD will also do its utmost to help its Vietnamese counterpart to successfully host ASOSAI 14 and assume the post of the ASOSAI Chair during 2018-2021, he promised. 

    The same day, Khalid Khan had a working session with Vietnamese Deputy Auditor General Doan Xuan Tien to discuss Vietnam’s preparations for ASOSAI 14. 

    Looking into the meeting’s agenda, they agreed that major events will take place from September 19-22, with the opening ceremony scheduled for September 19. 

    The Hanoi Declaration is expected to be part of the meeting’s programme. As the official document of ASOSAI 14, the declaration will deliver the assembly’s important messages as well as commitments and actions of ASOSAI to the region and the world in the audit sphere. 

    Apart from reflecting the commitment to completing the UN’s sustainable development goals (SDGs) and handling challenges to the global environment, the document stresses the materialisation of the ASOSAI strategic plan for 2016-2021. 

    On this occasion, the NAD shared its experience in organising symposiums. 

    The two sides are scheduled to deliberate technical matters and the celebration of 40 years of the ASOSAI Charter on March 21.

    President Tran Dai Quang congratulates President Vladimir Putin


    Cao Bang prepares for Vietnam-China border defence exchange, Vietnam, Malaysia eye stronger audit cooperation, President Tran Dai Quang congratulates President Vladimir Putin, Hanoi seeks tourism cooperation with Slovak region
    President Vladimir Putin 

    President Tran Dai Quang on March 19 sent a congratulatory letter to Vladimir Putin on his re-election as President of Russia.

    Earlier, General Secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam Central Committee Nguyen Phu Trong cabled a message to congratulate the re-elected President.

    Vladimir Putin is set for another six years in power after winning a record election performance with 76.66 percent of the vote held on March 18.

    Hanoi seeks tourism cooperation with Slovak region


    Cao Bang prepares for Vietnam-China border defence exchange, Vietnam, Malaysia eye stronger audit cooperation, President Tran Dai Quang congratulates President Vladimir Putin, Hanoi seeks tourism cooperation with Slovak region
    Vice Chairman of the Hanoi People’s Committee Nguyen Van Suu (R) and Governor Juraj Droba of Slovakia’s Bratislava region (Source: 

    Vice Chairman of the Hanoi People’s Committee Nguyen Van Suu and Governor Juraj Droba of Slovakia’s Bratislava region on March 20 discussed cooperation potential between the two sides, especially in the field of tourism.

    Suu recalled the visit of Slovak Deputy Prime Minister Peter Pellegrini to Vietnam in 2017, in which he expressed his wish for stronger cooperation with Hanoi. The visit has helped to expand cooperation between the two localities, he added.

    As Hanoi is undergoing rapid urbanisation, the city wants to expand cooperation with Bratislava region in various fields, including economy, culture, social affairs, diplomacy, tourism and urban development. 

    The official proposed the signing of a memorandum of understanding between Hanoi and Bratislava, creating a premise for closer cooperation in the future. Vietnam and Slovakia should also promote tourism cooperation, along with trade exchanges and economic development, he stressed.

    In reply, Juraj Droba said Slovakia and Bratislava region in particular are paying heed to Vietnam’s socio-economic achievements over the past years, as well as potential for bilateral cooperation in different fields. 

    The visit aims to establish a framework to deepen cooperative ties between the two localities, especially in tourism, he said.

    Droba also suggested the two sides arrange a student exchange programme, thus helping their citizens to enhance cultural exchanges.-

    Seminar features Vietnam-Czech Republic relations


    Cao Bang prepares for Vietnam-China border defence exchange, Vietnam, Malaysia eye stronger audit cooperation, President Tran Dai Quang congratulates President Vladimir Putin, Hanoi seeks tourism cooperation with Slovak region
    A seminar featuring Vietnam’s achievements and Vietnam - Czech Republic ties was held in Prague on March 19 by the Communist Party of Bohemia and Moravia (KSCM)

    A seminar featuring Vietnam’s achievements and Vietnam - Czech Republic ties was held in Prague on March 19 by the Communist Party of Bohemia and Moravia (KSCM).

    In his speech, Vietnamese Counsellor in the Czech Republic Tran Vinh Bac briefed on Vietnam’s achievements during more than 30 years of Doi moi (renovation), especially in socio-economic development and international cooperation in 2017.

    He highlighted the thriving bilateral relations, saying that the two countries have maintained traditional political ties through many mutual high-ranking visits. Economic-trade and investment cooperation has been expanded, with two-way trade hitting 1 billion USD for the first time in 2017.

    The diplomat voiced his hope that the two nations will foster bilateral cooperation in the future, especially in tourism, labour, education and university training.

    For his part, Josek Skala, Vice President of the KSCM, said Doi moi is a valuable lesson for the party’s members. He said the two countries should address issues of mutual concern such as trade balance and visa procedure simplification, thus enhancing bilateral cooperation in the coming time.

    At the seminar, participants discussed cooperation and investment opportunities for Czech businesses in Vietnam, spotlighted in a recently-published book on Vietnam’s market.

    Emerging challenges and measures to foster Vietnam-Czech relations, as well as the East Sea issue were also on the agenda. Participants agreed that the East Sea disputes need to be solved peacefully in accordance with international law.

    An exhibition featuring 30 photos and documents on Vietnam’s sea and island sovereignty, landscapes and people was also held on this occasion.

    Vietnam, Russia seek to boost cultural collaboration

    Cao Bang prepares for Vietnam-China border defence exchange, Vietnam, Malaysia eye stronger audit cooperation, President Tran Dai Quang congratulates President Vladimir Putin, Hanoi seeks tourism cooperation with Slovak region 

    Vietnamese Ambassador to Russia Ngo Duc Manh

    The Vietnamese Embassy in Russia held a round-table seminar on Vietnam – Russia cultural cooperation in Moscow on March 20. 

    In his opening speech, Vietnamese Ambassador to Russia Ngo Duc Manh said the two countries are holding a series of cultural activities such as “Russian Cultural Days” and “Week of Russian Films” in Vietnam and vice versa. 

    Both sides have also educated young people about bilateral ties and facilitated the exchange of delegations in culture and communications, particularly the upcoming signing of the cultural cooperation programme for 2019-2020. 

    Participants agreed that Russian culture has taken root in the hearts of generations of Vietnamese people. Though less popular following the collapse of the Soviet Union, it has become more popular recently. 

    Professor Grigory Lokshin, an expert on Vietnamese studies from the Russian Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Far Eastern Studies suggested the two countries’ ministries and agencies further strive to make the two peoples closer. 

    Former Director of the Russian Centre of Science and Culture in Hanoi Elena Zubtsova proposed stepping up communications collaboration to raise mutual understanding. 

    A number of books about Vietnam and translated versions of well-known Vietnamese literary works were also introduced at the event. 

    Elena Chimenheva, a Vietnamese language teacher for Russian cultural officials, said many Russian people want to learn Vietnamese language now, hoping that there will be more Vietnamese school books for foreigners so students could read many Vietnamese cultural works and enjoy painting exhibitions.

    International media praise late Prime Minister Phan Van Khai

    Australian media outlets have run several articles on former Vietnamese Prime Minister Phan Van Khai after he passed away on March 17.

    In its article on his death, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) assessed Phan Van Khai as “an architect of Vietnam's economic rise”.

    Meanwhile, the The Australian newspaper stressed that the former PM was a great contributor to Vietnam’s economic growth and the country’s first prime minister to visit the United States after the end of the war.

    “Khai oversaw Vietnam's fastest and most stable economic growth during his nine years in office from 1997 to 2006. He signed a bilateral trade agreement with the US in 2000 and oversaw Vietnam's entry into the World Trade Organisation in 2006,” the article wrote.

    Earlier, when Khai was hospitalised, several Australian newspapers posted articles recalling his two visits to Australia. In 1999, the Sydney University  - Australia’s first university  - conferred a degree of Doctor of Science in Economics upon the former PM for his contributions to Vietnam’s economic and political democracy.

    Germany’s Deutsche Welle newspaper also reported on Khai’s death and gave readers a brief biography.

    “He was prime minister for nine years beginning in 1997 and ushered in an era of reform that saw Vietnam transform itself into one of Southeast Asia's fastest-growing economies,” the newspaper said.

    Former Politburo member and former Prime Minister Phan Van Khai passed away at 1:30 on March 17 at Cu Chi, Ho Chi Minh City, aged 85.

    Phan Van Khai was born on December 25, 1933 in Cu Chi district, Ho Chi Minh City.

    As one of the high-ranking Party and State leaders in the first phase of the country's Renewal and nation-building cause, PM Khai was active and determined to build the institution under the spirit of renewal to utilize the capacities of all economic sectors, especially the private one, together with opening door to the world and integrating internationally. 

    During his nearly two working terms, fundamental laws in the first phase of the Renewal and door-opening process were built.

    The Government chaired by PM Khai left its working-term marks by the issuance of the Business Law, the annulment of hundreds of licences, the involvement in many tough talks to negotiate Vietnam's admission to the World Trade Organization (WTO), and more.

    The Party and State have presented PM Khai the Golden Star Order and the 55-year Party Membership Badge (2014), in recognition of his dedications to the country's revolutionary cause.


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  • 03/21/18--07:10: Article 1
  • VN master painter’s work auctioned in France

     A silk painting by master Nguyen Nam Son (1890-1973), one of the leading artists in modern Vietnamese fine art, will be auctioned by the Aguttes company at Drouot auction sale centre in Paris, France, on March 26.

    Silk paintings, modern Vietnamese silk painting, Vietnam economy, Vietnamnet bridge, English news about Vietnam, Vietnam news, news about Vietnam, English news, Vietnamnet news, latest news on Vietnam, Vietnam


    Delicate work: Silk painting Thon Nu Bac Ky by Nam Son.

    Titled Thon Nu Bac Ky (Peasants of Tonkin), the painting, ink and colour on silk, measures 65 by 52.5cm, with the painter’s signature on the upper right and lower left and its title on the lower left.

    The painting is expected to be sold for 35,000-50,000 euros.

    The painter, real name Nguyen Van Tho, was a co-initiator of the Indochine Fine Arts College in Hanoi with Victor Tardieu (1870-1937). Working as a painter for nearly six decades, he left behind 400 works on various materials, 20 of which are on silk.

    According to Aguttes, the painting has spent the last 50 years with the family of a private collector in Hanoi.

    It is said the painting was completed in 1935. It appeared once at an art fair called "Salon de la Sadeai" in Hanoi in 1936. At the same fair, Nam Son exhibited three other silk paintings.

    The Thon Nu Bac Ky was also mentioned in archives held by Nam Son’s family. Besides this, his signature, seal and a sentence appear on the left corner of the work in Han Chinese, translated as "This painting was drawn by painter Nguyen Nam Son, residing by Hoan Kiem Lake”.

    According to researcher Ngo Kim Khoi, the whole painting is a transition from the colour green to turquoise, featuring three female peasants carrying bananas on a pole, wearing typical costumes of women in the northern plains.

    “Though he did not specialise in silk painting, the audience can see delicate lines on the painting,” said Khoi. “The colours seem to go through the texture of the silk background.”

    The same technique can be seen in his silk painting, titled Ve Cho (Return from Market), drawn in 1927, which was exhibited once in Paris.

    The painting Ve Cho may be the first silk painting in modern Vietnamese fine arts because Nguyen Phan Chanh, who is considered the pioneer of modern Vietnamese silk painting, did not learn the technique of drawing on silk until 1928 in Yunnan, China.


    Silk paintings, modern Vietnamese silk painting, Vietnam economy, Vietnamnet bridge, English news about Vietnam, Vietnam news, news about Vietnam, English news, Vietnamnet news, latest news on Vietnam, Vietnam
    Long career: Painter Nguyen Nam Son in 1919.

    At the same auction on March 26, works by other Vietnamese painters such as Le Pho (1907-2001), Vu Cao Dam (1908-2000), Le Thi Luu (1911-1988) and Mai Trung Thu (1906-1980) are displayed.

    The most expensive estimate of the sale may belong to a work by French painter Pierre Bonnard (1867-1947), which is expected for 500,000-600,000 euros. The runner-up will be Le Pho, with two works: Mau Tu (Maternity) ink and water colour on silk, 59.5 by 48cm, and Thieu Nu Ben Hoa Hong (Young Woman by Roses), the same material, 41 by 32.2cm. Both paintings by Le Pho are expected to be sold at the same price of 150,000-200,000 euros.

    The event will take place at 2.30pm Paris time on March 26. 


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